With all nine of their studio albums making it to the Top 10 on the Billboard charts, six number one albums, their 1995 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and their certification of being one of the bestselling rocks groups of all time as stated by the RIAA , it is virtually impossible to not recognise that Led Zeppelin (formerly known as the New Yardbirds) has made a considerable impact in the world of Rock and Roll.
Led Zeppelin was formed at a time when the world hadn’t seen a hard rock band that was very successful. Rock n’ Roll was in its beginning stages and hadn’t carved out a significant portion of the consumer market as yet. The Beatles, who were possibly the most successful group at that time, hadn’t tapped into the Rock n’ Roll niche, they preferred to make soft, soulful music.
Led Zeppelin however, brought heavy metal and savoury lyrics to the forefront of the global stage. The sound of the group was heavily dependent on intense, fast and almost trancelike drumbeats, and long, loud guitar solos. Lyrically, the group sought inspiration from the usual life experiences such as love, sorrow and translated original folklore into much simpler words which could be belted out by their massive fan base.
Evidence of the group’s influence and inspiration can be found in the many songs that today’s famous artists have sung and covered. Artists such as Beyoncé and Eminem have sung the unique sound of Led Zeppelin and went on to produce successful hits. The musical genius of Led Zeppelin gave rise to a new wave of more alternative forms of Rock n’ Roll known as Soft Rock during the 1970’s, which resulted in the formation of bands such as Nirvana and Pearl Garden, both legends in their own right.
Additionally, Led Zeppelin had a great deal of influence over other famous heavy metal and rock bands such as Aerosmith and Queen, as well as punk rock bands like the Cult and the Ramones. In addition to their iconic musical influence, the band was known for its eccentric sense of style. Their wardrobe included tight, open bottom jeans with tight graphic tees; which would be copied by other bands as their preferred method of dress. Most importantly, style-wise, Led Zeppelin was recognized by their big and statement-making hairstyles. All four members, at some point wore long locks which would move effortlessly as they pranced around during their shows. The band performed with such a presence and grandeur, that few acts have since surpassed during their musical careers.
Led Zeppelin taught other upcoming bands the how’s and the what’s when it came to playing and performing live to mass crowds in large venues. It is easy to say that Led Zeppelin is the grandfather of nearly all forms and variations of rock music, from hard and heavy metal to more experimental alternative rock and even punk rock. From the music to the apparel to the performances, Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, John Paul Jones and John Bonham (collectively known as Led Zeppelin) have undoubtedly pioneered this genre of music.