Led Zeppelin Biography
Led Zeppelin, one of the greatest band in music history with over 100 million albums sold in U.S. alone, was formed in ENGLAND around 1968 by frontman Robert Plant, guitarist Jimmy Page, bassist John Paul Jones and drummer John Bonham.
They were originally named the New Yardbirds and after a brief period of live performances, they re-christened themselves Led Zeppelin then signed a recording deal with Atlantic Records who released their eponymous debut in early 1969. The band traveled the United States for the first time playing a series of live shows; "Led Zeppelin" made an impressive impact and within two months cracked the top 10 of The U.S. Pop Albums chart and hit #6 in Great Britain.
During that year, the band supported the album by touring in the U.S. and England; in the meantime recorded their second album which was released in October, "Led Zeppelin II" went straight to #1 on both U.K. and U.S. Pop Albums charts spawning "Whole Lotta Love" which peaked at #4 on the U.S. Official Pop Singles chart.
"Led Zeppelin III" was issued in October of 1970, the album which featured two traditional songs, was written in Wales, largely influenced by Celtic culture; the record became an instant #1 hit in Britain and in U.S. Pop Albums charts.
The quartet released their greatest album in November of 1971, the untitled effort, referred to as "Led Zeppelin IV", generated a series of Rock staples like "Stairway To Heaven", never issued as a single, "Black Dog" and "Rock And Roll" which entered the U.S. Pop Singles chart reaching the #14 and #47 spots, respectively; nevertheless the band's fourth effort stalled at #2 on the U.S. Pop chart, but topped the British Albums chart. In the States, in March of 1996, the album was certified 16 x platinum and ten years later the disc achieved 23 × platinum certification.
1973's "Houses Of The Holy" debuted at #1 on both American and England Albums charts, the most representative single, "D'yer Mak'er", hit #20 on The U.S. Pop chart; Led Zeppelin embarked on a sold-out U.S. tour and their summer show at Madison Square Garden in New York was filmed for the 1976's live concert movie, titled "The Song Remains The Same".
In early 1975 the group charted again at #1 on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean with "Physical Graffiti"; the double album contained the hit single "Trampled Under Foot" and continued the band's musical experimentation beginning with "Houses Of The Holy", that same year Led Zeppelin planned a world tour but in August 1975 Robert Plant was seriously injured in a car accident and the tour was cancelled.
The quartet returned the next year with "Presence" which topped the U.S. Top 200 LPs & Tapes chart and became their sixth consecutive #1 in their native England. In the fall of 1976 Led Zeppelin released their first official live album, "The Song Remains The Same", in conjunction with the film of the same name.
In 1977, while on tour in the States, Robert
Plant was notified of the death of his son Karac. At the tender age
of six he died of a stomach infection; Plant later wrote the song "All
My Love" in the memory of his lost child.
Led Zeppelin reappeared more than two years later, in Europe, for a few live shows, the band headed back to the studio to record "In Through The Out Door" which was issued in September 1979, the album was another transatlantic success and soared to the top of the albums charts in U.S. and Europe.
On September 25, 1980 another tragedy struck when Zeppelin's drummer, 32-year-old John Bonham was found dead in his bed following an all-day drinking binge.
Before the year's end, the surviving members reported that without Bonham, Led Zeppelin could not be a band and broke up.
Robert Plant pursued a solo career
and released the album, "Pictures At Eleven" in 1982, during
the same year Jimmy Page issued a collection of archive material, "Coda",
which rose to #4 o the British chart and to #6 on the U.S. Top 200 LPs &
Tapes list, its single "Darlene" peaked at #4 on Mainstream
Two years later Plant and Page reunited in The Honeydrippers releasing a mini-album of oldies cover, titled "Volume One".
In December 2007, some 27 years after the band disbanded, the surviving members of Led Zeppelin reunited along with John Bonham's son, Jason, for the rightly acclaimed London's O2 Arena show; when it was announced, more than 20 million requests for tickets flooded in but only 18,000 fans had the opportunity to see the performance.
In November 2012 this triumphant reunion was finally released as "Celebration Day", a live album available either as an audio or a CD/DVD set.