Sunday, March 7, 2010

Biography Channel - Led Zeppelin (2004)

"Considered to be one of the greatest rock 'n' roll groups of all time, the magical combination of Plant, Page, Bonham and Jones made musical history with Stairway To Heaven.

The story of the top rock band that got its name when drummer Keith Moon predicted how the band would go over with audiences after hearing their demo tapes.

Led Zeppelin's first album reached number 10 on the charts in 1969, and their popularity continued to grow with each subsequent album. But they were among the most hedonistic of all rock bands, and their indulgences led to a series of tragedies that ultimately broke up the band. However, they rank second only to The Beatles in sales.

The band formed in 1968 with a line-up that included Jimmy Page (guitarist), Robert Plant (vocals), John Paul Jones (bassist) and John Bonham (drummer).

With their heavy, guitar-driven sound, Led Zeppelin were regarded as one of the first heavy metal bands. Their rock-infused interpretation of the blues also incorporated sounds from other genres such as reggae, soul and folk. Significantly, the band did not release the popular songs from their albums as singles in Britain, as they preferred to develop the concept of album-oriented rock.

The group's self-titled first album was released on 13th January, 1969. Over the next couple of years, they enjoyed further album successes with the release of Led Zeppelin II (1969) and Led Zeppelin III (1970).

The 1970s was a decade of unparalleled success for the band. Their image also changed as members began to wear elaborate, colourful clothing and jewellery similar to other popular performers of the era. In 1971, they released their fourth album - generally referred to as the Fourth Album - without a title. The album featured the song Stairway to Heaven, which attracted controversy due to unsubstantiated but repeated claims of "satanic" back masked messages.

Houses of the Holy (1973) followed, and it featured further experimentation and longer tracks. This album was seen as a stylistic turning point for the group. Guitar riffs became more layered within Jimmy Page's production techniques, signifying a move away from their early blues influences.

Zeppelin went on to release Physical Graffiti (1975), Presence (1976) and In Through the Out Door (1979).

On 24th September, 1980, John Bonham arrived for rehearsals already heavily under the influence of alcohol. He continued to drink heavily and a halt was eventually called to the rehearsals late in the evening and the band retired to Page's house. After midnight, Bonham had fallen asleep and was taken to bed and placed on his side. Benji LeFevre (who had replaced Richard Cole as Led Zeppelin's tour manager) and John Paul Jones found him dead the next morning. He was 32-years-old.

In December that year, the band released a statement confirming that they would not continue without their drummer." (45 min)

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