The first Led Zeppelin album in 1969 was released, like the vast majority of unknown untested “baby bands”, in January. It was unhyped, particularly in America, as three of the four members of the British band had no reputations Stateside whatsoever, and only band founder/ lead guitarist Jimmy Page had some fame in the dying embers of the Yardbirds.
Fast-forward ten months to Led Zeppelin II and everything had changed.
Unlike its unassuming debut, Led Zeppelin II was released the same year in October, when record companies put out their blockbusters guaranteed to rack up holiday sales. And unlike the first album, Led Zeppelin II hit American Top 40 radio fifty years ago like a thunderclap. When I heard both Chicago radio powerhouses WLS and WCFL play “Whole Lotta Love” by Led Zeppelin in Fall 1969, it changed my life and forged the template for hard rock/ heavy metal for half a century. Jimmy Page and Robert Plant join me here In the Studio on Led Zeppelin II‘s fiftieth anniversary to document what had ensued in the year and a half between the first two releases, and to reveal the songs you know by heart including “What Is and What Should Never Be”, “Thank You”, “Heartbreaker/ Living Loving Maid(She’s Just a Woman)”, and “Ramble On”. –Redbeard