A veritable “best of” collection unto itself, Led Zeppelin’s fourth album in three years contains such musical pillars as “Black Dog”, “Going to California”,”When the Levee Breaks”, “Rock and Roll”, and one more whose title escapes me. Something about a “stairwell” or “staircase” or some such…Led Zeppelin mastermind Jimmy Page and singer/ lyricist Robert Plant are my guests as we mark the golden anniversary of Led Zeppelin IV here In the Studio the week of November 1st.
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Thus began a five year period when a series of tragedies befell Led Zeppelin even while they continued to record timeless hard rock such as “Achilles’ Last Stand”,”Nobody’s Fault but Mine”, and “For Your Life” from Presence which amaze even now almost half a century later. Jimmy Page blesses us with his Presence and joins me here In the Studio on the forty-fifth anniversary of “Presence” .
In the December 2007 reunion concert at London’s O2 Arena to pay tribute to Atlantic Records founder Ahmet Ertegun, Led Zeppelin trotted out “For Your Life”, a song from Presence which lead singer Robert Plant informs us that the original band with the late drummer John Bonham had never performed in concert.
Led Zeppelin III appeared October 5, 1970 with surprisingly little notice. Containing “The Immigrant Song”,”Gallows Pole”, and “Since I’ve Been Loving You”, Led Zeppelin III also planted exotic seeds of sounds in “Friends” with its Middle Eastern orchestration, which would skip several subsequent albums only to germinate with legendary impact on Physical Grafitti . My guests Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, and Led Zeppelin “III” recording engineer at Ardent Studio in Memphis, Terry Manning, tell the story on the fiftieth anniversary.
Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page discusses the grandeur of “Kashmir”, the progressive rock of “In the Light”, the furious electric funk of “The Wanton Song”, and the shimmering delicacy of “Ten Years Gone”.
By the time of its late February 1975 release, Led Zeppelin’s sixth album, “Physical Graffiti” , signaled a fundamental change in the popular music and media equation that began with Led Zeppelin ” IV” .
Led Zeppelin II
In the Studio episode #20 for November 7, 1988 featured what turned out to be my first of many subsequent in-depth conversations about the Led Zeppelin legacy with band mastermind Jimmy Page and Robert Plant.
Jimmy Page & Robert Plant recall first rehearsals for Led Zeppelin first public performance 11-9-68 at The Roundhouse, Chalk Farm.
Bad Company lead singer/songwriter Paul Rodgers, guitarist/songwriter Mick Ralphs, and drummer Simon Kirke all agreed that being the first band signed to Led Zeppelin’s Swan Song label, as well as sharing management with them, was advantageous. However the expectations for this “supergroup”, containing Rodgers and Kirke from Free and Ralphs from Mott the Hoople, were exceedingly high for “Run With the Pack” in 1976.