Monday, 20 February 2012

Led Zeppelin

In 1968, just as I was starting to believe that the music I loved had lost its rebellious glamour, had reached its final climax and was slowly disappearing into the abyss of boredom and respectability, a band appeared as if sent by the Gods of Rock-LED ZEPPELIN!
Led Zeppelin was formed out of the dying embers of the Yardbirds. Only, the musical Phoenix that arose from the ashes was a million light years away from the smouldering roots of the 60’s popular sounds! Each member of the mystical group added his part, together they took the deepest soulful and rhythmic elements of all the musical genres you can imagine-blues, jazz, pop, folk, world music and classic- and mixed them into the magical potion that created Rock!

Even before their names became iconic, the four musicians were already well known in the world of popular music. Super guitarist Jimmy Page,  and multi- instrumentalist and gifted arranger John Paul Jones were amongst the highest paid session musicians in the recording industry, John Bonham’s reputation as an innovative and talented drummer was already spreading through the world of music. “As soon as I heard John Bonham play", recalled Jones, "I knew this was going to be great ... We locked together as a team immediately". Add Robert Plants voice and style, and you had the perfect music equation.

Evocative and erotic could be two words to describe the music of Led Zeppelin, no matter how you paint it, listening to their albums or watching the band live, made you feel as if you had been musically starved and at last you had found the source to quench that hunger. The mixture of new powerful and hard moving rhythms, combined with untouchable guitar riffs underlining provocative lyrics took you to musical heights that one had not imagined. True, some of the songs were criticised as being macho or occult, but the fact is they were and still are volcanic rock; sold out stadium concerts and 300 million sold albums stand as solid proof.

Sadly the premature death of John ‘Bonzo’ Bonham in 1980 put an end to the magic. Shortly after this tragic event Led Zeppelin disbanded. The ‘greatest rock and roll band of all time’ was no more. However the music lives on, sounding as expressive and powerful as it did 40 years ago

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