Happy 50th: Led Zeppelin, LED ZEPPELIN
50 years ago this month, rock and roll history was changed forever with the release of the self-titled album by a band which would, in short order, become the biggest in the world.
Produced by Jimmy Page at London’s Olympic Studios, LED ZEPPELIN was recorded before the band even had a recording contract, which is at least one reason why Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones, and John Bonham made every effort to get the material knocked out in a quick and efficient fashion, thereby preventing it from costing any more than absolutely necessary. In the end, the sessions took only 36 hours to complete and cost less than £2,000.
Given that they’d only just stopped being known as the New Yardbirds, it’s hard to sufficiently emphasize just how little critical buzz Led Zeppelin had behind them when they released their debut album. Not that the album was universally panned, by any means, but it definitely didn’t receive a rapturous reception. Thankfully, that wasn’t an issue for listeners: the album took flight relatively quickly, going gold in America within the year, and with the band’s fanbase cemented across the pond, it wasn’t long before Led Zeppelin found their way on the road to the legendary status they maintain to this day.
As for LED ZEPPELIN, you will be unsurprised to learn that many critics backpedaled on their original feelings about the album, but the most enjoyable change of mind came from Rolling Stone, who disparaged a number of things about the LP upon its initial release, only to place it at #29 on their 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.
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