Is Led Zeppelin the greatest band of all time? In short, yes. They are the greatest band of all time. Now, I know it’s difficult to separate what your favorite band is from who is the best. Think about it. Led Zeppelin has sold more than 200 million albums world-wide. They have had 9 studio albums crossing through three decades. So longevity and universal popularity are definitely apparent. I shouldn’t have to even touch this next one, but for the case of influence. Led Zeppelin might be completely in a class of their own. Maybe the Stones or The Who… maybe, and I will venture to say these are a stretch.
They have affected everyone from Zakk Wylde and Kirk Hammett to being sampled by Puff Daddy (name at the time and yes I hated it). You hear the Page style of guitar in everything from Aerosmith and the Black Crowes to Sheryl Crow. I think it is safe to say they certainly influence music as a band, but let’s extend that to individual band members as well. Robert Plant was in our Top 10 Rock ‘n Roll Frontman of All Time. Jimmy Page was number 3 in Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Guitarists. This list was open to all guitarists, not just rock guitarists.
Now for my “X” factor. Led Zeppelin tried more things across more albums with an innovative and risk-taking approach that no record label may ever allow again. I do preface that on my concern that many modern bands do not get the creative liberties that Led Zeppelin was given. Instead the labels focus more on cookie cutter albums focused on sales rather than musicianship, but I digress. Just listening to Zep, even to the untrained ear, you can hear it. Listen to Black Dog and The Ocean, then listen to Dyer Maker and Fools in the Rain, then listen to Going to California and Ramble On, and finally rock out to Dazed and Confused and What Is and What Should Never Be. Name me a band that contains that many different sounds. We didn’t even include Kashmir, by the way. So kick this week off with a return to the time of musicianship. Rock some LED ZEPPELIN!
We’ve Done Four Already but Now We’re Steady,