The English rock band Led Zeppelin was established in 1968 in London, England. Band members were Jimmy Page (guitarist), Robert Plant (singer), John Paul Jones (keyboardist and bassist) and John Bonham (drummer). The hard guitar-driven sound of the band on the early albums had its roots in blues rock. The band has been credited with being one of the precursors of the heavy metal genre, although the unique musical style of the band found inspiration from a wide array of music genres, including folk music.
Led Zeppelin was signed by Atlantic Records, and in 1969 released their first two albums: Led Zeppelin and Led Zeppelin II. These were followed in 1970 with Led Zeppelin II, in 1971 with Led Zeppelin IV, in 1973 with Houses of the Holy and in 1975 with Physical Graffiti. “Stairway to Heaven,” one of the most influential and popular songs in all of rock music, appeared on the band’s fourth album. All of Led Zeppelin’s first four albums were commercially successful, and the band became one of the most popular group’s of all time.
The later Led Zeppelin albums, including 1976’s Presence, 1979’s In Through The Out Door Door and 1982’s Coda, were more experimental. The releases were followed by several record-breaking tours that became infamous for their debauchery and excess. During the late 1970s, the band continued to be critically and commercially successful. However, their touring and output became limited due to personal difficulties of the various band members. In 1980, John Bonham died suddenly and the band broke up. Since that time, the remaining members have collaborated on a sporadic basis and united for one-off reunions. In 2007, the most successful Led Zeppelin reunion took place in London at Ahmet Ertegun’s Tribute Concert. Jason Bonham, the son of John, played the drums in place of his father.
Led Zeppelin has sold over 200 million worldwide albums over the course of their career. The band is considered to be among the most influential, innovative and successful rock bands of all time.