Led Zeppelin’s impact on rock continues to this day, as evidenced by the effect they have on a wide variety of modern rock bands. Their creative approach to songwriting and live shows influenced many of the bands that came after them and helped launch a new wave of rock music.
Blues, folk, classical, and jazz musical components were all incorporated into Led Zeppelin’s distinctive brand of rock music. To produce a distinctive sound, they also played with distortion, guitars, and sound effects. Their music still sounds current and new today. They continue to have an impact on contemporary music, as evidenced by the fact that many bands cite Led Zeppelin as an inspiration for their own musical aesthetic.
However, their history does contain some flops. ‘Sick Again’ from Physical Graffiti, released in 1975, is one of the most obvious blemishes in their discography. The band’s frontman, Robert Plant, is said to have written the song as a means to express his sympathy for the group of young girls he called the “L.A. Queens,” who frequently flocked to the band’s hotel rooms to request “favors.” Despite his ostensibly good goals, the lyrics are extremely creepy and haven’t held up well over time.
Plant has also explained his lyrics. Back in 1975, while speaking with Cameron Crowe for Rolling Stone, he said, “If you listen to ‘Sick Again’, a track from Physical Graffiti, the words show I feel a bit sorry for [the girls]. ‘Clutchin pages from your teenage dream in the lobby of the Hotel Paradise/Through the circus of the L.A. Queen how fast you learn the downhill slide’. One minute she’s 12, and the next minute she’s 13 and over the top. Such a shame. They haven’t got the style that they had in the old days … way back in ’68.”
The lyrics of the song also expressed things that have aged terribly. “From the window of a rented limousine/ I caught your pretty blue eyes/ One day soon you’re gonna’ reach sixteen. Said you dug me since you were thirteen/ Then you giggle as you heave an’ sigh.”
Regardless of the singer’s intentions, “Sick Again” serves as a reminder of the dark side of classic rock given the series of moans Plant uses to conclude the song. It is horrifying to consider a grown male waiting for a young girl to become of consenting age. If the song had been released today, Led Zeppelin would have been canceled for sure.