The music scene of the 1970s was greatly influenced by Led Zeppelin. The British band topped the charts and played to sold-out crowds all over the world with its psychedelic, hard-rock, and early metal style. Sadly, they made the decision to end their career at some time, much like many excellent bands. The band’s actual history, in decades, is shown below.
1960: The New Yardbirds, a reference to Jimmy Page’s time with the illustrious band The Yardbirds, was Led Zeppelin’s initial moniker in the 1960s. The band was founded in 1968 by Page on guitar, Robert Plant on lead vocals, John Paul Jones on bass and keyboards, and John Bonham on drums. Soon after the band’s formation, The Yardbirds demanded that they change their name in a cease-and-desist letter. They released “Led Zeppelin” and started performing and making records under it right away.
1970s: Led Zeppelin had already established itself
as a worldwide sensation at the start of the 1970s decade. The band’s fourth studio album, Led Zeppelin IV, was released in 1971 and has since sold more than 37 million copies, making it one of the all-time best-selling albums. This album also includes Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven,” widely regarded as one of the greatest rock songs ever written. With songs like “Whole Lotta Love,” “Immigrant Song,” and “The Song Remains the Same” topping the charts and selling out arenas across the world, the band proceeded to have international success for the remainder of the 1970s.
1980s: Despite experiencing unparalleled success, Led Zeppelin decided to split up in 1980. Many people were shocked by the decision because Led Zeppelin had been preparing for a sizable new tour. Why is that, then? The drummer Bonham passed tragically suddenly in 1980. After a day of heavy drinking, Bonham went to bed and passed out in his sleep, choking to death on his own vomit. The cause of his death was ruled an accident when the autopsy revealed the presence of illicit drugs.
Even though Led Zeppelin canceled their tour, there was talk that John Bonham might be replaced. However, the band members later revealed in a statement that they would be breaking up since Bonham’s passing “led us to decide that we could not continue as we were.”
The band gave a performance at Live Aid, one of the biggest charity concerts ever, in 1985 as a trio (Plant, Page, Jones). They never again attained the levels of vibrancy they did in the 1970s, though.