Led Zeppelin Album is by Led Zeppelin, the English rock band. Their debut album was released under the record label Atlantic on the 12th of January 1969 in the United States and on the 31st of March the same year in the United Kingdom.
The album, which features nine tracks, was produced by lead guitarist and co-founder Jimmy Page with engineering and mixing done by Glyn Johns.
The Led Zeppelin album was recorded during September and October 1968 at the Olympic Studios in Barnes, West London, England. The building is now home to a cinema, café, members’ club and a recording studio.
The tracks laid down by the members of the band had previously been played during their Scandinavian tour. Recording the tracks took just thirty hours in total, with Jimmy Page and Glyn Johns paying for the hire of the studio out of their own pockets.
The songs, a mixture of original material along with re-recorded and rearranged blues and folk songs, was recorded over nine days. The cost of the sessions was £1,782 in studio time ( roughly £30,650 in today’s money ).
Led Zeppelin retained full artistic control of the work, not just with the music output but also the design of the album sleeve.
Jimmy Page chose a black and white photograph of the Hindenburg airship disaster, which happened on the 6th of May 1937, in New Jersey, United States.
During the early release, the now recognisable cover featured the album’s name and logo of record label Atlantic in turquoise, changing to orange later.
At the time of the release, the album received poor reviews. John Mendelsohn review for Rolling Stone magazine dated on the 15th of March 1969, was particularly harsh. He commented on not the group but the content of the album saying that they had wasted ” their considerable talent on unworthy material. ” However he did have praise for Jimmy Page calling him an ” extraordinarily proficient blues guitarist. “
Despite the not so good review back in 1969, the Zeppelin album has become a favourite amongst the critics of today. In a review for the BBC in 2010, Greg Moffitt praised the reworking of the blues and folk songs saying that the band had the ” ability to bend cover versions to their own ends. ” He also praised the band: ” Compositionally, Zeppelin would go on to achieve greater things, but the performances here simply cannot be faulted. “
The album became a successful release for Led Zeppelin. On the 22nd of July 1969, it was awarded a Gold disc by the Recording Industry Association of America ( RIAA ) for sales of over one million copies in the United States alone.
Sales continued into 1970, and by April of that year, it has sales of two million in the country. The album spent seventy-three weeks on the US Bestsellers list at the time.
Since then, the awards have grown. To date, the album has been awarded 8x Platinum in the US for sales of over eight million.
In the United Kingdom and Australia, it is 2x Platinum, with sales of 600,000 and 140,000 respectively.
Elsewhere the album has been awarded Diamond in Canada, Platinum in Spain and Gold in the Netherlands, France, Italy, Switzerland and Argentina.
The lead single, ” Good Times Bad Times “, was released on the 10th of March 1969 in the United States.
Recorded in October 1968 at the Olympic Studios it was written by Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones, John Bonham with Robert Plant later receiving a songwriting credit.
The single became a success for the group. In the United States, it reached number eighty on the 19th of April 1969 and spent four weeks on the Billboard Hot 100. The single also reached number sixty-six on Cash Box and sixty-five on the Record World charts, both of which were music industry magazines.
It also charted in Canada where it peaked at number sixty-four. In the Netherlands, it reached number seventeen on the Top 100, and in Japan, it made number eighty-four on the Oricon chart. It was not released in the UK.
Although the Led Zeppelin album didn’t garner good reviews upon release, it did go on to be commercially successful.
In the United States, the album entered the Billboard 200 at number ninety-nine. It moved up to number forty and peaked at ten. The album re-entered the chart in 1975, 1979 and 2014 where it reached number seven.
In the United Kingdom, the Led Zeppelin album entered the UK Albums Chart on the 12th of April 1969 and peaked at number six. It spent six weeks in the Top Ten and seventy-nine weeks in the Top 100.
Outside of the US and UK, the album reached number nine on the Australian Go-Set Top 20 Albums Chart and eleven on the Canadian RPM Top 100.
In Denmark, it reached number eight, and in Norway, it peaked at fourteen.
About Led Zeppelin
Led Zeppelin was an English rock band. Formed in 1968 London, England, the line-up consisted of Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, John Paul Jones and John Bonham.
The group, whose music was influenced by blues, psychedelia and folk, began life as the New Yardbirds. They changed their name after a comment by The Who’s drummer Keith Moon who said that their music would probably ” go down like a lead Zeppelin “.
Led Zeppelin’s manager, Peter Grant, secured a £200,000 five-album record deal with Atlantic. The deal, over £3.2 million in today’s money, also gave the group artistic control.
Jimmy Page wrote most of the music with Robert Plant writing the lyrics. After initial lack of good reviews in the music press at the time, Led Zeppelin went on to play sell-out tours in the United States.
Their music made up of heavy, guitar-driven compositions, has led many critics to cite them as one of the pioneers of heavy metal. From the late 1960s and into the 70s they remained commercially successful, although releases and touring were limited.
Today’s music critics deem Led Zeppelin to be one of the most influential and innovative rock groups in the history of music.
They are best known for the songs ” Stairway to Heaven ” and ” Whole Lotta Love “, both of which are considered two of the greatest rock songs of all time. The latter of the two was a rewrite of Willie Dickson’s blues track ” You Need Love “.
The group has taken their place as one of the best-selling music artists ever with some estimates for worldwide record sales reaching upward of 300 million units.
In the United States, the group have notched up sales of 111.5 million units, making them the fifth best selling group/artist in the country, beaten by only The Beatles, Garth Brooks, Elvis Presley and the Eagles.
According to the official Recording Industry Association of America ( RIAA ) website, Led Zeppelin has been awarded certified sales of 18x Platinum, 14 Multi-Platinum, 5x Diamond and 19x Gold.
In 1980 drummer John Bonham died at the age of thirty-two from alcohol-related asphyxia. Led Zeppelin cancelled a planned North American tour after John Bonham death and disbanded in 1980. They later held reunions in 1985, 1988, 1995 and 2007.
To date, Led Zeppelin’s Album releases are eight studio, four live, ten compilations, three video albums. They have also released sixteen singles.
As a multi-award-winning recording artist, the group have won many awards including five Grammys, two Ivor Novello’s, one American Music, three Classic Rock Roll of Honour.
They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on the 12th of January 1995 and on the 14th of November 2006, the group were inducted into the UK Music Hall of Fame.
Led Zeppelin Album Track Listing:
1. Good Times Bad Times
2. Babe I’m Gonna Leave You
3. You Shook Me
4. Dazed and Confused
5. Your Time Is Gonna Come
6. Black Mountain Side ( instrumental )
7. Communication Breakdown
8. I Can’t Quit You Baby
9. How Many More Times