53 years ago today, the legendary English rock band Led Zeppelin released their debut album ‘Led Zeppelin I’ that paved the groundwork for them to be one of the most influential rock bands in music history.
Hard rock elements with blues influence introduced by this band inspired many bands of the rock and metal genre from the ‘70s to now.
Led Zeppelin lineup includes Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, John Bonham and John Paul Jones as lead vocals, guitars, drums and bass/keyboards respectively.
Power vocals (known as Zeppelin scream) by Robert Plant, memorable bluesy riffs by Jimmy Page, fast, loud and triplets-heavy drumming of John Bonham and multi-instrumental talent of John Paul Jones gave this band a unique and distinct significance for the rock ‘n roll genre.
Released on 12th January 1969, Led Zeppelin I album consists of nine single tracks; among them ‘You Shook Me’ was the remake of the song of the same name by famous blues musician Muddy Waters.
‘Dazed and Confused,’ ‘Communication Breakdown,’ ‘Good Times Bad Times’ and ‘How Many More Times’ are regarded as the best single tracks of this album.
Jimmy Page is known for introducing new guitar playing techniques. In the songs ‘Dazed and Confused’ and ‘How Many More Times,’ Page used a violin bow on his Telecaster guitar, creating a unique droning sound effect.
Led Zeppelin faced controversy when American singer-songwriter Jake Holmes alleged copyright infringement of the track ‘Dazed and Confused’ in 2010. Initially, the song with the same name was composed and recorded by Holmes in 1967.
Robert Plant and Jimmy Page were inspired by it and made new lyrics and arrangements for it to be recorded by them. After court settlement, the song credit on the album included Holmes as the inspiration behind the song.
Led Zeppelin I had great success as a debut album although music publications were cynical after its release.
Famous music publications like Rolling Stone remarked the album’s songs ‘dull’ and regarding Jimmy Page as proficient blues guitarist but a very limited producer and writer of weak and unimaginative songs.
Soon all the negative criticisms proved to be wrong as the albums hit 10th on US Billboard and #1 on the Spanish albums chart in 1969-70. It was also inducted in the ‘Grammy Hall of Fame’ in 2004, cementing its status as a timeless classic.