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I absolutely agree that Led Zeppelin was one of those fringe bands in the late 60's and early 70's that planted the seeds for crop of Heavy Metal. "Whole Lotta Love" and "Communication Breakdown" are songs that come to mind for me, along with the likes of "In a Gadda Da Vida" "Helter Skelter" "Revolution" "The Green Manalishi" "I Can See For Miles"..............

Jimi Hendrix has a whole branch of the family tree of heavy metal as well, with Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Deep Purple and The Who. And bands like The Beatles had a few very important twigs and leafs as well.

I love tracing back music history, and looking at roots and influences!

I enjoy tracing music history too and discovering the roots etc. Others in the past have mentioned Helter Skelter as one of the first metal songs. I've been trying to wrap my head around it and just can't. I sort of get why people say it but yet it doesn't resonate for me. I agree with Ev as far as Sabbath being the first metal band and I never saw Zep in that category though I understand how metal bands were influenced by them in certain regards.

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Led Zeppelin are a combination of rock and blues. Many songs are hard rock, many are soft rock, many are blues rock. A few songs sound progressive (for example, "No Quarter" and "The Battle of Evermore")

A pretty decent source of metal (was surprised to see Alice in Chains listed):

http://digitaldreamdoor.nutsie.com/pages/best_metal-art.html

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I enjoy tracing music history too and discovering the roots etc. Others in the past have mentioned Helter Skelter as one of the first metal songs. I've been trying to wrap my head around it and just can't. I sort of get why people say it but yet it doesn't resonate for me. I agree with Ev as far as Sabbath being the first metal band and I never saw Zep in that category though I understand how metal bands were influenced by them in certain regards.

Agreed, Zeppelin's use of "light and shade" gave the "metallers" their dramtic point of attack. Yes, Zeppelin had moments that were so heavy they could be considered primitive roots of metal. Certainly those quiet and loud moments were at the roots of songs like Iron Maiden's Hallowed Be Thy Name. I just don't think of Zeppelin as a "metal" band. Though they did forge some tools for the foundary! They may have had a few metallic moments, I guess one can trace the DNA, but to call Zeppelin a "metal" band is skipping a generation.

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I think we can all agree that Led Zeppelin are a class unto themselves. I don't think they wanted to be slotted as always playing the same kind of music. They pulled many influences into their music just as musicans after them were influenced by them. It is the evolutionary cycle of music. Blues, rock , eastern, ballads. If you listen to Trampled Under Foot that has a funk influence . They liked to cover it all. Kept their sound fresh. Some of you may still disagree on what sort of music they are classified in but to me they just played damn good music,and I won't give myself a headache over the issue. There will never be another like them.

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I think we can all agree that Led Zeppelin are a class unto themselves. I don't think they wanted to be slotted as always playing the same kind of music. They pulled many influences into their music just as musicans after them were influenced by them. It is the evolutionary cycle of music. Blues, rock , eastern, ballads. If you listen to Trampled Under Foot that has a funk influence . They liked to cover it all. Kept their sound fresh. Some of you may still disagree on what sort of music they are classified in but to me they just played damn good music,and I won't give myself a headache over the issue. There will never be another like them.

And remember, Metal didn't exist while they were doing it! Oh maybe it did, but they weren't paying attention! Zeppelin did Zeppelin. If at some moments in their career they ventured toward a hot welding torch...

NOT a metal band. But nonetheless a band all metal bands owe a bow to. :beer:

Some artists chiseled into stone. Some saw their work and took a welding torch to that approach. Metal is the latter. Zeppelin was chisel and stone.

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Agreed, Zeppelin's use of "light and shade" gave the "metallers" their dramtic point of attack. Yes, Zeppelin had moments that were so heavy they could be considered primitive roots of metal. Certainly those quiet and loud moments were at the roots of songs like Iron Maiden's Hallowed Be Thy Name. I just don't think of Zeppelin as a "metal" band. Though they did forge some tools for the foundary! They may have had a few metallic moments, I guess one can trace the DNA, but to call Zeppelin a "metal" band is skipping a generation.

Exactly - I always thought of their heavier moments as much more blues based than anything I'd attribute as what has come to be metal.

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I know this has been posted by others already, but let me give my opinion on this subject.

When Led Zeppelin first came on the scene, "Heavy Metal" was not a term to describe any form of music. Even that of Black Sabbath or Deep Purple. Although it seems that the term does more accurately describe "their" music more than that of the diversified music of Led Zeppelin

It has been said that the term "Heavy Metal" was first mentioned in the song "Born to Be Wild" by Steppenwolf. I believe this is correct, however, the lead singer, John Kay was only singing a line in this song, "Heavy Metal Thunder". His lyrics.

In my opinion, some aspects of Led Zeppelin's songs could be considered the "protype" of heavy metal:

Communication Breakdown

Dazed and Confused

How Many More Times

Whole Lotta Love

Heartbreaker

Bring it on Home

Immigrant Song

Black Dog

The Song Remains the Same

No Quarter

The Rover

Trampled Underfoot

Achilles Last Stand

etc......

Let me just say this: I believe that without the music of PAGE/PLANT/JONES/BONHAM AS THE "MIGHTY LED ZEPPELIN", there would not be a Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Metallica and a shit load of other "heavy metal" bands as we know and love today. And believe me I grew up in the 1980's on these great bands. But, as I grew older and smarter, I found out the true origins that started it all.

Edited by lzzoso
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In my opinion, some aspects of Led Zeppelin's songs could be considered the "protype" of heavy metal:

In some tracks that might be true (I am no metal hater!)

Communication Breakdown

yes. Guy Garvey (Elbow) said something like next best thing to Black Sabbath

Dazed and Confused

That's still blues, the middle part maybe because it is VERY fast

How Many More Times

Blues (origin to Booker T)

Whole Lotta Love

yes plus psychedelic

Heartbreaker

yes

Bring it on Home

blues

Immigrant Song

slightly

Black Dog

a bit

The Song Remains the Same

a bit too "friendly" for metal wink.gif

No Quarter

PROGRESSIVE ROCK!!

The Rover

slightly, I think "Sick again" fits more

Trampled Underfoot

maybe but I think there was a complaint it was stolen from Stevie Wonder

Achilles Last Stand

Yes. That "ramtackertamtackertam" reminds me a lot on Iron Maiden and on Barracuda by Heartcool.gif But to that time metal was so hard yet that this song sounds more "proggie" than metal... huh.gif

Mostly I think the most metal band then was Black Sabbath and even Queen invited Metal. Speed Metal! Stone Cold Crazy was not that different when Metallica covered it...tongue.gif

someone talked about SOAD before. I think they are Metal crossed with Zappa wink.gif

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I think people mistake energy and a gritty guitar tone..raspy belting vocals..and drums hit with volume as heavy metal...Iron Maiden iz metal..Zeppelin are a diverse collection of individuals who dont like staying in the same place too long..jest my takerolleyes.gif

Edited by cricketbowz
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Great Wikipedia article on Heavy Metal: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heavy_metal_music

"Creem critic Lester Bangs is credited with popularizing the term via his early 1970s essays on bands such as Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath.[54]"

Heavy metal music started with Zep but evolved elsewhere after shedding its blues roots. In contemporary language, therefore, Led Zeppelin is not a heavy metal band.

Edited by Dharmabum
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More from Allmusic.com: http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=77:655

"For all its status as America's rebellion soundtrack of choice, heavy metal was largely a British creation. The first seeds of heavy metal were sown in the British blues movement of the '60s, specifically among bands who found it hard to adjust to the natural swing of American blues. The rhythms became more squared-off, and the amplified electric instruments became more important, especially with the innovations of artists like the Kinks, the Who, Jimi Hendrix, Cream, and the Jeff Beck Group. Arguably the first true metal band, however, was Led Zeppelin. Initially, Zep played blues tunes heavier and louder than anyone ever had, and soon created an epic, textured brand of heavy rock that drew from many musical sources."

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Trampled Underfoot

maybe but I think there was a complaint it was stolen from Stevie Wonder

If you can hear anything more than a vaguely passing similarity in the use of the clavinet between Trampled Underfoot and Superstitious, you need to step away from the microscope! :lol:

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Zep and Purple are often referred to as the godfathers of metal, and they did indeed influence metal, but they're not metal. It depends on what they did. I think of metal as something loud,and in some ways, less versatile than what Zep did. Most metal bands took from the loud parts of Zep, and that's it. They left the subtle stuff out. In fact, most young metal bands today don't even refer to Zep or listen to Zep - they're regarded as one generation before their influences. Like how we wouldn't listen to Zep's influences which included all the bluesmen, Little Richard, etc.

Bands like Zep were trying to retain the melody in everything they did. They were also very layered. They weren't Motorhead...

PS I agree that the Beatles' Helter Skelter would be if not an early metal song - a pretty close prototype! The Beatles were ahead of their time...

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Zep and Purple are often referred to as the godfathers of metal, and they did indeed influence metal, but they're not metal. It depends on what they did. I think of metal as something loud,and in some ways, less versatile than what Zep did. Most metal bands took from the loud parts of Zep, and that's it. They left the subtle stuff out. In fact, most young metal bands today don't even refer to Zep or listen to Zep - they're regarded as one generation before their influences. Like how we wouldn't listen to Zep's influences which included all the bluesmen, Little Richard, etc.

Bands like Zep were trying to retain the melody in everything they did. They were also very layered. They weren't Motorhead...

PS I agree that the Beatles' Helter Skelter would be if not an early metal song - a pretty close prototype! The Beatles were ahead of their time...

Succeeded.

As for Lester Bangs, good writer but a "know it all" in the true sense.

He seemed to have an axe to grind with Zeppelin, at least that's what I perceived from his articles in Creem back in the day.

Are THEY metal?

NO!

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Lester Bangs is an opportunist douchebag. He often painted bands to fit his model of hardcore rockers and their overt decadence, often at the expense of the artists' way of thinking. Facts were optional, and often embellished. Admittedly some were true, but it's a matter of approach. The guy was a salesman, not a journalist.

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PS I agree that the Beatles' Helter Skelter would be if not an early metal song - a pretty close prototype! The Beatles were ahead of their time...

Helter Skelter wasn't much earlier than Communication Breakdown. In fact, Helter Skelter wasn't even released by the time Zep recorded Communication Breakdown. If the source I looked at was correct, Helter Skelter was recorded in September 1968, while Communication Breakdown was recorded in October 1968. A one month difference.

I know which of the two is 'ahead of the time', and it's not the Beatles song. :)

Helter Skelter (to me) just sounds like the Beatles making a racket for the sake of it.

Edited by Mangani
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We all know "Led" was shortened by Page from "Lead" so as not to confuse the American audiance. Lead is a heavy metal, which of course, contrasts with the notion of a lighter-than-air zeppelin. The heavy-light contrast has been explicitly stated by Page as the essense of the music. From this perspective, Led Zeppelin was exemplifying the new heavy metal sound as a contrasting part of thier musical repertoire. So you can't say Led Zeppelin was only a heavy metal band but you can't deny they helped introduce the heavy metal sound to the world. This was by design! The roots of modern heavy metal music can certainly be traced back to songs like Dazed-n-Confused, Communication Breakdown, How Many More Times, etc. We don't normally think of these songs as heavy metal today, however, because the meaning of the term has changed from its roots in the late 60s.

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We all know "Led" was shortened by Page from "Lead" so as not to confuse the American audiance. Lead is a heavy metal, which of course, contrasts with the notion of a lighter-than-air zeppelin. The heavy-light contrast has been explicitly stated by Page as the essense of the music. From this perspective, Led Zeppelin was exemplifying the new heavy metal sound as a contrasting part of thier musical repertoire. So you can't say Led Zeppelin was only a heavy metal band but you can't deny they helped introduce the heavy metal sound to the world. This was by design! The roots of modern heavy metal music can certainly be traced back to songs like Dazed-n-Confused, Communication Breakdown, How Many More Times, etc. We don't normally think of these songs as heavy metal today, however, because the meaning of the term has changed from its roots in the late 60s.

The problems I have with reflections like these is, first, that they don't help one to understand the music that is actually there on Led Zeppelin's albums - rather, the focus is shifted from what they really did to what (some) people made of the Zep legacy; and second, they seem to me to rely implicitly on an account of the origins of heavy metal that is overly simplistic, because as the musical style familiar today as heavy metal, it relies on several older bands, and not just Led Zeppelin - in fact, it relies much more directly on these other bands. Ev has already pointed out Black Sabbath and Judas Priest: these examples are right to the point. Add to that the feel of a song like Deep Purple's Fireball, or if you want solos, the "classical" sound of the arpeggios Blackmore is doing in Highway Star, or the style of many of Brian May's riffs on the first three Queen albums. All this seems a lot closer to what we would call heavy metal today than the heavy blues passages of Led Zeppelin's first albums. The interest in Led Zeppelin's legacy in heavy metal circles is genuine, very real, but it is already seen there from a limited perspective, from within an idea that was NOT the concept Led Zeppelin based themselves on.

This already suggests that applying the label heavy metal to Led Zeppelin is really an anachronism, which is what I think it is. I can remember that me and my friends used to sometimes refer to Zeppelin, Purple, Sabbath and some others as "heavy rock" in the 1970's, but never as heavy metal. I still think that makes at least some sense. because it's rock and there is a "heaviness" to it, but not necessarily in the same way you find in metal.

So I am saying two things - first, that the origins of heavy metal lie in many different places: it's a style that is forged in the late 1970's relying on a musical sensibility that is absent in the earlier bands, but that derives from several more isolated elements in their music (and again, Sabbath seem closest to what the formula became); and second, that all this doesn't help one to understand what Led Zeppelin was trying to do, as it gives you an anachronistic and very narrow perspective on the band. If one wants to simplify, I would rather make a comparison of Led Zeppelin and Jethro Tull, because the music of both bands was an attempt at a three-fold reworking of older musical legacies, of the blues, of British folk, and of American rock & roll. Even this simplifies Led Zeppelin a great deal, and indeed it simplifies Jethro Tull as well, but it's a lot closer to what you really hear on these albums. And the thing is, even with all that similarity, the style and sensibility of Tull and Zep is quite different.

Edited by Otto Masson
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As an after-thought - one seemingly distinctive "heavy metal" trademark is the kind of tapping that Eddie Van Halen developed, and he has actually said he got the idea when he saw Jimmy Page do the Heartbreaker solo. But that's still not really tapping. However, if you listen to Genesis in the early 1970's, you can hear Steve Hackett do it, already in 1972. Genesis certainly was never a heavy metal band. Yet again you see how the heavy metal formula comes from the fusion of many different elements.

Here's Genesis performing The Musical Box in 1973. Note what Hackett is doing at 4.37 or so.

Edited by Otto Masson
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IMO I would say that you can't call Black Sabbath Metal if you can't fit Zeppelin into a genre of metal. Zeppelin released their first album just barely a year before Sabbath. So whether or not the term metal existed back then should not be the issue. Plus it sounds like the "Black Sabbath" album had some pretty bluesy undertones. And all genres of metal aren't going to sound the same, otherwise there would be no need for genres. I'm not saying that they definitely are a metal band. But I would like to know why it matters so damn much.

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Sticking a quiet song on a heavy metal album became part of the check-list, with Led Zeppelin the songs were part of

the album and the bands mood. So no not a heavy metal band.

Edited by Cecil.
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