Jump to content

1973 press review


Recommended Posts

saw this in The Times Archive, I had trouble pasting the paper clipping so there is a link to it at the bottom

Led Zeppelin

Michael Wale

Led Zeppelin have gone back to America tocontinue a record- breaking tour that they have just interrupted with athree-week holiday. Ten years after The Beatles they are the group mostAmerican youth want to hear and watch, yet in England their successremains almost totally submerged. The basic reason is that they havenever put out a "single" record here, relying purely on album sales;there is also a con- tinuing refusal to appear on tele- vision becausethey feel very strongly about the mono sound system of that media. Yet,like the similarly minded group Pink Floyd, every concert they everplay is sold out almost before the tickets go on sale. They are verymuch part of the "underground "-a word of the past-except that time hassorted out the pretentious from those actually capable of plav- ing. Itis in Zeppelin's well con- trasted line-up that their strength lies.Above all, there is Jimmy Page. one of Britain's leading guitarists, aproduct of that nursei-y of the early sixties The Yardbirds - both EricClapton and Jeff Beck came from it. Page strikes each note cleanly evenduring the most complicated riffs; his playing is off-set by the leadsinger Robert " Pei-cy " Plant, a product of the Midlands whose body onstage twirls and flickers while his voice screams out the high notes.Much of Zeppelin's musi- cal strength comes from the drive of theirrhythm section with lohn Bonham, a strident timekeeper on drums, whoeven provides the rest of the group with a 20-minute interval vhile heplays solo oi stage halfway through their performance. He has thestrength of the best white American drummers. Lastly-and he evenintroduced himself to me as " John Paul Jones, I'm also in the group "-is Mr Jones, a serious-minded and classically influenced key- board andguitar player, who admits that two years ago he almost applied for thejob of Choirmaster at Winchester Cathedral. Led Zeppelin are theultimate in heavy metal music. This is the main reason why they are sopopular in America, where they have twice recently drawn over 50,000people to stadia to watch them. It is a style of music, highlyamplified and gutsy, that the Americans have taken to ever since Creambecame -) popular there in the late sixties. It is a popularity notextended by the way to other more obvious British successes like Sladeand Marc Bolan. Their music has gathered this strength and robustnessover the years. since the group was formed in the autumn of 1968. Yettheir latest album Houses of tlte Hfoly. which wa generally badlyreceived by the music press, still reflects the ener- y of thoseearlier days. There is always something to pick and play again fromtheir albums, which now number five. In particular I like "Black Dog"and " Rock and Roll " from their 1971 album, two tunes they have heenplaying on their current American tour. Both typify the group, drivenalong by Bon- ham's strident drumming, led by Plant's pleading voiceand filled out by the guitar of Page. Even though they are mightilysuccessful. or perhaps because of that success, Zeppelin have manymusical enemies, not least among certain sections of the press. InAmerica they are coII- ducting a splendid two-way war with RollingStone, that one-time leader of the alternative press, which has nowbecome almost part of the Establishment it used to attack. RollingStone had a go at Zep and when I was with the group at a concert in SanFrancisco, -he home town of Rolling Stone, Zep attacked back boldlyfrom the stage, bringing a roar of support from the 53,000 spectators.They con- tinued the battle the next night at the Forum in Los Angeles.The second half of the American tour is unlikely to bring a peacetreaty. Yet their influence continues to extend in the most improb-able directions. Play "Immi- 'grant Song" from their third album ofthree years ago and one realizes that more recently one heard itreflected by the Osmonds, of all people, in their hit " Crazy Horses ".I made the point to Wayne Osmond, who looked singularly blank about thename Led Zeppelin and suggested that his producer mav have heard ofthem. The Zeppelin audience Led Zeppelin


Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...