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Without Whole Lotta Love would Led Zeppelin have been as successful?


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"Whole Lotta Love" was definitely the first single that catapulted them into the stratosphere. Did "Dazed and Confused" ever crack the American Top 20?

Dazed And Confused was not released as a single. So there's your answer.

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The year was 1972. January, 1972 to be exact.

I was sitting in 7th grade Art class and the Art teacher allowed us to listen to the radio to "stimulate" our creative minds. The kids in the class chose "The Q", 95-Rock, FM radio.

Several songs later, this song came over the airwaves that seemed to lift everyone's spirits and stimulated our creative minds.

That song was "Black Dog".

There was an eerie silence or "white noise" coming out of the radio that proceeded Black Dog. Then suddenly, there was this weird, echo, scratchy sound followed by..."Hey hey mama said the way you move,

Gonna make you sweat gonna make you groove", followed by the awesome John Paul Jones inspired riff mastered by none other than Jimmy Page himeself and the thundering drums of Bonzo. I set my pencil down and listened in shock and awe. As Percy would sing in another song, "There was magic in the air".

To me, music in my life took on a whole new meaning.

Rock 'n Roll!

Stay hard.

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^^Great story though! I know what you mean about Black Dog.

Back on topic, I think if Whole Lotta Love hadn't propelled them into megastardom another one of their songs would have. Maybe they would have had to wait until Stairway to Heaven, but it would have happened sooner or later.

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Here's my two cents worth. It's likely that overall LZ would have had similar successes without WLL, but it made a huge difference at the time it was released. It was VERY different from anything else that was being played on the AM stations at the time and anyone who heard it remembered it. It made the name "Led Zeppelin" recognizable in the "mainstream" and brought a lot of attention to the band.

The extremely fat guitar distortion was something people had not heard before and I believe WLL coined the phrase "heavy metal". When you heard it, you either loved it or hated it. To be honest, as an 8-year-old in 1969-70, it sounded almost too rough for my liking (although of course I love it now), but I certainly remembered it.

Overall, I think WLL got LZ recognition they might not have otherwise received, and it established the heavy distorted guitar sound as one of their main signatures.

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The extremely fat guitar distortion was something people had not heard before and I believe WLL coined the phrase "heavy metal".

I may be mistaken but I believe it was Steppenwolf using the term "heavy metal" in "Born To Be Wild" that led to that word being applied to hard rock during that era.

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Just for fun, some blurbs from the Wikipedia "Heavy Metal" page:

The same month, Steppenwolf released its self-titled debut album, including "Born to Be Wild", which refers to "heavy metal thunder" in describing a motorcycle.

The Yardbirds' "Think About It"—B-side of the band's last single—with a performance by guitarist Jimmy Page anticipating the metal sound he would soon make famous.

In the fall, Led Zeppelin II went to number 1 and the album's single "Whole Lotta Love" hit number 4 on the Billboard pop chart. The metal revolution was under way. Led Zeppelin defined central aspects of the emerging genre, with Page's highly distorted guitar style and singer Robert Plant's dramatic, wailing vocals.

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They were already succesful with the first album which paved the path for greater success with the second album. "Whole Lotta Love" is appreciated by die-hard Zep fans & casual fans alike but what made Zeppelin huge was the consistency of their entire albums & not just stand out songs like "WLL", "STH", & "Kashmir" & their loyal fans as opposed to their casual fans.

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Wikipedia states that the single was certified "gold" in the United States in April 1970 for sales of one million copies. It reached number one in Germany and Australia and was in the top ten in practically ever countrys' top 10 singles chart at that time.

That's a lot of people back then buying a 45. Zeppelin would never have reached so many people so quickly by simply touring or even album sales. I really think the single helped to break them big, and fast.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whole_Lotta_Love#Single

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I still have a mono form single of WLL with Livin Lovin Maid as the B-side. It was my fathers' and supposedly he played it to me when I was in my crib....

WLL helped them cement their signature riff driven rock music, it certainly was a very important song in that transitional time in music!

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Would they have been as succesful? Who knows. If they didn't have WLL they would have been a song short for the album so they would have had to come up with something else which could have been even more succesful than WLL. Who knows, there is only what actually happend & that's why I find these "what if" scenario's a redundant exercise in carrying on about nothing tangible.

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