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Strider

Led Zeppelin In the CREEM Readers' Poll

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For Flashback Friday.

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Here is a flashback to 40 years ago...1980. Every March or April the Readers' Poll issue of CREEM magazine would arrive. With all of the revisionist history out there (punk rock killed Led Zeppelin's popularity, etc.) it is sometimes instructive to go back in time to contemporaneous accounts to see what the kids were really thinking back then. If I had a dollar for every old geezer who tells me they were really into Joy Division back in 1980 I would be a millionaire, haha.

For space reasons I will only include the top 3 results for each category. Here now are the 1979 Readers' Poll Results as published in the March 1980 issue of CREEM.
WAX

TOP ALBUM OF 1979
1. In Through the Out Door - Led Zeppelin
2. Candy-O - The Cars
3. Dream Police - Cheap Trick

TOP SINGLE OF 1979
1. My Sharona - The Knack
2. Let's Go - The Cars
3. Cruel to be Kind - Nick Lowe

BEST R & B SINGLE OF 1979
1. Bad Girls - Donna Summer
2. You Gotta Serve Somebody - Bob Dylan
3. Sail On - Commodores

BEST R & B ALBUM OF 1979
1. Bad Girls - Donna Summer
2. The Jukes - Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes
3. I Am - Earth, Wind & Fire

BEST JAZZ ALBUM OF 1979
1. A Taste for Passion - Jean-Luc Ponty
2. Chicago XIII - Chicago
3. Mingus - Joni Mitchell

BEST REISSUE OF 1979
1. Quadrophenia - The Who
2. The Kids Are Alright - The Who
3. The Clash - The Clash

BEST NEW WAVE SINGLE OF 1979
1. Dreaming - Blondie
2. Rock Lobster - B-52's
3. I Don't Like Mondays - Boomtown Rats

BEST NEW WAVE ALBUM OF 1979
1. Eat to the Beat - Blondie
2. The Clash - The Clash
3. Fear of Music - Talking Heads

HOW WILL YOU FACE THE 80's?
"If the Beatles get back together, I'll throw up." - Lori A. Nielsen Sterling Heights, MI

FLESH AND BLOOD

TOP THREE GROUPS
1. Led Zeppelin
2. Cheap Trick
3. Rolling Stones

TOP THREE LIVE GROUPS
1. Cheap Trick
2. The Who
3. Led Zeppelin

BEST MALE SINGER
1. Robert Plant
2. Robin Zander
3. Roger Daltry

BEST FEMALE SINGER
1. Debbie Harry
2. Ann Wilson
3. Stevie Nicks

BEST NEW WAVE SINGER
1. Debbie Harry
2. Elvis Costello
3. Joe Jackson

BEST NEW WAVE BAND/PERFORMER
1. The Clash
2. Blondie
3. The Ramones

BEST NEW GROUP
1. The Knack
2. B-52's
3. The Records

HOW WILL YOU FACE THE 80's?
"I won't have to. I've just discovered the concept of negative time." - Stephen Demm, Baltimore, MD

BEST R & B GROUP
1. Rolling Stones
2. Earth, Wind & Fire
3. The Commodores

BEST R & B SINGER
1. Mick Jagger
2. Donna Summer
3. Stevie Wonder

BEST GUITARIST
1. Jimmy Page
2. Rick Nielsen
3. Mick Jones (The Clash)

BEST BASSIST
1. John Entwistle
2. Tom Petersson
3. John Paul Jones

BEST KEYBOARDIST
1. John Paul Jones
2. Rick Wakeman
3. Keith Emerson

BEST DRUMMER
1. John Bonham
2. Bun E. Carlos
3. Neil Peart

HOW WILL YOU FACE THE 80's?
"Teeth clenched in the bathroom." - Joe Slate, Hollywood, CA

BEST HORN PLAYER
1. Clarence Clemmons
2. Chuck Mangione
3. David Bowie

BEST INSTRUMENTALIST
1. Ian Anderson
2. Brian Eno
3. Jean-Luc Ponty

BEST SONGWRITER
1. Jimmy Page /Robert Plant
2. Rick Nielsen
3. Elvis Costello

BEST PRODUCER
1. Jimmy Page
2. Nick Lowe
3. Roy Thomas Baker

MOST VALUABLE PLAYER
1. Jimmy Page
2. Rick Nielsen
3. Pete Townshend

HOW WILL YOU FACE THE 80's?
"With my head up and my pants down." - Stan Rooks, Seat Pleasant, MD

SUNDRY

BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT
1. No Led Zeppelin tour
2. Led Zeppelin's "In Through the Out Door"
3. Sid Vicious' death

RIPOFF OF THE YEAR
1. LP prices
2. Concert prices
3. Gas prices

DRUG OF THE YEAR
1. Marijuana
2. Cocaine
3. Alcohol

HERO/HEROINE OF THE YEAR
1. Rick Nielsen
2. Keith Richards
3. Robert Plant

COMEBACK OF THE YEAR
1. Led Zeppelin
2. The Who
3. The Kinks

HOW WILL YOU FACE THE 80's?
"Armed and heavily sedated." - Edouard Dauphin, New York, NY

WORST GROUP
1. Kiss
2. Bee Gees
3. The Knack

MOST PATHETIC OF THE YEAR
1. Kiss
2. Disco
3. Bee Gees

ALBUM COVER OF THE YEAR
1. "In Through the Out Door" - Led Zeppelin
2. "Dream Police" - Cheap Trick
3. "Candy-O" - The Cars

ROCK CRITIC OF THE YEAR
1. Robert Christgau
2. Lester Bangs
3. Rick Johnson

ROCK PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR
1. Lynn Goldsmith
2. Neal Preston
3. Bob Gruen

HOW WILL YOU FACE THE 80's?
"Without a job." - James Meiklejohn, Swartz Creek, MI

FASHION PLATE OF THE YEAR
1. Rick Nielsen
2. Debbie Harry
3. Mick Jagger

SEX OBJECT OF THE YEAR
1. Debbie Harry
2. Robin Zander
3. Loni Anderson

FAD OF THE YEAR
1. Roller Disco
2. Disco
3. Drugs

ROCK JOCK OF THE YEAR
1. Rod Stewart
2. Robert Plant
3. Roger Daltry

HOW WILL YOU FACE THE 80's?
"With whiter teeth, fresher breath, and the Ramones." - Gretchen Meyer, NYC

BEST ROCK 'N' ROLL MOVIE
1. The Kids Are Alright
2. Rock 'n' Roll High School
3. Life of Brian

TV SHOW OF THE YEAR
1. Saturday Night Live
2. WKRP in Cincinnati
3. Mork & Mindy

COUPLE OF THE YEAR
1. Stiv Bators & Bebe Buell
2. Cher & Gene Simmons
3. Rod & Alana Stewart

PUNK OF THE YEAR
1. Iggy Pop
2. Sid Vicious
3. Elvis Costello

HOW WILL YOU FACE THE 80's?
"Oh shit." - Connie Bennett, San Diego, CA

BEST OF THE 70's

BEST ALBUM OF THE 70's
1. Led Zeppelin IV
2. Born to Run - Bruce Springsteen
3. Alive - Kiss
4. Some Girls - Rolling Stones
5. Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols - Sex Pistols

* 14. The Song Remains the Same - Led Zeppelin

BEST SONG OF THE 70's
1. Stairway to Heaven - Led Zeppelin
2. Rock 'n' Roll All Night - Kiss
3. Free Bird - Lynyrd Skynyrd
4. Born to Run - Bruce Springsteen
5. Won't Get Fooled Again - The Who

* 13. Kashmir - Led Zeppelin

BEST GROUP OF THE 70's
1. Led Zeppelin
2. Rolling Stones
3. Kiss
4. The Who
5. Sex Pistols

BEST THING OF THE 70's
1. Punk/New Wave 
2. Rock 'n' roll
3. Drugs
4. Sex
5. Heavy Metal

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Thanks Strider, fantastic! It's a testament to how big, popular, and just damn good Led Zeppelin were. Even at the end, they were topping polls.

Kiss gets an equal measure of love and hate.

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Some of the "How will you face the 80s" answers are hilarious. Wonder where those people are now?

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Have to say, I never put any more store in these kind of polls than I did in chart placings.
Popularity, blah, who cares?
It'd've been more honest if they'd had 'favourite band' instead of 'best band', etc, categories. 
There'd've been fewer arguments in the 6th-Form common room if they'd done that, though... 
 

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Posted (edited)

I’ll have to check to see who The Records were (3rd best new group). I’ve never heard of them. Must have been a flash in the pan. 
 

 

R😎

Edited by reids

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, reids said:

I’ll have to check to see who The Records were (3rd best new group). I’ve never heard of them. Must have been a flash in the pan. 
 

 

R😎

Just another power-pop band trying to follow in the footsteps of The Knack and The Romantics. I think they opened the 1981 Texxas Jam I went to at the Houston Astrodome.

Never mind...it was The Rockets who played at that Texxas Jam, not The Records.

Edited by Strider

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2 hours ago, Strider said:

Just another power-pop band trying to follow in the footsteps of The Knack and The Romantics. I think they opened the 1981 Texxas Jam I went to at the Houston Astrodome.

Never mind...it was The Rockets who played at that Texxas Jam, not The Records.

Ok 😎👍 Thx 

R😎

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17 hours ago, Brigante said:

Have to say, I never put any more store in these kind of polls than I did in chart placings.
Popularity, blah, who cares?
It'd've been more honest if they'd had 'favourite band' instead of 'best band', etc, categories. 
There'd've been fewer arguments in the 6th-Form common room if they'd done that, though... 
 

You're missing the point. It doesn't matter what you put more store in or what you feel is a mere popularity contest. You're getting bogged down in semantics.

Of course those polls were about popularity! 

The fact that someone puts their money where their mouth is and supports a band by buying an album, a concert ticket, or goes to the trouble of buying a magazine, fills out a ballot and sends it in the mail...that is direct fan support in action. 

Today, with a click on the "like button" on YouTube or Facebook requiring no more thought or effort than the blink of an eye, I think it is even more misleading than the Billboard charts and reader polls of the 1970s and 1980s.

My point in revisiting this poll from 1980 was to counter the notion put forth by some that Led Zeppelin would have had a hard time selling the 1980-81 U.S. tour. That somehow because of punk and new wave their popularity had diminished.

This poll and the run of "In Through the Out Door" on the Billboard charts is proof that Led Zeppelin was just as popular in America as ever.

 

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Fair do's, Strider. I didn't realise that anyone actually believed the revisionist bollocks, er, I mean myth that punk had killed Zeppelin's popularity!
 

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3 hours ago, Brigante said:

Fair do's, Strider. I didn't realise that anyone actually believed the revisionist bollocks, er, I mean myth that punk had killed Zeppelin's popularity!

Mostly put about by the ex-punks in the British music media.

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On 4/10/2020 at 10:01 PM, Strider said:

For Flashback Friday.

Strider thanks for the memories.  I made a big mistake by not keeping my rock magazines from the 70s.

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On 4/11/2020 at 4:01 AM, Strider said:

For Flashback Friday.

 
Thanks for posting, what a fun read.
Never heard about Cher and Gene Simmons. And I never wanted to hear about it :hidinginwall:
Drug of the year??? :blink:

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I was turned on most by songs like Dyer Maker and All of My Love, Fool in the Rain and all their mellow stuff when I first got into LZ.  It was always an interesting treasure hunt as they were before my time.

I'm not surprised it was so well received after the bands tragedies and time off.  Even when they ventured away from their core sound, which is a bit of a paradox as they did so quite often and trying to pin it down to a single signature or even genre was impossible; they were still clearly great musicians and arrangers.  Certainly better than their peers, then and even today.

 

A good find.  Thank you for this. 

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