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OceanInTheRain2020

What was LZ's impact on music?

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Posted (edited)

I just read several books on LZ.  I'm left with these questions.

1. How was LZ's music different from that of say, the Beatles, Stones, Floyd, and other bands of the time.

I'll take a stab at answering this.  LZ, unlike those bands, brought old American blues (e.g. Willie Dixon) into the fray, albeit played heavier than the old blues artists who were often playing acoustic.  LZ also pioneered music that was loud.  LZ pioneered music that was guitar riff based (though the latter no one ever really did quite like them).  Lastly, LZ branched into multiple genres like few other bands: acoustic (LZ3), funk (The Crunge, Candy Store Rock), rockabilly (Rock & Roll, Hot Dog) etc.

Is that a good answer?  Can someone beat it?  Are there any good analyses out there (maybe in book form) that analyze the music well (rather than just the salacious groupie stories)?

2. How did LZ impact later bands?

Exactly which popular bands of later days were most influenced by LZ?  Was AC/DC influenced by them?  If so, how?  And to what extent did rock music go the opposite direction?  For example, a couple of the books on LZ that I read portrayed punk as  a rebellion against bands like LZ.  Was this so?  Because it sounded to me like LZ invented the punk rock sound with Communication Breakdown.  What the hell was glam rock, and was that a rebellion against LZ?  Or did LZ pioneer it with their flashy dragon suits?

I know that many bands cite LZ as an influence but LZ's music, to me, sounds unique from any other band.

3. Are there any good "History of Rock" books or documentaries out there?  As in a book/documentary on the development of rock music as a whole (besides just LZ)?

This question is inspired because I just discovered Pink Floyd and can't believe that I had never really heard of them.  I want to consume a good, comprehensive narrative of the rock & roll genre, its elements, and its change over time?  For example, at what point did big stage productions become a thing?  etc.

4. A Random Question - What is known about the LZ stage productions?

What were the productions like?  How elaborate were they compared to that of other bands of the day (Pink Floyd) and why?  For what sort of venues was LZ best suited (arenas, stadiums etc.)?  I ask that last question because you can't really sing along to LZ songs.  LZ doesn't have a "We Will Rock You" or "Living on a Prayer" that demands audience participation.  They have nothing that gets you dancing.  So I frankly fail to see how the music translates to any venue much bigger than a small auditorium.  That is not to bash the music.  It just seems me as music that fits best in a small venue. 

Edited by OceanInTheRain2020
Typo

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You've got a lot of questions. I'll take the first one.

" LZ, unlike those bands, brought old American blues (e.g. Willie Dixon) into the fray." The Rolling Stones were THE band that popularized blues among teenage white kids in Britain. It's why they took off like a rocket. Their name comes from a Muddy Waters song. According to a current radio interview around the song "Scarlet," Jimmy Page says he first met Mick Jagger and Keith Richards at a blues festival in Manchester well before the Rolling Stones were even formed. The Stones were blues fanatics.

Riff based music existed before Led Zeppelin. "Day Tripper" is built on a riff, "Hound Dog" is built on a riff, and it goes even further back.

"Lastly, LZ branched into multiple genres like few other bands." The Beatles were the band known for skipping around genres and making it fashionable to do so, around the time they evolved into the Rubber Soul , Revolver and Magical Mystery Tour era. Zep benefited because the Beatles had primed audiences to not expect a dozen versions of the same song on an album.

Check out an album by The Who called Live at Leeds, and a documentary about them called The Kids Are Alright, or 50 Years of Maximum R&B. The Who set the template for Led Zeppelin, and John Paul Jones has even said so. Watch their 1968 Woodstock appearance and you'll get it.

What Zeppelin had that was different was Robert Plant and John Bonham. Steve Marriott of the Small Faces (check out their song "You Need Love;" you're in for a shock!) and Roger Daltrey of the Who could hit some high notes, but they didn't have the supernatural attack of Robert Plant in his prime. Keith Moon of the Who is a standard bearer of rock drumming, but like Bill Ward he had a loose and jazzy style. No one had heard anything like John Bonham in rock, who was essentially the sound of Buddy Rich in a rock band, with stack amps.

I can tell you more, because I am an old person who has not dwelled on much else all my life, but that's for your first question.

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6 hours ago, Tadpole in a Jar said:

You've got a lot of questions. I'll take the first one.

" LZ, unlike those bands, brought old American blues (e.g. Willie Dixon) into the fray." The Rolling Stones were THE band that popularized blues among teenage white kids in Britain. It's why they took off like a rocket. Their name comes from a Muddy Waters song. According to a current radio interview around the song "Scarlet," Jimmy Page says he first met Mick Jagger and Keith Richards at a blues festival in Manchester well before the Rolling Stones were even formed. The Stones were blues fanatics.

Riff based music existed before Led Zeppelin. "Day Tripper" is built on a riff, "Hound Dog" is built on a riff, and it goes even further back.

"Lastly, LZ branched into multiple genres like few other bands." The Beatles were the band known for skipping around genres and making it fashionable to do so, around the time they evolved into the Rubber Soul , Revolver and Magical Mystery Tour era. Zep benefited because the Beatles had primed audiences to not expect a dozen versions of the same song on an album.

Check out an album by The Who called Live at Leeds, and a documentary about them called The Kids Are Alright, or 50 Years of Maximum R&B. The Who set the template for Led Zeppelin, and John Paul Jones has even said so. Watch their 1968 Woodstock appearance and you'll get it.

What Zeppelin had that was different was Robert Plant and John Bonham. Steve Marriott of the Small Faces (check out their song "You Need Love;" you're in for a shock!) and Roger Daltrey of the Who could hit some high notes, but they didn't have the supernatural attack of Robert Plant in his prime. Keith Moon of the Who is a standard bearer of rock drumming, but like Bill Ward he had a loose and jazzy style. No one had heard anything like John Bonham in rock, who was essentially the sound of Buddy Rich in a rock band, with stack amps.

I can tell you more, because I am an old person who has not dwelled on much else all my life, but that's for your first question.

I was going to answer the OP's post but I get tired sometimes of having to correct incorrect or misleading assumptions about Led Zeppelin, and decided to let others have a go at this guy's questions. Thank you Tadpole for picking up the torch. Great answer.

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On 8/1/2020 at 6:03 PM, Strider said:

I was going to answer the OP's post but I get tired sometimes of having to correct incorrect or misleading assumptions about Led Zeppelin, and decided to let others have a go at this guy's questions. Thank you Tadpole for picking up the torch. Great answer.

Thank you, sir!

Another impact I would say they had is the performers' style became more important than the song itself. The way the Beatles and Stones wrote, and the way songs are still written in Nashville today, is based around the melody and lyrics. The idea is you should be able to perform a song solo, with just a guitar or piano, and it should come across. With Zeppelin the delivery of the song was as important as the content.  You can play "Let It Be" alone on a piano or with an orchestra and it's the same song. If you play "Whole Lotta Love" alone on an acoustic, you look foolish. And even if you play it with a band and a Marshall stack, it still won't be the same without Robert Plant on the mic.

I could go on...

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