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NorthShoreBlues

Rolling Stones vs. Led Zeppelin- year to year, who wins out?

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Led Zeppelin wins head to head (year to year), however . . .

Let's first compare each year of their shared existence, not count 1968, and we will return to the "however".

I know its silly and rather impossible to say anything is better than anything else when it comes to music and/or art, but what the heck lets have some fun.

1969. WINNER- Rolling Stones.

Even though Zeppelin released 2 albums and toured extensively, the Stones were in the midst of a 4 year run that created their myth and solidified their legend and popularity with the public as a whole, not just the rock music scene. From 1968 to 1972, they released Beggars Banquet, Let it Bleed, Sticky Fingers, and Exile on Main St. In 1969 Brain Jones died, they played the free concert at Hyde Park, they embarked upon the infamous 1969 tour and of course Altamont happened. The Stones were beloved by the rock press and began to entrench themselves into the public collective consciousness. They were already a famous pop group for the previous 5 years but by 1969 they became a mature rock band and seemingly alone at the pantheon of rock music. The Beatles were disintegrating and Dylan was in exile. Zeppelin was building its following and creating their own myth and legend, but 1969 goes to the Rolling Stones. RS 1, LZ 0

1970. WINNER- Rolling Stones.

Stones released Get yer ya ya's Out, toured Europe, and released the film, Gimme Shelter. The film and the Altamont press solidified the Stones as a dangerous band in the public's eye and they became even more famous for it. Zeppelin III was released, LZ toured extensively and by the fall of 1970 the rock scene was definitely taking notice. Their following was increasing and so were album sales mostly from the first two albums. They were growing as a band, but alas 1970 goes to the Stones. RS 2, LZ 0

1971. WINNER- Rolling Stones.

This was the most difficult year to judge. Zeppelin's fourth album is iconic, but it had yet to catch on. Zeppelin's touring almost gives them the advantage but the release of the iconic Sticky Fingers, album art, the tongue logo, number 1 single, Mick's marriage to Bianca and the start of the jet setting celebrity life style, etc gives the edge to the Stones. RS 3, LZ 0

1972. WINNER- Rolling Stones.

Another tough year. Zeppelin's music is now starting to trickle down to the high schoolers, as all rock music had started to do. Zeppelin offered the kids blues, rock, myth, and mystery. Their 1972 tour was well received but it was eclipsed by the Stones 1972 tour. The Stones released Exile on Main St. Their touring band which included Nicky Hopkins, Bobby Keys, and Jim Price, had become as tight as it ever was going to get. The Stones 1972 tour was glorified by the rock press and they became media darlings. Their celebrity continued to cross over into the public consciousness. Mick Jagger may have been one of the most famous people in the world at that point. RS 4, LZ 0

1973. WINNER- Led Zeppelin.

The 1973 tour propelled Zeppelin into the upper echelons of Rock acts. The Rock press started to come around and the public at large started to take notice of the band for its fan following, album sales, and concert attendance records, etc. The Stones dropped a notch with the release of Goats Head Soup even though they had a number 1 single. They toured Australia and Europe. It was the last year Mick Taylor played lead guitar. The last year of a touring band line up (1970-1973) that created a sound that defined their careers. RS 4, LZ 1

1974. WINNER- Led Zeppelin.

Neither band did much. The Stones released Its Only Rock n roll another step back from their golden run of 1968 to 1972. Taylor left the Stones and they scrambled to find a replacement. Both bands recorded and neither band toured. The Stones popularity amongst the youth began to wain, while Zeppelin continued to increase, so Zeppelin gets the nod. Also did Keith turn Jimmy on to heroin in 1974? Yeah, thanks Keith, what an assh**e. RS 4, LZ 2

1975. WINNER- Led Zeppelin.

Zeppelin's music had by now engulfed teenage life. At least in most of America, Led Zeppelin would be entrenched in the High School experience for the next 15 to 20 years. Although they only toured America in the spring and finished the touring year at the legendary Eals Court shows in May, the shear weight of Physical Graffiti propelled them into the stratosphere in the rock scene. The Stones released a compilation album and toured America in the summer. It was a huge tour but again Physical Graffiti pushes the scales on this year. 1975 belongs to Led Zeppelin. RS 4, LZ 3

1976. WINNER- Led Zeppelin.

The Stones Released Black and Blue, a commercial flop and toured Europe. Zeppelin's release of Presence did not fair well. Robert was in recovery so Zeppelin didn't tour. The release, however, of the film Song Remains the Same pushes Zeppelin's popularity with the rock scene and public at large. 1976 goes to Zeppelin. RS 4, LZ 4

1977. WINNER- Led Zeppelin.

Keith famously got busted in Toronto and suddenly the future of the Stones was in doubt. They release Love you Live to mixed reviews and established NYC as home. The growing punk scene declares them as dinosaurs. The other dinosaur in the room, Zeppelin, embarked on their largest US tour. Robert goes into mourning. The massive 1977 tour gives this year to Zeppelin. RS 4, LZ 5

1978. WINNER- Rolling stones.

While the Robert mourned, Led zeppelin's future was in doubt. The Stones released Some Girls, one of their best selling albums, release their last number 1 single and embark on a short summer stadium tour with Keith's future in doubt from the Toronto bust. RS 5, LZ 5

1979. WINNER- Led Zeppelin.

While the Stones recorded Emotional Rescue, Zeppelin released In through the out door and played the Knebworth comeback shows. Zeppelin wins the year as the Stones take a year off. RS 5, LZ 6

1980. DRAW

Stones release Emotional Rescue, which is a commercial flop and a step back from Some Girls, they do not tour. Zeppelin tours Europe and plans the ill-fated tour of America. John dies, and Zeppelin is no more. I cannot give this year to either band. RS 5, LZ 6, Draw 1.

Led Zeppelin wins the head to head battle, but, now here is the HOWEVER from the beginning; The Rolling Stones I believe win out for their entire career and because of their stardom. Let's face it, even the mighty Zeppelin in their prime cannot not compete with the celebrity that was Mick Jagger. The Stones were on a different level of celebrity. I once asked my mother in-law if she knew who Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, Led Zeppelin were and she had no idea who I was talking about. I asked her if she knew who the Rolling Stones were and she said of course. She even mentioned Mick Jagger and how she disliked him- Ha. Same answers from my 93 year old dad. The Stones were cultural icons even before Zeppelin came on the scene. The Stones continued career propel them over Zeppelin in the rock world and the public at large in the long run, but head to head our beloved band wins out . . . any thoughts?

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I think the Stones got too big for their britches in the early 70s and started to burn out quite a bit. Drugs and the lifestyle started to take a toll on them creatively after Exile. The same happened to Zep after 77.

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They did bounce back well with the Black And Blue album, which I think was their last album that was good overall.

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2 hours ago, gibsonfan159 said:

I think the Stones got too big for their britches in the early 70s and started to burn out quite a bit. Drugs and the lifestyle started to take a toll on them creatively after Exile. The same happened to Zep after 77.

Yup i agree. I do think however they had some creative sparks feom time to time. I think Some Girls 1978 was their last great album. Tattoo You was huge in 1981 but most of those songs came from scrapping the outtakes barrel.

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2 hours ago, gibsonfan159 said:

They did bounce back well with the Black And Blue album, which I think was their last album that was good overall.

Ah yes i have to admit i love that album but im a fan. The sound is so crisp on black and blue and also tattoo you. Maybe the mix or mastering. Other 70s albums sound muddy like exile, goats head, its only rock n roll,  even some girls is a bit muddy 

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Posted (edited)

Black & Blue and Emotional Rescue commercial flops?  If you say so..

Black & Blue - with "Fool to Cry", a worldwide top 10 hit, as its lead single — Black and Blue reached No. 2 in the UK and spent an interrupted four-week spell at number 1 in the United States, going platinum there.

Emotional Rescue - The title track hit No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100. The album gave the Rolling Stones their first UK No. 1 album since 1973's Goats Head Soup and spent seven weeks atop the US charts. The follow-up single "She's So Cold" was a top 30 hit while "Dance Pt. 1" reached No. 9 on Billboard's Dance chart.
 

Edited by 2bitnogoodjive

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Posted (edited)

You seem to be enamored of "celebrity status" and press clippings. If that is the criteria, the Rolling Stones will win every time.

The Beatles and Rolling Stones were already Mount Rushmore of Rock legends before Led Zeppelin got started. It's like comparing Led Zeppelin and Van Halen year by year. Pointless.

A more apt year-by-year comparison would be Led Zeppelin vs. Pink Floyd or Led Zeppelin vs. Black Sabbath.

Edited by Strider

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17 hours ago, 2bitnogoodjive said:

Black & Blue and Emotional Rescue commercial flops?  If you say so..

Black & Blue - with "Fool to Cry", a worldwide top 10 hit, as its lead single — Black and Blue reached No. 2 in the UK and spent an interrupted four-week spell at number 1 in the United States, going platinum there.

Emotional Rescue - The title track hit No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100. The album gave the Rolling Stones their first UK No. 1 album since 1973's Goats Head Soup and spent seven weeks atop the US charts. The follow-up single "She's So Cold" was a top 30 hit while "Dance Pt. 1" reached No. 9 on Billboard's Dance chart.
 

Ah a Stones person, nice. Good info, yes commercial flops perhaps to strong. I love both albums but can we agree that comparwd to their earlier 70s production these albums were a bit sub par creatively? Also with your insightful info do you think it changes who "wins" 1976 and 1980? Again, its just for fun and kinda silly to compare both bands

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16 hours ago, Strider said:

You seem to be enamored of "celebrity status" and press clippings. If that is the criteria, the Rolling Stones will win every time.

The Beatles and Rolling Stones were already Mount Rushmore of Rock legends before Led Zeppelin got started. It's like comparing Led Zeppelin and Van Halen year by year. Pointless.

A more apt year-by-year comparison would be Led Zeppelin vs. Pink Floyd or Led Zeppelin vs. Black Sabbath.

Really? I never thought of myself enamored by celebrity at all. Maybe im just a sucker for 70s rock celebrity. But i see where you can say that after reading my post. I tried to tie in albums tours etc to come up with a winner and again its a totally silly thing as i wrote, just having a little fun. Kinda like the old bar room argument on who the greatest team or quarterback is. But i do disagree in that only the Stones rivaled our beloved band's popularity in the 70s and again its just an opinion. Using any criteria you want, who "wins" 1970, 71, 72, and 73 between LZ and the Stones in your opinion?

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From 1972 to 1978 the top grossing bands (albums and tours) were primarily the Stones, Zeppelin, Bowie, Jackson 5, Marvin Gaye, Elton John, the Eagles, and Fleetwood Mac. I did not put Frampton in there because he only had two big albums. Out of all those bands / performers I would argue Zeppelin had the lowest profile in regard to press. The Stones, Jackson 5, Elton John, & Fleetwood Mac had the highest profile press wise.

I would say Zeppelin wins hands down because unlike the rest, the Zep boys could still walk around in public and enjoy their success. The rest needed serious security just to go to the market. I would rather be Robert Plant in 1976 than Mick Jagger in 1976, that's for sure.

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Posted (edited)
50 minutes ago, PeaceFrogYum said:

From 1972 to 1978 the top grossing bands (albums and tours) were primarily the Stones, Zeppelin, Bowie, Jackson 5, Marvin Gaye, Elton John, the Eagles, and Fleetwood Mac. I did not put Frampton in there because he only had two big albums. Out of all those bands / performers I would argue Zeppelin had the lowest profile in regard to press. The Stones, Jackson 5, Elton John, & Fleetwood Mac had the highest profile press wise.

I would say Zeppelin wins hands down because unlike the rest, the Zep boys could still walk around in public and enjoy their success. The rest needed serious security just to go to the market. I would rather be Robert Plant in 1976 than Mick Jagger in 1976, that's for sure.

You are forgetting Pink Floyd, Jethro Tull, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, Yes. Especially when you consider that Fleetwood Mac and the Eagles did not become big until 1975-76.

From 1972-75 Pink Floyd, Jethro Tull, Deep Purple, Elton John dominated the likes of the Eagles and Fleetwood Mac, who often were just the support band in these years.

In 1975, Jethro Tull, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, and the Rolling Stones all played 4 or 5 night stands in Los Angeles at the L.A. Forum, L.A. Sports Arena, or Long Beach Arena. Elton John played two consecutive nights at Dodger Stadium to a cumulative total of over 100,000 people.

The Eagles and Fleetwood Mac weren't quite at that level yet.

Edited by Strider

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To me this argument is stupid, mainly because Zep could play circles around the Stones musically, I mean the Stones aren’t  even in the conversation talent wise compared to Zep.  
 

it would take 5 Charlie Watts to make 1 Bonzo, maybe

Jonesy is more talented than the Stones all put together 

Mick Taylor was a good guitar player, nice pure player and cleaner than Pagey, but that’s where he ends just a player 

Jagger vs Plant is a toss up Mick is a hell of a performer can’t deny that !

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Its a hard VS question to debate.  I will take one aspect of it for me.  Its the year or my birth.  1971 ZoSo vs Sticky Fingers.  Which is the better album.  Which one should be the one that modern Rock and Roll bands should study.  

Sticky Fingers vs ZoSo.  Album covers.  For me Zep wins.

Vocals. Plant vs Jagger.  Plant vocals are overdubbed.  Jagger rocks it out.  I feel like because Jagger sounds more natural so Jagger wins for me.

Riffs.  This is very hard.  Zep Riffs vs Stones Riffs.  Draw.  Both are great.

Lyrics-Zep wins

Drums-Bonzo wins over Watts.

Bass-JPJ wins over Wyman.

Guitar.  Its basically Page and his overdubs vs Keef/Taylor.  Hard to beat, but Page wins for me.

Songs.  That tough.  ZoSo I love all the songs.  Sticky Fingers I could do with out Sway.  Its so hard to say.  I would really have to dig into the songs more.  I would say draw.

Epic song.  Knocking vs Levee.  Thats hard.  Both of them are great.  Levee wins for me.  As its a top 10 Epic song for me.  

Popular radio song.  Brown Sugar vs Black Dog.  Of course they are about sex to certain extents.  Black Dog I never get sick of.  So Zep wins on that front.  

I feel like Sticky Fingers is more down and dirty Stones.  Where ZoSo is Zep being slick.  If I had to say which album Sticky Fingers should vs its actually Zep 2 where both albums have a down and dirty raw feel to it.  

 

All in all which album would I reach for.  Both. Yet I feel like ZoSo wins but not by much.

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5 hours ago, Strider said:

You are forgetting Pink Floyd, Jethro Tull, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, Yes. Especially when you consider that Fleetwood Mac and the Eagles did not become big until 1975-76.

From 1972-75 Pink Floyd, Jethro Tull, Deep Purple, Elton John dominated the likes of the Eagles and Fleetwood Mac, who often were just the support band in these years.

In 1975, Jethro Tull, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, and the Rolling Stones all played 4 or 5 night stands in Los Angeles at the L.A. Forum, L.A. Sports Arena, or Long Beach Arena. Elton John played two consecutive nights at Dodger Stadium to a cumulative total of over 100,000 people.

The Eagles and Fleetwood Mac weren't quite at that level yet.

How is Jesus tap dancing Christ did I forget about the Floyd & Tull? I figured Deep Purple and BS were big at that time but I did not think they sold anywhere near what those other bands did, albums or concert wise but then again I did not do me proper research. Regarding Eagles and FM I should have specified 76'-80' for those two. Even though I am a huge Yes fan I never knew they were at that level of popularity but again, should have researched.

Either way, I figure the ultimate goal is to achieve the musical success, the financial success, and even a certain modicum of fame but anything beyond that and your life becomes a prison. Someone like Jagger or Elton John thrived in the spotlight, lived for the attention but for most its a drag. Others like Freddie Mercury, Jim Morrison, and Janis Joplin were just chewed up and spit out. No thank you. Zeppelin had the best of all worlds up until the abuses started in, and that was of their own making.

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Love the Stones but Zep crushes them in every way. Here is the end of the argument I have with Beatles and Stones fans: Zeppelin could play any song on the Stones or Beatles catalog BUT the Stones and Beatles could not play every song Zeppelin played. Mic drop.

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I always liked the quote:' The Stones and the Beatles had a fight in the parking lot.....Led Zeppelin won!"

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19 hours ago, bluecongo said:

Jagger vs Plant is a toss up Mick is a hell of a performer can’t deny that !

100% stage presence and personality though. I've always thought Mick Jagger has one of the worst singing voices ever. No range or depth at all.

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5 minutes ago, gibsonfan159 said:

100% stage presence and personality though. I've always thought Mick Jagger has one of the worst singing voices ever. No range or depth at all.

and I thought I was the only one. Jagger is by far the most overrated singer in music hands down. Sure, he is a great performer with magnetic presence, but his singing...meh at best.

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8 minutes ago, gibsonfan159 said:

100% stage presence and personality though. I've always thought Mick Jagger has one of the worst singing voices ever. No range or depth at all.

Sometimes that's what makes a singer unique, like Bob Dylan, always loved Bob's voice and his way of singing.

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I'm probably as big a Stones nut as I am Zeppelin (okay, bigger, probably- you never forget yer first love, and mine was the Stones) but even I will concede throughout the 1970's Zeppelin trumped the Stones in just about every way. And the Stones knew it...and the professional jealousy! Whoo!😅

IMO the only Stones LPs from the 70's on par with Zeppelin are my exalted Exile and arguably Sticky Fingers. I mean, It's Only Rock And Roll?😅 Fuckin' In Through The Out Door is better than that, even, I reckon IORR to be the Stones' worst album...

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I'd have to toss a coin, who would be heads who would be tails ?. There is no winner, both were great in the 70s =s in my book.

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On ‎8‎/‎1‎/‎2020 at 2:01 AM, Nutrocker said:

I'm probably as big a Stones nut as I am Zeppelin (okay, bigger, probably- you never forget yer first love, and mine was the Stones) but even I will concede throughout the 1970's Zeppelin trumped the Stones in just about every way. And the Stones knew it...and the professional jealousy! Whoo!😅

IMO the only Stones LPs from the 70's on par with Zeppelin are my exalted Exile and arguably Sticky Fingers. I mean, It's Only Rock And Roll?😅 Fuckin' In Through The Out Door is better than that, even, I reckon IORR to be the Stones' worst album...

I recall a Stones vs. Zep discussion on royal-orleans a few years back, where it was claimed that Zeppelin's album sales outpaced the Stones' only relatively recently.  Zeppelin albums have continued to sell robustly (esp. in the digital age), while the Stones have not.  In the 70's, however, it was claimed that the Stones in fact had larger sales.  I can't seem to find any hard data on this, does anyone know?

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