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How big were/are Led Zeppelin?


Jiri
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I know this sounds sort of provoking. Especially to American fans. But let me tell you that Led Zeppelin have had a much smaller fan base in continental Europe than in the US.

Many of my American friends were surprised that Led Zeppelin is not a general memory of the 70ies but (has become) some sort of "music for specialists" in Europe. People here maybe know STH but "Dust in the Wind" or "Paranoid" or "Alright Now" are much more popular. On the other hand from what I´ve heard Deep Purple were nothing compared to the fame and glory of the Zep in the US.

Of course everybody knew LZ in Europe the 70ies. Immigrant Song, WLL and of course STH were (sort of) hits, but bands like Deep Purple or even Uriah Heep were more popular because of their more simple and radio-friendly-approach.

A friend of mine (b. 1957) told me that LZ were only for the people who were also into Yes or Zappa.

Another reason might be that continental Europe (to this day) never had important (Classic-) Rock stations or AOR stations like in the US. So LZ have been "gone" for quite a while. It was the music of Soundgarden and Pearl Jam who got younger people into Zep.

What do you think?

What was/is your perception?

How was/is the situation in the UK?

And how big are LZ in Eastern Europe (always special)?

Edited by Jiri
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I know this sounds sort of provoking. Especially to American fans. But let me tell you that Led Zeppelin have had a much smaller fan base in continental Europe than in the US.

Many of my American friends were surprised that Led Zeppelin is not a general memory of the 70ies but (has become) some sort of "music for specialists" in Europe. People here maybe know STH but "Dust in the Wind" or "Paranoid" or "Alright Now" are much more popular. On the other hand from what I´ve heard Deep Purple were nothing compared to the fame and glory of the Zep in the US.

Of course everybody knew LZ in Europe the 70ies. Immigrant Song, WLL and of course STH were (sort of) hits, but bands like Deep Purple or even Uriah Heep were more popular because of their more simple and radio-friendly-approach.

A friend of mine (b. 1957) told me that LZ were only for the people who were also into Yes or Zappa.

Another reason might be that continental Europe (to this day) never had important (Classic-) Rock stations or AOR stations like in the US. So LZ have been "gone" for quite a while. It was the music of Soundgarden and Pearl Jam who got younger people into Zep.

What do you think?

What was/is your perception?

How was/is the situation in the UK?

And how big are LZ in Eastern Europe (always special)?

What an excellent topic!

I can't speak to the fan base in Europe or the UK or elsewhere, but, are you saying you guys didn't have album oriented radio stations in the 70s? Those stations fit right in with Zeppelin not being a singles band, because they'd play whole albums sides or whole albums all the way through. I'm sure that had a lot to do with Zeppelin really getting launched in the US, and "allowing" them to experiment with longer pieces.

Also, attending concerts with the other freaks was just the thing to do, and boy did Zeppelin play a lot of shows here.

:hippy:

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USA and Canada: massive. I dont think a rock group can get any bigger(with the exception of the Beatles)

UK. Popular but not of the stature as in North America and nowhere near as popular as in North America. Oaisis and Queen are much bigger in UK among other groups

Contintental Europe;respectable following but not as big as say Queen or Pink Floyd.They dont receive saturation radio play there in key markets like France,Germany,Italy like they do in North America

Latin America; popular for english rock group but not as popular as say Queen and nothing compared to domestic acts

Japan;popular for english rock group but nothing in comparison to domestic acts.

Edited by euro
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I'd say that in the UK they were respected and popular, but you have to remember that at that time we had plenty of other bands to like too.

Pink Floyd

Jethro Tull

Rolling Stones

Deep Purple

Free

Queen

Hawkwind

Wishbone Ash

... to name but a few. You can only buy so many albums and concert tickets on a weeks wage. :D

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USA and Canada: massive. I dont think a rock group can get any bigger(with the exception of the Beatles)

UK. Popular but not of the stature as in North America and nowhere near as popular as in North America. Oaisis and Queen are much bigger in UK among other groups

Contintental Europe;respectable following but not as big as say Queen or Pink Floyd.They dont receive saturation radio play there in key markets like France,Germany,Italy like they do in North America

Latin America; popular for english rock group but not as popular as say Queen and nothing compared to domestic acts

Japan;popular for english rock group but nothing in comparison to domestic acts.

........disgagree, zep as stated were mega in usa and canda, so to in th uk, in terms of albums sales the same as queen, just that queens' best of albums have been amongst the best selling albums of all time time here in the uk. there are many queen original albums that struggled to get into the top 5 album chart here, while all zeppelin albums hit the no#1 spot, except for the first lp.

I think you'd be suprised if you found out how many albums zep sold in continental europe...come on, you talking about a band that sold a lot of records, they sold as many albums in their 12 years together, as queen did in almost 20 years of existance with mercury, so inevitably they would of been just as popular as any other 70's band in europe, asia, etc.

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For starters, I live in the midwest United States.

Here, they may play Zeppelin on the radio a few times, but its the same old songs (Whole Lotta Love, Heartbreaker/Living Loving Maid and Stairway to Heaven). What a shame! There is one station I've found that still plays whole albums on a certain night of the week, and Zeppelin's been on it a few times, but other than that, NOTHING.

I'm 23, and none of my friends are into them... they recongize that they are "good", but they will never be the ones to pop them into the stereo... its always me. They're more into modern stuff like Tool, Smashing Pumpkins, Rage Against the Machine, etc. (which I think are good too). Its not that they have bad taste in music, its just that I don't think they've really look into the roots of the music that all their favorite bands are playing

Most people I know in the U.S. just know Zeppelin for that one song (yes, Stairway to Heaven, which in my opinion isn't even among their top 25 songs). This is a crying shame.

I got into the Zeppelin when I was about 12 - my mother, yes, my mother, bought the BBC Sessions album, and the first time I heard it played, I stole it from her. I don't even know why she got it, she has never expressed particular interest in Zeppelin or that type of music.. its as if some higher power made her buy it just to introduce me to them. Needless to say, I blew out plenty of sets of speakers with it. Then I got every studio album (one way or another). Then I got the official DVD - the Royal Albert Hall performance on it inspired me to get into more live Zeppelin. Just within the last year I found out about the vasts amounts of bootlegs available, and now, I must have about 50 or so live performances.

For me, Zeppelin shapes my life, but as for the general populus, I don't think they really know Led Zeppelin, and only know them for "that one song".

Edited by docron
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........disgagree, zep as stated were mega in usa and canda, so to in th uk, in terms of albums sales the same as queen, just that queens' best of albums have been amongst the best selling albums of all time time here in the uk. there are many queen original albums that struggled to get into the top 5 album chart here, while all zeppelin albums hit the no#1 spot, except for the first lp.

I think you'd be suprised if you found out how many albums zep sold in continental europe...come on, you talking about a band that sold a lot of records, they sold as many albums in their 12 years together, as queen did in almost 20 years of existance with mercury, so inevitably they would of been just as popular as any other 70's band in europe, asia, etc.

Zeppelin were never "mega" in the UK. I know, I was there. The most popular bands at that time were Pink Floyd, T Rex and ABBA who outsold Led Zeppelin big time in England. By 1976 Zeppelin were considered "old farts", the last of their fans congregating for the Knebworth shows. The musical climate had changed so much they never played one concert in the UK for the 1980 Tour, straight to Europe with their collective tail between their legs.

In the 80's they were all but forgotten, considered "old fashioned" and "bloated dinosaurs." It's only since the late nineties that they have been re-evaluated and found worthy by the almighty music critics and media.

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Zeppelin were never "mega" in the UK. I know, I was there. The most popular bands at that time were Pink Floyd, T Rex and ABBA who outsold Led Zeppelin big time in England. By 1976 Zeppelin were considered "old farts", the last of their fans congregating for the Knebworth shows. The musical climate had changed so much they never played one concert in the UK for the 1980 Tour, straight to Europe with their collective tail between their legs.

In the 80's they were all but forgotten, considered "old fashioned" and "bloated dinosaurs." It's only since the late nineties that they have been re-evaluated and found worthy by the almighty music critics and media.

trex ? pink floyd were not that big until dark side, how can they of been considered old farts by 1976 ? they were in their late 20's, except for page who was in his early 30's, they didn't play one show in the uk perhps because they did not want to...................disagree with this post.

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I once heard somewhere that Zeppelin never released a radio single in the U.K. I've never seen that validated but it may be the reason they weren't as popular there as opposed to here in the U.S. And like Styrbjorn said there were many other popular bands to choose from.

What I can validate is the absolute insanity and rabid passion for Zep here in the United States. Back when they started we didn't have a whole lot of hard rock bands around. Led Zeppelin came at a time when psychedelic hippie shit was on it's way out and people were looking for something new. In essence, Zep filled a huge hole and were well received as a breath of fresh air. Plus they toured here relentlessly and built a very loyal fanbase. Any band that does that is bound to draw a lot of attention.

Personally I have been listening to them for over 27 years now. I feel in love with them at a very early and impressionable age. I know there are fans on this board that have been listening to them much longer than I have. Of all the bands that I enjoy Led Zeppelin is still on top of the chart.

:D

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trex ? pink floyd were not that big until dark side, how can they of been considered old farts by 1976 ? they were in their late 20's, except for page who was in his early 30's, they didn't play one show in the uk perhps because they did not want to...................disagree with this post.

Question: How old were you in 1976?

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This is the 'UK Top Selling Album Artists' list (to end of 2006)

1.The Beatles - 28.745m

2.Queen - 20.665m

3.Madonna - 18.328m

4.Elvis Presley - 18.171m

5.Michael Jackson - 16.411m

6.U2 - 16.233m

7.Robbie Williams - 15.760m

8.ABBA - 15.194m

9.Elton John - 15.194m

10.Rod Stewart - 14.872m

11.Oasis - 13.033m

12.Simply Red - 12.466m

13.Pink Floyd - 12.315m

14.Dire Straits - 11.860m

15.Phil Collins - 11.750m

16.The Rolling Stones - 11.617m

17.David Bowie - 11.280m

18.Cliff Richard - 11.096m

19.REM - 9.889m

20.Genesis - 9.603m

21.Celine Dion - 9.597m

22.Frank Sinatra - 9.480m

23.Bob Dylan - 9.380m

24.Westlife - 9.271m

25.George Michael - 9.208m

26.Meat Loaf - 9.170m

27.The Shadows - 9.088m

28.Fleetwood Mac - 9.027m

29.Diana Ross - 8.968m

30.Led Zeppelin - 8.510m

Led Zeppelin & ABBA hold the record for consecutive no.1 albums in the UK with 8.

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This is the 'UK Top Selling Album Artists' list (to end of 2006)

1.The Beatles - 28.745m

2.Queen - 20.665m

3.Madonna - 18.328m

4.Elvis Presley - 18.171m

5.Michael Jackson - 16.411m

6.U2 - 16.233m

7.Robbie Williams - 15.760m

8.ABBA - 15.194m

9.Elton John - 15.194m

10.Rod Stewart - 14.872m

11.Oasis - 13.033m

12.Simply Red - 12.466m

13.Pink Floyd - 12.315m

14.Dire Straits - 11.860m

15.Phil Collins - 11.750m

16.The Rolling Stones - 11.617m

17.David Bowie - 11.280m

18.Cliff Richard - 11.096m

19.REM - 9.889m

20.Genesis - 9.603m

21.Celine Dion - 9.597m

22.Frank Sinatra - 9.480m

23.Bob Dylan - 9.380m

24.Westlife - 9.271m

25.George Michael - 9.208m

26.Meat Loaf - 9.170m

27.The Shadows - 9.088m

28.Fleetwood Mac - 9.027m

29.Diana Ross - 8.968m

30.Led Zeppelin - 8.510m

Led Zeppelin & ABBA hold the record for consecutive no.1 albums in the UK with 8.

As fond as I am of our brothers in the U.K. I'd have to say there seems to be some kind of musical idiocy going on over there. :(

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Zeppelin were never "mega" in the UK. I know, I was there. The most popular bands at that time were Pink Floyd, T Rex and ABBA who outsold Led Zeppelin big time in England. By 1976 Zeppelin were considered "old farts", the last of their fans congregating for the Knebworth shows. The musical climate had changed so much they never played one concert in the UK for the 1980 Tour, straight to Europe with their collective tail between their legs.

In the 80's they were all but forgotten, considered "old fashioned" and "bloated dinosaurs." It's only since the late nineties that they have been re-evaluated and found worthy by the almighty music critics and media.

Heya. I'm just old enough to know who T Rex were :P

I can understand the English fans wanting different stuff, but then I see some of the stuff outselling Zep on that list and I go :blink: Why, god, why. Of course, the crap that gets popular here sometimes makes no sense at all.

Interesting to think about what they would have gone on to do in the 80's, style- wise.

Anyway, they're still huge as hell here, and the kids keep re-discovering them right around the same age each generation (like they do with Monty Python)

Edited by Suz
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lol @ diana ross being above led zeppelin... i never checked, but this just cant be the case in the U.S.

that is blasphemous

Yeah it is. I simply can't believe that Zep sold so few albums in their own country. Baffling.

Zeppelin's total record sales in America = 98.5 million

I realize the U.S. is much bigger than the U.K. though, so I'm not surprised by this number.

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On my school there are just around a dozen of fans, while about 1.400 people visit my school. Almost everybody in my class doesn´t know just any of their songs; most of them never knew, that this band existed, until I told them so. I got into Led Zeppelin because I saw a report about them in german tv show. It was on a channel almost nobody watches, cause they mainly do stuff about culture, theatre, opera and stuff like that. But just in the moment they started to play a song in that program, I knew: That was definitely my music!

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Being born 23 years ago, I can't tell how big they were in Canada, back in the 70's but nowadays they're HUGE. On my local "classic" rock station, CHOM 97.7FM, they're probably the most played and requested band. And I've worked in a record store for 2 years and we were selling a lot of their records and it was amazing to see how many young kids we're big fans. Not the usual posers, real fan. They're like The Beatles... Immortals.

Ah! I remember that chick I've served one time. She was foxy and was a massive Zephead... She bought the DVD and BBC Sessions. And she was discovering Zappa and was loving it, as she told me! The perfect woman... disappeared in the vast population... <_<

Edited by Charles_Obscure
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Yeah it is. I simply can't believe that Zep sold so few albums in their own country. Baffling.

Zeppelin's total record sales in America = 98.5 million

I realize the U.S. is much bigger than the U.K. though, so I'm not surprised by this number.

The US has the biggest fanbase of LZ. They sold 111,5 Million records there!!!!

http://www.riaa.com/goldandplatinumdata.php?table=tblTopArt

I'm from Germany and here they aren't that big. I'm the only fan i know at my age. But some older people are still great fans of them. Mothership became Gold status here an was in charts for a long time (about 7 month).

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This is the 'UK Top Selling Album Artists' list (to end of 2006)

1.The Beatles - 28.745m

2.Queen - 20.665m

3.Madonna - 18.328m

4.Elvis Presley - 18.171m

5.Michael Jackson - 16.411m

6.U2 - 16.233m

7.Robbie Williams - 15.760m

8.ABBA - 15.194m

9.Elton John - 15.194m

10.Rod Stewart - 14.872m

11.Oasis - 13.033m

12.Simply Red - 12.466m

13.Pink Floyd - 12.315m

14.Dire Straits - 11.860m

15.Phil Collins - 11.750m

16.The Rolling Stones - 11.617m

17.David Bowie - 11.280m

18.Cliff Richard - 11.096m

19.REM - 9.889m

20.Genesis - 9.603m

21.Celine Dion - 9.597m

22.Frank Sinatra - 9.480m

23.Bob Dylan - 9.380m

24.Westlife - 9.271m

25.George Michael - 9.208m

26.Meat Loaf - 9.170m

27.The Shadows - 9.088m

28.Fleetwood Mac - 9.027m

29.Diana Ross - 8.968m

30.Led Zeppelin - 8.510m

Led Zeppelin & ABBA hold the record for consecutive no.1 albums in the UK with 8.

Regarding this list I posted, I think people need to look at the bigger picture.

Many of the artists above Zep have had longer careers, released more albums, released singles and/or had a lot more radio and TV exposure.

With that in mind, I think Led Zeppelin's UK album sales are outstanding.

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Regarding this list I posted, I think people need to look at the bigger picture.

Many of the artists above Zep have had longer careers, released more albums, released singles and/or had a lot more radio and TV exposure.

With that in mind, I think Led Zeppelin's UK album sales are outstanding.

I was going to say that's actually quite impressive. A lot of those artists are a lot more mainstream compared to Led Zeppelin. Led Zeppelin are very big in the UK they've just always managed to remain slightly more undergound by not appearing on TV or releasing singles which is cool I think. Where is that list from by the way?

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I was going to say that's actually quite impressive. A lot of those artists are a lot more mainstream compared to Led Zeppelin. Led Zeppelin are very big in the UK they've just always managed to remain slightly more undergound by not appearing on TV or releasing singles which is cool I think. Where is that list from by the way?

Somewhere on the first page of this: http://www.ukmix.org/forums/viewtopic.php?t=26161

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TO ALL THE GUYS FROM THE US and UK..

There were no actual pop/rock-stations in continental Europe until the mid 1960ies!!!

You could hear classical music, easy listenin, domestic stuff and maybe a bit of Elvis on the very same station :blink:

Europe was pretty much "post-war" until then. The only chance to listen to pop or blues or rock was on US Air Force networks or via the infamous Radio Luxemburg, who played rock'n'roll and had proper charts.

The Beatlemania changed eveything and by 1967 there were pop/rock stations all over Europe. Thank god they were mostly public stations, so the enthusiastic young DJs didn't have to think about the ratings and could basically play what they wanted to. So there was some pretty cool shit on the air back then! Like Led Zeppelin!

Regarding AOR:

To run an AOR-station properly, you need a metropolitan area! Of course there are big cities in Europe but the metropolitan areas around them are less important and not as big as the American ones.

So in continental Europe there are pretty much Top-40-stations, only very few stations dare to play a bit of Album-Rock. So until now almost NO LZ ON THE RADIO!

Another thing:

AOR listeners are mostly male. Advertisement industries focus on women. So no real money in AOR unless you got lots of males. Where do you find lots of (single) males?

Right. Downtown... B)

Edited by Jiri
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For starters, I live in the midwest United States.

Here, they may play Zeppelin on the radio a few times, but its the same old songs (Whole Lotta Love, Heartbreaker/Living Loving Maid and Stairway to Heaven). What a shame! There is one station I've found that still plays whole albums on a certain night of the week, and Zeppelin's been on it a few times, but other than that, NOTHING.

I'm 23, and none of my friends are into them... they recongize that they are "good", but they will never be the ones to pop them into the stereo... its always me. They're more into modern stuff like Tool, Smashing Pumpkins, Rage Against the Machine, etc. (which I think are good too). Its not that they have bad taste in music, its just that I don't think they've really look into the roots of the music that all their favorite bands are playing

Most people I know in the U.S. just know Zeppelin for that one song (yes, Stairway to Heaven, which in my opinion isn't even among their top 25 songs). This is a crying shame.

I got into the Zeppelin when I was about 12 - my mother, yes, my mother, bought the BBC Sessions album, and the first time I heard it played, I stole it from her. I don't even know why she got it, she has never expressed particular interest in Zeppelin or that type of music.. its as if some higher power made her buy it just to introduce me to them. Needless to say, I blew out plenty of sets of speakers with it. Then I got every studio album (one way or another). Then I got the official DVD - the Royal Albert Hall performance on it inspired me to get into more live Zeppelin. Just within the last year I found out about the vasts amounts of bootlegs available, and now, I must have about 50 or so live performances.

For me, Zeppelin shapes my life, but as for the general populus, I don't think they really know Led Zeppelin, and only know them for "that one song".

I think if you were to do some research on US sales you would come to different conclusion. When you sell a 100 million album plus in one country it certaintly not only because of that " one song"

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TO ALL THE GUYS FROM THE US and UK..

Regarding AOR:

To run an AOR-station properly, you need a metropolitan area! Of course there are big cities in Europe but the metropolitan areas around them are less important and not as big as the American ones.

So in continental Europe there are pretty much Top-40-stations, only very few stations dare to play a bit of Album-Rock. So until now almost NO LZ ON THE RADIO!

You nailed it right on.

The reason Zeppelin were so huge in USA and Canada was the availability on AOR radio in the 70s.This was not the case in Continental Europe and even the UK which was dominated by BBC(who like to keep a tight rein on what was played on radio).

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Considering Led Zeppelin were not a "singles" band, they did/have done very well to be # 30 in England (where 99.9% of the others listed were/are singles bands. Perhaps, the big reason Led Zeppelin were not as

"big" in England was for this very reason.

I'm glad they focused on playing/touring around the world. They proved they were/are the biggest band of them all (regardless of what critics, singles formatted radio and singles buyers thought/think).

What's amazing is the fact that they weren't a singles band and focused mainly on their albums (but many songs on their albums were never played live when they were a band--- example: In Through the Outdoor and Presence have quite a few songs on them that have never been played live as well as songs like "Houses of the Holy" from Physical Grafitti (originally recorded during the Houses sessions).

Radio still can't ignore them as there's a classic rock station in every major city in every country around the world somewhere playing Zeppelin at this very moment... :)

Additionally, there's some teenager out there who is just learning about and rockin' out to Zeppelin (sharing the experience with their friends).

Great Rock N Roll Will Never Die!!!

R B)

Edited by reids
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