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What makes Led Zeppelin the greatest band of all time?


What makes Led Zeppelin the greatest band of all time?  

188 members have voted

  1. 1. Members

    • Jimmy Page
      11
    • Robert Plant
      3
    • John Paul Jones
      4
    • John Bonham
      4
    • All Of The Above
      166


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The dynamic is all four. Jason, God bless 'em, did an amazing job at the reunion, but it's not the same as creating the music. That takes all four. The thing that sets Zeppelin apart is the fact that musically, they all had different interests and paths. It was the convergence of these disparate styles that created such a diverse musical catalog. Most bands get together because they have similar tastes. Zeppelin was a true exception. Rare is it that so many different roads converge so harmoniously. That's what sets the Zeps apart, IMO. :beer:

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  • 2 weeks later...
LED ZEPPELIN, like THE BEATLES, create magic when all four play together. ROCK ON!

Yes but even Zeppelin top the Beatles on that front because Ringo wasn't even the best drummer in The Beatles where as JB was the greatest rock drummer off them all, Ringo could have been replaced where as JL PMC and GH couldn't, But with Zep you couldn't replace any of them...not even Jason as good as he is and was at the reunion BOnzo will always be so important :)

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The dynamic is all four. Jason, God bless 'em, did an amazing job at the reunion, but it's not the same as creating the music. That takes all four. The thing that sets Zeppelin apart is the fact that musically, they all had different interests and paths. It was the convergence of these disparate styles that created such a diverse musical catalog. Most bands get together because they have similar tastes. Zeppelin was a true exception. Rare is it that so many different roads converge so harmoniously. That's what sets the Zeps apart, IMO. :beer:

Took the words right my mouth thou you say them much better. The stars truly did align when these four men were brought together for all of us to enjoy.

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Ev said it pretty well, but I'll add my $0.02.

Alot of bands are/were good in the studio, which isn't all that hard. I think Led Zeppelin is the best for their ability to perform live.

Originality

For starters, most bands go on stage and just replay, note-for-note, what they laid down in the studio - And for the most part it sounds really tired and boring, as if they're just going through the motions.

Led Zeppelin, as we know by the 280-some available bootlegs, that no two performances even came close to one another. You can really tell the mood/feel of the band at a particular show as it comes through in the music - Like a theme for the night. For example, the 1969 performances in San Francisco very clearly had a psychadelic feel to them. The performance at the Texas Int'l Pop Festival of that same year, in contrast, was straight in-your-face blues.

Ability to Jam

For the few bands that add extended jams into their music, very seldom can they really pull it off. Not that they can't jam, its just that the jams seem out of place. You can clearly tell what parts are jams and what parts aren't because the transistions are really really poor. Usually, the drummer will do some really over-the-top beat while everything else stops and the guitarist changes it up. It messes up the whole flow of the song. It just seems like bands are never on the same page or seem to want to go in different directions. Communication is the key to smoothness.

With Led Zeppelin, you really can't tell where the studio version ends and the jam session begins. This is where communication really comes into play. When you watch a performance, you can see when they begin to jam, JPJ stands about 2 feet away from Bonzo so they can stay together. You can also see when they transition, Page lets them know what he's doing, usually by walking right up to the front of Bonzo's kit or by raising his hand. Its all so seamless. I don't really know how to explain it. Its as if when they play live the jams sound as if they were originally going to go on the studio tracks but were cut out for length or something. Its just that good.

Stage Presence

What to say here. Have you ever watched other bands live? Very few bands have shows worth going to. No matter how good the song is, you simply can't rock out to it if the band itself isn't rocking out. I'm talking about that lead singer who just stands there motionless in front of the mic - or the guitarist, who, if you catch them on the right night (i.e, full moon), you just might catch moving his head once or twice to the beat. No feeling at all.

Led Zeppelin excels all other here because of their dynamics. Robert never just stood there. He rocked out - really lived the music - and covered a shitload of stage - and when he wasn't singing, he made it a point to get the crowd involved. Page represented the mysterious and dark bluesy side of the group. He never stood in one spot. He had some infamous footwork and really knew his guitars well enough to play them behind the back, or over his head, or with his eyes closed. You can really feel it. Its as if he was bleeding the music. So full of emotion. The only person who didn't go all out on stage was JPJ, but I think its sort of dynamic that way. He was always the cornerstone of the group on stage, and you never failed to get that feeling by the way he held it together on stage.

Above all, they were all professionals and really knew what the fuck they were doing with their respective instruments.

This wasn't just a group of lame-o's with a bad-ass guitarist - something I wish I could prove to the people who dis-credit the group for that reason.

I love this group.

There - I said it.

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I hate to sound like the devil's advocate here, because Lord knows I love them too, but--yeah, I've seen a zillion other bands live, many of whom were just as into it as Zeppelin; who had singers that were much more physically animated than Robert; etc. etc. (And the first time I "saw" Zeppelin I couldn't see them at all, and they were still great.) You can't break it down by those sort of factors--and I agree with jarlaxle that it's NOT a competition.

What makes this band so great is that there's no answer to this question.

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As with all these types of questions the answer first and foremost is the MUSIC.

Without it the rest is irrelevant.

Given the options, maybe the question should have been:

Whom makes Led Zeppelin the greatest band of all time?

For me it's all or none.

That is, the sum of it's parts being JP, RP, JPJ & JB = Led Zeppelin and (with the possible exception of Jason), any one or more of them missing does not.

BTW I voted all of the above as it was the obvious choice regardless of the question.

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I hate to sound like the devil's advocate here, because Lord knows I love them too, but--yeah, I've seen a zillion other bands live, many of whom were just as into it as Zeppelin; who had singers that were much more physically animated than Robert; etc. etc. (And the first time I "saw" Zeppelin I couldn't see them at all, and they were still great.) You can't break it down by those sort of factors--and I agree with jarlaxle that it's NOT a competition.

What makes this band so great is that there's no answer to this question.

I see where your coming from, Iggy Pop was much more animated than Plant. So sure, if you compare musician to musician, some others are certainly on par or can beat out any respective member of Led Zeppelin.

You're right too in that its not a competition. I was just laying down some (by no means all) of my opinions of what makes them great. Certainly it wasn't just their ability to play live. Page was a master in the studio too - I mean he pioneered reverse echo for crying out loud!

I was just saying Led Zeppelin > 85% of bands out there. By no means did I mean that there aren't bands out there that are just as good... its just that there isn't too many of them.

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I see where your coming from, Iggy Pop was much more animated than Plant. So sure, if you compare musician to musician, some others are certainly on par or can beat out any respective member of Led Zeppelin.

You're right too in that its not a competition. I was just laying down some (by no means all) of my opinions of what makes them great. Certainly it wasn't just their ability to play live. Page was a master in the studio too - I mean he pioneered reverse echo for crying out loud!

I was just saying Led Zeppelin > 85% of bands out there. By no means did I mean that there aren't bands out there that are just as good... its just that there isn't too many of them.

I certainly agree with this part! :beer: We could up it to 95%, even!

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100% for me. i think they were and still are, light years ahead of ANY other band. past, present and i am willing to bet also the future. they just can't be topped imo.

That's taking it pretty far. Perhaps you'd be better off not betting on such an open playing field?

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Of course it's all 4. The chemistry is amazing and special. Something that a lot of bands - today especially - don't have. The live jams for songs like "Dazed & Confused" and "No Quarter" definitely reflect this.

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