The Led Zeppelin story begins in 1968. At the time, a certain guitarist Jimmy Page is part of the Yardbirds group, which is then started to get disbanded. For the last scheduled concerts, he finds himself alone and desperate among the musicians.
Shortly after, John Paul Jones, a keyboardist finds him and wants to join. Jimmy Page also finds the singer, Robert Plant, following the advice of one of his friends. A drummer is still missing, but Robert convinces John Bonham who reluctantly joins the formation. At last, the four of them founded the New Yardbirds.
Want to know more about the Yardbirds? Click here and read this detailed article to learn more about their story!
They looked for a better name after a while, so the quartet decided to change its name to Led Zeppelin on November 9, 1968.
Their first album, simply titled “Led Zeppelin “, is signed with Atlantic Records. This was recorded live on a tour in England. The song “Thank You” appeared on this album. “Led Zeppelin II” was released in 1969.
It looks like the first release already founded the reputation of the group. Then followed “Led Zeppelin III “, which was available the following year and included many ballads. The group knew how to stand out from others by a unique attitude: violent concerts, devastated hotel rooms, and drugs were inherent during their tours.
Let’s now investigate the top 10 songs of this remarkable band:
10. Since I’ve Been Loving You (1970)
This is simply the best blues ever recorded by the group. It was prepared for the Led Zeppelin III album and the guys had a really hard time recording it in the live studio, mainly because of the solo part.
Some amazing lyrics during the song and a hell of a solo (7.25 minutes). This piece, one of the few electric cuts of a third very acoustic album, is an absolute beauty which will remain evergreen. It is immortal, and this is only the first one on our list!
9. Achilles Last Stand (1976)
This famous soundtrack is the opener of their album Presence, which is quite underrated. A solo guitar certainly filled with overdubs – this is the song of the group that contains the most of it – but totally awesome.
If there were no Stairway To Heaven, Achilles Last Stand with its cryptic lyrics and this solo, this would be the largest piece of Led Zeppelin.
Robert Plant, the lead singer was then stuck in a wheelchair following a car accident. He recorded the album in a damaged physical state and morally very depressed, away from his wife, hospitalized after the accident.
If you want to know more about Robert Plant’s life and career, take a break and read this article!
They hospitalized him in another country where the album was recorded. Plant, therefore, is just incredible and he did a great job with the album despite the circumstances. A Dantesque piece.
8. No Quarter (1973)
Essentially composed by John Paul Jones with the bass and keyboards. This piece is a major achievement, 7 oppressive minutes speaking of Vikings.
The song of Plant is hacked by a vocoder, the guitar solo is outstanding, the atmosphere is sepulchral, creepy, windy, the lyrics are beautiful, the keyboard intro is outstanding…
Check out this full article about Led Zeppelin’s amazing bassist, John Paul Jones!
Clearly, the top of a fantastic and very adventurous album called the Houses of the Holy! One of the most endearing and brave group!
7. Thank You (1969)
A pure splendor completing the first side of Led Zeppelin II. With an unforgettable finale and a fake end, when the song seems to end up gently. But once you get used to the silence, they return with the finale!
A very soft, soothing and upbeat song by Page & Plant which they also demonstrate amazingly in their 1994 concert, on the Unledded – No Quarter. For me, the most beautiful of a very heavy second album!
Unledded – No Quarter is also available on Amazon. Click here to get the DVD!
6. Ten Years Gone (1975)
Physical Graffiti, this is the cherry on top for Led Zeppelin: their only double studio album. They had put a lot of songs together, such as unreleased songs of the time, their favorite songs from previous sessions where they had been apart…
Ten Years Gone is one of the most iconic soundtracks of the band. It is original enough considering their instrumental acoustics and it became a progressive long piece, a true masterpiece. The song is touching, melancholic, thanks to Jimmy Page’s dazzling performance, probably even his best on the album. 6.30 minutes of happiness.
5. Kashmir (1975)
What to say? The B side – and thus the first disc – of Physical Graffiti ends with a bang, a very symphonic 8.30 minutes called Kashmir. This piece is inspired solely by Robert Plant’s trips to Morocco.
Almost 20 years later, Page and Plant sang this song together on Unledded – No Quarter. It was an absolutely huge 12 minutes version, better than the original, with an Egyptian orchestra.
In the meantime, the base of this piece was used by rapper P. Diddy for his Come with Me soundtrack. It’s definitely a killer with little to no guitar and a great melody.
If you want to listen to P. Diddy’s full soundtrack, click here and head over to Amazon!
4. When The Levee Breaks (1971)
Inspired (slightly) by an old blues called Memphis Minnie, this piece completes perfectly the fourth untitled album, with 7 minutes of bluesy musical splendor.
A devastating conclusion between the harmonica by Plant, not to mention the guitar riff which is the absolute finale. It seems that all the instruments revolve around the guitar and Plant and the seven minutes pass quite fast as you enjoy the music.
When The Levee Breaks is probably the best piece of the Led Zeppelin album! It was the favorite song on the album of Page, so he always considered it the best one. The album contains The Battle Of Evermore, Black Dog, Rock And Roll and Stairway To Heaven, and is the best of the group, a real top!
3. Tea For One (1976)
Now this is more than 9 minutes of pure sadness and melancholy. It’s surprising but the group never played it live. Partly because this song can be recognized as their self-plagiarism by reworking Since I’ve Been Loving You but in a darker version.
Click here if you want to hear Since I’ve Been Loving You and compare the two to each other
It is true that Tea For One is very similar. Otherwise, the song is heartbreaking, Plant wrote the lyrics partly about his wife who he misses. She is hospitalized, away from him at the time, following the car accident and it truly depressed him…
The singing is depressed, the flayed, vivid guitar is beautiful and very dark, the atmosphere is very fiery…
You really feel pain, depression, sadness, during this almost 10 minutes long masterpiece which remained unnoticed and forgotten.
2. How Many More Times (1969)
The ultimate blues of the first album. A kind of mixture of several old pieces of blues, a piece that involuntarily plagiarizes the classics. Even the most absolute fans of the group recognize that Led Zeppelin often has too often plagiarized old songs by ‘forgetting’ to credit their authors.
It has some bits of their other masterpieces but it remains highly enjoyable, especially its devastating final.
One of the best albums of the group concludes with When The Levee Breaks and Tea For One.
1. Stairway To Heaven (1971)
A pure peak, 8 minutes of absolute majesty… One of the most broadcasted songs on radio around the world. In the USA, it has been even No. 1 for a long time.
The group still refuses to publish it in single but at the same time, it should have been shortened or cut into two sides, which in both cases would have been an unforgivable sin…
A perfect song with perfect lyrics. Imagine the face and the amazement of those who hear it for the first time!
Thank you for reading our article about the top ten albums of Led Zeppelin, this majestic and scandalous rock band. We hope you enjoyed it a lot.
Do not hesitate to read our next writing, which will be about the top 6 songs of Radiohead. The English alternative rock band whose biggest influences were Queen, Pink Floyd, Elvis Costello and many post-punk bands.
They have published nine albums of which they sold more than 30 million copies worldwide which is certainly a considerable accomplishment.