Tell someone to name a band from the 1960s and '70s and you could
probably listen to a dozen answers before hearing the same one twice. The
overwhelming amount of talent squeezed into these two decades has produced some
of the most popular, most powerful, and in some cases, the most bizarre music
ever. Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, The Rolling Stones, The Yardbirds,
Janis Joplin, Bob Dylan, Elvis Presley, Queen, Aerosmith, Crosby, Stills, Nash &
Young, The Eagles.... All were from this era that seemed to glorify music as no
other time period did, or ever will.
The amount of evolution of music that occurred in this time period is
amazing as well. The mainstream went from listening to songs like Bill Haley
and the Comet's "Rock Around The Clock," to The Beatles' frightening "Revolution
While these two examples may seem completely different, they are not as
distant as one might think. Nearly all music from the '60s and '70s was bred
from its earlier ancestors. Music has been constantly evolving, and during the
two decades in question, it underwent a radical change like never before.
The New Yardbirds
In early 1968 the music group The Yardbirds was in shambles. Their last,
and half-put --together album "Little Games" was a total flop and the band had
to struggle to have the release of the album in the UK stopped. On March 30,
the group allowed a taping of their concert in Madison Square Garden to be
considered for a live album to be released later. They easily convinced their
record contractor, Epic Records, to ditch the project. The lead guitarist of
The Yardbirds, Jeff Beck, had suffered from a mental breakdown a few years
earlier and could no longer handle the pressure of touring. The band members,
Keith Relf, Chris Dreja, Jim McCarty, and Jimmy Page decided to throw in the
towel and let the band collapse. Playing wasn't the same rush it used to be,
and it just wasn't fun anymore. Each member elected to follow their own
projects. Dreja planned a career in photography, McCarty and Relf intended on
starting bands of their own. Lead guitarist, Jimmy Page was given legal rights
to the band's name, songs, and albums. However, along with the rights that Page
was given, were 10 tour dates that still needed to be honored in Scandinavia.
... middle of paper ...
...The most significant thing
about Led Zeppelin's music today, is that it doesn't sound dated. The music
seems similar to music today. The lasting impression of their music is obvious,
and can be heard in any Rock band of today.
Unfortunately, the machine that was Led Zeppelin came to a screeching
halt on the morning of September 25, 1980. When band members decided to go
into Bonham's bedroom to pull a prank on him in his sleep, Bonham was found dead.
After a night of heavy drinking, Bonham had turned the wrong way in his sleep,
and asphyxiated himself upon his own vomit. A statement was released on
December 4, 1980, stating that the band could not go on in its present state.
After 11 incredible years, the band could not function with "the loss of our
dear friend." Led Zeppelin had owned the 70s, and they were going to finish
their reign quietly, and let the throne open to the next "supergroup." As
suddenly as Led Zeppelin began, it had ended even more so. The giant had fallen.
"As it was, then again it will be,
Though the course may change sometimes,
Rivers always reach the sea."
-Ten Years Gone
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