Led Zeppelin

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British blues/rock band, originally formed by guitarist Jimmy Page (as the New Yardbirds) in order to fulfil some gigs booked before the break up of the original Yardbirds. After those concerts the name was changed to Led Zeppelin after Keith Moon, drummer with The Who, suggested they would "go down like a lead balloon". Shortly after this first tour the group's first album was released. Its combination of blues and rock influences with distorted amplification makes it one of the pivotal records in the evolution of heavy metal music and kick-started the band's career, especially in the United States, which they would frequently tour. The second record was more of the same, including the bludgeoning riff of "Whole Lotta Love", which, driven by the rhythm section of Bonham and Jones, practically defined their sound at the time.

For the third record however, the band retired to "Bron-Y-Aur", a remote house in Wales without electricity. This would result in a sound on the imaginatively titled "Led Zeppelin III" which was strongly influenced by folk music, and reveal a different side of guitarist Page's prodigious talent. The band's two sides were fused on the fourth untitled album, which is usually called either "IV" or "Four Symbols" or "ZOSO". The record included the hard rock of "Black Dog", Tolkienesque folksy mysticism on "The Battle of Evermore" and the lengthy "Stairway to Heaven", a combination of the two and a massive FM radio hit.

Their next two studio records featured further experimentation, in terms of longer songs and use of synthesisers, string sections arranged by Jones, and various forms of world music on tracks such as "D'Yer Mak'er" and "Kashmir". By the release of "Presence" and "In Through the Out Door" the band seemed slightly bereft of ideas. Shortly after the latter's 1980 release drummer Bonham died, having choked on his own vomit following a lengthy alcohol binge.

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