Led Zeppelin II is a classic album in every sense of the word. Since its release it has become the blue print for every hard rock/heavy metal album that has followed. Its influence still continues to be felt to this very day. Upon its release in October 1969, it became the first Zeppelin album to go to #1 in the US charts and even knocked off The Beatles’ Abbey Road. It was also the first album where the band worked with engineer Eddie Kramer, who was famous for working with Jimi Hendrix. The album took around 8 months to record, in between their lengthy tours.
Critics, fans and musicians alike regularly cite the album as a heavy influence. It was ranked #75 on the Rolling Stones’ 2003 list of the greatest albums of all time. Songs like “Whole Lotta Love”, “Heartbreaker”, and “Moby Dick” influenced an array of heavy metal bands and guitarists afterwards. In particular, Jimmy Page’s guitar solo in “Heartbreaker” specifically inspired guitar shredders such as Steve Vai and Eddie Van Halen. Jimmy’s technique of using his left hand to tap rapid notes greatly influenced their style and helped them develop a whole new style of playing of their own.
Led Zeppelin was unique in that they were extraordinary musicians that made every single song the best it could. It was a complete album full of killer songs, not just one or two great songs with filler thrown in. They also had a grand vision, and stuck to it. They did what they wanted and never compromised. The blues heavily influenced them and they were also very raw and loud. They were second to none in musicianship and live performance along with improvisation.
Led Zeppelin has long been one of my favorite rock bands and their music, along with Jimmy Page’s guitar playing, have GREATLY inspired my own playing and writing style. Their music is so majestic, epic, powerful and raw and gritty at the same time. Jimmy had a way of playing “sloppily” but still sounding technical and proficient, like a virtuoso, all at once. He made it look effortless and his ability to improvise guitar riffs and melodies on the spot is nothing short of amazing. During my playing sessions I incorporate little improvisations because Jimmy and Led Zeppelin’s influence and because of this I usually end up coming up with really great song ideas. Using what I already knew about them and what I learned through this assignment, I see myself becoming an even better musician as time goes on. In five years, I can see myself being devoted full time to playing and recording songs, either with a band or on my own.