Thursday, July 27, 2006

Led Zeppelin

Rolling Stone's cover story this month is on Led Zeppelin. I read the article this morning. It was funny timing, since I had been listening to their first two albums while commuting the last couple of days. Just this morning, I had been thinking that even though so many subsequent artists have been heavily influenced by Zep, their music still sounds very fresh. I think that's a testimony not only to their songwriting skills, but also their musicianship.

I was not even alive when Zep debuted in the late 60's. So it makes it even more interesting to read about how controversial they were. People thought they were over-hyped even before they released their first album. They were often disliked by critics, though adored by fans. The RS article thinks this was the beginning of the rift between "popular" rock and "elitist" rock. That rift definitely exists, but it's hard to think of Maroon 5 as a descendent of Zep... It's also amusing to read that some pundits criticized Zep for being too macho and violent. Take that Tupac.

I started listening to Zep when I was a teenager. For me, there was little controversy in the band. They were a legend, and discovering their music was like finding buried treasure. It was so superior to the glam metal of the 80's. It wasn't like listening to The Beatles or The Rolling Stones. Those groups sounded old to a teenager. Not Zep. Pink Floyd was the only other similar band for me. If Zep still seemed modern, Pink Floyd seemed almost futuristic.

Since then my tastes have matured, and as I've started liking a wider selection of modern music, I also started liking a lot more classic bands. But Zep is still different than any other band. It's like your first kiss.

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