Why Critics Hated Led Zeppelin
With fame comes hate. This has been relevant time and time again, with Led Zeppelin not an exception to the rule. One of the most successful rock bands of the 70’s, and having influence spread over the craft, it’s hard to imagine Led Zeppelin getting picked on. But what really irked critics into giving Led Zeppelin “tough love”?
They Were Innovators
The era preceding Led Zeppelin was frequented by rock n’ roll, progressive, and psychedelic rock for most of its duration. Artists like The Moody Blues, The Beatles, and Jimi Hendrix, propagated the culture of experimental music, heavily relying on themes of psychedelia. When the page turned to the next decade, Led Zeppelin offered something very radical at the time: a very heavy, gritty blues-rock that was branded by critics as sacrilege. But the band offered them no attention, and continued to pave the way for blues rock and heavy metal to grow. In a commercial standpoint, Led Zeppelin was winning a new crowd over, those who were seeking for change in the musical landscape. This didn’t bode well with existing bestsellers, a new kid on the block taking all the goodies with him.
They Were Symbols of Liberation
As again with innovation, one has to break the norms to grow. Led Zeppelin did just that. With extremely volatile creative spirits in the bodies of four men, the band always got what they wanted. Minimal media appearances, creative freedom in the studio, private lives spent in excess, these guys lived the true rockstar life. Even the mere thought of Robert Plant’s overtly sexual image breaking the rock frontman stereotype was statement enough. Not to mention, the empowerment they got from manager Peter Grant, who believed that the artist always came first. This resulted in envious contemporaries who were still bound by the automaton music industry.
They Were Too Damn Good
All of these are worthless without the skill needed to make them materialize. John Paul Jones was a crazy good multi-instrumentalist, sharing with Jimmy Page the experience of a hundred studio sessions in their earlier years. John Bonham’s precision and power on the throne lent the band an explosive quality that drove their performances. Lastly, Robert Plant’s otherworldly vocals and instant lyricism gave the arrangements a speaking voice for the masses to listen to. You don’t become successful with passion alone. Led Zeppelin is a testament of such.