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Led Zeppelin

Arising as an emergency measure to fulfill The Yardbirds' post-breakup tour obligations, Led Zeppelin went on to become one of the most important rock bands of all time, crafting a unique sound that combined hard rock and blues with mythology and mysticism in a blend that set the stage for, and still epitomizes, heavy metal. In the summer of 1968, The Yardbirds disbanded, leaving guitarist Jimmy Page with unfulfilled contracts for concert appearances by the group. He quickly put together a band with singer Robert Plant, drummer John Bonham and bassist John Paul Jones, and the group went out on tour as the New Yardbirds. By October of that year they had recorded their debut album and changed their name to Led Zeppelin. They enjoyed blockbuster success with a series of albums and tours up through the mid-'70s, when the sudden death of Plant's young son threw the band into hiatus. In September 1980, just as the band was preparing for a new tour, Bonham died after a drinking binge; several months later his bandmates decided they couldn't go on and officially ended the Zep's long run. Page and Plant have periodically reunited for various projects.

Written by: Mary Eisenhart

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