Wed August 28th, 2002
Wed June 7th, 2000
Wed August 25th, 1999
Wed January 11th, 1995
Mon September 13th, 1993
Mon October 29th, 1990
Wed July 4th, 1990
Mon April 18th, 1988
Mon June 3rd, 1985
Mon January 2nd, 1984
Mon July 4th, 1983
Dreamland (2002)
Fate of Nations (1993)
Manic Nirvana (1990)
Now And Zen (1988)
Shaken 'n' Stirred (1985)
The Principle of Moments (1983)
Robert Plant (1948-Present), vocals!
The logo for Led Zeppelin's Atlantic imprint combines two very potent romantic images. The label name "Swan Song" is a reference to the ages old legend that just before a swan dies, it sings one beautiful song. This is of course completely unfounded since swans whether trumpeter, tundra or mute - are among nature's least musical birds, producing a range of hissing, whistling and honking sounds that are similar to those of geese. But the notion of the swan song is so poignant and poetic that it remains a standard metaphor for all great works that mark the end of an artist's career.

The logo itself is derived from a drawing by the pre-Raphaelite painter/sculptor William Rimmer, who was born in Liverpool, England in 1816. "Evening, or The Fall of Day" is a quintessential pre-Raphaelite image, combining classical elements (the homage to human form is typically Greco-Roman as is the allusion to the myth of Daedelus and Icarus with a softer Victorian lyricism.
Robert Plant
Once upon a time, the British Midlands (the flat plane in the middle of the island) was the seat of industry in the UK. Coal, iron, clay and limestone were abundant up through the mid-19th century, but once those natural resources had been depleted, industry shifted from mining to manufacturing. Much of the factories' output was metal goods made from raw materials obtained elsewhere. By the latter half of the 20th century, the collapse of heavy industry in the region spurred yet another shift in the economy, and the Midlands became famous for producing a whole new kind of "metal."

During the '60s and '70s, the deteriorating industrial centers of Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool and Sheffield became fertile ground for a bevy of bands that would help shape the face of rock: Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, the Beatles, Joy Division and Def Leppard were just a few of the seminal bands that hailed from the region.

And half of Led Zeppelin.

Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones were established session players by the time they discovered Robert Plant, who hailed from Wolverhampton in the Black Country hills (so called because of the black industrial smoke that once filled the landscape). The band was complete when Plant's friend, John Bonham signed on as drummer.

Led Zeppelin went on to become one of the biggest bands in rock history. In 1970, the group was voted Top Group by readers of the UK music weekly, Melody Maker (which merged with NME in 2001) after years of Beatles domination. And as when the Beatles emerged on the scene, Zeppelin came along at just the right time. The Fab Four had recently broken up and the Rolling Stones were in tax exile.

After a decade producing some of the most influential, popular music in rock, the band came to an end in September of 1980 when Bonham died of alcohol poisoning. Rather than continue on with a replacement drummer, Led Zeppelin elected to disband.

Plant's first solo album, Pictures At 11 was released in 1982, and over the next few years he released two more albums (1983's The Principle of Moments and Shaken'n'Stirred two years later) that reflected a diversity of styles. Pictures was unmistakably Zeppelin-esque while Shaken was colored by the new wave stylings that were popular at the time.

After a three-year hiatus, Plant returned with Now and Zen which was seasoned with samples from Zeppelin. After two more albums that found Plant's solo explorations taking increasingly interesting aesthetic turns, he and Page reunited for No Quarter - a televised concert and CD that featured innovative new arrangements of Zep classics like "Kashmir" and "Gallows Pole" highlighted by orchestral sections (courtesy of the London Metropolitan Orchestra) and sparked with a world music flare courtesy of Moroccan and Egyptian musicians who came armed with traditional Middle Eastern instruments.

Throughout their musical association, Plant and Jones had often been at odds, and, having been barred from the No Quarter project, Jones continued to pursue his successful solo career (producing an eclectic range of artists - from Heart to Butthole Surfers - and recording his own music as well as collaborating with avant-garde musician/playwright/writer/performance artist Diamanda Galas.

Plant and Page collaborated once more for 1998's Walking Into Clarkesdale), but revisiting the roots of Zeppelin was less vibrant a trip than fans and critics expected and the album did not make a tremendous impact with either set. But Plant's creative energy was not to be quelled and three years later he returned with a new album that combined his love of world music with dreamy originals and gems ("heirlooms" as he described them in a Los Angeles radio interview) by
Bukka White, Robert Johnson, Tim Buckley and Bob Dylan.
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