And So It Began... Led Zeppelin

Today in 1969, Led Zeppelin's debut self-titled album was released and it changed the course of Rock'n'Roll

First released on 12 January 1969 in the United States and on 31 March 1969 in the United Kingdom by Atlantic Records, Led Zeppelin's debut self-titled album was recorded in October 1968 at Olympic Studios in London, and established their fusion style of both blues and rock music.

Although the album was not critically well-received when first released, it was commercially successful, and critics have since come to view it in a more favourable light. In 2003, Led Zeppelin was ranked at number 29 on Rolling Stone's list of “The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time”, and kept that position after the list was updated in 2012. In 2004, the album was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.

The Led Zeppelin Project summed it up perfectly;

It is always difficult to truly put your finger on the cultural significance of a band but Led Zeppelin certainly is the leader of the shift from the psychedelic era of the 1960’s to the sexually driven rock music that was based on masculinity and a more centralized movement. This shift has led to the rock ‘n roll feel we have today. They were many things but everything they did was artistic. This shift occurred along with the change in United States history. The counterculture movement had peaked and change was coming. During Led Zeppelin’s peak, the troops were withdrawn from Vietnam, the Cold War warmed up as the US and Russia slowed down weapons development, and Watergate, Stagflation, and the oil crisis occurred. The music of Led Zeppelin represented a time period of change and activity. The protesting and complaining was done and people wanted action…and hard rock.

The album's cover image refers to the origin of the band's name itself: When Page, Beck and The Who's Keith Moon and John Entwistle were discussing the idea of forming a group, Moon joked, "It would probably go over like a lead balloon", and Entwistle allegedly replied, "a lead zeppelin!"