Led Zeppelin, English pop music group formed in 1968 by guitarist Jimmy Page (1944–), singer Robert Plant (1948–), bassist John Paul Jones (1946–), and drummer John "Bonzo" Bonham (1948–80). Mingling elements of blues, folk, and rock in its performances and recordings, Led Zepplin emerged as one of the most important and successful rock groups of the late 1960s and 70s. Its thunderous beat, passionately raw style, and exaggeratedly bluesy guitar and vocal work made the group a vital part of the development of hard rock and heavy metal and a strong influence on later rock movements. The most famous of the nine albums originally released by the group was an untitled 1971 recording—often called "ZOSO" after the four runes on its cover—that included "Stairway to Heaven." Led Zeppelin disbanded after Bonham's death from alcohol. The group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995.
See C. Welch, Led Zeppelin: The Book (1985); D. Lewis, Led Zeppelin: A Celebration (1991); D. Lewis and S. Pallett, Led Zeppelin: The Concert File (1997); R. Godwin, ed., Led Zeppelin: The Press Reports (1998); R. Cole, Stairway to Heaven (1992, repr. 2002); P. Clifton and J. Massot, dir., The Song Remains the Same (documentary concert film, 1976); J. Page, dir., Led Zeppelin (documentary film, 2003).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.