Jimmy Page Reflects On ‘Led Zeppelin I’ 51 Years After the Album’s Release

Words by Riley Fitzgerald
Graphic by Press

On this day in 1969,” Jimmy Page writes via his official Instagram account, “Led Zeppelin I was released in the USA.”

Produced by me,” Page continues declining to mention the assistance of engineer Gly Johns,” and immediately following the historic run of concerts at San Francisco’s Fillmore.”

Page then offers a few personal thoughts on the alchemy which Led Zeppelin‘s debut album a breakthrough success.

The intervention of a new attitude for the airwaves,” he states, “this LP was to present four master musicians and the communion of music with no fear, no compromise and an audible statement that would be groundbreaking and radical.”

Very occasionally a long-playing record is released that defies immediate classification or description,” underground paper Oz wrote, echoing Page‘s present sentiment, when reviewing the album in March 1969, “simply because it’s so obviously a turning point in rock music that only time proves capable of shifting it into eventual perspective. (Dylan’s Bringing It All Back Home, The Byrds’ Younger Than Yesterday, Disraeli Gears, Hendrixs Are You Experienced? and Sgt. Pepper). This Led Zeppelin album is like that.”

Rolling Stone was not so enthusiastic.

In their willingness to waste their considerable talent on unworthy material the Zeppelin has produced an album which is sadly reminiscent of [Jeff Beck‘s] Truth,” the publication wrote. Like the Beck group they are also perfectly willing to make themselves a two- (or, more accurately, one-a-half) man show. It would seem that, if they’re to help fill the void created by the demise of Cream, they will have to find a producer (and editor) and some material worthy of their collective attention.”

British weekly Melody Maker was, in contrast, enthusiastic, proclaiming: “Jimmy Page triumphs! Led Zeppelin is a gas.

The album was an immediate success, peaking at #10 on the US Billboard Charts.

It has since been certified as an 8X platinum record having moved over 8 million units in the US alone.


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