When 1971 rolled to an end, it was pretty obvious that rock and roll had gone through a serious and permanent change.
Up until now, rock and roll musicians were more or less one big happy family, and so were the fans. Bands and songwriters exchanged ideas with one another and for the most part, the varied styles melded together. It was rock and roll against the world, and the fans stood united. By 1971, though, you could see distinct cracks in the mold.
I remember three distinct camps fomenting. In one corner, there were the ‘traditionalists’, who emulated The Allman Brothers, The Grateful Dead and bands that retained the sixties vibe. For myself, I started picking up on the rebellious new sound of glam, with bands like T. Rex, Alice Cooper, and eventually David Bowie. Led Zeppelin led a third troupe of fans who wanted their rock and roll hard, like Black Sabbath and Deep Purple. My friends and I would argue constantly about which branch was the best but in 1971, Led Zeppelin’s 4th album made a strong argument for the ‘heavy’ contingent, and it still does. These days, I try to straddle any line that divides music, but Led Zeppelin IV will always be there to remind me that permanent change is just around the corner.
Featured tracks include:
Rock and Roll
The Battle of Evermore
Stairway to Heaven
Misty Mountain Hop
Going to California
When the Levee Breaks
November 1971 - Billboard Charted #2
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