Robert Plant: Led Zeppelin is Not Heavy Metal

Scott K Fish

Silver Member
Robert Plant: Led Zeppelin is Not Heavy Metal

SKF NOTE: Well that settles that.

J.D. Considine: You're undoubtedly aware that Led Zeppelin is seen by many as the godparents of heavy metal -- do you think that what you do, or did then, could accurately be called "heavy metal"?

Robert Plant: No. Take the first album -- Babe I'm Gonna Leave You, Your Time is Gonna Come, How Many More Times -- that was not heavy metal. There was nothing heavy about that at all. You listen to How Many More Times, which is really borrowed from the blues, anyway. The kind of dynamics in the middle of that, or Jimmy [Page] using the wah-wah pedal on some of the parts, or Bonzo aping him with the cymbals, or stuff like that -- it was neat. Bonzo was twenty years old when he did that and it was neat. And it wasn't an insult to people's integrity and sophistication. It was ethereal in places. Dazed And Confused too. The musicianship was such that people could go off on tangents and create passages that were compelling. They were skull-crashing in a way. But it wasn't through sheer, brute volume. It was the way it was played. It's a distinct difference.

Click Here to Listen to Dazed and Confused

Source: Robert Plant: Life in a Lighter Led Zeppelin, by J.D. Considine, Musician December 1983

Scott K Fish Blog: Life Beyond the Cymbals
 

Anon La Ply

Renegade
Communication Breakdown, Heartbreaker, Whole Lotta Love, Immigrant Song and Black Dog were examples of early heavy metal but even back in the day Zep were thought of as hard rock and IMO Sabs were the first true metal band.
 

bud7h4

Silver Member
I've never thought so, I'm glad Plant doesn't either. They were very heavy nonetheless, no doubt. A lot of their music is absolutely crushing.
I'd say Black Sabbath were the "godparents" of metal, though they too were often bluesy.

In my opinion the first real heavy metal band was Judas Priest, and the first pure metal release was their British Steel album.

I would never expect anyone in Zeppelin to claim they were heavy metal, though, as it would box them into a particular genre, when they are in many ways in their own class.
 

GeoB

Gold Member
We used to call it Rock, or Rock Music. And this was back when Zep was starting off and throughout their active years. Rock Concert... Rock stations... it was Rock.

When did the term Hard Rock begin?

Metal was 80's; right? Or perhaps late 70's.

Deep Purple... Hard Rock? Montrose... Hard Rock?

Vincent McAllister (May 8, 1955 – May 26, 2006) was with Pentagram back in the early 70's and back then they were considered Heavy Rock, I think Early Ozzy was too. At least that's what Vincent and his band called themselves. I had a couple of guitars that Vincent would borrow for different sounds on stuff they were putting together. It was pretty Heavy. Jennings, who left the band because he wasn't really into Heavy Rock ended up with Chapin Carpenter for years, he would say the same thing.
 
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bud7h4

Silver Member
Vincent McAllister (May 8, 1955 – May 26, 2006) was with Pentagram back in the early 70's and back then they were considered Heavy Rock, I think Early Ozzy was too.
Ozzy was undeniably heavy metal right out of the gate, with those two Randy Rhodes albums.
 

opentune

Platinum Member
Ya I never got this label for Zep. I mean there is acoustic guitar allover Led Zep I.
Blue Cheer, Deep Purple or Sabbath are some of the first heavy metal.
 

Icetech

Gold Member
I have never heard anyone call zeppelin metal.. and sabbath are easily the godfathers of metal.. (although i would also argue for blue cheers summertime blues which was recorded in 67 but released in 68...)
 
G

Ghostnote

Guest
+2. Sabbath hands down. Zeppelin were heavy at times, but they are too bluesy to be metal.
 

Frank

Gold Member
The interviewer's question/statement is odd.

I don't know anyone on the planet who would view LZ as the godfathers of heavy metal.
 

mikel

Platinum Member
I would go for the Sabs as the first true heavy Metal band. Not claiming this as absolute truth but I believe Rick Wakeman coined the phrase about ELP's album Tarkus when he said it was "Heavy and metallic"
 

Daisy

Senior Member
Back in the day, here in the UK anyway, most Saturday night discos played chart pop,Tamla Motown, and so on. My first date with my husband, in early 1977, was at the regular Sunday night "heavy metal night" at a local disco. They played all the stuff that we mostly now call classic rock, including Stones, Deep Purple, Sabbath, Status Quo and (of course) Led Zeppelin. You just didn't hear that stuff at ordinary discos, or on BBC Radio One (which was the "yoof" music channel). At "heavy metal night" everyone wore denim and were head banging and playing air guitars, whereas at the normal discos people tended to dress up, the girls wore pretty frocks and danced around their handbags.

There just wasn't as much music around, and none of the sub-sub-sub-genres that we have now. But although Led Zep was heavy metal to me then, I wouldn't regard it as such now.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
I always considered Zep, Purple and Sabbath to be the epitome of hard rock.

In my mind metal started in the 80's. I mean no doubt the early metal guys were influenced by those bands, but I would not term Zep, Purple and Sabbath metal. Judas Priest, Metallica, Iron Maiden, Multideath I mean Megadeath...in my mind are the first true metal guys. Just an opinion
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
I don't think anyone has ever considered Led Zepplelin heavy metal per se, just a band that inspired heavy metal.
 

Anon La Ply

Renegade
I saw an interview with Ian Anderson after the band had won some award for best heavy metal band and he was probably even more horrified than Robert Plant. He pointed out that some actual metal bands would rightly not be impressed with Tull winning the award.

Meanwhile, I just thought you lads might enjoy this track by famed metal artist, Pat Metheney (give it a minute or two to wind up ;) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vYTj-B4_0jk
 

paradiddle pete

Platinum Member
Saying the words doesn't make them metal.. if it did then sammy hagar would also be metal. and hes barely rock...
I'm not saying that saying the words makes you a Metal Band merely suggesting that as i recall the first mention of the term "Heavy Metal" came from that Steppenwolf song. Born to be Wild. i believe it refers to Motorbikes not Bands. In 1968 probably Hard Rock was the label used but it was getting heavier and a tad more metallic by the day. If someone knows the actual day it changed from Hard to Heavy please enlighten me.
 
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I saw an interview with Ian Anderson after the band had won some award for best heavy metal band and he was probably even more horrified than Robert Plant. He pointed out that some actual metal bands would rightly not be impressed with Tull winning the award.

Meanwhile, I just thought you lads might enjoy this track by famed metal artist, Pat Metheney (give it a minute or two to wind up ;) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vYTj-B4_0jk
I remember Ian Anderson laughing and saying that a flute is a 'heavy, metal' instrument. The best part of the whole affair is how angry it made Lars, he still rants about it to this day.
 
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