The Day Led Zeppelin Hit The Top

(Gibson) On this day in 1970, Led Zeppelin scored their first U.K. #1 album with Led Zeppelin II. Featuring the U.S. single "Whole Lotta Love," it stayed on the chart for 138 weeks on its way to selling over 6 million copies in the U.S. Gibson takes a look back: Led Zeppelin were busy bees during the first part of 1969. Touring heavily in support of their debut album, Led Zeppelin, the band criss-crossed Europe four times and the United States three times during an eight month period between January and August. In between performing and partying and laying the foundation for becoming this biggest rock band on the planet, they also found time to conceive and record what would eventually become their critically-acclaimed and wildly successful sophomore effort, Led Zeppelin II.

Embolden by their debut recording and touring success, Led Zeppelin kept the ball rolling with Led Zeppelin II by not only furthering the lyrical themes introduced in its predecessor, but also by displaying a growing and evolving musical palette, replete with blues-based monster riffage coupled with a healthy dollop of ethereal folk. The bulk of the album's recording took place between concerts, with each song recorded, mixed and produced separately from the others, and in different studios in the U.S., U.K. and Canada.

According to bassist John Paul Jones, this creative spontaneity only added to the overall flavor, and eventual success, of the album. "We were touring a lot," Jones said. "Jimmy [Page's] riffs were coming fast and furious. A lot of them came from on-stage, especially during the long improvised section of 'Dazed and Confused.' We'd remember the good stuff and dart into a studio along the way." more on this story

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