Share your views on hot topics

Led Zeppelin – the greatest band ever?

December 10, 2007

Led ZeppelinAbout 20,000 fans crammed into London’s O2 Arena on Monday as rock giants Led Zeppelin took to the stage together for the first time in years, blasting their way through a two-hour set that left fans baying for more.

The rockers had sparked a ticket-buying frenzy when they announced in September that they were reuniting for the one-off gig, having rarely performed together since their split in 1980.  A million fans registered for a chance to win a ticket and one man forked out 83,000 pounds for a pair of tickets in a BBC auction for “Children in Need”.

It is the latest sign of their enduring popularity. They have sold 300 million albums and penned classic songs such as “Stairway to Heaven” and “Whole Lotta Love”.

Can we say they are the greatest band in the world ever?

Maybe you were more excited by the return of those other pop legends, the Spice Girls? Tell us who you think is the best ever.


Who the hell are Led Zeppelin.

Posted by rimi | Report as abusive

Re: The Beatles are by far the greatest band ever. Led Zeppelin is by far the second greatest ever. The Beatles stand alone as the best and Led Zeppelin stands alone as second best. All other bands are far behind.

Young people, at least in the U.S., aren’t picking up on the Beatles. Many don’t know who they are. Zep gets much, much more play here. The Beatles music will die with the generation. Maybe it’s different in the UK.

Posted by Kristin | Report as abusive

wow im sorry all you zepplin fans but the # 1 spot has to go to the Beatles they have set so many un touched records to this date , amazing lyrics , and Great instrumental and vocals.
my favorite band ! and the most reconizebale band

I love the Beatles :)

Posted by Jenn | Report as abusive

RE: Young people, at least in the U.S., aren’t picking up on the Beatles. Many don’t know who they are. Zep gets much, much more play here. The Beatles music will die with the generation. Maybe it’s different in the UK.

It doesnt matter what age , wow more air time doesnt make them better the beatles are 100 times greater then zepplin. im sure the beatles will be around a lot longer then led zepplin.

Posted by Jenn | Report as abusive

RE: It doesnt matter what age , wow more air time doesnt make them better the beatles are 100 times greater then zepplin. im sure the beatles will be around a lot longer then led zepplin.

I never said more air time made them better (although I like Zep more). I said that the Beatles had faded here and people under the age of 45 don’t listen to them, and hardly know them. They’re proving to not have as much staying power here as Led Zep, and will fade into memory. You don’t hear Beatles music much here.

Posted by Kristin | Report as abusive

Nobody that I know under age 45/50 goes gaga for the Beatles here. They’re not listened to much, not mentioned.

Posted by Kristin | Report as abusive

surely everyone is missing the point. from a purely contemporary view, the spice girls must be the greatest band.

Posted by john | Report as abusive

I grew up listening to Zeppelin, the Stones and the Beatles. All three I’m sure make the list of the greatest rock and roll bands ever. If I had to choose one . I would choose Zeppelin. I always have to turn the volume to 10.

Posted by Dupty | Report as abusive

When I think of better it does mean to me the more popular. Thinking about sucess, The Beatles might easily claim the first place. However, if you want to sit down for a whole afternoon to listen to music, more specifically rock and roll, definetly Led Zeppelin goes far beyond in any concious (or uncouncious) and rational mind than any other band of the 20th century. And I have never been to any of their concerts, and born after they break up.
Led Zeppelin for the greates band of all times!

Posted by Aron | Report as abusive

I have always totally Led Zeppelin they are one of the worst bands I have ever heard, they along with Queen, and Pink Floyd are the worst bands ever and the only ones I have to get up off of my chair even if I’m very tired and turn off immediately before I shoot the radio! It;s really mind boggling to me how anybody can think Led Zeppelin(and Queen) are even remotely good much less great!!!!

The Who,The Rolling Stones,Jimi Hendrix,are all a million times better,and The Beatles are a *ZILLION* times better!!!!! H*ll even Van Halen sounds much better and I’m not even much of a fan of theirs! You are *SO* wrong about The Beatles,they were extremely creative,innovative,prolific singer song writers and all very good musicians! John Lennon,Paul McCartney and George Harrison wrote so much great diverse critically acclaimed popular songs and albums in such a remarkable short period of time,and nobody else did what they did in such a short period! Their songs had beautiful melodies and harmonies,great singing and voices from John and Paul,and very good musicianship! They never wrote the noisy screaming screaching crap Led Zeppelin did! Eric Clapton says in an online interview,Eric Clapton In His Own Words,that John Lennon was a pretty good guitar player and he would know since he played live in concert with JOhn as a member of his Plastic Ono Band in 1969. And Eric Clapton and George Harrison were very good friends and they respected and admired each others guitar playing,and George even played guitar on Cream’s song Badge.

On an excellent web site called,The Evolution Of Rock Bass Playing By Dennis Alstrand Stanley Clarke,Will Lee,Sting,Billy Sheehan,George Martin,and John Lennon are all quoted saying what a great,melodic influential bass player Paul McCartney has always been. And the 1992 Rolling Stone Album Guide calls Paul a remarkable bass player,and rightfully calls John & Paul the greatest song writers in rock history!

They are the # 1 selling artists on,and The Recording Industry Association Of America lists them as selling more albums than any other artist,and Bilboard lists them as having more # 1 songs and albums than any other artists!Many radio stations around the country still have 2 hour Breakfast With The Beatles shows on every weekend,and there are many teenage and college guys,(and girls) on Rate Your Music,Beatles fan sites,and on Last FM,where The Beatles fan community has over 5,000 members,more guys and average is 22!

Posted by fanofthefab4 | Report as abusive

Also, The Beatles Anthology CD’s went to # 1 around the world soon after they came out 25 years after The Beatles broke up,and a rock DJ said 40% of the people buying them were teenagers. Then when The Beatles 1 CD came out 30 years after they broke up,it also went to # 1 around the world soon after it came out and half the buyers were also teenagers! The Beatles are the # 1 listened to music artists out of every music artist past -present on Last FM. this month and they also were in November 2006,and June/July 2007!

The Beatles were mostly a *rock* group not a “pop” group,The Beach Boys were more of a pop group,because most of their songs were beach surfing music,The Beatles had a much harder electric guitar sound than them even in their early days and I have never heard The Beach Boys played on any classic rock stations only oldies stations but many classic rock stations still play The Beatles.

The Beatles wrote some songs that were pretty rocking especially for 1964,and 1965,John’s great You Can’t Do That from A Hard Day’s Night where he plays lead guitar,Paul’s great blues rocker She’s A Woman from late 1964,his loud screaming rocker I’m Down from early 1965,which they performed even louder and harder at the August 1965 Shea Stadium concert,etc,and Paul’s Helter Skelter on The great 1968 White Album,was as many have said the first true heavy metal song,and they did other great hard rock songs on The White album,and some on Abbey Road including John’s great I Want You She’s So Heavy which many have also said is one of the first heavy metal songs!

As for The Beatles in concert, they really soundded pretty good especially considering that they only had 100 watt amplifiers,no feedback monitors so they couldn’t even hear themselves play and sing,but they managed to play in tune and in sync anyway,and at Shea Stadium they were plugged into the PA system that they announce baseball games with!In the rrof top concert in The Let It Be Film,they sound great live because by then the sound systems had improved somewhat(though not nearly as good as the 1970′s,1980′s,1990;s and especially today)and they had changed and people had changed so there were no screaming crowds.

I met 3 people who saw The Beatles in concert,2 were teachers and he and she saw them in 1966 and they told me they were great,and my cousin who saw them in 1964 at The Baltimore Coliseum and she too told me they were great! Former Kiss guitarist and gammy winning producer Bob Kulick who made the heavy metal Beatles tribute album last year called,Butchering The Beatles, says in an online interview,Seeing The Beatles at Shea Stadium in 1966 only hearing pieces of songs,because of the screaming,but I recall Baby’s In Black and Paperback Writer as two I could make out and they sounded amazing!

The Beatles are also the most covered music artists ever,with everyone from Motown,classical,jazz,and heavy metal music recording their great diverse music! On Acclaimed which compiles all the rock music reviews from many different music critics from decades,The Beatles are rightfully # 1 Led Zeppelin is at a puzzling too high # 5. The Beatles are also # 1 Best Rock Band on Rankopedia,# 1 Most Innovative Rock Band,John & Paul are # 1 Greatest Rock Song Writers,they are both also on the best rock singers list.and Paul McCartney is # 2 Best Rock Bass Player John Paul Jones is # 2 and on Digitaldreamdoor, where many musicians post,The Beatles are # 1 Greatest Rock Artists,John & Paul are # 1 Greatest Rock Song Writers & Paul McCartney is # 8 out of 100 Greatest Rock Bass players, John Paul Jones is # 21!

Posted by fanofthefab4 | Report as abusive

I just noticed I made some typing mistakes,where is an edit button when you need one!

Posted by fanofthefab4 | Report as abusive

I meant John Paul Jones is # 6 Best Rock Bass Player on Rankopedia.

Posted by fanofthefab4 | Report as abusive

Trust me: the Beatles will fade with the Baby Boomers. Their music is too quaint.

Posted by Kristin | Report as abusive

I’m 31, and I say
The Beatles are #1
Led Zeppelin is #2 and
Pink Floyd is #3.

Posted by Rob | Report as abusive

the big three all equal

led zeppelin the who pink floyd

the stones suck

Posted by adam | Report as abusive

Yes, absolutely.

No other band were as consistently awesome both in the studio and live in concert. Led Zeppelin were unique in that respect and THAT is why they were the ‘greatest band of all time’.

The Beatles?? Sorry, up there with their studio stuff of course but live they were certainly not legendary. I mean can you imagine Lennon, McCartney, Starr and Harrison lasting more than 2 minutes on stage with Page, Plant, Jones and Bonham? It would be ridiculously a mismatch. Can you imagine the Beatles having to follow Led Zeppelin on stage?? Zeppelin could have followed the Beatles no problem…..then blow everybody away.

As Robert Plant once claimed back in the early 1970s…..”there’s only one place a band can function, and that’s on the bloody stage”.

So the Beatles….for all their fame, popularity and genius in the studio can NEVER be considered a greater band than Zeppelin because they only excelled in the studio aspect of being a legendary band. Zeppelin managed it in the studio and on stage.

End of argument folks.

Posted by John Cornell | Report as abusive

RE:It doesnt matter what age , wow more air time doesnt make them better the beatles are 100 times greater then zepplin. im sure the beatles will be around a lot longer then led zepplin.

The Beatles 100 times greater than Led Zeppelin? Pure nonsense.

The Beatles were media whores. Led Zeppelin sold their 300 million records( which were largely albums because they rarely dabbled in the crass pop singles charts, and never did in the U.K)due to being simply fantasic works and not shoved down everyone’s throats due to excessive airplay.

And you are sure that the Beatles will be around a lot longer than Led Zeppelin? Wow, what do you base that rubbish on? The Beatles just have 6 or so years head start. Both bands will be around forever.

25 million fans trying to grab tickets for their comeback gig PROVE that Zeppelin haven’t faded at all.

You are out of line and talking rubbish.

Posted by John Cornell | Report as abusive

Zeppelin is definitely in the top 5 greatest bands of all time, but to say “better than The Beatles”….. No Way. To Say The Beatles were “Cute, Clever, Poppy Band” is absolutely demeaning. Listen to Rubber Soul and after and if you still think that, you don’t know much (If anything at all) about music. Look at SGT Peppers-The first album in rock that incorporated an orchestra or The White Album-The first double disc (Hell, Speakerboxxx/The Love Below and other great double discs may not have come out had it not been for The White Album). The Beatles did it FIRST. They had more number 1 songs and sold more albums than Zeppelin (Worldwide). Also, The Beatles are more talented as individuals (Except for maybe Ringo, even though he is a great drummer when it comes to Beatles music). Look at John Lennon’s solo career. Look at how talented Paul McCartney is-can play just about every instrument with perfection. George Harrison was a great guitarist especially with his Indian style guitar playing skills. Led Zeppelin IV was and is one of the greatest albums of all time, but does not compare to SGT Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band or The White Album and possibly Abbey Road. The bottom line is The Beatles did it FIRST and had a bigger influence on music than ANYONE. Now Thats A FACT.

Posted by Hawkins | Report as abusive

# Kristin says:
December 13th, 2007 at 5:40 pm GMT

“Nobody that I know under age 45/50 goes gaga for the Beatles here. They’re not listened to much, not mentioned.”

I’m 24 years old and I own every Beatles album and 12 DVD’s. I Go GAGA for The Beatles and know a ton of people my age that do as well. They sang about love and peace. They made/make people happy. Most songs are Very optimistic. They never sang about wanting to do something bad or said anything nasty or mean to hurt anyone. Yes, the first 3 or 4 albums were “poppy”, but the last 6 or 7 were pure rock (some classical if you call piano classical). And I don’t see Jimmy Page or Robert Plant coming out with any GREAT solo albums like Lennon and McCartney did. Zeppelin is Great, just not as great as THE BEATLES.

Posted by Hawkins | Report as abusive

Once again, I will quote someone else and prove them wrong… In capital letters is where they make the uneducated comment… Remember, I never bash Zeppelin or any other band… I just state facts. Obviously the people who discredit The Beatles have not examined each individual talent of The Beatles on The White Album or SGT Peppers.

# Wes says:
December 10th, 2007 at 6:30 pm GMT

“As influential and important as the Beatles were to rock n roll, zeppelin took it to a whole new level when they hit the scene. The Beatles were good but their music for the MOST PART WERE 2.) SIMPLE AND 1.) POPPY. It wasn’t until the later years when they started getting creative and more complex with their music. Zeppelin was a force from the get go and were LIGHT YEARS AHEAD OF THE BEATLES in regards to musicianship, creativeness and 3.) PURE TALENT both 4.)LYRICALLY AND MUSICALLY

1.) After the album HELP, The Beatles were not “poppy”.

2.)Beatles music “simple”…I don’t think so…unless you say songs like “A day in the life”, “I am the Walrus”, “Hey Jude”, Let it Be”, “Across the Universe”, “Here Comes The Sun”, “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”, “Eleanor Rigby”, and “Strawberry Fields Forever” are simple.

3.)Paul McCartney is more talented than any member of Zeppelin… lyrically and musically…. He can pick up any instrument and run with it… Can Plant or Page?

4.) The Greatest songwriters/lyricists are Lennon/McCartney…. That is a fact…. Any credited writer or website will tell you that.

Again, not bashing Zeppelin…. I just cant fathom how anyone cant see how talented The Beatles were… Everyone has different opinions on who the best band is/was, but come on…. Give The Beatles the credit they deserve…. I seriously doubt that Zeppelin would have even made it big had The Beatles not paved the way…. When did the Rock N Roll we know today begin? I’ll tell you….. When The Beatles were halfway through their career.

Posted by Hawkins | Report as abusive

Grandiose cock rock! Zeppelin is everything in excess.
I don’t know the greatest band, but Zeppelin are the grandest.
Absolutely bombastic!

Posted by Chetan | Report as abusive

Hawkins says:

“”3.)Paul McCartney is more talented than any member of Zeppelin… lyrically and musically…. He can pick up any instrument and run with it… Can Plant or Page?”"

Didn’t need to. John Paul Jones did that. John Paul Jones was the multi talented Zeppelin member and could play just about anything Paul McCartney could. Don’t forget, even before he joined Zeppelin, John Paul Jones was musical arranger for acts like Dusty Springfield and Donovan.

Even today, John Paul Jones is highly in demand as a producer.

“”4.) The Greatest songwriters/lyricists are Lennon/McCartney…. That is a fact…. Any credited writer or website will tell you that.”"

And Led Zeppelin were the greatest live band of all time. That is a fact. Any credited writer or website will tell you that. Their DVD PROVES it.

Bottom line is this…………..did Led Zeppelin excel in the studio as well as live on stage? Yes.

Did the Beatles excel live on stage as well as in the studio? No.

Did the Beatles have every band member at or amongst the very top in their field? Yes. Did the Beatles? No.

Posted by John Cornell | Report as abusive

Led Zeppelin is/was and will always be, the greatest rock n roll band ever. The Beatles were great but Zeppelin surppased them by a very wide margin. Every rock n roll band today has a Zeppelin influence, not a Beatles influence. That’s the facts!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


It’s obvious.

Jack Knight, singer/songwriter, from Pittsburgh, has emerged as the find of 2007. riter


Zeppelin vs. Beatles, eh? Not even comparable. Two completely different eras, and I am old enough to have lived completely through both of them. So, listen up, little children.

The Beatles never had the advantages of the technologically advanced live performance equipment that Zeppelin had from the very start. Saying the Beatles couldn’t hack it live is BS. Place Zeppelin live in Shea stadium in the early ’60 and see how poorly they would sound; it would’ve been awful.

By the same token, consider the few times The Beatles had anywhere near the equipment available to Zeppelin – probably the live BBC sessions – they were quite formidable …nearly perfect. Further, they had few tricks at their disposal – it was straight instruments and amps …no tape loops as Zeppelin used live. You heard me right, children, they used tape loops – a lot.

Both were great rock bands, but only one had been a rock and roll band. Zeppelin was never a “rock and roll” band.

[Little children, you will have to go find a "boomer" and ask them what "rock and roll" was; there certainly isn't any these days unless you happen to wander into a venue where some "boomers" are playing music. To help you out a little, that sound you hear if you do wander into such a venue is known as "the blues," which of course you reject (since it is "boomer" music).]

By the time Zeppelin came onto the scene, The Beatles were long time history. There really isn’t any overlap.

Posted by Terry | Report as abusive

yeah they are the greatest band ever,duh. u2??? are you kidding,beatles are in my top 5 but led zeppelin came up with their own use of insturments they were different,watch the top bands countdown and i promise led zeppelin will be #1 every single time. who ever said sex pistols needs to stop talking about music. sex pistols are horriable!!!!!!!!!

Posted by Jacob | Report as abusive

As far as I am concerned, Led Zeppelin was the best band ever. Beatles are very good, but I hardly consider them a band. Why? They are too sing-song to create true riffs and songs that people think off when you say best band ever.

Beatles? Incredible GROUP. Led Zeppelin? Easily the BEST band ever.

Posted by Alec | Report as abusive

Because they chose to rather end their streak of perfection instead of taking up a new drummer and risk changing their sound, I’d have to say that they are the greatest band to this date. They had a short, but brilliant go at the music industry and never had time to go wrong. It is this that makes them the hero’s all other bands uphold and aspire to become.

Posted by Luke | Report as abusive

The Beatles are and will always be considered the greatest band of all time

The fact that Zeppelin were together far longer than the Beatles and still couldnt match there success is one reason, But the main point is who is the most infleuntial of the two?? Well theres no match there, Artists today would look to The Beatles before Zeppelin, Apart from the heavy bands such as Aerosmith or Motley Crue for example. But the Beatles took rock music and changed it forever, Tell me a band who can go from Please Please Me to Tomorrow Never Knows and Sgt Pepper in just 4 years?? They were quite simply magic!

But why am I arguing, They are both British and The two greatest bands there as ever been, Its just I prefer the Beatles!


Posted by JL4080 | Report as abusive

The Beatles have the edge for 2 reasons, first they were earlier and did much more ground breaking stuff than Zep. Second Zep “borrowed” a lot of their big hits. I realize that everyone borrows some, but they pretty much took entire melodies of very old blues songs and created amazing stuff with them. Gotta give it to Paul and John (and George) for coming up with quite a catalog.

Posted by BigBie | Report as abusive

Led Zeppelin is far superior to the suckass beatles. The beatles couldnt even play their instruments. They wrote cute POP songs. Led Zeppelin had greater, more complex compositions. Page was superior…Plant was superior…Bonham was superior to that little rat, ringo…..The production was better, they sold more concert tickets…There is No comparisons…The beatles were BORING!!

Posted by Mickey369 | Report as abusive

Another way to look at this debate, and it’s been hinted about, is to treat the groups in succession. It’s a little like saying Beethoven was better than Mozart, when he mostly took the state of the art to the next higher level improving on the foundation provided by Bach, Vivaldi, Handel, Haydn, and yes, Mozart. I love Beethoven, but some Tchaikovsky and Dvorak really kicks ass over our dear Ludwig. Enough with the analogy.

The Beatles provided the transition to singer/songwriter-based bands (like Dylan had as a soloist). They were the best and the most popular at their craft, which was and still is a difficult accomplishment. They innovated endlessly and their progression is obvious. They had to become a “studio” band because they simply could not sustain the demands of touring at a time when facilities, equipment, and security where inadequate.

By contrast, Zep was an album machine between 69 and 75. After that, they dried up creatively (yes, Presence is only marginal), mostly due to Page’s drug issues. But if you shuffle their albums among those years, I challenge the uninitiated to put them in the correct order. Yes, they got more original by III, and the use of the violin bow on his guitars by Page qualifies as innovation, but recreating many of their songs live from a three-player band could only come from tape loops or other repetition technology that The Beatles never needed nor had access to had they wanted to play their post-RS catalog live.

The Beatles have their place in history, and it is vaunted. They will forever be honored for their role in revolutionizing rock music. Led Zeppelin stood tall on The Beatles’ shoulders, and their success was duly earned and their artistry will be revered. In the final analysis though, they will be a footnote as an extension to The Beatles’ primary influence on the genre.

Posted by lango6 | Report as abusive

Post Your Comment

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see