When Led Zeppelin beat the Beatles for album # 1 in 1969


If you ever listen to Beatles’ studio outings and gossip Never mind sessions (January 1969), you could witness an interesting exchange between George Harrison and someone else in the studio. In the conversation, Harrison is asked if he wants to hear Jimmy Page’s new album.

“Jimmy Page,” replies Harrison. “Was he the one who was in The Yardbirds? After learning that, yes, it’s Jimmy Page, Harrison asks if lunch is already ready. Obviously, this Page album, which had recently appeared on the Beatles’ top cover, sparked little interest in Harrison.

But Harrison and other Fab Four members would soon learn about the Page group, which he had named Led Zeppelin (with the help of Keith Moon). In fact, at the end of 69, the Beatles watched the Zeppelin bring their group out of the top spot on the Billboard album charts.

Led Zeppelin quickly gained momentum with his first album 69

Led Zeppelin | Chris Walter / WireImage

While it would take a few more years before Led Zeppelin began to overshadow the Beatles’ box office milestones, Atlantic Records knew that the hard rock act had immense commercial appeal from the start. This became clear in Zep’s first recording contract, signed in 1968.

The pact, which gave Page and his band mates complete artistic control over their recordings, also gave Zep the biggest advance ever made by an unproven group. (It was the equivalent of $ 1.63 million in cash today.) And the deal immediately started paying dividends for Atlantic.

Led Zeppelin, the group’s explosive debut, hit record stores in January 69, just as Harrison and his comrades were moping around in Twickenham studios to film rehearsals for their next album. Ultimately, Zep’s eponymous record reached # 10 on the Billboard charts.

By the summer of 69, he had achieved gold status. On tour to support the album, Zep recorded his second album, which took things to the next level via “Whole Lotta Love”, “What Is and What should Never Be”, “Heartbreaker” and “Ramble On”. This record would force the problem on the cards with the Fab Four.

“Led Zeppelin II” pushed “Abbey Road” from n ° 1 in December “69

Led Zeppelin, 1969 Bath Festival (L-R): John Paul Jones, Robert Plant, John Bonham, Jimmy Page | Chris Walter / WireImage

While rock fans digest Led Zeppelin and got a load of live performances from the group KO, the demand for the group’s second album was intense. Hundreds of thousands of copies Led Zeppelin II had been sold when it was released on October 22, 1969.

Coincidentally, the latest Beatles studio album (Abbey Road) reached record stores a month earlier and, in November, was at the top of the US pop charts and stayed there until the third week of December. But by Christmas week 69 Led Zeppelin II took this first place from Abbey Road.

But Zep’s reign did not last long. For the first two weeks of 1970, Abbey Road resumed n ° 1 before alternating with Led Zeppelin II for the last three weeks of January. Then Zep had the whole month of February for him, making him a total of seven weeks at No. 1 since his release.

The Beatles’ releases were not officially finished, however. Never mind arrived in May 1970 and spent four weeks at No. 1 early in the summer. But Led Zeppelin III later landed in 1970 and carried the Zep to # 1 for a month, making it 10 weeks at the top of the American pop charts (three more than the Fab Four).

Once the blockbuster Led Zeppelin IV arrived in 1971, no one should wonder about the best-selling group on the scene. In retrospect, this late 69’s card battle looks like regime change. At that time, the largest group in the 1970s set aside the reigning force of the 1960s. Zep never looked back.

See also: The revolutionary recordings of Eric Clapton Jimmy Page Produced in 1965


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