The Pop Culture Information Society...

These are the messages that have been posted on inthe00s over the past few years.

Check out the messageboard archive index for a complete list of topic areas.

This archive is periodically refreshed with the latest messages from the current messageboard.

Check for new replies or respond here...

Subject: What year was Zeppelin's peak of popularity?

Written By: Ryan112390 on 08/20/14 at 11:53 am

Led Zeppelin generally dominated the 1970s in general; They were basically, from all I've read, The Beatles of the '70s in terms of dominance, relevance and popularity. But year around would you say they hit their stride, their absolute peak in popularity and relevance, as a leading force in Rock N' Roll?

I would say 1975 or 1976, myself. Physical Graffiti being their artistic and commercial height, and the Song Remains The Same film coming out in late '76 as a testament to just how big they were at the time. But after '76 they declined in popularity as soft rock and other hard rock bands like Aerosmith came into their own, and then Disco and Punk came and knocked down or changed around many of the established rock bands.

Subject: Re: What year was Zeppelin's peak of popularity?

Written By: Philip Eno on 08/21/14 at 12:02 pm

From what I gather, Led Zeppelin has never had a peak of popularity, interest in the band has been constant.

Subject: Re: What year was Zeppelin's peak of popularity?

Written By: Howard on 08/21/14 at 1:10 pm

I would say between 1975-1980.

Subject: Re: What year was Zeppelin's peak of popularity?

Written By: Mitch Kramer on 11/18/14 at 4:57 pm

This turns out to be a surprisingly difficult question to answer objectively (like through record sales and similar statistics).  The online RIAA database only goes back to 1973 whereas Led Zeppelin released their first album in the 60s.  (Also, access to that database costs $40 -- no thanks!)

Here's an article I found that explains the difficulty in measuring these things:

The truth is, aside from the very trackable sales happening in the modern age through outlets like iTunes, no one actually knows exactly how many copies of a particular album or single have sold. Let me repeat that: NO ONE ACTUALLY KNOWS exactly how many copies of a particular album or single have sold, not even the artists themselves.

Personally, I actually listened to them far more during the 80s and 90s than I ever did during the 70s.  When mainstream music started going downhill in the latter half of the 80s, I started listening to a lot of 60s & 70s music.  (It helped that one of my college roommates was a big Led Zeppelin fan.)  Violent Femmes, Husker Du, The Suburbs, R.E.M., The Smiths, Talking Heads, The Replacements mixed in with Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, Yes, The Who, Moody Blues, Steve Miller Band, The Supremes, Jefferson Airplane, The Kinks, Bob Dylan, Bob Marley, Elton John, The Police, Fleetwood Mac, The Rolling Stones, The Doors, Jethro Tull, Pink Floyd --- this was representative of my musical landscape from about 1984 to 1991.

I'm not even sure when I first heard Led Zeppelin.  My older sister didn't seem to be into them (she was big into Elton John during the mid-70s) and my parents tuned in to the station that played Sinatra, Glenn Miller and The Andrews Sisters.  Stairway to Heaven or other such song would sometimes come up on my sister's radio.  I think my first significant exposure to Led Zeppelin was probably after I was transferred from a public K-6 school to a private K-12 school in 1974/75.  Many of the older students seemed to listen to them in the late 70s.  Then around 1981 the administration banned boom boxes, so I became less attuned to what my fellow high school students were listening to.

But it was always something there in the background for nearly as long as I can remember.  I think Led Zeppelin is a semi-permanent fixture in pop culture, kind of like The Beatles or Dylan.

Subject: Re: What year was Zeppelin's peak of popularity?

Written By: 80sfan on 11/18/14 at 5:07 pm

Soundscan, which tracks actual album and single sales in the USA, didn't start until like February/March 1991.

But soundscan singles and albums certifications has been around since 1958.

Check for new replies or respond here...