The idealism of the blues was deep rooted in the nineteenth century cotton fields of the American landscape. Stories of hard times, infidelity and sexual conquest have been rewritten time and again over the same three chord changes and minor blues scales. Legendary blues artist Robert Johnson took nineteenth century blues patterns and developed the genre into a form that has been an inspiration for musicians from early jazz artists like John Coltrane to blues artists like Muddy Water. Johnson’s work continued to inspire rock bands like The Rolling Stones, Allman Brothers and Led Zeppelin.
Even the Ramones, utilized the same three chord changes of the blues. Nonetheless, it was the augmentation of the blues within the genres of metal music that distinguished artists from each other. Led Zeppelin and the Ramones have long been crowned as ground breaking bands that heavily influenced generations of aspiring rock musicians. Both bands simply reinterpreted the blues with authentic original styles that furiously gained mass popularity.
Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love,” was a magnificent rendering of the blues. It was Zeppelin’s cornerstone moment because it pointed the band into the musical direction that would mold their sound for the majority of the band’s career. All four band members defined their individual sound and talents within the song. That individuality taken as a collective whole transpired into a sound that was unique and enormously appealing to a music loving culture. The release of “Whole Lotta Love,” stands as possibly the most important moment in the history of Led Zeppelin.
For an in-depth look at how the blues inspired and defined the development of rock and roll which eventually led to the Classic Rock period, check out our massive twenty five thousand word article on The Story of Classic Rock.