Led Zeppelin in the 80s?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by R79, May 23, 2020.

  1. R79

    R79 Active Member Thread Starter

    The discussion on where Elvis would have gone got me thinking about this topic. Zep still alive in the 80s could have a massive effect on where rock went in the 80s and even through the 90s.
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  2. biilyedwards

    biilyedwards Forum Resident

    I doubt they would be swayed into following hair metal. Maybe more synths, though.
  3. Rosskolnikov

    Rosskolnikov Designated Cloud Yeller

    If they'd kept going because Bonham didn't die then Page might have. Further, with that kind of touring, Plant just wouldn't have been able to sing. It might have ended at the right time although with everyone reasonably sober, I do think there were perhaps 1-2 more really good records that could have happened in the front of the 80s.

    Really, though, sobriety was the whole thing. Page didn't truly get there until about 20 years (!) later so it would have been a serious drag.
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  4. Purple Jim

    Purple Jim Forum Resident

    They would probably have continued to be as terrible as they were on In Through The Out Door.
  5. sons of nothing

    sons of nothing Forum Resident

    Gated drums...
  6. Possibly reinvigorated by the NWOBHM

    Some rockabilly influences ala the Honeydrippers

    Both Page and Plant did fall for 80s production in their projects, so we would have had some of that

    And in the end we still would have ended up in Walking into Clarksdale with some more muscular production thanks to JPJ.
  7. Terrapin Station

    Terrapin Station Forum Resident

    NYC Man
    I'd imagine they would have wound up doing something that was sort of a cross between Plant's solo material and Jimmy Page's Outrider, except with maybe with some synth funk elements added to the mix due to Jonesy (kinda like Carouselambra hinted at) and Bonham. Which would have been fine with me.
  8. Efus

    Efus Forum Resident

    Page being in bad shape, Plant/Jones would have been more influential as on In Through.
    I'd guess you would have something a lot like Plant's solo albums, a lot of texture and atmosphere like those records,
    less but occasional bursts of rock guitar fire from Page.
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  9. Terrapin Station

    Terrapin Station Forum Resident

    NYC Man
    Except In Through the Out Door is excellent.
  10. JoeDea

    JoeDea Forum Resident

    Page has always said that he and Bonham wanted the band go in a heavier direction than ITTOD (which I enjoy).
  11. Psychedelic Good Trip

    Psychedelic Good Trip Senior Member

    New York
    I could see Zep trying to Def Leppard. Trying to possibly make albums sound similar to On Through The Night, High n' Dry & Pyromania. I didn't say exactly but sound wise to catch a newer 80's generation of fans. IMHO
  12. misteranderson

    misteranderson Forum Resident

    englewood, nj
    I think it's highly likely Plant would have finally left after the 1980 US Tour.

    If Plant stayed, I doubt they would have chased a pop metal sound to stay on the charts. They never cared about the charts. They would have become a legacy act like The Stones after maybe one or two more albums that sold well, but maybe not quite as well as ITTOD.

    Honestly, Page and Peter Grant were so deep into cocaine that a 1980 US Tour may have been a disaster. Page was shaky on the '80 Euro Tour and he and Bonzo were too messed up to get more than a few songs into the Nuremberg show before cutting it short.
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  13. CrawdaddySim1

    CrawdaddySim1 Forum Resident

    Indianapolis, IN
    But how would that have squared with 80's trends? My guess is that they would have broken up anyway... then staged a massive comeback in the 90's. Led Zeppelin ending in 1980 was kind of perfect... of course, the way they ended was just senseless.
  14. x2zero

    x2zero Forum Resident

    Brooklyn USA
    They were in such steep decline after Physical Graffiti, I for one am glad we never got to see it.
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  15. tulumdedoo

    tulumdedoo Forum Resident

    Zep would have likely become yet another of the revolving-door legacy bands, shuttling in and replacing members until eventually it would be "John Paul Jones's LED ZEPPELIN!!1!" or "The Dynamic Thunder of LED ZEPPELIN: John Bonham & Friends!!1!" on theater marquees.

    They would have ended up on at least a couple of "Monsters of Rock" kinds of tours, and probably a VH1 "Behind the Music" or two.

    I love JPJ and In Through the Out Door but I have a hard time seeing anything good come of Zep lasting much longer than they already did.
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  16. MarcS

    MarcS Forum Resident

    Oradell NJ
    They could have gone on touring as long as they pleased but I'd be surprised if their 80's records would be as well remembered today as the earlier ones, I just dont think Page had much left in the creative tank during the 80s.
  17. DK Pete

    DK Pete Forum Resident

    Levittown. NY
    I think they "ended" exactly when they should have. Along with Jethro Tull, LZ were the band as a high school kid whose albums and popularity I followed quite faithfully. As I recall , following Physical Graffiti and The Song Remains The Same (film/album), their popularity-for the time being-plateaued. And while their final two "official" albums were routinely highly anticipated, they didn't make the successive musical "splash" (in extreme lack of a better term)of their previous six studio albums. By 1980, my feeling is that they had run their course as the most progressive (just a matter of opinion)"Hard Rock" band of their time (I'd never refer to them as "Heavy Metal"...they were *so* much more). All that said, I don't think the 80's would have been all too kind to them as they weren't to many (most) of the late 60's/70's "Rock gods". Leaving it alone after Bonham's death was smart and only led to their name and significance growing as time went (goes) on.
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  18. anth67

    anth67 Purveyor of Hogwash

    NW USA
    Sure wish that '80 Fall tour would've happened, it was s'posed to be my first concert. (Capital Centre, Landover was scheduled and my older brother was gonna camp out for tickets.)

    The most interesting factor in this question is Bonham. Contemporary monster drummers Keith Moon and Barrie Barlow were now out of the picture, while so many other veteran fill-masters retreated to the pocket as sensibilities changed. But I just don't see Bonzo doing that.

    Perhaps Neil Peart is the best clue to how he might've adapted to a slicker and synthier sound and remained a monster...? He may've thrown down a gauntlet for Bonzo.
    Last edited: May 23, 2020
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  19. Sear

    Sear Forum Resident

    Tarragona (Spain)
    Def Leppard "Hysteria" is the hypothetical sound of a 1987 Led Zeppelin album
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  20. Psychedelic Good Trip

    Psychedelic Good Trip Senior Member

    New York
    Maybe even a Mutt Lange produced Zep album by the mid 1980's?
    Last edited: May 23, 2020
  21. misteranderson

    misteranderson Forum Resident

    englewood, nj
    If you like your Zep with an inch of Velveeta on top, maybe.
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  22. More Than A Feeling

    More Than A Feeling Forum Resident

    They would probably fall for the thing that most 70s bands fell for in the 80s, cheesy Rock Ballads. Lots and lots of cheesy rock ballads.
    smoke likes this.
  23. CrombyMouse

    CrombyMouse Forum Resident

    Budapest, Hungary
    I would suggest that their popularity, as well as the quality of music, would gradually if not fast decline. Few artists manage to be relevant and on top for several decades. Led Zeppelin are the 1970s. They might accommodate themselves for a new era but they definitely wouldn't have been on top. I agree with those who argue that Page ran out of steam. Basically all his post-Zeppelin career proves this fact. And I'm not even discussing his physical health of that time. Perhaps they would have taken a long break or Plant or JPJ probably left the group at some point. They definitely would have greater pauses between releases.

    I know that sounds blasphemously but it's good that Led Zeppelin ceased to exist when they did. They left pretty much unbeatable catalog, they didn't embarrass themselves or became a legacy act.
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  24. anth67

    anth67 Purveyor of Hogwash

    NW USA
    "Tom Sawyer" is what they could've sounded like in 1981, if all cylinders were firing. But perhaps it's wishful thinking they would've been.
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  25. rcsrich

    rcsrich Forum Resident

    ...and so the battle raged on... :D

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