From hits like 'Whole Lotta Love' and 'Stairway to Heaven', Led Zeppelin is without a doubt one of the best bands that made music in this universe. From the gloriously beautiful voice of Robert Plant, the heart wrenching guitar riffs of Jimmy Page, the powerful drums by John Bonham and the thumping bass by John Paul Jones, they were an all-round amazing band.
Many bands tried to get close to the sound of Zeppelin but none could succeed. And most of the bands that did manage to get close did not do that good of a job. However, in 2017, a group of teens and high schoolers did what a handful could ever do. They made the new Led Zeppelin.
Greta Van Fleet, as the band is called, is a bunch of teenagers from Michigan. The lead singer and the guitarist are twin brothers named Josh Kiszka and Jake Kiszka respectively. The bass player is their brother Sam Kiszka and the drummer, their school friend Danny Wagner.
The band had a rather surprise discovery of their sound. Lead singer Josh tried to scream to get his voice heard over the loud instruments and Eureka, they found their calling. Josh himself surprised; they recorded a live EP in one take in 2014. This garnered them major attention in the music biz.
From then on, they got signed by a record label, released 2 albums one in 2017 and one in 2018. Their debut album 'From the Fires' got them a Grammy for the Best Rock Album. Sold out tour across the USA and many more such feats. But what exactly makes them great? This is the part where I put my life if not my reputation on the line by saying, "Greta Van Fleet can become better than Led Zeppelin. Or they might already be." Yes, I know what I just said. And I will not take it back. Unless they completely change their sound like "5 Seconds of Summer" did. But I don't think that is going to happen anytime soon.
Greta, like most bands, does have a lot of similar songs to Zeppelin. Bands like Kingdom Come and Rush had their fair share of controversies with Zeppelin. Even some of the songs by Greta have an eerie sense of Zeppelin to it. But, these bands were certainly not the first ones to do so. Even Zeppelin themselves have used songs and gave it their own twist. "Dazed and confused" and "Babe, I'm gonna leave you" are some of them. The lyrics as well as the names have been copied. So, they morally can’t accuse anyone. Legally? Well, of course.
Greta has always been criticized about their resemblance to Zeppelin. People have directed hate towards them. Many people tend to do that when they realise something is better than what they were used to. Or some people are just resilient to change. The band themselves have refused any allegations against them as a copy of Zeppelin. They want people to move on front the comparisons and enjoy the new wave of Rock & Roll. But among such criticisms, Greta got the best compliment they could ever get. Robert Plant himself said that Greta embodies the style of their first album "Led Zeppelin 1" and that the lead vocalist Josh has a great voice. This coming from Robert Plant is like mind absolutely amazing even for a fan to hear, let alone the band.
This praise hails from the success of their first album. Greta's first album, "From the Fires" went on to become immensely successful in a world that is full of R&B and hip/hop. They tried to bring back classic rock and fairly succeeded. The album won various awards. This is what makes them a band great. Probably greater than their major idols, AC/DC.
Yes, I said AC/DC and not Zeppelin. Because, according to the band, the biggest influence on their music was AC/DC. But they now realise that they sound more like Zeppelin than their idols. The realisation came after they started receiving hate for copying one of the biggest pioneers of metal music.
So, what forms my opinion that Greta is better than Zeppelin? Initially, I too was one of the people who though that they copied the sound, but on closer inspection, a lot of bands share similar sound like that of Zeppelin. I know, this is way too much controversy for one article. But it is somewhat true. Queens of the Stone Age, The White Stripes, White Snake, Black Crowes etc. It isn't new for someone to have similar sounds. Guns n Roses, Motley Crue have similar sounding vocals, Axl Rose even went on to front AC/DC for a while. And all this when rock was at the top of its popularity.
Also, Zeppelin themselves started their music career by almost covering songs by other people in their debut album. Which I feel sorry to say, was not received well by the public. but Greta on the other hand, have a banger of a first album and an equally amazing second album. All that without covering any band or musician. Kill me for saying this but Greta's first album, in my opinion, is way better than Zeppelin's first album in terms of success. Also originality. And maybe in terms of music as well. For a bunch of millennials to come up with something so rock and roll in its core is truly astounding. That too in a culture that is more influenced by Hip/Hop. This is just the beginning of the career. They have been around for less than 5 years and are making strides many people dream of. So, we can only wait and watch and enjoy the now and the then.
I am in no way saying that Led Zeppelin is a bad band. It is hands down one of the greatest bands to ever have existed. But Greta Van Fleet are better than Zeppelin if you compare the initial parts of their careers.