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Led Zeppelin Vs. The Beatles - Who Is The True Rock G.O.A.T.?

Ringo

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justoffal

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Led Zeppelin Vs. The Beatles
Who Is The Rock-N-Roll G.O.A.T.?

First off I have to say that I am an unapologetic Zep head, and get tired of hearing my whole life that the Beatles are the greatest rock band in history. But is this really true?
2nd off I want to say that the Beatles were a great band who were way ahead of their time. Their songs will ALWAYS be remembered as some of the greatest ever written. Someone would be hard pressed to find a greater collaboration as was the case with McCartney and Lennon.
I will state my case for Zeppelin below, and would love to hear yours.

The first thing that has to be looked at between these two great bands is with record sales. The Beatles have far more record sales than do Zeppelin, but their is more to this issue than meets the eye.

1. The Beatles released 19 studio albums. That's 10 more then Led Zeppelins 9 studio albums. It was a common practice in rock for a band to record an albums than go on tour for almost a year to promote it, than come off of the road, again record an album, than back on tour again etc..
The Beatles stopped touring in 1966, and this enabled them to release multiple albums in a year to everyone else's 1.
2. Singles. Who can possible count all of the 45 rpm records that the Beatles sold to millions of love struck teeny bopper girls. Led Zeppelin did not release singles. If you wanted to hear them you had to buy the album. Imo, this is what created what is referred to as album rock.

So, before record sales can be used to say who is the greatest of the two, than you have to remove 10 of the Beatles studio albums to match Zeppelins 9 studio albums. Also, you have to remove the millions and millions of 45 rpm records that the Beatles released because Zeppelin did not release singles.

The next issue I would say would be promotion. The Beatles were the most heavily promoted band in history. To this day I can't think of another band that came close. The Beatles name and images were on just about everything. Their were Beatles dresses, record players, wigs, stamps, key chains, guitars, mirrors, watches, pendants, bowling balls and on and on and on. 6 months before they came to America posters were plastered everywhere proclaiming The Beatles are coming!, The Beatles are coming!. Radio d.j.'s were almost non stop declaring the same thing.
In contrast Led Zeppelin were the complete opposite, and the least commercial band in history. They wanted their music to speak for them, and not some gimmick. They even refused to appear on television. Interviews with Zeppelin were rare. Their is an early interview though were John Bonham the Zep drummer points out that people went to see the Beatles live just to look at them. You couldn't even hear the ban play. But to Zeppelin it was about the music they and not the image.

The last thing would be about musicianship and talent. So, lets compare these bands with that in mind.
1. Singer. I really don't think even die hard Beatles fans would disagree that Robert Plant is a far greater singer than any one of the fab four.

2. Guitar. George Harrison was an awesome player, and much better after the Beatles broke up. However, Jimmy page is legendary. I have never seen a list of the greatest guitar play of all time that didn't have him at 1 or at least top 3.. He was a riff machine. I doubt there is a Harrison tune that page cannot play, and probably many Page pieces that Harrison just could not play.

3. Bass. I think Paul McCartney was a good bass player, even better than he got credit for. But was no match for John Paul Jones.

4. Drums. Do I even really have to point this out. John Bonham is considered the greatest rock drummer in history. He played an 11 piece kit and used every single piece of it. What he was able to do still has most pro drummers in awe of him. If you've never heard "Moby Dick" than I suggest you give it a listen. Ring Starr? I guess you could he took a 3 piece kit as far as you could take it, but he could have easily have been replaced and not have been missed.

Okay, I guess this is the end of my case that Led Zeppelin not the Beatles are indeed the Rock-N-Roll G.O.A.T.. Their 300 million album sales I would venture to say out sales the Beatles if you take what I said above and even the game up the way it should be done for a true measure of who the greatest are.
What do you say?
I have to go with the stones...

Jo
 

1stNickD

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I remember when the Beatles were compared to the Rolling Stones and of course we heard "who's better?" And someone said (I don't remember who) "It's like comparing Rembrandt to a house painter. They are both painters but not in the same way." That's a good way to look at this argument. Call both rockers but not in the same way. The Beatles ran the gamut from Metal to Classical and Zeppelin remained in the rock world for the most part. I think history will tell the story in that Beatles music is timeless to a greater degree. I love them both but for different reasons. I only wish that The Beatles had lasted as long. Zep's rendition of "Kashmir" live from Celebration Day reminded me that greatness can indeed endure time.
I never wanted to drive 160 mph when I listened to the Beatles. Like you say I like them both and for different reasons.

Who is to say if an apple is better than an orange?

You pretty much mentioned the three best Rock and Roll bands in your post, any of which could be rated number one by a listener for good reasons.
 

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Beatles were a marketing gimmick laid out by George Martin. Zeppelin was a rock band, and not ever going to sell as many records to 12 year old middle girls; the Beatles were an updated barbershop quartet who did pop music, and really weren't original; the Dave Clark Five paved the way for their stylizations. The reason the DC 5 didn't succeed nearly as much in sales as the Beatles was their vocals were too masculine and 'old sounding' than the girly man Beatles pop tones, same with the fluffy lyrics.

Even the Ronettes were more adult sounding than the Beatles, and could probably kick their asses in a bar fight.

Britney Spears appeals to the same demographics as the Beatles did in their day; Zeppelin sells to the same demographics that would buy a Janis Joplin album. Guess which demographic has always bought the most records since the 1940's, and always will. Album rock became popular with the advent of FM stereo radio, and the proliferation of decent stereo systems at reasonable prices; pop music was tuned to what sounded better on cheap car radios and portables, i.e. a narrow high range in vocals and instrumentation.
You play to the technology available. When decent Stereo's first came out is when many bands really started going crazy with instrumental solos and anthems so the stoners could go WOO0000o0W when a guitar lick suddenly circled the room followed by a keyboard and snare drum... Johnny Winters "Frankenstein" would never have worked on a monotone system. Artists like Joe Walsh and Peter Frampton made a killing by splitting the music and small town equipment inventors were suddenly famous behind the scenes. The Allman Brothers long, long jam music was perfect for the album world, and still one of my favorite go to's on long road trips. But for pure kick your face in rock and roll, Zeppelin pulls you in and doesn't let you go. Like I said to another poster, Kashmir would make me want to drive 160 mph.

Briteny spears should never even be mentioned along with any rock and roll conversation, no matter how much you dislike a band. (for my money she shouldn't be mentioned at all for any reason). Early Beatles were certainly sock hop rock, but the last few albums such as Abbey Road (my personal favorite of theirs) were really good. The fact that they all had successful solo careers speaks to their talents.

A lot of people wouldn't understand the driving around with your favorite girl and an AM radio hoping to hear good music. WGN from Chicago played the most in the Midwest, and when the "skip" was just right one could listen in from hundreds of miles away for several songs at a time before the static took over again. When Steely Dan's "FM" song is played it still takes me back to the days of my old beaters and one of my all time favorite pick up trucks that had an FM converter screwed to the bottom of the solid metal dash board.

When KSHE 95 on FM in St. Louis came along, with low and slow talking DJs who sometimes spun entire albums without interruption, it was like a giant wormhole had opened up and brought a whole new universe to we youngens.
 
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Wickerthing

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Are you sure about that? I count 13:
  • Please Please Me
  • With The Beatles
  • A Hard Day's Night
  • Beatles For Sale
  • Help
  • Rubber Soul
  • Revolver
  • Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
  • Magical Mystery Tour
  • The Beatles (aka: White Album)
  • Yellow Submarine
  • Abbey Road
  • Let It Be
Don't forget Meet the Beatles and Yesterday and Today. And I know there's more but can't think of them right now.
 

Wickerthing

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You play to the technology available. When decent Stereo's first came out is when many bands really started going crazy with instrumental solos and anthems so the stoners could go WOO0000o0W when a guitar lick suddenly circled the room followed by a keyboard and snare drum... Johnny Winters "Frankenstein" would never have worked on a monotone system. Artists like Joe Walsh and Peter Frampton made a killing by splitting the music and small town equipment inventors were suddenly famous behind the scenes. The Allman Brothers long, long jam music was perfect for the album world, and still one of my favorite go to's on long road trips. But for pure kick your face in rock and roll, Zeppelin pulls you in and doesn't let you go. Like I said to another poster, Kashmir would make me want to drive 160 mph.

Briteny spears should never even be mentioned along with any rock and roll conversation, no matter how much you dislike a band. (for my money she shouldn't be mentioned at all for any reason). Early Beatles were certainly sock hop rock, but the last few albums such as Abbey Road (my personal favorite of theirs) were really good. The fact that they all had successful solo careers speaks to their talents.

A lot of people wouldn't understand the driving around with your favorite girl and an AM radio hoping to hear good music. WGN from Chicago played the most in the Midwest, and when the "skip" was just right one could listen in from hundreds of miles away for several songs at a time before the static took over again. When Steely Dan's "FM" song is played it still takes me back to the days of my old beaters and one of my all time favorite pick up trucks that had an FM converter screwed to the bottom of the solid metal dash board.

When KSHE 95 on FM in St. Louis came along, with low and slow talking DJs who sometimes spun entire albums without interruption, it was like a giant wormhole had opened up and brought a whole new universe to we youngens.
I'm still a big fan of the Winter's. Johnny'e great but Edgar is a virtuoso. Ever see the live version of Tobacco Road?
 

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Lately I've been watching reaction videos on Youtube. Young folks reacting to 50's til 90's music. Many grew up just listening to Rap and Hip Hop and I love watching their reaction to actual music, with instruments, original songs and no "Samples" I hate that shit. Write your own Music!! LOL
 

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Led Zeppelin Vs. The Beatles - Who Is The True Rock G.O.A.T.?​

Pure rock: Emerson, Lake and Palmer. Jazz Rock: Mahavishnu Orchestra.

4. Drums. Do I even really have to point this out. John Bonham is considered the greatest rock drummer in history.​
Not in my book. In reality, he cannot come within a mile of Michael Walden.
 

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Stashman

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Lately I've been watching reaction videos on Youtube. Young folks reacting to 50's til 90's music. Many grew up just listening to Rap and Hip Hop and I love watching their reaction to actual music, with instruments, original songs and no "Samples" I hate that shit. Write your own Music!! LOL
I watch those too. It is hard to believe though that some of these reactors have never heard Stairway To Heaven.
 
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Stashman

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You play to the technology available. When decent Stereo's first came out is when many bands really started going crazy with instrumental solos and anthems so the stoners could go WOO0000o0W when a guitar lick suddenly circled the room followed by a keyboard and snare drum... Johnny Winters "Frankenstein" would never have worked on a monotone system. Artists like Joe Walsh and Peter Frampton made a killing by splitting the music and small town equipment inventors were suddenly famous behind the scenes. The Allman Brothers long, long jam music was perfect for the album world, and still one of my favorite go to's on long road trips. But for pure kick your face in rock and roll, Zeppelin pulls you in and doesn't let you go. Like I said to another poster, Kashmir would make me want to drive 160 mph.

Briteny spears should never even be mentioned along with any rock and roll conversation, no matter how much you dislike a band. (for my money she shouldn't be mentioned at all for any reason). Early Beatles were certainly sock hop rock, but the last few albums such as Abbey Road (my personal favorite of theirs) were really good. The fact that they all had successful solo careers speaks to their talents.

A lot of people wouldn't understand the driving around with your favorite girl and an AM radio hoping to hear good music. WGN from Chicago played the most in the Midwest, and when the "skip" was just right one could listen in from hundreds of miles away for several songs at a time before the static took over again. When Steely Dan's "FM" song is played it still takes me back to the days of my old beaters and one of my all time favorite pick up trucks that had an FM converter screwed to the bottom of the solid metal dash board.

When KSHE 95 on FM in St. Louis came along, with low and slow talking DJs who sometimes spun entire albums without interruption, it was like a giant wormhole had opened up and brought a whole new universe to we youngens.
I remember picking up rock from over the Texas border where Wolfman Jack would be doing his thing. Your right that Ms. Spears is a farce, and it's hard to believe that anyone would take her music seriously. I doubt anyone 20 yrs. from now will be hearing anything from her on the radio.

As far a tech goes. It's always been amazing to me how Jimmy Page was able to use recording techniques back than that would pan both left and than right in the headphones of the day. AMAZING!
 

Wickerthing

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I remember picking up rock from over the Texas border where Wolfman Jack would be doing his thing. Your right that Ms. Spears is a farce, and it's hard to believe that anyone would take her music seriously. I doubt anyone 20 yrs. from now will be hearing anything from her on the radio.

As far a tech goes. It's always been amazing to me how Jimmy Page was able to use recording techniques back than that would pan both left and than right in the headphones of the day. AMAZING!
My great niece is a hip hop head who I've been encouraging to listen to other stuff. I told her about the Beatles and she said, I've heard of them and I listened and didn't like it. "I wanna hold your hand?" That's baby stuff. I absolutely made her sit and listen to the whole Abbey Road album. When it was over, she was stunned. Sat there with her jaw in her lap. I asked her if she was just responding that way to please me. She said, "no way! I didn't know that they were like this!." " I've never heard anything like this. It was an eye opener for me. Why isn't there this kind of stuff now?" I didn't have an answer for her. Then I had her listen to "Good Vibrations" by the Beach Boys and she went nuts. I sent her home with copies of about 20 CDs from Beatles to Zep to Springsteen to Boz Scaggs to Al Jarreau to Alan Parsons Project. I'm waiting for her to tell me what she liked. It was amazing to watch the lights go on in her eyes.
 
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My great niece is a hip hop head who I've been encouraging to listen to other stuff. I told her about the Beatles and she said, I've heard of them and I listened and didn't like it. "I wanna hold your hand?" That's baby stuff. I absolutely made her sit and listen to the whole Abbey Road album. When it was over, she was stunned. Sat there with her jaw in her lap. I asked her if she was just responding that way to please me. She said, "no way! I didn't know that they were like this!." " I've never heard anything like this. It was an eye opener for me. Why isn't there this kind of stuff now?" I didn't have an answer for her. Then I had her listen to "Good Vibrations" by the Beach Boys and she went nuts. I sent her home with copies of about 20 CDs from Beatles to Zep to Springsteen to Boz Scaggs to Al Jarreau to Alan Parsons Project. I'm waiting for her to tell me what she liked. It was amazing to watch the lights go on in her eyes.
What's passing for music these days is pathetic to say the least. They go on stage and no one is even playing instruments. It's all created in the studio electronically. Than they auto-tune everything. I saw a youtube video of a guy who auto-tuned Elvis. ELVIS! The most perfect voice of all time. When you take the human out of music it is no longer music IMO. We need to educate the younger generation as to what rock is before it's to damn late. Right now old classic rock is outselling new stuff and that's good, but I don't know how long that will last.
 

badbob85037

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Led Zeppelin Vs. The Beatles
Who Is The Rock-N-Roll G.O.A.T.?

First off I have to say that I am an unapologetic Zep head, and get tired of hearing my whole life that the Beatles are the greatest rock band in history. But is this really true?
2nd off I want to say that the Beatles were a great band who were way ahead of their time. Their songs will ALWAYS be remembered as some of the greatest ever written. Someone would be hard pressed to find a greater collaboration as was the case with McCartney and Lennon.
I will state my case for Zeppelin below, and would love to hear yours.

The first thing that has to be looked at between these two great bands is with record sales. The Beatles have far more record sales than do Zeppelin, but their is more to this issue than meets the eye.

1. The Beatles released 19 studio albums. That's 10 more then Led Zeppelins 9 studio albums. It was a common practice in rock for a band to record an albums than go on tour for almost a year to promote it, than come off of the road, again record an album, than back on tour again etc..
The Beatles stopped touring in 1966, and this enabled them to release multiple albums in a year to everyone else's 1.
2. Singles. Who can possible count all of the 45 rpm records that the Beatles sold to millions of love struck teeny bopper girls. Led Zeppelin did not release singles. If you wanted to hear them you had to buy the album. Imo, this is what created what is referred to as album rock.

So, before record sales can be used to say who is the greatest of the two, than you have to remove 10 of the Beatles studio albums to match Zeppelins 9 studio albums. Also, you have to remove the millions and millions of 45 rpm records that the Beatles released because Zeppelin did not release singles.

The next issue I would say would be promotion. The Beatles were the most heavily promoted band in history. To this day I can't think of another band that came close. The Beatles name and images were on just about everything. Their were Beatles dresses, record players, wigs, stamps, key chains, guitars, mirrors, watches, pendants, bowling balls and on and on and on. 6 months before they came to America posters were plastered everywhere proclaiming The Beatles are coming!, The Beatles are coming!. Radio d.j.'s were almost non stop declaring the same thing.
In contrast Led Zeppelin were the complete opposite, and the least commercial band in history. They wanted their music to speak for them, and not some gimmick. They even refused to appear on television. Interviews with Zeppelin were rare. Their is an early interview though were John Bonham the Zep drummer points out that people went to see the Beatles live just to look at them. You couldn't even hear the ban play. But to Zeppelin it was about the music they and not the image.

The last thing would be about musicianship and talent. So, lets compare these bands with that in mind.
1. Singer. I really don't think even die hard Beatles fans would disagree that Robert Plant is a far greater singer than any one of the fab four.

2. Guitar. George Harrison was an awesome player, and much better after the Beatles broke up. However, Jimmy page is legendary. I have never seen a list of the greatest guitar play of all time that didn't have him at 1 or at least top 3.. He was a riff machine. I doubt there is a Harrison tune that page cannot play, and probably many Page pieces that Harrison just could not play.

3. Bass. I think Paul McCartney was a good bass player, even better than he got credit for. But was no match for John Paul Jones.

4. Drums. Do I even really have to point this out. John Bonham is considered the greatest rock drummer in history. He played an 11 piece kit and used every single piece of it. What he was able to do still has most pro drummers in awe of him. If you've never heard "Moby Dick" than I suggest you give it a listen. Ring Starr? I guess you could he took a 3 piece kit as far as you could take it, but he could have easily have been replaced and not have been missed.

Okay, I guess this is the end of my case that Led Zeppelin not the Beatles are indeed the Rock-N-Roll G.O.A.T.. Their 300 million album sales I would venture to say out sales the Beatles if you take what I said above and even the game up the way it should be done for a true measure of who the greatest are.
What do you say?
If I had Zeppelin and the Beatles to pick from I would have to pick the Stones. Also for blues' of course Zeppelin ripped off a lot of old blues songs.
 
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If I had Zeppelin and the Beatles to pick from I would have to pick the Stones. Also for blues' of course Zeppelin ripped off a lot of old blues songs.
The entire British invasion before Led Zeppelin was even a band took old American blues tunes and reworked them and sent them back to the States. Nothing new as far as that goes.
When was the last time the Stones were viable? Hell they've done what now like 80 albums and still need to sell about 50 million to catch Led Zeppelin. Considering how old the Stones are I don't see that ever happening. Not putting them down though. In their early days they were great. My first rock record was Angie by the Stones.
 

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I look at it this way: I think it's a safe bet that more people decided to become musicians after seeing The Beatles than those who decided to become musicians after seeing Led Zeppelin. In terms of their influence, it's silly to even try to debate it. The Beatles win in a walk.

When it comes to musicianship, however, I don't know that anyone would try to make the case that McCartney was a superior bass player to John Paul Jones, or that John Bonham was a wannabe compared to Ringo Starr. Could Harrison or Lennon hang with Page on a 24 bar lead break? Yeah, probably not. Songwriting? That's a wash, I think. I know people who think that both bands are responsible for some of the best songs ever written. And then there are those who believe it's all derivative garbage.

If you put a gun to my head, though, and insisted I pick, I would have to consider the fact that there's not a single Beatles song I turn up as loud as I turn up "Kashmir"...
 

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There were some awesome groups back in the 60s and 70's that are largely overlooked. Rascals, Paul Revere and the Raiders, The Guess Who, Beach Boys, Santana, The Sweet, Tommy James and the Shondells, CSN etc etc. I was never a big Stones fan except one song, Start Me Up.
 

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Being a huge fan of both, and many others...

The Beatles were the greatest rock group in history. Period. There's no contest here.

The Rolling Stones were the 2nd greatest rock group in history.

Led Zeppelin was the greatest hard rock group in history, there is no question about that.

Pink Floyd was the greatest alternative music group in history.

And the Kinks! They are a mish-mash of all the music groups and deserve some prominence.
 

Freedom Crows Nest

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What band would I put on a playlist on a desert island? Just one band? Beatles for sure. Kinks 2nd.
 

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