As Led Zeppelin was touring at a break-neck pace throughout 1969, they somehow managed to record the follow-up to their commercially successful debut. Little did they know their sophomore effort would land with such a bang.
When Led Zeppelin II was released on October 22, 1969, it not only debuted at number one on the Billboard 200, but it knocked The Beatles’ Abbey Road out of the top stop. It would go on to sell over 12 million copies in the U.S. alone, yield one of the greatest riffs (and if you’re the BBC, the greatest riff) in rock and roll with “Whole Lotta Love” and in the process, make J.R.R. Tolkien cooler than he’s ever been.
Sorry, Peter Jackson…but you’re no match for Robert Plant and Jimmy Page.
Just how powerful is this album? Nearly 45 years after its initial release, Led Zeppelin II was re-released in June 2014 as part of a remastering rollout by Page of the band’s entire catalog. The result? A re-entry of the classic album onto the Billboard 200 at number nine.
Plant talked to Rolling Stone about the making and release of Zeppelin’s second album and described it as “mind-altering.” As any fan can attest after their first listen to this classic album, they likely felt the same way.
Erica Banas is a rock/classic rock blogger that loves the smell of old vinyl in the morning.