Home Arts & Entertainment Led Zeppelin or The Rolling Stones? Let’s settle this

Led Zeppelin or The Rolling Stones? Let’s settle this

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Led Zeppelin members posing in front of a plane. Photo by Julio Zeppelin
Led Zeppelin members posing in front of a plane. Photo by Julio Zeppelin

Since my time at Cuesta College, I have been in the same journalism class.

As my lackluster attempts to contribute to the class have been muddled by working three jobs, my opinions on certain topics have become clouded by the many tasks featured throughout my day.

Politically, my stances are a facet of my life that I don’t dwell on. 

My politics have changed, but my love for Led Zeppelin never will.

When bombarded with irrelevant “facts” from my current journalism teacher and advisor of The Cuestonian, Cyrus Saatsaz, my thoughts on the matter still prevailed.

Led Zeppelin is, and forever will be, better than The Rolling Stones. 

Though Led Zeppelin’s stint of greatness fell short due to the tragedy of drummer John Bonham’s death, they have proved themselves as one of the most influential bands of all time. 

For those who argue the case of longevity—congratulations on your small win, but I am just getting started.

Without completely dusting The Rolling Stones, I would like to give credit. They are an awesome band, and I wish I wasn’t such a comparative freak, but I am an opinion editor and some bands just jam harder than others.

What I would like to point out is the diversity of Led Zeppelin. They were extreme in their nature—making songs that could be classified as the early component to what is metal, psychedelic rock, blues rock, and other sub genres.

They were a direct inspiration of Black Sabbath, one of the most highly regarded metal bands, ever. Songs like “Travelling Riverside Blues,” “Dazed and Confused,” and “How Many More Times,” all sound nothing like each other, which is a testament to their spectrum of genres.

While The Rolling Stones focus more on blues rock, their scope only broadened slightly throughout the years. 

But how many Rolling Stones albums are good from front to back? 

Though The Rolling Stones have almost five times as many active years as Led Zeppelin, they lack Led Zeppelin’s consistency. 

With Keith Richards still extremely bitter, his words seem just a bit harsh, and envious.

As a band, I felt aptly named, it never took off for me musically,” Richards said.

This is just one of many oddly childish attacks on Led Zeppelin, with some being directed at former Led Zeppelin drummer, the late John Bonham, for his heavy hand, and another being Robert Plant’s supposedly unoriginal voice.

Before I give you all a headache while we hear what rock stars say about themselves and others, I would just like to make note of the odd disdain and certain pettiness that courses through the veins of Keith Richards. Most interviews with famous band members are nauseating by themselves, but this one holds a special place in my heart as blatant narcissism. 

As far as the band lineups go, I rate Led Zeppelin much higher.

The chemistry in the video below that they demonstrate, only months in of playing together, is unmatched, even for bands that have been together for decades. 

Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham is revered as one of the most intricate drummers of all time, and I am not even going to debate this with The Rolling Stones fan boys. The website named after The Rolling Stones themselves declares Bonham as the best, so if that isn’t a testament to his ability, my word is useless.

Jimmy Page has Keith Richards by a country mile in terms of playing. The man has the solo’ing ability that is only second to Jimi Hendrix, and the pure talent that Richards spent 60 years wishing he had, which he hasn’t stopped talking about in a negative way over the years. 

As for John Paul Jones’ mechanics on bass, there are not too many songs of The Stones that you can listen to, and be completely in awe of the bass player. Jones accomplishes that in songs like “The Song Remains the Same,” and “The Wanton Song.”

The one that is up in the air, for me at least, is Mick Jagger versus Robert Plant. These two are both great in their own aspects. As for front men, they both exuberate raw emotion, unmatched to what could only be replicated by Queen frontman Freddie Mercury and former Van Halen frontman David Lee Roth.

As great as both sound when compared to each other, when you factor in influence, quality, and consistency—Led Zeppelin have The Rolling Stones on their toes.

Advisor’s note: I begrudgingly approved this column despite disagreeing with it.

6 COMMENTS

  1. Is this a re-post of an article from 50 years ago? If not, why in the world is this being written now? And why Led Zep vs The Stones? Those bands have next to nothing to do with each other. I have no clue why you think this would be relevant or interesting to your readers.

  2. No, in fact it is not a re-post from an article 50 years ago. I explained why I wrote this article, being that my teacher and I both discussed it numerous times in class. The two bands are also very commonly compared, being that they are both rock bands from the 60s to 80s. I can cite articles published by the New Yorker and others for you, if that’s what you need to legitimize my article (written by a college student). I apologize sincerely for not writing about current artists like Taylor Swift vs. Ariana Grande.

  3. No, in fact it is not a re-post from an article 50 years ago. I explained why I wrote this article, being that my teacher and I both discussed it numerous times in class. The two bands are also very commonly compared, being that they are both rock bands from the 60s to 80s. I can cite articles published by the New Yorker and others for you, if that’s what you need to legitimize my article (written by a college student). I apologize sincerely for not writing about current artists like Taylor Swift vs. Ariana Grande.

  4. Who is aqua fresca?? Sounds like a diet drink or something.
    He needs to go on back to college and learn to write!! Learn to do research as well.
    The Rolling Stones are the Greatest Rock’n Roll band in all of the Universe!
    Absolutely no comparison . Led Zeppelin… ??? more like Ded Zeppelin in my mind.
    I have a blues section in my rather extensive vinyl LP collection.
    Who do I have you ask?
    Buddy Guy; Junior Wells; Muddy Waters; Robert Johnson; Johnny Shines; Johnny Young; Big Bill Broonzy; Sleepy John Estes; and many more great Black performers along with John Mayall; Cream; God; Peter Green; Animals; Rolling Stones; Mick Taylor; Jack Bruce Band; Paul Butterfield Blues Band; Canned Heat and the list goes on.
    There is one exclusion: Ded Zeppelin. DED Zeppelin: no way they’re even close to being number one.
    Give me a break!!!

  5. I saw both bands live multiple times in the 1970’s. I can assure you, The Stones were better live. I traded two Led Zeppelin tickets for one Stones ticket for the Long Beach 1972 show that I attended. But, I was a fan of both bands. And, as similar as you’d like to say they are, they are not. First, Zeppelin is the biggest rip-off band ever, their plagiarism isn’t only with Stairway. The Stones were more about giving credit to the original acts that influenced them. The Stones were reflected the times through their own filtered lenses. Zeppelin created a mythology, a make believe land experience. That’s fine when you’re 14 to 24 years old. But, beyond that, I just could resonate with what they were singing about. Physical Graffiti was their last solid album. But, I digress. In response to your poor evaluation of Keith’s playing, Keith is a drummer playing guitar. He is the Stones drummer. His rhythm playing was astonishing. Jimmy was an amazing guitar player building riff upon riff. However, Page could never get over Zeppelin’s demise. Thu, his crappy solo and project albums. Just compare Keith’s Talk Is Cheap Vs Page’s Outrider albums. They both came out the same year. In short, Page’s sucked and Keith’s was packed with solid Rock ‘n Roll and R&B. I won’t even mention Coverdale Page. By the time I saw Zeppelin in 1977 in Indy, I left wondering what the heck I had just saw? Plant’s voice was gone. When I saw the Stones a year later in Chicago, they were still filled with a swagger unmatched. Regarding the topic of Rock ‘n Roll band, Zep was a rock band, the only time they rolled was when they had the Stones piano player playing in two of their songs. The Stones were a Rock ‘n Roll Band. You could actually dance to their music. Furthermore, the Stones could actually perform Country music, which demonstrated their deeper grasp of the roots of Rock ‘n Roll. In fact, The Stones are a lot closer to the country side of Rock ‘n Roll than any other British band. Were the Stones always perfect? Nope. Zeppelin’s performances in 1971 were amazing. I saw both bands in their finest periods. I’m of the opinion, the real Stones, however, started to die after their 1981 tour. They lost their swagger, their danger. But, they were still very good live, but just not amazingly great. In closing, Zeppelin was still a band put together by Peter Grant. Jimmy Page was a dirt bag who took half of the bands profits, and gave the rest to the remaining 3 and Peter Grant. By 1977 Plant’s opinion of Page had greatly diminished and in fact stated that “ I’m just a hired singer.” After Plant lost his son and Page and Jones didn’t have the decency to show up and lend support to their grieving singer, it was painfully obvious that Zeppelin was more show than substance. After Bonzo’s death, Robert was even telling people that Page was evil and to stay away from him. It’s of little wonder why Plant refused to reform Zeppelin. The lyrics were immature, and at times hollow. The guitarist was a glory hound who could never get past his fantasyland days. Plant’s one true friend in the band was dead. Zeppelin was more smoke and mirrors than substance.

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