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Catalogue No.JLLZ004
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Print QualitySilver gelatin print on baryta paper

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Led Zeppelin
by Jean-Pierre Leloir
Led Zeppelin Jimmy Page
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Led Zeppelin were an English rock band, active in the late 1960s and throughout the 1970s. Formed as the New Yardbirds in 1968, the band consisted of guitarist Jimmy Page, singer Robert Plant, bassist/keyboardist John Paul Jones, and drummer John Bonham.
They are widely considered to be one of the most successful, innovative and influential rock groups in the history of music. After changing their name, the band signed a favourable deal with Atlantic Records that allowed them considerable artistic freedom. Led Zeppelin disliked the releasing of tracks as singles, preferring their albums to be viewed as indivisible, whole listening experiences, helping to promote the concept of album-orientated rock. Their first two albums, with their heavy, guitar-driven blues rock sound, led to Led Zeppelin being regularly cited as one of the progenitors of heavy metal and hard rock, even though the band's individualistic style drew from varied sources and transcends any single music genre. Their next two albums incorporated wider musical influences, particularly from folk music; the fourth, untitled album, which featured the track "Stairway to Heaven", is among the most popular and influential works in rock music, and it cemented the status of the group as "superstars". Subsequent albums saw greater musical experimentation and were accompanied by record-breaking tours, which, like the group's previous tours, earned them a reputation for excess. Although they remained commercially and critically successful, in the later 1970s the band's output and touring schedule were limited by the personal difficulties and circumstances of the members. Led Zeppelin disbanded following Bonham's sudden death in 1980. Since 1980, the surviving members have pursued solo careers and have been involved in a series of collaborations and one-off reunions. In 2007, 27 years after the group disbanded, the surviving members of Led Zeppelin reunited (along with John Bonham's son, Jason) for the Ahmet Ertegun Tribute Concert at The O2 Arena in London. The band were honoured with the "Best Live Act" prize for their one-off reunion at MOJO Awards 2008, where they were described as the "greatest rock and roll band of all time". Led Zeppelin are one of the best-selling music artists—various sources estimate the group's sales at more than 200 or 300 million albums worldwide. Their 111.5 million certified units in the United States rank them as the second-best-selling band in the US. Each of their nine studio albums reached the top 10 of the Billboard album chart in the US, with six reaching the number-one spot. Rolling Stone magazine described them as "the heaviest band of all time", "the biggest band of the '70s and "unquestionably one of the most enduring bands in rock history". Similarly, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame stated that in the 1970s the band were "as influential in that decade as The Beatles were in the prior one".
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Outside his native France, the veteran photographer Jean-Pierre Leloir was best known for the concert and behind-the-scenes pictures he took of Jimi Hendrix and Otis Redding when they visited Paris and appeared at the famed Olympia Theatre in 1966 and 1967. These have featured on countless releases and reissues, been widely published and exhibited and demonstrate Leloir's amazing ability to immortalise performers and to capture candid moments in the dressing rooms and the corridors of the legendary Paris venue.
"I loved the people I photographed, so I made myself as available, yet as discreet as possible," he said. "I never wanted to be a paparazzi. I wanted them to forget my presence so I could catch those little unexpected moments." In France, Leloir was also celebrated for his many photos of jazz musicians and singers, including a rare picture of Georges Brassens, Léo Ferré and Jacques Brel, the holy trinity of chanson, taken in January 1969. For publications like Jazz Magazine, L'Express and Le Nouvel Observateur, he photographed many of the jazz musicians who visited Paris or made the French capital their home in the 1950s and '60s, including Louis Armstrong, Chet Baker, Sydney Bechet, Art Blakey, Donald Byrd, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Charles Mingus and Lester Young. He also documented the golden age of chanson and the "yéyé" era and shot memorable studio and concert photographs of Edith Piaf, Johnny Hallyday, and Yves Montand, among many others. He seemed to have a special empathy with visiting blues, rock and soul musicians from the US and the UK and photographed the likes of Bob Dylan, Aretha Franklin, John Lee Hooker, Led Zeppelin, the Rolling Stones and Frank Zappa (Leloir's striking black and white portrait of the guitarist in 1976 is included in the Best of Zappa compilation Strictly Commercial). He also covered the Isle of Wight festival in 1969 and the Orange rock festival, a landmark event in France, in 1975. The mustachioed Leloir smoked a pipe and had the phlegmatic demeanour of a British gentleman. He knew how to put his subjects at ease in the more formal environment of a studio, playing Vivaldi in the background to help Brel relax, for instance. "His moustache is so fascinating that you end up staring at it and forgetting all about the camera," the Belgian singer said of the photographer, who became a lifelong friend and took most of the pictures that adorned the covers of his records. The many books of Leloir's work include Brel Par Leloir (2008), Johnny Sixties, a collection of his Hallyday photos (2009), Instants De Grâce and Portraits Jazz. He was made Chevalier de L'Ordre Des Arts et des Lettres and used the occasion to lecture the culture minister Frédéric Mitterrand about the rights of photographers in the digital age. "It was a great honour, the cherry on a beautiful cake," he nevertheless said of the ceremony, where he met up with the American jazz double bassist Ron Carter, whom he had photographed several times, and who was also honoured that day. "That's what I call the lottery of life," Leloir mused about a life that had been full of such coincidences.
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