Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Rock News Artist Of The Year No. 2: LED ZEPPELIN

As part of the 2014 hennemusic Rock News Awards, the site is counting down the Top 10 Rock News Artists of the year.

Finalists for the 5th annual hennemusic Rock News Awards are chosen by readers: winners are determined by the combined total page views of the top 50 hennemusic rock news stories of the past twelve months.

The 2014 hennemusic Rock News Awards winners will be announced on Thursday, January 15.

2014 hennemusic Rock News Artist Of The Year – Top 10

08 – QUEEN
07 – AC/DC
06 – KISS

hennemusic Rock News Artist of The Year No. 2 – LED ZEPPELIN

Led Zeppelin began the year with news from Jimmy Page that the band’s reissue series would be launched in 2014 and include companion discs of unreleased material.

In late January, the band went 1-for-2 at the Grammy Awards: their 2012 live set, “Celebration Day”, won in the Best Rock Album category while a second nomination – for “Kashmir” in the Best Rock Performance category – lost out “Radioactive” by Imagine Dragons.

February saw Alter Bridge and Slash singer Myles Kennedy share the story of his 2008 audition with Led Zeppelin following Robert Plant’s decision not to continue with the group after the 2007 reunion show in London.

In March, Zeppelin revealed the launch of the reissues series would start in June with their first three albums.

Plant stated in April that Led Zeppelin would never play live again, despite hints to the contrary in a 2013 interview with Australia’s 60 Minutes; it was a subject that would continue to make headlines throughout the year.

Page revealed that he was working on new music and, on May 10, he received an honorary Doctor Of Music degree from the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston, where he also delivered the commencement speech to the 2014 graduates.

The first public strains between Page and Plant over a Zeppelin reunion surfaced in May when the guitarist took a shot at the singer over veiled commitments to reunite the legendary band for a tour, saying “Everyone would love to play more concerts for the band. He’s just playing games, and I’m fed up with it, to be honest with you.”

May also brought news of a lawsuit accusing Zeppelin of plagiarising the introduction of “Stairway To Heaven”, brought by the estate of Spirit guitarist Randy California and members of the band; Page quickly dismissed it as “ridiculous.”

The guitarist launched his US promotion for the reissues with a May 21 appearance on The Tonight Show.

Following the release of the reissues on June 2, Plant responded to Page’s comments that he was responsible for holding up a reunion, saying “I think he needs to go to sleep and have a good rest, and think again.”

The first three reissues debuted in the Top 10 on the UK charts and US charts in June.

Page was honored at the 02 Silver Clef Awards in London on July 4 in recognition for his outstanding contribution to UK music.

In August, Plant took part in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge to help raise awareness and funds for ALS research and, the following month, he landed a US Top 10 debut with “lullaby and...The Ceaseless Roar.”

By the end of September, Page acknowledged publicly that he had lost hope for a Zeppelin reunion and was considering plans to start a new project.

The second round of reissues – including “Led Zeppelin IV” and “Houses Of The Holy” – were released in late October, with both projects debuting in the UK Top 10 and the US Top 15.

On November 6, Page appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman to promote the reissues and the re-release of his photographic autobiography, “Jimmy Page By Jimmy Page.”

The group were the target of a UK tabloid report that claimed Plant was responsible for turning down an $800 million (£500 million) offer from Virgin head Sir Richard Branson for a reunion tour – which was promptly denied by both parties – with Page later telling Ellen DeGeneres, “I don’t know anything about it.”

In December, Page was named one of GQ magazine’s Men Of The Year as he continued to discuss plans for new music and a tour of his own.

2015 is expected to see Zeppelin complete their reissue series, with first word that 1975’s double-album, “Physical Graffiti”, will be available on February 23 (Feb. 24 in North America).

See also:

2014 hennemusic Rock News Awards announced
Van Halen and Pearl Jam top the 2013 hennemusic Rock News Awards
Van Halen dominate the 2012 hennemusic Rock News Awards
Van Halen win two hennemusic Rock News Awards
Guns N’ Roses named hennemusic’s Rock News Artist of The Year
Jimmy Page’s 2011 plans named hennemusic’s Rock News Story Of The Year