Saturday, December 17, 2016

Rock News Artist Of The Year No. 6: LED ZEPPELIN

As part of the 2016 hennemusic Rock News Awards, the site is counting down the Top 10 Rock News Artists of the year.

Finalists for the 7th 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 2016 hennemusic Rock News Awards winners will be announced on Thursday, December 22.

2016 Rock News Artist Of The Year – Top 10


Rock News Artist of The Year No. 6 – LED ZEPPELIN

Led Zeppelin began 2016 preparing to defend itself in a copyright-infringement lawsuit over “Stairway To Heaven” brought by Michael Skidmore, a representative of the estate of Spirit guitarist Randy California.

The suit claimed the acoustic introduction to 1971’s “Stairway” was lifted from Spirit’s 1968 instrumental “Taurus.”

Defendants Jimmy Page and Robert Plant – along with bassist John Paul Joneswere each deposed separately in London in January as part of the pretrial discovery phase and, after a few months of negotiations and delays, the case went to trial in California on June 14 before U.S. District Judge Gary Klausner.

The two-week trial saw the three Zeppelin members take the stand to deny exposure to “Taurus” while explaining the creation of “Stairway” at Headley Grange, while music experts testified that both songs share a commonplace descending chromatic line that has existed for hundreds of years.

On June 23, Led Zeppelin were cleared of copyright infringement in the jury trial but, by late July, Skidmore filed an appeal in the case.

On the live front, Zeppelin reunion rumors surfaced in late June when a news report suggested that the band had turned down a $14 million offer to perform at the first classic rock Desert Trip Festival in Indio, CA in the fall. Sources say that Jimmy Page was all for it but that Robert Plant wouldn’t agree to any kind of reunion.

The two-weekend event ultimately moved forward with a lineup that featured The Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, Roger Waters, Bob Dylan, Neil Young and The Who.

Plant was busy on the road in 2016, playing dates with The Sensational Space Shifters and planning another album with the group. A March performance on the PBS series Austin City Limits was streamed live before the concert had its broadcast premiere in October.

September saw the group release “The Complete BBC Sessions”, an expanded version of their 1997 set, “BBC Sessions.” The package delivered live recordings from the band’s appearances on BBC radio between 1969 and 1971 and included eight unreleased songs.

The project earned Led Zeppelin their highest UK chart position in more than three decades with a No. 3 debut while it entered and peaked on the US Billboard 200 at No. 21.

With the Zeppelin catalogue reissues completed, Page once again made his annual claim in the fall that he would be putting a band together for live dates next year – echoing his own remarks from recent years – including 2010, 2014 and 2015, among others.

See also:

Search Led Zeppelin at hennemusic
Van Halen and KISS top the 2015 hennemusic Rock News Awards
Van Halen sweep 2014 hennemusic Rock News Awards
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