Almost all bands encounter the comparison to other well-known acts of their era at some point during their career. Fans frequently compared Led Zeppelin to the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, who equally dominated the era, which is not surprising. They are all undoubtedly excellent bands in their own right, but that doesn’t stop people from comparing them to one another.
John Paul Jones, the bassist for Led Zeppelin, talked about how they set themselves apart from other well-known bands of the day, such the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, in an interview with Elsewhere in 2003. The bassist claimed that due to their enormous popularity at the time, they were compared to the Beatles and the Stones in terms of their impact on the music industry.
The bassist, however, claimed that it wasn’t the best strategy because they didn’t advertise their other jobs and didn’t make a lot of press appearances. The Beatles and the Stones both participated in various businesses, such as movies, TV shows, and advertisements, but Jones suggested that their main goal was to make good music. In contrast to Led Zeppelin, whose press attention was centered on their musical endeavors, these two bands were popular.
According to John Paul Jones, their main goal is different from that of the Beatles and the Rolling Stones:
“Maybe they saw the band as a bit of a phenomenon. We were beginning to get quite a big following and the only other band we were comparable to, for them, was something like the Beatles, which wasn’t true because they were a household name and had television and films.
We didn’t do any of that. The question, ‘Will you be making a film?’ took me by surprise because we were just a band that made music; it wasn’t that type of operation. We had a big following, but it wasn’t a ‘popular’ band like the Rolling Stones. We didn’t appear in the tabloid press.”
The harsh press coverage that Led Zeppelin endured throughout their musical career was well-known to their fans. They did not receive as much media attention or publicity as the Beatles and the Stones did because they chose to avoid speaking with the media. As a result of their distinctive era style and sound, they also earned a large lot of negative attention and criticism from music reviewers.