The album Joe Perry compared to a modern Led Zeppelin record

Joe Perry

Only a few musicians can expect to achieve the heights of Led Zeppelin in the 1970s. With each album, the band’s upward trajectory only intensified, seemingly unstoppable. Jimmy Page and Robert Plant were striving to create some of the most recognized rock songs in history, like ‘Stairway to Heaven‘. Aerosmith’s Joe Perry, influenced by Led Zeppelin, sees a modern artist reaching the same musical heights as his heroes.

When you look at the songs Aerosmith did over their career, it’s simple to see where Zeppelin fit in. Despite early mockery for resembling The Rolling Stones, Perry’s riffs echoed the tradition of early Led Zeppelin. This tradition involved taking a riff and adding new sections on top of it.

Most of Perry’s characteristic lines are reminiscent of The Yardbirds, a pre-Zeppelin band. Before embracing the sounds of hard rock, Page’s work in the English blues outfit produced some of the biggest blues singles of the time. Aerosmith’s definitive take on ‘Train Kept A-Rollin”, performed during their heyday, stands as a prime example.

Like all good rock and rollers, Joe Perry understood that every great song always returned to the blues. In contrast to the flamboyant extensions that surround the arrangement, the core of every rock song is centered on a bluesy vamp. This vamp may take the form of Bo Diddley’s characteristic shuffle. Chuck Berry’s aptitude for stringing three chords together and producing magic is another influential style.

While blues rock bands dominated rock’s glory days, the genre seemed to lose its way in the 1980s and 1990s. Although numerous grunge musicians, such as Alice in Chains and Pearl Jam, had bluesy roots behind their songs. The beginnings of nu-metal tossed away any blues connotations. Instead, they substituted them for crafting purposely dissonant recordings.

To differentiate himself from his colleagues, Jack White set out to produce something as simple as possible, collaborating with Meg White to create the first White Stripes record. Though the band didn’t achieve widespread recognition until the late 1990s, albums like White Blood Cells and Elephant made a big impression on Perry.

When compared to other rock bands at the time, Perry thought the band’s fourth release could stand up to any of Zeppelin’s catalog. He told Best Life Online, “This album is like a Led Zeppelin record—you put it on, listen, and repeat.” The stream of thought in how they play entertains you. They accelerate and decelerate and they are aware of their blues heritage. They have chops.”

White may have listened to the same bluesmen as Page and Plant did. His Detroit flavor added a unique touch. From the singalong riff of ‘Seven Nation Army‘ to the bluesy freakout halfway through the record on ‘Ball and Biscuit‘. White wasn’t attempting to impress anyone, but by staying true to his roots, he created a record that stands tall among rock icons.

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