When Jimmy Page’s $4k Investment Brought A $4.6 Million Profit To Led Zeppelin
Formed in 1968, Led Zeppelin is considered among the best rock bands in music history. Led Zeppelin created their unique style after being influenced by various genres, including blues and folk music. Due to their distinctive and powerful guitar-based sound, they are regarded as one of the ancestors of hard rock and heavy metal.
Led Zeppelin embarked on their first tour on October 4, 1968, while still named the New Yardbirds. They appeared as Led Zeppelin on October 25 in Battersea for the first time and started their first North American tour towards the end of the year. During that tour, Led Zeppelin released their debut album ‘Led Zeppelin,’ on January 12, 1969.
Jimmy Page dedicated himself to their debut record and even invested around $4300 as he was sure they would make it. Due to the album’s remarkable success following its release, this money turned into a $4.6 million profit for Led Zeppelin. Let’s learn the details of what happened back then.
Jimmy Page Paid $4K For ‘Led Zeppelin’ Album And The Band Earned $4.6 Million
Led Zeppelin released their self-titled debut on January 12, 1969, in the US and on March 31 in the UK. The recordings took place in September and October 1968, shortly after the band’s formation. The interesting aspect was that they started the sessions before securing a recording contract. Due to that, the recording sessions, which lasted around 30 hours, were covered by Jimmy Page.
‘Led Zeppelin’s recordings cost Page £1,782 (around $4300) to complete. Besides, Page was also the producer of the album. So, he was there throughout the process, and he became, in a way, Led Zeppelin’s decision-maker. In a past interview with Guitar World, Jimmy Page talked about the recording process and admitted he was the one who paid the bill.
Speaking to Guitar World in a now-inaccessible interview, Jimmy Page said:
“I wanted artistic control in a vise grip because I knew exactly what I wanted to do with these fellows. In fact, I financed and completely recorded the first album before going to Atlantic. It wasn’t your typical story where you get an advance to make an album – we arrived at Atlantic with tapes in hand.
The other advantage to having such a clear vision of what I wanted the band to be was that it kept recording costs to a minimum. We recorded the whole first album in a matter of 30 hours. That’s the truth. I know because I paid the bill.
But it wasn’t all that difficult because we were well-rehearsed, having just finished a tour of Scandinavia, and I knew exactly what I wanted to do in every respect. I knew where all the guitars were going to go and how it was going to sound – everything.”
Following the release, ‘Led Zeppelin’ brought the band huge commercial success. It was a top-ten album in both the US and UK while it topped Spain’s album chart. Besides, many of the album’s songs became classics, and it was a significant turning point for the band. As a result of its huge success, the album ended up making over $4.6 million. Thus, Jimmy Page’s $4300 investment turned into a $4.6 million profit for Led Zeppelin.