Why Led Zeppelin Wasn’t In The Same League As The Beatles And Rolling Stones, John Paul Jones Explained


Led Zeppelin became one of the most enduring rock acts of their time with their complex and grasping compositions that brought a breath of fresh air to ’70s music. Each of the four band members was considered one of the greatest in their fields with exceptional talents. All members were highly creative and took an active role in the song composition and recording processes of the band’s iconic works.

They created a unique sound owing to each band member’s virtuosity and passion for making good music. So, they captured the masses quickly with the quality of their recognizable sound. There are many other reasons why Led Zeppelin was such a legendary band, but the band’s bassist John Paul Jones also had something in his mind that distinguished them from their famous counterparts.

John Paul Jones Explained Why Led Zeppelin Was Different Than The Beatles And The Rolling Stones


Being compared with the other popular acts of their time is something almost all bands experience at some point in their career. Unsurprisingly, fans commonly compared Led Zeppelin with the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, who also dominated the period as much as they did. Of course, they are all fantastic bands in their way, but they can’t still escape the comparisons on who is a better band.

In an interview with Elsewhere in 2003, Led Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones shared his views on what distinguished them from the other popular bands of the time, mainly the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. The bassist stated that they had such a big following at the time that they were considered comparable to the Beatles and the Stones regarding their influence on the music world.

However, according to the bassist, it wasn’t the right approach since they didn’t promote themselves with the other occupations outside of music and didn’t appear much in the press. Jones implied that their primary purpose was making good music rather than getting involved in different businesses like movies, TV shows, or advertisements like the Beatles and the Stones did. These two bands were trendy in the press, unlike Led Zeppelin, whose focus was on their musical efforts.

John Paul Jones’s words on their primary purpose, unlike 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.”

Many fans knew Led Zeppelin did not have good relations with the press throughout their music career. They preferred not to talk to the media much, so they didn’t draw attention and were not covered much like the Beatles and the Stones. They were also subject to many negative criticisms from the press and music critics regarding their style and sound, which was distinguishable in the period.