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Musician, songwriter and producer Jimmy Page was in the Yardbirds and founded the British rock band sensation Led Zeppelin in the late 1960s.
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Their second album, the aptly titled Led Zeppelin II (1969), featured "Whole Lotta Love," "Ramble On," and "Heartbreaker." "Whole Lotta Love" reached the No. 4 spot on the pop charts, and the album reached the top of the charts by year's end. Again, Page worked behind the scenes, serving as producer for the recording. He also wrote or helped to write the music for many of the band's songs while Plant served as the group's main lyricist.
Led Zeppelin released the more folk-influenced Led Zeppelin III. The single, "Immigrant Song," became the band's latest hit. Many critics saw the group's fourth album, however, as their best work. This 1971 untitled work is sometimes called the Runes Album for the symbols on the cover, which reflected Page's interest in the occult. The album offered listeners such songs as the legendary "Stairway to Heaven," which became one of most requested rock songs of all time despite its startling 8-minute length. "Black Dog" and "Rock and Roll" were other significant tracks from that album.
With 1973's Houses of the Holy, Led Zeppelin continued its domination of the rock world. The album went to the top of the charts and featured the hit "D'yer Mak'er." The band launched their own record label, Black Swan, in 1974, and worked with such acts as Bad Company.
The following year, Page and the rest of the group enjoyed great success with the double album Physical Graffiti. The recording contained such hits as "Trampled Underfoot." That August, however, the band was forced to take a break as Plant recovered from injuries sustained in a car accident. Their next effort, 1976's Presence, proved to be a disappointment.
In addition to their recordings, Led Zeppelin was one of the most successful live acts of the 1970s. Some of their performances were captured in the 1976 concert film The Song Remains the Same. Off stage, they became infamous for their excessive lifestyles, which led to the group's downfall. Bonham died at Page's house outside London in September 1980. After doing some heavy drinking, Bonham choked to death on his own vomit. Losing Bonham affected Page deeply—he couldn't play music for months after the incident. The rest of the band had similar feelings, and they decided that Led Zeppelin could not continue without Bonham.
Returning to music as a composer, Page penned the score to the Charles Bronson film Deathwish II (1982). In 1984, he formed a group called the Firm with Paul Rodgers, formerly of Bad Company and Free. Page was also arrested that year for drug possession. The Firm released a self-titled album in 1985, which did well commercially but earned lackluster reviews. Their next effort, 1986's Mean Business, did not fare as well.
Page reunited with John Paul Jones and Robert Plant in 1985 to play the international benefit concert Live Aid. They were joined on stage by drummers Tony Thompson and Phil Collins. They played together again in 1988 for the special concert held in honor of Atlantic Records 25th anniversary.
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