Production team: The band included guitarist Jimmy Page (who was the producer of the album), singer Robert Plant, bassist John Paul Jones, and drummer John Bonham. Other members of the team included studio engineer Glenn Johns and manager Peter Grant. No record company executives were involved.
Budget: The recording was funded by Page and Grant at a cost of less than 2,000 pounds in October 1968. Because they were using their own money, they worked quickly, recording the songs “live” with a limited number of overdubs. Total recording time was between 30 and 36 hours, according to a 2015 interview.
Audience feedback: Led Zeppelin had only come together in August 1968, after Page’s previous band, The Yardbirds, fell apart. After practicing for a few weeks, the band did a Scandinavian tour as “The New Yardbirds,” which let them perfect their performance and try out new songs and ideas in front of live audiences. Many of these sounds and arrangements were incorporated into the Led Zeppelin I track list.
Iterative cycles: The album’s centerpiece song, Dazed & Confused, dated from Page’s days in the Yardbirds and was written by Jake Holmes. In the hands of Led Zeppelin, it was heavily modified as the band experimented with different sounds, including Page’s use of a violin bow. Other songs that were tried out on tour included Communication Breakdown and a Muddy Waters song, You Shook Me All Night Long.
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