November 23, 1968

Led Zeppelin Signs w/ Atlantic - Press Release

November 23, 1968
Led Zeppelin Signs w/ Atlantic - Press Release

In late October 1968, Peter Grant travels to New York, armed with tapes of the group's album. Meeting with Atlantic Records's Ahmet Ertegun and Jerry Wexler. A deal was quickly reached, with a reported $200,000 advance - a monumental sum at the time.

An official press release announces the news:


Atlantic Records has signed the hot new English group, Led Zeppelin, to a long term, exclusive recording contract. Although the exact terms of the deal are secret, it can be disclosed that it is one of the most substantial deals Atlantic has ever made. Agreement for the group’s services was made between Jerry Wexler, Executive Vice President of Atlantic Records, Peter Grant, manager of the group.
Led Zeppelin consists of four of the most exciting musicians performing in Britain today. They are Jimmy Page, leader of the group and lead guitarist; John Paul Jones, bassist, pianist, organist, arranger; John Bonham, drums; and Robert Plant, lead vocal and harmonica.

Jimmy Page is a former member of the Yardbirds, the group that spawned the careers of two other great musicians, Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck. Page joined the Yardbirds in 1966 and stayed with the group until it disbanded in the summer of 1968. Prior to joining the Yardbirds he was one of the busiest session men in London.

John Paul Jones is considered one of England’s finest arrangers as well as an outstanding bass player. He is the arranger of Donovan’s “Mellow Yellow”, “Sunshine Superman”, and “Hurdy Gurdy Man”, and of the Rolling Stones’ “She’s a Rainbow”. Drummer John Bonham created  a sensation with his drum solos, while accompanying Tim Rose on his British tour in early 1968. Vocalist Robert Plant is considered one of England’s outstanding young blues singers, and has been involved in singing blues since he was 15. All of the members of the group are in their early 20s.

The pulsations surrounding Led Zeppelin have intensified ever since the group recorded its first (and as yet unreleased) album, which was produced by Jimmy Page, just a month ago in London. Top English and American rock musicians who have heard the tracks have called Led Zeppelin the next group to reach heights achieved by Cream and Hendrix. This Led Zeppelin LP will be released by Atlantic early in January.

Led Zeppelin is the eighth British group to be signed by Atlantic during the past 24 months. The others are Cream, Bee Gees, Julie Driscoll – Brian Auger & Trinity, The Crazy World of Arthur Brown, The Marbles, The Magic Lanterns, and Jimmy James & The Vagabonds.


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