Led Zeppelin was formed in London in 1968. They were made up of Robert Plant on vocals, Jimmy Page on lead guitar, Jean-Paul Jones as the bassist and multi-instrumentalist, and not forgetting the legendary John Bonham on drums.
This lineup included four of the most talented musicians that ever walked on stage. Individually, they were amazing. But, as a group, they were just about unparalleled. They became the third best-selling band in history and are frequently regarded as the best Rock band ever.
With such strong credentials, it is, therefore, hardly surprising that there are so many bands that sound like Led Zeppelin. No doubt some are by accident, and because of the times, others are very much by design. I have put together my list of the Top 10 Led Zeppelin sounding bands.
Top 10 Bands That Sound Like Led Zeppelin
Deep Purple was a British band that was formed in the same year as Led Zeppelin, namely 1968. Therefore, it’s fair to say that as a Hard Rock band, they had many of the same influences. It is also fair to say that both bands had a wealth of riches when it came to band members.
There is no denying the legendary quality of Robert Plant’s voice. However, Deep Purple’s vocalist, Ian Gillan, who replaced the original vocalist Rod Evans, was an incredible singer. He had a higher range than very few could even get close to.
Additionally, his tone and control were incredible. All in all, he had a fantastic Rock voice, not too dissimilar to Robert Plant. And a voice that could hold its own on any hard-driving piece of music. David Coverdale would eventually go on to replace Ian Gillan, and he was no slouch either.
As far as guitarists are concerned…
Ritchie Blackmore and Steve Morse are probably their most well-known guitarists. Both are amazing Rock guitarists and more than capable of getting that Led Zeppelin sound. Backed by some heavy drumming from Ian Paice, this was a seriously talented outfit.
Overall, Deep Purple had some amazing band members and produced one or two songs similar to Led Zeppelin’s style. They were capable of powerful tracks like “Highway Star,” which was released in 1972 from their sixth studio album, Machine Head.
However, they were just as capable of more complicated and dynamically more intricate numbers. For example, “Child in Time” released two years earlier, in 1970.
Black Sabbath was special. So much so that they became one of the few bands in history to event their very own genre, namely, Metal. Now, Metal Music may not have a lot to do with Led Zeppelin. However, what did was the heavy, relentless sound they could produce, seemingly effortlessly, with just the drumming of John Bonham.
When I listen to Black Sabbath…
With the combined talents of Ozzy Osbourne on vocals, Tony Iommi on Guitar, Bill Ward on drums, and Geezer Butler on bass, the sum of the parts resulted in some seriously heavy shit.
Like Led Zeppelin, and Deep Purple, this was also a British band, and by chance, was also formed in 1968. Consequently, despite some obvious differences, you can still hear a lot of similarities as a result of similar musical influences.
Black Sabbath never had the musical complexity of Led Zeppelin…
They were more straightforward and less subtle. Although, just as amazing to listen to. I think it was this hard and powerful sound that reminded me of Zeppelin.
If I had to choose just a couple of Black Sabbath songs that are similar to Led Zeppelin songs in intensity, I would choose “Black Sabbath.” That was their debut single and the lead track from their self-titled album released in 1970. Alternatively, I would pick “Paranoid,” which was taken from their second album of the same name, also released in 1970.
The Rolling Stones
I’m sticking with British bands that were formed in the 1960s. This time, with a band that got together in London over 60 years ago in 1962. That means they had already been playing for six years before Led Zeppelin hit the scene. In some ways, it is, therefore, safe to say that Led Zeppelin may have drawn inspiration from and been influenced by The Stones.
So, do they sound the same?
In some ways, they do, as they have that 60s British Rock vibe going on. However, The Rolling Stones feel more Blues and Pop than Led Zeppelin. Additionally, although The Rolling Stones are talented musicians, they are a band that is more the product of their parts. That is, unlike Led Zeppelin, they do not have the depth of phenomenal talent in every department.
The Rolling Stones first stable band line-up consisted of Mick Jagger on vocals, Bill Wyman on Bass, Keith Richards on guitar, and Charlie Watts on drums. It’s worth noting that when the band was founded, Brian Jones was part of the band as their guitarist and multi-instrumentalist until 1969.
If I were asked to choose a recording that included any of these five members and that most reminds me of Led Zeppelin, I would go for “Paint it Black,” released in 1966 from the album, Aftermath.
These days you can’t make comparisons of bands that sound like Led Zeppelin without including Great Van Fleet. They formed in 2012 in Michigan, USA. Consequently, they are the first band I have included that is not from the UK. And not with band members that are now all well on the way to 100.
So, just how similar are they?
I can see why people compare Greta Van Fleet to Led Zeppelin. They have the energy and the style. Plus, their lead guitarist, Jake Kiszka, certainly has some chops. The drummer, Danny Wagner, also has plenty of driving power.
And the lead singer, Josh Kiszka, genuinely has a voice that, when he is howling, sounds extremely like Robert Plant. That is about as complimentary as you could get for a Rock singer.
There’s no question that Greta Van Fleet sounds like Led Zeppelin. So much so that not only have many Rock fans noticed and commented upon it, but the legendary Robert Plant has too. In one interview, he said that they were Led Zeppelin 1.0. Now, that is mighty praise, to be sure.
However, I am a little divided on this one…
That is because they have too much of an American Rock sound to my ears. They have a kind of Punk American sound that was so prevalent in the 90s.
Despite my reservations, a lot of people disagree with this. That’s fine. They will point to “Highway Tune,” released in 2017, as the best example of their trademark Led Zeppelin style of sound. I have to confess that it is pretty similar to Zeppelin.
I will come straight out and say that I think this group is awesome. And one of the most underrated Rock bands out there. They hail from Long Beach, California, and were formed in 2009.
Josh Kiszka from Great Van Fleet sounds like Robert Plant. But the lead singer of Rival Sons, Jay Buchanan, sounds even more like him. He even has an abundance of that Robert Plant poise, panache, and special stage presence.
Jay is backed up by three awesome musicians…
They include Scott Holiday on lead guitar, Michael Miley on drums, and David Beste on bass. These are all talented guys, but I believe Michael Miley is the standout. He can sure as hell hit those drums hard. And, if John Bonham is watching from above, I’m sure he would nod his head in approval.
What also makes this a band that sounds like Led Zeppelin is that there is no hint of an American Rock bias. I would go further, and say that they even have the sound of an early 60s or 70s British band. My goodness, they even look like they are from that era. That includes their gear choices, right down to the font used on the drum kit.
Listen to “Pressure and Time,” released in 2011 as the lead single from the album of the same name. And just enjoy some of their Led Zeppelin-sounding greatness.
If you close your eyes, you will honestly think you were listening to some previously unheard Led Zeppelin songs. The lead singer, Lenny Wolf, sounded almost identical to Robert Plant. Furthermore, I challenge you to listen to their debut single, “Get it On,” released in 1988, and tell me otherwise. Incidentally, this was also the name of their debut album.
What impresses me the most about Lenny Wolf is that, like the rest of the band, he is German. To sing the way he does and in such a flawless British accent, which is not easy, is frankly remarkable. Maybe he took lessons from Klaus of Scorpion’s fame.
Compared to others on this list of bands that sound like Led Zeppelin…
I also think their lead guitarist, Dany Stag, gets the closest to Jimmy Page’s guitar sound. The riffs in some of their songs sound more like Led Zeppelin than Led Zeppelin, if that is possible. His solos are impressive too.
Unfortunately, despite the success of their debut single and album, chart positions were far from stellar. They had a couple of periods when they had a short hiatus, but happily, they are still playing and recording. Honestly, a great band and well worth your time listening to and seeing live if you get the chance.
The Black Crowes
The Black Crowes are a Hard Rock, Southern Rock, and American Blues band formed in Atlanta in 1984. Although, you would never think it because they dress like they are straight out of the 70s. That is probably just as well because they sound like they are from the 70s, too. The band is still going today and has currently released 16 albums and 26 singles.
I would say that much of their earlier work has that Zeppelin feel…
But, I have chosen their 1992 single, “Remedy,” as the best example of a song that sounds like Led Zeppelin. “Remedy” charted at #48 in the US and #24 in the UK. It was taken as the lead single from the album, The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion.
That was the band’s second album and was highly successful. The album went to #1 in the US and #2 in the UK. Furthermore, it also went double-platinum in America.
Their lead vocalist, Chris Robinson, has some similarities to Robert Plant. Plus, if we could award a prize to a singer for dancing and moving like Robert Plant, then Chris Robinson would be a clear winner.
I am going back to the UK again to look at another British band also formed in the 60s. To be precise, they got together in 1964 in London. They were originally made up of, Roger Daltrey on vocals, Peter Townsend on guitar, John Entwistle on bass, and the legendary Keith Moon on drums.
Because they came from the UK…
…in the same era as Led Zeppelin, and they played Rock, there are going to be some similarities. However, many people remember The Who for their more Pop-based singles like “My Generation,” released in 1965 from the album of the same name. Plus, “Substitute” released a year later, in 1966.
Frankly, if this is what you remember them for, then you are more likely to think they sound more like The Beatles than Led Zeppelin. All very understandable. But, if you listen to their lesser-known music, like “Young Man Blues,” released in 1970, you get a much greater sense of their deeper Rock sound. This single demonstrates their right as Hard Rock musicians.
I also think that “Young Man Blues” demonstrates the power, range, and adaptability of Roger Daltrey’s voice much better than a lot of his other songs. Additionally, this is a track where Keith Moon lets rip and gets close to matching John Bonham for intensity. Getting close to John Bonham is the best any Rock drummer could ever hope for.
As soon as most people think of Fleetwood Mac, the first songs that come to mind are likely to be “Go Your Own Way,” released in 1976. And “Dreams,” released in 1977. Both songs were taken from their bestselling album, Rumours. It sold over 40 million copies, making it one of the most successful albums in music history.
This is the period that Fleetwood Mac was best known…
At this time, the band’s line-up included the super-talented Stevie Nicks and Christine McVie. However, if you go back to 1967, when they first formed, their lineup and sound were very different.
The original band members consisted of Mick Fleetwood on drums, Peter Green as lead guitarist, Jeremy Spenser as a vocalist, and very shortly after, John McVie as bass guitarist. This line-up produced a much harder Rock and Blues sound than their subsequent Pop/Rock output following the arrival of Stevie Nicks and Christine McVie.
The days of Peter Green, an incredible guitarist, were when Fleetwood Mac sounded like Led Zeppelin. Perhaps the best example is “Oh Well,” which was released in 1969. It made it to #2 in the UK and #55 in the US.
Like Led Zeppelin, this Canadian group was also formed in 1968. The band was initially made up of Geddy Lee on bass and vocals, Alex Lifeson on lead guitar, and Neil Peart on drums. They went through plenty of changes over the years. And, until 2018, they were still together. Sadly, they have now disbanded, but a run of 50 years is nothing to be sneezed at.
Their brand of music undoubtedly differed from Led Zeppelin in many respects. Although they played Hard Rock at times, with some super thick riffs courtesy of Alex Lifeson, Rush is the most Progressive of all the bands on the list. However, there are some songs that have a Led Zeppelin feel to them. “Limelight” is at the top of the list.
The single went to #24 in Canada and #44 in the US. It did, however, get to #8 on the US Mainstream Rock chart. Moving Pictures was the band’s most successful album of their career. It went to #1 in Canada and #3 in the US. Even more impressively, it went four times platinum in Canada and five times platinum in the US.
Admittedly, Rush may not be the closest in terms of the Led Zeppelin sound when compared to some other bands on the list. However, I do not think anyone would deny that there are still some similarities.
Need More Incredible Rock Music in Your Life?
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Bands That Sound Like Led Zeppelin – Final Thoughts
Led Zeppelin has left an incredible legacy of music. And thankfully, they have also left behind many other bands with a sound like Led Zeppelin for us to enjoy. Even more pleasing is that some of these bands are relatively new to the music scene. So, they are still performing, recording, and releasing new music.
Unfortunately, it is highly unlikely that we will ever see a band as great as Led Zeppelin in our lifetimes. However, I still enjoy listening to their music, even though I’ve heard it a thousand times before. And I also enjoy listening to music from groups like Kingdom Come and Rival Sons. Let me know what you think about my selections in the comments below.
Until next time, happy listening.