Why Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page Has Always Been Drawn to Writing Heavy Music

Jimmy Page is primarily known for forming the rock band Led Zeppelin with Robert Plant, John Paul Jones, and John Bonham. Beyond that, the guitarist is known for his knack for guitar riffs and his songwriting. In an interview with Rolling Stone, Page discussed the kind of music he has always been interested in writing.

Jimmy Page attends the red carpet of 'Becoming Led Zeppelin' in 2021
Jimmy Page | Marc Piasecki/Getty Images

What kind of music Jimmy Page likes to write

In 2020, Page was interviewed by Rolling Stone. During the interview, Page was asked why he is drawn to “writing heavy music.”

Page then clarified, “Do you mean the sort of intensity of it or the passion of it?”

Once Rolling Stone confirmed, the Led Zeppelin guitarist explained his musical and songwriting tastes.

“I guess a lot of that comes from all the music that has been quite pivotal in one way or the other to me hearing it, or accessing something at some point of time and it making a difference, and the way that it affected me when I heard it,” Page answered.

He continued, “So then when you get the full scale of that with something like classical music, or when you’ve got so many layers and textures of it, or you’ve got something like, let’s see, Muddy Waters and ‘Long Distance Call,’ and you’ve got Muddy Waters playing slide, and let’s say Dick Crawford on bass, and you’ve got Little Walter on electric harmonica coming through an amplifier, and you hear this spine-chilling music, all of that has an effect.”

Jimmy Page on the making of ‘In Through the Out Door’

In 1979, Led Zeppelin released a studio album called In Through the Out Door. Speaking with Rolling Stone, Page explained how the music on that album came to be.

“Well, yeah, we were already doing stuff in 1980. We did a tour of Europe. I think the way to put it is like this: Presence was a guitar album. After that record, John Paul Jones had acquired a ‘Dream Machine,’ a Yamaha [synthesizer]. Stevie Wonder also had one,” Page told Rolling Stone.

The guitarist continued, “So it had given him a lot of inspiration. He suddenly actually wrote whole numbers, which he hadn’t done before, and I thought the way to go with this is to feature John Paul Jones on the keyboard.”

Page then told Rolling Stone that he assumed Led Zeppelin’s album after In Through the Our Door would have a different style.

“He’d written some stuff with Robert. I thought, ‘Well, that’s great.’ Obviously, at that time, I thought I knew how this album [In Through the Out Door] is shaping up, but the next album is going to be a departure from the keyboard album,” said Page.

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Led Zeppelin did not get to make that album

While Page and Bonham had ideas for what to release after In Through the Out Door, Led Zeppelin never made that album. In 1980, Bonham died, and Led Zeppelin made the decision to disband, making In Through the Out Door their last studio album.

“After the sessions for In Through the Out Door, John Bonham and I were discussing how we wanted to do a sort of more riff-based entity, and harder and trickier. And then, of course, I know what sort of drums he liked to play,” Page told Rolling Stone.

He continued, “It would be different to anything that had been there before. We didn’t get a chance to do that, obviously, because we lost John.”