Led Zeppelin

What the Beatles were to the '60s, Led Zeppelin were to the '70s: a band so successful and innovative they wound up creating the prism through which their entire epoch was seen. Zeppelin ushered in the era of album rock -- they refused to release singles off their albums, even when they were garnering massive radio play -- and of arena rock, playing ever-larger stadiums as their ticket sales skyrocketed. Other bands played on a similar field but Led Zeppelin carried a unique mystique cultivated by cryptic album art, distance from the press, and, of course, their music. Drawing upon postwar electric blues, early rock & roll, and psychedelia, Zeppelin created a titanic roar in their earliest days but even then they weren't merely heavy. Underneath the wattage, there was a strong undercurrent of folk-rock and the quartet would soon thread in world music, funk, country, and synthesizers, creating an adventurous body of work that had a long, lasting influence on hard rock, heavy metal, and alternative rock.