The Instigator
theitalianstallion
Pro (for)
Winning
81 Points
The Contender
manutdredseal46
Con (against)
Losing
62 Points

Led Zeppelin.....The Greatest Band Ever

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/14/2008 Category: Arts
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 10,731 times Debate No: 5981
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (38)
Votes (24)

 

theitalianstallion

Pro

Led Zeppelin is hands down the best band to ever grace us with their presence on this earth. Jimmy Page is arguably the best guitarist ever. The late Bonzo was and still is the greatest drummer of all time. Plant was the first true metal vocalist with his distictive high pitch. And last but not least, JPJ, the most underrated musician of the modern era; great composer and played many different instruments. But a band cannot have success with just very talented members, it needs chemistry, consistency, a vision of where they want to take music; and Zeppelin and just that.
manutdredseal46

Con

>I would like to thank my opponent for creating this debate. As you will all notice, I have written a case and rebuttal in the traditional LD format. My opponent is free to do the same (or not) is he wishes.

>John Lennen once said that"[He was] not the Beatles. [He was himself]. Paul [wasn't] the Beatles...The Beatles [were] the Beatles. Separately, they [were] separate." It is because I believe the Beatles functioned so well together to create global success that I negate the resolution:

:: Negated ::

>Led Zeppelin is the greatest band ever

>For clarification of the round I would like to offer the following definitions:

>Greatest: a person(s) who have achieved the highest importance or distinction in a field

>Importance: the quality or state of being important; significance.

:: Observation ::

The PRO (I will refer to as affirmative, affirming, etc.) has the burden of proof to prove Led Zeppelin greater than all other bands.

:: Value ::

My value is the greatest band ever. Due to the wording of the resolution, the greatest band ever is the inherit value for this round and any argument that proves its points but does not also uphold the greatest band ever does not truly affirm or negate the resolution. The greatest band ever must capture a few essential qualities, as my opponent has said, which I will define as:

1. Talent

2. Chemistry

3. Consistency

4. A vision for where they want to take music

5. Communication with the audience

6. Globalization

Being the essential 6 qualities for a band, my opponent will have the burden of proving Led Zeppelin's superiority in all of these.

:: Value Criterion ::

>My value criterion is the Beatles. Throughout this debate I will attempt to prove that the Beatles were actually a better band than Led Zeppelin. The Beatles certainly have prerequisites for this honor, and are still today one of the most popular and well known bands of all time.

>Rather than contentions, I will reference the components listed above.

:: Component Analysis ::

1. Talent

>Though my opponent argues this in favor of Led Zeppelin, neither my opponent nor myself can give proof of any talent either band that we support had (his is only opinion). Any definition of talent will be vague enough that neither of us can truly win it. Going back to my above definitions, I will go by significance (from importance, from greatest). Therefore, I will reference record sales. Led Zeppelin have sold over 111.5 million records. This is incomparable to the over one billion sold by the Beatles (all data from record companies).

2. Chemistry

>Again, there is no way in which either myself nor my opponent can prove ourselves here. My only conjecture is that the reason the Beatles had so much success as highlighted under talent is because they worked so well together. This is what brought "Beatlemania" across the globe.

3. Consistency

>You don't get much more consistent than the Beatles. During their time, the Beatles were always at the top and always getting bigger. There were no real problems for the Beatles. Led Zeppelin had a plagiarism controversy because two of their songs came distinctly from other songs which they did not write.

4. A vision for where they want to take music

>This is where the argument starts to get one-sided. I do not see any conceivable way of arguing that anybody in the world had more of an influence on music than the Beatles. The most global band of all time, selling over one billion (with a b) records changed the face of music. From the start the Beatles had a vision of sharing their music with the world. They were the most successful band of all time in terms of this component.

5. Communication with the audience

>I'll make this one short and sweet: the Beatles are the only band ever to sell over one billion records. They must have communicated pretty well.

6. Globalization

>Though the Beatles started in Liverpool (England), they spread all over the globe. When "Beatlemania" came to America, there was an uproar worldwide. I think I can say with great confidence that my opponent can find nothing Led Zeppelin has ever done comparable to the spread of Beatlemania.

>I again thank my opponent for this debate. I wish him luck and await his response. Thank you all.
Debate Round No. 1
theitalianstallion

Pro

I thank my opponent for accepting this debate. This is my first debate, so I'm not sure of all the "Debate Lingo" so I will debate the best I can.

My opponent, Con as I will refer to him, states a definition of greatest.

>Greatest: a person(s) who have achieved the highest importance or distinction in a field

The first portion of the definition is a matter of opinion. To achieve the highest importance depends on your perspective; an example. In developed countries, such as the USA and UK, a means of transportation is much more important than in third world countries.

To achieve distinction is to make yourself known in the desired field of work. The Beatles and Led Zeppelin both achieved this on a global scale.

Con then continues to state six prerequisites for becoming "The Greatest Band."

1.Talent
2.Chemistry
3.Consistency
4.A Vision of Where They Want to Take Music
5.Communication With The Audience
6.Globalization

Talent-a person who possesses unusual innate ability in some field or activity

My opponent states that talent is in the eyes of the beholder. I do not see it so. The definition I have given states that talent is an unusual innate ability in some field or activity. Each member of Led Zeppelin had that, an unusual innate ability to perform extraordinarily well in each of their desired field.

Jimmy Page was arguably the most best and most complete guitar player there has ever been. Creating complex riffs throughout his career and thinking outside the box; using many alternative tunings, 12 string guitars, double neck guitars, and even a violin bow on some occasions.

John Baldwin AKA John Paul Jones is the most versatile musician of the modern age. Playing 12 different instruments, ranging from keyboards to lap steel guitars to bass guitars, there is most likely no one who as been a part of popular music to be so talented at so many different positions on stage.

John Henry "Bonzo" Bonham was the late drummer of Led Zeppelin dieing in September of 1980. His thunderous rolls and legendary triplets where heard as a beginning of a new age for drummers. Widely known as the most complete drummer, there few who question whether Keith Moon or Neil Peart is better.

The last member, Robert Plant, is possibly the one that doesn't have a leg up on the corresponding member of The Beatles. Although an outstanding vocalist, he did not have the range that The Beatles as a whole had, only able to truly hit medium to high pitches but The Beatles had all four members doing some form of vocals, so naturally they should have a greater range.

Chemistry

Again my opponent says that this is immeasurable. But to that I say "BLAH." One way of telling if a band has good chemistry is by looking at their live performances. The Beatles live were the same live as they were in the studio with one difference, four guys in suits. The sound was just the same. Led Zeppelin on the other hand, tried to make their concerts fun for the audience, giving them something new instead of something they had already heard. You can see the chemistry by how each member of the band was able to feed off the others during solos. The best example is during live performances of Stairway to Heaven during which it is said that Jimmy Page never played the same solo twice.

Consistency

Both bands were consistent throughout their entire careers. The only exception came in the mid 70s when Jimmy Page became ill and his son tragically died (He took a year off to recuperate). Led Zeppelin was able to fill sporting arenas across the global and even when their popularity was fading in 1979, they were still able to sell out Knebworth within a few hours of tickets being released. Also, my opponent speaks of a plagiarism controversy with Led Zeppelin. The songs that were allegedly plagiarized were old blues and folk songs, which had been passed along from one musician to another for years and it just so happened that the last person to reform the song thought that they were entitled to money. No one can say that they were the writers of the songs that you speak off because no one is sure where they came from.

A vision of where they wanted to take music

You could easily give this one to The Beatles because when they came around, nothing had been done in rock, so you could say anything they did was a vision. But Led Zeppelin is different. In 1968 when they were formed, rock was still young but a lot had been done in recent years. So they had to become more inventive than anyone before them. With their first album they ventured to where only Cream had touched before them, hard rock. And they exploited this genre for all it was worth with songs such as "Good Times Bad Times," "Dazed and Confused," and "Communication Breakdown." They continued with this on Led Zeppelin 2, but then they surprised critics with Led Zeppelin 3, an acoustic based album, with eastern influences. And I could go on but I do not think that is necessary. Led Zeppelin owns this.

Communication with the Audience

The fact that The Beatles is the only band to sell more than a billion albums speaks volumes for what they were able to achieve but does not mean that they have a better communication with audiences. Before you spoke of "Beatlemania," so I will give you the definition of mania.

Mania- an irrational but irresistible motive for a belief or action

You could say that The Beatles had a great connection with audiences or you could look at it from a different perspective and realize that what The Beatles had was not a connection but a craze created by the media. People were sucked in and were never able to escape due to the shear mass of the British Invasion.

Again, Led Zeppelin was different in their communication with audiences. They came around towards to the end of the British Invasion as an underground band trying to make it big. They were never truly accepted by the media and critics, to a certain point, hated them. Led Zeppelin built their success on their music and not on a media fed craze that swept the world. Also, at one point my opponent speaks of Led Zeppelin record sales; the number is wrong. He/She gives the US sales number which is now 113.5mil, the world wide sales number is 300mil.

Globalization

My opponent again speaks of the craze "Beatlemania" and again I will say it was a craze and not a true love of music. As for Led Zeppelin not having anything that can equal the success of "Beatlemania," I again say "BLAH." If the audience of this debate recalls, Led Zeppelin had a one-off show last year with the remaining three members of the band at the O2 arena in London as a tribute to Ahmet Ertegun and a fundraiser for his Education Fund. There were 20,000 tickets available for the show; 20,000,000 applications were filed for tickets to the one show. I highly doubt that if the remaining member of The Beatles did a one-off show there would be anything comparable to this concert.

Again I thank my opponent for accepting this debate and wish him the best of luck.
manutdredseal46

Con

>I thank my opponent for his response which was very professional.

>My opponent states that "the first portion of the definition is a matter of opinion" (referring to the definition of greatest). Though this is true, the entire debate is an opinion. This doesn't mean anything. If it did, I'm sure my opponent can supply a better definition.

>My opponent states that both the Beatles and Led Zeppelin went global. This is true, however, the Beatles were much bigger with album sales numbers (my apologies for inaccuracy, but one billion is still greater than 300 million) as proof.

>My opponent gives the following definition of talent: "a person who possesses unusual innate ability in some field or activity." I reject this definition because talent is referred to here in the connotation of a skill, not a person. I define talent as the following: a special natural ability or aptitude.

>As talent goes, my opponent has listed the members of Led Zeppelin and why he likes them. His remarks, however, are entirely opinionated. He says that "[Bonzo's] thunderous rolls and legendary triplets where heard as a beginning of a new age for drummers." He cannot prove this. He says that "John Paul Jones is the most versatile musician of the modern age." He cannot prove this either. Talent cannot truly be measured except by person. I may value qualities differently than my opponent. For example. My opponent enjoys complex guitar riffs. I enjoy melodic music filled with feeling. Neither of us can truly say the other is wrong.

>I am not quite sure what my opponent means by "BLAH." To him I say "HUH?" I reject my opponent's measure of chemistry because chemistry really is immeasurable. You cannot tell by listening or watching a band how much chemistry they have. Vague ideas are the closest we get. There is not a determining factor. I will try however, to argue the Beatles as having better chemistry (this is not an exact science). My argument is that whoever plays better music within a band has more chemistry. To this, some of you might say that it is the songwriters' decision as to what to do with the music. It is not necessarily so. By listening to the Beatles and Led Zeppelin play (as well as watching them) one can determine that the Beatles played with more feeling. Led Zeppelin had some great guitar riffs and technical abilities, but they never true felt what they were playing. They did not play together with nearly the feeling that the Beatles did.

>I will now respond to my opponent's remarks about whether or not Led Zeppelin was consistent. He says that the plagiarized songs were in fact old folk songs. This is not true. The two songs of Led Zeppelin's which were allegedly plagiarized were "Bring it On Home" and "Whole Lotta Love." The first one was a mostly a cover of a song by Sonny Boy Williamson with the same title, Bring it On Home. Guitar riffs were added. "Whole Lotta Love" came from Willie Dixon's "You Need Love." Neither of these, reader, is a folk song.

>This point I will leave simple. Which of these is a bigger vision of where someone wants to take music? Revolutionizing rock or branching off from rock?

>Again, I apologize for inaccurate information, but my point still stands. If you can communicate with your audience, you can get your audience to buy records. The Beatles undoubtedly did this. Led Zeppelin did as well, but 300million is obviously less than one billion. The Beatles needed to be able to communicate with their audience to sell one billion records. They clearly did.

>My opponent refers to Led Zeppelin's one-off concert about a year ago in his closing remarks (he also says "BLAH" again, so another "HUH" from me). He says he doubts that the Beatles could be comparable to this. Logically, the band with a larger number of record sales would have a larger number of fans. To my opponent I say : "Wanna bet?"

>I thank my opponent for his response and eagerly await his next one.
Debate Round No. 2
theitalianstallion

Pro

I thank my opponent for his response and as he said of mine, I thought his was very professional and well put together.

And to clarify what I meant by "BLAH"; I don't know exactly what I meant by it at the time but it was something along the lines of "Immeasurable?!?.....Im-immeasurable?" A phrase I used in a feeling of disbelief or shock; just going down the road not taken.

And now, I will give my last argument as to why Led Zeppelin is the Greatest Band Ever.

Instead of lingering on the same topics of our "measuring stick for the Greatest Band," I will bring a new one into the light; versatility.

>I will hit a select two or three of the previous topics at the end.

Versatility-Capable of doing many things competently.
The American Heritage Dictionary

>Capable of doing many things—different styles (not necessarily genres) of music

>Competently—skillfully, effectively, and dexterously

I will start with The Beatles and their ability to perform in a versatile manner.

The Beatles, although some of the best song writers of the past five decades, never really strayed from the path that they started on. Most of their songs were played at a moderate tempo, somewhat soft (Yes, I know there are exceptions), and in a very melodic manner. They stayed within what seems to be a "poppy, sing-along" bubble, in which they dared not venture out of with the exception of a few songs; includes but not limited to, "Across the Universe," "Live and Let Die," and "Come Together."

This isn't to say that The Beatles were one dimensional, but to say that they are no where near as versatile as Led Zeppelin.

Now, too speak about the versatility of Led Zeppelin.

During their first two or three years, Led Zeppelin was very blues oriented, but that doesn't mean that that is all they did. On Led Zeppelin 1, they focused their attention on hard rock and blues, honing their abilities to work as a group. On Led Zeppelin 2, the band started to venture into uncharted waters, writing the ballad "Thank You," and Founder and Producer Jimmy Page started to give the other members much more freedom, which can be heard in the instrumental "Moby Dick."

On Led Zeppelin 3, they drifted further into those metaphorical waters. Songs such as "Friends" with its distinct Easter influences and the soft acoustic "That's the Way" had never been heard before. The opening track "Immigrant Song" was one of the hardest rocking songs the world had heard up to that point. Then, on November 8, 1971, the album they would become known for the next four decades was released, the officially untitled fourth album; commonly called the Four Symbols Album or Led Zeppelin 4. Songs ranged from the folk-like "Stairway to Heaven" to the aptly named "Rock and Roll," to the stories of Middle-Earth told in "The Battle of Evermore."

The next two albums, Houses of the Holy and Physical Graffiti would follow suit with outside the box songs such as "D'yer Mak'er," "No Quarter," and "Trampled Underfoot." "D'yer Mak'er" was an ill-advised, but half-way successful attempt by Led Zeppelin to recreate the music of Marley, Reggae. "No Quarter" made the keyboard an indispensable part of the rock genre and "Trampled Underfoot" was a very popular dance song during the 70s.

On their next album, "Presence," they would epitomize their influence on metal in the song "Achilles Last Stand;" the title is an allusion to Robert Plant breaking his ankle during a west coast tour, not the Greek Hero.

Versatility is one of the characteristics of Led Zeppelin that defined it. There are few that could cover as much of the rock genre, as did Led Zeppelin. From the soft acoustic in "Stairway to Heaven," to the relentless pounding of 4 and 8 string basses in "Achilles Last Stand;" from the Eastern styled "Friends," to the dueling mandolins and acoustics in "The Battle of Evermore," I think now it is safe to say Led Zeppelin was and still is much more versatile than The Beatles.

Now, to touch on the previous topics.

Chemistry

My opponent again says that chemistry is immeasurable, that you cannot tell how a group of people works together by just listening or watching them, but then he continues on saying that it is possible to tell how much feeling a person plays with. My question is, if not one, why the other? But I agree with him on this, you can tell how much feeling someone is playing with by just watching them. Led Zeppelin played with an enormous amount of feeling during shows; a great example of this is during any live "Stairway to Heaven" guitar solo or during any performance of "Moby Dick." The Beatles wrote with emotion, there is no denying that, but when performing live, you couldn't see or truly hear the feeling.

Consistency

My opponent again goes to the plagiarism for a source of negative influence. "Bring It On Home" is not completely a cover song as my opponent states, but a homage to Sonny Boy Williamson (the intro and outro were the only parts used from his version), and to say that "Whole Lotta Love" was plagiarized is absurd; Led Zeppelin merely "bored" the lyrics, which was common place among blues musicians, and added all the instrumentation themselves. It is also important to note that "Bring It On Home" was not written by Sonny Boy Williamson, just made famous by him. Also, in due time, both musicians received royalties for both songs with outside court agreements.

I again thank my opponent, manutdredseal46, for his intriguing and informative argument and may the best man win.
manutdredseal46

Con

>I thank my opponent for his complements of my case and I think his certainly show the marks of a fantastic debater, especially for a debate which "[was his] first debate."

>I know that my opponent may not be aware of this but it is still true: not responding to the points of the other debater means that my opponent has forfeited talent, a vision for where they want, communication with the audience, and globalization all to me.

>My opponent brings up versatility. I agree with him that this is essential in any musician, but I must say that he was very late in announcing it. My opponent says that the Beatles stayed along one track. I agree with him, but I think it was the right thing for them to do. They played in an age where their music was new and did not want to alter their path as long as it stayed successful. I don't believe that the assertion about the Beatles not being versatile because they did not branch out much is very fair. I give my opponent that Led Zeppelin certainly evolved but they did not change once they found their niche. As soon as they began playing the songs that we know them for today, they never really went back.

>My opponent mentions a slight contradiction I made in my chemistry case. To correct it, I simply meant that you cannot make a definitive measure of chemistry because one simply is not always there to witness this. If a band can play with feeling together, then I think it IMPLIES that they have more chemistry. This is not always true, however. I disagree with my opponent's assertion about the Beatles live. They always felt what they were playing and the audience got into what they were playing using this as a sort of metaphorical bridge. This is how they sold a billion albums.

>While "Bring It On Home" was not completely a cover, parts of it definitely were. My opponent cannot and does not deny this. This does not discount the plagiarism allegations. Plagiarism is defined:

Plagiarism: the unauthorized use or close imitation of the language and thoughts of another author and the representation of them as one's own original work

Led Zeppelin was plagiarizing because they did not say at any point that "part of this was by Sonny Boy Williamson, not us", the audience had no notice. This is why I quote my opponent. I do not ever use his words without enclosing them with quotes. I will proceed to quote my opponent (notice that I specify who) right now: "Bring It On Home" had its royalties given to Williamson "in due time." Williamson was not accused of plagiarism, he noted that the song was not his.

>I again thank my opponent, theitalianstallion, for this debate and the time he took to answer my points. To the audience: thank you for taking the time to read this and please vote CON.
Debate Round No. 3
38 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by i8JoMomma 5 years ago
i8JoMomma
Slayer is
Posted by CosmicAlfonzo 6 years ago
CosmicAlfonzo
Though Zeppelin is an amazing band that touched a wide varieties of genres...

You all forgot about Frank Zappa!

Hah

By the way..

Led Zeppelin > Beatles

Oh wait, anyone ever hear the phrase, "There is no accounting for taste?"

Let's all argue opinions. ;p
Posted by mattrodstrom 6 years ago
mattrodstrom
"By listening to the Beatles and Led Zeppelin play (as well as watching them) one can determine that the Beatles played with more feeling. Led Zeppelin had some great guitar riffs and technical abilities, but they never true felt what they were playing."

ROFL if anything the Beatles were the 'technical' people.. Zepp free flowed in pretty much every live song they ever played... and the only way they can do that is b/c they "feel" what they're playing.

on moby dick skip ahed to 340 and watch from there.

these guys Rely on Feeling their way.
Posted by Shtookah 6 years ago
Shtookah
Reel big fish anyone:p?
Posted by Wikuk 6 years ago
Wikuk
The greatest band ever is Virgin Steele! Wait, no one agrees with me? That's probably why I don't like "greatest band" discussions: recognition is such a high factor...
Posted by theitalianstallion 8 years ago
theitalianstallion
Sheridan is completely right about the subjectivity of this kind of debate.

PS. Please don't judge my arguments to harshly as this was my first debate and had no idea what I was doing; you can plainly see this in the first round.
Posted by patsox834 8 years ago
patsox834
I enjoy the music debates for the very reasons you stated -- they're definitely not like your ordinary debate, and you can come across some interesting opinions.

You're right that the insane subjectivity of this topic could skew the votes, though. No doubt about that in my mind.
Posted by Sheridan 8 years ago
Sheridan
These "greatest band ever" debates are a bit different than normal debates. The contentions are entirely opinionated. Some may have even voted because they like Led Zeppelin more. For me at least, that is not the case. The only grounds I have in assigning a victor in this debate is to assess their arguments. And in this case, Con presented more reasonably, correctly spelled argument and attacked specifically the pro's contentions. Plain and simple, he argued better, and for that, Con is the winner in my book.
Posted by FeatherintheWind 8 years ago
FeatherintheWind
have you voted then
Posted by resolutionsmasher 8 years ago
resolutionsmasher
Just because the Beatles recieve more recognition doesn't mean that they were the best ever. It simply means that they were more successful capatalists. Led Zeplin music, on the other hand, instills the very idea of art and soul into thier music to create what is considered by any reasonable music enthusiast as the masterpiece of rock.
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