Bruce Dickinson from Iron Maiden is a connoisseur of heavy rock; therefore, it shouldn’t be a surprise that he’s a fan of Led Zeppelin. However, the reasoning behind his favourite album by the group isn’t for the reasons you’d expect.
Dickinson idolised Zeppelin as a child, and they’ve remained a constant presence in his life. In 1990, Iron Maiden even paid tribute to the group by covering ‘Communication Breakdown’, which they released as a B-side to ‘Bring Your Daughter To the Slaughter’. They captured the spirit of the original on their recording.
When tasked with defining the vocal technique necessary for metal, Dickinson named Robert Plant as an example, further proving the high regard he holds for Led Zeppelin. He explained: “There are basically three bases for the metal style of singing, and if you join aspect of these three singers, you have everything.
“These three singers are Robert Plant, Ian Gillan and Paul Rodgers. And if you join them in various combinations you have what everyone was always talking about.”
While he admires the heavy metal side of Led Zeppelin, it was when the band revelled in their English roots by exploring traditional folk music, that particularly appealed to Dickinson.
Dickinson previously appeared on the Masters Of Rock series on the BBC, which provided an insight into his record collection. During his delve into the world of hard rock and heavy metal, the singer shared some of his all-time favourite albums, including Led Zeppelin IV, which had a sizeable impact on him.
The album includes classic tracks such as ‘Rock and Roll’, ‘Black Dog’, ‘Stairway To Heaven’, and the powerful closer, ‘When The Levee Breaks’. There’s also ‘The Battle Of Evermore’, which quenches Dickinson’s love of Zeppelin’s folk sound.
Speaking to Loudwire back in 2015 about the group, Dickinson said: “The early Robert Plant stuff, really early Zeppelin was unbelievable. My favourite stuff from that era, they did like Danish TV shows and they did live. Wow, it is like completely unedited. Raw as it was and it’s just astonishing, it’s primal.”
In the same interview, he was also asked to choose between Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin. The frontman admitted he “was always a bigger Purple fan than Zeppelin. But I never saw either Zeppelin or Purple when I was a kid, when they were in their heyday.”
Clarifying his stance, he added: “Zeppelin were adopted by American radio big-style. But I’ve got to confess that the thing I loved most about Zeppelin was their English folk roots. Not their copies of American blues tracks.”
Listen to Iron Maiden’s cover ‘Communication Breakdown’ below.