The Led Zeppelin album that ‘changed’ a 5-year-old Noel Gallagher’s life
Noel Gallagher and Led Zeppelin don’t seem to overlap greatly. The hard rock full-throttle anthems that Robert Plant led the Zep through is a world away from the sonic universe in which Gallagher operates within. However, there wasn’t a bigger band on the planet than Zeppelin when Noel was five-years-old in 1972, the lasting impact that they had on him can be felt today and when he made this declaration it definitely wasn’t said at all in his vintage sarcastic tone.
Led Zeppelin had shared their magnum opus Led Zeppelin IV in 1971 and this record had cemented their position as being the most dynamic band in the world. When Noel Gallagher was a child, he heard Jimmy Page’s striking chords and instantly fell in love with rock ‘n’ roll and, from that moment on, he knew that it was the only road to follow. That album showcased Zeppelin’s remarkable new vision for their expansive sound, turning it up to another level as they welcomed orchestral arrangements and grandiose creativity. However, despite the chances, the group still managed to frame their music within the spectrum of rock and roll and, with it, took the genre to dizzy new heights. It was this album that made them legends of rock as well as, of course, infecting an infantile Gallagher.
With Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, John Paul Jones and John Bonham at their creative peak, the album was always likely to become a classic. One thing Zeppelin had that other groups didn’t was a band who fired on all cylinders and without a weak link. The record features some of their most beloved tracks such as ‘When The Levee Breaks’, ‘Black Dog’ and of course, ‘Stairway To Heaven’.
Gallagher was taking part in Pitchfork’s 5-10-15-20 in 2011 and opened up about the records that played the biggest part in his life across pivotal ages. Like most five-year-old’s, Noel Gallagher wasn’t actually obsessed with music like other musicians often attempt to make you believe. Instead, he gives a classic answer that anybody who is au fait with the former Oasis mastermind has come to expect from the man.
“Is anybody seriously into music at five?” he quipped. “No five year old can say with any fucking degree of truth that they were listening to anything. But what was big in England in 1972? Probably a lot of English glam rock, T. Rex or David Bowie. As a kid, I always loved flamboyant rock stars like Ziggy Stardust, Marc Bolan, Led Zeppelin, the Beatles. Just put Led Zeppelin down, [sarcastically] “Yeah I was a massive fan—I got Led Zeppelin II for my fifth birthday off my mother.
“I don’t come from a musical family,” he sincerely added. “I was the first musician. But my dad was a country-western DJ who would play at people’s weddings. It wasn’t earth-shattering like, ‘Fuckin’ wow! He’s fuckin’ playing Dark Side of the Moon at a wedding!’ I come from an Irish background, and all they listened to was country-western music.”
Over the years, Gallagher had built up a friendship with Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page and he genuinely is a huge fan of what the band created, telling Vogue in 2015: “I fuckin’ love Jimmy Page, as a guitarist and a guy, he’s a fuckin’ brilliant, brilliant ma,” however he did caveat the praise by sniping, “But all he ever does is fuckin’ remaster Led Zeppelin records. D’you know what I mean? Fuck me! Get a job!”
This is just an example of Gallagher being Gallagher and his raw honesty is exactly why people have such a deep infatuation with him. More often than not, artists lie through their teeth when asked about what music inspired them or what the first record they bought was but Gallagher isn’t your typical rockstar. This satirical answer, in truth, sees him sit comfortably in his own sarcastic filled lane.