November 1968: Led Zeppelin Signs to Atlantic Records

1968: Rock band "Led Zeppelin" poses for a portrait in 1968. (L-R) John Bonham, Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
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(Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

The date was November 23, 1968. That's when Atlantic Records issued a press release heralding the label's latest signing: Led Zeppelin. Once the band's notorious manager, Peter Grant, secured a whopping $143,000 advance contract for his boys, Atlantic issued the following press release:

RELATED: October 1969: Led Zeppelin Releases "Led Zeppelin II"

"ATLANTIC RECORDS SIGNS ENGLAND’S HOT NEW GROUP, LED ZEPPELIN, IN ONE OF THE BIGGEST DEALS OF THE YEAR

Atlantic Records has signed the hot new English group, Led Zeppelin, to a long term, exclusive recording contract. Although the exact terms of the deal are secret, it can be disclosed that it is one of the most substantial deals Atlantic has ever made. Agreement for the group’s services was made between Jerry Wexler, Executive Vice President of Atlantic Records, Peter Grant, manager of the group.

Led Zeppelin consists of four of the most exciting musicians performing in Britain today. They are Jimmy Page, leader of the group and lead guitarist; John Paul Jones, bassist, pianist, organist, arranger; John Bonham, drums; and Robert Plant, lead vocal and harmonica.

The pulsations surrounding Led Zeppelin have intensified ever since the group recorded its first (and as yet unreleased) album, which was produced by Jimmy Page, just a month ago in London. Top English and American rock musicians who have heard the tracks have called Led Zeppelin the next group to reach heights achieved by Cream and Hendrix. This Led Zeppelin LP will be released by Atlantic early in January."

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