Swan Song Records

In 1973, Led Zeppelin was the biggest rock band in the world. With five albums under their belt and a contract with Atlantic Records coming to an end, they decided to extend their musical empire into the recording industry. In May of the next year, they launched Swan Song Records (with their band manager Peter Grant), and took control of their own merchandising and the personal development of new talent. Only about ten bands signed to SSR (including Zep of course), the most well-known being Bad Company. The rest of the Led Zeppelin’s albums (including the soundtrack to their “rockumentary” The Song Remains the Same) were distributed under this label. SSR ceased operations in 1983 due to the break up of Led Zeppelin and also to Peter Grant’s deteriorating health. Today the company simply takes care of the band’s royalties. (Wikipedia)

The label’s name is derived from an ancient tale about the mute Swan. This swan remains silent its entire life. Until, at the time its death, the swan sings out one beautiful but sad song. (Wikipedia) A slightly modified version of William Rimmer’s painting “Evening: Fall of Day” (1869-70) was adapted as the Swan Song Records logo. It features a nude Apollo (son of Zeus and Leto in ancient Greek and Roman mythology) bearing large wings and a striking powerful pose. The myth contends Apollo to be rising from the earth at sunset. (Mind Workshop)

fall of day

The selection of this logo goes hand in hand with the band’s well-publicized fascination with the occult. References to mysticism, folklore, mythology, and the macabre appear in many of their songs (i.e. Stairway to Heaven, Over the Hills and Far Away, Gallows Pole, The Battle of Evermore).

I am closing with “The Song Remains the Same” from the self-titled rockumentary Led Zeppelin came out with in 1976. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED to see the whole feature…. :o)

~Rachel.

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~ by rachellubanowski on April 15, 2008.

One Response to “Swan Song Records”

  1. Great video, it reminds me of Spinal Tap:

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