neither the beatles nor led zeppelin did anything first, neither one of them, despite both bands getting recognition as being innovators or trailblazers. they were copies.
Don't care about Led Zep. But The Beatles watering the essence of the genre... wait a minute. What genre are we talking about here? Beat music? Rock 'n' Roll? And most of all: which Beatles period are you refering to?
It's right that they took what other people did before them - like, um, every musician does - but from 1966 onwards, they took it to a whole new level. "Revolver" turned the pop album into an art form instead of singles collections. Nobody really cared for albums before that. Of course, The Beatles didn't do everything right, I'm not a blind follower. I don't really like the Sgt. Pepper's album for instance.
And about their earlier stuff I can't think of any band at the time that did it better. The Kinks' early albums sucked (later they became good enough to compete with the Fab Four), Stones needed a lot of time to get their act straight too, guys like Herman's Hermits or The Monkees you couldn't take seriously. The Byrds kinda started as a Dylan cover band... This has nothing to do with The Beatles doing something "first" but simply with Lennon and McCartney being brilliant songwriters.
What's the point with doing things first, anyway? Are Elliott Smith's albums any worse, just because he totally ripped of The Beatles' harmonies in his vocals? No, they aren't. They are brilliant albums. He took what he loved and made it his own. That's the way pop music works most of the time.
That said, I'd be very curious to know which acts The Beatles copied who did it better, in your opinion. I'll give you Buddy Holly.
for what it's worth, i like a good handful of beatles songs. "i'll follow the sun" and "and i love her" are great songs. so no mr. j i don't blindly hate the beatles
Is not what I was implying, by the way. Just knew you're not very fond of them.