Led Zeppelin

Feel the wrath of their bombast!
*special introductory paragraph!
*Led Zeppelin
*II
*III
*Led Records
*Untitled
*The Origin Of The Species DVD
*BBC Sessions
*In The Light 1969
*Houses Of The Holy
*The Soundtrack From The Film The Song Remains The Same
*How The West Was Won
*Physical Graffiti
*Physically Present
*Presence
*In Through The Out Door
*Back Through The Out Takes
*Studio Daze
*Coda
The middle-schooler without a Led Zeppelin phase is a sad middle-schooler indeed. Oh, say what you will about their ridiculously operatic screaming singer, their overblown anthems, their pretentious mysticism.... And mutter what you might about their reported decline into dinosaurism during the age of punk.... But if thy try to deny the talent - the noodles of oodles of sheer composing and playing talent that these four haughty Brits possessed, nearly incomparable in the genre of hard rock/heavy metal that they helped create- well sir, I'm just gonna have to smack you. They created a simple style based on heavy bluesy guitar-wanky power and developed it into a complex, dynamic, multi-faceted art form that inspired dozens of imitators, but few if any equals. And they didn't stagnate! They just did what they wanted - even if that happened to involve turning into kind of an adult rock piano band at the end there. But oh, the songs. And oh, could that Jimmy Page play a mean guitar - especially for a smackhead!


Led Zeppelin - Atlantic 1969.
Rating = 9


A blues-based rock extravanagnaeza. Amazingly alive guitar tone - gruff and loud, yet bright and entirely clear, thanks to thoughtful production. And that's the main appeal of this record. These New Yardbirds from the getgo pretty much revolved around the quick-fingered, weird-minded guitar demigod Jimmy Page. Whether scraping the strings with a violin bow in "Dazed And Confused," plunking the Eastern acoustic majestic in "Black Mountain Side," imitating Robert Plant in "You Shook Me," or 'wanking' his 'penis' in "How Many More Times," his playing is exciting, expert, and loose enough to have its own "Jimmy Page" signature sound. Adding creativity to the blues? Howsaboutastinky? The melodies are great, too (although rumor has it that Jimmy stole about half of them). If not for the godawful "I Can't Quit You Babe," I'd call this one of the greatest debut albums of all time. Wild singer, pounding drummer, practiced bassy, and the axeman cometh. Oh, that joyous axeman, welcoming us into his fairy world of blues, pop, metal, balladry, psychedelia, and, er, more blues. It's all here. Lots of solos, too, for all you solo fans. How about a big HANd for all you SOLO fans? Ha! Lucas humor! Like nerds do!

Reader Comments

rapallof@pathcom.com (Electric Magic)
"...The melodies are great, too (although rumor has it that Jimmy stole about half of them)." - I've written a few articles on this & you'd be surprised at some of the material that went 'uncredited'!

la314w@crown.icongrp.com (Jesse Lara)
Jello! Get out your air guitar for this one. Cuz the solos jam themselves out, and you're not as good as Jimmy Page. If you don't already have this one, that basically means that you suck. So go sit in the corner. Otherwise ROCK ON!

DougS@aol.com
This record is my favorite Led Zeppelin album and I'd argue it's the best record they ever did. Led Zeppelin was always incorrectly pigeonholed as a "Heavy Metal" band. Nothing could be further from the truth. They were a blues band that occasionally strayed into what would later be called Hard Rock. And this album best captures them as that. Name an album where Robert Plant's vocals carried that range? That deep full-bodied manic scream on "Dazed And Confused" never returned. "Black Dog"? "Whole Lotta Love"? "Rock And Roll"? Weak imitations. The almost desperate pleading vocals on "Babe I'm Gonna Leave You" were never topped, certainly not on "Stairway To Heaven". That was pure blues. Just listen to "You Shook Me". After the first album Plant's voice just sounded like a pale imitation of itself, no doubt partly crippled by drug use.

Led Zeppelin 1 was a remarkable record. What a range in songs! Going from the country-ish "Black Mountain Side" to the pure blues "I Can't Quit You Baby" to the songs that gave Black Sabbath the blueprints for their first five albums, "Dazed And Confused" and "How Many More Times". I've never considered Jimmy Page a terrific soloist. His solos were always pretty sloppy. Even that landmark speed demon solo on "Dazed And Confused" suffers from poorly timed speed changes. But MAN! Those riffs! Only Angus and Malcom Young did it as good with even less.

The rhythm section was never this tight again. John Paul Jones gave his all and only Entwhistle could be considered superior at the time. John Bonham, while no Keith Moon, was still better than most of his contemporaries and I've always considered the sound of his drums on this album to be the best he did. After Led Zeppelin 1 they released a lot of happy albums and made lots of "classic tunes" but the fire that was in this album was never approached again in my opinion. Now of course they're all washed up.

fyodor@mixcom.com (Ted Zimmer)
This whole album rocks. The only weak song is "communication breakdown" which nonetheless rocks anyway. The things that make this and almost every other zep album kick ass, is not page's wailing guitar, plant's screeching, but that tightest rhythm section in rock history. Jones's melodic yet rhythmically perfect bass and Bonham's fat and full beats simply move everything along like a semi truck.

lehmann@ideasign.com (Doug Tedeschi)
This is definitely their best (well, I haven't hear III). "Babe I'm Gonna Leave You" Rocks, and "Your Time Is Gonna Come" impresses me. They're much more talented than other tracks suggest.

Alias42264@aol.com
This was where zep started,and although i feel it was not as poetic and meaningful as some of their later albums, it has a passion that they never equaled. plant was still a teenager, can't you tell? desperation never had an equal.

glyn@sci.fi (Glyn Ford)
yes, i like this and i like all zeps blues, but they really rip off the black blues singer, not giving credit. I know they credit Dixon on the first album, but for example "bring it on home" and "nobodys fault but mine" are not credited to the black guys, just trad arrang, plant and page. And "the lemon song" !,- i know this is not the same song as Robert Johnson's "Riverside blues", but it owes a lot to it, and Johnson isn't even mentioned. I think generally a lot of the early bluesy songs are very Willie Dixon, Buddy Guy, Otis Rushish. But even so, i wouldn't call it a real rip off, cos zep bring a whole new originality to the old. But give the black guy his due too !

mistersparkle@hotmail.com (Hector M.)
lord knows i hate to be one of those guys who comments on comments, but sometimes i see something said that just NEEDS a reply. i'm afraid that "DougS" could not be more mistaken when he says that Led Zeppelin was a blues band. i didn't know whether to laugh or cry when i read that. i'm sorry, but TRYING to be a blues band and blatantly ripping off a bunch of old bluesmen does NOT a blues band make. i believe it was Muddy Waters who said, "These white boys want to play the blues badly. And they do."

as for this album, well, i never had much time for Led Zeppelin. they're one of those bands that i don't really like, but i respect because they're talented musicians and they influenced a lot of bands that i DO like. but they sure as hell weren't no blues band.

gt909lb@prism.gatech.edu (Andrew Goldthorp)
Led Zeppelin I was a fantastic debut. Along with Led Zeppelin II, the innovation of transforming blues songs into hard rock shows Led Zeppelin's skill as musicians. No to mention the originals on this album are outstanding-"Dazed and Confused" is six and a half minutes of pure thrill. I don't know if I would say Led Zeppelin was a blues band, but they did use blues as platform for their style of music.

And to correct Hector-it wasn't Muddy Waters who said that, it was Sonny Boy Williamson who said that in reference to the Yardbirds in 1963. Muddy Waters actually applauded Zeppelin and the Stones because it brought white audiences to his records.

gstarst@rsuh.ru (George Starostin)
Somewhere on the net I read an excited review of Who's Next saying that with that album "the Who ushered in the seventies". Nothing could be further from the truth! The REAL Seventies were ushered in by Led Zeppelin, and nobody could deny it. In fact, strange as it may sound, the seventies were ushered in in 1968 - with the release of their first album. No wonder it was so big: it was something completely different from everything everybody was doing at the time. Page's ultra-heavy guitar work; Bonham's drums that threatened to be even more loud than those of Keith Moon (at least for a short while); and maybe most significant of all - Plant's vocals which served as a prototype for so many, many much less talented heavy metal singers.

But no! The most strong side of that all was the general atmosphere of their early records - dark, dense, pessimistic, deep-delving into the dreariest dots of your soul! And I sincerely admit that no single group or artist could ever even come close! Not even Pink Floyd with all their f****** experimentation.

On the other hand, aura and atmosphere is not the only thing that characterizes a good band. The Stones also had their specific "feel": but even if it were totally eliminated, we would still have their wonderful riffs, melodies, lyrics, everything. If you take away the "dark aura" of Led Zeppelin, you will be left with nothing. Most of Page's riffs are... influenced (which is a soft word for "stolen"), and many of the songs have no melodies at all! Seriously, just dig into those records and you'll SEE it! I mean, the guitar solos are OK, but come on - it's not a guitar solo that makes up a song! Actually, it is no coincidence that Jimmy Page spent a heck of time as producer and session musician in the sixties: he just wasn't a songwriter. Neither was Plant. Both were wonderful musicians - one of the best guitarists and one of the best singers ever. But songwriting just wasn't a job designed for them, if you know what I mean. When they did covers (like "You Shook Me" on Led Zep I), it was fantastic. Maybe if all of their records sounded like that first one, it would have been OK.

And one more thing. There's that "gbittar" Zep fan who keeps saying the most stupid things I ever heard. There was a LOT of marketing for Led Zep, "gbittar"! Have you ever heard about Peter Grant? He was like Brian Epstein to these guys, only a trillion times more smart and skilled commercially! Led Zep just HAD to be marketed.

bevan@voicemail.com (Casey)
Come on people, most of you are saying that Led Zeppelin stole everything from their bluesmasters. They didn't really steal anything they just brought it to a whole new level; a whole new sound. That's partly what makes Led Zeppelin great, they took the blues to an extreme and came up with some incredible stuff. They are Hard Rock, Blues, & a little heavy metal. They did a little of everything which is what is so great about them.. They were influenced by the blues just as they influenced tons of hard rock/heavy metal bands later on in the following decades.

I think this is an excellent album so I'd give it a rating of 8. It's still a little rough around the edges but their isn't really a weak cut here. My favorites include the showstopper "How Many More Times", the electric fast "Communication Breakdown"....plus "Babe I'm Gonna Leave You". This is more bluesy then the rest of their albums and a great debut.

jltichenor@earthlink.net (James L. Tichenor)
Yeah, i guess me and a gajillion other ppl think this is a great album. Let me just say that this was my favorite Zep album for a long time but i think ill have to stick with zep II for now- i dont know why- maybe its that killer drum solo on moby dick- (which sabbath obviously ripped off for rat salad). Anyways, yes, this is their bluesiest album, the covers kick ass, and mr. plant isnt so annoying on this record. Oh god he gets very annoying later on.... I think this was the most frustrating album to play along to when i was a begginner- anyone who doesnt know that Page overdubbed out the ass needs a lesson here. Anyone who likes this record the best has really good taste in music let alone Zep. Cuz Zep started to get really annoying around the time of their third release. Everything after that is overplayed and you really need to smoke up to enjoy it. Anyway thats my opinion dont crucify me hehe...

ian.moss@yale.edu
This is one hell of a debut, and it made me think for a while that Jimmy Page was the greatest thing to ever clog my tape deck. A lot of it is kinda loud and cheesy (see "Good Times Bad Times"), but most of these tracks are chock-full of blistering guitar work (although I don't particularly care for "Your Time is Gonna Come"). My favorite track on this album is "You Shook Me," which despite its plagiaristic qualities is probably the best blues wankin' I've ever had the pleasure to hear. The guitar/vocal interplay on that song is extremely well-realized, the double-track guitar solo is a piercing climax--and I tell you, the whole song is so amazingly sexy it's practically obscene. Seriously, listen to it again, it's a great song!

jason_a@earthlink.net (Jason Adams)
Nuclear blues cool enough that even those of us that are allergic to Mr. Plant's vocals (which sound like Ray Stevens imitating a woman in "Guitarzan") like it. Should be cranked up on your cheap little turntable while you sit down (perhaps with tea and scones) at your desk and pump your fist.

JohnnyB8@aol.com
Oh man. This album is AWESOME!!!!! The only song that i find fault with is "Black Mountain Side", but all other songs rock! "Good Times Bad Times" and "Communication Breakdown" are probably my favorites on thgis album. "Dazed and Confused" is an impressing yet different song. Like i said, this album is great, but nowhere near as good as Physical Grafitti.

adknerr@pacbell.net (Andrew Knerr)
Of course Led Zeppelin can not and does not consider them a pure blues band, but these songs are what they grew up on and were influenced by. Every musician that ever exhisted has 'stolen' music from someone else somewhere, somehow, and someway, only to pioneer their own style.

If you feel like their songs are complete copies then please listen to the originals (who Led Zeppelin has given credit to), for example:
Willie Dixon's You Shook Me, I Can't Quite You Baby, Bring it on Home
Robert Johnson's Travelling Riverside Blues (where Plant 'stole' the Lemon verse)
Chester Burnett's Killing Floor (ala Lemon Song)
Bert Bruns Baby Come on Home
LeadBelly's Gollows Pole
Kansas Joe's Levee Gunna Break

If you can compare the two versions objectively you have to admit that Led Zeppelin infused their own persona into blues they grew up on which ultimately transformed the 'electric blues' as we know it.

Led Zeppelin I is obviously the most 'bluesy' album they created, which makes it my favorite album by far. It isn't nearly as polished or matured as their latest works which makes it sound even more real.

Bob.Barrows@Nypro.com
Why does everybody diss Plant/Page for doing what every blues musician, black or white, had been doing for decades: borrowing riffs and choruses. Let's look at "Rock Me, Baby", which started life as a Lil' Son Jackson song called "Rockin' and Rollin'". Muddy Waters later released a song called "Rock Me", which sounded suspiciously like Jackson's song.Then BB King did "Rock Me, Baby", self-credited, and it sounded a lot like Muddy's song. Then Jeff Beck and Rod Stewart turned it into Rock My Plimsoul at the same time Hendrix was recording his version of "Rock Me, Baby", "properly" credited to BB King. No one gave Muddy, BB or Jeff Beck a hard time for "stealing" this song from whomever Lil' Son Jackson "stole" it from. (Much of this is paraphrased from the Experience Music Project website ) So why does everyone pick on Page/Plant?

Jcjh20@aol.com
Classic debut. "Communication Breakdown" and "Dazed And Confused" are the main classics most people know. Its a fairly murky sounding album. The blues covers are totally awesome, "Babe, Im Gonna Leave You" is a beautiful ballady song, which is probably my favorite on the album. Definatly lots of solos, but they, along with the songs are so blissful you'll want more. Overall 9/10.

polaritybear@earthlink.net (Ian Patrick)
I think there are some legitimate reasons to be critical of Zep's appropriations. However, it would be pretty difficult to accuse them of plagiorism in the legal sense because so many of those songs had been considered public domain for decades.

It's important to remember that the whole concept of the "cover version" is really a pretty recent idea. In the ealry blues and folk traditions there was much more of an attitude that the music belonged to everybody, not just to the songwriter or performer it was most commonly associated with. That folky/communitarian attitude is very differant from both the artistic and commercial sensibilities of rock n' roll, which always ephasizes the individual performer.

I'm sure Page and Plant understood this, and would probably claim that their appropriations of blues standards were totally in keeping with the tradition of the music.

But that's the problem, right?

I mean, how for heaven's sake can a pair of white guys with awesome corporate support really claim to be part of a musical legacy which belongs so undeniably to southern black people?

And furthermore, isn't it patronizing to assume that those early musicians were so content in their folky-populist idyll that they woulnd't have demanded greater royalties and protections if they'd been available?

And for crying out loud, aren't those very laws written exclusively by rich white people and altered whenever it suits their purposes?

The line between paying tribute and exploitation is fine indeed. But these days the audience for traditional blues is mainly white anyway, so who cares...

Zepplin rules!!!

watta502@yahoo.gr (Akis Katsman)
I like this revolutionary album, but I'd give it a low 8. And this for two reasons: a) The mix here is strange so the songs seem a little "broken" and messy, b) The band didn't write all the songs here (unlike, say, the "Untitled" album that consists of only original material). But if you can stand the production, you may enjoy this album. The magnum opus here is "Dazed And Confused" which many people already know. And I dig "Babe I'm Gonna Leave You"! This song is so dark for 1969! "You Shook Me" is a nice blend of blues-rock, even myself, who can't stand the old blues much, I love the song, has prominent guitar. "Good Times Bad Times", "Your Time Is Gonna Come", "Communication Breakdown" and "I Can't Quit You Baby", sorry guys, but don't work much for me although I have listen to them a thousand times. But the last song is a killer. Oh this riff, I love it over and over again...

Note that I own the remastered version of the album. So don't tell me to buy it 'cos of the "production" comment I made. But the later albums sound better.

jmrwl13@yahoo.com (James Rowlee)
How many more times has to be the most majestic catchy beat goes on intro songs that I have ever listened to. Sometimes at work I will somehow get that rythmn stuck in my head and start singinging this song o rosie o girl o rosie o girl steal away steal away baby steal away..... you'd swear there were two guitars playing on this song.

god I want to make love to this song.... SPLOOGE

robchaundy@yahoo.com (Robert Chaundy)
This guy speaks the truth! How Many More Times is a glorious song which never seems to get very much credit. Long too! Everything that can be said about this album has already been said, often, so I will limit my comments to This is the purest, freshest, most powerful record Zeppelin made and the only one on which everything they try works. Percy's voice is just great - hereafter, it wasn't; and Jones is already showing what a great musician he is.

Hey, even Starostin likes this one!!!!!! Must be a bit special!!

Morally this gets the ten - it's kinda epochal, like.

gray0187@tc.umn.edu (Jon)
All kinds of crazy guitar sounds and massive distguit/bigbass/loudrum stuff, but it sounds kind of tenative to me because of some weird mixing decisions(?). Best song is "babe" for sure. Everyone is tired of those chords now, though--once I heard that Green Day song and some other 70s band... same rhythm and chords... oh man. I also don't like "You Shook Me" all that much. What gives? 7/10

uglytruth@hotmail.com (Hossein Nayebagha)
Basically I agree. It's a really mature debut work, for the obvious reason that atleast Jimmy Page was already an established musician both as a player and a producer by the time this was released.

How much he's stolen, I don't know. No one complains though when Hip Hop acts sample stuff today, as long as it sounds good. They didn't sample back in the late 60's, and the band's interest in earlier blues acts is pretty obvious, so you shouldn't maybe talk about how much they stole. All in all it's just a matter of details, in the long run it's just blues anyhow, you can't find sources to specific acts anyway.

A song like "Babe I'm Gonna Leave You" proves in my opinion the flaws of early heavy bluesrock, they played either really uncompromising blues oriented stuff, or did wussy balads that didn't have any history in rock 'n roll and didn't fit in with the rest of album. It doesn't mean that the song sucks, but there's something disturbing about it. 9/10.

bbernath@san.rr.com
The record that let all the young jocks engage in some good old fashioned homosexual oogling. How many of you are woman? Do you love Robert’s tight jeans? His girlish screams? Do you LUUUUUUVVVVVJimmy page? How gay…..

robadobb_2@msn.com (Rob Raymer)
i agree with many who feel that this really was their best album. the passion and heaviness of this record makes it an absolute powerhouse. and yes they were a blues band at their core but had the talent to succesfully explore other areas.incredible chemistry mixed with jimmy beginning his claim to the throne as the king of classic riffs make this one unforgettable.

stroudley_loco@hotmail.com (Sam Davenport)
Out of all the first six Zeppelin albums, which is all I've heard so far [and I haven't bothered to listen to the second disc of Physical Graffiti yet] this is the best. Bluesy, but oh my god, listen to how fresh and rocking the band sounds on here. Plant's voice is at its best, the bass is solid, the drums are pounding, the guitar is magnificent. Yeah I know that half the songs on here are uncredited blues ripoffs and covers, but who cares when they're done this well? One of the best debut albums EVER. Led Zeppelin would never, ever top this again. A high nine, if not a ten. Only Zep 4 comes close to the goodness of this, and that album is let down badly by Misty Mountain Hop.

If ever there was an indication of this album's greatness, it's the ending of How Many More Times. Absolutely stunning stuff, the scream Plant lets out before the first riff comes back in, the pounding crescendos of the ending........ wow. Get

this album, get it now. Zeppelin at its finest.

TheHitman413@aol.com
As if anyone who posted here will be checking back now to see if youve been recently assailed for your POOP opinions. I will still say ( rather type) my piece. Can I first ask a question? Can I ask another? Well, I guess I better just ask because I may be waiting until the point in my life when the booze on Bonzo's breath smells fresh, before I am given actual pemission to ask my primary, or not primary, but most significant question. That is.... Why do a lot of people seem to think that they know enough to state their opinions, and even contrive a sensible one to begin with? Because all of you that will never be rid of the boner you get when you hear about Page not crediting old dead black guys, are fucking mental peasants. We here in the US dont go around throwing about our plan on how to fuck the global community up, no we trust the government and the experts to do that, because its what they know best. Just as a good number of, safe to say even this early in my reading, nigh most of you have absolutely no business advertising your opinions when they have been so poorly arrived at. Plants voice was that of a 20 yr old boy when the 1st album came out. He began to smoke regularly, as well as mature into a young man and much of this strange time for vocal changes occurred over the early 3 or 4 years of Zep's career. Dont fucking lay into Plant, his voice may have changed but only a caveman set a million years into his stupid ways, would actually find natural change to be bad in his voice. He never COULDNT sing well, unless it was a hoarse night here or there, but he has ALWAYS been well above his contemporaries throughout his career, in the vocal and performing department. Even with a deeper, more subtle controlled voice, his use of the well placed scream or wail still serves him well today and he hasnt managed to mar any Zep songs with his recent treatments. In fact Ramble On for example, in 2002 could be heard live with a MUCH improved synth string arr. So dont sit there and pretend to know the slightest thing about musicianship or singing if you honestly think that Zeppelin I was the bands peak, pinnacle, and masterpiece. Youre not even scratching that surface until AFTER Houses of the Holy, in 1973. Tell me critics, can any of you effectively sing all of The Ocean, note for bloody note, or perhaps even attempt to squirt that perfect opening word "MANY!!!...." And the vocal brilliance that follows it on Over the Hills? His voice evolved and matured, it didnt deteriorate, if not for the better.

kamikazebulldozer@yahoo.com
This album's ok. Normally I would consider it great, but...3 damn cover songs? Come on! It's a letdown to me that when I trim off cover songs I end up with 25 minutes of original Led Zeppelin music! As far as I'm concerned, cover songs belong on cover-based albums, and if I want that I'll purchase Metallica's Garage, Inc., thank you. Not that the covers are done poorly, but...Well...I've just never really liked cover songs, no matter how well the covering artist does them.

But whatever. No need to complain, I suppose. I'll just address the album from now on as if it were stripped of the cover songs...

The album's too damn short! Only 25-minutes! What is this, a friggin' hardcore punk EP? BLAUGH!

Ok, ok. Seriously.

This is a pretty good start. Very disciplined and very solid electric blues. One of the things I appreciate about the album is its modest consistency in the midst of how well it balances short, straightforward and jangly rockers (Good Times Bad Times, Communication Breakdown) with slower, extended, more weeded out and crafted blues draggers (Babe I'm Gonna Leave You, Dazed And Confused, Your Time Is Gonna Come). Dazed And Confused even has a doomish sound to it. And of course, here we have yet another instrumental. Interesting how so many albums that are claimed to be a 'landmark in heavy metal' (not saying Led Zeppelin were ever metal, I'm just going by the popular perspective) have instrumentals. Black Mountain Side, Rat Salad, Orion, and probably many more I've missed.

Though Robert Plant's voice sounds slickest on this one, I actually think that he had developed better on some of the later albums (most notably on III). Still, the blues melodies here do pretty well on their own, and the band have a knack for discipline, arrangement, and the fusion of melody. John Bonham's drumming is great. The shorter and catchier songs can keep new listener's coming back for more until they can develop an attachment to the longer, better and more weeded out songs. Not bad. Not bad at all.

rockylisa@yahoo.com (Robert, Texas)
One of the greatest things about Zep is that I always hear or get something new from them every time I listen to them. I recently noticed some keyboards on Communication Breakdown. At 1:44 seconds, during the guitar solo, when Page is doing the ascending lick, you can hear keyboard in the right channel. It is most prominent at 1:59 when the main riff kicks in for the second time. What a classic record.

ozekat1@yahoo.com
Yeah I think led zeppelin 1 has a lot of great songs in it. I still don’t understand why you don’t like “I can’t quit you baby” I think it’s a great blues song, sure the guitar is fucking sloppy, but I think the rest of it is great. I’m not sure it this needs a better score or not. But then again, what band does get a 10 out of 10 in a review?

roma23rpm@hotmail.com
This one’s more like blues rock. It has a much looser feel (sometimes Page’s guitar seems to randomly noodle and Plant’s vocals ramble somewhat), more relaxed, probably because it was their first record and there was less pressure involved -- no one was expecting a phenomenal record from them.

It’s much more Cream and Hendrix inspired, even the production, which is completely different from any of the later albums. The later albums have more of a heavier, metalish sound, more trebly. This production on this album, instead, is more fit for guitar based blues rock, much like (as I said) Hendrix and Cream. Bonzo’s drumming also sounds looser and more fluid. If you listen to the drumming on “Good Times, Bad Times” and “Dazed and Confused”, you’ll find they’re so Ginger Baker and Keith Moon like. He would never drum like that on any of the next albums. Anyway, as I said, the album’s much, much more bluesy than the rest, sometimes it even sounds like they’re just jamming (even though they’re not). I agree with the 9/10. “Dazed and Confused”, captures almost every quality of Led Zeppelin at the time -- slow and haunting blues, unique use of the violin bow in the middle, the sudden surge in tempo and Plant’s exceptionally expressive singing. This song is a classic, as are “Babe, I’m Gonna Leave You” and “Communication Breakdown”. It could be their best album.

procatcher31@aol.com
God I fucking hate led zeppelin. They're the most overrated band in the history of music. What did they do that was so fucking special? Made some pretentious dumb anthems about god knows what. and since there's no god, no one knows what. and then there's the stupid annoying guitar distorted earfucking noise like "whole lotta love" that just makes me want to unplug Jimmy's guitar (because I'm classy and use words like "earfucking."). The end.

PS

Keith Moon came up with Led Zeppelin's name, and upon doing so unleashed the biggest wave of terror the world has known since Hoover (take that, Herbert Clark Hoover. Jerk).

Ben
Man what a fantastic album. The band was only around for less than half a year before they recorded this album, and they already had their shit together. You can compare this to The Kinks, who had been around like two years before they recorded their first two albums and they didn't even come close to having their shit together. My favorite here is the mean blues stomper "How Many More Times?" and it's followed closely by the two pop songs (by their standard anyway) "Good Times Bad Times" and "Communication Breakdown". Not a song I don't like here, and I find "I Can't Quit You Babe" quite good. Never thought I'd hear the term "god awful" applied to it. Back when I was like 15 or 16, this was one of my all time favorite albums ever (and I remember listening to it A LOT back then). I don't play it much anymore, but whenever I do I end up really enjoying it. Can't really decide on a rating for this one. Still trying to decide if it's my favorite Zep album or not.

Add your thoughts?

II - Atlantic 1969.
Rating = 9


Strange murky production on this one. I guess the point was to make a really "heavy" album, and I suppose to that end it's successful, but the loss of clarity sucks away a lot of what made the debut so darned memorable. Thank goodness most of the melodies are great, and the legendary hard rockers "Whole Lotta Love," "Heartbreaker," and "Livin' Lovin' Maid" sound wondermous in this low-end context. Still, I'll be slingshot if muddying up the downright lovely "Thank You," "Ramble On," and "What Is And What Should Never Be" wasn't just a foolish engineering error. The whole thing sounds just like the cover looks: dirty, murky, brown, ugly. Still, this is darned catchy riff rock -- except for the parts where they just start dicking around like ego men (i.e. the boring-as-day "jam" that takes up the second half of "The Lemon Song" and the -- sigh -- FUCKING DRUM SOLO that wastes most of the otherwise great mean riffer "Moby Dick").

If needlessly bass-heavy mixing doesn't put a pebble in your shoe, buy this Brown Bombing classic with its hits galore!

Reader Comments

rapallof@pathcom.com (Electric Magic)
Regarding the "muddiness" of the sound - Are you listening to the 'remastered' version? Some of the earlier CDs were poor in sound quality.

la314w@crown.icongrp.com (Jesse Lara)
Well, Well, Well, we do have a piece of mudpie here. But hey look on the brightside - Lucille Ball is on the cover!

m.eisenkraft@juno.com (Michael Eisenkraft)
I've only been listening to one thing for the past week; LED ZEPPELIN 2. Here's my review; WOW!!!!!!!!!

jnw@iglobal.net (Jim Hull)
I got this record when I was about 14, and put "Whole Lotta Love" on the headphones for my dad to listen to...I really loved the stereo on this album, and thought the "orgasm" part of the song was cool...my dad apparently did too, because he started laughing, and his face got red...true story...and hey!! Squeeze my lemon til the juice runs down my leg, mofo!!

aaap@netl.nw.com.au (Andy Rolfe)
Mark, Just bought the re-release of this great CD (Oct. 1996) which is digitally remastered using the original stereo master tape by the one and only Jimmy Page (a relic from a different age??). This release could solve your initial concerns regarding production clarity as it flat out kicks the crapp out of the original CD release of about 10 years ago. If after listening to this particular release you don't have a tear in your eye, you sir, are not human!!

HDVW143@aol.com
This is definitely my favorite Led Zeppelin cd. I think every song rocks! My favs are "Ramble On", "Whole Lotta Love", and "Heartbreaker". The only Zep cd that contends with this one is Physical Graffiti.

fyodor@mixcom.com (Ted Zimmer)
This is perhaps the greatest bass rock album ever. A lot of bassists (including myself) steal so many of the things that Jones did on it. In fact my whole bass style is practically based on this album.

scott_stanner@gspsf.com
Possibly the best heavy guitar album of all time.

daniel@fhsk.skurup.se (Daniel Reichberg)
Led Zeppelin II worse than the debut? No way!

Godranek@aol.com
This is such a great album I can tell you that I am very much SICK of it too!!! Every darned song on II is overplayed on the radio to the point of asphyxiation. I mean, why buy the damned album if every song comes on the radio all the frikkin TIME!? " That was Led Zep with 'Whole Lotta Love'.. now stay tuned coz in about an hour we'll be Gettin The LED OUT!!' .. AAAAAHH, what's the point of a Led Zeppelin 'gettin the led out' hour if they play Zeppelin every other dang hour anyways??

That's why III is the greatest Zep album because it's the album RADIO IGNORES THE MOST.

Balrog@tig.com.au
I am quite surprised at some negative comments about this cd....I truly love it. Led Zeppelin are a great band.....and i agree totally when people say they r not heavy metal, of course they arent.. If you want Heavy metal (or hard rock I prefer to call it), listen to AC/DC, if you want something a little more mellow listen to Led Zep... :)

gstarst@rsuh.ru (George Starostin)
This album is quite typical of Led Zep. As most of their albums, it starts on a high note - with three wonderful songs, and I will be the last to admit these songs are not wonderful! "Whole Lotta Love", which is a classic, has one of the best heavy riffs ever written! And "What Is And What Should Never Be" is probably one of their best ballads. Finally, "The Lemon Song" is a funny cocktail of "generic blues" as you call it, pure rock and roll and some standard Plant wailings.

But from then on it's all going downhill. "Thank You" just plain drags. It sounds like a poorboy version of "What Is". Naive, stupid and tries to be melodic but fails. "Heartbreaker" and "Living Loving Maid" are solid heavy rockers, but, apart from the heaviness and the usual Zep aura, they've got nothing. Rip-offs from rock'n'roll classics - that's what they are, I tell you! "Ramble On" is "Thank You" No. 2, borrowing a bit of heaviness from "Heartbreaker". It's just that when Page had enough of copying his predecessors, he was starting to copy himself - and not always with a good result.

"Moby Dick" is an unashamed and complete rip-off of Cream's "Toad". Not that I like "Toad": but why go and make an instrumental which totally resembles another instrumental? What did the world receive with "Moby Dick" that it hadn't already received with "Toad"? And, by the way, Ginger Baker is a much more prolific and experienced drummer than Bonzo (RIP) ever was. Finally, the album closes with one more half-melodic tune ("Bring It On Home") which just WON'T stick in my memory, no matter how much I listen to it.

That's the usual thing with the Zepsters - they'd always start fine and then get more and more lousy towards the end. Just not enough inspiration! You can't get away from it, man.

megaman684@aol.com (Vincent Hedrick)
II is a better album than I. It was the first Zeppelin album I bought and I hear more songs from the second album than the first album on the radio. Sure the first album is a great album but the second album sold more. I think its their biggest seller after IV.

What the hell is that sound at the end of "the lemon song" going into "thank you". It sounds like some guy talking.

hijinks@utarlg.uta.edu (Thomas Rickert)
I like the bass-heavy thing myself, but despite that, I agree with you that this album is overrated overall and all over. I never really find myself in the mood for it. I even like Presence better. There are good songs here, but still. Bring it on Home and What is... are truimphs regardless, though.

bevan@voicemail.com (Casey)
Now this is where Led Zeppelin totally kicks ass. Their melodies and riffs on this classic album are all highly memorable(and played on the radio too much too) so this probably makes it my favorite Led Zeppelin album. When i first heard this album "Whole Lotta Love" and "What Is And What Should Never Be" just blew me away. I wouldn't say the production is too murky, maybe a little rushed, but i guess that's what makes this such a great album; nothing drags on and everything is exciting.

This is a big improvement over Led Zeppelin 1; more variety on this album and better tunes. Just think, all of this was made before Black Sabbath(another great band) came out; this proves that Led Zeppelin were the first true pioneers of the Hard Rock sound that other bands tried to immitate.

cliffnorth@localacess.com
Let's not 4get that "Whole Lotta Love" is 1 of the GREAT comedy songs of R time -- it's just SO Xcessive, how can NEbuddy take it seriously? Wotta sense of humor these guys had, 1nce. Now Page & Plant R just OLD.... But then, so am I....

brain_of_j@hotmail.com (Tommy Joyce)
Not a bad album. Page is consistently entertaining on his instrument (hmm. the guitar?), and he steals so many riffs he puts at least 4 in every song (except Whole Lotta Love which has only 1 riff and, well, I made this comment on the Zep newsgroup and was flamed of course, but I still think that it is a rather blatant rip-off of Hendrix's version of 'Hey Joe'; as best heard on the Hendrix BBC sessions album, a live performance (the one he interrupted by playing Cream) aired probably just about the time WLL was probably written). Plant sounds really REALLY bad - he sounds like he's got no teeth and is a total jerk, which he of course was. Does anybody know from whence originates the riff to My Big Dick? It's really cool. Well, I guess now I'll go and shoot myself, because Thank You doesn't drive me to tears. Drives me to the lavatory, rather.

jltichenor@earthlink.net (James L. Tichenor)
the best Zep album man.... they finally mature into their own blues and the riffs are the blueprints for too many bands to name. ANd the bass playing just rocks my world.... 9/10 dude.

ian.moss@yale.edu
I think this one is my favorite Zep album, because of the multitude of rockers (especially "The Lemon Song" and "Heartbreaker") that just kick my ass onto a United Airways jet with express service to Grooveland, population me. And "What Is and What Should Never Be" is a great little half-ballad. I don't like "Thank You but No Thanks," though, so Just Shoot Me, I tell you!

jtcable@home.com (Josh Cable)
Chew!

I like rock, and this album has an assload of it. Just a lot of really awesome songs. What's not to like?

Plus, this album doesn't have Stairway to Heaven on it.

erogozin@mtu-net.ru (Eric Rogozin)
This album rules! Brilliant, brilliant, briliant! Wonderful performing and amazing songwriting skills! It's a masterpiece! It's one of those records in rock music, that made a such big influence. How can one resist a marvellous riff of Jimmy Page in "Heartbreaker", it's so gorgeous and the song itself is gorgeous. Celestrial "Whole Lotta Love", "What Is And What Should Never Be", "Thank You" are glorious! And "Moby Dich" has that famous drum solo of John Bohnam. "Bring It On Home" is awesome! But "The Lemon Song" is some worse.

Dan804935628@aol.com
A few good ones here,nothing to get excited about though,well maybe WHOLE LOTTA LOVE ,the rest....alright I guess.To be honest (and you know I always am,Prindle) most of this sounds as if the great ZEP had recorded it in about 20 minutes,just my opinion.

Jcjh20@aol.com
Classic record. Every song on here is great. I dont really have much to say bout the production. I guess its fine to me, but i dont pay much attention because these songs are stellar. I love "Thank You", "What Is And What Should Never Be", "Lemon Song" and "Bring It On Home" (ahh that bluesy-harmonica beginning is kinda boring though, i love when it kicks in), and "Whole Lotta Love", "Living Loving Maid" and "Moby Dick" are great too. I dont know if id give this a 10, either this, III or IV would get the 10 though. 9/10

watta502@yahoo.gr (Akis Katsman)
Well, I enjoy this a little better than the debut. I'd give it a low 9. The only problem here is the diversity. Hard rock all the way man! But this isn't necessarily a bad thing. "Whole Lotta Love" is a classic (although I find the middle "orgasm" part quite boring) with one of the best riffs ever made! Yeah! "Ramble On" is another favourite of mine, I like the chorus. Also I like "What Is And What Should Never Be" much, but it's "Thank You" that bores me to death, although it has some sweet melodies. I could have done without "The Lemon Song" or "Moby Dick". And "Heartbreaker" is good, but it's somewhat simple for me. Anyone who enjoys riff-driven hard rock should buy this album and rock!

soul_crusher77@hotmail.com (Mike K.)
I can't help but think I have an unusual local classic rock station, because around here this record isn't as overplayed as people commenting on this seem to suggest. Sure "whole lotta love" gets played all the live long day, and every once in a while you'll get a "what is and what should never be" or "heartbreaker", but that's about it. IV is much more overplayed around here, and even then I somehow managed to never hear "stairway to heaven" in it's entirety till I got the album itself.

Anyway, I don't have all the stuff yet, so I don't know where it stands, but an even mixture of butt-rocking and blues wanking is what I like in a Led Zeppelin cd, and this one has that down. I'll agree the low end production does screw up "thank you", but I actually think it's actually sort of neat in "what is and what should never be". I like how in the verses, the murkiness and the effect they put on plant's voice make it sound like the song's underwater, and then all of the sudden this loud and clear chorus pops up out of nowhere. I'm not too sure how I feel about "moby dick", and I can never remember how "bring it on home" goes, but the rest is great thunderous blues rockin' and a few paritally acoustic numbers for variety. Maybe not a 9, but probably an 8.5.

gray0187@tc.umn.edu (Jon)
Love "Bring It," "What Is," and "Lemon Song": that one has some surprisingly authentic funkyass bass for 1969! Only Larry Graham would do better in that year for my money. The big story is the solo on Heartbreaker, which is a bitch and a half to play, especially if you (and you know you do, guitarists!) sling the axe really low when you try and play it. That middle section is so fast I get blisters on my right hand fingertips. Too bad I never learned with a pick, this album makes me kinda wnat to. Solid stuff. 8/10

uglytruth@hotmail.com (Hossein Nayebagha)
They've moved on a bit from the blues stuff to establish what we call hardrock. So it has some really memorable songs that are based on one really mean riff; "Whole Lotta Love", "Heartbreaker" etc.

But I don't know if it's just the prodcution that makes it less, a song like "Thank You" is what "Babe I'm Gonna Leave You" was on the debut, but more embarrasing and dinosaur. "Moby Dick" has a fantastic guitar riff but a drum solo on a rock n' roll record is really stupid in my opinion. The riff on "Heartbreaker" is really cool but overall it's ruined by that break and that riff is played on a higher scale or whatever you call it. I think bands like this usually get a lot of credit for having influenced so many bands, so I'm not gonna give 'em that this time, and I may regret this but I just have to go down to a 7/10.

robadobb_2@msn.com (Rob Raymer)
another classic zep album to say the least, recorded mostly on the road and probably why the production drops off from the first record, like this as a follow up cause its less intense than the first. what is, ramble on and bring it on home knock me out. zep were masters at the slow buildup. jones is awesome on this one and good to see everyone gives him his due. his licks on the lemon song alone are enough to make him immortal

ddickson@rice.edu
Can't agree with you here. I think it's the production, crazily enough--I like this bass-heavy, estrogen-n'-testosterone-producing sound a lot better than the wild hallucinogenic '60's ambience of the first record.

Perhaps the best pure rock and roll record I've ever heard (that excludes the Beatles, so don't get offended). The LP that kicked off the '70's.

Their second best. Only IV can top it.

jokerman1235@sbcglobal.net
The Zeppelin's greatest work. Love the "generic blues rock." Bring it on Home is by itself worth the price of the album. I can't understand why nobody else likes that particular tune, but it's my favorite Zeppelin song.

So kiss my ass, all y'all.

This album rocks.

spinaltomek@hotmail.com
If this wasn't the Led Zeppelin, I guess it would receive a much lesser grade, let's say seven or six. Okay, seven, because "Whole Lotta Love", "Ramble On" and "Heartbreaker" are classics and totally rock. But there is too much stupid crap on here, especially "The Lemon Song" and "Thank You". I can't tell you how much I hate "Thank You". Sounds like Van der Graaf Generator. Not that this is necessarily a bad thing, but this is supposed to be a Led Zeppelin album! Try to imagine somebody playing "Thank You" on a acoustic guitar, without drums, keyboard or bass. See?

The sound is really good and when they rock, they rock! But when they try to be experimental or hippy-esque or whatever, it's no good. Works much better on the later records. Don't start your Led Zep collection here, as I did. Big mistake.

roma23rpm@hotmail.com
Definitely their heaviest album. Probably because they found this neat new heavy sound and were so excited about it that they poured it all through the album. While Led Zeppelin I only showed flashes of heavy metal (or hard rock; whatever you want it to be) this is where they really find it. In fact, besides “Thank You” (first attempt at a “pretty” little pop ditty) there aren’t many soft, slow parts here. While it’s much less bluesy than the debut it’s still a bit more blues based than the succeeding albums, which were more cock-rockish. Plant has also found his voice, which he didn’t quite get down on LZ I; now it’s at his highest and strongest. It’s almost amazing how much they progressed just within months. The best song of course, is “Whole Lotta Love,” which is kind of like a sequel to “Dazed and Confused,” especially with the weird sound effect part in the middle. I give this one a 9/10.

Ben
More of the same here, just not as fun. This album is certainly more ridiculous than the debut, and the band is already twice as pompous as they were the last time around. My favorite would probably be "Whole Lotta Love" if it wasn't so long and overplayed, but I can't deny it's a great song. I especially love Robert's part in the middle. My favorite here is actually "Heartbreaker", and that is firmly in my top 5 favorite songs. Normally I'm not crazy about drum solos, but I really like "Moby Dick", and I love that riff in it too. I'll give this either an 8.5 or 9.

Add your thoughts?

III - Atlantic 1970
Rating = 9


Holy crying tomato do I love this band. The third album is yet another departure, with warm, loosey-goosey, raw and welcoming production and the music split down the middle between Side One (Electric Rock) and Side Two (Acoustic Folk-Rock). Some of the tracks are more fully written than the others but they're almost always fun fun fun and catchable!

The only radio standards are "Immigrant Song" (better known as "AH-AH-AAAAAAAAAA-AH!") and the sorrowful/hoedown "Gallows Pole," but the gentle and tender roots of future Zep bombast can all be found right here. "Tangerine" is a succinct and pretty precursor to "Stairway To Heaven"; "Since I've Been Loving You" is the first of the three amazing melancholy blues numbers that they would pull off during their too-short career (the other two are "When The Levee Breaks" and "Tea For One" - all three are phenomenal); the absolutely gorgeous jear-terker "That's The Way" (one of my top five favorite Zep tracks) paves the corridor to the far more popular "Going To California"; the tenebre, Easterny "Friends" prepares the musical world for "The Battle Of Evermore"; and the raucous rocker "Out On The Tiles" squeezes your woman's lemon pie such as "Black Dog" might do just one year later.

The rockers rock, the ballads are lovely, and "Hats Off To Roy" is screwy as a lightbulb. Some folks claim that this was a calculated attempt to cash in on the 1970 acoustic folk-rock craze but, being basically unborn until mid-'73, I wouldn't know about all that. All I know is cracklin' good melodies - all one of which you'll find right here on Led Zeppelin III. Now I'll GRANT YOU that "Bron-Yr-Aur Stomp" isn't my favorite song in the world. But the other nine, I mean come on! Listen to that janglin' wiggly-diggly guitar line in "Celebration Day"! Aren't you smiling? SMILE!

Brief summary: I = blues-based. II = hard rock-based. III = folk rock-based. Enjoy!

Reader Comments

rapallof@pathcom.com (Electric Magic)
10 out of 10? Great.

la314w@crown.icongrp.com (Jesse Lara)
Hate to spoil your fun, but this album doesn't cut it for me. IT SUCKS! Though,you can have hours of fun with the record version, it spins ROUND, AND ROUND, AND ROUND, AND ROUND. I do enjoy much the song of immigrants!

laura@gseal.mdn.com (Galen Clavio)
Damn straight. I've never gotten tired of this album. Of all people, John Paul Jones shines on this record! Great! A bassist who can arrange strings! (See "Friends") Unlike II, Page's guitar is somewhat understated, which works much better, IMO. People may point to II as the guitar that identifies Zep's sound, but I think this album is much more representative.

break7@localnet.com (May-Day)
How can someone who shares my uncommon opinion that Led Zeppelin III and Van Halen's Fair Warning are those bands' best efforts be so WRONG about The Who? Sad. So sad. Where and how did you go so wrong? Who's Next is better than all these silly Zep and VH records, by the way...

fyodor@mixcom.com (Ted Zimmer)
This is tied with the first zep album as my favorite, because they are both the two most atmospheric zep album in the catalogue. Unlike II which does rock, but there is now atmosphere, just a bunch of rockers.

Weigelda@aol.com (Dave Weigel)
This album makes me feel ashamed. See, for a good while I misheard the line "Hammer of the Gods" in "Immigrant Song" as...ahem..."Camera of the Gauls". No, I don't know why, it just seemed to fit in! So it was playing on the radio in the car and I sang along, and they all laughed at me! I don't sing along to songs anymore.

Other than that, this is a great album that, for some reason, critics dismiss. This and Houses of the Holy. You listen to Rolling Stone and you'll believe that the best Zep albums are II and IV, but that's not true. And as I don't really have anything else to contribute, I'd like to say that I read that the reason the band's fourth album doesn't have a title is because that, in the words of Jimmy Page, "we were tired of having to think of titles all the time." DOES ANY OTHER HUMAN BEING IN HUMAN HISTORY HAVE LESS OF A RIGHT TO COMPLAIN ABOUT THAT? Led Zeppelin didn't give their fuckin' records names for 5 or 6 years! They gave them numbers--no, I'm sorry, roman numerals. Dumb bastards. Great band, though.

ryan.kearns@Law.UC.Edu
I believe this to be the best Zeppelin album they did, period. I can listen to this one over and over -- perhaps because a good majority of the songs on here aren't overdone on FM radio. Absolutely beautiful compositions.

Stryker120@aol.com
Don't forget "Bron-Y-Aur Stomp", of which I have found myself retuning my guitar many times to play.

gstarst@rsuh.ru (George Starostin)
The "dead album", I often call it. We disagree strongly here. Out of the first four records, this is arguably the weakest (in my opinion). All the usual problems are here - unoriginality, ripped-off riffs, Plant's wailings which are beginning to get on my nerves already (holy heavens! the man uses the same singing style on ALL of his albums! these "ah-ahs" and "oh-ohs" were good first time around, but how long should we endure them? and why did they think it so necessary to include them on every second song?), unmemorable melodies. The best song here is probably "Since I've Been Loving You", but come on guys, it's an unashamed copy of standard blues classics ("Double Trouble", for instance)! That twice-repeated five-note guitar line at the beginning of each verse is fairly cool, though. Hmmm. I wonder if Jimmy Page thought of it by himself? Guess I have to listen to some more fifties' blues albums - I'll be damned if I don't find it there.

So yeah, I'll agree that the rockers rock and the ballads are lovely. Then again, every single damned rocker on Earth is supposed to rock, and every single ballad is supposed to be lovely. But GREAT rockers and GREAT ballads are supposed to have inspired and memorable melodies as well. And this is what this album lacks completely.

megaman684@aol.com (Vincent Hedrick)
This is not the best zeppelin album. However it is one of their best albums behind HOTH, IV, and II. When I first got this cd i thought it was the worst one but after a few listems the album revealed it stregnths. I wonder why the remastered cd doesen't come with the wheel like the record did. If you look on the vinyl version there is some quotes from some guy in the space between the label and the last song.

hijinks@utarlg.uta.edu (Thomas Rickert)
Though not an immigrant, this album has always left me out on the tiles! I feel I am friends with the band, and that it is a celebration day. I can't recall a time since I haven't been loving this album. A mighty mighty ten! That's the way it should be! It stomps LZ II. Hang tangerines from that gallow's pole, everyone, cause this is it. I mean, hats off! Simply unbelievably good and rich, and not overplayed on radio! In comparison, that is. That alone might be considered a possible proof of the existence of some sort of Music God.

bevan@voicemail.com (Casey)
A nice half-relaxed acoustic album after the hardrocking Led Zeppelin II. Though a little weaker than Led Zeppelin II it is a great album because it proves that Led Zeppelin can play acoustic stuff well while still sounding like Led Zeppelin. It's not all acoustic though; their are some great rockers like "Immigrant Song" and the interesting riff-laden song "Out On The Tiles". Plus one of thier best songs "Friends" is on here. They are most successful in their acoustic style with "Gallows Pole" which is a hard rocking song played on acoustic instruments; quite interesting. Maybe one weak cut on this album "Hats(off to roy harper)" which comes at the end anyway so its consistenly enjoyable all the way through. Rating: 8 from 10.

This isn't really a transistional album for them considering that Led Zeppelin IV overall sounds similar to Led Zeppelin II, they just went back to more harder rocking stuff after this album, but they took a little bit of Led Zep III with them as you can tell in some of the tracks like "Battle of Evermore" and "Going To California".

stoo@imsa.edu (John McFerrin)
This record rules. Incidentally, I believe that Plant himself refers to this album as "Led Zeppelin's finest moment." It's far easier to sit through than II: the second album is excellent, to be sure, but if you're gonna go so heavy on production on so many songs, you have to have at least one totally acoustic track for every three or 4 electric ones. And that's why LZ3 is so awesome; the balance in the sound is as good as they ever got it.

brain_of_j@hotmail.com (Tommy Joyce)
10 is right. Why does nobody like Gallows Pole? It's my favorite here, and the best Zep rocker ever - I just can't help banging my head to that. Also agree totally that Out On The Tiles is better than Black Dog - I can never remember the lyrics to the verses because I listen only to the kick-ass riff. That's The Way is actually one of the weakest tracks here, IMO - lovely guitar, not much else (funny lyrics, though). Don't see the Tangerine - Stairway connection, though both are excellent songs, with an underrated solo in Tangerine. III is IMO the best Zep album guitar-solo-wise - Since I've Been Loving You, of course, Tangerine and Gallows Pole has some great unintrusive leads on it, too. This one was my first Zep album and every other one has been a let-down. Also, btw, Page's high point as a lyricist - he actually gets political on Immigrant Song and is very nice and sympathic on Celebration Day. No macho posturings here.

rangas@hotmail.com
This is one alimghty fine album. Why oh Why doesn't Jimmy Page write lyrics. 'Tangerine' just may be Led Zep's finest moment (Ten Years Gone does come close though), and Pagey wrote the whole song himself - whoa!

'Immigrant Song' is a great song but it is a misleading opener. 'Friends' is a masterpiece, it's easy to see why the boys like this track so much. 'Celebration Day' was the first Led Zeppelin track to get my attention, 'Since I've Been Loving You' is beautiful, that bit at the end of Page's solo is brilliant. 'Out on the Tiles' is an infectious bit of rock, but grouse nonetheless. 'Gallows Pole' is the weakest of the acoustic tracks yet is still a good tune. 'Tangerine' is the best song on this album, anyone who disagrees should listen to it again, really listen. 'That's the Way' is not bad, not bad at all, and 'Bron-Yr-Aur Stomp' is a bit of a rockin' song don't you think? A Great record 10/10.

But Hang on what about the closer, 'Hats Off (To Roy Harper)', well the album liner says this is a traditional song, yeah a traditional piece of crap, the boys worst song (along with 'The Crunge'). Change my 10/10 to a 9/10. Roy Harper you cost the boys a point!

jltichenor@earthlink.net (James L. Tichenor)
There are some great songs on here- 'Out on Tiles" rocks ass! "bron-y-aur stomp" is pretty. But i think "since i been lovin you" is the most ridiculous overblown zep song ever and the rest is pretty much mediocre. Since im no 80's metal fan the chorus of "immigrant song" ruins it for me. AGHGHHG. Ok album.

ian.moss@yale.edu
Well, I wouldn't give it a 10, but it is surprisingly good. "Celebration" and "Tangerine" are real nice songs, and I LOVE "Since I've Been Loving You," one of their very best songs. If you ever think that Jimmy Page had the technical chops but couldn't play with feeling, check out "Since I've Been Loving You"--it may well change your mind.

jtcable@tir.com (Josh Cable)
You know, IV had all the really heavy rockers and shit, and this one just has some blues wanking I guess.

Or at least, that's what a I thought on first listen. Where were the rocking out songs? Why, they're Out on the Tiles, dammit!

I had only heard Immigrant (or whatever it is) Song a billion times from a greatest hits boxed thing, because the song is fucking awesome. But holy shit, here's a whole album of undiscovered asskickings here. There's CERTANLY some slow blues shit here, but man is it crazy blues shit. Hats off to Harper is just INSANE the way the vocals were made. What the fuck were they doing? Shit, crazy shit here. And Since I've Been Loving You is not happy or lovydovey at all! That's good! FUCK LOVE.

The album is just packed full of sneaky AWESOME SONGS THAT ARE REALLY GOOD.

The only sorta-ok song would be Tangerine, I SUPPOSE.

erogozin@mtu-net.ru (Eric Rogozin)
Absolutely agree! I think, that II and III are Led Zeppelin's best, someday I can prefer II over III, someday I can prefer Led Zeppelin III over Led Zeppelin II. Well, all Zeppelin albums are brilliant, but this album is...something amazing, various and different. Wonderful record! This album proves the greatness of Led Zeppelin; "Immigrant Song", "Since I've Been Loving You" and "Gallows Pole" are eternal magnificent classics. "Friends", "Celebration Day", "Out On The Tiles", "Tangerine" etc. - all these songs sound perfectly well. Here's a folkish athmosphere over this album and the ballads are great, especially that one bluesy "Since I've Been Loving You". "Immigrant Song" rules.

Dan804935628@aol.com
I agree with the review also,this is probably their best ever in my opinion.Every song here is great,no filler,all perfect!! One of my favorite albums of all time. 10!

Jcjh20@aol.com
Yeah mostly acoustic stuff here, which i love a lot. The rockers like "Immigrant Song", "Out On The Tiles" and "Celebration Day" are great, and the acoustic stuff is very beautiful, extremely beautiful now that i remember! "Thats The Way", "Gallows Pole", "Tangerine", and "Since Ive Been Loving You" being a really great bluesy song. "Hats Off to Roy Harper" is pretty fucked up though, i always turn it off after the up-beat and catchy "Bron-Y-Aur Stomp". 9/10.

JenthePen8@aol.com
I've never really reviewed an album before. Actually I just really started getting into music a lot recently. However, I love this album! The first time I heard Tangerine, I couldn't get enough. The first stanza is just brilliant. "Measuring a summers day, I only find it slips away to gray. The hours, the bring me pain." Actually the song that made me explore Led Zeppelin and all of their music was That's The Way, when I heard it on the Almost Famous soundtrack. There are more great lyrics in that one and the guitar is just great. The guitar playing is strong throughout this whole album which is another reason I love it so much. This album is just awesome and it is always in my car stereo.

robchaundy@yahoo.com (Robert Chaundy)
es, yes, yes. I am so pleased that so many people are acknowleding this as Led Zeppelin's greatest album. When it was released it got an absolute critical slating because it didn't trowel on the bogus heavy metal like Led Zeppelin II did, but good taste has had the last laugh.

I did not mean to sound quite so negative about Led Zeppelin II. I like it a lot.

You know how people rave on about Physical Graffiti showing every musical facet of the band? Well this album does the same thing in half the time and with a lot more subtlety and authenticity. Gallow's Pole, Hats Off to (Roy) Harper and Bron-y-Aur Stomp are pure English folk, Tangerine pure West Coast folkyish rockaroll and Friends is... Indian? Whatever, it's brilliant. And if Led Zeppelin have ever recorded two more effortlessly fantastic heavy rockers than Immigrant Song and Out on the Tiles then I'll eat me hat.

There's no obvious masterpiece in the Led Zeppelin catalogue (thank you citizens of the world for rejecting the critical consensus that IV is it) - instead you've got to look for the most consistent, least flawed or most enigmatic album. By this standard, I and III are the only candidates. But any album inspired by a tumbledown cottage in the Weslh mountains wins hands down.

A glorious, triumphant ten. Folk music is just the best.

todchy@openaccess.org (Todd Lee)
Led Zep III isn't as good sonically as the first two albums, but this album contains all original material, even though the first two don't credit anyone else. In fact, LZ was sued by the estates of two blues masters (I think it was Howling Wolfe and Willie Dixon) for back royalties (which they were awarded). LZ III has some great moments on it, and some great blues treasures. The Immigrant Song however, doesn't fit at all and as it turns out, Page had some better songs that he coulda put on this LP, 'Hey Hey, What Can I Do?' for one, and Traveling Riverside Blues (an acknowledged cover) which may have never been released because 'Whole Lotta Love' was a blatant rip-off. I'll say this for Led Zepplin, plagerism aside, they were the only true blues-rock band, ever, until the Black Crows. The Stones, Clapton, or any other so-called blues/rock act were mere dabblers. Even the great southern rock bands of the seventies didn't capture the blues to the extent that LZ did. LZ's music was a dead-on take of what the world of blues was. Has anyone ever written a better blues/rock tune than Since I Been Lovin You'? Sure. LZ did a few albums later, 'In My Time Of Dying'.

watta502@yahoo.gr (Akis Katsman)
Oh no. I'm very dissapointed with this album, maybe a low 7. It's not because it's softer but most songs here aren't much interesting. The only songs that I really enjoy here are "Since I've Been Loving You" and "Gallows Pole". "Tangerine" sucks! I can't understand why this song is so loved by Led Zeppelin fans. So does "Hats Off To (Roy) Harper", a bad blues number. "Immigrant song" isn't quite bad, but it's too simple, too small and without a guitar solo! "Friends" is nice, but somewhat childish from me (maybe the lyrics or the guitar?), "That's The Way" is quite cool and "Celebration Day" is great, with a nice riff, although not the best rocker Zeppelin put out. This isn't a bad album, but to the new fans: I think that III is the worst out of the first four Zeppelin albums. Please do not start with this album, but pick up II or IV instead. But you may enjoy it.

uglytruth@hotmail.com (Hossein Nayebagha)
I don't know wether this is the best Led Zeppelin album or not, but I wouldn't give it a ten. But it is a lot more interesting than the previous two, more varied and experimental. "Since I've Been Loving You" is one of the best songs they ever did, incredibly overdramatic as it may be. "Out On The Tiles" may have a great verse riff and ryhtms, but the chorus melody is so embarrasing that you can hardly listen to it. The second half of the album hasn't caught my attention yet even though I've listened to it quite a lot, for that reason it doesn't deserve a ten. 9/10.

okeydoke0@yahoo.com (Barrett Barnard)
i totally agree mr mark. this along with the first lp and houses of the holy is far and away their best. its usually refeered to(get it reeferd as in reefer oh man i am so sexy and 17.what?)as their folk album.but immigrant song celebration day and out on the tiles are pure rock n roll in the zep vein which soon was contaminated with endless amounts of smack and jack.friends tangerine gallows pole and bron yr aur are the folky stuff and theyre great.then theres that long blues jam where jimmy just goes all over the place.just great primo shit in the zep vein(wow that was good i hope you get it damn i already used that joke.)i personally like hats off to harper so you can suck me as axl says.and the pridle dick is also right in that thats the way is one of the best zep songs ever.thank you.by the way i like thank you as well.its a good song.lay off.wanksta.

slb23@shaw.ca (S.B.)
Well, I am a fan of Led Zeppelin, but this one just doesn't do it for me. It's good, but not as great as the towering rock (and acoustic) monsters that are Led Zeppelin II, IV (Zoso), and Physical Graffiti.

The acoustic numbers are nice enough, but aren't too good in the quality department, if you ask me. Example: "Gallow's Pole" - - - it's lyrics are too repetitive, but the music is fine. "That's the Way" has a great lyrical theme, but not too good music. See what I'm getting at? It's almost always half-way with those acousitc numbers, not all the way. (I hope i'm making sense.)

Anywho, it has some great rockers ("Immigrant Song", "Celebration Day", and "Out on the Tiles".) a blues number ("Since I've Been Loving You" - which, IMHO, is their best blues song.)

And now to the most horrendously bad song on the album: "Hats off to (Roy) Harper". For those who don't know who he is, he is most noted for singing on Pink Floyd's "Have A Cigar" off of Wish You Were Here. 6.5 Stars out of 10.

robadobb_2@msn.com (Rob Raymer)
love this album , the second side is a neccesity. shows depth and its just damn good music. hats off to harper knocks me dead, great impression of evil black bottleneck blues. since ive been loving you is a killer, great emotion with my all time favorite solo by anyone. out on the tiles has got to be one of the best feel good tunes ever.

MatthewByrd@hotmail.com
What!? I don't know, I have to disagree with probably everyone here. I once went through a Led Zeppelin phase........ it didn't last long. I mean, I can't deny that Jimi Page is maybe (or, YES, he is) the greatest riff-maker in rock history........ but, c'mon that's basically all the band has (well, except for the Bonheimian drumming). Yeah, I, like most people can appreciate Led Zeppelin once in a while........ but I don't think they've ever released an album that had more depth than just good riffs throughout. I don't know, that's definetely a strike against them in my book (I do have a book, it's a big book, a big book of......... I'm sorry, I have no idea). But, then again, isn't that what most bands offer? Yeah, I hope I don't contradict myself with other albums that I gave good scores too but........ I just can't give this album a good score. I agree with Rollingstone when they used to put Led Zeppelin DOWN. Man, I don't know anything the critics said though........... my dad just told me that Rollingstone didn't like Led Zeppelin in the 70's. I hope that's reliable. But, aren't I contradicting myself? I mean, I think that Low is a good album....... but that's just as meaningful as Led Zeppelin..... But, I have to say, I do like "Heroes" Low and Station To Station. So, I guess my accusations of Led Zeppelin are unfair. But only partially. Station To Station, "Heroes" and Low maybe aren't completely honest....... but they were a step to it. They are also considered highly innovative. I guess this gives me some leverage. But, as for Led Zeppelin III, the whole album is about as bad as 'What Is And What Should Never Be' on Led Zeppelin II. There are no highs like 'Rock 'N' Roll' or 'When The Levee Breaks'. It's like they didn't really care. I'll get my thoughts together someday.......... but, for now, I give this record about a 5.

roma23rpm@hotmail.com
I don’t know, this one’s kind of overrated among fans. I mean reviewers are always giving it such high ratings - I really don’t see why. I mean it’s a good album, in fact very good, but just not on a par with the others. Except "Immigrant Song" and "Since I’ve Been Loving You" - the truly great songs on the album - the songs are just completely not as good, they hardly compare. "Celebration Day" to me is like an inferior version of "Communication Breakdown." Listen to the difference in songwriting quality: one’s an automatic classic and the other is just, ehh... 'good.' What I mean is that it’s like they went from a very high level to a much lower level of songwriting capability in an overall way; same impression goes for when I compare "Tangerine" with "Thank You" and "That’s the Way" with "Going To California" and "Friends" with "The Battle Of Evermore." I can’t believe they could have sunk this low between two such phenomenal albums, and all in such a short time. Now don’t get me wrong, as I said it’s still a really good album; just not up to standards. Thanks to "Immigrant Song" and "Since I’ve Been Loving You" I would give it an 8/10 instead of a 6 or 7/10.

Ben
I agree (more or less). The only big disagreement here is I really fuckin hate "Hats off to Harper". It's easily my least favorite Zeppelin song. That being said I quite like the other songs though. My favorite here is "Out on the Tiles".

Add your thoughts?

Led Records - Bootleg.
Rating = 6


These guys just sucked ass live. At least, according to every documentation I've ever seen or heard. They ruin great songs by turning them into ugly jams that careen back and forth between wank noise and sloppy '50s doowop. But dude, when your songs are this good to begin with, how low can you go? Not lower than a 6, it seems. This particular bootleg is a double-album I picked up for five bucks at a street fair a few weeks ago. It's worth five bucks, but not much more. Shitty sound, but I now have the delight of being able to listen to the Zeps perform "Blueberry Hill" and "For What It's Worth" any time I want! Whoopee!

Add your thoughts?

Untitled - Atlantic 1971.
Rating = 9


The classic. I 'm sure you've heard every song a hundred jillion times, even if you don't recognize any of the songs. The songwriting is their tightest yet, the production the strongest, and radio granted them with hits galore! In case you're a young person who hasn't yet made your acquaintance with the record, here are the ones you've probably heard on the radio a billion times:

"Black Dog" -- "Hey hey mama said the way you move/Gonna make you sweat gonna make you groove" -- bombastic stop-start headbangery

"Rock And Roll" -- "Been a long time, been a long time, been a long lonely lonely lonely lonely lonely time" -- nonstop r'n'r fun-go-round with fantastically enthusiastic drumming

"Stairway To Heaven" -- the original overblown mystical epic. Some love it, some hate it -- for me, it depends on what kind of mood I'm in.

"Misty Mountain Hop" -- "Please hey whoopie cat!" (he doesn't actually say "Please hey whoopie cat" -- this is the one where at the end they sing "I really don't kno-ow kno-ow kno-ow kno-ow. I really don't kno-ow kno-ow kno-ow kno-ow!") - goodtime synclavier goofy vocals!

"Going To California" -- "Give me a punch on the nose and it's startin' to flow -- I think I might be sinking!" -- absolutely gorgeous hippy acoustic balladry

"When The Levee Breaks" -- A MONSTER. The number one grade-A fucking most incredible song they ever recorded. IT FUCKING POUNDS, SOARS AND WAILS ALL AT ONCE. FOR EIGHT MINUTES!

"The Battle Of Nevermore" -- this woman keeps going "Aaaaah dance in the dark night! Sing to the morning light!" -- mandolin-driven Olde English intrigue and role-playing.

"Four Sticks" -- You might not know this one, but it's a killer understated repetitive hard rock riffer.

Fuck, that's every song on here.

Such a diverse, mature and professional record certainly desires a place in your collection. But don't bother paying for it. Just listen to a classic rock station for twelve hours or so and you can probably tape the whole thing. And tell 'em Dave sent ya!!!!!????!!

Reader Comments

rapallof@pathcom.com (Electric Magic)
Well, what can you say...

la314w@crown.icongrp.com (Jesse Lara)
Well, great album. Yet, so overrated! This album is one reason to get sick of Led Zeppelin! Though can't help tappin' my foot to "Rock'n'Roll!" There's one reason to love 'em!

cgarwood@netropolis.net (Calvin B. Garwood)
No it's not a bongo, it's FOUR STICKS!!! As in two drumsticks in each of Bonzo's hands while drumming.

hurst@bbs.tsf.com (Rick Bromley
This was the greatest album ever made, I just can't get over the song "Rock and Roll". It's the best.

michael@hartingdale.com.au (Peter)
I totally agree. BRILLIANT! My favourite Led Zep album; with songs like "stairway to heaven", "misty mountain hop", "black dog" and the rest of them, you can't help but be impressed. 10 out of 10.

fyodor@mixcom.com (Ted Zimmer)
This album is very good, but I have kind of gotten away from it because of the fact that it is very overrated. Now, whenever i listen to it, I skip "black dog", "rock and roll", and "Stairway", and go to "four sticks", "when the levee breaks" and probably tied with others as my all-time favorite song, "The Battle of Evermore".

Alias42264@aol.com
"Stairway to heaven" was great, but "going to california" is probably my all-time fave zep track. plant comes close to remembering the first album on the vocals, page mixes acoustic and fuzzy hard guitar beautifully, and MAN, have you listened to the lyrics? My fave zep album.

gt909lb@prism.gatech.edu (Andrew Goldthorp)
This is without question one of the ten greatest rock and roll records to be made. Everything from folk to blues is explored in this album. Still enjoy Page's slide guitar work on "When the Levee Breaks". I don't know how you can contend Led Zeppelin III is better? Sure Untitled is played more on the radio-that's because the songs are better than those off of III.

jhurtt@comp.uark.edu
It is I again, Jeremy Hurtt, the roving critic, and I have just one thing to say -- YES!!!! YOU ARE RIGHT!!! " When the Levee Breaks" IS LedZep's best song. Damn skippy!! I am gald to finally find a kindred on this one.

BTW, you have to be a fool to not like "Black Dog" and "The Battle of Evermore" They are sweet as a nun's cunt.

gstarst@rsuh.ru (George Starostin)
Overrated. Yes, that's what it is - overrated. And I'm not afraid to say this. All of the Zepsters' albums are overrated (well, maybe except the very first one).

Starts off promisingly - with "Black Dog" and "Rock And Roll". These songs are actually quite listenable, although not very much inspired. The melody on "Rock And Roll" is actually a rip-off of at least a DOZEN rock'n'roll classics (Ten Years After's "Losing The Dogs" is the first thing that comes on my mind, but that is a rip-off itself, so I guess there's more to it), although that "lonely, lonely, lonely" line is fairly attractive.

But then off we go onto weak and unmelodic territory! "Battle Of Evermore" is yet another in a series of J. R. R. Tolkien-inspired ravings (by the way, there is a whole page on GeoCities devoted to Tolkien's influence on Led Zep). "Stairway To Heaven" has a miraculously created melody, yes, I'll agree with that one hundred percent, but it is overlong nevertheless and ends up in some shitty vocals from Page, and it's also about a trillion times more bombastic and pretentious than the most pretentious tracks by The Who!

The other songs are really forgettable as well. Yes, and "When The Levee Breaks", too. The playing is great, but no original melodies. Just the usual mystical, heavy aura of Led Zep. If the aura's enough for you - get this album. If you wanna listen to real inspired and well-crafted music, skip it! Get Led Zep 1. At least it's got "You Shook Me".

max9@foothill.net (Jon Poirier)
"Stairway To Heaven"? Hold on now. That song is dangerous. I heard that someone was locked into a room with it playing over and over again and died. ...really...

megaman684@aol.com (Vincent Hedrick)
You should have givin this one a ten along with HOTH and II. All their records kick ass.

hijinks@utarlg.uta.edu (Thomas Rickert)
Good review, sprindletype. A bit overrated, but such a classic, a nine is really kinda foreordained. And, really, one can only bow before the altar that is When the Levee Breaks. Where do these kinds of depths come from? And those drums!!!!

!!!!!

I'm goin down now...

bevan@voicemail.com (Casey)
Their most popular album and also one of their best along with II and Houses of The Holy. An improvement over III in that every song on here is either good or a classic. You probably know every song on here without buying the album but get the album anyway, its a Kickass record. Classics include: "Stairway To Heaven"(go figure), "Black Dog", "Misty Mountain Hop", "Rock And Roll",etc.

cliffnorth@localacess.com
Hey, Mark, it only took me about 25 years 2 realize how really marvelous "Stairway to Heaven" is -- up til then I just thot it was the most overplayed song of all time, & I was in junior-high when this album came out, so I heard it A LOT.

But 1 day I put the tape on the ol player & "Stairway" rolled around, & when it was finished it was like this big lightbulb went on above my head: These guys were GOOD. The obvious takes me awhile 2 grasp.

The thing about "Stairway" is that it sounds ... inevitable. Like if Page & Plant didn't cough it up, somebody else would've -- I can't imagine reality without it, it's so perfect, and the contrast in it is so fine. I especially love Jimmy's wild work on that very last break B4 the end -- turn it up!

On the way 2 "Stairway," I FINALLY paid attention 2 "Battle of Evermore," which features the gorgeous co-vocals of Sandy Denny, 1of my favorite British folk-rock singers. "Battle" is pretty wonderful 2, but U might want 2 check-out the band Denny came from, Fairport Convention. Talk about a great band....

I've always preferred Zep at their quieter moments -- the 2 songs named above, & "Over the Hills and Far Away" -- but I also love "Immigrant Song," "Carouselambra" (great art-rock track), "Fool in the Rain" (specially the drum-&-bugle-corps middle-section), "In the Evening," "Black Dog," "Rock and Roll" -- and their jokes: "Whole Lotta Love" & of course "Hot Dog." My favorite album is IN THROUGH THE OUT DOOR.

Course ya know Page said he thot Zep coulda turned in2 something like the Incredible String Band -- ever heard THEM? Don't think these guys could EVER have got10 that goofy, but re-listening 2 "Whole Lotta Love" makes me wonder if I underrated 'em....

bobafett77@hotmail.com (John Miles)
It is hard for me to even start to comprehend that VI is better than III.

Anyone who plays guitar, bass, twelve string, drums or any kind of keyboard would agree. VI takes the remains of the classic era of III and II and puts them into a jumble of songs which, on their own are impressive, yet not continuos...at all. Stairway being placed in front of Misty Mountain hop is the most inappropriate song placement in existence. Both good songs, mind you. Rock'nRoll and black dog are too similar to be consecutive, Four sticks and Misty mountain hop are uninteresting and battle of evermore is just a lousy song.But, on a high point When the levee breaks and going to califonia are the two best songs. Although stairway would almost unquestionably be added, but has become a cliche IV is overrated. Learn it. Know it. Live it. III on the other hand gives the listener a fantastic start with immigrint song, and it just keeps on getting better. Friends is a good transition to the greatest zeppelin song of all time, "Celebration day". since I've been loving you, shows the band's versatility in blues and live impovosation, Out on the tiles is just fun, Gallows pole showcases plant's best vocals, tangerine... tangerine is just a great song, That's the way is light and meaningful, Bon-y-aur Stomp is the most musically talented(excluding Bonzo's bass drum/High-hat beat). Hats off to Harper, although I still enjoy it, is the worst song on the album, partially due to the recording quality.

jltichenor@earthlink.net (James L. Tichenor)
Led Zep IV, the most overated piece of shit ever!!!! Just kidding! Someone had to bring in an opposing point of view. heheh. Anyway... get high on reefer and sit back and play this album continously. You'll think you're in another planet seriously folks!!!!

Paulst@wfs.co.uk (Paul Stewardson)
The best ROCK album in the world.....ever ? Probably. "Black Dog" rocks like a big bastard. "Rock N Roll" rocks like a bigger bastard. The guitar solo from "Stairway To Heaven" rules, despite what anyone says! And "When The Levee Breaks" is the musical equivalent of a nuclear explosion. In a word...BIG.

stoo@imsa.edu (John McFerrin)
The main problem with this record is that it is unbelievably erratic in quality. To start, I honestly don't like Black Dog much at all. It just doesn't do a single thing for me (on the other hand, for some reason I actually enjoy the version on BBC quite a bit). Rock and Roll is better, even very good, but not killer. Battle of Evermore, on the other hand, rules. Period. Easily the best song of side one imo. Then there's Stairway to Heaven, which while not being the greatest song ever made like some friends I know think, is still remarkably well created.

Onto side two. Simply put, I HATE Misty Mountain Top. I honestly believe it's one of the five worst songs they ever did. Going to California, on the other hand, is simply great. I love it love it love it. Four sticks is...ehn... decent enough. And then there's When the Levee Breaks, the best zep track ever. This saves the whole dang album.

So there are 4 fantastic tracks, 2 good enough tracks, and two blech tracks. Not deserving of a 10. But still 9 worthy.

frh74@tea.net (Ray Holloway)
Well goddamn! Are you a communist? You say you don't like "Misty Mountain Hop" ? It's about friggin' hobbits and shit! That's right! Hobbits! The mythical halflings from Middle Earth! You know, hobbits! You gotta like a song about goddamn hobbits! Where the hell else are you gonna hear a song about hobbits? I dunno! I'm askin' you! Listen Paco, if you like goddamn hobbits, then you should like this goddamn song. Kapish? C'mon man. Cut me some slack here. It's about friggin' hobbits for chrissake. All I'm sayin' is, if you like goddamn hobbits then this should be your goddamn theme song. 'Cause, Charlie, this song is crazysexycool about some friggin' hobbits.

ian.moss@yale.edu
Somewhat overrated in my view, although "Rock And Roll" and "When the Levee Breaks" are up there with anything they ever wrote. But I'm sorry, I have never understood why people are so obsessed with "Stairway to Heaven." I mean, it's a PRETTY good song, and the guitar solo is very nice indeed, but why? what is so special about it that makes it so much more revered than any other song they wrote? Anyway, what do I know--apparently it's the "Top Song of the Millenium" according to my all-knowing local classic rock radio station, so I guess I'll just shut up right now.

jtcable@tir.com (Josh Cable)
Yes, this album is overrated, but not because it secretly SUCKS. Misty Mountain Hop is pretty lame, and Black Dog isn't as good as it could have been (still has awesome riff), but the whole rest of this album is awesome. It spawned about 5 singles, and there's only 8 songs. The best song being pretty damn long (a damn good idea to have a long song as your best).

Not Stairway tho. Stairway, while is ok, is so GODDAMN OVERRATED it's sickening. We really never need to hear the song ever again, but we will. Fuck.

Best song is Levee. It's just so damn dark and EVIL. I mean, not about evil-devilness, but it's really REALLY dark, and it's about death and destruction and rain and thunder and HATE AND MURDER. Or some such. And it's awesome. Too bad radio almost never plays it. "Hello local classic rock station, can I request some LZ?" "Sure thing!" *plays Stairway to Heaven, twice since it's a "Twofer Tuesday"*

The best songs are the Four Sticks/Going To Cali stuff that we never hear much. Tell you the truth, I didn't buy this album, my mom did. Battle of Evermore is also just plain awesome. It's about a billion times better than any badly written Lord of the Rings bullshit (seeing as that's what that incoherent pulpy stupidness was... Lord of the Rings I mean). Battle of Evermore, an very excellent idea for a song, original or not. Hardly "weak and unmelodic." You'd have to be deaf to think that. Either that, or some kind of amature Rolling Stone critic. Fuck that bullshit. Go be GAY somewhere else, George. What a fucking retard he is.

Rock and Roll, man what an awesome song that used to be. But god o god, we beat it to pieces. This whole album got ruined by these moron radio stations that beat it to death. Fuck radio, I'll never listen to it again. It can keep playing it's dreadful Morining Zoos and such other happy horeSHIT. I will have no part of it.

They never play Kashmir anyway.

Overrated. Still great, but overrated. It's hard for it to be not overrated. Thank God you gave 3 the *10*. Otherwise, I wouldn't love you anymore.

Hobbits are gay.

Oops, forgot that LZ never released any singles. So this album actually had zero singles! Yay.

richbunnell@home.com
Well, I'm impressed. I like it. I've heard all the songs a million times (okay-- just "Stairway," "Black Dog," and "Rock And Roll," with the others given scattered radio airplay every so often), but I don't judge albums by how "highly rated" they are, just how much I like them, and I like most of these songs. I don't see why everyone hates "Misty Mountain Hop"-- do you people just try to find some Zeppelin song that has some minor annoying quality just so you can exploit it and act like it makes the song bad? I don't care about the Tolkein-inspired ravings at all, probably because I'm not much of a lyrics guy--i.e., I can sit through "Battle Of Evermore" and think "Wow, what a cool mandolin tune!" rather than "Wow! This song is annoying lyrically! Screw the awesome melody, I hate this crap!" I'd give the album a 9, like you. Maybe even a 10, but I haven't heard every Zep album yet.

And does anyone else find Josh Cable's comments on this site rather blatantly offensive? I realize that he's a veteran poster at this site and all, but it's like he's going out of his way to act like a homophobic prick. If I took a 200-page spiral notebook and made a tickmark every time the word "gay" or "fag" came up in one of his postings, I'd run out of space before getting through the ninth comment. Yeah, I know that he does it on purpose and I agree with some of his opinions, but couldn't he have some reverence for other posters on the site? George, for one, has revised his opinion of this album on his site (up to a 9).

jtcable@home.com (Josh Cable)
Didn't notice.

Perhaps we can't all live in Candyland, assfister. But it's clear that I just ruined your soul.

Levee is still the best fucking song ever. Man that song is just a jam. And by jam, I don't mean like a shitty boring blues jam with no lyrics that just goes on and on, and is boring and pointless. Like Phish. Phish are fucking losers, and I hate them.

I think the reason why I don't like Misty Mountain Hop is because it's lame. It's somewhat candy assed, and listening to the song is like watching a sheet of white paper. It might be fun the first few times, but it eventually gets sickening.

Stairway to Heaven used to be an ok song. It was kinda long and had several sections. That doesn't mean that I care about the song every time I hear it.

richbunnell@home.com
"Perhaps we can't all live in Candyland"? What the hell? This is a website, not South Central Freaking LA. You're not acting like a prick because it's a harsh, merciless world - you're doing it just to be a prick. And you do it in a constant, endless manner, commenting on the same album seven times in a row and saying the same things over and over and over again. Metallica are sellouts. The Who Sell Out sucks. People who don't like Back In Black are gay. 5150 is the worst album ever. Blah blah blah, we get the goddamn point already.

Also, that reader comment two posts up for Untitled is probably my lamest comment ever. I didn't even really review the album, I just unsuccessfully made fun of Zep-bashers for no reason. I still really like "Misty Mountain Hop," though.

jason_a@earthlink.net (Jason Adams)
Both sides of this album start out weak and end big. Yep, even dumb old overplayed "Stairway To Heaven" still packs a heck of a punch and "When The Levee Breaks" just rocks proverbial arse. To tell you the truth, I don't much like the rest of the album. Robert Plant syndrome, again.

Jcjh20@aol.com
I frankly dont give a damn if "Stairway To Heaven" is overrated or not, personally i think its one of the greatest songs of all time (I agree with Rich above about how its pointless to judge a song just by how much people highly rate a song). You probably heard this classic beauty, as well as maybe "Black Dog" and "Rock And Roll". But this album mostly is a step up in diversity and really shows how powerful John "Bonzo" Bonham was as a drummer, especially "When The Levee Breaks". Id hate to go and give this critically acclaimed album a 10, but id most likely do so, because these are really great songs, even "Misty Mountain Hop".

robchaundy@yahoo.com (Robert Chaundy)
Not the best. But good.

Here are some things you may not have known: 'Black Dog' is named in honour of a black dog who wandered into the studio during a recording session; the drums on Levee sound so immense because they were being played from the bottom of a stone spiral staircase; the original version of Kashmir was written for this album but shelved.

I cannot emphasize enough that this is not Led Zeppelin's best album. But it is good.

R.I.P. Les Sealey
1957-2001

watta502@yahoo.gr (Akis Katsman)
Oh yeah babe! This album is a killer! All the songs here are winners. Everybody knows the classics "Rock And Roll" and "Stairway To Heaven" (one of my all-time favourite songs). The worst song here is probably "Four Sticks" because it's too simple. But it's good. "When The Leevee Breaks" is a blues killer. And "The Battle Of Evermore" is weird dark folk! Oh yeah! And "Black Dog" is good, but overrated. Maybe a 10.

robadobb_2@msn.com (Rob Raymer)
if youre a rock fan and not big on this album you should pretend to see freud and explain your various issues. a perfect blend of what they wanted to be known for. black dogs riff is john pauls originally and its just a glimpse of what was happenin within this incredibly dynamic unit. always thought four sticks was underrated but i guess it was shallow lol

uglytruth@hotmail.com (Hossein Nayebagha)
Interesting observation about "Stairway To Heaven" and its existence. But, I still think it would've been a much better song if the distorted parts with the solo and everything had been skipped. They should've made a fade-out before that part.

I think this is the best Led Zep record and, I disagree with the statements about the previous record on "Friends" vs. "The Battle Of Evermore" and "Out On The Tiles" vs. "Black Dog". On the former, I think "Friends" is somewhat more experimental, whereas the latter one is just really pleasing in terms of melody. As for Black Dog, I find it more powerful, AND it doesn't have the embarrassing chorus.

I dig folk music, so "Battle Of Evermore" is one of the best songs they ever did. Other faves on the record are "Black Dog" and "When The Leaves Break".

artmuse@hvc.rr.com
Jimmy Page wanted to write a song that would represent Zeppelin. The problem is, Zeppelin themselves ruined "Stairway" by playing it live, and killing all the subtlety that the original album track had in the first place.

The song begins like it was written before you were born, and then ends up right in your crotch, your hips. Zeppelin, more than any other band, had the sexual waist-groove perfected. The Chili Peppers knew this, too.

It was so very cool that the remastered CD had the original Atlantic label design on it. When you played that album on the turntable, and saw that red and green (with a white stripe through the middle) label swinging around to the sound of the guitars warming up (BLACK DOG), it just made you salivate. It was the Zeppelin experience.

BLACK DOG just jams (and it's named after some stray black dog that just wandered in, while they were recording!)

ROCK AND ROLL is still one of the best improvised songs ever thrown together (and I don't drive a Cadillac, either)

THE BATTLE OF EVERMORE has the foggy Celtic vibe - screw the Tolkienisms, "Mordor" is mentioned in "Ramble On" (Led Zeppelin II), also

STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN there's a reason it's still around, maybe just to annoy those who don't quite hear it yet

MISTY MOUNTAIN HOP is a song most people cannot cover because it is so atonal, and the throbbing bassline just kicks ass

FOUR STICKS is a really cool groove, sort of an early Kashmir, thanks to Bonham's four sticks (two in each hand)

GOING TO CALIFORNIA showed that Zeppelin were not all heaviness and nothing else, but...

WHEN THE LEVEE BREAKS is all heaviness, and swamp groove, an incredible song!

10/10...

but HOUSES OF THE HOLY is still my favorite 10/10

Prindle rocks! And I'm not saying this just because of the cables around my wrists either!

jb2533@hotmail.com
Oh! Led Zeppelin, I used to really like these guys......... not so much anymore. Rock 'n' Roll is probably their best tune ever! The perfect mixture of old-time rock and their own acid-blues AND screeching vocals. It's a tight, well-executed song that doesn't meander and is, despite its own declarations, not as pretentious as most of their stuff. Black Dog is also pretty good too! When The Levee Breaks is also one of their best. Its blues menace at its Rolling Stones-Gimme Shelter-type way. It has an absolutely MONSTOROUS sound and harmonicas that just give you a chill! Great! When The Levee Breaks, now this is the way Led Zeppelin SHOULD have interpreted the blues! So, there you have it, Rock 'n' Roll and When The Levee Breaks - the two greatest Led Zeppelin songs ever. I'm not going to even talk about Stairway To Heaven or the others. So, Led Zeppelin IV is not bad, but it STILL suffers, for the most part, from what EVERY Led Zeppelin album suffers from, so......... a 6 out of ten.

panos_kakaviatos@yahoo.com
A magnificent album. All the songs are good. All of them.

To heck with naysaying intellectuals both latterday and yesteryear. They are all wrong.

Let's being with Black Dog. What I really like about this song is not so much the stop and go quality, which is appealing. No, what is really original about this is the guitar-driven beat that is set off from the 'Hey Baby, Woah Baby' lines. That one-two-three / one-two-three punch style guitar driven beat is much more like a repeated menacing wave - matched with Page's very fine solo work. Superb. (10/10).

Then comes Rock and Roll. Quick and hard and it really gets you moving. A real stomper, laid thick with guitar, beefily backed up by the band with almost impetuous percussion, a great bass line and rock and roll piano. Yet, it also manages to be oh so smooth in style. Yep, another 10 for 10.

Is the next song, The Battle of Evermore, as some have written, pretentious? Ney. Nyet. Nein. Oxi. So Robert Plant liked Tolken. His job as a rock singer is not to recreate great literature however, but he is certainly free to allude to it. Fine by me. Ever more so because the music and lyrics here are very listenable, both creating yet another dark mood, accentuated by Sandy Denny's singing. Nothing wrong with that. In fact, this gets a high score for allowing a breather after two such hard rockers, while bringing back the dark mood of Black Dog. I could have done without the somewhat repetitive ending however and thus knock it a notch (Bring it, bring it, bring it AHHHHHH). Yes, ahhhh indeed. (9/10).

Stairway to Heaven. Never you mind that it has been overplayed on the radio. Perhaps one should ask why? The answer: It is a bloody great song. What can I add to the plaudits of most all music reviews, even from the skeptics. One thing though: it is hardly heavenly. It is again a dark song. 10/10.

I have always liked Misty Mountain Hop. What a cool longish riff with a progressively powerful guitar, that, again, remains stylish. A mantra to the hippies? Maybe. The lyrics are certainly fun and not dark in this case. They asked us to stay for tea and have some fun! Sure I'm having fun with this, taking a good look at myself and describing what I see. I may not always like that, but this song is cool, particularly the way it plays off Bonham's drums: I really like the power drumroll towards the end. 9.5/10, if only because I like Black Dog more.

Four Sticks returns us to a moody, dark ambiance, and I like it. It has a menacing guitar line, and then what I think is John Paul Jones' synthesizer creating that cool moodiness pierced by Page's bright clangy guitar volleys and again John Paul Jones sometimes complex bass lines. Perhaps Page howls to much, but it is all backed up by Bonham's use of... four sticks. But I give it... 9 points.

When I was 11 years old (almost 30 years ago, egads), I always avoided Going to California. You know, I was more into the hard rock genre, and I was put off by this folk song. Well, one lives and learns. This song is a very pretty one. Plant's singing is clear and plaintive, and I love the guitar work behind it and how it builds towards an eerie climax. Very nice. 10/10

But save the best for last, right? When the Levee Breaks is awe-inspiring. I read about how the band recorded it, in a large manor, where they had Bonham playing drums I think in the basement, but had set up microphones all over to get an echo-like amplified effect. The drums are among the most impressive ever heard in song, because they drive it, unleashing a carefully contained guitar and harmonica-infused fury. This is one of my all time favorite Led Zeppelin songs and certainly the best on this album (perhaps indeed because I have heard Stairway so often?) 10+/10.

Overall rating. Gee. Let's take a guess...

matthewbyrd@hotmail.com
Ugh, I used to really like Led Zeppelin, but now, ugh, I don't think a lot of their stuff could entertain me. Even though I woulndn't put any of their albums on a favorite album list (well, this one MIGHT squeak by) 2 of these songs on here I think are great, truly great. Rock 'n' Roll, the opener, this is fun, driving hard rock, I love it, also, When the Levee Breaks, great song, one of their best. The rest just are SOOO serious in their bombast (well, I can't deny Black Dog is fun) that they're just not all that fun to listen to....... well, except for Stairway to Heaven. I think Queen did epic heavy-metal smaltz better with Bohemian Rhapsody. The riffs are good, of course, I won't deny that.

ddickso2@uccs.edu
Yes, I DID, indeed, send you. And YOU. And. . . YOU.

Y'know, when people give advice to aspiring writers and/or music-obsessed lunatics, they often admonsih one to speak one's mind. Just be yourself, as it were. Tell us what you're thinking, as it do. Unfortunately, such advice is all WRONG, because the only two things I've been thinking about for the past 23 hours are a.) girls, and b.) guitars playing really really really LOUD. Such things are good and wholesome and natural and yaddleaddle blah blah etc. yeah, but do you really want to be EXPOSED to that kind of brain? Fuck no. And neither do your minions. "Be yourself," my ass. Ass ass ass. Self-deprecation is entertaining as hell.

But the flipside of it all is we get exposed to such brain-meltingly perfect masterpieces as Led Zeppelin's fourth album. Many people rightfully complain about its overplayed-ness and the fact that not EVERY one of its songs deserves to be a classic, but you know what? It's the only sone of their albums where SONGWRITING, not rockin' hard, not folkin' dream (ily), not even being diverse and clever, is the point. Plus it has the least amount of ripped-off riffs and melodies of any album from the band, and that's always nice.

Actually, to tell the truth, I have also been thinking about technical writing techniques, differential equations, transverse determinants, couple moments, Java programming, the complete works of Honore de Balzac (poor guy), and how to start a campfire in wet 'n wild weather. But those things are all useful, so they don't count.

Admonsih--capital of the ancient mystical state of Taht on the continent of Teh in the province of Wrogn. Now selling tourist packages for $.599, etc.

crab.stick@talktalk.net
Yup, awesome.

When The Fucking Levee Breaks.... "cryin' won't help ya, prayin' won't do ya no good"

Wise words, Robert. Do they make 'em like this anymore? That's a - frankly obvious - no.

9.5 red dots from us here. Fuck it, make it 10.

roma23rpm@hotmail.com
So LZ I was blues based, II was heavy based and III was acoustic based and here they kind of all come together and squeeze the best out of all three worlds. “The Battle of Evermore” and “Going to California” are acoustic mellow ditties influenced by III, “Black Dog”, “Misty Mountain Hop” and “Four Sticks” are heavy rockers influenced by II and “When the Levee Breaks” is a blues song (best one they ever did) influenced by I, it’s very diverse and uneven as one could see. The drums are very big and spacey as is the whole album. I don’t know whether it’s because the drums kind of carry the rest of the instruments or it was just produced or mixed that way. Tied with “Physical Graffiti” this probably gets the 10/10.

Ben
Though this is a very good album, I don't quite get how this is often considered to be their Magnus opus. This doesn't have the energy or cohesiveness as "Zeppelin 1", and it's got two tracks I can't get into: "Evermore" (mainly cuz I never got into The Lord of the Rings) and "California" (it's boring). The other six songs kick ass however, one of my all time favorite songs is here, "When the Levee Breaks". Sure I love "Stairway to Heaven", "Black Dog", etc. I don't have much to say about them other than the fact that they "kick ass". I'll give this a 7.5.

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The Origin Of The Species DVD - Sexy Intellectual 2006
Rating = 8


Hi there, I'm Kajagoogoo Johnson and I'm here to tell you about this hot new DVD by Led Zeppelin. I'd appreciate it if you didn't make fun of my name. I was born in early 1983 when "Too Shy" was riding high on the charts and it was looking like the MTV-friendly synth pop outfit was poised to be the next Beatles. Unfortunately, vocalist Limahl (Chris Hamill) left the band shortly thereafter and their follow-up tanked. It does no good to hate one's parents; I'm 23 years old now and it's time to move on.

This Led Zeppelin DVD is FUCK YOU DAD!!!!!! I HATE YOU!!!!!!!!

Hi, Mark Prindle here. I hope you enjoyed my dramatic showcase The Harrowing Childhood of Kajagoogoo Johnson. Many people feel that giving their child a funny name and then sexually abusing it a lot is hilarious, but I've never been of that opinion and hope that my award-seeking one-act play makes a strong statement against such chide-worthy behavior. If you would like permission to present The Harrowing Childhood of Kajagoogoo Johnson to your classroom, please send a self-addressed stamped envelope to protectingthechildren@blowjobs.com.

The Origin Of The Species is a 70-minute film covering the years that the future members of Led Zeppelin were struggling in the session studios and amateur band scenes of the 1960s, moving through the modest success of blah blah blah and culminating in Led Zeppelin's first two albums. This DVD is not authorised by Led Zeppelin or individual members thereof or their estates, their representatives, or any record or publishing companies associated with the release or ownership of Led Zeppelin's music. However, it still kicks some pretty major ass. Let's go over the reasons:

-- Lots of rare footage, clips and songs, including Jimmy Page speaking and skiffling on a local TV show at age 15, Robert Plant's first single with his pre-Zep band Listen, the Yardbirds performing "Dazed and Confused," and early Zeppelin kicking some major ass on a foreign TV show.

-- Comment and critique from Yardbird Chris Dreja, musicians Chris Farlowe, Dave Berry and Clem Cattini, and journalists Alan Clayson, Chris Welch, Keith Altham, Phil Sutcliffe and Barney Hoskyns. Barney's a little TOO much into Zeppelin, constantly making non-journalistic blanket statements like "Led Zeppelin II is the greatest hard rock album ever recorded," but they're all well-versed on the history of the band -- and one of them is Chris Dreja! Hear him explain why he quit the New Yardbirds to make way for John Paul Jones! And while you're at it, hear Chris Farlowe laugh at himself for warning John Bonham, "I think it's a bad idea for you to join Led Zeppelin."

-- If you ever thought Led Zeppelin were a bunch of plagiarists, think again!!!! It was mainly Jimmy Page. Actually, Robert Plant did it a little bit too. Let this DVD entertain you with its striking comparisons between "Black Mountain Side" and Bert Jansch's rendition of "Black Riverside"; between "Dazed & Confused" and Jake Holmes' "Dazed & Confused"; between "How Many More Times" and both the Yardbirds' "Smokestack Lightning" and Howlin' Wolf's "How Many More Years"; between Plant's "Woman! You-uuuu need-ah... LOOOOOOOOVE!" bit of "Whole Lotta Love" and Steve Marriott's "Woman! You-uuuu need-ah... LOOOOOOOOOOOVIN'!" bit of the Small Faces' "You Need Lovin'" (itself a plagiarized Willie Dixon song). Ripoff artists? Try "CHIP-OFF artists"! In that they were a "chip off the old block" of other, previous ripoff artists. As one of the DVD's commentators puts it, "Should a plumber receive a royalty every time someone flushes a toilet?" As I put it in response, "That's the least sensical analogy I've ever heard."

-- Special feature: Chris Dreja talking about the Yardbirds for 20 minutes. I made it through half of it. He's a very friendly and warm speaker, but I don't buy DVDs* for one shot of some guy chit-chatting at me for 20 minutes!

Please note: this DVD is not a history of Led Zeppelin. It is rather a history of the early musical lives and influences of the four men who would become Led Zeppelin, and how these influences made their way (credited or not) onto the first two Zeppelin albums. Then there's a little concert footage of "Rock And Roll," but they just threw that in there to fuck with you. If you're looking for the history of In Through The Out Door and Coda, don't look here.

Let me know though, and I'll have Music Video Distributors working on it post-haste! Who wouldn't want to know what Phil Sutcliffe thinks about "Ozone Baby"? NOBODY! THAT'S GODDAMN WHO!!!!

That would be a great name for the new Who album coming out in a few months, btw. NOBODY! THAT'S GODDAMN WHO!!!! Somebody pitch it to that child molester they've got there in the band.

* (or receive them free in the mail)

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BBC Sessions - WEA 1997
Rating = 8


BBBitchin'! Twenty-four great early tracks, all alternate versions (three of which are "Communication Breakdown"!), all recorded live in the studio, I guess....? All cool! This early Zep stuff is just too keen. Jimmy had such a wonderfully full guitar tone, and Robert's attempts to imitate the wailin' bluesmen of old are hilarious and great. I'm not sure if it would be worth your while to blow a huge wad of cash on this double-cd set, because most of these renditions are fairly similar to the original album versions, but dang if you got cash to burn, do it! If nothing else, you get to hear the previously unreleased tunes "Somethin' Else" (by Eddie Cochran or somebody like that; I have it by Sid Vicious!) and "The Girl I Love She Got Long Black Wavy Hair" (which one would assume is a cover, but I've no way to verify said assumption since I just have a dubbed cassette copy of the Sessions).

One warning - tons of guitar wank jams. They sound OKAY here, though! They seem relatively thought out, and in a couple of places they actually add something interesting to the tune, like during the extended ending of "Immigrant Song" and such. If you dig the bluesy Zeps at all, try to find somebody who owns this delightful little set and borrow the daylights out of it. Or just STEAL it!!!! Break into his house one night and STEAL it!!!! And grab me a goldfish bowl!!!!

No, no, an electric shaver!!!! TWO of them!!!!

Reader Comments

Trashsurfr@aol.com
Great disc. The versions of "Whole Lotta Love" and "Dazed and Confused" blow away the original versions.

Please do not break into my house. I will tape it for you.

starostin@geocities.com (George Starostin)
Well it's an interesting album, sure, and I actually do like it because it's got all the great songs and not too much fluff on it. Still, there are problems. Three versions of "Communication Breakdown" are really too much for my poor little head, and there's also two versions of "I Can't Quit You", and two of "You Shook Me", and two of "Dazed", and two of "Whole Lotta Love" - ain't it a bit repetitive?

Also, I think I finally had enough of Plant with his "squeeze my lemon" in every place he can insert this line into. What was that - a medical problem? Why was he so obsessed?

Also: "Since I've Been Loving You" is ruined (very sloppy playing and out-of-tune singing).

Also: "The Girl I Love...", in case you haven't noticed, is actually nothing else but a non-instrumental version of... MOBY DICK!!!! And I like it! Why the hell did they have to substitute Plant's singing for Bonzo's stupid drumming is way beyond me.

Also: the second version of "Dazed" is great, and the same goes for most of the hits. But really, this should have-a-been a single CD. My humble opinion.

emrobert@mail.e-mg.co.za (Rob Davies)
Bought this today, put it in the car-CD and blasted it all the way to work. Got a speeding ticket. This is really good shit, actually it's excellent shit. The production is really quite good and Pagey's guitars sound pretty wild. Chunky and menacing. What I don't like much is that the tunes, especially Communication Breakdown, are repeated. Not that they sound shit, that's not the thing, it's just that listening to a song three times within the space of 30 minutes is cutting it a bit. Apart from that there is nothing bad about this album, it really is very, very good. The tune Mark mentions in his review, The Girl I Love She Got Long Black Wavy Hair, was written by Zeppelin along with a guy called John Estes. And boy, it kicks ass. I'll give this baby an eight.

ian.moss@yale.edu
The first CD is a lot better than the second--it's got two kickin' versions of "You Shook Me," some of the "Communication Breakdown"s have nice solos, and of course the excellent excellllllent "Travelin' Riverside Blues." I initially hated "The Girl I Love She Got Long Black Wavy Hair" because of Robert Plant's unbearable tone-deaf screaming (especially right at the beginning of the song--he basically replaces the first line of the lyrics with "wwwhhhaawawawayeyewayeaaahaaayeah!!!!!!!" What a dick.), but the rest of the song is pretty cool. As for the second CD....whatever. The "Whole Lotta Love" medly is kinda cool, but "Dazed and Confused" is about 10 minutes too long, and some of those songs are just butchered. Maimed, disemboweled--sent to a premature demise, if you understand me. Slaughtered, that is. You know--butchered.

Jcjh20@aol.com
Even though im not that big a fan of Live albums in general, this is a nice album showing the intensity that this band gave off live. The Song Remains The Same live album (and movie) was boring, and wasn't a good representation of this band, but this album does in my opinion. No need for 6 thousand different versions of "Communication Breakdown" though! A 9.

jmrwl13@yahoo.com (James Rowlee)
I had heard that this bootleg was around quite awhile in the underground before they released it back in 199 something .

To compare and contrast songs that made the albums is awesome cause there are changes in how they performed the studio stuff to the actual songs that made the cut.

I highly recomend BUYING THIS double cd cause it roxors the boxors and I played the shit out of it for like two months every day .

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In The Light 1969 - Bootleg.
Rating = 6


Another disappointing live bootleg. "White Summer" is a great instrumental, and "Goin' To California" is as beautiful as it's always been (regardless of the album title, about half of this double-album was recorded in 1971), but most of the rest is slobbered all over with endless blues wanking. If you're a fan of blues wanking, look for it, but I prefer a good melody myself. Even "Communication Breakdown" takes like seven minutes, for Chrissake!!!! Wank, wank, wank! This is the downside of Zeppelin. Their albums rule, but I get the feeling that their live shows must have been totally self-indulgent, although I doubt all the potheads in the audience gave a crap.

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* Houses Of The Holy - Atlantic 1973 *
Rating = 10


As phenomenal as their first four albums are, Houses Of The Holy, more than any other record in the Led Zeppelin catalog, reeks of true strong hard EFFORT. There are SO many changes, SO many wonderful breaks and guitar lines, great dynamics, just really really smart and beautiful songwriting that could NOT have been made up by the average Joe (as wonderful as "Whole Lotta Love" is, I mean come on....). "The Crunge" and "Dyer Maker" are jokey and simple fun, but every other track on here just grows and grows and grows until there are like four hundred different guitar lines playing on TOP of each other! WONDERFUL!!! The best album they ever made!

But hold it now hit it! Balance those expectations! (?) Aside from the rocking "Dancing Days" and "The Ocean," this doesn't much sound like the last album at all. The guitars, almost strictly electric, are high-pitched, ringing, multi-tracked, and extremely busy - "The Song Remains The Same" is one of the most complex (and bonus) songs Jimmy has ever writ, and the heart-enhancing "Rain Song" doesn't fall too far behind. I figure this record will end up impressing you as much as the others, but I just wanna warn you; it's a high, ringy-sorta record. With overtime and extra spent in the composing and arranging areas. The best songs on here have a billion changes, guitar overdubs and wondrous little snippets, trinkets and beautiful movements.

However, for some reason, among all these complex mature compositions (the eerie organ Vikings tale "No Quarter" and gorgeous, intelligent light rocker "Over The Hills And Far Away" are on here, too! Christ!), radio programmers nine times out of ten pick the silly reggae song "D'yer Mak'er" as their choice to get the led out with. Me, I prefer "The Crunge," a hilariously bizarre 'funk' song featuring one of the most strained, self-mocking Plant deliveries of his entire career. But that's me. Not you. Me. Pal.

Just like the four that came before, this album is proof unnegative that this particular R 'n' R machine could never be content simply remaking the same record over and over again. I mean, this baby ain't bluesy at all!!!! I mean, AT ALL!!!!!! You need it. Listen to that guitar work. Jesus H. Mandarin Orange. Who hired that guy?

Reader Comments

rapallof@pathcom.com (Electric Magic)
Brilliant.

la314w@crown.icongrp.com (Jesse Lara)
FUNKY!FUNKY!FUNKY! I agree totally!

dave@mgagray.com (David Aurand)
Man, I have to admit, Zeppelin is not my favorite band. But, I listened and listened and grew to love them. Not all of them....but alot. This was by far the best album to fuck to. By the time you get to the "Rain Song"....which I usually program on the cd to 3 or 4, it becomes quite an awesome experience. I love it..........the disc, too.......

cgarwood@netropolis.net (Calvin B. Garwood)
Listen for an unmistakable 12-string guitar on "Over the Hills and Far Away" and "The Rain Song" intro.

HDVW143@aol.com
I love this cd! My favorite song is easily "D'yer Maker". In fact, it is the reason I bought the cd! It just rocks!

michael@hartingdale.com.au (Peter)
GREAT ALBUM. Not as heavy as some of their other albums but brilliant all the same. "D'yer Mak'er" is the best song on the album, along with the great "The Rain Song" and the rocking "The Ocean". 9 out of 10.

fyodor@mixcom.com (Ted Zimmer)
Isn't the best zep album, but it still is good. As a person I know once put it, "Half of Houses of the Holy kicks in the ass, but the other doesn't do shit." "Over the Hills and far Away" and "Song Remains the Same" Kick you in the ass, but "The Crunge" and "Dancing Days" just don't cut it. "Dancing Days" is just plain annoying. In fact, although I hate them, I like Stone Temple Pilots' acoustic version better than the loud, obnoxious original (perish the thought!)

Glenn.Wiener@entex.com
Now I'm not a Zeppelin fan by any means but "No Quarter" gives NO QUARTER! IT TOTALLY RULES! "Dancing Days", "The Rain Song", and "Dyer Maker" ain't that bad either.

WK@nimo.com
Very uneven and over-rated album. I have to disagree with everone and say that "The Song Remains the Same" is as uninspiring and bombastic as their sludge filled live LP of the same title. "No Quarter" is truly pitiful as well as "D'yer Mak'er". On the other hand "The Rain Song" is beautiful but has not aged well. The b-side of "D'yer" was "The Crunge" and it is pretty decent for a throwaway tune. "Over the Hills..." has been overplayed and therefore suffers from FM radio - kill. "Dancing Days" is awful! They should have released the song "Houses of the Holy" (from PG) in this collection and had second thoughts about the entire project. They began to head down Dinosaur Highway with this one!

gstarst@rsuh.ru (George Starostin)
As usual, a few gems and a lot of murky hogwash. Here is where the main flaws of the Zepsters become so obvious. They ARE remaking the same record over and over again! Or, wait, they WERE remaking it... until this album. The usual three-and-three-only pillars supporting the zeppelin ("Heavy Electric Blues" - "Sad Romantic Acoustic/String Ballad" - "Dark Mystical Acoustic/Electric Medieval Ballad"; ninety-nine and a half percent of songs from the first four albums can be easily fitted into one of these categories) have been preserved, but this time they try to widen the horizons. They fail "D'yer Maker" is no "I Shot The Sheriff", after all. "The Crunge" is a total disaster. I guess they realized their inability to broaden the mark and on the next album stuck firmly to the Three Pillars.

The good news is that the Jones fella is given a chance to shine on "No Quarter" - maybe the best composition in the entire catalogue. Note, though, that the best thing in it is neither Pagey's guitar nor Plant's voice, but Jones's mighty and majestic keyboards. I must say I really like him. He's probably the most talented of all four (surprise surprise).

Oh yeah, and "The Rain Song" is pretty good, too. I mean, forget about the melody, as usual (there's none), but the strings do sound nicely. Thanks to J. P. again. But "The Song Remains The Same" is a horrid bore. Overlong and for me really nothin' but a piece of sloppy muck. Hey, where's the chorus (if there is one)? How do they structure the verses? Why is everything so distorted, so utterly unmelodic? And why do people like it? Because it kicks ass? DAMN IT, people, you don't NEED to listen to Led Zeppelin to have your ass kicked!

megaman684@aol.com (Vincent Hedrick)
This is easily their best album.

hijinks@utarlg.uta.edu (Thomas Rickert)
Yeah, this is a lighter record than Zep of Christmases past or future. And it is a good record to fuck to, but I bet ole David only told us that bit about changing the disc programming so that we would think he has staying power!

Inventive, creative, stunning. Why are there so few bands like this in the 90s?

Hell, why were there so few in the 70s...

bevan@voicemail.com (Casey)
This is different sounding from the last few albums; the guitars are more high and ringy and the songs are more busy themselves. Definitely their most diverse album with songs like: "Rain Song"(long beautiful ballad), "Over The Hills and Far Away"(half acoustic/half rocker), "The Crunge"(Funky!), No Quarter(a little on the progressive side), and "The Ocean"(hard rock/50's doowap). Very Impressive album.

Easily their best album next to Led Zep II & IV. Led Zeppelin stretch their musical abilities even further on this album. A rating of 10 out of 10

ronbevault@prodigy.net (Keith Jones)
Houses of the Holy is a great Zeppelin album and Dancing Days is a great song. STP covered it all wrong! They are singing "Dancing Days are here again", but the way they are singing it sounds like they want to commit suicide!

rangas@hotmail.com
I really don't know about this album. The songs are fine enough, I've even started to appreciate 'The Crunge' more now that I listen to it more often, but the songs don't gell together like they do on the first four albums. On their own the songs are fine, but together they just don't do as much as I know they should. The standout tracks are of course 'The Rain Song' which rates up there with the most melodically beautiful tracks ever done, 'Over the Hills And Far Away' with it's little guitar doodle that hooks you in, and 'No Quarter' which has the most menacing Jimmy riff ever put onto a master tape, but as I said before, the album doesn't gel well. This sounds more like a compliation than an album.

I'd give it a very low 7 (Sorry Guys!)

Sean@darkagepictures.com (Sean Harris)
Great record, bar none. I grew up listening to it. It's up there with I on the best list.

angus_rap@hotmail.com (Alex R)
I must say that this is a wonderful record. " No Quarter " is my favorite Led Zeppelin song. The only thing that ruins this record is " D`yer Maker ". So all in all 9/10 for this excellent piece of work.

ian.moss@yale.edu
I dislike this album, actually. It's got "Over the Hills and Far Away," which is good, and unlike just about everyone else I kinda dig "Dancing Days." But everything else...euuggh. The first two tracks aren't really bad, but to me they run on too long and don't really contribute that much to the album. Oh, but the second side gets ugly fast. You got "No Quarter," winner of the "Murkiest Song Ever" award as well as the "Utter Lack of Memorable Moments" citation. And then you got "D'yer Mak'er" which takes the cake for "Most Banal 'Heart & Soul' Ripoff," "Best Argument for Banning White Guys Trying to Imitate Reggae" and "Dumbest Goddamn Song that Led Zeppelin Ever Wrote." Ah well, nobody's perfect.

erogozin@mtu-net.ru (Eric Rogozin)
Gorgeous! And diverse. There is funk ("The Crunge"), reggae ("D'yer Mak'er), etc.. All the songs are good, but the best composition here is "No Quarter".

Dan804935628@aol.com
Great! Best song:NO QUARTER
Any of em will work,actually. another 10.

Jcjh20@aol.com
Now Led Zeppelin takes even more diversity, which even makes some of these songs surprizingly more inaccessable then past records. "No Quarter" for example, experimenting with weird effects and complexity, or "The Crunge", a funnily strange little "funk" experimentation. And they also mix some more types of music styles, like reggae of "D'yer Mak'er" (which no one seems to like, but it is very catchy, i love it for some reason). And of course has that nice acoustic balladry ("Rain Song") and Guitar rockery ("The Ocean") that Led Zeppelin did best. 9/10.

robchaundy@yahoo.com (Robert Chaundy)
Monstrously overrated. Especially by Americans. The Rain Song is serenely and respelendently lovely, and No Quarter is murkily, murderously thrilling, but the rest... oh dear oh dear me.

This record sounds about as good as it looks - pink, orange, tinny, sloppy, messy and muddy. And The Crunge and The Ocean are, frankly, screaming shit. How, oh HOW can so many people, especially Americans, think so highly of this record?? It has three decent songs, maximum, and we all know this band can do better than that.

Led Zeppelin's nadir.

altrockreview@hotmail.com (Nick Collings)
Always considered lesser than what surrounds it, (IV and Physical Graffiti) I find Houses Of The Holy to be an enjoyable listen - experimental, relaxed and a band on top of their game. Nearly the whole album kicks ass, I say nearly, because The Crunge just blows, and Dyer Maker is only passable because it's fun and catchy. I would give HOTH a deserved 8 out of 10.

weegie@pookielife.fsnet.co.uk (Geoff Saunders)
Well I haven't fucked to it yet. But this is bloody good. Zepp's first grown up album.

This was 1973 for christs sake!! The three day week and power strikes! Look at the opposition - Gary Glitter, Sweet, Pilot, Hawkwind and The frigging Osmonds!! (although I have heard about some group with Pink in their name bringing some record out about something to do with the moon, anyone help me with that please?)

Anyone remember Pilot? They had a record out called January and released it in February!

Anyway this is the sound of a band extremely comfortable of who they are and what they are doing - and don't they know it! But the Song Remains The Same is still not very good.

gag05@bigpond.com.au
yea zep were at there creative peak here...especially Page, coz he was so fucked up on heroin at the time…In fact you could say this album is a tribute to his nagging heroin habit at the time, which has unexpectedly turned him into the ugly ten chinned, melting wax like figure without eyes, piece of shit looking person he is tday..But then, any ageing rock star could fit that description, but this is about Jimmy Page damnit!! Thank you very much heroin!!!

The High Remains the Same 9/10
The Smack Song 10/10
Over the Cocaine and Far Away On Smack 8/10
The Crink 8/10
OD’ing Days 9/10
C’Rack Smok’er 9/10
No Junk 10+/10
The Vomit 7/10

davethefish42@gmail.com
I was really surprised that you switched the 10 from Zeppelin III to Houses of the Holy. Usually the guy who loves Zeppelin III sticks with it, but Houses has been my favorite Zeppelin record (actually, one of my all time favorites) for a long time now. Some people think they wanked in a few too many different genres in that one, but I think it's brilliant. Every song goes above and beyond what Zeppelin usually does to make a great song. My favorite is The Rain Song just for conversation's sake.

airsces@yahoo.com
Yes! Right on, i'm so glad you updated this one to the ten! It's always been my favorite, since I was much younger, back when I found it in my dad's old records, along with a bunch of other Zeppelin. This album really is perfect. The blues stuff is cool and all (I love their first record) but this album is filled to the brim with some of the most intelligent, otherworldly, unique rock and roll music I've ever heard in my life! It's totally unique. I drive myself crazy every time I really pay close attention to the guitar/bass interplay in "The Song Remains the Same"...how the hell did they do it? What a hard-working, meticulous band. Definatly a 10.

panos_kakaviatos@yahoo.com
An excellent album. Where do I begin? Listening now (for the umteenth time) to The Ocean. What bright clangy guitar, what a nice beat. Plus an amusing accapella in the middle and a doo-wop finish. Fun, and rocking (8/10). The Rain Song is beautifully languid and... imaginative. I love the way the the music underscore the lilting lyrics. Lovely (10/10). The Song Remains the Same is complex, though not my favorite. George Starostin compares it to a Yes song, and he is not wrong. Not a big fan of Yes, I am not that enthusiastic about this song either... though I do appreciate the magnificent guitar work (8/10). The rough guitar riff on Dancing Days is cloying to me, but eerily brings a brooding atmosphere to otherwise flower power lyrics meant to be positive. But, no, there is that underlying (actually prevalent) dark energy that signifies Led Zep (7/10). But no other song exemplifies that darkness better than No Quarter. What an impressively moody atmosphere that mesmerizes, and which gets my nod as the best song on the album (10+/10). Coming down a few notches but by no means unappreciated is Over the Hills and Far Away, a very clever and fun song that successfully marries folk and hard rock ... and is eminently listenable(8/10). Okay, now we come to the two goofier songs on this LP: The Crunge and Dy'er Maker. Like you, Mark, I MUCH prefer The Crunge, which rocks in a real funky manner, far better to me than Trampled Under Foot on Physical Graffiti. I would agree with George when he poses the question: Why did they not experiment more, in this direction. This is fun music that is NOT dark! Interesting. And also funny (8/10). As for Dy'er Maker, let me explain its popularity: it starts with a nice drum intro, it is sappy, it is goofy, it is even pop drama (When I read the letter you wrote me, it made me mad mad mad... but I still love you so), which the masses like. Me? In small doses. So I can listen to this, but it is way FAR from being a quality Led Zep song (6/10)... All in all, I give the album a high rating, but far from 10. More like 8.5 ...

prince55chu@hotmail.com
I read your reviews for ZEP and I'm happy to find someone who feels the same way I do!!! I, too, always go back and forth between III and The Houses of the Holy for the best ZEP album. Recently it's III, but some other times it's The Houses..... My absolute favorite ZEP song is Friends, though.

MBerry@orlandosentinel.com
Have to agree with you on your reassessment here. Probably Led Zeppelin's most complex music but it's also their funnest album to listen to. I even like "D'yer Maker." I skip "No Quarter" though. I respect it, but too gloomy for my taste.

maniac.nqn@gmail.com
Hey Mark!

Was reading your reviews, and noticed you gave the highest rating to Houses of the Holy. But is it really their best album ? It's great of course, not many bands can make an album with songs like No Quarter, The Song Remains the Same and Over the Hills and Far Away in it. But I think Led Zeppelin II is their best, all the songs on that album are fucking great, even Moby Dick is awesome. Also I think Led Zeppelin deserves more than an 8, that one is awesome as well.

I love your site, but it would be better if you erased all those stupid comments on the AC/DC and Linkin Park. There are so many idiots all over the internet...

Greetings Mark!

whitmandg1@juno.com
Eah.. I don't like it. Save for a couple songs like "Over the Hills" and "The Ocean" which have ingenious musical traits; guitar riffs which I can't imagine the world being without today. Just ask the Beastie Boys. But the rest? (insert crispy sound effect of chunky vomiting here) First of all, Jimmy Page had a nice fat guitar tone going in previous records, especially on the first two records; raw and tastfully distorted. On this record, his guitar sounds like my dad's morning farts being fed through a wah wah pedal. It's the only way I can think to describe it. And Robert Plant just sounds .... GAY. Gone are the blues-felt gravelly howlings with a kick-ass siren scream every once in a while. On here, he's GAY. This album is his 'I turned GAY for a while' record.

I mean I can certainly understand a branching in musical direction here but 'The Crunge'? It doesn't sound like funk, it sounds like long haired white boys trying to do funk. Robert Plant wants to be a smooth talking funky-man on here but he ends up sounding like an abominated cross between James Brown and Woody Woodpecker. 'D'yer Maker' is infectious and catchy, yes, but in the most irritating way. It sounds like he spent 18 seconds writing the lyrics: "oh..oh oh ohhhh ohhh you don't have to goo ooo oo ooooh' Yeah, that's real deep and insightful Robert Plant. 'Ohh ohhh ohhh why's this song have to bloww oow ohh ohhhhh' Especially when you compare to lyrics on Stairway to Heaven or ANYTHING on Led Zeppelin 3. The song sounds like it should have been on an Inner Circle record had they been around in the early 70s.

...and the 'Rain Song'? Yes, it starts out brilliantly, until again, Plant's perverted, gay vocal stylings come into the mix. Listening to this song on headphones, you can practically feel Robert Plant trying to rub his nads against your vulnerable head as he's whispering 'pusshhhh pusshhhh'. No thanks Robert. Go 'pusshhhhhh' on something else.

'No Quarter' is weird, not in a good way. Good instrumentals, but that strange ol' Robert now sounds like he's being molested under water. 'Warrroo wwarr wwwaarwww?????' What? What did you say?

Dancing Days is allright. But that guitar riff in between lyrics... 'waoo waoo wark! waoo waoo wark' easily gives my dad's flatulations a run for the money. I just can't stand it. They play it on the radio all the time. Every rock'n'rolla thinks it's the coolest. Not me.

Oh well, that's my opinion. How ya doin Mark??

spinaltomek@hotmail.com
fascinating how such different songs as "D'yer Mak'er" and "No Quarter" work together so well on the same album. If you would hear them seperately on two different days in two different bars, you would never guess they are on the same album, but they are, right after each other! And it works! Brilliant stuff. Not their biggest hits, but this album definitely got the flow, like the first album, but without a dull moment. That's why it deserves a 10.

helios.marzal@club-internet.fr
The best Led Zeppelin album, yes sir.

roma23rpm@hotmail.com
This is mostly completely different from anything they ever did. Except for “The Rain Song” and “No Quarter”, it’s a very bright, somewhat uplifting, shiny happy album. Even a song that’s I guess sorrowful in essence (D’yer Mak’er) has a somewhat shiny, happy, springtime feel to it. It’s also very diverse, they do funk, reggae and a bunch of other weird stuff; “No Quarter” is a weird, spooky, keyboard-driven prog-rockish song, “The Rain Song” is a slow ballad with strings in it. Melodically, they step out of blues completely, half the time. Plant’s voice, though, has kind of died down a bit, not a lot, just a bit. He doesn’t use it as effectively as he did on their first few albums; they just don’t compare with stuff like “Babe I’m Gonna Leave You” or “Since I’ve Been Loving You”.

bry1425@msn.com
Okay, I'll be the person to say this. While I consider Led Zepplin to be one of my "holy bands", they are the only one to have a song that I absolutly loathe. I mean really, could "No Quarter" be any more boring? Its tempo is about 1 beat per minute and it is about 14 years long. Pink Floyd's "Us and Them" drags a little but I can listen to it. While this album has two of my favorite Zep songs on it("The Ocean" "Over the Hills and Far Away") "No Quarter", to me, just bogs this album down.

threegtrz@hotmail.com
One thing that has always curved my spine and grew hair on my palms about this El Pee: Plant's vocal pitch. I know they had different engineers on each record, but Page was always officially the producer (and productively the official) and he seemed to always know his shit. So how's-a-come he cranked the pitch control for Plant's vox over into Chipmunk category? 'Specially on them first two trax. Here's proof - a transcript from an outtake of "Song Remains the Same":

Plant: "As we go sliding, sliding aaaiiieeeaaaiiieee..."
David Seville: "ALVIN!"

Someone who used to work with The Zeps is 'sposed to have a book coming out soon which alleges Plant had Secret Voicebox Surgery (my favorite ELP album) and I wonder if this wasn't right after that.

I'll give it a 7 'cuz it's from my favorite leaden dirigibles, but the studio trix were for kids you silly wabbit.

Ben
Even though this album is "10" material, I think I'll only give this one a 8.5 or 9. I really don't like the ultra boring "No Quarter". That being said, this is their most diverse album, mixing funk, hard rock, baroque pop, alternative, reggae, pop and like maybe one or two more genres I can't remember. Hard to pick a favorite here, but I love the sequencing of the first two songs.

Add your thoughts?

The Soundtrack From The Film The Song Remains The Same - Swan Song 1976.
Rating = 7


Recorded during the Houses Of The Holy tour, this was actually the soundtrack to a moving picture (hence the lengthy title), but I don't review motion photos, gobstoppit. I review record albums. And I give this one a seven because, although the Led Zeppelins valiantly expand on their musical themes in the concert setting ("Dazed And Confused" explores new realms of guitar torture at 26:53, "Moby Dick" explores...uhh...drum solos at 12:47), they also seem to disregard such important concepts as "structure" and "listener attention span" ("Dazed And Confused" drags on for a painful, blood-soaked 26:53, "Moby Dick" - well, for chrissakes, it's a ten-minute drum solo!!!! How many different things can you do with a drum set???? TWO????).

The songs, being creations of one of the finest rock bands ever to walk this plank we call society, are topnotch. The performances, howe'er, can get a little tiresome at times. The wankfests "Whole Lotta Love" and "Dazed And Confused" are particularly rotten, with Mr. Plant brandishing obnoxiousness like a pointy knife. If you smoke weed, that'll probably help.

Reader Comments

rapallof@pathcom.com (Electric Magic)
Could've been better. You should hear the bootleg with a 40-MINUTE version of "Dazed & Confused"!!

la314w@crown.icongrp.com (Jesse Lara)
Liked CODA better, but the only thing i can ever relate to this album is......oh yeah! My sobbing over my dad ripping his poster off the wall. What poster you ask? Well, it happened to be his "The Song Remains The Same" poster. From the tour!

cgarwood@netropolis.net (Calvin B. Garwood)
Listen carefully to Pagey's guitar work on "No Quarter" from about 5:50 to 9:00 into the song (and especially from 8:15 to 8:45): this album does have its redeeming moments.

break7@localnet.com (Tim Eimiller)
The worst live album of any major band. The playing is sloppy, Plant doesn't sing, he whines, and the songs drag...and drag....and draaaag. Really uninspired performances. Sounds like the fellow above is taking shots at The Who. Listen to Live At Leeds. That's the greatest live rock record ever made. Or watch The Kids Are Alright. Led Zeppelin never approached the brilliance, intensity or energy of The Who. Just watch TSRTS back to back with TKAA for proof.

fyodor@mixcom.com (Ted Zimmer)
Does anyone remember laughter?! I've heard zep boots that are ten times better than this. Although the song "TSRTS" is very tight and "no Quarter" is very cool. "Rock n' Roll" is a disaster.

amckane@servtech.com (Adam McKane)
This album sounds much better after at least 6 Lowenbraus.

glyn@sci.fi (Glyn Ford)
ok maybe the album is not as good when you sit down at home with it. But the film rooled. No time for analysing the flaws when you watch the film. I remember i was on the dole in Sheffield, and it was on a continuous performance for a quid for dolers, and I sat through four showings the same day, then i went again the next week. As Beavis would say....COOOOOOOOOOOL !

gstarst@rsuh.ru (George Starostin)
Haven't heard the album - but I did see the movie. I never intended to buy it, see, but then one day it was broadcast on the telly and I said to myself: "Well, let's see these guys in action!" And I actually VOMITED during most of the film. Not to mention that it was full of absolutely idiotic pseudo-mystical sequences (I can't even remember them now - wasn't it J. P. Jones riding on a horse or something?), the actual concert was a total disaster.

First of all, the boys are clearly uninteresting on the stage. They do not even stand close to such great acts as The Who or Cream! Both Page and Plant seem bored to death most of the time. Page's soloing is good sometimes, sure enough, but NOT when he begins torturing the guitar with a fiddlestick! It gives the kind of sound one usually hears at the dentists'. The drum solo actually shows that Bonham was not such a great drummer as people often present him. If you want to hear a good drum solo - go listen to Santana's drummer on "Woodstock" or to Ginger Baker on "Toad". These are amazing!

The songs truly drag. Truly. A good chance wasted, I must say. Maybe they should have released such a video in 1969-1970. Not that I'm a great fan of "Led" at all, but this is their worst moment. Pity. At least they've saved some face on the wonderful "Stairway To Heaven"!

Trashsurfr@aol.com
It's interesting to note that the band themselves disown this recording, and have tried to distance themselves from it.

megaman684@aol.com (Vincent Hedrick)
Why was every Zeppelin album except this one remastered.

hijinks@utarlg.uta.edu (Thomas Rickert)
Livewankfestestivitieskeepgoingandgoingandgoingwhere'sthebongsaywhatwhosaid thatwhereinbleedingnose hellispageygoingwiththatsolokeepsgoingandgoingandgoing...

starostin@geocities.com (George Starostin)
Can you believe me? I bought this album and... surprisingly enough, it didn't shock me as much as the movie. I mean, you'll be shocked yourself, but I actually enjoy these songs (that is, except the horrid title track, which is every single note as boring as the original and maybe more). Without the accompanying video, this gives a much, much better effect. It's partly because the phantasy scenes are gone, and also I don't have to contemplate Plant's assface all of the time.

Actually, I far prefer Page's wanking over everything else he did, because, you have to admit it, that's what he did best. C'mon now, he is a guitarist, not a songwriter! The violin bow is still a torture, I confess, but his 'normal' soloing on 'Dazed' is top-notch, and other tracks are fine too.

So I confess: I rather like this one and the BBC Sessions, because they display Page's talents for me. I hate most of the others because they display Page's weak spots. And you know what? I now own all of Led Zep's albums (except Coda). Isn't that a proof that I do respect these guys? For comparison: I wouldn't touch a Pink Floyd album even if you paid me. This one truly gets a 7, but not in the BAD way you gave it: rather in the GOOD way. 'Cos for me none of their studio albums (except maybe the first one) should go beyond 5.

stoo@imsa.edu (John McFerrin)
I saw this marked down from 30 to 23 at the local cd shoppe, and decided to give it a shot. I was honestly expecting to hate this, especially since I already had an MP3 of Dazed and Confused from the concert and it really tried my patience the first few times I listened to it. As it turns out, I actually kinda like it. Plant is obnoxious as hell, I'll admit, but it's not as bad as it could be. Rock and Roll sounds good, I think. Celebration Day sounds frenzied, like it should. The Song Remains The Song isn't as good here as in the studio, tho; there's a lack of ooomph, I think. The part in the studio version of the song that I've always loved is the part in the middle with the da-da-da da-da-da DA da-da-da da-da da-daaaaaa, and here it's nowhere near as strong. Anyways, Rain Song is good enough. For some reason, the 5th time through Dazed and Confused didn't really bother me that much. Maybe I'm becoming soft in my old age, but when I think about it, I really don't mind all the soloing. It _is_ really good, one must admit.

Onto disc 2. No Quarter is grrrrrrrrreat. It has a trippy edge that the original lacked, and it may be the best track on here. Stairway is terrific, of course. Moby Dick.... ehn.... not great. And finally, I actually really liked the Whole Lotta Love medley. I think it works very, very well, and I was expecting to hate it. Oh well. I can understand the 7, but and 8 seems in order here. Whatever. Still nowhere near as good as Live at Leeds, tho.

ronbevault@prodigy.net (Ron & Bev)
The Song Remains The Same is a good live album, but it could've been better. For one thing, the album was recorded at the end of a year-long tour of the world or something. The whole band was tired, and Plant's voice sounds raspy. Also, why the inclusion of the 12-minute drum solo called "Moby Dick" on the album? And why not edit "Dazed and Confused" so that more songs could be included on the album? A great version of "Since I've Been Loving You" exists on the film, but is mysteriously left out of the album. And why is the great version of "Celebration Day" on the album, but not in the film.

Although it is way better than that Ya ya's album, it is still no Live at Leeds or Jimi plays Montery. a 7.5, I guess.

acohn@u.washington.edu (Adam Cohn)
This album changed my life. Apparently many of the reviewers here have no taste for improvisation (referred to as wanking). That's ok. I have spoken with many music professors who agree that lesser-minded individuals have no attention span for improvisation, hence the snobbish crowd that appreciates jazz and the intellectuals of the jam-band crowd. Sure Plants' voice sucks. Sure Moby Dick is a long-ass jrum solo, but the Dazed & Confused is pure musical genious. It keeps changing. Page accomplishes tones no one has even tried to imitate. It is a first glance for me into the world of improvisation and now I look for songs that range aroun 30 minute. At that point they are just getting good!

pxpres@idt.net (Ryan Mulligan)
hey george u seemed to like srts on your site alot...i think it's a hell of alot better than live at leeds, but i'm just one of those people who think zeppelin is not overrated at all and the beatles and stones are. crazy right?

oh, before i go, blonde on blonde is the greatest album of all time!

polaritybear@earthlink.net (Ian Patrick)
"Intellectuals of the jam-band crowd???"

rockylisa@yahoo.com
Unbelievable how people condemn this album. Everyone fastforwards through Moby Dick anyway, so whats the problem? Dazed and Confused is absolutely amazing, not a boring note in it. It is a better version than the How the West Was Won version except for the parts of the 72' version up until the bow solo. I have always really liked TSRTS and the movie. Alot of splicing of the New York 73 shows but most live records are like that. Zep being no exception. The Song Remains the Same came out in 76' when punk music "supposedly" took over(only on the West and East Coasts). Only the Clash, Sex Pistols and to a lesser extent the Ramones are noteworthy in terms of wide popularity. I like them, too. In reality, punk only "took off" nationwide when Green Day came out! Sad, but true. Green Day blows. So, in 76', it appeared "dated" by hoity toity critic types. What bullcrap, Zep was the biggest music thing going in 76' and the subesequent, yet short lived 77' tour. Presence actually bailed out the music industry! The Song Remains the Same rocks. Love the guitar tone! Zep had better PA and equipment for the 73' tour. Gotta love those Jimmy Page moon-bedazzled bellbottoms.

Add your thoughts?

How The West Was Won - Atlantic 2003
Rating = 8


I was so fucking mad when I bought this expecting a triple-disc dance remix of REM's "How The West Was Won And Where It Got Us" and it turned out to be a photograph of a bird. FUCK YOU!!!!!

There, now that all the birdwatchers have finally left the room, let's get down to business. RISKY business, that is! (*plays "Old Time Rock 'N' Roll" - slides into hallway with no pants on*) Red Zepperin recorded two hot nights in California while touring for Houses Of The Holy Toledo, Jimmy Page as quickly as he could compiled his favorite versions of each song from the two nights, and voila! Now you know hlw hte tehwe was won!

Naysayers like myself might complain, "Why the fuck are they putting out another live album from the same goddamned tour that their OTHER live album is from?" Well, as you know, lots of people have complained about The Song Remains The Same over the years, so maybe Jim Page wanted to prove that the band wasn't actually that tedious in 1972. Plus I suppose some might say that they were at "the top of their game," if I might use a beloved sports metaphor in an unrelated setting for a moment. But still.... I want to hear live stuff from their last three albums too! Is that wishing for too much? Is that asking too crowd? I want to rock to "Custard Pie"! I want to roll to "Achilles' Last Stand"! I want to laugh at "Carouselambra"! But for now, I'll shut my asshole and review the second live album that Led Zeppelin has released (SO FAR, ANYWAY) from the Houses Of The Mole tour with supporting act Ministry.

Thought number one is basically hey you know why this is so much better than The Song Ramones The Same? Because it has so many more songs on it! Believe me, if you're looking for a vomitous 19-minute drum solo, a sitcom-length "Dazed And Confused" or 23 minutes of "Whole Lotta Love" deteriorating into a boring pile of your father's music, you don't have to turn to TSRTS -- they're all here too! And they still suck! The difference is that instead of a mere SIX other songs, this one features a whopping FOURTEEN! Many of which are roundabouts only four and a half minutes long! And none of which are a 13-minute version of "No Quarter"! Actually, that's of interest as well -- even though there are eight more songs on here than on TSRTS and they were both recorded on the same tour, the two records actually only share five tracks. Sure, three of them are the longest, boringest ones possible, but still. There's no "No Quarter," "Celebration Day," "Rain Song" or "The Song Remains The Same" to be found here. Instead, you get the songs I'm going to name right now: one from 1, five from 2, 4 from 3, 4 from 4 and 3 from Houses. Aren't you glad they play those songs? Aren't they good ones? I sure do!

The sound is terrific. It's hard to believe that they let this material remain unreleased for so long, considering how well it was recorded. Robert is in very fine voice, hitting all the high "Ah-ah-AAHHHHHH-ah!"s in "Immigrant Song" and putting forth the effort to actually sing "Rock And Roll" instead of quietly intoning it as he did on the previous live album. It has yet to be determined why he (a) sings the words "Acapulco Gold" (a popular brand of marijuana cigarette) during an instrumental break of "Over The Hills And Far Away" and (b) shortens his classic "Does anybody remember laughter?" aside to a lazy "Remember laughter?" But lets get back to the ups and downs of the live Led Zeppelin experience.

First of all, you know how Jimmy Page is a really loose guitar player? I myself love that aspect of his playing on the studio records. It gives them character and personality -- you know it's HIM playing it and not some studio musician. But when he brings this lackadaisical style into the live show, he can occasionally be a real pain in the ass - tossing out shitty blues licks instead of playing the actual melody ("Since I've Been Loving You"), playing the notes at the wrong place on the neck in an attempt to create some sort of bass/guitar point/counterpoint that NEVER works ("Dazed And Confused," "Bring It On Home"), and worst of all, ripping out more ugly guitar solos than Angus Young at a nudist camp!

I don't know. It sounded like a joke so I went with it. If nothing else, I got the format correct.

It's a very good triple-CD. Jimmy plays it straight enough of the time to present a tight set of ass-kicking rockers ("Black Dog"! "The Ocean"! "Heartbreaker"! "Dancing Days"!) and heart-beautifying gentler numbers ("That's The Way"! "Going To California"! A version of "Bron-Yr-Aur Stomp" that doesn't suck!). There are even a few surprises for you if you listen closely. For expample, in the aforementioned "Whole Lotta Love" '50s medley, you'll find a tight, practiced, fantastic cover of "Hello Mary Lou" that could have been a hit single for all its Honeydrippery whimsy. For the second example I'm going to make, "Dazed And Confused" is (wonder of wonders) NOT just 26 minutes of Jimmy Page winding a guitar string around his dick -- the band also whips into instrumental versions of "Walter's Walk" (which the audience would not have recognized) and "The Crunge" (which they WOULD have, so Robert's refusal to sing any lyrics aside from "Do the crunge!" is a little baffling). For my third and final example, Jim Jam The Guitar Man, Ma'am, takes the opportunity of his "Heartbreaker" solo to play an adorable bouncy little melody as well as a few bars of "Bouree" (a famous classical piece by 16th-century composer Jethro Tull). This is real! This is raw! This is '70s excess rock baggage express at your groupie service!

Except for the 19-minute drum solo, which is a guy playing the drums with his hands for 19 minutes. And not even in 4/4! Did you see how confused my lovemaking rhythm became? No wonder I ejaculated all over the little swinging mobile!

I encourage you not to try too hard to get that "joke."

Reader Comments

megatug@gmail.com
Good Review, definitely an 8, maybe a 9 if I forget just how long some of those songs are, but by the way, this concert was taken frm 1972, BEFORE HOTH came out in 1973, so thats why the audience is baffled by the crunge, etc.

grecod@comcast.net (Devin)
For the first time, I am at a loss for words. You sum it up so well with your interesting, waffling, goofy kind of way that well, for once I will shut the hell up and agree with you, only I give it a 9J

rockylisa@yahoo.com
In my neighborhood back in Houston, there was an older Mexican kid named Charlie. With long black hair, he looked like a cross between Jimmy Page and Carlos Santana. Everyone was in awe of this kid, his guitaring, and his sunburst Les Paul. One day, he gave me the best take on Jimmy Page I have ever heard. He said, "In the studio, Page makes love to his guitar, on stage he f-cks it." Very observant, simply put. How the West...opens with a crushing version of Immigrant Song, with rhythmic moves around the start of the guitar solo that would make TOOL blush. The PA wasnt as quality as the 73' tour, but the sound is great and strong. Great versions of all the songs. This version of Going to California is really a standout. I cant even listen to the IV version anymore after that. Even the tedious Moby Dick is pretty amazing. The only time they kind of slack, is after the bow solo on Dazed and Confused. Not bad at all, but compare Pages' playing to the parts before the bow solo. Up until the bow solo, the groove they are locked in is breathtaking. Listen to that bass playing underneath the guitar soloing. I have collected Zep bootlegs for years, and always listened to the audience recording of LA 72' called "Burn Like a Candle". I was pumped when How the West...came out in full quality. Shortly after the Summer 72' shows, Plants voice burned out and never had that top-range quality to it. This is the best live record ever, along with Who's Live at Leeds. As Pete told an audience after a Zep show one night, "Dont forget what Led Zeppelin did to you tonight!"

Add your thoughts?

Physical Graffiti - Swan Song 1975.
Rating = 8


A double-album, half old material, half new. An attempt to return to the hard rockin' Zeppelinship of yesteryear but, this being the mid-'70s, it sounds a lot more like Grand Funk than Led Zeppelo. Grandstanding funky rockers like "Custard Pie" and "Trampled Underfoot" have their place on our planet, of course, but it's the stretches of beauty - the dark, cleverly-timed "Kashmir," the shimmery acoustic guitar solo "Bron-Yr-Aur," the strangely lonesome "The Rover" - that give the overlong recording its most gripping moments. Other numbers are just too repetitive ("In My Time Of Dying"), too boring ("In The Light"), or too long (both of the above, plus "Ten Years Gone"). You'll find some good music here (side four, for example, features some really fun good-time boogie rockers), but you'll also find quite a few throwaways, and precious little in the way of the bright-as-hell creative songwriting that flourished throughout the previous few records.

I mean, sure, it's good '70s rock 'n' roll, but hell - so was Bad Company.

Reader Comments

rapallof@pathcom.com (Electric Magic)
9/10

dave@mgagray.com (David Aurand)
As with Houses Of The Holy, this one is fantastic to have playing in car...after a few drinks....with a lovely lady....in a dimly lit, forested area......It has certainly allowed the seats to get a stain (that would be on the passenger's side)......and the fact that it's longer (the disc, too).....adds to the mystique that Zeppelin has.......with the right lady......excellent screw music.....maybe you should have a rating for that, as well.......A definite four-fingers.......

HDVW143@aol.com
Very cool! I love disc 1. Disc 2 has some good stuff also, fav is definitely "Houses of the Holy".

fyodor@mixcom.com (Ted Zimmer)
"Ten years gone" kicks ass!!!!!! Thats all I have to say for now.

max9@foothill.net (Jon Poirier)
#1 Zep Rocker -"Wanton song", "wanton song", "wanton song", "wanton song", "wanton song", does that sound chinese?

megaman684@aol.com (Vincent Hedrick)
This one kicks ass. Not one bad song. This is the best of their swan song albums.

hijinks@utarlg.uta.edu (Thomas Rickert)
A ten. Period. Sometimes you are just a very silly critique, Senior Prindle. This album has depth, depth, depth. I never tire of hearing it, I always find new appeals, I always hear freshness. It has moods, but it rocks hard and spills the gruel when it wants to. And you, complaining about length? -- who are you kidding!? I read your review for Tales from Topographic Oceans! For a band that lived and breathed excess, Zeppelin was bound to emerge at its best in an excessive album! And lo, they do. See if you don't agree some day. Well, maybe you won't. But you should.

bevan@voicemail.com (Casey)
Their most Zeppelinish of Led Zeppelin albums! Two discs full of mostly great tunes. "The Rover", "Sick Again", "Ten Years Gone" and "Custard Pie" all are great. Some weaker tracks like "Boogie With Stu" and "Bron Yr Aur" are thrown in too. Mid 70's hard rock.. notice Led Zeppelins drums now seem a little bit louder on this album and less showy. Great Album, rating: 9 out of 10.

ronbevault@prodigy.net (Keith Jones)
Phsyical Graffiti is the greatest hard rock album of all time. It's better than the 4th album and all those who don't think so can bite me

makro@bbbarchitects.com
I think "Kashmir" is a rippoff of some Genesis tune Sad, but true.

hijinks@utarlg.uta.edu (Thomas Rickert)
I've simply got to respond to all the bad press from people like Senior Prindle and whatnot about how In My Time of Dying is substandard. No forkin' way. It's a total rethink of what blues is and can do, and man, oh man, when it starts cranking, and those drums start pounding, the only thing to do is to turn it up louder and surrender to the trip its takin' you on. Fan-unbelievably-tastic song. The only thing that leaves me wondering is about Percy (Plant's nickname in the band) wanting to "blow" Gabriel's "horn." Dunno what's up with that.

I've said it before, up above, and I'll say it again, right here, right now, cause I just gotta: Physical is a ten, hands down, period. Their absolute best. Even the so-called filler sinks in. Night Flight, Sick Again, Ten Years Gone, Down by the Seaside--I just don't even know where to begin in descriping how perfect these songs are, how they flow in the context of the album, how they rock yet express complex emotions way beyond anything they had done previously, at least over such an extended foray. Zep were born to do double albums--just not live double albums!!

ian.moss@yale.edu
Most of this is pretty good material: "The Rover," "Kashmir," "Houses of the Holy," "Ten Years Gone," etc. Of the two overlong epics, I actually find "In the Light" fairly enjoyable, but the other one just SUCKS! "Trampled Underfoot" and "Down By the Seaside" are two of the best songs they ever recorded. Has anyone else noticed the sonic similarities between "Trampled Underfoot" and "South Bound Suarez" from In Through the Out Door? It's quite remarkable. Both excellent songs, though. I gives it an 8, mate.

karla@evan-moor.com
I babysat like hell in order to buy all the Led Zep albums in high school. But once I bought Physical Graffiti and put it on, it stayed on my turntable for a year. I would just switch sides every few days. Even the other LZ albums weren't able to bump it off. Awesome!

zephead@bellsouth.net (Kenneth Morel)
How many albums (much less double-albums!)can you think of that you can put on and not be tempted to venture toward the fast forward button at least once during it's playback?Well,they are few and far between(ac/dc-back in black and hendrix-electric ladyland&band of gypsys come to mind).In my opinion,this is another one you can put up there on the short list.

Many people say they don't care for this album because it was too self-indulgant and scattered idea-wise.Screw that-doing what was unexpected was what LED ZEPPELIN was best at!! What some would dare to call unfocused,I would disagree and counter that it showed their vast influences from different musical styles.Some refer to the record as repetitive,but I challenge anyone to point to an example of repetitiveness in a song like "Kashmir" or "Houses of the Holy".Songs like "Ten Years Gone" to me are musical miracles which don't happen very often.The beautiful"Bron-Y-Aur" while also played in an alternate tuning as was "White Summer/Blackmountainside"is a Totally different and unique song all it's own.The "Wanton Song" is just totally crushing with it's staccatto attack and in your face feel.This song KICKS!!!And "In The Light" with Jones' flowing organ intro is a song that still gives me chills every time I hear it!

Despite what some of the other reviewers may have stated otherwise,it is my opinion that there is no filler in this 2cd set.Even quirky songs like "down by the Seaside" and "Black Country Woman"have musical merit,even if only to show that the band was willing to take chances and not take themselves too seriously.I believe some people overlook things such as that and tend to be one-dimensional in the way they think of ,and hear music.They have preconcieved notions of what a bands music should always sound like and become dissapointed when things change.(the style change fromZepII to Zep III is a prime example).

Take the time to listen to this recording and let it sink in to appreciate what a truly remarkable piece of work it really is.

robchaundy@yahoo.com (Robert Chaundy)
Is it just me, or is 'The Rover' not the most concise, well-written, downright stunning thing in the whole Led Zeppelin canon? How and why does such a fantastic song get so routinely ignored? It's my easy favourite on this far-too-long beast and jostles with Hey Hey What Can I Do for the title of best Zep song of all. As with almost every great band of the 70s, these lads would have been much better if they had only learned to keep things short. I mean, In My Time of Dying? Ha ha. Wake me when it's over.

And what exactly is 'Physical Graffiti' supposed to mean? Is not writing on walls a fairly physical phenomenon already? Is not music (which I assume is what they mean) completely un-physical and intangible?? Never mind. Please go and listen to 'The Rover' right now - it deserves it.

Jcjh20@aol.com
This here double album has some outstanding songs that shouldnt be overlooked. Especially the classic "Kashmir". All the songs are really great, except "Wanton Song" hardly does a thing for me, and the beginning of "In The Light" gets boring after a while and you just wanna cut to the damn song. Besides that, this is a perfectally great album. Some wonderful songs like "Down By The seaside" or "Night Flight" or the beautiful acoustic instrumental "Bron-Yr-Aur" or overlong jamming like "In My Time Of Dying". A nine.

JETS99JETS@aol.com
Not to sound like a dick, but you need to get your facts straight. With the sole exception of "Houses Of The Holy" which was recorded in 1972 (and I'm not too sure of the real story on that), each and every song on this double album was recorded for this album. No outtakes, no old material, no "rejects" from older albums (this is actually directed to all reviewers, not just yourself and readers of your site).

Yes, it does make me feel high and mighty to correct people on the internet. That's why everybody hates me. *cries*

By the way, this album rocks.

robchaundy@yahoo.com (Robert Chaundy)
Ignore the guy above. Houses of the Holy, The Rover and Black Country Woman were originally written for Houses of the Holy. Down by the Seaside and Boogie With Stu were written for Led Zeppelin IV, and Bron-yr-Aur for Led Zeppelin III. Some tracks were re-recorded for Physical Graffiti, but they all existed in completed form several years earlier.

The album's split about 60/40 between new and old material respectively, the new material coming to about 52 minutes, i.e. just a bit too much to squeeze comfortably on a single album. Hence the decision to raid the vaults and drop a double LP on the world. And that's how it REALLY happened, kids.

Mark.Triall@prudential.co.uk
Listened to loadsa of old bootleg, courtesy of my main man (boogie with) Stu. The highlight of all post Physical Graffiti bootleg, in my most humble of opinions (what the hell do I know, I can't even sing a nursery rhyme properly) is definately the dirtiest riff of all time, the King of all Zep cock rockers, 'Sick Again'.

Pre PG Bootleg, definately How Many More Times. Ripped off from some old blues maestro, we all know that, but ear bleeding bliss. The 'yoof' of our digital times talk of Phat basslines, yet none getter 'Phatter' than that (muthafaucka).

Oh, PG is a nine and half (Down by the seaside is shite)

okeydoke0@yahoo.com (Barrett Barnard)
i really really like this album.not as much as the 1st and houses of the holy but its a great album nonetheless.but i so wish it wouldve been a single album.maybe like kasmir,custard pie,ten years gone,the rover,trampled underfoot,houses of the holy,and down by the seaside.thats a 40 minute album we can all get behind and form a train of love.i give it a 9 but with booger with poo(HAHA! thats a pun for boogie with stu!HAHA!)on it i give it a 7.

VrainV@aol.com
there is a mix of eminem rapping "without me" over "the wanton song." find it and download it. i dont really like rap, but it sounds fucking awesome together! the best rap/rock song out there...

jb2533@hotmail.com
Well, I gotta say, this IS Led Zeppelin, no doubt about that. I don't even know what to say........ so I'll say that this record is a good listen, truly, and Led Zeppelin really does tower over pretty much ALL of their peers........... but I don't care, most heavy metal is a waste of time, Led Zeppelin, though, should be treated a litttle differently............. so............. even though I didn't give 'em a break on Untitled, the record that deserves the break, I'll give 'em a break here and say, hell, this is Led Zeppelin at their biggest and most varied, their Sgt. Pepper in a way, and, even though it's not really THE quintessential Led Zeppelin record, it does embody much of what Led Zeppelin were and even though great riffs are taken to the extreme limit (Trampled Under Foot/Kashmir) to the point where one wonders when things are going to end.......... yeah, I'll hand it to 'em, a 9!

rmarler6@hotmail.com
When I was training to run my first marathon I used to train on a road called Viking drive in Bossier City, Louisiana. I could run 10 miles to Physical Graffiti. During that time Robert Plant played a show in Shreveport, Louisiana. Joan Jett was the opening act. It was a rude awakening for me. Robert Plant was transitioning from huge stadium extraveganzas such as in Led Zep days to playing in inconspicuous places such as Shreveport. Only die hard Zep fans in that part of the country knew who Robert Plant was. I went to the airport to see the arrival of the Great One expecting to find masses of adoring humanity waiting to greet Robert Plant's enterage...Nobody was there. As I remember it, it was a great show...and I ran a half marathon the next morning.

Elena71@mail.ru
Physical just rocks and is as deep as an ocean and weren’t zep the best band in 1975 they kick tons of ass here
Down By The Seaside is one of the most beautiful songs ever and In The Light is such a message it’s so more than just a song it gives you the creeps and man do the guys boogie in Sick Again (great title for a song)
Robert’s vocals here are oh so brutal
Custard Pie man what a cock rocker
This album is absolutely GREAT

shittoruke@hotmail.com
I've never been a fan of their folky, ballad shit so disc 1 absolutely rules from start to finish. I love how "In my time of dying" starts slow & builds up with feverish intensity.
Side 2 has them folky, hokey stuff but "sick again" ends the album on an assgroovin note!
Some weak tracks are inevitable on an album of this length. But in terms of diversity, this maybe their best album. By the way, "trampled underfoot" reminds me of that disco-ishy styx song.

Ben
More Zeppelin for your money. Since they did a pretty good job at keeping a single album going for about 6 years, it didn't really surprise me they could pull off a double. Fuck, "Trampled Underfoot" is only my second favorite Zeppelin song to "When the Levee Breaks" mainly because it isn't as long. "Houses of the Holy" may not be my third favorite, but it's definitely in my top 10. I once heard Robert Plant say that "Kashmir" was the best Zeppelin song, and I would more or less agree if it didn't drag on for eight minutes. The first five or so are pretty wicked however. On the other hand, "In the Light" doesn't deserve to even be a minute long, since it's pretty damn boring. "Sick Again" is also one of their most underrated songs.

Add your thoughts?

Physically Present - bootleg.
Rating = 9


I realize that it seems hypocritical of me to give a collection of Physical Graffiti outtakes and alternate versions a higher grade than I gave the actual album, but I've always prided myself on being a hypocrite, so morally I'm on solid ground. Highlights of this shitsmoker include a version of "The Rover" with an acoustic beginning, an alternate version of "In The Light" featuring a creepy keyboard line running all the way through it, a beautiful version of "Down By The Seaside" featuring only acoustic guitar and Mr. Plant, a more loose, Stonesy run-through of "Night Flight," a sweet, sweet, unreleased acoustic instrumental and a tape of Jimmy writing and practicing the guitar solo in "Ten Years Gone"! Also has lots of other great alternate versions, with only "Custard Pie" being a complete ripoff (do you hear a difference from the album version? I sure don't! And I have each version playing in each ear right now! At the exact same time! And instead of a stereo needle, I'm using a wheelbarrow full of shit manure!).

I will never forgive you for the cursing that you just made me perform.

Reader Comments

rickert@wou.edu (Thomas Rickert)
Well, after all the fantoobalous thingsies you have to say about this boot, guess I'm going to have to pick it up.

And by the way: no offense to the guy who actualy did the reviews, but you should have done the Budgie reviews. In fact, IMHO, which you didn't ask for, I know, and which actually isn't that humble, but anyway, you should just, like, go ahead and review stuff you wanna review, regardless of whether or not it's been done by another. Overkill, man--that's the name of the game, if it's not already the name of a band.

I thought Snatch was a pretty cool film. Not that that really says much about Physical Graffiti outtakes or anything, exept that Pitt had a funky accent that was supposed to be Welsh but was really just impenetrablese--but! and don't you miss it don't you miss it, some of you people just about missed it--wasn't tons of this album recorded in Headley Grange, an old house in Wales? You see the tight, spiffically logical connection. Yessirree.

sparker@fisherdesign.com
Listen again to the Robert’s harmonica solo at the end. Completely different than the final take. Maybe not worth the price of admission alone, but different none the less. The quality of this release is excellent, BTW.

Add your thoughts?

Presence - Swan Song 1976.
Rating = 8


A screwily messy record, this was apparently recorded while Jimmy was a major-league heroin addict and Robert had just lost a child, which might explain why most of it sounds so rushed - I can't imagine that writing new songs was too high on their priority list at the time. Nevertheless, hurried as it seems (and tinny as it sounds), the songs are still really good rockers - especially the long ones! The 10:31 "Achilles Last Stand," in fact, kicks fifteen miles of asses all up and down my sidewalk! Chugglin' drums, splinky guitar overdubs, and Robbie preachin' it all with every ounce of overdrama he can muster. The sad blues "Tea For One" is amazing, too. Extremely distant and mournful, it's probably the most honest-sounding mood piece they recorded during their entire career.

Some of the other tracks are a bit weaker, but "Nobody's Fault But Mine" is a blistering repetitious classic, and the drug tune "For Your Life" has a cool slithery wangy-bar thing goin' down that'll tease you please you, cherry pie. Stinging electric guitar abounds. Eat it like a chimney. Not a popular album, but an awfully enjoyable one.

Reader Comments

rapallof@pathcom.com (Electric Magic)
By far their most underrated album. Plant sang most of it in a WHEELCHAIR, still recovering from the car accident in Greece in '75.

cgarwood@netropolis.net (Calvin B. Garwood)
Rumor has it that this is Pagey's personal fave album (seriously!)

michael@hartingdale.com.au (Peter)
This record is a bit boring and dull I think. "Nobody's fault but mine" is good and to a lesser extent "achilles last stand" is okay, but the rest of the album I'd rather forget. 4 out of 10.

pevans@powerup.com.au (Peter Evans)
I've got to agree that this is one underrated album. I'm almost embarrassed to admit that it was my first and I picked it up in a $2.99 dump bin in 1977. But does this album cook. I've never really understood a NME article about it in 1976 (by Charles SM I think), where he said that compared to Physical Graffiti, Presence was like sitting on a hill with some sandwiches watching the carnage below in a stampede. I'd say the opposite. PG is a much more contrived album, perhaps as it consists of a lot of earlier outtakes, I don't know, with the psuedo orhestrations etc. Presence just gets out there and does it in a thouroughly unrelenting manner. Those interested in this period should read Richie York's biography. I mean to get an album like this recorded and mixed in 18 days. Anyways, I know for a period around 92-93 when I finally went high tech and bought a CD player, Presence was rarely of the machine. By the way, Plant was not effected during Presence by his son's death as it did not happen till a year after its release. Sorry I'm not trying to be a smart arse!

Weigelda@aol.com (Dave Weigel)
What the fuck? This is Zep's worst album by far. And I'm not saying that because it "doesn't have any radio hits", as someone once suggested. I'm saying it because it sucks. Two good songs. "Achilles" and "Nobody's Fault But Mine" kick the proverbial ass. The rest is uglier than republican pundit Ann Coulter. Where are the melodies? Oh, I'm sorry, it's blues. Well, excuse my uncultered white ass for liking songs better than bullshit wanking (good word, Mark) by a bunch of old drug-addicted british faggoty turdeating shittkissing republican tits.

Wow, that was mean. Sorry. 4/10.

EntrZepMan@aol.com
Quite simply, this is another amazing album to add to the Zeppelin catalogue. Call me stupid, but "Achilles Last Stand" is not only my favorite Zeppelin song, but my favorite song ever. I've listened to a lot, but no song pleases me as much as that one. For all of its 10 minutes and 22 seconds. And, the rest of the album could never possibly follow that song up without disappointment, but it does a good job anyway. "Nobody's Fault But Mine" makes me want to get up and dance, and that's a strong complement in itself, because I look like a friggin' moron when I dance. "For Your Life" is a groovin' Zep number that does what it was supposed to do and does it well. "Tea For One" is a bit slow but beautiful nonetheless. The other tracks are generally ignored, but are not bad by any means... "Hots On For Nowhere" in particular is pretty darned cool in my book. Good review on this one Mark, it is so sad that this one practically went straight to the bargain bins the day it came out! Lord help me, but I love Zeppelin like the son I never had.

megaman684@aol.com (Vincent Hedrick)
This record kicks ass. I just don't know why the single from the album was "candy store rock". It should of been "nobodys fault but mine". This record was very underated. I think this one is better than in though the out door.

Charles.Carlino@prudential.com
This is without question my favorite Zep album. Don't know why, but it just is. So there.

hijinks@utarlg.uta.edu (Thomas Rickert)
Achilles and Tea are stunning, and Tea was the best, absolutely the best, of the wierdly slow Zepblues tunes, but the rest of this is just OK. Not really that special. Even Nobody's Fault but Mine seems less than stellar to me now. I simply can't take your rating of eight seriously here, sorry -- this record is not on par with Physical. It is better than ZepIIfest, though, you sure got that right.

bevan@voicemail.com (Casey)
Weaker than all of their previous albums but still is good. The best songs include "For Your Life" which i can never get sick of!, "Achilles Last Stand", and "Nobodys fault but Mine". The first half of the album is classic Zep but towards the end it gets weaker. "Tea For One" is a long long boring song and "Candy Store Rock" is generic Rock n Roll. But still good, a rating of 7 out of 10.

starostin@geocities.com (George Starostin)
The worst heap of trash I ever bought in my life. If there IS any decency in 'Achilles' Last Stand', it is very soon washed away - it becomes unlistenable after the third or so minute. The same goes for most other songs. I don't blame them too much, though: they simply did not have enough material and these were hard times, too, as you've rightly pointed out (although Plant's son was still alive at the moment, that was a slight anachronism - he died after the release of Presence). 'Nobody's Fault But Mine' does have a slightly interesting melody too, but the rest is forgettable: it's not just boring, it's plain nasty. 'Candy Store Rock' is a loathsome parody on rock'n'roll, and so much for the other songs.

Hey - I've just noticed I actually echoed Dave Weigel's comments on it. With one difference, though: it is definitely NOT blues - it's horrible sucking music trying to imitate good blues, and bullshit wanking and great solo playing are completely different things, too.

terry@launchnet.com (Terry Haggin)
I bought the new remaster version for $2.99. And I overpaid. Love 1, 2. 3, 4, HotH, and PH but this album completely, totally, absolutely, positively, sucks. Every song is an ear-aching mess. Oh God, now I am getting that squealing sound flashback in my ears again from Achilles. Maybe Robert forgot to oil the squeaky wheels on his chair? Maybe that's the sound of Jimmy pulling the needle out of his arm? Or maybe it's Bonzo blowing vodka out his nose after a bender?

Can I say I hate this album? It blowz from every groove. Anyone want a half-played Remastered version of Presence? Send an address and it's yours.

stoo@imsa.edu (John McFerrin)
Guh.... Achilles, Nobody's Fault, and Tea For One are great, in my opinion. The other four tracks, though, are kinda .... iffy. I give it a 7 for those three tracks alone, but otherwise it kinda reeks

zephead@bellsouth.net (Kenneth Morel)
While Presence might not be their absolute best material,Zeppelin were still capable of writing material that still holds up well even today.Say what you want about some of the bands today (S.T.P.,Tea Party,etc..)who I happen to like and appreciate,but they would probably be the first to admit that Zeppelin were basically unequaled at writing heavy,melodic,and memorable music even at there lowest point(career and health-wise)and were obvius influenceson them.How can anyone with at least some background or sense of musicianship listen to "Achilles" and not realize that ,although extremely long & definitely not radio friendly,this song is a sonically structured masterpiece!! Being a musician with roughly 11 years experience I can attest that this is one HELL of a song!John Paul Jones is totally rippin' on the 8-string bass and Bonzo is both articulate and monsterous on the drums during this track!!!

" Tea for one" is another song which I believe is unfairly critisized because its"too long".Well,last time I checked,most people listen to music to enjoy it,so if you feel the need to watch the clock like a hawk,or feel it neccessary to find something that fits into your allotted timeframe of listening,then please by all means,feel free to join the ranks of the tonedeaf masses and listen to consise 3 min.buttnuggets by Britney Spears or "N"suck,but myself,I'll take well-written music over corporate crafted crap anyday!

While I still feel that overall Physical Graffitti and III(stepping on some toes here I'm sure!)are more wellrounded albums and therefore my favorites,I believe that Presence is a very good and unfortunately underrated and overlooked album.

Most recordings/songs reflect the mood at the time the album is cut,and considering the turmoil that was taking place in the Zep camp at the time,that should clue you in as to the reason behind the mostly dark atmosphere of this disc.Give it another listen and you might discover that it is a better record than first thought.

acecarter@yahoo.com (David Carter)
So many people hate this album! When I first listened to it ( back in early '76), I was totally fucked up on Thai Stick and I thought it was awesome. Being older (and not high..I lost my connections), I don't enjoy it as much. Hey, if it was made by people who were stoned, then maybe...just maybe, you should be stoned before you listen to it. Especially the song Tea For One. I get fucking flashbacks listening to that song!

robchaundy@yahoo.com (Robert Chaundy)
Very one-dimensional

My kid brother has pointed out certain aural similarities between Achilles' Last Stand and Awaken by Yes, and he kind of has a point. I don't really rhough... just thought I'd mention it. Aforementioned ten-minute clodhopping beast is one of my very favourite Zeppelin tracks and to my mind rather unique in the world of hard rock/metal/whatever. I guess certain Maiden and Diamond Head opera are similar, but this one came first! Well played the lads.

Tea For One... oooh. Possibly the saddest song I can think of right now. Very very miserable indeed. Beautifully so. Nobody's Fault But Mine sort of straddles the chasm between 'really quite good' and 'instantly forgettable' but the rest doesn't, frankly - workmanlike in the extreme, which is no crime considering the mill Zeppelin were put through in 1976, but unavoidably the truth. Six or seven then - all the rackety filler can't dull the two world-beating epics a whit and ignore anything the Russian says to the contrary.

lonewolf77@attbi.com (Allen)
Personally, I find this to be one of, if not THE best release from Led Zeppelin, alongside Led Zeppelin III and Led Zeppelin I.

Plant's voice seems technically impressive and more refined, as did every band member. As far as songwriting, Presence contains some of the band's brightest moments (particularly the melancholy, atmospheric blues classic "Tea For One" and the incomparable "Achilles Last Stand").

The record was also a major step in artistic versatility. Production wise, this is a whole new creation for the band, and the song structures tend to differ from previous Zeppelin tunes.

It is very unfortunate that their success had begun its decline around the time of this release, being that is by far Led Zeppelin's most underrated (and possibly least commercially successful) album.

All in all, I find Presence to be more than deserving of a 10/10 rating. IMO, this album is essential.

brain_of_j@hotmail.com (Tom Joyce)
Booming banging 4-note riff sameness. I like what they do with matching fuzzy guitar with bass on opposite speakers in “Royal Orleans”, but who gives a toss for “lalalalala” crap like “Hots on for nowhere” and “Candy store rock”? Who are they fooling with all their heaviness – those are children’s songs!

Only one truly classic song on here – “Achilles Last Stand”, which has a strong melody and unusual riff to it, and a WONDERFUL extended section, with Plant mixing up sharply-delivered bombastic opera with coy effeminacy and ritualistic aaah’s (a mix that by the way influenced Siouxsie and the Banshees a lot). “Tea for one” is nice though lacking the taste in arrangement present in “Since I’ve been loving you”, and “For your life” has 2 or 3 enjoyable riffs in it.

But “Nobody’s fault but mine” really shows signs of lacking inspiration – Plant whines an annoying ripped-off melody from an old blues song some 20 times in a row, the band then does a boom-bang version of it, and a new Page/Plant original is born! (At one point in this song, Plant performs possibly the most accurate pig-squeeling impression I’ve ever heard anybody do on a harmonica – and let me tell you, having owned a harmonica myself I am very well aware that pig-squeeling impressions are just about the first and foremost thing a beginning player will master on it, and in fact it takes some amounts of skill and practice to NOT emit pig-squeeling impressions from the goddamned thing – so you understand that with this amount of competition from every harmonica player in the world, to come out on top is a feat indeed.)

robadobb_2@msn.com (Rob Raymer)
underrated album. presence is a happenin album with some of the more interesting solos in the zep catalog. bonhams is incredible on achilles not to mention nobodys fault.

Wadedh14@aol.com
I just bought this album today for about sixteen bucks (the prices of CDs today are obscene), and you know what? Each track from 1 to 7 kicks the tush. "Achilles" is, of course, a classic. "For Your Life", when you really get into it, doesn't seem as long as it is listed on the back cover; it's a great one. "Royal Orleans" isn't quite long enough, if vous ask moi; you kind of need more time to take in its greatness. "Nobody's Fault But Mine" is my absolute favorite on here, but was challenged greatly today when I heard "Tea for One" for the first time, beginning to end. "Candy Store Rock" and "Hots on for Nowhere" have been unfairly labeled as "generic" or (as by some doofus who evidently doesn't appreciate good music when he hears it) "children's songs". Bleagh...I love 'em. "Tea for One"...oh god, I listened to that one about three times in a row, thinking, 'Wait just a cottonpickin' second! Am I hearing this right?!!' Turns out I was. It's just as good as "Since I've Been Loving You" and "That Song About the Levee". Man, what musicianship...what musicianship. Plus, those pictures of "The Object" are truly interesting.

watta502@yahoo.gr (Akis Katsman)
Presence may not be that great as an album, but "Achilles Last Stand" is maybe their best song ever. I think I'll listen to this one now.

echoes_2k3@hotmail.com (Undertone Soederhuysen)
Presence would have been a much better album, if they had left out a few songs. It should have been a 3 song album, because Royal Orleans, Candy Store, and Hots on for No-where were just horrible songs. I dont think i've ever listened to No-where in its entirety because I just cant stand listening to it. Now, that the worst of the album are done with, this is probably one of the best albums ever made. Achillies is an amazing song. Its long, the lyrics fit the sound perfectly, and the solo is Led's Best by far. For Your Life sounds pretty good, but sure isnt one of their best, but being one of Led's best is saying something. No body's fault is a great song, just leave out the harmonica, and you have a song you can listen to with out cringing. Other then the stroke of retartedness (the harmonica) its a great song, and should be given a chance. Then, theres tea for one. I love this song, just a shame they didnt use the opening of the song more, it sounds awsome. The rest is far too slow for the opening it has, but thats alright, its still an amazing song.

Cut out 3 crappy songs and your left with 4 amazing ones, I give it a 7/10. Just having Candy Store on this album just dropes it 2 points, eugh, what a horrible horrible excuse for music.

Wadedh14@aol.com
Going back to that "children's songs" reference, and I just noticed this, I simply don't believe that Led Zeppelin would write a song about oral sex for children. I'm sorry, Tom, but I think you'll find that most of the world's people will agree with me on that one. That's just MY opinion.

maria.rohrmoser@vancouver.ca
Pooh! This record is Pooh!

princess_vachtangov@yahoo.com
(Prindle-slave inserts bunch of arrows pointing to reader comment from Maria Rohrmoser from Vancouver, California.)

Best reader's comment ever!

People from California are just the funniest ever! It must be all the heat!

Sincerely yours,
Winnie the Pooh.

torrance90505@yahoo.com
I think the vancouver.ca was a reference to Canada, not California. Or something.

As for "Presence" . . . . it's the only major misstep by The Greatest Band of All Time. Achilles Last Stand is amazing, Hots on for Nowhere skips along quite nicely . . Nobody's Fault But Mine has an apostrophe in it, but might be the most overplayed song of theirs relative to its actual quality other than Kashmir. It starts well, but is repetitive with the same mundane lyric repeated throughout.

Tea For One is a failed attempt to get back to Since I've Been Loving You, Candy Store Rock is utter cheese, and Royal Orleans is only amusing for the fact it supposedly recounts an incident in New Orleans where John Paul Jones took a cross-dresser to his hotel room.

For Your Life was recently given its live debut at the Almet Ertegun Tribute show, and there's a reason it was never played live in the 1970s. It plumbs the depths of suck.

3 out of 10

Giving a charity rating due to the turmoil around the group at the time, it would move up to a reluctant 5. 1976 was not a good year for them.

ruslash@gmail.com
Talking about underrated stuff and the fact that people just refuse to get sheer delight listening to such songs as Royal Orleans which for me is all kinds of great funky rocker in the same lz pop-line as Custard Pie and Over The Hills

there’s also a fantastic solo and Plant is at his very best

Robert’s doing Elvis in Candy Store Rock is hilarious but For Your Life really sucks

Nobody’s Fault sounds generic and is by the way another rip-off from some black author

Hots On is the most forgettable Zeppelin song except Dancing Days which is total crap the guys should be ashamed of

Ben
Back when I was first getting into Zeppelin, I frequently heard them being called "the heaviest band in the world" or something like that. While I think that statement is about as ludicrous as Robert Plant doing a bluegrass album with Alison Krauss or Pat Boone doing "Stairway to Heaven", I think this album would be the best way to prove that (worthless) theory. The band was going through a lot of bad personal shit at the time, and usually when that happens it increases their music quality, but here it decreased. None of the songs are bad, they're just not that memorable. "For Your Life" just sounds like a bunch of riffs thrown together with Robert singing nonsense. Only "Nobody's Fault" stands out among the others. "Achilles" and "Tea for One" are my second and third favorite tracks here. Even though their like ten minutes long they manage to draw me in. This is my least favorite Zep album, but I still like it. It's got the typical Zep experience on it, and the playing is excellent, but it didn't turn out as good as it should have been. I'll give this a 7.

Add your thoughts?

In Through The Out Door - Swan Song 1979.
Rating = 8


The main complaint surrounding the album is that it's too piano and keyboard-oriented. Where are the guitars? Why do they sound like a bunch of old men? Well...because they were old! (In their thirties anyway, which is old for rockers) That aside, this, much like every other Zeppelin album, was an attempt to do something different. Explore new vistas of musical expression. Face the unknown. And what's the unknown? Well...h ere, it's some samba Spanishy piano stuff ("Fool In The Rain," "South Bound Saurez" - both wonderful, fun, upbeat songs), country/western ("Hot Dog"), keyboard balladry ("All My Love" - the best song on here, thanks to a heartfelt scraggly vocal delivery), and even (gasp!) disco (the final third of "Carouselambra").

Yes, they sound a bit out of touch at times; "In The Evening" works as a slow eerie number, but taken as an intense hard rocker (as it was probably intended to be taken), it fails miserably. The synth-happy "Carouselambra" sounds kinda weird coming from these guys too. Still, they're graging acefully here, pushing the guitar to the side to usher in some changes to their established guitar-heavy sound. Sort of the anti-Presence, if you will. And extremely enjoyable to anybody over the age of 20 or so (young rockers might get bored with it, but us old guys - hooooeeee!). Sadly, we never got to see what path they might have taken next; powerhouse drummer John Bonham passed away, and the others graciously retired the band. Sigh.

Reader Comments

rapallof@pathcom.com (Electric Magic)
According to John Paul Jones, he arrived at rehearsals early and managed to write most of the songs on the album. The band's progression and wide range of styles are remarkable.

Weigelda@aol.com (Dave Weigel)
I like this one. It's tons better than Presence, the addition of keyboards is cool, the band experiments a bit, and the melodies are prettier than Uma Thurman. "All My Love" and "Fool in the Rain" are catchy and fun, and "Carouselambra" is kinda like Yes with disco (that's a good thing). And for once, Zep aren't pretentious in the least! This is their best record since Houses of the Holy, and their third best album overall. See what you can do when you move past the blues? 8.5/10. A fine swan song.

megaman684@aol.com (Vincent Hedrick)
This one is weaker than Presence. The main reason is because "I'm Gonna Crawl" brings the record down. Its still a great record though.

hijinks@utarlg.uta.edu (Thomas Rickert)
Yeah, I agree that this one is underrated, too. Like Physical, there is so much depth and mood to this record that you wonder how a band of such heavy partyers, despite the musical skill, could manage it. But clearly they could, and did, and here it is, now, for us, so buy it and play it a lot. I did, and look what its done for me!! Hee hee. I dunno about Hot Dog though. It kinda sticks out, out-of-place, on the record.

bevan@voicemail.com (Casey)
A nice record with some good tunes. It sold better than any punk album, and New Wave album at the time which goes to show that Led Zeppelin in the late 70's were still more popular than the newer bands

ronbevault@prodigy.net (Keith Jones)
The only thing that keeps this album from being near-perfect would be to get rid of the silly jam "Hot Dog" and replace it with the kick-ass "Wearing and Tearing". Plus the guitar on "All My Love" is buetiful, and the solo on "In the Evening" is magnificent!

terry@launchnet.com (Terry Haggin)
Heard 'In the evening' for the first time in August of 79 on the way to the beach just before going back to my Junior year in college. I didn't like it then and don't like it now. Unfortunately, all my friends loved it so for 3 weeks all I heard was DA DA DA DA DA DA, IN the EEEEEEEEEEEEVNNNNiiiNG............... On God, how the mighty fell from the glory days of "I'll never quit you, babe." Those were songs. I give this album a 2 only 1 above my slammingf of that horror, Presence.

bigfoot@dreamsoft.com (the omniscient sasquatch)
the swan song era for Led Zeppelin was the greatest of all time. (i am a zep enthusiast, and yes, have heard every released song) Presence is definitely my favorite album. anyone who believes the untitled album is the best obviously hasnt heard the epics from the later era. im talking about achilles, nobodys fault but mine, tea for one, in my time of dying (one of my favs), carouselambra (damn, jonesy was brilliant!), for your life, kashmir, ten years gone (sheer bliss), shall i continue? with the exception of a few songs from II and houses of the holy, zeppelin was only an above average band until swan song. i dunno, i just think most bands are at their best while on drugs.

rangas@hotmail.com
Q: Why Do I love this album so much?
A: One song - "I'm Gonna Crawl".

This is my favourite out their whole catalogue, and although Robert Plant's voice had sounded better, Bonzo's drumming had been better, Jonesy's profile had been higher, but for a 'smackhead' as you so eloquently put it, Jimmy Page had never played the guitar better. It his is last great solo, his most emotional solo, hell it may even be his greatest solo, scratch that, it is his greatest solo. It is so fitting that his greatest solo would come on the last song of the last proper studio album from the greatest band ever.

The other songs (except that song I always skip "Carouselambra") are great too, but none match the beauty of the final track. "All My Love" is an obvious highlight, although it's easy to see why Jimmy Page was never that keen on it, Jonesy owns the music, and Robert delivers *gasp* heartfelt lyrics. "Hot Dog" is pretty neat for a country song as well.

But I listen to the guitar solo in "I'm Gonna Crawl" and I feel justified that it's OK to like Led Zeppelin in a time where money rules and music sucks.

ian.moss@yale.edu
This is a great album! I don't know why people dumped on it so much. The only songs I DON'T like are "Hot Dog" (and even that's OK) and "Fool In the Rain" which ranks up there with "D'yer Mak'r" on the annoyingness scale. But everything else is wonderful--even "Carouselambra," despite its length, is surprisingly memorable and catchy. I dig the cover art too. Easy 9. I agree with Rangas about "I'm Gonna Crawl," too--it's an incredible guitar solo.

TIMMAMTA@prodigy.net (Timothy W. Harrington)
while not one of their best records, it is a pretty solid updating of their sound since the layoff. definitely their most innovative record - though not always successful - other than houses of the holy.after the recycled sound of "in the evening" the album gets very interesting. one of page's best solos in the exciting "southbound Saurez", while "fool" and "hot dog" go off in totally unexpected directions. "Carouselambra" doesn't do it for me, you've got to admit that these guys aren't afraid to take chances. while "all my love" is a little on the fluffy side, the finale "i'm gonna crawl" is a superior update of "since i've been loving you" in dramatic stle. a solid seven.

mootje@total.net (Matt Cahill)
I remember first listening to this album (and indeed it was on vinyl - lovely record art they had!), and upon hearing the kick-the-door-down thumping of In the Evening, I thought: "Hey! Led Zeppelin are doing AC/DC!!" which, for a 16-year-old kid in a small prairie town in Alberta, meant a lot more than perhaps it does now (it was sort of the musical equivalent of the shark from Jaws teaming up with Darth Vader). When I hear the tracks now (Q-107 in Toronto), I wish songs like All of My Love and, for that matter, their second album's Thank You had never been written. I have too many sour memories of baaaad indie bands covering those ones. Christ, has anyone done a good cover of these, or of any Zeppelin song?

Perhaps this is the great thing about Zeppelin: they were a total unit, enwrapped in a particular style of production value...and to try and re-create or imitate their sound...well, you're just cruisin' for bruisin'.

(Okay, Blue Garden by Masters of Reality comes close :)

qb11@monmouth.com (Dianne Russell)
I wasn't going to say anything, but I can't help myself. I think "Fool in the Rain" is one of the most underrated songs of all time. I loved it back in junior high, heard it on the radio last week, and bugged out just as much. Drums, keyboards, vocals- just like Mozart, if you changed anything it would be diminished.

robchaundy@yahoo.com (Robert Chaundy)
I've always loved this record. What can one say? It was a long, long journey from Good Times Bad Times to I'm Gonna Crawl, and it ended at about the right time if the likes of Wearing and Tearing are anything to go by. It's great to hear John Paul Jones finally running the show - the man was easily the best musician in the band and these songs feel much more rounded and confident than before. Things do get a little unmanly circa the synth solo in All My Love, but in general he's playing like a demon - as indeed are the others. Great music, great feel, great album art, great shame that Bonzo couldn't hang around...

Let us give thanks every day that some bands are happy to let sleeping legends lie.

NMcpherson@fac.unc.edu (Earl McPherson)
Yeah, it sounded like John Paul pretty much ran the show. What little I remember of the album is that the songs sounded sorta murky except for maybe "Hot Dog". "I'm Gonna Crawl" sounded like a last gasp from a dying group..... I don't know. They only play "Fool in the Rain" off of the album on those crappy "classic" rock stations. They're enough to turn anybody against Rock and Roll.

brain_of_j@hotmail.com (Tom Joyce)
As the title correctly indicates, this album is quite anal and - *takes a deep breath, again, goes on* - the stupid “London Bridge” riffs go on and on and on and on and they never change in any way at all and there’s just no way for the listener to avoid facing up with the fact that they’re played on a piano. This is *puts both hands in the air, waves two adjacent figers on each* piano music! Like, filthy, vomity, idiot music! “All of my love” is wonderful and the first song isn’t that bad if you have installed a Robert Plant karaoke filter on your stereo (btw, the first time I heard the song I kinda wondered why the song started fading out 3 minutes before it actually ended – turned out my earphones had slipped off! Idiots!).

And there is this “Carouselambra” song in here, which has wonderful synth gloom and ooh-aah’s in it, and a part where they switch suddenly from playing dragging doom music to playing very upbeat lovely disposable synth music which obviously inspired the Fall’s “Bad news girl” to do the exact same thing. But all the other songs are just incredibly stupid. They even make “All of my love” sound like a squeeky sugar-coated potential Eurovision entry by raising the chorus a tone or so in the end (a technique invented by a female woman, as I recently found out - look up “to suck dick” on Google yourself).

Like, to make my Thought clearer, you know how in summer it sometimes rains? You know, everything becomes wet, and you have to stand under a roof or a tree in order not to become wet yourself? And afterwards, when it’s not even raining anymore, you can’t sit down anywhere because everything is still wet? Similarly, this album sucks.

*stops waving fingers in the air, waxes nostalgic on departing sanity*

robadobb_2@msn.com (Robert Raymer)
what makes this album interesting is besides unintentionally being a fitting finale it makes you wonder what the future zep might have done these guys clearly couldve coasted for many years makin albums full of depth and far beyond what a few legends have produced after aeons of existence.

Wadedh14@aol.com
Hey, when you've got six different covers all wrapped up nice 'n' tight in a paper sack so you never know which one you're gonna get, it's hard not to like an album. I mean, just for that, huh? Oh yeah, and good songs, too (I'm probably not doing this album justice by saying so little about the actual music...ah well).

watta502@yahoo.gr (Akis Katsman)
The song "Carouselambra" is just AWFUL, as it is the rest of the album. The only person who likes that song is Jim. 3/10

slb23@shaw.ca
I've put off writing a review for this album. But now it's time has come. Here it is. The last Zeppelin studio album of the 70's. Jones co-wrote a surprising amount of songs for this album. (everyone except "hot dog").

Song by song review:

"In the Evening". The intro it kind of pointless, i find. Overall good song. Plant's vocals gettin' rough here....

"South Bound Saurez" hmmm.... sounds like an outtake from Presence. And that's saying something ..... but seriously, it isn't half bad. I like the begining.

"Fool in the Rain" Damn this is catchy. Great Bonham beat. I don't like it so much when it goes into a latin beat, doesn't fit the rest of the song too well, i think. Plant's voice can't reach as high as years before (but hey, that's what years, smoking, and singing will do to ya)

"Hot Dog" I thought this was shite when i first heard it, but that's when i hated country with a passion. Now i only hate this with slight passion.

"Carouselabmra" I used to hate this one too, but damn it, i like it now. I guess ever since i heard the whole thing on the radio while driving in the car. It's pretty catchy in places, but the cheesy synth drives me nuts sometimes.

"All of my love". a led zep ballad. but not in the good sense like "The Rain Song". In cheesy late 70's ballad way. The synth on the solo sounds similar to the one on "Don't kill the whale" by Yes, which is unfortunate. Oh well, at least they thought that those synths were good at the time....

"I'm Gonna Crawl" a good blues number to end the album. Just good. That's it. Nothing really special.

Overall good album, but i don't listen to it very often.

7/10

ace_kendo
Regarding a comment by Matt Cahill, Ween do a great version of "All My Love" on their Live In Chicago DVD.

andrew.deaton@hotmail.com
Mark, this album is probably one of my favorite Led Zepp album of all time, and although it seems that most people dislike this album for being too strange, in my opinion, the strange tracks are the best part. For example "Caroselambra" although it is ten and a half minutes long, every second of it is strange and interesting. In my opinion, Led Zeppelin is at their best when they are pushing the barriers of what is acceptable musically, and they definitely did with this album.

ruslash@gmail.com
In Through The Outdoor is also great album when you listen to it in the right kind of mood and I really like Carouselambra which nobody seems to dig but it’s a cool multipart song fantastic inspiring lyrics
sounds a bit like Who Are You though a

Brother Dave
By Zeppelin standards I think this is the laziest album they did. Some great ideas and potential for growth (the keyboards etc) but the ideas aren't worked through enough. There was not enough editing - a good producer is supposed to turn to the band and say "hey, yeh I know you think playing the same riff over and over again might sound really cool to you but trust me you should cut out this bit and this bit etc".

Of course Jimmy Page was producer and his absence from the studio which allowed John Paul Jones unprecedented self-indulgences is telling. There's nothing wrong with JPJ's ideas but they needed more crafting. Several songs should be shorter and they should've pulled a couple more tracks together to make this a more respectable effort. Ultimately Page as producer and band leader has to take the blame for not doing his job.

Song by song -
"In the Evening". Great intro and thundering ponderous riff - unfortunately it just keeps going and going.. and going. 6:49 of it is really taking the piss. This song should be at least two minutes shorter as it doesn't really go anywhere.

"South Bound Saurez". A bit different from Zeppelin but mostly well executed - however again it wouldn't have hurt to have cut down the length a bit - a shorter snappier version would have gotten the same message across.

"Fool in the Rain" Starts off as a nice catchy tune - but 6:12? Should be half as long as it is as. Starts wearing out its welcome after 4 minutes. "Hot Dog" Not my favourite Zeppelin song by any stretch but at 3:17 at least they didn't overwork it like a number of other tracks - I respect the idea and the fact they didn't try to over do it.

"Carouselabmra" Overall I like this one - great mood and feel. However at 10:32 it is probably again a bit much though. The changes also feel a bit forced and the disco bit at the end seems tacked on. Perhaps without it this would be more respectable. With a bit of imagination this could've been the next Kashmir.

"All of my love" A classic ballad that doesn't feel like its 6 minutes long because unlike most tracks on this album it seems like more effort has gone into crafting this into the perfect song.

"I'm Gonna Crawl" Not the best blues they've done, but at 5:30 they didn't labour the point too much.

This album could've marked a turning point for Zeppelin hitting the 80's but instead it partly sounds lazy and self-indulgent.

I still like it, but by Zeppelin standards - perhaps 6/10.

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Back Through The Out Takes - Bootleg.
Rating = 7


When I heard that Led Zeppelin had released a three-disc compilation of rare live material, I just KNEW I had to run right out and buy a CD full of In Through The Out Door demos. And "WOW" what a difference! (Cocksucker Video!). You aint heard "Carouselambra" until you've heard an instrumental version of it! You ain't heard "Fool In The Rain" until you've heard the version where Robert Plant says "Oh darlin'" after he says "Oh baby" at the beginning! You ain't heard "I'm Gonna Crawl" until you've heard the album In Through The Out Door, because it's not on here.

The other six are though, with slight differences that nevertheless make for a pretty interesting listening experience for the superbig lifelong Led Zeppelin fan like myself. "All My Love" includes an extra rhythm guitar track -- and it's undistorted! "Carouselambra" pumps up Jimmy's guitar so you can actually hear what he's playing and why. "Hot Dog" is a completely different recording with a shout of "That's my kinda music!" at the beginning, less distortion on the guitar and a much less rocky, more country-ish guitar tone. And "Southbound Suarez" features different guitar and keyboard tones -- TONES MAKE A DIFFERENCE, PEOPLE! On this one, the keyboard is louder and sounds like it's being hit with a hammer instead of with the gentle waif-like fingers of Led Zeppelin bassist John Paul Sartre. Unfortunately, many of the tracks I didn't name (which include a few from Coda) seem to be exactly the same as the album versions. Curse you, John Bonham and your wily ways!

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Studio Daze - bootleg.
Rating = 7


Disappointing, half-assed bootleg but it does contain a few good tracks, most notably an unreleased bottleneck blues number along the lines of "Hats Off To Roy Harper." Aside from that, it has two endless instrumental versions of "No Quarter," a cool alternate version of "All My Love," a few live tracks and what, at both first and second glance, appear to be the exact same versions of "That's The Way" and "Since I've Been Loving You" that appear on the third album. Hmm... Something sounds a bit fishy to me.

You know, a slight water swishing noise, maybe a bubble or deux.

A LOW SEVEN. SHAME ON YOU THE BOOTLEGGERS OF AMERICA.

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Coda - Swan Song 1982.
Rating = 7


Apparently feeling that something was left unsaid, Jimmy Page dug through the vaults to find seven previously unavailable tracks and a miserable rendition of "I Can't Quit You Baby." Most of the P.U. tracks are worth hearing; they're very guitar-heavy with strong drum presence (especially in the groovy electro-tribal Bonham solo "Bonzo's Montreux") and a keen sense of unorthodox melody evident especially in "Walter's Walk" and "Ozone Baby."

No reason to knock these songs. "Darlene" sounds a little too much like the Stray Cats, but the others rock pretty dang handily. Definitely essential to any genuine fan's collection (only a fool would pass up their 1969 Ben E. King cover "We're Gonna Groove"!), although it's missing the finest of their post-mortem releases - the watery, domestic semi-Robert Johnson cover "Travellin' Riverside Blues" is available only on the box set. But what kinda jerkbutt would settle for the box set? Full catalogue, man! Take a listen! You won't believe the understanding of musical dynamics these blokes displayed! A smart hard rock band! Perish the thought!

Reader Comments

rapallof@pathcom.com (Electric Magic)
More Zep? We'll take it.

rgelling@nero.UVic.ca (Randy Gelling)
Although I recognize that LZ were a good band up til the Untitled album I must admit that years of overexposure has rendered the band unlistenable. LZ's legacy is now a negative, conservative force in modern rock. I say this even though I think they were a great band with the best rhythm section to ever grace a rock band. Note: I was born in 75' and attach no nostalgia to the band like too many others. All respect given, but let's move on.

rmckellar@mindspring.com (Robert W. McKellar)
Coda is the worst Led Zepplin album made. I purchased all of the other CDs and I listened to Coda one day and it was so bad that I did not want to listen to the others. I would not buy it. Buy Presence instead.

Stryker120@aol.com
If you have the boxed set, you get some bonuses on the Coda album. My favorite being "White Summer/Black Mountain Side". It's a live recording of Jimmy's solo, and it shows why some consider him to be the best guitarist to live. It's simply awesome to hear this. And it has "Hey Hey What Can I Do", which we all forget is done by Zeppelin 'cause Hootie ripped it off, but it's still really cool and different sounding. But those of you who don't have the box set, you have to find that elusive "Immigrant Song" single, which has "Hey Hey" on the B-side. But the chances of that are about a snowball's chance in hell.

hijinks@utarlg.uta.edu (Thomas Rickert)
Box set? Fuck that, man, full catalog is right. Its like taking a piss: either go or don't, just don't stand there gawking at the urinal.

Or maybe it's not quite like that...

But regardless, the two side closers on this (Walter's Walk and Wearing and Tearing -- notice how they both begin with W, hmm, kinda makes me wonder at the feeling I get when I look ... uhh, sorry, nevermind) just really kick in that good all over body feeling buzz way, and the live version of I Can't Quit You Baby is so joyously raw that it just makes the studio version cry in its hamper like the whipped dog that it is, and I don't even want to know if that's a mixed metaphor. But that's the only real problem with this album, its like a mixed metaphor. Kinda hodgepodgelodge, if you know what I mean. And I never liked Darlene.

labra@pop3.com (Lesya Abraham)
As the only eleven year old girl at my old school, I learned to not only love Led Zep but stick up for them too. I feel that it was these guys who rocked the worl into an era of their own... only to be followed by a series of imatators with crappy four chorded albums... So for the music world to flourish once again I think we should all chant the mantra LONG LIVE LED ZEP!!!

JMerenivitch@webtv.net (Jarrow Merenivitch)
I'd like you to settle a dispute between my friends and me. Y'see heythink that those old Zep dudes are better than the Beatles. Now I would understand if it was The Stones they were pretty awesome but Zeppelin, pah! First of all the main argument is that the fab four didn't rock half as well as the Zep. But alas, think about how crappy a songwriter was Page and the fact that he stole all the best songs he did, hell even" stairway"(one of my friends started to cr when I told him that) And when you listen at it Page was a really sloppy guitarist sometimes but, anyway I'd Like to hear youre opinion

LLostInThe60s@aol.com
I love led zeppelin they are the greatest,am i right,of course i'm right!!!

jed@dickson171.fsnet.co.uk
Led Zeppelin are far and away the best hard rock band of all time. They singlehandley invented all forms of heavy metal and hard rock, and rock died when they split. Bands like Black Sabbath, Van Halen and Nirvana are just pale imitations of the mighty Zeppelin. No band has ever come close to the sheer talent they had. The four greatest musicians ever assembled. I don't know who they were, but they must have been either aliens or Gods to give us music that great. Everyone must bow down in supplication when they hear a Zeppelin song.

That's the accepted wisdom it seems from my nearly 20 years experience of hearing rock fans speak their opinions. Except that I disagree with the accepted wisdom. I think Led Zeppelin today are overrated. Okay you all want to burn me for heresy for saying that. I'll explain....

If I pictured myself back in 1969 hearing Led Zeppelin for the first time I would no doubt be impressed. They didn't sound like The Beatles, or The Stones, The Kinks or Hermans Hermits. That's refreshing right there! There's some hint of the Who there and Hendrix. But mainly I suppose they sound like The Jeff Beck Group, only louder and with crisper production. I would no doubt be pretty impressed with them for being quite fresh sounding. Except.....it's not 1969 anymore. For all Led Zeppelins influence I think other bands have made better hard rock since them. Even their two contempories Black Sabbath and Deep Purple I thought were better in some respects. The problem is that Black Sabbath and Deep Purple went on too long went through endless line up changes and frankly, released some pretty bad albums, tarnishing their reputation. Led Zep however split, more or less preserving their reputations intact. Ozzy Osbourne today is a clown, further diminishing Sabbath's reputation. So, IN MY OPINION, Led Zep are to hard rock what Space Invaders is to video games. The most infleuential, probably (although not the first , nor was Space Invaders strictly the first video game), but not superior to what followed in it's footsteps. That analogy is exaggerated of course, since today Space Invaders has been FAR exceeded whereas I don't think it's as extreme in the case of Led Zeppelin. Or you could use The Wright Brothers airplane anaology. It was the first, but by todays standards it's not the fastest or most maneuverable, or.. you get the idea. Being first doesn't always mean best. But people will still be talking about The Wright Brothers airplane in tones of reverance 50 years fron mow while later, better planes are long forgotten. And to take as an example two of their most lauded songs. Black Dog and Stairway. When I first heard the riff to Black Dog in 1986 I thought it sounded like a randon collection of notes. And today I still do. Sure it's complex and must take skill to play, but it doesn't overlook the fact that it's "hook" factor is close to zero to me. Contrast that to the much simpler yet much catchier Smoke On The Water riff! Or Sweet Leaf, a riff that is almost maddeningly catchy. Stairway might be a slick song but I'm afraid the main guitar line is a slight reworking of Taurus By Spirit, so Led zep can't take as much credit as some might hope. And really, most of their best moments are actually when they're covering others songs! It makes you wonder alright. Were Led Zep geniuses at.... songwriting? or arranging?

I don't think that any single one band started heavy metal. Whats the definiton of heavy metal? Probably most would say amped up guitars, high pitched impassioned vocals and a headbanging riff. But can't you bang your head to Purple Haze, Spanish Castle Magic or even My Generation? Amped up guitars? Hendrix, Cream, Jeff Beck. High pitched vocals? Well I'd say that Paul Mccartney on Helter Skelter did a good job there. And Rod Stewart singing for The Jeff Beck Group could get a mention. Tbe thing with Zeppelin is that they didn't start anything at all, they were more of a melting pot of influences. You could say that their first two albums defined their sound, which is mainly fiery blues rock I suppose. But what's so revolutionary about blues rock? They just made it more intense. For their era. People often say that no band has ever touched Zeppelin, which is adorably ethusiastic and naive, but how -and I stress this point- can you make that judgement if you haven't heard all of what's been happening in the 35 years since Led Zeppelins debut?. Nobody's going to make the effort of listening to the thousands of other hard rock albums that have been released since 1969 however. Led Zep could play their instruments well and churn out a decent song but so what? How many other bands could that apply to? Led Zep are a middle of the pack band to me. I've heard maybe 500 or so rock/ metal albums from 1970 onwards and to me Led Zep stand out in no department as the best of its kind. In terms of riffs, melody, singing, speed, atmosphere and guitar virtuosity Led Zep have been surpassed by others. And furthermore it seems that Led Zep base their sound mainly on the electric guitar. But the problem is that even if you enjoy the electric guitar sound, it doesn't sound all that great on the Led zep albums. Technology has moved on and todays recording techniques allow a much better guitar sound. So even there Led zep have been trumped.

Part of Zeppelins enduring popularity is due to peer pressure, especially among high schoolers. Among the rock culture not liking Zeppelin is practically heresy. The Emperors servants in The Emperors New Clothes fable spring to mind. They couldn't see the Emperors clothes either but didn't want to say so for fear of seeming stupid. So they tag along gamely. In earlier centuries heretics were burnt at the stake. These days thankfully measures are not so severe but not liking the Mighty Zeppelin is still a serious matter to rock fans. Insults are hurled at the offenders and the culprits street cred plummets. If you don't like Zeppelin you must be a filthy Avril/ Korn/ Metallica/ Stones/ Sabbath /N Sync loving b*****d! Soon nobody invites them to parties anymore. Misery. Oh well they'll just have to buy "Early Days" "III" and "How The West Was Won" and show them to their friends. Replies of "Dude, you've finally got taste!" are uttered and the storm blows over. Phew! You've joined the ranks of People With Taste!

I can in some ways respect their contribution to rock music, but I've never really been a fan. I've bought most of their albums and listened to them, but really it was out of a sense of duty I suppose. It's virtually REQUIRED for a rock fan to listen to Led Zeppelin. They have their place in rock history but the pedastal they're on is so high they need oxygen breathing masks.

Overall today I still think that Led Zeppelin improved on The Jeff Beck Group, but that isn't enought to justify their "Rock Gods" status for me. Still, they've got a cool name. It sounds so right doesn't it? Just say it out loud....Led......Zeppelin. It sounds formidable... and I think it's also a reason why Led Zep get the "mighty" reputation. The Zeppelins of old are huge, awe inspiring things. Watching the Hindenburg go down in flames is a sight that no-one whos ever seen can ever forget. And the name Zeppelin sink into the average 13 year old rock fan's impressionable mind like... a lead zeppelin.

Oh and by the way I think that Misty Mountain Hop is the worst song I've heard in my life. And I mean laugh out loud bad. The fact that it's even taken seriously by some is a good indication of how overrated Zeppelin really is! Stairway To heaven isn't bad per se, just boring, even the first few times. I like Plants Beee Gees impersonation in the finale though.

pedroandino@msn.com
yo jed! good agreement in the history of zep but somehow I dock points for your disses. as for you lesya, thank you so much*blows kiss to her* anyway coda was dissed so much! what the hell????? I guess people liked early zep than later zep. 1 I like because it is a blues record 2 is a heavy record despite radio overplay! 3 is mellow acoustic stuff but what I just read in rolling stone that dave grhol love lp 3 he said it was his soundtrack of his life! 4 zoso is the radio album! man oh man if rumors, dark side, boston, or eliminator got overplayed you 'd be insane but hey I remember the movie american pop by raplh bakshi thinking classic rock rules! punk sucks! new wave sucks! rap sucks! slut pop sux! country sux dick! also in rolling stone they place zep albums 1 to pg as the best but 3 is not here! holy is the diverse album with naked girls! plant is such a horndog! page is a magic king! bonzo is a juggernaut! pg is a 2 album set and george is not here! yay ! fuck this russian assfuck who dissed born to run! cocksucker! presence is a hard album to hear it was like as if zep was in danger! plant lost his son, page is a demon!, bonzo is going down for the count but hey one thing does achilles sound like heart's barracuda? yes! out door is the last gasp and all my love is sweet but I love fool in the rain! salsa!!!!!!!!!!!! oh forgot the movie zep made but I did not see it! I have the album it does not bore me ! anyway rock on zepheads one more thing are the 2 guys from matchbox 20 dissing over who is the best? is it zep or the who? I say both! the who are for the jocks and zep are for lotr lovin', pot smoking, hobbit reading groove monkeys! I am a hobbit! plant has got the big ones and pete has the anger! anyway estoy cansado take care ya'll

tom_rumsby@hotmail.com
dude man music is an idividual pleasure. I think that Robert Plant is the best singer bacause he put his heart into the music. The man put every thing he had. Man your talking about the late 60's man. THe guy was fakinig an orgasm in whole lotta love. you gotta have some balls to de that! i mean people were listening to the beatles. i mean you got living in the ussr and then aawww awww awww!!!! in whole lotta love.

and i got only one thing to say about jimmy page: WHITE SUMMER BLACK MOUNTAIN SIDE! did you here that song? it's demonic. totaly unhuman! i dont care what you say Page is the best guitarist of all time. Plus the band was also influenced by other cultures. thats better then some capitalist pig doing a tapping solo. i oh yeah, bohnam didnt die from a chronic asshole infection in 1979. he died of alcohol abuse in 1980 and the world lost a true exeptionel artist.

pedroandino@msn.com
oh! hello tom rumsby! sorry if I did not meet ya but hey at least you read my comments if not fuck it I'd rather be a spoken word guy than a critic but that is just my opinion! anyway if you are gonna use the word disposable the let the word be used against pop, new wave, rap shit! barbie girl is disposable not in through the out door, not who are you, not dynasty, not midnight vultures! yo, coda sucked! get pg, lz1, lz2, lz3, and zoso better! 1/10

nicholasfashion@sympatico.ca
Lot's of idiot's in this world.....a lot of people who don't know music.....Led Zep...will always be there selling album after album....because it's a good product, just like bottled water or toilet paper....it's something you need for life ! ! .

P.S. Im a musician & if my band can sell albums after 26 yrs. of us not recording anything new, then i'll say i've put out a great product. Long live Zep, Bonzo, Jimmy, Robert & Jonsey.

Why don't you all go listen to Cold play & your hip-hop crap, and leave the music to people who give a fuck about writing or playing it.

zepphead4friends@yahoo.com
i want to start out by lettin u guys know i happend upon a golden horse, to find your site meerly by chance, as i was {and this IS true} looking for the firm cd's. I quickly came to realize ya'll came up wit da shit on the fire. to make a long story short, i just so happen to like the firm, but i still dug, and respected your opinons, after all they are like assholes. anyway, to the point, there is and there shall never be a mo betta band than THE MIGHTY ZEPP! Theese boys got me thru many an adolesent, all night trip in my black lighted room on the 3rd floor, hanging out the window thinking the grass was coming to me........one song that comes to mind is misty mt. hop, if u listen very very close, i swear u can hear a hack saw cutting through somthing, and they also gurrgle, now thats a band. i was once on a misty mountian with my black dog, and in the light, i discovered what was and what never would be. then i noticed ten years went by, since i started loving her. but in the end she was just a heartbreaker, which was nobodys fault but mine. but i ended up finding my living loving maid on the way to california, where i got all dazed and confused. So when i finally decided to ramble on, i ran into this fellow named roy harper. Naturally my hat was off to him. i ended up in the hood and got stuck on that "candy store" rock in good ole royal orleans. in short, Led Zeppelin has influienced many people in many different ways, they're not many bands, music, or just plain people who can do that in such a way. This was just a small example of my many zepp influenciences. they will forever be THE kings of rock, folk blues easy, and even country because without them i would be alone in my time of dying!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

fanofthefab4
Mark,

I'm really surprised that you like Led Zeppelin and gave them good reviews. A few years ago I once found a music reviewer from England,I don't remember his name who said he never liked Led Zeppelin,and George Starostin only gives them a grade C and thats way too generous!

I have always totally *hated* Led Zeppelin from the time I was a teenager. They truly sound like one of the worst bands or any "music" I have had the misfortune of ever hearing! They along with Queen,and Pink Floyd are the only 3 bands that I have to get up off of my chair even if I'm very tired and turn off immediately! I'm not alone in feeling this way either,I have found many other people on music review sites saying they hate Led Zepelin even some people on heavy metal sites!

Not only do many people say that Led Zeppelin stole a lot fom many old blues songs, and Led Zeppelin's terrible loud banging noise with no creative quality to it at all,and Robert Plant's common screaming,and sceaching like a retarted monkey,but they also say his lyrics are simple and ordinary and sound like a horny teenage boy wrote them! The Who,The Rolling Stones and Jimi Hendrix are all a Million times better! Heck even Van Halen is much better and I'm not even a fan of theirs. And The Beatles Are A *ZILLION* Times BETTER!!!!!!

chrischahfer@yahoo.com
Sorry I keep commenting - all I can do here is throw my hands up and say "I like your site". Because I do. So, anyway, Led Zeppelin. What do I think of them? Basically... they're okay. They sure have their strengths, namely the instrumental capabilities and Page's producing and arranging talents. But I do get the feeling they're massively overrated. Did they "invent" metal? No. Big Brother and the Holding Company, Jimi Hendrix and Jeff Beck (and, to a lesser extent, Cream - if it weren't for the crappy production on all of their records) had heavier albums out before Zeppelin got started. Cheap Thrills? Are You Experienced? Truth? Now there's early metal for you. (Oh yeah, Black Sabbath's first should be in there too, even though I'm not a fan of either the the band). Yeah, their first album was important, but... how much else? Also, I'm not a fan of Plant's screechy voice or lyrics. I don't mind the Tolkien thing, but the sex-god stuff irritates me. I'm a prude, I take no offense to hearing about sex, but... aren't there thousands of other things people could be singing about? It just gets old to hear the same stuff over and over again, that's all. They aren't great songwriters, either. It's well known most of their stuff is ripped off from other sources. Oh, and for all their talents as musicians the Who could play them under the table and back. Oh, and their hardcore, fans are veeeeeery annoying. I don't define hardcore as "people who like them a lot" here, but instead as "people who try to force everyone to like the band a lot." I hate it when people get it into their heads that their opinion is correct - some truly sick people have had that mindset. Opinions by their nature cannot be correct, and disagreement is a fundamental part of human life. So if anyone reading this is one of those people who thinks that the only people who don't consider Zep the greatest band EVER are those who suck wangs or smoke crack while listening to the Backstreet Boys, get over yourself. Except if you're Mark himself, in which case you are cool and therefore exempt.

So here's how I'd rate all their albums...
I: 7. Mostly good blues-rock, but side two blows except for "How Many More Times".
II: 6. Eh. "Ramble On", "Whole Lotta Love", "What Is and What Should Never Be" are definite keepers, the rest I can take or leave.
III: 8. Absolutely awesome except for the last two songs.
IV: 10. Despite what I said, a classic's a classic. I'm not entirely sure about "Four Sticks", but I can forget it off the strength of the rest.
Houses of the Holy: 9. Another fine one, with "Over the Hills and Far Away" being my favorite Zep song,
Physical Graffiti: 6. Bloated, indulgent, and ridiculous. A few good tunes, though.
Presence: 2. Crapola except "Achilles Last Stand".
In Through the Out Door: 7. Much better, despite the general synth-pop-ness and the suckiness of the first two tracks.
Coda: 4. Really bad outtakes, though I like Bonzo's drum thingy and "Poor Tom". I think I'd boost it up a point if the original CD, rather than the version on the Complete Studio Recordings, had "Traveling Riverside Blues" and "Hey Hey What Can I Do".
BBC Sessions: 6. Pretty darn good at times, but exhausting for a casual fan.
I'm still on the lookout for cheap copies of Song Remains the Same and How the West Was Won.

Sorry about the length of that...

Antdompeg
Led Zeppelin were the original Cock Rock band that influenced many. Sure, they never took it to the extreme's as say, Kiss. And maybe there fans are a little more sane (but still cocky.) They still had large cocks. Another clue that they were cock rockers were Robert Plant’s ever so tight pants, which showed off his cock so the people at home knew what they were into. Jimmy Page’s embarrassing guitar work was well know to cock it up backstage with John Paul Jones, the most cocky bass player in history. His Bass Lines were so dumb that Kiss fans gained intelligence from them. Plant would scream on the mic as if the mic was a cock he was ready to suck. There was one member that was not on an overload of cock, John Bonham. The average at best drummer had cocky solos but stayed away from cock on stage. “I like Cock” Said Bonham. “But I'm not ready to say that I'm in love.” Plant once said “We have big cocks, but our music has little resemblance to cock.”

Even God AKA “Robert Christgau” Was fond of their music “I don’t have a large cock” Said the man himself, “But I'm always willing to cock it up once in a while” Small Cock artist such as Bob Dylan and Van Morrison have always been fond of there dumb riffs and large cocks “I'm not a fan of Cock” said Dylan “But I would not mind seeing there’s” “I've always wanted to see one” Said Morrison. “But any time I get close I would be in fear of growing a big cock myself.”

A strange band to say the least, there large cocks would influence other large cocks to take over rock. Small Cock artists have been in fear of larger cocks since day one and have proven to be right all along. Us with Small cocks need to stand together as one, and fight the large cocks of these famous, sweaty men. Only time will tell. As there cocks grow and ours shrink, we have to ban together. And fight together. ONE AND FOR ALL!

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