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Led Zeppelin

Led Zeppelin Houses of the Holy

Led Zeppelin Album Reviews

Led Zeppelin were hastily formed by Yardbirds’ guitarist Jimmy Page in order to tour to fulfil contractual obligations – he grabbed another session veteran, John Paul Jones, on bass, and recruited singer Robert Plant and drummer John Bonham from a local band. Given the circumstances of this pragmatic and sudden formation, it’s surprising that Led Zeppelin have become one of the most enduring bands in the classic rock canon – it seems likely they’ll be remembered by posterity as the archetypal hard rock band. But their high degree of virtuosity, Page’s excellent production skills, and a solid core of great songs on each of their eight studio albums, makes them a justifiable choice as an all time great.

Replicating the lineup dynamics of The Who – the maned blonde singer, the guitarist as the primary creative force, the manic drummer, and the quietly brilliant bass player – but dispensing with Pete Townsend’s predilection towards rock operas, Led Zeppelin came to personify the excess of rock during the seventies. They covered a lot of ground in their ten year career, starting off a blues rock band, but taking in influences from English folk and progressive rock. My favourite Led Zeppelin period is Houses of the Holy and Physical Graffiti, where they were trying all sorts of styles, from pastoral prettiness to overblown blues epics.

I had barely heard any Led Zeppelin songs until I bought their albums in my early twenties, but they always had an aura of occult about them. While it’s true that Page was fascinated by Aleister Crowley, Robert Plant’s lyrics are generally about Tolkien and Vikings, and ‘In My Time of Dying’ from Physical Graffiti is straight out gospel. If anything’s offensive in the Zeppelin catalogue, it’s the raunchy early blues material like ‘The Lemon Song’.

Faced with personal difficulties from the mid-seventies – Plant was involved in a serious car accident and lost a young son to illness, while Page and Bonham struggled with addictions – their career petered out, with their two last albums, 1976’s Presence and 1979’s In Through The Out Door generally regarded as their two weakest. The band dissolved formally after Bonham’s death in 1980, and have periodically reunited for live events but have never recorded in the studio.

Ten Favourite Led Zeppelin Songs

No Quarter
Hey Hey, What Can I Do
When The Levee Breaks
Stairway To Heaven
Achilles Last Stand
Over The Hills and Far Away
The Rain Song
The Rover

One thought on “Led Zeppelin Leave a comment

  1. CB was introduced to Zeppelin via my older bother. Zep ll then Zep l (Still one of my favorite records, ll is pretty close also). I ate up the first albums, took a break (I was listening to so much music back then) and came back for the remaining albums. They have a very high standing in my music pile.

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Led Zeppelin 1969 Debut

Led Zeppelin – Led Zeppelin

1969, 7/10. Their debut is Led Zeppelin’s most blues oriented album, and it’s less diverse and less interesting than the albums that followed it.

Led Zeppelin II

Led Zeppelin II – Led Zeppelin

1969, 8.5/10. Led Zeppelin’s rock album, II is full of magnificent riffs and palpable swagger.

Led Zeppelin III

Led Zeppelin III – Led Zeppelin

1970, 8.5/10. Nominally the acoustic Led Zeppelin album, although that’s misleading since only the second half is acoustic.

Led Zeppelin IV Zoso

Led Zeppelin IV – Led Zeppelin

1971, 8/10. The iconic Led Zeppelin album featuring ‘Stairway to Heaven’ and ‘When The Levee Breaks’.

Led Zeppelin Houses of the Holy

Houses of the Holy – Led Zeppelin

1973, 9.5/10. Led Zeppelin relaxed for Houses of the Holy, their most satisfying album, which covers everything except the blues rock they’re known for.

Led Zeppelin Physical Graffiti

Physical Graffiti – Led Zeppelin

1975, 9/10. The sprawling double album Physical Graffiti has more great songs then any other Led Zeppelin album

Led Zeppelin Presence

Presence – Led Zeppelin

1976, 7/10. Apart from the towering ‘Achilles Last Stand’, Presence is mostly notable as a showcase for the band’s virtuosity.

Led Zeppelin In Through the Out Door

In Through the Out Door – Led Zeppelin

1979, 6/10. Centered around John Paul Jones’ synthesizer, In Through the Out Door is Led Zeppelin’s weakest album.

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