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Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin CD (album) cover


Led Zeppelin


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4.04 | 886 ratings

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4 stars

A Legendary Debut .

Thanks to the Admin Group and Senior colleagues of Prog Archives who have finally decided to include this legendary band at this site. The aim is of course not to say that Led Zeppelin is a pure prog band (under common definition of prog) but it is more on how this band has had sheer influences to the bands that were borne after them. So, it's like something to say that Lede Zeppelin was one of heavy metal bands at the late sixties that helped shape rock music during its glory days in early to mid seventies.

Man, whenever I spin this kind of music or read books* about the history of heavy metal, my pulse always run faster. It is not to say that yesterday's music is much better than today's music (like this has been a "wrong" opinion from my colleague "Ijal" during our intense discussion in the mobile SMS blast) but that was the time when music started infusing its spirit into my mind and helped me (a lot!) to progress as a human being. There was time when I heard "Immigrant Song" and "Whole Lotta Love" of Led Zeppelin that clicked me right away at first listen. After that, I chased down everything about Led Zeppelin (whom I knew from my teacher of Physics that it was about a balloon). It took shape quite fast and when I was in third grade of junior high school I declared to my friends that I was a big fan of three bands: Jethro Tull (folk rock band), Yes (complex rock - at that time I know nothing about prog) and Led Zeppelin (heavy metal band). I adored "Aqualung", "War Child" and "Thick As A Brick" as legendary albums from JT, "Relayer", Fragile" and 'Tales From Topographic Ocean" as my heroes from Yes and "Physical Graffiti", "LZ II" and "IV" as my heroes from Led Zeppelin. Virtually everyday I played the cassettes of that albums. At that time Genesis, Pink Floyd and ELP were around me but I favored more on Jethro Tull, Yes, and Led Zeppelin.

This debut album by Led Zeppelin I only knew later after I enjoyed Led Zeppelin II especially "Whole Lotta Love". Led Zeppelin began life as the vehicle for guitarist Jimmy Page to extend the ideals of the disbanding Yardbirds, the pioneering British group whose alumni included two other outstanding guitarists, Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck.[1]. Page invited session musician John Paul Jones to play bass (later he plays organ as well), Page approached Steve Marriott and Steve Winwood to sing but both declined the offer [2] and finally he offered pop singer Terry Reid who declined also. Terry referred to his friend Robert Plant. Plant invited his drummer friend from "Band of Joy" to join the group. The four of them rent Olympic studio in October 1968, recorded their debut album for release in January 12, 1969.

This debut album comprises nine excellent tracks, opened with "Good Times, Bad Times" which sets the overall atmosphere of the band's music. This track was also the band's debut single. "Babe, I'm Gonna Leave You" was initially a folk tune played from Joan Baez album. Page and Plant have rearranged it in a bluesy style. This song later brought a legal case when an Amercian songwriter Anne Bredon claimed her royalty of writing this song. She won the legal battle and her name was printed at remastered edition and she got all her royalties. "You Shook Me" is also an excellent blues-based song which also appeared with different arrangement in Jeff Beck's album "Truth". This is Led Zeppelin's interpretation of Willie Dixon's.

"Dazed And Confused" is a powerful track which has become Page's favorite track for any live performance. This six-minuter is usually played much longer until half an hour on stage. "Communication breakdown" was the band's early anthem and it was released as B-side of the "Good Times, Bad Times" single. Other tracks are excellent ones also: " Your Time Is Gonna Come", "Black Mountain Side", "I Can't Quit You Baby" and "How Many More Times".

It's an excellent heavy metal album of all time.

"Memories tie you to your past. Imagination points you to the future."

*) Notes : It is recommended that you equip yourself with books abouth the history of the band that you can find many of them from your local bookstore. Some of them I use it as reference for this review:

[1]. "Led Zeppelin - the Complete Guide to their Music" by Dave Lewis, Omnibus Press, 2004.

[2]. "BANG YOUR HEAD - The Rise and Fall of Heavy Metal" by David Konow, Three Rivers Press, 2002.

[3]. "Led Zeppelin" by Chris Welch, Carlton Books Ltd., 1994.

Gatot | 4/5 |


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