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Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin CD (album) cover


Led Zeppelin


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4.03 | 869 ratings

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4 stars Thieves they were, history leaves little doubt, punished for their crimes and publicly condemned as if borrowing from other composers was something new in music. But it didn't seem to matter to listeners and Led Zeppelin has grown more popular, not less. Whether this record spawned the heavy metal movement is unimportant. What was significant about Zep's first album was the presentation, and presentation is everything. Hendrix hinted at it, Jeff Beck and the Who followed the lead, but Zep brought it all together and gave us a work of modern rock music that was so realized and polished compared to what had come before, that it still reverberates as a vital statement, as influential now as it ever was.

The insistance of one metallic chord kicks things off with 'Good Times,Bad Times' and hints at what would be a rough schematic for all of their eight studio albums proper, and for young rockers everywhere. Heavy blues to be sure but done at a level of such seasoned confidence, studio know-how and electrifying energy that no one could ignore what they were offering. The folk standard 'Babe I'm Gonna Leave You' is hauntingly recaptured by Page's ringing steel-string and Robert Plant's sincere crooning, and a new version of 'I'm Confused' makes an appearence, betraying little of its future power and arena rock potential. John Paul Jones' cathedral organ opens the great 'Your Time is Gonna Come', the band's cautionary tale of treachery in romance. 'Black Mountainside' is a concise guitar showcase, 'Communication Breakdown' re-invents hard rock in a matter of moments, 'I Can't Quit You Baby' should be called 'I Can't Quit Lifting From the Blues', and 'How Many More Times' bumps and grinds with sexuality and features one the greatest drum parts in rock history.

Like them or not, these New Yardbirds were doing something beyond the adolescent rantings and lysergic spasms that was the order of the day, and the face of popular music would never be the same. Spurned in their time, critically eviscerated, sued, ripped-off and sued again, no one made records that sounded like Led Zeppelin, and they never will.

Atavachron | 4/5 |


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