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Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin CD (album) cover


Led Zeppelin


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4.04 | 904 ratings

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3 stars Led Zeppelin: the ultimate cover band.

Certainly that's the impression given by their first two efforts, this and the album to follow. The recipe: take a number of relatively obscure blues numbers, soak them in late 60s rock and psychedelic sensibilities and issue them as your own creations. Fine, and the result is sensational due to the way the band flowed together, PLANT'S voice blending with PAGE'S arrangements. This is amped-up blues.

But it is also theft. Why PAGE and co. refused to acknowledge their sources is beyond me. Here they are plagiarising black blues musicians (only some of whom get credit) and even their contemporaries such as JEFF BECK. I find myself holding back from fully embracing this music because of the history.

Not that I cared at the time. This is balls-to-the-wall, testosterone-filled southern American blues sung and played with passion by ... er ... four British lads already pretending to be Americans, already aimed at the American market. Hmmm. Just listen to how PLANT pronounces his vowels. He's not singing to a British audience, that's for sure. This is not a British invasion. This is an inside job. It's like discovering that Mom's Apple Pie was baked in China.

'Dazed and Confused' is the monster track on this album, yet every track has its charm. Like any good album, the track order does matter, and can be viewed as a series of energy pulses directed at your libido. LED ZEPPELIN would become a great deal better than this - ignore the ratings, people have rated LED ZEPPELIN albums here perversely due to some progressive snobbery - but you need to start your LED ZEPPELIN experience here. Give this album of intricately crafted covers a couple of listens, then move on to the heartland of Prog: 'Led Zeppelin IV' and beyond.

russellk | 3/5 |


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