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Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin CD (album) cover


Led Zeppelin


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4.03 | 874 ratings

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5 stars Of course! Led Zeppelin!

700 steps on my path of prog excess. I hadn't planned anything special but then it dawned on me I still hadn't reviewed any Zeppelin album yet. Shame on me. Especially since I'm so fond of this band and particularly of their debut. And I don't have any better excuse then not expecting Zeppelin on PA.

The debut is a heavy blues rock album with nothing prog going on, quite the contrary even. This album is pure sex, it is about sex and it shamelessly uses high levels of testosterone to fuel its rough primal scream. Not really the typical delicacy and lyricism of classic prog I'd say.

While later Zeppelin albums have plenty of proggy things going for them, the debut sticks to basic blues standards. Not really my favourite genre, but when it works it does magic. The thing that makes it so special is how Zeppelin brought blues rock to a new level of heaviness. They simply blew up classic blues to monolithic proportions. Initially it didn't go down well with many rock critics and it was rebuked for being too simplistic and overstated. But the audience thought completely different about it. And so do rock critics now. I think it is quite obvious how high the song writing quality is and how varied and dynamic this music is. It may be monumental but it's sure subtle as well.

The pure rough power of this album has proven to be absolutely timeless and continues to move and inspire people today as much as it ever did. Both the Zeppelin-penned composition and the covers of the blues classics (Babe I'm Gonna Leave You, You Shook Me and I Can't Quit You Baby) are performed with unsurpassed muscle and passion. Dazed and Confused and How Many More Times in particular have ruled my charts for years on end and they still send shivers down my spine on every occasion I pick up this album.

A detached analytic dissection will not reveal high prog potential, and while I may occasionally ramble on about an album's progginess, my ratings don't reflect how prog I think an album is. Instead I try to be true to the guidebook and grade how good or essential I think an album could be in a prog collection. When it comes to this album it's easy really. It should feature in every self-respecting music fan's collection. Simply essential.

Bonnek | 5/5 |


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