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Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin CD (album) cover


Led Zeppelin


Prog Related

4.04 | 919 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
4 stars Well this debut album from the New Yardbirds took the world by surprise, and with good reasons. Rock music was advancing at a rapid pace and blues was certainly playing an important role is its evolution, taking part in the psych-rock explosion and even helping out through its extended soloing to give birth to prog as well. Groups like Cream, Blue Cheer, Vanilla Fudge and the Jeff Beck Group were breaking down barriers to the same rate than Procol Harum, Caravan, Soft Machine, Floyd or the Nice were. And Zep's debut is a real stunning affair to although it might be a little too much to say it was groundbreaking, it certainly allowed and influenced many other groups.

Although there are still many hints that we are still in the 60's (listen to Your Time Is Gonna Come), Zep's treatment of the blues is sometimes going to extremes (the eerie you Shook Me), to the awesome and solemn (the sublime spine-chilling Babe I'm Gonna Leave You) and the plain violence (the lengthy and riveting How Many More Times) while their guitarist Jimmy Page was also versed in folk (the great Black Mountain Side) with enough Indian twists to be almost progressive.

Two tracks really stand out on this album, IMHO: the short opening Communication Breakdown (and to a lesser extent Good Times) is the riff meister-plan that will allow other groups like Sabbath (Paranoid) and so many other to eventually create heavy metal. The other real moment is the dazzling Dazed and Confused. This track really had something completely different with its descending bass line (hardly a first, with Bruce and Casady already using them regularly), but here it took on a different dimension allowing for Page and Bonham to deconstruct the structure and rebuild it at will. With such a canvas, no wonder the group made this track a concert highlight, improvising and reaching almost the half-hour mark, while Percy Plant just roared along, unleashing his wild beast screams and sexual moans.

If not groundbreaking, this album was just behind the leading pack, and certainly one of those landmarks that paved the road for many new bands. Zep's first remains a fave of mine, and maybe the one I am most fond of, even if Zep is to improve favourably on this one.

Sean Trane | 4/5 |


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