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Led Zeppelin

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4 stars The debut album from one of the biggest bands in rock history saw the light in Januari 1969, and it shook the world. Supported by continuous touring Led Zeppelin established themselves as one of the pioneers of heavy rock.

Not all the songs are their own writing, 2 cover songs were included (You Shook Me, and I Can't quit You Baby) both by Willie Dixon, as were 2 arangements of traditional folk songs included, of which Babe I'm Gonna Leave You later was contributed to Anne Bredon, who had composed it somewhere in the 50's. 50's american blues was a source of inspiration for early blues rock in general btw (see also, Cream, Jeff Beck, Jethro Tull and many others) . and a very apparant influence in Led Zeppelin's music (The Hunter part in How Many More Times was also not entirely original also).

Despite the large outside influence to their music (Cream, Beck, Dixon), Led Zeppelin were original in sound and how they transformed these influence to their heavy style. The album was recorded in a mere 9 days', hence the raw, warm almost live improvised feel to some of the pieces.

The music ranges from electric guitar blues on You Shook Me, I Can't Quit you Baby, and a more psychedelic aproach on Dazed and Confused and How Many More Times, in which Page used a violin bow to caress his strings, a legendary feature that had it's origin in the Yardbird days of Page. Also a more folky influence was heard in the beautifull ballad's Babe I'm Gonna Leave You and Your Time Is Gonna Come, and the accoustic instrumental Black Mountain Side (with additional tabla drums played by Viram jasani). And of course the Heavy metal side of Led Zeppelin was displayed in the agressive Communication Breakdown and the Yardbird styled poppish metal of Good Times Bad Times that opened the album.

I would not call this progressive rock, but it sure is one beast of a debut album, not to be missed by anyone who likes good music.

Report this review (#99918)
Posted Wednesday, November 22, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars It's 1969 and I'm at the local department store's record section and I'm there to purchase (with a sad and heavy heart) Cream's "Goodbye" album. I'm wondering how I will fill the void that they will leave in my musical universe. However, another LP catches my eye (one just can't miss this incredible cover) and I quickly notice that none other than the legendary Jimmy Page is one of the members of this new group called Led Zeppelin. Being a fan of the Yardbirds and knowing of his ground-shaking contributions to their later recordings, I figure it's not much of a stretch to think that this music might be pretty good. Without ever hearing a note I put it on my turntable and it probably didn't go back into the sleeve for years. Everyone knows every song on this album so I'll skip the obligatory detailed review and just tell you that the stars and planets were lined up perfectly for this band and this collection of tunes. It took over FM radio like an invading army and I knew that the coming 70s decade would be in safe hands as long as these guys kept putting out progressive, bluesy rock and roll like what is contained on this album. Every song sounded the way I wanted my music to sound like at that time of my life and I shared that sentiment with about a billion other young men around the globe. It has to be considered one of the most pivotal and trend-setting recordings of the modern era. A perfect example of exactly the right music at exactly the right time.
Report this review (#99925)
Posted Wednesday, November 22, 2006 | Review Permalink
2 stars This is one of the greatest prog-related albums, but still a poor prog album. A number of classic and recognizable tunes are featured. Though it is certainly not progressive, it is still quite good. Some tracks are very boring, others catchy, but none very sophisticated or overly creative. Psychedelic passages and the bluesier side of rock throughout. Babe I'm Gonna Leave You is actually a cover without credit, but regardless, it is one of Zep's greatest moments, and they even manage to (occasionally) paint images (which is very rare with a hard-rock band like Zeppelin). It still sometimes sends chills.

One of Zeppelin's better releases. If you're looking for a place to start, why not start at the beginning?

Report this review (#99928)
Posted Wednesday, November 22, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars Yeah, the Led Zeppelin fanboy has arrived and started making reviews. :)

So this is the first album of maybe my favoutite band of all time. Despite I've listened to this songs a lot of times, I still find them very enjoyable as the first time I listened them, and this has lots of Rock classics, that make it be an essential album on every ROCK collection, but an excellent addition to any PROG music colletion, IMO.

Led Zeppelin's debut is incredible, a discharge of adrenaline and Rock and Roll, with some heavy moments on it (some of them very heavy, considering the time of its release). As I said before, here you can listen to lots of classics "Good Times, Bad Times", "Dazed And Confused", "Babe, I'm Gonna Leave You", "Communication Brakedown", "How Many More Times" .... that influenced a big amount of posterior bands (including Prog bands, that's why them are here), and are the founders of what we call today Heavy Metal. But that's another story. Let's go to 1968: Jimmy Page, who was the guitarist on The Yarbirds on that time, was searching for musicians for his new project, The New Yarbirds, after The Yarbirds broke up. So he met John Paul Jones (who has also worked with The Yarbirds), an unknown blues vocalist called Robert Plant, and a beast of the drums, the genius John "Bonzo" Bonham (who played together in The Band Of Joy). After a bad joke of Keith Moon, the band changed the name to how we know them today, Led Zeppelin. And then starts the story ...

They recorded in just a week this amazing debut in the Olympic Studios, how could they ? Well, just Zep knows ! It was a wave of fresh air with an original new sound, combining Blues, Rock and Roll and some Folk, to create what we know as Heavy or Hard Rock. I'll go with a short description of the songs:

The album starts with the powerful "Good Times, Bad Times", rocking with a nice riffs and a cool drum groove, and then the amazing vocals enter: "In the days of my youth I was told how to be a man now I've reached the age", yeah, I know, it rocks. A good way to begin the disc, a rockin' catchy song.

The 'ballad' goes then, "Babe, I'm Gonna Leave You", which starts with a characteristic acoustic guitar melody, and dramatic vocals. It has some heavy moments when the drum turns louder, and I think here Plant says "Oh, Babe" at least 20 times. A pleasant listening song, softer than the previous one, that has some Folk influences as the other ballad "Your Time Is Gonna Come" too, a classic.

Then goes "You Shook Me", a blues classic of Willie Dixon, that used to be a big jamming on live shows, if you listen for example to the "BBC Sessions" disc 1. The other Dixon cover is another blues classic, "I Can't Quit You Baby", which gives more space to the bluesy voice of Mr. Plant, and both blues feature excellent and tasteful guitar solos, that proves Jimmy was a beast improvising, and of course jamming had a big part, not only on this album, on their entire career, specially on the live presentations too !!

"Dazed And Confused" is one of my all time favourite songs, and the best one here. Who can miss the hypnotizing bass line on the beginning ? Who can confuse that part ? Maybe one of the most characteristic moments on Rock n' Roll history. This song is maybe the proggiest, with "Babe I'm Gonna Leave You". It has a psychedelic and spacey feeling on the start, even bluesy, going to a peak of agressiveness on the soloing time, when Bonzo goes crazy with the crash, and a tremendous guitar solo takes part ! On live shows, before the incredible jamming part, Page took a violin bow, and started improvising with that ! A legendary and psychedelic image that every person that has ever listened to Zep has in his head ! Even, the live versions of this song lasted up to 40 minutes ! OH YEAH, WHAT A MOMENT !! Then it goes back to the main bass line, and the vocals go back, to finish this all time classic on Rock history.

"Black Mountain Side" is a nice instrumental of 2 minutes long, with acoustic instruments and some percussion. Not much more to say about this one.

Every time I listen to "Communication Breakdown" I realise where Heavy Metal came from. A discharge of pure adrenaline, with crunchy drums, low and powerful bass, raw guitars and screaming voice, the origin of Metal, definitely. Again, another very catchy song that will blow your head apart, in the vein of the opener.

To close this essential album, we've "How Many More Times", which is an almost improvised song, dominated by a great bass riff, and all the parts, improvisations and heaviness increase are around that. A great jamming track !!

So, overall, one of my all time favorites albums, that is ESSENTIAL on every ROCK collection, every Rock fan should have it; but an excellent addition to any PROG music colletion, considering this is a Prog site.


Report this review (#99936)
Posted Wednesday, November 22, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Led Zeppelin in Progarchives? I know they are innovative, but they seem really out of place here.

Anyways, this is Led Zeppelin's strongest effort by far and easily the strongest debut album I have ever heard from a band. It is musically brilliant, adventurous, catchy, guitar- driven effort that has captivated me for years. I think Led Zeppelin I is the best non-prog album of all times. You don't need to be complex in order to make good music. The musicians are extremely talented and work so well together, that most of these songs are timeless classics and even masterpieces. They not only show virtuosity and technical playing, but also surprisingly good songwriting and great melodies.

The album is also quite diverse. You have your catchy radio friendly rockers. Songs like Good Times Bad Times and Communication Breakdown are extremely accessible songs that don't lose their charm after dozens of listens. Especially Good Times/bad times, which successfully shows the talents of all musicians while being a perfect short song.

You also have your softer songs. Your Time is Gonna Come is a very accessible and radio friendly song dominated by poppish vocals, a chorus hook, acoustic guitars, and a gorgeous use of the hammond organ and especially the church organ when Jones plays his intro solo. Black Mountain Side follows it, a very interesting instrumental with great acoustic guitar playing. The absolute highlight however is "Babe I'm Gonna Leave You", one of the most beautiful ballads I have ever heard. The acoustic guitars, especially when overdubbed, are a work of genius and it is wonderful that the singer compliments it so perfectly with his youthful voice. The song is not just a ballad, it has heavy bursts of metal at points.

You also have the blues. You Shook me is a blues song that is based on a strong guitar riff, whch sets the rhythm for the song. The band plays solos here, Plant playing a beautiful melancholic harmonica solo, Jones playing an excellent organ solo, and Page stealing the show with a very powerful guitar solo that blows me away. I can't quit you Baby is more guitar oriented, being a showcase of Jimmy Page's abilities on his guitar. I can tell you that this song has very impressive guitar work.

The most interesting and adventurous songs are left to discuss. IF you have never heard "Dazed and Confused", what are you waiting for?? Starting with a slow rock&blues rhythm led by a descending bass tone, it builds up into heavier riffs including the descending bass riff played beautifully on electric guitar. The song is actually structurally complex and the most interesting part for prog fans is possibly the middle part of it. It is a psycheledic ambiental instrumental part dominated by Jimmy PAge playing his guitar with a violin bow. The effect is wonderful and spooky. Then the main theme comes back with great guitar soloing.

And how about "How Many More Times"? A driving bass riff (later played in guitar) begins the tune as a heavy blues song, but then you feel like the song won't be so straightforward and it isn't. Jimmy Page records an orchestra of guitars (one soloing wildly all over the place, being possibly his best solo) and what follows is even better. A spacy and psycheledic middle part with more genius use of the violin bow on guitar and incredibly good vocal performances and drumming. The song ends in a similar style to its beginning. Who should get this album?: Um, everyone. This album is just essential if you collect music albums. It is a landmark in the history of music, accessible, and one of the best albums ever made.

For number freaks: ratings (11 points to some songs to make the average better, as those songs are absolute masterpieces)

1. Good Times, Bad Times (9.5/10) 2. Babe, I'm Gonna Leave You (11/10) 3. You Shook Me (8/10) 4. Dazed And Confused (11/10) 5. Your Time Is Gonna Come (8.5/10) 6. Black Mountain Side (7/10) 7. Communication breakdown (7/10) 8. I Can't Quit You Baby (8.5/10) 9. How Many More Times (11/10)

My GRade : A+

Report this review (#99965)
Posted Wednesday, November 22, 2006 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
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.

Report this review (#99990)
Posted Thursday, November 23, 2006 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
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.

Report this review (#100452)
Posted Sunday, November 26, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars This first album is, IMO, just the start of a great band, one of the best bands in the Rock world. So, as a first album, IMO stil shows a band in development, with a lot of influences taken from Blues music. But it is still good, but I like some of their other albums more than this first album. Still, this album shows the talent of each musician in the band. I think that this album, more than their others, was led more by Page and Jones, as Plant was still an "unknown"singer, and Bonham, while still shinning as a great drummer (I could call him the Best Drummer in Rock, really ) sounds somewhat "shy" in some moments in comparison to other albums. I think that this album was recorded in a shorter time than their other albums, so the band still sounds with more raw things which were polished in later albums. I think that Page and Jones, with more experience as recording musicians, have the merit to record an album with their new band mates with only a short time of being formed as a band.

My favourite songs from this album are:"Your Time is Gonna Come" (which sounds as a very Pop Rock song), "Black Mountain Side" (an Indian influenced song played with Tablas), "Communication Breakdown" (my favourite of all the songs in this album) and the heavy "How Many More Times".

It seems that due to previous contractual reasons, Plant wasn`t allowed to appear as a composer of the songs in this album, so Bonham, Jones and Page appear as composers in most of the songs.

The 1994 remastered CDs sound great, IMO, so I recommend this later editions of their albums.

Report this review (#100499)
Posted Sunday, November 26, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Their first album and it's amazing. The first time i heard Led Zeppelin it scared me so much that i almost wet my pants. I was nine years old, the song? "Black Dog", the year? 1991. It was the heaviest music i ever heard and it still the heaviest bloody music there is. I was 16 when i bought this record and it helped me through a very difficult period of my life. My favorite songs: "Babe I'm Gonna Leave You", "Dazed and Confused", Good Times Bad Times" and "How Many More Times". It really worths the money you pay for and it's a good place for beginners in Zep's legacy.

5 stars (it's not a prog record but it still deserves the rating).

Report this review (#100555)
Posted Monday, November 27, 2006 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Excellent start for Zeppelin and after hearing this one, it is clear the late Keith Moon was wrong about prophesizing their future. Apart from being a cornerstone album for the development of heavy (metal) rock, "Led Zeppelin I" contains several proto-proggy moments, hard-blues-psychedelic "Dazed and Confused" and "How Many More Times". Add to this a blues ballad "Babe, I'm Gonna Leave You" and an early Tolkienesque raga- rock "Black Mountain Side", and you got an excellent debut.
Report this review (#101802)
Posted Wednesday, December 6, 2006 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The most brilliant debut in rock 'n' roll history, but not from the prog rock point of view. By all possible parameters considering rock - this album is a masterpiece. It's a milestone and it changed face of the rock sound forever. All the possible rewards that we can give to this album are well-deserved. Just, it's got nothing to do with the progressive rock - it certainly influenced prog bands of newer generations, but it's totally different with prog bands sharing the Zeppelin's era. The Zeppelin's prog efforts are yet to come.

The only, slight touches of prog are present in "How Many More Times" and "Dazed And Confused"; guitar played with a bow, touches of psychedelia; "Babe, I'm Gonna Leave You" utilises some flamenco elements; "You're Time Is Gonna Come" opens with lovely Hammond intro. Oh, and "Black Mountain Side" is an acoustic piece also worth mentioning.

Having said that, I just realised that I mentioned more than 50 % of the songs represented on the album - however, the main power of the band is certainly not it's progginess, it's rather raw power of rock presented in a different way, and a gradation from mellow acoustic balladry to electric monster-songs.

This is a blues band right to the bone; it's complex and loud blues that will be known as hard rock (and heavy metal) in years to come. One of the characteristics of prog music is blending of non-rock styles with rock. However, if any of those non-rock styles is actually one of genres that founded rock and roll (country, hillbilly, blues) then usually we don't consider that band to be progressive rock band. That's exactly the case with this band, and most significantly, with their debut, but the debut itself is so daring that it must be considered masterpiece of rock. Since the first album is not prog, I will rate it with four stars. That's just a rough reference for people who are searching for prog music, otherwise it deserves five stars, but this is just not on a same level like "Thick As A Brick", "Brain Salad Surgery" or "Close To The Edge". To be honest, that's not fair comparison. The musicianship is excellent, though.

This is a good starter, but be warned, no prog here. If you are looking for prog, go for fourth album or "The Song Remains The Same". However, it's quite possible that you will be pleasantly surprised; some of the atmospheres crafted with Page's guitar are astonishing. Regardless of your personal taste, I recommend "Dazed And Confused" to any serious music lover on this planet.

Report this review (#102591)
Posted Monday, December 11, 2006 | Review Permalink
Chris S
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars 1969 and Led Zeppelin started to set the world ablaze with their bluesy, hard rock, folk and even prog related musak. Little did anyone know that they would go on to sell more albums worldwide than any other band. Collectively across their entire portfolio they amassed millions and nillions of album sales. Cult status especially in the USA and one of the all time greats on guitar, Mr. Jimmy Page.

Their debut is an excellent start for LZ being a mixed bag of sounds. From the accoustically layered ' Black Mountain Side', the proggressive and psychedellic ' Dazed and Confused' ( an all time fan classic). The folk driven ' Babe I'm gonna leave you' and the more trendy opener ' Good Times, Bad Times', Led Zeppelins debut was a wake up call from the UK that here was a band that was going to make it's mark over the years to come. Highly recommended as a natural starting point for anyone still wanting to discover this epic four piece.

Report this review (#102648)
Posted Monday, December 11, 2006 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
4 stars Yeah, this went over like a lead zeppelin all right ! What a debut ! There is no doubt that the old blues masters were a huge influence on the music of LED ZEPPELIN, in fact they cover two Willie Dixon songs on this their first record. These guys just seemed to click the first time they played music together, and that magic lasted for some 10 years selling more records then anyone.

The opening song "Good Times Bad Times" was released as a single with "Communication Breakdown" as the "B" side of it.The highlight of this opening song is the guitar solo a minute and a half in. "Babe I'm Gonna Leave You" opens with acoustic guitar and they do a nice job of contrasting the mellow passages with restrained vocals, with the instrumental outbursts with emotional vocals that occur throughout this great song. I love the lyrics as well. "You Shook Me" is a Willie Dixon song that features some good organ, while Robert does a good job on the harmonica. There is some great vocal / guitar interplay in this one.

"Dazed And Confused" is experimental sounding at times and has some really dark BLACK SABBATH-like sounds as well. The heavy instrumental parts are great ! A nice extended guitar solo from Jimmy 4 minutes in. "Your Time Is Gonna Come" is one of my favourites on the record, opening with organ and it features some really good blues style lyrics. "Black Mountain Side" is an instrumental that has some intricate guitar melodies and some tabla drums. "Communication Breakdown" is a straight ahead rocker that features some amazing guitar in it. "I Can't Quit You Babe" is the other Willie Dixon song, and I love the bluesy guitar. "How Many More Times" is the longest song and again features blues style lyrics with a dark, atmospheric soundscape to match.

There is plenty of variety in this classic album that is a must have.

Report this review (#108312)
Posted Sunday, January 21, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars This classic album is without question, the most explosive debut in history (except for maybe VanHalen) No other album sounded at all like Led Zeppelin when Led Zeppelin came out, and this was them playing some standard blues songs too. No other bands every made the blues so their own and original.

The CD starts out on a high note with Good Times Bad Times. Everybody in the band wastes no time in showcasing the talent that they bring to the table, and do it all in a short little catchy song. 10/10

Babe I'm Gonna Leave you is a great song. The dynamics rise and fall incredibly, often with Robert Plant belting it out when the band is quiet, which is a great effect. But it does drag on a little...9/10

You Shook Me is the first real bluesy-sounding song on the CD. The idea of the bridge with the vocal and guitar call and response is good, but it was executed poorly with Plant not quite hitting some of the notes. 7/10

Dazed And Confused is probably the best song on the CD. It is one of the most powerful songs I have ever heard. And you never know where the song is going in the bridge if you see or hear them live. It's their jam out time. Classic. 10/10

Your Time is Gonna Come is the lowpoint of the album. An attempt at a catchy pop song just comes off as annoyingly repetitive. It's ok, but it doesn't really live up to the rest of the album. 7/10

Black Mountain Side is a nice little instrumental that is very ethnic sounding, as a lot of Zeppelin would be during the III and IV albums. Very enjoyable song. 9/10

Communication Breakdown is once again a poppy sounding song, but it doesn't quite fit in with the blues on steroids theme of the disc. 7/10

I Can't Quit You Baby brings us full circle, back to the blues again. And does it bring us back in fashion! This song is extremely powerful. 9/10

Probably the most progressive song on the CD, How Many More Times is quite a trip to listen to. I can't even describe it, but it's a highlight for sure! 9/10

This is a very good album, and is an album everyone should own.

Report this review (#108651)
Posted Wednesday, January 24, 2007 | Review Permalink
Easy Livin
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars The new New Yardbirds album of old old songs

From the ashes of the Yardbirds came the New Yardbirds, who quickly metamorphosed into Led Zeppelin. The choice of name was not without its initial problems, with a descendent of the creator of the Zeppelin taking exception to the sleeve image of a crashing Hindenberg (leading to the one off use of the name The NOBS for a 1970 gig while the matter was resolved!). Incidentally, the cover picture is not actually a photograph but an artistic representation of that famous photo.

Led Zeppelin's first album is firmly rooted in folk and blues, influences they would gradually interweave with many others to become the world dominating band we have come to know. There is also a residual pop element to some of the songs. While there is certainly a pioneering feel to this album in the way the band fuses blues and folk with heavy rock, this was in many ways little more than a taster for the classic works which were to come, especially on the second and fourth albums.

The album opens in a fairly conventional pop rock manner with "Good times, bad times", a song with more than a passing resemblance to the second album's "Heartbreaker". "Your time is gonna come" follows these pop leanings, especially on the now dated sounding harmony choruses.

"Babe I'm gonna leave you" is an interpretation of an old folk song which Joan Baez had previously breathed new life into. The interpretation here is bluesy, offering the first real indications of the power of Jimmy Page's guitar work.

"Dazed and confused" is one of the album's centrepieces. The song was written by a folk singer by the name of Jake Holmes, who had supported the Yardbirds on a US tour. The Yardbirds developed their cover of the song on subsequent tours, but it was Led Zeppelin who finally recorded a studio version. The song features Jimmy Page using a violin bow on his guitar, giving a rather spooky, spaced out effect to the drifting middle section. This was also one of the earliest examples of Led Zeppelin failing to give due credit to the songwriter, the credit being claimed by Jimmy Page. Had Holmes taken legal action at that time, it may have persuaded the band to be more careful with the writing credits, and thus avoid the retrospective actions they have since found themselves embroiled in. That said, Led Zeppelin's version is far from the folk based original, including as it does a fine guitar solo by Page. The song went on to be played live in longer and longer adaptations, including one entire side of "The song remains the same".

"Black mountain side" sees Page once again claiming credit for someone else's song, this time taking Bert Janch's interpretation of the traditional "Blackwater side". The tune is a brief acoustic melody.

"Communication breakdown" is another album highlight, being a raucous forerunner to "The immigrant song". Here, Robert Plant uses many of the vocal tricks he would develop so successfully on subsequent albums. A simple song, but the inspiration for so many which followed by so many bands. Although Led Zeppelin did not release singles in the UK, this was unsuccessfully put out in that format in the US.

"I can't quit you baby" is one of the band's earliest blues interpretations, being penned by Willie Dixon. Led Zeppelin's version is primarily a vehicle for Jimmy Page's guitar virtuosity, the track feeling similar to the second album's "Lemon song". "You shook me" is another Willie Dixon number which went unaccredited (until he successfully sued the band!). The song is a more orthodox blues interpretation, including some fine organ by John Paul Jones, sounding like Booker T.

The closing "How many more times" is the longest track on the album, running to over 8 minutes. Once again, the song is rooted in blues, this time taking melodies and lyrics from different blues standards (but unfortunately, once again failing to give due credit to them).

For a first album, this is a fine collection. It is full of originality and invention. It is a pity therefore that the band did not have the self confidence to pay tribute to the many songwriters whose work they claimed as their own. While none of the music here is overtly prog, much of it lays the strong foundations subsequent prog bands used when pushing the genre forward. For that, we should be eternally grateful to Led Zeppelin.

Report this review (#109308)
Posted Monday, January 29, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars In 1969, a band risen from the ashes of British Invasion stars The Yardbirds released a self-titled debut. A band that nobody had confidence in would shake the music industry starting with this record. Led Zeppelin wastes no time proving they are a monumental force to be reckoned with. John Bonham takes the prototypical heavy drumming of Carmine Appice and fully develops it into a thunderous pounding. John Paul Jones lays down timeless basslines and is a great arranger. Robert Plant is a revelation and it's a wonder he was not discovered sooner. And of course, ex-Yardbird Jimmy Page immediately places himslef at the top echelon of guitarists with his riffs, solos, and his innovative use of a violin bow of the guitar. I would say that this is the second best debut of all time, following Are You Experienced?

The album takes Delta blues and adds volume and technical wizardry without losing the feel that makes up the core of blues. "Good Time Bad Times" opens the album with a flash as Jimmy and Jones propel themselves over Bonham's crashes. Jimmy's solo was one of the fastest solos ever played at the time. "Babe, I'm Gonna Leave You" shows that Robert Plant will become one of the greatest vocalists in rock. The dynamics here are perfect, with the Plant warbling over soft acoustic which leads to crashing electric and back several times.

"You Shook Me" is the first Willie Dixon cover on the album. It too shines with Plant's vocals and Page's solo is terrific and bluesy. Then comes the monster that is "Dazed and Confused." This song is driven by one of Jones' best basslines and Page creating some truly eerie sounds using a violin bow. This is the first song to feature the middle break that would appear on later Zep tunes like Whole Lotta Love. The band drops out while Plant makes weird noises that deal with the song (here drugs, sex on WLL). This tune is a Zeppelin standard and a live juggernaut.

"Your Time Is Gonna Come" is the only song I don't love off this album. It's repetitive and doesn't have the emotion or the fire of the rest of the material. "Black Mountain Slide" is a nice little instrumental that hints at later folky explorations on III and IV.

"Communication Breakdown" is poppy, but in a great, catchy kind of way. Pop doesn't mean bad, and that's evident here. Plant's screams will prove so important to metal vocalists later. "I Can't Quit You Baby" is the other Willie Dixon tune and the band shines on it as well. Jones plays some fine organ here, which the band would later to much greater effect on the eerie No Quarter.

The album closes with "How Many More Times" a great bluesy number with a killer bassline. It's the longest track on the album, and it touches on familiar blues motifs and standards.

The main flaw of this album is that most of the material here was written by blues and folk (in the case of Dazed and Confused) artists and the band didn't credit them. This would continue on the next album, but lawsuits would finally ensure that band either wrote their own stuff or credited writers. Nevertheless, this is a kiler album and a very assured debut. This is good old-fashioned hard rock, but it would be pivotal in the development of heavy metal and hard rock in prog. I'll give it four stars, because I admit that I stretch the meaning of excellent addition to any prog collection. I believe that non-prog album like this still had an effect on prog because Led Zeppelin affected every heavy rock band that came after it.

Grade: B-

Report this review (#109841)
Posted Tuesday, January 30, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars An extremely well crafted debut album by a band of talented musicians from '69. Every single note is in the right place and whilst somewhat Blues influenced - not a sin - it contributed to the heavy sound of Prog - albeit better was yet to come.

Growing up on such music was a great privilege to me and the band and this album remains much cherished. Page's powerful guitar, accomplished by unprecedented vocal gyrations by Robert Plant to the driving bass of Jones and the heavy chops of the late Bonham represented a beginning and sure enough this approach was followed, copied, plagiarized often enough to raise due interest amongst later generations.

Twist my arm if you care, but few bands have surpassed such a powerful entry, especially that it took place 37 years ago.

Nothing, but 5 stars is fair and reasonable.

Report this review (#109866)
Posted Wednesday, January 31, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars Ok, this is not a prog band! Lets get this straight. This is a blues rock band, and my favorite band of all time. I feel it is unfair for people to ridicule this album for not being prog, when it isn't trying to be! This is an extremely talented jam/blues/hardrock/folk band that emerged in the late 60's with this amazing debut. This album includes what I think is the quinessential song for any "Led Head", and that is Dazed and Confused. The album is very blues oriented with many old blues covers such as I Can't Quit You Baby, and You Shook Me. Overall this is a 5 star album for sure BUT IS NOT PROG!


Report this review (#110590)
Posted Saturday, February 3, 2007 | Review Permalink

Here is the recipe to shape one of the greatest and most successful ROCK band in the music history.

First ingredient is to grab a great manager/producer. Get Peter Grant for instance : tour promoter for The Shadows, as well as for some rock'n' roll legends like Cochran, Little Richard and Berry. He started his management experience in late 1966 with the ... Yardbirds.

Second thing you need is a gifted and experienced guitar-session player. He will incidentally be the last member of a band that will ...disband and leave him no choice than quickly find a trio to perform the last shows of a Scandinavian tour that was planned before the split. Since he had worked with an incredible number of session musicians, he reminded of a bass player called John Paul Jones. You'll take care as well that your first choice for a lead singer will decline your offer, but will suggest another one : Robert Plant (who preferably will accept).

Page traveled to Birmingham to see him perform. "His vocal range was unbelievable," recalls Page. "I thought : Wait a minute. There's something wrong here. He's not known". I thought, "he must be a strange guy or something". Then he came over to my place and I could see that he was a really good guy. I still don't know why he hadn't made it yet...". It would be entirely coincidental that this guy will recommend a young boy (20) called John Bonham whom he knew from The Band Of Joy.

To gain in cohesion and experience, you'll have to manage to participate in an album recording as guests. Here is what P.J. Proby recalled from these sessions : "Come the last day we found we had some studio time, so I just asked the band to play while I just came up with the words. ... They weren't Led Zeppelin at the time, they were the New Yardbirds and they were going to be my band." ...So was "Three Weeks Ago" recorded and only remembered because of the backing trio (Bonham, Jones, Page) rather than for its commercial success.

You only need half a name to start with : The NEW Yarbirds. It is contradictory though that they ever played under that name. To introduce one of their first concert in Scandinavia, a local Swedish press article will mention :

"Bluesgroup from England. The Yarbirds, a renowned group visiting Sweden at the moment. Those who want to hear the youngsters will get their opportunity at Angby Park on 14th of September 1968. Page, guitar and violin, has allied himself with three new qualified musicians. Drummer John Bonham has played with American singer Tim Rose. John Paul Jones, bass, took part in the recording of Donovan's three latest LPs. Fourth member is vocalist Robert Plant who has got a good reputation in British blues circuits".

In an interview in 1993 Robert said that during this concert, the audience threw mud at them. Not a great debut, right ? The ticket for the concert only refers to "The Yardbirds".

To finalize your name, you will manage to create some interest and spread out the rumor that you want to create a supergroup, let's say with Beck, Entwhistle, Moon and either Donovan, Winwood or Steve Marriott as a lead singer. Some of those people will incidentally help you to find a final name for your project. It has been reported (but not confirmed) that Keith Moon would have said : "With that line-up, you'll go down like a lead zeppelin". Peter Grant will suggest to drop the 'a' in "Lead" to prevent "thick Americans" (his words, not mine) from pronouncing it as "leed".

Your manager will also take care to sign a good contract (for the band, not only for the record company) with an established firm (Atlantic for example).

So, what else do you need now ? Well, maybe a good album to settle your growing fame won't be a bad idea, right ?

About the recording sessions, Plant says: "I'd go back to the playback room and listen," he recounts. "It had so much weight, so much power, it was devastating. I had a long way to go with my voice then, but the enthusiasm and sparking of working with Jimmy's was so raunchy. All these things, bit-by-bit, started fitting into a trademark for us. We finished the album in three weeks. Jimmy invested all his Yardbirds money, which wasn't much, into our first tour. We took a road crew of one and off we went...."

Their debut album can be outlined in three sections.

Since Led Zep only exists for a few months, they do not have sufficient own material to release a full original record. As Plant has the fame of a great blues performer, they will include two cover songs from the blues legend Willie Dixon "You Shook Me" and "I Can't Quit You Baby" . I do not really like these, but they will be classic of their early live performances. The third one is "Babe I'm Gonna Leave You" from Anne Bredon / Anne Briggs (same person under both her original and "musical" surname). She is now retired and living well thanks to the credit she obtained.

When you compare this version and some earlier interpretations, there are of course no similarity. This Led Zep one is fabulous. It will be the inspiration source for a track like "What Is and What Should Never Be" for instance. When Page and Plant were listening to each of their favorite music at Page's home a few days after their first meeting, Page will put the Joan Baez's version of, "Babe I'm Gonna Leave You" on the pick-up. "I'd like to play it heavy," he said, "but with a lot of light and shade". I bet ya !

So, now we have already forty-three per cent of the record.

Then you start a reprehensible habit brilliantly outlined by Easy Livin' in another review (it will unfortunately last for a very long time) : you appropriate existing numbers (or portion of it) without giving credit to their original composer.

"Dazed and Confused" was released by Jake Holmes in 1967. It is featured on his album "Above Ground Sound". What follows are excerpts from an interview during September 2001 by Will Shade (from Perfect Sound Forever, an on-line music magazine).

"Do you remember playing at The Village Theatre on August 25, 1967 with The Yardbirds and The Youngbloods" ? Jack Holmes : "Yes. Yes. And that was the infamous moment of my life when "Dazed And Confused" fell into the loving arms and hands of Jimmy Page". WS: What exactly is that song about? I've read that it's about a bad acid trip, but the lyrics really don't seem to justify that interpretation? JH: No, I never took acid. I smoked grass and tripped on it, but I never took acid. I was afraid to take it.

The song's about a girl who hasn't decided whether she wants to stay with me or not. It's pretty much one of those love songs. I guess because of the fact that we had this open section, this instrumental break where we were getting into this psychedelic music . . . we weren't really doing it for the actual psychedelic aspects. We were doing it because it was cool to extend songs out and do these long musical ideas, kind of exploding your music out. Letting people riff more".

It will exactly be the case as well with Led Zep. They will expand this song to anything between six and over forty minutes while playing live. The longest version I know was recorded in Seattle (March 21st, 1973). It clocks at 43'46" !

Next of the genre is "Black Mountain Side" from Bert Jansch (featured on his album "Jack Orion" released as soon as 1966). It's an instrumental version of a traditional folk song called "Blackwater Side". Page's guitar arrangements were virtually identical to Jansch's version. Bert said : "The accompaniment was nicked by a well- known member of one of the most famous rock bands, who used it, unchanged, on one of their records". No comment, he is fully right.

The fabulous "How Many More Times" is an incredible number. Fantastic Page riff, extremely powerful rhythm section and great Plant vocals exercise. It is a partial cover of "How Many More Years" from Chester Arthur Burnett (known as Howlin' Wolf).

This song clearly announces "Whole Lotta Love" : same structure with a rather psychedelic middle part. About this one, it appears that the sung section includes an old blues song called "The Hunter" from Albert King (another blues guitar legend) which is not credited either. You'll hear this when Plant will start singing : "They call me the hunter...Ain't no need to run. 'Cause I've got you in the sights of my..........gun"! The "stolen" part lasts for about forty seconds. It starts at 6'20".

This song will be a highlight of their early live sets. It will also be extended quite a bit. Page will use the same bow technique as for "Dazed & Confused". There is a fantastic version of it on the semi-official audio "Live At The Royal Albert Hall" (January 9th, 1970), clocking at 24'58" ! (it is featured on their Led Zep DVD released in .2003.

So, you'll get now over 80% of your record. Cover and "stolen" songs all together. I guess it's time to have some original ones, no ?

"Your Time Is Gonna Come" is an acoustically-driven song credited to Page and Jones. It won't be remembered as a great track, I'm afraid. Since Led Zep "borrowed" so many tracks (or partial tracks) on this debut effort, one tried to add this number to the list saying that it stole the riff from "Dear Mr. Fantasy" (1967) from Traffic. I have carefully listened to this track and I could not find the slightest sign of this. So, let's take for granted that it is a Page/Jones track (but again, rather weak).

Can you figure out that there are even two non-controversial tracks here! "Good Times, Bad Times" and "Communication Breakdown". Two great heavy rock numbers. Both will appear on the sole single released from this album (A and B-side). It will "peak" at the Nr. 80 in the US charts.

The album will reach Nr. 6 in the UK and Nr. 10 in the US.

A few words upon the cover artwork. It represents the "Hindenburg" disaster that took place on May, 6 (1937). It was built by Luftschiffbau... Zeppelin, a German company founded by Ferdinand von ... Zeppelin. It has also been said the pictured symbolized a phallic symbol...Make up your mind...

Led Zep have recorded this album in less than two days. It will cost about 1,750 £ to create (including sleeve artwork !). Profit for this album will be in excess of SEVEN MILLION US $ (these numbers reflect the situation till 1975)... Not too bad for a first album, right ? Tell me : are there a lot of bands who did better ?

Led Zep will also embark for a US tour as a support act for Vanilla Fudge (Jeff Beck Group had just cancelled it). Peter Grant needed to convince the band to leave their homes for the Christmas / New Year period. They wisely accepted.

Plant recalls : "We'd barely even been abroad, and here we were. It was the first time I saw a cop with a gun, a twenty-foot long car. The whole thing was a complete bowl- over. It was Christmas and Christmas away from home for the English is the end of the world. I went wandering down the Sunset Strip with no shirt on.

There were a lot of fun-loving people to crash into...and we started out on a path of positive enjoyment. We met a lot of people who we still know, a lot of people who've faded away. Some of them literally just grew up. I don't see the point in growing up...." "The important thing," Robert said recently, "was that Peter (Grant) told us if we didn't crack San Francisco (Fillmore West), we'd have to go home.

That was the place that was considered to be essential, the hotbed of the whole movement. It was the acid test, forget the Kool-Aid, and if we weren't convincing, they would have known right away. I said "I've been singing for years. I'd be happy to sing anywhere". The band had to play with Taj Mahal (!) and Country Joe and the Fish. Led Zep was only advertised as "Supporting Act." Led Zep took the stage with a devastating willingness for vengeance. Page felt something happening in the audience : "It felt like a vacuum and we'd arrived to fill it," he explains. "First this row, then that was like a tornado and it went rolling across the country."

By the time the band reached the Fillmore East end of January 1969, they were headliners of course. Led Zep will tour the US three times in 1969. Successfully. This first effort holds two emblematic songs : "Dazed" and "How Many..."; two very good hard-rock numbers (but very short : total 5'16" - "Good Times..." and "Communication..."). The only prog-related track (my feeling) is "Your Time." (10% of the album).


Three stars.

Report this review (#115179)
Posted Wednesday, March 14, 2007 | Review Permalink
erik neuteboom
4 stars When I started to write for Prog Archives in early 2004 it was beyond any discussion that Led Zeppelin would be welcomed on this site. And it would have been the world upside down that this album should deserve 4 and 5 star ratings. But the times they are a changing and when I am writing this review, I notice that the average rating is 4.03, an incredible result! So a big hand for Led Zeppelin and I tell you why: it's 1969 and the rock world is on the move with innovative ROCK bands like The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Cream and The Rolling Stones, experiments are hot. On this strong debut album Led Zeppelin (the name is derived from a quote by Keith Moon) plays not only straight rock and roll hardrock but also experiments with shifting moods, varied instruments and blending genres ... indeed, progressive rock! Led Zeppelin hosted four excellent musicians: the creative powerhouse John Bonham-JP Jones, the inventive master of the riffs and head-and-tail soli Jimmy Page and the distinctive, often emotional vocals by Robert Plant. Their strongest efforts on this album are the very dynamic and compelling Babe, I'm Gonna Leave You, the almost psychedelic Dazed And Confused (featuring Jimmy Page on the violin bow) and the great bluesy atmosphere in How Many More Times. Led Zeppelin played a lot of straight rock and blues on their first LP but for that time also very interesting songs with a progressive touch. And after all those years, it still sounds so powerful and every member delivers such a stunning contribution, four stars because I love this band so much!

Report this review (#117617)
Posted Sunday, April 8, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars I can't give this any more than three stars for one simple reason. This isn't progressive music. Led Zeppelin isn't a progressive band. This album, more than any other, makes it perfectly clear where Led Zeppelin is coming from. Their roots like in psychedelic, blues and folk, all of which you can hear in all their glory on this album. If you like that (and I do), well, the music is first rate and would get 4.5 stars on a rating system that just took into account quality. But this album is out of place in a prog collection, so I can't justify anything higher than 3 stars. Still, this is a very clean album. Just about every track is worth listening and relistening to. If you've never heard this, go out and get it. And don't worry about it not being prog.
Report this review (#125502)
Posted Tuesday, June 12, 2007 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
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.

Report this review (#126445)
Posted Thursday, June 21, 2007 | Review Permalink
The Whistler
4 stars Now, before we begin, I have to say something right up it just me, or are these guys totally copying the Who? I mean, look at their friggin' picture! Robert Plant is trying to look JUST like Roger Daltrey. He's even given himself a similar first name! I bet his REAL first name is Phil or Chuck or Shirley or something...

Okay, now that that's out of the way, songs. "Good Times Bad Times" comes blasting out at you like it's gonna be hard, and it is. But at heart it's a catchy blues rocker. Nice chorus, cool soloing from Page. But "Babe I'm Gonna Leave You" is...stunningly good. It starts out as a heartfelt ballad with gorgeous acoustic plucking, but then takes a turn for the heavy. But it's all bass and drums, we never leave the acoustic. Hence, there is no "power" in this "ballad." God bless the sixties.

"You Shook Me" is, in my humbled opinion, what Led Zep is (or should) be all about. Making real heavy blooz. Boom. It's great. And we get all kinds of solos! Harmonica, guitar, church organ (may not be in that order). And then there's a vocal/guitar duel! The first? You tell me.

From there we slide beautifully into the creepy intro of "Dazed and Confused." As much as I love everything on the first side, this is the song that takes the cake. It's one of my favorite Led Zep songs ever (how original of me, right?). It's easily the heaviest thing on this record, with biting lyrics that bleed into a nightmarish descending riff. And then, lo and behold, in the middle of the song it all speeds up and turns into an evil shuffle, then flawlessly morphs back. Awesome.

Now, the second side never quite lives up the likes of "Dazed" and "Babe," but of course, how could it? "Your Time is Gonna Come" has a neat, atmospheric organ based intro, although perhaps it's a little out of place in what becomes a catchy folk rocker.

"Black Mountain Side" is a cool, but essentially throwaway, solo offering from Page on the acoustic. And he didn't trust Bonham to bang those ethnic drums. Guess he thought John might break 'em... "Communications Breakdown" is a hilarious little...I don't know really. In a few more years, I'd call it pop metal. But it's quite nice, very headbangin'. Which, as you know, is a litmus test of quality with me.

"I Can't Quit You Babe" is another heavy blooz number. It's good, but I think we already had a good one of these on the first side of the record. In fact, "I Can't Quit You" is structured very similarly to "You Shook Me," just with extensive guitar soloing instead of multiple instrument spots. And I don't mean it's just another twelve bar blues; I'm not that stupid. I mean that break in the middle sounds just like the end of the "Shook Me," just without Plant.

"How Many More Times" starts to sound a little like "Good Times Bad Times" and "Dazed and Confused" at points, but we're saved by Page's fuzzy, watery, almost psychedelic at points, guitar. And did they throw in "Bolero?" Yes they did! Actually, they throw in quite a lot. It wears its eight minutes on its sleeve, but you'll hardly notice.

Now, I really do like this record quite a lot. Not always catchy necessarily, but certainly enjoyable within and throughout. And the flow from song to song (even side to side) is fantastic; it's true "album rock!" Whatever that means...

And I guess the band members have yet to be, uh, "tainted" by commercial success, because they really play their hearts out here. Page and Plant are a lot looser and less uniform, and J. P. Jones can really play the organ! Why'd they stick him to the bass and synths so much? Oh well, the bass is cool too. Bonham is...well, he was always real good at smashing the kit, no complaint from me.

Now, I will admit that it's not a fantastically diverse record, but the lads possess a surprising amount of wiggle room in between the heavy blues numbers and the hard folk ones. Uh, not counting "Black Mountain Side" of course. God knows why you'd want to do that. I kid, of course. My only real complaint is that, by the second side, we've run out of a little steam.

And just look at the titles, they were really running out of ideas there: "Good Times Bad Times," "How Many More Times," "Babe I'm Gonna Leave You," "I Can't Quit You Babe." And then there's "Your Time Is Gonna Come." Didn't anyone learn these dudes gooder grammer?

Oh well. Stylistically narrow for sure, but it's a hell of a style. Just ignore me and listen to this thing. One of the greatest early heavy metal albums ever recorded. Screw Black Sabbath; THESE dudes invented the metal! Probably. Although, by now, I think that's the six hundredth band I have down for "invention of the metal."

Report this review (#127145)
Posted Saturday, June 30, 2007 | Review Permalink
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.

Report this review (#134130)
Posted Wednesday, August 22, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars LED ZEPPELIN “I” 3

LED ZEPs has always been a special band for me. First of all, I’ve discovered them by myself, without anyone’s help (for example, I knew DEEP PURPLE, URIAH HEEP and PINK FLOYD from daddy’s records and had already grown tired with them when I was 12 or 13). But then I’ve borrowed a muddy cassette from a classmate with best LZ tracks, and this is where it started. I had (and still have!!!) immense appreciation to their relents, I started to play guitar seriously due to Jimmy, I adored Robert “The Golden God” for his incredible charisma and unique voice, I loved their blues-rooted nature – they had that freedom in their music, unlike DEEP PURPLE or URIAH HEEP who were hard-rockers (first with Prog elements, than simply straight-ahead rockers). ZEPs were Gods of 70s; try to gather a stadium now playing 20-min long bluesy psychedelic tunes!!! Now in the light of their reunion I’ve decided to spend some time and make a tribute to that wonderful band in a form of reviews.

“I” is a rather raw and rough record, showing band’s wild nature and unleashed striving to make something loud and heavy. It has evergreen classics like “Dazed and Confused” (the most impressing one from the whole album) and “Babe I’m gonna leave you”, some inescapable blues standards like “You Shook Me” and “I can’t quit you Baby”, some short rocky tunes like “Good Times Bad Times” and “Communication Breakdown”, but there are also some kinda experimental tracks like organ-flooded “Your Time is gonna come” (this is where John Paul Jones shines!), instrumental oriental “Black Mountain Side” and 8-min long hard-heavy-psychedelic epic “How many more times”. Being a killer more in the spirit of that time than musically, “I” nevertheless made a statement: we are LED ZEPs, and we’re HERE to kick you’re a$$es!!! Breakthrough album it was, nothing to argue with. The world has been prepared and ZEPs came further.

Best tracks: “Dazed and Confused”, “How many more times”

Report this review (#141383)
Posted Monday, October 1, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars The first one from Jimmy as a "leader" after Yardbirds disbanded. The first LED ZEPPELIN album. It´s enough to say. A convergence of young and extremely inspired musicians. They were in the borderline between psychedelia and the newborn hard-rock, and nothing better represents this experience as the mystic & melancholich DAZED AND CONFUSED or the superb first hard-rock-ballad ever BABE, I´M GONNA LEAVE YOU. Pager could use his previous studio experience to develop a hard-rock masterpiece from the beggining to the end. Altough not yet a definitive ZEPPELIN album, LED ZEPPELIN is a prove from what page would show troughought the 70´s: Inspired rock & folk elements from the deep of a Les Paul Custom plus Marshall Amplifiers. Everything mixed in a blend of old blues rock, a sexy young singer and a huge mountain of rhythm behind them. Altough 50% inspired by the electrified blues rock from the Yardbirds, LED ZEPPELIN could prove that all elements in the group could generate enough good stuff to get established as one of the truly good rock bands at that time. Robert Plant would grow into a real charismatic & sensual band leader, Bonham would achieve a maximum level of heavy-drumming in a few months and Jones would start contributing to one of the best rhythm sections that ever appeared in rock´n roll history. From the hard-blues GOOD TIMES, BAD TIMES to the heavy-riffed COMMUNICATION BREAKDOWN, LED ZEPPELIN brought to the year of 69 a really impressive painting that the 70´s would be even harder tha the late 60´s... A masterpiece.
Report this review (#144315)
Posted Saturday, October 13, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars Clearly not a " progressive rock" band, this rock band nevertheless was formative in the overall progression of rock in general. Led Zeppelin I is a classic recording of blistering, hard blues rock. Page's guitar solos on this recording are the stuff of legend and Plant's vocals are stirring. A first record and it is absolutely cohesive and musically polished. "Good Times, Bad Times", "Dazed and Confused", and "Communication Breakdown" are timeless rock anthems. Hard rock and heavy metal as well as their offspring styles and subgenres (included many covered on this site) would really not exist had it not been for the contributions of Led Zeppelin. On the basis of its historical importance to the development of rock music in general, the contributions of the first four albums of this band are simply unfathomable. From the perspective of a progressive rock enthusiast who has eclectic tastes and who appreciates other forms of music, this record is a near-masterpiece and rates 4+/5 stars.
Report this review (#154316)
Posted Wednesday, December 5, 2007 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Rising from the ashes of The Yardbirds this is where it all started for arguably the greatest Heavy Rock band of them all. Recorded in just thirty hours of studio time, often the norm in those days, the band show how tight they already are with a strong collection of Blues Rock.

Led Zeppelin immediately state their intent with the powerful opener of Good Times, Bad Times, featuring a great Jimmy Page riff and John Bonham's dexterous kick drum playing. It's Robert Plant's show though showing immediately why he was to become regarded as one of the greatest vocalists in Rock.

Page once stated that his idea for Zeppelin was a band that could combine lots of light and shade, the acoustic mixed with the heavy rock elements. True to his word he suggested covering Babe I'm Gonna Leave You, a traditional folk song he introduced to Plant from a Joan Baez album. They truly do the song justice here with some lovely acoustic guitar from Page and sympathetic Plant vocals before the band pile in full steam for the chorus. Great stuff indeed!

You Shook Me is pure Blues, a Willie Dixon song that the band do an excellent version of here. The versatile John Paul Jones beefs up the sound with a welcome Organ solo as does Plant with his harmonica playing. This is followed by what was to become a live Page showcase featuring his violin bow routine, Dazed and Confused. It's basically a Blues song though veers off the path of true Blues midway into Page's Violin bow routine before speeding up for his guitar solo before Bonhams triplets signal the return to the verse.

Your Time is Gonna Come starts with some great Church Organ from Jones before the band fall in, Page on acoustic guitar. This is one of Plant's best vocal performances on their debut too. This segues into Black Mountain Side, Page's Bert Jansch influenced acoustic and totally instrumental piece. Well placed to follow is the straight Heavy Rock of Communication Breakdown, an early Zeppelin favourite but is rather simplistic and though not bad is the weakest track on the album.

More Blues next with another Willie Dixon Song, I can't Quit You Baby and once again the band do an excellent version of it. However it's left in the shadow of closer How Many More Times. At eight and a half minutes it's the longest track on the album and shows where the band were capable of going with their long extended live jams. Starting with Bohams swinging ride cymbal pattern and Jones walking Bass line the band fall in, full steam ahead before the song deviates into the mid section jam including excerpts from Rosie and The Hunter. Such was the power of this number the band chose to use it to close their early live shows.

So there you have it, one of the greatest debut albums of all time and better than most bands ever produce in their entire career. Not quite the full 5 stars but a well deserved 4 ½.

Report this review (#156031)
Posted Thursday, December 20, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars Led Zep's ballsy bluesy (and some other b words) debut.

The album is full of energy and introduces a quartet that simply took the world by the short and curlies and gave it a damn good yank. Most of the album is covers, as has already been expertly and fastidiously researched and highlighted by the cognoscenti. Some of it, a spare remainder, may have come from the band itself.

Well who cares? I reckon if they'd covered God Save the Queen it would have been brilliant such was the energy and aplomb with which they performed.

Is it prog? No, not even an whiff of it. Is it great? oh yes, and all the greater with hindsight because we all know what followed. If they had gone their separate ways after this album i don't think much notice would be taken now. But the sheer force of the band shown in this album made it clear at the time that this was a band destined for greater things, and for once we got what we anticipated.

Report this review (#162283)
Posted Wednesday, February 20, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars For a debut album, this one is wnderful, powerful. Recorded in about 36 hours (almost each track is a 'take 1'), Led Zeppelin I is a collection of bluesy songs. Here, you can watch (and hear) how hard rock is born. I love all the tracks here, and especially two : How Many More Times and Babe, I'm Gonna Leave You. I give only 4 stars because Led Zeppelin will do better with their following releases, but this debut one is truly a masterpiece itself. Powerful. You got to have it in your home !
Report this review (#164050)
Posted Sunday, March 16, 2008 | Review Permalink
The Crow
4 stars Great Led Zeppelin's debut... And one of their best releases!

Although Led Zeppelin is not strictly progressive, their influence in the genre is obvious... And some arrangements of part of their songs are in the prog style, even in the symphonic or psychedelic area. Their variated and influential style is a good reason for having this marvellous band in ProgArchives... And even I think I will not give 5 stars to none of their album, I will be glad to comment every Zeppelin's album I get in my hands.

This Led Zeppelin's debut is still too bluesy, and not so rock oriented like their second opus, and not so experimental like later releases anyway... But the rock and hard rock sound they helped to create was here yet, with Good Times Bad Times and Communication Breakdown. The rest of the album moves between the blues and psychedelia, giving us a rich, variated and deep experience... The Jimmy Page's solos, along with the Plant's vocal experiments are the keynote of the album. I swear this album was a real experience back in '69!

Best songs: all the songs are good here... Not every song is a classic, but the level of the album is really high. Maybe the last two songs are a little reiterative, and if you are not in the blues sound, maybe you'll be a bit tired. But I consider this album can be heared at once perfectly.

Conclusion: very good Led Zeppelin's debut, surpased by later Zeppelin's album, but with an outstanding level of quality, experimentation and innovation... Maybe a bit too bluesy, and not relly in the Led Zeppelin's true style, but if you don't mind hearing blues (You Shook Me) mixed with psychedelia (Dazed and Confused), rock (Communication Breakdown) and some folk (Your Time is Gonna Come) elements... You will love this classic album!

Report this review (#166536)
Posted Sunday, April 13, 2008 | Review Permalink
3 stars The year 1969 was the year that many classic rock and prog bands began releasing albums, and Led Zeppelin was one of the few that got the ball rolling almost immediately. If you want an example of a heavy, powerful hard rock album, you've got one in Led Zeppelin's debut; they take all of their blues influences and inject a proto-metal sound into them. In a progressive sense, they're taking the blues a few steps further than anyone thought the blues could go.

In our world of prog rock, this almost doesn't fit. Sure, Bonham is a mammoth drummer (one of the better ones in rock history), but this album is almost pure heavy blues-rock, granted we are excepting the proto-raga rock tune ''Black Mountain Slide''. There's little variety in the other tunes, falling into either hard rock or blues rock.

''Dazed and Confused'' is the most classic track here; later live performances ballooned the song to unnecessary lengths, but this version is a true showcasing of Led Zeppelin talents in 6.5 minutes and making you headbang in the process. ''How Many More Times'' has a proto-prog feel in the music and weaves through several changes in structure whilst staying reasonably listenable. ''I Can't Quit You Baby'' is a traditional tune arranged very nicely with stunning dynamic shifts.

The other song not mentioned aren't much of interest. The opener and ''Communication Breakdown'' are fun rock tunes that get too stale too fast. With me not being a fan of pure blues, ''You Shook Me'' is my pick for the weakest track on the album (it can't go anywhere). I'm also not keen on Robert Plant's voice for some odd reason. Still, I think this is one of their best efforts. I know we're not far in prog territory here, but it should still be of interest to some progheads.

Report this review (#170912)
Posted Tuesday, May 13, 2008 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The self titled debut album from Led Zeppelin was a real revelation when it was released in 1969. Even though it is basically blues rock there´s a heavy edge to their music that was not something you heard everyday back then. In addition to that Led Zeppelin consisted of four outstanding musicians that made great music. Their songs are very memorable. Led Zeppelin reached legendary status with their first four albums who are all considered rock classics today. This debut was a good start for the band and it´s a favorite of mine from Led Zeppelin.

Good Times, Bad Times starts the album with some happy rocking. It´s a great song that I always enjoy. Babe, I'm Gonna Leave You is a very beatiful song even though the lyrics like most Led Zeppelin lyrics are basic blues rain rhymes with pain lyrics and quite frankly I never found them very exciting. They suit the blues rocking music though. There are lots of beautiful acoustic guitar in Babe, I'm Gonna Leave You. You Shook Me is a blues cover and even though it´s well played it´s a bit too slow and long for my taste. Then comes one of the highlights of the album Dazed And Confused which is such a great song. It´s actually pretty heavy. A clear favorite for me here on this album.

Your Time Is Gonna Come has a great vers but a horrible chorus that I have never enjoyed. Black Mountain Side shows the eastern influences that were very popular back then. It´s a kind of stoned song. Communication breakdown is a great song. Very energetic and almost heavy. Paranoid from Black Sabbath is definitely inspired by Communication breakdown. I Can't Quit You Baby is as You Shook Me a blues cover and as with that one I Can't Quit You Baby is a good song allthough I can´t say that I enjoy basic blues much. The album ends with How Many More Times which is one of my favorite songs on the album. Heavy and brilliantly composed.

The musicianship is outstanding. Robert Plant´s emotional singing and his screaming and moaning, Jimmy Page´s razor sharp bluesy riffing and beautiful soloing, John Paul Jones´s intelligent basslines and occasional organ and John Bonham´s hard hitting drumming. The interplay between these four musicians was brilliant and more than one time on this album I´m afraid it´s gonna catch fire.

The production is good for the time and IMO it´s actually one of the best productions Led Zeppelin ever had.

This is a classic album and to many people this will be a sure 5 star album but I think there are a few flaws on the album that takes away the masterpiece status. I find it essential that you have at least listened to this album though and my rating will be 4 stars. Excellent music.

Report this review (#172029)
Posted Friday, May 23, 2008 | Review Permalink
3 stars An icon in the modern culture.

From the artwork to the music, everything is iconic. This is the problem with this album. It's status is larger than the product itself. When I bought it for the first time (on cassette) twenty years ago, I was disappointed. I thought it was hugely overrated. It still is, because the fact does not measure up to the mythical status this album has got. But it is still an icon and it will ever be that. I am happy with that.

The music itself is good. Some tracks are also superb. The opener Good Times, Bad Times is very good. Dazed And Confused and Communication Breakdown is superb. The rest is good to very good. There is no bad tunes here. Led Zeppelin really marks their arrival with a mixture of blues and heavy rock. I think this is a lovely album, but not as good as the following albums. But I still treasure it and marvel at it's elegance. I really like this album, but it is not a masterpiece.

It is still an icon though. I would love to have the artwork on my wall in either my living room or my bedroom.

3.5 stars, but still an essential album due to it's status and influence on today's modern world.

Report this review (#187889)
Posted Tuesday, November 4, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars Very good debut album by Led Zeppelin. First of all this album is a mixture of very much ideas, full of blues songs (which I don't like very much) and some other interesting ideas. The best song on the album is Babe, I'm Gonna Leave You, which is true masterpiece and contains some unforgettable moments and can be described as blues rock at its height. Some other memorable songs are Dazed and Confused and Your Time Is Gonna Come. The other songs are similar and don't attract my attention enough. The band reveals its own style of music and big virtuosity to the band members.All of this helps the band to establish its own way and to become second/third most successful rock band of all time (shared with Queen and behind Beatles)! 3.75 stars!!!
Report this review (#200966)
Posted Wednesday, January 28, 2009 | Review Permalink
3 stars This is easily the weakest of the early Zeppelin albums.Still,it's very spontaneous and perfectly enjoyable,as long as you're in for blues.The latters has always been a strong root in the band's compositions,but here that influence is almost too noticeable.I'll take a chance and say this abum is half rock/half blues,and another part that is a mixture of both.Thhere's not a hard rock anthem here and the songs are invidually less memorable then it's sucsessor,but the work as a whole still manages to please,and is certainly not much demanding.

...Maybe this is why I find this to be inferior to what followed it.It is the ideal album to be heard as background music,in pretty much any enviroment.It's not what you'd call hard rock.People claim this was impressive and cool at the time,but the truth is this album didn't aged as well as the others by the band.It's very raw.

The worse track would be Your Time is Gonna Come,which simply contributes to the 'dated' tag of the album. This is a 60's radio pop song.With this exception,everything can be aprecciated in some level.....the songs in this album simply grew on stage.The best example is Black Moutain Side.Though this short lenghted acoustic guitar instrumental is good enough for me here,at the live show it was majorly improved:going eletric and extended with new passages(actually the only link to the studio version would be the main medley and mood).This is actually a classic brittish folk song(a style very present in the album as well),but as everything that had the touch of Led Zep,it's in great shape here.

The album's also opened in a stunning way,with the ground shaking introduction of Good Times Bad Times.I personally don't see much in this track as a whole,but is does have the Led Zeppelin trademark.It is followed by the acoustic Babe I'm Gonna Leave You,a very dark arrangement by the band.

There are two blues numbers in the record,both arrangements of Willie Dixon compostions.You Shook Me is by far the best one,with incredible slide guitar form Jimmy Page.I Cant' Quit You Baby is also in great shape here,though this may sound too generic at times.Dazed and Confused is a great song,here at least.It's a rock song with screaming influences on blues,but in the early seventies it became a 20-minute pshycedelic annoying when played alive,where the awlfull idea of throwing in violins in the middle of the song would be presented to audiences all around the globe on every show.

Communication Breakdown is a very nice,straight rock n' roll song,one that may have caused a very good impression at brittish youth at the time.Now it doens't sound so heavy(as people said these numbers were)as it was did,but it's clear that this was a very strong live number.

How Many More Times is a nice blues rock tune,and closing the album,it reforces the impressin of a massive blues influence on the band.This album is nothing special by itself,but it's a preview of what was to be developed and enhanced by Led Zeppelin as soon as the second album came out,only a few months later.And they never looked back.

Report this review (#202415)
Posted Wednesday, February 11, 2009 | Review Permalink
Conor Fynes
3 stars 'Led Zeppelin' - Led Zeppelin (6/10)

Led Zeppelin's first impression to the world can easily be called one of the greatest debuts of all time. Even early on, Led Zeppelin showed that they were different from other hard rock bands. There's alot of blues influence here (more so then on any other Zeppelin release) and musical elements typical of classic rock, but theres also another force at work; the type of force that would warrant a completely acoustic instrumental in a hard rock album, and allow such a newly discovered band to take the world by storm with a single hour of music.

Despite the excellence, this is not still not prog, but a blues influenced hard rock album, in final. However, it's a good place to start off from. A genre such as blues (while obviously not the most innovative or avant- garde style of music by any measure) holds a pretty reasonable following of listeners, but also gives alot of open space to show what a musician can do, in terms of soloing and distinguishing oneself among all of the other clone-sounding blues musicians. The guitar work on songs such as 'I Can't Quit You Baby' is great, and Jimmy Page sports a fantastic lead tone for his guitar.

While I can't recommend it as highly as the material that would be released during the band's highpoint, I can definately say that this is a a very good debut, and a very impressive first step for a band that would one day conquer the world.

Report this review (#206759)
Posted Thursday, March 12, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars Studio Genius Steps Forward

Blues has always been a music of simple ideas, turned and transformed into something magical, transformative for a given time, often only a single evening. The form has morphed many times, with phrases and structures being repeated over and over again, but often with some new flavor, some new piece of another world being touched. For a few years, Led Zeppelin took (and yes sometimes stole) those ideas and turned them into something never seen before and never again matched. Their blues, whether direct covers (You Shook Me, Babe I'm Gonna Leave You, Black Mountain Side) or their adaptations (Dazed and Confused, Communication Breakdown) had an intensity, a texture that was their own. It was just the SOUND.

This element, of course, came courtesy of guitarist Jimmy Page and his extensive studio experience. Live, Led Zeppelin could be amazing, but also extremely uneven. It was in the studio that Page moved from being a very good guitarist to being a unique artist wielding the paint brush of the recording studio unlike anyone besides George Martin (or perhaps Brian Wilson) had done before. The lushness of Babe I'm Gonna Leave You on record is incredible, and it is the specific echoes, the way the multitudes of guitar tracks are combined, the composition of small sonic details, that made Led Zeppelin what they were. Similarly, the blues-psychedelia of Dazed and Confused alternates between walls of layers and stripped-down glory and it works wonderfully. For the fools who tell you that the original Yardbirds did a better job on this song, just look on youtube. Despite the lyrics making more sense in the original form, the studio LZ version transforms the song finally into the otherworldly vision Page had for it. Similarly, youtube Page doing versions of Black Mountain Side without the tabla or overdubs. It's just not the same. Again, while the band boasted individual talents, chemistry, timing, and aggressive promotion, their magic really lie in the studio wizardry of Page.

Led Zeppelin I is the most often referenced album for the current trend of bashing the legendary band. But even the most untrained ear can hear that something very different, and at the time, new, was happening on this album. Compare You Shook Me on this album to Jeff Beck's version or to Muddy Waters great original recording. It's just bare blues, the song less important than the expression, and in this case interpreted and transformed by a studio genius. To some extent, this is why the accusations that Led Zeppelin were frauds because of their failure to credit their covers is missing the point. I fully support those artists raiding Page's coffers for what they are owed, as he should have credited them and paid them. But....Led Zeppelin did not become popular because of which songs they picked to cover or adapt. They are popular because of their sound, the expansion of their use of the album as their canvas and the studio as their palette. It is this that put them alongside progressive bands (it is not surprising that both Chris Squire and Ian Anderson made overtures to Page for projects) in envisioning a new rock and roll for the 1970's.

This album contains three of the most signature Zep tracks (Dazed, BMS, and Babe, all cover/adaptions) and some of their best heavy blues. A few of their signature elements have yet to be completely realised (the use of pure riffage will develop to much better effect on later albums), but the magic sound is already here. Must own for any rock collection, and an excellent addition to a prog collection.

Report this review (#208557)
Posted Tuesday, March 24, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars Led Zeppelin 3/5

The Sound. Merge driving blues licks, pounding drums, gutwrenching basslines and howling lyrics delivered by a flaxen hair lad and you have it. Often imitated, barely ever matched. With this 1969 release, Led Zeppelin literally changed the landscape of modern music, leaving a lasting blueprint for every hard rock band of the 1970's and beyond.

Contrary to popular belief, there really was nothing novel about Led Zeppelin, with the expection that they played LOUDER. They were essentially the most commercially sucessful of the Cream influenced blues groups- in the same vein as Mountain, Cactus, Grand Funk Railroad, Free, Foghat and early Fleetwood Mac (among others). Their influences are obvious: take the decibel registry of acts like Blue Cheer, Jimi Hendrix, Jeff Beck and Cream, mix it with the classic blues riffs of Howling Wolf, Muddy Waters and Willie Dixon, and stir it with vocals of biblical proportion.

And that is not to say that this album is bad. Personally I prefer their later works from III to House of the Holy. They are certainly more progressive than this album which is essentially a good album, nothing more and nothing less. There are some extremely good songs: 'Dazed and Confused', 'Babe I'm Gonna Leave You' and 'How Many More Times' among the best.

Now the history behind how this album came into being. After all members except bassist Chris Dreja left The Yardbirds, Mr. Page (Neighborhood occultist, babysitter and session musician) was left in need of some replacements. Given the nature of the music scene in 1968, Mr. Page knew exactly what kind of band he wanted to create. He first expressed interest in Terry Reid as a vocalist, who declined the position due to his opening for the Rolling Stones on their 1969 American Tour (Ironically Reid would also turn down an offer from Deep Purple before Gillan joined). Reid recommended one Robert Plant, who jumped on board and likewise recommended thronemaster extraordinaire John Henry Bonham. Dreja soon dropped out to pursue photography and in came Jimmy's old session partner John Paul Jones.

The lineup set: gathering in a record store basement, the four future gods of rock and roll decided to jam out to Train Kept A Rolling. Deriving the name Lead Zeppelin from off hand comments by John Entwhistle and Keith Moon (the latter saying a potential supergroup of he, Entwhistle, Page and Beck would go down like a 'lead zeppelin'), Led Zeppelin's destiny was sealed. Peter Grant then cut the 'a' out of their name and secured a $200,000 record deal with Atlantic Records and thus began the invasion of America...

For a debut record that was reportedly recorded in only 36 hours once in the studio, this incredibly energetic, youthful and spirited. It features some great acoustic and quieter moments and then epic highs which shake the rafters.

Report this review (#208982)
Posted Friday, March 27, 2009 | Review Permalink
2 stars One of the most overrated albums ever

To many people this is one of the first hard rock albums in history. Along with Cream and Hendrix releases. It always depends how you describe hard rock music. To me it's still blues just a bit heavier. Maybe in 1969 it was revolutionary. I'm not the one to question that. But I'm finding any Beatles album from late 60's much better than this release. Even though I'm huge hard rock fan. Why? Because to me Led Zeppelin first album isn't hard rock release. I still like Dazed and Confused. Yeah this is pretty strong tune. The bass parts somewhere in the middle of that song are excellent. Communication Breakdown? Primitive piece of pre-punk rock music. And you call it a classic? How Many More Times one of the most boring songs I've ever heard. I'm not huge fan of blues but I can accept it in Beatles or Jethro Tull versions. But Led Zeppelin? Take any Muddy Waters release and give it distortion. So you have Led Zeppelin. I know to many people this is great album but to me it sounds lame, thin and is covered by spider's web. Better listen to Black Sabbath cos that was hard rock back then.

Report this review (#212273)
Posted Friday, April 24, 2009 | Review Permalink
3 stars The Beatles meets Deep Purple, only heavier.

This is Led Zeppelins debut album, and boy does it open with a hard rock hell blast. Good Times, Bad times is some mighty fine hard rock, some of the best of its time. That vocal hook is so good, too. A short burst of power to start off a grand career. Led Zeppelin then commences to do what made them more timeless than their other hard rock counterparts. They went acoustic, and they went acoustic excellently. Babe I'm Gonna Leave you has a pretty and melancholy opening until it gets a fire under its belly. The song then explodes with hard rock fervor, loud crashing power. the lyrics are absolute garbage, but the music is tops. Moving from soft to loud in a good fashion.

You Shook Me follows, and again, Led Zeppelin show that they are just a step above their hard rock brothers by adding the groove. Too bad the groove they added happened to be pretty terrible. But, it adds diversity. This song is just awful, a major let down after two classics. At least it is listenable, but it is boring. And the progression is not really even noticeable. That solo sounds so tame, and the organ playing is pedestrian. Trying to one up Deep Purple, maybe? They don't succeed.

Dazed and Confused is nice, especially when they rock out. This is hard and strong. The wailing guitars are deep, and Plant sings skillfully. A classic. Even if it almost falls under its own weight. the atmospheric noodling is neat the first time you hear it, but doesn't age too well. Still a great song. Organs on high greet us with Your Time is Gonna Come. This is a laid back organ rock song, for the most part, and the melodies are quite strong. This is a first rate organ driven tune, and adds to the diversity of Led Zeppelin.

More pretty acoustic work from Black Mountain Slide, acting as almost an introduction of sorts to their very well known punching song Communication Breakdown. This doesn't do it for me, the vocals are great, and it kicks some tail, but not as much as the opening song. Still solid, and that solo is biting.

I Can't Quit You Baby shows them blues-ing it up. And it doesn't work too well. the lyrics are trash, and the guitar line feels insecure. It is fun, but shallow. This is their blues jam, and it is alright. That rhythm section feels like cardboard. Can't complain, but I could ask for a lot more. The album closes with How Many More Times. Psychedelic guitars cry in, and it has a fine build up before rocking out. The song has multiple sections, and easily their most progressive song, here. Doesn't mean it is perfect. The song meanders here and there, and is a bit too long, but still a highlight.

Best Song - Good Times, Bad Times

Worst Song - You Shook Me

*** Solid Stars. A promising beginning.

Report this review (#212643)
Posted Tuesday, April 28, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars Lots of them talking, few of them know, soul of a woman was created below.

I've always been a big fan of Led Zeppelins music, but before 2009 i had never really gotten myself into their music. I had, of course, heard the mainstream ones, Stairway, Whole Lotta Love, Kasmir and Black Dog etc. But i always wanted to get into the feel of Zeps music, and after a half of a year of listening to them regulary, i thought it might be time to review their debut.

And what a debut it is. I think there is something really mystic about the sound in this album. I always get the blusey feel of smoke and scotch when i listen to this magnificent album. There is tons of good stuff here. The first track is a nice opener, a cool rocker, not really anything great but nothing bad either. Then there is 3 absolutley fantastic tracks, which to me will probably go down on the list of the best Zep tracks ever. Then of course, there is Communication Breakdown and Your Time is Gonna Come, which are also great. The only real filler is Blackmountain Side, because i also enjoy the 2 last tracks very much actually.

The fact is, that the more tracks you have on a album, the more fillers or bad tracks there will be. Prog bands noticed this, and limited their albums to a very limited number of tracks, so that the quality would be as high as possible. The thing with Led Zep is that(i think!) they couldn't care less, they just wanted to rock out. When reviewing an album i shouldn't give points for good live performances, but i really think that many of these tracks were made to be played live, so that they could be improvised for a more "show purpose"(bluesy tunes are made to be improvised). Dazed and Confused is a good example.

To me, this album represents everything i love in music. Absolutley mindblowing vocals and screams by Robert Plant, fantastic axe work by Jimmy Page, great bass playing by John Paul Jones and mad drumming by Bonham. 5 Stars, one of my favourites.

Report this review (#229430)
Posted Saturday, August 1, 2009 | Review Permalink
2 stars I've never understood why this album made Led Zepplin into instant superstars.I'm sure that at the time it was released it was quite grounbreaking (and I mean merely grounbreaking ,not revolutionary-there is a difference) but I just don't think it has stood the test of time well.The opener Good Times Bad Times is basically a passable 60's pop song, albeit with a blistering guitar solo.Babe I'm Gonna Leave You isn't actually their song.The hard chorus bit was perhaps something fresh in 1969, but by today's standards it's nothing special. You Shook Me again isn't their song and again,by todays standards it seems pretty lame.Dazed And Confused is perhaps the song that made this album, but it's a song I've never liked. It's basically a blues song that has a kickin chorus and a "blistering" (for 1969) guitar solo.Yeah in 1969 it was somthing new, but after we've had Van Halen, Black Sabbath, Joe Satriani, Steve Vai,Randy Rhoads etc. is it something we should be listening to all the time ?In my opinion, no. Side 2 has Your Time Is Gonna Come which is a pleasant enough song although the chourus makes me cringe a bit.Black Mountain Side is a nice acoustic ditty.Communication Breakdown sounds,frankly, lame by today's standards. At the time I'm sure that Zeppelin thought they were really mean hard rockin' dudes but ,sorry, when I hear it today it sounds almost quaint. I can't Quit You Baby is a dreary blues song with some sloppy guitar playing.How Many More Times,contrary to popular belief isn't their song it's just a medley of old 50's blues and pop songs, and it's just too damn long and dull.So there we have it,an album which was fresh in 1969 but pretty darn stale in today's day in age.So why is so popular? Simple. It's by Led Zeppelin, and people will tell you that if you don't listen to Zeppelin, you're simply not cool.Now I'm not saying that Led Zeppelin didn't write a few good songs but I feel that this album is clearly overrated by the majority of people.Personally I consider the first Black Sabbath album to be much more groundbreaking ,fresh, and exciting,yet it didn't make Sabbath into instant superstars.I don't consider Zeppelin to be the founders of heavy metal, I consider it to be Hendrix(how can you not bang your head to Purple Haze, Spanish Castle Magic or Wild Thing?)I think that Zeppelin were able to take the sound of Hendrix, Blue Cheer and Cream and make it more "defined" on a piece of vinyl. If you saw Hendrix play live I'm sure that you wouldn't consider Zeppelin as the founders of heavy metal. I feel that part of Led Zeppelin's appeal is not because they wrote breathtaking music,but because they have become so indelibly ingrained in American Rock n roll culture, that they have an aura of greatness, which I consider largely to be undeserved.

3 out of 10.. rounded to 2 stars..

Report this review (#242338)
Posted Thursday, October 1, 2009 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars More iconic songs would follow, but never a better full set

It was October of that year that this mammoth slab of vinyl finished recording, putting the world on notice that new rock Gods were on the rise. A band preceded by Hendrix and Cream yes, but a band that would take things to the next level and the next level after that. A band that would rule the 1970s in many ways. And a band that gave us a perfect debut with this road map of where they would take us. The Zeppelin debut is one of the most consistent sets they gave us and they would not equal it again until perhaps Physical Graffiti. Here on one album is the perfect mix of blues, rock, and crushing hangover relief. What is truly amazing is that this is not a band that had been working together in dance halls for years, not a band who knew each other musically or even personally. These are mates whom Page and Peter Grant (along with the soon departing Dreja) had cobbled together merely weeks earlier. They assembled in late August, played their first gig Sept 7, and logged their first recording session on Sept 27 1968. For a band that had less than 2 months of scrapping together, the results are jaw-dropping. Page and his three new mates sound as if they were always meant to play together. Zeppelin 1 is a timeless and consistent piece of work that stands out for its immediacy, passion, and bravado.

What I really love about Zep 1 is the aggression. You can hear the hunger in the playing, the sheer will to reach the top. I especially love hearing the young Bonham attack with such ferocity, breathing new life into old blues numbers and basically daring the other band members to up the ante. Many of the tracks run together, it sounds like the guys are so enthused that they are falling all over themselves to launch into the next song, no break, like they would at their live gigs. If you've played in a band yourself you know that feeling well. There are no weak tracks present here as there are on Zep 2 and Zep 3. There are some good heavy rock numbers with pop accessibility (GTBT and Your Time is Gonna Come) along with the more ferocious (Communication Breakdown.) There is the introspective (Babe I'm Gonna Leave You) with its gritty, thrashy chorus balanced out with the sublime acoustic workout (Black Mountain Side.) But most of all there is the early blues-rock blend that Zeppelin would redefine post-Cream, nice working-class stompers like "You Shook Me, I Can't Quit You, and How Many More Times". While not as well developed as later gems like "Since I've Been Loving You" or "Tea For One," these are nonetheless very good. And last there is the big Zep anthem (Dazed and Confused) that would become their "Dark Star" in concert, expanding in both length and purpose to what by 1973 would be a show-stopping centerpiece. As the Grateful Dead did with Dark Star, morphing a short studio cut into a 30 minute nightly excursion to the cosmos, Zeppelin would allow Dazed to become an experimental vessel for soloing with violin bows and vocal histrionics. If I have one complaint, it's that "We're Gonna Groove" is not on this album. It was probably in their arsenal around this time and it's the highlight of Coda.

A rare debut masterpiece for hitting the public like a right hook, for its pure vibrancy, and its great consistency (every track a winner). Along with Physical Graffiti and Presence, you have the 3 essential Led Zeppelin classics. (2/3/4 and Houses all have great moments but also inconsistencies.)

Report this review (#242830)
Posted Saturday, October 3, 2009 | Review Permalink
Prog Metal Team
4 stars When Led Zeppelin dropped their maverick of a debut on the world we weren't ready, I'm still not sure that we are!

Together with other major releases that same year, like The Court Of The Crimson King and Trout Mask Replica, this album marked a new shift in rock music. Even though they all were exploring completely different aspects of the genre the results were still quite similar, namely music history in the making. From the first seconds of Good Times, Bad Times I knew that this experience would be really special and, for most part, the album didn't let me down. Led Zeppelin I might still rely heavily on their blues-origin, like Jimmy Page's previous band The Yardbirds, but this music was definitely in many ways beyond the blues territory that dominated the rock music scene at the time.

I think that the short composition Communication Breakdown deserves a bit more attention from the music fans since it must have played an important part in the development of the more riff-based bands like Black Sabbath. This was hard rock, a genre that would be explored extensively during the next decade and Led Zeppelin would become one of its biggest icons.

***** star songs: Babe, I'm Gonna Leave You (6:41) Dazed And Confused (6:26) Your Time Is Gonna Come (4:34) Communication Breakdown (2:27)

**** star songs: Good Times, Bad Times (2:46) You Shook Me (6:28) Black Mountain Side (2:05) How Many More Times (8:28)

*** star songs: I Can't Quit You Baby (4:42)

Total Rating: 4,35

Report this review (#256082)
Posted Monday, December 14, 2009 | Review Permalink
Prog Metal Team
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.

Report this review (#272092)
Posted Monday, March 15, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars Yet another reason why 1969 was such a golden year for music. No one was anticipating such a band. Such an album!

But reception aside, and looking from a personal perspective, I have to try analyse this one without getting too excited (it's difficult). Led Zeppelin's debut is blues-rock; and they proved, with this and throughout their career, that they are the masters of the genre. They made a wise decision in my opinion, to cram at least half of this record with blues-rock. The result is electrifying and cool, powerful and raw, but most importantly, new. And blues isn't the only influence here. We see elements of soul, pop, and even Indian music creep into these compositions. And there's the all important acoustic percentage that would be so significant later in the band's career. So, as with all [most] Led Zep albums, there is a diversity that ensures filler is minimal and listener-interest is maximal.

The progressively- approached, meandering blues jams 'Dazed and Confused' and 'How Many More Times' are, more than anything else, fun. They can be listened to over and over without becoming boring or overplayed because of their spontaneous, 'heat-of-the-moment' qualities. The poppy riff- rockers 'Good Times Bad Times' and 'Communication Breakdown' (and 'Your Time is Gonna Come' to a certain extent) are catchy and similarly energetic. They aren't anything special though. The strictly blues 'You Shook Me' and 'I Can't Quit You Baby' feature some impressive soloing (mainly from Page) that makes the listener enjoy themselves as much as the band are. And the acoustic offerings 'Babe I'm Gonna Leave You' and 'Black Mountain Side' prevent the repetivity, break up the other tracks, and make for some interesting listening.

Led Zeppelin have much to offer here, but they top it with later albums, so four stars for the bluesy one.

Report this review (#278468)
Posted Sunday, April 18, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars Wow. I may have my share of reservations on the band decades after their existence, but had I been in my early teens when this came out way back in 1969, I might have been sucked into lifelong fandom too. Plant never, ever sounded better than he did on this album, the production (especially regarding the guitar sound) is amazingly clear and powerful, the rhythm section is loud and bombastic without becoming overpowering ... in short, this is the album where Led Zeppelin actually sounds as great as they supposedly do through the majority of their career.

All of these positives are so overwhelming, in fact, that they can cause one to almost forget that the actual amount of songwriting is pretty low. Out of the nine tracks here, only three of them can be considered "true" Led Zeppelin originals, and it's little coincidence that none of them are among the biggest standouts of the album. "Good Times Bad Times," instrumental breaks aside, is a fun, but relatively throwaway pop song that just happens to have a better guitar tone and better singing than it would have from most bands. Of course, that's not to say that the song as a whole is a throwaway; the first "Hi, I'm Jimmy Page, I'm here to blow your minds away" psychedelia-meets-heavy-blues guitar solo of the song, and to a lesser extent the rest of the soloing under Plant's closing rambling does more than enough to justify its existence. "Communication Breakdown" also isn't exactly what I'd call songwriting genius, but I certainly don't mind this one either, if only because (a) it provides a chance for awesome super-speedy Page playing and (b) nobody in the band seems to be taking it very seriously, so the fun factor is way up there. The third one, though, is noticably weaker than the album's other tracks. "Your Time is Gonna Come" is a pleasant enough shuffle, but the melody isn't very impressive, and man does it seem like Plant's trying a bit too hard and like Bonham needs to stop beating his drums so hard if this is going to have any chance to work. That said, it's nice to have a softer touch to the album after the power of what comes immediately before it, so it's not like I ever skip it or anything.

The other six songs are all, um, "borrowed" from other sources, but I actually don't mind that, if only because these songs give the band the chance to amply show off its other strengths; arrangements, mood and solid production. "Babe I'm Gonna Leave You" is an adaptation of a folk song by one Anne Bredon, and while the melody might not be Zep's, they proudly make it their own in every other way. In much of the group's later work, the singing approach Plant takes in this one would be overdone something fierce, but in this case, the way sadness and despair seeps out of Plant's being with every note, while underneath him Page alternates "soft" driving acoustic passages (meaning there's only one Page playing) with "hard" driving acoustic passages (meaning there's five Pages playing, with Bonham bashing along), is really something to behold. As fond as I am of several of the acoustic numbers on, say, III, I have to say that the band never really topped this, its first try at such a number.

Up next, the cover of "You Shook Me" (by Willie Dixon) is an utterly fantastic blues number, with a power and a raunchiness that was absolutely unheard of in 1968. Page is soloing all over the place, Plant is wailing up a storm (even better, they showed that they had an intuitive sense of how to play off each other and to do the whole point-counterpoint thing in their interactions), Bonzo is pounding the daylights out of his drum kit (and it actually sounds appropriate for him to be doing so), and JPJ is contributing some mighty fine organ playing. The only thing else to say about it is that once upon a time, in my wee immature days, I would skip this track when listening to the album; no more. It's probably the best song on the whole thing.

Oh wait, no it's not. Help me, but I love this original Zep version of "Dazed and Confused." I mean, Plant's voice only got worse from here, and the Song Remains the Same version is pushed towards intolerabilty because of his obnoxious singing (though the BBC versions are really nice). But here, it's just a powerful scream, and one of the main assets. And then comes the midsection, that first has Page scraping his violin bow across his guitar strings. Now, on live versions, this can sometimes be a bit bothersome (though not always), but here, it just sounds weird and cool and creepy and moody. And then he explodes into that demon speed solo. Wow. It's yet another example of a Page solo not being a cosmetic addition, but actually an element that takes the song to a whole other level. And on top of it all, it's an extremely trailblazing track too; name me a track, any track, that rocked this hard and was this heavy before this song (ESPECIALLY in the part that comes right at the end of the middle soloing section before going back into the main bass/guitar line). You can't, can you? I didn't think so.

Past the next three tracks ("Your Time is Gonna Come" and "Communication Breakdown," with a nice instrumental cover of a traditional folk tune called "Black Mountain Side" in between), we come to the last two tracks of the album, bringing us back into the realm of hardcore blues. "I Can't Quit You Baby" is the second Willie Dixon cover of the album, and while I enjoy it enough, it definitely falls short of the glory of "You Shook Me." I mean, it has more great singing, and Page sounds fine enough, but it's much more of a "pure" blues cover than was "You Shook Me," and as such it lacks somewhat in structure and wanks around in the kind of way that could cause many a blues hater to want to skip this. "How Many More Times," on the other hand, may steal from not one but two old blues songs (the first half is a Howlin' Wolf song of the same name, the second half is "The Hunter" by Albert King), but there are so many great production effects and so much great playing that I can forgive it. The first half rocks like mad (and has a neat little bolero section from Bonham, who exercises restraint in this song surprisingly well), but what I love most comes in the second half, after another great bowed-guitar passage (with chaotic "Eastern" drumming in the background to great effect) with Plant rambling on about now having eleven children. I swear, aside from the aforementioned stretch in "Dazed and Confused," I can't think of anywhere in Zeppelin's catalogue where they entered a groove quite this tight and hard- rocking as in their cover of "The Hunter" on this track (before going back into the "main" part of the song). Man, no wonder this track was their closer in their early days of touring (I have a bootleg where this track goes for 20 minutes, and it's completely awesome).

In short, this album is amazing, and as far as I'm concerned it's the best Led Zeppelin album ever. Furthermore, I'd also say that if you don't own it (or like it, for that matter), you don't really understand the group. The weaknesses are minimal, and the strengths are emphasized to an almost absurdly fantastic degree; what more do you need?

Report this review (#279296)
Posted Saturday, April 24, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars Led Zeppelin - the First (1969)

A great debut.

Though Zeppelin will never be one of my favorite bands, I must say their debut is amazing. The combination of theatric vocals, hard-rock riffs with a blues edge and fierce drums works very well here. The band has some very good songs and compositions, which would sometimes a problem on later albums. The music is very strong and heavy for it's year of release, though The Blue Cheers are heavier still.

About this songs. This record is one of those rock records with almost only classic rock tracks. Good Times Bad Times, Babe I'm Gonna Leave You, You Shook Me, Dazed And Confused and Communication breakdown are all examples of the power of the hard-rock scene and it's transition, coming from the blues. Robert Plants vocals are amazing, catchy and extremely extrovert. His emotions complete the songs. The guitars of Jimmy Page are a mess as always, but his melodies work nicely. The rhythmical compensates for his messy way of handling his instrument.

Conclusion. A record full of high-quality hard-rock material, a very influential record and a nice cover. Though Zeppelin will still not become one of my favored bands, I can't give this one less than four stars. Recommended to fans of hard-rock, blues-rock and classic rock. No progressive tracks, but the sound and style of the band are innovative by itself.

Report this review (#285430)
Posted Monday, June 7, 2010 | Review Permalink
Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
3 stars Led Zeppelin's first album is a good hard rocking blues album. There is some psychedelia thrown in, and maybe, just maybe a dash of prog. There is some inventiveness to Dazed And Confused and Communication Breakdown, and a bit of psychedelic sounding keyboards in Your Time Is Gonna Come, and even some Eastern influence folk in Black Mountain Side. But if that's all it took to be prog, Aerosmith would be listed here.

Needless to say, Led Zeppelin's later albums, especially their fourth, had enough experimentation and adventurous compositions to warrant their inclusion. But this album, as it is, a great blues rock album, can only rate three stars from me.

Report this review (#288854)
Posted Thursday, July 1, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars A great classic debut album. It was distinctively heavy to the ears of young rock fans in the late sixties and the overall style influenced many bands to come. The combination of Plant's strong vocals, Bonham's heavy drumming, Jones's cool bass lines and Page's powerful guitar riffs and fancy soloing is what fans like about them. They sounded very different to other groups.

The music is mostly a blend of blues and rock and although there are some covers like "You Shook Me" and "I Can't Quit You Baby", they were different versions and a display of their punchy sound. "Babe I'm Gonna Leave You" is one of my favourites. It was an adaptation of a folk song but here it's a mixture of electric hard rock and acoustic folk which proved that the band were already showing diversity. Other highlights are "Good Times Bad Times", "Dazed And Confused", the folky acoustic "Misty Mountain Hop" and the speedy rocker "Communication Breakdown".

Lovers of hard rock, classic rock or blues rock should really like this one. The band would develop their sound more and became even better but this was still innovative and exciting stuff. 4 solid stars.

Report this review (#393855)
Posted Friday, February 4, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars When New Yardbirds became a Zeppelin

Led Zeppelin's first album should be considered a milestone in rock history. Despite Jimmy Page and company draw so sometimes shameless themes already heard, or songs written by others, the album is incredibly innovative in my opinion, especially as regards the production and sound quality: listen to this album and then to any other hard rock album of 1969 (also 1970 or 1971) and you will realize the incredible "depth" of the sound of the first Led Zeppelin album in comparison to others.

Of this record almost everything we know: co-produced by Jimmy Page, recorded in thirty hours, it contains tracks for the hisstory as Dazed And Confused, characterized by a descending scale bass that puts the chills and the use of violin bow by Page, How Many More Times, a piece of footage of the "Band Of Joy" (the band where Plant and Bohnam played before joining Page) a sort of psychedelic trip with a hard riff, a bolero in the middle and, again, the use of the bow, and Communication Breakdown, a very hard song symbol par excellence of hard rock (much more of Helter Skelter by the Beatles) with Plant, in the throes of her sexual ecstasy, screams "SUCK" and Page that starts immediately an incredible guitar solo.

Not just hard rock, though. As proof that Led Zeppelin was interested in the dynamics of contrasting: "light and shadow", not just watts at full volume. And so here's Babe I'm Gonna Leave You by Joan Baez, and especially the extraordinary Your Time Is Gonna Come a sort of gospel-hard song, introduced by an organ solo by John Paul Jones. And then the Delta blues masters like Willie Dixon's I Can't Quit You Baby and You Shook Me where Page and Plant a performed a guitar-voice duet that will become the trademark of the band.

In conclusion, a 5 stars masterpiece and in my opinion even the best record in band's career. Final rating: 9/10.

Best song: Dazed And Confused

Report this review (#399802)
Posted Sunday, February 13, 2011 | Review Permalink
3 stars On the first Led Zeppelin album Jimmy Page had not yet developed a truly heavy metal playing style (though you can see hints towards one on Dazed and Confused). Throughout the album he plays in a mainly blues-rock and classic rock style, and although we now all recognise how revolutionary the band would prove to be at the time there was little to suggest that Page would manage to achieve anything other than play a noisy, fuzzy blues lick in a vaguely Hendrix/Clapton-influenced style. And Robert Plant's vocal delivery is good, but there's a sort of Rod Stewart edge to it which betrays that at this point in their career the boys still thought of themselves as a blues-rock band - appropriately enough, considering that that's what they were.

But damn if that isn't some good blues rock on this album. I Can't Quit You Baby and You Shook Me are classic blues pieces played more or less straight (bar the electric instrumentation), whilst classic faster-paced songs like Good Times Bad Times and Communication Breakdown rock out with the best of them. Babe I'm Gonna Leave You lurches from beautiful acoustic picking to thunderous crescendos which would point the way to future classics like Stairway to Heaven. And album closer How Many More Times showcases the entire band's abilities. Not an unbeatable classic - as proved by Zep themselves later on when they, ah, beat it, several times over in fact - but still an entertaining enough package. Three and a half stars, I'd say.

Report this review (#450629)
Posted Saturday, May 21, 2011 | Review Permalink
4 stars Led Zeppelin is a fascinating album of power. Free's Tons of Sobs or Jeff Beck's Truth are sometimes held up as predating Zeppelin's debut and thus being more important, but neither of them are anywhere near as powerful so it probably doesn't matter. These players all had similar influences and in the end, one band used them best.

This is an album that doesn't bother, nor want, I suspect, to hide it's influences. For a band who'd only been together a short while, they are together. Incredible. While they are convincing in their blues, the almost grungey 'You Shook Me' is exemplar, this particular take of 'I Can't Quit You Baby' is a little sedate compared to the roaring live version from Coda. In fact, even the rocking medley 'How Many More Times' falls a little short.

Not so tracks like the brooding/frantic 'Dazed and Confused' which is a monster of a song, or the furious, proto-punk of 'Communication Breakdown' two of the most important rock songs in the Zeppelin discography. If 'progressive' is defined incredibly simply as 'moving forward' then these two songs are as important to other genres and the future of Zeppelin, as 'Babe I'm Gonna Leave You.' But it is also the more acoustic moments like 'Your Time is Gonna Come' and 'Black Mountain Side' that show a band already incorporating a variety of sounds into their songs. Once again, it's easy to look back on a string of albums and see a common thread, but III might not have been that big a surprise if looking carefully here.

Not my favourite Led Zeppelin album, but another historic work. Surely no other debut has sounded quite like this? Of course, I've no way to truly put its release in context, but if you consider what came a little before it, say from Cream or Hendrix, then something with the punch of 'Good Times, Bad Times' must have been like a gauntlet.

Report this review (#456329)
Posted Friday, June 3, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars Before you rate an album you must think carefully about the rating you give (these are the instructions!!). Well, I thougt it carefully and my conclusion is that this is a 10 stars album, but it's impossible to give it 10 stars, so I will give it only 5 stars.Is this a problem? Well, I also read on the site that there was a lot of copy/paste on this album, that "Dazed and confused" is not their, and so on. Well, it might be, but Zep I sounds like a million dollar and this is a fact. This is the first one, and has a lot of inputs, inspirations, and maybe not everything was very clear. But this as an album, as music at the fundamental level, is a 5 stars album and it can compare with every masterpiece that human talent ever created. In the year of '68 this was a miracle and, at least for me, it would always be a miracle. Maybe, people are confused about the prog and the hard rock, the prog and the folk, "this is not relevant here, it is not prog", but in my opinion a proghead has to listen to music on all its forms, and not to be fooled by "categories". A true 5 stars album of modern music/
Report this review (#530342)
Posted Friday, September 23, 2011 | Review Permalink
Symphonic Team
4 stars Plant, Page, Jones and Bonham leave us delightfully dazed and confused.

Time to indulge in the Led Zeppelin discography so returning to the debut album is a sheer delight. It is a debut most bands would be proud of full of excellent musicianship and some absolutely inspired melodies. indeed many of the tracks have gone down in the annals of classic rock as masterpieces.

Best tracks are the excellent Good Times, Bad Times, the blues heavy Babe, I'm Gonna Leave You, and the quintessential moody masterpiece Dazed and Confused. Communication Breakdown is indispensable as a rock blast from the early days of proto metal, and How Many More Times is the perfect closer with massive blues rock guitars.

The group was a super group with each member being the best of their craft at the time. Plant is a dominant force on high falsetto rock vocals, and the impact of guitar legend Jimmie Page is unsurpassed. He was a presence on every album and backed this by an eccentric aloof and downright mystical stage performance.

There is not a bad moment with the likes of Your Time Is Gonna Come, Black Mountain Side and I Can't Quit You Baby. Some may call it stoner rock, as it seemed to be a requirement to be completely out of it to enjoy the music. Of course this was a product of the time, with the drug culture becoming a dark stain on the 60s spilling out onto the 70s scene. Drawing aside all hippy drug references though, the music is still killer rhythm and blues, and Led Zeppelin were masters of their domain. Rarely interviewed and virtually anonymous on the albums, the mystique of the group was encompassed as part of the overall effect; on every song there is a magical quality that cannot be put into words. The music spoke for itself and it spoke to every generation and continues to speak even today. The simplicity of the chord structures is rather understated, yet the riffs were absolutely brilliant and rank among the finest in rock history.

The album cover says it all. The Zeppelin has crashed and there is no turning back as this legendary band would set fire to every part of what was left of the 60s pop scene; a scene that was now replaced by this new breed of monster rock.

Report this review (#530573)
Posted Friday, September 23, 2011 | Review Permalink
4 stars 8/10


Over the last forty years, Led Zeppelin has been one of the essential names in rock history. Ok, it´s obvious is that they are not progressive, but so what? This is a phenomenal group, which I finally had a chance to hear.

I won this LP from my uncle, who also gave me others albuns in vinyl. And, man, this is amazing! There is no denying that Led Zeppelin I is one of the most influential albums in rock history in general, although he has received negative criticism at the time of its release. Yeah, some critics had to eat his words later ...

Starting with the short but fast Good Times, Bad Times the album continues with those who are in my opinion the highlights: Babe I'm Gonna Leave You, You Shook Me and Dazed And Confused. These three songs are really monstrous! Unfortunately the second side pales a bit, except the instrumental Black Mountain Side (with a tabla drum that performed by Jasani saw that gives it an air of psychedelia) and How Many More Times (which is 8:28 minutes long while on vinyl say she has 3:30 minutes - Page did it to deceive the radios). You can also hear a bit of proto-metal with a short Communication Breakdown.

4 stars. A strong debut, I think the best is yet to come!

Report this review (#550912)
Posted Saturday, October 15, 2011 | Review Permalink
4 stars Led Zeppelin's 1969 debut still stands today as one of the most iconic rock albums from its era. Everything from the instantly recognizable cover art to the groundbreaking music contained within the album has become a staple in heavy rock culture, and calling this debut anything short of 'revolutionary' would probably be an understatement. Led Zeppelin began their musical journey with a very firm foot in the well-trodden soil blues rock, but with a level of unbridled heaviness that was quite unique when it was released in January of 1969. While I wouldn't call Led Zeppelin a flawless masterpiece, it is a very impressive and downright essential debut from England's most famous hard rock act.

Many of the chord progressions, lyrical themes, and song structures can easily be traced back to blues rock, but Led Zeppelin had quite a bit more to offer than just that with their debut. The beautiful acoustic guitars in "Babe, I'm Gonna Leave You", stunningly heavy riffs in "Dazed and Confused" (easily the highlight of the album), folk-influenced sound of "Black Mountain Side", and straightforward hard rock of "Communication Breakdown" immediately set Led Zeppelin apart from your average blues rock group - as a matter of fact, this album was nothing short of groundbreaking when one considers the musical climate in which it was released. The more straightforward blues tracks ("You Shook Me" and "I Can't Quit You Baby") don't exactly appeal to my liking very much, but there are plenty of redeemable qualities in both, especially Robert Plant's soulful vocals and Jimmy Page's blinding fretwork.

All four musicians here deliver fantastic performances individually, and collectively they shine even brighter. The chemistry between these extremely gifted musicians is unignorable, and the mix of Jimmy Page's fantastic guitar leads, John Bonham's pounding drum fills, Robert Plant's dynamic vocals, and John Paul Jones' clever basslines and occasional organ sections makes for an album of sheer musical bliss. The production is pretty raw and organic, and I think this sound suits the band's heavy rock style perfectly.

I'm pretty sure that anyone reading this review has heard Led Zeppelin's debut somewhere down the line, but if you haven't, it's obviously an essential purchase for anyone interested in the origins of heavy rock music. Though I don't adore the entire album as much as some other listeners, this is still an ambitious and, more times than not, highly successful effort from these legendary rockers. 4 stars are the least I can give to this excellent and seminal classic. Led Zeppelin got off to a spectacular start, and time would show that they would improve even more over the coming years.

Report this review (#591096)
Posted Sunday, December 18, 2011 | Review Permalink
3 stars Zeppelin I is the famous album that started it all for this band. The best way to describe this is a mix of blues and rock. You can tell the band was tad more "compositionally advanced" then much of the rock scene at the time. But I would be lying if I said this is prog.

Songwise this isn't terribly diverse. You have your straight rockers in 'Good Times, Bad Times,' and 'Communication Breakdown,' while you've got your blues songs in 'Your Time Is Gonna Come,' 'I Can't Quit You Baby,' and 'How Many More Times.'

'Dazed and Confused' is probably the standout track, as it is more structurally diverse than most of the others, containing a few tempo and dynamic sound changes, and has an overall dark and uneasy atmosphere.

This is a great collection of songs, but unfortunately, I outgrew my love for the blues a long time ago, and much of this album just leaves me cold.


Report this review (#771433)
Posted Friday, June 15, 2012 | Review Permalink
5 stars It's hard not to put this album in comparison with Jeff Beck Group's " Truth ",released just before it in 1968.Zeppelin's debut being essentialy Jimmy Page's creation (the band at this point being really just a vehicle for him),it does resemble Beck's work in many ways,the two musicians sharing quite the same background and influences ,much closer in style to each other than Eric Clapton to either of them.The choice for material and how to interpretate it in both albums is similar in many ways,from Willie Dixon's "You Shook Me" to Robert Plant's howling back at the guitar in much the same fashion as Rod Stewart.But unless Page deliberately stole Beck's concept of music making(which I find very hard to believe)that similarity goes to show how their ideas were very much in the same nature at that point,as to how to create something new and powerfull,which could still be regarded as blues after all.

Ultimately,it also makes an easy way for us to pick one of the two if we must.And that is probably the key point to early Led Zeppelin-their music wasn't as nearly as "original" or brand new as many would like to believe it to be,but on the interpretation field(which is basically on what this album is built upon),the band really took things to the next level.It relies on sheer power and volume,but also in subtlety and contrast.All this Beck also attempted,but despite of possesing something of an elegant balance that is seldom heard in Zep's debut,"Truth" lacks the majesty of Page's baby.Part of Zeppelin's charm was it's confidence,and it is present here from the word go,in a major way.Robert Plant was still to develop his own personal confidence and that is reflected in the album,but not in a bad way at all.His performance here is much better than he would like to believe,being perhaps more organic than later on.

The 60's were drawing to an end ,and the electric guitar had come and was already leaving the spotlights while Page was still pretty much unheard of outside London's music scene.Him being neither technically nor artistically inferior to Clapton or Hendrix (and self- consciously so),he must have realised that this was now or never in terms of commercial success.That explains why the album is so carefully crafted, and thanks to Page's experience in the studio,also amazingly recorded.Here is indeed a man who knew what he was doing.Recording drums was something of a serious issue in the 60's,very oftenly to frustrating results.John Bonham shakes the ground in loud thunder nonetheless,making his part likely to have been recorded yesterday instead of 44 years ago.The guitar layers in particular are just joyfull to be heard,for their profound,hypnotic sonority as much as for Jimmy's mastering of the instrument.Indeed it sounds like a living thing,singing and mourning in a very distinctive voice.Considering these numbers were chosen out of the blues lore for live renditions(being exactly the band's setlist of the time),the fact that they sound so right in the studio is something worthy of applause really.

Dazed and Confused stands out in Zep's catalog as the ultimate example of Page's ability to transform blues oldies in hypnotic stadium-filling monsters(except maybe for When the Levee Breaks).But there's something of a raw element here,very hard to put in words,which is where the album really triumphs.Just listen to I Can't Quit You Baby.It's blues all the way,but it's also unmistakably Zeppelin,summoning the best aspects of the band as straight-forwardly as possible.Baby-making music if ever they deserved such a tag.

This album was a major step in the conclusion of the 1960's and the start of something new,to the praise of many and the disliking of some who felt that it was maybe too much,unecessarily loud and lacking real substance.But times were changing and so were the musical tidings,psychedelia and the "song" shape (which the Beatles were majorly responsible for creating) increasingly loosing ground to something more sonically ambitious,expressed in both Page's and Beck's works to different results.Overall it's just an amazing,delicious album, somewhere between classic Chicago blues and the best rock n' roll there ever was.

Report this review (#877482)
Posted Monday, December 17, 2012 | Review Permalink
5 stars A masterpiece of over the top energy, counterbalanced by precise restraint, Heavy Rock will never be the same. Even though, at the time of release, its heavy weighted contenders (The Beatles, Hendrix, et al), were already "legends" , this band never sounded like any of them, not by chance, far from it, they were able in their near future (1969) to completely change the face of "the blues", to their own service of self-expression, opposite to just playing for the sake of playing the "Blues". How? By great song writing. Easy does it. How far? To the point of opening up the unexisting, by the time, roads to newer generations, overwhelmed by the sound of an unrepeatable display of passion and fury, alongside extremely ethereal acoustic compositions and performances, that even "PROGGERS" could not afford to ignore, that far. The perfect Led Zeppelin album, their first release, covers most of the ground that the later efforts (2,3,4, half of the 5th, the no-funk songs, and the excessive "Graffity") will detail in more exactly, but that will happen later in time. But this their first, is their wildest, not overly produced, record. Every second of this "gem" is never out of place, every performance is perfect pitch. Really nothing compares to it, inside or outside the Led Zeppelin's discography. A real *****5 PA STARS record !
Report this review (#893377)
Posted Sunday, January 13, 2013 | Review Permalink
3 stars This is the least progressive of Led Zeppelin's albums, which does not lessen its quality or appeal. Of course, it's the policy of Progarchives to include all of a band's material regardless of its level of "progressiveness". I'm sure there were many bands at this time whose main influence was American blues and R&B (Rolling Stones come to mind). I'll give this a 3.5 star rating instead of 4 simply because of the quesion of its progressiveness.

The overriding influence on the band at this point is electric blues. This is obviated by the inclusion of a cover of Willie Dixon's "You Shook Me." Other favorites include "Babe I'm Gonna Leave You". I love the dynamics of this song, the way it alternates between peaceful and intense. I would also include "Dazed and Confused" and "You Shook Me" for their primal drive. I think the parents of nice middle-class white kids had cause to be afraid of the music their children liked!

My least favorite tracks are "Black Mountain Side" and "How Many More Times". "Black Mountain Side" strikes me as an unfinished melody or experiment more than an actual song. Organ-driven music doesn't hold a strong appeal for me. "How Many More Times" is simply long and repetitive to my ears. It's difficult to review music that's as familiar as this album because it's hard to analyze something that you've heard so many times. However, this album is so popular, because it's so good!

Report this review (#895618)
Posted Saturday, January 19, 2013 | Review Permalink
3 stars In several conversations with my friends about progrerssive music always be some recurrent themes... one of this themes was about LED ZEPPELIN and the main discussion is " Led Zeppelin had something with prog rock? " In my point of view the answer as yes. However, is not the specific case from this first album ! Although, in some tracks they search some "innovations" in their music this album are more "framed" in a type of psychedelic blues, certainly a reflex from the origins from the band members! Talking about the album in itself, are very few progressive or related moments, one of this moments as in the track 4 "Dazed And Confused" and his musical passages ( which in live performances assumes the form of full of improvisations suite), the hammond-organ introduction in track 5 "Your Time Is Gonna Come" and the last track "How Many More Times" and the guitar and drums instrumental "acting". My rate is 3 stars !!!
Report this review (#1086841)
Posted Sunday, December 8, 2013 | Review Permalink
4 stars 4.5 stars. Possibly the greatest debut album of all time. Each song has an energy and a hook. "Good Times Bad Times" starts off rocking and sets the mood for the rest of the album. There is an easily recognizable blues influence as well as hard rock. Some of the songs are covers but they're done well.

"Dazed and Confused" and "How Many More Times' are among Led Zeppelin's best work. They're both heavy and multi-layered tracks. The experimentation was also there from the beginning with "Black Mountain Side". This debut signified everything Led Zeppelin was about. They would go on to make better ones in the future but this record was a high point early on in their career. A monumental record. Too bad critics at the time couldn't see that.

Report this review (#1089149)
Posted Thursday, December 12, 2013 | Review Permalink
5 stars I remember it well. I was 13 years old and had just received my uncle's collection of 8-track tapes from the 60s & early 70s. He was now living abroad and no longer wanted them. In the garage I found my father's still functioning 8-track tape player (in 1987 there weren't many of them left), dusted it off and hooked it up to my stereo in my bedroom. My dad also gave me his very cool 70s vintage stereo headphones, though I am sure it had more to do with him wanting to control the volume reverberating through the walls in my bedroom. At this time in my life I was a metalhead. 80s metal ruled my life. Everything from Judas Priest & Iron Maiden to Guns N Roses & Motley Crue. I also listened to some 70s hard rock bands like Aerosmith and especially Kiss. However Led Zeppelin was a band I had often heard about, but never investigated. As I began to dig through the box of 8-tracks I pulled out classic album after classic album from the likes of the Beatles, Bob Dylan, Cream, Jefferson Airplane, Jimi Hendrix, Santana, Blind Faith, Crosby Stills & Nash, Yes, Pink Floyd, Derek & the Dominos, Jethro Tull, King Crimson, Black Sabbath and the Byrds. That box of tapes changed my life man. I can't really explain it. Listening to all of this music that was unknown to me at the time was like a religious experience. I was a changed man. Overnight I pretty much stopped listening to 80s metal and plugged myself into classic rock from the 60s & 70s. Music that I am still plugged into over 25 years later. Among those wonderful tapes was this classic first album by Led Zeppelin. Finally! Now was my chance to hear this legendary band. I put the tape in and apparently the last time my uncle played it was during You Shook Me, since that is the first song that came blasting through my stereo speakers. No one was home at the time, so there was no need for the headphones. I was floored by the heavy bass, the searing bluesy guitar, the pounding drums and by the wailing singer. I've never heard anything like it. Song after song kept me enthralled. Communication Breakdown (what a riff!), Dazed & Confused (that bass is incredible!), Babe I'm Gonna Leave You (such passionate singing!). The whole album was a revelation. Every song perfect. Love the organ into to Your Time is Gonna Come, the trippy acoustic Black Mountain Side and the heavy blues of How Many More Times. This album picks up where Cream left off. It may not be considered progessive by some, but there certainly was nothing like it before. One of the greatest debut albums in rock history, along with Black Sabbath, King Crimson, Emerson Lake & Palmer, the Jimi Hendrix Experience & the Doors. Led Zeppelin's first album absolutely smokes. Most of those 8- tracks did not survive more than a couple of plays (not surprising), but that was enough to get a taste for these different bands and to eventually replace the the broken tapes with their cd counterpart. This album was one of the first cd's I ever bought. Absolutely essential.
Report this review (#1151849)
Posted Friday, March 21, 2014 | Review Permalink
5 stars One of the greatest albums ever recorded, and a holy grail of the Rock 'n' Roll History.

There is nothing to say about it that hasn't been said, but I'll say this: imagine if this was a Best Of compilation. We would talk about a fantastic group, that wrote sublime songs throughout their career. But this is "just" a debut LP.

No other Led Zep album produced so many classics as this one; not even Physical Graffiti, which is a double one.

Good Times Bad Times, Babe I'm Gonna Leave You, You Shook Me, Dazed And Confused, Communication Breakdown and I Cant Quit You Babe make an INSANE 6-out-of-8 all time classics, with Your Time Is Gonna Come and Black Mountain Side only a step behind.

Elusive quality.

Report this review (#1378724)
Posted Friday, March 6, 2015 | Review Permalink
5 stars After The Yardbirds were disbanded, Jimmy Page (who was owning the legal rights of the name The Yardbirds), found John Paul Jones, Robert Plant and John Bonham, and together they started touring under the name 'The New Yardbirds'. But that didn't last for long, because soon they changed their name to Led Zeppelin. Some of the greatest songs that were recorded for their debut album were written during the 'New Yardbirds' period. Led Zeppelin I was recorded in Olympic studios in London within 36 hours, because the band had no contract yet, therefore they had to pay with their own money for the studio expenses. The album was released on the12th of January 1969 in the USA, and on the 31st of March 1969 in the UK. Upon its release, it didn't receive good critics, but despite that it was commercially successful. The main problem seemed to be that nobody couldn't categorize them under any of the music styles they knew so far. Because the album was based on the blues forms of The Yardbirds, but the music was played in a 'heavy' way let's say. Despite the poor critics, the album remained on the Billboard charts for 73 weeks, and on the UK charts for 79 weeks. The success and influence of the album is today widely acknowledged, even amongst publications that were initially sceptical. One of the music magazines that gave poor reviews on the album back then, was no other than Rolling Stone. But many years later, in 2006 to be exact, Rolling Stone added Led Zeppelin I at No. 29 in its list with the '500 greatest albums of all time'. The album includes some of the best songs the band ever recorded, such as Good Times Bad Times, Dazed and Confused, Communication Breakdown and I Can't Quit You Baby. It is a "must have" album for every person who is a fan of Rock music! 5 stars.

Report this review (#1676350)
Posted Thursday, January 5, 2017 | Review Permalink
3 stars Classic gutsy rock.

The album that started off the Zeppelin juggernaut is one of their better albums. Gutsy and bluesy, this album lays the framework for what would come, and also provides some of musical highlights of their entire song catalogue. "Dazed and Confused" and "How Many More Times" are up there among Zep's two best tunes, and they show off the bands considerable skills (particularly Jimmy Page's amazing guitar solos - at this point, there are hints of Bonham's brilliance but he would really flower a bit later on). "Good Times, Bad Times" sets the tone well for all the albums to follow. The album is mixed, musically, though. The blues jams "You Shook Me" and "I Can't Quit You Baby" are great, although not as good as "Since I've Been Loving You" from their third album (one of my very favourite Zep tracks). "Babe, I'm Gonna Leave You" is a great quite lament, but "Black Mountain Side" and "You're Time is Gonna Come" are weak. So, while mixed, this is the album that really branded Zeppelin, and it stands the test of time. It is not quite four-star material though. I give it 7.7 out of 10 on my 10-point scale, which translates to high 3 PA stars.

Report this review (#1697636)
Posted Tuesday, February 28, 2017 | Review Permalink

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