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Led Zeppelin

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Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin album cover
4.05 | 1111 ratings | 72 reviews | 43% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1969

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Good Times, Bad Times (2:46)
2. Babe, I'm Gonna Leave You (6:41)
3. You Shook Me (6:28)
4. Dazed And Confused (6:26)
5. Your Time Is Gonna Come (4:34)
6. Black Mountain Side (2:05)
7. Communication Breakdown (2:27)
8. I Can't Quit You Baby (4:42)
9. How Many More Times (8:28)

Total Time 44:37

Bonus CD/LPs from 2014 remaster - Live at the Olympia, Paris, France October 10, 1969 :
1. Good Times Bad Times / Communication Breakdown (3:52)
2. I Can't Quit You Baby (6:41)
3. Heartbreaker (3:49)
4. Dazed And Confused (15:01)
5. White Summer / Black Mountain Side (9:19)
6. You Shook Me (11:55)
7. Moby Dick (9:21)
8. How Many More Times (11:14)

Total time 71:12

Line-up / Musicians

- Robert Plant / lead vocals, harmonica
- Jimmy Page / acoustic, electric & pedal steel (5) guitars, Theremin, backing vocals, producer
- John Paul Jones / bass guitar, Hammond M100 organ (3,5), backing vocals
- John Bonham / drums, timpani, backing vocals

- Viram Jasani / tabla drums (6)

Releases information

Artwork: George Hardie

LP Atlantic ‎- 588171 (1969, UK)
LP Atlantic ‎- SD 8216 (1969, US)
3LP Atlantic ‎- 8122796460 (2014, Europe) Remastered by Jimmy Page with bonus Live concert in 2 LPs

CD Atlantic ‎- 240 031 (1986, Germany)
CD Atlantic - 82632-2 (1994, US) Remastered by George Marino & Jimmy Page
2CD Atlantic - R2-536127 (2014, US) Remastered by Jimmy Page with bonus Live CD
2CD+3LP Atlantic ‎- 8122796439 (2014, Europe) Remastered by Jimmy Page with Box including bonus Live CD and the whole also in 3 LPs

Thanks to tuxon for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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Buy LED ZEPPELIN Led Zeppelin Music

LED ZEPPELIN Led Zeppelin ratings distribution

(1111 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(43%)
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(40%)
Good, but non-essential (13%)
Collectors/fans only (3%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

LED ZEPPELIN Led Zeppelin reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Chicapah
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.
Review by Zitro
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+

Review by Sean Trane
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.

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR 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.

Review by Guillermo
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.

Review by Seyo
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR 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.
Review by clarke2001
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR 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.

Review by Chris S
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR 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.

Review by 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.

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR 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.

Review by 1800iareyay
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-

Review by ZowieZiggy

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 Ģ 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.

Review by 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!

Review by ghost_of_morphy
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.
Review by Atavachron
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR 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.

Review by 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."

Review by russellk
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.

Review by Prog-jester
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”

Review by Nightfly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR 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 ―.

Review by obiter
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.

Review by 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!

Review by Sinusoid
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.

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "Led Zeppelin" is the eponymously titled debut full-length studio album by UK rock act Led Zeppelin. The album was released through Atlantic Records in January 1969. Led Zeppelin were formed in London in 1968 and were originally called the New Yardbirds. After the Yardbirds disbanded in July 1968 guitarist Jimmy Page was left with ownership of the name and contractual obligations for a 1968 Scandinavian summer tour and he quickly recruited bassist John Paul Jones, lead vocalist Robert Plant, and drummer John Bonham, and the new lineup completed the Scandinavian tour playing both Yardbirds songs and material which would subsequently be Led Zeppelin songs. After returning from the tour the band changed their name to Led Zeppelin and within a few months entered Studio Olympic in London to start recording their debut album. Recording took place from September to October 1968.

The material on the nine tracks, 44:45 minutes long album are a combination of blues rock tracks which are covers of Willie Dixon ("You Shook Me" and "I Can't Quit You Baby") and original rock and hard rock songs. Itīs a fairly varied album showing a band with an eclectic taste in music and expression. Only the percussion on "Black Mountain Side" provide a touch of laid back 60s psychedelic rock. Other than that this is a much more powerful, pretty hard edged (for the time), and skillfully executed rock album, than many of the psychedelic tinged hard rock albums from the previous couple of years (albums from artists like Iron Butterfly and Cream come to mind). Plantīs raw voice and screaming powerful delivery is a great asset to Led Zeppelinīs sound, but all four members of the band bring something special to the table. Page is a powerful but also versatile guitarist, and Jones is a hard rocking and clever bass player. Bonham is a hard pounding driving force and although his playing is pretty much at volume 11 at all times, he is still s skilled drummer with some interesting rhythm ideas.

Highlights include the heavy "Dazed and Confused" and "How Many More Times", the energetic proto-heavy metal oriented "Communication Breakdown", and the beautiful acoustic tinged "Babe I'm Gonna Leave You", but this album is through and through an exceptionally strong debut showing a band who have many interesting, eclectic, and clever songwriting ideas, and who perform their music with great power and conviction. Iīm not sure that I think a song like "Your Time Is Gonna Come" would normally fit on an album like this, but again it goes to show that Led Zeppelin already this early on refused to be labelled and did exactly what they wanted to and succeeded in doing it.

The album features a powerful, organic, and detailed sound production. Although some tracks feature quite a few overdubs (mostly harmony guitars) itīs an album which feels like most of it was recorded live in the studio, and thatīs what music like this deserves. Upon conclusion Led Zeppelinīs debut album was not only a groundbreaking rock album from the late 60s, but itīs also a good quality release showing an incredible amount of maturity and understanding of each other musical qualities considering that the band had only been together for a couple of months when they started recording the material. A 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.

(Originally posted on Metal Music Archives).

Review by poslednijat_colobar
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!!!
Review by 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.

Review by Negoba
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.

Review by Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR 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.)

Review by Rune2000
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
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

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
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.

Review by thehallway
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.

Review by tarkus1980
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?

Review by friso
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.

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR 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.

Review by Warthur
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.

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
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.

Review by J-Man
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.

Review by admireArt
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 !
Review by VianaProghead
4 stars Review Nš 634

Led Zeppelin was born from the ashes of The Yardbirds, who disbanded in 1968. The Yardbirds was an English rock band, formed in London in 1963. The band is known for starting the careers of three of the most famous rock guitarists, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page and Jeff Beck, all of whom ranked in the top five of Rolling Stone magazine's list of 100 greatest guitarists. Page, was the last of the guitarists of The Yardbirds. When Page was in the band, The Yardbirds became declining and took an end. Page, The Yardbirds' sole remaining member, was left with the rights to the group's name and contractual obligations for a series of concerts. For his new band, Page recruited John Paul Jones, Robert Plant and John Bonham and toured as The New Yardbirds. Later, Page changed the band's name to Led Zeppelin.

"Led Zeppelin" is the eponymous debut studio album of Led Zeppelin that was released in 1969. It was released and produced by all four members of the group and established the Led Zeppelin's fusion between the blues and the rock.

"Led Zeppelin" has nine tracks. The first track "Good Times Bad Times" written by Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones and John Bonham was the song chosen from the album to be released as a single. It's a very powerful rock song with nice riffs and an amazing vocal work with excellent chorus. This is a very good song to open the album. The second track "Babe, I'm Gonna Leave You" written by Anne Bredon, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant is a folk song written by Anne Bredon, in the 50's, which was recorded by Joan Baez. This was the first song that Page played to Plant at their first meeting together. It's basically a ballad with heavy parts. This is an astonishing song with a magnificent fusion between the acoustic and the electric parts. This is a great version of the original song and one of my favourite songs on the album. The third track "You Shook Me" written by Willie Dixon and J. B. Lenoir is a typical blues classic song. It's a song based on a great guitar riff and where all band's members perform solos. It also deserves be mention the beautiful harmonica work performed by Plant. This is a song that shows perfectly the diverse and amazing skills of Jimmy Page on guitar. The fourth track "Dazed And Confused" written by Jimmy Page is a song that became a legendary song from the band. It's a very powerful song and one of the highlights of the album. It also became Page's favourite track on the live performances of the band, played much longer and with many adaptations, including one entire side on their first live album "The Song Remains The Same". The fifth track "Your Time Is Gonna Come" written by Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones is a very accessible and beautiful song. It's a song with nice vocals, good chorus, interesting organ work and a beautiful acoustic guitar performance. However, probably it represents, in my humble opinion, the weakest song on the album. The sixth track "Black Mountain Side" written by Jimmy Page is a short and very interesting instrumental acoustic song with great guitar performance by Jimmy Page. There isn't much to say about it, except that this is a very enjoyable song and I like a lot of acoustic guitar songs. The seventh track "Communication Breakdown" written by Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones and John Bonham was the song chosen to be released as the B side of their single "Good Times Bad Times". It's a very powerful rock song, in the same vein of the opener song, with a great guitar riff and is also one of the few songs on which Page sang backing vocals. The song became one of the most popular tracks at the Led Zeppelin concerts. The eighth track "I Can't Quit You Baby" written by Willie Dixon is the other classic blues song performed on the album. It's, like the other blues song, a very powerful song and a showcase of the virtuosity of Page on the guitar. This is another excellent version of the original blues song, structurally very similar to the previous blues number, but for me, is inferior to "You Shook Me Up". The ninth and last track "How Many More Times" written by Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones and John Bonham is my third favourite song on the album, with "Babe I'm Gonna Leave You" and "Dazed And Confused". It's the lengthiest track on the album and one of the most powerful. It's an incredible end for the album with a fantastic Page riff, an extremely powerful rhythm section and a great vocal Plant performance.

Conclusion: "Led Zeppelin" is, without any doubt, an excellent and powerful debut album. In my humble opinion, it's a very strong and well balanced album without masterpieces but also without weak points, despite "Your Time Is Gonna Come" represent its Achilles' heel. It's true that "Led Zeppelin" isn't a progressive album and it's more a blues rock oriented album. However, we mustn't forget that we were in 1969, the album was released in 12 January, and the prog didn't exist in those times. Only in the end of that year, in 10 October, King Crimson come to release what is now regarded as the first progressive album, "In The Court Of The Crimson King". So, for a debut album, "Led Zeppelin" has a very interesting powerful collection of songs, full of originality and invention. Even the blues versions of the two Willie Dixon's songs are great, even for me. As you know, I'm not a great fan of blues. Thus, this is an excellent album.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

Review by Hector Enrique
4 stars The beginning of one of the greatest rock bands in history and largely responsible for such offshoots as heavy metal came at the dawn of 1969 with the release of their eponymous debut album, "Led Zeppelin". Led by singer Robert Plant and Jimmy Page, one of the former guitarists of the legendary Yardbirds, less than 30 hours in the recording studios were enough to shake up the music scene of the time with a proposal that borrowed (and often more than borrowed...) elements from American fifties blues, soul, folk and psychedelia, and put them in a cocktail shaker adding their own unique energy and forcefulness.

That sonic assault is present in all the nuances that Led Zeppelin knew how to make use of, such as the early hard rock in Page's boxed guitar riffs in the fleeting aggressiveness of "Good Times, Bad Times" and "Communication Breakdown", or the spirited folk vein of the excellent "Babe, I'm Gonna Leave You", a piece adapted from the singer of the genre Anne Bredon and also covered by Joan Baez, or the intense blues of the superlative "You Shook Me" and the Hammond of John Paul Jones going beyond his role as bass player and "I Can't Quit You Baby" with the Plant/Page duo in a superb voice/guitar duel, both pieces unbeatable adaptations taken from the American bluesman Wilie Dixon.

And the combination of blues and psychedelia of the experimental "Dazed and Confused" (in my opinion the best track on the album and not without some skirmishes with the American singer-songwriter Jack Holmes over royalties), and "How Many More Times" with Page at the helm of the bowed guitar (so called because of the use of the violin bow instead of a pick to achieve that particular sound) and John Bonham in great form as on the whole album, complete the collage of the auspicious debut of the English band.

A new way of understanding and interpreting music was born with Led Zeppelin and their iconic first album is still an obligatory reference today.

4 stars

Latest members reviews

4 stars Led Zeppelin's debut album, released in 1969, is a classic example of the band's signature sound and serves as a significant influence on the progressive rock movement. As a fan of the genre, I can appreciate the album's fusion of blues, rock, and folk elements, creating a unique sound that distingu ... (read more)

Report this review (#2906255) | Posted by VanDerProg | Tuesday, April 11, 2023 | Review Permanlink

3 stars 9th June, 2021: Led Zeppelin - s/t (blues/hard rock, 1969) Believe it or not, I've never really listed to Led Zeppelin. This is only the third album I've heard from them in full, and I never thought a lot of the other two. I think I can appreciate the playing, the production, and very occasiona ... (read more)

Report this review (#2696503) | Posted by Gallifrey | Wednesday, March 2, 2022 | Review Permanlink

4 stars What a great solid debut for a band, no wonder they became one of the greatest bands so fast. Even though not all of it's songs are among my favourites from the band, there's no denying they are all strong ones. Going from blues, to folk, to hard rock, even to sort of psyquedelic, it is varied ... (read more)

Report this review (#2240058) | Posted by Dellinger | Thursday, July 25, 2019 | Review Permanlink

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" ar ... (read more)

Report this review (#1697636) | Posted by Walkscore | Tuesday, February 28, 2017 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Review #43. 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 ch ... (read more)

Report this review (#1676350) | Posted by The Jester | Thursday, January 5, 2017 | Review Permanlink

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. B ... (read more)

Report this review (#1378724) | Posted by BigDaddyAEL1964 | Friday, March 6, 2015 | Review Permanlink

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) ... (read more)

Report this review (#1151849) | Posted by Prog 74 | Friday, March 21, 2014 | Review Permanlink

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 wel ... (read more)

Report this review (#1089149) | Posted by thebig_E | Thursday, December 12, 2013 | Review Permanlink

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 ... (read more)

Report this review (#1086841) | Posted by maryes | Sunday, December 8, 2013 | Review Permanlink

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 ... (read more)

Report this review (#895618) | Posted by thwok | Saturday, January 19, 2013 | Review Permanlink

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 sharin ... (read more)

Report this review (#877482) | Posted by Jugband Blues | Monday, December 17, 2012 | Review Permanlink

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 terri ... (read more)

Report this review (#771433) | Posted by Mr. Mustard | Friday, June 15, 2012 | Review Permanlink

4 stars 8/10 Essential! Over the last forty years, Led Zeppelin has been one of the essential names in rock history. Ok, itīs 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 ... (read more)

Report this review (#550912) | Posted by voliveira | Saturday, October 15, 2011 | Review Permanlink

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 re ... (read more)

Report this review (#530342) | Posted by ridemyfacetochicago | Friday, September 23, 2011 | Review Permanlink

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 ... (read more)

Report this review (#456329) | Posted by dreadpirateroberts | Friday, June 3, 2011 | Review Permanlink

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 regard ... (read more)

Report this review (#399802) | Posted by Dark Nazgul | Sunday, February 13, 2011 | Review Permanlink

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 ... (read more)

Report this review (#393855) | Posted by Frankie Flowers | Friday, February 4, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 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 T ... (read more)

Report this review (#242338) | Posted by fant0mas | Thursday, October 1, 2009 | Review Permanlink

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 ... (read more)

Report this review (#229430) | Posted by paragraph7 | Saturday, August 1, 2009 | Review Permanlink

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 caree ... (read more)

Report this review (#212643) | Posted by Alitare | Tuesday, April 28, 2009 | Review Permanlink

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