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Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin II album cover
3.99 | 1049 ratings | 63 reviews | 44% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1969

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Whole Lotta Love (5:34)
2. What Is And What Should Never Be (4:46)
3. The Lemon Song (6:18)
4. Thank You (4:47)
5. Heartbreaker (4:14)
6. Living Loving Maid (She's Just A Woman) (2:38)
7. Ramble On (4:24)
8. Moby Dick (4:21)
9. Bring It On Home (4:21)

Total Time: 41:29

Bonus CD/LP from 2014 remaster - Studio Outtakes:
1. Whole Lotta Love (Rough Mix With Vocal) (5:40)
2. What Is And What Should Never Be (Rough Mix With Vocal) (4:33)
3. Thank You (Backing Track) (4:20)
4. Heartbreaker (Rough Mix With Vocal) (4:25)
5. Living Loving Maid (She's Just A Woman) (Backing Track) (3:11)
6. Ramble On (Rough Mix With Vocal) (4:44)
7. Moby Dick (Intro/Outro Rough Mix) (1:38)
8. La La (Backing Track) (Previously unreleased song) (4:09)

Total time 32:38

Line-up / Musicians

- Robert Plant / lead vocals, harmonica
- Jimmy Page / acoustic & electric guitars, backing vocals, producer
- John Paul Jones / bass guitar, Hammond C3 organ (4), backing vocals
- John Bonham / drums, timpani, backing vocals

(Note: These detailed credits are only partially confirmed)

Releases information

Artwork: David Juniper (based on a photo of the German Air Force during World War I)

LP Atlantic ‎- 588 198 (1969, UK)
LP Atlantic - SD-8236 (1969, US)
2LP Atlantic - 8122796438 (2014, Europe) Remastered by Jimmy Page with bonus LP including unreleased studio outtakes

CD Atlantic ‎- 19127-2 (1986, Germany)
CD Atlantic - 82633-2 (1994, US) Remastered by George Marino & Jimmy Page
2CD Atlantic - 8122796453 (2014, Europe) Remastered by Jimmy Page with bonus CD including unreleased studio outtakes
2CD+2LP Atlantic - 8122796437 (2014, Europe) Remastered by Jimy Page with Box including bonus CD (studio outtakes) and the whole also on 2 LPs

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

LED ZEPPELIN Led Zeppelin II ratings distribution

(1049 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(44%)
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(39%)
Good, but non-essential (13%)
Collectors/fans only (3%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

LED ZEPPELIN Led Zeppelin II reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Chicapah
4 stars Just about the time most of us were starting to get tired of the first album this one came along later that same year of 1969 and really sounded like it was the second LP of a double album, just delayed a bit. They still showed the in-your-face attitude and sexual swagger on "Whole Lotta Love" they had proudly displayed on the previous record but also started to show their own songwriting skills with "What is and what should never be." More than anything this album made us all realize that these guys were going to be around for a while and they were just going to get better and better with time. Okay, so "Moby Dick" is just another long drum solo but that's what was happening in arena rock about then and, when you've got a beast like Bonham behind the kit, you might as well showcase him and let him loose to rattle the roof. Again, they had what all great bands have even to this day - dynamics. On "Ramble On" we hear them coast along acoustically and then bam! that incredible electric sound jumps out at you and keeps you anxious for more surprises. Since the next LP would definitely take a drastically different path, this was a completion of the bluesy rock foundation they wanted to establish before entering the more mystical realms that they were just starting to bring into their work. Basically, if you loved LZ1 you'll love LZ2 just as much, if not more.
Review by el böthy
4 stars Ok, Led Zeppelin II, this used to be my favorite album before I new about prog. And although I might not play it as much as I used to (cause I played it too much!!!) its still among my favorites.

Track by track, there are no flaws, no fillers, all songs are great and some among their very best.

Whola lotta love is one of Page´s classic riffs, simple, heavy, this one would inspire soooo many bands! Just one riff, imagine that! Plant sings his lyrics for the first time in Zeppelin, as the first album was written by John Paul Jones and Jimmy Page, and although its not one of his finest poetic moments, it works wonders with the song, filling it with sex and...well, just sex!

What is and what should never be starts calm with some jazzy feeling (maybe?) but it keeps on changing with the introduction of power chords and Bonhams drumwork. Overall this might be my least favorite song from the album, but still good.

The Lemon song is blues on steroids. Page shines, oh he shines here! And so does John Paul Jones, who always seemed to be one step behind his fellow bandmates for not being a guitar hero, drum master or a hell of a frontman, but when it comes to delivering the goods, he always delivers the goods!

Thank you is a ballad. Now, Im not the biggest ballad fan, but this one is a pretty good one, no, make it an excellent one. Page´s acoustic solo is excellent and Plant sings with his heart, while Jones lays the whole thing down on some atmospheric and gentle keys.

Heartbreaker, hehehe, here we have Zeppelin as we like them!!! This track is alllllll about Mr Page. This song, how many kids have played this song and worshiped Jimmy, I know I did...and still do. And while the solo is technically not as good as it seems...who cares??? It rocks!

Living lovin maid (she´s just a woman) is the shortest song...and probably the best after Heartbreaker, at least for me, it was always a favorite of mine. Short but oh so good.

Ramble on is where Plant displays his love for Tolkien´s The Lord of the rings. A little folky number, its good, but not among the best of the album. Still good, ...its Zeppelin after all.

Moby dick, this has another highlight riff of mr Page and some good fills, and something, let me think...ah yes, THE MOTHER[%*!#]ING LOCOMOTIVE DRUM SOLO OF BONHAM!!!

Bring it on home is another blues and...yes, also on steroids, although this one starts off quite calm and nicely with Plant singing...funny and playing the harmonic. But when the guitars and drums kick in, mmm yummy!!! Bonham is great in this one!

All in all a big step forward for the mighty Zeppelin and the album that would put them aside of the greats like The Who, the Rolling Stones and The Beatles (commercially) and aside with the Beatles musically!!! A must have in any collection...even if you dont like Zeppelin, this is such a must have!!!

Review by Zitro
3 stars 3.5 Stars

A huge drop in quality from their first album which in my opinion is their peak. Zeppelin started with the best album, and while they released quite great albums afterwards, the quality of the debut could never be matched.

This album focuses more on the rock and the radio-friendliness than the more adventurous and proggier first album. It's a shame really, but they went back to their artful compositions in later albums.

While this change of style possibly hurt the band, the album is still really good. It is a collection of mostly short songs of blues, rock and ballads

The overrated and heavily played Whole Lotta love doesn't break new ground. Driven by a simple, yet effective, guitar riff, the singer vocalizes his famous lines "baby you need coolin'", "Wanna whole lotta love". I think the song is really fine and has a great guitar solo, but hte middle part isn't as musical as the middle parts of Dazed and Confused, and How Many more Times. 7/10

What is and Should Ever Be is a ballad, wiht nice guitar playing and a strong chorus hook. The song ends with a guitar riff which travels through your surround system. 6.5/10

The Lemon Song is a bit stronger, starting with a nice bluesy guitar riff which precedes the explosive choruses. The middle section is looser, with bass guitar improvisations which are really well done. The singer also seems to be improvising, singing about um ... things at bed? 8/10

Thank you is a very strong ballad which is a bit heavy because Led Zeppelin always seems to want to put electric guitars in the songs. It is a quite solid song, but I think it should have been softer and more acoustic to fit with the dreamy organs played by Jones. 6.5/10

Heartbreaker: A classic heavy rock tune, with very recognizable guitar riffs and an incredibly technical guitar solo. 8.5/10

Living Loving Maid (She's Just A Woman) is a bit unremarkable. It sure is catchy, with a nice guitar riff and a hook on the chorus, but on a prog standpoint, it might not be that interesting. 6/10

Ramble On improves things. A beautiful bass line and really magical acoustic guitar chord progressions dominate this song, with amazing rocking choruses. This is the highlight of the album. 9.5/10

Moby Dick worsens things. While the introduction (and ending) is Led Zeppelin at its rocking best, there is a drum solo in the middle that is incredibly dull. 5/10

Fortunately, Bring It On Home ends the album on a strong note. A really good show blues with lots of melodic harmonica playing that suddently morphs into a nice rocker. 7.5/10

Who should get this album: Classic rock fans should really get this, and anyone who likes the rock and blues and want to try something quite simple in terms of complexity.

My Grade: B/C

Review by Sean Trane
3 stars Of all the early Zep album, the one I still have not managed to gain back some kind of enthusiasm, this is the one. Aesthetically also, this album is also probably their worst with the sheer amount of stolen works from blues artistes, which is rather strange since they credited their borrowings on their debut, but here not. Not exactly graced with a nice artwork (especially the atrociously pompous and pretentious inside gatefold), this album still holds a few moments, but I find them few are far between.

Tracks like Thank You and the fairly acoustic Ramble On (with its Tolkien-esque lyrics) are nowadays the tracks I like best, although I must admit that given a good day, you might just see me rock my heart out to Whole Lotta Love (with Page's Theremin solo). On the other hand tracks like Lemon Song, What Is, the sexist Loving Maid and Heartbreaker seem permanently lost nowadays on this old dog. And although I am not a fan of drum solos, I must say that Moby Dick's is not the worst I heard.

Although, this almost is still a classic, it is several notches below a great debut album and a moody third one. But I cannot think of any record collection having those two albums without having this one as well.

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars

Oh . what an album!

Life was so peaceful in the past. People did not talk about music categorization very much. They did not even think that a particular song was a pop song and the other song was a rock, jazz, or blues song. They just enjoyed the music "as is" delivered by the musicians. It was the case for me. By the time I heard "Whole Lotta Love" during my childhood (thanks God for giving me such a wonderful childhood surrounded by wonderful music), I was also listening to "pop" songs like "Jesamine", "Story Book Children", "Rain and Tears". All were enjoyed in the same level of emotional attachments to the songs. So, never mind, why bother about cataloging of music genres? Music is emotion, anyway!

Led Zeppelin II was a logical follow-up after the ground-breaking debut "Led Zeppelin" released at the beginning of1969. This second album was released in the same year in October 22, 1969. In America, it had advanced orders for half a million copies. It entered the Billboard chart at 15, and by the end of the year it had dislodged the Beatles' "Abbey Road" to take the top spot, where it remained for seven (7) weeks. By April 1970 it had registered three million American sales.* [1].

The opening track "Whole Lotta Love" (5:34) represents great production result as collaboration between two gentlemen: Page and Kramer. Page is a masterful producer where he, in early days, experimented what later so called "soundscape" by adjusting microphone devices with various distances to produce different sounds. You would hear it in the interlude part of this track. "What Is And What Should Never Be" demonstrates Plant capability as songwriter and great singer with his flanging vocal throughout this track.

"The Lemon Song" (6:18) is my all-time Zepp favorite track. I don't know why in many best of compilations this wonderful track was never included. Finally I knew the answer as this was originally credited to Page, Plant, Jones and Bonham until they received claims from publishers Jewel Music that the song was heavily based on Chester Burnett's "Killing Floor". This song has great combination of Jones tight basslines and Page's dynamic riffing and soloing throughout the song coupled with great vocal by Plant. "Thank You" (4:47) is a nice ballad. With "Heartbreaker" (4:14) the band proves that they have unique and peculiar sounds of their own especially through the guitar riffing at opening part which repeat at many segments of the song. It continues seamlessly with energetic "Living Loving Maid (She's Just A Woman)" (2:38). These two songs must be enjoyed altogether as one stream of music.

"Ramble On" (4:24) and "Moby Dick" (4:21) can be considered as the band's exploration into acoustic world. To me "Moby Dick" is the band's brave decision as by the time there was so minimum instrumental track that was available in the market. With jaw dropping drum work by John Henry Bonham - using his fingers and hands instead of drum sticks during drum solo. Can I say that Led Zeppelin was the pioneer in creating rock instrumental? It might be. Only later that the band who took great influence from Led Zeppelin, Rush, made excellent instrumental track "La Villa Strangato" and "Yyz".

Whether you are only into prog music, it's worth owning this legendary album that set rock music apart in the glory days of seventies. This is a great heavy metal music, my friends ... Keep on rockin' ..!

"Your attitude determines your altitude."

*) 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 greenback
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This record is among the most classic ones regarding visceral hard rock music. The music here is more than simple hard rock: there is a soul, a legend behind this stuff, as reveal Robert Plant's strident and visceral screams, Jimmy Page's twisted electric guitar effects and John Bonham's unusual drumming style. MANY parts of the record sound a little bit blues rock, like the songs "What is and what would never be" and "The lemon song", which clearly remind the Jimi Hendrix's stuff, among others. The sound of the rhythmic guitar is very good for the year: it has sufficient power & "razorness", and it is very well supported by a loud & bottom bass, which is amazingly elaborated and bluesy. The drums are pretty loud and they really sound HEAVY, echoed & visceral, ABSOLUTELY not jazzy: Bonham's drums are the best example of how can be a typical hard rock drum sound! "Thank you" contains a subtle organ treatment that should not leave you indifferent! I am almost certain at 98% that "Heartbreaker" was a direct inspiration for the Rush's first album: the sound and the style are AMAZINGLY similar! "Moby Dick" shows how talented Bonham was on drums: one can hear him perfectly play with his hands: just notice the perfect synchronization! I am sure Neil Peart was inspired from this drum solo! The last track "Bring it on home" has an interesting mix of blues and hard rock played with harmonica.

Rating: 4.5 stars

Review by Seyo
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Although very succesfull follow-up to their debut, the second album seems less inspired and innovative. Again it is filled with heavy blues standards, but in addition it contains the song that finally promoted Zeppelin into the heavy metal pioneers - "Whole Lotta Love". It is one of the songs that I now love to hate and cannot stand, but if you are 16, it's essential listen for you. "Thank You" and "Ramble On" although not among the most popular here, are my favorites. Still, very strong album.
Review by Guillermo
3 stars IMO, this second album shows the band better rehearsed than in their first album, and more "integrated" as a band. It seems that they took a longer time to record the album, and that the band recorded this album when they had free time from the concerts. So, with the experience they had on the road, they sounded better.

I think that the first song that I listened from Led Zeppelin was "Whole Lotta Love" in 1969 or in the early seventies. It was in a single (or EP?) released in my country. I still like this song. I think that this song is one of the most known from LZ. A very good song.

"What is and What Should Never Be" and "The Lemon Song" are more related to Blues, and are funny in some places.

"Thank You" is a very good song with acoustic guitars and a very good organ part played by John Paul Jones. It also has some backing vocals maybe sung by Page. It is one of my favourites from this album.

"Heartbreaker" is a very good Rock song with very own guitar riffs.

I think that "Living Loving Maid (She`s Just a Woman)" was also included in the "Whole Lotta Love" single in my country. I know that LZ never released singles in England, and I think that this Pop Rock song could have been a Hit single. The most "commercial" song in this album, IMO.

"Ramble On" is another good song played with acoustic and electric guitars.

"Moby Dick"has s an "abridged" drums solo by Bohnam on which he also plays the drums with his hands as he did in the live versions of this song.

"Bring It on Home" starts as a slow Blues with harmonica, and later it develops in a very good Heavy Metal song. It ends as it started.

IMO, this is better than their first album. The band sounds with more confidence after the success of their first album. Three and a half stars rating.

Review by Chris S
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Note the year people. Led Zeppelin released their second album in 1969. The same year as their debut! What was it about bands of that era who could consistently deliver albums year in and year out over such a short space of time and manage touring as well? Creativity in abundance and the licence to be creative by the record companies perhaps.

Led Zeppelin II marks another milestone and again an excellent follow up to it's predecessor.' Whole Lotta Love' without doubt their most popular party track. One can't help rockin to this song no matter how many times it has been played over the years. Great solo from Jimmy Page and the other most important instrument that Led Zeppelin had as an ingredient is the vocals by Robert Plant. This is not dismissing John Paul Jones and John Bonham of course but few bands managed to encapsulate vocals as a unique ingredient to their sound like Zeppelin did. I can think of Rolling Stones, Yes, The Doors to name a few.The other great track on this album IMHO is ' The Lemon Song' but overall the album holds up collectively as an excellent piece of work. Sure there are influences from all over the place, but certainly no plagiarism. This was again another great unique offering from Led Zeppelin.

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Credit where it's due

After a proficient if inconsistent start, Led Zeppelin suddenly came of age with this astonishing release from 1969. As one of the first album I ever bought (second hand from a school friend) the band's second album hold a special place in my collection.

The album opens with the sublime "Whole lotta love", a song which only gained singles chart success when it was covered by Alexis Korner's excellent CCS project. That version went on to become the theme tune to BBC's "Top of the pops" for many years. While the track is best remembered for Plant's dextrous vocals, and some fine guitar by Page, it also incorporates one of the most freeform sections on any Led Zeppelin song. After the first chorus, a pulsating rhythm takes over as a Theramin (a bizarre early electronic instrument for which proximity sensors are used to alter the notes) solo is introduced, driven to ever more frantic heights by Robert Plant's "orgasm". John "Bonzo" Bonham brings proceedings firmly under control prior to the brief but memorable soft section.

"What is and what should never be" effectively alternates quiet verses with thunderous choruses, while exploiting to the full the dynamics newly available through the use of stereo. It needs to be remembered that at the time such effects would be totally lost on many listeners, as mono record players were very much still the norm.

"The lemon song", which borrows heavily from a couple of blues standards, is a rather too laid back, overlong piece, saved by a couple of blistering guitar bursts from Page. Side one closes with the wonderful rare Zeppelin ballad "Thank you". This was Robert Plant's first composition for the band, dedicated to his wife Maureen. It is the organ playing of John Paul Jones which sets the song apart though, particularly on the double ending.

"Heartbreaker" which opens side two, is a powerful heavy metallic monster, with more exquisite guitar work from Page. Indeed, his solo here is arguably the best on the album. The track ends suddenly while in full flow, immediately bursting into the "Livin' Lovin' Maid". The two tracks thus become two parts of a whole, and are often heard together, although not in the live environment where the band gave the latter the cold shoulder. Indeed, "Livin' lovin' maid" is one of the band's most commercial numbers.

The folky, Tolkien inspired "Ramble on" points to the direction in which the next album would head, while "Moby Dick" is little more that an excuse to allow John Bonham to display his skills in the form of an unnecessary drum solo. The album closes with the blues standard "Bring it on home", also covered by Hawkwind.

The overt blues influences of Led Zeppelin have been well documented, the lack of credits throughout "Led Zeppelin II" to the clear sources of the songs being puzzling, and indeed unforgivable. The most obvious of these is the use of Howlin' Wolf's "Killing floor" on "The lemon song", but "Whole lotta love" (Willie Dixon) and "Bring it on home" (Sonny Blake and Willie Dixon again) plus Robert Johnston's "Traveling Riverside Blues" on "The lemon song" are also indisputable. Indeed Dixon finally was credited on later releases, after settlement of several court cases.

Led Zeppelin II is firmly rooted in the blues, the band adding their own unique identity to the original ideas of others. Often described as seminal due to the major influence it had on a whole generation of bands which followed, it is essential listening both for those interested in the history of rock, and indeed those simply looking for a fine album.

Review by Chris H
5 stars The album of un-mistakable riffs is born! Although it may be their least prog album ever (and one of the least on this site!), I can't hold that against them because this is truly one of the greatest pieces of music my ears have ever heard. Review time!:

The album kicks off with the absolutely epic "Whole Lotta Love", and the riff parade begins. Plant's vocals shine and Bonham's drumming is intense, but the main focus is on Jimmy Page (as it will be throughout the whole album). "What Is And What Should Never Be" is, in my opinion, the best song on this album. Look what an honor that is, seeing as how every song on this album is great. Plant has a very melodic feel to his voice in this song, which he sometimes loses during other songs. The chorus here is amazing, and one of the most captivating things I have ever heard. Once again, Page is a power performer. "The Lemon Song", longest song on the album, is probably the weakest for me. Still an amazing track, I think it would fit better on their next album. Some of you Hendrix fans might recognize the lyrics however? "Heartbreaker" is next, and it is the song every non-Zeppelin fan talks about. The single greatest riff in rock and roll history peaks with an intense solo in the middle, and Bonham plays better here than he does on his own solo track.

"Thank You" is a nice little change of pace, with the greatest ballad to ever come out of the Zeppelin recordings. Some ten friends of mine said this song would work well as their choice for a wedding song! "Livin' Lovin' Maid (She's Just A Woman) is played as a second part to "Heartbreaker" on radio stations, but really that doesn't do a justice to the song, being completely different in itself. In my opinion, these two tracks just don't flow together good enough to be played back to back. It takes away from the prestige of the individual song. "Ramble On" was another attempt at a ballad, but once they started rehearsing it in the studios they quickly scrapped the idea and made it completely bursting with more famous Zeppelin riffs. "Moby Dick" is the small scale equivalent to Ginger Baker's "Toad". They both feature some work in the background, although center stage is the drummer, pounding away on a truly amazing solo. Bonham at one of the finest points of his career. The album is wrapped up with "Bring It On Home", which starts off poorly with a soft acoustic intro and one of Plant's worst vocals ever, but then goes from a 1 star moment to a 99 star moment the second Jimmy Page comes in with that unforgettable guitar work. Truly an amazing second half.

So there you have it. Certified masterpiece in every way. Every guitarist on the planet aspires to play this album, and I am no exception. This is just bursting with unforgettable riffs! Even if heavy guitar isn't your forte, there is still some acoustic work and some nice touching balladry. 5 stars, no doubt!

Review by Mellotron Storm
5 stars I have played this more than any other ZEPPELIN album (I still have the LP).

The first song "Whole Lotta Love" opens with a monster, stuttering riff from Page who later around the 3 minute mark follows Bonham's thundering drums with a scorching guitar solo.There is some experimental stuff in between including Page using the bow on his guitar.There is a nice contrast in the next song "What Is And What Should Never Be" between the gentle vocals of Plant with bass and cymbals, and the heavy drums and guitar with Plant's aggressive vocals. Man can Bonham pound the drums ! "The Lemon Song" is a great blues song. I like the way the song speeds up a minute and a half in as Plant is crying the blues. Nice long guitar solo and the vocal and guitar interplay is incredible.

"Thankyou" is truly an amazing ballad. Check out Page's guitar solo on "Heartbreaker" ! This song blends into "Living Loving Maid". "Ramble On" has long been a favourite of mine. "I guess i'll keep on rambling". "Moby Dick" is a drum solo that fortunately is less than 5 minutes long. I'm not big on drum solos, but I love the first minute of this one as Page let's it rip on his guitar a few times. Nice. "Bring It On Home" features Plant on harmonica and the instrumental breakout 2 minutes in is steller. Page's guitar solos are so raw and so good ! Yes, if you haven't noticed i'm a big Jimmy Page fan.

I think they improved on the debut with this one, as difficult as that was.This is such a powerful, blues based album full of energy and attitude.

Review by ZowieZiggy

Led Zep II. IMO, this is the heaviest album of the band. It will be a major source of influence for the hard-rock as well as the heavy metal genre. It will establish their fame worldwide.

This is probably the reason that it is a bit underrated on this site (at least by some of the most influent reviewers). I totally understand their meaning but for those same reasons I will rate this one pretty high. When I have discovered this wonderful site (in 2004), I would have never dreamed to be able to post a Led Zep review on PA. Since it has been possible, I can fully express my opinion about this great band in rock history.

The year of release of this album, they will be asked to play at Woodstock. Led Zep will turn down the offer because they got a better deal for a few gigs with higher pay. The week-end of Woodstock, they will play each night at different places (San Antonio, New Jersey and Connecticut). They will very deeply regret this choice. To compensate (but there is no such compensation) they will play at the Texas Pop Festival two weeks later. This is one of Peter Grant's very few blunder as a manager.

Led Zep will have the habit (but so will the Purple and the Heep) to start an album with a magical opener. "Whole Lotta Love" is the archetype of a heavy song. Incredible riff, extremely strong bass & drumming and fabulous vocals. As they were used already in "Dazed" and "How Many More Times", Led Zep will deliver a rather psychedelic middle part. This strange middle section featuring some recorded drums, vocal sounds from Plant, and backwards echo is a great moment for fans.

A section of its vocals will also cause the band some legal problems since Willie Dixon will claim the lyrics for the section "You Need Love" (obviously not a Led Zep original). He sued Led Zep in ... 1985 for this.

Unbelievable to have such a track on a single ? Can you imagine : 5'30" of the loudest treatment you can get ? In 1970 ? Still, "Whole Lotta Love" was released and it will peak at Nr. 4 on the US charts.

It was their first record to enter into my discography.

"What Is..." is a great song. Very quite start, the tempo gets suddenly wild and then ... quiet again. This quiet/heavy interchange will take place several times (they already did something similar with "Babe I'm Gonna Leave You" on their first album. I like this song very much. It gives the listener some fresh air to breathe after "Whole Lotta". Very good track.

"The Lemon Song" is a pure blues song. Page's bad habit in appropriating the work of others will again cause Led Zep some legal problems. It is made of several blues sources. Mainly "Killing Floor" from Chester Burnett. Zeppelin was sued and settled out of court again, meritoriously. The other parts are "Squeeze My Lemon" and "Traveling Riverside Blues". To close the subject, there were some other portions of the song related to Albert Kings "Cross Cut Saw", and Lightning Slim's "Hoodoo Woman".

After the bluesy intro (1'30"), this song gets wiiiiiiiiiild and rocks like craaaaaaaazy. Page delivering a superb solo. We'll switch again to the blues section in which Jones plays a great background bass. This section is famous for its explicit lyrics : "Squeeze me baby, till the juice runs down my leg. The way ya squeeze my lemon-ah, I'm gonna fall right out of bed "! Fortunately for them, the league for women's right was not yet in place. Otherwise, I guess that would have suffered another trial ! Back to the rocking side for the end of this great track.

"Thank You" is the only quiet song here. A bit in the vain of "Your Time Is Gonna Come" but better, less mellowish. It also features a very good and rhythmic section. IMO, one of the two average tracks of the album.

"Heartbreaker" is one of the hardiest song they will ever write. Hard-rocking all the way through. Misogynous lyrics (to keep the image building) : it will feature one of the most furious Page's studio guitar solo. About it, Jimmy said : "The interesting thing about the solo is that it was recorded after we had already finished "Heartbreaker". It was an afterthought. That whole section was recorded in a different studio and it was sort of slotted in the middle. If you notice, the whole sound of the guitar is different.". It is just brilliant.

Everyone knows the linking with "Livin' Lovin' (She's Just A Woman)". Fans are missing this on compilation efforts. Not hearing the intro for "Livin'..." after the last word of "Heartbreaker" : "Heartbreaker, Heartbreaker, Heart! ... "With a purple umbrella and a fifty cent hat, Livin', lovin', she's just a woman". Weird ! This is another MCP (male chauvinist pig) song : "When your conscience hits you, knock it back with pills..." Explicit enough. Hard-rocking as hell, it is another great song featured. It was the B- side for "A Whole Lotta Love". This single was my entry to the band in December 1970. What a gigantic single (both sides) ! How many (more) times did I (will I) listened to it ? Countless !

"Ramble On" is another variation of "What Is...". It refers to The Lord Of The Rings (Mordor, Golum and the evil one). Very surprisingly, Led Zep will never play this song live. Plant will include this track during his solo tours in the early 1990's and it will be featured in almost all the shows of the Page/Plant world tour (98/99). It was one of the many highlights of these concerts (to which I was so lucky to attend in December 1998 in Ghent, Belgium). The shift between a nice and gentle song (even spacey at times) and a wild and vigorous rock one is remarkable. One of the best number on this album.

"Moby Dick" is of course not the greatest song from Led Zep. It has a great guitar intro (over a minute) that leads to a drum solo. It was not frequent (and still isn't today) to have a drum solo on a studio album (Tull had done this with "Darma For One" on "This Was" as soon as 1968). More than anything it will be a pretext for a great drumming experience during their live gigs. And I can tell you, it was quite an experience...

"Bring It on Home" is made of two parts. First one sounds like the Williamson's blues original (1963), Plant singing through a harmonica microphone and amplifier. The second part is again a wild hard/heavy song like only Led Zep could produced in 1969. A great way to close this excellent album.

Zillions of fans will embrace Led Zep music from then on. It will be the first of a long list of Nr. one on both sides of the Atlantic. This album is legendary. It will open musical directions unknown so far and therefore I rate it five stars. Not for any prog-relation of any kind because there is none, just because it was a pivotal album in hard/heavy rock music and I whole lotta love it.


Review by clarke2001
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars

Led Zeppelin's second is an album with two faces; it could be observed as a step down from the debut, and as a progress from the debut. It's a bit more diverse, but a bit more unfocused too. The sound is not homogeneous and condensed as on the debut (but it's very condensed nonetheless), but the musicians made one step forward and evolved. It comprises more showmanship and indulgence, but it's more intimate and sentimental ("Thank You" vs. "Bring It On Home").

It's just a little bit less straightforward blues-wise. Fine.

Some of the lyrics are just plain stupid. Some of the solos are breathtaking (they were breathtaking on the debut too, but in another way).

John Paul's contribution is more evident; somewhere inside this boogie-blues-hard rock monster you can bump into the traces of jazz.

Bonzo's solo effort is irrelevant and boring. Everything else isn't.

It's really difficult for me to pick my favourite track here, they're all charming. Even the "Moby Dick", containing a boring drum solo is got very catchy blues riff.

Somehow, LED ZEPPELIN managed to found hard rock, be loud and raw, while remaining mellow, sentimental at the same time. In my case, that was a perfect recipe for getting hooked forever.

This is art rock.

Review by Eetu Pellonpaa
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars As for a basic rock'n'roll album this is probably a quite good and a real classic record, but somehow I don't find inspiration to listen through it anymore, the tapes being stretched as out of tune and uninteresting in the old car cassette player. During the years I have found some other groups approaching blues in my opinion more interesting way, and my own antipathy towards the singer's style has grown with time. The opener "Whole Lotta Love" has a funny slightly psychedelic middle part, where I believe the band members are trying to open a champagne bottle and not succeeding in it. "What is and What Should Never Be" is a quite good song with slower and more powerful parts discussing interestingly, and it's the best track here for me with the romantic "Thank You" (I'm open to some syrup ballads). In addition of the other rocker rants "Moby Dick" is a worthy to mention, as it's a drum solo song in style of Cream's "Toad", failing to bring anything new to this concept however and Bonzo losing in my opinion clearly to Ginger (on all levels). Deep Purple also gave this kind of treatment in 1970's for their version of "Paint It Black", I guess it was kind of an infection going on during those days. However, the album should be recommended for all fans of classic bluesy 1960's rock'n'roll.
Review by Atavachron
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Written in pieces while on the road and recorded here and there between gigs, Led Zeppelin's second studio LP arrived innocently in 1969 on the heels of their smashing debut. It was a surprise follow-up punch and ended up raising the bar considerably, forever changing the expectations of a modern rock band. Nicknamed the 'Brown Bomber', Led Zeppelin ll showed a new mastery of studio sound and impact, a coming together of the bold spirit of the 60s with the discipline of working musicians led by a seasoned veteran who knew exactly what he wanted and how to achieve it. It also may be the single most influential album in rock history.

A nervous cough from Robert Plant and a riff that would forevermore provide the blueprint for guitar rock starts 'Whole Lotta Love' with its nimble staccato, spectacular nu-psych jam, great band dynamics and a thrilling lead break from Mr. Page. Warm in tone but meticulous in production, this was a music not heard before, finished with sonic depth and texture others only dreamed of. A hard cut to follow but 'What is and What Should Never Be' delivers and shows the light-to-heavy contrasts this act was capable of. 'The Lemon Song' is a tongue-in-cheek homage to American bluesmen with plenty of crude innuendo, some crispy guitar work and tons of feeling, and 'Thank You' finishes the legendary first half of the album as a touching love song. The mercury is maintained on the the second half for 'Heatbreaker'/ 'Living Loving Maid', and 'Ramble On' remains one of the most perfect mixes of heavy rock with an acoustic backbone, and shows Plant's astounding vocal elasticity. John Bonham's talents are platformed on 'Moby Dick', a drum solo that, on certain nights, was expanded to nearly a half hour, and 'Bring It On Home' is railroad blues raised to glory.

Seminal, explosive, no wasted time or energy, this masterwork remains a rock 'n roll cornerstone... a perfect statement unimprovable by God or man.

Review by russellk
2 stars Fuzz-heavy blues standards that ultimately leave me as the listener unsatisfied.

This album has little of the raw spontenaity of their first. Moreover, it perpetuates the musical theft of the first: the band had to settle with Wille Dixon and Howlin' Wolf after acknowledging they had 'lifted' significant intellectual property from these blues pioneers. Sorry, but this sticks in my craw. I've watched bands like DREAM THEATER being accused of plagiarism when they do no more than 'sound like' other bands. LED ZEPPELIN'S crime was the greater - they stole from others and claimed the resultant original sound as their own.

That said, this album does contain some brilliant moments. 'Heartbreaker's guitar solo is a classic, and 'Ramble On' is a blueprint for the folk-fantasy territory LED ZEPPELIN was about to explore. 'The Lemon Song' is a nice package of saucy blues. However, I've always been unimpressed by 'Whole Lotta Love', from the smutty lyrics to the brazen licks and the curious 'freak-out' mid section. The single best thing about this album is the first sign that the rest of the band are about to flex their muscles: PLANT, BONHAM and JONES are coming out from PAGE'S thin shadow.

As for progressive conent, there is little of the progressive sensibility here that would infuse and eventually overwhelm the band. Those steeped in progressive rock will be underwhelmed by what's happeing on this album. LED ZEPPELIN II and it's older brother are antecedents for hard rock, not progressive rock. In my view, this is an album that should be listened to by afficianados of modern music, but need not be approached by a progressive rock fan.

Review by Prog-jester
3 stars LED ZEPPELIN “II” 3

The “II”, written and recorded in hotel rooms and hired studios during first never-ending tours, shows LZ at their most nervous. The same way rough and unsophisticated as a preceding one, “II” has more hits and the fact that it has been released just 9 months after debut only strengthened LZ’s position as new rock’n’roll Messiahs. “Abbey Road” by BEATLES? Who are they? Nope, the next generation votes for LZ!!! “Whole Lotta Love” (later covered even by Tina Turner!) that shocked Vietnam, emotional “Thank You” (with Hendrix-stolen chord progression), standards again (like “Bring it on Home” and standard-based “The Lemon Song” with provocative lyrics), Bonham shining in “Moby Dick”, tribute to Tolkien in “Ramble On” and heavy brilliants like “Heartbreaker”, “Living Loving Maid” and “What is..”. How far they were from sophistication of later albums, from thoughtful lyrics, from concept Hypnosis artwork, from structured epics with complex time signatures…ZEPs were young and insatiable, they were ROCKING, and God (no, not Robert ;) ) knows, they WERE the best at those times.

Best track: “Whole Lotta Love”, “Heartbreaker”, “Thank You”

Review by Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars I'm in with the sprinkling of reviewers who see this as one of the weaker Zep titles, in fact it is in my view their worst offering of the relevant Zeppelin period (through Presence.) Not only did I think this back in my youth when I lived and breathed Zeppelin, but I feel of all their classic albums it has held up the least well.

I have always been bored to death by Whole Lotta Love, Heartbreaker/Living Loving Maid, and Moby Dick. I cringe when I hear that stuff on the radio. They are repetitive and really unremarkable songs compared to the highlights of 1, 3, and 4. Next you have a slew of slightly better but still average tracks in WIAWSNB, Lemon Song, and Bring it on Home. Jones and Bonham steal the show throughout but very much so on Lemon Song where their rhythm section is perfect. You are left with two good (not great) songs. Thank You is a sincere sounding departure for Plant that holds up well as a love song, and Ramble On features some great moments by Jones as he effortlessly plays bass like a lead instrument rather than a rhythm one. David mentioned the album was written and recorded in hotel rooms and here and there on the road while touring and I think in retrospect you can hear that in the music. While they are trying their best to "get it up" here and project the new Zeppelin image I can hear a certain tiredness in the material compared to the immediacy of the first album. The break to the country would help much as the material on 3 and 4 would sound much more alive, fresher, and infinitely more interesting than this.

Recommended only to Zeppelin fans I'm afraid, and even there, new fans should make this the last one they purchase from the titles through Presence.

Review by The Whistler
4 stars First things first...that's the best album cover they ever had. No, seriously, the creepy photo of the lads in WWI gear? Sweat.

Ah, but what about the album? Well...I likes it. I likes it a bit. Not quite as good as the first one, but I hardly notice the difference most of the time. Of course, I've never had a problem with heavy blooz. If you like dem blooz, then you will adore this album. Of course, if you're more in for the cheery pop feel...well, den you picked up the wrong album, boy.

"Whole Lotta Love" is clearly the best track on the album. Hell, it's ALMOST as good as "Dazed!" All-right. A riff that's so dumb it's cool, all those little sounds effects and, uh, "sounds of joy" springing up everywhere, the neat percussion. Oh, plus, some really great, rapid-fire blues licks too. Some of Page's best crap. Real "deep" lyrics too. Heh...

"What is and What Should Never Be" starts out like a ballad, very gentle, very pleasant. But then, the headbanging begins. And it's actually good. Cool guitar, and I don't even mind Robbie's improv as it fades. "The Lemon Song" is just a basic blues workout, so the melody is good, if not remarkable. However, the band gels flawlessly; Page wails, Jones thumps (GREAT thumps too), Bonzo keeps brilliant time. Hell, even Plant's vocals are good.

The instrumentation to "Thank You" is pretty good, the organ is good for atmosphere (although does it HAVE to go on so long at the end, and then come back?). But the melody isn't quite as good, and the lyrics, uh, leave a bit to be desired. Nice acoustic guitar though. Wait, who said "sissy folk crap?" "Heartbreaker" ought to cure you of that. A nice, layered riff, combined with some more headbanging blues. The solo ain't no great shake, just stick with those loud blast of METAL that jump out during the verses. And that riff.

That flows right into "Living Loving Maid (She's Just a Woman)," which is, oddly enough, a piece of heavy boogie-woogie. And I actually like it a bit. "Take a ride on the roundabout." So THAT'S where Yes got it from... Heh. Sorry. Couldn't resist another stab at the Yessers. "Ramble On" is a somewhat interesting number. It's got a folksy sort of intro, but the chorus is booming. And I kind of like the lil' vocals that spill from every which way.

Now "Moby Dick" is actually the most disappointing song on the album. I mean, I KNEW it was gonna be a drum solo, but this is Bonzo we're talking about! I expected an attack! Instead, all I get is this boring drum noodling. But it's not really rhythmic either; it starts that way, but it quickly dissolves to...drum atmospherics? I guess someone must like this. I mean, if it were just "look how hard I can hit the kit," I could at least admire the technique, but it's just...nothing. Well, at least it's not THAT long. And a cool riff too. Well, kinda cool.

Anyway, "Bring it on Home" starts right up to finish off the album. Robbie's vocals are kind of slurred; I think he was singing through the harmonica. I also think he was trying to sound black...oh, wait! Train reference! Yep. One more heavy blues. The guitar is distorted as well. Decent closer. No where near the opener, of course.

So this album basically showcases the Zep at some of its headbanging best, if, as I said, you're in for the heavy blues haul. And I don't mind that one bit. I also said it's just a bit of a step down from the first album; that's because the tunes are a little less memorable as a whole, but the whole thing just flows so damn well, I can't help but give it the same rating.

The lyrics are sort of interesting, because they seem to be an attempt to marry blues ethics with medieval pretensions ("What is and Never Should Be," "Living Loving Maid." "Ramble On." OH, how it's on that one, "OH! BABY BABE, GOLLUM, HE STO-O-OLE MAH WOMAN!"). Of course, there's also about a billion more "babybabybabes" here too. So, ugh, let's leave the lyrics in the dust, and focus on the riffs instead.

Yeah, the riffs man. This has got to be one of the Zep's most riff-heavy albums (er, GOOD riff-heavy albums) ever. Page must have really been digesting a lot of Black Sabbath's latest stuff...that, uh, wouldn't come out for another year or so...

Anyway, I just really, really, REALLY need to stress this one more time. If you like the Zepsters boozy 'n bloozy, then you'll need this album. If you like 'em shrouded 'n mystical, you'll probably want this album. If you like 'em hoppy 'n poppy, then which Led Zeppelin are YOU listening to? Send me an album, might be interesting.

Review by Sinusoid
3 stars I once thought of LED ZEPPELIN II as a grower type of album, and I once thought it was a more than sufficient prog-related album. I don't hold either of those opinions these days as I feel that radio over-exposure caused me to lose interest in the band. ''Whole Lotta Love'' and ''Heartbreaker'' are two of the most well known tunes and I can't get into either of them anymore. Weird.

I'd still give this at max 3.5 stars, but since we're on a prog website, there isn't a lot of prog here...mostly bluesy-rock tunes. ''Ramble On'' has possibly the closest prog connection with that great bass performance from Jonesy. The kicker though, I find the lyrics to be a tad silly. Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of great, ''rocking'' tunes, but the appeal here is short-lived only if you've never been a keen Led Zeppelin fan.

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator

Led Zeppelin II is as the name suggests the second studio album from british rock legends Led Zeppelin. The first Led Zeppelin album is a classic rock album and this second album from the band is equally as great IMO.

The music is still bluesy hard rock and songs like Whole Lotta Love and Heartbreaker features some of the most memorable hard rock riffs in history. Even though the style on the album is generally pretty simple blues based rock, songs like What Is And What Should Never Be, Thank You and Ramble On have elements from other genres as well. Ramble On even has folky elements that shows the way Led Zeppelin would go on their next album. The lyrics are also very simple man love woman kind of lyrics but in Whole Lotta Love we´re presented with some pretty suggestive lines that must have been pretty provocative in 1969. Lines like: Let Me Give You Every Inch of My Love and I wanna be your backdoor Man does provoke some pretty sexual explicit images in my mind. That Robert Plant makes orgasm like sounds in the middle sections of the song doesn´t really make those images go away. we see this everyday on MTV but back then it must have been quite a new experience.

The musicianship is deliberately sloppy or maybe Led Zeppelin didn´t have much time in the studio because I count several errors on the album. But that´s what makes it such a great album. It feels so alive and fresh.

The production is very raw and I must admit that I prefer the sound on the debut.

There are almost no progressive ideas on this album and it´s generally a bluesy hard rock album, but the noisy orgasm middle section in Whole Lotta Love and the annoying drum solo in the instrumental Moby Dick could, if I stretch count for progressive behaviour. In this case it doesn´t really matter how progressive the album is though. What´s important here is that it´s a great album that fully deserves 4 stars.

Review by Nightfly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Hot on the heels of their debut Led Zeppelin quickly released (as was the way in those days) their much anticipated second album in October 1969. It turned out to be an enormous success and featured at least 2 classics. Featuring much the same elements as their debut, though with more finesse. There are the heavy riffs, much borrowing from the blues, the folk elements and the light and shade dynamics prevalent on tracks such as Babe I'm Gonna Leave You on their first album.

Can there be anyone out there who's not heard Whole Lotta Love? It's an outright Zeppelin classic with one of Jimmy Page's best and most recognisable riffs. Simple but powerful it must have spawned a million heavy metal bands. But of course there's more.. Who can forget the memorable spacey middle section driven along by John Bonhams cymbal work with all sorts of sound effects thrown in and Robert Plant screaming over the top.

What Is and What Should Never Be is the band in more chilled out mode, at least to begin with. Lightly strummed chords from Page, Bonham playing rimshots give way to a powerful full on chorus. It features an excellent Page solo too with some nice slide work.

The Lemon Song is a blues piece borrowing heavily from Chester Burnett's (Howlin Wolf) Killing Floor. It moves along at mid pace before exploding into an up tempo instrumental section. Not one of my favourite tracks on the album, wandering along a bit aimlessly at times.

Much better is Thank You, a truly lovely song, lyrics written by Plant for his wife. It's a fairly mellow track with some tasteful Hammond Organ from John Paul Jones and page turning to a twelve string some of the time and Bonham's drums absent during the verse.

Heartbreaker is another classic Zeppelin rocker with another killer riff from Page. A great and powerful vocal performance from Plant too. It's in the main mid paced, until the incendiary instrumental section with a blistering Page guitar solo.

Livin' Lovin' Maid is less satisfying being a bit lightweight and even considered by the band themselves as a bit of a throwaway track. However it is one of their more commercial tracks making it accessible to people who in the main probably don't enjoy heavy rock very much.

Ramble on is absolutely brilliant and one of my favourite tracks on the album. Another excellent Plant vocal, it has an acoustic guitar dominated verse, Bonham keeping time on a tabla before exploding into a powerful chorus. Overall simply a great tune.

Moby Dick is the worst track here. Don't get me wrong, I think Bonham is a fantastic drummer but this drum solo is just plain dull, particularly on the part where he plays with his hands, displaying little of the technique the guy possessed. For a great and more representative Bonham solo check out his performance on the self titled 2003 Zeppelin DVD. The one redeeming feature here is it does have a pretty good Page riff before the solo starts.

The album does go out on a high though with Bring It On Home written by Sonny Boy Williamson. It starts as a restrained blues before exploding into another killer Page riff and an overall great band performance.

You won't find much Prog here, if any, but there's no doubting that Led Zeppelin II is a great rock album, just not quite making that classic status in my eyes, containing a few weaker tracks but the sheer strength of the good material making it an essential part of any rock fans collection.

Review by The Crow
4 stars After the very blues based "Led Zeppelin I", the and managed ro release an almost pefect album, full with songs that are now true rock classics!

This is an album that can be heard from beginning to end without losing a simple inch of interest... So good it is! From the hard rocking start with Whole Lotta Love (with one of the first authentic hard rock riffs in the musical history) from the catchy What Is and What Should Never Be, the funky The Lemon Song, the beautiful Thank You with its wonderful solo... Every song in this album is just great!

The band was in top form, with very clear ideas in mind, and every member has the perfect dosis of protagonism... John Bonham gives a lesson in Moby Dick, John Paul Jones leads The Lemon Song (offering one of the first examples of mixing between hard rock and funky), Robert Plant experiments with samplers of his voice in Whole Lotta Love... And Jimmy Page is just a master! His variated guitar style and his hard riffs were varly imitated through the 70's after songs like Heartbreaker!

Best tracks: I consider every song of the album a classic.

Conclusion: this second Led Zeppelin's effort is less blues oriented than their debut, and it explores more deeply in the young hard rock style, wich Led Zeppelin really helped to give form with their first two albums... But of course, the experimental side of the band is still here, and although this album is more accesible and friendly than most of their other works, it can also be really interesting to the 60's psychedelic and the 70's prog lovers. So make yourself a favour... Give "Led Zeppeling II" another spin!

My rating: ****1/2

Review by Negoba
4 stars Way Down Inside?You Need It

Led Zeppelin II is such a famous album that many of us know it by heart from the first insistent E chord. The familiarity that goes with this, the prototypical Zep record, makes it easy to forget just how astounding it was. Despite its enormous weight, the band did indeed fly, and on their second album the band goes beyond the New Yardbirds numbers and covers to establish themselves as the band that would become the biggest juggernaut in rock after the dissolution of the Beatles.

So often when Zeppelin is discussed, phrases like "the originators of Heavy Metal" get tossed around. To be certain, this album introduces some colossal riffage. However, the famous "Whole Lotta Love" and "The Lemon Song" riffs are still just 60's blues rock cranked louder and rawer. But with "Heartbreaker," we get something a little new. The winding line is still blues based to be sure, but rather than an ornament to the chords, the riff here is an end in and of itself. In addition, the signature riff-based, heavily distorted guitar, plenty of soloing, bombastic drums, and high-voiced front man all became the template for the next decades' music.

The magic of Led Zeppelin, especially as time passes, was not in their heaviness. This was already eclipsed by contemporaries Black Sabbath and would be exploited to every possible variation over time. What Zep did better than anyone, at least in the studio, was combine multiple textures into a sonic experience that still has not been matched. A song like "Ramble On" is a syncopated, multi-layered feast that's lasting moments are the loping bass and the Tolkien-inspired nonsensical lyrics. These lighter shades including the classics "Thank You" and "What is and What Should Never Be" are what made the heavier elements work so well. "Whole Lotta Love," which begins with a riff so simple that it is one of the first guitarists learn, evolves into a psychedelic trip producible only by the expertise of one of the best studio guitarists the rock world has ever seen. By the time the album finishes with the lazy cover of "Bring It on Home," the listener has been on a broad musical journey that can be repeated time and again without boredom.

This is by no means a prog album, but it did stretch the scope of how a rock album could sound, perhaps like no others at the time. This album was released in 1969, where very little of what we call true prog even existed. However, this is a masterpiece of rock n' roll, without any doubt whatsoever. To me, it is the second most essential Zep album, and should have a place in every rock collection. Its importance in a prog collection is a bit more secondary, as the band itself was more important than any particular album. It's a little difficult to choose the correct rating for this site so I'm going to stick to 4 for now.

Review by Rune2000
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Led Zeppelin II is a good album but it can't be compared to the first release.

Released in the same year as Led Zeppelin I the second album was supposed to push the envelope even further, instead it actually took a step backwards thanks to the country influences and much weaker songwriting.

If there was anything that Led Zeppelin was capable of then it would be the ability of providing excellent album opening numbers. Whole Lotta Love doesn't disappoint in that department and the band had often built their live sets around this number. For instance The Song Remains The Same features it as the closing track. Still, once the song is over the rest of the album looses my attention in just a few minutes. I'm not a big blues fan and that's why some of the songs have almost no appeal to me. Originally I felt quite disappointed with this album because, to my ears, it sounded as if the band was afraid to progress in the new undiscovered territory that they unveiled with their ground breaking debut. But as time passes by I do enjoy it more with every year that passes although it will take quite a few more years before I will consider it an excellent addition to any rock music collection.

***** star songs: Whole Lotta Love (5:34)

**** star songs: What Is And What Should Never Be (4:46) Heartbreaker (4:14) Living Loving Maid (She's Just A Woman) (2:38) Ramble On (4:24) Moby Dick (4:21)

*** star songs: The Lemon Song (6:18) Thank You (4:47) Bring It On Home (4:21)

Total Rating: 3,76

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Led Zeppelin II was released in the same year as the debut and I can't shake off the impression that it came too soon after that ground-breaking blast of an album. While II is a mostly pleasant blues rock album, there's little that rises above average, and the band never reaches a comparable level of intensity in their performance.

Whole Lotta Love has a real killer riff, one of the best known of rock history, but seriously overplayed. I also never heard much in the psychedelic middle section. The three tracks that follow are ok but nothing special and sure imply a diminished inspiration. Heartbreaker is better, if only for the heavily distorted bass work of John Paul Jones.

I didn't start this review expecting to end up with a 2 star rating but upon hearing this album for the first time since a few years I can't find any song that enthuses me here. Except for Ramble On. That sure is an exceptional song and one of the few innovating moments on the album. The folksy acoustic guitars would be further explored on the next two albums and the tasty lead guitar bit around minute 2 is strikingly spacey. But just one exceptional song doesn't make a good album, and no matter how astounding Jason Bonham is on drums, his drum solo spot on Moby Dick is shockingly boring. The smoky blues harmonica song at the end is ok.

2.5 stars. A bit low maybe but weighed against the debut it is indeed not even half as good. Measure up to the rest of Zeppelin's discography, it's sure amongst my least favoured albums. Only Houses of the Holy might be met with a similar dissatisfaction.

Review by thehallway
5 stars Led Zeppelin's second offering leans more towards hard-edged riff-rock than the first. The blues is still there though and it's better than ever. Plus, we see a [slight] improvement in Plant's songwriting skills, and playing from Page, Bonham and Jones that easily tops Led Zeppelin I.

About half the album is built around ballsy rock tunes which despite being simple and accessible, are often developed in a (dare I say) progressive-like way. For example, we have the famous "noisy" section in the middle of 'Whole Lotta Love', where orgasmic screams and overdriven sound effects demonstrate the wonders of stereo. Not to mention two free-time solos: an impressive guitar break on 'Heartbreaker', and a lengthy drum workout from Bonham on 'Moby Dick'. While these may seem a little patronising, because they are, there are warmer moments to look forward to. Jones really grooves on 'The Lemon Song' with his totally improvised bass lines, and offers his next installment of hammond organ pop with the pleasant 'Thank You'. 'Ramble On' is the sole acoustic track, which isn't acoustic for long. And 'What Is But What Should Never Be' is very cool, almost jazzy, with a quirky coda.

These songs aren't a radical change in direction, but display Led Zeppelin expanding their repetiore and fanbase effectively and delivering some cracking tunes. This is a good solid rock album with plenty of groove, minimal filler, and the occasional crazy moment to keep the listener interested. The 'Brown Bomber' most definately stands the test of time!

Review by tarkus1980
4 stars I HATE THE PRODUCTION ON THIS ALBUM. Whereas a large chunk of my love for the debut was based in how awesome it sounded, the way it was so much heavier than anything else to that point but still didn't excessively overwhelm the listener with that fact, a large chunk of my relative dislike (relative, mind you; I am still giving it a rating of "very good") of this album comes from the fact that I can barely listen to this without getting a headache. Apparently, this was recorded while the guys were on tour, and the result is that the mix is very raw and very heavy on the low end. Everything on the album, even the relatively "light" acoustic-based numbers, is saturated by screeching guitar sounds, basslines too high in the mix, drums trying to wake the dead, and wailing cock-rock vocals that (imo) sound ever so slightly worse and more obnoxious than they did on the debut. For a metalhead, this may sound like heaven; for me, there's just a little too much grit here for my tastes.

As an aside, though, while the bass sound may hurt my ears on the whole, the great irony is that the actual basslines on this album are not only my favorites on the whole in the Zep catalogue, they also put this album into my imaginary "top 3 bass guitar albums I've ever heard" list (along with Quadrophenia and Fragile). There's really an incredible mix of power and grace to be found throughout here, and if it's true what I've been told that budding bassists tend to swear by this album, then more power to them.

So anyway, on this album, Led Zeppelin stretches out its songwriting chops far more than on the first one, with more "complete" originals here than before, and this yields mostly positive results. That is, with one major exception; the headsmashingly awful (and I don't think I'll ever change my mind on this) ballad "Thank You." Now, granted, one major clunker on the second album isn't something to be completely ashamed of; on their second album, for instance, the Rolling Stones were still writing boring pieces of slop like "Congratulations" and "Good Times, Bad Times" (absolutely no relation to Zeppelin's). But still, man, this is bad on every level, from the unengaging strumming melody Page comes up with (compare this with what he had to work with on "Babe I'm Gonna Leave You") to the incredibly primitive lyrics ("happiness, no more be sad, happiness, I'm glad") to the fact that the very notion of a sweet ballad written by Robbie to his wife in 1969 while he was on the road and Zeppelin was the biggest band in the world is utterly laughable. As far as I'm concerned, this is the father of every half-assed semi-acoustic ballad that future metal bands would write to try and fool their audiences into thinking they have a "tender" side, and it's hard for me to not hate the song because of that.

The other original material is mostly fine, though, and that even includes the ballads. What is and "What Should Never be" is an extremely lovely number (with a terrific bassline serving as the best feature) that features a lovely Plant delivery and a GORGEOUS quiet Page solo. Of course, it also includes a bunch of "rocking" passages with Robbie screaming his head off that kinda spoil the impression a little, but only a little a bit. "Ramble On" is in much the same vein (and in fact its main feature is also a cute bassline mixed very high), with Plant's obsession with Tolkien coming out more explicitly, but it's still a nice little number, even if Plant starts getting on my nerves near the end.

The most famous and important parts of the album, though, are the three heaviest originals. First, there's the infamous "Whole Lotta Love" (some of the lyrics are stolen from yet another Willie Dixon number; poor Willie), which has one of the most killer riffs Page would ever come up with, and booming drumming and powerful bass to go along with it. Oh, and that midsection of guitar squeals and erratic drums and Plant moans and wails that simulates a male orgasm. Sheesh. Whatever, the guitar solo that comes right after it is terrific, and the closeout section is fine, though I do kinda wish Robbie would shut up after a while (this desire re: Robbie is a common theme with me, so get used to it). It's a well- deserved classic, whatever may be.

The other two heavy originals come at the beginning of side 2, in the form of "Heartbreaker" and "Living Loving Maid." "Heartbreaker" may seem kinda dumb at first, but that simple riff, pounded out by Page and Jones in unison, will just eat into your soul whether you want it to or not, and even Plant sounds fine here (it's basically a harder blues-rock piece, and Plant treats it accordingly). The chaotic wanky guitar solo isn't amazing (I mean, I like sloppiness in small doses, but this is kinda ridiculous), but the band jamming coming out of the midsection is great, so I don't mind too much. And then, thanks to a bad end edit that practically requires classic rock radio to always play these songs back to back (I have never ever heard the one played without the other), we immediately break into "Living Loving Maid," a nice piece of up-tempo funk rock. It's dumb, yes, but dumb in a "Communication Breakdown" sort of way, so I like it.

The remaining three tracks fall into the "reworked blues" category, and my feelings are divergent on them. I'm fairly ambivalent in how I regard the closing "Bring it On Home," but the second half does at least half a nice enough riff (as the band morphs from the weird blues cover in the first half of the song into all out 60's metal mode), so I don't exactly dislike it. It just seems ... I dunno, kinda unnecessary after everything else. Anyway, I love "The Lemon Song," which is sort of a hodgepodge of elements from a bunch of the blues numbers they were performing on stage (Howlin' Wolf's "Killing Floor" is especially prominent), and while I get tired of hearing Robbie's incessant "Squeeze my lemon" pleas on The BBC Sessions, it tends to work fine here. And boy do I ever love the basswork in this track.

"Moby Dick," however, is a drum solo, and something I could live completely without. The riff is taken from an old blues standard ("The Girl I Love She Got Long Wavy Black Hair," later found on BBC), and the structure of the piece is not only taken (almost completely) from Ginger Baker's solo "Toad," it's nowhere near as interesting either. I know that lots of drummers adore solos like this, but that's just further proof that metal drummers and I are living in totally different universes. The quality of a drummer, as far as I'm concerned, is manifested in the kind of rhythm provided when the rest of the band is playing; it has nothing to do with the amount of noise one can make while playing by oneself.

So what of it all? The truth is, I like most of the songs on here individually, and there's a small number that I love. But when I take into account the couple of songs I hate, the fact that all the rockers have that same head-splitting guitar sound and loud drumming, that even the ballads are somewhat spoiled by that sound, and that Robbie sounds way worse to my ears here than he did on I, there's no question that this has to get a noticably lower rating. Taken as individual songs, I might be able to call this a high **** instead of a low ****; as is, as a whole album, there's no way I can give this a higher score.

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
4 stars With their second album, appropriately titled II, Led Zeppelin took a major step away from blues rock, and toward the inventive hard rock they would be famous for. The only straight (and very good, by the way) blues number is The Lemon Song.

Every song on this one is a winner, albeit barely progressive. Whole Lotta Love is probably the most proglike on the album. With it's now familiar and classic headbanging heavy metal (in it's time) verses and chorus, and Pink Floyd-like psychedelic interlude, this song was a staple of FM radio for years, even after corporate trolls took over the industry.

What Is And What Should Never Be is another great song, A changing tempo between the mellow verses and heavy chorus makes this an exciting number. Another standout is the combination of Heartbreaker and Living Loving Maid. While the songs don't quite flow from one to the other, the extremely short gap between the tracks caused DJs to usually play them both together, forever linking them in most people's minds.

Let's just say I played the album to death back in the seventies. A great album, that only loses a star for it's lack of prog.

Review by Conor Fynes
3 stars 'Led Zeppelin II' - Led Zeppelin (6/10)

Having exploded onto the rock music scene with their 1969 self-titled debut, Led Zeppelin returns the very same year to give their fans more of the same. Although panned by critics at the time of it's release for merely sounding like 'British kids wanting to sound like American bluesmen,' Led Zeppelin's sophomore is some of the heaviest rock of the period and a pleasant addition to their career, although the critics may have been to some extent, correct.

Most people who indulge in the fancies of FM radio should be able to recognize a few of these tunes right off the bat; tracks like the hit 'Whole Lotta Love' are played constantly on rock stations, and for good reason. Many of the songs here have instant hit appeal in terms of being very solid pieces of classic rock. While there is songwriting and melody here (both aspects that pop listeners can't get enough of,) the execution of the music is very crunchy, and hints at early signs of heavy metal.

While each song is memorable and the album is a 'classic' in the sense that it has lasted this long and still maintains a loyal fandom, a big problem is how much Led Zeppelin derives from typical blues here. There is certainly an amendment to how heavy things are, but it's easy to tell why critics really did not think highly of the album at the time. There's no denying that Led Zeppelin shows promise and talent here, but there isn't that added depth in the music that would make for a really excellent listening experience. Most of the songs revolve around sex, love, or some abstract combination of the two, and there is very little open interpretation lended to the lyrics (it is quite clear what Robert Plant is referring to when he asks his female counterpart to 'squeeze his lemon').

Thankfully however, the music itself is alot more enjoyable than the lyrics it drives. Despite having almost no development over their first album and a sound that is overtly derivative, 'Led Zeppelin II' is essential for any fan of the band, and a pretty good album in it's own right.

Review by Prog Leviathan
3 stars Led Zeppelin may always be one of the most crowd pleasing hard rock bands ever, and Led Zeppelin II may just be their most crowd pleasing album. Hugely influential, this album is simple, raw, riffing, rock-n-roll elegance-- plus it has more Robert Plant "baby, baby, babies" than just about any other album in their catalog.

The iconic songs of this album-- "Whole Lotta Love", "Heartbreaker", "Ramble On", are heavy and saturated with fuzzy blues that will make anyone who likes anything about rock music groove. The folksy ballads add a nice touch, but the thing most will remember from Zep II is the energy and style the band pushed to the forefront with this album. To me, Zeppelin tunes are so ubiquitous that they invariably drift into the background; there isn't much here to demand one's attention beyond the occasional bit of sonic experimentation. These songs are great-- they wouldn't be a part of our rock-n-roll heritage if they weren't-- but there's only so much artistic merit one can squeeze from Robert Plant's wails and Jimmy Page's riffing.

A great album to play at a party or scream along to when on the highway, and while unforgettable it is immediately ignorable.

Songwriting: 2 Instrumental Performances: 3 Lyrics/Vocals: 3 Style/Emotion/Replay: 4

Review by Warthur
3 stars The second Zeppelin album sees the band still rooted in their Blues inspirations - the opening to Bring It On Home is a straight cover of the original before the rock kicks in - and they haven't really advanced their sound a whole lot since the first one, bar that the songs seem to embrace straight up rock a bit more and break out the blues a bit less. In particular, Jimmy Page's guitar sound still hasn't quite hit its peak, and isn't really very metallic - you can hear crunchier, more muscular, more classically metallic guitar playing on the Stooges' first album, which was recorded a bit before this one. And Moby Dick would be a much tighter song without Bonham's unnecessary, overlong and uninspired drum solo. But still, Whole Lotta Love is a whole lotta fun. Three stars.
Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Whole Lotta Prog!

Following in the successful slipstream created by their knockout debut, the Zeppelin moved onto a bonafide classic in the same year. 1969 is arguably where prog began in earnest and albums like this certainly helped to boost music onto a different plane of existence. Plant, Page, Jones and Bonham are in fine form and created absolute genius trademark songs, that have in themselves become legendary.

The opener is the riff every guitarist envied at the time. Whole Lotta Love begins with the killer riffing machine of Page that feels dark and dirty but absolutely unforgettable. "You need coolin'" sings Plant in his falsetto and therein history is made. Emulated, copied, parodied but never bettered, the song is perhaps a quintessential piece of the entire rock era. It even featured original use of song structure in a true progressive vein. It almost seems an obsolete task to try and describe the nuances created in this track but it bares mentioning in order to demonstrate how innovative the band were at the time. The mesmirising riff drives headlong with music strafes using guitar slides. Eventually the sensuous sliding is taken to the lowest point before the music dies and we hear Bonham's hi hat tinkering, a jazz infestation among the hyper bluesscape. There is a brief lead break that never quite fits but has since become part of the entire atmosphere. The song returns to the outstanding riff and verses until once again the music diminishes and there is an uncharacteristic pause, but it is not over. Plant is heard in false reverse echo and then the actual voice answers "Way down inside". Then we hear the echo of another phrase, followed by the actual phrase, "Woman, you need loooooooooooooooooooovvvvvveeeeee." These very weird Plantisms are refreshingly original as Plant screams 'love' from the bottom end up to his highest range. The unearthly reverse echo is now infamous and so rarely used it is almost a benefactor of this one song, a patron of a lost art never created in the first place. This typified the experimentation of the group that were perhaps attempting here to compete with the drug consciousness. Whatever the case, the song stands the test of time as vital to the proto prog scene and rock in general.

Other songs? I will name a few. We have another delightful rocker in the form of Heartbreaker. There is a raucous blast of rock on Ramble On, with Plant shrilly and as impossible to ignore as Page's lead guitar durability. The tough sounds of guitar are a key feature especially on tracks like Bring It On Home and the enduring hypnotic What Is And What Should Never Be. Bonham has his finest moment on the drum showcase Moby Dick, a song that remains a tribute to the late great percussionist.

The blues was always present and Zeppelin borrowed and reinvented the clichés of yesteryear to create a sound that bedazzles on every listen. The exuberant array of songs are now firmly engrained into the rock subconscious but with the album peaking on many top 100 lists. For me, it is simply one of the best examples of music trailing out the end of the 60s.

Review by CCVP
1 stars The perfect blues band for the unaware and disconnected, part 2: this album is even worse than the first

At the stage I am at enthusiastic musical collection, people give it for granted that I am great fans of seminal bands, such as Black Sabbath, The Beatles, The Who, Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, AC/DC and Land Zeppelin, to mention only the foreign bands. They just imagine that just because I know a lot about underground or unknown artists, I know all these by heart and I am also a specialist on every matter regarding these guys; and every time I voice my opinion those people end up either negatively surprised or enraged because I either (mostly) don't care about them (the majority of the band's albums), or profoundly dislike another, being The Beatles the only exception in this lot (because I love them so much).

Even though you may be wondering which are which, allow me to go ahead and say that this review specifically will be dedicated to kick off my hate-infused passion for a British rock group that bears the status of being a legendary entity among many; whose albums are definitely above any and all criticism; whose members are geniuses whose brilliance cannot be even grasped by mere commoners; whose musical production has been, unfortunately, the entrance to older pop music for generations. Yes, believe it or not, I am talking about the famous lot who called themselves Led Zeppelin.

Before I enter in the bashing review proper, a little voyage down memory lane by my part will be necessary for anybody to understand my reasons for giving such a harsh rating for an album that is beloved by many. Well, I've been involved with music since a very tender age and I've played musical instruments since the age of 4. Since an equally young age I have been listening to music on a daily basis and, even though I only started my own music collection in recent years, I have always listened to the discs my parents had, specially the ones from my father. Being born in the early 1950's, and always being a music aficionado, his firsts loves were The Beatles and blues music in general (specially Chicago blues), hence my love for (Chicago) blues and (most of) The Beatles. No Led Zeppelin, however.

After about twenty years of listening to blues, and listening to the many appeals of one of my uncles to urgently fill this musical gap of mine, I bought all six classical Zeppelin albums: from 1 all the way to Physical Graffiti. The experience was both disastrous and traumatizing. I do not feel that there are any huge problems with the recording itself or with how the band played their instruments or with the technical parts of the recording process (tapes, mixing, mastering, etc.). My problem is with the compositions themselves; my problem is not with any of the peripheral elements of this (or in fact, any of their albums), but with the actual content of Led Zeppelin II.

I have seen people dance around the subject of how the production of Led II could have been a lot better or how the guitars or bass or drums could have been improved in some way or even how the songs themselves could have turned out better if they actually stopped touring, sat down and wrote the songs. All of this does not matters for me in any way, because even if the mixing or production was better, even if the songs were a little better . . . Regardless of the other problems, this album, as well as most album by this band, suffer from a dreadful lack of innovation or even originality.

As some have noted before me even in ProgArchives, Jimmy Page, as well as the other members of the Zeppelin, practically plagiarized songs from every artist they liked wile writing their songs. It is actually quite impressive that none of the many blues men (most from the Chicago blues sound) went after the band in search for their due royalties (or at least the studio companies who own or owned at the time the rights songs' rights), specially since Led Zeppelin albums sold like hot bread during the early 70's.

Still, in spite of having no legal problems regarding plagiarism (none that I know of, at least), as a music fan and music consumer I should point this out, in order to avoid people from having the same problem that I had: flushing money down the toilet with albums that are actually worsened versions of the blues masters from the 50's and 60's.

Although much has been taken from other artists and for that there is little originality, it must say that this album is not all bad. After all, if you copy competent people you will eventually have something sounding half good, which is the case: the band's proficient copying managed even to replicate some of the quality from the people they borrowed their ideas, but don't expect much.

Rating and Final Thoughts

At this point, I don't believe there is much to add to what has already been said. If you like (good) blues and have been listening to it for more than a couple of days, it is highly probable that this album (as well as most of Led Zeppelin's discography) will strike you being as boring and superfluous. If you don't, however, you might even enjoy.

Review by VianaProghead
4 stars Review Nº 692

Between the release of the band's eponymous debut album and this one, their second studio album, Led Zeppelin had completed four US and UK tours. So, "Led Zeppelin II", by necessity, was recorded on the road in the States and while it received many tweaks before it reached the shops it still has a live feel that few rock albums have ever come close to.

So, "Led Zeppelin II" is the second studio album of Led Zeppelin that was released in 1969. On it, the group developed the ideas presented on their debut studio album, creating a work which became most acclaimed and influential than its predecessor. With elements of blues and folk music, it also exhibits the band's evolving musical style of blues derived musical material and their guitar riff based sound. Generally, "Led Zeppelin II" is considered the band's heaviest album.

The album's cover shows a sleeve design with a poster based on a photograph of the Jadstaffel 11 Division of the German Air Force during WWI, the famed Flying Circus led by Manfred von Richthofen, the famous Red Baron. The picture was tinted and the faces on the sleeve were airbrushed, including the faces of the four members of the band.

"Led Zeppelin II" has nine tracks. The first track "Whole Lotta Love" written by Willie Dixon, Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones and John Bonham is a song that was released in the United States and Japan as a single. It's a song basically driven by a simple, typical but very effective guitar riff performed by Page. It has in the middle of the song some parts of "Dazed And Confused" taken from their debut album. This is an excellent song that represents for me the highlight of the album. The second track "What Is And What Should Never Be" written by Robert Plant and Jimmy Page is basically a ballad with nice guitar work and great vocal performance. It's a very interesting song, clearly influenced by the blues and with some funny moments in its lyrics. The third track "The Lemon Song" written by Howlin' Wolf, Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones and John Bonham is a typical blues song with a fantastic performance by all band's members. As I wrote before, I never was a great fan of blues but, in this case, I must confess that the musical performance of this song is absolutely brilliant. The fourth track "Thank You" written by Robert Plant and Jimmy Page is a ballad where seems to have been the first Led Zeppelin's song that Plant wrote all the lyrics and is a tribute to his then-wife Maureen. It's a very beautiful song with an excellent guitar performance by Page, a delicate organ played by Jones and where Plant has a nice vocal performance, he sings with all his heart. The fifth track "Heartbreaker" written by Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones and John Bonham is a classic Led Zeppelin's track with a heavy rock tune, great guitar riffs and where Page shows his incredible technique of playing guitar. This track became famous for its memorable guitar riff along with its unaccompanied guitar solo, the best on the album. The sixth track "Living Loving Maid (She's Just A Woman)" written by Robert Plant and Jimmy Page was the song released as the B side of their single "Whole Lotta Love" and, in reality, both songs become part of a whole and are often heard together. It's a short song, very catchy, with a nice guitar riff and good vocal work. The seventh track "Ramble On" written by Robert Plant and Jimmy Page is a song whose lyrics were influenced by "The Lord Of The Rings" by Tolkien. It's a very good based folk song with a fantastic magic acoustic guitar work, a beautiful bass line and an amazing vocal performance. This is one of my favourite songs on the album. The eighth track "Moby Dick" written by Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones and John Bonham is the only instrumental track on the album. It's a typical rock song of the band with a great drum solo in the middle, so typical on the albums from the 70's, on which Bonham also plays the drums with his hands as he did very often in the live versions of the song. The ninth and last track "Bring It On Home" written by Robert Plant and Jimmy Page is a tribute from the band to Sonny Boy Williamson, the first artist to record this song, in 1963. It's another typical blues song that starts calm and nice with Plant singing and playing harmonica, which suddenly changes to a great rock song. This is a song with an amazing second part. This is a great way to close this excellent musical work.

Conclusion: As I wrote before when I reviewed "Houses Of The Holy", I said that "Led Zeppelin II" and "Houses Of The Holy" were my musical introduction to Led Zeppelin, in the middle of the 70's. In those times, I bought a vinyl copy of each album, but unfortunately I ended up selling my copy of "Led Zeppelin II" to a very close friend, who plays bass and was a great fan of the band. So, I only bought another copy some years ago, this time a CD copy. Despite I like very much of "Led Zeppelin II", I must confess that I always liked much more of "Houses Of The Holy" and "Led Zeppelin IV", which are probably my two favourite studio albums from them. However, I consider "Led Zeppelin II" an excellent album, very well balanced and without weak points. It has, in my humble opinion, many great songs, especially "Whole Lotta Love", which is the big highlight of the album. So, "Led Zeppelin II" deserves to be rated with 4 solid stars, really.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

Review by Hector Enrique
4 stars Less than a year after their explosive debut, the band led by the Page/Plant duo released "Led Zeppelin II" at the end of 1969, an uninhibited proposal that consolidated them as one of the carriers of the hardest rock sound known up to that time. Conceived and recorded in more than a dozen studios in the United Kingdom and North America in the brief spaces that the promotional concerts of "Led Zeppelin I" and its daily maelstrom allowed, the album was built step by step, and would mean the beginning of a new era for contemporary music.

From the opening chords of Jimmy Page's immortal and distinctive guitar riffs and his subsequent solo on the iconic and powerful "Whole Lotta Love", a track that also features the "freakout section" (so called because of the strange effects obtained from theramin and guitar) in its middle section, the album flows remarkably well, with pieces such as the libidinous "The Lemon Song", which combines blues elements and a Jimmi Hendrix-style improvisation with John Paul Jones on bass to the rhythm of Robert Plant's excesses in his musical duel with Page, and also with recurring acoustic elements in the band's discography such as the delicate "Thank You", Plant's homage to his wife at the time, and the adventurous "Ramble On", a spirited journey into the universe of J.R.R. Tolkien.

And with no respite, Page's saturated, dense riffs return to shape both the mournful "Heartbreaker" (along with "Whole Lotta Love" the album's best) and the bluesy, rough half-time with which the instrumental "Moby Dick" channels John Bonham's profuse, experimental percussion solo, before "Bring It On Home", another bluesy piece featuring Plant's harmonica and the alternation of his portentous voice with Page's guitars, brings the album to a close.

Not exempt from controversy due to the use of songs and fragments of American blues composers like Willie Dixon ("Whole Lotta Love" / "Bring It On Home") and Howlin' Wolf ("The Lemon Song"), "Led Zeppelin II" is undoubtedly a cornerstone and an obligatory reference of hard rock, and a regular resident of any compilation list of the best albums in the history of the genre.

4 stars

Latest members reviews

3 stars For me, this album was a step down from their great debut. Yes, it's got a fan favourite in the riff heavy hard rocker Whole Lotta Love, and Thank You is a very beautiful ballad. Moby Dick may come close too, with a very catchy riff too, but being mostly the vehicle for a drumm solo, as great ... (read more)

Report this review (#2272153) | Posted by Dellinger | Monday, October 21, 2019 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Review #44. After the release of their debut album, the band started touring without a break, in order to promote it. But at the same time, they were recording new material for the next album at any place they could find, between the concerts. Finally, Led Zeppelin II came out on the 22nd of ... (read more)

Report this review (#1676363) | Posted by The Jester | Thursday, January 5, 2017 | Review Permanlink

4 stars The torture of the 5 stars rating: This is not as good as their debut, but how can an album that good be given 4 stars? It's definitely one of those cases that a 4,5 stars rating is the one you really wanna give, but ultimately the decision has to be made: the selected few gigantic albums have to ... (read more)

Report this review (#1378726) | Posted by BigDaddyAEL1964 | Friday, March 6, 2015 | Review Permanlink

5 stars n spite Led Zeppelin II, isn't the highest quotation album between the P A community, is my favorite album from LED ZEPPELIN. The album don't shows any weak moment. All tracks are very well "arranged" in a splendid "Dramatic Curve" captivating the audience without time for a "blink of the eye" ... (read more)

Report this review (#1165821) | Posted by maryes | Saturday, April 26, 2014 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Recorded somewhat haphazardly over several months in 1969 Led Zeppelin's second album is not as bracing as the first album was. This album does manage to rock hard, but some of the tracks feel like leftovers from the first album. "Whole Lotta Love" is one of the greatest hard rock tracks eve ... (read more)

Report this review (#1153050) | Posted by Prog 74 | Monday, March 24, 2014 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This is the 2nd or 3rd review I've posted for the Archive. The others are sold old (several years!) that they've apparently disappeared. I think it's about time I got to work! There are a handful of bands that invented hard rock, and Led Zeppelin is beyond a doubt one of those bands. Th ... (read more)

Report this review (#892689) | Posted by thwok | Sunday, January 13, 2013 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Led Zeppelin II continues the bluesy and classic rock trend established on the debut album. In most ways this is just a direct sequel to that album, yet I believe this one is superior in terms of songwriting. For example, the first song 'Whole Lotta Love' has a very experimental, albeit psychede ... (read more)

Report this review (#771436) | Posted by Mr. Mustard | Friday, June 15, 2012 | Review Permanlink

5 stars After Zep I, came Zep II, and this is another classical one. If you lived through the period, maybe it was more clearer to you that this is another big one (Whole a lotta love was a hit..). Here, I understand that the question of originality is not a question, all the compositions are allright, ... (read more)

Report this review (#530358) | Posted by ridemyfacetochicago | Friday, September 23, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Led Zeppelin's II is a step away from the blues and deeper into hard rock. Some amazing moments spread across this album, one which has a nice sonic unity for something recorded in various studios. Engineer Kramer attributes this impressive feat to Page. The hard blues and hard rock sound fro ... (read more)

Report this review (#456322) | Posted by dreadpirateroberts | Friday, June 3, 2011 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Before Prog, Led Zeppelin was my favorite band (and still is definitely in my top 20). Let me start by saying that the first side is perfect. Whole Lotta Love through Heartbreaker are just straight up classics that still sound good today. Nothing more can be said about Whole Lotta Love, becau ... (read more)

Report this review (#438088) | Posted by MattGuitat | Saturday, April 23, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Led Zeppelin II is a rollicking hard rock masterpiece. If this were Hard Rock Archives we'd all be sputtering about how every album should be this one. (An easy 6 out of 5 really.) Like many billions of humans before me, I fell in love with rock music because of Led Zepplin and II was one of the ver ... (read more)

Report this review (#401346) | Posted by R-A-N-M-A | Tuesday, February 15, 2011 | Review Permanlink

5 stars As far as I'm concerned this is a legend of an album, right up there with the other Led Zep five star greats. I first heard it aged 12 and it's left an impression on me ever since. Of course the riff on "Whole Lotta Love" is unforgettable and the weird psychedelic bit in the middle too. There a ... (read more)

Report this review (#336035) | Posted by Frankie Flowers | Saturday, November 27, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Far more intelligent PA contributors than me have written long, very informative reviews about this album so I will be pretty brief. This is one of those ultimate rock'n'roll albums which makes this planet such a nice place to be. From the opening riffs of this album, which accidently is some ... (read more)

Report this review (#254439) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Saturday, December 5, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars The Zeps second album is one of their best in my opinion, and essentialy why? Firstly because i listen to it over and over in my teens, and the `power of memory must not be overlooked. But why did i liked so much? Maybe the response must seem strange, but i think nowadays it was because is the ... (read more)

Report this review (#247954) | Posted by shockedjazz | Tuesday, November 3, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars You need coolin', baby im not foolin'. Zeps second album is full of good and filler tracks, which makes it hard to review. There is of course one classic on the album, the opener "Whole Lotta Love" which probably has immortalized itself as one of the all time best rock songs. Then there are few ... (read more)

Report this review (#240604) | Posted by paragraph7 | Sunday, September 20, 2009 | Review Permanlink

3 stars The music is better, but the lyrics are a step down. Another fan favorite starts off this album in the from of Whole Lotta Love. I like it, but that drum drop middle is too much. No substance, and doesn't add much build up. Childish and gimmick feeling. Is Plant about to sneeze? I don't know. T ... (read more)

Report this review (#212648) | Posted by Alitare | Tuesday, April 28, 2009 | Review Permanlink

3 stars While not as good as their first album, Led Zeppelin II demonstrates more of the groups hard edged blues based music. For the most part, this is a heavy metal album in the earliest sense. There really is no more variety as found on their debut album and there is a heavy emphasis on guitar riffs and ... (read more)

Report this review (#208983) | Posted by mr.cub | Friday, March 27, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I'm a huge fan of Led Zeppelin,and I'm proud to say it.You hear in polls and such that Zep is one of the most influential and important bands in the history of Rock n' Roll,but some people just don't get it.And I perfectly understand.It's not a tremendoulsy complex type of music,but the pomposity ... (read more)

Report this review (#202081) | Posted by Gustavo Froes | Sunday, February 8, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars As powerful as the first album, but much more heavier. Here is the real first hard rock album. From Whole Lotta Love to Bring It On Home, everything's great here. Everything ? be honest, Bring It On Home and Living Loving Maid (She's A Woman) are a little bit poor than the other trac ... (read more)

Report this review (#164051) | Posted by Zardoz | Sunday, March 16, 2008 | Review Permanlink

4 stars If the sun refused to shine, I would still be loving you. Mountains crumbles to the sea, there will still be you and me. "Thank You" is a nearly perfect ballad and nearly perfectly describes how many feel about this record. In fact, I wanted this tune for my first dance with my wife when I got ... (read more)

Report this review (#154330) | Posted by LARKSTONGUE | Wednesday, December 5, 2007 | Review Permanlink

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