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LED ZEPPELIN III

Led Zeppelin

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Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin III album cover
3.92 | 630 ratings | 54 reviews | 32% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
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Studio Album, released in 1970

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Immigrant Song (2:25)
2. Friends (3:54)
3. Celebration Day (3:29)
4. Since I've Been Loving You (7:23)
5. Out On The Tiles (4:07)
6. Gallows Pole (4:56)
7. Tangerine (3:10)
8. That's The Way (5:37)
9. Bron-Y-Aur Stomp (4:16)
10. Hats Off To (Roy) Harper (3:42)

Total Time 43:04


CD 2 / LP 2 (On 2014 Deluxe Editions)
1. The Immigrant Song (Outtake) (2:27)
2. Friends (Outtake) (3:43)
3. Celebration Day (Outtake) (3:19)
4. Since I've Been Loving You (Outtake) (7:17)
5. Bathroom Sound (Instrumental Version of "Out on the Tiles") (4:01)
6. Gallows Pole (Outtake) (5:20)
7. That's The Way (Outtake) (5:23)
8. Jennings Farm Blues (Instrumental Version of "Bron-Y-Aur Stomp") (5:54)
9. Key To The Highway / Trouble In Mind (Previously unreleased) (4:07)

Total time 41:31

Lyrics

Search LED ZEPPELIN Led Zeppelin III lyrics

Music tabs (tablatures)

Search LED ZEPPELIN Led Zeppelin III tabs

Line-up / Musicians

- Jimmy Page / acoustic guitar, electric guitar, pedal steel guitar, backing vocals
- Robert Plant / vocals, harmonica
- John Paul Jones / bass, organ, synths, mandolin, backing vocals
- John Bonham / drums, percussion, backing vocals, banjo

Releases information

1994 CD Atlantic 82678
1994 CS Atlantic 82678
1970 LP Atlantic SD-7201
Atlantic SD 7208
1968 LP Atlantic 8216
1990 6L Atlantic 82144
1995 CD Swan Song 7567-82678-2
LP Atlantic SD-19128
1970 Atlantic 19128
1990 LP Atlantic 19128
CD Atlantic 19128
1990 CD Atlantic 19128
CS Atlantic 19128-4
CD Atlantic 82144-2
CS Atlantic 82144-4
2001 LP Classic Compact Disc 7201
2003 CD Atlantic 11613
2005 CD WEA International 826785

2CD Atlantic (2014, Deluxe CD Edition, remastered, contains 2nd disc)
2LP Atlantic (2014, Deluxe LP Edition, remastered, contains 2nd disc)

2CD+2LP Atlantic (2014, Super Deluxe Edition, remastered)

Thanks to TheProgtologist for the addition
and to NotAProghead for the last updates
Edit this entry

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LED ZEPPELIN Led Zeppelin III ratings distribution


3.92
(630 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(32%)
32%
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(49%)
49%
Good, but non-essential (15%)
15%
Collectors/fans only (3%)
3%
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)
0%

LED ZEPPELIN Led Zeppelin III reviews


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Folk
4 stars Of the early Zep albums, the only one I did not grow allergic to following my massive overdose is this one. Mostly because it did not seem to get played at parties quite as much as the other albums did (or should I say that only one side got played), the second acoustic side most likely repelling the young rockers. Graced with an elaborated artwork, with its spinning disk, this album is a bit schizophrenic with two distinct facets of the group opposed with each its own side of the wax.

With the first side an electric affair, starting out on the vibrant Immigrant Song (another short effective Communication Breakdown and Sab's Paranoid-like scorcher), the highlight is the lengthy blues epic, Since I've been Loving You where Plant manages so much drama that the same kind of spine chills run down your body as there was with the debut Babe, I'm Gonna Leave You. But while the cold-feeling Celebration Day and the acoustic Friends are a bit overshadowed, they retain their qualities.

It is mostly the acoustic second side that kept me spinning the vinyl throughout the 90's (no more than once a year is my guess) and the folk rock developed here can appear progressive, with most of the tracks enthralling and exciting as the Bron-Y-Aur Stomp, and the intriguing Hats Off To Roy Harper and the lovely Tangerine. One of Zep's most secretive vinyl side in their discography.

Often overlooked (compared to other Zep albums) by rockers of my generation, This album is ultimately the most rewarding of their career. And with this album, it was really clear that they were close to their maximum potential.

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Send comments to Sean Trane (BETA) | Report this review (#99992) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, November 23, 2006

Review by Chicapah
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Since I had seen them in concert while touring their second album and witnessed the incredible grandeur that was "Since I've been loving you" I really expected another blues/rock barnburner in the same spirit as the first two when this LP hit the shelves. However, after being electrified by the kickbutt impetus started by "Immigrant Song" my favorite band in the world at the time turned into Simon and Garfunkle. That's a little severe, I know, but at the time that's the way I felt. It was as if they were trying so hard to show another side of themselves that they disappeared completely. The years have softened me a bit concerning this effort and I can now more truly appreciate the skill and workmanship that went into its creation but I can never shake the memory of the disappointment that I felt initially when the last song ended and I was left sitting there idly and morosely spinning the strange wheel on the LP's cover. Had they not recovered so incredibly well on the fourth album they may have lost me as a fan forever but I guess this was just a stage they had to go through to exorcise some particular demons or something. Whatever it was, it left me feeling a little empty and I found myself instinctively reaching back for I & II for fulfillment, satisfaction and nourishment for the rock and roll monster that lived in my soul.

Having said all that childlike crud, the plain fact is that I couldn't accept the truth that these guys were truly "progressive" and I wasn't. Not at that stage in my young life, anyway. I pouted and wanted them to stay the same but that would've made them grow stale and insignificant. The material on this album may not be on the same lofty plateau as what appeared on the two that preceded it but these songs are indicative of a band that was not content to be just another loud blues outfit aka Cactus or others of that ilk and era. I finally got over my funk about this disc and can now appreciate it for what it is. A good record.

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Send comments to Chicapah (BETA) | Report this review (#100020) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, November 23, 2006

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars

Even in acoustic setting, Zepp still rocks!

As the band had been very successful with their previous two albums, Page and Plant took an initiative to bring the band members altogether to compose the new album with different kind of environment. They made a trip to a remote cottage Bron-Yr-Aur where they could write, compose and play material for their upcoming album with natural surroundings. They could even play all day long, all night long with quiet environment using candle-light and limited electric power supply. That might be the reason why the material that would emerge as Led Zeppelin III album contains more acoustic version and remarked the change of the band's music direction. If on the previous albums Page virtually controlled everything in composing the album material, with this third album they took more democratic approach. The result is an excellent rock album with a balanced mixture of heavy electric stuffs and acoustic exploration. Even with an acoustic set, Led Zeppelin still rocks!

The album was released on October 5, 1970 (delayed by two months from the original schedule) with advanced orders of nearly a million! It spent four weeks at the top of Billboard chart. It entered British chart at number one and remained there for three weeks. It returned to the top for a further week on December 12. The LP cover was a gatefold jacket containing a rotating wheel behind the front panel. That panel was perforated, thus allowing for the partial viewing of the wheel.

The album starts with a ground-breaking tune that sets heavy rock music apart "Immigrant Song" which has a very unique fast tempo beats. It's a very short track (2:25) but it proves successful to create the whole atmosphere of a great album. Oh yeah, I like the syncopated beats remarked by jaw dropping drum work of Bonzo combined with Paul Jones tight bass line. The recording quality is quite dry and crispy - with very minimum bass sound mixing - that makes this song so powerful. The first acoustic exploration of the band comes out at second track "Friends" (3:54) where the band also introduced the eastern nuance. If you observe in details you might find the symphonic nuance this track produces and it has influenced today's prog music scene. Observe it! "Celebration Day" (3:29) demonstrates Page heavy rock riffing combined with a forceful vocal work by Plant. This track nearly didn't appear at all in the album. This was due to studio oversight, the intro was crinkled on the mater tape, making it impossible to thread, but by segueing the swirling link from "Friends" into the guitar riff and Plant's opening lyrics, the song was salvaged.

Wanna listen to one of the best blues tunes ever? It's not coming from the blues master like John Lee Hooker, Taj Mahal, Buddy Guy or BB King! It's down here with "Since I've Been Loving You" (7:23). Well, you know it very well that this song has proven itself as a great blues-rock style with pondering vocal work by Plant. "Out on the Tiles" (4:07) brings back Page unique guitar riff strengthened with dynamic and loud drum work by John Henry Bonham. I can sense the groove of this track especially when I concentrate on the beats that Bonzo provides. "Gallows Pole" (4:56) is an acoustic outfit using acoustic guitar moving from slow paced tempo and in a crescendo into faster tempo combined with mandolin. The remaining tracks "Tangerine" (3:10), "That's the Way" (5:37), "Bron-Y-Aur Stomp" (4:16) and "Hats Off to (Roy) Harper" (3:42) represent great exploration on acoustic set by the band.

Overall, it's an excellent heavy rock music presented in a balanced acoustic as well as electric setting.

"Nothing is useless. Even a spoilt clock shows the right time twice everyday!"

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Send comments to Gatot (BETA) | Report this review (#100525) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, November 26, 2006

Review by Seyo
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars After some "n" times listening to the entire Zepp catalogue, this album is by far my favorite one! Sure it is not a typical LED ZEPPELIN and other albums contain more strong individual songs. But this one shows the diversity of their influences and capability of their songwriting and composing. Largely acoustic and folk-oriented (but in a mystical, psyche way), "Led Zeppelin III" is a remarkable collection of songs, that can be heard over and over (unlike some other huge hits on other albums). Plant on this one shows real potentials of his unique voice, without excessive screaming that was to influence hordes of macho metal red neck maniacs in the years to come. Progressive psychedelic folk at its best!

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Send comments to Seyo (BETA) | Report this review (#101396) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, December 02, 2006

Review by Guillermo
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars IMO, LZ became a better band with each album until "Houses of the Holy". This album shows the band in very good fom, with an album divided in two halves: electric music (side one) and acoustic music (side two).

My father bought this album as an Import, and by this reason it has the original cover design, which was very original for the time.

IMO, the best songs fom this album are:

"Since I`ve Been Loving You": a song very influenced by Blues, played and sung with energy and feeling, showing very well the skills of each musician, particularly John Bonham. The song increases in energy from start to finish until the final climax. One of the best songs from LZ.

"Out on the Tiles", which credits Bonham with Page and Plant as songwriter, shows the drummer in great form. I think that he overdubbed another drum track for this song. It is one of the best from the album.

"Tangerine": one from the acoustic songs, that could have been a hit as a single.

"That`s the Way": one of the best from this album, also played with acoustic guitars.

The songs that I like less are "Bron-Y-Aur Stomp" and "Hats Off to (Roy) Harper", which sound as fillers, IMO.

I think that LZ wanted a balance between electric and acoustic songs. This was an interesting idea.

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Send comments to Guillermo (BETA) | Report this review (#102459) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, December 10, 2006

Review by Chris S
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars This is where Led Zeppelin really began the era of epic albums IMHO. Right up until Physical Graffiti. But III does not have a bad moment on it. The more accoustically influenced album was a significant shift of what lay further on up the road as well. The album starts off with the superb ' Immigrant Song' great riffs and vocal by Robert Plant. This leads into ' Friends' which is followed again by another excellent track ' Celebration Day'. Not an easy track to sit still to! ' Since I've Been Loving You' is a return to the more bluesy sound and is a real slow, steady burner, vocals again excellent by Plant.It is pretty useless waxing lyrical about the musicians making up Led Zeppelin because they are all/were all of such high calibre that it is a major statement of the obvious.Side two of the old vinyl started with the increasingly building in temp ' Gallow's Pole'. This is followed by the dreamy ' Tangerine' and one of the highlights of the album. A great chorus too. ' That's The Way' is a lazy sounding tune, really expressing the title of the track in the song's delivery.' Bron -Y-Aur - Stomp' is a fun jam and ' Hats Off To Roy Harper' is an unusual end to III with it's psychedlic overtones and backward playing vocal tracks. Jimmy Page and Roy Harper collaborated later on to make some memorable music together and a fitting tribute to end the album. This is by far the best album so far and even greater releases were lurking. It must be hard to improve on perfection. Five stars all the way.

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Posted Monday, December 11, 2006

Review by Zitro
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars 4.3 stars

After the slightly disappointing Led Zeppelin II which didn't bring anything new to the sound of Led Zeppelin, the band shows here better songwriting, less heavy songs, and of course the acoustic music featured in the second side of the disc.

The musicians are at their best here. Robert Plant proves once again that he's one of the best singers in his era, John Bonham's excellent drumming adapts to any style of music played in this disc, Jimmy Page shows that he's not all about playing hard rock rifs, and John Paul Jones demonstrates how essential his keyboards in Since I've Been Loving You and once again makes up the impressive rhythms of the music of Led Zeppelin.

For anyone who deeply enjoys the hard rock of the previous albums, there's still some of that music here. The opener starts the album with a tight rhythm, powerful riffs, and mighty screams from Plant. Celebration Day is an outstanding rock&roll song with a very catchy chorus, easily one of the highlights of the album. Out of the Tiles is a very well done song, driven by good guitar riffs.

There is only one "blues" song in this album, but what a song! Anyone who questions the skill of Jimmy Page and the reason he's so admired should listen to this gem. The guitar cries, soars, screams and flies for the whole song. Meanwhile, Plant probably gives his best vocal performance in here, showing impressive versatility and emotion. The other star here is John Paul Jones with his organs. He never shows off, just plays the perfect accompaniments for the song. Overall, a wonderful song.

Trying a softer set of songs worked fine. The eastern-flavored "Friends" is highly interesting, with an unusual acoustic guitar theme, string arrangements, and Plant's memorable singing. Gallow's pole is a good fast-paced folk song with mandolins and an electric guitar solo at the end. That's the Way is a simple, yet gorgeous acoustic song with nice melodies. Bron-Y-Aur-Stomp is a fun Country song done the Zeppelin way, with a steady beat, acoustic guitars, slide guitar solos, and great singing as always. The real highlight has to be Tangerine, its beauty has to be heard to be believed. The acoustic riffs, vocal melodies, and melodic guitar solo are among Led Zeppelin's best music ever recorded. Unfortunately, Hats Off to Roy Harper doesn't work. It is a psychedelic unmelodious mess that is painful to listen.

Check this album out! It is very accessible and enjoyable.

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Posted Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Review by Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars This is a more mature LED ZEPPELIN with over half the songs being of the acoustic variety.Thus they threw their fans a curve with this one but kudos to them for making the music they wanted to play.

Of course the opener "Immigrant Song" is anything but an acoustic tune. With Bonham's pounding drums and Plant's battle cry, this is just over 2 minutes of fury. I also love the lyrics, it's all perfect except for the length of the song. "Friends" has an interesting acoustic melody. I was never overly fond of this one. It blends into "Celebration Day" an uptempo, fun song. "Since I've Been Loving You" is a great blues song with some good organ and an extended guitar solo from Page. But the star of this song is Plant, an absolutely amazing performance. I wonder what some of the old blues players would think of this amazing vocal display.

"Out On The Tiles" is quite catchy, and Bonham's in great form.The guitar is outstanding ! "Gallows Pole" features acoustic guitar and passionate vocals. Some good drumming 2 minutes in. "Tangerine" is probably my favourite song on the album and it goes so well with the acoustic song that follows "That's The Way". "Bron-y-aur Stomp" is ok, not a big fan of this one, or the next one which is an ode to Roy Harper.

I guess out of the first six amazing albums ZEPPELIN put out this one is my least favourite. It still is an incredible record that I like to listen to once and a while. I mean who has put out six straight albums that can compare to these ones ? Perhaps RUSH from "2112" to "Signals" , or GENESIS from "Trespass" to "Trick Of The Tail". A low 4 stars.

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Posted Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Fragile

For me, this was a lull between two greats, in much the same way as Yes' "Fragile" was a slight but definite dip in their catalogue.

Things start off in pure rock mode, with the sublime "Immigrant's song", one of Led Zeppelin's most commercial yet loveable pieces. The lyrics are inspired by the Viking invasions, the band having (then) recently played in Iceland. The song was a minor hit for the band in the US, where it was backed by the rare but excellent non album B- side, "Hey hey what can I do". Things quickly turn gentler as the acoustic sounds which dominate the album open "Friends". The band had retired to an isolated cottage in back- country Wales to work on the album, the convivial surroundings apparently persuading them to lighten up. The rare strings on this track may be seen as a precursor to "Kashmir" on "Physical Graffiti".

"Since I've been loving you" reverts to the band's blues influences of the previous album, and thus sounds a little out of place here. The songs was in fact recorded for the second album, but dropped for reasons of space. It went on to become a cornerstone of the band's live act, being substantially extended in the live environment.

The closest John Bonham gets to a drum solo here is on his co-composed "Out on the tiles", a rather forgettable pop rock piece with a driving Jimmy page riff. "Gallows pole" is a variant on a traditional folk song which itself has many variations. Led Zeppelin's version is based on folk singer Leadbelly's interpretation, the instrumentation reverting to the acoustic sounds which dominate the album. "Tangerine" is a pleasant Jimmy Page number with some fine guitar work. The song is a gentle love song with unusually romantic lyrics and pedal steel guitar. The following "That's the way" is taken from the same mould, the pace quickening but the folk mood remaining for "Bron-Y-Aur Stomp", not to be confused with the correctly spelt "Bron-Yr-Aur," from "Physical graffiti".

The album closes with a tribute to the legendary Roy Harper (who is probably best known in these parts for his vocal performance on Pink Floyd's "Have a cigar"). The song, which consists only of vocals by Plant and guitar by Page, is in reality an amalgam of blues standards, not Harper songs, which would have been better being replaced on the album by the aforementioned "Hey hey what can I do." This has to be one of Led Zeppelin's poorest recordings, and acts as a distasteful closer to the album.

Led Zeppelin 3 is for me an adequate but unexciting album, with occasional highlights. When considering the band's catalogue as a whole, the many acoustic tracks here make for a fine contrast with their generally heavy material. When gathered in the form of a single album however, the results are out of character and undemanding.

In terms of prog influences, Led Zeppelin 3 probably had the less than any other of the early albums. Some prog folk bands may have explored similar territories, but their roots in that area were well established by the time this album was released. Indeed, the most influential part of the album is probably the wonderfully original sleeve, complete with 12" rotating cardboard wheel.

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Posted Monday, February 19, 2007

Review by ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars THE ACOUSTIC ONE

This was my entry album to Led Zep (in October 1971). Before this, I only knew the single "Whole Lotta Love"/ "Livin Lovin' Maid" (what a single)! After the tornado of Led Zep II, and the subsequent touring in the US (more than two years, almost non-stop), the band was looking for some retreat to record their third album. They found it at Bron-Yr-Aur, a small cottage in Wales.

The rather "countryside" mood of the location might have influenced their inspiration for what will remain their main acoustic effort. IMO, Plant has never been in better shape before. He is fantastic throughout the album. Page recalls : ""It was the first time I really came to know Robert," says Page. "Actually living together at Bron Y-Aur, as opposed to occupying nearby hotel rooms. The songs took us into areas that changed the band, and it established a standard of traveling for inspiration... which is the best thing a musician can do".

The fabulous "Immigrant Song" with the high-pitched Plant voice is one of their most brilliant songs. It will be a classic opener for their live performances. No subtlety here : strong, heavy rock. It is a warrior song (reference to the Valhalla : Vikings paradise), it was very much influenced by their visit to Iceland : "We come from the land of the ice and snow, From the midnight sun where the hot springs blow". It will be released as a single (but not in the UK). One of their very few, since Led Zep was an album band.

Next one is the very good acoustic "Friends" (Page/Plant). There is a conversation going on before the tracks really starts. I found a written transcription for it : "Look at the [&*!#] going off. Turn it down a little. It must be Happy New Year ! Alright Jim? I never have touched there! Oh piss off ! Jim? He's falling out over it. Get out you [%*!#]er! Separate it, separate it. It's [&*!#] Walter ! There's a [%*!#] up on it. Ten. Fuck..." (last one credited to Jimmy).

Background orchestration is somewhat Middle-East oriented (Plant is fascinated by this region). Already an indication for "Kashmir" maybe ? It flows nicely into "Celebration Day" which is a more traditional Led Zep song. Great riff, solid rock my friend.

Jones will co-sign three songs on the album (of which the sublime "Since I've Been Loving You"). Although I'm not really into blues (to say the least), this number has a so passionate mood that I always succumbed to its incredible guitar solo (but not only). The drumming from Bonham is gigantic here. The sound that comes out of his drum is incredibly heavy. His bass drum was over-dimensioned to reach such a result. This is an anthology piece of rock music. One of my two preferred ones in their whole repertoire. Just sit, listen and appreciate.

"Since." was written well before this recording. As soon as during the Led Zep II sessions. The band had played it live frequently. It was replaced by "Whole Lotta Love" on the album. But who can blame them for this ? It was the only track from the third album that the band had played live prior to the recording sessions. Page did his guitar solo in one take. He knew a bit the song already since the inspiration for it was "New York City Blues" which he wrote with the "Yardbirds".

"Out On The Tiles" features Bonham in the song-writing (hence the title which is slang- oriented and means: a night on the town. With his reputation, it was always great partying. It's a kind of "love" song : "I got me a fine woman, who says that I'm her man, A-one thing that I know for sure, gonna give her lotta lovin'. Like nobody, nobody, nobody, nobody can". Again Bonham's heavy drumming is fabulous and so, so efficient. This solid hard/heavy-rock track is another great piece of music : good guitar riff, very strong backing band and Plant, as usual...The anecdote around this song is that Page can be clearly heard saying "Stop" at 1:25 . The legend will tell that he did so to remind to get the timing right because he kept messing it up during practice... Anyway, a great number to close this excellent side one (five stars level, IMO).

The most controversial side of any Led Zep album, opens with the wonderful "Gallows Pole". It's a traditional English song revisited by Page. this is what it is mentioned on the album sleeve. Still, the original folk song was recorded in 1939 as "Gallis Pole" by folk singer Lead Belly (1939).

Starting as a nice little folk tune, the beat grows throughout and "Gallows Pole" ends up in an extraordinary "call & response" session from Plant and the backing vocals. Rhythm having reached its climax and being real rocky by now. This song is extraordinary when played live (I saw Page/Plant performing it during their world tour in 1998, Ghent). It was a fabulous moment of the concert.

The next duo of tracks belong to the most subtle and quiet Led Zep songs. Melodies are very nice in both acoustic numbers. These will be highly criticized by the rock press at the time of release. Plant will mention, that if Led Zep hadn't been doing this, they would have written songs like "Whole Lotta Love" for ever. And he did not want this. Who can blame him ?

"Tangerine" has its origins in an old Yardbirds song (but it was never released as such). These two songs "That's The Way" and "Tangerine" (together with another one or two - "Going To California" , "Bron-Y-Aur Stomp") will be the core of their acoustic set during concerts while Page / Plant / Jones will almost sit on the edge of the stage to bring more feeling to the audience. These were marvelous moments even if they are of course not the favorite ones of the hordes of Led Zep fans from the early days (to which I belong).

These acoustic tracks will attract a new category of fans who were more keen on folk songs. Old fans, though, will get more trouble with them. I must say, that at the time of discovery, I was not too enthusiast about them, but time has worked on me and when I decided to re-purchase their whole catalogue in CD format (which I did in December 1998), I re-discovered these tracks with a different view but not to such extent to have them in my top twenty faves from the band. Average songs, that's it.

"Bron-Y-Aur Stomp" is another highlight of this album. Even if it's an acoustic song, the rhythm is fabulous. The solo introduction from Page is just great, and his complex play during the whole song is a real "chef d'oeuvre". Bonham, once again, sets the pace brilliantly. I have always wondered how an electric version of this song would sound...but I'll never know. The intro was "borrowed" from an old "friend" : Bert Jansch ("The Waggoner's Tale" is the title of his song). It's the second time that Page will do this (first one was ""Black Mountain Side" on their debut album).

It's a "countryside" love song (hell! I'm getting lyrical here) : "As we walk down the country lanes, I singin' a song, Hear me calling your name. Hear the wind whisper in the trees, Telling Mother Nature 'bout-a you an' me". Plant will refer to a blue-eyed merle : "Tell your friends all around the world, Ain't no companion like a blue eyed merle". Plant's dog was . a blue eyed merle. Its name was Strider and it is also mentioned in "The Lords Of The Rings"... Plant will refer to "Strider" when performing the song on stage (just mentioning "Strider" at the end of the song).

"Hat's Off", the closing number is rather weak. Jimmy playing sliding guitar while Plant distorted voice is not of the best effect. This song is credited to Charles Obscure, who was a pseudonym for Page. The title referred to Roy Harper who was a British folk- singer. Page appreciated him a lot for never having sold off to the record industry. He will play with him several times (on stage or in the studio). Roy Harper was the lead singer on the song "Have A Cigar" ("Wish You Were Here" from the Floyd). The song is a collage of excerpts of old blues songs written by blues veterans (Bukka White and Oscar Woods). They won't be credited as such, unfortunately. This song will never be played live (guess why).

It is a poor closing number for this great album. As Led Zep II, this one will top both the UK and the US charts. Led Zep will be voted the best band of 1970 in the Melody Maker's poll. For the first time in nine years The Beatles were dethroned.

AT THE TIME OF RELEASE, NO ONE WOULD HAVE EVER CONSIDERED THIS ALBUM AS PROG RELATED. NOTHING HAS CHANGED IN THE MEANTIME. STILL IT'S A GREAT ALBUM OF ONE OF THE GREATEST BAND OF ROCK HISTORY.

Four stars.

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Send comments to ZowieZiggy (BETA) | Report this review (#115181) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Review by clarke2001
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars ..............

A beautiful rock album, which is getting better as it's getting older... And no, let me say it right away - it's not a masterpiece, but it approached that status as close as possible for a four-star album.

An acoustic album, my arse. It's true, the majority of the tracks here are (very) acoustic-oriented, but few tracks are whipping your ears with a raging electric monster, balancing this album well. I never had an impression this album is very "acoustic".

However, that is not very relevant, really, the artistic value of the songs is what counts, ergo:

The pile of electrics

Electric songs are not eclectic. But they are awfully good, starting from opening "Immigrant Song" with dumb, simple, and yet so catchy guitar riff, to the typical Zeppelin electric journey in "Celebration Day" (with excellent bass line with jazzy influence, ah, John Paul, you hidden jazzer, you!), to the brilliant, rumbling "Out On The Tiles" with (again) catchy riff. And let's not forget "Since I've Been Loving You", band's ultimate blues effort, but frankly, it's a little bit overrated in my opinion, or at least overplayed. Don't ask me why; when I was at the peak of my "blues is the best" period, I never really appreciated this one, save for the excellent musicianship.

The pile of acoustics

What? Friends? How? Sounds simple, but actually, it isn't...add a teaspoon of Eastern influences (India) and a few nasty sounds of unknown origin (how on Earth did Page produced them?).

And now, three in a row. "Gallows Pole", "Tangerine" and "That's The Way" are all in my top 10 Led Zeppelin tracks list. "Gallows Pole" contains best banjo played in rock (country-rock) music ever, "Tangerine's" magical acoustic chords are just cuddly, "That's The Way" represents Plant as a top notch lyricist, and musically is equally good, dreamy, full of reverb and gentle passages.

The last two songs are delving deeper into the blues roots and the last song is simultaneously delving to the sound experimentation as well: "Bron-Yr-Aur Stomp" proves that frenetic, flashy and overall good performance doesn't have to be necessary in the electric-song wrapping, not even from the band world renowned as inventors of heavy metal. If you can imagine the best possible (and, ehm, progressive) sing-along-around-the-fire song, you'll get the idea. The album's closer is, as I said, a "blues meets sound effects" effort. I'm wondering what they wanted to say with this one; it's a little bit of a missed idea, but it's worth confronting with your brain cells; it's certainly the scariest acoustic blues piece that I've ever heard.

..............

This album is an essence of "four and a half stars" term. A couple of weaker (but not bad) moments scattered here and there, but in general, this album aged very well. The wrinkles are getting prettier every day. To be listened to, enjoyed, and learned from.

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Posted Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Review by Eetu Pellonpää
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This album evolves the band's style towards more innovative sounds, still though remaining on quite commercial levels. The songs are tied together and form nice continuums, like the opening's heavy "Immigrant Song" morphing as more oriental sounding acoustic "Friends". The latter mentioned was later covered also by the American ethnic prog group Azigza, among several others paying homage for this commercially successful hard-rock group. "Celebration Day" returns to more basic uplifting hard rock paths, and "Since I've Been Loving You" is the long wrist cut wailing blues after a lady, getting a better musical treatment on their 1976 live double album. The rest of the tracks are also quite ok rock tunes, but they contain some features affecting my appreciation along with all of the classic material from this band: A lack of being able to touch my inner feelings. A totally subjective vantage point but important for me, and it cannot be a question of overall style appreciation, as I liked their obvious innovators and the heavy rock groups of their time sharing many stylistic similarities. These albums were nice background records to play when boozing together with friends as a teenager, but they didn't stand the test of time for me. Just my personal problem though. If you like slightly artistic 1970's classic hard rock, you probably won't be disappointed with this album.

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Posted Saturday, April 21, 2007

Review by Atavachron
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars In addition to being one great album, Led Zeppelin lll was, in many ways, their most progressive offering. The LP was a respite of sorts influenced by the pastoral sounds of CS&N and the wave of acoustic folk that had steeped into the contemporary scene. The band, recuperating from two years of non-stop work and touring, found the British countryside ideal for musical inspiration and allowed a deeper, more internal and markedly acid-dosed element into the music. Page, Plant, Bonham and Jones wrote some of their best material during this period, songs that would continue appearing on future albums years later and when the shouting was over, Led Zeppelin's third studio session stood as a near- flawless event at the zenith of their power, inspiration and synergy.

Weighty and warlike, 'Immigrant Song' screams of the Nordic conquest of Europe. The strangeness of 'Friends' is a moving tribute as it transitions into the quirky and soulful 'Celebration Day'. The album's shining moment, 'Since I've Been Loving You', is warm and sympathetic with one of the most soaring vocal performances in music history, guitar spilling over with emotion, a heartfelt organ performance from Jones, and Bonham's unshakable clockworks. 'Out On the Tiles' concludes the first half and shows this outfit's clever and unmistakable rock stylings. Page's steel strings and Jones' upright bass take over for the rest of the show, giving us one gem after another; the maudlin and desperate folk tale 'Gallows Pole', the loss in 'Tangerine', forbidden love and Old World courtship of 'That's the Way', square dance thud of 'Bron-Y-Aur Stomp' and psychedelics of 'Hats Off to Roy Harper'. Detached finally from their metal chains and from the world, Zeppelin were able to make a music they never did again and though they went on to produce better sounding albums, nothing ever out did this one for integrity and depth, and makes their fourth sound adolescent and inelegant by comparison.

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Posted Friday, June 22, 2007

Review by russellk
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars An ambitious album that ultimatly misses the mark due to the uneven quality of the songwriting. The boys stretch their wings and find flying on their own, without the aid of the blues giants they'd relied on, to be a difficult thing.

The first three songs on the album form a suite: the thoughtful 'Friends' connects the powerful 'Immigrant Song' and 'Celebration Day'. The wonderful segue from 'Friends' into 'Celebration' gets me every time. It is the first hint that LED ZEPPELIN are prepared to allow progressive sensibilities to influence their music.

'Since I've Been Loving You' is a colossus. There simply isn't a more powerful blues number out there. You haven't heard it? Go to it now. I'll wait.

This album irritated me no end when I ws a teenager. I had a mono system, and I could hear only half of most of the songs. It wasn't until the late 1970s, when I heard this album the way it was supposed to be heard, that I fell in love with it. 'Hats off to Roy Harper' makes a lot more sense with both channels!

Back now? Right: from here the quality of the songwriting becomes uneven. 'Out On The Tiles' is not worth the vinyl space given it. However, the next three tracks signal LED ZEPPELIN'S folk influences clearly. All excellent tracks. I can take or leave the last two, however. I'm not in support of those reviewers who see side 2 as superior to side 1, as none of these tracks (save the beautiful, naive Tangerine) are important parts of the LED ZEPPELIN canon.

A good album, a necessary step to what came next, but not a destination in itself, LED ZEPPELIN III is worth a listen.

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Posted Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Review by Prog-jester
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars LED ZEPPELIN “III” 3.5

Being tired from endless tours, ZEPs decided to have a break. They’ve moved to a countryside for a while and this reflects the whole mood and nature of their third, nameless as usual album. Most of them are less heavy, played on acoustic guitars, with noticeable influences/quotations from English/Irish/Scottish folk music. Only some songs like opening “Immigrant Song” (I remember hearing it in “Shrek III” and falling from my chair amazed), “Celebration Day” or “Out on the Tiles” bear some kind of old craziness. Album shines with warm sincere tracks like “That’s the Way“, “Tangerine”, “Bron-Yr-Aur Stomp”, but unquestionable highlight here is “Since I’ve been loving you” – one of the best solos I ever heard from Jimmy, pure eargasm! Standards-like “Gallows Pole” and “Hats off to Harper” sound amazingly fresh, and oriental experiments continue in weird “Friends” tune. ZEPs proved with their third album that they’re NOT another ROLLING STONES, “the louder the better”-kind of band. From here proggers should start, from here serious ZEPs begin.

Best tracks: “Since I’ve been loving you”, “Immigrant Song”, “Gallows Pole”, “That’s the Way”, “Bron-Yr-Aur Stomp”

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Posted Monday, October 01, 2007

Review by Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars So the lads decided to take the dogs and bongs to the country for some quality time around the firepit. Who can blame them? I'm certain it was probably the most idyllic moment in the collective memory of the band, being away from the madness and making magic music in the "small derelict cottage" that painted a "somewhat forgotten picture of true completeness." [notes Page at the time] So what were the musical achievements? One of the most listenable album for older fans who burned out on 2 and 4 in their youth. A nice mix of rock, country and blues. A gem.

Immigrant Song, Celebration Day, and Out on the Tiles are rather straightforward Zep rockers, Celebration Day having a great solo. Friends and Gallows Pole are dark acoustic numbers with a very dramatic sense of foreboding and imagination. That's the Way and Bron-Yaur Stomp comprise the fireside sing-along segment of the album, the former featuring some delicately beautiful guitar and rather introspective lyrics by Plant standards. Hats Off to Harper features those vocal distortions I've always hated though it has some nice guitar work. That leaves the two stellar tracks: the obvious being the great blues number Since I've Been Loving You, which is preferable live of course. The less obvious trophy here is the gorgeous, under the radar Tangerine. Listen to it again sometime with fresh ears. Melodically wistful with the kind of trademark page solo that makes him my favorite guitarist. Nothing wrong with simple when it sounds like this.

3 will always be overshadowed by its brothers 2 and 4 but I will probably always play it more than those two. Not essential but certainly recommended for most rock collections. Around 3 ½ stars.

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Send comments to Finnforest (BETA) | Report this review (#141996) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, October 04, 2007

Review by The Whistler
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars At some point in 1970 (or thereabouts), someone must have come up to Jimmothy Page and said, "Hey man, I dig your heavy blues and all that, but can't you play anything else?" And it must have hurt the man deeply. I mean, he slept with an acoustic guitar, and I guess he felt it was time the world needed to know that. So he and Iron Butterfly here got together and put out Led Zepp III: The Folk Album; aka, Lead Zeppelin III: The First Truly Boring Led Zeppelin Album.

But how not to alienate our thirteen-year-old boy fan base? AHA! Let's open with a crunchy headbanger! Thus, "Immigrant Song" enters the halls of history as the first heavy metal song about Vikings (and far from the last). Much like "Hole Lotta Love," it's got a simplistic, but undeniably catchy riff, and is probably the best song on the album. No, seriously, I really like this song. It's so stupid, it's fun. And awesome. Just ignore Plant's moans, and focus on how sadly short it is (live versions got a guitar solo at the end).

Now, on to the folk! "Friends" is a toe-tappin', if harmless, acoustic piece. I like the ominous, and probably "Kashmir" leaning, keyboard (string?) effects in the background; I just wish they'd been attached to something with a little more substance. This bounds right into "Celebration Day," a country- ish ditty. It's pretty solid, with tight instrumentation and soloing, but the lyrics are pretty retarded. Plant wailing, "I'm so happy, I'm gonna join a band?" Sadly Robert, you're already in one.

Some folks like the seven-minute sprawler "Since I Been Loving You," but I think it's a little much. It's one thing for a blues to leak emotion; it's another for it to leak sap. I don't believe Plant for one minute when he tells us he's "gonna lose [his] ever lovin' mind." The later re-tread "Tea For One" is far more intelligent and impressive (and doesn't have that dopey organ). Thank goodness Page can still solo like a bluesman.

"Out on the Tiles" is an effective, if not jaw-dropping, hard rocker, with a nice chorus. It's also a little longer than need be. Slightly better is "Gallows Pole," but then again, with a name like that, who could screw it up? Basically a folk showdown (or hoedown, mayhaps), "Pole" is a fast ballad that contains lots of genuine sentiment; or, at least, genuine instrumentation.

"Tangerine" is trying to be bleak, and perhaps it succeeds, but I can't help feeling like it would have been better in the hands of someone else. It can't decide if it wants to be moody folk, or downbeat country, so it lives somewhere in the middle of the road, but it sorta works anyway. "That's the Way" wants to follow the same path, but has none of "Tangerine's" charm and it's twice as long, it just ends up being boring.

"Bron-Y-Aur Stomp" pretty much lives up to the "Stomp" part, with the Zepsters trying to channel the Rolling Stones right down Plant's vocal style. It's pure country, and kinda stupid, but kinda fun all the same. Besides, the guitar picking within and throughout is Jimmy's best stuff with the acoustic on the album.

But just in case you thought that Led Zep had gone totally insane, we close with "Hats Off to (Roy) Harper," a totally insane piece of blues mockery. At least, I hope it's mockery, because if they were serious about this thing...suffice to say that it brings to mind all the best material off of Led Zep II, only if it had been REALLY ANNOYING instead of really cool. The only thing more irritating than the guitar effects during the "solo spots" is Plant, who is six times as bad through a variety of voice distorters and echo machines. Thanks for a crappy ending to an album I already wasn't in love with boys.

Yeah, so, they screwed up. Who can blame 'em? They didn't want to release the same album a third time in a row. The problem is, the boys still have Viking aspirations with their mandolins and banjos. Therefore, the roots rock stuff is sometimes fun, sometimes lame, and always stupid. Either way, most of this material is listenable, but would have been much more impressive in the hands of...oh, I dunno, Family or The Strawbs or someone.

As for the standards? I dunno what to say. The hard rockers are still intact, if very lean this time around, but the blues? Grr. I REALLY don't know what to say there. Blues was always Zep's best point. That's what made II so awesome. Why they'd totally abandon that and replace it with ugly experimentation ("Hats Off") or almost campy cliché ("Since") is beyond me.

Point is, this record feels very out of place in the Zep canon. They wouldn't start making weird goof-ups like this until a few years later, and even then, they had enough experience under their belts not to make total assholes of themselves. Just cling onto the first couple of songs and be glad that nothing here is all that long. Because then we'd REALLY be in trouble.

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Send comments to The Whistler (BETA) | Report this review (#176258) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, July 07, 2008

Review by Nightfly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
4 stars After the bombast of their previous album Led Zeppelin III came as a bit of a surprise to the critics at the time due to the fact that it was largely acoustic based, particularly on side 2. This came about not only for the reason that Zeppelin were always striving to move forward and not repeat themselves, but also because much of it was written on a holiday taken by Robert Plant and Jimmy Page at a cottage in Wales called Bron-Y-Aur. Taking acoustic guitars along they would write material around the campfire on the summer evenings.

It wasn't all acoustic though. In fact opening track Immigrant Song is one of the bands most celebrated rockers with its unison Jimmy Page/John Paul Jones riff and John Bonham following every note on the drums. Plant Viking influenced lyrics are brought to life with his war cry screams on this, one of their greatest album openers. The heavy rock quotient also consists of Celebration Day, another classic Zeppelin rocker that due to the beginning of the master tape being damaged very nearly didn't make it. They got round this by fading it in from the end of preceding track Friends. Good job they did too as it's another brilliantly executed moment with its incessant driving multi-layered riffing from Page and another great Plant vocal. The third of the heavier tracks, Out On The Tiles ended side 1. It's an often overlooked gem with its stop/start Page riff and Bonhams solid, dextrous and weaving bass drum work.

Since I've Been Loving You is the bands greatest blues moment full stop. It's a slow blues starting quietly with a masterly build to a powerful climax. Page plays one of his greatest solos ever and the same can be said of Plants vocal performance, beautifully phrased and on top of his game; absolutely brilliant. Jones adds some well placed organ and Bonham keeps it simple but effective on the drums.

The use of acoustic guitars was nothing new to Zeppelin; used to great effect on I on Babe, I'm Gonna leave You and Page's acoustic showcase Black Mountain Side and II had Ramble On. Friends is the first and is actually the only acoustic track on side 1. It's not one of the better ones however and alongside Page's guitar Jones wrote a string arrangement and uses his Moog near the end.

Side 2 is where all the great acoustic moments lie. Gallows Pole is a traditional folk tune and is brilliantly executed. Starting with just a single acoustic guitar and Plants voice it builds to a climax being in turn joined by mandolin, bass, drums and banjo turning into a galloping acoustic rocker. Tangerine is a lovely laid back piece. Page also plays some pedal steel as well as acoustic and Jones and Bonham are in and out where required keeping the rhythm solid and simple and Plant gives a fine yet restrained vocal performance. That's The Way follows suit with a lovely reflective vocal from Plant and no drums present at all. Page adds a bit of electric guitar for colour but apart from that it's just acoustic and mandolin.

Bron-Y-Aur Stomp is a song written about Plant's dog. It's a fun track and the title gives you a good idea of the type of tune it is, driven along by Bonham's repetitive single note bass drum and high hat. Page plays some fine guitar and Plant turns in another good vocal performance. Hats Off To (Roy) Harper is a disappointing way to close an excellent album. Just Page on a single acoustic guitar and Plant with a heavily treated vocal, no doubt trying for an authentic 30's sound but it ultimately goes nowhere and is one of the bands less satisfactory moments on any album.

Although acoustic instruments would go on to feature on future Zeppelin albums they wouldn't be there in the quantity they were on III so as a result this is quite unlike any other. It turned out to be a very worthwhile venture though being one of the most diverse albums of their career, as well as one of the best.

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Send comments to Nightfly (BETA) | Report this review (#184723) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, October 04, 2008

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Led Zeppelin III was released in 1970 and was something of a surprise for many. The two first Led Zeppelin albums had been more or less blues rock but Led Zeppelin III incorporates a couple of new elements that really makes this album stand out in Led Zeppelin´s discography. I have a special relationship with Led Zeppelin III because it was my very first meeting with Led Zeppelin. I knew a guy who worked on a garbage disposal central and he occasionally found old LPs that people had thrown out. He came by one day and gave me a whole box of different LPs and one of the LPs in that box was Led Zeppelin III.

The music is still mostly based in the blues rock tradition like on the first two albums from Led Zeppelin but the band has chosen a more folky acoustic approach on this album. It´s most evident on Side 2 of the original LP with songs like Tangerine, Bron-Y-Aur Stomp and That's the Way. On side 1 of the original LP we´re presented with classics like Immigrant Song and the excellent slow blues Since I've Been Loving You. Friends needs to be mentioned as well as it´s one of my alltime favorite Led Zeppelin songs. Really dark and beautiful.

The musicianship is more tight this time compared to the first two albums from the band. It´s such a joy to listen to Jimmy Page playing acoustic guitars and pedal steel guitar.

The production on Led Zeppelin III is the best on any Led Zeppelin album. By far the most polished sound. I really like the production which gives the songs the right sound and mood.

If I should ever be tempted to give a Led Zeppelin album 5 stars I would be tempted to do so in this review. Led Zeppelin III is my favorite Led Zeppelin album but a 4 star rating will do.

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Send comments to UMUR (BETA) | Report this review (#186342) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, October 19, 2008

Review by Rune2000
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Metal Team
2 stars After unleashing a strong debut and a shaky follow-up it was now time for Led Zeppelin to really show what they were all about by breaking another important frontier in the Hard Rock genre.

This of course didn't happen on Led Zeppelin III since the band pretty much stopped doing the thing that made them original and went for a generic blues album. Well actually it was only Page and Plant, cause as soon as the rest of the band joins in we get some really enjoyable moments. Immigrant Song is an amazing album opener that creates high hopes on everything that was to follow. Unfortunately this is as close the band would get to excellence.

I really can't help it, the blues is dragging this album down for me and although I know that most people consider Since I've Been Loving You the pinnacle of this release I just don't see the appeal. But I guess that the saying "to each his own" fits quite well here. Eventually Led Zeppelin would rethink their strategy with the release of the next album that would revolutionize the way most people would look at the rock genre. It's really a pity that such a thing didn't happen here.

***** star songs: Immigrant Song (2:25)

**** star songs: Friends (3:54) Celebration Day (3:29) Gallows Pole (4:56) Tangerine (3:10) Bron-Y-Aur Stomp (4:16)

*** star songs: Out On The Tiles (4:07) That's the Way (5:37) Hats Off To (Roy) Harper (3:42)

** star songs: Since I've Been Loving You (7:23)

Total Rating: 3,45

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Send comments to Rune2000 (BETA) | Report this review (#256107) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, December 14, 2009

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Metal Team
4 stars Album II had left me wondering how Zeppelin could have lost the powerful drive of the debut so quickly. But on III they reclaimed their edge. This album has only a few tracks that register as rock, but even with the abundance of acoustic material this album is entirely focussed and compelling again. They also recovered from the stagnation of the previous album and took a bold step forward by integrating lots of folk influences. There are even some signs of what later would become heavy metal.

The album kicks off with one of the highlights. Immigrant Song got all the adrenaline and energy you can expect from Zeppelin, it's packed into 2.25 minutes and driven forward by one of the first riffs in rock history that scream metal to me. The repetitive staccato riff, the furious speed of it (we're 1970 remember), the heavily pounding drums, Plant's piercing cry. It would all become typical features of the genre, all it took was Judas Priest picking it up and mixing it with the dark subject matter of Sabbath. And metal was born. But that's another story.

Apart from the two other rock songs (Celebration Day and Out On The Tiles), the bulk of the album is soft and folksy. But luckily it's not your typical woolly flower power campfire mellowness, this is folk with balls. On tracks like Friends and Gallows Pole Page's urgent acoustic guitar strumming and Plant's wail blow off the dust that usually lies in thick layers on the folk from those years. When Bonham joins with his heavily pounding drums, this folk simply rocks.

With its folksy touch, Zeppelin took a brave step forward. As usual, taking risks comes with a few flaws. On Tangerine for instance they fail to inject the folk material with their own touch, it's a pure folk song and not one that appeals much to me. That's The Way is another straightforward folk tune, but this one got a more compelling atmosphere, one of my favs here. There's only one a few true blues songs on the album, Since I've Been Loving You is a classic one that doesn't need an introduction. Hats off to Roy Harper is a bit of classic blues fun that closes the album on a pleasant tone.

Zeppelin III is a diverse and mature album, it's probably not the favourite of the rock fans in the Zeppelin audience, but it has next to no flaws and it offers something for everyone, for folkies, blues fans, rockers and even for metal fans that want to explore a genre original. It's not as strong as the debut but it's a Zeppelin album that I will never get tired off. 3.5 stars

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Send comments to Bonnek (BETA) | Report this review (#274573) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, March 27, 2010

Review by thehallway
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars UPDATE: Bumping this one up to three stars because..... well, it's Led Zeppelin. And I won't let what is potentially my favourite guitar solo ever reside in an album that I've given only two stars. If you swap 'Friends' with 'Tangerine', side one is really quite good anyway.....

REVIEW: This structurally unstable album is one of Led Zep's weakest. It's 60% acoustic, much in the same way 'I' was 60% blues and 'II' was 60% riff-rock. And that seems promising if you consider the few acoustic songs this band already had. But in practise it seems that Page and Plant are better off WITH a rhythm section than without.

Looking at the electric songs, I am divided. For on this album, there is potentially Led Zeppelin's finest example of slow blues (and if not, then at least Page's most spine-tingling guitar solo). But 'Since I've Been Loving You' is wedged in amongst a host of eccentric rock offerings which just don't groove like the songs on 'Led Zep II' did. The only one that makes sense is the overrated 'Immigrant Song', which is very quickly over. 'Tangerine' has a very nice electric "moment" but this is surrounded by excessive nylon noodling and Page's failed attempts at counting.

As for the acoustic tracks, these are worse, overall. There are two good ones 'That's The Way' and 'Tangerine', which is where they should have stopped at (and where they did stop on other albums). Even these have faults (as I mentioned, the counting). And then there are a whole bunch of other "attempts" to convey different genres which just don't work. 'Friends', on top of being on the wrong side, has an irritating Indian influence that doesn't "work" like Kashmir does. 'Gallows Pole' is too busy and too long. 'Bron-y-aur Stomp' is as advertised; a Welsh "stomp" about a dog. And annoyingly for Roy Harper, the track dedicated to him is probably Led Zeppelin's worst song ever.

This isn't the band's absolute worst album because of it's [albeit scarce] strong tracks. But it does have the most filler of any Led Zep record, and is the worst produced (it sounds very murky and gritty in places, and Bonham's squeaky drum needs fixing). The worthy material is buried too deep to be salvagable, so I'll continue only listening to 'Since I've Been Loving You'...

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Send comments to thehallway (BETA) | Report this review (#278527) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, April 19, 2010

Review by tarkus1980
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Perhaps feeling they had started to pigeonhole themselves with the incessant brain- bashing heaviness of II, the band took a roadtrip to Wales and made an album that largely emphasized the folk and acoustic aspects that had been present on their debut. The result was a fan favorite, and even I honestly felt for a long time that this was their best effort. Now, though, I'm definitely not among those who would think so, even if I've heard an interview where Plant says he feels this album is their finest moment.

The album is roughly split into a "hard" first half and a "soft" second half, with one acoustic song stuck into the first half for good measure. The first thing to note is that the "hard" numbers are nowhere near as suffocating as the kinds of hard numbers that made up II; you can definitely tell that the band really went out of its way to make this more "average listener"-friendly than II was, which probably wore down a lot of potential fans over its 40-odd minutes. Unfortunately, though, the hard numbers on here, on the whole, aren't as good as the best numbers on II. On the plus side, the album opens with the monstrously tight, fast and aggressive "Immigrant Song," which sounds more like a solid proto-punk-thrash number than a metallic rocker, and is all the better for it. Plant's voice is higher than it's ever been here, but it sounds good here, and the song only lasts about two minutes and change, so it's great. Also, the band does what is arguably its best blues number yet on this side, the terrific "Since I've Been Loving You." The melody is obviously stolen (though that's really the only place on the album where that can be clearly said; the band wrote most of its own material here), and Robbie tends to sound like an idiot when he goes on too long stammering instead of singing, but when he's actually singing, the track is pure gold. And man, that's one awesome guitar passage in the middle.

On the minus side, I have never been a fan of either "Celebration Day" or "Out on the Tiles." "Celebration Day" isn't exactly bad, but it's got such a, I dunno, "confused" feel to it that I just can't quite grasp what it is I'm really supposed to be getting out of it. It's just so messy that whatever driving power it was going for as a dumb driving rock song gets completely washed out, and it's not catchy enough to work as a pop-rocker or complicated enough to work as anything resembling prog. As for "Out on the Tiles," it's just too much like generic boogie-rock on one hand, and waaaaaaaaaaaaay too lightweight on the other, for it to particularly impress me.

This leaves the acoustic numbers, which I tend to like for the most part. The lone acoustic representative of side one, "Friends," is one that I've found I tend to like more than many others do; yes, Plant's screeching is pretty over-the-top intolerable in places, but there's just something about the menace that comes from the mix of the acoustic guitars and the Easterny strings that I can't help but really enjoy. Of course, it's awfully similar to "As You Said" by Cream in terms of general approach, but at least the melody is clearly original.

Side two opens with three real winners in the acoustic ballad (or, in the case of the first, acoustic ballad into acoustic rocker) department, the only drawbacks to them being (a) they're way too similar moodwise and (b) Plant doesn't sound any different singing them than he did singing about Gollum and whatnot on II, meaning that the pretty melodies of these songs aren't exploited to their full potential. "Gallows Pole" is a reworking of a traditional Welsh folk that tells the tale of trying to keep a loved one from getting hung, and it works almost start to finish; it's only in the end, when the band is 'rocking out' a bit and Plant is trying too hard to improvise new screeched lyrics, that the song starts to run out of gas. "Tangerine," completely written by Page, is even better, though, featuring a wonderful melody with a terrific little rising snippet here and there and a WONDERFUL gentle steel guitar solo. And finally, we have "That's the Way," which has some "sensitive," kinda immature lyrics that Plant still can't quite sing in a convincing manner (see: "Thank You"), but they're better than on that disaster (as is Plant's peformance), and that is one heck of a beautiful melody they came up with. Just get somebody else to sing it and you'd have a classic; as is, it's still close.

The last two songs don't really cut the mustard for me, though. "Bron-yr Stomp" is supposed to be traditional folk, but this song tells me that Led Zeppelin had about as much business doing straight-up traditional folk as The Byrds had attempting to do hard rock (see: Dr. Byrds and Mr. Hyde, arrgh). Holy cow I think it's obnoxious. And finally, "Hats Off (to Roy Harper)" is a goofy attempt at a blues cover a la the first half of "Bring it on Home," but where that at least started rocking in the second half, this is such a mess that all I'm really left with is a sense of, "huh?" It works as a novelty, but not much more, I'd say.

Still, for all of my relative complaining, I don't want to give this less than ****. The album flows extremely well, the balance between hard and soft is admirable (even if the songs in each category aren't necessarily), and some of the songs are great. And doggone it, it's a thousand times easier for me to listen to this one straight through than it is for me to listen to II straight through, even if that one has some better songs on it. Still, though, I wouldn't run out and get this first.

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Send comments to tarkus1980 (BETA) | Report this review (#282859) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, May 21, 2010

Review by friso
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Led Zeppelin - III (1970)

Led Zeppelin is one of the important hard rock bands of the late sixties and seventies. There brutal style, theatrical vocals and often good musicianship has been the basis for a successful career. I myself am not much of fan of the band. I like some songs, but they made no albums I can listen to completely without loosing my attention. Most of the time the recording-quality and the weaker songs on their albums stop me from going to side two of the record. Furthermore I find it disturbing to hear completely different vocals in the studio than on the live concerts.

Having that said I must say I like this third album. It has some of my favorite Zeppelin-tracks and it was recorded with an acceptable result. The short, but powerful Immigrant song works is a nice hard-rock opener. Friends is a very progressive/psychedelic track with amazing acoustic guitars and a distinct vocal melody of Plant. Best song of the album. Since I've Been Loving You is an amazing blues-rock track with an innovative approach and sticky lyrics. The other tracks on side one focus on the hard-rock aspect of the music, whilst all the songs on side two focus on the acoustic-rock side of the band.

Conclusion. This record has some of my favorite rock songs of Zeppelin, but still I think of Zeppelin as a lesser band of the genre. This record is not very necessary for the progressive collection, but is a good addition for the hard-rock collection. Good, but non-essential it is then. Three stars, although I must say the first four tracks of the album deserve four stars.

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Send comments to friso (BETA) | Report this review (#285423) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, June 07, 2010

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JazzRock/Fusion Teams
4 stars With their third album, Led Zeppelin turned even further away from straight up blues rock (the only track in that category is Since I've Been Loving You, an excellent piece in that genre), and more toward prog and folk.

Sure, there is perhaps their greatest heavy rock song ever, The Immigrant Song, and the frenetic Celebration Day, but this is still though of as mostly Led Zeppelin's acoustic album, probably because it is more heavily swayed toward acoustic than any of their other albums. And great acoustic it is. Who can resist the unsubtle humor of Gallow's Pole?

Not their best, but a fine album of a very good band transitioning into a great band.

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Send comments to Evolver (BETA) | Report this review (#289408) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Review by Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Zeppelin spread their wings a bit on this one, expanding the scope of their songwriting and musical expression from the firmly blues rock rooted approach of their first two albums. The most hard-rocking track on here, Immigrant Song, kicks things off with a proto-speed metal approach which is energising but rather outdone by Black Sabbath the same year with Paranoid. What's really interesting is what happens after that - we plunge into Friends, complete with driving acoustic guitar lines, subtle use of Moog, and a decidedly foreboding atmosphere, and we know we're no longer with the same old Zeppelin we used to know.

The band don't abandon the blues entirely - Since I've Been Loving You is one of their best slow blues rock songs, in fact - but they do delve deeply into acoustic experimentations. Apparently they were compared unfavourably to Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young when this one came out, which is just bizarre - CSNY were taking hippy folk into the 1970s, whereas here the Zeps are bringing a light acoustic touch to heavy, hard rock material, creating an altogether different sound. Although it's not very metal, it is more varied and more interesting than their earlier material.

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Posted Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Symphonic Team
4 stars Hammer of the gods

Another excellent Zeppelin album that resides comfortably as one of the all time greatest albums in rock history. It is still proto prog not quite living up to essential to the genre but it is nevertheless a vital component of rock history. The album cover was a trippy psychedelic multi faceted art romp. As you spun the wheel the images changed and none of it made sense unless you were stoned. The super foursome were already legendary by the time this third release found its way into stores. I guess fans were wanting more killer riffs and blues heavy rock with acoustic moments and Plant's blazing vocals. On this album Led Zeppelin certainly delivered all that and more.

The opener is brilliant proto metal with a driving riff and freak out Plant screams. The lyrics were always engrained in my consciousness and are unforgettable, focussing on the Nordic adventures of rampaging Vikings preparing for Valhalla as they release their souls into the void, well that was my take on it. The lyrical phrases were perfect for the song; "Come from the land of the ice and snow.. hammer of the gods...... Valhalla I am coming.. whispered tales of war, a howling come, the tides of warm, we are your overlords.. " Perhaps Manowar took a leaf out of this songbook as it encompasses the exact content of their 80s metal. Of course Zeppelin were way ahead of their time but the influence of this song is insurmountable. Immigrant Song would perhaps be my all time favourite Zeppelin and all this in a paltry 2 minutes and 25 seconds.

After this short sharp blast, Friends is quite a breath of fresh air. The focus on acoustics and dark orchestration is really unsettling. The middle Eastern modality was akin to what The Beatles were doing on their Sgt Pepper opus.

The boisterous guitars and Plant roaring are a feature of Celebration Day. The Zep were masters of slow moody blues and the stunning Since I've Been Loving You is mind bending. Page is a man possessed on guitar with mega string bends and sweeps, he literally makes his guitar cry. The emotion poured out is augmented by pulsating basslines and slow drum patters.

That's the Way it Is features more acoustic and horns to augment the melancholy flavour. Plant sounds reflective, rather like he is speaking to a lost generation; "all the fish that lay in dirty water dying, have they got you hypnotised, yesterday I saw you kissing tiny flowers, But all that lives is born to die, And so I say to you that nothing really matters, And all you do is stand and cry."

Bron-Y-Aur Stomp is another fan favourite but I had to remind myself of what this sounded like as it was a less memorable track for me. It breezes along with manic folk slide acoustics on steel guitar and foot tapping percussion that sounds characteristically like a live festival, indeed it really is raw and sounds unfinished which is part of the whole illusion. It conjures up images of a traditional Welsh dance troupe out among the trees celebrating at a festival. A representation of hippy freedom.

Hats off to Roy Harper is another raw Delta swamp bluesy thing that has dominant scratchy steel guitar with Page sounding Like he is playing with a beer bottle up and down the strings. Plant breezes in with the voice of power, "shake 'em on down", and his voice warbles processed and it may even represent a drug induced state. Obviously the band did entice the drug culture and this is the type of song they would revel in under the influence.

The album has a heavy reliance on acoustic and folkish nuances. It ventures into some parodic dark humour with songs such as Gallows Pole. This one reminds me of what Iron Maiden did on Hallowed Be Thy Name, "cos at 5 o'clock they take me to the Gallows Pole, the sands of time for me are running low." In comparison, Zeppelin are rather restrained but still must have had an impact on metal giants of the 80s.

So here is the fourth 4 star album in a row for me. When will they reach masterpiece status as they are certainly worthy. The following fourth album put all things to rest.

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Send comments to AtomicCrimsonRush (BETA) | Report this review (#530627) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, September 23, 2011

Review by Prog Sothoth
COLLABORATOR Prog Metal Team
3 stars Nowadays, this album is regarded as a classic, and a considerable amount of Zeppelin fans regard this as a favorite, if not their best. This took years though, as for awhile it was often regarded as a mistake in a way, with only "Immigrant Song" getting a ton of airplay on FM stations for awhile. As the years went by, this album proved to be a slow grower, with some of the other mellower tunes getting notice years after the album first came out. Now it's the folksy cool alternative album to the band's heavier stuff, although it's too bad the cover art has become so redundant due to the lack of the "wheel effect" the LP offered.

The same can be said for me concerning my opinion of Led Zeppelin III. Some of the tunes took multiple playing times to appreciate, and some just never got there. That can't be said about the opener, "Immigrant Song". A speedy rockin' opener, when I first heard this album, this song promised me that this was going to be Zeppelin's wildest and most bombastic effort. "Friends" tosses that impression into the trash bin of Expectations, but offers the listeners a gloomy and haunting experience. Robert sings at his witchiest here, all wide- eyed and possessed. "Celebration' starts off as some cool experimental acid rock before settling into a mid-paced rocker that to this day doesn't really impress me much. The rest of side one offers a slow blues number with some great solos and Robert going off the deep end at times to annoying in parts "7 7 7 to 11 11 11". Relax Rob. Take a breath. There's also "Out On The Tiles", a really cool rocker that could've seriously used a sweet guitar solo during the last minute over that simple sign-off riff.

Side two was the real head scratcher for those accustomed to Zeppelin as a heavy band. Pretty much everything is acoustic guitar based, with the last three tracks pretty much ditching the rock entirely. Some of the tunes are rather gorgeous, and "Gallow's Pole" matches the folk with some kicking drums and electric guitar wailing towards its dénouement, but man, the last two tracks I've never been able to get into, teetering between cornball and obnoxious with only that opening few seconds of "Hats Off..." being cool in a tripped out sort of way. This album could have used the Immigrant Song's single B- side "Hey Hey What Can I Do" or even "Down By The Seaside" to bounce off those last two ditties in order to make this album more essential.

Zep III was the band's attempt to show the world they weren't just about making a crazed racket, but a good portion of their fanbase wanted just that. Their next album would incorporate their second and third albums seamlessly into something incredible, but this album does possess certain charms.

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Send comments to Prog Sothoth (BETA) | Report this review (#562162) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, November 04, 2011

Latest members reviews

3 stars LED ZEPPELIN III , in a overall evaluation, this album is an anachronism in Led Zepp's first half "flight". That is characterized by the almost complete absence of Page's guitar solos ( with a brilliant exception in track 3 "Celebration Day" and track 4 " Since I've been Loving You"). Even so ... (read more)

Report this review (#1314240) | Posted by maryes | Sunday, November 23, 2014 | Review Permanlink

3 stars For me, Led Zeppelin III is the weakest of their initial 4 classic releases. It took me a while to post my review of this one; it's been written for weeks. I guess I don't want to spend time posting reviews that are simply a laundry list of negatives. It's still Led Zeppelin, one of the most ... (read more)

Report this review (#1117541) | Posted by thwok | Wednesday, January 22, 2014 | Review Permanlink

2 stars Zeppelin took a dramatic turn of events with their third album by incorporating folk in large quantities. Unfortunately for me I'm simply not much of a folk fan at all. Most of the folk sound can be found in 'Friends,' 'Tangerine,' 'That's the Way,' 'Bron-Y-Aur-Stomp' and 'Hats Off.' It's not as ... (read more)

Report this review (#771437) | Posted by Mr. Mustard | Friday, June 15, 2012 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This is my first rating for an album, although I have watched this site for some period of time. But this is not the main thing here. This, Zepellin III is a five stars album (like every album they have created). In the seventies I was a young boy, and I started to hear prog, oh what a discover ... (read more)

Report this review (#524749) | Posted by ridemyfacetochicago | Friday, September 16, 2011 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This is often thought of as the softest of the Led Zeppelin albums. Following the first two heavy blues-rock records it's understandable how it was slated at the time, but it's good to see how many people appreciate it now.nThough sometimes it can still be too underrated. The punchy "Immigrant song" ... (read more)

Report this review (#484220) | Posted by Frankie Flowers | Sunday, July 17, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Always amusing to read biographies and articles that talk about the distress fans and critics went through when hearing this album for the first time. III was obviously a big shift, and after the pummeling of the classic "Immigrant Song' it's reasonable that fans would expect to hear more of II a ... (read more)

Report this review (#456309) | Posted by dreadpirateroberts | Friday, June 03, 2011 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Led Zeppelin III. can be judged in the same way as its two wonderful predecessors. Think about the situation in the "hard rock frenzy" year 1970. Each legendary group was competing in being hard, melodic, filled with riffs or at least full of brilliant solo performances. Black Sabbath release ... (read more)

Report this review (#378706) | Posted by Hejkal | Wednesday, January 12, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars There will always be a debate whose band is the best rock'n'roll band ever. In my view, the best ever rock'n'roll band is Led Zeppelin as much as The Beatles was the best ever pop band. Led Zeppelin are/was head and shoulder above the likes of Rolling Stones, Who and everyone else. This album ... (read more)

Report this review (#283099) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Saturday, May 22, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Getting The Led Out Acoustic music had always been integral to Led Zeppelin and the notion that they were a heavy metal band has always been an inaccurate supposition propogated by the music press. Ironically the moniker "Hammer Of The Gods " a favourite nickname applied to them by bookwriters an ... (read more)

Report this review (#262889) | Posted by Vibrationbaby | Wednesday, January 27, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars We've come from the land of the ice and snow. I'm a real fan of Zeppelins first four albums. In Zeppelins third Zep had managed to build their sound to a more versatile ground. The album would include a full out rocker song, maybe the best live tour opener ever, the overplayed "Immigrant Song". ... (read more)

Report this review (#245419) | Posted by paragraph7 | Tuesday, October 20, 2009 | Review Permanlink

3 stars They love opening with so much heavy, then not following through, huh? Yeah, Immigrant song is ferocious. And so very metal in its hard-edged approach. The vocal wails are entrancing, and it ends off so enjoyable, but I feel it is a bit too short. Not to mention how the album takes a dip in qu ... (read more)

Report this review (#212655) | Posted by Alitare | Tuesday, April 28, 2009 | Review Permanlink

2 stars In 1970 Led Zeppelin decided to work on their next album in Welsh cottage Bron - Yr - Aur. It's lovely place really. Too lovely to concentrate on work. I love British folk music and I think Jethro Tull is one of the greates bands on earth. But Page isn't Anderson. I don't even want to know what ... (read more)

Report this review (#212651) | Posted by LSDisease | Tuesday, April 28, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Led Zeppelin III 4/5 Hey, hey what an I do? I actually like this album so much that there isn't anything I can say bad about it. We actually see a tasteful blend of their heavy tendacies with delicate explorations into folk. Side 1 mainly explores the electric music that defined their first ... (read more)

Report this review (#208995) | Posted by mr.cub | Friday, March 27, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars If this website wasn't call 'ProgArchives',i'd certainly give this early Zeppelin material 5 star ratings,for being delicate,intelligent and still very hard rocking albums. Zeppelin III is just as good as the previous one,but for totally diferent reasons.While the strenght of II lied in the ro ... (read more)

Report this review (#202189) | Posted by Gustavo Froes | Monday, February 09, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Progressive related ((( yeah ))) , the right description for the third Led Zeppelin album in 1970 from Atlantic . This album was more than essential to fulfill the Zep collection , in fact it was the necessary bridge for the band between hard rock & prog related folk-blu ... (read more)

Report this review (#166415) | Posted by trackstoni | Saturday, April 12, 2008 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Except for a couple of tracks (Immigrant Song, Since I've Been Loving You), the entirety is acoustic, almost folk. For the ones who waited for a heavier album than Led Zeppelin II, it was a little bit deceiving. For the label Atlantic too, I guess. But when you'll listen to the whole album, You' ... (read more)

Report this review (#164052) | Posted by Zardoz | Sunday, March 16, 2008 | Review Permanlink

4 stars The only Zep album I still listen to from this Behemoth of a rock band. It features 4 of Zep's strongest ever songs and overall has an earthy vibe to it which is cold, yet appeals in an intellectual kind-of-way. My long-term music tastes are normally of a tribal kind, and of long instrumental j ... (read more)

Report this review (#156310) | Posted by dholl | Sunday, December 23, 2007 | Review Permanlink

4 stars A bit of a letdown for some of the hardcore headbangers out there, Led Zeppelin III is an underrated and underappreciated album that highlights their maturing sound, hightened sensitivity and attention to dynamics and demonstrates the versatility of the band. Still very heavily laden in blues, ... (read more)

Report this review (#154339) | Posted by LARKSTONGUE | Wednesday, December 05, 2007 | Review Permanlink

5 stars ZEPPELIN entered the 70´s as the band of the decade: rich, famous & electrified. Many important & bombastic gigs and a huge selling were enough reasons to give ZEPPELIN the status of "supergroup". Nobody were wrong. At that time, ZEPPELIN was free to improve it HARD-BLUES and even experience man ... (read more)

Report this review (#144322) | Posted by rguabiraba | Saturday, October 13, 2007 | Review Permanlink

4 stars REVIEW PART ONE First review, and i don´t have much idea of what to type in, first, i would consider that not many people would be seeing my review and that would be an insult to the few that are doing it, who is a prog fan, ... (read more)

Report this review (#123020) | Posted by Nacho_69 | Monday, May 21, 2007 | Review Permanlink

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