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LED ZEPPELIN

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Led Zeppelin biography
Founded in London, UK in 1968 - Disbanded in 1980 - One-off reunions in 1985, 1988, 1995 and 2007

Led Zeppelin formed in 1968 as a residue of The Yardbirds. Jimmy PAGE was the last remaining member and had to fulfill some concert obligations in Scandinavia. Page teamed up with John Paul JONES, with whom he worked with on previous session engagements, and they decided to form a band together, after contributing to Donovan's Hurdy Gurdy Man album , they started searching for a singer and a drummer to complete the band. Page went to see Robert PLANT on recommendation by Terry Reid (Terry didn't want to do the vocals, he also turned down DEEP PURPLE for that matter), and immediately loved his voice and stage appearance, Robert PLANT on his turn recommended John BONHAM for drums with whom he played before in his Birmingham based band "Band Of Joy". The band members hit it off immediately and together they went on the Scandinavian tour as 'The New yardbirds". Considering their intend of forming a rock band they needed a proper name. Keith Moon once commented on the New Yardbirds show "This band will go down like a lead balloon" and derived from that came the new name of the soon to be legendary band Led Zeppelin.

Over the years Led Zeppelin came in many guises, from the heavy blues rock that dominated their first two albums, to the folk and acoustics that made up half of their 3rd and 4th album, and the more funky, even slightly progressive Houses of the Holy, and the bombastically baroque Physical Graffiti to the classic rock that prevailed in their last two albums. Led Zeppelin can be categorized as a heavier continuation of what Cream set in motion, with blues drenched, folk inflected and guitar dominated rock, using all the different styles rock could be played in, from blues, to folk, funk, pop, classical elements, Rock and Roll and metal, with side-steps that even included country and reggae, as well as psychedelic and large portions of what can be considered progressive rock. Aside from being a great rock band, their influence was felt throughout the heavy rock spectrum.

Typical elements in Led Zeppelin sounds are the funky electric guitar drives, delicate and technical acoustic guitar pieces, sophisticated multi-layered arrangements, a fabulous rhythm section with heavy drumming from John ...
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LED ZEPPELIN discography


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LED ZEPPELIN top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.05 | 1015 ratings
Led Zeppelin
1969
3.98 | 958 ratings
Led Zeppelin II
1969
3.94 | 921 ratings
Led Zeppelin III
1970
4.41 | 1230 ratings
Led Zeppelin IV
1971
3.93 | 887 ratings
Houses Of The Holy
1973
4.05 | 921 ratings
Physical Graffiti
1975
3.38 | 648 ratings
Presence
1976
2.94 | 604 ratings
In Through the Out Door
1979

LED ZEPPELIN Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.81 | 321 ratings
The Soundtrack From The Film The Song Remains The Same
1976
4.28 | 175 ratings
BBC Sessions
1997
4.39 | 227 ratings
How The West Was Won
2003
4.55 | 154 ratings
Celebration Day
2012

LED ZEPPELIN Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

3.99 | 158 ratings
The Song Remains The Same (Film)
1990
4.45 | 173 ratings
Led Zeppelin
2003
2.78 | 9 ratings
Rock Milestones Led Zeppelin's IV
2005
3.29 | 7 ratings
The Led Zeppelin In Concert (extract from 'The Song Remains The Same')
2005
3.71 | 7 ratings
Complete Rock Case Studies
2009

LED ZEPPELIN Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.07 | 11 ratings
2 Originals Of Led Zeppelin
1974
2.47 | 298 ratings
Coda
1982
2.21 | 10 ratings
The 10 Legendary Singles
1989
3.95 | 57 ratings
Led Zeppelin (Box set)
1990
4.14 | 90 ratings
Remasters
1992
3.97 | 28 ratings
The Complete Studio Recordings
1993
3.92 | 26 ratings
Boxed Set II
1993
3.55 | 42 ratings
Early Days: The Best of Led Zeppelin Volume One
1999
2.90 | 39 ratings
Latter Days: The Best of Led Zeppelin Volume Two
2000
3.74 | 80 ratings
Mothership
2007

LED ZEPPELIN Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.43 | 26 ratings
Good Times Bad Times
1969
3.90 | 35 ratings
Whole Lotta Love
1969
4.12 | 26 ratings
Immigrant Song / Hey, Hey, What Can I Do
1970
3.00 | 3 ratings
Living Loving Maid (She's Just a Woman)
1970
3.67 | 3 ratings
Bron-Y-Aur Stomp
1970
4.33 | 3 ratings
El Emigrante
1970
3.72 | 16 ratings
Black Dog/Misty Mountain Hop
1971
4.75 | 44 ratings
Stairway To Heaven
1971
4.18 | 22 ratings
Rock And Roll / Four Sticks
1972
4.00 | 2 ratings
Acoustically
1972
4.00 | 3 ratings
This Is Led Zeppelin
1973
4.60 | 5 ratings
Over the Hills and Far Away
1973
3.82 | 27 ratings
D'yer Maker
1973
4.50 | 2 ratings
The Ocean
1973
4.09 | 23 ratings
Trampled Underfoot
1975
4.67 | 3 ratings
Fool in the Rain
1979
3.62 | 18 ratings
Wearing And Tearing
1982
3.75 | 13 ratings
The Girl I Love
1997
4.15 | 20 ratings
Whole Lotta Love
1997

LED ZEPPELIN Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 How The West Was Won by LED ZEPPELIN album cover Live, 2003
4.39 | 227 ratings

BUY
How The West Was Won
Led Zeppelin Prog Related

Review by prog_traveller!!

5 stars I feel the need to talk now about this triple live CD (released in 2003 many years after the official dissolution of the group following the death of drummer John "Bonzo" Bonham). It is obvious, however, that the intent of the record companies is to make money and, in the absence of new releases (in this case they will never happen without an unlikely reunification of the English formation), they are occasionally placed on the market a series of products that are almost always useless and that do not add anything new to what is already known. In the specific case of How The West Was Won (How The West Was Conquered), moreover, the benchmark is the monumental The Soundtrack From The Film The Song Remains The Same in my opinion one of the best live shows of all time. However, in spite of what has been said previously, we are in the presence of a release of enormous importance that offers us one of the icons of rock music at their best. The album contains the recording of songs performed by Led Zeppelin during two concerts held on June 25, 1972 at the Los Angeles Forum and the following June 27 at the Long Beach Arena: guitarist Jimmy Page, producer of the full length in question, for his explicit admission - reported in the liner notes of the album - states that these two shows represent the absolute pinnacle of the band's artistic career ... and if he says so! In total there are eighteen pieces and others, although performed during the shows, have not been included in the tracklist (for example Communication Breakdown and a very rare version of Louie Louie). The platter had a remarkable commercial success, a clear sign of the crystalline affection that fans still have towards Led Zeppelin. The enormous merit of How The West Was Won is to propose some fundamental songs which, also for reasons of space - it was still at the time of vinyl in 1976 - are not present in the aforementioned official live (for completeness of information it is right to remember that in 2007 The Soundtrack From The Film The Song Remains The Same was re-released with six more songs than the original version).

The first cd opens with a very short track called "LA Drone", basically a hint of jam session whose purpose is to warm both the minds and the musicians. Live "LA Drone" could have lasted much longer, but on How The West Was Won Jimmy Page, who, as usual, took care of every single detail of the work, preferred to keep only a few seconds of pure electrical distortion, reducing it to mere interlude of the far more ideal beginning of this singular "conquest of the West" "Immigrant Song". Housed in the third and most eclectic Zeppelin album, the song was about barbarians and almost ghostly Viking warriors, ready to colonize the coldest and most distant lands. In reality, the lyrics of the song were originally meant to be a tribute to the Icelandic public, but even then its nature made it perfect to symbolize the metaphorical conquest of North America by Led Zeppelin. After all, just as the Vikings had come all the way to America - four cats driven only by courage and the spirit of adventure - so Led Zeppelin had taken a plane and, by themselves, made them the American continent. Musically speaking. Immigrant Song's pugnacious riff and piercing scream are ideal for starting the battle, four warriors in front of an audience waiting to be conquered. At the end the song returns to hammer its characteristic riff, but it is only a moment and "Heartbreaker" is already a good game. It is evident that Led Zeppelin did not like to lower the bar, considering that we are talking about one of the most powerful pieces in the whole repertoire. More than following The Immigrant Song it seems to be a natural extension of it, even if technically Heartbreaker was written a year earlier. The song was part of the second album by Led Zeppelin (1969), notoriously the most "metalhead" of the British group's works, representing its apex. The theme was simple, derived from the intrinsic characteristics of blues poetics: the return to the city of a femme fatale known as the "heartbreaker". Compared to a typical blues text, that of Heartbreaker unhinges the dramatic component making it almost a parody, a tragicomic dive into the past of a man who believed he had rebuilt a (sentimental) life. In this case, instead of acting as the center of gravity of the work as on Led Zeppelin II, the song is a real "emotional catapult", the momentum designed to bring the audience to the heart of the concert. The development of the action is very similar to that of Immigrant Song: from a beginning on the lines we reach a phase of hard and dynamic improvisation, marked first by the excruciating screams of Plant and then, again, by impromptu virtuosity on the part of Page. The bass and drum base this time is simpler and more pounding, the approach a bit more classic but equally devastating. Led Zeppelin play with their creature and the audience, swerving to a slower melody and leaving room for Page's guitar, which, for a while, plays completely alone. After this phase halfway between flamboyance and melancholy, in perfect symbiosis with the atmosphere of the piece, the disorderly and fascinating growth of Page's distortions almost seems to go to extinguish on a melodic strum, to then restart at great speed and open to an oh yeah by Robert Plant, prelude to a powerful and very fast conclusion, with Page and Bonzo in the foreground, and the iconic and aggressive riff of Heartbreaker as the undisputed protagonist. The sharp and sudden conclusion leaves only a miserable second for the viewer to recover, and immediately starts "Black Dog", another of the most famous pieces of Led Zeppelin. The song's sudden attack keeps attention and adrenaline high, and demonstrates Jimmy Page's mastery of studio work; the first three pieces, in fact, both come from the evening at the Long Beach Arena, while Black Dog and the next track, from the one at the Los Angeles Forum. In addition, the various parts have been retouched using extrapolations from both evenings. The choice of mixing the pieces, rather than bringing on CD a single concert in its entirety from start to finish, displeased a part of the fans, but it also satisfied a larger slice of them, managing to obtain both a superior sound quality, is an ideal poetic structure. Black Dog comes from the Zeps' most beloved and representative album: Led Zeppelin IV, and represents their toughest face. The text once again follows certain canons of the blues, undermining its sacredness and giving us the figure of a strong and emancipated woman, indifferent as she is free, distant and at the same time tied to the devils of that slightly chauvinist culture so dear to Jimmy Page. The "black dog" is the protagonist of the song, inspired by a labrador retriever who, at the time of the recording of the fourth album, seems to be wandering around Headley Grange. He was an elderly but sexually sprightly dog, just like this man embodied by Plant's voice, a man who was displeased with that cheeky girl and at the same time made under the influence of excitement and desire. Furthermore, the "black dog" is a reference to the demonic dog of an old British folk legend, seminal of works such as The Hound of Basckerville and Cujo. In fact, Black Dog is followed by the placid and evocative "Over the Hills and Far Away". This piece is part of Houses of the Holy, the fifth Led Zeppelin album, dated 1973 and, therefore, following the concerts from which the tracks of How the West Was Won come. However, the song itself is older, dating back to the 1970 stay at Bron Yr Aur's cottage, whose bucolic atmosphere it retains intact. It was in fact concert after concert that the piece took shape, finding its definitive fulfillment during the American tour of '72. The theme was of the genre loved by Robert Plant, that is a story halfway between the existential and the sentimental, in which one is preparatory to the other. The journey, the personal revenge and the rediscovered harmony are the main topics, symbolized by a new love, truer and sweeter than the false and painful one that the protagonist of the song has left behind. The text, which in this case enjoys a greater depth and importance than usual, thus ranges from intimate considerations to more cryptic social messages, the content of which is summarized in a few stanzas whose function is essentially to have a pleasant and sought after, an integral part of the sound of the piece. The version of Over the Hills present on How the West Was Won is very similar to the one that would have appeared in the future on Houses of the Holy, divided into three parts: two acoustic and one, the central one, electric and lively. The main difference is that here the first part lasts a little less, while the ending is slightly longer and more elaborate, more a repetition of the initial part than a slight nuance like in the fifth album. Another difference is in the sonority: Plant's voice is more defined and preponderant, while the central part, not being able to count on the overlapping guitar in the studio, places greater importance on Bonzo. The syncopated rhythm typical of Bonham even dominates the distortions of the guitarist, and the free interpretation that he is able to afford in a live show really all the bestiality and skill. At the end the acoustic sounds are repeated and the piece ends, as it should be, raised by the singing of Robert Plant. Applause and cheers. Without delay it's the turn of "Since I've Been Loving You", a small masterpiece from Led Zeppelin III. We are talking about a bluesy piece of incredible intensity, supported by an extremely simple text whose strength is the depth of interpretation. And Plant's is masterful. The theme is the classic one of a desperate man because of a cheating woman, but in the foreground there is no betrayal or couple dynamics, but rather desperate love and the man's inner torment, a desperation that "gives when he fell in love "is driving him mad. Difficult to do better than the studio version, already made with the intention of looking like something out of a live; that of Led Zeppelin III is a song of impeccable perfection, with a crazy Plant: tormented, insane, with a lacerated and lacerating voice, and a Jimmy Page who performs in a beautiful solo like very few others in his entire career. While it cannot be said that the concert version of How the West Was Wan is able to impose itself more strongly than the one in the studio, it must still be said that Zeppelin give the best of the best. The piece maintains its notes of tension and despair, but Plant's interpretation shifts from a painful introspection to a dialogue with his audience, making the overall rendering more direct but less penetrating. To remain almost unchanged are the thickness and skill of Page, once again committed to creating a background with an incredible atmosphere almost like nothing, making it seem like a distracted strumble. Even his solo, live, manages to compete with that of the studio version of the song. To strengthen the performance we think Bonahm and Jones, whose sound is even more pronounced and powerful than the one in the studio. Jones, in particular, shows his skills as a multi-instrumentalist live with beautiful performances on the Hammond, while giving more prominence to the virtuosity on the bass than the studio version. Finally, introspection or not, Plant's voice contributes greatly to the "wall of sound" raised by his companions, pure catharsis that revolves around Page's solo. This time the ovation is total and deserved, and Led Zeppelin are determined to ensure that it does not go out. Robert Plant thanks and presents the next song to the audience: "Stairway to Heaven". It happened very often, during the lives, that this song was proposed after Since I've Been Loving You, and with good reason. These two pieces, as well as the next one, come from the live at the Long Beach Arena, and Jimmy Page has seen fit to reproduce them exactly in the original order, as it should be. Now, Stairway to Heaven we practically all know it: it is by far the most famous work of Led Zeppelin, as well as one of the most adored, hated, celebrated, debated and abused in all of rock history. Part of the so-called ZoSo, the group's infamous fourth album, this piece is the quintessence of both the sound and the poetics of Zeppelin. Inside Stairway to Heaven there is everything, from blues sounds to British folk, from mellotron to heavy metal, and the same goes for the themes, in which we find, in perfect symbiosis, the greedy lady of blues matrix, imaginative references and allegorical, mysticism, social metaphors and individual journey. In fact it is difficult to frame the theme of the piece in a single meaning, a univocal explanation of what in hindsight are a multitude of references with a more evocative than conceptual value. Let's say that the text can be framed in a vast and vague social allegory that, little by little, turns on an individual and spiritual research. As I already wrote on the review of Led Zeppelin IV (an officially untitled album), Stairway to Heaven is also famous for the alleged satanic messages inside it, an assumption as far-fetched as it is lucky, at least for the Zeps wallets: that of messages. subliminals was in fact a great advertisement for the record. Curiously, the version that Zeppelins perform at the Long Beach Arena is not among the longest in the history of the airship, in fact, it is almost as long as the one in the studio. The performance, therefore, is quite similar to what we are used to, but although the sound is predictably less clean, the rendering is even more penetrating, more emotionally engaging. Having just given fans their hottest song, Led Zeppelin continue the fondling with a tribute to the Californian audience they are playing for: "Going to California." This song is among the most delicate in the Zeppelin catalog, and its nature lends itself well to continuing the soft ending of Stairway to Heaven. The text paid homage, through quotations of various kinds, to the singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell, an artist much loved by both Robert Plant and, above all, by Jimmy Page. Between the verses, Plant talks about a man who runs away from a squalid life and an unsatisfactory relationship, seeking refuge on a journey to an idealized and unreal California, the goal of a new relationship with an equally idealized woman. Coming from the same fourth album of Stairway, also the lyrics of Going to California has in fact intrinsic the same themes of a spiritual nature, of the search for the self through mystical experience. The experience proposed by Plant is therefore characteristic of the "flower children" trend, the real ones, not the post-modern parody fixed in the collective imagination. This song is a creature of the singer, who performs it with particular refinement and warmth, sincere in his respect to the land that hosts it. The piece extends above all in its delicate guitar arpeggios, the only instrumental counterpart to the intense voice of Robert Plant together with the mandolin of John Paul Jones. For the rest, the composition remains faithful to the studio version, without feats or extensions that, in a piece like this, would break the intensity of the performance. By now Led Zeppelin have unleashed their acoustic set, so that John Bonham can continue to rest a little more on the tunes of "That's the Way". This piece, like all those hosted on Led Zeppelin III, is strongly the son of the stay in Bron Yr Aur, the "Golden Breast" in the green Welsh hills. Of all the Zeppelin discography it is by far the softest and most ethereal, in some ways even atypical. In the text, for example, there is no woman, evil or idealized, no malice, no smargassiria or irony. In reality we are talking about the friendship between two neighbors, as the title initially thought - The Boy Next Door - makes it easy to understand. After a song about an idealized America, Zeppelin shift the focus to a song whose theme embraces both environmentalist and social grievances, the latter the result of not entirely positive observations about the experience (positive yes, but as a whole) in the United States of America. Compared to the studio version, enriched by acoustic overdubs and the use of instruments such as pedal steel and a folkloristic dulcimer, the one on How the West Was Won is more direct and linear, although less evocative of certain stylistic features. If in the studio the refined nuances and the bass dominate, here it is still the acoustic guitar and the mandolin that make up the soul of the work. Simply, Zeppelin kept the instrumentation of the previous song, which is completely normal live. Unchanged is the tambourine, Bonzo's only plausible intervention in a song of this genre, in which Plant is once again the protagonist, skilled interlocutor during the most "intimate" phase of the concert. The veiled melancholy of these last songs disappears completely when the rock concert turns into a country party, thanks to the acoustic but dizzying notes of "Bron-Yr-Aur Stomp". Small curiosity about this track: in the first version of Led Zeppelin III, the album from which the song comes, there was a typo regarding the name of the Welsh place, that is "Y" instead of "Yr". It happens, with these complicated Welsh names. The onomatopoeia "stomp" indicates a leap with consequent relapse with feet together, indicative of the festive and rural nature of the piece, basically a sunny and light popular ballad. Plant's proposed lyrics sarcastically make us believe that the song is about a woman so perfect and faithful that it seems unreal, until it turns out that the song actually refers to the singer's dog, a border collie named Strider. Compared to the studio version, enriched with a variety of shades, this really seems to come from a country festival. But they are still Led Zeppelin, and so country mixes with British folk and Robert Plant's bluesman voice, while the audience claps hands and feet to the rhythm of John Bonham, who in the studio piece used castanets and spoons to reinforce the "popular" atmosphere of the song, while here it would seem to be drumming with your hands. Equipped with a single moment of "deceleration" in the middle, the song is a party from start to finish that prefers the sharp blow to the nuanced conclusion at the end, ending with an exclamation: "Strider!" - Plant's dog who bears the nickname of Aragorn, a character from "The Lord of the Rings". Just as Bron-Yr-Aur Stomp ideally concluded Led Zeppelin III (I say: ideally), also the first CD of How the West Was Won finds its natural conclusion with this track.

The second cd of this triple collection consists of only four tracks, and the reason is simple: the final drum solo lasts almost twenty minutes, while the opening track, "Dazed and Confused", collects pieces of other songs plus a good dose of free interpretation, thus exceeding twenty-five minutes in duration. In fact, in the 70s, rock bands almost never respected a rigid lineup, respectful of the versions recorded in the studio and a certain type of marketing, but the habit of modifying and lengthening was much more widespread than today. the songs until they lead to real jam sessions. In this, Led Zeppelin were particularly famous, so much so that they boasted that each of their shows was unique and unrepeatable, different from all the others. In large part, this was exactly the case. Unfortunately it must be said that, although How the West Was Won manages to capture the spirit and power of Led Zeppelin as they were live, these remarkable extensions are in the long run a bit monotonous, even cloying. Live they had a meaning, and also a very beautiful one, but on CD that atmosphere of improvisation, dialogue and spectacle inevitably ends up being lost. However, that hardly detracts from that not only is it one of the album's best performances, but not even its value in terms of "historical document". Dazed and Confused was one of the flagship pieces on the band's debut album (1969), originally inspired by a psychedelic rock song by Jake Holmes (1967), and already reinterpreted in '68 by the Yardbirds, the old band of Jimmy Page . In the hands of Led Zeppelin the song had become a slow and dark drama with a markedly heavy blues flavor, with very little to do with the version of Holmes apart from the title, but with much more in common with the version of the Yardbirds, already largely daughter of Jimmy Page. The ovation is gradual, but total. The next two tracks come from the evening at the Long Beach Arena, and overall lighten and tone down the previous, crazy jam session of Dazed and Confused. The first of the two songs was written for Led Zeppelin II, of which it is the more "relaxed" side. I'm talking about "What is and What Should Never Be". The text is one of the interesting elements, and hindsight would seem to support the suppositions of those who, already in unsuspected times, believed that between the verses of the piece there was a reference to the relationship between Robert Plant and his then sister. wife, Maureen. Whether it's true or a coincidence, the text is sad and dreamy, not dramatic, like someone who has surrendered to the evidence, of "what is" (an unattainable love), but of how "not can ever be ". Despite its nature, the song also plays on a sometimes seductive rhythm and a dynamic and biting refrain. In the case of the live version on How the West Was Won the sensuality is even more accentuated, marked by a round of R&B bass and the interpretation of a Plant that is more excited than moved. Overall, the piece lasts even shorter than its studio counterpart, which does not take away from Zeppelins the whim of magnifying, soundly speaking, the last minutes of the song. Once again the show becomes very hard rock, weakening a bit the sense of the words, sure, but who cares. What is and What Should Never Be lends itself very well as an ambiguous song: sweet, powerful, light, hard rock, with its sad but sensual lyrics; and it is for this reason that on our triple collection he does not play the part of the melancholy piece but, rather, as a tension-breaker and prelude to another very light piece: "Dancing Days". Compared to the version of Houses of the Holy, this one is almost identical, including the sunny and positivist personality that characterizes that album. This piece has its origins in the influence of Indian music on the band, and owes its name to the fact that when it was recorded, in Stargroves (in the same year of the two Californian nights), it seems that Led Zeppelin had left the studio and were made to dance. Some bootlegs also suggest that the song's riff is older, at least from '71. The text is light and bright, characterized by evocative metaphors: the "days of dance" are summer days, whose atmosphere is very reminiscent of an Indian heat full of exotic sounds and smells. Even the female subject, sometimes present as an "interlocutor" in Plant's texts, has a positive and metaphorical value. Just like in the studio version, Page's guitar dominates, with its repetitive and vaguely exotic riff, and Bonzo's drums, the only element slightly over the top compared to the fifth album version.

However, this is not a casual element, since Dancing Days anticipates the long performance of "Moby Dick". The nature of the piece, whose original version of only four and a half minutes is hosted by Led Zeppelin II, retains the quotationist and postmodernist vein of the first Zeppelins. The guitar riff of the song is in fact taken from Watch Your Step, by Bobby Parker, already used as the basis of I Feel Fine by the Beatles; even if, in reality, How The West Was Won is a legacy that is soon forgotten. In fact, the introduction lasts less than a minute, immediately leaving room for the evolutions of John Bonham, in a riot of primordial power that leaves no doubt as to why Bonham was also called The Beast (as well as for his chaotic nature during the tours) . The long percussion solo is nowhere near a display of virtuosity and technicalities for superfine palates, on the contrary: although there are passages of great value from a technical point of view, the strength of Bonzo's performance lies in its wild, powerful nature. , fast, a carpet bombing with no escape practically from start to finish, interspersed only sporadically by moments of calm in which the drummer reloads the pieces. Thanks to Page's exceptional studio work, even the slightest nuance can be picked up on How the West Was Won, even the noise of the pedal chain or the grunts of Bonham as he plays. Spectacular, when Bonzo takes his sticks out of the way and begins to drum with his bare hands on the drums, on the drum, on the gong, and wherever he happens without a predefined pattern. And I would like to remind you that John "The Beast" Bonham's instrumentation was not even remotely comparable to that of a modern drummer, of that school born and evolved since the 80s, and that all his power was born only from his vigor and from his primordial creative verve. Unfortunately, without having his figure squirming or concentrating in front of the drums, the show offered by the CD is once again only the palliative of a real live. Nevertheless the effect is still exhilarating and hypnotic, so much so that one cannot help but imagine the hands and drumsticks hammering on cymbals and drums - until that final acceleration that anticipates the return of Page, Jones, and their distinctive riff. But it is only a moment: to close the piece is up to Bonzo, who squirms and writhes a little more in his bombardment, before writing the final word along with Jimmy Page's disjointed distortions.

Moby Dick concludes the second cd of the triple collection in an ideal way, opening to a cornerstone of the Zeppelin repertoire: "Whole Lotta Love" (best translated as "a whole lot of love"). This track, taken from Led Zeppelin II and originally lasting five and a half minutes, is the longest of the entire collection, thanks also to the various covers "incorporated" in its performance. The choice of the lineup, once again, is not accidental: Moby Dick, the penultimate track of the second album by the Zeps, perfectly framed the entire work together with Wholte Lotta Love, who opened it; here the positions are reversed, but the intent is the same. Whole Lotta Love is one of the most renowned songs of the entire Zeppelin catalog, and concentrates all the characteristic elements of the band in its first, thundering years of activity: first of all the "sneaking", since the piece owes a lot to "You Need Love "by Willie Dixon, song recorded in 1962 and performed by Muddy Waters. Although similar thefts are often attributed to Led Zeppelin alone, as if it were a unicum of this band, it should be remembered that instead it was the use of the entire musical panorama of the time to rework, re-arrange and re-propose the classics, a necessary basis. from which to start that huge renewal that gave rise to rock as we know it today. And anyway, Willie Dixon easily managed to get credit for the song. Another typical element of the first Led Zeppelin is given by the text, somewhat "dispersed" in the version of How the West Was Won but always remarkable? impact. In fact, to the original text by Dixon, Page and Plant give some "additions": in practice they desecrate it almost totally, transforming a subtly sensual love song into a real compilation of sexually explicit allegories, very pulled up to pornography thanks to the orgasmic interpretation. by Robert Plant. The synthesis is all in the title itself, in the expression "way down inside" and in stuff like "I'll give you every inch of my love". Once the scratchy sound of Page and Jones has been established, the most "primordial" elements of the band, namely John Bonham and Robert Plant, complete the intercourse, amidst inexorable hammering and screams of enjoyment.

In compiling the lineup, Jimmy Page has made a good decision not to offer the listener any respite, so that the disruptive Whole Lotta Love show is followed by another head-shaking staple: "Rock and Roll," performed at the Long Beach Arena. The original studio version comes from Led Zeppelin IV, in which she follows the hard-hitting Black Dog opening the album in the most festive of ways. In the case of How the West Was Won, rather than letting it go, Rock and Roll starts the party at its conclusion. The lyrics of the song are simple and characteristic: it talks about the contrast between two realities in a man's life, the "current" one, static and boring in his "maturity", and the past one, when he "enjoyed doing rock'n roll. ". The meaning of the song lies in the wish to always return to have fun as in the best periods of life, leaving behind the ugliness and boredom. If already the original version, born from a jam session, is a mix between a classic rock'n roll and the heavier sounds of Led Zeppelin, the interpretation at the Long Beach Arena leaves classicism only the basic structure, the blues twelve measures in "a". In fact, everything else is pumped up to the maximum: the beginning, with its typical riff, is brought to maximum power by an unleashed John Paul Jones and the usual Bonham, soon leaving room for the guitar evolutions of Jimmy Page, in a continuous dialogue between bass and guitar, between the riff of the instrumental and the voice of Robert Plant. The latter does not fail to give a little show at the end, followed by Bonzo and then by the others, in a predictable but exciting final exploit.

Rock and Roll is followed by three songs from the Los Angeles Forum performance, the last of our triple collection; the first is "The Ocean", a piece that at the time of the Californian performance is still unreleased, destined to be released the following year on the fifth Zeppelin album: Houses of the Holy. The theme of the song is perfect for this part of the album, as in my opinion the epilogue seems the ideal moment to celebrate one's success. The Ocean, in fact, through the usual metaphorical and imaginative language of Robert Plant, speaks of the Led Zeppelin audience, of the oceanic crowds massed in front of the band, excited and at the same time almost overwhelmed by that mass. At the end there is also a little gem of tenderness, when Plant suggests that the girl he refers to in the song, in theory a sensual love, is actually the daughter of only four years, Carmen Jane. If during the '72 live shows The Ocean represented a direct tribute to the public, on How the West Was Won the impression is to find oneself in front of a self-celebration, as well as a historical document, which states: "this was us, in front of to an ocean of partying boys and girls, these were Led Zeppelin ". On a work of this kind, it is an assumption that fits perfectly. In its live version, the piece is magnified by a much heavier bass performance than its studio counterpart, as well as Bonzo's overwhelming drums. Even the small but constant improvisations of Page make everything a little more interesting and different than the song we already know, while Robert Plant can not help but follow the trend remaining on the lines, adding here and there screams and incitements, to unleash a little more on the excited and final party-goer, between sunny sounds and devoid of malice as rarely happens, in a Zeppelin product.

The Ocean, however, is only the preamble to the end of the party, because to close our triple collection there are two extremely representative pieces, one in symbiosis with the other: "Bring It On Home", written by Willie Dixon, and " Bring It On Back ". Here we need to clarify, since the picture is beautifully confused. The original piece, the one featured on Led Zeppelin II, was simply called "Bring It On Home", just like Dixon's song of the same name. Led Zeppelin took only a small part of that song, which in their version constituted the introduction of the song and a final nuance, while the central part, the longer one, was totally the result of the band. The intention of the Zeps was to pay homage to Sonny Boy Williamson II, a bluesman famous - just like his father - for the use of the harmonica, who in '63 performed the most famous interpretation of Dixon's much-discussed song. However, although the bulk of the Led Zeppelin version was entirely original, Arc Music (a branch of Chess Records) sued the band and won it, forcing our beloved and unpunished "giveaways" to quote Dixon as the writer of the their song. In order not to risk incurring criticism of any kind, on How the West Was Won the Dixon piece is credited only and exclusively to its original author, while the part written by Led Zeppelin becomes a song in its own right: Bring It On Back, precisely. Bring It On Home (translatable as Bring It Home), lasts only the time of an introduction: a rapid execution of Plant on the harmonica, just in the style of the good Sonny Boy, rhythmic only by the guitar and the tambourine. Plant does little more than talk, with the tone of a storyteller typical of the musical and cultural trend he honored, until his harmonica fades to increasingly sad and vaguely sarcastic notes, always on the lines of the reference genre. This whole introduction serves no other purpose than to load the sudden electric roar of Bring It On Back, which can be translated as bring it with you and therefore, from the title itself, indicative of its "depraved" theme.

Upon its release, How the West Was Won turned out to be a small phenomenon. While in the meantime Led Zeppelin DVD reached the top of the best-selling DVD ever (a record held for three years), the triple collection of the "conquest of the west" reached the first place on the US billboard, winning two gold records and one platinum. Even the critics, decades away from the old diatribes on Led Zeppelin, awarded the work five-star scores. The success of the work is deserved: How the West Was Won is a product of considerable value, both on the technical side and on that of the contents. Regarding the latter, there is little to add: we are talking about the most memorable classics of Led Zeppelin, extrapolated from two evenings that saw the British band in top form. As for the technical side, however, our triple collection can boast a work of reworking in the studio by the best technicians in circulation, under the aegis of a production with controfiocchi and by Jimmy Page himself. The same Jimmy Page who, it is worth remembering, has always taken care of every single release under the Zeppelin brand, from the inception of the band to the breakup, and beyond. If we really wanted to find faults we could mention the lack of some super classic, such as Communication Breakdown, Babe I'm Gonna Leave You or No Quarter (the latter recorded in that year). A slice of fans, the more "eclectic" and less rocker, would probably have liked a digression towards some softer tracks, especially those hosted in the third Zeps album. However, evaluating these "shortcomings" negatively would be a really unjustified persistence: the choice of tracks has in fact very specific reasons, such as the quality of the rendering, not the same for all performances, the emblematic and referential aspect of a rather that another and, lastly, the fact that not all the famous Led Zeppelin songs have been played live, usually due to intrinsic technical limitations. In my opinion, therefore, despite some venial sins, the lineup compiled by Jimmy Page borders on perfection and manages to honor, an incredibly difficult thing, to the memory of a band that has become legendary. In conclusion, not only How the West Was Won is an unmissable document for Led Zeppelin fans, but also a pearl like few others for anyone who wants to have fun with a bit of healthy hard rock, a huge work that succeeds where no one believed. it was possible to succeed: to bring out, albeit only by reflex, all the power, sensuality, character and alchemy of a Led Zeppelin concert, immortalized in that youth whose wonderful excesses made rock history.

 Led Zeppelin IV by LED ZEPPELIN album cover Studio Album, 1971
4.41 | 1230 ratings

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Led Zeppelin IV
Led Zeppelin Prog Related

Review by prog_traveller!!

5 stars There are records whose importance is such as to overcome the boundaries of the genre they belong to, thus making them world heritage of music. You want for the intrinsic beauty of the album, you want for the aura of mystery that surrounds it, you want for the presence of one of the most famous songs in the world (I hope we all understand what I mean without having to peek at the tracklist), the fourth Led Zeppelin's work is one of them.

The release of Led Zeppelin III the previous year had brought a series of negative comments from the English press (always an enemy of the band), leaving Page offended and irritated: in that record the group had tried not to be only the barbarian looters of the blues (one of the most frequent accusations of the press) that were seen in the second album, the infamous "brown bomber". The acoustic twist had not been appreciated by a part of the public who wanted another Led Zeppelin II and had been pissed in the face by the critics ... the story would have proved the band right, but at that moment things were different. The fourth disc was supposed to be the fusion of the two souls of the band, the electric and the acoustic one, Jimmy Page's personal revenge. With these premises Page and Plant went to Bron-Yr-Aur's cottage to start writing the material for the new platter and right there the foundations were laid for Stairway To Heaven, the song that the guitarist intended to become the new horse of battle of the band. After starting the recordings in the Island Studios on Basing Street in London, Page realized that the atmosphere of the record did not blend with that of the studios and decided to take his arms and luggage to Headley Grange, the house in the country where it had already been recorded. Led Zeppelin III. The recordings took place in a relaxed atmosphere and were made in the Rolling Stones mobile studio (arrived a week after the group and crew took office) and led by Ian Stewart, manager of the Rolling Stones and boogie woogie pianist.

To open the dance there is immediately a big song: Black Dog is a piece with a discontinuous trend, whose ups and downs are marked by the continuous question and answer between the voice of Plant and the immortal lap written by John Paul Jones and performed by Jimmy Page. Definitely a piece that has made school. Then we have Rock And Roll, a song with a curious genesis: during the recordings, Bonham attacked Little Richard's Good Golly Miss Molly and Page followed him improvising behind him. The tape was still playing and captured that moment on which the song was based, adding Plant lyrics and Ian Stewart's piano. Rock And Roll is simply what the title portends: a frenzied piece of rock 'n' roll with an enviable shot. After two such explosive moments, Led Zeppelin placed the first link with the previous album: The Battle Of Evermore. Born as an instrumental one night when Jimmy Page picked up John Paul Jones' mandolin at Headley Grange, the song will become the accompaniment for the minstrel Plant intent on telling epic battles. To all this will be added the voice of Sandy Denny (singer of Fairport Convention) who duets with the frontman, the first and only case of a voice other than Plant's on a Led Zeppelin record. And here is Stairway To Heaven. The piece that, although not released as a single, is among the most programmed ever by US radios, immortal and unique, everyone has listened to it at least once in their life. Page has always been very quoting and then the mentality was different from today. From the dreamlike beginning to the electric end, the piece transmits magic, the same that even the performers themselves felt when creating it: Plant, for example, wrote three quarters of the lyrics on the spot and Page recorded the solo in a single session (usually made three and chose the best) with a Telecaster given to him by Jeff Beck some time ago and which hadn't played for about two years. Stairway To Heaven has been said about everything and more, but the important thing is only one: listen to it.

Thinking in terms of vinyl, now the first side would end and here the problem of the record would arise: an unsurpassable first side is contrasted by one of lower quality, which clashes a little with the previous excellence. Let's be clear, the differences are enormous because the first four songs are unattainable, but let's also analyze the second part, which is probably even more experimental. In Misty Mountain Hop the protagonist is the organ of John Paul Jones which anticipates certain future solutions of the group (I don't know about you, but it reminds me a lot of Trampled Underfoot). The guitar and the vocals go behind the turn of the organ and Plant seems to be playing a nursery rhyme. Four Sticks, four sticks, or the quantity used by Bonzo to play this piece (it is strange how many times the number four returns to peep out over the course of the disc). The drummer's percussion continually sustain the rhythm and Jimmy Page's riff is obsessive, until it explodes into a more sunny lap. Going to California is another reference to Led Zeppelin III, with the voice and the guitar that tell the life of the four on the other side of the ocean with unusual sweetness and romance. The song will become part of the acoustic set that the formation will play during concerts. The closing is entrusted to When The Levee Breaks, the personal reissue of the blues by Led Zeppelin. The piece is actually the re-adaptation of a 1928 track by Memphis Minnie and Kansas Joe McCoy, with the addition of effects, the use of filtered vocals and drums with a heavy and distant sound. The harmonica gives that 1920s throwback feeling, while Jimmy Page's murky, smoky turns remind us who we're dealing with. One of the points on which Led Zeppelin did not compromise was the cover. The project of the ensemble included the total absence of their monicker, the title of the disc and any initials or catalog number. The only reference to the band would have been Jimmy Page's name as producer in the inner envelope, where the lyrics of one of their songs, Stairway To Heaven, would also be printed for the first time. The guitarist's idea was to be able to sell the music, not the band name. Clearly Atlantic was against it, considering it a commercial suicide. But things got worse when the group presented the graphics they had thought of for the album: on the cover there would have been a picture of an old man carrying bundles of wood hanging from a peeling wall. Opening the vinyl completely and looking at the front and the back together, the image would have been complete: the crumbling wall that breaks up and makes us see a modern city panorama. The inner cover would have depicted the tarot hermit on top of a cliff, with a disciple at the base and a city surrounded by walls in the background, for a long time (so to see the figure you had to turn the case).

Many years have passed since the release of Led Zeppelin IV and this record continues to be universally recognized as one of the most important in the history of rock. There are those who consider it the best of the band, while others prefer different works according to tastes. The thing that must be recognized, however, is that this album represents the definitive leap of Led Zeppelin in the Olympus of world music, placing them above all and giving them the possibility to impose their conditions on the Atlantic.

 Led Zeppelin III by LED ZEPPELIN album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.94 | 921 ratings

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Led Zeppelin III
Led Zeppelin Prog Related

Review by prog_traveller!!

5 stars And three. This is the number of masterpieces that, from the moment of their birth to 1970, Led Zeppelin had put on the market. Led Zeppelin III is in chronological order the third of these masterpieces, and among other things, the third album in just two years of activity by the band of Page and his companions, a truly remarkable result. Led Zeppelin III, or Untitled III (call it to your liking), is maintaining a very high standard and quality level, both in the executive and especially in the compositional field. The ten songs that make up the disc are truly musical pearls, both if taken individually, and especially if you listen to them all in one go from start to finish.

The sound that presents itself to us is not heavy, certainly less pyrotechnic and probably less Hard Rock in the strict sense than the sound of the two predecessors, but it is really cheerful, dynamic (even for our times) and terribly engaging. Obviously from a mere instrumental point of view the guitar is dominant, in its textures, in the arpeggios, in the solos, things that are not you can only expect when there is a certain Jimmy Page playing it. His bandmates, however, are certainly no less, as the talented John Bonham and John Paul Jones lay down the law behind the drum heads and plucking the bass strings, while as regards the voice of Robert Plant, it does not seem necessary to me. put adjectives, aseveryone knows how it is (obviously all the discussion is aimed at the positive). Led Zeppelin III opens with one of the most famous songs ever of the group, or with the famous and extraordinary "Immigrant song", short but with an intro that has simply made history, with its recognizable and unique "Ahhhahahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh ah! ". For one thing, this intro was even used as a theme song for a broadcast television , which leaves the time it finds, but it must mean something. The timing of the piece is very well marked by the instruments, especially the bass and the great guitar riff, on which Robert Plant embroiders very well, with his clean and very particular voice.

After this first burst of energy we arrive at "Friends", certainly less famous song and completely different from the previous one. The beginning is entrusted to an excellent guitar plot (which will have repercussions for the entire duration of the track), and then continue with a charge of truly not indifferent pathos for all its almost 4 minutes. The beginning of "Celebration Day" is also very particular and lashing, where the guitar feels very good, even if on the bottom (and paradoxically it is the touch that makes the song jump in quality), while bass and drums are in first floor, to intertwine in a quick piece, without many frills and flaws. The solo is beautiful but very short, the only point where Page stands out above his group mates also in terms of sonority. The beginning of "Since I've Been loving you", a sad and very slow ballad, which makes the not indifferent emotional charge transmitted its workhorse is melodramatic. The background melody is beautiful, on which a good and calm drums and a melancholic guitar are superimposed. Personally, at the first listening I thought it was a less heartfelt song than a "Thank You" for example, but on several occasions we realize that the two pieces are simply different and incomparable to each other. Back to the liveliness and the more rock technique with "Out on the tiles", with a great bass, drums not played quickly, but which transmits a crazy background speed for what is the global rhythm of the piece. Good song summing up, but a step below the one that together with "Immigrant Song" and "Tangerine" is the song I like best on this CD, or "Gallows Pole". The beginning is entrusted to the umpteenth plucking of the guitar strings, the voice is sustained but quiet, and then increases in charge while the speed of the song itself increases in a slow but unstoppable way, until it closes not in a whirling way, but still sparkling . I mentioned that Gallows Pole is my favorite song on the record along with "Immigrant song" and "Tangerine". "Tangerine", the sequences of notes that the guitar plucked by Page spreads in the air are truly celestial, just as the voice and all the instruments are celestial, which blend into a truly magical whole. You really hear how much commitment and attachment the song is sung, and if I close my eyes I can feel the 4 Zeppelins playing it in their rehearsal room, with humility, commitment, constancy. A simply unique sensation, and who cares if the song is very short, as long as it is beautiful, and it is.

Just as splendid is "That's the Way", which is more or less in line with Tangerine's standards. Also based on the guitar, with a slow and sweet melody, harmonious and romantic. Beautiful background effects, and the purity and expressiveness that the vocalist is able to express while singing. Definitely country and festive is the penultimate track of the disc, or "Bron-y-aur Stomp", another piece of pure guitar that perhaps is not up to the previous two but defends itself very well, especially for the joy it spreads . We are at the end, and the conclusion arrives on time with yet another excellent song, or "Hats off to (Roy) Harper", perhaps the most particular song of the whole production, with the guitar used in a very strange but truly unique way (and with great impact). The voice follows the very particular sounds emitted by the main instrument for a kind of final ride, frankly not irresistible but certainly curious, which really gives it great charm.

Another epochal record is finished and it is the umpteenth confirmation of how brilliant this group was, fully justifying the myriads of groups who have taken Plant and associates as a role model.

 Led Zeppelin II by LED ZEPPELIN album cover Studio Album, 1969
3.98 | 958 ratings

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Led Zeppelin II
Led Zeppelin Prog Related

Review by prog_traveller!!

5 stars I feel very honored and also a little excited as I am about to review a record by the group that perhaps made the most of the history of world Rock, a group with tens and tens of millions of records sold, as well as a group that perhaps inspired the most part of the bands that at the moment we consider historical in the metal field. Of course I am speaking of Led Zeppelin, and the record is the great "Led Zeppelin II". The second work of the band of Page and Plant comes out in the same year and a few months after "Led Zeppelin I", in 1969, and amplifies the success of the aforementioned album, which offered a type of music at that time practically unknown to the public . Musically, we are dealing with a truly alternative hard rock album, not ear grinder (perhaps for the times, certainly not today), but which presents compositions that still more than 50 years later make listeners rub their eyes and ears, for eclectic, mix between the superb music and the great voice, acute and impossible not to recognize for cleanliness, expression and tonality, of Robert Plant, accompanied in an excellent way by his companions Jimmy Page (who I remember is one of the most brilliant and imitated guitarists ever), John Paul Jones (bass) and John Bonham (drums). In short (and there is not much else to say if not titles of excellence) what the album contains, let's analyze the individual songs, nine, that make up this great sequel, superior in my opinion even to its predecessor.

One cannot fail to recognize immediately the notes of "Whole Lotta Love", one of the most spectacular pieces of the entire production, as well as of the entire career of Led Zeppelin. I would say that the song perfectly sums up the characteristics of the record mentioned above. Definitely Rocking in many of its parts, great solos, very targeted and very successful rhythm changes, eclectic and endless strokes of genius (unforgettable Page that literally consumes the strings of the guitar with a violin bow, for an impressive musical effect, a real electric discharge), perhaps make Whole Lotta Love the symbolic song of Led Zeppelin II. The second song that presents itself to us is "What is and what Should Never be", totally different to the disc opener, but still wonderful. Very bluesy and quiet in its flow, even if with frequent explosions that embellish it "What is ..." is the classic relaxing song, to be enjoyed from the first to the last note. Sung very well, and with a sweet and effective solo, but perhaps it goes without saying. Return to the purest rock with the famous "The Lemon Song", which alternates mid tempo pieces with very engaging rhythms and a great background bass, with continuations all based on the guitar, which is expressed as always in a fast, clean, moving way . A great track overall, which however is surpassed by one of the most tearful songs of the whole Hard Rock scene, or by the unforgettable "Thank You", a quiet, sentimental ballad, but which really brings out emotions, pathos and goosebumps like a few others. It does not seem very difficult as a song at first sight, but analyzing it one realizes that composing it was a real genius, a real declaration of love. Once the tears of Thank You have run out, we return to the decisive riffs, in this case the excellent ones of "Heartbreaker", yet another mid tempo that does not leave indifferent for its overall qualities. The ascending scales in the central part of the song accompanying Robert in his impeccable singing are very beautiful, and the solo, long and of great technique, is particular and really tasty, which leads to a conclusion in the name of speed and dynamism. Dynamism that expands disproportionately in "Living, Loving Maid (She's just a woman)", a Rock and Roll piece if there is one, with an incredible dance floor attitude, as far as it manages to take the listener by the hand and make him wiggle like a madman. The melody is spot on, as is the speed of the piece, really a little gem. Just as "Ramble On" is a pure gem, which starts on a splendid guitar, just caressed by the bass and Plant's voice, and then expands in a very cheerful, dynamic and pleasant way, in vocals and melodies. We are on the penultimate track of the CD, and this too is a sacred monster. In fact, this is the very famous "Moby Dick", instrumental with a great drum attack, drums that are the absolute master in the whole song, pyrotechnics and with a really well-conceived solo in the central part of the track itself.

The beauty is that even if only the drums appear for very long stretches, it is not boring at all, and on the contrary, it really charges, preparing ourselves in spite of ourselves for the last track, or "Bring it on Home", with an initially very country flavor, but which becomes yet another rock gem, a gem that closes a truly exceptional record for which I seem to have given perhaps too obvious words, but it was not easy for me to say anything better, given the extent that certain productions have given and will continue to give to the most beautiful music in the world.

 Led Zeppelin by LED ZEPPELIN album cover Studio Album, 1969
4.05 | 1015 ratings

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Led Zeppelin
Led Zeppelin Prog Related

Review by prog_traveller!!

5 stars Led Zeppelin was born in 1968 out of necessity: Jimmy Page, at the time guitarist of good reputation and the only remaining member of the late Yardbirds, decides to respect the record contracts regarding a tour and looks for musicians to accompany him. Bassist-keyboardist John Paul Jones had been his arranger a year earlier while Robert Plant (vocals) and John Bonham (drums), after a substantial apprenticeship in small bands, had met in Band Of Joy. All three responded positively to Page's call to form a tentative line-up named New Yardbirds. Once they returned home, however, the name was changed to Led Zeppelin: the origin of the name seems to come from an idea by Keith Moon and its meaning should have been "Lead Zeppelin" (from Lead Zeppelin). It was the beginning of a partnership that would last until 1980 (the year of the dissolution following the death of Bonham) with one of the most celebrated and mythicized careers in the history of rock.

In 1969 the debut of the same name, with a black and white cover depicting an airship in flight (a zeppelin to be precise) which became very famous. The opener Good Times, Bad Times opens the platter in an incisive way, with that hard'n'blues heavily contaminated by folk and psychedelic cues, while Page wastes no time showing us what he is capable of with exceptional solos. Babe I'm Gonna Leave You, a slow folk ballad, shows itself intimist and poignant thanks also to the interpretation of a Plant in great mood, as well as to the arpeggios of Page's acoustic guitar that can only be defined as goosebumps, and sudden accelerations of the rhythm section that make it a unique and immortal song. It continues with the blues of You Shook Me, written by Willie Dixon and brought to success by Muddy Waters, a largely instrumental piece useful to Page to show what he was capable of with his six-string, while the psychedelic and dark Dazed And Confused is opened by the tolls of the bass of Jones, true protagonist together with the usual Page, who delights in the umpteenth valuable only of this song, leaving the listener just as its title says. Jones again becomes the protagonist, but this time with the organ, of the intro of Your Time Is Gonna Come, a relaxing and pleasant song, easily catchy and with a chorus that can already be assimilated at the first listen; instead, in the instrumental and folk Black Mountain Side, Page is still the master, accompanied by Vimar Jasani at the tabla (Indian percussion), while the subsequent Communication Breakdown is a fast and aggressive piece, a true example of hard rock, where one remains hypnotized by Page alone; perhaps this is the song that most of all lays the foundations of the new genre thanks to its sharp and fast riffs. I Can't Quit You Baby is another cover by Willie Dixon and, at the end of the platter, How Many More Times, another piece that blends hard, blues and psychedelic, masterfully played by the four members of the group.

The success of Led Zeppelin was almost immediate in the United States, and thanks to the fact that the album was recorded economically at the expense of Page and Grant, for the benefit of greater artistic freedom, it yielded something like two thousand times its cost of production. Thanks to Peter Grant's resourcefulness and knowledge of the market, Led Zeppelin stood out for what it was conceived to be, that is a product that would highlight the power of Led Zeppelin as it was live, without too many superstructures. Credit for this result was the revolutionary recording work carried out by Page, who, contrary to the tradition of simply putting a few microphones close to amplifiers and percussion, included another one a few meters away, recording the balance between the two spaces, and resulting in a sound that, incredibly, really seems to have the reverb and vibes of a live show. Grant got the public to know Zeppelin without betraying their image as live musicians, by arranging for them to perform some live shows for the BBC, as an alternative to normal music programming standards which only involved short singles from the albums. which Led Zeppelin didn't do. The album entered the American charts for 73 weeks, 79 in the British one, and in July of '69 the Zeps obtained their first gold record. The critics were much less receptive than the public, and at first almost crushed the album; in particular, the famous Rolling Stone magazine was very hard in its judgment, only to "change your mind" and soften the tone when it became clear that the success of the band, nothing short of amazing, had reached such high peaks as to surpass any criticism. Later, Rolling Stone itself would place Led Zeppelin in twenty-ninth place among the five hundred best albums of all time. Ah, the voluptuousness of criticism! But on the other hand, given the conditions, it is not surprising that such a product was difficult to understand, if not openly opposed.

Ultimately a masterpiece, absolutely to have, which immediately lets you understand the potential of the group that, in November of the same year, will give life to their second masterpiece where another wonderful journey on the most famous airship in the world awaits us.

 Physical Graffiti by LED ZEPPELIN album cover Studio Album, 1975
4.05 | 921 ratings

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Physical Graffiti
Led Zeppelin Prog Related

Review by Dellinger

3 stars This one seems to be among the best loved Zeppelin albums by fans, as well as a favorite among double albums. Yet, I don't really hear what's so great about it... besides Kashmir, of course. And then, perhaps it's Kashmir in great part the one that makes it sound bad, since the rest of the album sounds nothing like it, so much that it actually sounds out of place within the album... or else, perhaps the order of the songs within the album were not well chosen. I think Kashmir would have sounded much better at the end of disc two, which has many songs that go better with it, and which I particularly like better, and take the last two songs from that disc for disc one, giving the whole album a much stronger end, and making both discs sound much more coherent within them.
 Houses Of The Holy by LED ZEPPELIN album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.93 | 887 ratings

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Houses Of The Holy
Led Zeppelin Prog Related

Review by TCat
Forum & Site Admin Group Eclectic / Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team

5 stars So, I'm pretty much safe in saying that most everyone here has probably heard this album and most everyone is quite familiar with the songs on it. I find it interesting that the ratings are all over the board on it, but I also find that the albums by Led Zeppelin that have more variety on them are the ones that I like the best. This is one of them, and I don't feel bad for giving it a five star rating. I call it essential even if I find it has one of their worst songs on it (The Crunge), at least I have come to appreciate it more than I used to, but I still find it rather obnoxious. Other than that, I find it quite the perfect album and put it up there with my other LZ favorites: "III" and "Physical Graffiti". The reason why is I find that it shows the band branching out from their usual rock/blues style and exploring new sounds, while not exactly abandoning their roots completely. That exploration is what progressive rock is all about. These new exploratory styles present in the music of this album is mostly due to the fact that they had two home studios to work from which allowed the members to better develop their music.

Starting with "The Song Remains the Same", the guitar is suddenly more "jangly" and brighter than what we are used to hearing from the band, and quite frankly, I hear a lot of what inspires the sound of several bands that were to become famous in the next 5-10 years that were waiting for their turn. This upbeat and non-melodic guitar comes in several times with its quick riff and is interspersed with a more slow, bluesy vocal melody, the meter and tempo changing throughout the track. The opening riff was originally supposed to be an instrumental overture for "The Rain Song", but Plant wrote some lyrics and they ended up expanding it to a full-fledged song. "The Rain Song" is probably one of LZ's best ballads and at over 7 minutes in length, the mellotron gives the song an expansive and epic feel in which it never gets boring, but it beautiful and dynamic all the way through. The song itself was inspired to prove a point to George Harrison who wondered if LZ ever wrote any ballads. LZ always felt these first two songs belonged together probably stemming from the fact that the first was supposed to be an overture for the second. I just know its one of my favorite songs by the band because of its detail in the guitar, the piano, the mellotron, everything is just perfect here.

The next track is just as perfect in my opinion, a shorter track with acoustic and electric sections that melds together so well, the excellent "Over the Hills and Far Away" which more closely resembles some of their older tracks, but which is still more reflective of their later albums nonetheless. So, up to this point, we have 3 excellent songs in a row. This is followed for a (thankfully) shorter track that was actually more of a joke song than anything else, poking a little fun at James Brown. In actuality, it is a bit complex in that it is supposed to be a funky sounding song, but the beat is intentionally off quite a bit to make it difficult to dance to. It is built off of a jam session from the band. Knowing that it is mostly a satirical song tends to explain it's nature a bit, but it still doesn't take away the fact that the vocals are some of Plant's worst. But I do like the instrumentals in it. This is the weakest point of the album in my opinion, but I still esteem this album enough to consider it essential anyway.

"Dancing Days" is one of LZ's most accessible tracks, but I still love it. It's placement on the album is perfect and helps to bring the listener back out into the sunshine. Also, since it follows one of their worst songs, it helps to elevate the entire album. It's inspired from a song the band heard in Bombay, so it fits in a bit with the psychedelic styles of the day, but does so in such a way that attracts the masses. "D'yer Mak'er" then sees the band take a stab at reggae while mixing in Plant's doo-wop style of singing. This is one that I used to hate, but over the last several years, have come to appreciate it much more. Most everyone is familiar with this track, so there isn't much point going into much more detail than that.

Next, the band takes us back to the more mysterious sounds of their previous years, but retaining their more developed styles at the same time. The combination of these two things are what makes "No Quarter" one of their best tracks and also one of their biggest fan favorites. The original form of this track was meant for inclusion on their "IV (Runes)" album, which accounts partly for it's slight return to original form. It also became a track that was improvised upon in many of the band's concerts as a showcase for John Paul Jones and his mastery at keys. It varies between quiet ambience and heavy, dark metal throughout allowing for a masterful study in dynamics. The band members state that this track is very important in their development and influenced their future ideas of just what rock music could accomplish The album ends with "The Ocean" which is symbolic of LZ's waves and waves of fans. The track utilizes two alternating meters which not only make it a more complex sound, but emulates the movement of waves in the ocean quite effectively, even up to the feeling of the crashing of the waves against the shore in Page's guitar stylings at the end of each phrase. This one is an underrated masterpiece.

While a few bits and pieces of the tracks from this album come from earlier sessions, jams and concerts, the fact that the band was now able to develop their music more extensively really make these tracks work together so well. There were, at the same time, some tracks also come from these sessions that weren't used until later. The funky sounding title track "Houses of the Holy" was going to be on this album, but was saved for their next album "Physical Graffiti" along with "The Rover" and "Black Country Woman". Another track "Walter's Walk" was released on their final album, which was really a compilation of unused material; "Coda".

So, for me, this album has always been one of my favorites, and still remains so because of the band's willingness to explore and expand their sound. Their music here is so much better developed than ever, not to say that their previous albums weren't good, because they were excellent, but this one was that one step better in my opinion. The music is not the standard fare, but show the band could take on other styles and do them so convincingly, plus the fact that it shows the band integrating other instruments very effectively into their established sound and style. Yes it's considered prog-related, but it is also a masterpiece.

 Led Zeppelin IV by LED ZEPPELIN album cover Studio Album, 1971
4.41 | 1230 ratings

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Led Zeppelin IV
Led Zeppelin Prog Related

Review by Lieutenant_Lan

5 stars Led Zeppelin IV is Zeppelins fourth studio album which released in November of 1971. The album is considered to be one of the greatest classic rock albums of all time. With as many hits as this album has, its easy to see why, Black Dog, Rock and Roll, and of course, one of the greatest songs of all time Stairway to Heaven. While not as famous, the other songs on this album are really good too. To say this album isn't a masterpiece would be a lie, you just cant deny the impact this album had on the music industry, while not prog in the traditional sense, it still progressed rock music forward, so I will still give it a 5/5. Essential album in any music collection.
 In Through the Out Door by LED ZEPPELIN album cover Studio Album, 1979
2.94 | 604 ratings

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In Through the Out Door
Led Zeppelin Prog Related

Review by progtime1234567

4 stars The final album by the legendary rock band Led Zeppelin is considered to be their weakest by a lot of fans, although I enjoyed the album. In all honesty, this was the first Led Zeppelin album I listened to. If this album is really considered their weakest album, then I expect to be blown away with their earlier and "better" albums.

Being my first Led Zeppelin album, I could be a little biased about it when I listen to their other albums. In Through the Out Door is the final album that the band ever put out and I can imagine the album being a disappointment to fans who heard their earlier albums. The album is pretty straightforward for the first couple tracks, then we get to the song Carouselambra, which is a ten minute long track that shifts through a few different musical styles throughout. The other songs are basically regular old Led Zeppelin. Another song I thought was interesting was Hot Dog, which is a short rockabilly-like song that is fun to listen to.

If people are saying that this is Led Zeppelin's weakest album, then I expect a lot from them on their other albums. Not a bad album, but I know In Through the Out Door isn't on the same level as Physical Graffiti or Led Zeppelin II and the like; everyone should know that, even if they don't listen to Led Zeppelin a lot, myself included.

 Houses Of The Holy by LED ZEPPELIN album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.93 | 887 ratings

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Houses Of The Holy
Led Zeppelin Prog Related

Review by Dellinger

3 stars After the great fourth album, this one is indeed a disappointment. I find most of the songs rather annoying and in a totally different style... but not in a good way. They went with some sort of caribbean, almost danceable sound or something, instead of their hard rock / blues sound that we had gotten used to. I would be tempted to give it 2 stars if it were not for the two great songs that it does have, the soft and beautiful "The Rain Song" and the proggy "No Quarter", which is among my very favourite songs from the band.
Thanks to Tuxon for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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