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Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin III CD (album) cover


Led Zeppelin


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3.93 | 908 ratings

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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.

russellk | 3/5 |


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