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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 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'...

thehallway | 3/5 |


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