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Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin CD (album) cover


Led Zeppelin


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4.05 | 1044 ratings

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4 stars Led Zeppelin is a fascinating album of power. Free's Tons of Sobs or Jeff Beck's Truth are sometimes held up as predating Zeppelin's debut and thus being more important, but neither of them are anywhere near as powerful so it probably doesn't matter. These players all had similar influences and in the end, one band used them best.

This is an album that doesn't bother, nor want, I suspect, to hide it's influences. For a band who'd only been together a short while, they are together. Incredible. While they are convincing in their blues, the almost grungey 'You Shook Me' is exemplar, this particular take of 'I Can't Quit You Baby' is a little sedate compared to the roaring live version from Coda. In fact, even the rocking medley 'How Many More Times' falls a little short.

Not so tracks like the brooding/frantic 'Dazed and Confused' which is a monster of a song, or the furious, proto-punk of 'Communication Breakdown' two of the most important rock songs in the Zeppelin discography. If 'progressive' is defined incredibly simply as 'moving forward' then these two songs are as important to other genres and the future of Zeppelin, as 'Babe I'm Gonna Leave You.' But it is also the more acoustic moments like 'Your Time is Gonna Come' and 'Black Mountain Side' that show a band already incorporating a variety of sounds into their songs. Once again, it's easy to look back on a string of albums and see a common thread, but III might not have been that big a surprise if looking carefully here.

Not my favourite Led Zeppelin album, but another historic work. Surely no other debut has sounded quite like this? Of course, I've no way to truly put its release in context, but if you consider what came a little before it, say from Cream or Hendrix, then something with the punch of 'Good Times, Bad Times' must have been like a gauntlet.

dreadpirateroberts | 4/5 |


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