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Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin III CD (album) cover


Led Zeppelin


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3.94 | 899 ratings

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Prog Sothoth
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.

Prog Sothoth | 3/5 |


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