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Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin III CD (album) cover

LED ZEPPELIN III

Led Zeppelin

 

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3.93 | 873 ratings

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Gatot
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars

Even in acoustic setting, Zepp still rocks!

As the band had been very successful with their previous two albums, Page and Plant took an initiative to bring the band members altogether to compose the new album with different kind of environment. They made a trip to a remote cottage Bron-Yr-Aur where they could write, compose and play material for their upcoming album with natural surroundings. They could even play all day long, all night long with quiet environment using candle-light and limited electric power supply. That might be the reason why the material that would emerge as Led Zeppelin III album contains more acoustic version and remarked the change of the band's music direction. If on the previous albums Page virtually controlled everything in composing the album material, with this third album they took more democratic approach. The result is an excellent rock album with a balanced mixture of heavy electric stuffs and acoustic exploration. Even with an acoustic set, Led Zeppelin still rocks!

The album was released on October 5, 1970 (delayed by two months from the original schedule) with advanced orders of nearly a million! It spent four weeks at the top of Billboard chart. It entered British chart at number one and remained there for three weeks. It returned to the top for a further week on December 12. The LP cover was a gatefold jacket containing a rotating wheel behind the front panel. That panel was perforated, thus allowing for the partial viewing of the wheel.

The album starts with a ground-breaking tune that sets heavy rock music apart "Immigrant Song" which has a very unique fast tempo beats. It's a very short track (2:25) but it proves successful to create the whole atmosphere of a great album. Oh yeah, I like the syncopated beats remarked by jaw dropping drum work of Bonzo combined with Paul Jones tight bass line. The recording quality is quite dry and crispy - with very minimum bass sound mixing - that makes this song so powerful. The first acoustic exploration of the band comes out at second track "Friends" (3:54) where the band also introduced the eastern nuance. If you observe in details you might find the symphonic nuance this track produces and it has influenced today's prog music scene. Observe it! "Celebration Day" (3:29) demonstrates Page heavy rock riffing combined with a forceful vocal work by Plant. This track nearly didn't appear at all in the album. This was due to studio oversight, the intro was crinkled on the mater tape, making it impossible to thread, but by segueing the swirling link from "Friends" into the guitar riff and Plant's opening lyrics, the song was salvaged.

Wanna listen to one of the best blues tunes ever? It's not coming from the blues master like John Lee Hooker, Taj Mahal, Buddy Guy or BB King! It's down here with "Since I've Been Loving You" (7:23). Well, you know it very well that this song has proven itself as a great blues-rock style with pondering vocal work by Plant. "Out on the Tiles" (4:07) brings back Page unique guitar riff strengthened with dynamic and loud drum work by John Henry Bonham. I can sense the groove of this track especially when I concentrate on the beats that Bonzo provides. "Gallows Pole" (4:56) is an acoustic outfit using acoustic guitar moving from slow paced tempo and in a crescendo into faster tempo combined with mandolin. The remaining tracks "Tangerine" (3:10), "That's the Way" (5:37), "Bron-Y-Aur Stomp" (4:16) and "Hats Off to (Roy) Harper" (3:42) represent great exploration on acoustic set by the band.

Overall, it's an excellent heavy rock music presented in a balanced acoustic as well as electric setting.

"Nothing is useless. Even a spoilt clock shows the right time twice everyday!"

Gatot | 4/5 |

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