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Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin

Review: 032
Date: 9 Jul 01

 


Rating: 5 Stars

Musicians:
John Bonham - drums, tympani, backing vocal
Robert Plant - lead vocal, harmonica
Jimmy Page - electric guitar, acoustic guitar, pedal steel guitar, backing vocal
John Paul Jones - bass, organ, backing vocal

Tracks Listing:
1. Good Times Bad Times
2. Babe I’m Gonna Leave You
3. You Shook Me
4. Dazed And Confused
5. Your Time Is Gonna Come
6. Black Mountain Side
7. Communication Breakdown
8. I Can’t Quit You Baby
9. How Many More Times

 


For 12 years Led Zeppelin ruled supreme as the head of state in Rock ‘n’ Roll. Dragged, kicking and screaming, to superstardom by their powerhouse manager Peter Grant - you didn’t mess with our Peter, if he put the bad eye on you for selling, Bootleg Zeppelin T-shirts you stayed sorted.

Led Zeppelin came up in the age of singles. However, on the instructions of the manager, Led Zeppelin did not release one single. Nevertheless, right from the day that the New Yardbirds turned into the beast that was to become Led Zeppelin, the principle players were superstars. They arrived to packed out concerts in stretch limoes with masses of P.A. The albums were riding at the top of the charts, and they enjoyed all the excesses of the Rock ‘n’ Roll life style. One minute you’d never heard of them, the next they were everywhere.

Listening to this album 33 years later on, does it live up to the hype? Has it stood the ravages of time? Is a Dalmation a beautiful dog? Of course it does, the brilliance of diamonds does not dim over a few years.

As soon as the band break into the opening song, you know that you are listening to musical magic. Led Zeppelin had only been together for six weeks when they were ushered into the studio to record their inaugural album. Glyn Johns was the only outsider required to do the engineering and less than four weeks later they emerged with this masterpiece. Basically, they had laid down their stage act on tape, so no wonder the sound is so vibrant and alive. Most of these songs stayed in the live set right to the end and are regularly brought back again whenever Page and Plant decide to strut their stuff on the boards.

There are nine songs in all, ranging from the blitzkrieg heavy metal thrash of “Communication Breakdown” at 2 minutes 26 seconds to the control and magnificence of “How Many More Times”, at 8 minutes 30 seconds. This closes with an uncredited run through of “The Hunter”, which is a favorite for this dog. However, it is the amazing slow ‘Blues’, “You Shook Me” by Willie Dixon that really shows off the talent of all the group members. The Jeff Beck Group (Jimmy Page’s old running mate in the Yardbirds) had, six months previously, issued a version of this song on his debut album “Truth” (August 1968) and it had Rod Stewart on vocals. Despite this, after Beck heard Zeppelin’s version, it gave him an inferiority complex that has lasted up until today. Please note that the Beck version is brilliant, it’s just that Zeppelin took it to another level.

Of course, over the years, “Dazed and Confused” became Jimmy Page’s “Tour De Force”. It stretches up to 30 minutes on stage, with the guitarist using violin bows, and all sorts to show his virtuosity. On the album though, you get the original tune, which is often easier listening, without having to suffer the over indulgence from Page.

Zeppelin achieved this magnificent album without bothering the writing skills of Robert Plant. All that was still to come when Page/Plant became as famous, as Lennon/McCartney or Jagger/Richards.

From here Led Zeppelin went onto conquer the world, and this was their glorious start.

 

Pawed by Mott The Dog
Remastered by Ella Crew

E-mail: review@mott-the-dog.com


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