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Led Zeppelin – Led Zeppelin II

Review: 092
Date: 9 Sep 02

 


Rating: 5 Stars

Musicians:
Jimmy Page - Guitar
John Paul Jones - Bass & Keyboards
John Bonham - Drums
Robert Plant - Vocals & Harmonica

Tracks Listing:
1. Whole Lotta Love
2. What Is And What Should Never Be
3. The Lemon Song
4. Thank You
5. Heartbreaker
6. Livin Lovin Maid
7. Ramble On
8. Moby Dick
9. Bring It On Home

 


Just 6 months after recording their fantastic debut album Led Zeppelin went back into the studio to record their second album (unoriginally called Led Zeppelin II but then it’s the only thing that is remotely boring about this fine collection), which is incredible if you consider it’s quite normal for major bands to take up to 5 years between albums nowadays. But such was the creative spirit within the band that they actually surpassed the standards of their debut album.

Already international superstars “Led Zeppelin II” roared to number one all over the world. Most of the tracks still being staples of most album orientated radio stations and that’s 30 years after its release.

This is an album of Jimmy Page’s rock riffs so huge, John Paul Jones / John Bonham rhythms so heavy and deep, and vocal styling from Robert (Percy) Plant that the heavy metal genre this classic record helped to create has tried for decades to catch up, mostly never ever coming close to matching the majesty of the monster that was Led Zeppelin in full flow.

And is it any wonder as this period found the band at the peak of their hard rock creativity before they branched out into more experimental music on later albums. Never ones to let the grass grow under their feet this lot.

The album starts off with the trail blazing “Whole Lotta Love” (used as the theme tune for the English Pop singles show “Top Of The Pops” for years, which was pretty ironic as Led Zeppelin never released any singles, a firm policy set by man mountain manager Peter Grant), a woozy Rock ‘n’ Roll epic that was based on one simple sledge hammer riff, but giving plenty of scope for Robert Plant to show off his incredible vocal range in its trippy mid section. After “What Is And What Should Never Be”, which on any other album would be the stand out track, you get the musically brilliant but also hysterically funny “Lemon Song”. “Thank You” is a love song, which usually brings out plenty of derision but certainly not in this case. Then a trio of rockers in “Heartbreaker”, “Livin Lovin Maid” and “Ramble On”. The guitar solo in “Heartbreaker” literally tears the paint off walls. In “Moby Dick” John Bonham is allowed to show us why he was considered to be the best rock drummer ever, and one listen to this leaves you in no doubt that he was and is still sadly missed. The album finishes in fine style with “Bring It On Home” where Robert Plant adds another dimension with his harmonica playing. A fine way to close the album.

There must of been a wonderful moment at the conclusion of this recording session when the four members of the band, and probably the manager, sat down for the first time to listen to the playbacks and realized they had just laid down on tape music that would change the face of Rock ‘n’ Roll forever.

 

Pawed by Mott The Dog
Remastered by Ella Crew

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


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