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Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin III

Review: 095
Date: 30 Sep 02


Rating: 5 Stars

Jimmy Page - Guitars
Robert Plant - Vocals
John Bonham - Drums
John Paul Jones - Bass & Keyboards

Tracks Listing:
1. Immigrant Song
2. Friends
3. Celebration Day
4. Since I’ve Been Loving You
5. Out On The Tiles
6. Gallows Pole
7. Tangerine
8. That’s The Way
9. Bron-F-Aur Stomp
10. Hats Off To (Roy) Harper


After releasing two of the most phenomenal albums in the hard rock genre in one year (1969), and not forgetting that they were their debut and second albums, Led Zeppelin turned round in 1970 with a follow up album that fooled everybody. How do you do this? Simple. Completely change the formula. Not content with ruling the hard rock world, they wanted the lot. Let me explain by leading you through this varied album.

Up first is the perfect opener in “Immigrant Song” (blatantly ripping off the riff from Bali Hai, I mean if you’re going to steal something do it with class), a thumping rocker that could have been on Led Zeppelin Two. So no surprise there then, perhaps just a warning to any usurper of their Hard Rock Crown, to not even think about it. But then, Drop of the Jaw, we are into sprightly folk/rock with “Friends”, an acoustic number which features John Bonham playing tabla drums. This was certainly not what this dog expected, Next up we got “Celebration Day”, and what a celebration it is, too, with rocking acoustic guitar, Robert Plant wailing “How Happy He Is” (not surprising, really, as he’d gone from total obscurity to fronting the worlds biggest selling band),and Jimmy Page laying down some awesome electric guitar to bring the song to an exciting finish. Next is the album’s central track “Since I’ve Been Loving You”, (to this album what “Stairway To Heaven” was to the next), a blues work out not equaled at the time or I would defy anybody to defy me, since. A seven minute epic about love lost, the singing and instrumentation are at an all time high. John Bonham’s drumming is as powerful, whilst subtle, as ever. John Paul Jones contributes to the dark feel of the song with an excellent back-alley organ riff. Jimmy Page’s heartbreaking guitar solo in the middle is simply mind bending. And as for Robert Plant, he quite possibly delivers one of the most magnificent vocal performances of his career. Next up, which would have been the closing song on side one in the days of vinyl, is “Out On The Tiles”, a hard rocking electric workout with a strong bass beat, which extols the virtues of hard living.

From here on out, instead of blasting away, Led Zeppelin simply laid back, got the acoustics out, and put down 5 songs that wouldn’t have gone amiss on any folk album. “Gallows Pole” another poach in a remake of a lead belly song, begins with a soft acoustic grove but soon builds into a rousing crescendo. Both, “Tangerine” and “That’s The Way”, have great acoustics, heartfelt lyrics, and real feel, which all contribute to this back to back emotional punch. The album closes with the lilting “Bron-Y-Aur-Stomp” and the quite frankly bizarre tribute to their mate “Hats Off To (Roy) Harper”.

All in all a very complete collection of songs keeping Led Zeppelin secure in their castle for another year. I would conclude by saying that this is probably Led Zeppelin’s most creative, thoughtful, and introspective album.


Pawed by Mott The Dog
Remastered by Ella Crew


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