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Old 06-23-2009, 12:23 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Default Led Zeppelin (1969)



Led Zeppelin

I remember looking at the envelope; I wanted to like it, my brother loved it, he was cool so it was too. I knew it was loud, a whole lot louder then my Beatles and Byrds records and even more energetic then Dad’s Fats Domino and Jackie Wilson .45’s. I had no context for the music, and the first time I listened to it I was confused, overwhelmed. I guess I probably lied to myself and everyone else for about the first 6 to 8 months of my Led Zeppelin fandom, I didn’t get the music; I liked what it stood for not what it was.


The Blueprint:
Perhaps the most vital behind the scenes decision in the early history of Led Zeppelin was Jimmy Page’s paying for the less then 40 hours of recording time it took to complete the first album because of his steadfast insistence on maintaining complete creative control. The album would be comprised of Blues standards and mainly Page written originals, with the cracks filled in by band members, performed with a ferocity Rock & Roll had yet to see. The group worked out the arrangements of the numbers, some Yardbirds leftovers even, on their Scandinavian Tour and Early Great Brittan and Western North America tours. They were instantly notorious for their high energy high amplitude live shows but only by keeping the record companies influence out of the album recordings was Page able to bring the heavier louder more raw sound to the people.

“I still had plenty of Yardbirds riffs left over. By the time Jeff (Beck) did go, it was up to me to come up with a lot of new stuff. It was this thing where Clapton set a heavy precedent in the Yardbirds which Beck had to follow and then it was even harder for me, in a way, because the second lead guitarist had suddenly become the first. And I was under pressure to come up with my own riffs. On the first LP I was still heavily influenced by the earlier days. I think it tells a bit, too... It was obvious that somebody had to take the lead; otherwise we'd have all sat around jamming for six months. But after that, on the second LP, you can really hear the group identity coming together.”

Jimmy Page


The Songs:
Many times on the forum I’ve remarked just how fitting everything about the opening track, Good Times, Bad Times”, feels to me. The very first notes create an air of anticipation, and as the song builds a perfect picture of what the first album will be is portrayed. “Babe I’m Gonna Leave You” goes from articulate whisper to thunderous stampede, from it’s captivating arpeggio progressions to it’s climactic and ominous chorus riffs a top-notch song. After that the slow dazzle of the methodical monster You Shook Me” acts as a diabolical precursor to the song that best fits albums primary construct; “Dazed and Confused” is a Yardbirds leftover with a face lift that leaves it unrecognizable. Frenetic driving guitar riffs, an electrified tribute to the blues and a slew of cascading drum rolls highlight the bands first standout. A personal favorite track “Your Time is Gonna Come” demonstrates a more moderate side to the Led Zeppelin personality. John Paul Jones’s main contribution to the album, the contrasting organ and guitar riffs prove too delightful to dismiss. Bleeding in through its fade away is “Black Mountain Side” is the first of back-to-back short tracks, the instrumental Irish folk standard is a fine fit amongst an otherwise electric album. Think of it as sorbet. The next track is more then a meal. It’s easy to see the punk influence it would have just dripping from the main lick but at the time it just blew peoples fucking minds. “Communication Breakdown” was the first “A” side for Zeppelin and still a favorite of many fans. The penultimate track draws more from side one with a deliberate pulsating groove setting the backdrop for a blues heavy promenade. “I Can’t Quit You Baby” is a truly groovy number. Finally the two part conclusion “How Many More Times” to which the band would ultimately answer “Seven, seven more times” Fast out of the gates and coming down the stretch it’s an electric grand finale of prevailing proportions not soon forgotten by these two ears.

The Legacy:
Initially meet with harsh and dismissive reviews from most major publications including Rolling Stone, eventually the voice of the people overwhelmed those of critics stuck in an era that was on its way out. Now the eponymous debut is regarded as the album that launched the hard rock genre and kicked rock and roll into overdrive. The influence of their inaugural effort stretches far and wide, beyond borders and genres. Sales were instantly through the roof and in all it’s sold more then 10 million copies going Gold or better in 10 different countries. Bands from Nirvana to The Ramones credit “Led Zeppelin” as a significant influence.

Evaluation: Nine fantastic songs that fall flawlessly into place demonstrating a wide array of the bands musical aspirations while never straying far from the Occams Razor method of blues rock roots of the band. The magic of this album is it wasn’t even supposed to be a masterpiece; this was filler, a rushed album to capitalize on the successful early tours and work out the kinks as a studio band. To me it’s pretty close to perfection; I don’t even have a criticism for it that I believe. Final Grade: A




Those Who Enjoyed Led Zeppelin May Also Enjoy Led Zeppelin II
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Old 07-06-2009, 02:35 PM   #22 (permalink)
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This is just a space holder as I've decided to redo the review I was working on.

None of my fellow Zep fans have any thoughts on the debut album?
As you know I'm not a huge Zep fan but the debut is my favourite by far. It's energy and raw power was never matched in my opinion and this review has gave me an itch that only a listen will relieve. Well informed review and I enjoyed reading how the music actually affected you and not just what it sounds like.
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Old 07-08-2009, 09:51 AM   #23 (permalink)
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Thanks for the links to all the songs, makes it easy to remember which is which. One thing about Led Zeppelin is how little sense the titles of most of there songs make. I think #1 is their third best album overall behind 2 and 4.
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Old 07-19-2009, 06:52 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Default Guest Review: Led Zeppelin

A new feature to this thread in one I've long hoped to implement is the guest review. I think it's important to recognize the different types of people that the same music can connect and resonate with. With that in mind I've been able to at least temporarily acquire the services of another very different but very qualified member to post shorter more succinct guest reviews following my own throughout the thread.


Flower Child joined our community in January of this year and has been a welcome addition contributing a new and uncommon background and perspective on music here and has one of the best member journals out there. She'll take it from here.




Led Zeppelin

Can you compare it to much? This album shows that Led Zeppelin is a force to be reckoned with, from the very beginning chords of "Good Times Bad Times" to the ending bang of "How Many More Times", that leaves you wanting more and wondering what they could possibly have up their sleeve next. The instrumental creativity alone never ceases to amaze me. And perhaps the most vocally impressive and expressive that Plant ever tackled. If I had only heard this one album by them, I would wonder how they could ever top this.

No matter how many times I listen to this album, I always run into something I didn't expect or remember. Like when Plant adds that one extra "Baby" in the long line of "Babe" shouts in "Babe I'm Gonna leave You" that I can NEVER remember when I sing along with him. And it doesn't matter how much I brace myself, the beginning of
"You Time Is Gonna Come" surprises me every time with its unexpected organ jam. Not to mention the very first few powerful guitar chords of the opening song on the album, "Good Times Bad Times".

With this album, Led Zeppelin went through the gamete of emotions involved with love. One good example is the way they made you feel every guitar wail Page played and every heartbreaking lyric Plant sang most notable in the song Dazed and Confused.
I think almost everyone that been in love has felt the same spiraling confusion, furious betrayal, and manic depression that Led Zeppelin brings to life in this song.

Overall, I think Led Zeppelin (The album) is a wild uninhibited experience that takes many unpredictable turns from song to song and keeps you anticipating what wonderful surprises could be next.
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Old 08-03-2009, 11:42 AM   #25 (permalink)
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In '69, my sister's boyfriend left Led Zeppelin I and II albums at our house. I was already into music (as much as a 12 year old could be, I guess), but nothing prepared me for these records. I listened to them every day for a long time. I know this music by heart, every note. It still amazes me when I play them today.
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Old 08-03-2009, 05:42 PM   #26 (permalink)
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In '69, my sister's boyfriend left Led Zeppelin I and II albums at our house. I was already into music (as much as a 12 year old could be, I guess), but nothing prepared me for these records. I listened to them every day for a long time. I know this music by heart, every note. It still amazes me when I play them today.
Maybe it's a generational thing, but I find it hard to have as much adoration for old bands like Led Zeppelin. I respect them, and their guitar play is fun... but I can't seem to feel what others feel for them. Which is a shame, really.
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Old 09-04-2009, 03:59 PM   #27 (permalink)
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is this over?
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Old 09-05-2009, 07:09 AM   #28 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Tidusauron12 View Post
Maybe it's a generational thing, but I find it hard to have as much adoration for old bands like Led Zeppelin. I respect them, and their guitar play is fun... but I can't seem to feel what others feel for them. Which is a shame, really.
Maybe it is, but many people I know who are in their twentys and even teens, "know" Led Zeppelin. As far as "heavy" music, they set the mark, and I always seem to come back to them. No band (that I know of) had such individual talent, coolness, and the ability to write great songs. Every album was an evolution, you seldom hear a "formula" repeated in their music. I just got a Classic Records 200gram vinyl pressing of the 1st album, and it is the best way to hear this. Absolutely stunning. The only thing I can say is that I wish the album was longer. Oh well, I guess I will just have to get out Led Zeppelin II (got a nice "RL" cut of this one!) Rock on.
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Old 09-05-2009, 08:42 AM   #29 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Classof75 View Post
Maybe it is, but many people I know who are in their twentys and even teens, "know" Led Zeppelin. As far as "heavy" music, they set the mark, and I always seem to come back to them. No band (that I know of) had such individual talent, coolness, and the ability to write great songs. Every album was an evolution, you seldom hear a "formula" repeated in their music. I just got a Classic Records 200gram vinyl pressing of the 1st album, and it is the best way to hear this. Absolutely stunning. The only thing I can say is that I wish the album was longer. Oh well, I guess I will just have to get out Led Zeppelin II (got a nice "RL" cut of this one!) Rock on.
Great way to put it- and right, you are.
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