The Song Remains the Same: Led Zeppelin

Rating: 90%

Led_Zeppelin_-_The_Song_Remains_the_SameSo, when I was younger I owned the cassettes to this sound track. Now, I own the DVD movie, the original vinyl, and the 2007 remaster CD set with unreleased songs of this concert. I no longer have the cassettes, they were lost many years ago.

Now, I’ve heard from both sides about the content of this live performance. Many people say it’s not their best because of the fact that many of the songs are drawn out. Or, because of the stardom has taken the band over. On the other end, I heard those in favor of this album say it’s one of Zeppelin’s best performances. Either way, this album has pros and cons. Forget about the movie. The movie was OK, but that’s what bands did back then before MTV. They were entertainers first, and not movie directors. Even “Let There Be Rock” by AD/DC has it’s slow parts during the interviews that makes no sense of the actual concert.

What I like about this album is Jimmy Page’s guitar solos and his performance. Forget about the fact that Robert Plant can’t hold a single note on here or keep up with the music. What Jimmy Page showcases is talent that is undeniable. He plays based upon feeling and not by perfection. John Paul Jones on is a talented bassist. His bass is clearly heard all over this performance. Then, you have John Bonham the master of the skins. His performance too is outstanding. It’s amazing to hear how in tuned he, John P. Jones, and Jimmy Page are playing together. This performance is almost a solo album for each of the musicians in so many ways. The improve of each musician is something that most bands can’t do today.

Track listing:

Side one
1. “Rock and Roll” 4:03
2. “Celebration Day” 3:49
3. “The Song Remains the Same” 6:00
4. “The Rain Song” 8:25
Side two
1. “Dazed and Confused” Page 26:53
Side three
1. “No Quarter” 12:30
2. “Stairway to Heaven” 10:58
Side four
1. “Moby Dick” 12:47
2. “Whole Lotta Love” 14:25

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Zoso: Led Zeppelin IV

Rating: 100%

led_zeppelin_-_led_zeppelin_iv1971, Led Zeppelin releases “Zoso” or “Zeppelin IV” as it is commonly referred to. This album is just pure rock n’ roll from start to finish with the exception of the two Folk influenced ballads “The Battle of Evermore” and “Going to California.” This record also features the anthem “Stairway to Heaven.”

I still laugh at the movie “Wayne’s World” when Wayne Campbell is in the music store and he begins playing the opening piece to “Stairway to Heaven” and the clerk grabs the neck of the guitar and points to the sign, not allowing that song to be played in the store. Wayne says “No Stairway? Denied!”  Although, the movie was subject of a lawsuit by the band and later drooped because the song melody is public domain dating back to 1630, Italy. Now, recently, the band has come under fire for copyright infringement because the opening piece of the song belonged to Spirit’s “Taurus.” Lawsuit was dropped.

This album is just great in every way. Musically, it takes every influence from the band’s other three albums, plus other influences and incorporates that into this record. The end result? A great record was produced. It’s has a ton of melody and lots of great harmony. There’s not a bad song on this record and no fillers! Great tempos, great music, just all around enjoyable.

The musicianship with the band is super tight. It features some more of those great riffs and leads that Jimmy Page can produce. Plant’s vocals are just amazing. He is what a front man of any band should be. Jones’s bass and Bonham’s drumming are just as good on this record as their previous records.

Track Listing:

Side one
1. “Black Dog” 4:54
2. “Rock and Roll” 3:40
3. “The Battle of Evermore” 5:51
4. “Stairway to Heaven” 8:02
Side two
5. “Misty Mountain Hop”  4:38
6. “Four Sticks” 4:44
7. “Going to California” 3:31
8. “When the Levee Breaks” 7:07

Led Zeppelin III

Rating: 100%

Led_Zeppelin_-_Led_Zeppelin_III.pngIn 1970, Led Zeppelin III was released. Leaving some of the Blues influences behind, you the group incorporating lots of Folk elements and some Country influences into their music. The result was Led Zeppelin III. This record will influence what would become Folk Metal and Viking Metal in the late 1990’s – 2000’s. This record also leaves behind much of the hard electric riffs and moving into a more acoustically structure that is still just as powerful. The group is expanding musically and this record is proof of that. The result was another very good record that still influences musicians today.

Not is is gone when it comes to Heavy Metal/Hard Rock guitar riffs. “Immigrant Song” is a great example of the heaviness of what Led Zeppelin has been known for up to this point. The Blues influences that this album lacks, is still there. “Since I’ve Been Loving You” is a great example of the Blues style of Hard Rock that Led Zeppelin is known for.

Just like the previous albums, Led Zeppelin delivers great musicianship. The song structures are pieced together flawlessly. The harmony and melody is there. This record contains some great riffs and leads that only Jimmy Page could manufacture. Vocals by Robert Plant are again, done wonderfully. He has plenty of range and just wails on this record. He has established what a front man should be in Heavy Metal music. John Paul Jones and Jon Bonham again drive the music home with their playing and setting the tone and tempo of the music.

Track Listing:

Side one
1. “Immigrant Song” 2:26
2. “Friends” 3:55
3. “Celebration Day” 3:29
4. “Since I’ve Been Loving You”7:25
5. “Out on the Tiles” 4:04
Side two
6. “Gallows Pole” Traditional 4:58
7. “Tangerine” 3:12
8. “That’s the Way” 5:38
9. “Bron-Y-Aur Stomp”  4:20
10. “Hats Off to (Roy) Harper” Traditional 3:41

Led Zeppelin II

Rating: 100%

led_zeppelin_-_led_zeppelin_ii-1In late 1969, Led Zeppelin’s second record was released. Heavily influenced in the Blues, this record also displays more of that traditional Heavy Metal sound and style. The opening track “Whole Lotta Love” is a great example of early Heavy Metal music, from the opening riff, the leads and the vocals. All and all, this album along with Black Sabbath’s debut, Deep Purple’s 1970 MK II line up and Uriah Heep, all helped to create this new generation of music. Led Zeppelin II is going to be a blue print of all sorts for Heavy Metal music.

What not to like about this record? There is no flaws in my opinion. Everything about this record is great. Robert Plant’s vocals are amazing. He has a lot of range.  John Bonham’s drumming is amazing. You can hear that throughout the entire album, especially, the song “Moby Dick.” John Paul Jones’s bass is absolutely brilliant. Jimmy Page’s guitar is fantastic. He proves that he can throw riff after riff out. His leads showcase the talents he has adding in influences of the Blues, Folk, Rock and yes, Country music. Even the ballad “Thank You” has some great guitar work in that gives you the Country/Blues feeling.

This record has energy, it has a lot of power and it’s electrifying. The song structures are all great. Lot’s of good tempos and melodies. The songs themselves have a lot of instrumentation. You get the feeling that many of these songs could easily be expanded from the current form to longer versions of pure rock jamming live.

Track Listing:

Side one
1. “Whole Lotta Love” 5:34
2. “What Is and What Should Never Be” 4:46
3. “The Lemon Song” 6:19
4. “Thank You” 4:49
Side two
5. “Heartbreaker” 4:14
6. “Living Loving Maid (She’s Just a Woman)” 2:39
7. “Ramble On” 4:34
8. “Moby Dick” 4:20
9. “Bring It On Home” 4:19

Led Zeppelin I

Rating: 100%

Led_Zeppelin_-_Led_Zeppelin_(1969)_front_cover.pngReleased in 1969, Led Zeppelin I changed the course of Hard Rock music and is often credited as one of the earliest Heavy Metal records. Led Zeppelin was vocalist Robert Plant, guitarist Jimmy Page, Drummer John Bonham and bassist John Paul Jones.

I love everything about this record from the raw emotional feeling that one experiences when they hear Robert Plant singing the Blues, to the hard crunch of the Jimmy Page’s guitar and slide guitar work.

These four musicians play so tight that the music on this record is flawless. Song structures are wonderfully put together and provides a great listening experience. One can hear the influences of the Blues that was used in putting these songs together. The melodies are great. Lot’s of good harmonies throughout the entire record.

The bass lines are done so well along with the drum work. Jones and Bonham work so well with one another providing such as a great tempo and beat for the rest of the band to follow. Jimmy Page’s guitar work is impressive. The riffs incorporate Blues, Folk, and yes, some psychedelic influences. The guitar then becomes the center of attack. The leads and slides are great. Plant’s style of vocals work so well with Page’s guitar work that some points in the album the two almost have a duo going on.

One can’t go wrong with Led Zeppelin. Especially, if you gather the albums in order as they were released. Led Zeppelin was ahead of their time. Even though, they deny that they were the godfathers of Heavy Metal, their name will forever be associated with that genre of music.

Track listing:

Side one
1. “Good Times Bad Times” 2:46
2. “Babe I’m Gonna Leave You”  6:42
3. “You Shook Me” 6:28
4. “Dazed and Confused” 6:28
Side two
5. “Your Time Is Gonna Come”  4:34
6. “Black Mountain Side” 2:12
7. “Communication Breakdown”  2:30
8. “I Can’t Quit You Baby” 4:42
9. “How Many More Times”  8:27