George Starostin's Reviews



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Josh Fitzgerald <> (19.05.99)

Man, I HATE Led Zeppelin! "Stairway To Heaven" is boring and annoying, and made me not listen to the radio for about five years! I kno, people who like Zep, LOVE them, but personnally, they didn't do a thing for me.

<> (25.08.99)

Led Zeppelin is the best band ever. Not the Beatles because they were a pop band with not a lot of skill who had a lot of songs that sounded the same. There aren't 2 Led Zeppelin songs that sound nearly alike which is what set them apart from their peers. Robert Plant has the most amazing voice ever put on record and the composition of nearly every song is fantastic. They were an original band because they did not rely on the pop formula of verse/chorus/solo/verse/chorus or whatever makes the general public happy, instead they hardly ever had a chorus and had many extended, free-flowing arrangements. The "epic" Beatles song, "Hey Jude" drags on for way too long with the ridiculous "nah nah nah" line repeated over and over. Zeppelin created many songs near and over 10 minutes that hold your attention throughout, never seeming repetitive. So for you to say that Led Zeppelin wasn't "a hell of an original band" is proposterous since they created a style all their own that no one can ever match.

Simon Hearn <> (07.09.99)

These guys ARE ROCK MUSIC. No other badd personifies hard rock than these guys. 'Stairway' is over rated, but the stuff on led zep 2 is so classy, all rock bands should bow down. 'Kasmir' is cool, but 'dazed and confused' and 'celebration day' are just tops. 'D&C' has to be the sexiest song in rock's cannon.

Glenn Wiener <> (14.09.99)

Its hard for me to totally grab this phenomenon about Zeppelin. Whereas their musical style does combine elements of rock, blues, and folk as well as some occasional other influences, the overall sound can be quite irriating especially Robert Plant's screetching caterwaling vocal style. Truthfully I find Jimmy Page's guitar playing to be somewhat of a mixed bag. Some of this riffing and solos are quite ear grabbing yet other times the sound is too heavy to the point I need a couple of Tylenols. Bonham is an excellent drummer no doubt and JPJ adds some creative touches here and there.

Whereas many of Zeppelin's songs have a very developed structure, especially for a heavy metal band, this does not always work with the overall aggravating mix between the instruments most notably Plant's variating screams. I'm sure that I could fill out one side of a 45 minute tape with Zeppelin's best work. However, none of their albums can consistently entertain me from start to finish. Therefore, I am content to hearing them only when Classic Rock Radio Stations overplay their music.

Nick Karn <> (09.11.99)

Zeppelin was essentially a derivative blues cover band at their essence, yeah, but they were the virtual essence of larger than life, epic, overblown and mysterious hard rock. Plus they were tremendous instrumentalists - I can easily overlook their lack of originality, occasionally unsatisfying melodies, and Plant's sometimes annoying vocals that turned me off to the band in the first place, because of their musical fire. Page, Jones and Bonham are all easily in my top 5 as far as greatness in their respective instruments, and that ability was what made their songs so powerful and legendary. They did have their weaknesses and their below average moments (no band is perfect), and I don't know if I'd give them a 5 on the band rating scale - a 4 will do for me, but a 3 would be too low.

<> (21.11.99)

How can you give Led Zep a friggin' THREE??????? I'd give 'em a ten. All their albums are great (except for Presence), in my opinion, and next to the Rolling Stones, they are my absolute favorite band ever. 'Stairway To Heaven' was one of their best, but I'd have to say that 'When The Levee Breaks' is my favorite.

<> (20.01.2000)

your reviews of every led zeppelin album suck. i suppose the fact they are second only to the beatles in all time record sales doesnt mean a thing. you obviously disdain led zeppelin. therefore how can you write an unbiased review? they are one of the greatest bands in rock history and your lame reviews won't alter the fact that millions of people, myself included, love their music.

[Special author note: JefMan is totally right about one thing. I don't give a damn about how many records Led Zeppelin have sold. Try as they might, they still can't beat McDonalds. Now WHO BOUGHT these records - that's an entirely different thing.]

Matt Reyes <> (07.02.2000)

What is wrong with you Zep members overated....Wrong. Jimmy Page is a spectacular guitarist second only to eddie van halen (personall prefrence) and even though im 13 i have more knowledge then almost anyone about music all genres all decades and hendrix, clapton, vai, satraini, beck.. all great but page is a great blues guitarist and a great compisitionist (right word?) i mean 'stairway to heaven' may not seem complicated but the best song ever and his solos...'heartbreaker', 'stairway', etc.

Robert Plant... I dont know I think his vocals go very well with the songs. John Bonham most likely one of the best drummers of all time you cant disagree. John Paul Jones very underrated as a bassist. All there albums are great (except presence which has its moments but then again... no) Zep overated Zeps first six albums are masterpieces and the rest is good as well, even presence sometimes. I mean albums I, II, III, IV (untitled), Houses of the Holy and Physicall Graffiti great... no, spectacular albums. Zep is one of the most talented bands ever and one of the most influential and are my favorite

<> (10.02.2000)


[Special author note: whoah... I presume I simply can't make the font size for the name 'Led Zeppelin' a 9432984327+ on my index page. It would take B99Hoops an entire life to get to the actual reviews!]

Steve Knowlton <> (15.02.2000)

Here's the main thing that drives me crazy about Led Zeppelin: the song titles! How on earth are we supposed to remember the names of their songs when the titles don't have anything to do with the lyrics? Examples: 'Bron-Y-Aur Stomp', 'Hats Off to (Roy) Harper' (who puts parentheses in the middle of a song title?), 'Out on the Tiles', 'Black Dog', 'Four Sticks', 'The Crunge', 'D'Yer Mak'er' (I know it's a pun on the rhythm, but still...), 'Trampled Underfoot', 'Sick Again', 'Candy Store Rock', 'Carouselambra'... Aaargh! Who do these guys think they are?

<> (02.03.2000)

Steve Knowlton maybe the names dont have anything to do with the lyrics but they are some of the greatest songs ever especially "black dog"........ and once again i dont know how you could give Led Zepplin a FRIGGIN 3 later

<> (22.03.2000)

You might as well leave the country!

what the hell are you on. You know thats fine if you dont like Zepplin, obviously everyone has the right to their own taste. But like that one person said, how can you rate them if you dont even like them, just admitt you dont and move on to someone else. It sure would limit all of those death threats I am sure you are getting!

I love Zepplin, and I think they are second in talent, quality, sound only to the Beatles, not f------bad huh.

Like I said before, thats fine if you dont like them, but you cannot deny their talent and popularity, although heaven knows you sure tried....good luck with the show!!??

John McFerrin <> (24.03.2000)

Ah, good ole Zep, the band that if you say anything less than "THESE GUYS WERE GREAT IF YOU DON'T LIKE THEM YOU SUCK ASS AND PROBABLY LIKE TO DO YOUR DOG AS WELL" then you're not a fan (or maybe I'm confusing them with AC/DC, but whatever). I can think of two major, major points that need to be pointed out to most Zep fans, and whenever I've said these things, I've never gotten a strong, solid argument to the contrary.

1. Too many people mix up the terms 'songwriting' and 'song-arranging.' When I try and point out that Page and Plant weren't exactly great songwriters and that they stole virtually everything they ever did, I always get an argument along the lines of, "but they took it to a higher level, they added the great guitar parts, etc. etc." STOP! Dammit, people, that is ARRANGING, not WRITING. I'm not questioning the group's ability to create great and interesting instrumental parts and to back them up with solid production. Page and Jones were (are) VERY intelligent producers, I'm not questioning that. But more often than not, they NEEDED the great production and great playing to cover up their harsh, glaring weakness; they simply weren't great songwriters. Which brings me to my second point.

2. Writing a great song or great songs does NOT make you a great songwriter. I will fully agree that the best songs of Zep are simply fantastic, and I am fully happy to listen to them. But the filler is often not just mediocre, it's damn near unlistenable. Whether a banal ballad like 'Thank You' or the shitty 'Misty Mountain Hop' or most of the second disc of Physical Grafitti, this group consistently had FAR too much filler on their albums for them to be considered 'the greatest band of all time.'

As an opposite example, look at The Beatles. Not that there's no filler on their albums, but they are VERY rare and are the exception that proves the rule. From Rubber Soul onward, I can count ... well, less than five songs that I would consider even mediocre. And another thing; it bothers the shit out of me when people say the Beatles sucked because all they could do was write a catchy tune, obviously implying that that makes them no better than today's pop shit. To that, I can only say that the beauty of the Beatles' catchy tunes is that their catchiness was almost ALWAYS balanced by some level of depth and, well, genius. If you can't understand the genius and power behind the lengthy 'Hey Jude' coda and consider it stupid, then you just don't get music.

In any case, Led Zep was a very good group which, while wanting to be otherwise, was very limited. They did what they did best very well, and mostly struggled in what they didn't. That's my story and I'm sticking with it.

<> (08.05.2000)

First off let me say that Led Zeppelin getting a 3 is not very fair to the band . For one they were far more talented than the Beatles , Dylan , or The Stones . They deserve a 5 just for what they brought into the world of rock . As for the members themselves Jimmy is a pretty impressive giutarist , although far from the best or the fastest (see Frank Zappa for that one) . His style cuold be pretty sloppy at times but that is what gives him gis luster I guess . But to say that Jimmy is not very creative is a lie , he wrote two of the best blues songs I have ever heard in my life ('Since I've Been Lovin You' and 'Tea For One') and many other original songs .Robert was a awesome vocalist and a good lyricist also .. JPJ was flat out the best musician in the band , and is still a great musician (check out hi solo album ZOOMA). He not only had some of the best playing out of the band he did some vrey beautiful song writing for the band .. Bonzo is awesome but a little overrated (check out Chad Wackerman or Keith moon) . I know I sound a little on the negative side in this but lets face it but zeppelin was not perfect . But none the less they had some of the best music of all time which has and will stand the test of time . They showed every other band how to be a rock star . Last of all if you want to hear a band that had a virtuoso on every instrument listen to Frank Zappa .

Mats Fjäll <> (01.07.2000)

Well, I'm not a diehard fan, really.

But yet, there's something there that sounds really special to me. It's not the drumming, since I don't care that much for drummers, you know, Ginger Baker and Mitch Mitchell are a little bit to aggressive to me!

I don't care that much for the bass either, unless it's McCartney or Jack Bruce...

Now Plant's vocals does not allways come together and sometimes Page is just annoying! But as I said, there something there. For example: the things the band does on the song 'Since I've Been Loving You' is just superb! It may be their finest effort. Page delivers some marvoulus guitarplaying while you really can hear Plant's pain in his singing... The chord pattern is just great too, I love that song!

And since I'm not part of the genertion that heard 'Stairway' about a hundred times a day, I really appreciate that one too, just love Plant right after the guitarsolo!

The third fav song is 'Black Dog', the thing here is once again Plant's singing style (by which so many been inspired by, check out Nazareth, AC/DC and G'n'R), that turns me on.

And I really don't think it's fair comparing these guys to the Beatles, they belong to two seperate genres, right? Compare 'em to, i don't know, Cream? At least Zep's early stuff.. But since the debat is going I think that the Beatles where superior Led Zeppelin when it comes to the guitar riffs: 'Day Tripper', 'Hey Bulldog', 'Dig A Pony', 'Come together' (but that one might be consider a bass riff...) I also do think that the Stones should be a head Led Zeppelin on that list...

You know that doesn't mean that the Zep's bad, only that they ain't the best...

And just a thing for the ones complaing bout the Beatles writing stupid stuff like 'Hey Jude', check out 'Helter Skelter' or 'Yer Blues', pretty far from 'Love Me Do' and 'All My Loving'...

I guess Led Zeppelin's rating on my scale would be 3½ - 4. But hey, this is just me...

Philip Maddox <> (06.07.2000)

These guys are pretty overrated. They aren't bad, of course - they just aren't as good as many people say. I can think of lots of bands from the same era that were just as good or better (The Who could play Zep under the table).

Personally, I think the main problem isn't their mystical lyrics or long solos - it's the fact that a lot of their songs were just generic "rawkin'". Few songs make me reach for the dial quicker than 'Whole Lotta Love' or 'In The Light'. And it's not because they're overplayed, mind you - I hated these songs the first time I heard 'em. They wrote some classics, too, of course. 'Stairway To Heaven' is a great song, no matter how overplayed it is. 'The Ocean' rules in more ways than I can count. 'Fool In The Rain' is easily one of my favorite songs. You see, I'm not saying they were a bad band. They were a very good band. Just not as good as everyone says. And certainly not good enough to have 2 songs played every hour on my local classic rock radio station. I know this is off topic, but why do classic rock stations always play the same 2 or 3 songs by every band (except Zep, whose entire catalogue is played)? The entire existence of Yes is reduced to 'I've Seen All Good People'. The Who? 'Won't Get Fooled Again' is all they ever did. The Beatles? They were those one-hit wonders that did 'Back In the U.S.S.R.', right? God, I HATE the radio. They play quite a bit of Journey, though. WHY???

But back on topic, Zep was a very talented band. John Paul Jones was my favorite member, too. He laid down some good bass lines and arranged strings and such. He's still active, too - he arranged the strings for REM's Automatic For The People album. John Bohnam was a good drummer, but no Keith Moon. Jimmy Page was easily one of the best guitarists ever. Robert Plant had a distinct voice, but I never really appreciated it. I guess I just don't like his style of singing on cuts like 'Whole Lotta Love'. In no way do 6 different Zep albums deserve perfect scores, though, like the All Music Guide gave them.

Fredrik Tydal <> (16.07.2000)

Speaking of the similarities to The Who... According to Tony Fletcher's excellent biography "Dear Boy: The Life Of Keith Moon", John Entwistle and Keith Moon actually came up with Led Zeppelin's name. After the break-up of the Yardbirds, there was talk about building a super-group around Jimmy Page. Moon and Entwistle, both feeling slightly disappointed with The Who's lack of recent chart success (this was the pre-Tommy 1968 days), were approched and offered the parts of the rhythm section. During a late-night drunken discussion with former Yardbirds associate Richard Cole, Moon and Entwistle went as far as to suggest a name for the prospective band; "Lead Zeppelin", as in a group "going down like a lead ballon" after a bad show. The plans never materialized, though, and Page instead hooked up with Plant, Jones and Bonham... The name stuck, though - with a slight spelling change to avoid mispronunciation. Keith Moon and John Bonham later became good friends; Bonham was actually one of the few people who could keep up with Moon's partying and drinking pace. The two musicians also has ideas about doing a drumming album together, which regrettebly never went beyond the idea stage. In 1977 Moon also joined the Zeppelin on stage and shared Bonham's drum set for a 15-minute "Moby Dick" solo. Keith Moon even named his dog Bonzo, in honour of his fellow drummer.

Matt Foggon <> (08.08.2000)

Lay off Led Zeppelin! They rock! All you people that hate em have no taste in music, you only like short, repetitive, computer-generated, songs the likes of the backstreet boys!! Crawl back under the rock you came out of you Teenyboppers and stay out of cool 70s sites like this one!!!

<> (08.08.2000)

Let me simply start by saying that... in my humble opinion ...that the zepsters deserve better than a modest "3" rating...I respect your opinion and I do often agree with your assessment of other "great" groups such as The Beatles, The Who, Stones, etc...everyone has their tastes...I still don't understand Grateful Dead fanatics...the Dead had some good songs (i.e. Casey Jones) and were good musicians and nice folks, but I don't get the understand the may feel the same way about Zeppelin fans...and thats ok

Having said that, here is my Zeppelin testimonial...I believe that Led Zeppelin deserves to be in the same catagory as The Who , The Beatles, Stones, Hendrix, Kinks, etc. As someone whose musical tastes continue to expand and mutute, many of the bands I liked as a kid aren't as formidible anymore when I hear them, even though I can still appreciate them...such as Deep Purple, Cream, The Doors, The Animals,Ten Years After, Yes, ELP, and so on.....As someone who now listens to everything from Frank Zappa, Sonic Youth, The Meters, The Beastie Boys , Radiohead to John Coltrane...I can still happily go back to the Beatles or Zeppelin and find new things to marvel about. While it's true that Zep took alot( or ripped off as you say) from the bluesman, the same can be said of any of the 5 star groups (ie The Beatles--Buddy Holly, Little Richard or The Stones--Chuck Berry) While I will readily admit that their song lyrics were often mere window dressing, certainly not on par with Townsend, Davies, Mc and Lennon...It is their music which continues to be special and still makes me shake my head in amazement..I think Page, Jones, and Bonham were the most talented collection of rock musicians in a single band...not to shortchange R. Plant, whose range and writing contributions fair well when compared to a Roger Daltrey or Steven Tyler. After Hendrix, Page has to be the most dynamic guitar player ever. He did it all and he did it well...producing, arranging, playing in many styles...(Page didn't sleepwalk through most of the Sixties as you seemed to assert, being perhaps the busiest session guitarist of the decade and being asked to replace Eric Clapton in the Yardbirds, before Page refered them to Jeff Beck)....Jones was brillant as a bassist and a clever muli-instrumentalist who played with more soul ( A James Brown fan) than say a John Einwistle or Jack Bruce....Bonham was powerful, but certainly not one dimensional..his playing could be deceptively subtle. Led Zeppelin had the complete package....I can go on and on about their instrumental prowess, but it all comes down to the songs...and what!!! songs. While I agree that their early period (68 to 71) was their strongest...I completely disagree with your assessment of their later work...Houses of the Holy and Physical Graffiti are the sound of a band having fun and taking chances...the results aren't always superb, but aside from maybe 'Boogie with Stu' and one or two other tracks that are bit too long, I find both of them to be quite satifying listens end to end, not potholed with tossed off filler. If you like 'No Quarter' so much, I don't see why 'In the Light' is not worthy..'Ten Years After' is as wonderful as 'Babe I'm Gonna Leave You'...Great/Good songs far outnumber the mediocre. I also have to take issue with your opinion and others of Presence. If you give it a chance I think you find two great songs ('Achilles'..and 'Nobody's Fault'..) and three other good songs ('For Your Life', 'Royal Orleans', 'Hots On'...) only 'Tea For One' and 'Candy Store Rock' do I find to be sub-par...I actually know people who rate Presence as their 3rd or 4th favorite Zep record...Its a good record, give it a another listen. Your opinion of Presence more closely matches my opinion of The Song Remains the Same live album. If you are comparing The Who live circa (67-70) to the Zeppelin heard on The Song Remains the Same, then Townsend and Co. definately give "no quarter" and blow them off the stage...But I've heard enough Zep bootlegs from the 1969 to 72 period that make me say "oh my God" and shake my head in awe...that live Zeppelin is tough to beat, even with the help of exploding drum kits and fingernail removing windmills. The BBC Sessions give some hint to what I speak of, but just a hint since not all the the BBC tracks truly "live in concert". I can gush on and on like a fanboy about how "awesome" Zeppelin is and "how they Rule!!! Man!!!!!" but I won't ...I am here to claim that I am of sound judgement and not wallowing in nostalgia....When I listen to the Beatles, Bob Dylan, The Byrds, The Stones on Sticky Fingers, The Who (pre 76) and Zeppelin (1968-1977) I hear music that is exciting and fresh and that overused term "timeless". I wish you could see that, but cest la vie. Thanks for your time.

<> (24.08.2000)

Led Zeppelin three is awsome. I think everything by Zepplelin rocks, even 'Hotdog' on In through the out door. As A drummer myself John Henry Bohnam is the frigin man. In 'when the leave breaks' they used a 10 foot and a 5 foot mike on the drums to give it the ambience its just a mastermind of artist's createativity. Led Zeppelin RUles!!!

SRakestraw <> (24.09.2000)

What hole did you crawl out of? You ratings on Led Zeppelin are completely out of focus. Led Zeppelin are the *GODS* of rock-n-roll. Do you have ears? Use them! Listen to "Ten Years Gone", "In The Light", "Tea For One", "Since I've Been Loving You", "Tangerine", "When the Levee Breaks", "Babe I'm Gonna Leave You", "No Quarter".......and many more.......

Shit dude. I really pity you. You are missing out on the best music ever recorded. Their music is INNOVATIVE. They constantly pushed the sleeve of convention, their lyrics radiate passion, the guitar riffs are experimental and bluesy. They didn't dwell in pop-rock and they certainly didn't cater to what critics wanted to hear. They wrote and performed their music with a style and class that only LED ZEPPELIN would render and could duplicate.  Not only were they the *KINGS* of cock-rock but they were true to themselves and their music. They didn't play the game of publicity/interviews. They RARELY gave them--unlike their opposition, the Beatles. Led Zeppelin were NOT corporate sell-outs and they didn't produce candy-pop guitar riffs. Each band member had their own style and utilized it during their concert+s/album recording. 

Every time a REAL Led Zeppelin fan turns on the radio, after only listening for a brief second, they can immediately recognize Page's delicate, yet forceful guitar style or Jones' rhythmic, soulful bass or Bonzo's thunderous boom or Plant's creamy range of vocals. Led Zeppelin is NOT a nostalgia band. They are a band that captures the proximity of time. They drill a hole into your ears and force you to listen to the rhythmic beat of their ideas, their lives, and their soul.  They are steely, powerful and mysterious.

They are the Gods Of Rock.

The Hammer Of The Gods has been thrown and the Gods are in total, complete concurrence with me when I say that.......

"No one rocks harder and heavier than Led Zeppelin."

"Those who make the conscience decision to listen to Led Zeppelin are among the musically elite and will dwell with me in eternal light."-------------God's 11th Commandment

[Special author note: I profoundly apologize before this guy for having lost most of the decorative stuff from the E-mail - you know, all kinds of beautiful bold, inspiring italics, all kinds of font sizes and flourishes like that... a rabid fan's utter delight. Oh well, in compensation I am not going to put the baby sigil next to this comment. And for the notice, this is the first time I hear somebody call Led Zep "kings of cock-rock" and take utter delight in the fact; I used to think such an approach was limited to AC/DC fans. Ah, well, never can tell with... sorry.]

<> (10.10.2000)

Say what you want about Zeppelin, but to say they weren't an original band and giving them three stars is an absolute joke. Their music has totally stood the test of time and their influence on many contemporary bands is astounding. Speaking of Houses of the Holy, as a guitar player myself, I have to say that "Over the Hills and Far Away" is one of the best rock songs I have ever heard. It contains all the elements that made them a great band...especially the acoustic, electric guitar mix, which has never been equaled.. before or after.

Lastly, I will admit that the Beatles were just absolutely amazing. But as for the Rolling Stones... sure they had some great records, but they haven't done anything good in twenty years!! They have ruined their legacy by these ridiculous tours to the point that serious fans just laugh at them. I don't know exactly what your criteria is but I think that the way a band handles their legacy matters. Page and Plant have been careful with the Zeppelin legacy, which is why so many people are still in awe of the band. And when they have toured they expanded the music with exotic influences which most critics thought was really great. I'll take Page and Plant's latest album, Walking into Clarksdale and it's beautiful "Shining in the Light" over any of the crap the Stones have put out recently. They are a total joke at this point.

[Special author note: I never said Led Zep's music hasn't stood the test of time, I could care less about their influence (which hasn't been any less than the Stones influence), none of the truly serious Stones fans laugh at the Stones now (I subscribe to a Stones mail-list, and it's pretty good and intelligent), the Stones' current tours still show them as an amazing rocking band, and you simply haven't bothered to listen to whatever the Stones are putting out now because you have an Empire State Building-size bias against them. Have I missed anything?

Oh, yeah. P.S.: I'm amazed at how many people speak in the 'legacy' terms. Even if the Stones put out nothing but crap in the past twenty years (which is definitely far from the truth), that doesn't diminish the glory of any of their Sixties/early Seventies albums one iota. I'd take Let It Bleed over the entire Zep catalog any time, and I don't care if its legacy has been 'ruined' by a 'ridiculous tour'.]

Gary Lee <> (05.11.2000)

You make a lot of valid points about Led Zepplin, but I'd have to disagree with your overall rating. It's a documented fact that Led Zepplin was a commercial endeavor,(and an imitation of The Who), and that these guys were not the most original artists to grace the airwaves. I couldn't begin to guess at how many old blues songs were ripped off and stolen to compile the Led Zepplin library. Just the same, I think the formula worked. Plants power screaming vocals were never equaled by the glam rock pretty boys that followed, and Pages guitar work was truely impressive. John Bonham was an adiquite drummer, but John Paul Jones may have been among the best session bassists of his time. It's true that Led Zepplin was a glitzy glam band, but they did it better than anyone before or since.

I'd also like to point out the the "Satanism" that you mention, or the "mysticism" is simply shades of J.R.R. Tolkiens "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, a swords and sorcery fantasy story, full of high drama and elves and whatnot.

I have to give you a great deal of credit for not pulling your punches, but I think the differences between your opinion and mine is more of taste. Remember, new and original does not necessarily mean good (the Beatles come to mind). (Not to my mind - G. S.).

It should also be noted that I'm not quite old enough to have seen these guys live, so I'm only going by their studio material. True, they are a bit overrated, but for my money, you just can't do better than a Led Zepplin album. Any of them. I have yet to hear the Zep tune that I didn't like, even though is wasn't original, even though it was concocted and staged, even if it was just protoplasmic hair rock. When you compare them to other mega-overrated bands, such as the Rolling Stones (dopey adolescent lyrics, simplistic guitar work, and the worst vocals I have ever heard) or the Beatles (see my above comment about "new and original"...maybe too much LSD), Led Zepplin stands out as as a truly entertaining ensemble. Even by your standards, they are at least worthy of a 6. I know that, as a critic, you must be critical, but I think we might be seeing a case of Top 40 backlash, something I've suffered from myself. I was very surprised by your review, since I very much agreed with your assessment of Jethro Tull, another of my old favorites.

[Special author note: I'd just have to comment that there's no possible way for me to see in what way the 'dopey adolescent lyrics' of the Rolling Stones are more disgusting than the overblown cliched mystical ramblings of Led Zep, or why the 'simplistic guitar work' is less attractive than Page's lengthy pretentious wanking, or why should we enjoy Plant's endless wah-wah/ooh-oohs more than we enjoy the 'worst vocals' of Mick Jagger. Mind you, this is called the 'ultra-subjective factor' and I strongly advise more solid ground to base yourself on.]

Jeff Melchior <> (26.11.2000)

I think Mark Prindle said it best when he said "The middle-schooler without a Led Zeppelin phase is a sorry middle-schooler indeed" (or something to that effect). But if there is a major problem with Zep, it's in that very statement - it's hard to appreciate beyond an adolescent frame of mind. Now, I know everyone's sick of Zeppelin/Who comparisons, but I think The Who can be enjoyed as easily at 17 as 27 or 37 or 47 or whatever because they speak to feelings in the human spirit that aren't necessarily limited to teenagerhood (although much of their lyrics are on that subject. Zep do not enjoy this same definition because there really AREN'T any feelings of substance. There's lust - of an adolescent nature. There's love - of an adolescent nature. There's philosophy - of a middle-school nature.

That's not to say I don't enjoy Zep - in fact they're still within my fave 10 or so bands. But they do not move me as much as they did when I was a teenager. Physical Graffiti will always rule, Two will always be grossly overrated, Presence the most underrated and HOTH the most controversial.

Incidentally, I think I'll always be a little disturbed by these guys' personal history. The Stones had nothing on these guys for sleazy activities. Think about it - I don't recall any of them vehemently DENYING the stuff written about them in Hammer of the Gods - but they were sure pissed that somebody wrote about it.

Jonathan Hutzley <> (12.12.2000)

In general, I can understand and sympathize with your complaints concerning Led Zeppelin, especially concerning the lyrics. However, there are three divisions in my mind as to why people like the bands they like: their ability to play music, their ability to write great lyrics, and their ability to play music AND write great lyrics. Those bands/artists that can consistently do the latter of these (play music AND write lyrics) are the true paragons of rock/pop. Of course, those would be The Beatles, The Who, The Stones (alright, so much of their lyrics are on the same subject, but they do it really really well), The Doors, maybe Pink Floyd and U2, and a few others. Then there are those artists that people (or at least I) listen to for their ability to write great lyrics. Chief among these, of course is Bob Dylan, but there's also Bruce Springsteen (my personal favorite artist), Neil Young, Peter Gabriel, possibly Tom Petty, and so forth.

lastly, there are those artists that I listen to primarily for their musical prowress. At the top of that list are Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix. Jimi's such an obvious choice that I won't belabor the point, especially considering the fact this is a comment for the Led Zeppelin page. I don't know about any of you, but when have you really ever listened to Led Zeppelin for their lyrics? I mean, they are almost besides the point. That's not to say that they shouldnt be taken to task for their failures in this realm. However, I think Led Zeppelin is the one band that was able to rise above their sometimes banal lyrics with their sheer musical ability. I have often considered Jimmy Page to be the second greatest guitarist behind Jimi. John Bonham, although he lacked some of the finesse of a Mitch Mitchell or even Keith Moon, was nonetheless an extremely talented drummer who inspired a legion of imitators. John Paul Jones' reticience from the spotlight could not hide the fact that perhaps he was the musical genius of the band who could pretty much play any instrument. Lastly, although Robert Plant's vocal style can grate on my ears if I'm not in the mood, there's no denying the fact that he inspired every hard rock/heavy metal frontman after him.

Thus, for their musical talent alone, I think Led Zeppelin should have been given a four, much like Jimi was more or less for his prodigious musical talent. After all, musically, Led Zeppelin basically pumped out six nearly perfect albums from I through Physical Graffiti. (The occasional "In the Light" notwithstanding) However, I'm not set on fire by Led Zeppelin so much that I'm not willing to understand why you gave them a three. Just wanted to add in my 3 cents worth. Thanks for letting me "ramble on" a little. :)

David Lyons <> (15.12.2000)

Y'know, you'd save yourself a tonne of grief if you scored bands out of ten - the vast majority of incoherent complaints seemingly convinced you'd awarded them three out that same total, rather than out of five. No, I'm not particularly a fan either, although I have been known to enjoy the odd song (to the person who asserted that no two zep songs sound alike - hello? Did I miss something? If the albums didn't have different covers I'd be hard pushed to differentiate). However, although it physically pains me to type it, they did have the edge over The Who in one department. Drummers. No, no, no, stay your itching fists a moment and leave my head unpummelled, I don't mean bonzo was better Keith, far from it. I mean that they had the decency to split up the very day after bonzo's untimely demise, rather than replacing him with the trap rattling equivalent of David Gilmour (dentistry not being confined to guitars - just as proficient, but equally lacking in verve or impromptu inspiration). Okay, so they later recanted their split in pursuit of the pound, dollar, yen, franc, deustchmark and vietnamese dong, but lets not deny them their moment of touching humanity and solidarity, eh? Okay, you can hit me now. Oh and I'd give them 3.5 (I personally agree with the 3, but, given the legions of adoring masses, I have the nagging feeling I'm missing something - something that has to be worth a half a mark)

<> (21.12.2000)

Led Zeppelin was a band that had great musical talent but wasted it. They had some great material, but The Beatles, The Who or The Stones had far more talent than Zeppelin. I went through a quick Zeppelin phase but got tired of all the people who worship them as gods and couldn't listen to them for a long time. Now I can stomach them long enough to play an album every now and then (1 and 2 are great) but I still get mad when people say they were the best. Why waste your ears people.

(PS Does any body else hear a resemblance to Zeppelin and The Guess Who, maybe its just me)

Morten Felgenhauer <> (12.01.2001)

I better sum it up then. First of all, I can't believe all those people gets all steamed up just because George gave them an overall quality of 3. It's only a number! Use your energy on detailed arguments concerning the albums instead of the same old "Led Zep fokin rooles". As for the argument "all they did was rip off some old blues records", I find it completely laughable [just to clear up the matter, I never expressed that idea that way, and I also find that statement completely laughable - G.S.]. Of course, it's true that you can find lots of old lyrics and riffs in their music, and I think the original writers should have been credited (but then again, they often were rip-offs themselves), but Led Zep played these on an all new, great and often unrecognizeable way. An example is "In my time of dying" - does this track even remotely resemble the old folk track, as covered by Bob Dylan on his first album (apart from the lyrics)? Then we have the American "classic rock radio". Just because they play Zep a lot doesn't mean that the original albums are shite. TURN OFF THOSE DAMN RADIOS IF YOU ARE SO SICK AND TIRED OF THOSE SONGS! Oh yeah, let's not forget who is the "best" on each instrument here. Does it really matter? What matters is that every member of Led Zeppelin played their instruments with skill and originality and they were a very good BAND, which means that they played very good TOGETHER (check out "Black Dog" in "The Song Remains The Same" - the movie, I don't have the album). And what do I think of their output, then? I like Zeppelin very much, especially the first half of their career, which is excellent. But will the person that was so unsure of Led Zep's qualities that he had to mention an other group that was even more "overrated" really insist that the last album released by them (In Through The Out Door) is so much better than the late period Stones albums. I think not. What is the Stones discussion doing here anyway? Let's just appreciate good music when we hear it and ignore the less important bits (if that wasn't diplomacy, what is?)

James Richard <> (13.01.2001)

Led Zeppelin is most definitely the MOST ORIGINAL BAND EVER! Zep played all sorts of musical styles from rock to blues to even progressive rock ...."archilles last stand".All their songs are absolutely amazing and creative.

Tell me have you heard songs sounding like "black dog","Dazed n confused","how many more times". The list could go on . Man my personel favourite "since i've been loving you" will definately blow u away if u have heard it.

<> (14.01.2001)

Sorry i know you dont want people to rip into you but give me a break. Im sorry these guys where great. I know they wherent the most talented, but come on they blow the Who out of the Water. To that idiot who said that they where the best band every, and not the Beatles... you just have to get a fucking clue. There is no question that the Beatles are so far above and beyond Led Zepplin.

I would have to say that Zepplin has to get at least a 4. They set the stage for the seventies as you said, but you only give them a 3?? I mean when you wanna talk about the most influential bands in Rock and Roll history it has to go 1. Beatles 2. Stones 3. Hendrix 4 Zepplin. I dont think there is a real lot of people who would argue with that, or maybe just about my order.

[Special author note: oh no, not again. Will somebody finally explain to me on what accounts do Led Zep actually blow the Who out of the water? Yes, Jimmy Page was a far more technically efficient lead guitar player than Pete Townshend. If that's your main criterion for rating bands, okay. But that's about the only 'evident' superiority of Led Zep I can imagine. As for 'influential'... who could define 'influential'? Can somebody actually prove that Led Zeppelin were more influential than, say, the Kinks? Hardly.]

<> (29.01.2001)

In response to the person that characterized my 10/10/2000 e-mail as a need to criticize the Rolling Stones because I was so unsure of Zeppelin's abilities. Let me say this... firstly, I agree that there shouldn't be a whole lot of discussion regarding other bands on the Led Zeppelin page. On that account you are right. However, to set the record straight, I wasn't comparing In Through the Out Door to anything the Stones did. To cut to the point and get off the subject, let me just say that I think there will come a day when the Stones are going to seriously regret their post Tatoo You releases. Enough said..

As for "being confident in Zep's abilities" and articulating it without just saying "Zeppelin rules"... I would give Zep a 5 in this rating system. And here is why... Yes, there is no doubt that some of Zeppelin's music will appeal to the "high school" mind set, but that could be said for a lot of bands. For those of you who think that there isn't much more than that are way off base. In my opinion, Zep's music has many layers.. within songs and between songs. Yes I liked their music when I was younger but I enjoy it just as much now. I mean, how can anyone listen to say, Ten Years Gone off Physical Graffiti and tell me that it is "cock rock".

In my mind, one of the greatest things that Zep ever did was to master the dynamics of light and shade in their music. Their combination of acoustic and electric sounds were absolutely brilliant. This explains why there music remains so powerful to this day even if one outgrows some of the lyrics or whatever. Sometimes, they would do it between songs... say 'Dazed and Confused' and 'Black Mountain Side' or within a song on 'Over the Hills and Far Away' or 'Stairway'. This dynamic light and shade colouring created a sense of tension in their music that many other bands have tried to copy but none of them can get it right. To be a consistently a good light and heavy band is extremely difficult. Carlos Santana, who I think knows a thing of two about great music, once said that Jimmy Page is a compositional genius. I agree, not only could he arrange the music but he had the virtuosity to play electric and acoustic guitar extremely while leaving room for the other band members to make their contributions.

In my opinion, Zeppelin's mastery of dynamics - light and shade, heavy and light or whatever you want to call it, created a new language for Rock and Roll. No other band since can claim to have as consistently created songs that demonstrated this gift. And to people who claim that Zeppelin was merely a commerical endeavor, then why has their success never been repeated?? Because you cannot just "create" chemistry. They were a very special band.

<> (08.02.2001)

They are the most overrated band in the history of Rock and Roll. Jimmy Page SUCKS. And I'll stand by that till the day I die. I have NEVER heard him do any guitar work that wasn't helped by studio overdubbing. I was at one point impressed by 'Achilles Last Stand' and 'Over The Hills And Far Away' but then I learned he overdubbed as many 14 guitars. His live playing is absymal. Bob Plant has an awful voice but his main fault lies is the fact that he is too stupid to write any decent lyrics. Led Zeppelin stole most of everything they did. I will, however, give John Bonham credit as a very talented drummer, one of the best ever. That, however, is all Led Zeppelin is worth. John Paul Jones is a decent bass player. However, aside from all of this, Led Zeppelin weren't about making music. They had no creative fire AT ALL. I hope to god that one day, by some miracle, their entire body of work disappears from the earth and people forget these losers

[Special author note: wow... that was a bit harsh on the guys! Let's keep our cool! Jimmy's not abysmal... just a wee bit heavy-handed, eh?]

<> (13.02.2001)

In response to the e-mail sent by the individual on 2/8/2001.... you need to learn a little bit about guitar before you make comments like this. The fact that he overdubbed a lot of guitars is exactly the point of a lot of his brilliance. Does it occur to you that the sound of a lot of guitars might create a different and more powerful atmosphere and texture than just one or a few. I mean of course there is a lot of overdubbing, one person can't play two guitars at the same time!! (although Page has come close!) I mean it's not like he didn't play all the guitar parts in the studio....

And aside from the fact that most people consider Zeppelin to have been a great live band (listen to the BBC sessions if you don't believe me), the fact that Page and Zeppelin may have created some tunes that are hard to play live in the exact same way as on a studio album does not make Page a bad live player. The only way to play some of these songs live would be to bring other guitar players out on stage...I've said this before and I'll say it again.... although Page is a great guitarist, his true brilliance lies in his compositional abilities. His goal from the start on 'Achilles Last Stand' was to create a "guitar army". The song stands for itself...........

Sandra Ewing <> (04.03.2001)

Based on your criteria, I would say led zeppelins score of 3.5 out of 5 is justified. Wake up! Some fans could care less that they ripped off songs! I won't refute any of your points because they all sound valid... but there IS some good in Led zeppelin! Try to be a philosopher and keep your emotions out of your reviews

If you listen to limpbizkit maybe you would take back all that jazz that zeppelin are a bunch of narcisscissts... Ok, so both are narcisscissts...

bye got to go

Bonnie <> (04.03.2001)

Youi Are intitled to your opinion, cool but as far as I am concerned mine is the only one that counts! I love Zep And thats it

<> (07.03.2001)

Surely you are not a profesional, but your reveiws are merely opinion based. I'm no Grateful Dead fan, and I wouldn't go and review them either. Any profesional in their right mind would be highly opposed to your so called review. How could you be such a total fool? Did you truly listen to these albums? Were you born in the nineties? Is there no hope for you? What?? Do you listen to country music or rap usually?? You have made a total fool of yourself, and I am beyond sure that millions of others would agree with me. Of course, there are the anti-zeppers out there, but they are the minority. Any true fan of rock music would gladly give props to led zeppelin, even if they weren't a fan. Your gudgement on the albums was just plain foolish, it's clear you didn't give it a real listen or you are normally that old country/rap fan i mentioned previously. I myself am a guitarist/singer, whom is blown away by the talent of every single member of led zeppelin! I can't even begin to pick out your errors, I don't have the time. To make it simple, I'll just say your entire review/site is an error!! I'm sorry I checked it out and I surely won't reccomend it. Stop wasting true fans/musicians time, and find a job a McDonald's or something!

[Special author note: 'whom is blown away'? Whoah! If this guy wanted to prove the existence of a strong link between Zep fans and ignorance of grammar rules, he couldn't have done better.]

Geronimo Springs <> (09.03.2001)

Back in my teenage high school years in the early 1970's, Led Zeppelin was the perfect rock band. They were what a rock band was supposed to sound like, look like, and act like. I loved them, and I didn't trust anyone who didn't like them.

Music has certainly changed over the last 30 years. Much of the music and many of the bands and artists I once thought were so good now sound dated or irrelevant to me. Not so with Led Zeppelin.

I suppose George is correct in believing the magic in Led Zeppelin's music is in the atmosphere it creates in the mind of the listener. Whether a particular song is dark and mysterious, tender and gentle, or raw and sexy, Led Zeppelin was usually successful in making the listener feel exactly what they wanted him or her to feel. That was their genius.

Right, George, lyrically they were not particularly gifted songwriters. But this is a hard rock band we're talking about! When one considers the total sound of that band delivering a great performance, lyrics become practically unnecessary. Robert Plant's unique vocal style is a very important part of that total sound. It's a weird falsetto, I'll admit. But there is no other singer that could have fit this band so well. That voice is what made their sound unique.

While I agree that their first four albums were their best, and what they did later was not as exciting or as groundbreaking, I must disagree with your 3 rating. As a performing band, Led Zeppelin deserve better.

<> (15.03.2001)

What kind of moron are you? Your scathing remarks about Led Zeppelin are totally unfounded and cruel. Being a guitarist/bassist/singer who has studied Zeppelin extensively, I must say that Led Zeppelin is one of the hardest groups to play since nothing they have done is like anything out there. While I agree with your choice to put "Since I've Been Loving You" as the best song off of III, I condemn you for what you said about II. That album is perhaps the greatest album ever and not just due to "Whole Lotta Love." Try playing the "Lemon Song" or "Moby Dick." Every song Zeppelin has ever put out has been a monster. Not only that, but you condemn the band for not only playing hard rock. News flash: It is more rewarding to play many types of music instead of one. "D'yer Ma'ker" for example is a simple little reggae song that I absolutely adore playing. Also, "Ten Years Gone" sounds absolutely nothing like "Stairway to Heaven." I think it's time for you to reform your opinion about Led Zeppelin.

P.S. Jimmy Page is not a satanist. That is a bunch of crap and if you knew anything about the band, youwould know that

[Special author note: LeftyLed? As in, 'Lefty's Bar' in Leisure Suit Larry In The Land Of The Lounge Lizards????]

Sergey Zhilkin <> (18.03.2001)

If you want to know my personnal opinion, here you are - 'Led Zeppelin sucks and nobody will assure me that they're great'. But I'll try to be more objective.

Not looking to the fact that I don't love 'em, I have to admit that Zeppelin was epoch-difying band. After all, they invented heavy metal, didn't they? And I have to take my hat off in front of them because... well, they influenced so many people, they found the key to their hearts and that's worth to give them at least 3.

'Led Zeppelin' was a very promising start and after I heard it I couldn't believe that soon they will be writing such stuff as , say, III. Yes, I agree that I is their arguably best album and, indeed, it's great. But all their other stuff... No, don't get me wrong, I just don't understand their songs and that's why I say they suck. Maybe someday they'll grew on me and I'll become Zeppster myself but that's only in distant future. As for now, I like when a song has a melody which is catchy or hook-filled. Great lyrics will do a thing for me (I'm talking about Bob Dylan). Resonance means much for me now, too. Led Zeppelin, as I think now, could turn on large crowds of people by all-blowing sound and maybe that's good, but not for me. In such sound I don't find anything interesting.

Besides, it seems to me that Zeppelin were a formula band. Maybe a true Zepster can't find two songs that sound alike but for me there're too many twins. And the formula in past years was simple, too: 'garage rock band + generic cock-rock = all fans are happy'.

When I heard In through the out door I was shocked. 'Is it the same band that recorded I', I wondered. That sounded more like ...mmm.... 'outtakes from Stones' It's only rock'n'roll. I mean that in their last years they were a pop band with ambitions to be a heavy-metal band. Brrr.... And that's why only I and IV are sometimes present in my recorder.

PS. And I suppose that this will be the only my comment on this page. Though, if I will need a training in bashing albums I'll certanly write three-four comments more.

Preston Bryant <> (06.04.2001)

Dude,  have you ever listened to the music of Led Zeppelin, actually listened to it, it is mesmerizing! I am totally baffled with your rating of a 3, a 3?? I guess you just don't know great music when you hear it. And who are you to bash Led Zeppelin, the most influential band EVER!! These are arguably the 4 most talented musicians ever! Each one of these musicians, John Paul Johns, Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, and the most creative and instintaneous drummers to ever sit on the stool and come up with beats-John Bonham. The world lost a huge music icon in the very early hours of September 25, 1980. That day will live forever in infamy. You made a comment of why can't ever Zeppelin song be a ballad like "Babe I'm Gonna Leave You," if you knew anything about versatility you would know that a band arranges an array of different beats. Led Zeppelin had ballads like 'Stairway to Heaven'(which is not overrated, the sheet music sells over 15,000 copies per year, over 3 million copies of the song has been sold, the people are right-you just don't understand). I feel as though EVERY Led Zeppelin song is just awesome, and I know that many, many people feel the same way I do. Other incredible songs: 'Friends', 'Gallows Pole', 'Dazed and Confused', 'Communication Breakdown', 'Rain Song', there are just too many to list, if I could I would list every song, man a 3 you have to be on some kind of "drugs." I know that many people feel the same way that I do, many people! It is my medicine, it is my life. I live and die by Led Zeppelin! Led Zeppelin is the best band ever! There are so many aspects of their music, all I can say is...WOW THAT IS AWESOME! Just listen to it man, it totally takes your breath away!

The Dark Knight <> (21.04.2001)

Dear Mr. Starostin,

I was going through your site, and i read your Led Zep thingy. I'm sending this, cos, halfway through it, I felt that, this is one band, i totally agree with you (unike a lot of others), most reviewers seem to miss out of 'Babe, I'm Going To Leave You', which is my fav Zeppelin song. I also agree that they are monotonous, but lets face it, every half-brained (and otherwise) heavymetal-acidrock-hardrock-thrashmetal-whateverblah band your neighbour's teenage son (like me around five years back 'fore i grew up) is blasting owes it to these guys. While I'm not saying that's like a great thing or something, but it's something right, in fact, I feel they are more influential than the Stones or maybe even the Beatles.

Whatever, nevermind, this is probably rhetoric to your anyway.

Kevin Baker <> (24.04.2000)

This reminds me of Mark Prindle's AC/DC page. Sheesh! Just because George doesn't share your opinion about the Zepsters doesn't make him some sort of horrible person. He's quite nice actually. If you can't take the criticism, don't read it. Nuff said. Now, for my single self, Zeppelin do I love, specially early Zep when the drums they were  loud and a'beatin', the bass was loud and a'thumpin', the guitar was loud and a'kickin' BUTT, and Plant was loud and not annoying the dickens out of me. Led Zep I, Led Zep II, and Led Zep IV are to me the essential textbooks on playing hard rock, along with Live At Leeds, Machine Head, and Paranoid. Alright, their latter day stuff really did stink in many cases. But that's what drugs, car accidents, booze, and personal tragedy does to great bands. I say they should get a 4 just because of those awesome first 4 albums, but hey. I have a life, and it doesn't revolve around Led Zeppelin. Unlike some people here.

<> (03.06.2001)

You people are idiots Jimmy Page is the Greatist guitarist ever. You need to listen to some early Zeppelin stuff. You will know why I say this.

Hendrix Sucks

Wim & Carol Tensen <> (12.07.2001)

I don't know why in the world everyone seems to think Led Zeppelin was so wonderful. They have to be the most over rated band of all time! And all the people who are so amazed by Jimmy Pages guitar playing and call him "god" should get their ears checked! He is one of the sloppiest guitar players to ever live (just listen to the live versions of "Heartbreaker" and "Stairway To Heaven") and from what he says in interviews he is way to out there to realize this truth. And if it weren't bad enough that Page did those long sloppy solos then Robert Plant had to over dramatize his annoying voice with self indulgent lyrics that were usually sex crazed or just plain stonerish. The only good thing about them was their drummer who was so talented it makes you wonder what he was doing with Page and Plant! So okay this is what it comes down to Led Zeppelin was the best 70's band if you forget about Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Queen, Aerosmith, Lynrd Skynyrd, Jethro Tull, Pink Floyd and every other awesome group frpm that era that has had so much attention diverted from them to these arrogant stoners. Ps: Black Sabbath Forever!

As someone who plays guitar I can truly say that Jimmy Page is the most sloppy, hyped guitarist of the last 35 years or so! It seems like in every guitar poll he tops it or gets close to it. What the hell is that? Real talent on guitar or any instrument is determined by live performance and when you listen to live recordings its almost comical how unproficient he is. And whats this crap about Led Zeppelin being so creative and original? Music has to be GOOD in addition to being original. Black Sabbath is the perfect example of that combination. And not only did they have that combination but Tony Iommi is a way better player than Mr. Page (listen to Sabbaths unaccopnipied solo in "Wicked World" and then compare it to the solo in "Heartbreaker'' by Zeppelin. Iommi's solo is filled with energy and virtousity where as most of what you can hear on Pages solo is his pick scraping the fucking strings). Maybe it was creative/ original that in "Dazed and Confused" Page played with a bow or whatever it was, but it sounded like shit!

Oh and well I slamming one of rocks "greatest" groups let me ask, has Rober Plant ever not sang about himself or drug hallucinations? Oh and the only good thing about Page was the fact that he had long hair and he recently cut and now he looks like a great grandfather. His afce truly has paid the toll for years of substance abuse.

Ian and Melissa Newbery <> (20.07.2001)

Led Zeppelin....Just the mere mention of this name fills me with an uncontrollable loathing. Perhaps I wouldn't mind them so much if they weren't played so often on the radio but, alas, they are blessed with a rabidly fanatical fan base that constantly bombards Claasic Rock stations with requests to play every Zep song ever recorded - including the most obscure donkey shit from frankly awful albums like In Through the Out Door, etc. Perhaps the worst feature of Led Zeppelin is vocalist Robert Plant. As the prototype for a suucession of helium-voiced metal singers in the 80's, his vocal style evokes images of an alley cat with PMS. As if his airy-fairy lyrics weren't bad enough, he manages to make things even more unbearable by interjecting a steady stream of "ooos" and "Baby, baby's." Pages' guitar playing is frequently sloppy; as he is often guilty of attempting to play quick-fingered solos that are clearly beyond his capabilities. Just listen to "Heartbreaker" on the first album to hear what I'm talking about. I also object to Led Zeppelin because they are almost singularly responsible for destroying the art of songwriting in rock and roll; many contemporary rock bands follow their example of basing songs entirely on riffs. Don't get me wrong - riffs are an integral part of a good song, but I think that melody is the foundation for a killer tune. Bands like Led Zeppelin have it ass-backwards in that their "songwriting" consists of piecing together assorted riffs, throwing a high-pitched, tuneless vocal over top of it, and calling it a "song." Good songs have memorable melodies as well as memorable riffs, and Led Zeppelin demonstrates neither of these qualities.

Ratko Hribar <> (18.09.2001)

Yes, good old Led Zeppelin, another overrated hard rock band of the seventies. I have to say that Led Zep fans are quite remarkable, even on the Black Sabbath reviews page the fans weren't so ready to fight over the overall evaluation, and they should, because a 2 they got is totally laughable. But Sabbath fans accepted that (at least some of them), but here, Led Zep fans didn't, and I can't understand why is that. Led Zeppelin doesn't really deserves more than a 3 (and they got a very high 3 at that), especially if Sabbath gets only a 2. This band is one of those bands to whom I'm kinda indifferent. They we're obviously a great hard rock band, but for me, they weren't better than, say, Sabbath or Purple.

Led Zeppelin can't do a lot for me, cause everything they did was on the same level as those two bands, or sometimes, even below it. If I want riffs, Sabbath simply blows them away. If I want speed, Purple blows them away. If I want magnificent singing then I have Deep Purple mark II, or early Rainbow. If I want fantasy lyrics, Rainbow will provide them for me, and they will be superior to those of Zeppelin. Now, you see, they're really nothing special. Just a heavy blues/boogie band that isn't to imaginative at that (well, they try, but the results aren't so impressing). Not to say that they weren't influential, they we're, and their music was kinda groundbreaking, but not all that original. In fact, the only thing that saves them from being my most hated band is their professionalism. They're no Kiss, that's absolutely true.

Jimmy Page is an amazing guitarist, but I would prefer Ritchie Blackmore over him, cause Blackmore is somewhat more consistent. Of course, John Paul Jones is excellent, and Bonham very good (not like Cozy Powell, though). That leaves me with Robert Plant, and I wouldn't want to be left with him by any means. He's an okayish singer, kinda like David Coverdale, but he never was one of the best, both Gillan and Dio would blow him away without breaking a sweat (hah, come to think of it, even Ozzy would).

Overall, I would rather listen to The Who, because they're also a band that I'm fairly indifferent to, but they're a lot better than Zeppelin. For me, Led Zeppelin's long epic songs we're always a lot more dull than Deep Purple's, except for 'Kashmir', which is my favorite Led Zep song. The main reason I don't like Zeppelin too much is their usual folk/blues jam, in which I simply can't get into. Some of the rockers are truly beautiful and everlasting, but the ballads, blah. They have some truly complex songs, and the instrumentals we're also occasionally really great, but only occasionally. And the titles of the songs, you know what I mean, 'Sick Again', 'D'yer Mak'er', 'Trampled Underfoot' and 'Bron-Y-Aur Stomp'(what the hell does that one mean ?). Now I know why Robert Plant sounds so shitty, look what the poor man had to work with.

Okay, they we're arranging magicians, but pretty bad songwriters. Further more, I could never sit through a Led Zep album to the end, and remain completely awake, and that's because they always had to much filler on almost all of their records. Derivative, overblown, limited in style, that all applies to them, but is that a good thing ? I think not. And, yes, despite all my bashing remarks I still think they rule, at least, sometimes. CRANK IT UP !!!

Tony Souza <> (21.11.2001)

I liked Led Zeppelin when I was younger (still do, but I've heard their songs way too many times) and owned almost every album they put out. The thing that drew them to me in the first place was the sound of the drums -- very powerful. They jumped out of the speakers at you and is a very big part of Zeppelin's sound. Page's guitar playing is excellent too. I tend to like his rhythm playing better than his soloing, although I enjoy that too. People tend to deride his solos as being to sloppy, but I'll take sloppy and inspired playing over sterile, technically perfect playing. John Paul Jones is vastly underrated in terms of what he brought to the group -- both his bass playing (on his solo album Zooma, he shows just how good a bass player he is) and his keyboard work is crucial to the band's overall sound. However, they are far from perfect. Plant's voice can be grating (as past commentaries have said, he tends to scream "ooh baby" in damn near every song when he can't think of anything else to sing), the songwriting is rather limited, and as past reviewers have said they never grew that much musically after the first two albums. Overall though, I would give them a band rating of four instead of three because heir influence is still very strong today. Unlike Black Sabbath, they appealed to both sexes whereas Black Sabbath has a much more male-dominated fan base (at least it was back then). Black Sabbath invented heavy metal and are legends themselves, but Zeppelin has a much wider fan base and appeal because they were versatile enough to add acoustic songs to their repertoire.

Ben Kramer <> (24.12.2001)

Wow, your popular with Zeppelin fans! If I wrote this a year ago I'd probably flame you worse than everyone already has combined. I was a Zephead. Their 9 albums were my 9 favorite albums. I owned one non Zep album (The Wall and I worshipped that as well, but that would take a couple of months to get its Godly status with me). I eventually got bored with them and discovered that so much great music exists without Plant whining. How do I feel about Zep now? Well, first of all, their output was extremely inconsistent. That's my main complaint. They went from Zep 1 (one of the greatest blues rock albums ever) to In Through The Out Door (basically a Yes album) in 10 years. They had an amazing journey along the way including producing a diverse album, a multi diamond album, one of 4 in existence in the USA (I don't know about world wide numbers), they hit folk rock, metal... In nonmusic events, Page slept with an underage girl, Plant got in a serious accident leaving him in a wheelchair which was accompanied with the death of his son... I don't think that I could call any album of theirs consistent (with the exception of 1 & 3). Other than that, the usual complaints don't really apply to me. Plant's voice doesn't bother me and he is often excellent, especially on Zep 1 despite what he says. They also have nonmusical problems such as being grossly overrated, often considered #2, only behind the Beatles. VH1 rated them #4 behind The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and Hendrix respectively. Also, their fans are obnoxious like most metal bands (though I don't wanna call LZ metal, they are in a way). They think that Led Zeppelin is par excellence as well as all of its members. I'm done complaining now and the plus side of Zep is larger than the negative by a lot but I'll try not to say what hasn't been said before. Page is a fine guitarist, no Hendrix as many people claim but he is good enough to be ranked with the best. Both Jones and Bonham would get my vote for second best on their respective instruments with the best being the members of the Who, Moon and Entwistle. All of their albums are also drowned in awesome songs (its the not so awesome songs that piss me off). 1 has Dazed, Babe I'm Gonna Leave You, 2 has WLL and What is..., the list can go one forever. None of their albums can be labeled as bad with the exception of Coda and even Coda is worth at least an 8 or a 9 when the four bonus tracks are added.

How do I rate Led Zeppelin? First of all, they come in third on my list of most overrated artists ever (behind the Eagles and Neil Young (sorry) respectively). However, I still give them a 4. Lower than the 6 or 7 that a fan would give but still a very respectable rating.

Listenability - 4/5 - Mostly for Coda and disc 2 of PG

Resonance - 4/5 - Bonham is resonant, Jones is resonant, Plant can be resonant and Page is definitely not resonant. But they get a 4 because their music can reach your soul or it could blow you away.

Originality - 4/5 - The later days weren't original but they were able to do the job with the first 2 albums

Adequacy - 3/5 - only 2 fully adequate studio albums, but overall, they were more adequate than not

Diversity - 4/5 - denied the 5th point because their diversity backfired sometimes, but they weren't just a metal band like many fans will tell you.

Best album - BBC Sessions

Worst album - Coda

Most overrated - ALL OF THEM, but Physical Graffiti is a little more than the others

Most Underrated - BBC Sessions

Quintessential - 1 Revolutionary - 1 Best Live album - BBC Sessions

Mattias Lundberg <> (11.02.2002)

Just wanted to digress on a few shortcomings of L.Z. in their otherwise successful musical achievement. I don't mean to be harsh on the band, believe me, I love them to bits and my life shouldn't be the same without them. My criticism of the band rise from them being at variance with 4 convictions of mine:

i) No band should be worshipped: Even if this is of course no fault of their own it is linked to the reception of their music and, via a feedback process, this reception has affected their later solo projects. It seems to me as if the stereotypical L.Z. fan venerate the individuals of the band as instrumentalists (which in itself weakens their position as a 'great band') and compare the instrumental capabilities of the Zepsters to instrumentalists of other bands (a rather pointless exercise) in order to proclaim them 'the best band ever'. Well, I guess this is where the 'heavy metal shallowness impulse' stems from; I doubt that the L.Z. reception of the 60s and 70s was anything like the post 80s idolatry. Suffice to take a look at this website: no band (with possible exceptions for YES and Pink Floyd) appear to enjoy a more narrow-minded, attitude-laden following than L.Z.

ii) No band should be credited with something they never have represented. One argument often put forward as a quality of L.Z. is their supposed historical importance as innovative song-writers. I cannot find anything to support this assertion. In their early period (I-IV) - when they still could have made such an impact - nearly half of their tracks were based on variations on twelve-bar blues patterns and are thus not songs in the original meaning of the word, but rather realizations of a traditional idea. Anyone who regards 'When the levee breaks' as the greatest song ever written has not really understood L.Z.:s position in relation to a tradition that has outlived them. In fact the guys are responsible for the worst case of plagiarism I have ever seen in popular music; 'The lemon song' on II is impertinently credited to Page/Plant/Jones/Bonham when the music (and most of the text) is, as you all know, Howlin' Wolf's 'Killing floor' copied exactly, the fast middle section and all. They haven't even - as one might have expected - tried to modify the blues; there's a H.W. version from a 60s session (featuring white musicians) that comprise every little detail of 'The lemon song'. This is not just an artistic problem, but could also be (as apparently happened, according to George) a legal matter. At least Deep Purple were tactful enough to make an acknowledgement on 'Speed King' and that is not near as bad a rip-off as is 'The lemon song'.

iii) The intonation of a singer should be accurate. One of the most obvious and striking features of L.Z. - which probably even fanatic followers can remember hearing before they sank into the quick-sand of total subjectivity - is that Plant sometimes is so badly out of tune that it's hard to concentrate on the overall sound. This is also most prominent on the early albums. On 'Heartbreaker' it's really bad at it's worst, nearly a semi-tone flat on the exclamatory "'re a heartbreaker".

iv) Musical ideas should be varied and developed. This is a severe weakness in L.Z.:s performances, especially when compared to similar contemporary bands. Song-writing must be complemented with the ability to arrange the song, and unfortunately L.Z. are struggling in both disciplines. If we don't consider the frequent resorting to pre-existing blues patterns, many of their riff-based tracks reveal an inability to expand on ideas, giving the songs the impression of overlength. 'Misty mountain hop' is so highly repetitive that it could qualify as ambient music. Minimalism comes naturally, but it has yet to supply any exciting effects in the proto-heavy metal idiom.

Note that these criticisms are not opinions, but observations; plagiarism, tuning and musical development can all be measured objectively. If L.Z. fans would like to comment on these observations, please do so in a structural and objective way, not just by general statements on how great the band is - I agree on that, but it says nothing about their music.

David Parizer <> (25.03.2002)

Congratulations on sticking to your guns on Led Zeppelin. Though I do disagree with your overall rating--3 is definitely too high.

People need to realize that these guys were total hacks. I wish you'd review The Small Faces. Their Decca Years collection includes the song You Need Lovin'. George, believe me that 'Whole Lotta Love' is an EXACT rip-off of this song. And the nerve of this band to plagiarize material and not credit the original authors is criminal. As another example, the Dutch pop group Shocking Blue, known for their international hit 'Venus', had a bluesy song in 1973 called 'In My Time of Dying'. Hmmm...The song you love from Physical Graffiti is once again plagiarized.

As I wrote you in the past, I wish that you would review Wishbone Ash. This is 1970's the guitar band that deserved the notoriety of Led Zeppelin. This is the band that blended all of the elements of blues, jazz, folk and rock by focusing on intelligent, melodically constructed songs. Andy Powell has kept the band alive through this day and their new studio album will arrive in April. I would hope that you check it out when it arrives--as well as 1972's Argus, 1974's There's The Rub or 1996's Illuminations.You have the power to educate the masses--if they new about the alternative, they wouldn't waste their time defending the Zeppelin's and Sabbath's of the world.

Nicholas Rogerson <> (17.10.2002)

Led Zeppelin were the first band i listended to after my formative years of classical music. Oh yeah i listened to Black Sabbath's 1980s albums(!) but didn't really like them much(!) Anyway i thought they were the best thing ever until i started listening to the Who, the Yardbirds and even Free to an extent. The huge difference between Led Zep and these bands is that the Who etc. are sincere in the message that their songs convey. They are not bombastic and essentially always had something to say. Now i feel that Led Zep began to develop a greater opinion of themselves than was in reality, the case. I can happily listen to a Free album, a less 'talented' band, over a Led Zep album, because i know that their simple lyrics and message does come form the heart. It is sincere. The more that I listen to the lyrics of Led Zep, deliverd by Plant in the most part in an obnoxious voice, the more i find them detached from any real emotion. And i listen to music to experience emotions of varying kinds. Plus, as an aside, i don't like the path their later albums went down.

Having said all this, Led Zep can be a hugely enjoyable band to listen too. Their first album shows that they really could have stuck to the hard blues theme, which conveyed real emotions and had a real point to it ('Babe I'm Gonna Leave You') rather than move away from it. This had detrimental effect on both their music and their sincerity. I'll stick to the Who thank you very much.

Eric Kleinbrink <> (17.10.2002)

When I think about Led Zeppelin, I think of my teenage years. That's when I went thru my Led Zeppelin phase.... I think it's a law of rock n roll nature that all 13-18 year old white males MUST go thru this phase. I am older now and really have no desire to revisit Led Zeppelin. I used to love Zeppelin. I listen to them now, and, well.. things have changed. Robert Plant's voice just makes me cringe. The blatant rip offs from Blues artists (not to mention Jeff Beck and The Yardbirds!) sticks in the back of my head when I listen to many of the 'Zeppelin' classics. The mysticism , that I thought was soooo cool when I was 15, is just embarrassing now. They have some great songs.... but, it just doesn't have the creativity or the intelligence of some of the artists I've discovered since I was a teenager.... The Kinks, 60's Stones, 60's Who, Beatles, Lennon, Doors, Hendrix... and many others.

I also love how so called music experts - guitarists - feel they have the credentials to say what is good music and what isn't. Gee, I guess that would be like Mike Bolton telling what's good singing and what isn't?

Steve Potocin <> (07.12.2002)

Great drummer, couple of good tunes, o.k. band, not my cup of tea, but I'll tell you one thing, their fans are some funny sons-o bitches! I almost pissed my pants laughing at some of these letters! Keep em coming boys!

anlormarechal <> (30.12.2002)

How CAN you say that Led Zep is HEAVY METAL ???? it is hard rock, sure, but not metal. Of course, there isn't a clear distinction between the two genres (Is Van Halen hard rock or metal ? and what about Guns'n'Roses ?...), it is only a "level" difference. But no metal fan would consider LZ as metal, and Zepsters (I like LZ but am not a Zepser) wouldn't say LZ is metal. Of course the question "what is metal, what is hard rock" has different answers, depending on the years (after all, Black Sabbat was considered as heavy metal, but today's metal is so much heavier than BS that it is no longer called "heavy metal"). But, Led Zeppelin have never been heavy enough to be considered as "metal".

Have you heard any Nu-metal album, for example Slipknot or Korn ? it is not heavy, it's barbaric ! That is what, today, is considered as "metal". I want to be clear : for me "hard rock" don't mean "good" and "metal", "bad". There are bad bands that I would call "hard rock" and good ones that I would call "heavy metal". But saying "LZ made heavy metal" is stupid. Is "Helter Skelter" heavy metal ? if your answer is "yes", then your music dictionnary is strange.

For me, even Deep Purple ain't no metal; Black Sabbath, maybe.

Milton & Lynda Foersterling <> (29.01.2003)

Zeppelin would definitely not be 3 on my rating scale, while on the other hand i would never put them on the level of The Beatles or the Rolling stones even though Pages guitar playing is superior to both(with exception to mick taylor at times and harrison's let it be). I would actually have to disagree w/ your The Who and Bob Dylan reviews, because i believe zeppelin is atleast equal to those personally id prefer zep over both. i've listened all the dylan and who songs which u supposedly like and listend to their biggest cds and just can't say i was falling for them. Dylan should have been a poet and probably would have if there was any money in it cause his voice is irritating to me a lot. The Who seemed to have a lot of songs the same even though 'Won't Get Fooled Again' is one of my favorite songs ever.

I was truly saddened to find out that zep's music was unoriginal commonly but i still love there music. Plant does piss me off sometimes with his oohs ahhs and push pushes, but i still believe his voice is truly magnifiscent. Page is my favorite guitarist over all because of his elaborate soloing, crazy guitar riffs, and his beautiful melodic acoustic playing. JPJ is everything you'd expect in a studio musician, and truly contributed alot to their diversity which you seem to disacknowlege. Shoot me if u want, but i believe they're more diverse than the who, even though i love the who. Bonham is no doubt one of the greatest drummers w/ kieth moon and mitch mitchell styles, but i just wish he could have some more of Charlie watts craftiness, and i believe even u would have appreciated their ballads more.

And i will rip out your testicles if you call them a cock-rock band again. i don't give a shit if they inspired all the cock rockers, but they are far above acdc and nazareth, even though i like getting drunk to acdc, i have to admit. i'd put Beatles and stones 5's, zeppelin, floyd, hendrix, doors 4.5's, and dylan and the who 4's.

Matthew Bowness <> (07.02.2003)

Not only is zeppelin the most badass rock band, ever. They are also the most talented muscicians (cant spell) ever. Unlike most bands of the 80's and 90's that can only either crank out lound and distastefull speed metal, or hold a single chord and complain about his life (dave mathews), zeppelin can do folk music, classical type, hard rock, or their own unique blend of the two. And they like Lord of the RIngs too.

Jason Motell <> (04.05.2003)

A three is too low, but under your terms, they don't deserve a four, as I agree that none of their albums are fourteen worthy. Despite not really being a four star band, I still think you underrate them (even though describing "The Rain Song" as a "prelude to tragedy" was brilliant). One of my biggest objections to your rating is that you rip the band for not being diverse, but then you want every ballad to be like "Babe I'm Gonna Leave You." You can't crave diversity while demanding similarity. I know the statement was more a compliment to "Babe I'm Gonna Leave You" then a slap to Zeppelin, but it still is a little hypocritical.

Like a few other posters, I feel Zeppelin was very diverse overall. True, they had a distinct style that left their mark on the sound of any given recording and left no doubt that it was a Zeppelin song, but they varied their style enough IMO to be given a four in this category. Were they as diverse as the Rolling Stones or the Who or the Kinks? Obviously no, but they were a definite four here. Even your intro seems to claim they were diverse: you call them a heavy metal band, a hard rock band, a prog band, a glam band, a punk band, and a folk band. Seriously George, what more are you after?

Towards the tail end of your intro you basically state that Zeppelin created a new style of music and "milked that cow" for all it was worth, as all of their albums sound the same. Well yes, each album is stamped with the Zeppelin sound, but if that sound is a mixture of heavy metal, hard rock, prog, punk, glam, punk, folk, and blues how can they not be four-star caliber diverse?

Any band capable of

a "magnificent acoustic ballad,"

a "dazzling, head-spinning version of some undistinguished classic blues tune,"

a song that "was probably the heaviest song of the Sixties,"

a "gentle pretty acoustic easterny suite,"

an "uncompromised dirty rocker,"

a "fast heavy boogie-woogie" (something you claim that no one had ever done before),

a "charming folk song,"

a "wall-rattling" song with "poisonously bashing drums, vicious slide guitars and electronically affected harmonicas,"

a "moody piece of dark magic,"

a "Scandinavian ditty,"

an "ear-hurting rhythm track,"

a "funny boogie-woogie piano shuffle ,"

a "high-volume, high-energy funk rocker,"

a "'super-weak, ridiculous track based on an inane, repetitive, dinky groove,"

a "cheerful three minute country-western groove,"

and a "desperate love ballad" must be diverse? No?

Without a doubt, this band is worthy of receiving a four in diversity IMO, and based on your own statements, maybe they should receive a four in your opinion as well.

[Special author note: Whoah, whoah, that's a bogus approach! 'Magnificent acoustic ballad' and 'desperate love ballad' are the same thing! 'Ear-hurting rhythm track' and 'uncompromised dirty rocker' are the same thing! Have mercy on me - I'm not a machine, I like meself some synonimity! Besides, did I really write all that crap myself? Goodness gracious! :)]

Brian Adkins <> (30.09.2003)

Wow, and you talk about AC/DC fans being harsh, these die-hard Zep fans seem much worse than most AC/DC fans. Is there one single person that agrees with your Physical Graffiti review? I think Pages guitar playing is much like Morrisons lyric, people think it's good no matter what it sounds like or how the sound was developed. I think Zep is a terrific band, don't get me wrong, but I totally agree with the 3 you gave them. If it weren't for Bonzo, they would have been just another average band. But they had Bonzo and yes, they were better than average. But I still don't understand why people think they're on the same level as The Stones, The Beatles and The Who. I mean Plant could never use his voice like Jaggar, Page could never write anything like Townsend and well they could never use "uncommon" instruments such as horns like the Beatles. But no one can or could, so it's nothing to be ashamed of and get defensive about. To all you hard-core fans out there, admit your bands strengths and accept their weaknesses. I'm like George, just because they sold a ton of records, doesn't mean shit. Just like he mentions McDonalds on one of the comments, I'm sure McDonalds sells more burgers than "Kay's Kitchen" but "Kay's Kitchen" hamburgers are so much better. (Yes I don't expect you to know what Kay's Kitchen is, it's simply a small-time restaurant that sales "home-cooked" food which is much better than McDonalds, and much slower too but they still don't hold a light to the sales of McDonalds) I can listen to Zeppelin about anytime and enjoy the sounds, but they never released any album like Quadrophenia, Abbey Road or Get Yer Ya Ya's Out. They could never transition from one song to the next to make the albums flow well, it was more like a CD with more than one, one hit wonder and not an album. It was always a bunch of songs that didn't seem like they needed to be on the same album together. Shouldn't "Black Dog", "Rock n Roll" and "Immigrant Song" been released on Led Zeppelin I, "Babe I'm Gonna Leave You", "How Many More Times" and "Since I've been Loving You" on Led Zeppelin II and oh what the hell, they just weren't good at flowing through their albums, to me anyway. I mean if you're gonna write a bunch of songs about being screwed over by women with different sounds and explanations, why not put them on one album and call it a concept album? That way if I'm in the mood for that, I can listen to the whole album. I never skip tracks on hardly any band as much as I do with Zeppelin. I mean if I put Led Zeppelin II on my stereo, I'm not in the mood for "What is and What Should Never Be" or "Thank You". Well anyway I was tired of seeing all these people give you a hard-time about your Zeppelin reviews. I think you did a damn good job with Zeppelin. Hopefully I've made my points on why I agree with you that Zeppelin deserves no more than a 3. And notice I didn't even get past Led Zeppelin IV, that was definitely for the sake of Zeppelin fans.

Stephen Rutkowski <> (11.10.2003)

I must say I am quite embarrassed by being associated with some of the contributors on this board. I am a very big fan, but not ignorant enough to not to criticise them when they deserve it. From the moment I listened to the first album I have been absolutely enthralled with every song they have ever produced. (Ok not quite, it gets very thin towards the last three albums.) Led Zeppelin are certainly not overplayed in Australia as there are no such things as ‘classic rock’ stations. Their four major songs are recycled on oldies stations (‘Whole Lotta Love’, ‘Black Dog’, ‘Rock and Roll’ and ‘D’yer Mak’er’. Perhaps ‘Living Loving Maid’ is played occasionally. ‘Stairway to Heaven’ is rarely played as it is considered too long, so I never had any problems with overkill. In any event I don’t listen to the radio.

Led Zeppelin do have their limitations, and it’s about time these brain dead ‘fans’ realised it. At the same time, these ‘fans’ should also go out and buy a few other albums to see that there is much more stuff out there. The band were fantastic at arrangements, not songwriting as someone has correctly pointed out. It is well known that so many of their songs were rip offs. Robert Plant was only slightly better than average. And his ‘ooh baby-ing’ and the like was very annoying. The strength really lied with the other three members. John Paul Jones really is the underrated fellow. He was multi-talented, and his keyboards always threw a little extra into the mix. Particularly with songs like ‘No Quarter’, the keyboards provide a wonderful atmosphere. John Bonham was a fantastic drummer, not merely just ‘keeping the beat’. He really helped Led Zeppelin to have such a ‘heavy’ sound. Jimmy Page was the master on the guitars, at leas! t he is right up there with the best of them. His overdubbing was fantastic, giving that ‘thick’ trademark sound. One this that has always impressed me though is that Led Zeppelin are always known as such a heavy band, often considered one of the fathers of heavy metal. Yet how many of their songs are soft acoustic ditties? Ok, their acoustic stuff wasn’t always great, but some of the best results was when they mixed it up like on ‘Stairway to Heaven’ and ‘Over the Hills and Far Away’.

Anyway, I’m not here to try an get their rating pushed up. I think a 3 is fair. They did a lot of ripping off, but they did make the old blues tracks sound very refreshing. After the release of IV their quality really did taper off. And they can’t compete with bands like The Who and The Beatles as far as quantity of great albums goes. Still a great band in my eyes.

Hey, I’ve just noticed something concerning the aforementioned ‘fans’. They hardly bother to stay and comment on the individual albums. Probably they realise they will get done when it comes to arguing about the more specific points. They won’t have enough artillery in their arsenal so to speak, as far as the arguments are concerned.

PS: Regarding some contributors who have complained about the song titles. Where is the law stating that a song title has to be uttered in every chorus so that everyone knows what the song is called? While it’s not unique I think it adds character to the songs and certainly beats the boring standards as far as titles go. Go and investigate, you mind find an interesting story about the titles of songs such as ‘Out on the Tiles’, ‘Bron-Yr-Aur’, ‘Four Sticks’ and ‘Black Dog’.

Anders Emretsson <> (30.10.2003)

Led Zeppelin is my favourite band and I believe it always will be. I didn't like them very much when I was younger. I remember borrowing the live double "The Song Remains The Same" but not being able to make much sense out of it.

But in the mid eighties I got caught again and since then they've been firmly at #1 for me. For me there's virtually not one - well, perhaps one, 'D'yer Mak'er' - bad song in their repertoire. Sure you get tired of them if you listen to them a lot (though that's really got to be a _lot_) but there's always another song that recaptures your attention.

Of course I agree with a lot of the objections made above. LZ stole shamelessly and probably criminally. They relied very heavily on twelve-bar blues. Plant's singing was not of the most ... subtle ... kind. Bonham didn't excel at reggae. Page's excessive bowing and theramin waving would for some part best have stayed in rehearsals. And Jones - no, I'm sorry, the man did nothing wrong.

Of course they don't rank on top as songwriters - they were a _playing_ band. Their songs were hardly even written, they took shape during jamming. That's one of the secrets behind their unparallelled groove.

As individual musicians they ran in circles around The Stones, The Beatles and The Who (ok, maybe McCartney and Daltrey had hard rock voices on par with Plant, and Jagger was somewhat better over all - but Plant is right up there with them. Page was a master orchestrator, speed fingered string bender and a top of the line riff basher. Jonesy - what can you say? He provides a rock solid foundation for Page and Plant, yet every tone from his bass feels unexpected. Bonham's genious is beyond dispute.

And the funny thing is that t's all there from the very beginning. Just play 'Good Times Bad Times' over and over, each time listening to one specific instrument. Hear? How about those drums? Can you keep up with the bass? Wow - that guitar, and here comes the solo like an explosion. And Plants singing is just about as good as it'll ever be.

Even funnier is that they managed to come close to that mastery time and time again.

But I guess it all boils down to personal taste. And Zep managed to appeal to the personal taste of quite a lot of people.

<> (29.11.2003)

Well i dont really see why people feel the need that everyone must like zeppelin. The way i see it they are already too popular and overplayed, but i do think they are the second greatest rock band of all time next to the stones. As far as Led Zeppelin blowing the Who out of the water i wouldnt exactly say that, but i do think they are better. The who is one of my favorite bands and i actually listen to them more than zep, but every album zep put out except for ITTOD was great. Yes i do believe the who put out some of the best concept albums ever, Tommy is actually my favorite of all time, however this makes it hard to listen to who songs alone. While they have alot of great songs the ones that arent are just awfully corny. The best material from the who and zeppelin i would say is equal, but when u compare the worst there is no contest zep comes out on top and they also put out more great songs. Thats where zeppelin beats em.

Karl Heideck (07.12.2003)

When it comes to Led Zeppelin, however, specifically to John Bonham, I'm afraid you're way off the mark. And this is understandable, as you're primarily a self-proclaimed rock fan. Bonham's greatness as a drummer was his pocket. I'm referring to the "feel" of his rhythmic playing, the space between beats and accents which figuratively and literally creates a rhythmic pocket for the other bandmembers to fill. His ability to create a groove, not with repetition, a la Funkadelic or some James Brown, or as you mention with certain Stevie Wonder songs, but with an instantly rhythm-locking drum line, is what sets Led Zeppelin apart from most other hard rock bands.

Bonham was basically an extremely aggressive funk drummer with occasional hit-or-miss spasms (e.g. the explosive fills from "Achilles Last Stand," which are impressive to some and cacaphonous to others). Comparing him to Keith Moon is a huge mistake. They really weren't in the same school of rock drumming. Moon was a fluid virtuoso who relied on Townshend's solidity to experiment as a "lead" instrumentalist. Bonham, above all else, created a perfect-time backbone to rival the hardest and heaviest of funk drummers, accented it with subtle syncopation (nowhere in "Whole Lotta Love," for instance, does he hit the snare on the Four, as would be expected), and though he occasionally left his groove behind to chase a wild fill, always returned hard and heavy on the One. You seem to treat him as the weakest instrumentalist in the band; I think by more diverse standards, he's actually by far the strongest.

Chris Hofgren <> (31.12.2003)

hi George,

your work-in-progress site pages are erudite, entertaining and enlightening. I also enjoy your whimsical categories . . . "Audacious Alchemists" and "Introspective Dudes" . . . perhaps you should consider a book manuscript someday - I'm a professional geologist now, but in a former life was a book publishing editor, so it's just a part of me speaking out. Criticism and punditry is not really my thing, but every once in awhile something - like the writing and comments on your site - piques my interest. A bit else about me: I'm a jazz fan and musician (drums, guitar, a little piano) these days, but still listen to - just for example - the Dead, Zeppelin, Floyd, Beefheart, V.U., Van Morrison, Neil Young and Joni Mitchell, especially in live performances.

You do focus heavily on the rock LP as the defining artefact of rock, but you must also acknowledge that *live performance* of the music is also a greatly significant component, especially since the 1960s era. In your review of The Grateful Dead, you proclaim "my official judgement [sic] on these guys" -- it's actually spelled j_u_d_g_m_e_n_t -- well, like the Dead, Led Zeppelin also had a primary component of its music that was underrepresented on records. Led Zeppelin is the most bootlegged - and their live shows the most heavily traded - rock band of all time, and there must be some reason for it besides that their official records were not satisfying, interesting, original, or bestselling enough, tabloid rumors and celebrity intrigue, or that certain critics just 'didn't get it' . . .

For evidence of this, I'd direct you to the band's own recently released double-DVD set. Watch Disc 1, consisting of the virtually complete film and audio recording of Zeppelin's January 9, 1970 show at the Royal Albert Hall (long bootlegged in much lower quality and referred to as "Jimmy's Birthday Party" - it was his 25th - by fans). Only Miles Davis' contemporary group and the Tony Williams Lifetime (whose guitarist John McLaughlin - former session colleague of John Paul Jones and Jimmy Page and briefly Jimmy's guitar tutor - was soon to form the Mahavishnu Orchestra) were creating live music with such virtuosic, headlong passion and improvisational momentum in early 1970.

No incarnation of the Beatles, Stones, or The Who could pull off as convincing and intense a version of Ben E. King's "We're Gonna Groove" as the one Zep kicks off the R.A.H. performance with. It just builds from there, a breathless, exuberant celebration of the band's own tunes mixed with classic (as in '50s chestnuts like "C'mon Everybody" and "Somethin' Else) rock, blues, r 'n' b and funk.

What was that last word? Oh yeah, f_u_n_k . . . your focus on buildup or deconstruction of individual members of all the groups you seem to review doesn't fully appreciate the unity of Zeppelin's rhythm section, for example - both Jones and Bonham were ardent and dedicated fans of Motown, Stax, and James Brown (to as great a degree as Page & Plant's country blues/folk obsession) . . . what '80s hair-band of the "metal" genre can claim this? Classic rockers like the Who and Stones claim it too, but I don't hear convincing evidence on their official records or live performances. Slightly off topic, f_u_n_k is another aspect of Hendrix's Band of Gypsys - besides "Machine Gun - that you utterly missed, btw. John Paul Jones has often and eloquently spoken out about what a unique and talented drummer John Bonham was . . . the only way you can appreciate this is by checking out more of their actual live performances. Try some from the 1973 tour (which of course didn't make 'The Song Remains The Same') such as 3.24.73, 5.13.73, 5.19.73, or 7.17.73.

Regarding the LP-focused discussion - sure, Townshend and Jagger/Richards were still writing great songs in the '70s and even the '80s, but their bands were somehow eclipsed by Zeppelin's arrival on the scene. I don't have the specific article references, but early/mid '70s interviews with Townshend and Richards have them each referring dismissively to LZ as overamplified noise, a "purely commercial venture," or simply claiming ignorance, not having "really listened to them" (other folks in the same circles would later hang with Zep, Ronnie Wood appearing onstage with them on February 13, 1975 and Keith Moon doing the same on June 23, 1977). A quote from John Paul Jones regarding the band's untitled fourth LP, touching on the "heavy metal" allusions: "Nobody ever compared us to Black Sabbath after that album."

Come on, George. No other band in your "Gritty Axemen" category attained the 4 rating. If Pink Floyd and Jimi Hendrix - respective champs of their categories - get a 4 (as do Genesis, King Crimson and The Byrds, for goodness' sake), then Led Zeppelin deserves one too.

Bob Josef <> (31.12.2003)

Well, I'd be a little more generous than my buddy Glenn Weiner -- I can come up with about two hours of their output I can enjoy. My main problem with Zep is that they were way too frequently about excess for the sake of excess -- Jimmy's overcranked soloing; Bonham's agile, but nonetheless clunky and nonrhythmic drums; Plant's shrieking. They were capable of toning it down, becoming more subtle, and they did have a number of hooky rock songs that were fun, despite their silliness. And I fully agree about your assessment of them as a negative influence. I can never forgive them for spawning many bands with scrawny singers and players that confused false machismo and shrillness with singing and endless loud guitar and drum solos for musicianship, when none of these people had the talent and diversity that Zep did. A mix tape is good enough for me -- as Glenn said, you can hear ten Zep songs a day on a typically boring classic rock station.

oliver krasny <> (17.03.2004)

hey george,

my name is oliver and i am a 14 year old boy form Melbourne, Australia.

I think you are a great critic and everything but i have to disagree with you when it comes to Led Zeppelin.   Now I'm not a crazy headbanging maniac when it comes to them but they are definetely one of my most favourite bands ever. You have to give them a better rating than you did on your website because there must be a reason that there are all these fanatics and lovers of Led Zeppelin. It is because they are undoubtedly the greatest heavy rock band ever. They have a kick ass guitarist who can pull off the most amazing solos and skills, they have robert plant who as weird as he is, actually has a great voice (well at least in his earlier years), they have John Bonham who is my opinion one of te greatest rock and roll drummers ever (the best of course is Keith Moon!!!!!!) and Led Zeppelin also has a great bass player who uses his bass guitar as a lead guitar.

Now I'm not just saying all this out of nowhere, I have listened to a wide variety of music and I have heard all of the albums with a rating of 15. And I love them all! And I agree with you all the way with them, and when there is someone who says Live at Leeds, Live at the Isle of Wight or Quadrophenia doesn't deserve to be up there I give them hell!!!!

So basically all I'm saying is that you should really listen to some LEd Zep because I honestly don't know how you can not appreciate their music. It is true that they did not explore the music world well, and they weren't original at all (although they tried to be, but they failed) They were the best at what they do and in my opinion they will always be. If you could please re-read what you have said about Led Zeppelin and listen to their albums, it would be very nice.

Chelsea Frank <> (02.06.2004)

another zeppelin review to add to the masses:

I really enjoy listening to Led Zeppelin, I own 1-4 as well as Physical Graffiti. However, as much as I love Jimmy Page I've never been truly hooked by the band.

A part of me was also turned off by their eerie similarity to The Who. Not only did Keith and John come up with the idea for the band, but the lineup was the same, and Plant and Bonzo are frighteningly close copies of Roger and Keith.

Something that did raise my appreciation of Zeppelin, however, was the DVD Page recently released. Being 17 I was not able to see them live, And I highly reccomend the DVD to anyone interested in Zeppelin, it is the best collection of the band available, far surpassing remains the same.

Anyway, im not trying to hype the DVD, the point I was trying to make was that seeing Page perform live gave me a greater appreciation of him. He really came alive through his playing and played with remarkable energy and dexterity. During the Royal Albert concert in 1970 Page attempts a solo with a violin bow, and while a little lengthy its actually a beautiful thing to watch. I read an article about them in the Stone that said Page used his guitar as an 'emotional translator', and that was how it seemed watching him stand there in the early days, stoic and sheilded by all that unweildly hair, completely throwing himself into the music.

That has no bearance on their recorded sound however, on which my opinion is the same. In the begining they were good. They were all talented boys, Plant perhaps a bit less than the rest (however nice he may look shirtless) but they do not deserve that strange god like status that has been thrust upon them. As far as Bonzo is concerned, I'd take his prototype over him any day. You have to love the original- the one and only Keith Moon. If you want insane, passionate, unbelievable motion-blur drumming, look no further than Moonie.

However, Page I maintain a strange respect for. He lacked Townshend's conceptual genius and unique ability to combine art and rock, but he shared with him that strange ability to share himself with the listener completely by way of guitar. Maybe I can say strange a few more times. Well, let's face it, Jimmy was a bit strange.

Though at first the three star rating took me by suprise, after much agonizing and soul searching (my life really is this boring) I ended up chosing the same rating. Good call, good call.

<> (29.06.2004)

im 16 female and hey i love led zeppelin . and yea they were an original band ok. it pisses me off that ppl dis them like that but hey its ur opinion so wut ever.

Owen Wilkie <> (23.08.2004)

A 3 is way too high for (get it straight) the LEAST original band of all time. Zeppelin stole MOST of their material from other artists and credited themselves with writing it. If you don't belive me just listen to "Never" by "Moby Grape" and then tell me what you think. It makes me sick to think that they got away with stealing all these songs

"Babe I'm Gonna Leave You" - A folk song by Anne Bredon

"Black Mountain Side" - uncredited version of a traditional folk tune previously recorded by Bert Jansch.

"Bring It On Home" - the first section is an uncredited cover of the Willie Dixon tune.

"Communication Breakdown" - derived from Eddie Cochran's "Nervous Breakdown."

"Custard Pie" - uncredited cover of Bukka White's "Shake 'Em On Down," with lyrics from Sleepy John Estes's "Drop Down Daddy."

"Dazed And Confused" - uncredited cover of the Jake Holmes song.

"Hats Off To (Roy) Harper" - uncredited version of Bukka White's "Shake 'Em On Down."

"How Many More Times" - Part one is an uncredited cover of the Howlin' Wolf song "How Many More Years." Part two is an uncredited cover of Albert King's "The Hunter."

"In My Time Of Dying" - uncredited cover of the traditional song (as heard on Bob Dylan's debut).

"The Lemon Song" - uncredited cover of Howlin' Wolf's "Killing Floor"

"Moby Dick" - written and first recorded by Sleepy John Estes under the title "The Girl I Love."

"Nobody's Fault But Mine" - uncredited cover of the Blind Willie Johnson blues.

"Since I've Been Lovin' You" - lyrics are the same as Moby Grape's "Never."

"Stairway To Heaven" - the main guitar line is apparently from "Taurus" by Spirit.

"White Summer" - uncredited cover of Davey Graham's "She Moved Through The Fair."

"Whole Lotta Love" - lyrics are from the Willie Dixon blues "You Need Love."

After hearing these songs myself I can no longer respect them and I don't know how anyone else can either.

P.S. The Beatles ARE the most original band ever.

Brian Dickson <> (03.12.2005)

I have to admit,I listened to Led Zeppelin in my late teenage years. This doesn't neccessarily mean that I *liked* them, but I just felt that to show rock credibility I had to be into "The Mighty Zeppelin" But that was a long time ago now and I've listened to a lot of music since then. Listening to Led Zeppelin today I'm surprised at how shallow and superficial a lot of their music is. I find it surprising that people can actually regard their music as "great". I would consider the music of many composers of past centuries as "great", but rock and pop music in comparison is actually pretty straightforward and rudimentary. I'm not trying to be a classcial music snob, in fact I enjoy rock and pop just as much, but when people call bands like Led Zeppelin or Pink Floyd the greatest music of the 20th century or something I detect more a case of naive fandom than level headed analysis. Riff--verse-chorus-verse-chorus-guitar solo-verse-chorus isn't my idea of musical genius I'm afraid. Yes 'Communication Breakdown' I'm talking to you!

The main problem I see today with Zeps "Godlike" status is that while The Beatles built their reputation on great songwriting, Zep built theirs on a "sound". (Anyone who thinks Zep were great songwriters needs to expand their listening habits!) It might have been a sound that made a lot of people want to from a band of their own, but I personally feel that the "Zeppelin" sound has been improved upon in many ways. In my opinion even Deep Purple and Black Sabbath improved on what Zeppelin did a mere year later. I'll never in a million years be convinced that no band since has ever topped 'Whole Lotta Love'. I once remarked that I preferred Black Sabbath to Led Zeppelin and I got retorts along the lines of "Black Sabbath based their entire career outta 'Communication Breakdown' so Zep are better!" Well didn't Zep base their career out of Jeff Becks Truth? Led Zeppelin are indeed a better band than The Jeff Beck Group but that's because they improved on them. And I think bands have improved on Led Zeppelin. In truth ( no pun) it's not really totally true that Led Zeppelin based their *entire* career out of Truth, and neither is it true that Black Sabbath based their entire career out of Communication Breakdwon, but people just love generalisations that don't require too much thinking don't they?

It's pretty easy to emulate the trademark Zeppelin sound, but it's far from easy to emulate the songwriting skills of The Beatles. That's why I feel Led Zeppelin are overrated. I think they've been improved upon by many later bands.

The mysticism and supposedly Satanic stuff too is pretty silly the older you get. I read The Devil Rides Out in 1988 when I was 18 and it gave me goosembumps. I read it last year and I thought it was just really stupid. Aleister Crowley too has gone from a terrifying Anti Chrsit of a man to a silly old sod. Has anyone actually *seen* a picture of him wearing a pointy hat with astrological symbols? He looks like a gnome with constipation. So you can imagine how badly the mystic side of Led Zep has aged with me.

And I can hardly supress a giggle these days when I see a live performance with a serious faced Jimmy Page replete with dragon adorned satin pants striking a dramtic pose withhis trademark twin neck red guitar, play-acting the guitar god role for all its worth. Why couldn't Spinal Tap have realised that it had all been done before them? Watching a 1973 Led Zep live show is as funny as watching a 1986 Poison live show.

Samo Kodela <> (30.12.2005)

I'm Samo from Slovenia and i am a huge Zeppelin fan. First of all, I would like to say that I don't agree with your idea, that Zep couldn't write great melodies. There are just so many such songs like: 'Good times bad times', 'Your time is gonna come', 'Communication breakdown', 'What is and what should never be', 'Thank you', 'Heartbreaker', 'Ramble on', 'Immigrant song', 'Celebration day', 'Since i've been loving', 'Out on the tiles', 'Tangerine', 'That's the way', 'Stairway to heaven', 'Going to california' if I just mention stuff from the first four albums. I really don't see a reason why something like for example Out on the tiles isn't melodic, because for me it is very melodic. It is true that usually Beatles songs have more chords than Zep songs, but 'All of my love' has about 9 chords which is pretty impresive if you ask me. Another wonderful thing about Zep are the arangements which include many guitar overdubs and also keyboards. The Beatles had quite a lot of stuff going on in their songs too but none of those things had any sign of another thing that Zep had and The Who or The Beatles certainly didn' t. That is instrumental virtuosity. Virtusosity was shown on all instruments as well as on the vocals and was also exelently displayed in a live setting. Led Zeppelin were certainly an original band who invented their own style, which can be simply called Led Zeppelin and included all kinds of great music from all over the world. Taking bits and pieces from other musicians music is a perfectly normal thing in art and it doesn't take anything away from Zep's greatness. Almost all of their material however was written completely by themselves and basicly all their songs were completely theirs they just included stuff from their inspirations into a little amount of their songs, which were mostly little bits of lyrics. The intro from the song 'Taurus' by the band Spirit might be a bit similar to 'Stairway', but only a tiny bit. I think 'Stairway' might be a bit influenced by that song, but it is still an original composition by Page, which could also be influenced by his own compositions of 'Babe i'm gonna leave you' and 'Tangerine'. My friend who is a known slovenian poet (Ales Steger), told me that Zeppelin are fantastic especially because they have included so many influences into their music and he said he also likes Plant's voice a lot and ofcourse also the lyrics. I also think that Zep were great in their musical experimentation. I think Zep III and Houses are total winners, George, but you obviously don't like anything outside the 'Dazed and confused' frame and are not even willing to listen to stuff like 'That's the way' or 'D' yer mak'r' because it seems you think in advance, what kind of a band Zep are and so, for you nothing outside that is good.I think 'D'yer mak'r' is a great reagge song with a great deal of vocal and drum originality and i can't agree with you that the vocals in 'That's the way' are bad. As far as Zeppelin mysticism goes it is very important that mysticism in zep's case was created by the music itself and also that it was not like in the case of metal bands connected to pathetic evil band image. It is very important to know that Zep were a hard rock band and not some crap metal shit. As far as Zeppelin milking the same cow for eight albums, well that is simply not true.They were great songwriters and inside their Zep style they basicaly invented a new style on each album or even on each song while it was still obvious that it was Zep and the songs on individual albums fitted together well.Zep were also a completely honest and positive band. Just because Plant was happily married doesn't mean he couldn't sing Since i've been loving you with honest feelings. For the end i would like to tell you George that Zep are in the Rock and roll hall of fame, they received the lifetime achivement Ivor Novello award(british Grammy equvivalent), Grammy lifetime achivement award, Polar music award( as prestige as the Nobel prize) and have sold about 200 million albums around the world, which makes them the biggest rock band because the Beatles are a pop/rock band.The Beatles are also great ofcourse just not as much- at leats not to me.

Kent Mackey <> (10.09.2006)

Wow... some Zep fans really do flip out at any suggestion their favorite band wasn't perfect! I like a lot (actually most) of Zep and have been a big fan for a long time.They really had an enormous influence both on music in the seventies and the mindset of rock culture in that period. The hippie thing had to die or be killed and Zeppelin was the beast the reaper road in on. Killed it dead which was probably good but you're right about a few things you've pointed out about this dark horse even if the easily indignant fanatical fan can't accept them. Plant got way too sure of himself and had a tenancy to over embellish the vocals at times but, HEY... no one could accuse Page of sloppily running off on a tangent (usually in front of an audience) sometimes seeming to forget there were other musicians on the stage as well. Their performances had to be the most interesting thing about Led Zeppelin though.The shows were never anything that a fan could expect was going to be an exact repica or remake of what they did in the studio which is what made them listenable. Improvisation is what kept them interesting. As much as I agree with some of your observations about Plant's irritating tendancy to whine and caterwall occasionally it was his identifying vocal signature that kept some of this rehashed blues from being generic. That and Page's unique indifference to pushing his own musical prowess that made Zeppelin what they were and not some run of the mill loud band running though so many of Willie Dixon's pieces in a really boring way. They had to put their personal stamp on it and they did it the way they felt most comfortable effectively making it their own. There must be at least ten or more Zep tunes that were note for note and lyric for lyric for lyric ripp offs of Willie Dixon, Howlin Wolf and Muddy Waters but you have to admit they did an amazing job of making these old standards sound like something that fit in perfectly with the image and sound they were trying to create. I've had at least a dozen arguements with people who've said Page was sloppy and they would have been a much better band with someone tighter and more controlled. So I ask WHO? Joe Satriani was just a kid in the late sixties, Steve Vai was probably in high school... hey if they want 'sturcture' then maybe Mahavishnu John McLaughlin or Robert Fripp might have been interested. Now THAT would have sounded awful! Part of what made Zeppelin what they were was slightly overweening egomania pushing Page's and Plant's performance held together by a hard driving and solid JPJ and Bonzo. While I agree with you that not everything they did was stellar they were the only ones at the time who had the talent and the balls to do it and make it their own. It may not have been perfect but, seriously how much musc have you ever heard that, even if it seems perfect to you right now, is going to hold up to your sctrutiny five years down the road (if you even rememver who the hell they are)? Great group... I'm glad they were slightly flawed sometimes because I like imperfect music by talented but imperfect artists who do thir best to make it something special. Zeppelin was a fantastic band and I'm glad they did what they did warts and all.

"on the social and commercial levels they certainly were the equivalent to the Fab Four"

Yeah I have to agree with you on that at least to a point. Zeppelin could be refered to as the 'Beatles of the 70's' in that they got everyone's attention. In the 60's everyone knew who The Beatles were and in the 70's everyone knew who Zeppelin was. Maybe not quite as big (even parents and grandparents knew who The Beatles were) but their new style had the same sort of influence on pop/rock culture.

"the dark, satanic, brutal monsters, capable of driving their spikes right through the most obscure depths of your mind and soul"

I'd have to agree with you on that too I guess. I was a kid in a garage band when they hit it big with Zep I and we all loved it! Probably we all loved it it for exactly the same reason all of us still loved what they were coming out with ten years later although by that time some of us had fihured out why the feeling was what it was. They struck a chord with white teenage guys that played on their pubescent anger even if they didn't understand what they were angry with. Not only that but it was relatively easy for a garage band to knock off their own versions whereas what The Beatles had been doing at that time was much more difficult to imitate on stage. Most of what they were doing was whitified blues. When you go to a teenage dance and the band plays something like "You Shook Me" chances are pretty good half the guys at that dance are going to go out and buy the album the next day. Their early music was definitely angry and evil with very identifiable hooks. Easy to see why it would strike home with impressionible kids especially considering Jim Page had a really unique sound and so did Plant. All four of them were good at what they did and they had a very identifiable sound. There was no weak point.

"They did invent a new style, I'll admit (but so have Genesis)"

Genesis didn't become anything that recieved AM radio play until much later and by the time they got some much deserved recognition the band had already begun to disintegrate. By the time Genesis started to be recognized their best days were already behind them.

Regarding Page having "little songwriting talent" I have to disagree with you emphatically. Page came up with some of the most recognizable and copied guitar riffs of any heavy rock band ever. True a lot of what turned out to be their biggest successes were ripped off Willie Dixon numbers but Page did a masterful job of turning them into something kids (drugged out as they were in the 70's) could easily relate to. Those tunes done by anyone else without Page's somewhat evil intonation would have gone over like a lead balloon. It was unquestionably Page's direction on guitar that made Zeppelin a viable commodity right from the start. With any other guitarist (no matter how proficient he may have been) Zeppelin would have been toast!

That's not to say I think Page is the beat all of guitarists. I've seen him put in some of the sloppiest live performances imaginable and then seen him smoke doing the same numbers a week later. Probably had something to do with being shitfaced and burned out. Considering these guys were the real thing and actually lived the act (rather than being a show put together by recording executives to present a false image) I'm surprised Page and Plant aren't both dead today. Remember Hendrix, Morrison, Moon...?

"being a good band, they were certainly a horrible influence"

Ha ha ha ha ha I can't disagree with you there but the reason why is because these awful imitators didn't have the talent these four guys did have. At least not in the studio and not with regard to coming up with an original or credible signature sound.

"I've learned all about the reasons for which the band is so gruesomely overrated."

Once again I can't honestly disagree with you in some resprects. They were not in the class of The Beatles or even Genesis or any number of progressive groups from the seventies who were musically much more complex and inovative. That being said they came up with a sound no one else was going to come up with (I doubt any other collection of four guys would have been capable of it even if the plans were laid out for them). Zeppelin was original (if not with the material itself then certainly with the signature sound they originally put to it) and they were a group who went over big because teenage crowds were perfectly ready for them to come along when they did. Timing, in this case, was as important as anything else.

Anyway, I agree, with, your assesment, in most cases, and just thought I'd throw in, this accessive punctuation, so that, if there are any 12 yr. olds out there, they'll be able, to comprehend what, I'm trying, very hard, to say!

Mihai Preotu <> (13.09.2006)

Now about Led Zeppelin. Sure, I admit, at least initially they more or less were a Who clone (at least superficially), much of their bluesy catalogue is a ripoff, Plant can be annoying , Page's solos were wankish a lot of the time, the lyrics are generally crap, Bonham's drum solos are unbearable and so on and so forth

BUT I identify something in their music that is deeply original and despite appearances hasn't been copied or followed by the multitude of hard rock/heavy metal acts that followed. It has to do with their sound, the alchemy of those four musicians and a certain adventurousness. First the sound - does anything else before or after sound like the Dazed And Confused live jams, or No Quarter, or Whole Lotta Love? (also live). Its a direction not really followed by anyone. All subsequent hard rock acts imitated just one aspect of the music - the heavy riffage - but they completely missed the jammy-ness, the eclecticism and the incredible sound. Page's guitar tone is actually quite thin, and the heavyness of the music comes mainly from the drums, not the overpowering guitar like on all metal. Sure, music is a subjective value first and foremost, but certain objective truths can be ascertained on each musical act, regardless of personal preferences. You may not like the compositions but you cannot deny the clear evolution from one album to the next - each is different, approaching a different musical style, different production etc. This is obvious to any non-biased observer. How many bands can say that? I could go on for quite a while but I probably already bored both you and myself. So what I'm trying to say is that a C rating for Led Zeppelin is unjustified, as it sees only the aspects that all of the imitators tried to copy and made into stereotypes, but misses the true substance of the music which is really an evolutionary dead end - no one really sounds like Led Zeppelin (except maybe The Mars Volta which are a sort of 21st century Led Zep - sometimes).


Marco Ursi <> (23.08.99)

You hit it right on the button with this review. Well, almost. I definitely rank this as the best studio album Zep recorded. It's not so much the individual songs, it's the whole album. It's very difficult to explain. The overall sound is fantastic. The remixing and remastering did wonders. Bonzo's drumming shines on "Good Times, Bad Times" and pretty much throughout the entire album, Jimmy proves why he's considered one of the greats on the two blues tunes ("You Shook Me" and "I Can't Quit You Baby") plus the speedy solo in "Dazed and Confused", Mr. Jones' organ solo in "You Shook Me" is tremendous and his bass playing is solid throughout. And Plant is Plant. Wait, no Plant sounds better on this album than any other. The only quarrel I have with your review is your choice for best song. Sure, I like "You Shook Me" but it is only a blues tune after all. The honours should have gone to "Babe I'm Gonna Leave You". But everyone's entitled to their own opinion, even if it's not the right one (ie. MINE)

Nick Karn <> (09.11.99)

Not exactly their greatest album in my opinion, but certain aspects here would never be topped in the future again. The overall vocal passion and desperation (yep, Plant deteriorated after this album) and tremendously heavy acoustic breakdowns of "Babe I'm Gonna Leave You" used to be my favorite on the album, but I think the towering "Dazed And Confused" (which features one of my favorite guitar solos of all time - what a buildup!) and the dramatic "How Many More Times" (even if it is essentially a ripoff of some old blues song, I love it - that middle section is killer) are probably tied for my favorites. "Your Time Is Gonna Come" and "Black Mountain Side" are more intimate great moments that showcase successful attempts at diversity, while "Good Times Bad Times" and "Communication Breakdown" (despite weak and immature lyrics) are worthy rockers because of the great riffing and soloing by Page.

As far as the two Willie Dixon covers, "You Shook Me" has a truly memorable solo section (Plant on harmonica, Jones on organ, and Page on guitar - what more do you need?) but the rest of the song does nothing for me, and "I Can't Quit You Baby" (despite an amazing display of drum fills by Bonham) is on the whole average. So it's because of those weaknesses I can't give it a 10, so a 9 seems perfect for me.

Matt Reyes <> (25.02.2000)

This is the best Led Zeppelin album ever. I used to think Led Zep IV was the best but this is definitly it. Unlike you I love 'Good Times Bad Times'. The guitar interacts great with bonzo's drumming (does the bass drum roll he does throughout this song only shine on the remastered copies because its the best part of the song). 'Babe I'm Gonna Leave You' is another great song and outshines almost all of Zeps acoustic. Everything but 'Over the Hills and Far Away' from Houses of the Holy. 'You Shook Me' is one of the best solos ever (Harmonica, Organ and that Great Guitar). But I think it doesnt compare to 'I Can't Quit You Baby'. 'Dazed and Confused' is abvouisly well known and the solo is great. 'Your Times is Gonna Come' is an okay song but the worst on the album. 'Black Mountain Side' is a nice 2 minute instrumental. 'Communication Breakdown' is a great song (It shows early signs of the start of heavy metal as well, I know you hate that). 'I Can't Quit You Baby' is probably the best Zep song besides 'Stairway to Heaven'. I like blues with this structure better, slow with one line sung (very well i might add) and then a great guitar lick. And then repeating that and doing guitar licks in between, thats what I think is the best kind of blues (I.E. Stevie Ray Vaughn). The last song 'How Many More Times', is another great track where Bonham's drumming is extraordinary. Even if this track is a little to long it ends what is one of the best albums ever.

Record: 10

Overall: 15

Ashwin Mani <> (04.03.2000)

Led Zep were the greatest band of all time- and this is my favourite album- they never managed to get that eerie tone that they achieved in this album ever again - Plant has a very distinctive voice- love it or hate it one must agree that it is different from any other singer that you've heard - and I think that it was one of the reasons that Led Zeppelin was different - other wise they would have just be a great heavy meatl band- credit must go to plant though he did change his voice in the albums to come - he sounds totally different on physical graffiti(although I prefer his earlier voice-maybe his voice broke!)but I have never heard another band perform aanything like 'babe im gonna leave you' which I think is one of the most amazing songs I have heard - the dynamics of light and shade as Page would say- there are countless heavy metal bands with countless heavy metal songs but not one single song comes close to the monster of them all 'whole lotta love' and plant screaming loooooove! Black sabbath and deep purple have been copied hundreds of times but there are countless songs like 'into the void' or 'highway star' but people have only tried copying led zep there is nobody who can perform 'dazed and confused' or 'kashmir' or 'Dyer maker' for example which is why I think zep are great- I agree people have tried to copy their attitudes and their styles but no one can copy their music - Led zep themselves couldnt do it if they were still there today and Plant and page definitely cant - even with jones- because it is just not the same without bonham - Long live Led Zeppelin and its music!

Fredrik Tydal <> (05.03.2000)

At first listen, I thought this album great. Yes, I was blown away by the magnificent trio of "Babe, I'm Gonna Leave You", "You Shook Me", and "Dazed And Confused". I guess I let those great songs override my judgement on the rest of the album. So, on the second listen I was not that impressed by the whole album anymore - even thought it had to be overrated. But, then, on further listens I came to my senses about the album and recognized the greatness of the first side while admitting the quality of certain parts of the second side. So, in the end, this is a solid album and a somewhat impressive debut. I would probably give it 7.5 or 8 out of 10.

Stadelman <> (09.06.2000)

Zep's debut is my favorite as well. This is one of those discs that sound excellent through headphones, particularly the opener 'Good Times Bad Times'. One aspect of this album that makes it unique is that Jimmy played his Yardbird-era Telecaster on the non-acoustic tunes, as opposed to the Les Paul and double-neck Gibson used on later recordings. I don't know much of anything about "gee-tars", but do like his tone on this one the most. 'Dazed And Confused' gets my vote as top song based on it's bass-enhanced ability to get my apartment shaking like it's on a giant-sized version of those 1950's vibration-based football games (does that make sense to anyone?). By the way, on the subject of debuts, The Cars never bettered theirs either.

Rich Bunnell <> (01.09.2000)

Somebody played this album in my art class today as background music while everyone was drawing, and though as a result I can't connect a single tune to its name except for "You Shook Me," I'd have to say that my ears were listening and I was definitely impressed. The songs go on for a bit long, but the band already had a distinct, appealing style which made most of the songs both crunchy and catchy at the same time. As I said, I can't really name any other songs aside from aforementioned rock masterpiece, but my other favorite was probably that one that begins with the church organ intro. So I'm not being very helpful, not knowing song titles and all. But doesn't it say a lot in the first place that I was this impressed? A nine.

Joel Larsson <> (03.10.2000)

Bought this record today, and listen through it right now, and hey! What a record! I only owned IV before, and I thought it just couldn't be better, but whoa! That Willie Dixon songs really shakes me, funny or not. And "Dazed and confused" is... and so on, so on. I'm listening to song #8 (Can't quit you baby) and the only quite weak song is "Your time is gonna come", but quite frankly I seldom likes ballads at the first listening. Now the 9th and last song begun. You who own the record know whats happening with me. Shakin' to much to press the right buttons on. So longgg.....

<> (06.10.2000)

I waver back and forth between LZ 1, LZ 2, and Physical Gaffitti as my personal favorite. Most often I'd have to give the nod to Led Zeppelin 1's an impressive generally gets the nod because it contains two of my top four or five Zep songs..."How Many More Times" and "Dazed and Confused" are just brilliant....and they are bonafided foundation shakers, featuring Page riff-ology at perhaps it's best...Oh Rosie, this stuff is good....and then there's still "Babe, I'm Gonna Leave You", "Communication Breakdown" and Page's explosive solo on "You Shook Me". The rest ain't too bad either I must say..., even my least favorite "I Can't Quit You Baby" has its moments. This record must be played often and LOUD!!

Dag Larsson <> (17.10.2000)

This might be the best Led Zeppelin ever did. And they recorded this godblessed record in only 10 hours!  Just had to say this. Nobody else seems to know this detail about the album.

Jeff Melchior <> (01.12.2000)

Hate to say it, but the blues stuff bores the bejeebers outta me, and unfortunately, with this record, there isn't a whole lot otherwise. i really like 'Good Times, Bad Times' and 'Babe'... 'Your Time'... is a great breakup/revenge song. 'Love Communication Breakdown' - one of the few truly metal songs Zep ever performed.

Kevin Baker <> (29.12.2000)

Over the last month or so, I've developed an interest and more of a taste for hard rock/early heavy metal bands such Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple. Thus, I've been buying CDs and downloading mp3s like mad, and yesterday I finally got around to purchasing LZ I. I had heard most of it already, but now...WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I have never heard a stronger debut album in my life. I'll do like I did with my Doors debut album and do a track by track breakdown.

'Good Times Bad Times'---Not bad. Not bad at all. The lyrics are rather unZeppelinish, but Page's guitar playing is great as usual. The real star on this is the rythm section; both the drumming and bass is fantastic.

'Babe I'm Gonna Leave You' ----Now there's a heckuva song. Plant's vocals are very unobnoxious and power-packed, and the guitar...the guitar playing is beautiful. Anyone who thinks that Jimmy Page was just another power-chord loving, lazy hard rock guitarist hasn't heard this one. The band gives it totally perfect treatment.

'You Shook Me' ---A butt-kicking example of Led Zep as the premier blues rock band of the epoch. I wouldn't call it the best on here, but seeing as how everything is good or better....Anyhow, the solos are absolutely fabulous, and they show the band as what they are---masterful arrangers and musicians par excellence.

'Dazed and Confused' ---This one gets my nod for a lot of things: best song by Led Zeppelin, best song of 1968, best song on LZ I, hardest rocking song of the '60s (though followed closely in that category by 'Helter Skelter'), best ever usage of the bass guitar to create a mood, creepiest song to listen to in the dark alone, and best usage of violin bowed guitar playing. The rythm section earns kudos on this one, but how can anyone possibly top that frantic, almost maniacal midsection solo by Page? An absolute classic.

NOTE----The glorious "triumvirate" is definitely the best run of songs on any Led Zep album. However, the rest of the album is no slouch either.

'Your Time Is Gonna Come' ---The weakest song, but that fantabulous organ intro saves it from the musical wastebin. It's a good song, but it can't hold a candle to the top stuff on this album. It would have done better on LZ II or LZ III.

'Black Mountain Side' ---Maybe not a highlight, but it just sounds so cool! The tablas are a cool touch, and once again, it shows Jimmy Page can play something besides heavy solos and bluesy riffs.

'Communication Breakdown' ---Just a well played, fun, hard rockin' song. Has perhaps the best single lyric on the album (I don't know what it is I like about you, but I like it alot). Its main flaw is the vocals. They just aren't as strong sounding as the rest on here. But still, a good, compact rocker.

'I Can't Quit You Baby' ---Another GREAT blues number. To me, this song and the closing track, along with 'You Shook Me', show that Led Zep could play any type of blues wonderfully. The guitar licks between lines are SMOKIN! Great blues with a strong Southern flavor.

'How Many More Times' ---A cool shuffly blues number, and cool usage of the violin bowed guitar. It doesn't sound as effective here as it does on 'D&C'.  A solid blues number all around.

All-in-all, LZ I shows us a band equally skillful at multiple types of blues, acoustic folk music, and crunchy riff-fests. This really elevates Led Zep to (what I think is) their positions as the kings of hard rock.

Ratko Hribar <> (18.09.2001)

Ah, I know it's an amazing album, but I simply detest 'Babe I'm Gonna Leave You', and yes, I realize that I'm in a minority of one. I still hate it. Everything else I can tolerate. Robert Plant is so obnoxious on this album, that I would rather listen to Ozzy Osbourne, and that says a lot. I just love 'Good Times Bad Times', which is essentially a poppy crappy song in extravagant hard rock clothes. You gotta love it. If every pop-metallic number would sound like that, I would adore the genre. 'You Shook Me' is a great song, but forgive me for not getting over excited about that one. Breathtaking ? Maybe. But it's quite dull to me, which of course doesn't mean anything to anyone. The rumbling 'Dazed And Confused' is a total classic. Heavy, hard hitting, and it sounds better than in the original version. The lyrics stink, though. Plant also. In my opinion 'How Many More Times' and 'Your Time Is Gonna Come' are just plain throwaways. 'I Can't Quit You Baby' is a bit better, but bluesy stuff isn't my specialty at all. The best song by far is 'Communication Breakdown'.

Little advice. Throw this album in the deck as much as you can, cause if you don't, you will regret it the rest of your life. It's really worth it. Impressive, and near a 10, but not touching. I'd give it a 9.

Ben Kramer <> (24.12.2001)

This is probably their best studio album (I like 3 a lot though).  I'd give the honors of the 10(14) to BBC, but this is worthy of a 9(13).  All of the songs are good, many are excellent and there is no trace of filler which is probably why it just edges out 3 as their best ( I know you feel differently but we are all entitled to our own opinions).  I'd say that 'Dazed and Confused' is the best song on the album.  I love that bass riff and Bonham is awesome. 'You Shook Me' is one of my favorite blues covers ever done by a band (probably behind only the Who doing a cover live). 'How Many More Times' may not be popular but that middle part just grabs my attention. I'd say they did very well for them selves considering the band got together as a last minute thing and recorded this album while broke and in horrible conditions. All members are at their musical peaks (except Jones, he'd peak in a few months on Zep 2). The covers are phenomenal and so are the originals (well, Yardbird songs actually but Page was the writer or co-writer for most of them so they could really be considered Zeppelin songs unless you want to get technical).  There is no filler (no, 'I Can't Quit You Baby' is not filler, neither is 'Your Time is Gonna Come', they'd be strong on a Stones peak album) and the peak songs are the best Led Zeppelin ever did, period. I love this album. I wish all of their albums were like this one (and 3). They could have succeeded as a blues rock band but instead they chose the dark path of selling out. What a pity and what a waste of talent. Oh well, whatever, just pick up this album.

Sarah <> (11.05.2002)

I choose this as their best album as well. I'm stuck in a bind, because LZ was not original when it came to writing songs. Out of nine songs, only two were their own ("Good Times, Bad Times" and "Your Time is Gonna Come"). "Good Times" is probably my 4th favorite from the album. "Your Time," although almost certainly the most overlooked song, nonetheless features good organ playing. If you want a rundown of their tracks, here goes:

1. Good Times, Bad Times - LZ could've come up with a better opener, but the guitar solo towards the end is great stuff. It starts the album on the right foot with lots of energy.

2. Babe, I'm Gonna Leave You - What a great power ballad. Okay, it's only half a power ballad, but they don't come much better than this one. "The Rain Song" from HOTH is the only one that comes close. Page took this one from Annie Briggs, who wrote it only a couple years before (still haven't heard it yet, though)

3. You Shook Me - What a great blues tune. Coming from Willie Dixon, it's the only one LZ credited towards the original artist on this album (I think). It's more refined than the other Dixon ditty, "I Can't Quit You Baby."

4. Dazed and Confused - Man, what can I say about this one? The guitar playing is great, and the bowing, although not Page's own idea, still helps bring the song in context and creates a greater feel than any other song on the album. I like the sound the bass gives the introduction, because the sound works better than the guitar would. This one dates from Page's Yardbirds days. It wasn't even a Yardbirds song, though, as they took it from Jack Holmes. My second or third favorite from the album, after only "Babe" and "How Many More Times." During one of the Earls Court concerts, they played it for 31 minutes, and early in their career, apparently, for almost an hour (although I have never heard it go on for that long).

5. Your Time is Gonna Come - Interesting song to plop on a hard rock/blues album, but it works. I love J.P.J.'s organ playing.

6. Black Mountain Side - Flows right from "Your Time." I like it, and combined with "White Summer" and "Kashmir," became a concert staple for the rest of Zeppelin's live career. Acoustic guitar works well for the less energetic part of the album. Apparently, this came from Bert Jansch's "Black Water Side," which was covered by many artists.

7. Communication Breakdown - Almost blows you out of your seat. It kind of reminds the listener of "Good Times," though, and sounds a little rudimentary. Nonetheless, great playing. Another wonderful guitar solo. I like Plant's singing until the theme is repeated towards the end, and it becomes a little "plasticy." Apparently comes from Eddie Cochrane's "Nervous Breakdown."

8. I Can't Quit You Baby - Doesn't work nearly as well as "You Shook Me," but they probably did the right thing by putting it right before the strong ending. The live version on Coda is, in my opinion, a better take, however. This was another Dixon tune, but, they didn't give him credit (I think).

9. How Many More Times - This one is a challenge. It is my favorite tune from this album, but is a huge conglomeration of six different previously recorded tunes. The beginning and end are almost an exact copy (rhythmically) of the Yardbirds' "Smokestack Lightning." Influences of Howlin' Wolf's "How Many More Years" and Gary Farr and the T-Bone's "How Many More Times" are heard in the second part, if I remember correctly. An almost direct quote from Jimmie Rodger's "Kisses as Sweet as Wine" (the beginning of the second part where Plant sings about how he's got ten kids and one more on the way) is ripped. Page uses Jeff Beck's repetitive guitar solo from the Yardbirds' "Shapes of Things" for the second part of the song and slows it down mightily. However, this song was reworked and retitled "Beck's Bolero," which Page apparently wrote while with the Yardbirds (but you wonder, it does have Beck's name in the title, so did JP give himself false credit?) Beck used it on "Truth," if I remember correctly. "Beck's Bolero" is identical to the beginning of "Shapes of Things," but uses the guitar more effectively. And finally, with the last section of the second part before the theme returns, Albert King's marvelous "The Hunter" is heard. As for the music? It is a great ending, and the theme is a rememberable one. Even if Zeppelin didn't write this song (which they didn't), it is still the best one in my opinion. For the first two years or so of their existence, LZ used this as their closer (sometimes), and could go on for more than 20 minutes.

So, how do I feel about this album, one in which two out of nine songs were Led Zeppelin's own? It gets 5 stars out of 5, the best that they would ever have.

Denis Wilson <> (12.06.2003)

Led Zeppelin's first album definitely is a strong debut, but to say they never reached those artistic peaks again is a bit much. Led Zeppelin 1,2,3,Houses of the Holy and Physical Graffiti are ALL as good as the first album, and ok, there may be some weaker filler material on their later efforts, but there was a definite musical growth within in this band from 1968 - 1975.

Watch the new DVD (which is excellent by the way) to get a real understanding of how they evolved musically. Let's be honest, could the 1968 Zeppelin have came up with 'Stairway to heaven' or 'Kashmir'? They were a great band then, but they were still a young band finding their feet.

Stephen Rutkowski <> (11.10.2003)

The first thing to note about this album is that there is absolutely no filler. Every song has at least something to offer to the overall sound of the album. The album starts off innocently enough with a rather lightweight pop-rock ‘throwaway’ in ‘Good Times Bad Times’. But even this song contains some wonderful Led Zeppelin characteristics. This leads into one of the highlights of the album with ‘Babe I’m Gonna Leave You’. It’s begins as a pleasant soft piece, but the harder parts really demonstrate Page’s skill. As George has correctly stated, Led Zeppelin were fans of folk right from the beginning. But ‘Babe I’m Gonna Leave You’ is so much more exciting than the rather pedestrian folk available on III. Then the band decide it’s time to demonstrate their proficiency in the blues genre. They do a very good job on ‘You Shook Me’. It features Robert Plant’s finest moments on harmonica, and the ‘grunts’ during the harmonica solo remind me a lot of the “hawing” in ‘La Grange’. Overall a really good song, but there is much else on offer in this album particularly the next track. ‘Dazed and Confused’ features that famous bass riff. It really provides the song with a great atmosphere, and Page is on fire particularly during the crazy midsection. Bonham’s fills are exemplary as usual.

However, the quality certainly doesn’t end on the first side. John Paul Jones provides a delightful organ introduction for ‘Your Time is Gonna Come’. The song is on the better side of average with the band offering some pretty good and catchy backing vocals. ‘Black Mountain Side’ is an interesting eastern piece, with some entertaining work on the tabla drums (not by John Bonham though).‘Communication Breakdown’ is hard, heavy and fast. I’m not even sure if Led Zeppelin have many other tracks as heavy as this one. When I first started listening to Led Zeppelin I found the track very easy to ‘get into’ so to speak. It’s pace and fire is something is very catchy in the heavy metal sense. Then it’s another Willie Dixon cover with ‘I Can’t Quit You Baby’. Now I do find this song pretty boring, not as good as ‘You Shook Me’. ‘How Many More Times’ finishes the album in prime style. As Sarah states above the track really is many songs in one. The beginning and ending section is a more than a “pedestrian blues shuffle” to my ears at least. That riff is great, and the guitar sounds much ‘thicker’ than the other blues tracks. The song really does go all over the place, but it returns faithfully to the first section. Right at the end there is even a little section where the guitar keeps swapping channels which sounds good on headphones. Overall it is a tremendous album with no filler. (I could never say that about another Led Zeppelin album, even IV features ‘The Battle of Evermore’.) I feel ‘I Can’t Quit You Babe’ is the only weak track and even that is pretty good.

Bob Josef <> (31.12.2003)

One thing good about the first album is that Plant is relatively toned down -- he doesn't do much screeching, and he wrote none of the lyrics. So, it isn't quite as over the top as the later albums. "Good Times, Bad Times" and "Communication Breakdown" maybe be a bit simple lyrically, but they are fun hard rock songs with some interesting chord changes and solos by Mr. Page. I like J.P.'s organ and Bonham's drum breaks on "You're Time is Gonna Come," which elevate it above the ordinary. I also think "Black Mountain Side" is cool and adds to the diversity of the album, although I'm not surprised that Bonham evidently couldn't figure out how to play the tablas -- a light touch was not in the man's percussive vocabulary. The rest of the album already depicts too many of the band's bad sides for me.

Fernando H. Canto <> (21.03.2003)

Well... I think that, among the Zeppelin albums I own (three, at the moment...), this one is the only one I can enjoy all the way through, without interruptions. Pretty much everything is great, in some way. The "throwaway" 'Good Times, Bad Times' is fun, 'Communication Breakdown' rocks pretty good, 'Your Time Is Gonna Come' is beautiful, in some strange way, and Page even plays tasteful acoustic guitar on 'Black Mountain Slide', pretty good stuff. Quite a mixed bag, but I like it. 'Babe I'm Gonna Leave You' is definitely powerful! There was one time I heard this on the radio, when I was coming back home from the beach. Awesome! And then, they played 'Rebirth', by Angra... Eh. Well, the blues stuff is definitely not bad. 'How Many More Times' is a bit annoying, as they stand in the same riff, over and over, for ages. 'You Shook Me' is great, and, well, 'Dazed And Confused' is... you know. The bowed guitar sounds cool. 'I Can't Quit You Baby' is also cool, with several tricks thrown into the generic blues background. Neat! Well, I dunno if this ranks as the best Zeppelin album in my book... I still have to listen to the rest. But yes, it's definitely better than the second and the fourth. 12/10, I think.

PS: This comments page is one of the most amusing things ever. I loved the comment that says Zep deserves a 9432984327+ rating. LOL!

samo kodela <> (15.01.2006)

Led Zeppelin is a fantastic debut which shows how quickly, compared to other bands Zep members clicked together. After a short Scandinavian tour, they recorded Led Zeppelin. The album is hard rocking and full of fantastic singing and instrumental virtuosity. The fact that the album was recorded so fast after the band got together, kills the argument that the covers were there bacause Zep had trouble writing original melodies.They didn' really have time to write more then a few songs in such a short period of the bands existence, but they were playing excelently and wanted to record the album. Still, there were some great original songs. 'Good times, bad times' shows practically everything the band could do, while also having a lot of fun with the melody i wouldn't call silly, like Goerge did, but funny and proving that Zep could write a sixties Who-Beatles pop/rock melody if they only wanted. The completely original song is also 'Your time is gonna come' which has a great melody with excelent backing vocals and fantastic organ playing.'Communicating breakdown' is an original which has an appropriate melody for such a heavy song and it also includes an excelent speedy solo.These are the three songs that are completely original, but there are others that are ALMOST completely original. Everything in 'Babe i'm gonna leave you' is absolutely unbeliveable. Main acoustic guitar melody, little solos, hard rocking sections, amazing ending and the vocals.The only things that weren't writen by Zep are the main vocal melody and lyrics, but still all the rest is completely original and all that stuff goes into the category of song writing. All that stuff had to be written and IS SONGWRITING. Exactly the same case are 'You shook me' and 'Dazed and confused'. So much songwriting in there!!! 'Dazed and confused' even has original lyrics and Zeppelin also proved later on they could write such great lyrics!!! 'You shook me' and 'Dazed' are excelent instrumentaly and vocaly and very original. The first one is highlighted by an organ solo and coda and the second one by the violin bow solo and a crazy, wild guitar solo with Jones and Bonham going wild behind, portraying the confusion of the lyrics perfectly!! 'Black mountain side' is a folk song a lot of folk musician played at the time and Jimmy just recorded his version. 'I can't quit you baby' also includes a lot of songwriting and is credited to Willlie Dixon just like 'You shook me'. So much for Zeppelin never giving anything back to old blues man. 'How many more times' is a collage of old blues lyrics but the melodies are original and it has very interesting instrumental parts that also include the violin bowed guitar and Plant singing an extremely high note. So George, as you can see the songs that are not theirs are still almost completely theirs, if you look at them in the right way. If Zep had a few covers on their first album, because they didn't have time to write more of their own songs, it's not really a problem, especially if they are performed with so much originality that they are almost Zep's songs. So this is a truly fantastic debut for this FIVE STAR BAND with many more great albums to come, out of which only the second one is an album where i will have to write a little bit about blues influences, because Led Zeppelin II is already almost completely original in all aspects and from there on you don't really have much to disscuss in that area.(10/10).

Tagbo Munonyedi <> (07.03.2006)

Over a period of a year ( 79 - 80 ) I heard so much about this album's groundbreaking status but it was the last Zep LP I got and I was slightly disappointed. Still am, truth be told. It is a good album though, GOOD TIMES, BAD TIMES, COMMUNICATION BREAKDOWN and the supreme DAZED AND CONFUSED being great powerhouse rockers, BLACK MOUNTAIN SIDE being a beauteous acoustic piece that is the start of the evidence for those who say this was not a diverse band, YOU SHOOK ME sports the best and craziest three tier solos outside of the Mahavishnu Orchestra. The rest for me are no more than OK. But I think they did progress and one of the fascinating things about this debut is that all the future elements that made them a great group are in place. They would improve on this showing but rarely depart from the root. They gelled pretty quickly and that was in their favour. And if Page and Jones' contributions loom largest among the band here, that's not surprizing because their pedigree was impeccable. Throughout the 60s they appeared on hundreds of sessions ( Page played on stuff by the Who, the Kinks and the Stones ) on scores of successful singles. Page also had been a staff producer at Immediate records ( owned by the Stones manager, Andrew Loog Oldham ) while Jones was a well known arranger. So they were men who had firm ideas about what they wanted and Page ( via manager, Peter Grant ) pulled off a major coup by gaining total artistic freedom when they got their contract with Atlantic. Some would say that accounts for much of their excesses but I would say that it actually gave them the freedom to develop and soon Plant and Bonham were equal members, pulling their own weight and they really took off, knocking off ( sometimes literally ! ) some spectacular works that IMHO went far and away beyond the debut. That said however, LED ZEPPELIN remains their not their best ( what is best ? ) but certainly their most important album.

<> (24.07.2006)

No question, this is the best album they put out (no pun....well, maybe). I bought it thinking it was a weak effort (I was already the biggest Led Zep fan in the world), and came out knowing the fantastical feelings of perfection. Its insain and uncontrolably raw. "You Shook Me" is so crazy and perfect. "Dazed and Confused" feels so much more important than it is because of the great instrumentals. "Babe, I'm Gonna Leave You" is Plants best vocal performance till probably "No Quarter" or maybe "Rock and Roll" before that. "Communication Breakdown" is insainly fast and hard, and heck, the message is pretty good (who doesn't get nervous around people sometimes?). All in all, if you think this is an album to be thrown away than you are stupid. Just plan stupid. I've acctually lost this album! I gotta find it, dang it! 10/10

George Bickford (20.09.2006)

G: I was forwarded you website by a dear friend & fellow musician whose opinions I respect, even if I don't agree with him all the time. Your review of Led Zeppelin (first album) was spot on!! Most of my friends, acquaintances & fellow musicians RAVE about later albums/songs by Led Zeppelin, much to my chagrin. I was 17 when the album was released, and although my musical taste was varied & eclectic, I can honestly say that, up until that time, NO single album had such an effect on me. I wasn't a Hard Rocker, & have never been a heavy metal freak, but this album blew me away. I was able to see them twice on their first U.S. tour, at Framingham, MA, in a theatre in the round (maybe 1000 seats??) and again at the old Casino at Hampton Beach, NH, and they were raw & edgy, but tight & polished at the same time. Although I LOVED their music after that, (& there are real gems on II & III), nothing compares to this Ist classic. While I'm extremely pleased with you review, I only have one dispute: you should give more weight to the impact of "How Many More Times". I still play it, along with "We Won't Get Fooled Again" after every presidential election!! Keep up the fine work.


John McFerrin <> (11.05.99)

Heh, I like the early comment about sissy-pop lovers getting a headache halfway through, cos that's exactly what happened to me the first few times I tried listening to this (in my pre Live at Leeds days, of course). Anyways, yeah, 'Bring it On Home' is very blech. And 'Moby Dick' bores, just like any drum solo. I guess that's why I like Keith Moon so much; he managed to impress without resorting to those damn solos. Back to the album. I really, really like 'Ramble On'. And 'Heartbreaker' is cool, even if it's not the greatest piece of song-writing in the world.

Simon Hearn <> (09.09.99)

I have to disagree with your marking here, I'm afraid. This is the equal (if not better relation) of led zep 4. Zep 2 has better, rawer songs and the energy level is sky high. Any album that can start with THE stellar opening track 'whole lotta love' has to have respect! 'Heartbreaker' and 'Ramble on' are fine songs. I guess my main reason for liking this over zep 4 is that it contains less of the folky stuff that bogs down zep 4 (Battle of Evermore). Oh, and I like 'Moby Dick' too.

Nick Karn <> (09.11.99)

Hmm... I guess it's the fashionable trend on every review site I've seen to give this one an 8 because of it's 'muddy' sound, the 'crappy' ballads, and the 'boring' drum solo. If you ask me, if any Zep album can be defined as 'muddy' it's gotta be III. I mean, even if "Hats Off To Roy Harper" is a joke, it's still AWFUL unfocusedness. At least "Bring It On Home" makes up for its' intro (which is actually amusing) by turning into an excellent closing rocker. As for "Whole Lotta Love", it's been said before... this could very well be the greatest achievement in the Zep catalog, or at least one of them. And yeah, I actually like the lyrics and melody to "What Is And What Should Never Be" (a true classic) and "Thank You" (which may not be sincere, but is still majestic in its' atmosphere - I can truly picture 'mountains crumbling into the sea' listening to it).

And people don't call this one of the best bass albums of all time for nothing - just listen to "The Lemon Song" (or anything else here for that matter, but PARTICULARLY this song) and try to deny Jones. These guys were definitely at their best doing 'evil' interpretations of the blues. It's also a testament to the talent of Page and Bonham on "Heartbreaker" and "Moby Dick" respectively as they are able to solo on their respective instruments and not bore me for a single second, but rather leave me in awe of their respective talent.

And as for the rest of the tracks, I like the way "Ramble On" makes the transition from gentle ballad to rocker (quite a solid song) and "Livin Loving Maid", while probably the only relatively uninteresting track here, has a snappy riff and is at least direct and short. Doesn't detract from the album's status at all... I'll have to give this one a 10.

Matt Reyes <> (08.02.2000)

Ok... I would give this record a 9. overall its a 14 because I think Zep is the best ever. I agree with most of the comments, but I really like 'Thank You' and 'Ramble On'. I do feel that the last verse in 'Thank You' (where they repeat the first verse) should not be there and would be better without it. 'Ramble on', I love the chorus because theres a big climax to it. 'Moby Dick', of course, should not be there unless they made the drum solo about 3 times shorter. 'Heartbreaker' is of course great. 'Living Loving Maid' is short and sweet. I happen to like 'Bring it on Home', its a good way to end the album. So my review is

Record: 9

Overall: 14

Philip Maddox <> (06.07.2000)

Yipes! I wasn't too impressed by this record. Every metalhead seems to love it, and lots of people rave about how it's one of Zep's best albums. Personally, I think there are only 2 absolute classics here - 'Heartbreaker' and 'Living Loving Maid' are glorious hard rock with great guitar, awesome riffs, and a good melody, even if the lyrics are somewhat iffy. Elsewhere, I like 'Ramble On' because of it's geeky Tolkien lyrics and nice folky melody. The rest of this album is kinda patchy. 'Thank You' simply refuses to stick to my ears no matter how many times I listen to it. 'The Lemon Song' just sounds pieced together to me - not bad, but not great. 'Bring It On Home' is pointless blues - like the first album, only not as good. And I know it's considered a classic, but I've never cared for 'Whole Lotta Love'. The opening riff is ok, but that middle section makes me wanna punch somebody. It's just uninspired noisemaking. And sure, the song is famous for being about sex, but so are lots of songs that came both before and after this. I never feel the need to listen to this. But then again, everyone else seems to love it. I'd rather listen to Black Sabbath's Paranoid to be honest. As for Zep records, give me IV any day. I'd give this a 5.

P.S. I gave this a 5? I must have been in a particularly Zep-bashin' mood that day. I've listened to it quite a bit lately and think it deserves at least a high 7, maybe even a low 8. 'Whole Lotta Love' still doesn't do too much for me, but 'The Lemon Song', 'Thank You', 'What Is' and 'Bring It' all sound a whole lot better than I remembered. 'Heartbreaker' and 'Livin Lovin Maid' are still my favorites on here, though.

<> (15.10.2000)

This was the first Zeppelin album I think I ever heard...My dad owned this one (the only Zep he had, he was more into the Allman Bros.)...anyway, I remember looking at the gatefold brown jacket when I was a little kid.... this record is almost defies any unbiased comment I can make, so I won't review it...but I'll make some comments anyway, for what it's worth....I love this record, though I hestate to call it my current favorite...These days, I tend to gravitate towards either LZ 1 or Physical Graffiti..."Whole Lotta Love" is a great groove, or is that grind...the riff is just classic. However, the middle freak-out section could be edited a bit...I tend to like noise making, but I think the song would benefit if the 'middle' section was a bit shorter. I just love "What Is and Should Never Be" and "Ramble On"...I think two of their best ever songs and my faves on the records...their penchant for being able to shift soothly and quickly from acoustic chug to very 'plugged in' electrification, really shines here. Jone's bass paying on "Ramble" is really terrific. "Heartbreaker" is a working definition of 'hard' rock and the Page 'acapella' solo is deliciously 'dirty'. "Living Loving Maid", "Thank You", and "Bring It On Home" are all good to ok, but a step below the perviously mentioned songs. "Moby Dick"?...hummm...I have a mixed opinion of this one...I really dig Page's fat, dumb riff.... it's like one of those dumb but great Toni Iommi-Sabbath riffs. But recorded drum solos that last more than say, 30 seconds, I just lose interest quick...whether it's Ginger Baker, Neil Peart, or the peerless John Bonham. Bonham's a super drummer, but Page's riff is the only reason I give "Moby Dick" a listen. Ringo Starr's 'solo' at the end of Abbey Road may be my favorite drum solo on record--short, simple, and punchy. Finally, John Paul Jones turns a routine blues/boogie "The Lemon Song", into head-bobbing bass candy...gotta love it!!!! ..Forget the "juice squeezing" and give me The Funk...Go Jonesy, Go Jonesy, Go Jonesy....

Anyway, a great record....

<> (16.10.2000)

I agree with the fellow above this email... Led Zeppelin 2 or the "Brown Bomber" ROCKS!! And describing what Jones did on the 'Lemon Song' as head bobbing bass candy!! That has to be the best description I have ever heard for his playing on that song. I was listening to that tune just today.. before I even saw this email and I was thinking how good the bass sounds on that song. Such cool stuff. I agree .... Go Jonesy!!

One thing that I always notice about this record, especially when I have not listened to it for a while, is that the music just explodes off the album. I mean when you have been listening to other music for a while and then you put this on, especially the album opener "Whole Lotta Love", it is almost shocking to the way the song gets right in your face. I mean the riff is great, but what about the drum sound!! Oh brother.. I mean it sounds like Bonham is hitting the drums with a baton. But he sounds precise as well. I get the same sensation when I hear the last half of 'Bring it On Home' and Page starts with the guitar riff. It just flies of the record!! I don't understand the criticisms of the production of this album. I mean Page, Bonham, Plant and Jones are great musicians, but as producer Page deserves credit for creating the immediacy of this album. I mean it was recorded while the band was tearing it up on the road in 69' and it is a raw and thick and almost desperate sounding album (Page's unaccompanied solo on 'Heartbreaker' is good example of what I mean ). But I mean that in a good way... almost as if the band were playing for their lives. I guess some people don't like the somewhat muddy production, but I think that is what Page was shooting for.

Finally, I don't understand some of the references to "ripping off" old blues artists and the lack of song-writing skills and arranging versus song-writing in the review and some of the e-mails. Firstly, let me say that to not acknowledge using someone's riff or chord progression or whatever is not cool. And for that I must say that Page used some questionable judgement. But let's be honest, they were not the only band guilty of this. And I have heard the original version of "you need love" written by Willie Dixon, and while he should have been acknowledged... the Zep version sounds totally different. But beyond all this... would it make any difference in the way the music sounds if they had credited these musicians?? I once heard someone describe the band this way ... Zeppelin is based in the blues.. but the guitars sound like they are from Mars. Page played loads of cool riffs (most of which are his own....which some people have ripped off from him!!!) in an exciting and innovative way.

I doesn't really matter whether Page and Plant were great songwriters or great arrangers or whatever. I mean if you write great riffs, why wouldn't you use lots of repetition. The music stands for itself. If you make great music by synthesizing multiple influences and by combining it in a real interesting and new way, isn't that every bit as impressive as being a great songwriter?? I mean the light and shade elements of Zep's music are by themselves a testament to the band's greatness. Their combination of acoustic and electric sounds were absolutely brilliant. I don't say that the Beatles were not a great band because they don't have loads of great guitar solos in their music, or that they don't have Zep's dynamic light and shade colourings. It's a totally different style. I happen to think both bands are great.

Fredrik Tydal <> (25.11.2000)

Don't know about that 8... This album has never done much for me. Sure, there's "Whole Lotta Love" - great riff, of course; but the song would benefit from a shorter mid-section. But what were the guys thinking (or smoking?) when they did "The Lemon Song"?! Such a shameless rip-off of one of Howlin' Wolf's most famous numbers, with Robert Johnson's trade-mark lemon squeeze ripped off and thrown in for good measure. Did they think they could get away with anything? I have actually been thinking about this recently; what made Page and Plant so nonchalantly borrow and steal other people's material? Perhaps they were really trying to live the blues and fully assimilate its traditions. You know, borrowing and interpretating other performers' material were a central thing in the blues. You learnt songs from other people, added your own touches and made it your own. It's no secret that many Willie Dixon composition are just re-worked blues standards, which were just attributed to Dixon as he copyrighted them. Howlin' Wolf's "Sitting On Top Of The World" is just a standard folk blues melody, Muddy Waters' "Rollin' And Tumblin'" can be fully traced to a Robert Johnson song... The list goes on. So, perhaps Led Zeppelin were just following in the footsteps of the old blues masters - borrowing, adding their own ingredients to the mix and eventually making it into their own. That's my take on it, anyway. However, back to the album; I have to say that I prefer Bonham's "Moby Dick" to Baker's "Toad". Sure, ol' Ginger should have credit for pionjeering the extended drum solo, but I simply find "Moby Dick" more enjoyable (or rather less offensive). The riff in "Moby Dick" is better, even it was "borrowed" from Sleepy John Estes, and most importantly; it's shorter. However, don't get me started on that Bonham showcase in the Song Remains The Same film... The album gets a seven from me. Cool that it actually was released in the Sixties, though; who else sounded like this in 1969? Not Grand Funk Railroad, I'll tell you.

Jason McDaniel <> (09.12.2000)

I'd give this album a 9. "Whole Lotta Love" and "Ramble On" are great. "Thank You" and "What is and What should Never Be" are classics as well. "Heartbreaker" and "Living Loving Maid" are okay as stand-alones, but when you play them back-to-back, they are awesome.

Kevin Baker <> (01.01.2000)

Another goodie from the Zepsters. Real good. More than good. Great. Apparently I'm practicing my literary Hemingway impression today. Anyhow, while not on the level as Led Zeppelin I, LZ II is still a hard rock/heavy metal masterpiece. The obvious "best" on here is probably the "template for heavy metal" as Dee Snider calls it. That would be 'Whole Lotta Love' for the unenlightened among you. As usual, all the playing is impeccable, but J.P. Jones' bass steals the show. Maybe that was bvecause it seems to be mixed more prominently than usual, but the hard, thumping bass line propels the song along like an overloaded train going up a hill. Hard and heavy. That bassline about bashes one's mind into thoughtless oblivion; all you can focus is that thumpa-thumping beat. I'm sure the bass is supposed to add to the sexual tension element, but I wouldn't know. Robert Plant said this song showed how Led Zeppelin possessed sex, and it wasn't because he (Plant) had tight jeans on, but rather because of Bonzo's snare drum hits. Yeah. Whatever.

But onto another definite highlight, 'What Is And What Should Never Be'. This may just be Led Zep's best ballad, and it manages to fuse ballad-like vocals and lyrics with hard rock fury. Gotta love it.

I like the Lemon Song as well, just more proof that Led Zep WAS blues rock at its finest. Granted, if I EVER hear another person talk about squeezing their lemon, I'll vomit, but thats also due to the fact that I have the BBC sessions, where Plant seems to think its some sort of magical incantation, which prompts its being repeated ad nauseaum in about half the songs on disc 1.

I have no problem with 'Thank You', but it's weaker than the rest.

'Heartbreaker' kicks buttocks. Hard. We listened to this one in my English class when the teacher was absent. Great groove, cool riff, good vocals for Plant.

My 2nd favorite track on this one has to be 'Living Loving Maid'. The Zepsters cram more energy and ferocious fun into this baby than can be found in the entirety of some of their later albums. Plus, the lyrics are hilarious! Abother classic cut.

I don't see why you hate 'Ramble On' so much. Yeah, they borrow some Tolkien stuff, but so? It has some good playing, REALLY good vocals, and the rythm section is very tight.

'Moby Dick' is a dissapointment. I dislike drum solos, but that first minute is really good. Why couldn't they have just jammed for the whole playing time on this one. Let Bonzo fool around with the drums, let Jones do his thing, and have Page keep that riff up, and you've have a spectacular instrumental. But as is, you have a minute of spectacular instrumental, then a boring drum solo. This track keeps it from being a 10.

'Bring It On Home' starts of OK, but only OK. Once you get around a minute and a half into it, it picks up and goes real fine. Morwe good blues from the bluesmasters. A good, solid listen, except for most of 'Moby Dick'.

Perry Justus <> (06.03.2001)

Another thing - you mention "Thank You" as being insincere, plastic and fake. The lyrics could be more imaginative, yes, but it was a genuine love letter for Plant's wife. If you think the album version is dead and lacks bite, pick up a copy of the 04/08/70 show for an amazing performance with a beautiful organ intro. 09/29/71 obliterates the audience with a gigantic solo of absolutely _epic, EPIC_ proportions. *ahem*

[Special author note: it may have been intended as a sincere song, but it comes off as fake and generic because it relies on all kinds of usual sappy ballad cliches without presenting us with an interesting or memorable melody. That's all.]

Eric Rogozin <> (31.03.2001)

This album rules! Brilliant, brilliant, briliant! Wonderful performing and amazing songwriting skills! It's a masterpiece! It's one of those records in rock music, that made a such big influence. How can one resist a marvellous riff of Jimmy Page in "Heartbreaker", it's so gorgeous and the song itself is gorgeous. Celestrial "Whole Lotta Love", "What Is And What Should Never Be", "Thank You" are glorious! And "Moby Dich" has that famous drum solo of John Bohnam. "Bring It On Home" is awesome! But "The Lemon Song" is some worse.

Sean Rodgers <> (18.07.2001)

This album has really suffered from overexposure- I've heard at least half of these songs countless times on the radio, and let's not even talk about the "Led Zeppelin A-Z Weekend" the local classic rock radio station does every year. But when they're all packed together in the album, you know what? It's not half bad! I can't disagree with your assertion that it's a step down from the first one, but what makes II special is its sequencing...this is one cleverly programmed album, with ballads and rockers far more evenly mixed than on I or III. The gentleman who said above that the music practically explodes off the album is correct- it begins with the cough at the start of 'Whole Lotta Love' and doesn't let up at all.

Unfortunately, a few of these songs- I'm looking at "Thank You," "Moby Dick," "Bring it On Home" and even "Lemon Song" to an extent -are not good. 'Moby Dick' is a tepid drum solo and I far prefer the original version of the song on BBC Sessions. 'Thank You' is just a crappy ballad with bad lyrics, and I think Page and Plant carry the Delta Blues imitation a bit too far on 'Bring it On Home'. Guys, you're white and British. I can't suspend my disbelief all the time for your blues imitations. As for "Lemon Song," it's decent, but goes on for about a minute too long. Plus which, "squeeze my lemon till the juice runs down my leg" has to be one of the most hilariously stupid lyrics ever put into a rock song. Or maybe I'm just sick of it after hearing Plant shout it time and time again on the BBC Sessions album.

Of course, the rest of the album, especially "Whole Lotta Love" and "Heartbreaker," is fantastic hard/blues rock. The latter song gets my vote for best Jimmy Page guitar solo ever, and the former is probably the best known Led Zep song, after "Stairway" of course. My personal favourite is the hilarious "Livin' Lovin' Maid"- the melody in the chorus is non-existent, but the verses are great.

Ratko Hribar <> (18.09.2001)

Why John Bonham couldn't be more like Bill Ward ? At least regarding his notorious LONG drum solo 'Moby Dick'. Ward's solo on Paranoid certainly doesn't drags itself for all eternity like this one. Well, at least the riff is enjoyable. Overall, yuck. WAIT !!! Don't kill me yet, I'll explain. Yes, the entire record is hard, heavy.... but it's just too monotonous for my taste. Now, I'm not a sissy pop lover, and, in fact, I can enjoy this album to a certain extent, but, ya see, except for the dull bashathon, it's also a very blues oriented album and I'm the first to admit that I don't like that bluesy touch that's splattered all over the record. I usually love when bands like AC/DC make a bluesy record, but somehow I don't enjoy hearing Led Zeppelin doing it. I don't want to deny that this album is professionally played, cause it is, but I don't like the direction that the band took while recording this. Sure, it isn't too different from the previous one, but still, I can feel the difference. On the up side, they don't sound as pompous as usual, which is refreshing. The lyrics are already dumber than usual, and Plant is obnoxious as usual. All in all, business as usual for Zeppelin. There's quite a bit of great songs here, most notably 'Ramble On', 'What Is And What Should Never Be' and 'Heartbreaker'. 'Living Lovin' Maid' is also nice, but the prize for the best song naturally goes to 'Whole Lotta Love'. The rest is mediocre, passable, average, call it what you want, it's not impressive by a long shot. Led Zeppelin II gets a 7 from me, although anyone who loves blues would probably insist on a much higher rating.

Glenn Wiener <> (09.09.2002)

Whereas I am not a fan of Zeppelin, I do admire Jimmy Page's variety of guitar licks on this release. Whether its 'Ramble On', 'Whole Lotta Love', 'What Is And What Should Never Be', or 'the Lemon Song', Jimmy gives us a great deal of creative tones. Bonham is his usual steady self and JPJ is at least adequate. Unfortunately Robert Plant's vocals hamper the picture for me over the course of the album. I prefer this one to Zep4 but somehow like Houses of the Holy due to its lighter and more varied approach.

Nicholas Rogerson <> (18.02.2003)

This is a good album, which I like. It boasts some great songs. 'Whole Lotta Love' is excellent, although I find the orgasm section a tad cringeworthy and slightly typical of Led Zep's cock-rock tendencies. 'What Is And What Should Never Be' is perhaps my favourite song on here. The quiet and louder parts do work well, as you say, and I love the Page soloing where the licks go from one speaker to another. I don't listen to the lyrics on this, so I don't know what nonsense Plant is singing. 'The Lemon Song' is a lovely cover version of that old blues classic 'Killing Floor'. Disgraceful that they claimed it as their own. Good adaptation though. 'Thank You' IS pap. The lyrics are not redeemed by th tune. ' Heartbreaker' hits you over the head hard and 'Living Loving Maid (She's Just A Woman)' has a catchy riff and some nice soloing. I quite like 'Ramble On' actually and the last track, 'Bring It On Home'?, is okay. I find the album hard to listen to all the way through because the production is muddy, it is so bass heavy and it begins to give me a headache after a while. I like it though and you review it pretty fairly. It's not TOO pretiontious and that's always a plus with Led Zep.

Stephen Rutkowski <> (11.10.2003)

The album begins with that riff, yeah you know the riff I’m talking about. John Paul Jones then kicks in with the bass that finishes of the job as one of the most recognisable rock tracks (not that it’s always a good indicator). John Bonham ain’t doing bad bashing the drums either. ‘Whole Lotta Love’ is a damn good song no matter how you look at it. The midsection is actually a lot of fun to listen on headphones as there is a lot of channel swapping. The only complaint I would have is the chorus is probably reprised one too many times at the end so the song can seem a bit overlong. Ok, I will look at some of the filler first. I don’t view ‘Thank You’ nearly as badly as you do, the lyrics don’t overly bother me. And I think the atmosphere generated is great. ‘Living Loving Maid’ is little more than a pop song dressed in some hard rock clothes. Well, it is still pretty heavy and does sound good. Just the way the band all join in sing t! he word “down” is so commercialistic. Jimmy Page maintains that this is his most disliked song that Led Zeppelin ever did. I was thinking more of something that appeared on In Through the Out Door, but each to his own. I truly detest ‘Ramble On’ though. It is very rarely that I would be disappointed in John Bonham, but this is one of those occasions. The ‘pitter-patter’ drum style does not go down well with me. And Robert Plant seems to do a lot of ugly screaming. ‘Moby Dick’ is better however, at least it has a good riff to save it. The drum solo section is too long, but I’ll let the vodka loving guy get away with it.

Now, onto the highlights. ‘What is and What Should Never Be’ always struck me as a nice song with a slightly weird but very catchy chorus. ‘The Lemon Song’ is a terrific, if slightly overlong blues track. It took me a long time to fully appreciate it. I think I still prefer the more ‘shuffling’ style of a song like ‘How Many More Times’ though. ‘Heartbreaker’ features another great riff. The solo might seem very rudimentary by today’s standards but I’ll still give it the thumbs up. And lastly the controversial ‘Bring it on Home’. Robert Plant is indeed singing through a harmonica. I think you should lighten up about this bit. The band definitely weren’t taking it seriously. In any event, the song features a great rocking section, with Bonham’s snare sounding so crisp. It’s like he his sitting across the room from me. Anyway, a terrific album marred by some substandard tracks, mostly ‘Ramble On’.

Bob Josef <> (02.01.2004)

Actually, two of the numbers that you detest are the ones that I enjoy. "Ramble On" is an interesting mix of acoustic folk and electric hard rock, enough for me to forgive Plant's very lame bastardization of Tolkien in the third verse. I also think that "Thank You" is actually a very poignant love song -- nice organ by Jones, and an unusual arrangement of lead acoustic and rhythm electric guitar. I don't think anyone had ever tried that before. And "Living Loving Maid" is the ultimate ancestor of every misogynist heavy metal song ever written -- AC/DC rewrote that one 200 times. No other band, however, came up with such a catchy melody or great playing. I can even forgive Plant's Stones-influenced lyrics.

The rest of the album shows the band tending even more towards excess in every way. "Whole Lotta Love" is interesting as a showcase of sound effects, but it's dubious as an actual song ("I'm gonna give you every inch of my love?"-- oh, spare me, Robbie.) I do hope that the band is highly embarrassed today concerning "The Lemon Song," both for ripping off a classic blues number and by the juvenile way in which they treated it. And don't get me started about the waste of tape that is "Moby Dick." Why couldn't these guys have a teeny bit of self-control?

Mark <> (09.01.2004)

Okay, so my address gives it all away...but II is the reason that I and many others picked up the guitar. The production that you George, and some of your readers comment on as being muddy is a valid complaint, but that adds to the vibe of the album as a whole. I won't comment too much on this one, since it seems that everyone else before me has said everything for me. A few points however: Yeah, the version of "Thank You" is kinda fake, but when you put on the BBC SESSIONS version it's like " this the same song?!?!?" The live version just kills this one to smithereens. And while Zep were never known entirely for their restraint in uhhh "borrowing" blues riffs and lyrics, one of your other readers pointed out accurately that the blues has a long standing tradition of nicking a line here or there (or even a whole song; think ! "I'm A Man" and "Mannish Boy" one ever comments on the Muddy/Willie Dixon similarity, but everyone and their fucking dog lays into Zeppelin for doing it.....maybe because Zeppelin became so rich and famous in the process). "Moby Dick" has one of the coolest riffs ever (I know, but give Zep credit; they changed the riff or put their own spin on it) and the drum solo is a bit long, granted, but no one comments on the drum sound on "Moby". Easily one of the best drum sounds ever put on tape. I can listen to this one just to hear how amazing the drums sound. Plant's lyrics are dumb a lot of the time, but no dumber than Ozzy's or a lot of others, and while his wail can get tiresome some of the time, he was still more restrained here than he was on other albums. And everyone here mentions Jones' work as being stellar. Agreed 100%. How Jones gets overlooked as one of the Best bass players of all time is astounding to me. I never understood it. He's flying all over thi! s album (love the distorted bass in "Heartbreaker" especially). But as you could probably guess, my hat goes off to Page who just fucking demolishes everything in his way. People always say that Page was too "sloppy" or whatever, but for my money, no one ever played with more balls, passion and invention. On this album, he pulls out every trick in the book. Obvious high points are his solos in "Heartbreaker", "Whole Lotta Love" and "What Is And...", but listen to some of the fills in "The Lemon Song", the breathtaking acoustic solo in "Thank You", and all the fills and riffs that come out of nowhere on "Ramble On", both acoustic and electric. Actually, "Ramble" has so many different guitar tones/sounds that to my mind it is one of the best examples ever of Jimmy's "Guitar Army" that he spoke of. And I love "Bring It On Home" for the sheer power after the blues beginning. Bonzo is hitting the drums like a bastard, and Jimmy is just playing for his life. This album has always been my favorite Zep album and one of my top 5 of all time (along with The White Album, Exile On Main Street, Revolver and Van Morrison's Astral Weeks) but for hard rock, it don't get no better than this. This is the holy grail of hard rock and I doubt anyone will ever top it.

Fernando H. Canto <> (21.03.2003)

I have this one in vinyl. I bought it in a second hand store: it has some comments by some journalist about how this album topped a Beatles LP in the American charts, and says "no, it's not that nonsense talk about Beatles decadence"... Well, it's good our journalists aren't raving Zep fanboys, eh? Anyway, my LP is a really thick cookie, in MONO, and... I dunno why, but some songs simply *stop*. 'Heartbreaker', 'Moby Dick'... wonder why. At least, it's got a really nostalgic feel. I like many songs off this record. 'Whole Lotta Love' is one "classic" I never happened to love madly, but it's definitely cool and groovy. 'What Is And What Should Never Be' is gorgeous, though! I feel the "oooh, oooh" at the end of the choruses are a flash of genius. 'Heartbreaker' and 'Living Loving Maid' are unadultered rock 'n' roll, both enjoyable and fun. The ballads? Well, I like 'em both. 'Ramble On' will always be pleasant to my ears, but yes, the "Gollum and the evil one" talk is kinda stupid. 'Thank You' is actually quite pretty! It may be trite and banal, musicwise, but I've got a soft spot for these little things, the melody twists, the chord changes, the organ, and that ending... special things. Fake and plastic? Why, bring Greg Lake to sing it, then! I'm sure he can breathe true emotions in music, like he did on 'Epitaph' and 'Take A Pebble'. Wow, those are really resonant, sincere songs! Okay, I'm just kidding. I like being mean, sometimes. I just have a few gripes against some songs in here. 'Lemon Song' never hit me very hard, even though the bass is amazing yadda yadda yadda head-bobbing bass candy go Jonesy blah blah blah. 'Bring It On Home' doesn't add very much to the 'Heartbreaker' plodding rhythm, even with the funny blues parody bookends. Don't ask me what they did to Plant's voice on that one, though. And 'Moby Dick'? Great riff, great groove... But I hate the solo. You know, I don't hate all solos in the world. I like Neil Peart's solos (don't laugh), because he puts some, you know, HUMOUR in his playing. 'The Rhythm Method', for example, has several jokey interruptions along the way. And 'Tank', for example, at least showcases Palmer's mind-numbingly impressive skills, and throws several tricks to the recipe. But Bonham just noodles, noodles, noodles... and when you think he just got into a great, hypnotising groove, he stops it to indulge in more mindless noodling. BAD SOLO. What's the point? He's doing nothing at all. I think I can play a better solo than that. I don't have the skills, but at least, my solos aren't absolutely pointless, and don't go on for ages. If I ever had attended to a Zep show, I think I would have murdered Bonham before he ever had the chance to perform his 7 hour solo. No, I don't like John Bonham. Gimme Phil Collins, instead. I give this an 11/10.

samo kodela <> (29.01.2006)

Led zeppelin II is an excelent continuation of Zep's carrer!!! It's got quite a lot of variety and i think the ballads are great and it's certainly not an album with 'dazed an confused' all over the place bacause not one single song on the album is actually dark sounding, while 'dazed' certainly is. Most of the songs are completely original in all points of view!! I don't find Plant obnoxious at all, like George does and he actually sings lower than ussually. I don't understand how could the fact that Jimmy read Crowley a bit, possibly have any effect on his guitar playing. I guess only George knows that. This whole Crowley thing is in essence nothing negative actually. He was a man talking about rebelionship in a rock and roll type of way, where you basicaly rebel against certain social norms and become free, but not really do anything bad. It's just the kind off intellectuall and spiritual liberation that rockers like Page wan't to have in their lives. As far as the idea of satan in Crowleys philosophy it was all about the redefinition of the term, because to Crowley it meant the intellectuall and spirituall liberation and NOT the cristian beast of evil. What i wrote is all i know about Crowley, because personally, i'm really not interested in that stuff. Now let's go the songs!!!

'Whole lotta love' is one of the most fantastic rock songs ever!!!Great Page hard rocking riff, which might have influenced crapy metal but hey, that's not Page's fault!! The melody is basically original, with a few little notes from a Willie Dixon song. The lyrics come from there too, but they are changed in a great way!!! The solo is awesome and so is the drumming, bass playinng, theremin solo and powerfull singing!!! The slide solo is like a race car sliding down the road 300 km/h!!! 'What is' is wonderfull and so honest to me, with gentle chords played, powerfull riffs stroked under the great chorus, amazing melodic slide solo, and a great ending with Plant taking of into the stratosphere!!! ' The lemon song' has the lyrics from old blues songs and varied melodie of 'Killing floor' and the beggining of both guitar solos also being from there, but there is so musch originality in there!!!! The earth shaking,thunder-imaginative bass solo, which is extremely speedy when played under Jimmy's solos that are very extended and so fantastically composed!!!!You should listen to Zep simply as to great musians, George, without all the prejudice you have created in your head!!'Thank you' is an emotionall love ballad dedicated to Plant's wife Maureen and sung and played with such passion. The acoustic solo is gorgeous!!!The melody is great and sometimes simple lyrics can tell the most!'Heartbreaker' is a song of pain and sadness!! Great lyrics, vocal performance,guitar solos and bass playing on one of the greatest bass albums of all time!!! 'Living loving' is good with nice riff and Plant singing greatly!!!The melody is good too, but the one in 'Ramble on' is truly beautifull especially the verses and the chorus is so powerfull and filled with true pain. The subtle bass riff is crying from Jones's fingers. 'Moby Dick' is the greatest drum solo in history, but George would probably like too have it played by Ringo.I'm shure he could do it better(ha, ha). 'Bring it on home' is not a let down at all and the Zep written section is great and even better live!!! The tribute to old blues done with the intro and outro is good too!!!Jones also adds some nice keyboards on 'Thank you' and 'Ramble on'. It's a great album with basically seven out of nine songs being completely original and the other two having minor influences. Fantatsic Zep rocking like only true rockes can!!!!!!!!!!(9.5/10)

Tagbo Munonyedi <> (12.03.2006)

I remember reading of this album many years ago that it was " the logical extension of it's predecessor but better....a seminal album " and to a large extent I'd go along with that. I loved it when I first heard it and in retrospect, I'd say that this was the album that truly exploded Led Zeppelin across the globe and really set the hard rock / heavy metal juggernaut rolling. It had been bubbling under the surface and gaining a slow momentum in varying degrees for about 5 years [ from the Kinks and the Nashville Teens right through Cream, Hendrix, Butterfly,etc ] but Led Zeppelin 2 threw it in everyone's faces, the youth of the West took on the resulting broken noses and bleeding ears and Zep spawned a host of imitators, some great, some average, some of whom it took 30 years hindsight to appreciate their worth. Far more than their debut, Zep 2 cemented their reputation as the definitive, dizz - buster heavy metal rock combo, as the New Musical Express once referred to them. Deep Purple's Ritchie Blackmore took it as a clarion call to go in an even heavier direction and set about looking for, by his own admission, a singer that could scream coz he wanted to compete with Zeppelin.

Robert Plant gets pelters for his vocals during the Zeppelin era and in particular his screaming. To be fair to him, he was screaming before his betters [ Gillan, McCafferty & Osbourne, for example ] but I must admit, I never noticed how much he screamed, ooh'd and aah'd until George intimated that it annoyed him. He does do alot of ' vocalizing ' but I think that for the most part it adds to the music. I feel that Zeppelin were definitely eclectic [ some would say a right bunch of thieves ] but ever so musical. Every member had a melodic bent and it comes across even in the worst of their output. But this album is choc full of wall shaking heavy rock sections and I mean wall shaking. John Paul Jones knocks up a series of the most beautiful bass lines here, but when he's ready to crank up the amp, he creates a sound of ocean bed proportions. I've not heard a bass as hefty as the one on ' Heartbreaker ' - a regal track altogether. Ok, it's lyrics aren't great, but the vocals and the riff are top quality. I even like the solo guitar, it's actually quite tuneful. When the rest of the band come in, they whip up one of the heaviest pieces committed to vinyl. In fact I don't think that 10 years previous, the technology existed to lay this down onto vinyl ! The needle would never have stayed ! And the climax of the solo after such a great build - up is hotter than motorbke engine after a 70 mile ride ! ' Bring it on home ' demonstrates something that Zeppelin became famous for, those quiet passages played off against loud crazy pieces, almost telepathically. The riff is one of the weirdest in all creation, but magnificently so, while Jones plays a wriggly bass that is so melodically fluid that it could itself be a solo, yet it feels like a bass line. ' What is and what should never be ', ' Thank you ' and ' Ramble on ' are charming pieces, that, for me, demonstrate that Page and Jones hadn't wasted all those years as session men on hundreds of pop hits. They brought that sensibility into Zeppelin and it helped to frame some of their best songs. THANK YOU reveals itself as the sister of YOUR TIME IS GONNA COME [ you can actually sing it as an accompaniment to Page's acoustic solo and it fits perfectly ] and though Zep are lauded for their heavy rock and acoustic folksy leanings, their pop sensibilities are rarely spoken of. It's true that some of the lyrics are pretty lame, but these are fused with some beautiful sentiments and are well written for the most part.' Ramble on ' has the most fantastic bass line and the more I listen to the album, the more Jones' contribution stands out a mile. Also on the song, the interplay between guitar and bass is superlative. 'What is....' is one of those Zep greats that rocks as hard as it is mellow and that to a large extent was their classic contribution to popular music, that heaviness [ lead ] mixed with the lighter touch [ the flight of the Zeppelin airship ]. ' Moby Dick ' should never have been a drum solo coz the solo doesn't kick ass, it licks it ! The musical passage is great, I love that riff. I'm not a great fan of drum solos of any genre coz I find them to have little context within a song - but they can work. Unfortunately it doesn't here. I think that drum solos are better witnessed live, partly because you forget them instantly, partly because you can see what's happening. Not many of them bear repeated listening, I'm afraid. Thankfully Zep 2 will bear such forever.

<> (24.07.2006)

This is where we separate the true Zep fans from the Georges (ha, just kidding). To be a true Zep fan, this has got to be a classic in your mind. This is, by a mile, the dirtiest album they ever put out (and now this is no pun!). I mean, "Whole Lotta Love", even if it wasn't truely intended to be so dirty, is just wrong when the moaning and screming gets all in. "The Lemon Song"...well, what could "Squeeze my lemon" mean? Heack, they acctually say "Make love to you" in "Heartbreaker". i can't think of another time (except on live "Dazed and Confused" performances) where they acctually say that. But behind the dirt is a diamond in the ruff. All the three previous songs are some of the best rocksongs I've heard. I think "The Lemon Song" is fantastic, despite being a complete steal. But heck, someone steals at one point, even if they don't realize it. "Living Loving Maid (Shes Just a Woman)" is a nice little continuation of "Heartbreaker" (its best when you treat it as such). "What Is and What Should Never Be" is a really good, solom antirocker. "Thank You" is only mediocre here (though the live version on "Page and Plant Unledded" is an extreme improvement. You've got to hear that one.) The Last Three songs give this album a good closur. "Ramble On" is a good song, vary lite and enjoyable, and Different than "WIAWSNB". "Moby Dick" has a great intro, followed by a drum solo that I like but doesn't really effect the album. And the Finale "Bring It On Home"...Well, I don't know why you don't like this song, but its a good close to me. His voice sounds silly at the beginging and end, but its nothing close to the weird ness of "Hats Off" a year later. There is nothing really wrong with this album. Its both light and hard at the same time. And this was too early for Led Zeppelin to worry about variation, though there is still some things here that keep it from being a one trick pony. 10/10


Marco Ursi <> (02.05.99)

Sorry man, I love this one. But I can see why you hate it. Upon first listen, I thought it to be a piece of garbage but it's really grown on me over time. The folk stuff is awesome. I'll agree with you that Plant's voice can get very irritating at times but his singing on "Tangerine" and "That's the Way" is great. And I think "Gallows Pole" is even better than "Babe I'm Gonna Leave You". Personally, I believe this to be the band's second best album, right behind the first one.

I give it an 8, a 9 on certain days.

Mike DeFabio <> (24.08.99)

Took me a while to like it, but I like it. Those acoustic songs are GOOD, (long pause) MAN. 'Immigrant Song' may be metal, but I like it anyway (see my comments on Physical Graffiti to see what I mean.) Actually, I like all the songs on here, making this, not Physical Graffiti, my favorite Zeppelin album. See my Physical Graffiti review down there? Ignore the part where I say it might be my favorite.


Simon Hearn <> (09.09.99)

I tend to agree with you on this one, George. Led Zep were ROCKERS not acoustic artists. They should have stuck to what they were best and who knows, they may have produced their finest album if they had done. On a roll, following 2 (in my opinion their best) they might have created their definitive work. I can see why people like this, it is a different side to Zep, but for me it does not cut the mustard.

José Humberto Mesquita Filho <> (30.09.99)

You have pointed the easier Led Zeppelin albums to listen: I, II and IV. Houses of the Holy is a more difficult listen, and III and Physical Graffiti are even harder. I don't think that III is their best album (as Prindle does) but I know for sure that it's a very underrated one. In fact, many of Jimmy Page's ressentments with the music press came from they trashing the album - they expected another hard-crunching-screaming-rock-oriented kind of work, but after spending some time in that Bron-Y-Aur place Zeppelin came up with a bunch of folk-oriented songs, and some of them are really great ("Gallows Pole" and "Tangerine" are killers! "That's the way" is kinda gorgeus, but it's one of the most gay songs I've ever heard). So, what do we got? "Immigrant Song" is tremendous, it really matters not the influences it generated; "Friends" is a nice little ditty, and Plant singing "it's very EEEEEAAAAASY" is actually a lot of fun; "Celebration Day" almost makes me horny - just like the Stones' "Honky Tonky Women". You know, "MAA-MAA-MAA-MAA I'M SO HAAPPY!" and then the dan-dun-deeeun riff... this is great music; "Since I've Been Loving You" is one of the most amazing blues pieces in music history - recorded pratically live on studio, with an absolutely improvised guitarwork, and killer vocals! (sorry man, I think Plant was one step ahead of Gillan - but ONLY one); "Out on the tiles" is just OK; "Bron-Y-Aur Stomp" is another fun ditty; "Hats off to Roy Harper" is a weird tune, so weird that I'm glad it's in the end of the album. Therefore, we got one shitty track, two or three OK songs (and by OK I mean: no harm done, but not much of ass-kicking either), and six or seven great songs (some of them orgasmic!). I'm not much into the rating stuff, but an 8 out of 10 is quite fair, and after all, they were a fantastic band - I'm sure I or you or 99% of the population of planet Earth couldn't pull it off better. I can't really play no instrument (just doorbells). So a little more respect, shall we?

Nick Karn <> (12.11.99)

Not as worthwhile as the first two, but still quite impressive, even though I can't see anyone giving it a 10 for reasons other than "anti-hype" ("it's the least played on the radio!"). I mentioned "Hats Off To (Roy) Harper" in my last comment, and just for that song alone it should be deprived of a point. What an awful mess (an awful mess is a bad thing in this case, as for "When The Levee Breaks", that's a different story) - it's my least favorite Zep song to this point, but don't hold me to that cause I don't have Presence, In Through The Out Door or Coda. Anyway, I'd give this an 8 because in my opinion there are 4 "classics", 3 "very good" songs, and 3 "duffers", as you like to say. And they're spread out all over the album... talk about inconsistency! The classics to my mind are of course the blistering "Immigrant Song" (even if "No Quarter" eventually did it better), the ironically paranoid slidefest "Celebration Day", the dark blues ripoff "Since I've Been Lovin You" (which I didn't care for at first, but now it's one of my faves), and "That's The Way", one of the most beautiful acoustic songs ever written. Meanwhile, "Friends", "Out On The Tiles" and "Tangerine" could be at that level if they each didn't have a specific little defect (distorted violins, WAY too muddy bottom-sounding guitars, and an overly sappy atmosphere respectively). As they are, however, they're good songs. I can't say the same for that horrible closing track, the extremely corny "Bron-Yr-Aur" (Plant, SHUT UP!!), and the dull "Gallows Pole" (an average folk song).

<> (21.11.99)

I'm sorry, I do have to crucify you on this review. The album is as good as any of their previous. If you think that the Rolling Stones' Satanic Majesties album was as good as their previous albums in the 60s, how can you not like Led Zeppelin 3? Come on, all these songs are great (except 'Hats of to (Roy) Harper, which is absolute crap).

[Special author note: the logic of the Stones/Zep comparison here escapes me. Did the commentator hint at III being a psychedelic album or something? After all this time, I firmly stand by my opinion - the Zepsters are very, very average at covering folk songs. Try, I dunno, the Byrds instead.]

Jeffrey A Morton <> (15.06.2000)

I love Zep 3 (like most Zep albums for me) but the problem many people had with it was, when it was first released, it seemed to be some sort of dirty trick. Really. You fill one side with primarily hard rockers, and then lure people into the second side, which is something that, then, Zep fans were not used to. LZ was trying to be CSN&Y and they pulled a fast one over thier buying public. Still think it's great though...

<> (15.10.2000)

I really like this one too....a generally underrated collection. With the notable exception of "Hats Off", the only truly unlistenable song in the entire Zep cannon, Zep 3 is consistently good and enjoyable. It's a bit misleading to call this the 'Quiet' Zeppelin album...I think the first half moves pretty well=not quiet..."Immigrant Song" ,"Celebration Day", and "Out On the Tiles" are all wonderful rockers. "Tiles" is frequently overlooked cut, unjustly so...It's a little gem. "Friends" strikes a moody, slightly gothic mood (a la 'No Quarter') doesn't 'rock' in usual sense, but a gentle acoustic number it is not. "Since I've Been Loving" is a full blown blooze number...Page really shines here.

The second half is quieter, but we're still not talking James Taylor or Joan Baez here..."Gallows Pole" and "Bron-Yr-Aur Stomp" jig and clap along nicely. "Tangerine" and "That's the Way"...are gentle and genuinely 'pretty'...successful folksy numbers that demonstrate additional strengths, but not really a new direction...Zeppelin had already trod on similar ground on LZ 1 (see "Your Time is Gonna Come", "Black Mountain Side", and even "Babe, I'm Gonna Leave You") A wonderful record (which I think is better than LZ 4), if not Zep's best.

Fredrik Tydal <> (25.11.2000)

What's up with the album titles? Who did they think they were - Beethoven? "Zeppelin's Third" - how pretentious isn't that? Oh, well; good album, actually. I think you underrate it a bit. To me, "Immigrant Song" is their best short rocker - a killer riff. I get no visions of Eighties hair metal at all; keep in mind that this was 1970 and rather pionjeering. Total agreement on "Since I've Been Loving You", though. "Gallows Pole" starts out good, but loses it towards the end. However, I have to say there is a fine unity on the album; it really flows all right. Most of the other songs are even and the only real stinker is the closing one, of course. Completely up to par with the previous album and if hard-pressed between the two, I'd choose this one.

Jason McDaniel <> (09.12.2000)

I have to agree with you on this one. I don't see anything too spectacular on this album, although I do like the "Immigrant Song". I like "Since I've Been Loving You" as well, but I don't rank it among my favorite Zep songs.

Perry Justus <> (06.03.2001)

But what I really forgot is this: I can't get over your thoughts on "Misty Mountain Hop" by Led Zeppelin. You seem to think it's a lame, bland, heavy metal piece of shit - but it's hardly that. The song is one of the band's first attempts at displaying their humor on record/music. It's all just a take-off on the hippie culture. Plant would often introduce it live as "This is a song about when you're walking down the street and you've got some papers and some sweet Californian stuff to put in said papers, and things just don't go quite how they should..." The references to Tolkien also run pretty thick on this. You should hear the live versions of 'Over the Hills and Far Away', btw, where Page lays down some of his most impressive guitar work. Also, if you want to hear a REAL good live version of "Since I've Been Loving You," find a copy of 09/06/70 or 06/03/73. Or 09/14/71. Or lots of other great shows - just let me know if you want to hear my recommendations on live stuff...

Eric Rogozin <> (17.04.2001)

 I think, that II and III are Led Zeppelin's best, someday I can prefer II over III, someday I can prefer Led Zeppelin III over Led Zeppelin II. Well, all Zeppelin albums are brilliant, but this album is...something amazing, various and different. Wonderful record! This album proves the greatness of Led Zeppelin; "Immigrant Song", "Since I've Been Loving You" and "Gallows Pole" are eternal magnificent classics. "Friends", "Celebration Day", "Out On The Tiles", "Tangerine" etc. - all these songs sound perfectly well. Here's a folkish athmosphere over this album and the ballads are great, especially that one bluesy "Since I've Been Loving You". "Immigrant Song" rules.

Ratko Hribar <> (18.09.2001)

Gees, an experiment. Not a too impressive one, though. Besides that, not much has changed, Plant still drags the band into deep shit with his worthless voice, and Page is ripping off folksters instead of bluesers. Okay, I firmly believe that a lot of this material is really theirs, not all of it, of course, but how can you expect from Zeppelin to abandon the very idea of ripping off completely ? It just can't be done. The album is somewhat of a letdown, a BIG letdown. In my opinion, this album is their WORST. Now, that's only because I don't consider Coda to be an album, it's more like an offensive money-grabbing piece of shit. The only thing that saves Led Zeppelin III from complete wretchedness is that there's quite a lot of magnificent songs splattered all over the record. Those songs would be 'Since I've Been Loving You', 'Gallows Pole' and 'Immigrant Song'. That's three songs. Just three. What else do we have here ? Nothing, really. I could, perhaps, agree that 'That's The Way' has some artistic value, but forgive for not popping the vine cork just yet. It's just a ballad and it doesn't grab me more than, say, Sabbath's 'Solitude'. Okay, 'Celebration Day' is also nice, but it's not much better than anything one could find on Physical Graffiti. I mean, it's passable, and that's all. The rest, however, isn't. My rating of the album would be a 6, cause the record very easily slips from excellent to boring and predictable. A pity, though.

Ben Kramer <> (14.11.2001)

Led Zeppelin were generally hard rockers and that was their forte. However, Led Zeppelin reminds me of The Who in that both had a leader (Townshend and Plant) who wanted to shift the band in to another direction. Robert Plant wanted to be in a pop band who did an occasional blues cover and it clearly shows in his solo career. Unfortunately for him, Jimmy Page and John Bonham were bad - ass hard rockers and it shows on their first two records. Led Zeppelin III is Robert Plant's album in my opinion and it is one of Led Zeppelin's best. The best song without a doubt is a hard blues song, 'Since I've Been Loving You', but some other gems can be found throughout the album and most of them are acoustic. 'Tangerine' is simple, yet beautiful. The same thing goes for 'That's the Way'. Out on the tiles keeps the spirit of Led Zeppelin II alive and it is a fine song (though the end drags out too long). 'Gallow's Pole' is one of my favorite Led Zeppelin songs with a fine guitar part and excellent Plant vocals (nothing like the 1st record though). 'The Immigrant Song' is the hit of the album and it remains one of Led Zeppelin's most popular songs and while it doesn't go with the rest of the songs(at least the majority of them) it is a great song. The rest of the songs are good with the exception of 'Hat's Off to (Roy) Harper' which is just annoying but it has a good location on the album because I can just turn it off after the first nine songs. Overall this is a solid album with a few gems and one piece of filler. My rating would be 8(12) (keep in mind that I consider Led Zeppelin a four star band despite putting out a lot of crap right before they broke up.)

Dietrich Epp <> (07.03.2003)

I just have one gripe with the reviews of Led Zeppelin III - nobody seems to pay attention to Bron-Y-Aur Stomp! Sure, it's among some pretty desperate attempts at folk music, it's shoved almost at the end of the record, and Plant isn't the best choice for singing the song, but it works. To me, it stands out because it's the only Led Zeppelin song that I could describe as 'cheerful', the instruments don't fight the vocals (like in 'Out on the Tiles'), the music and the lyrics match (anyone else think 'Tangerine' should be two songs?), and it's got the spark that 'That's the Way' and 'Friends' lack. I wouldn't change the rating for the album though.

I would also like to state for the record (pun intended) that I wouldn't have any Led Zeppelin CDs if it weren't for programs like Napster.

Stephen Rutkowski <> (11.10.2003)

The much maligned folk album, and it still contains one of the heaviest – ‘Immigrant Song’. To be honest it’s not all that folky. There is a couple of heavy tracks and one hardcore blues. Previously I described III as having pedestrian folk, but really the only offending tracks are ‘That’s the Way’ and the horrendous ‘Hats Off to (Roy) Harper’. No I don’t think anyone quite knows what was going on with that track. Any answers Jimmy? Robert? Mr. Harper…? ‘That’s the Way’ isn’t offensive, it’s just a very slow, bland acoustic ditty with nothing to get excited about. Other than that I quite like the folky sound. It can’t compete with the great albums such as I and IV, but it has a lot to offer. ‘Friends’ is an enjoyable track. The strings sound so loose on the guitar, it’s like Page forgot to tune it. It creates a different sound in any event. Page and Plant would later incorporate this song with all sorts of! eastern instruments when they reunited. ‘Gallows Pole’ is a good track with some fine banjo pluckin’. But will Mr. Plant please stop screaming. I heard that ‘Tangerine’ was written by Page when he was really young. In any event it’s still a pleasant mostly acoustic track. However, I think people tend to skip over ‘Bron-Y-Aur Stomp’ without thinking about it (You skipped over it in your review George). This is delightful folk stomp as the title suggests. John Paul Jones features on acoustic bass and John Bonham plays all sorts of weird percussion such as spoons and castanets. In case anyone was wondering the song is about Plant’s dog, the “blue-eyed merle”. A good listen as well for people who like rarities would be it’s first incarnation known as ‘Jenning’s Farm Blues’. This track doesn’t feature as many of the stomping elements and is an instrumental. It is more rocking however.

‘Immigrant Song’ features a great and very catchy riff. It’s true, when I first heard the album that riff was being replayed in my head for days. However, it is too short. Page and gang should have been able to add a couple of minutes to it. Anyway, not to worry. ‘Celebration Day’ does feature an odd riff, I’m not really sure how that was created, but it sounds great all the same. ‘Since I’ve Been Loving You’ is another quality blues track. Although, that squeaky bass pedal sure is annoying. And that leaves us with ‘Out on the Tiles’. A song that is indeed generic. The song is something to do with Bonham’s simple philosophy to life or something. And the title is a tip to his love of getting plastered on vodka. Overall the album is still pretty good. Just take what songs you like and leave the rest for somebody else. Myself, I’ll take ‘Immigrant Song’, ‘Celebration Day’ and ‘Bron-Y-Aur Stomp’.

Bob Josef <> (05.01.2004)

I really like "Tangerine," actually. Plant keeps it fairly low-key, and Page wrote the lyrics, so it actually sounds like a pleasant love song. "Gallows Pole" might have worked better in the hands of Fairport Convention, but the way it builds in intensity as it progresses is impressive. "Immigrant Song" is one place where Plant's wailing is appropriate - - his voice and Page's riff effectively evoke marauding Vikings. The fact that it gets to the point in less than three minutes also helps. The rest of the album is rather dismissible.

The B-side of "Immigrant Song," called "Hey, Hey, What Can I Do?" is an amusing, effective C&W influenced track that's a lot better than most of the album, and could have easily been added as a bonus track to the CD.

Mark <> (09.01.2004)

Once again, everyone has said it before me. I like this album a most of you, it grew on me also. At first it was just "Immigrant Song" cranked, but after awhile it grew on me. I like "Friends" because it's just so weird, "Celebration Day" don't really slay me, but I can listen to it, "Since I've Been Loving You" is one of their finest blues ever (and as far as I can tell, fairly original, except for the Willie Dixon reference to "backdoor man/men) and Page is just mind boggling on it. "Out On The Tiles" I agree as being "generic" as one of the readers commented, but I love the outro. Side two is where all the nasty comments on this album originate. "Gallows Pole" I like a lot, especially Pages electric guitar which sounds like a violin at times, but on the downside, this to me, is one of the most annoying Plant vocals ever recorded. "Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaa...." shutdafuckup please Robbie. "Tangerine" is lovely. Nice pedal steel guitar in that one, and again, a great! guitar solo and tone. Don't know what the title "Tangerine" means in relation to the lyrics, though. "That's The Way" is beautiful. Hippie lyrics, but obviously sincere, and once again, Page's playing is great; great pedal steel again, and a lovely acoustic sound. Especially love the coda to this with the backward guitar/echo. "Bron-Yr-Aur Stomp" is a lot of fun. Not the most brilliant lyrics ever (it was about Plant's dog, so I guess we are not expecting lyrics to rival 'Blonde On Blonde'), but it's pleasant enough and again, great picking from Jimmy who on this album proves himself to be an acoustic player to match his electric skills (something that no one will ever say about Iommi, who was not half the electric player that Page was, so you can imagine how pathetic his acoustic playing is.....and I am a Sabbath fan for those who want to shit on me). "Hat's Off.." is one the comments said earlier, "Hey Hey What Can I Do" is a decent song and could have been e! asily placed here instead of "Roy Harper" and it would have improved t his album greatly. I get why people trash this album as a dirty trick. Give Zep credit for wanting to try something new and not just repeat Zeppelin II again. It's a weird world....if they had just repeated II, everyone would have said "That's all they can do is the heavy stuff" and complained. then they do go and try something different and people still complain. Ohh well...........anyway, I like this album a lot. 8.5/10 for me on this one.

samo kodela <> (29.01.2006)

Led Zeppelin III is my favourite Zep record and infact, my favourite record in the world and your review of it George, is manipulation and demagogy at it most powerfull and most devastating!!!Page and Plant certainly didn't have too fight lawsuits all the time, actually very rarely and even then the lawsuits very pretty much unargumented.The only reason that influenced Zep to vary their material, was the fact that their moto was 'ever onwards'. They always explored new directions on every album and each one of them was an honest statement of the band at the time. I really don't find any of the songs being similar to 'Baby i'm gonna leave you', but they are just as great!!! Led Zeppelin had unbeliveable songwriting magic and the song 'Double trouble' has no resemblance to 'Since i've been loving you' at all, except that they are both blues, so i guess there is a reseblemblance betwen 'Hey jude and 'Candle in the wind' too, because they are both pop.' Hat's of to Roy Harper' does have old blues lyrics, but the rest is Page/Plant magic. And the title is just a tribute to Harper, with the actuall song not having much to do with him.As far as Plants voice goes, his voice is very beautifull and emotional and not whiny at all. Maybre a bit on the tune 'The song remains the same' but not here!I think Plants voice has great emotional quality and what you write is just completely untrue. There is just so much passion in his singing in 'That's the way' and 'Tangerine' and 'That's the way' was written in the Welsh countryside after Page and Plant had a long walk and they sitted down on a hill and Page strum a few chords and Plant just sung it out. There is nothing particulary dark in these ballads, although they are very sad and the ahaha singing at the end of 'Gallows poll' has to be like it is because it's the evil laughter of the hangman!!Friends shows the huge range of Plants great voice!! It's not Zeps fault if eighties bands TRIED to copy them and those bands can't make Zep generic. Those bands are generic heavy metal but NOT Zep who are an original hard rock band!!!!!!!Listen to how passionatelly Plant sings the backing vocals in 'Tangerine' and 'That's the way', you know those descending harmonies, just wonderfull!!!!!!!!!I'm glad you realised at least a bit that Zep members are intelligent people and that they wrote intelligent music and lyrics!!!!!!And just because they wrote 'Whole lotta love' it doesn't mean they were 'looking for fuckmeat' like you said George.Let's go to the songs: 'Immigrant song' is a great hard rocking opener that was inspired by Zeps tour in Iceland.Great drumming, immaginative lyrics, powerfull singing with Plant wailing, blistering bass runs and Page rocking with that riff and there is a possitive anti-war message at the end!!Nice melody too!!'Friends' is an eastern sounding song, with a great string arrangement, amazing acoustic ryhtm guitar and Plant singing how important good friends are, while Bonzo is doing a bit of tabla drums.'Celebration day' has layers of guitar riffs and is very melodic with a powerfull chorus and one of the greatest Page solos. 'Since i've been loving you' is my favourite song in the world and it just has everything in the greatest way possible. Beautifully sad melody, that is very powerfull in the choruses, fantastic and so sad and complex organ fills, nice bass pedals playing, Page playing subtle intro that gains power and turns into an amazing melody and he also plays a wonderfull riff after each chorus and the chorus riff is also great. He also plays nice phrases in the verses and in the solo his hands are creating enourmous hurricans of notes that take the song into a sad wonderland!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Plant's singing is his best ever!!!!!Extremely powerful, emotional and honest and showing his three octave range!!Bonzo also adds fantatsic fills!!' Out on the tiles' is a Bonzo showcase that has great riffs, nice lovingfull lyrics, a great melody and amazing drumming ofcourse.'Gallows pole' has acoustic guitar, bass, drums, mandolin, banjo, electric guitar in it, and it has mostly original lyrics, just some of the melody is taken from an old blus song.Tangerine is so melodically powerfull, that George had to find some sort of excusses for his idea, that the song is not good. Of corsurse the song is great and the slide solo is amazing and Plant's vocal style is different here, isn't it George?? 'That's the way' has Plant's poetic and introspective lyrics and a beautifull tearfull melody and guitar – madolin struming gentleness.'Bron y aur stomp' is a funny song about Plant's dog, with great Page's soloing on acoustic guitar, that is also very melodically strong and has a powerfull chorus, like all songs on the album except 'Hat's of' that is also quite melodic, but it doesnt have a chorus and it's extremely powerfull blues singing, together with a slide guitar. So George as you can see, it is a fantastic album, one of the greatest in rock history actually and obviouslly you are just jealous and full of prejudices about Zep and you are not willing to open your ears to great music, but it is also possible that you just percept music differently then people who like Zep, because you like The Beatles very much and the Beatles don't have much going on instrumentaly , so perhaps you prefer such pop/rock which is allright, because The Beatles are fantastic, but perhaps you should try listenig to Zep in a new way, because there are people like me, who love Zep and The Beatles and perhaps you could become one of them too!!!!!!!Oh and obviously, ZEP ARE A VERY MELODIC BAND!!!!!!!!!!!(10/10).

Tagbo Munonyedi <> (12.03.2006)

As far as I'm concerned, this is one of the most courageous albums in rock history. The first two albums and the subsequent live performances had redefined heavy rock and given it a shape and a direction it had never previously had. So to release an album with so many acousticnumbers was a gutsy move. But though hindsight is an easy bird to shoot, I think it can be shown that Zeppelin's heavy status was kind of accidental. Page has said that when he and Plant first got together, they were undecided whether to go the heavy blues route or [ as Page put it ] " the incredible string band trip ". Added to this, Page and Jones had been dedicated session men with something like 9 years experience between them, and had played on all kind of hits, ranging from Donovan to Tom Jones to Dusty Springfield to the Kinks to Fleur de Lys to the Who to Joe Cocker to the Stones.....Plant was immersed in blues, Page was into emerging hard rock [ it was his idea to experiment with having twin lead guitars in the Yardbirds, Jeff Beck being the other guitarist ]. There were a number of directions Zeppelin could have gone in and to some extent they went in all of them. As controversial as this may sound, iii was not an accident or a sudden shift, but rather, a necessary step on their progressive road. The first LP was recorded in 10 hours or something and was the work of a new band that had just been put together. The second LP was written and recorded on the road, haphazardly and where and when the odd session could be fitted in and to a large extent, capitalized on their growing reputation. It was their most consistently heavy album. The third LP was actually the first time they sat down and really wrote with an album in mind and no time pressure as such, and my theory is that the gentler / acoustic stuff that had been in evidence to a minor degree on the first two albums simply caught up and levelled the playing field [ The acoustic spots became quite a feature of their live gigs] and as such, this is a superb album.

I bet when their fans first heard IMMIGRANT SONG at the time, they licked their lips and thought " yes, man ! More of the same ". Because it's a cracking opener, an odd monotone of a riff, but played so convincingly. The song is great and despite the flames old Robert gets, I feel he was one of the finest British singers of that era. FRIENDS grabbed my attention from the start, partly because it wasn't a heavy gutbuster, partly because it's lovely. The lyrics ( those that can be understood, that is ) are really deep, the strings that Jones arranges are absolutely brilliant, the forerunner to KASHMIR, the guitar wonderful. One of their most underrated tracks. CELEBRATION DAY showcases something that always irritated me about some bands, Zep included and that's the words not being sung clearly. If you put my balls in a vice and said " what's this song saying ?", I'd be saying my prayers ! I don't know what he's on about, he could be speaking in Igbo for all I know....actually, I don't really mind, coz it's a good hard rocker that has a good time feel. I think that people went overboard about the darkness of the band, it sometimes came out in the music but there was also vibrantly cheery stuff, in sound if not subject matter. I personally find blues monotonous and quite boring. So many of the original acoustic and electric blues merchants were utterly depressing. They seemed to wallow in the negative elements of their lives and rarely seemed to consider that there actually were solutions to their problems. A million miles removed from soul, in fact that was the essential difference between the two. People can berate Motown for selling out or being empty but the Motown writers provided a hope of sorts while at the same time not being blind to the realities of their day. In the bizarrest way, the true heirs of the blues were the punks, all angst and moans but no solutions.........Going back to the blues for a moment, I have what may be the earliest Christian recording made, by a blues singer called Blind Willie Johnson ( I swear, I'm not making that up ! ), from 1929 and it's real down home acoustic blues. Even the songs that talk of God's love and brilliance sound depressing ! But though many young white boys could identify with the isolation that many of the bluesmen sang about, in truth they had just too much else happening in their musical heads to be stuck in one gear and therefore, for me, blues influenced music by White guys, especially the English ones, was always better and more vibrant than it's father. Granted, sometimes the form is inferior because Black blues never sounded like SINCE I'VE BEEN LOVING YOU but I'll take the Brit version anyday ! Every element of this song wins, the keen little organ fills, the rhythm team of Bonham and Jones, keeping it steady, Plant singing clearly ( !) and powerfully [ although I don't believe he could sing this to a woman and mean it ! ] and Page knocking out one of the best solos in the Zep canon. The finale of the song is a standout, especially the way Bonham slams down that last drum bit, so controlled. He is also the keeper of the flame on the superb OUT ON THE TILES. I'm not sure what this is generic of because I can't think of any examples of this type of song from other bands. It's a class act and I'm surprized that I've never heard a comment about it's odd riff, it's a corker. The drums drive this track along and Page's production skills are to the fore in the way the drums travel across the stereo spectrum.

And now for that controversial second side....I think HATS OFF TO HARPER is, along with the start and end of BRING IT ON HOME, the closest the band ever got to authentic sounding acoustic blues. As silly as this may sound, even Clapton in his most purist days and the Stones never got this close. In saying that though, I'm not a fan of HATS's the nadir of the album and should maybe have been on CODA !! It's one degree away from being unlistenable. But it is listenable. Just. Both GALLOWS POLE and BRON-Y-AUR STOMP, while being mainly acoustic, pack as much intensity and fire as any of the heavier outings. In the STOMP, Zeppelin finally create a song out of everyday activity. Interesting thread, Dylan and the Who teach the Beatles a bit of seriousness in lyric writing; the Beats then take this the whole 9 yards and start writing about anything and everything from boxes of chocolate to sleeping to circuses and fairground rides to thieves to dogs........this in turn liberates a new generation who, by 1970 were using as subject matter things that would have been unthinkable even 5 years before. So good on Zeppelin for a song about walking the dog.And it's not a pervy coded sex mantra either ! Jimmy Page had long been a fine acoustic guitarist, adept at both simple and complex parts and tunings, here he keeps it simple, cute and exciting while Bonham drives the track along with that nifty boom-ch-boom-ch-boom-chboom-ch beat. Whenever people talk / write about Bonham, whether adoring or detesting, they always seem to refer to him mono -dimensionally as a hard hitting loud drummer, which he could be. But he was also one of the most musical too and I think he was a great folk - rock drummer as well as a heavy rock powerhouse and he was capable of a lightness of touch that enhanced many moments in their songs. GALLOWS POLE is apparently their rendition of an old acoustic blues by Leadbelly and for me the most climactic moment on Led Zeppelin 3. It begins ominously quietly, Plant wailing " Hangman, hangman, wait a little while...." before developing slowly but certainly into a devastatingly intense burst of noise, horror, pain and dashed hope....rarely have I come across a more cruel character than the hangman in the lyric, he represents IMO the ultimate in the dark, fallen side of human nature, he's the Nazi that could butcher scores of Jewish people on Xmas eve then go home singing carols to play with his kids and kiss his wife; he's the slavemaster that could rape his slave, get her pregnant and treat his child as a subhuman for having Black blood; he's the inquisitionist type that would happilly put someone to death for not bowing to his belief system or for saying the world was indeed round........and it's a great song, to boot, it just keeps building and building, guitars chugging hard, mandolins and / or banjos plucking away, striving to colour the soundscape with some beauty to redeem the rapidly fading dreams of freedom, a dive bombing bass and slapping intensive drumming that seem to be smacking up anything in it's could Robert Plant do anything but wail and scream ? He keeps the intensity flowing and right at the death, he lets out this squeal that's perfectly matched to the note and pitch of the electric guitar, so much so that for years I didn't realize one segued into the other. It's a breathtaking piece and if nothing else is the real model for the best known track on the following album....TANGERINE is a lovely gentle song, not without it's heavier moments and a great bass movement during the solo. When a solo was being played, more than any bassist I can think of, Jones came up with complimentary parts that were just as fascinating. Page wrote this and I'm pretty sure it's about him falling in love when he was a teenager. It makes me wonder what happened though, given his later view of women. THAT'S THE WAY is another lovely piece, apparently about the discrmination the band suffered in the States for having long hair ! Almost worth it if only for the fact it inspired a great song....the outro for me, is one of the best instrumental sections that Zep came up with, especially the cute bass doodle right at the end. And just dig that tambourine, the most underrated instrument in rock, but one that has been so inventively used.

So all in all I still feel the band are to be commended for this effort, in it's own way every bit as fiery as it's predecessor, definitely more intense in parts, if not quite as loud and window shattering.

<> (24.07.2006)

Well now, this is an interesting album. Not nessisarally the best, but at least they tried something to keep it from being awful. If they had gone all rock again, than this album would have been either a whole lot better of a whole lot worse. As it is, its ok. The first side, with all its rockers, is a mixed bag. "Immigrant Song" is just a great rock song, plain and simple. It was acctually ment to be a joke, but no one really got it. They just loved it. "Since I've Been Loving You" is a great blues like classic. I haven't heard to much to say it steals from other artist, but I think it is one of their top 5 best songs. And I think there is nothing wrong with the way Plant sings his heart out through the reframe. The other main rock songs, "Celibration Day" and "Out On the Tiles" are just normal at best, though the latter meantioned has a great ending to it. But "Friends"...thats just plain weird. I've never really liked it. Side 2 is the accustic side, and is a bit more consistent quality wise. The Ballads, "Tangerine" and "That's the Way", are vary much moving to me, especially the latter. It has a Bob Dylan way of not making sense but still seeming to mean something...anything. I love it. "Gallows Pole" Has an absolutely fantastic intro, but it kinda fiddles when the less than hard drums get in (But I think the ending of it is really good. Also, this is another song vastly improved on "Unledded"). "Bon-Yr-Aur Stomp" is vary fun, especially live versions I've heard. This version is good too, but not quite. Then...yah, this is probably teh worst ending to an album I've ever heard. "Hats Off (To Roy Harper)" is just awful in every sense of the word. And there even seems to be a good song in there somewhere, but they sounded like its recorded underwater. It sucks, sucks, sucks. Overall, this album is a mixed bag, but the highlight outlive the lowlights. 6/10


John McFerrin <> (11.05.99)

I agree with you, for the most part. Yeah, 'Black Dog' is just generic cock rock, and 'Misty Mountain Top' sucks horribly. But I really like 'Battle of Evermore', even more than 'Stairway'. Yeah, I know deep down that it's a lame parody of classic Tolkien, but for some reason, I just find it gorgeous. And yeah, 'Levee' isn't a great melody, but I don't consider it their best song cos of the melody. I consider their best cos of the drums, guitars, and vocals are screaming out in perfect harmony with each other. I have never, ever heard every instrument complement every other instrument so well in a song. Anyways, I agree with the 9, despite the serious flaws at the start of each side.

Scott & Wendy <> (27.07.99)

An excellent review. I concur.

What you neglected to mention was the fantastic production of this album.

I enjoyed the awesome sound when it was first released, and was delighted to listen to the CD re-master which was supervised by Jimmy Page himself.

Just listen to 'Rock and Roll' again and wonder at the impeccable balance between drums, bass, vocals and lead. Nothing dominates. What a cooker!

Compare this production to the awful Beatles CD releases.

Whoever did these obviously was after a quick release for quick money.

The greatest instrument the Beatles had were their voices, which have been mixed out of existence on their CD releases in favour of over-emphasising the bass and drums.

This was more than likely to try and get a new generation, who are bass and rhythm obsessed, to buy, buy, buy.

Even a crappy song was made great by the Beatles wonderful singing harmonies, now lost to us.

Could you ask Jimmy Page if he would re-mix Abbey Road for us?

Mike DeFabio <> (24.08.99)

Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh, this is the one with 'Stairway to Heaven' on it. Actually that's not even my favorite song on here. It's got to be the most overrated song in the world. It's a great, great song, but not worth all the hype it gets. My favorite song on here, as it happens, is 'When The Levee Breaks'. It has that really tubular (I'm weak with adjectives. So sue me.) drum sound, and the whole song just does something for me that 'Stairway to Heaven' doesn't do as well. I agree that 'Battle of Evermore' isn't very good, but it's no 'D'yer Maker' either, so at least it's got THAT going for it. I also agree that 'Four Sticks' is bland and unmemorable. But I really like 'Misty Mountain Hop', so there.

I agree with the nine, for the most part.

Glenn Wiener <> (14.09.99)

Whereas I do not have this record, I have heard every song on the radio so I feel that I can judge this product. Considerably overrated by critics and crazed fans. 'Black Dog' has a good opening riff but little else is developed from it. Therefore, the song disintegrates into boring repetition with Plant's annoying vocals driving me to the medicine chest. 'When The Levee Breaks' just drags and drags with Plant's moaning makes me feel like I'm experiencing a nervous breakdown. 'Stairway To Heaven' is a creative piece blending from acoustic to electric. However, the song is a bit too long in spots. A nice song yes, A Classic HELL NO! 'Rock N Roll' and 'Going To California' are pretty good songs. The rest is just sort of middle of the road. Maybe this isn't my cup of tea, but if you like heavy blues and rock with a somewhat annoying vocalist, go grab it. Zep Heads seem to love it.

Nick Karn <> (12.11.99)

Now we come to the most sacred of all rock albums (if not, it's up there in the top 5 at least). Good point about the band's name not being on the cover. The minute Plant's vocals come in on "Black Dog" puts an end to that conspiracy, though. Unfortunately. :)

Seriously, I can't see anything great about that opening number. To me, it's just a generic, mostly directionless cock rock song. Consult the following track on how quality "Rock And Roll" ought to be played. I can't get enough of that one! I have to confess it's my favorite here - I don't know what it is about it, but it strikes some sort of chord. As for the "Battle Of Evermore", I don't pay attention to the lyrics (which were never this band's forte anyway), and just listen to it as a really beautiful acoustic song, enjoying it as a result. Then we come to that ditty about the stores being closed - "Stairway To Heaven". It's a great epic song, and an absolute classic, but the only thing is that after such a great buildup to the solo, it ends too quickly for me. I'll also say I'd need two hands to count the number of Zep epics (which to me are defined as extended, challenging pieces over 6 minutes) that I like more, and that's without hearing "Achilles Last Stand".

I'm ashamed to admit this, but I can REALLY get into "Misty Mountain Hop". Yes, I thought the riff and melody was incredibly stupid at first, and as a matter of fact, it actually is, but it grew on me big time, and it's so addictive and enjoyable in my opinion because of it. Of course, the album had to stall with "Four Sticks" (which has one of Plant's more annoying performances), but that song is almost redeemed by the magical guitar tone on the interlude section. "Going To California" is another really relaxing and moody acoustic song that I love, while "When The Levee Breaks" is just SICK... in a good way. John Bonham ain't my favorite member for nothing. A 9 for this album, and a shade below the debut which I gave the same rating - just a couple irritating songs short of classic status.

Matt Reyes <> (08.02.2000)

Well we disagree on alot of Zep but 'Misty Mountain Hop' I like i dont know why and i get why you dont like it. But 'Battle of Evermore' is a great record overall your review is pretty good and i dont find 'stairway to heaven' overated. Its not my favorite Zep but I couldnt live without it.

Well this is my favorite album of all time. The first side (first four songs) have all classics, including the 'Battle of Evermore' which I think is very good. Of course 'Black Dog', 'Rock & Roll' and 'Stairway to Heaven' are classics. 'Misty Mountain Hop' is bad I dont get bored listening to it (This song is the only minor flaw). I think 'Four Sticks' is enjoyable to listen to, 'Going to California' is a definate great song. Also 'When the Levee Breaks', a classic way to end the album

Record: 10

Overall: 15

Rich Bunnell <> (25.04.2000)

Duuuuhuuuuh this album is overrated!!! People like it, so I hate it!!!!!!

Pathetic attempts at mocking Zep-bashers aside, this is a really nice album. I've heard the first five songs and "When The Levee Breaks" approximately seventy-seven million times apiece, but they're all really good songs. "Misty Mountain Hop" doesn't annoy me at all, and neither do the lyrics to "Battle Of Evermore"-- who cares if they're Hobbit-inspired ravings? You can barely understand the lyrics anyway! Criminy, it's like people are -trying- to find a way they can bash these songs regardless of key factors like good melody.

"Four Sticks" sort of rambles (in spite of that awesome groove) and the constant instrumental breaks in "Black Dog" sort of annoy me, but the rest is as good as good gets. I'd give it a nine.

Philip Maddox <> (07.07.2000)

This is easily my favorite Zep album (at least out of the ones I've heard). 'Black Dog' is a wonderful way to kick the record off - I LOVE when the dual guitar comes in toward the end. It's unpredictable, too. If you ask me, it's one of the best metal songs ever written. 'Rock and Roll', despite being overplayed, is still a really good simple rock tune. I LOVE 'Battle Of Evermore', almost as much as 'Stairway'. Sure, the lyrics are goofy, but so are all Led Zeppelin lyrics. The arrangement is creepy and foreboding, too. Finally, side 1 ends with 'Stairway', which I won't comment on except say that it's great. Side 2 isn't quite as good. I like 'Misty Mountain Hop' too, though. The weird melody and rhythm is groovy, and the guitar solo is great, too. 'Four Sticks' is really boring, though. It never goes anywhere. Yawn. 'Going To California' is a good acoustic song, but it's not as good as 'Evermore'. It isn't bad, or course - in fact, it's quite good. I just like 'Evermore' better. Finally, 'When the Levee Breaks' is a good blues song - a little too long, but it still kicks. I love the "apocalyptic" feel to it. This gets an easy 9. I feel safe describing every song on the album, as there isn't a human alive that hasn't heard every song on this album. You don't need to buy it, in fact - just listen to a classic rock station for a day and you can probably tape the whole thing. I've never heard 'Four Sticks' on the radio, but I don't like that song anyway.

Ed Bayley <> (13.08.2000)

Yes, I think that 'Stairway to Heaven' is overrated, but that's probably 'cos I've played it to death over the last 15 years.

I can't agree with you about 'The Battle of Evermore' for me, it's the best song they ever did (along with 'Kashmir'). It's hauntingly beautiful and evocative and sounds like no other song performed before or since by anyone, anywhere.

But my favourite moment on the album has to be that moment on 'When The Levee Breaks' when the song pauses for the phased guitar chords followed by the slide guitar. Amazing!

All in all, definitely one of the greatest rock albums ever.

Paul Stadden <> (03.09.2000)

So, after dumping on rock classics such as Black Sabbath's Heaven and Hell, you've moved onto the ones that sold 15 million copies. I loved this album, and I can't stand 'Stairway to Heaven'. It was good the first trillion times I heard it. 'Black Dog' is another one of those fantastic little Rock n' Roll diddies that are great for bangin' one's head to. 'Rock n' Roll' is timeless, and 'Battle of Evermore' was great, despite what you say. 'When the Levee Breaks' is one good thumper, the bass drum part shakes the floor at high volume. 'Misty Mountain Hop' is my favorite song off here.

<> (15.10.2000)

"Black Dog" may be cock rock...but generic?...compared to what?...We're talking about 1971 here....What before 1971 sounded like this? Not even Zeppelin itself...the stop and start structure was a new wrinkle...the hoard's of bands imitating "Black Dog" may sound generic... but I don't think that makes "Black Dog" generic(guilty) by association. It's probably not among my top 20 Zep songs, but it's still quite good. "Levee Breaks.."and "Four Sticks" are my current faves on 4, and I'm still pretty keen on "Stairway", even after it's billionth radio airplay. "Rock and Roll" does what its title suggests. "Misty Mountain Hop" is a lazy, but ok rocker... it does not "suck horribly" John spelling sucks horribly sometimes...but doing the misty hop does not. The acoustic numbers are pretty, but I tend to prefer similar tunes on LZ 3, to these. May be Zeppelin's definitive record, but in my humble opinion not their best. Pretty darn good though.....

[Special author note: I should note here that "the stop and start structure" was anything BUT "a new wrinkle" - as I already pointed out in the review, it's borrowed from songs such as Fleetwood Mac's 'Oh Well' and the Who's live arrangement of 'Young Man Blues' (about the same time). That said, I would refrain from calling the song 'generic' as well, as it does sound fresher and more interesting than just about any other, including Zep's own, attempts at cock rocking.]

<> (31.10.2000)

You're comment about "Black Dog" is absolutely correct. I've heard that Mr. J.P himself has said that it was a "tribute" to Peter Green (of Fleetwood Mac, MK I). "Rock and Roll" was a hint to Little Richard. But they were (still are I think) big fans of 50's rock. ( You have permission to post this if you like)

<> (19.11.2000)

All I can say is that Sandy Denny's talents are wasted on "Battle Of Evermore"

Jason McDaniel <> (09.12.2000)

"Black Dog" may be "cock rock", but this song ROCKS! "Black Dog" and "Rock and Roll" are the definition of hard rock. "The Battle of Evermore" is probably the worst song on the album and even that isn't too bad.

Then there's "Stairway to Heaven". I know it's overplayed, the lyrics don't really make sense, and it had all the controversy about the backmasking, but I still say it is one of the greatest songs ever. "Stairway" sounds like a epic poem from the days of yore. It has a kind of medieval sound to start off, then it progressively moves toward a faster, soft rock sound before it erupts into a hard rocking classic Zep sound. It's one of the few songs that can make it as both easy listening and hard rock at the same time.

Moving on...I like "Misty Mountain Hop". The lyrics are stupid and chopped up, but I still like it...don't ask me why. "Four Sticks" isn't one of my favorites, but it's listenable. "Going to California" is very tranquil and calming. "When the Levee Breaks" is a good way to end the album. It's definitely my favorite Zep album.

Morten Felgenhauer <> (19.01.2001)

I'm a little puxxled by you people: you describe the brilliant riff of "Black Dog", which drives along with complete disrespect for the time signature of the song, and is excellently counterpointed by Bonham's steady beat, as generic. And when the "retro" rocker "Rock And Roll" is open for discussion the G-word is completely forgotten! Both songs are highlights of Led Zep's career, and so are the next two. Have you ever heard something like the dreamy "Battle of Evermore" before? Never mind the lyrics! And the facts that every aspiring guitar player in the world has to play that opening riff of "Stairway" at least once every day and radio stations playsthe song very often isn't Led Zeppelin's fault, and it doesn't lessen the listening experience for someone who listens to the song for the first time. It's eight minutes of brilliance! When an album's first half is as good as this it is slightly disappointing to hear the next three songs, although "Going To California" is pretty. "When The Levee Breaks" is unbelievably great. 9/10

PS! About any similarities the "Black Dog" riff has with other songs: ALL heavy riffs are based on the same bluesy scale and there are limits of how many variations that can be made out of this. Zep came up with a bunch of original riffs, though, and "Black Dog" is one of the better ones. I've heard the Who and Fleetwood songs mentioned, and although the MELODIES of the riffs may be similar, it is the way it's played (against the steady beat of the song) that makes it so great.

<> (27.01.2001)

Well, 'Black Dog' has drive, but the riff isn't that good. I mean, it sounds kind of underplayed, kind of repetitive. 'Rock and Roll', now that's a great one. Just goes all over, comes together, and gets me going with it. I don't hate 'Battle of Evermore' at all. It has a great melody, great acoustic guitar playing, and Robert Plant's voice...I'm not gonna bullshit you and say that it's beautiful, but it doesn't offend me in the least. I really find him quite entertaining. What I'm really trying to say here is, 'Battle of Evermore' kicks. I can at least remember the thing, so it can't be as bad as you've made it out to be. Some people complain that 'Stairway' is too long, but these are surely the same people that don't appreciate 'I Want You(She's So Heavy)'. 'Stairway' lives up to its name enough. I can feel that song taking me higher and higher until I reach the sweet orgasm of the electrict guitar and the 'as we wind on down the road...' chorus. Then it just kind of calms down and quietly leaves a small chill up my back. If you're reading this whole paragraph and not just skipping to this sentence, you can infer how I feel about 'Misty Mountain Hop' by reading my opinion on 'Battle of Evermore'. Somebody said that 'Four Sticks' is self-indulgence, but I don't see what's self-indulgent about it. The drumming is great, and the song is okay. What's the problem? 'When The Levee' breaks is overlong. The first few minutes are great, but half-way through the song just loses me. So the later-half of that one and 'Black Dog' are the only weak spots on here.

By the way, I usually fast-forward to the sixth minute or so of 'Stariway'. I also skip to 'Here Comes The Sun' after the 5:45 mark of 'I Want You'. Oh, I know these sections that I skip are masterpieces, I just want to get to the sections that I enjoy. Kind of like flipping to a particular section of a book you really like after reading the whole thing.

Kevin Baker <> (24.04.2000)

This one is really good. REALLY good. But I don't like it as much as the first two albums (it is better than LZ III though). Why not? Simple. The first album has virutally no low points, and LZ II is only really weakened by 'Moby Dick'. This one has some stinkers, one of them terminally awful. But in good time.

I like but don't like 'Black Dog'. While it's loud and raw and everything hard rock should be, I somehow feel like this song is...out of place. This one would have been a highlight on II or III or THE highlight on Physical Graffiti (except for maybe 'Kashmir'...I love that song). As it is, it becomes filler here. Plus, this album is too deep in faerie-land in lyrical terms to need cock rock.

Now I LOVE 'Rock and Roll'! A silly nostalgic peice lyrically (nuthin wrong with that though), it kicks all kinds of butt in it's short running time (especially by this album's standards). This actually was the song that got me hooked on Led Zep.

Unlike you George, I don't mind 'The Battle Of Evermore'. I love the mandolin (but I think it was Jones who played it; I saw a picture of him in concert playing one), nor does Plant ruin it form me. I actually find his delivery to be...well, not great but good. Not bad at least. The lyrics aren't great (and the line about the Prince of Peace embracing the gloom ticks me off.....), but it somehow works for me. However.......'Stairway' blows it away with ease. I honestly don't think this song is that badly overrated. It's simply awesome! The guitarwork is some of Page's best, the rhythm section is tight, and this is without a doubt Plant's high water mark vocally. One of my very favorite songs.

Now we start sliding. 'Misty Mountain Hop' has good guitars and a tight rhythm section, but Plant's tide is already going out if ya follow me here. If they had done a less Eastern-ish melody, it would have been much better.

And then 'Four Sticks'. This one is my least favorite. Poor vocals, passably good guitar and bass....but thd drums. It just doesn't work, and I don't like it. BUT They make up for it with 'Going To California', my favorite ballad out of them all! Oh, I love that one. So wearily hopeful. What exquisite pickin'! Oh, I love that one so much.

Then comes the book of Revelation as musically interpretated by Led Zep. This is a masterful blues arrangement, even better than the blues on LZ I. This song is so dark and apocalyptic. Those last two songs really do save the album from being sunk by 'MMH' and 'Four Sticks'. Nine'll do, but some of the songs on here are SO ten-worthy!

Ratko Hribar <> (18.09.2001)

A TEN, here and now !!! Hell, what do you want from me ? There's so much classics here. Where could we find so much great songs in one place ? On a Beatles album ? Surely not. Enough of the sarcasm.

We really have a lot of classics here, but that doesn't necessarily mean that they're something spectacular. For instance, 'Black Dog' is a classic but it's just a generic cock rocker, and it's completely mediocre. Apart from that I don't like 'Stairway To Heaven' too much. It's highly overrated and overplayed. The only good part of the song is near the end when they pick up the pace a little, but it lasts only two minutes, or something like that.

George, why do you think that 'Stairway To Heaven' is better than 'Rock And Roll' ? It sure isn't. But then again, I like Sabbath's 'Children Of The Sea' a lot, but you don't. So, I guess we're equal.

Except for 'Rock And Roll' I also like 'When The Leave Breaks'. But that's all. 'Misty Mountain Hop' just sucks, and even 'The Battle Of Evermore' isn't too much of a masterpiece. And those lyrics, oh, those LYRICS....... they're f***** horrible. 'Hotel California' is tolerable, and 'Four Sticks' is BARELY listenable. So, we have four more-or-less good songs here (if I include 'Stairway' and 'Battle Of Evermore').

Well, a FOUR then. What ?!!! No, that doesn't seems right. Okay, I'll give each of that songs TWO points, so that's an overall rating of EIGHT. Isn't that fair ? I think it is.

Ben Kramer <> (25.08.2002)

What?!?! A 12? What the fuck are you talking about? Are you fucking nuts? This is worth a 15, easily! Led Zeppelin are the greatest band ever, and this is their best album. I have no idea what you are trying to pull, but it isn't very funny, and it proves you know absolutely nothing about music. This album sold over 20 million copies! They must know more about music than you do. Best album ever, and the album sales prove it. Michael Jackson sucks ass, so Thriller doesn't count, and The Eagles sound gay, so screw their greatest hits album. The Wall? Second greatest album ever! Oh, I see you bitch about that one too. I think I'll add the name George Starostin to my hit list. Why is this album so great? Why did 20 million people buy this album? Well, let me tell you that 'Stairway To Heaven' is not overrated. It is, without a doubt, the greatest song ever written, except for maybe 'Comfortably Numb', which has a guitar solo to die for. I see you don't like that one either. I didn't actually read the review, but I can tell because you gave disc two of The Wall a 4. Well, let me tell you something, The Beatles can suck my dick. Sgt. Pepper is garbage, absolute garbage. I heard it once, and I nearly puked. Anyway, there are seven other songs, and they are all better than anything the Beatles could do. Hell, The Beatles couldn't even spell their fucking name! 'Black Dog' is the ultimate rock song, and 'The Battle of Evermore' is more beautiful than anything Bob Dylan could do. What's with that guy's voice anyway? I can't even sit through one Dylan song. You want good vocals and good lyrics, get some Zep on. 'Misty Mountain Hop' is bad? Oh, I see, but you like 'Satisfaction', one of the most boring and repetitive songs I have ever heard. 'When The Levee Breaks' is awesome too. John Bonham's drumming kicks ass! And I suppose you like Ginger Baker more? Dammit, start listening to this music instead of just dissing Led Zeppelin because you can't handle their greatness. 'Rock And Roll', for your information, is what rock and roll is all about. It's the second best song ever behind 'Stairway'. 'Going To California' is beautiful, beats anything John Lennon could write, that's for sure. This is a 15 if there ever was one. Jeez, you must have an ear disorder if you don't think Zep is the greatest. And by the way, Queen is the second best band ever. The third is Pink Floyd. Get your facts straight mister. I'm gonna put this album on now and be blessed with its brilliance.

Okay, you got me, that is all made up, though I was just thinking about the days when I was a Zep fanatic and decided that I could get over this nostalgia by writing this. By the way, that Queen statement was never true for me, I've never liked them. Anyway, I like this even less than you do now, though I pretty much agree with you overall.

Stephen Rutkowski <> (11.10.2003)

Ok, how am I going to go about commenting on possibly my favourite album? First of all, I agree pretty much with everything you have said on your review. ‘The Battle of Evermore’ is pretty dumb but is saved by some quality acoustic guitar work. ‘Misty Mountain Hop isn’t that bad… it would have probably sounded worse if it wasn’t so heavy. ‘Four Sticks’ is neither here nor there. Bonham provides us with an interesting drumming technique, but it doesn’t really produce the goods. Page’s riff is good but is so thin. Perhaps a few more guitar overdubs would have improved the riff? The best part is the interlude as Nick Karn has already stated.

But let’s move onto the highlights. In my eyes these are five of the greatest tracks ever recorded. The album begins with Page “warming up” his guitar for ‘Black Dog’. Page provides a tremendous riff. Page, Jones and Bonham combine wonderfully, however I could do without Plant’s cock rocking attitude. The start-stop nature is what makes the song and was very original for myself (not having heard the tracks you mentioned). ‘Rock and Roll’ and is a hard and fast throwback to well… rock and roll music. Ian Stewart guest stars to provide the piano. The riff is tremendous, and Bonham excels on the drums. ‘Stairway to Heaven’ is simply fantastic. I haven’t heard it much on radio so there can be no complaints there. I believe that the introduction features a recorder, one of the few times this instrument has been used in such a song. Plant puts in possibly his greatest performance on vocals. The song contains a delightful ‘building up’ feel before the all explosive conclusion. ‘Going to California’ is the greatest ballad that Led Zeppelin ever recorded. It was actually inspired by a song titled ‘California’ by Joni Mitchell. Initially it was supposed to be a song about the earthquakes that often threaten the state, but in the end turned into Plant’s search for a beautiful woman. And some Tolkien bits were thrown in for good measure.

And the absolute zenith of the album is the closing track ‘When the Levee Breaks’. It of course features the famous thundering drums. The sound was produced by Bonham placing his kit at the bottom of a stairwell, (or was it a hallway?) and placing a few microphones overhead. Anyway, I have never heard anything like it. Page plays another fantastic riff, and Plant shows that he was pretty good on harmonica. His voice also does the job on this track. I don’t feel that the track is overlong, to me it is seven minutes of bliss. So is this really my favourite album? I can’t answer that one as songs such as ‘The Battle and Evermore’ and ‘Four Sticks’ really do bring it down a wrung or two. Hey, but it’s the only one that features something as remarkable as ‘When the Levee Breaks’.

Bob Josef <> (06.01.2004)

Their most diverse album yet, I suppose, but that's not necessarily a good thing, since the song quality varies widely from great to hideous. The two opening rockers and "Misty Mountain Hop" are more riff than song, and Plant's lyrics to these are incredibly dumb. And "Hop" has a particularly dumb melody to go along with the words. "When the Levee Breaks" has an intriguing heavy sound, but the song itself is rather monotonous. My taste runs towards more to the acoustic stuff. "Going to California" is nice, but Plant just can't resist overdoing it on the bridge, with his shrieks and the ravings about the gods giving him a punch on the nose or something. A big disagreement about "The Battle of Evermore," though. The lyrics are indeed another silly Tolkien rip-off, but I do like the atmosphere the song evokes, with Plant's voice and Sandy's counterpoint successfully conjuring up images of war. And, of course, there is the beautiful "Stairway," which works brilliantly. Of course, one can't follow the lyrics at all. But the melody works, the electric solo is great and Plant saves his screams for the climax, which is appropriate for once. All in all, though, the album is a very mixed bag.

Mark <> (09.01.2004)

Well then. When you have got one of the most popular and overplayed albums of all time, what more can you add? This album is amazing, but it never has been one of my faves doe to the overexposure on radio, parties etc etc. "Black Dog" I have a love/hate thing with. I love the guitar sounds, drums, solo, even the vocals I can take, but the stop/start thing, while it's neat happens too much for my liking. Everytime the band gets a groove going, BOOM! Another stop. Depends what mood I'm in when I listen to it. "Rock And Roll" is fantastic. I must have blown 10 sets of speakers with this track. There is only one way to hear this and really appreciate it. LOUD!!!!! And I gotta listen to it three or four times in a row. I hear that opening drum pattern and it's like I got 10 million volts shot through me. "The Battle Of Evermore" again has Bobby's silly (to me) Tolkian lyrics, but I like it for the atmosphere, with the mandolin and acoustic guitar playing off each other rather ! nicely. Sandy Denny is amazing on this too. What's next...oh yeah, "Stairway To Heaven". I don't listen to this one much. I've heard it about 10 billion times. But when I do hear it, I am just fucking blown away. This song is one of the most popular songs of all time for a reason; it's one of the best. If you can stomach it, put it on UNBIASED and listen to it. It's a masterpiece. From the intro with Joney's mellotron flutes, to Jimmy's layering of guitars, to Bonzo's awesome drumming and Page's fantastic guitar solo, this is a fucking classic. Yeah, it's overplayed, but that doesn't make it any less of a masterpiece. (I always think of what Zep's "contemporaries/competition" thought when they heard this. I can just picture Iommi, or Blackmore or Beck or Grand Funk or anyone, just listening to this and going "Holy shit!!!! There is no way in hell we are going to be able to top this". Fanciful, but I would not want to be Iommi realizing that this was what he had to co! mpete with). "Misty Mountain Hop" is okay. I don't seem to hate it as much as everyone else does. I like it mainly for the harmonized guitar solo, and for when Plant wails "And baby baby baby do you like it" which blows me away. "Four Sticks" I used to absolutely hate, until one day I heard it and fell in love with it for the groove and Joney's great synth part. More annoying Plant singing though (there goes the bonus points from "Misty Mountain Hop"). "Going To California" I admit that I adore. Great tune, nice sound, and Plant sings it with passion and (get this) restraint!!!! Wow. Never thought I'd see the day that he sings like he cares (unlike "Thank You" from II where his sincerity is obviously forced). Love the lyrics and vibe on this one. "Levee" of course, boasts one of the best ever drum sounds. It's just maaaaasssssiiivvvvvvvve. BOOOOM- BOOM BOOM CRRRRASSSSHHHHH. Plant's harmonica work is stellar, Jones once again is bang on, and Jimmy plays some nice licks which prove he can be "heavy" without all the distortion. Nice slide work on! that one too.

Someone mentioned the production......great point, one that most people miss. The instruments and voices blend so well together that it's almost impossible to picture the album any other way. All the instruments are crisp, the drums sound like rockets going off inside your head, the bass is full, and Plant's voice rides the songs comfortably without being intrusive or being smothered by the guitars. This is the album to prove to everyone that Page was one of the best producers ever. (The production on I was great, but II and III get slammed for the production, although I love 'em a lot...personally, I think IV is a little too neat and tidy, but....). I think that this album is possibly Page's high water mark as a producer, and it's one of his many talents that gets overlooked. Anyway, although I am a little jaded on this album due to radio playing the shit out of it for 30 years, it's fantastic. 9/10 for me.

Fernando H. Canto <> (21.03.2003)

A-ha! (and I don't mean the 80's synth-pop group) The Sacred One! The classic album! No, I'm not ape about it. Yes, it's got 'Stairway To Heaven'. It blew me away when I first listened to it, 3 or 4 years ago. What a gorgeous thing! Unfortunately, I have found much more gorgeous things along the way, and they were all written by Mike Oldfield (sorry, but I just got inspired by Mike DeFabio describing Bonham's drum sound as "tubular" above. Funny! "Plus, TUBULAR DRUMS! Ba-boom, bash, ba-boom, ba-boom bash!" LOL). So, the song doesn't inspire me anymore. It's good, but not great. If you want classics, go swallow some 'A Day In The Life' or 'Bohemian Rhapsody'. Those are fantastic songs. But 'When The Levee Breaks'... well, that one is kinda fantastic. Powerful, angry, visceral, yet classy! It sounds like a very grey day, a storm, strong winds, thunder, you know the rest. Aside from that, there isn't much candy on here. 'Black Dog' is amusing, and rocks pretty mad. Those rhythm twists are quite cool. 'Rock And Roll'? What's so special about that one? Never sounded more than a generic, uncatchy rock tune. It ISN'T anything but a generic, uncatchy rock tune. Why should I like it more than 'Living Loving Maid'? 'Battle Of Evermore' has a mandoline. If you want mandoline, go listen to mr. M.O., instead. Don't like this one, much. 'Misty Mountain Hop' is quite amusing, though. The electric piano riff, the improvised lyrics... so stupid, it's great! 'Four Sticks' is kinda bland... what's up with the "innovations", anyway? A mandoline! Drumming with four sticks! So what? I don't care. I like 'Going To California', though. It's easily among the best songs in the album. In fact, it's my second, right after 'When The Levee Breaks'! Yeah. Talking like that, the album pretty sucks. But I don't mind it. It keeps me entertained. 11/10.

PS: Did you know mr. M.O. sampled the drums of 'When The Levee Breaks' for some of his songs? Listen to 'Magellan', off The Songs Of Distant Earth. On second thought, don't.

Matt(the great)Byrd <> (13.07.2005)

oh my goodness, Led Zeppelin, with these guys, I agree with you on all kinds of points. My pick for best song, though, would not be 'Stairway To Heaven', no, I'd pick either 'Rock and Roll' or 'When The Levee Breaks'. 'Rock and Roll' is a great, romping number, this is an ode to rock and roll at it's biggest, this is the embodiment of what Zeppelin were, this is self-praising, but the good kind, not the sickening kind, this is a FUN song. 'When the Levee Breaks' is blues menace, this is the kind of stuff the Rolling Stones did in their great streak. The song is enhanced by the thunderous effects that the band put in, 'When the Levee Breaks' is electric blues at its best........ the rest of the album, though? It falls short greatness.

samo kodela <> (01.02.2006)

Led zeppelin IV is the album on which Zep further expanded their writting power.Five of the eight songs are absolutely unbeliveable!!! The album is certainly not overrated, as it is very obvious, how much true quality there is in these songs. Great melodies, combined with Page's artistic riffing and soloing, that became less frestyled and more articulated, since the first album.Drumming is powerfull and bass and keyboards add nice little touches. The biggest Zep keyboard albums are ofcourse Zep I, Houses , Physicall and In through.As far as no names being on the album, that's the point! It's not noted that it's Zep, yet everybody emediately knew it was them. It's just that the media claimed they were hyped and they decided to prove the opposite, by not giving any information on the album.'STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN'S' INTRO PART IS COMPLETELY ORIGINAL, but it might have been inspired by various compositions, but Spirit's 'Taurus' is way, way too far removed from Page's very original composition. So Page certainly didn't copy the melody from anywhere!!! Another thing here are the fantastic lyrics and there are no biblical allusions here,. The heaven thing is just a metaphor, for a women that is trying to buy good things in life, that just can't be bought!!The vocal melody of 'Stairway' is absolutely amazing.and written by Page and Plant! It's soo beautifull and complex with many, many chords and Plant sings it so wonderfully and honestly. He starts soft and then it just goes towards sheer power!!!!!'Keep-a-knocking' was just an inspiration for 'Rock and roll' intro but it's different.As far as Zep being similar to The Who, i think they have their own style on all instruments and just because Plant is blonde, like Daltrey it doesn't mean anything!!As far as Tolkien influences go, they are only in 'Ramble on' and 'Battle of evermore'. I think those lyrics are good and in 'Ramble on' it's just a bit of a spice and it's not there because Plant couldn't write good lyrics without it!!Let's talk about the songs now:'Black dog' has a fantastic Jones written riff and there is George manipulating againg, saying the riff has nothing to do with Page and not saying it has a lot to do with Jones, and therefore making it look, like the riff is stolen.Everything in the song is great!! Great solo at the end, wild mid section, amazing a'cappela vocals with a fine melody and in fine bluesy lyrics snd there are other little touches in the song, as well as solid bass and drumming, like always!!'Rock and roll' is a very hard rocking track with a rock and roll riff in Jimmy's style and the hard rocking in Zep style. Lyrics are great, because they are not cliched and the amazingly constructed solo and powerfull vocals absolutely rock!!!!'Battle of evermore' is good and melodic and Sandy Denny adds nice touches,. There might be a bit to much of ohs and ahs, but it's the mourning after the dead, that were killed in the war. 'Stairway to heaven' has all Zep elements together, in the best way. The blending of acoustic and electric, Jones adding all kinds of instruments, amazing drum fills, the greatest rock solo ever and the climax thing, that just rises from a gentle, beautifull and complex melody, further and further into the nirvana of the coda, until it stops, in the quiet hummming of Plant's voice!!!'Misty mountain hop' is a funny song, that has eastern elements in it and lyrics about smoking grass in the park and the police coming and all kinds of trouble happens, so you have to go to the misty mountains, to enjoy it peacefully. The riff is gooofy, and the entire band performs nicely, especially Bonzo!!This song along with 'Battle' and 'Four sticks' is among the slightly less good songs. Anyway 'Four sticks' is very artistic, with complex rythm patterns and overdubbed acoustic guitars and it's very indian sounding. The lyrics are very mystirious.'Going to California' is one of the most fantastic ballads they ever wrote and one of the most fantastic in the world!The melody is wonderfull and the mandolin part is lyrically beautifull!!!' When the leeve breaks' is the only song with a melody from old blues, but the melody is changed and the song is partially credited to old blues man. The drumming is earth shaking and so is everything else, especially the slide solo and harmonicass. The end of the record is very strong and even George had to admit it. One of the greatest records ever but not my favourite Zep record!!!!(9/10)

David Dickson <> (02.02.2006)

Now look here you. We here in the American Americas of America don't take kindly to this bashing of Led Zeppelin's best American: Untitled America. Why don't you America that America up your America, and then we'll Americasdaicmareicm,a

HEY! What's Michelle Malkin doing on my keyboard? Scram, you alley cat! Sorry, George. That thing just keeps rushing out of her hole in the wall when I'm not looking. I'm gonna hafta call the Orkin guy ag-- Oh, but what's this? She has a problem with THIS review? Yeah, you go girl! He has the nerve to disagree with US. We can't have THAT in our house. Sniff.

Okay, seriously. I'm not a neo-con, nor am I an American, my evil twin "David"'s claims notwithstanding. But good thing you like the other five songs, 'cause I have a serious "beef" to "ban due to mad cow disease" with your reasoning on these three.

First, experimentation??? I hear it not in "Misty Mountain Hop", nor the Eastern influences you cite. It's no more an Eastern song, in my estimation (10 to the third power), than "Helter Skelter" is a jazz tune (and people DO make claims to that effect). It's hardcore blues taken to it's simplest and grossestly excessive extreme--and it works because of that, because it's so over-the-top and over-heavy and over-screechy. They may be milking the oldest (and simplest) hard rock riff in the book, but you can't go wrong with it, especially if you go the whole hog with it like these guys do. Kind of like the Stooges, except with actual heaviness and a decent singer. That's my reasoning, anyway.

"Four Sticks" is much the same, except not as heavy and gross and more atmospheric. I'll forgive you on this song--not even too many fans of the record listen to it. But I like it, dammit. It's their first hard rock song with no guitar solos in it whatsoever, and they make it work. Actually, I hated it on first three listens too.

Now there's "Battle of Evermore." Eh, I give up an offensive line on that one. This may just be my "political science" personality talking, but I think literary-minded folks concentrate WAY too much on who ripped off what author when it comes to music. I've read Lord of the Rings, too (although these lyrics might not be from there, per se), and I could not care less that Plant is rivalling Page for outright plagiarism.

That said, if you hate the musical part, then that's just a difference of opinion, there. Uriah Heep, however, smell of calculation and theater from their head to their toe, whereas these guys. . . I don't smell it from them. I think they're actually trying to get "into" the style they're playing, rather than just convey its superficial elements to a willing public. Parody, my ass.

Come to think of it, some critics have lambasted "Munich" for being a poor- man's ripoff of the "Dirty Dozen." My philosophy: Forget everything you know about anything non-music related before listening to an album. That's how I was able to enjoy XTC's sophomorically self-important "Dear God" despite the awful-itude of the lyrics. And that's how I got through Gang of Four's Entertainment! alive.

Maybe "Stairway" IS a little overrated and overplayed, I'll grant. But when you think about it, it's the first song they recorded that actually sounds crafted and composed from start to finish, instead of just padded out with wank sessions. Particularly long songs. By this band's standard, the song is a milestone. By the world's, it's just one gem among hundreds.

To be honest, I don't like this album nearly as much as I once did, but I will still grant that it is Led Zeppelin's best. On One, they were on fire, but frankly, they were just jamming. Here, they actually bother to write songs on a consistent basis for the first time. I respect that, and reward that. The Kinks were still kicking their ass in '71, though.

P.S.: AH HELL!! I SPELLED 'Zhirinovsky' WRONG!! WHAT KIND OF KOPF AM I?? SCHEISS??? Shows you how well I was treated at HIS New Years party. So THAT explains being stripped naked and tossed into the Moscow River. . .

Panos Kakaviatos <> (15.02.2006)

George, Here are me thoughts on the Untitled Led Zep album... Using your scale: 10 and 14 overall. Thanks for your indulgence here...

A magnificent album. All the songs are good. All of them. To heck with nay saying intellectuals both latter-day and yesteryear.

Let's being with 'Black Dog'. What I really like about this song is not so much the stop and go quality, which is appealing. No, what is really original about this is the manner with which the guitar-driven beat is set off from the 'Hey Baby, Woah Baby' lines. That one-two-three / one-two-three punch style guitar driven beat is much more like a repeated menacing wave - matched with Page's very fine solo work. Superb. (10/10).

Then comes 'Rock and Roll'. Quick and hard and, as you wrote George, it really gets one moving. A real stomper, laid thick with guitar, beefily backed up by the band with almost impetuous percussion, a great bass line and rock and roll piano. Yet, it also manages to be oh so smooth in style. Yep, another 10 for 10.

Is 'The Battle of Evermore', as you have written, so pretentious? Ney. Nyet. Nein. Oxi. So Robert Plant liked hobbits and such. His job as a rock singer is not to recreate great literature however, but he is certainly free to quote from it, or something like it. At least that is fine by me. I did not take offence. Ever more so because the music and lyrics here are very listenable (until the end, I grant thee), both creating yet another dark mood, accentuated by Sandy Denny's singing. Nothing wrong with that. In fact, this gets a high score for allowing a breather after two such hard rockers, while bringing back the dark mood of 'Black Dog'. Yes, I could have done without the somewhat repetitive ending however and thus knock it a notch (Bring it, bring it, bring it AHHHHHH). Yes, ahhhh indeed. (9/10).

'Stairway to Heaven'. It has been overplayed on the radio. Perhaps one should ask why? The answer: It is a bloody great song. What can I add to the plaudits of most all music reviews, including George's and even from all skeptics? One thing though: it is hardly heavenly. It is again IMHO a dark song. 10/10

I have always liked 'Misty Mountain Hop'. What a cool longish riff with a progressively powerful guitar, which, again, remains stylish. I like how it is not typical hard rock. A mantra to the hippies? Maybe. The lyrics are certainly fun and not dark in this case. They asked us to stay for tea and have some fun! Sure I'm having fun with this, taking a good look at myself and describing what I see. I may not always like that, but this song is cool, particularly the way it plays off Bonham's drums: I really like the power drum roll towards the end. 9/10, if only because I like 'Black Dog' more.

'Four Sticks' returns us to a moody, dark ambiance, and... I like it. It has a menacing guitar line, and then what I think is John Paul Jones' synthesizer creating that cool moodiness pierced by Page's bright clangy guitar volleys and again John Paul Jones sometimes complex bass lines. Perhaps Plant howls way too much, but it is all backed up by Bonham's use of... four sticks. And I give it... 9 points.

When I was 11 years old (almost 30 years ago, egads), I always avoided 'Going to California'. Actually, going to the state, I did not avoid, as I went on a very nice family trip, if I can recall. But I digress. You know, I was more into the pre-adolescent hard rock genre (at least I liked Zep, a bunch of other youngsters at the time liked KISS. Ouch), and I was put off by this folk song. Well, one lives and learns. This song is a very pretty one. Plant's singing is clear and plaintive, and I love the guitar work behind it and how it builds towards an eerie climax. Very nice. 9/10

But save the best for last, right? 'When the Levee Breaks' is awe-inspiring. Yes, we all by now have read about how the band recorded it, in a large manor, where they had Bonham playing drums I think in the basement, but had set up microphones all over to get an echo-like amplified effect. Gees, it worked. The drums are among the most impressive ever heard in song, because they drive it, unleashing a guitar and harmonica-infused fury whose end effect is epic, yet also strangely carefully disciplined. This is easily a top five best Led Zeppelin song and certainly the best on this album (as impressive as Stairway is, I much prefer the simpler yet more formidable WTLB) 10+/10.

So this LP gets a 10 and an overall 14.

Tagbo Munonyedi <> (20.03.2006)

I've not listened to music radio since '76. I know it fulfills a crucial role and has done since the 40s & 50s, but I can't stand the idea of some DJ selecting what I listen to, even if it is only for 8 minutes.....( stairway reference no.1 ). So all the albums I've heard hundreds of times, I've done so by choice. I've rated this album highly from the first time I heard it 26 years ago. With one exception, I think the songs are bloody marvelous, the mighty chimbonda !

I stand by my assertion that being heavy metal gods was not part of Page and Jones' initial game plan and that their subsequent status was accidental. In late 60s tradition, diversity was the thing and the previous album was something of a catch up excercise. The blend on "4" is perhaps the best so far, although none of the albums were mono - dimensional.

So much has been said about STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN that it's hard to come up with anything new. A few thoughts, however. There is an unlikely precedent / blueprint for this song in GALLOWS POLE from 3, it has the same quiet start, the same gentle yet dark opening lyric, sung rather touchingly, it builds acoustically, gradually, then mid way through the drums come in and not quietly either, they slam in; musically and vocally the song just becomes more and more intense with wails and solos made of fire, with the requisite electricity . The difference is that STAIRWAY has a quiet ending. The lyrics are all over the place yet they really work - they begin as a Dylanesque put down of a woman Plant was with at the time ( Plant's own admission ) then they develop into what sounds like an acid trip ( 'rings of smoke through the trees'.....seeing voices...) with some hippie obscurities thrown in, before returning to have a go at the lady once again. It's a neat song and one thing that struck me is how little Jones' bass does. A real feature of their previous songs is that when Page solos, Jones usually puts something really interesting behind it, almost soloing himself. But not here. On this one his bass part is 3 notes. Obviously it's just the lines, but it's so uninteresting that it took me 26 years to even notice the bass ! ROCK AND ROLL lyrically is an interesting song that catches it's writer caught between being a married man with commitments and being the rock'n'rolling cockrocker on the road. It's quite sad, really. The music, however, is Zeppelin at their headbangingest. It's a throwback to COMMUNICATION BREAKDOWN in the sense that it's got that real headshaking rhythm. It's such an exuberant episode, on the bits where Plant sings " lonely lonely lonely lonely lonely ", where the music stops, I can't help chanting HOON-TUTU-HOON-TUTU in time with Bonham's drums. Beware, listening to this may give you brainshake.....GOING TO CALIFORNIA is for me the nadir of the album but it's still a lovely track, the guitar and mandolin interplays are beautiful. So much is made of the fact that Bonham plays FOUR STICKS with 4 sticks, but in truth, it sounds almost no different to playing with 2 sticks. But the polyrhythmic drumming is quite complex and I can imagine him collapsing at the end of each take, coz it's such an energetic piece. I think it may feature their first use of the synthesizer, too. The lyrics are part 2 of STAIRWAY, if you ask me. If you took the first 2 or 3 and the last 2 verses of that song and added them to STICKS, you'd get a more complete song than either. And Plant's improvising in the runout points the way to his eastern / Moroccan - ish stylings in the years to come. About 24 years ago, I was thumbing in a bookstore through a book on the 60s and I remember on one page during 1967 ( I think it was '67 ), there was a black and white photo of this drug protest and it was full of hippies with placards and banners and they said things like " FREE BOB PLANT " and " BOB PLANT IS INNOCENT " and " LEGALIZE CANNIBIS " and the photo caption said " What ? The Robert Plant ? ". Apparently, he was busted for drugs in his pre - Zeppelin days ( I've no idea of the outcome ). Which may put a slightly different slant for some on the brilliant MISTY MOUNTAIN HOP. I loved this track from the first time I heard it and I dig it more now....It has the laziest riff in all heavydom and those glorious electric pianos really bolster that great riff and it is such a jaunty, bouncy little tune. WHEN THE LEVEE BREAKS was originally written in 1928 by this cute blues woman known as Memphis Minnie ! But Zep's version bears little resemblence to it - in fact, though they were terrible in the way they plundered ancient sources without crediting where they'd gotten the pieces, I can understand why, because their versions bear little relation to the original. And none of them were real purists in the Clapton / Mayall / Korner / Brian Jones mode. If this track owes to anyone, it's to the Beatles in " RAIN ", it really reminds me of it, it has that same dense, heavy drugged feel.It's a fantastic track, it sounds so despairing and moany in good old blues tradition. It's not a thousand miles away from ROCK AND ROLL, lyrically. BLACK DOG has one of the most complicated riffs yet devised and it does stylistically borrow heavilly from OH WELL by the Mac ( I think there may be a little element of RATTLESNAKE SHAKE there too, but don't quote me on that if there's a lawsuit ! ) though YOUNG MAN'S BLUES came out the same year; it could be a lift, given Zeppelin's penchant for such, ah, liberation ( a term we used for theft in my younger days ). And if it is cock rock, it is at least fairly tasteful cock rock, the narrator starts off with all the bravado and lust, but he gets well and truly burned and has to eat some serious humble pie. It's the son of DRIVE MY CAR in some ways although it's real daddy is the blues. Musically it's a tour de force, an inventive Jones riff and a sloppilly magnificent Page solo doing the biz. BATTLE OF EVERMORE is one of my faves, the lyrics are kind of medieval but Tolkien, acid, goblins and the twee memories of an English past had combined in a powerful way and it would be a long time before this kind of lyric departed. For some it never did. I love Page's raw mandolin - he'd never played one before this and as such, puts a completely different spin on the way we normally hear the instrument. Sorry, but I'm a sucker for this tune and Sandy Denny doesn't sound that dissimilar to Robert Plant ! Jests aside, although Zep did 4 or 5 songs with minimal backing vocals, that's one side of their game that they never developed, shame really....

Funnilly enough, I think the production ain't all that hot, but let's face it , good production can't save shitty albums, I do not believe all the studio trickery in the world is going to make a song that just does not have it....similarly, if there's good songs there, average production should be by the by. And there are 8 good songs here.

<> (24.07.2006)

Now this is another five star output in my mind. They realized that they were better at rock when it was the main focus, and boy does it show. No two opening songs have quite the all out destructive force of "Black Dog" and "Rock and Roll". Especially the latter one. Everytime I put that on in the car I'm tempted to put the petal to the metal (definately no pun ment there). Heck, "BD" even has some great writing. "Won't take too long till I find out/ What people mean by down and out." "the Battle of Evermore" is a nice little ballad in my mind. Then...well, I don't want to ramble about the stair song, but it is not in the least bit overrated. It is just plain fantastic. The second side is just as good to me. I love "Misty Mountain Hop"...its not there best, but how can you hate it? The solo fits perfectly, it sounds great, your confused. "Four Sticks" has that great caravan vibe...its kinda weird, but not in a "Friends" sense...or maybe it is, but the exact opposite quality wise. The last two songs are porbably the best ending to any of there albums. "Going to California" is the most believable ballad they have ever done. Evertime I listen, if feel the heartbreak that is told. And I nearly cry everytime I hear the lovely line, "The sea was red and the sky was grey/ I wondered how tommorow could ever follow today!" That would be a fantastic closur, but then they just explode your eardrums with, quite possibly, their best song...yes, I said it, their best song ever! "When the Levee Breaks" is just plain manic perfection. Its so good that they couldn't even performe it live. They took time to perfect it. And boy does it show. I swaer, a levee does break everytime I play it! Overall, this album is a continual tour de force. While the first album is still the best in my mind, this is there most consitantly satisfying. 10/10


Lionel Maréchal <> (12.07.2004)

Glad that you review this one. I bought it the very day of its release and I wasn't disappointed. Well, actually I was slighly disappointed at first listen, but only because many Zepsters told me that TSRTS sucked, thus making me think that this one would be much better. But after one more listen, I came to realize that it is, as far as I'm concerned, better. First shock : the SOUND! incredibly powerful, just listen to the intro of "Whole Lotta Love" to hear it, it's the same 3 notes as usual but it blows me away each time I listen to it. Actually it seems a bit "doctored", the tapes have been cleaned up and remastered, I don't think the spectators actually heard this sound.... anyway the sound is great. The mix is good, I can hear Jones well (I'm a bassist myself, you can guess I care about hearing the bass), and Plant is a bit under-mixed (good news, given his usual obnoxiousness...).

As for the performances themselves, they rule! "Immigrant Song" goes with such energy and heaviness, it simply annihilates the studio version and even the BBC one. Same thing for "Over The Hills", "Heartbreaker" is good as usual (Page's solo is quite funny). Only a few songs suffer from Plant's performance : "Since I've Been..." could be good if not for his unbearable stuttering (my favourite live version is still the one from the TSRTS movie, the BBC one isn't great either). The acoustic set is nice (is it me or is "Bron-Y-Aur Stomp" faster and bouncier than before ?). I still don't care for "Stairway To Heaven" (no live version can equal the studio one anyway). As for "Dazed And Confused", I miss the "San Francisco" part of the TSRTS version but after the bow solo it's just perfect, Jones and Bonham pound mercilessly and Page's playing is more fluid and inventive than on the aforementionned TSRTS version (Plant is still obnoxious, though), the breaks between the parts seem more fluent too (it took me several listens to spot the exact moment on which they begin the riff of "Walter's Walk"). Classic! You described perfectly WLL, I won't add anything. What about "Rock And Roll"? it is simply the version I dreamed about since I heard TSRTS: raw, exciting, even faster, and this time with a perfect sound and a decent performance from Plant. And "Bring It On Home" is a good surprise : the original muddy blues (self ?)-parody is turned into a vehicle for cute call-and-answers between Page and Plant's harmonica (sometimes I think this guy should use it more often ; a bit of harmonica in the long jams would be better than his usual screams, wouldn't it ?) and later between Page and Bonham (that's funnier than those endless "Moby Dick" solos).

I really think that with a better singer (like, say, Ian Gillan), this could be the ultimate hard rock/heavy metal live experience ! Yes, I admit it, I like this stuff. On my scale, I'd rate HTWWW 9(13). Yes, I think Led Zep deserve 4 stars. On your scale, though, I really believe it deserves a 9(12) ; I understand that you prefer BBC Sessions because the spirit of the first album is still here, but it is better than TSRTS so I think it merits one more point, even without "No Quarter". Well, after all "a 13 is a 12 on a bad day and a 14 on a good day", so when I'm on a bad day and you're on a good day we can agree.

Oh, the title comes from a western movie.

Am I the only one who think that this concert's structure is very close to the Who's concerts of 1969-1970 ? It begins with a solid rocker with a great guitar solo to boot ("Heaven and Hell" / "Immigrant Song"), then a few other rockers, including a stop-start song ("Young Man Blues" / "Black Dog") ; then they go for more "subtle" things ("Tatoo" / "Since...") ; there's a multi-part song with a rousing climax ("A Quick One" / "Stairway"). Then they part ways : the Who launch into Tommy while Led Zep do their acoustic set and their long improvisations ("Dazed", "Moby Dick"). After that, the Who play a couple rock'n'roll songs ("Summertime Blues", Shaking All Over") before doing they trademark song, their main anthem, lengthened by a long medley ("My Generation") ; Led Zep reverses the order ("Whole Lotta Love", and then "Rock And Roll" and "The Ocean"). Both end with a minor, initially short, song but use it as a pretext for collective improvisation! ("Magic Bus" / "Bring It On Home"). I realize my comparisons are sometimes forced, and that the Who tend to do better (except for "AQO" versus "Stairway", although "AQO" becomes better on stage while "Stairway" becomes worse), but it seems interesting to me. Hey, I don't want to say LZ copycatted the 'Oo, I just want to say it's an interesting coincidence.

samo kodela <> (01.02.2006)

How the west was won is the best Zep live album and the greatest live (hard) rock album ever!!!My favourite is still The song remains the same, probably because i'm more used to it. Roberts voice on this one absolutely shines with power and it's as high pitched as it was in the early Zep!!His most stunning performances are 'Immigrant song', 'Over the hills and far away' and 'Stairway to heaven'!!! The acoustic numbers are great and developed much further!!! The keyboards are not there much, as they are only there in 'Since i've been loving you' and 'Stairway'!!I wish there would be 'No quarter' too, so sometimes we do aggre George.The drumming is so powerfull and dynamic and Moby Dick is amazing and much more varied, wild and complex then the one on TSRTS sondtrack. The overall sound is also much thicker as far as the guitar goes and the sound is much more more powerful because it's still the earyl, vintage Zep!!!The most amazing things are the riffs and the solos!Jimmy's playing is so intense, wild and filled with so many licks, walls of sound, patterns and melodies that it is like it's from another universe or ten million musical universes putted together. The most amazing solos are in 'Immigrant', 'Heartbreaker', 'Black dog', 'Over the hills' , 'Stairway' , 'Dazed' and 'Whole lotta love' that also includes an entairtaining medley of old rock and roll and blues songs.'Rock and roll' is played powerfully with Plant singing as high as on the album!!'Bring it on home' is far, far extended and Jimmy and Bonzo are doing amazing things by mocking each other, so that Jimmy makes a phrase and Bonzo is actually capable of repeating it with the drums in a melodic way and he doesn't even have many drums!!The bass playing is fantastic especially in 'Dazed and confused' , 'Immigrant song' and 'Black dog'!!!'What is' is very powerfull and Jimmy's slide solo is played beautifully. 'Dancing days' is great with a lot of wah wah!! 'The ocean' is a groovy performance by the entire band and Plant just rocks it!!!'Since i've been loving you' is better in the studio version, as far as the vocals go, but the guitar solo is unbeliveable!!Zep did develope their music much further live, by constantly expanding their material further and further, constantly improvising and doing that in a great way!!They also changed the sound of many songs live .Deep purple who are far, far, far from being as good as Zeppelin, and are basically heavy metal, just didn't know, how to produce their studio tracks and so their songs sounded better live.Zep knew how to do that, but they still developed their songs much, much further, by adding al sorts of things and everybody was constantly improvising and responding to other band members, while Purple pretty much played the same every night!!!

This album is indeed the greatest live rock album of all time and the title How the west was won comes from a western movie and it's a great thing Zep used it, because they certinly conqured the entire western world and they are coming too Russia soon after Bonham gets reincarned into a rabbit with the fast bass drum foot, so George Starostin watch out, Plantie is coming at you with a butcher knife(aaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrghhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!).(10/10)


Mike DeFabio <> (24.08.99)

Not bad... not great. 'The Song Remains The Same' is a good one. 'The Rain Song' is good. 'Over The Hills And Far Away' is good. 'The Crunge' is... STUPID but good. 'Dancing Days' is good. 'No Quarter' is REEEAL good. REAL REAL REAL REAL good. And 'The Ocean' is good. So... since these songs are all good... why do I not like this album so much?

Maybe it's because 'D'yer Maker' is a piece of worthless crap! That'll bring the grade down a bit! There's only SEVEN good songs on here, dangit! That bugs me a little, so I give this an eight.

Glenn Wiener <> (14.09.99)

Again every song I'm familiar with from classic rock radio. I will admit that this is probably their best effort in my humble opinion. 'No Quarter' is undoubtedly my favorite song with a stunning guitar riff and an eerie mood. Even Plant gives one of his better vocal performances. 'Dyer Maker', 'Dancing Days', and 'The Crunge' have pretty catchy riffs as well.'Rain Song' is a little long but it has some pretty arrangements. Gosh, I actually said positive things about five of the eight songs on the record. The others are definitely toelrable. Who knows, maybe this will be my one and only Zep Purchase. 'No Quarter' is one great song!

José Humberto Mesquita Filho <> (03.10.99)

And then they were huge. Biggest rock and roll act in the face of Earth. The Beatles of the Seventies. They could do whatever they felt like. And so they did.

The strange cover with some naked children under a orange sky is strangely inviting - you just don't have a clue of what this piece of plastic could contain. Could be anything. And as you kick it in, a fierce guitar drops your head to the ground. One, two... seventeen loud distorted guitars playing fast different sequences with perfect harmony, like an orchestra. Looks like we got the Berlin Philarmonic playing Gibson electric guitars through lots of amps. It's rock at its full greatness, kicking our sorry mortal asses. And they go up and they go down like a Roller Coaster (or Russian Mountain, as we call it over here in Brazil), and they take us round the world, many many times. It's the Zeppelin - it's "The Song Remains the Same". And those guys are ferocious - J. P. Jones bass is tense, loud. Bonham's drumming is all guts. Plant's not singing, he's howling and inviting the listener to go round the Earth. And Mr. Jimmy Page is the conductor and the responsible for all this flow of violent emotions, sending cold cold chills down our spinal cords. "as we go down SLIDING SLIDING SLIDING..." - what the hell does that mean? I dunno, I'm sliding too fast and just can't think straight now. It's too fast, waay tooo faaast.... And then, one gentle yet powerful acoustic guitar chord breaks our fall. "The Rain Song" gets in, softly but firmly. It's pure beauty, Page and Plant are making their music go straight to our hearts. "Upon us all, a little rain must fall.". Indeed. That takes us to track three, which best describes the 'light and shade' aspect of Led Zeppelin's sound. It's lyrics are simple, just very simple, and the folkish melody is gorgeous .Then a heavy riff enters. Just turn up the volume and open the car window. Allow that wind to blow your hair. The song ROCKS.

The sequence described above is enough to make an album a classic - a TRUE classic, that is. They showed one little thing, which is TALENT. These are very gifted musicians. Only the great (Beatles, Stones, Who) can put their souls into the music. And what music!

But there's more. Altough "The Crunge" is just a pain in the ass, and "Dancin' Days" is an OK rock 'n roll song (but oh-so-repetitive), we got something different here. There's a reggae song that could annoy us weren't for Bonzo's brilliant drumming. It's strong, it's party time. If you don't like reggae, any kind of reggae (even some great Bob Marley songs), skip this one. It's not meant for you. It's meant for that legion of 'empty-headed' people that happen to enjoy a little boogie, you know. Or those 'nasty pot smokers'. After you go past it, here comes the epic. Sir John Paul Jonesy is taking us to some heavenly state with his keyboards. Robert's telling us a tale of some nordic men who have a mission which I just don't have a clue. Might sound silly, but it's too late to think about it know, cause this damned band has already surrounded us with a dark atmosphere. Picture this song live, picture Jones playing with his eyes closed and lots of dry ice on the stage. And then Page's mastodontic guitar wakes us up from this strange sleepiness, just to add to the dramatic scandinavian adventure. Man, I just love those 70's excesses. What happened, was everybody crazy?

"The Ocean" is the last song here, and it's a good honest rocker, with remarkable guitarwork. Maybe not that fast. But at this point there's a smile that refuses to get off our faces, and as The Group leaves the spotlight, they know their job is done. We surrender.

Nick Karn <> (16.11.99)

This album was the first letdown in the Zeppelin catalog for me - it does have its' spectacular moments, certainly, but it's quite patchy. The band tries to be diverse, and comes up with a few too many failed experience. Like you, "The Song Remains The Same" has never done 'jack (or jill) for me' either. The song gets particularly disappointing when this great, fast, introductory guitar riff turns into a forgettable slow, melodyless verse with weak vocals. With the orchestration, "The Rain Song" sounds too dated and not very beautiful to me as some think. It's a bit too long as well. "The Crunge", however, is easily the worst of the lot - an uninteresting and horrid attempt at funk. And "Dancing Days", despite that interesting Eastern-sounding riff, isn't that strong because it just sounds, I don't know, too standard for them.

The rest of the songs, however, save the album. The reggae of "Dy'er Mak'er" (or however you spell it) may be out of place, but it's entertaining, "Over The Hills And Far Away" has one of the greatest acoustic intros ever, and the rest of the song delivers on it, "The Ocean" is one of Zep's best rockers, with that riff, the accapella (sp?) section, and the fantastic ending, and "No Quarter"... wow. I won't say anymore about this one, cause you just explained it all. I have to admit its' my favorite here as well, and a complete package (without relying on blues!). Curiously, on the Zep tribute Encomium (which is terrible BTW), a few members of certain bands who contributed to it were asked certain questions about Zeppelin in the liner notes (if Zep were a country, where would they be? where were you when you first heard Zep? etc.), and Todd Park Mohr (of Big Head Todd And The Monsters) was asked what his least fave Zep song was and why, and his response was, "'No Quarter'... it is too long." Again, absolutely unbelievable how people's tastes can differ. :) Oh, and my rating for this album? I give it a 7 - too inconsistent to get anything higher.

Rich Bunnell <> (25.04.2000)

This is a REALLY weird album. I like most of the songs, but it's funny to note that due to the stylistic diversity, the songs that people hate are wildly different from person to person (with the exception of "Over The Hills" and "No Quarter" which everyone loves). The tunes here that sort of annoy me are "The Ocean" and "The Crunge," both halfway-decent yet sort of irritating and formless. Regarding the latter, I like funk, but I don't like aimless funk with no hooks. I like everything else, eclectic as it is. "D'yer Maker" is stupid, sure, but the guitar snippets really save what would normally be a dippy reggae number. And "The Rain Song" is barely there, but it's really pretty.

Why the hell does everyone hate "Dancing Days"? It rules! Did someone sign a pact saying that track 5 on Zep albums has to be the one constantly derided and slammed? Actually, I'm just basing that on this and the previous album. Two instances signifies a trend! ("Did you know that disco record sales were up 400% for the year ending 1976? If these trends continue...Eeeeeeey!" -Disco Stu from The Simpsons) I'd hand this one a low eight (eleven overall scale)-- I used to think it was the band's masterpiece, but closer listens have made it seem a trifle weaker. Still good, though.

Fredrik Tydal <> (11.07.2000)

I don't care for the Zeppelin's fifth album that much. Yes, I was quite let down by it. "The Song Remains The Same" lacks direction, "The Crunge" leaves me puzzled, "Dancing Days" gives me a head-ache and "D'yer Mak'er" is a bizarre throw-away. Thankfully, the album has its redeeming moments in the understated (gee, never thought I would use that word to describe a Zeppelin song) "The Rain Song", the splendid "Over The Hills And Far Away" and the somewhat amusing "The Ocean". I am a bit torn on "No Quarter", though - it's brilliantly arranged and all, but I feel there's something lacking. And what's up with the album cover? Seems like people got away with a lot of questionable covers in the seventies; Sticky Fingers, Blind Faith...

<> (15.10.2000)

I guess it's inevitable that I make comments about every Zep record, so I'll get on with it so I can move on to another band. Houses of the Holy falls somewhere near the middle of the pack as for as Zep records go...Not quite as good as LZ1, LZ 2, LZ 3, LZ 4, and Physical Graffiti, but somewhat better than Presence and much much better than In Throught the Out Door, Coda, and the live The Song Remains the Same. It does contain two of their best ever tracks, "Over the Hills" and "No Quarter"..."Over the Hills" is a fine complement to the earlier and equally fine "Ramble On" from LZ 2. "No Quarter" finds them dark-prog state of mind...Jone's keyboards and Plant's vocals manage to create a genuinely creepy atmosphere...very nice indeed. I actually like "The Song Remains the Same", though the mellower bits linger perhaps too lazily for too long. "The Rain Song" contains some pretty guitar work, but once again bits of it linger and linger and start to loss my interest. "The Crunge" is a musical joke/testominal to their love of James Brown and Funk, not a serious attempt at the genre...and for that reason it is an enjoyable tangent...Plant's soul crooning/belting actually comes off better than one might initially anticipate. "Dancing Days" has never done much for me...neither has "Dyer Maker" for that's ok and fun sounding, but I'd much rather listen to Bob Marley or Jimmy Cliff than any psedo-reggae novelty. "The Ocean" closes affairs on a positive note with a catchy riff and a chorus of "nah nah nah's" to carry you home smiling.

Perry Justus <> (06.03.2001)

First off, Houses of the Holy is better than you review it as, I think - "The Crunge" is a hilarious James Brown sendup (they added it into versions of Dazed and Confused for some of their 1972 and '73 concerts, believe it or not, and it worked like magic), and it shows that John Bonham may be one of the funkiest and blackest white "rock" drummers out there. He's up there with Zigaboo and Clyde, as far as I'm concerned. "The Rain Song" is as lush and beautiful as they ever got, barring some of the Physical Graffiti stuff - and "D'yer Mak'er" is hilarious much like 'The Crunge', in that they were skewing some of the trends of the era. Critics saw this as latching on, or selling out, but they missed the point. I believe "Dancing Days" is a wonderful pop-rocker, with a glorious guitar, even if the album mix leaves something to be desired--you should hear some of the live versions from summer '72, or even November 1971, where they first played it. "The Ocean" is as happy as the band got, and the doo wop outro always leaves a smile on my face...

Eric Rogozin <> (17.04.2001)

Gorgeous! And diverse. There is funk ("The Crunge"), reggae ("D'yer Mak'er), etc.. All the songs are good, but the best composition here is "No Quarter".

Ratko Hribar <> (06.10.2001)

Jeez, I didn't knew that Zeppelin actually had an album with a REAL name, and not just a sequel. Not that I don't like sequels, but Led Zeppelin V, VI, VIII, VIIII... that would really be too much to take. However, if I forget that it has a name of it's own, it's actually more or less similar to Led Zeppelin IV. Again, there's quite a lot of classics, and some of them are even extremely enjoyable, and those that aren't, well... those are also decent enough. Like any other, this album has it's share of fillers, even more so than I, II, III or IV. Sure, it's also amazingly diverse, a thing that we aren't used to get from a band like Zeppelin. But does that mean those songs are beautiful ? Not really. Some are, but those "decent enough" songs are either average or passable, although, never completely awful. It seems that they wanted to experiment a little, which is, generally speaking, not a good thing. It's interesting that they actually managed to kinda pull it off, since it didn't exactly fall apart on the stitches, but it's still a mediocre experiment at best. The dark 'No Quarter' is regarded as a classic, but I don't see why. The synthesizers give it a bizarre sound, and Plant isn't helping at all, cause his "distorted" voice isn't enjoyable and his trying to sound emotional just makes me feel sick. The lyrics are virtually unhearable, so I only hear Plant vailing some crap in his usual limited vocal style. Moody ? Yes, but it doesn't effect me at all, not they way Purple's 'Demon's Eye' or 'When A Blind Man Cries' would (heck, even 'Lazy' would effect me more). At least, 'No Quarter' is instantly recognizable, and that alone is worth something. Oh yes, and it's non-generic as possible, and maybe a bit catchy too, in the long run, that is (a 100 or so rotations in the CD player should do the trick). Now, the stuff that George tends to despise, namely 'The Song Remains The Same', is actually a top highlight here. Boring ? How can it be boring ? I suppose 'No Quarter', which soaks in mediocrity, is much superior to this one, right ? Of course it is, but forgive me for noticing that 'No Quarter' in it's 7 minutes of duration doesn't go ANYWHERE. It just pretty silent, squeaky, dull, pointless and damn overlong !!! I don't see why should 'No Quarter' deserve more of my respect than, for instance, Sabbath's instrumental crap like 'E 5150'. It's basically the same thing !!!

Well now, the ballad 'The Rain Song' is indeed majestic, with it's gentle orchestration and Plant doing his best not to sound repulsive (not that he really succeeds in that). 'D'yer Mak'er' is a weird number, with Plant doing his crappiest Bob Marley impressions. It is nice, funny, entertaining, inoffensive (well, it's less offensive than an average Kiss song, anyway), and yes, it's pleasantly stupid. Lame, you ask ? Naturally it is, but I can't write it off completely, cause it does manage to get my ass shaking in the rhythm (a little, mind you). The rockers are pleasant enough, especially 'Over The Hills And Far Away' (IMHO). However, I'm not too fond of the remaining tracks here, but I can't deny the greatness of those well-known classics (except for 'No Quarter'). Actually, if I take all those things in consideration, I can't but cut Zeppelin some slack, cause they did try their best here. It's a shame that it didn't work that well. I think it's worthy of a low 8.

Ben Kramer <> (14.01.2002)

This one is very controversial. However, diverting from my actual views and into some information, this has to be the #1 played album on our local classic rock station. And to make matters worse, it seems that the worse the song is, the more air play it gets. You never hear 'The Rain Song' or 'No Quarter' on the radio, but you hear 'D'yer Ma'ker', 'The Crunge', and 'Dancing Days' all of the time. Ok, so we get 'Over The Hills And Far Away' played. One song. They play 'The Ocean' and 'The Song Remains The Same', but I have mixed feelings about those songs.

Ok. WHAT THE FUCK WAS JIMMY PAGE THINKING????? Here he had one of the most musically talented bands ever who could play the blues like no one since Hendrix, and they play a bunch of shitty pop. Ok, so the record is diverse. So what! Led Zeppelin would have been better off without diversity. Give me 8 similar blues songs on an album filled with awesome riffs, great vocals and amazing guitar solos. It sure beats this shit. I usually start with the good stuff in my comments, but I'm on a roll so lets start with bad. 1st, 'The Song Remains The Same' is too long. It begins with a great riff and becomes a slow boring song with unique Plant lyrics. He's still whining, but he is trying to sound sentimental. It only worsens his voice. Next, comes the worst 12 minutes in Led Zeppelin's history (yes worse than 'Caurouselambra'). 3 horrible songs right in a row. The first is 'The Crunge', a stupid funk song, it isn't boring. It is just plain bad. The riff is too simple and Plants vocals are really starting to piss me off around now. Next comes 'Dancing Days'. The same thing over and over again. It is extremely boring. Plant's vocals aren't bad either, not great, but they are acceptable. Finally comes the stupid reggae track (By the way, I don't own any Bob Marley, but based on what I have heard, the guy is awesome) 'D'yer Ma'ker'. For one thing, the song's title is impossible to spell. Also, the song is tedious and it shows that Plant had about 1/100 of the brains Marley had when it came to reggae. 'The Ocean' is ok. Not great, but not unlistenable like some of this album. I hate that middle part (La, la, la, la, la, la, la, la.... whatever, you know what I'm talking about).

Ok, now to the good stuff. 3 great songs can be found here. First off is 'The Rain Song'. This used to be my favorite Zep song (now it's probably 'Since I've Been Loving You', a song which I despised when I first heard it) but its impact slowly wore off. It is still a fine song though. They should have used it for Lord Of The Rings. It has a fabulous guitar part and it is the best song from that whole Tolken obsession of Plant. Next comes 'Over The Hills And Far Away'. Never one of my absolute favorites, but the song seems to grab you, even the little ending part which I used to hate. I still don't love it (I can barely hear it) but it still works. Finally, Led Zeppelin's only reason to exist after 1971 (ok, so I still love 'The Rain Song' and 'Achilles Last Stand'), 'No Quarter'. It is gloomy, dreary and is a better mood setter than 'Close To The Edge' ever was. For the only time on the album Plant's vocals sound perfect for the song. It's the only Led Zeppelin song after 'Since I've Been Loving' you that is over 7 minutes (yes, I have heard 'Stairway to Heaven') and deserves every second of it.

Ok, let's recap. 3 songs great (about 20 min or 1/2 the album), 2 songs ok (about 1/4 the album) and 3 songs suck (about 1/4 of the album). So average 14 (twice, 1/2 the album), 11, and 6 and we get an 11, the appropriate grade for the album. I would love to give it a higher grade for some of the excellent songs to be found, but I would also like to lower it for some of the crap jammed in the middle.

Matthew Bowness <> (07.02.2003)

Very good album, very good site too by the way. 'Dyer maker' is the only thing i dont like. Plus, i didnt get whay 'dyer maker' ment for a while.  I got 'bron-y-aur-stomp' though, just from the way it sounds. The only other prob with houses of the holy is that plants voice was a little bit tweeked out on the mixing board, he didnt need to do this though.

Stephen Rutkowski <> (11.10.2003)

Ok, now I am up to Led Zeppelin’s most controversial release. Almost everybody will agree that Presence, In Through the Out Door and Coda are crap, but not so Houses of the Holy. I am in fact a fan of it. Sure it is nowhere near as good as I, II or IV, but it contains some fantastic tracks. Anyway, here is the breakdown of tracks according to my own tastes. I really dislike ‘Dancing Days’ and feel indifferent towards ‘The Crunge’, but I think all the other tracks are good and at times great. Yes that includes ‘D’yer Mak’er’. However, the six good to great songs don’t really contain an absolute classic to propel this album into must-have status. ‘Dancing Days’ is a terribly boring song. It is repetitive and goes absolutely nowhere. It’s not often I can criticise Page for this, but that riff is just so damn rubbish. Bonham and Jones can’t save it, and Plant hasn’t a chance with a forgett! able vocal performance. ‘The Crunge’ was a very light hearted effort, as was ‘D’yer Mak’er’. They should probably have been careful with releasing two songs such as this in one album. Anyway, the song is very funky, but not very good. However, I can’t fault the bridge quip at the end of the song, it was Plant trying to do a James Brown impersonation.

‘The Song Remains the Same’ is a complex song, that goes a bit all over the place. However, the drums are really good and I enjoy the track overall. ‘The Rain Song’ features John Paul Jones on mellotron, which provides the song with that ‘tropical’ feel. It is a pleasant ballad, second only to ‘Going to California’ in my opinion. ‘Over the Hills and Far Away’ is a delightful example of Led Zeppelin’s ability of incorporate acoustic and electric into the same song. The aforementioned ‘D’yer Mak’er’ was a light hearted effort and should be treated as such. Originally it was supposed to be a tribute to “Rosie and the Originals” but somehow became reggae. The band tried to integrate their heavy, crunching beat with the natural swing of reggae, but evidently it didn’t quite work out. ‘No Quarter’ took a long time to grow on me, I don’t think I was ready for it’s lingering, atmospheric tempo. But now I’ll take it as the highlight of the album. John Paul Jones is the star here, he plays grand piano, synthesiser piano and synthesised bass. Page also produces a quality riff. ‘The Ocean’ closes the album in grand style, with a good riff, good drumming and some pretty good vocals. If you listen carefully at about 1.37 you can here a telephone ringing in the background. Overall, I can definitely understand why people would dislike the album, with its hodgepodge of style and quality. Nevertheless, I’ll take it.

Bob Josef <> (06.01.2004)

I must disagree -- this is a very serious downturn from which they never totally came back. "D'yer Maker" is one of the worst songs they ever did, as terrible as you describe in any way, muscially, vocally and lyrically. "Dancing Days" isn't far behind, a really dumb attempt as a hit single, I would suppose. The other tracks are pretty much inferior shadows of previous songs. The only one I can tolerate here is "Over the Hills and Far Away". It is a copy of "Ramble On", pretty much, with its mix of acoustic and electric sounds. That introductory acoustic is actually more dfficult to play than it sounds, and the song has a good melody. Otherwise, this album is a major yuck.

Mark <> (09.01.2004)

George, I am on your side on this one. This one while adventurous with the boys wanting to try new things, it doesn't always work. "The Song Remains" is just boring to me, although I love the guitar solos in it. It's just too long and when Plant comes in it seems like a parody, although for the life of me, I don't get what they are spoofing. "The Rain Song" is kinda pretty, but again, too fucking long!!!! The best part is near the end when Jimmy and Bonzo some in together. It's breathtaking, but one 15 second part of the song does not justify the 7 or 8 minutes that this thing lasts. Again, Plant's lyrics are pretty dire. And yeah, I know, lyrics were never Zep's strong point, at least try to make sense or not seem too pompous. In fact, to me, this album is where Zeppelin start taking themselves waaaaayyyyyyyyyyy too seriously. Leave that shit for ELP, or Jon Anderson, huh? "Over The Hills" is where this album starts to take off for me. Great guitar work (although ! you night think that I think the sun shines out of Jimmy's ass, I can name many places where it sucks hard.....listen to "In Through The Out Door" lately????). But when "Hills" cuts in with the electric, it's just "electric magic" as Zep freaks would call it. Throw in a great harmonized solo that ends with the song breaking into the verse again with so much precision and that's enough. "The Crunge" is pure silliness, granted, but they get a good groove, Bonzo and Jones are so tight together on this one that the song is redeemed. Plus, it takes away some of the seriousness of the first 2 songs here, which is a nice trick. "Dancing Days" is okay, but I can do without some of the lyrics. I know this was 1973, but some of the hippie shit that Plant gets on with would have been embarrassing in 1967. Bonzo is great on this one as well. "D'Yer Maker" gets the most criticism on the album. It doesn't bother me that much, but then again, I don't listen to it much either. (By the way, did ya ever notice that Sting totally ripped the lyrics off on this f or "Every Breath You Take"???) In any case, it's just Zeppelin goofing around trying to play reggae, but apparently, Bonzo couldn't get it right. Love Page's arpeggio muted guitar on this one, but not enough to make me go out of my way to listen to it. "No Quarter" is a great track. I like it mostly for the atmosphere, because it's not a killer 'song' by any stretch, but the guitar in it is great, Jones' keyboards are great, and the effect on Plant's voice is just plain EVIL. (once again, Plant restrains himself on this song. What's happening????) The live version on "The Song Remains The Same" is better though, and the visuals with that are stunning too. This is one track that I can truely beleive the Page/Crowley shit. "The Ocean" might be a 'throwaway" but it's so powerful that it transends it's origins and becomes truely great on it's own. Bonzo is just massive, Page slams all over it with one of the most powerful riffs he's ever played, Jones provides great bottom end, ! and Plant....ohh well. Actually, Plant isn't too obnoxious on this one, but depending on my mood, I could find his vocal grating. Especially love the 50's doo wop end on this one. So while the band moved away from the "heavy" factor on this one, it's a project with mixed results. Not one of my faves, but I have known Zep freaks who consider this the best. I don't get it at all. To me, with a few exceptions, this is the beginning of the end. Whether you agree with me on this one, you gotta agree that with IV an era ("The Early Era") came to an end and a new one ("The Middle Era") started. To me, that speaks volumes about Zep's productivity.........................

rolf reijers <> (09.04.2004)

Come on people, don't be so harsh on the reggae shuffle 'D' yer maker' ! It's only a little fun song, and I also like the cute wordplay in its title (speak 'D' yer maker" out as 'Jamaica'). Okay, it's not the greatest tune, but it's at least one of the very first attempts by a white rock act to incorporate reggae influences in their music (the only earlier one I can think of is Paul Simon's 'Mother and child reunion'). So let's give Led Zep some credit for their inventiveness.

samo kodela <> (01.02.2006)

Houses of the holy certainly is Zep taking a new direction, like George said, but they do that on every album, actually.This album certainly is hard rock and it's very hard rocking at times.There was no particulary boozy period in bands carrer George and being in Zep or being a part of it was always about having harmless fun(except for the effect of vodka on the liver, ha).Jimmy could always go further in his playing, as he always succesfully developed it further and further!!!All the styles they idid here were done in a good way!!!'No quarter' is certainly not the last great song written by the band!!How about 'Trampled', 'Kashmir', 'The Rover', 'Achilles', 'All my love', there are just so many!!!Whether 'No quarter' is blues or not is not questionable, but it is certainly blues influeced, so as you can see George, sometimes there is blues when you din't see it and sometimes there isn't and you did.'The rain song' is not overlong as it has fantastic, classical music sounding sections and it's excelent, with all sections adding something amazing and the coda is heart toching with a burning flame of Jimmy's soul.Plant said, that 'The rain song' vocals is his best performance, but by that he wasn't trying to say, that that is so because it's unpretencious, because Plant was never pretencious!!!'The rain song' has beautiful poetic lyrics, with seansons of the nature being in there!!!'The song remains the same' has the tendency that a few songs had right from the start like 'Dazed', 'Celebration day', 'Stairway', you know the complexity.It has an amazing structure, great riffs, unbeliveable solos, great chord punches, melodic bass lines and Page adding beautifull melodic lines, with Plant's lyrics certainly having a meaning, about how he dreamed about depper realistions and how no matter where they played, it was always the same!! If they gave their heart to the listeners, they got it back!! The song absolutely satisfies, even with and unussual structure, because it is unussual even for Zep, but the structure is there George and it's the kind of structure that you hear. The entire song is the structure of itself!!And the song is happy, very happy!!!'The crunge' is obviously a complete joke and you say you can dance to it but you require more from Zep. Well you get it in the form of a joke at the end of the song, which you actually wrote about yourself. 'D'yer mak'r' is great with nice singing and lyrics and amazing drumming and the title being from an old joke in terms of two guys talking and one guy says: 'My wife went on a holliday!' and the other one says: 'Where did she go? Jamaica?(d'yer mak'r-did you make her?)' and the guy says:'No she went on her own!'The title can obvioulsy be read as Jamaica the home of reagge. And here comes the poor argumentation of George Starostin!Why does 'D'yer mak'r' sound out of place among other Zep songs, George?? If that is so every Zep song can be out of place, baceause they are all so different, but you are constantly trying to classify Zep, in terms of something like 'dark blues band' or 'dark folk band', which is bullshit!!They can make anything sound good!!!These songs on this album certainly are independent compositions and it's just not fair saying you would like them more, if they would be sung by Mick Jagger, because by that you just show, you don't have prejudices against Rolling Stones, which are great too, but you have them againt Zep.After Houses, Zep certainly experimented further with complex arragements('Ten yoars gone'), melodically composed solos that were a bit slower('Custard pie', 'The rover'),eastern hypnoticism('Kashmir') and even funk was developed futrther then 'The crunge'('Trampled')on Graffiti, there was also desperate and exorcistic blues(Presence) and keyboard oriented rock(In through the out door).So it's not true Goerge, that Zep didn't experiment further and even if they did, like you said, write some of the Houses songs in a spontanious groove, the songs are still great and that's how they have written a lot of songs!!'The ocean' does not remind me of 'Oo you' at all and the great album title proves Zep didn't have problems making up great album titles!!'The ocean' has great riffs and more amazing Page soloing at the end!! Te drums and bass groove along and Plant is reffering to the audience as to the ocean!!!'Dancing days' has a great melody and it is in an unussual key and the riff is catchy and the whole thing is about being a hippy and having a good time!!!'No quarter' is the other keyboard materpiece, besides 'The rain song' in which there are also amazing Page chord strumming combinations! No quarter is absolutely dark-stunning with the mysticall keyboards, amazing Page riff, well constucted grand piano and guitar solo, Plant is singing great viking lyrics and howling amazingly!!Another masterpiece is 'Over the hills' with wonderfully complex guitar intro, great riffng, nice Plant lyrics and singin and a great Page solo!The album only has one dark track, as these were particulary happy times for the band and so it is not true, what Starostin said, that something like 'The rain song' is only a prelude to tradegy that is 'No quarter', as there are many bright songs on all Zep albums and especially on this one and they had many bright and dark songs!!!That's how life is, sometimes it's in the light and sometimes it is dark, but Led Zeppelin is technicolor!!It's a fantastic album, very different and yet the same like that song goes!!(9/10)

Panos Kakaviatos <> (15.02.2006)

George, here are my comments on Led Zeppelin’s Houses of the Holy. Based on your grading scale...

Album grade: 8

Overall grade: 12

(For me, Led Zep easily earns a B level, perhaps because I like Plant’s voice more, but that is not the only reason) An excellent album. Where do I begin? Listening now (for the umteenth time) to 'The Ocean'. What bright clangy guitar, what a nice beat. Plus an amusing accapella in the middle and a doo-wop finish. Fun, and rocking. Forget Macca’s 'Oo You'… (9/10). The Rain Song is beautifully languid and... imaginative. I love the way the the music underscores the lilting lyrics. Not overlong, just lovely (10/10). The Song Remains the Same is complex, yes, but it does not suck, though it is also not my favorite. George, your comparison of it to a Yes song is… spot on. I am not a big fan of Yes, so I am not that enthusiastic about this song either, but it is Led Zeppelin-y enough, and I do appreciate and enjoy the magnificent guitar work (8/10). The rough guitar riff on 'Dancing Days' is cloying to me, too, but brings a brooding atmosphere to otherwise flower power lyrics meant to be positive. Again, that underlying (actually prevalent) dark energy that signifies Led Zep (7/10). As you so well describe in your review, bringing up the cold snowy Nordic fields and such, no other song exemplifies that darkness better than 'No Quarter'. What an impressively moody atmosphere that mesmerizes the listener, and gets my nod as the best song on the album. How can anyone NOT like this song? (10+/10). Coming down several notches, but by no means unappreciated is 'Over the Hills and Far Away', a very clever and fun song that successfully marries folk and hard rock ... and is eminently listenable, though not as good as 'The Ocean'. (8/10). Okay, now we come to the two goofier songs on this LP: I MUCH prefer 'The Crunge', which rocks in a real funky manner, far better to me than 'Trampled Under Foot' on Physical Graffiti. George, your question is valid about why they did not experiment more, because the song is fun and NOT dark! Interesting. And also funny, with that missing bridge (8/10). As for Dy'er Maker, nice drum intro, then sappy, goofy, and rather poorly done pop drama. ‘When I read the letter you wrote me, it made me mad mad mad... but I still love you so and yada yada yada. Seems lots of people like this, and I can, perhaps, but it is way FAR from being quality Led Zep (6/10). So 8 for the album and 12 overall.

Tagbo Munonyedi <> (04.05.2006)

A funny thing happened to me at the end of 1979......suddenly a whole load of books that I read that christmas mentioned in one way or another, Led Zeppelin. The Eric Clapton one was due to the Yardbirds connection, the Rod Stewart one was due to the Jeff Beck connection, this one about album covers featured Zep 1, 3, Houses of the holy and Presence, the story of popular music ( 'all you need is love', which, now that I recall, was a lengthy TV series that aired when I was 13 - 14 and Beatle mad and I wasn't allowed to watch it coz it was on so late ) featured a lengthy piece on some guy called Jimmy Page and his band, Led Zeppelin, and the 'Rock on' annual that I bought my sister had this A-Z of heavy metal in it ( it was an invaluable guide even though a number of the bands weren't really heavy metal; I acquired loads of LPs by 26 of the 30 bands featured ) that called Zep 'kings of heavy metal, masters of their art' and said 'the best of heavy metal ecstacy can be found on Led Zep 1, 2, 3 and 4'. It also had this well written 'fan's eye view' in which a 'fan' briefly described the band he ( there again, it might've been a she, though I doubt a womam would refer to another woman as a bird as this person did, remarking about the strange cover ) loved and went through their albums { up to and including the live one }. I still remember the fan saying 'you've got to admit, they're pretty bloody cosmic...'. Hmm, fans ! I'd only fleetingly heard of them up to that point ( and that under duress ) but coz I'd experienced Deep Purple, thought they were superb and found, lo and behold, that some hack writing in a book actually agreed with my assessment of 'Fireball', I was suddenly more than intrigued by this Zeppelin lot. So it was a profound moment, the day I'm walking down the dirty, dusty streets of Enugu ( at the time, a one horse town in what felt like a one horse country - Nigeria ), going to the post office or to check out one of my brother and I's comic suppliers, when I see this guy selling records on the dusty street, literally on the road, and I instantly recognize the cover of one of them........It's Houses of the holy ! Houses of the holy shit ! In Enugu ! It's got this sticker on it that says 'featuring the single D'YER MAK'ER' and I just could not believe what I'm seeing. It was about two or three weeks before my 17th birthday and all I did for the next three weeks was dream of getting that album. I'd deliberately walk by that way even though it was out of the way for me, just to make sure it was still there ! And come my big day, I got a king's ransome ( well, it was to me ! ) and bought Physical Graffitti instead ! It was another 5 months before I heard Houses of the holy, by which time I felt I had a good idea of what this band was about ( how little I knew......looking back, my naivete is touching ). I was determined to hear their entire output and by october I had. This one had a bit of a reputation, and not a good one either (that earlier mentioned fan didn't like it, for one ) but from the moment I heard it I thought it was magnificent. With one exception, I still do. But it's not hard to see why real Zep afficianados think it's crap. It shows a side to the band that some fans found almost impossible to accept, yet, which was inherant in their original blueprint. I don't mean that disparagingly about the fans { in some ways, I'm no different, I've found certain bands' changes hard to run with }, just the observation that diversity was built into their ethos from day one and it's a root that they never really departed from and that it was primarilly the fans that made them the heavy monsters of the universe and straightjacketed the band. So there is something more than a little ironic that there are messings with styles a - plenty here.

What do you do when you're the biggest act on the planet, outselling everyone, playing sold out tours everywhere, having fans, staff, lackeys and certain quarters of the press at your beck and call, groupies ready to degrade themselves for your pleasure and no one to tell you that you're out of order [ and anyone that tries just gets beaten up or paid off ] ? Simple. You record HOUSES OF THE HOLY ! Personally I think it's a great album but it's also the ultimate test of how far Zeppelin could push their fans and it nearly backfired ( when they tried a similar move a few years later, it did ), but at this point, loyalty was still in high abundance. Mind you, it's nothing new, growing artists often challenge their audiences expectations; some go with the changes, some don't. With various groups I've done both. The jadedness that reared it's head on later albums hasn't yet risen to the fore coz they really were the 'kings' of heavy rock in 1972 when much of this was recorded. And although it took a while, STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN had put them on top of the world in certain eyes. It strikes me as paradoxic that such a firm favourite should be a mainly acoustic song with a heavy bit as it's climax. Still, what do I know ! There again, maybe the great acclaim granted the song encouraged the band to feel that, having not lost supporters with Zep 3 and STAIRWAY, those same supporters would accept anything they put out. THE SONG REMAINS THE SAME is a cracking opener, it sounds quite thin even though there are stacks of guitars doing battle. It was originally an instrumental and I reckon that explains the bizarre melody. I think they did well to fit one in, actually. The song is basically about going all round the world singing and seeing the power of response their gigs brought. Possibly the song did remain the same. Cynics would say that they could have played anything at this point and they'd still be worshipped. THE RAIN SONG is lovely, a sort of reply to Beatle George who had advised them to do some ballads ! But I was listening to it a couple of months ago and it struck me that it was STAIRWAY revisited. It has all the hallmarks of that tune and even some heaviness towards the end. But it's a cutie nonetheless. OVER THE HILLS AND FAR AWAY continues the acoustic into electric songs that Zeppelin had made into an art form. The acoustic playing at the top of the song is delightful. There was alot of controversy about this song in the 80s in the US because if you play the section with the words " mellow is the word that only leaves you guessing..." backwards, it appears to say " Satan really is lord ". When I had a 4 track recorder, I could play my tapes backwards so I did so with this song and sure enough, those words "appear" to fly out. But I think it's a coincidence because if you say that sentence and record it and play it backwards, it does come out that way. ( I've found similar seeming phrases in STAIRWAY and the Eagles' HOTEL CALIFORNIA. While finding no intelligeble phrases or words, I did the same thing with STRAWBERRY FIELDS FOREVER and 'strawberry' backwards, is 'Irrebloss' ) It's a bit like putting any piece of music to any silent piece of film - at various random points, they will match up perfectly. So there you go. Page's interest in Crowley, the occult and Lucifer [ as opposed to Satan - but that's another story ] didn't exactly help matters. It's a great song though. As is THE CRUNGE. This is the classic throwaway good time jam. It actually gives us a window into the workings of the band ( a bit like ROCK AND ROLL ) and I'm glad that they released it. It's a deliberate joke about a stupid made up dance craze ( the crunge ! ) and it was taken soooo seriously. DANCING DAYS is one of my fave Zep songs, a great riff that's supplemented by a weird but outstanding piece of bass and some psychedelic organ, this seems like a take on MISTY MOUNTAIN HOP, to the extent that you can sing them back to back and they could be different sections of the same song. As much as I dig the song, it is painful on the ears if they're cupped in headphones. That's never stopped me though ! D'YER MAK'ER is possibly the most controversial song of theirs ever. It was a worthwhile experiment and they should be applauded for at least trying something so off the wall. Personally, I can't stand it, ( it should be DIRE rather than DYER ) as I think it's such a lame song. Neither is it reggae ( no reggae drummer would play like that ! ). It has a mild flavouring of it but there's no real swing to it. Plant was smart enough to see that and went on the record to say it wasn't reggae. Bear in mind that in 1972 - 73, reggae as we came to really know and love it barely existed and many white peoples' concept of it was actually ska. But it ain't that that turns me off, I just think it's crap. NO QUARTER is so weighty in it's atmosphere, so pregnant with tension, and is majestic for it. So much has been said about it and I love everything about it, but it's the hypnotic drumming and that mesmeric guitar riff that nails it for me....I also love THE OCEAN. It's got an ok end and all, but it's what comes before the swinging ending that's the creme de la. It's a great way to end, a chunky hard rocking groove that metaphorically refers to their fans at gigs and specifically to Plant's daughter. For me it's as strong as any rocker they came up with. The album sounds like one big fun off the cuff jam session - with purpose.

<> (24.07.2006)

Wow...the album that does what you want it to do is the one you criticize the most for...doing what you wanted it to do? Anyway, your pretty wrong. This is the easiest album to listen to. Everysong fits on here just right. Heck, I can never understand what all those people hate about "The Crunge". I love that song! And the ending is fantastic. I might write a longer comment later, but all I will say now is that the only reason I don't give it a 10 is because I feel it could use one more good song...the 8 songs here don't feel quite as complete as the ones on "(Blank)" (yeah, I call it blank). 9/10


<> (14.08.2000)

If any Zeppelin album is truly "flatfooted" it is this one. The Song Remains the Same isn't poor, but the sound and intensity just isn't there often enough for me. For anyone trying to discover what all "the hype" is about , start with any of the first seven studio albums, before you touch this....If you want to hear some 'live' Zeppelin, check out the fine BBC SESSIONS before heading for T.S.R.T.S. Hopefully, more and better live Zeppelin will find their way to official release someday...

<> (19.11.2000)

An 8? Man, you're generous. I don't think TSRTS even makes it to 5. With the exception of "No Quarter", this album surely ranks as one of the most boring live albums in rock history. I had the chance to hear a bootleg of Zep live in Texas (I believe) 1969. It makes an excellent comparison. On the bootleg the band sounds hungry where America was starting to get to know them. Page plays like his ass is on fire, Bonzo is downright explosive, Plant's voice is still in awesome form, and JP sounds interested in the music being created. The songs, although long, are electric and vital sounding

On TSRTS they sound like rock stars. Very bored and disinterested in the concert. Page is at his near sloppy worst (his live tone sucked since '71), Bonzo can barely get the fire stoked, Plant's voice is shot and JP seems at times to prop the others up. The music is long winded, lame and proforma. On the whole this is dreadfully boring after the first listening. Stick with The BBC Sessions or various early boolegs

Perry Justus <> (07.03.2001)

Re-read your review of TSRTS today and I'm glad you like it, at least a little bit...

If you like this, you should really consider getting some unofficial live shows, that simply blow it away. Particularly 09/29/71, which is probably the band's finest moment live. "Dazed and Confused" is 30 minutes, but it makes the 27 minute, edited version on TSRTS seem like it drags on for two hours or something - no plodding here. They've yet to include "San Francisco," but after the funk section of the solo, they go into "Pennies from Heaven" -- maybe Led Zeppelin's clearest moment live.

Also, the 'Whole Lotta Love' medley is nearly 31 minutes, and it includes "Boogie Chillun," "Tossin' and Turnin'," "Twist and Shout" (and a burning, Beatles-killing version at that!), "Fortune Teller" (kills the Stones and Who versions, but you'd have to hear it before you believe me), "Good Times Bad Times" which has a manic solo, and "You Shook Me" which outstrips the album version in every way.

And then there's a version of "Communication Breakdown" that's seven minutes, and a very long version of "Thank You." Maybe TU was the "quiet" song on the album, but when they began playing it live it was probably one of the heaviest songs in the set, if you believe it. Page plays an electric solo that soars into the heavens, and there's a finale to it that somehow was never on the album. *sigh* And then there's a really aggressive, fast version of "Rock and Roll" -- in fact, for the ultimate version, check out the 08/21/71 show, where Plant screams his head off at the end.

There's also 06/19/72, which sounds simply AWFUL, but it's the wildest Zepp show I know of. They play everything from "Only the Lonely" with Page providing hilarious out-of-tune '50s-styled doo-wop vocals in contrast with Plant's chilling cries, to "Money (It's What I Want)" with Bonham singing the most hilarious backing vocals you'll ever hear. And they play 'Dancing Days' twice because they loved it so much.

Maybe someday the whole 01/26/69 (the famous Boston Tea Party gig) will surface. The band played their set TWICE, and then played sets by The Who, The Beatles, and The Stones, because the audience loved them so much.

I don't think you'll find the band underrated once you acquire a lot of live shows circa 1969-1972, plus a few from '73 and '75, and maybe one or two from 1977...

Matti Alakulju <Matti.Alakulju@SWTP.RU> (02.09.2003)

Just imagine how great this would be without 'Moby Dick' and with 'Since I've Been Loving You' (which is in the movie, but omitted here) instead. It would make a perfect hit collection, at least. I feel that the solo section of 'No Quarter' is the peak of Zep's career.

samo kodela <> (01.02.2006)

Even if How the west was won is better and wilder and BBC sessions is raw and wild, The song remains the same soundtrack is somehow my favourite Zep live album, it has grown to me, really!!!Page is fantastic on the album, but he is just as good at songwriting and he also wrote many great bright songs, but George is not willling to admit it!!Page shines in all the solos and some of the best arrangements were played in 1973. Don't get me wrong, Zep alyways improvised, but things were also arranged into song parts, like in 'Dazed and confused' and then they improvised inside those parts. 'Dazed' from How the west was wone is certainly better overall, but the arrangement is better on 73 version!!73 is the year, that Page started to make his guitar sound go thiner, but the solos sound good anyway and on this album you get one brilliant solo after another. The ones in 'No quarter', 'Dazed', 'Stairway' are especially unbeliveable with staccatos cascading like crazy and Jimmy doing all kinds of out of this world stuff on guitar!! The riff on 'No quarter' sounds better and harder live!!Jones is fantastic on keyboards on 'No quarter', 'The rain song' and 'Stairway' and the bass playing is solid and imaginative, as ususall!! Bonham rocks it, but the overall production of the album, which is not the best, makes everybody sound slightly, slightly less good.Plant had a bit of vocal problems in 73, so he sings certain things a bit lower.It's all rescued by Jimmy and his hard rocking guitar and in the solo in 'Rock and roll' and in 'Celebration day' he is all over the place especially at the end 'Celebration day'. 'The song remains the same' is arranged unbeliveably and shows Jimmy is a true genius and can do anything that can be done with a guitar!!In 'The rain song' his subtlety is breath taking. The 'No quarter' and 'Stairway' solos are one of his best solos in this two songs ever!! 'Moby dick' is great but the one on How the west was won is better.Whole lotta love starts much more powerfully on How the west was won and BBC sessions, but this one has the 'Boogie mamma' solo developed in detail!!This album is great folks!!I think you should buy it, even if someone says to you buy HTWWW or BBC sessions instead. Page is great here and Jones gets to shine on the keyboards really fantastically!!!I was thinking of giving it a nine, because of the vocals, but i just couldn't, because the vocals are still good, althought not excellent!(9.5/10)


John McFerrin <> (22.05.99)

Thank you for having the guts to say what I have at least somewhat felt since I first heard this album. Yes, the guitar style is _much_ more generic sounding now than in the first few albums, and that hurts the album a lot. And the filler, OH THE FILLER. Still, I don't really mind most of the songs too much, but I'm not particularly glad to hear a lot of them. Like 'In my Time'... . Or 'In the Light'. Or a bunch of the other songs on disc 2, I can't remember them, they're all boring (except 'Bron--Aur', that rules). That being said, 'Trampled Underfoot' is very enjoyable for me, I like 'Kashmir' a lot, and I really like 'Houses Of The Holy' (I also like 'The Rover' quite a bit). I'd give the album a 7 personally, cos despite all of the garbage on board, there are some real gems, though drastically different from what they did in the early albums. I can understand the 6, tho.

Mike DeFabio <> (24.08.99)

Hmm. I really really like this one. Might be my favorite Zeppelin album. Who knows? But I STILL don't think it's heavy metal. It's as heavy as anything they ever did, but it's still not quite metal. 'Cause if it were metal, I wouldn't like it. I hate heavy metal. 'In My Time Of Dying' is the only really weak song on here, but if it were shortened, it'd be good too. I give it a nine.

Nick Karn <> (16.11.99)

Count me in as one who can EASILY 'sit through this entire record' - several times in fact. I'd go as far to say that this album, not IV, is the quintessential Zeppelin release because it captures everything about them so well (at least in my opinion). I really don't hear anything that appropaches filler or generic status here - other than "Boogie With Stu" and "Black Country Woman", but even those I can really get into because they show a great band just having fun playing, but that's just me. "Custard Pie" easily tops "Black Dog" in energy, and has a massive drum performance going for it. "The Rover" and "Houses Of The Holy" are also two of my favorite riff-based Zep tracks because the sound is so huge and they're really really catchy. And any weaknesses on "In My Time Of Dying" (mostly length) is made up for by Bonham's performance, and the slide guitar part totally rules. "Trampled Underfoot" is disco-sounding in a cool way with that keyboard part, and it's infectious, but it is a song I'd cut a couple minutes off of. I agree that "Kashmir" is maybe a bit too long as well, but it's so magical and epic that I don't care, even though I wouldn't vote for it in the "Kashmir - Stairway To Heaven" debate.

Most people seem to think that the first disc is where most of the great stuff is on this release, but I think the first four songs on disc two win my vote as the greatest side out of any album I've ever heard. "In The Light" is more majestic, beautiful, eerie, and powerful than I could possibly put into words. And "Bron-Yr-Aur" is the absolute perfect bridge as an acoustic instrumental from "In The Light" to "Down By The Seaside", which I myself wouldn't mind spend the rest of my life listening to - it's my favorite Zeppelin song, because it truly lives up to its' name with the atmosphere and mood the band's playing creates. Just an incredible song. "Ten Years Gone" has more incredible expression in its' instrumental section than most songs with lyrics are capable of, "Night Flight" has a beautifully uplifting 'night feel' in its' music, melody and lyrics, while "The Wanton Song" and "Sick Again" are dirty and explosive hard rock at its' best.

Sorry for getting all worked up over this album - I feel Zeppelin is overrated in many aspects, but this is the album that in my opinion deserves any recognition it gets and more - truly one of the greatest musical statements of all time. I give it a 10 in my sleep without any second thought... just doesn't seem possible how our opinions can differ so much. Then again, there are actually living people NOT born before 1940 (Brian Burks reference) that hate the Beatles. Very, very odd.

<> (21.11.99)

Oh my God, does this review STINK. Physical Graffiti is thier best, in my opinion, and I think it's the greatest hard rock album in history. I, for one, can sit through this just fine, thank you very much.

Eric Kline <> (15.02.2000)

I just couldn't resist commenting on this one - one, because it's one of my favourite all-time albums and two, because yours is like so many other physical graffiti reviews.

all too often double albums are dismissed for being pretentious, overdone, etc. such criticism is well-deserved alot of times (smashing pumpkins siamese dream, clash sandinista). some double albums, however, had to be double albums. that is, the musician(s) were, at that point in time, that prolific and that creative and that insatiable that anything less would just not do. in other words there are some albums that are necessarily, thankfully double-length: exile on main st., songs in the key of life, trout mask replica, and yes, physical graffiti.

while the material on PG is culled from various sessions spanning aprox 3 years, it sounds completely natural and cohesive. the range is astonishing (lulling 'down by the seaside' to bone-crunching 'custard pie'). maybe most significant in regard to PG, especially in looking at the zep legacy, is the drumming of john bonham - the 10 min+ 'in my time of dying' doesn't even seem like it's half that long thanks to bonzo's barrages and fills (this is his real signature and not the commonly referred to but ultimately inferior 'achilles last stand').

this is the greatest zeppelin album as well as the last great zeppelin album (although presence has always been underrated) - the culmination... the apex... the swan song, as it were.

in short, the album would not be the same if even one of the songs had been left off.

This is essential, inspired, pioneering, beautiful rock and roll - X2.

Jeffrey A Morton <> (15.06.2000)

Er, you lost me on this one George. Some of the album is not good ('Down by the Seaside', and 'Boogie with Stu') but the rest is superb. 'In My Time of Dying' is ok, but 'Kashmir' is classic, and 'Houses of the Holy' may be the catchiest thing the band EVER wrote (should've been on it's parent album). Maybe they streached it too far, but the way it is...well, that's fine with me

Philip Maddox <> (06.07.2000)

I'd give this an 8 for the same reason you gave The Wall a 7 - the first album is nearly perfect, but the second half doesn't hold up. Disc 1 might be the greatest disc Zeppelin ever did - the classics just pile up. 'Custard Pie' and 'The Rover' are great riff fests, 'Houses Of the Holy' is a great pop song, 'Trampled Under Foot' is extremely funky (and probably my favorite track here), 'Kashmir' is very epic sounding with the string accenting the weird melody and an eastern flair, and 'In My Time Of Dying' doesn't get boring for one minute - it's one of my favorite guitar jams ever. Disc 2, however, isn't nearly as good. Some tracks ('Boogie With Stu', 'Black Country Woman', 'Down By The Seaside') are pleasant throwaways, but some just suck (I'm looking at 'In The Light' here in particular, one of the most boring songs ever). The only great song on disc 2 is 'Bron-Yr-Aur', which is a beautiful acoustic song. With one great song, one bad song, and a bunch of ok songs, I usually only listen to disc 1. Disc 1 would get a 10, but disc 2 would only get a 6. Add 'em up, divide by 2, and there's your 8. This record sounds like they were really pushing for a double album. Like almost all double albums (with a few notable exceptions), there is way too much filler here. At least they were kind enough to split the "cool" stuff and the "boring" stuff on to separate discs.

Paul Stadden <> (03.09.2000)

You're doing it again. It is NOT generic heavy metal. It's not even heavy metal for crying out loud. This album had some of the greatest rock songs of all time on here. 'In My Time of Dying', 'Trampled Under Foot', 'Kashmir', 'Ten Years Gone', 'Night Flight', all great. You must realize that repetition is cool. I like having the same timings over and over again. I want to hear 'Whole Lotta Love': parts 1 through 5. The Beatles used standard blues timings and the verse/chorus/verse/chorus/solo/verse/chorus pattern during the first 3 years of their career. Yet you praise them. What's the deal?

<> (23.09.2000)

George, for crying out loud, no one this early in the 21st century even uses the term "heavy metal" anymore, much less apply it to the work of Led Zeppelin. It wouldn't matter if Jimmy Page strummed the same root-5 chord for an entire song, Zep were never, and never could have been, a generic heavy metal band. And this is certainly not generic riffing - I don't think you even mentioned "In The Light" with its unique descending (ascending?) guitar lines and brilliant organ bridge.

And let's say Zep were a "generic" heavy metal band. You've never really provided any reason why "heavy metal", if you wanna call it that, is such a bad form of music anyway. You're sounding a little too much like some washed-up Rolling Stone critic from the early '70s, and being a youngster you should really know better. Sorry to be hard on ya, but you're treading on sacred ground here. [Ah, I love the "sacred ground" kinds of arguments. What a better way to point out the absolute uselessness of a site like this - G.S.]

Eric B. <> (16.10.2000)

As Nick Karn says, count me in as someone who CAN listen to this entire record. May not be the pinnacle of Zeppelinism (see LZ 1 or 2), but you can at least spit on the summit from here. I think it is among their top three. I tend to enjoy Physical Graffiti more than Houses of the Holy or LZ 4 and I suppose I'd give it a slight edge over LZ 3. It does have a dirtier sound the earlier stuff, with Page in particular employing more distortion. As someone who discovered the early stuff first, it did take a few listens before I got into most of the record. I immediatiatly latched on to "Kashmir" and "Ten Years Gone", but the other cuts took time to sink in. Now, I find most of it to be first rate. Of the heavy rockers, "The Rover" is perhaps the most satisfying...the sound is a bit sludgy and muddy...but I call me part pig, because I like it. "Custard Pie", "The Wanton Song" and "Sick Again" are similar...I must admit that certain sameness pervades these tracks, but I like the for me it's a Zep buffet. "Ten Years Gone" remains my personal favorite...Page's arrangement and sound on this one is truly top notch..similar in some respects to "Stairway". I won't add to what everyone else has said about "Kashmir", other than to say all the attention is justified. George, I actually like "In the Light"...I find it almost as satisfying as "No Quarter"...the Middle-Eastern flourishes and guitar orchestra sound wake up my inner prog-rocker...a just have a thing for icy's incurable I'm afraid. "Houses of the Holy" ,a fun rocker, is poppier than the others, it's sort of like "The Ocean", but with only half the calories (not surprising, it being an outtake from the hippie-happy Houses of the Holy sessions). "In My Time of Dying" clears my sinuses pretty well, but gee whiz.. my nose has never been that stopped up...some editing would improve this one. It has some great passages though. "Down By the Seaside" and "Night Flight" are pleasant enough to keep things moving along(ie-not filler). Physical Graffiti is frequently accused of harboring fugitive filler, but I find this criticism a bit overblown. The only offenders I find that resemble anything close to filler is "Black Country Woman" and "Boogie With Stu", but even in those cases it's only a misdemeanor offense (just my opinion). I even like that little acoustic ditty "Bron-Yr-Aur"...

A great collection of cuts that emerge the more you listen...

In rereading my comments concerning Physical Graffiti, I noticed (besides, my need to hire a proofreader to fix my knack for omitting entire words or leaving words that don't belong) that I forgot to mention "Trampled Underfoot". Other than "Kashmir", it seems to get more airplay than any song on the record. I think this is somewhat unfortunate, since I think there are at least four or five songs (besides 'Kashmir') that are finer songs. However, I have a sunnier opinion of the cut than you seem to George. Unlike their fun, but tongue-in-cheek stab at funk, "The Crunge", "Trampled Underfoot" seems to be a more serious attempt to incorporate those funky grooves into their existing sound...the influence of Stevie Wonder's "Superstition" seems to be present and fairly undisguised...

I think the track is somewhat successful in that does groove. It's not great, I'll agree with you on that one.... but it's OK, it's acceptable...I'd never call it "ridiculous" though. For me it sort of mirrors my attitude towards the Stones attempt at a disco sound in the mid to late 70's...I'll always prefer stuff like "Gimmie Shelter", "Happy", "Can You Hear Me Knockin", and "Stray Cat Blues"...but I don't mind "Miss You"(I actually like it) or even the not quite as successful "Emotional Rescue" ...I don't think they are anymore ridiculous than "Trampled Under Foot".

<> (19.11.2000)

Lurking within that double album is one great single album. Way too much dead weight on that one.

Perry Justus <> (06.03.2001)

Now on to the big one: Physical Graffiti. "Custard Pie" is tired or generic metal, you say? HARDLY! Bonzo's drumming was never more bombastic - listen to the one-two punch on the toms during the hilarious "drop down" segment. The song couldn't be more energetic, and even though Percy is pretty raspy by this point in his career (too many screams and way too many joints, and the fact that he didn't seem to know what Vitamin C was may have something to do with this!), he sings his throat off. I love 'The Rover', it's got one of Page's most well-constructed solos, and the whole thing gives me chills. Interesting to know that in the original version of this, Plant's vocals were quite a bit higher pitched. "In My Time of Dying"... What a song. The drumming is Bonham's most ferocious, and Page is at his most deliriously brilliant. Robert is perfectly run-down and creaking for the number, and the bass ain't bad either. Listen to the shuffle beat that the rythm section cooks up. You may discard the next four minutes as a boring, bad jam - but it's so intense and perhaps the pinnacle of studio jamming for the band. There are some even longer live versions that threaten to outstrip it, but they never quite manage to. I love 'Kashmir', and 'Trampled Under Foot' is serious Zeppelin funk rock. "In the Light" is beautiful and eery and happy and melancholy and just a triumph - it's Page's favorite, for many, many, _MANY_ reasons. Wonderful stuff, IMHO. The acoustic songs are great fun, 'Ten Years Gone' is passionate and very elegent. "The Wanton Song" sounds absolutely nothing like "Custard Pie." Listen to Bonzo's drumming in this one - the man was a genius, and I'm not just saying that because he's generally regarded as such. The space before he slaps that snare like a _bad_ fuckin' baby speaks volumes. "Black Country Woman" is a loose, fun, jam they cooked up during the Stargroves sessions in '72, recorded in the garden, and "Boogie with Stu" is a delightful cover of "Oooh! My Head" recorded during the same sessions as "Rock and Roll" in 1971. 'Sick Again', oh 'Sick Again', how could you blast it as being yet another "Custard Pie" knock-off? The song has nothing to do with that tune of creaming goodness. It's one of Zeppelin's meanest songs, next to "For Your Life". Tales of bad groupies and places that just don't seem fun no more told by the band during this period are sung with a bitter, spit-in-your-face attitude give a hazy, drugged out idea of this time. (Whew!) And the rythm section cooks - the live versions ruin the album version, and that speaks a lot, I suppose. The guitar solo on the album version is very nice, but not fully realized--grab a copy of 02/12/75 and listen to that one to see what I mean.

Mike Thomas <> (07.03.2001)

Look pal,

When it comes to Zeppelin; either you "get it" or you don't.  You obviously don't have a clue. Led Zeppelin's Physical Graffiti has got it all, man. And it's got it right. A word of advice: As with most Led Zeppelin material, it tends to grow on you with time. Keep listening, and someday my son; you'll see "The Light."

[Special author note: whoah, that was one of the most generic comments I've ever had. Every cliche mentioned! 'You get it or you don't', 'you don't have a clue', 'it grows on you with time'... did a computer write this E-mail?]

Joe H. <> (29.09.2001)

i agree it is boring and generic in places but there are some really great songs on this record! "Down By The Seaside" i find really beautiful. As well as the "Bron-Y-Aur" instrumental. "In My Time of Dying" is definatly overlong, but for the most part its a great song, just needs to be trimmed. Only songs i dont really get much out of is "Wanton Song", "In The Light" (well, the middle part is good, but the beginning is boring), and "The Rover" is just okay. Oh, and.."Houses of the holy" should of been put on the record of the same name, really, its a great poppish song. Overall a 8.

Ratko Hribar <> (06.10.2001)

Aaaaaaaaaah !!!!!!!!!! Boring !!! Double album filled with uninspired rockers ? Hell yeah, I'm gonna buy it IMMEDIATLEY !!!

Unfortunately, Zeppelin decided a nice big fat double album would be just a thing they fans want, and that may be so, but what with the non-fans ? What with the rest of the world ? SCREW THEM !!!! WE ROCK !!! WE ROCK !!! WE ROCK !!! SCREW EVERYBODY ELSE !!! And this album is exactly that, the band shows us how they rock. The only slight problem is that it's just too much to take. I suspect that a vise selection of the good songs from this double LP could make a blistering single LP without too much fuss. They really should cut out the half of it. That half would contain the obscure low-grade filler like, say, 'The Rover', 'Boogie With Stu', 'Black Country Woman', 'Down By The Seaside', 'Ten Years Gone', 'In The Light', 'Sick Again' and 'Night Flight'. Ya see how easy it is to reduce a laughably overrated double LP, to a single one ? Hah, and now we have only the quality stuff, varying from superb to mediocre. The best song here, in my own personal taste, would be 'Kashmir', although it's too long and the "violin" line becomes sickening with time. Second best is 'Trampled Underfoot', a entertaining funk rocker who's lacking seriousness, but still makes the grade. 'Custard Pie', 'Houses Of The Holy', 'Wanton Song', 'Bron-Y-Aur' and 'In My Time Of Dying' are also solid cuts, although the latter isn't exactly my favorite. I'm gonna be a bad, bad boy, and give it a 6.

zarch <> (03.11.2001)

Here are some silly facts for you- check out the best selling albums of ALL time in the USA and what does one find. In the land where money is king and numbers are close to a religious revelation no less than 3 Zeppelin albums: LZ4, Physical Graffiti and LZ2! These guys have brought home the lolly and have made some girls happy.

Ben Kramer <> (15.11.2001)

I really love how you broke down the numerical rating on The Wall, dividing it into disc 1 and disc 2. If I were to write a review for this album, I would have used the exact method you used on The Wall. Disc 1 is FANTASTIC! This is the Led Zeppelin that did Led Zeppelin I, their best album in my opinion. Songs like 'The Rover', 'Houses of the Holy', 'Trampled Underfoot', and 'In My Time of Dying' are among my favorite from the Zep catalog (ok, I will include 'Kashmir' if it means that much to you closed minded Zep heads( believe it or not, when I first got into music, I was a Zep head, and I worshipped every single song they wrote. My recent open mind added over 20 artists to my collection since has changed my mind about them)). 'The Rover' is a great song and I don't see how this gets no radio play but the good, but not great 'Houses of the Holy' is on every hour. 'Kashmir' is a classic, though I feel that after 8 minutes of it, the riff becomes unbearable. 'Custard Pie' is another good song and has a nice riff to open the album. 'Trample Underfoot', although is keyboard driven, can be classified as hard rock nonetheless. 'In My Time of Dying' takes up 11 minutes of side one and is another good song, although some parts get tedious. Overall, disc one would be a 9(13) (keep in mind that I would rate Led Zeppelin as a 4 star band). Now I will get to the complaints. There is really only one complaint on this album, yet it is a huge complain. SIDE 2 SUCKS, BLOWS... (pick your favorite negative adjetive and it will fit in fine). I hate it. It is absolute shit. Ok, I have given my complaint and I will build on it and support it. 'In the Light' (besides being around 4 minutes too long) sounds like a terrible Beatle rip off of 'Within You Without You' only Plant is overbearing on it and the whole attempt at electronic Indian music was an overall failure. 'Ten Years Gone' was another song ruined by Plants vocals and lengh, clocking in at over 6 minutes (come on guys, your not King Crimson, ELP, Genesis...). 'Down By the Seaside' isn't bad, it just becomes Led Zeppelin's version of The Song Is Over (which I love) with the melody starting off nice and becoming, well not exactly cock rock, but not good. I'm not going to get into every song (too painful) but disc 2 is pathetic with side 3 just beating out side 4 in quality. Disc 2 gets a 3(7) for the good parts of 'Ten Years Gone' and most of 'Down By the Seaside' so overall, I agree with the overall rating of 10/15.

Mike Flynn <> (25.09.2002)

First off I wanted to answer your challenge on the notion that The Rolling Stones are far more talented than Led Zeppelin. What makes talent? If you were to hold auditions & compared one musician's playing against anothers, wouldn't raw talent be a factor in your decision? Could Charlie Watts have played drums on "Achilles Last Stand"? Could Keith Richards, even if he took 5 minutes to change his guitar sound, have constructed the six part guitar masterpiece that is "Ten Years Gone"? [This is not "raw talent". This has nothing to do with "raw talent". This has to do with professional training and a desire for greater complexity - G.S.] Yes, I said masterpiece. This song is the very best on this fine album & you must understand Mr. Page's professional approach to recording to embrace the sheer magnitude of this piece. As with so many other Zeppelin epics, he so brilliantly wove together different guitar parts (all with a distinct tone, I might add) until the piece meshed all those tones dove-tailed together. Keith Richards, Brian Jones, Ronnie Wood, & my favorite Stones guitarist, Mick Taylor, never achieved the kind of playing found on this record from Jimmy Page. As far as Jones & Wyman, well it's a toss up but like you said Jones plays keyboards. Mick never had the range Robert displayed in his early career. Robert simply trashed his 19 year old voice before he knew it. He sacrificed his vocals in order to deliver great performances from 69' to late 72'. Now I don't know about you but talent is 'the natural endowment of a person'. The Stones, as much as I love them, never had as much collective talent as Zeppelin. The masses agreed in the early seventies when the Stones much publicized tour was simply destroyed by the hardly noticed tour that Zeppelin embarked on that year. But of course that does not carry much weight with you. I won't go on about the record except to say that I get a great laugh out of your rating esp. when I look at the higher rating you gave such albums as "The Beatles". I mean c'mon, "Rocky Racoon", "Good Night", "Don't Pass Me By", "OB-LA-DI, OB-LA-DI"! I love The Beatles. The White Album is one of my favorites. It does have great music on it. But Paul was writing music for 8 year old girls & old people. At least John & George's contributions were all solid. I enjoy their work on that album much more than Pauls. I'll give it up for "Back in the USSR", "Helter Skelter" & "Mother Nature's Son". Yes, thank you Jimi Hendrix for showing Paul what hard rock should sound like. At least Zeppelin never forgot it's roots & they new who they were. A hard-fucking rock band. Oh and by the way, there is this instrument called a mellotron (you know, that intro to "Strawberry Fields") & that is the string sound you here on "Kasmir", "The Rain Song", and others. It's was pretty widely used back in the day. I'm surprised you did not recognize it. Oh that's right, thanks to Jimmy's relentless pursuit of sonic perfection in the studio he was able to dampen the sound enough to fool even the likes of you into thinking it was violins! I guess studio expertise and learning a little bit about the properties of sound & how to harness it is relatively meaningless in your "ratings". Imagine Dark Side of the Moon without Alan Parsons manning the soundboard.

Glenn Wiener <> (04.03.2003)

Some good moments some trying ones. Never liked 'Kashmir'. 8 1/2 of a wailing Robert Plant and an annoying tone. 'In My Time of Dying' is another tune that wears out its welcome. 11 minutes on that puppy my gosh. Like 'The Rover', 'Houses of the Holy', and about half of side 2. Really like 'Down By The Seaside' and 'The Wanton Song' stands tall too. Interesting mood the album cover gives. I'm not a fan so I would never buy this, but there are moments in between the Plant caterwauling and overmodulated guitar riffs.

anlormarechal <> (07.04.2003)

So Led Zeppelin decided to make a double album... but they hadn't enough songs so they took old outtakes (about 1/2 of the album had been recorded before 1974, lots of songs come from the sessions of the third and fourth album or from Houses of the holy). I like Led Zep a lot : one of my favourite bands, in fact, especially for Page's solos and the great rhythm section (the Who's one is better, I know, but apart from them..). But this album does nothing for me. There are LOTS of filler, and only a few songs can be compared with older songs. "Custard Pie", "Wanton song" are okay, but comparing to "Rock and roll" (or any Led Zep rocker from II or IV) they are not really enjoying. "Trampled underfoot" and "The Rover" are good too, but they aren't real "classics". "In my time of dying" has cool riffs, but it's too long, the soloing isn't really impressive. "Kashmir" is really good, but a bit repetitive (6 minutes would have been enouth). This album is really disappointing. I agree with the 7.

Hey, another "Hard rock" versus "Heavy metal" discussion ! OK, there's my little opinion on this subject. In "hard rock", there is "rock". And "rock" means "rock'n'roll". So what's the difference between a hard rock band and a heavy metal band ? it's quite simple : the 1st one makes rock'n'roll, not the second one. Is Led Zeppelin rock'n'roll ? of course : they wrote "Rock and Roll", didn't they ? Deep Purple made rock'n'roll : listen to "Speed king", "Highway Star" or "Space Truckin' " and you'll be convinced. Van Halen plays rock'n'roll (David Lee Roth is a perfect "rock star"). Even Motörhead play rock'n'roll : the rawest, dirtiest, wildest r'n'r in the world, maybe, but r'n'r nevertheless.

The difference is, in fact, mainly in the state of mind, in attitude : there is a "rock'n'roll attitude" and a "metal attitude" and that's for me the most important. Black Sabbath brought an "evil" attitude and imagery, that's why they can be called the 1st heavy metal band. Motörhead are maybe heavier than BS, but aren't satanists (in fact, even BS weren't real satanists, but ya see what I mean), so Motörhead isn't metal. I heard someone call Deep Purple and Motörhead "heavy rock", in opposition to the Who or Hendrix who play only "hard rock": I fully agree with this denomination. So as far as I'm concerned the 1st "hard rock" song is "Satisfaction" , the first "heavy rock" song is "Communication Breakdown" and the first "metal" one is "Black Sabbath". Such a classification isn't perfect, but I found it quite effective. I'm waiting for further comments...

Stephen Rutkowski <> (11.10.2003)

I am another person who could easily sit through this album. It would seem that this album suffers the fate of a lot of double albums, that is there is quite a bit of filler to ensure that it is two discs. Allegedly, they had enough new material for slightly more than one albums worth of songs, and so decided to supplement it with outtakes from previous albums. If you look at the years of the songs you will notice that a lot of them are from the sessions of III and Houses of the Holy. In any event I think there are some classic tracks here, some tracks that are okayish and some I don’t care for at all. But with fifteen songs there should be something here for everyone. No?

‘Custard Pie’ gets the album going in good style. I can understand George’s complaint about the song, as it seems as though it doesn’t offer much to Led Zeppelin that they hadn’t done before. I can’t fault the groove though. ‘The Rover’ is another pretty good song, but it has a bit of a ‘poppish’ feel to it. Maybe that’s just me. ‘In My Time of Dying’ is an interesting track in more ways than one. They slide guitar manages to give the song a great blues atmosphere, before the song goes off with the jam towards the end. It probably is too long, but what fantastic drumming Mr. Bonham. And by the way, at the end most people agree that it is Bonham saying “That’s gotta be the one hasn’t it?” Next is the “razor” (ie throwaway) ‘Houses of the Holy’. Ok, not completely a throwaway, but its nothing more than a simple case of pop-rock. Next comes the finest 16 minutes or so of the album. ‘Trampled Underfoot’ is so funky I couldn’t believe that it was a Led Zeppelin song. The keyboards and that bass line! Absolutely exquisite. And then the zenith of the album in ‘Kashmir’. Yes those are real violins, not a mellotron as someone above has mentioned. A mellotron was used to recreate the violins in ‘All My Love’ on In Through the Out Door but here they are genuine. That explosive drum strike to begin the song sets me up for eight minutes of bliss. The violins work perfectly with the eastern rhythm. The drums, the bass and guitar all combine to give one of the most fantastic songs ever recorded. It isn’t too long for me.

I can’t say the same about the first song on the second disc though. The filler is really beginning to set in. This song would pass if every section of the song was halved in length so it was only about four minutes. Funnily enough, I believe that Robert Plant really saves the song, he puts on a good vocal performance. ‘Bron-Yr-Aur’ is a delightful little acoustic piece that still interests me to this day. ‘Down by the Seaside’ does not sound like Led Zeppelin at all, but it isn’t that bad. It isn’t that good either. Then ‘Ten Years Gone’ begins the trio of rockers I could well do without. Together with ‘Night Flight’ and ‘Sick Again’. I really feel nothing about these tracks. Absolutely nothing to distinguish them. I must say I have been listening to Led Zeppelin for so long and I still couldn’t hum or sing any part of ‘Ten Years Gone’ and ‘Sick Again’. The only interesting part is that ‘Night Flight’ is the fastest Robert Plant ever sung. ‘The Wanton Song’ is a nothing special but certainly passable bit of boogie. Now I must be the only one, but I will gladly put my hand up and say I really enjoy ‘Boogie With Stu’. As the title would suggest, it’s a delightful bit of piano boogie, and the guys were obviously having a lot of fun. The experience is ruined by the last two tracks though. ‘Black County Woman’ is absolutely pedestrian. Actually I just had another listen to it and the drum track really saves the song. But it does contain the immortal moment when an aeroplane interrupts the beginning of the track and Plant says “Nah, leave it, yeah.” All in all, it’s still a great album, but mostly because of the first disc.

Bob Josef <> (07.01.2004)

It's no coincidence that two of my three favorite songs here are outtakes from earlier albums. "Bron-Y-Aur" is really nice, and would have fit well in the atmosphere of III, for which it was initially intended. And "Houses of the Holy" is better than all of the songs on the album of the same name. A very catchy song -- what "D'yer Maker" and "Dancing Days" were trying, and failed, to be. You can even put up with Plant's lyrics making very little sense as they move from line to line. As for "Kashmir," Plant thinks that it's the ultimate Led Zeppelin song, and it's a good candidate. It is a bit overlong, but the Eastern sounding arrangement (J.P.'s mellotron?) is hypnotic. It even survives Bonzo's thudding drums, although Plant's squeals and the quizzical lyrics ("All will be revealed"? -- you could have fooled me) come close to sinking the song.

As for the rest, the best than can be said that it is better than the last one. But it seems that Zep is now recycling ideas more quickly, which is why they could get away with a double album. "Trampled Underfoot" has sort of an interesting riff, but that's about it for me. I guess I'm another one of those people who doesn't "get it."

Mark <> (09.01.2004)

Once again, George, I am agreeing with you on a lot of this. As much as I love Jimmy, he is very "generic" on this one. Instead of being fairly unique like he was on the first comple of albums and inventive, here he just sounds fairly uhhhhh "generic". Some of his solos are great, some of his sounds are good, but the overwhelming emotion I get when I think of this album (not even play it, just think about it) is "bland" or "samey" or "retreads". The production is too muddy in places, the riffs sometimes seem interchangable etc etc etc. And of course, the "Could have made a hell of a single album" debate. (For my money, there are only 2 perfect double albums in history: The White Album - yeah, I know, it's got filler, but the filler adds moods, textures etc. that MAKES the White Album as great as it is, and Exile On Main Street which again, has some filler, but the filler is not offensive, too long etc etc. Incidentally, this does not include "greatest hits" or live sets! .....this is just regular releases twofers). That said, however, there is some absolutely great shit on this album. "The Rover" kicks, and has one of Jimmy's most perfect solos ever - that spanish type solo on this one blows me away. "Houses Of The Holy" would have been probably the best song if it had been released on it's proper album, "Trampled Underfoot" has a great groove with the under rated John Paul Jones on clavinet and Page tossing off neat little licks. "Kashmir" has never been one of my faves, but I like it a lot. Of course, you coulda chopped a minute or two out of it without losing much. (Incidentally, one of the comments earlier says that "Kashmir" uses a mellotron. It doesn't, it's actually a real string section playing a score that Jones wrote. Live he used the mellotron, but on this one, it was real strings). The ascending string chart is actually my favorite part of the song. And again, I am going to diverge from popular opinion and say that I don't think! that album two is any worse than album one. In places, it's better. " In the Light" is (surprise surprise) about 3 minutes too long. Again, the best part is the ascending guitar lick Page plays at the end with a couple of wailing guitars adding support. "Bron-Yr-Aur" is pretty, showing Jimmy's acoustic talents again - plus it's short which makes it much more enjoyable. "Down By The Seaside" is nice, with some interesting guitar licks, and for the first time, a guitar sound (the tremolo guitar) that sounds fresh. Love the fast break in the middle... the "You can still do the twist" part that adds a nice contrast from the lazy "seaside" vibe. "Ten Years Gone" is another track in the "Jimmy Page is God" sweepstakes for me. The massive guitar overdubs, great tone, great licks and fantastically smooth production make this one of my fave Zep tracks. For the second time on this album, he comes up with great tones (check out the phased solo) and when the harmonized guitars come in at the end I stop breathing for a few minutes. One of the best tracks a! bout an old lover that I have ever heard. Jones and Bonzo are fucking awesome on this one too. "Night Flight" is okay. I once heard someone call this a "Rolling Stones Imitation" and I have to agree. One of the readers says that Keith Richards was never Jimmy Page. True, but juding by this track, Jimmy Page was never a Keith Richards either. (I love both of 'em - Keith is my # 2). "Boogie With Stu" (speaking of the Stones, "Stu" is Ian Stewart, Stones keyboardist, road manager) is fun, if not earth shattering in it's originality. The best part is the ending which breaks down and Plant laughs. That to me makes it worthwhile, showing a band that really does love the music and has fun doing it. "Black Country Woman" is okay. Again, the best part is the airplane flying overhead at the beginning (it was recorded outdoors on the lawn of Mick Jagger's house - goddamn it, more Stones references). Bonzo is massive on this one too. I usually wait long enough for Bonzo to come crashin! g in with the full kit half way during the song before I skip to the n ex t track. This track to me is the definition of "generic" in relation to blues songs on Graffitti. It's almost "Blues by Numbers" to me. "The Wanton Song" is okay, sort of a retread of "Immigrant" to me. The only thing that really saves it is Jimmy's solo and the backwards guitar leading into each verse. Plus it's got a good heaviness. "Sick Again" - I love the intro and the first verse. But after that, it just doesn't go anywhere for me. Again, generic guitar sound, generic vocals, drumming etc etc etc. Overall, this album has it's moments, and there are not rally any truely bad tracks here. This here, to me, is when Zeppelin truely became the "Greatest Band In The World" in their own minds. The main fault lies in editing, which Jimmy shoulda seen. You know, the "less is more" philosophy. (I single Jimmy out, because that is a producers job - knowing what to leave out). Too bad, because what's good on this is fucking fantastic. Better than Houses Of The Holy anyway. And if this is "The Quintessial Heavy Metal Album", then that doesn't say mcuh for heavy metal now, does it???? (Anyway, Zeppelin was never "metal". Hard Rock, yeah, but they were too ambitious and versatile to be a true "Heavy Metal" band. Leave that for Sabbath who were so monotoned and sludge-y, that the true 'honor' of being the first HM band should lie with Sabbath, although I like Sabbath too).

Aprentice <> (09.03.2004)

Oh Boy. Some folks belive this record is really really great. But hey! Some folks belive Mellon Collie to be really really great. My reaction to both albums is, hey, they're pretty decent, and a decent double album is no slouch!

It is a short double album, mind you. 82 minutes, and fifteen tracks. 4 minutes, one track shorter than Load. When it comes to double albums, I like to do song by song analysis. Yeah

Well, 'Custard Pie' kicks off. As you might have guessed, it's a freaking rocker. What else did you expect to be the opener. Good song. Then comes 'The Rover'. Good song, too!

Oh my, all songs are good. Okay... let's see. 'In My Time of Dying' is eleven minutes long, and it is overlong. Not all eleven minutes songs are overlong, so you have no excuse.

'House of the holy'. mmm. I don't like it. Is not bad, but I say skip it (or delete it from the playlist) and voila!

'Trampled under foot', good song. So, 5 tracks already, and no great songs. I want mindblowing songs!!!

Ok, ok, here comes 'Kashmir'. It is not thaaaaaaaaat great, but is a great song. The first time I heard it I didn't like it, but is a great song. So there goes disc one. In the light tests my patience, but is good. 'Bron Y Aur' is a nice, acustic dittie, which I really like a lot. Not mindblowing, but is great, at least to my ears. And hey! I prefer 'Helter Skelter' over 'Julia', so if you don't believe me, who are you going to believe? 'Down by The Seaside' comes then, which the first time I heard I thought "whoa! what's this?". I really like it. I like the effect on the guitar. what the fuck is that? it sounds to me like a gate attack or something like that. Hey, I know I am a musician, but I know shit about equipment. I only pick the guitar and play!

So, 9 tracks so far, 3 song I really liked. Not that the other 6 were bad, you know. but they weren't that special.

'Ten Years Gone', hey, that's great too. I don't know why, but I like it a lot. Something tells me I shouldn't, but I do. 'Night Flight' is good.

'The Wanton Song' is simply a rocker, like the first two, but I like this more.

'Boogie with Stu' is filler. nice, but filler. I've already listened to this song a thousand times, just with slightly different arrangements and a different name and "composer".

Skip, I say. 'Black Country Woman' is boring, say I.

'Sick Again' sound generic to me, but is fine.

So there was it. Good for a double album, but I'm not so sure I would recommend this to someone. hey! I had a disturbing feeling. I think I like mellon collie more than this one! creepy, isn't it? Nah, I don't like it, that one features some songs which..... forget it...

Jason Saenz <> (14.07.2004)

Just because this album comes from led zeppelin doesnt mean it's great, this album was sort of like an auto-prophesy of the beginning of the end for zep. Even though, there are some good tunes on side 1 but there's also some mediocre junk on side 2 wich just doesnt work out.This is what happens when a band has wasted too much cash on boozing and snorting, they lose ideas, but since they know that they have a bunch of sheep-type fans that will buy anything with "LED ZEPPELIN" on it, even though it's pure junk,that's when crap like this manufactured. Good album but way too overrated.

<> (23.09.2005)

I'm not one of those people that praise Zeppelin as flawless geniuses. Realistically, Robert Plant's vocals are whiny and at times annoying. However, the genius of Jimmy Page overshadows the crap and Led Zeppelin endure because of him. This album for me is by no means a mindless "heavy metal" album as some people would call it. I'm not really sure why people are praising all of their heavier songs here and calling the third and fourth sides "filler". To me Side Three is one of the best album sides Zeppelin ever did! Maybe it's because I'm a guitar player and just get lost in Jimmy's perfect playing and tone, or maybe it's because I'm layed back ('Down by the Seaside' is a great vacation song). Anyways, reviews will not change the way I feel when I put on Side Three. It's a perfect medley of melancholic music. I'd also recommend Led Zeppelin III over their first two albums. Lame blues covers are NOT what I like. GREAT rock and roll songs, whether they be heavy or acoustic, ARE what I like.

samo kodela <> (10.02.2006)

Physicall graffiti is a Zep album, that introduced many new things into Zep, like songs developed entirely of power chords, solos that were not primarily speedy, but fantastically melodically constructed and amazing arrangements.!!!!Funk is still on the album in 'Trampled' so there is also some continuation from Houses. The songwriting is fantastic and everyone is indded in top form and that is just great.George says that it is not great, because everybody is playing at 100% . Well they are, but playing at 100% in 'In my time' or 'Down by the seaside' is completely different, so you can't accuse this album for being bad, because it's too bashy and smashy, because it has so much variety.I can certainly sit through this record, as well as playing air guitar and flying around the room in a miniature Zeppelin(heh).Zeppelin are certainly a better band then The Stones. Instrumentaly you got very simple riffs, solos and drumming in The Stones and the vocal are nothing particulary amazing, as far as range and beauty of the voice goes. Anyway the voice suits fine to the music, because it has a sort of dirty feel to it. The Stones are good song writers, but all their songs sound pretty much the same and i think that Plant sings ballads much better then Jagger. For exemple in 'Wild horses' i just don't find Jagger's vocal too approprite, especially on the word 'wild'. If i listen to Plant's singing of Stairway, I just know, that he could sing 'Wild horses' much better, as well as the rocking songs.Jagger is a great singer, no doubt and he sings 'Wild horses' good!!

In my opinion Zep are also way better songwriters then The Stones.Zepmaterpieces like 'Whole lotta love', 'Heartbreaker', 'Since i've been loving you', 'Rock and roll', 'Going to california', 'Starway', 'Rain song', 'No quarter','Kashmir' are far better then, 'Satisfaction', 'You can't always get what you wan't', 'Paint it black','Sympathy for the devil', 'Angie'.The Stones are ofcourse blues/folk rock, so it's a different genre but i think it's easy to say, that Zep are better and The Stones certainly couldn't learn to play the instruments like Zep, if they wanted too. You have to be that talented! I also think Zep had better melodies.'Stairway' and 'All my love' are far better then 'Angie' and 'Whole lotta love' and 'Communication breakdown' are better then 'Satisfaction'!!!Physicall graffiti is not limited. It's got a vide variety , it has poetic lyrics and very complex arragegements. It goes from hard rock to rock, pop rock, funk, eastern music, folk, rock and roll and country!!It's also not boring to me at all, because the melodies of such songs as 'The rover', are very catchy. I dont' see any reggresion on this album. If Jimmy desides to use a bit more power chords and decides to take a different approach towards soloing, then it is proggresion not reggresion.!!!!!Graffiti also has so much depth in songs like 'Kashmir', 'In the light' and 'Ten years gone'.The music sounds very fresh to me, but Jimmy said in an interview, that he wanted to catch the band at work on the album and that he didn't want to polish it to much..Let's get clear with the term hard rock. Hard rock is a genre that has a harder sound then rock bands like The Beatles, The Rolling Stones or even The Who and they have very complex instrumental passages and complex ballads.Metal, no matter if it's heavy metal, or trash or whatever such crap there is outthere, is just a bunch of bolocks put together by ten two note riffs, on maximum distortion and maximum amplifier volume, with the 'drummer' speeding over the drums without any dynamics or anything at all and then one guy is making pig noises into the mike. I really don't see 'Kashmir' or 'Ten years gone' fitting in there.The magic in Zep was certainly never gone and right there in Zep I you got songs like 'Good times, bad times', 'Your time is gonna come' , 'Black mountain side' and 'I can't quit you baby', which could hardly be used for scaring your parents. So if 'Custard pie' doesn't scare them, that's no problem and i never really listened to music to scare my parents.Zep certainly were on top of the world and still are and I don't know Grandfunk railroad and I don't care about them, all I know is, that Physicall Grafiti is great!!!'Custard pie' is great, with Page taking a new way with power chords and descending riffs and playing one of his best constructed solos ever. It's quite a simple song, but it has amazing drumming, harmonica playind and fine keyboard touches!!!Also there is no need that 'Custard pie' would have to be as 'menacing' as 'Black dog'!!

Here comes the much complexer 'The rover' with great riffs and another masterpiece solo!! Bonham also elevates the song on to a stratospheric level and that little part is a bit similar to 'Stairway', but it's not the same and it adds so much to the song which is so great and has a very catych melody.'In my time of dying' has very fast soloing really, but it's done with a slide and so it's a bit different. Plant's singing is really good and Bonham is in another world. Houses is a mellower pop/rock song with a messmerizing descending riff. 'Trampled' is really great funk with nice keybords and incredible drumming as well as a fantastic ascending riff! 'Kashmir' is just amazing with those glorious riffs and every section brings something new and amazing!!Fantastic!!!'In the light' makes Jones shine in a very rainy intro of sadnesson ,on the keyboards, and then the song goes through many sections, until it comes into the light and helps the heart!!

'Bron-yr-aur' is a crying and complex Jimmy Page creation.'Down by the seaside' is a song of summer relaxiation under some seaside trees and whispering to the fish and noticing little things in life, while others just miss the point of life which is LOVE!'Ten years gone' has a beautifull melody and Plant sings it with such emotion, that match his deeply poetic lyrics.

The song certainly develops, as more and more guitars come into the mix, until you have about ten guitars at the end and the solo is delicious with Page even giving us a bit of those fast wall of sound moments, that you seem to miss so much on this album George. How typicall of George that the song 'Night flight' which is EXTREMELY MELODIC is simply IGNORED BY GEORGE. This songs title should have been 'Melodic flight'.'Wanton song' has different dynamics then 'Custard pie' and the riffs are barely the same, not to mention the slower chord section in 'The wanton song' that is very inventive, as is the guitar solo, with a very unusual sound. 'Boogie' and 'Black country woman' both rock very hard in a Zep acoustic way and both, but especially 'Boogie' have complex ryhtm patterns. 'Sick again' has socially criticall lyrics and unbeliveable drumming. I sugets to everybody to buy the new dvd. You get fantatist versions of 'Dying', 'Trampled', 'Kashmir' and 'Sick again' there!!'Trampled' and 'Sick' have very complex and speedy Page solos unlike the album versions.Zep wrote great songs on this album and only four out of fifteen go over six minutes Goerge and even those that go over six minutes are worth every second of listening.and Jimmy soloed greatly on the album, but most of the time he just decided for a new approach to soloing and he also wrote many great riffs on the album, not just power chords. He could easily make a 'Dazed and counfused' kind of solo in 'The rover', but he just didn't want to!!

A fantastic album indeed!!!!!!!!!(9.5/10)

<> (04.03.2006)

Yes, Physical Grafitti does sound like Grand Funk quite a bit in some places. This is because, Page and Company finally gave up trying to play annoying, white boy blooze and started trying to play hard rock (which, apparently, they learned from Toni Iommi, who, apparenlty, learned it from Mark, Don, et al.) The 1 2 punch of "Custard Pie" and "The Rover" are easily the two cathiest songs in their catalog and reveal a refreshing leaning towards rock, intstead of blooze (blooze being a distinct genre from the spine tingling stuff Robert Johnson and B.B. King play, or once played.) Physical Grafitti, like every other double album except Husker Du's Warehouse: Songs and Stories, could use a little judicious editing. But, which tracks to lose? You'd have to be retarded not to find something good about every track on this (double) album (1 CD.) If you seriously think "Whole Lotta Love" is a better song than "Ten Years Gone" or "In My Time of Dying," A. Muddy Waters thanks you, and B. your taste in music makes me fear for the sanctity of your soul. I guess the only way to improve on this album would be to edit down the songs themselves (if you must) to a 12 song single album. Suffice it to say, i'm not a huge Zeppelin fan, but if all of their albums were as good as this one, I could see where all the hype was coming from. Not the most original stuff, to be sure, but taking the best parts of the music once played by Terry Knight's charges is no less original than swiping songs from Anne Breeden and Memphis Minnie (stealing from poor, defenseless women, SHAME on you!)

Tagbo Munonyedi <> (01.05.2006)

I think this can be seen as the peak of Zeppelin's musical achievment, a richter registering album that displays more of the angles of Led Zep in a more satisfying way than their previous offerring. Such is the diversity here, that it's easy to forget the high incidence of heavy rock and it's probably their heaviest LP along with their second one. It's also CODA years before CODA in that it is one of the first albums to throw in unheard tracks from previous years. Yes, I know, bands [Beatles and Floyd had done it, for example ] had done this in the past, but stuff that didn't make it onto an album usually made it onto the next { and Dylan's BASEMENT TAPES doesn't really count ! }.

This was my first Zeppelin album and I can still clearly recall that moment on my 17th birthday when I got the album and stuck it on my Dad's turntable while he was out [ he came home with a whole pig in the back of his car ! ]. Those opening strains of CUSTARD PIE were like the smell of a good meal to a starving man [ I had been hungry for something - anything - from this group ] then came the moment that I still laugh about, Robert Plant's voice ! It came as a shock to me because in 1980 to a 17 year old, being tough and hard still counted highly and a high pitched voice was seen as being effeminate. To us it meant you had no testicles ( or even worse, that they had been chopped off ) and having heard Rod Evans and Ian Gillan with their macho voices, this was not on ! By the end of the album, I was a little more relaxed......I didn't know it at the time, but some of the lyrics retread the barely tolerable HATS OFF TO HARPER from the third album. This however is an altogether superior track with some great powerhouse drumming and a great guitar solo. Indeed, I think the quality of Zep's riffs and in particular, the solos, on this album is pristine. THE ROVER is the epitome of mid 70s heavy rock; this is such an assured performance, with one of my favourite solos, not only of Zeppelin, but per se. It's interesting to see in many of the reviews and in loads of the reader comments, the word 'generic' crop up. It seems to be used as a euphemism for 'uncreative', 'unadventurous', 'uninventive', 'playing safe', 'not pushing boundaries' and it nearly always comes across as a negative ( it's rarely clear that that is not the intention ). Which is unfortunate, because it simply means 'of a kind'. By the very nature of music and in particular, genres, it follows that most songs are generic. You could even argue that every song is ( although I wouldn't ). Generic songs simply have a blueprint, a place to start. I've stated in earlier posts that I see Led Zeppelin's status as the gods of heavy metal as largely accidental, rather than part of their initial game plan, but that doesn't mean that they didn't play metal / hard rock. They certainly did - but it was just one of a range of styles that they played. Having been together for six years at the time most of GRAFFITTI was recorded, it is no surprize that they were crafting some damn good heavy rock. Generic it may be, unadventurous and uninventive it is not......... IN MY TIME OF DYING is for me one of Zep's peak performances. I did wonder, when I first heard it, when it was going to end, but I also didn't want it to end. I recall reading a description of STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN some months before I'd heard any of their music but this one fitted the description far more accurately. Both the quiet structured part and the loud jam part demonstrate that either way, this band were controlled and had keen sense of dynamics, sparking each other off in different ways. The song is based on Dylan's calmer version from 1962, which is in itself taken from Blind Willie Johnson's " JESUS, MAKE UP MY DYING BED ". Considering that it wasn't worked out and they brought it to it's own conclusion, it's a breathtaking piece of music. HOUSES OF THE HOLY has one of the best deceptive starts ever and it is a groovy track, kind of a rewrite of MISTY MOUNTAIN HOP, they both have that lazy swaggerring riff that propels the song along. Why in the world it was left off the album that bears it's name is a mystery, I think Page was taking his "we will do things OUR way " dictum to it's maximum point of velocity. Probably for the last time. In the year between HOLY and GRAFFITTI, John Paul Jones came ever so close to leaving the band and taking up a position of choirmaster at Winchester Cathedral in England ! It seems that he was also ever keen for the band's music to keep growing and diversifying and while it was initially Page's band, Jones rather than Plant IMHO was the crucial find. He enabled ( BLACK MOUNTAIN SIDE notwithstanding ! ) their collective visions to be realized into something concrete with the sound palettes he could create. His contribution to the next two, TRAMPLED UNDERFOOT and KASHMIR is immense. Both were good songs anyway, but his arranging and keyboard skills make them special. That said, I still think Deep Purple's HIGHWAY STAR and Queen's I'M IN LOVE WITH MY CAR are better songs of that 'car is my woman metaphor' type than TRAMPLED. It's a more serious funk flavoured workout than the previous THE CRUNGE and the prominence of the clavinet ( an electric piano with such a one dimensional sound and, as it turned out, application ) ensures Stevie Wonder comparisons for evermore. KASHMIR carries the thread that linked BLACK MOUNTAIN SIDE, FRIENDS, 4 STICKS and bits of THE RAIN SONG to it's final conclusion ( for the time being ), one of three major epics on the album. The drum production at the end recalls OUT ON THE TILES and is for me evidence that rather than recycling and rehashing old stuff, at this point Zeppelin were building on what they had established. I do accept that there's sometimes a really thin line between both states. It's an exceptional song that creates a unique soundscape with imagery to match. Well written and sung, the lyrics are deep, Jones' string arrangement transports the listener eastbound and the most fascinating element is the fact that the initial track was laid down by just Page and Bonham. And it's got the most underratedly beautiful bass line..... IN THE LIGHT is the third track of epic proportions, a curious eastern tinged rocker that isn't that far removed from KASHMIR, yet, such is the invention contained therein, it's taken me 26 years to spot the similarity. The harmonies are lovely, this was the first heavy rock example I'd taken note of where harmonies really stood out. The riffs in the song are brilliant. BRON - Y - AUR is a cute instrumental, not surprizingly, recorded at the time of ZEP 3. It's nice but unremarkable. While I don't think it would have improved that album, it seems to sit well here and I'm glad we have it. I was surprized to see that DOWN BY THE SEASIDE was recorded at the same time as STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN, MISTY MOUNTAIN HOP and the others that comprized the fourth album. I've always liked the song and if it was from 1970 - 71, I think it's damn near ahead of it's time. It's got a loping, lazy feel to it and a really tense middle bit that sounds great. Robert Plant says the other members of the band hated the song for years and nearly laughed him out of town when he suggested including it on the album - but I'm glad they relented. ( This is another reason why I describe it as CODA before CODA ). NIGHT FLIGHT also hails from the same sessions and just doesn't sound like 1971, though that may be because it's on a '75 album and I tend to associate songs with their year of release.....kind of reminds me of something Nick Mason of Pink Floyd said about that. He reckoned that whatever year a record came out, it was really a catalogue of the previous year ( 'DARK SIDE OF THE MOON' had been played live over and over and tinkered with and recorded and re - recorded over an 18 month period before it's release so he says it evokes '72 rather than '73 for him. ). I think that may be truer of the 70s onwards when bands were only releasing one album a year and taking many months to record it. The 60s saw more immediate albums.....but back to NIGHT FLIGHT, I think it's a fabulous song and it has a personal resonance for me. For some reason, it's one of the tracks on the LP that takes me right back to the time I first heard it. TEN YEARS GONE doesn't, but it certainly looks back, back to the time when Plant was issued with an ultimatum by his first wife, " it's either the band or me ! " ( this was pre - Zeppelin ). And he's reflecting on the ten years that have passed since then. I think he sings it, not so much with regret, but with sadness. Musically, it was originally an instrumental; this possibly accounts for the 14 guitars that are layered through the song.....They worked really hard on this one and to bring about some relief, they had a jam session, out of which flowed TRAMPLED UNDERFOOT and CUSTARD PIE. It's a reflective song on what is increasingly presenting itself as a reflective album. The lyrical cock rock that often reflected the band's hi - jinks on the road comes across as either formulaic blueswailing crap { CUSTARD PIE, BLACK COUNTRY WOMAN, TRAMPLED } or ironic and moaning { THE WANTON SONG, SICK AGAIN }. Truth be told though, there was always more to the words that the band ( Plant in the main ) put to their music than met the eye. But the presence of DYING, KASHMIR, IN THE LIGHT, TEN YEARS GONE, THE WANTON SONG and SICK AGAIN { interestingly all from the album sessions and not the older outtakes } causes me to agree with an earlier comment that this album kind of represents the beginning of the end for the band. They were truly growing up and now themes such as salvation, the afterlife, enlightenment, the true meaning of life, spirituality, contemplation, death and suchlike were now showing up in whole songs rather than in odd lines and rumours of pacts with Satan here and there. It's ironic that the cracks should appear as the band reached their peak, but not altogether surprizing. THE WANTON SONG is possibly the tightest high octane riffing performance on the album, a tremendous bodyslammer that gets one in the gut and all but operates on you ! In the contest between generic and well crafted, I know who gets my vote ! Mr Jones ! His bass playing is super steady ( he and Bonham are like one voice ) and during Page's magnificent solo, he puts together a fantastic bass part. Hearing this track first brought home to me how the bass guitar could really enhance and influence, while not overpowering. BOOGIE WITH STU does pretty much what it says on the packet - it's a 1971 boogie with Stew of the Stones camp, a fun filled jam at Mick Jagger's house. Plant plays guitar on this and Page plays mandolin and makes interesting percussive sounds on an early guitar synth or maybe it's just a synth. For info junkies only ! Very sweetly { and probably a reaction to all the criticisms of song stealing and not crediting sources - it's worth remembering that around the same time, Memphis Minnie gets a co - composer credit } they credit Ritchie Valens' mum as a co - composer{ the song is based on Valens' "Ooh my head " - he's the guy that died in the same plane crash as Buddy Holly } so that she could get royalties and given the shiploads that the album sold, I'd say she did ok....BLACK COUNTRY WOMAN was from the same sessions as D'YER MAK'ER and is an altogether superior song to that turkey. The lyrics may be rich white boy blues ( the irony shows that Plant had a sense of humour ) but the music is excellent, funky with acoustic blues and country -ish cross references, beautifully sung with outstanding drumming that is the inverse of GALLOWS POLE's percussives { what a far reaching track that was } and lovely guitaring and the harmonica wonderfully wailing it's way. I was going to say they never used it enough but on reflection, over the years it was a well used colour. SICK AGAIN is so funny on one level, a celebration of the groupie scene that they helped to perpetuate. But there's more going on in this musically brilliant song with yet another high quality solo; tut tut, it seems that our Robert is complaining and wants us to feel sorry for him, coz he's suddenly figured out tthat after viewing them that way himself for years, the younger groupies now don't really see him as a person, only as a trophy ( " Do you know my name ? Do I look the same ? " ). Touche ! I conclude from this that the scene was changing for these guys and the Crowleyesque excesses didn't ultimately bring what was promised. SICK AGAIN is far closer to biblical reality { the book of ecclesiastes is a classic in this vein } and God's view of our estrangement than IN MY TIME OF DYING or IN THE LIGHT could ever be.

I think that every song on this collection is at the very least good, most of it high quality. I don't see any of it as filler and indeed, 26 years after first hearing it, it's unthinkable for me to not listen to all of it at one sitting ( with lots of rewinds ! ). I think all the lengths of the songs are right and believe me, it was and still is great value for money. I can see why some don't dig all of it and that's each person's prerogative, it's unfair to have a pop at people for not " getting it " coz that has little to do with anything. When push comes to shove, the fact that someone isn't impressed by something doesn't mean that what they observe is irrelevant [ though it may be ! ] and just because you do like something and gush a bit, doesn't mean you're a deadheaded blind fool worshipper whose view is pants [ though it may be ! ]. The whole band is on top form, producing a dazzling array of colours within some versatile arrangements, many of which are solid and well crafted heavy rock.


<> (14.08.2000)

Ok....This album really is underated guys. If you think Houses of the Holy and Physical Graffiti are already the sounds of a Zeppelin in descent, then I see why you find Presence to be about six eggs short of a dozen. But I happen to think both of those records are very good and Presence is only a slight disappointment in's a good record, plain and simple...not the best, but certainly better than In Through the Out Door, Coda, and The Song Remains the Same. 'Achilles Last Stand' and 'Nobody's Fault'...are top shelf Zeppelin...."For Your Life" is tasty too (an underated gem)...Of the other songs, only "Candy Store Rock" and "Tea For One" are a bit underwhelming...the first is too generic-rock...the second one sports an overly sleepy tempo and is much too damn long. Those flaws aside, I'd recommend this record to any hard rock fan....a must for any Zeppelin Fan.

<> (24.09.2000)

Here we go again with the "generic heavy metal" accusations - but to be fair to ya George, this probably is as close to that description as Led Zeppelin ever got. But is it as bad as you describe? Not even close, kids. Sometimes a good riff can exist for its own sake - let it be.

frog_in_a_teabag <> (12.01.2001)

I believe this album is slated for all the wrong reasons, technicaly this is jimmy pages finest work. 'Achillies last stand' is probably one of most under rated zeppelin songs, you can tell how much work went into that track, with out of this world drumming,vocals,bass and probably the greatest of jimmy pages technical guitar,along with the fact its around about led zeppelin's lowest point in the rock career.

All i can say gentlemen is hats off to on of the greatest rock bands of all times and i hope you will all take time to sit and listen to probally what i beleive to be the bands greatest hour ACHILLIES LAST STAND......

<> (31.01.2001)

Put this factor into consideration, this album was recorded in 17 DAYS, with only a few parts of the songs written beforehand

Perry Justus <> (06.03.2001)

Presence has much less variety, but it's the angriest album, recorded in 17 days while the band could burn a hole in your face. "For Your Life" is menacing and contains moments of sheer desperation. Sounds like a raunchy ditty about a woman who fakes everything, but it's really more about the drugs and bad groupies that seemed to pervade this time period even more than the PG time frame. Perhaps "Royal Orleans" is out of place -- it's an absolutely hilarious story of how bassist/keyboardist (btw, that *is* an actual Middle-eastern orchestra on Kashmir) somehow slept with a drag queen, but it's fun nonetheless. You're right about 'NFBM' - it's very apocalyptic and speaks volumes about the time. "Candy Store Rock" seems innocent enough, but under the sugariness lies more rants about the terrible time period. "Hots On For Nowhere" sounds light-weight as well, and the band achieved better funk in previous years, but it's also perhaps Robert Plant's most spiteful batch of lyrics, where he basically says "fuck you!" to his friends. 'Tea For One' is the band at their saddest and most desperate--Plant was in bed because of the car crash when he wrote this one. ('Achilles Last Stand' was always meant to be titled as such, as far as I know -- it's a pun on Robert's broken leg, because he nearly broke it again when recording the song, so I've heard!)

Eric Rogozin <> (17.07.2001)

George, every time you call Led Zeppelin heavy metal you make me cringe. You can like or dislike this album, but calling it "heavy metal" and all the more so "generic heavy metal" is so far from truth! Remember, heavy metal as a genre was invented around 1983 and it was always known that Purple and Zeppelin were The Fathers Of Hard Rock. In Rock and Led Zep II introduced hard rock but not heavy metal. And calling any Zeppelin stuff generic is far from truth as well: unlike really generic hard rock bands like Judas Priest, all the music Led Zeppelin created was always intelligent and tasty. You have to admit it even if you don't like some of their stuff. Perhaps, the words "Led Zeppelin" and "generic" are antonymes.

As for album itself, sure Presence is underrated. The opening track "Achilles Last Stand" is superb beyond description! Truly one of the best Zeppelin songs ever! Such an athmosphere! Truly great! Another tracks sure don't hold a candle to the opening track, but are nevertheless decent. "For Your Life" is really an underrated gem with the wonderful riff in a middle of the song, such riff Black Sabbath could only dream about (hey, and there are also many other things that Zeppelin had and Sabbath could only dream about). "Tea For One" is an inferior, but nevertheless very good rewrite of the wonderfuol "Since I've Been Loving You".

[Special author note: once again, we have an example of the 'heavy music I like = hard rock, heavy music I dislike = heavy metal' equation. Just for Eric's account, the term 'heavy metal' was coined as early as the late Sixties; it was always known that the Kinks and the Who, not Purple or Led Zep, were the fathers of hard rock which existed long before these bands were even formed - 'You Really Got Me' is a perfect example of a hard rock song; and even if you take Judas Priest as the first heavy metal band, they started putting out albums in their classic style since the late Seventies, not 1983. And if 'Royal Orleans' and 'Candy Store Rock' aren't generic, I don't know what is. Probably nothing.]

Eric Rogozin <> (19.07.2001)

May I say something more? OK, though not on a Presence subject,  I wanna say, that it's wrong to consider The Who and The Kinks to be hard rock bands, I think. Why can't we use the term "rock" without any prefixes towards them? They sure influenced hard rock, but to influence and to be are different words. If "You Really Got Me" can be defined as a hard rock song, why can't "Taxman" or "Satisfaction" be defined as a hard rock songs? These two brilliant songs influenced hard rock as well. But I consider hard rock to be the certain music trend, established in the late Sixties - early Seventies. As for heavy metal, I once read Jon Lord   saying that he first heard the term "heavy metal" approximately 1981. And I have never heard Deep Purple, Scorpions, Nazareth, Uriah Heep or Led Zeppelin musicians calling their music heavy metal. Heavy metal is also the certain musical trend, but it was established in early Eighties by Metallica, Megadeth and Manowar. Judas Priest became heavy metal in the late Eighties, I guess, in the Seventies they were generic hard rock band with some good songs. But it's all very relatively of course.

[Special author note: I do not consider the Kinks a 'hard rock band', as they moved from hard rock to softer Britpop very quickly. The Who, however, were definitely a hard rock band and there's no getting away from it. Live At Leeds is a hard rock album. Who's Next is a hard rock album. We can certainly use the term "rock" without prefixes, but only to designate every rock band that ever existed. Hard rock, as rock that makes heavy use of feedback and distortion as opposed to the 'clean' sound of the early Sixties and, later, of soft-rock tunes, was invented by the Kinks and the Who. 'Satisfaction' is certainly a hard rock song (unlike, say, 'The Last Time'); 'Taxman', too, to a lesser extent. As for Led Zeppelin, they ushered in a radically new type of sound, a type of sound that favoured unison bass-guitar riffs, screeching vocals, extra-loud drums and dark mystical imagery, all a distinct trademark of a new style that wasn't present before. This style, though made even more obvious by Black Sabbath, was being called 'heavy metal' as early as the Seventies. If Jon Lord heard the term 'heavy metal' around 1981, well, all I can say is he hadn't been listening that much. As for Metallica and Megadeth, they introduced thrash metal - a new subdivision of the genre. Judas Priest switched on to a definite heavy metal sound with Stained Class in 1978. So much for the argument.

And in any case, let's not argue about terminology, okay? There are different schools of thought on the subject, but it's clear as rain that the 'heavy' music played by the Who, Led Zep, and Metallica, are all different. In my opinion, the terms "hard rock", "heavy metal", and "thrash metal" perfectly suit the differences between the three. If you think otherwise, it's your dime - but don't reproach me my use of the term anyway as it's perfectly justified.]

John McFerrin <> (25.07.2001)

Actually, in case you're interested, the phrase "heavy metal" was first used in '67 or '68 to describe the sound of Jimi Hendrix's live playing.

Ratko Hribar <> (06.10.2001)

Arrrrgggh !!! Another one !!!

But it's at least shorter, so I'll also be short as possible this time. 'Achilles Last Stand' is a total classic and 'Nobody's Fault But Mine' is also pretty great. In fact, it's probably the only song from Zeppelin in which I actually like Plant's singing. Am I getting soft ? Nah. I still hate his voice, but here, he's able to pull it off nicely. 'For Your Life' is good too, not groundbreaking, naturally. The rest is passable, and just rarely plain terrible. The thing is, the overall quality of the songs seems to be slipping badly, so even the best songs aren't quite as impressive as on their earlier albums. This one is better than Graffiti since it is a single LP and has less filler, although the songs are for the most part somewhat weaker. How about another 6 ?

Breck Brizendine <> (17.07.2003)

I've always considered this LZ's underrated masterpiece. It is their "Art Rock" album. I dub this music -with its odd riffs, strange clunky rythmns, deep-but-strangely etherial bass tones, and all but total lack of power chords "Abstract Rock" - LZ in abstract. No humanizing acoustic guitars, no hippy ambiance ('Achilles' Last Stand' is too cold for hippy music -this is true New Wave Metal, back when New Wave was an undefineable spirit in the air, and certainly before it became another word for blooping beeping synths.

Plant's vocals multiply and shiver in reverb like early 60s pop records. Page's guitar tones absolutely kill; these solos are like twisted neon lights. Bonzo's drumming is monsterous and arch-precise. The production engulfs you -easily their best-recorded record.

But its weird. Cold. Actually quite surreal in places -I mean, listen to the structure of 'Hots On For Nowhere'. What is this? A whole new kind of hard rock - in a way, bordering on Captain Beefheart, with its jerky tootling.

'For Your Life' is so gritty and urban sounding. The guitars clang off each other like bricks on slowing cars... Slow, grinding, the solo crawling all over everything like a junkie searching his apartment for a fix. This is LZ meets Velvet Underground.

"All the songs sound the same", some people say, but I say get your preconceptions out of your ears and just listen, for God's sake.

Stephen Rutkowski <> (11.10.2003)

The album begins in explosive fashion with the colossal ‘Achilles Last Stand’. If anyone tells you this is the last truly great song that Led Zeppelin, they aren’t lying. Nothing on this album nor the next two can even be put in the same league as this song. The song features arguably Bonham’s finest moment behind the kit. He probably also created a template for heavy metal drumming with the booming fills, but that’s not his fault. As someone has mentioned, the song is called ‘Achilles Last Stand’ because Plant had a broken ankle from his car crash, and while recording the song he slipped over and re-injured it. But after ten great minutes, it is time to return to reality. Hey, it ain’t all the bad. There’s a few tracks to salvage the album, namely ‘Nobody’s Fault But Mine’ and ‘Tea for One’. ‘For Your Life’ is good as well, but the rest… Well ‘Royal Orleans’ and ‘Candy Store Rock’ are absolutely terrible. ‘Hots on for Nowhere’ isn’t! much chop either. The first two ‘rockers’ feature some terribly unremarkable performances. There is nothing about these songs to hold onto, they just come and go and you are onto the next track. ‘Hots on for Nowhere’ features possibly the most annoying Led Zeppelin chorus. Come on guys, how hard is it to write a few words to replace those la’s. The track does have it’s redeemable qualities, I don’t mind the funky guitar tone in places. Yet, it could never be anything more than average.

‘For Your Life’ is a pretty good hard hitting song with a few gimmicks thrown in like the stuttering on “c-c-c-cocaine”. Nothing I would recommend to a friend though. ‘Nobody’s Fault But Mine’ is the highlight behind ‘Achilles Last Stand’. Robert Plant puts on a truly great performance on vocals. And I would assume he is the one playing harmonica. That sounds fantastic. Many people interpreted this song as proof that Plant really did sell his soul to the devil, a myth that had been floating around Led Zeppelin for years. And finally comes the fitting album closer and appropriately titled ‘Tea for One’. The opening passage is fantastic, and its disappointing when it comes to a halt after less than sixty seconds. I wonder what a song that was based around that passage woul! d sound like? I guess we will never know. The remainder is a rewrite of ‘Since I’ve Been Loving You’ but they seem to have removed a lot of parts. What I mean is the song is ‘emptier’ with less happening. This is the intention though as it fits the songs depressive mood. You really can visualise four guys who are down in the doldrums, particularly Robert Plant himself. I don’t think they should be complaining too much about it though considering what they have compared to the average person, but Plant was suffering from severe loneliness. Anyway, I’m not here to discuss psychology. The album really is substandard compared to previous efforts, and Led Zeppelin have officially began their decline.

Philip Bourke <> (13.12.2003)

I agree! I got this lp when I was 16 or 17,many years ago and having previously heard the first 4 lp's, I could not understand what the hell was wrong with this one! Zeppelin being an enigma in many ways, It seemed critisizing them, their work was akin to heresy!! But it's a poor album! Recording an album in 17 days is no excuse, neither are the drug problems, drugs and the problems that come with them are obligatory in Rock'n'Roll. Presence is nothing if it's not a band not just in decline, but in denial! Having a shitload of lp's going to the top of the charts, for what its worth, is very nice, but perhaps Presence is a case of the Emperors New Clothes!!!! I DUNNO!!! But it is for sure, an album that is hard to get through without cringing here or there. Ah well, no ones perfect!!!

Bob Josef <> (07.01.2004)

More like Lack of Presence. I guess the general consensus is that it's Zep's weakest and least popular album. It certainly gets the least airplay nowadays. It's not hard to understand why -- there's nothing here that is terribly memorable. At least the previous two showed some attempt at diversity, even if they were mostly failures. This is just boring. Along with Coda, only for the staunchest Zepheads.

Mark <> (09.01.2004)

Okay, I seem to be a minority of one here, but I love this album. The "coldness" that one of the readers mentions is so right. It's cold to the point of iciness. It's so distant that it's scary. Forget the "17 days", "Robert's accident", "drug problems" etc etc. Zep sound truely scary, angry, frightened and lonely all at once. That 17 days in the studio must have been intense. For that reason I love this album. It's so focused on heavy guitars - no acoustic stuff, no pretty ballads, no respite. Just pure power and desperation. This is what they sound like when their lives actually ARE on the line (probably lliterally in Plant's case, or at least his wife). "Achilles" is brilliant. 10 minutes is actually too short in this case. This is perhaps the strongest rhythm track Zep ever cut; Page, Jones and Bonzo are on fire and playing with pure precision that it's almost superhuman. Fuck "Moby Dick", this is Bonzo's best work. Page gets off some of the most fantastic playing of ! his career here. All the guitars sound like they have sparks coming off them. So intense that it's a little frightening. "For Your Life" is a great tune too. Nice guitar work (interesting hearing Jimmy flail away on the tremolo arm) and great little lick in the middle (which sounds like the lick he used in "Travelling Riverside Blues" to my ears). Again, the lyrics seem to be putting everyone down. Bitter, cynical little jibes at what I always thought was Plant's "former" lifestyle (the drugs, groupies) that he now realizes are superficial in light of his recent termoil). "Royal Orleans" is not a classic work, granted, but I don't see what everyone trashes it for. It's got a good groove, and again, the guitar solo adds a bitter edge to a track that seems to be a simple fun song. Plus Bonzo is smoking playing with knife like precision. "Nobody's Fault" is another killer. Great guitar work and great sound. (George, this is where I disagree with you the most on this album. Granted, Physical was crammed with "generic" guitar sounds, but on Presence every track has got new and interesting guitar sounds that jump out of the speaker at you). Plant's vocal on this is scary - on headphones, I am always looking over my shoulder afraid that someone is about to jump on me. And I always thought that this was Plant's little dig at Jimmy for the "devil" shit that he might have considered getting him into the mess he was in. Truely awesome track. Great harmonica and killer guitar solo too. "Candy Store Rock" is fairly bland, although I always listen to the into guitar part before skipping to the next track. "Hots On" I again am in the minority. I like this one a lot too. The band is so tight, and the "poppy" melody seems to cover up the angry bitter "Fuck you" lyrics. Plus, this guitar with the tremolo arm just comes out of nowhere and nails me everytime, even though I know it's coming. Page certainly was in an inventive mood during those 17 days. "Tea For One"....again I seem to be the only one on this one too. I love the intro too, like a lot of people, but when the slow part kicks in, I'm not disappointed. I'm enthralled. This has got to be one of my favorite guitar solos of all time, and one of Jimmy's best. Plant is great on this one too. But it's really Jimmy's show. The tones, the licks, the reverb coating, the grungy rhythm's just amazing. No one has ever made lonliness seem so beleivable to me. This track scares me the most out of the whole Zeppelin catalog. It strikes me as how Plant was gonna blow his brains out, and by transferring all of his bitterness and sadness into this track managed to save his own life. It's so intense, that at the end of the song, even though I love it, I'm almost releived that it's over. This album is easily the most under rated work in the Zeppelin canon, and to me is miles ahead of Houses and Physical. After II and sometimes III, this is the Zep album that I reach for the most. Maybe that says something about my state of mind more than my taste..............

Jay Ehrlich <> (27.01.2004)

as usual, everybody is wrong. 'Achilles last stand' drumbeat is STOLEN from Heart's "barracuda"...this song is painfully long, painfully sung,and Bonzo just plays the same riff for the whole song, practically....I cannot ever listen to this without instantly feeling ripped off...'tea for one' starts out great, and then it's as lame as 'since I've been loving you', which at least was original on the third album,kinda...BUT...'for your life' is almost perfect, and 'royal orleans' is not generic at, I usually find you accurate, but not's got some funky drums...'nobodies fault but theirs' is pure heaven with the greatest rock harmonica solo ever recorded!!!!! no, really...'candy store rock' is on this cool off-beat, and, yeah, they, I remember just needs a little more, and it would have really smoked, and 'hots on for nowhere's la la's are fine,and lottsa good guitar....5 great songs, and the two worst, are considered the best part????, give this album another spin, aiy?

Samo Kodela <> (18.02.2006)

Presence.The album of pain, agony, sadness and yeah, a few really less good Zep songs. The sound on it is pretty much the same, on all the songs, which is also a problem.Anyway, that might be due to lack of time, but that's not a good excuse. It might also be a bit intensional, because perhaps Jimmy wanted us to really feel the suffer of the band in all kinds of ways, when we listen to the album, , so perhaps he also tried to achived that with the sound (I am not trying to say that the sound is unberable in the pyhsicall sence, heh). A bit of sound change, acoustic guitars and keyboards still wouldn't really spoil much. The album was written and recorded in 17 days so that also explains a few things. Thre are still four excelent songs on the album and other three vary from less good, to a thing that is really not a song, but a blues jam. Ofcourse, Zep are not heavy metal and they were never generic. I really don't know any generic heavy metal bands, so i could compare, but my suspection is, that if it would be similar to 'Royal orleans' I certainly also wouldn't hear it on the radio, because I certainly also wouldn't be able to hear 'Royal orleans' on the radio, because good Zep songs are played on the radio, and also in Slovenia, we don't really have rock radios and also not much rock on the radio. Still I go to a rock pub quite often and a lot of crappy metal is played there from the stereo and I guess, that is generic metal and it really doesn't sound like 'Royal orleans' at all, even if 'Royal orleans' is in my opininon the worst Zep song ever. It's not even a song, its' a blues jam like I said before. It doesn't have a melody , but it has blues riffs and a sort of Hendrix-like solo. The lyrics are about some strange stuff that happened to Jones in New orlens, so maybe the riffs are trying to be a bit goofy, as the lyrics are really about a very strange and funny thing, that happened to Jones. So 'Royal orleans' is really not good.'Candy store rock' holds the 6-th place. It's has more melody, but it's also not very strong in that aspect and the playing is quite good, but the song is a try of playing rock and roll and giving it a sad feel. It's not very succsesful.Everything about the band was in the worst conditions at that point, so the situation was exactly the opposite, then in the case of Houses of the holy. Unfortunately that also influenced the songwriting. But i think that somehow, through the songwritting strugle, the spirit of the band at that time was shown, in terms of, that they just couldn't write only good songs for the record and so maybe the less good songs could be taken as a document of the state of the band at that time, rather than a document of a band, that just wasn't capable of writting an excelent album in the general terms.'For your life' is on the fifth place and is already a huge improvement, as far as playing goes, as the guitar and drums are fantastic. If only the vocal melody would be stronger, this would be a great song. The lyrics are good and are about the sad state of the groupy scene. Here come the four excelent songs, that prove Zep were an excellent band, no matter what the circumstances were. The fourt best song is 'Hots on for nowhere' with fantastic riffs, soloing and an amazing coda. Bass and drums are very strong and so is the vocal melody.'Tea for one' has some of Jimmy's most soulfull and bluesy playing and it's the song that most perfectly portraits the band at the time. It's just such sad and slow bluesy song, with philosophicall lyrics. It's got a good melody and also great guitar overdubbs. 'Nobody's fault but mine' is a song that has amazing riffing and soloing from Jimmy and also Bonzo's second best drum performance on the album, with the one being on the first place from 'Achilles' being his best ever.It's a song about getting in trouble and trying to make it better and Plant sings it fantastically and with so much power. 'Achilles last stand' is the bands most brilliant perfomance of the carrer and the lyrics are poetic and about Plant travelling to Greece and then having the car accident, so it was also called 'The wheelchair piece' during the recording. It is very fast, with a huge amount of riffs and a fantastic solo and that cetre RIFF, that shows Jimmy genious once again!! The song is ofcourse full of overdubbs. As far as the abuse of power chords, I just don't aggre with George. They are really only there in 'For you life' and 'Nobody's fault' and even there they are used in an excellent way. So this one is a little less good , but still a good Led Zeppelin HARD ROCK album. (8/10)

Tagbo Munonyedi <> (03.06.2006)

This is a really funny album, unlike the previous six studio albums, it doesn't seem to jump out at you as a memorable document. It's one of those albums that seems to kindle no affectionate feelings........until you listen to it. I've just come to realize that for a quarter of a century, I've never particularly looked forward to hearing it but I've always been pleasantly surprized when I have listened to it. With one notable exception, I think this is a damn good album. In it's own funny way, it's as good in part as anything they'd done before, but it's not a popular view and it's taken me half my life to come to that conclusion. I think part of the reason for that is that this and the debut were the last LPs of Zep that I got [ aside from CODA which wasn't around in 1980 ] and I was dissapointed with the debut and PRESENCE didn't thrill me much either. But it really needs to be listened to and it has some serious durability to it.

It's sound matches it's lyrics, bored, agitated, coming to terms with a dream that is no longer quite so pleasurable. The previous album was the first showing of cracks, particularly in SICK AGAIN, where Plant laments the passing of a scene they were once in control of, and IN MY TIME OF DYING, KASHMIR and IN THE LIGHT where the meaning of life was being seriously considered. Plant's lyrics reflect the mind of a man who has just seen his life flash before him and given the tensions that had surfaced with John Paul Jones, it's interesting that this is a deliberate guitar album, the only one they ever did. Page was adamant about this, there were to be no keyboards, acoustic songs or mellowness. Described as " an intense number ", ACHILLES LAST STAND is apparently about Plant and Page's wanderings around Northern Africa ( Morocco to be exact ). It's one of those tracks that I never think fondly of - until I hear it. It really is intense, but it's a fabulous song, a shot out of the blue with dynamics a plenty. FOR YOUR LIFE I always thought of as a plodding doddery old piece but one night it got right under my skin and now I consider it my favourite track on the album. It's got a lousy piece of editing on it, as jumpy and lame as Pink Floyd's MATILDA MOTHER, but that doesn't diminish from it's brilliance. It's jerky start/stop pattern is a difficult one to carry off but one of the things this band excelled in was dynamics. The lyrics reveal this as the sequel to SICK AGAIN and the booming bass is probably the heaviest since HEARTBREAKER on the second album. This is one of the album's ' contemplating life's meaning ' songs, realizing that there was more to life than the temptations that adorned where they were headed. And it's intriguingly juxtaposed with ROYAL ORLEANS, which, as someone earlier pointed out is about when Jones ended up picking up a transvestite / drag queen not realizing this was the case. Easilly done ! Musically, it seems to be an inverted rewrite of THE WANTON SONG but with a funky air to cloak it in. It sports one of the two top riffs on the album and it really moves and jerks about with Bonham cracking some lovely licks throughout. NOBODY'S FAULT BUT MINE was originally my favourite and I still find it a great. It's got that stop/start thingy that crops up on a few of the songs and it's well sung and that harmonica blast !! The first time I heard that, I thought WOW ! It was the only moment that made me think that, actually. And you should try to play that - the amount of breath and skill required is phenomenal. But even more startling than the blast is the solo itself. I think Robert Plant was a good harmonica player in Led Zeppelin, his input on that instument criminally devalued. His wailing on tracks like YOU SHOOK ME, BRING IT ON HOME, LEVEE, BLACK COUNTRY WOMAN and this one show that he could be a sensitive soul. I can't think of any duff work he did on it and it was a neat compliment to and diversion from Jones' range of keyboards and Page's guitar and mandolin. Actually, thinking about it, Zep utilized quite a diverse range of colours. But not on PRESENCE ! Anyway, Blind Willie Johnson was apparently part of the inspiration behind this song, having written very similar lyrics back in the 20s. But the heroin angle is an altogether more fascinating spin on this number. Probably the most radical departure on the album is CANDY STORE ROCK. For me it's also far and away the worst, a worthless waste of however many minutes it takes up. It makes D'YER MAK'ER look like WHOLE LOTTA LOVE, it's that bad. Zep IMO didn't do many bad tracks, but when they did a howler, it howled at the moon ! AAAWWOOOOO !!! Hopefully, I'll never hear it again. HOTS ON FOR NOWHERE is one that I've always liked. It's part of the 'stop / start ' club on the album and apparently, it sports quite a bitchy lyric but to tell you the truth, I haven't a clue what it's about or what it could be about coz I can barely understand the words - and I was born in the same region of England as Plant ! Anyway, who cares ? I like the funky poppish feel of the song and as pedestrian as the chorus is, I think it's fantastic. Scores of hits in the 70s had choruses like this ! Which is neither praise nor condemnation.....For fifteen years, my opinion of TEA FOR ONE was that it was a song that has a superbly promising opening with suitably crackling guitars that just fizzle out, to be replaced by a boring, turgid rewrite of SINCE I'VE BEEN LOVING YOU and I just about tolerated it coz it wasn't awful. It wasn't good, but it was listenable. As one former Prime Minister here once put it, ' promises.......and piecrust ! ' Then one day as I was riding my bike home from work, for some reason I listened to the words and the verse that began " There was a time when I stood tall........." hit me like the claws of a grizzly bear. Or maybe even it's paws.The verse so summed up what I was going through and I, for the first time, really appreciated the music too. It still comes across as a SINCE I'VE... rewrite but it's a great song in it's own right with some tremendously controlled playing by Messrs Page, Jones and Bonham. A lonely, contemplative Robert Plant completes his metamorphosis from the the groupie eater of LIVING LOVING MAID and THE LEMON SONG, through the realizations of SICK AGAIN to this, a man on the road who no longer delights in being the self satisfied carnal gourmet { he was once described thus ! } but wants to be alone, with simply his thoughts, musings and tea for one. In fact, the dynamics of ACHILLES, FOR YOUR, ROYAL, NOBODY'S and HOTS and the lyrical themes of FOR YOUR, ROYAL and TEA lead me to consider this as an album of anti - cock rock and jerky foot heavy metal ! Yes, heavy metal. Eric who wrote about 5 years ago that heavy metal as a genre was invented around '83 was way off beam, though I can understand why. The term " heavy metal " can be traced to the mid to late sixties - I think it appears in the book 'Naked Lunch' and in the same way that terms like 'soft machine', 'the doors', 'psychedelic' etc came from books that the emerging rock royalty were into and found their way into lyrics, bandnames, album titles etc, so it happened with genres too { rock and roll was Black American slang for sex, coz their beds were rocking and rolling during the action, reggae came from a word that simply meant ' the regular people ' }. Heavy metal however, was IMO an evolution, not an invention { check out the guitar sounds of the Stones' I WANNA BE YOUR MAN, the Kinks YOU REALLY GOT ME, the Nashville Teens' TOBACCO ROAD - all from '64 } and the simple truth is that for about 12 years { say, 68-80 } the terms 'hard rock', 'heavy rock', 'heavy metal rock', 'heavy metal' and 'heavy music', were interchangeable terms that quite often meant the same thing. But because of the earlier usage of 'heavy metal' sometimes it had a different meaning. So it's not surprizing that Jon Lord and Ritchie Blackmore referred to Purple as hard rock while John Lennon in 1980 called 'Ticket to ride' one of the earliest heavy metal tunes written. It's also worth making the point that in the late 60s and early 70s, heavy/ hard rock was actually marketed as 'progressive' rock along with what we now refer to as 'prog', hence you get Ian Gillan referring to " Fireball " as 'a good progressive rock album' and Rush's Geddy Lee referring to Rush as a kind of progressive metal outfit. To slightly confuse the issue further, Lee also drew distinctions between hard rock and metal but historically, such a distinction can't really be found. I was using the term heavy metal in '79, I read the A-Z of heavy metal that year and if you look at the New musical express encyclopedia of rock ( published jan '77 but written in '76 ) the number of times phrases like ' heavy metal ', ' heavier rock ', ' harder rock ' and ' hard rock ' turn up is amazing - as is also the bands to whom the phrases are applied { Iggy and the Stooges, Kiss, Humble Pie, Three Dog Night, Grand Funk Railroad, Queen - for example }. Led Zeppelin are called " the definitive dizz-buster heavy metal rock combo, spawning a host of imitators " and of their first album " from the opening few bars this was absolutely dynamite heavy metal rock " and later on " their understanding of heavy rock textures certainly had no precedent ". WHOLE LOTTA LOVE is called " the definitive heavy metal anthem ", of Zeppelin 3 we are told, interestingly, that it " appeared in 1970 with similar hard rock foundation " ( note how the terms are already being used interchangeably ) and a quote from Page is given where he describes part of their sound as " heavy blues " { interestingly, the same section says that PRESENCE was 'dissappointing' }. Just before the release of the album, he said " I hate my music being described as rock'n'roll. 'Pop' as a term is ridiculous. Besides, they're both a long way from the truth. Anyway, I distrust all labels...." The 1979 Rock On heavy metal A-Z calls Led Zeppelin the " kings of heavy metal ", refers to Motorhead as " one of the loudest hard ' n ' heavy bands in the UK ", Blue Oyster Cult as " initially considered the foremost exponents of heavy metal rock in the US ", Boston as " the softer side of heavy metal ", Rush as " heavy metal with classical undertones ", Thin Lizzy as " inimitable hard rock though not strictly heavy metal ", Staus Quo as the " granddads of heavy metal.....playing good, hard upfront rock ". One of the things that is notable in reviews written in the 70s about heavy bands is that quite a number of them had other strings to their bows { like Queen or The Stooges } and that really is where Zeppelin sit. They were a band that played a variety of genres - of which heavy rock was one. A broad range of bands fell into the heavy category, some of which moreorless exclusively stuck to the genre, others dipped in and out and went elsewhere. Once I got over the initial thing that every album by a heavy band had to filled to the brim with incendiary heavy metal blitzkrieg, I was able to appreciate that pre '83 metal was tuneful, melodic, inventive, singable and diverse and I love the stuff. PRESENCE may not be the best heavy metal album ever, but as a document of a band past it's peak but still crafting interesting work and being forced to confront some of the realities of life, it's second to none, but maybe third to a few !


John McFerrin <> (02.06.99)

It's strange. I agree with you, but I still kinda sorta like this album. You're right that this has no resemblance to the Led Zeppelin that we grew to know and love. But that's part of it's charm for me. I've grown to actually like 'Carouselambra', believe it or don't. And 'Fool In The Rain' is just power pop, but it's good power pop. And 'All My Love' is very nice. Even tho none of these songs really sound like vintage zeppelin. And 'In The Evening' is kinda weak, yeah, but it's got this wierd creepy feeling to it, especially in that middle part with the quiet solo. It's just kinda neat to hear how Zep would sound not being Zep. Thank goodness that they broke up before it got really annoying.

Marco Ursi <> (10.09.99)

Not bad. Jones certainly makes better use of the synthesisers than Townsend and the Who. It's the bands most understated and fun record, also the most poppy. The musicianship ain't all there as Bonzo was losing it fast and Jimmy's guitar is overshadowed by the keyboards all over the place but than again, musicianship isn't always that important.

<> (20.10.99)

I am a large fan of In through the out door, but can respect your review. But, John Paul Jones plays the keyboards and synthesizers, not Page. Also, this is different than any Zeppelin album by having blues, country, hard and soft rock, some reggae in 'Fool In the Rain', and the dark sounds of 'In the Evening', which stem from Page's work on the Lucifer Rising Soundtrack.

<> (06.02.2000)

George,Maybe I am way off base here,or I just dont know what I am talking about.I love this album!From "In The Evening" right thru to the last track,I am totally engrossed.Maybe all the superhyped expectations I had when it came out are finally fullfilled.The older I get the better this sounds.'Im Gonna Crawl' is one of my all time Zep favorites.I think those who pan the album expected too much,Take it for what it is,the swansong of rocks heaviest metal!

Philip Maddox <> (06.07.2000)

To me, this just sounds like disc 2 of Physical Graffiti - lots and lots of filler. This record almost seems like it's all filler, though - there is no reason for 'Carouselambra' to last longer than 4 minutes, much less over 10. 'In The Evening' and 'South Bound Saurez' just sound like name-brand Led Zeppelin rockers - not bad, but not exciting enough to merit digging the record out to listen to them. 'All My Love' is an ok synth ballad, but it's really nothing special. In fact, the only song here that really stands out for me is 'Fool In The Rain'. I think that's a great song! The melody is pretty, the middle part is a fantastic groove, and the guitar solo is good, too. Sure, it's power pop, but if all power pop sounded like that, I'd like power pop! It's easily one of my favorite Zep songs (no fooling!) 'I'm Gonna Crawl' is ok, too, though it's a bit too long. I would give this a 5, but I love 'Fool In The Rain' enough to boost the rating to a 6. I don't see why so many people dislike that song. I had no expectations going in to this record - all I knew was that 'Fool In The Rain' was on it. Needless to say, I was disappointed.

<> (07.09.2000)

George, I think maybe you were drinking some of the same stuff Mr Bonham was drinking the night he called it a life. Your comment that this doesn't sound like any other Led Zepplin album was probably the whole point of making the album sound unlike any other Led Zeppelin album. Time to move on, try something different. I have to agree with you on 'I'm Gonna Crawl'. One of THE best Plant vocals in the entire Zeppelin catalouge. I've probably played that song more than any other song off the album. 'Fool In The Rain', and 'All Of My Love', are songs that could have been played on MOR radio, and just might have been. As for 'Carouselambra', I've always dug that dare I say it, discoey, is that a word???? ending. An overlooked gem, in my opinion, in the Zeppelin discography. 'In The Evening' had a muddy mix, which was only slightly improved on the remaster. I like it a little better now. Overall, I'd give it an 8...It's still better than 99% of the Zeppelin wannabees that are out there today.

<> (02.10.2000)

In Through the Out Door is hand's down the poorest Zeppelin studio album...."Fool in the Rain" is an enjoyable cut, "In the Evening" and "South Bound Saurez" are ok. The rest is truly mediocre or worse.....or worse would include your favorite cut "I'm Gonna Crawl"....a boring number...a synth meets the thanks...more aptly titled "We're Gonna Lay Down and Slip Into a Coma" Jimmy's solo isn't bad, but unfortunately it was kidnapped by the rest of the song. From comments they've made through the years, I think J. Page and R. Plant wish they could have a 'do over' with I.T.T.O.D.....oh well, can't be brilliant all the time... If you are about to hand over some tokens your first Zep record... do yourself a favor and get all the other studio albums first.

Perry Justus <> (06.03.2001)

I think that In Through the Out Door is a nice end, even though most will say it sucks. The drumming could NOT have been played by a session drummer. This is -- scary fanatic terms ahoy!! -- blasphemous, to say the least. Listen to the Latin beats he displays in "Fool in the Rain," where he sounds nearly like two drummers during the Chiquita Banana (made up title :) section. :o) His shuffles in the absolutely amazing "I'm Gonna Crawl" (such a fitting title for the period, where the live show was a hollow shell of its '69-72 glory days) are stunning, in my opinion. "Hot Dog" is a bit questionable, though I believe it's not intended to be taken with anything other than a grain of salt/sand.

Ratko Hribar <> (06.10.2001)

I'm well aware of the fact that this comment will seem pretty inconsistent if taken in consideration that I said I consider Led Zeppelin III as their worst album, but it seems I was completely unaware how bad this album really is. Unlike George, I don't see this as an improvement over their previous release in any way. This album doesn't have any, and I do mean, ANY classics. Sure, 'All My Love' is probably well-known, but it isn't a real classic. 'In The Evening' is, for some reason, included on Zeppelin's Remasters, but I have no idea as for why. Do they think it's a highlight, or what ? 'I'm Gonna Crawl' isn't bad, bad it's also not so GOOD as George thinks (again, IMHO). Hey, 'Carouselambra' is a solid song with a solid melody, not on their earlier levels but still. Unfortunately, like most Zeppelin songs, it drags itself just too long. 'South Bound Saurez' and 'Hot Dog' are happy crap-infested tunes, but not as offensive as one might think. Sadly, all of the remaining songs are almost intolerable. Jimmy Page is running to the dumpsite (he actually managed to beat Blackmore in that, since Ritchie was still going strong at the time), and Plant is already there, waiting. The drums are incapable to do anything more than some awful mid-tempo thumping. It's a sad epitaph to a band that had no cheerful future ahead of them anyway. And then, they gave their name the last, lethal blow by releasing Coda. And this... this is a 5.

Federico Fernández <> (23.10.2002)

Some people (you, for example) consider this album superior to Presence and Coda. I agree that those two records are fairly shitty, but at least I feel they left something in the end, two or three tracks, to convince the listener that it wasn't a TOTAL waste of money. In Presence we had "Achilles Last Stand" which was as amazing and grandiose as anything from the previous albums. In Coda we have little pleasant surprises like "Poor Tom" or "Ozone Baby".

Instead, this sucker here is something I just cannot get into; from my point of view this is one of the dullest and most boring albums of all time, together with that stupid Pink Floyd's A Momentary Lapse Of Reason. I mean; when I came home with this purchase and listened to it for the first time I was shocked. I thought: "The were completely DEAD". Jimmy is thoroughly uninspired; he can't deliver A SINGLE guitar hook throughout the record, only tired and shapeless notes. Jones is the only one to show some signs of life, but his achievements never go beyond "decent".

The result is a bunch of tuneless, boring, hookless, freakin' BAD songs. "In The Evening", "Carouselambra" and "I'm Gonna Crawl" (Which you like but I tell you; it's a lifeless copy of past glories) are monotonous and crawling deserts. NOTHING; no melody, no riff, no shifting dynamics, no armonies, no glorious chorus. Heck! even the atmospheres are bad. And if the songs are not prodigal bores like those, they are just plain silly, like the ABSOLUTELY HORRIBLE "Fool In The Rain"... LED ZEPPELIN DOING SAMBA???????!!!!!!!!!!!! No, thanks, no, please. "South Bound Saurez" and "Hot Dog" are the closest we get to "exciting" but they are absolutely MINOR, parody songs which pale in compasion with not very stellar previous effords like, er... "The Crunge". The only good song would be "All Of My Love", with pretty good string arrangements, nice melodies and a weird but extremely catchy synth solo in the middle. Still, it doesn't hold a candle to any of the old classics. I think "Darlene" and "Ozone Baby", which were recorded in these sessions but inexplicably left aside, could have made this a little better.

You say: "This is a 9 in my overall rating system" but many records you rate at the same level (or even lower) are FAR more entertaining, varied, song-wise and crafty than this garbage, notably the cases of News Of The World (Queen), Second Helping (Lynyrd Skynyrd) or Flaming Pie (Paul McCartney). That is the main problem with your rating system; ocassionaly, highly entertaining and even great albums like News Of The World are aligned with this kind of boring mess. Should you reconsider? You must know...

Stephen Rutkowski <> (11.10.2003)

Yeah, this album is really as bad as George says. I would definitely rate it below Presence. At least Presence has ‘Achilles Last Stand’ and ‘Nobody’s Fault But Mine’. This just isn’t Led Zeppelin. There are no hard hitting tracks here. There is nothing to make you say, “wow, what a great guitarist Page is” or “that Bonham fellow really hits the drums hard”. It’s just lifeless. However, the album has a few redeemable qualities, mostly ‘In the Evening’ and ‘Fool in the Rain’. The other songs aren’t too bad, but there are some absolutely terrible moments. ‘South Bound Saurez’ is just a little no nothing ditty with a bit of keyboard in the background. ‘Hot Dog’ is an annoying attempted country boogie. Yes I happily skip that song most of the time. ‘Carouselambra’ starts off pretty well, and if it just stopped at about the 5 minute mark I would probably like it. However that disco end section ruins it. ‘All My Love’ is a pretty good pop tune. It was originally titled ‘The Hook’ because of its pop qualities. The hook really does work because I remember liking it instantly the first time I heard it. But like a lot of pop the effect deteriorates over time and I don’t think much of it anymore. I can’t fault Plant’s vocals though. And I’m sorry George, but I find ‘I’m Gonna Crawl’ so damn boring. This doesn’t hold a candle to ‘Babe, I’m Gonna Leave You’. When listening to it. I spend most of the time wondering when the song will finish so I can pull the album out.

As for the relative highlights, ‘In the Evening’ is a pretty good rocker. But compared to vintage Led Zeppelin rockers, it is just mediocre. Not something to save an entire album. ‘Fool in the Rain’ is a really nice song, possibly one of Plant’s finest vocal performance. Ok, I am exaggerating, but his voice probably saves the track. Is that reggae, samba, …something else? I’m not too sure. I’ll take it anyway. The problem that Led Zeppelin made on this album and Presence is that by limiting itself to only seven tracks, if any it is limiting its opportunities to save an album. What I mean is that by having less tracks that are on average longer, if they release some dreck then it would ruin the album. Three minutes of dreck is better than ten minutes of dreck right? Here they have monsters like ‘Carouselambra’. The song is a failure and takes up a quarter of the album. Although in a slightly different context, I feel the same about In the Court of the Crimson King. No matter how good the remaining four tracks are (and indeed they are fantastic) a mess of sounds like ‘Moonchild’ will always wreck the album. If ‘Moonchild’ was only a couple of minutes then it’s not big deal, but instead its over ten minutes. This is just an example, I’m sure there are many other albums out there with similar fates. But in the case of In Through the Out Door, it is slightly different as the rest of the album isn’t good anyway.

And so ends Led Zeppelin as an entity. The album was hugely disappointing. However, the writing was already on the wall from Presence. If John Bonham hadn’t died, they would have probably released a few more substandard albums before realising that their time has passed and letting the younger generation have theirs. That’s what I hope anyway. Who knows, based on their willingness to have a crack at new wave, we might be waiting for Led Zeppelin’s techno album, or their hip-hop album. Sorry guys, just having a bit of light hearted fun. It is interesting to note though how Plant’s solo career moved towards the pop domain while Page has been tinkering with all sorts of Eastern influences. Perhaps Page would have been able to introduce something new to Led Zeppelin? It doesn’t matter now though, it’s merely conjecture.

Bob Josef <> (10.01.2004)

Actually, the influence I hear in the synth-based tunes is not New Wave pop, but prog. "All My Love" is actually a very interesting classical stylization. The groove driving "In the Evening" could have underpinned any number of prog songs. And it's kind of neat how it then all of a sudden drifts off into sudden atmospherics, and then comes back again. "Carouselambra" almost sounds like a Zep/Yes hybrid, with J.P.'s synth arpeggios, Bonham's fairly complex time signatures, and Plant's abstract (but once again silly) lyrics. I actually don't mind the frequently obnoxious Page and Bonham being turned down in the mix or Plant's vocal range lowering, either. I can enjoy these songs because they are a significant departure for Zep.

However, the rest of the album is as bad as Presence or Houses. "Hot Dog" is a total throwaway, and the lumpy "Fool in the Rain" is as horrible as you say -- and still gets way too much airplay. All in all, an album of experimentation by J.P., primarily, that succeeds in some ways and fails abysmally in too many others.

Samo Kodela <> (01.03.2006)

For me, In through the out door, is an album, that can still rock hard, from time to time and it has very strong melodies. I like those songs more as tunes, rather then songs with the full Zep power behind. Page and Plant were not creatively exhausted, as all of the numbers were co-written with Plant and a few times by Page.Zep were alyways good songwriters, so this album is great melodically and 'All of my love' is easily comparable, to most mellodic and catchy Beatles songs.The overall sound is not 'murky, dragy, and tired', because you got 'South bound saurez' and 'Hot dog' on there, which are very cheerfull songs!! Bonzo did some incredible stuff on the album, especially in Carouselambra and 'Fool in thr rain'!!Twenty six years on, we still see, he could never be replaced by anbody and especially not by an average(average!!!!!????-are you nuts?) session drumer.Bonham was at full strength in those songs. All Jimmy's solos are unbeliveable, even the one in Carouselambra, because it has such a wonderfull musical effect, yet it is very simple. Plant's voice is great and he schrieks the hihgest notes in 'I'm gonna crawl', but he is equally amazing in 'In the evening', 'Fool in the rain' and especially 'All my love', which Bonzo said was Plant's best ever performance!!So Plant was always great, he just changed his approach to singing all the time!To me, the songs are excellent mellodically and Jimmy is the master in a song like 'Fool in the rain'. Such speed and emotion!!The songs are exciting and catchy and the new approach is great!! It's just the result of Jones buying himself one of the first existing electronic keyboards (synthessisers) and he was also ussually, the first one in the studio. So basically they just recorded the music, that was coming out at that time and it was good. The idea for the next album, that Page and Bonham were already planning, would be, that it would be very guitar heavy. So ITTOD was just another experimental period of the bands carrer!! 'Carouselambra' has so many wonderful sections, that are so exciting and powerful, but also subtle and all those fast keyboard runs and mid age classical sounding bridges are a dream. The end is a bit disco influenced, but it's great, because it's done in a Zep style and they were not planing to become a disco band , because they also never planed to become a reagge band, folk band, country band, blues band, progresive band. They were Led zeppelin.Also, listen to Bonhams performance on Carouselabra. One of his best ever!Carouselambra has a strong melody and it has dynamics and unexpected tempo and melody changes, unlike George says and Carouselambra doesn't crawl, because it's mostly a very fast song!! Songs on this album, are not really similar to those on Graffiti, unlike Goerge said. They are uncomparable. Comparing this album to Physical graffiti is a Starostin bullshit. None of the ITTOD songs is similar to any Graffiti song. The songs on Graffiti have very complex arrangements, while the ones on ITTOD don't! The guitar solos on ITTOD are fantastic and 'In the evening' has all the power of early Zep with added keyboards! Especially the guitar solo and the vocals are extremely powerful and the subtle keyboards are great!! John paul jones does very interesting and complex stuff on keyboards.Bonzo does fills in 'Carouselambra' that would easily fit into 'Achilles last stand'!!Plant is singing emotionaly and powerfully and he even gives quite a lot of high notes!!!He sings 'All my love' so emotionally and with true desperation.Hotdog is a fun track and played and sung perfectly, with amazing guitar solo and creative piano fills!!

The lyrics are very funny!! 'Fool in the rain' has in my opininon, one of the most amazing Jimmy Page guitar solo's. It's incredible speed and emotion, that goes so well with the otherwise mostly slow song, which speeds up, with the incredible drum section in the middle!!It also has a fine melody!'South bound saurez' does not remind me on any song from Presence, so I don' agree with George!! It's a really cheerfull song, with great vocal melody, happy piano fills and another excelent guitar solo.'All of my love' is one of Zep's greatest ballads and Plant's most beautifiul vocal perormance!! It has a wonderful, complex and catchy melody and a great coda, as well as the classical keyboard solo and nice nylon string acoustic guitar solo. I don't see why, George, Zeppelin fans would not be pleased with the synth solo in this song, because there were many keyboard solos on zep albums and I love them all!!!This one is especially inspired and tasty!! 'I'm gonna crawl' is a synth backed blues, that once again shows Zep at it's finest!!! Plants vocal is emotionally devastating, with all the power and glory, Jones and Bonham are supportive execelently and Page plays the solo in which his guitar cries!!

So this is yet another step in the ever changing Zep. Some of the most hard rocking elements are gone, but the band still rocks hard and gives the solos, yels the screams, and kicks the drums!!!! But to me it's basicaly a melower Zep album, that has very melodic tunes and some of them can easily approach the greatest melodies in rock nad roll!(8.5/10)

Tagbo Munonyedi <> (06.05.2006)

An old economist once said " it's better to be roughly right than precisely wrong " and I can't help feeling that this applies to Zep on In thru the out door. Without a doubt the best titled of all their albums, were they roughly right to take the hugest of their departures ( 3 and Houses of the Holy, roll over ) or precisely wrong to have continued on ?

I don't think of this as a bad album as it was the third one of theirs that I got ( and after HOH and PG, I wasn't surprized by diversity ) but it is, for me, their weakest. I like heavy rock ( well, from the 60s and 70s and very early 80s ) but late 70s new wave has to be quite exceptional to immediately gtab my attention. I don't think this album would be so poorly received today coz it's become almost the norm to release one album every two to three years, whereas back then, it wasn't. That said, Zep did have their gap years ( '72, '74 ) so maybe they were one of the first groups to make long gaps the norm. Anyway, as artists, they were always stuck between artistically moving on, moving with the times, soaking up current sounds and playing safe, giving the punters what they wanted. You can't satisfy all the people all the time ! The consensus for a long time was that it would've counted as a good album had it not been Led Zeppelin ( or as they were called in Enugu, Lezze - pleen !), but while I can see the argument, it's a little too pigeonholing for me. For better or worse, artistic development can't really be left for the buyers of art to determine ( although, sadly, it sometimes is ).

Funnilly enough, I'M GONNA CRAWL is the one song on this album that I don't like. It really is a good song, but it does not move me. On the other hand, CAROUSELAMBRA is vintage epic Zep at their flightiest and most dynamic and I, for one, count this as one of their great classics. The tune has three distinct parts and keeps up my interest all the way through. And you know what, 26 years on, I'm still finding new things in it. Bonham's drumming propels this one all the way and is just as powerfully smacking ( no druggy pun intended ) as the performances of the past that we love to gush over. The synths actually sound integral to the song and in my view, it's a damn skilful incorporation. But keyboards of all colours had been part of their original blueprint so incorporating synths was really no different from doing it with the organ, mellotron or clavinet. I'd always had a thing for ALL MY LOVE, an absolutely brilliant song. There is an emotional tug to it that has always had me on the edge of tears and now that I know what it's about, those tears may not be held back for much longer. IN THE EVENING did sound kind of tired to me when I first heard it but as the years have rolled on, it's become quite a rocking opener with a savage solo that sounds out of place. SOUTH BOUND SAUREZ sounds to me like an updated attempt at some of the material that is found on PRESENCE. I kind of like it but if I never heard it again, it's not a track I'd hunt the internet or scour the second hand record shops for. FOOL IN THE RAIN is lovely, though it did surprize me initially. The South Amreican bit ( an earlier post called it Banana Chiquita - classic ) is left field Zeppelin, they were always a band to push frontiers in funny directions. HOT DOG is a sort of BOOGIE WITH STU - ey frolic, a fun piece, further demonstrating that the members of the band { certainly, Plant, Page and Jones } were capable of stretching their musical heads to accommodate quite a variety of styles. Yet, they would always Zeppelinate them so that you couldn't mistake the flavouring although some do ( for example, there's not a trace of reggae on this album ). Actually HOT DOG seems like a witty re - write of the Beatles' version of ACT NATURALLY { that itself penned by Buck Owen, the country singer }. If you sing the verse of hot dog, there are roughly six lines. If you cut out the sixth line and sing " and all you got to do is act naturally ", you'll see what I mean. It's a good little ditty for what it is.

Obviously, stylistically and instrumentally,this is a more marked departure than any the band had attempted and the fans weren't quite so forgiving as they had been six years previous. Jones should take credit for at least trying to keep things going and fresh, but unfortunately for him, the drive of one person couldn't outweigh the drive of four as they had been prior to 'Presence'. Page commented that some tracks ' weren't really us ' which accounts for his minimal presece ( no pun intended ) in comparison to past outings. Unlike ganja and LSD, heroin did little to enhance the music. That comment of Page's kind of sums up the feelings of a man who was seeing what he saw as his band slipping from his control. But he also had little to contribute at that time and the times were a changing. I think Bonham shows some great flashes of skilful drumming, particularly in the way he tackles different styles, but it is tempting to read the album as one by four uninterested men. I don't though. We'll never know if this is the kind of direction that Zep would have pursued in the 80s or whether, indeed, their time had truly run it's course.

At the end of the day, Zep were a band that, for the most part, dealt in diverse music in a way that was always accessible, never avant garde. They played the major part in bringing what became accepted as heavy metal to the masses and popularity ( though, that musical genre was an evolution that took some five years ) though you'd never know it from listening to IN THROUGH THE OUT DOOR and the fact that you'd never know it from this album perhaps will forever remain as their greatest epitaph.


<> (21.11.99)

Now THIS review caught me totally off guard. All the outtakes on this album are GREAT, and I think your opinion of Led Zeppelin is really crappy.

<> (16.10.2000)

Oh the pain!!..Make it stop mommie....Coda? Why Jimmy? Why? Only "Ozone Baby" and "Darlene" rescue this one from complete wretchedness...These two boogie rockers from the In Through the Out Door sessions could have improved that record somewhat, but here they are...banished to Coda. Don't get me wrong now, these two songs are really just's just that the rest is way less than good, some of it down right stinks...."We're Gonna Groove" and the live "I Can't Quit You.." are tolerable, but that's the best thing I can say..."Walter's Walk" was wisely left unused the first time, the second time isn't the charm..."Wearing and Tearing" and "Bonzo's.." just stink.. As I mentioned in my comments about the BBC Sessions, I wished "Wavy Long Hair", "Traveling Riverside Blues", and even "Something Else" could have used instead...The great B-side to "Immigrant Song", "Hey Hey, What Can I Do" would have been a fine addition as well...But, oh well..what do I know...

Perry Justus <> (06.03.2001)

I think the songs on Coda are mostly great. "Poor Tom" is Zeppelin at its most deceivingly menacing, "We're Gonna Groove" is great Zeppelin rock and roll circa 1970, and the version of "I Can't Quit You Baby" is a complete punch in the face, though I've heard better live versions. I like "Walter's Walk" -- it was inserted into Dazed and Confused in 1972 along with 'The Crunge' during the extended solo (song in 1969: eight to fourteen minutes, 1970: 14 to 18, 1971: 16 to 30, 1972: 20 to 32, 1973: 30 minutes with 'San Francisco' ALWAYS included, thank you very much, 1975: 25 to 45 (!) minutes, the longest featuring 'For What It's Worth,' 'I Shot the Sheriff,' and 'Woodstock'). "Darlene" was recorded in 1978, not 1972, "Ozone Baby" ditto. "Wearing and Tearing" is the band's honest answet to punk, and I can't believe you don't like it. It's a perfect ender, though a bit depressing as such.

Eric Rogozin <> (30.03.2001)

You're absolutely wrong! "Wearing And Tearing" is the best thing from Coda. Yes, it's really the best song from Coda! "We're Gonna Groove" and "Darlene" are also awesome!

Ratko Hribar <> (06.10.2001)

I would really like to know what is this monotonous cock rock shit all about. Why did they think that ANYONE will be interested in such massively overblown garbage ? This stinker is even worse than anything that Black Sabbath released in the post-Gillan era. No doubt, this is Zeppelin's Never Say Die, or even Headless Cross, hell, or TYR!!! This is a album plagued exclusively with uninteresting fillers that weren't good enough to get on the actual albums. I suspect that Page wanted to be certain that no one would want to see them reunite, so instead of trashing this, he prepared an "album". He succeeded perfectly, cause after this hogwash I don't want to hear the name of Zeppelin again. I do know that everyone LOVES this album, but please don't flame me saying it's a masterpiece, cuz I don't buy it. Although, I do like 'I Can't Quit You Baby', 'We're Gonna Groove', 'Bonzo's Montreux' and 'Darlene', but they're not amazing, just passable. I'm surprised that George mentioned 'Wearing And Tearing' in the same sentence with Iron Maiden, cause they never, never, NEVER, wrote such crap like 'ya know, ya know, ya know, ya know...'. Their lyrics aren't so repetitive and their texts are more along the lines of Judas Priest. They're silly and childish, but not so offensively dumb. However, those lyrics from 'Wearing And Tearing' sound not unlike the stuff Black Sabbath made with Ian Gilan ('Zero The Hero', anyone ?), and they also wouldn't be out of place on a typical KISS record. I still can't believe they actually released something so undeserving and unnecessary as this throwaway, but since it is Zeppelin, it's a 4.

Federico Fernández <> (23.10.2002)

Yes, this is really bad. But still, I feel you've been a little too hard with it. Although it's a very uneven record and the higher points are plainly mediocre, I find this a more interesting listen than their last album, In Through The Out Door. While in that crappy record there was just ONE track that could hold my attention for more than one minute (called "All My Love") there are FOUR here that are, at least, pleasant. The best one would be "Poor Tom", with a nice, folky, bucolic atmosphere, good acoustic lines and a soft, delighful vocal melody. This track would fit greatly in Led Zeppelin III instead of that weird horror "Hot Off To (Roy) Harper". "Ozone Baby" is also quite good, with a nice poppy riff and a legible, decent vocal melody. The same goes for "Darlene" which features a very good (and even excellent) boogie-woogie piano from John Jones (Although the song it's certainly overlong for it's poor and unaltered dynamics). The last gem would be "We're Goona Groove"; untranscendental, but with enough youth and enthusiasm to catch my attention.

That said, the rest of the tracks are really bad. I don't really know how can you dig "Bonzo's Montreux" which is a complete and perfect bore. Regarding "Wearing And Tearing"; yes, it's pure noise shit but... guess what? "Walter's Walk" is even worse!!! Well, for me. Al LEAST, "Wearing And Tearing" is somewhat menacing and dark; "Walter's Walk" is an offensive drunk-laden jam which I almost never listen (I almost listen to this record, by the way) "I can't quit you baby" wasn't interesting at all on their debut; here is even more boring; not a single thrill; not a riff, annoyingly slow tempo, and dull vocal melody.

Weak, bad and all that you want. But more interesting than their last studio album, that's for sure.

anlormarechal <> (07.04.2003)

I haven't heard Coda yet (and if I trust you I maybe won't hear it at all) but I want to say that it wasn't Page's (nor Jones', nor Plant's) idea to release this "album". The band had already split, and they didn't wanted to issue any other stuff (they were aware that the band had nothing more to do, and Bonham's death was to be a final fullstop), but they were supposed (because of the contract) to issue a 10th album. So Page took outtakes that weren't to be issued, in order to fulfill his obligation, although he knew they were pretty cappy.

Stephen Rutkowski <> (11.10.2003)

To expand on what ‘anlormarechal’ has said above, Led Zeppelin had signed a four album contract with Swan Song. The contract was signed after their previous five album contract with Atlantis had expired. Everybody concerned with Led Zeppelin had forgotten about the contract until Page was contacted sometime in ’81 or ’82. He was told that Led Zeppelin had to release one more album to fulfill their contractual obligations. Since Led Zeppelin were no longer an entity, Page cobbled together a few outtakes. It is obvious his heart wasn’t in it. The completist in me is happy to have the album though. (Note, that is not a compliment.)

Nevertheless, there are still a couple of salvageable tracks. By salvageable I mean something that would otherwise be filler on a standard Led Zeppelin album. ‘We’re Gonna Groove’ is ok, but hardly thrilling. ‘Poor Tom’ features fantastic drumming, but not too much else. I wasn’t too excited by ‘I Can’t Quit You Baby’ the first time, I hardly see how rehashing it here will improve it. ‘Walter’s Walk’, ‘Ozone Baby’ and ‘Wearing and Tearing’ are just so generic and boring. On these three songs the guitar riffs are so thin, there’s just no power or passion behind them. Particularly ‘Ozone Baby’, that track really gets me irritated. You think the lyrics to ‘Wearing and Tearing’ are bad? Nothing beats the hackneyed “it’s my own true love” chorus sung ad nauseum. At least it seems ad nauseum. ‘Darlene’ is weird to say the least, and it isn’t surprising to see it was from the In Through the Out Door sessions. There is an strong emphasis on piano, but do not expect something good like ‘Rock and Roll’ or ‘Boogie With Stu’. That leaves us with ‘Bonzo’s Montreux’. Considering how much you seem to deride drum solos I thought you would have criticised this song with the same amount of fervour as you did with ‘Moby Dick’. This is much much better though. Bonham allegedly said about the track that you need to add a few tricks to make a drum solo interesting. He did add a few tricks, but the best part is the fact that it does have groove. Not just some guy patting the skins with his hands like ‘Moby Dick’. He isn’t just creating a beat or rhythm, he is actually making music with the drums. Oh yeah, I’m a big fan of the drum solo in ‘In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida’ too. That said, unless you are a completist, stay away from this album. You don’t need it. If you want, you could possibly get your hands on ‘Bonzo’s Montreux’ or ‘Poor Tom’ if you really want, but that is all.

Samo Kodela <> (13.03.2006)

For me, Coda is an album, that features Bonham as a drum virtuoso, all over the place!!! There are also a lot of songs, with good guitar solos and also some of the numbers, have fine melodies!!! The good songs are: 'We're gonna groove', 'Ozone baby', 'Darlene' and 'Bonzo's Montreux'. The first one is a fine blues cover, with powerful vocals and incredible drumming. The soloing is good and overdubbs are creative. 'Ozone baby' has a really strong melody and Plant's voice that struglles a bit in the choruses, doesn't really spoil it. The guitar solo is one of Jimmy's best and Bonzo is amazing. 'Darlene' has great guitar and piano solos and Plant sings it nicely, althought the melody is not that strong. 'Bonzo's montreux' is a fantastic drum solo, that has the influences, that Bonzo developed, over those long tours. It's amazing and some of the drums are electronically manipulated, so that it becomes even more obvious, that Bonham was always a MELODIC DRUMMER, which is something that a lot of people probably don't even know, it exist. This four songs are in my opinion, fantastic and as always are not metal of any kind, because we all now, how crappy metal sounds and it is obvious, that this is not the thing. 'Poor Tom' features Bonzo again, but the melody is also strong and it is nice to have some acoustic(folk) music, on this record. The acoustic guitar is a bit similar to that other Jimmy song, called 'Bron yr aur'. 'I can't quit you baby' is extremely powerful and developed in detail, as this was just before it was dropped from the setlist, in favour of 'Since I' ve been loving you'. But the BBC sessions versions are better, to some degrre. 'Wearing and tearing' is indeed influenced by punk and it rocks very hard and it still has so much complexity on drums and guitar, that it could never be played by all those crappy bands, George was talking about.The lyrics are about making love and the you know, you know part is about asking a girl, if she knows, that that is the thing, they gotta do. The weakest song is 'Walters walk', because the melody doesn't work to well, but it is still very powerfull instrumentally.It's still a good album, that starts and ends with powerfull drumming and it also has a few strong melodies in 'Ozone baby', 'Darlene' and 'Poor Tom' and also in 'We 're gonna groove' even if it comes from the blues.Bonzo is the genious that shines the brightest, on this album and others are also up to standard, but it is certainly not Led Zeppelin IV or even LZ I. It's just a good Zep album, that is scratched a bit, by the nails of death, that took Bonzo away from us. Bonzo will live in the hearth of us fans forever!!!!(8/10)

Tagbo Munonyedi <> (29.05.2006)

I'm desperately trying not to knock this album and I will say that as an historical document, it's valuable, I guess, and there will be many that derive alot of pleasure from it and it fills in a couple of gaps. But the truth is that in my humble opinion it's crap. I like POOR TOM, that's a neat song that may have fitted on 3 or 4 ( yes, 4 ), but the rest.... Personally I think Led Zeppelin were a great band for the most part, creative and innovative alot of the time. But like we saw with, for example, the Beatles' anthology, even the greats had skeletons that maybe should have stayed firmly in the cupboard. CODA is a lame way to go out, like an old man with impotence. Of course one could argue that I'm contradicting myself because I do like one song. But I'm not saying it shouldn't have been released, I'm simply saying that I think it's ru-ru-ru-rubbish overall and I never thought I'd say that about a Zeppelin album. In fairness to Jimmy Page though, he sees himself as the keeper of the flame and he has long been an advocate of the punters getting value for money.


John McFerrin <> (15.08.99)

Just a note: The second disc, unlike the first, is not a hodge podge of recordings; it's an entire concert, taken from the Paris Theatre, London, on January 4, 1971. In fact, it's especially notable in that it's the first time Led Zep ever performed 'Stairway' live. Anyways, that is why we get a medicore 'Since I've Been Loving You' and 'Thank You'; because they happened to be in the setlist of a historically important concert.

Mike DeFabio <> (24.08.99)

World's greatest HEAVY METAL BAND? Um... no. Led Zeppelin were not at any time heavy metal. When are people oging to realize that? If the Who were the world's greatest hard rock band, then Led Zeppelin weren't the world's greatest anything. Okay. Onto the review.

IT'S TOO LONG!!! This needs some serious trimming. I'd be happy with only one version of each song, thank you! But even if they trimmed it down to the way I'd want it, it would still be two discs, so you'd be paying just as much for no filler as you are for filler. So the filler content doesn't bother me if I remember to program fat out.

John McFerrin <> (04.09.99)

It is true that by today's standards of what defines "heavy metal," Led Zeppelin does not fit. But by the definition of 70's Heavy Metal, which included Black Sabbath and Deep Purple, they most certainly were. There is also the fact that so many groups which are classified as some sort of Metal draw/drew tons of their inspiration from Zep, and even if Led Zep wasn't purely Metal, they were close enough for these other groups.

<> (16.10.2000)

A great alternative to the mediocre Songs Remains the Same live record. The band is energetic on this one...Some cuts are repeated too much, but I like all the versions of "Communication Breakdowm" just fine....Both of the versions of "Dazed and Confused" are great and different enough to find interesting points of comparison. The single versions of "Immigrant Song" and "How Many More Times" are stand outs as well. "Wavy Black Hair..", while lyrically repetitive, is still an enjoyable extra..why wasn't this, "Travelling Riverside Blues", and "Something Else" used on Coda...instead of some of the junk the used on there.....anyway, I digress..the then fresh "Black Dog" and "Stairway" are interesting in their proto-type versions, but both sound a bit hesitant....Still, all in all this collection is a very welcome addition to their discography.

Perry Justus <> (06.03.2001)

The BBC Sessions discs are good - I'd recommend you look for 04/26/69 (bad quality, but the performance is SHATTERING) for a nice drawn-out '69 show, or 08/31/69 for a short punch, albeit with diminished (he blew his voice out for the first time during the 4/26 show, and didn't get it back really until summer '70) vocals. For 1971, there are many good shows - 03/05/71 and 03/06/71 (pretty bad quality but great shows with Robert screaming his head off), 09/14/71 and 09/29/71, where are perhaps Zeppelin's greatest live moments, or two of the best in a mountain of quality shows.

Most people don't realize this, but even though Zeppelin's albums were astonishingly well done (in *my* opinion, at least...), they should be placed in the Phish/Grateful Dead category of "better live." I really recommend you seek out some live tapes of the band, for the remaining section of the puzzle.

Perry Justus <> (07.03.2001)

Noticed a few things in your BBC Sessions review that I'd like to comment on...

You state that Plant needlessly added the "squeeze my lemon" bit into "Traveling Riverside Blues"... Well, that's how the song originally was - it was a Robert Johnson tune, and he was known for adding the lemon segments into some of his songs. It's practically a blues standard, at least it was in the earlier days.

It's unfortunate that Plant wasn't in very good voice for any of the sessions they included. He sounds like a different person on some of the unofficial recordings out there from spring '69. His "best" voice during the era had an almost inhuman quality to it - he sounds like a monster on some of those Fillmore tapes, especially on 04/26/69 where they played "Whole Lotta Love" (without the famous chorus!) for the first time. That's a really nice show; I'll talk about that more later though...

The version of "Dazed and Confused" on the first disc was played very short I guess because of time constraints. As early as January 1969, they were playing it for up to 15 minutes. The 04/26/69 version is a real gem - it's a bit choppy, but Plant is a behemoth, and Jimmy is a madman. In the final section, he even brings out a theremin and does a solo on it with Plant responding to every shriek or squeal of the theremin! I think in the early days, Plant's voice was more of a fourth instrument, and evidently he thought so too, which is why he shrieks and 'ooh's a lot. :-)

The rendition of "How Many More Times" on the Sessions disc is sadly edited down, which may or may not be noticeable to you. It's 11 minutes, but they usually were playing it anywhere from 13 to 25 minutes - most of the psychedelic and dreamy jamming the band went into was lost when they played for the BBC, instead opting for short attacks. By late 1969, HMMT was a vehicle for old rock'n'roll songs -- much like the Whole Lotta Love medley. Also, it must be noted that the version of "What is and What Should Never Be" that they selected for the disc is actually the worse of two performances they did for the BBC. There was one about a week earlier that they did that totally killed the one they put on the disc, even though it didn't have any echo effects or overdubbing.

As I said before, a good unofficial show to start out with would be 09/29/71. They played:

Immigrant Song (best solo ever for this one)

Heartbreaker (ditto)

Since I've Been Loving You (played in a faster tempo but bursting with emotion)

Black Dog (Page makes some mistakes but the rythm section couldn't be better)

Dazed and Confused (one of my favorites)

Stairway to Heaven

Celebration Day (has an absolutely manic solo section)

That's the Way

Going to California (10 minutes)


Friends (only live performance, ever,)

What is and What Should Never Be (one of the best ever)

Moby Dick

Whole Lotta Love Medley (30 minutes! Twist and Shout! Just get the show!)

Communication Breakdown

Organ Solo/Thank You (titanic version)

Rock and Roll

Plant isn't in best '71 voice for this show, but that doesn't really even matter--the instrumental machine blasts the audience into submission, turning the quiet Osaka crowd into ravenous beasts by the end.

Michael Flynn <> (19.05.2001)

I had already heard many of the BBC Sessions & the 2 concerts included here even before this 2 disc gem hit the shelves. You can imagine my anticipation at getting my headphones filled with remastered versions of tapes I'd spent a couple of years (not to mention a few dollars) compiling. My verdict is that what the BBC Sessions lacks in entirety & accuracy (I'll explain this in a bit) it makes up for in sound quality & some of the well oiled performances that technology unveils. And if you base your opinion by comparing it to The Song Remains the Same then you really aren't comparing apples to apples. SRTS was recorded on the tail-end of a massive U.S. tour (their ninth)& it was also recorded (& spliced I might add) out of three nights at MSG that we're being filmed at the same time. It was for all intents & purposes a "Soundtrack" just as the complete album title reads. BBC Sessions capture a band hungry for stardom & not afraid to show what unabashed recklessness can sound like if you can get it under control & steer it for awhile. My MVP's of the whole project are Jimmy Page & George Martino for once again breathing new life into old source tapes. It does not sound like it's an easy thing to do.

On to the above mentioned entirety issue. Believe it or not the BBC Sessions could have yielded more versions of the songs you felt were redundant (an addition I would have welcomed). More versions of "What is and What Should Never Be", "Communication Breakdown", & the two great Willie Dixon blues numbers "You Shook Me" & "I Can't Quit You Baby" exist from various sessions. I have not heard all of them & I do not know if the best ones were chosen. I also read of a session (which I've yet to hear) from 3/19/69 called "Sunshine Woman" with "barrelhouse piano" & a "strong harmonica presence" (description taken with much respect from an excellent book by Luis Rey, the gentleman who wrote the liner notes for the sessions). Another called "Sugar Mama" was probably recorded around the same time as "The Girl I Love" & others in June of 69'. So while it tries to be an historical document it ultimately falls short for purists & perhaps misses the mark in summary. It would simply have been too long for all the powers that be to have unearthed a complete set of recordings (a nice, complete boxed set somewhere down the road would be a welcome site for die-hards). In terms of accuracy I have one very loud & (I feel) worthy complaint. I mentioned I had some tapes before I bought this. Cudos on the sessions & the 6/27/69 show from the Playhouse Theatre. The only glaring omission I detect is the Isley Brothers gem "It's Your Thing" which was butchered out of "Communication Breakdown". It was a foot-stompin' break & this version, while still a good one, is not the same without it. Once I get to the 3/25/71 RAH performance of the Whole Lotta Love medley I have a big problem. The Medley packaged on "BBC Sessions" is as follows: 'Whole Lotta Love' > 'Boogie Chillun' > 'Fixin' to Die' > 'That's Alright Mama' > 'Mess Of Blues' > 'Whole Lotta Love'. Actual Medley: 'Whole Lotta Love' > 'Boogie Chillun' > 'Fixin' to Die' > 'That's Alright Mama' > 'Truckin' Little Mama' > 'For What's It's Worth' > 'Mess of Blues' > 'Honey Bee' > 'The Lemon Song' > 'Whole Lotta Love'.

Time restraints be damned. I felt ripped off. Of course there could be legalities involved. This is one of my all-time favorite medleys by these guys. It actually turned me on to live Zeppelin full tilt a few years back when I had almost given up on finding a quality live Zep show. FYI - "For What It's Worth" (you know 'stop children, what's that sound' by Stills & Co) is just a powerful little exit off this medley that just rips out of nowhere. Anyhow, I like the discs but I agree (almost) with your rating as well as your advice to new listeners to stop here first. Best moments: "Whole Lotta Love" (the session) - on par with the Zeppelin II version. Dig that guitar sound. How did Pagey change it up so much with a Telecaster & a few small effects back then? Genius. Sound is distance. 'Somethin' Else' - a fun one. You could tell. Good piano workout by JPJ. 'Travellin' Riverside Blues' - in my opinion a bonafide classic. I concur with Mr. Justus & his point about this being an ode to Robert Johnson. Great version of 'Going to California' as well. Very earnest.

A side note to Mr. McFerrin - the second disc of BBC Sessions includes portions from a concert which took place on 3/25/71 at The Paris Studios in London with just a small audience gathered in the midst (hence the applause). Also, that concert marked the second (known) version of "Stairway to Heaven" live, not the first. Liner notes are a good thing, esp. if you plan to have such a strong opinion about my two favorite song "arrangers" Mr. Plant & Mr. Page.

A side note to Mr. Justus - it's nice to know there are other well seasoned live listeners posting to this site. Good show. It takes one who's heard more than just The Song Remains the Same to give a good perspective on the music included in this package.

Ratko Hribar <> (02.11.2001)

GREAT !!! This is a great live album, with awesome performances and a solid song selection. HOWEVER, it's sad to see that they only included Zeppelin's early songs, cause despite what George thinks they had a few really good ones later on. On the other hand, George is absolutely right about the inclusion of several almost equal versions of some tracks. The early version of 'Dazed And Confused' is really cute, and the sweeping super-long version is also essential to Zeppelin fans. I actually like this version of 'How Many More Times'. Except for that, 'What Is And What Should Never Be', 'Heartbreaker', 'Stairway To Heaven', 'Whole Lotta Love' and even 'Black Dog' are solid and enjoyable. The first version of 'You Shook Me' is breathtaking this time around, and I prefer it over the studio version which is also nice, but well... dull-sounding. 'Since I've Been Loving You', 'That's The Way', 'Thank You' and some versions of 'Communication Breakdown' and 'I Can't Quit You Baby' are plain throwaways (some are excellent, though). BTW, I'm pleasantly surprised with 'The Girl I Love She Got....' and 'Traveling Riverside Blues', cause those songs are GOOD, which is a rare case with the previously unreleased material (remember Coda ?). Anyway, if you like Led Zeppelin, you gotta have this live album, but don't forget that they do have some great compilations too. Especially Remasters, which is a great starting point for getting into Zeppelin, that is, if you can still find it (I dunno if it's still in print). I agree with George on this one, it's a 9.

Ben Kramer <> (26.11.2001)

This is it, the best album you can get from the Zepsters. Why? Because it give you all of the best sides of their first 4 albums which was their best era. They make the songs rawer and rougher than in the studio which is a plus because a blues band shouldn't be a perfectionist in the studio. That's why no studio album deserves more than a 13/15. If only they had an Exile on Main Street. The soloing, while not jaw dropping amazing, still beats a cream jam (thank god they didn't ruin this with 'Moby Dick'). 'Dazed and Confused' is brilliant (the second one), clocking in at 18 minutes. Page brings out the violin bow, which I always thought was cool. 'You Shook Me', 'Since I've Been Loving You', and a new song, 'The Girl I Love'... all rock. Disc one is arguably better than disc two because of the majority of songs coming from Led Zeppelin I which is my favorite studio album. 'Communication breakdown' while it was already hard and heavy, has been transformed and its quality has gone up from the studio. Plant's vocals are awesome on this album, unlike on Zep 2 where he sounds whiny. I would give this album a 10(14) (keep in mind that I feel that Led Zeppelin is a 4 band, not a 3). My biggest complaint is the fact that a lot of the songs are repeated which isn't a problem in it self, but some of the repeats sound similar. Believe me, this is an awesome blues/hard rock experience.

Stephen Rutkowski <> (01.11.2003)

What is the greatest aspect of this album? The chance to hear the band at their infancy, when they were still a raw blues group? Before they became the commercial juggernaut? Or is it because it contains previously unreleased material like ‘The Girl She Got Long Black Wavy Hair’ and ‘Traveling Riverside Blues’. Or maybe to listen to one of Led Zeppelin’s first performances of ‘Stairway to Heaven’? For me, it was the fact that I found it brand new for five Australian dollars which is about three US dollars. Seriously now, it is a fantastic album. It offers a bit of everything with the first disc devoted mostly to the first album and a few covers. The second disc has mostly material from II, III and IV. The flaws are quite obvious, I’m not too certain who would need three versions of ‘Communication Breakdown’ and two versions each of ‘You Shook Me’ and ‘I Can’t Quit You Baby’. The two versions of ‘Dazed and Confuse! d’ are ok though, as the first is very much in the same vein as the studio version, and the second displays more of the epic jam session that the song often became at live shows. This also goes for the two versions of ‘Whole Lotta Love’. The highlights for me are ‘The Girl…’ and ‘Traveling Riverside Blues’. These songs both sound fantastic, with great riffs. The riff for ‘The Girl…’ seems really ‘thick’, about as thick as you can get without overdubs. As for the repeated songs, I think the first version of ‘Communication Breakdown’ sounds the best. The guitar intro is so gritty, it doesn’t sound like Led Zeppelin. The second version features a pretty cool funky guitar passage though. As for the others, there is usually nothing to choose between the two versions.

The second disc offers some quality tracks. You have already mentioned that songs such as ‘Since I’ve Been Loving You’ is sloppy, but that’s ok. The majority of the tracks sound good. And believe it or not, there are actually people who like the song ‘Thank You’, such as myself. A couple of the tracks such as ‘Immigrant Song’ sound a bit muddy. ‘Black Dog’ sounds pretty good considering the original version had so many overdubs. ‘Stairway to Heaven’ and ‘Going to California’ are exceptional cuts. Overall this album is well worth your hard earned cash, much better than something like The Song Remains the Same.

Samo Kodela <> (01.03.2006)

The young, wild and raw Zep, can be heard on the BBC sessions!!All the songs are great and the reason, that some of the songs are there several times, is that the album is sort of a diary, of how certain numebers developed. Zep are a hard rock rock band, not metal, like George said, because The Who are a rock band, that played their material a bit harder live, because of the smashing of Towshends power chords. I really don't see Zep turning into a 'hit making hair metal machine' at any point. They never really had hits in the charts and hair metal is total crap and Zep had the kind of hair they had, because it groved like it did, while those eighties metal wankers, had it made the way it was and it wasn't 10% as great as Plant's.All the songs on BBC sesisons are great and extended and really, really wild!! The blues covers are fantastic, with so many various blues lyrics thrown in!!!The solos are wonderfully improvised and we also get songs like 'Thank you', which has an incredible solo by Page. We get a nice early blues jam, in 'Whole lotta love', on disc two and in 'Immigrant song', 'Black dog' and 'Heartbreaker', Jimmy is on fire in the solos!!! Plant's voice is in it's early youthfull glory, although there are bootlegs from that year, where he is even better.Bonzo also shines throughout and John Paul Jones supports it greatly on bass and plays some nice keybords, especially in 'Since I've been loving you' and 'Stairway' in which we also get a great coda part, with Plant singing as high, as on the fourth album!!!!'Going to California' and 'That's the way' are played very subtly!! This live album is fantastic, but it lacks the 'big audience athmosphere'.It has the vintage Zep wildness and all of the great early songs are on there!!!!!(10/10)


No reader comments yet.


Eric Rogozin <> (30.08.2001)

"Endless murky sticky drones" - why? Very even nice album. Two songs on The Principle Of Moments are really very good and outstanding: "Other Arms" and "Horizontal Departure". Both songs are catchy and groovy optimistic rockers - the first one also reminds me of "Soldier Of Love", it seems to me not only because of the first line, but the athmosphere of the song as well (and "Soldier Of Love" rules!); the second one is even more catchy 'driving' song with a supercatchy chorus (that chorus played in my head almost a week after I have fist heard this album) and Zeppelinish verses.

The other tracks are also very decent, none of them are bad: interesting is Eastern-flavoured "Wreckless Love" and it's not a "Kashmir" rip-off, the melodies and the harmonies are different; "In The Mood" is a perfect example of how can a decent song come out of nothing; "Big Log" is a beautiful song, which sounds like a Clapton's Eighties song, it's a really beautiful melody; and I like "Thru' With The Two Step" - a good rather slow number, which reminds me of something that I can't remember.

In general, not perfect and outstanding but good and listenable; kinda like Led Zeppelin meets Genesis - maybe because of Phil Collins on drums.


Adrian Denning <> (13.09.2002)

An unremarkable album with truly hideous period piece production, although Robert himself sings well enough throughout. Singing 'well enough' doesn't save this album from being deeply average work, however. It's not embarrasing, though. I can think of plenty of worse Eighties albums from Seventies Rock singers. Oh, a special mention. You brought up that bass thing in the charmingly titled ''Doo Doo A Do'? I agree, it's a cool sound.


Brian Sittinger <> (31.07.2001)

As my father owns this record, I can actually make some comments about Now and Zen. First of all, what a wacky title!

Most of these songs on here are quite mellow (compared to gold ol' Zep of course). "Heaven Knows", "Tall Cool One", "Ship of Fools", and "Helen of Troy" are the songs that seem to stick out for me, although some of these can EASILY blend in with the remaining tracks, which can be quite pleasant yet unmemorable. 7 out of 10.

By the way, I believe Jimmy Page stopped by and played guitar on "Heaven Knows" and "Tall Cool One". No wonder these two songs stand out for me! As for the sampling at the end of "Tall Cool One", I suspect Jimmy Page had a little bit to do with this too.

At the very end of the sampling, you might be able to discern the riff to "The Ocean". Heaven knows what other riffs were sampled in there too! (I think "Living Loving Maid" might be in there too. I'll check this out...)


<> (01.07.2002)

Heh heh, this review really tickled my funnybone, George, especially the sage advice you offer to the Dalai-lama in the last paragraph. I read it the morning and spent the rest of the day giggling at the office, causing my co-workers to wonder what the hell I'd been smoking. Your take on Manic Nirvana proves that you can be just as funny praising something as you are when tearing something up. Why aren't you recognized as the greatest humorist of our times?

Not that you just crack jokes here, your observations are typically perceptive. As for the album itself (I suppose I should mention it here and not just review your review!), I just downloaded most of the tracks and to my inexpert ears your comparison with Kiss seems just right. As you say, these are big, loud, dumb, and fun examples of cock-rock. My favorite is probably "Hurting Kind."


Stephanie Daniels <> (22.07.2004)

This, by far, was the most pure and honest of Percy's solo albums,( pre-Dreamland). There were no gimmicks, hidden innuendos. It is by far, my personal favorite.

The song "I Believe", is indeed, about his son that passed away in 1977. Robert has no problem conveying raw emotion vocally in any song, but obviously, in this song, it's just so beautiful and sad, the listener wants to stop and savor every note and word out of respect. There is a different version of this song on his anthology 66 to Timbuktu which is even more haunting.

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