Led Zeppelin - II (Atlantic) 1969
1."Whole Lotta Love"
Another bonified rock 'n roll classic. Lots of heavy rock numbers mixed with some great bluesy numbers. If you haven't heard at least half the songs on this album, then you probably don't own a radio.
Led Zeppelin's third album is one of the greatest rock 'n' roll albums ever released. Don't believe me? Turn on the radio to any classic rock station and within an hour your almost guaranteed to hear one of the ten songs of "III". Album opener "Immigrant Song" is a blue print for what would become known as heavy metal, though to say Zep were heavy metal would be a bit off. This album mixes the blues, hard rock and even some early prog. The very next song goes into a completely different direction. "Friends" Friends is built on acoustic guitars, bongos and dark orchestration with a Middle Eastern modality. This is followed up by another heavy rocker with noisy guitars and roaring vocals from Plant. "Since I've Been Loving You" brings the band back to the heavy blues of their 1969 debut. "Bron-Y-Aur Stomp" is another radio staple with it's foot tapping beat and down-home, folky feel.
Despite the constant radio saturation of much of "III", this is still one of my favorite Zeppelin albums. It's less bluesy and slightly more metallic than their previous two studio albums. The album cover art is oh so cool as well, with that spinning wheel and trippy graphics.
Stryper covered "Immigrant Song".
Led Zeppelin (Atlantic) 1971
If you haven't heard this album, you must have been living under a rock for the last 25 years. Had this been the only album Zep ever released, I think they still would have had a huge influence on rock music. Picked this one up for $2 on ebay.
Led Zeppelin - Houses of the Holy (Atlantic) remastered 1973
1."The Song Remains
the Same" (5:29)
Just look at the song titles, it alone reads like a greatest hits cd. "Houses of the Holy" is one of the greatest hard rock albums of all time. Obtained this remastered copy at a cd store that was closing it's doors for $4.50.
"Physical Graffiti" is one of those timeless rock 'n roll classics that you must listen to from beginning to end. It's diverse, loaded with hooks, and has that raw rock 'n roll energy that is missing in today's obsession with technical ability and production. "Physical Graffiti" was Zeppelin's "Sgt. Pepper" or "Tommy." "Kashmir" is one of the band's defining songs and is also one of the most copied songs in all or rock n roll. On top of that, we get such classics as "Trampled Under Foot" and "Custard Pie". If you haven't heard these songs on rock radio, you haven't been listening. Another personal favorite is "In the Light" a vicious 70's heavy metal monster. Many would consider this the last great Zeppelin release, although I tend to disagree. Still, it can be said that this was the last great Zeppelin, blues-based hard rock release. Follow-up discs would most certainly be influenced by the times (ie. synthesizers).
Led Zeppelin - Soundtrack From the Film The Song Remains the Same (Swan Song) 1976
"The Song Remains the Same" has been a missing piece in my Zeppelin collection for some time. I remember back in he 70's and even into the 80's, this was one of those movies we would go to see at midnight. It wasn't just about the music, it was about the entire experience. However, it has been a good twenty years since I have actually heard this soundtrack. Listening again for the first time was like seeing an old friend again. What a great listen. One thing I have always enjoyed about live albums from the 70's bands is that raw feel and also how they would extend the songs into jams. That is certainly the case with "Song Remains the Same". In addition to the original nine songs, the '07 reissue includes the bonus tracks: "Black Dog", "Over The Hills and Far Away", "Misty Mountain Hop", "Since I've Been Loving You", "The Ocean", "Heartbreaker" and "Whole Lotta Love". However, one thing I noticed about this reissue is that some of the "jams" were edited out in order to include the extra songs. For example, the piano/drum jam just prior to Page's guitar solo in "No Quarter" is completely missing. Despite this complaint, the remastering job is fantast and the sound quality is excellent. If you aren't ultra familiar with the songs as they were on vinyl, you won't really notice the edits. Overall, I think it's a fantastic CD capturing a legendary band during a legendary time. It's just a shame that some parts had to be edited out.
Led Zeppelin - Presence (Swan Song) remastered 1976
1. "Achilles Last
I like this disc alot as it contains some of Zep's more obscure material.(i.e. You won't turn on the radio and hear many of these songs.) OK, some say it was a rushed album, but it's still classic Zeppelin. "Achilles Last Stand" and "Nobody's Fault but Mine" are both classic tracks. Picked this one up new for $7.99 at Sam's Club, of all places.
Led Zeppelin - In Through the Out Door (Swan Song) 1979
1. "In the Evening"
Believe it or not, I was around in the days when this CD came out. I was a kid but I was already a rocker. I can still remember the cries of how this album was a sell-out. Of course two decades later most rockers will argue that this album is a classic. Still, when it came out, people were shocked by the emphasis on synthesizers and the departure from the eary days of hard rock and blues based heavy metal. Still, I tend to side with those who say this album is a classic. No less than half of this album is FM rock radio fodder. "In the Evening" is a killer song and one of the band's most memorable numbers. Other great tunes on here are "Fool In The Rain", "All My Love" and "I'm Gonna Crawl". Even the hoakey "Hot Dog" is a fun song that I enjoy. Love it or hate it, "In Through the Out Door" was a milestone in rock and metal. It was also the band's last official studio album, aside from the leftovers album "Coda" that came out after Bonham's death and the demise of the band.
Led Zeppelin - Coda (Swan Song) 1982
1. "We're Gonna Groove"
After the death of John Bonham and the ultimate demise of the band, "Coda" was released. It was not a new Led Zeppelin record, but rather it was a bunch of leftover tracks from past albums. Some of this material is actually prime Zep. I am surprised that songs like "Walter's Walk" and "Ozone Baby" were left off their respective albums. However, other songs are most definitely b-sides for hardcore fans only. There is also a reprise of "I Can't Quit You Baby" and a song I can only assume was released as a sort of tribute to the band's fallen drummer in "Bonzo's Montreaux". "Coda" is probably not a disc for casual fans, but for diehards and completists like myself.
Led Zeppelin - Melancholy Danish Pageboys (2 cdr bootleg)
Excellent stereo bootleg of one of the final Zeppelin shows featuring tons of extended jams. Zeppelin, like Deep Purple, could take a four minute song and drag it out for fifteen minutes with bluesy guitar solos. Gotta love that!
Led Zeppelin (the box set) (Atlantic) 1990
54 tracks of Led Zeppelin all wrapped up in a box that also contains a 36 page book. Since I have yet to really begin replacing all my old Zeppelin records, this one box set fulfulled my Zeppelin craving for a long time. On top of being assemble in chronological order (for the most part) by Jimmy Page, the set also includes three previously unreleased tracks. Led Zeppelin-the box set is the only album in their extensive catalog to include the classic B-side "Hey Hey What Can I Do," as well as their unreleased version of Robert Johnson's "Travelling Riverside Blues" and a live medley of Page"s "White Summer/Black Mountain Side." These three tracks alone would be essential to any Led Zeppelin die-hard. Of course the price is a bit scary, but this was given to me as a Christmas present, so that makes it all the much better. Santa rules!
While "Hey Hey What Can I Do", "Travelling Riverside Blues", and "White Summer/Black Mountain Side" were exclusive to this box set in 1993, these songs along with the song "Baby Come On Home" were included as bonus tracks on the version of 'Coda' that was released as part of their 'Complete Studio Recordings' box set.
Led Zeppelin - Boxed Set 2 (Atlantic) 1993
Part two of Jimmy Page's extensive
look into the Zeppelin catalogue. It's quite obvious that the stuff on this disc,
after already releasing four discs, is a bit more obscure. However, there is still
plenty of killer material on this disc, showing how much great songs Zeppelin
came up with in the short time they were a band. There are a few raritiest on
this set as well. Overall, a great listen from beginning to end.
Led Zeppelin - BBC Sessions (Atlantic) 1997
Depsite the fact that most of these BBC discs contain songs that I usually already have, I like the fact that they give me fresh, usually raw, versions of classic songs. At one time it was considered a bad thing to get too much radio airplay as greedy record execs thought that it would hinder album sales, after all why would you buy an album if you can hear the hit song on the radio? So to fill air time the BBC would have artists come in to their studios and record live versions of their songs as well as other artists material. This Led Zeppelin set offers some killer extended jams and even two previously unreleased songs: "The Girl I Love..." and "Somethin' Else." All this is wrapped up in a nice package and adds a bonus disc (disc 3) of vintage interviews.
Led Zeppelin are without a doubt one of the most influential rock bands ever. Their legacy can not be put into words. However, despite being one of the most outstanding live acts of the 1970's, they never really had a live release that was worthy of their legacy. There was "Song Remains the Same", but any Zeppelin fan worth his tattered Zeppelin t-shirts would know of multiple bootlegs that were better than that official soundtrack release. There was also the BBC recordings which are also outstanding, but still not representative of their live legacy. "How the West Was Won" is finally a release worthy of this band's legacy. This collection of performances culled from two shows in 1972 (June 25th at LA Forum & June 27th at Long Beach Arena) are truly outstanding. Both shows had been heavily bootlegged in the past. However, the sound here has never sounded this good on any bootleg. Also, since Page saw fit to pick the best songs between the two shows and intermix them, we are given the best of the best all put together to sound like one continuous show.
Packed onto three discs are some of Zeppelin's most timeless classics, most of which has that raw live energy which cannot be captured in a studio. As was the trend in the 1970's, most of the songs are also extended with jam sessions and medleys with other songs, such as the epic 25-minute "Dazed and Confused," the 23-minute "Whole Lotta Love," and the 19-minute "Moby Dick". Page's signature guitar work is stamped all over this album. I've always contended that Page was a sloppy player on stage, catering more to feel than technical ability, and that is certainly what is heard here. It's pretty obvious this recording was doctored much in the studio, if at all. The band was loose, but packed an energetic sonic punch.
Most of this CD will seem familiar to longtime fans, but at the same time, classics never really grow old. Good music is timeless, and Zeppelin proves with this collection that they made some of the best. There is also an accompanying DVD available that I have yet to see, but am anxious to now that I've heard this.