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Led Zeppelin 1

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  • This is not my favorite Zep album, nor do I think it’s their best, but it’s a great debut and sign of things to come from Jimmy Page (guitar), Robert Plant (vocals), John Paul Jones (bass/keys) and John Bonham (drums).Led Zeppelin was one of those rare groups that combined musicianship, live performance, charisma, myth and decadence into an enduring legend. The critics may have hated them, and detractors may still rip on them, but this band recorded a decent catalog of material. These guys were also very eclectic with their musical styles, with straight-ahead rock/metal, white blues, acoustic folk, and eastern-tinged raga all showing up on different tunes. They may have shamelessly ripped off classic blues, call it sampling, but they were unafraid to push the boundaries of rock music.”Good Times Bad Times” is a crunchy opener, with its guitar rhythm puzzle, outstanding drum fills, and excellent bass riffs.”Babe I’m Gonna Leave You” has a nice acoustic guitar ballad feel, but rises and falls with varying dynamics. The lyrics are pretty standard ‘my woman done me wrong’ but Plant turns in a good performance.”You Shook Me” is a slow-burn blues tune. Great organ solo. Interesting guitar/vocal interplay between Page and Plant.”Dazed and Confused” is a signature tune for Led Zeppelin. My favorite thing about this song is the timing of the rhythm section, especially John Bonham’s drumming.”You Time is Gonna Come” begins with cathedral-like organ playing by Jones before breaking into an acoustic/rock number. More lyrics about ‘woman done me wrong.’”Black Mountain Side” is an instrumental featuring acoustic guitar and tablas. I like Dread Zeppelin’s version for humor.”Communication Breakdown” revs things up with more crunchy rock, with a great bassline and blistering guitar solo by Page.”I Can’t Quit You Baby” is another slow blues burn, with plenty of tasty guitar licks by Page.”How Many More Times” has a nice swinging rhythm groove, wah guitar, and probably Plant’s best vocal performance on the disk.All in all, this is a solid effort, although the slow tempo tunes bog it down at times, and Plant is definitely still developing as a vocalist here. Still, this is a fine debut and well worth adding to your collection.

    Posted on January 2, 2010