In 1969, Led Zeppelin hit it big with their first two groundbreaking albums, which both remain landmarks in the history of rock music and laid the foundation for all hard rock and heavy metal to follow. But with the release of LED ZEPPELIN III on October 5, 1970, it showed that the band had more than just blues-inflected rock in their musical veins. In my opinion, this is the definitive Led Zeppelin album; it’s certainly their most creative, thoughtful, and introspective LP.The record’s opening track is the fast-paced 2-minute rocker “Immigrant Song,” which picks up where ZEP II left off. The song is quickly followed by the energetic acoustic number “Friends” which features great use of the tabla drums, and “Celebration Day” has a finger-pickin’ guitar riff so infectious that you can actually groove to it. “Since I’ve Been Loving You” is Zeppelin’s true masterpiece, even surpassing the almighty “Stairway to Heaven.” A 7-minute blues epic about love lost, the singing and instrumentation are at an all-time high: John Bonham’s drumming is as powerful and subtle as ever; John Paul Jones contributes to the dark feel of the song with an excellent back-alley organ riff; Jimmy Page’s heartbreaking guitar solo in the middle is magnificent; and Robert Plant quite possibly delivers the best vocal performance of his career.Bonham delivers some damn fine lyrics on the catchy rocker “Out on the Tiles,” in which Jones’s bass sounds like a thumping trampoline. “Gallows Pole,” a remake of a Leadbelly song, begins with a soft acoustic groove but like many Zeppelin songs, it builds and builds towards a rousing cresendo. “Tangerine” and “That’s The Way” are, simply put, two of the best songs in the Zeppelin canon. Great acoustics and heartfelt lyrics contribute to this back-to-back emotional punch. The album closes with the folky “Bron-Y-Aur Stomp” and the bizarre “Hats Off to (Roy) Harper.”With this album, you get a little of everything: a little hard rock (“Immigrant Song,” “Out on the Tiles”), a little bluegrass (“Bron-Y-Aur Stomp”), a little blues (“Since I’ve Been Loving You”), and lots of awesome folk tunes (“Gallows Pole” and so on). III is Led Zeppelin’s best album for many reasons, but it doesn’t get the respect it deserves. The playing, the singing, the songwriting, the acoustics, the remastering–everything is perfect. Sure, Zeppelin has made many great albums, but III shows their ambition and musical diversity. A masterwork.
Japanese-only SHM-CD (Super High Material CD) paper sleeve pressing of this absolute classic album from the Rock legends, originally released in 1970. SHM-CDs can be played on any audio player and delivers unbelievably high-quality sound. You won’t believe it’s the same CD! Universal. 2008.After plundering the Yardbirds’ legacy and Willie Dixon (among others) for their blues-riff-heavy first two albums, Jimmy Page and company surprised many listeners with the strong acoustic/folk sensibility displayed on III. Page aficionados shouldn’t have been caught off guard; the guitarist had toyed with similar sensibilities and modalities during his brief tenure with the Yardbirds (most notably ”White Summer” from the Little Games album). Ever the creative thieves, Zep kick off the album by nicking the riff from ”Bali Ha’i” no less, with Robert Plant wailing it to punctuate the thundering FM warhorse ”Immigrant Song.” Even other electric rockers like ”Celebration Day” and ”Out on the Tiles” have an inventive, offbeat musicality to them that suggest the band was already wary of stereotyping. But it’s the decidedly mellower acoustic groove of the album’s latter half that’s the news here, from the graceful beauty of ”That’s the Way” and ”Tangerine” to the raw, folksy charm of ”Bron-Y-Aur Stomp,” ”Hats Off (to Roy Harper),” and the traditional ”Gallows Pole.” –Jerry McCulley
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Sure it’s supposed to be an “acoustic” album and “soft” but it actually is a super, well rounded affair. You get rockin’ tunes (“Immigrant Song”, “Out On The Tiles”, “Celebration Day”), funky folk (“Bron Yr Aur Stomp”, “Gallows Pole”), some kickin’ blues or blues influenced tracks (“Since I’ve Been Loving You”, “Hats Off To (Roy) Harper” which is “Shake ‘Em On Down”), and a super ballad in “Tangerine”. I & II are great but I think there’s an earthiness and subtlety here that are missing from their first two efforts. IV/ZOSO is overrated because of 3 songs, and the later albums are by and large pretty damn good. But I’d say this is the most diverse album, and apart from metal heads’ perspectives, their most accessible. I love Spinal Tap but sometimes you don’t need to go to 11 to totally rock out… Led Zeppelin III proves it. Enjoy!
On this album ,Zeppelin begin to become more electic in their music after two raunchy blues albums to get the ball rolling. They haven’t completely left their power behind though. IMMIGRANT SONG is a short but immensley powerful song with plants banshee wail like nothing you’ve ever heard. CELEBRATION DAY has a brlliant warped slide guitar riff and OUT ON THE TILES is an underrated classic zeppelin tune with its funky swagger. SINCE I’VE BEEN LOVING YOU is a brilliant epic not quite of the same standard as other zeppelin epics but it still remains a concert favourite. But the secret of this album is the folky side of it which is excellent throughout. GALLOWS POLE is a menacing interpretation of a Leadbelly classic, BRON-YUAR-STOMP is an infectious tune, but the standouts ore most definately TANGERINE which is a quite amazing tune showing how much Zeppelin have matured as can be said for THAT’S THE WAY which is equally pristine and one of their best compositions.What this album does is show you that Led Zeppelin were far more than straight blues rock or heavy metal, their compositions were detailed thoughtful and even sensitive and of all their albums, this shows that side of them best and also gives us a little sneak preview of what was to come next.
I would have to say that “Led Zeppelin III” is by far their most under-appreciated album to date. Many fans hardly recognize it for the beautiful music it contains. Sure, it’s not as catchy, driving, grabbing as some of the more popular Zepp albums, but really that’s the basis of its appeal. “III” is not something you can imagine filled football stadiums moshing to. It’s what’s in the background as you ask someone to pass the coffee on a Sunday. And critics, as many as their fans did at the same time, sold them out in the early 1970’s. Zepp is heralded as a “Blues Metal Band” (sounds like an oxymoron to me) and people expected the same high pitched wisping Robert Plant vocals to accompany Page’s blues riffs. But when “III” hit, everyone was disillusioned. Teased with “Immigrant Song” and Part 2 of Friends, “Celebration Day,” no one could lower their heart rate in time to appreciate acoustic classics like “Tangerine,” “Gallows Pole,” and “That’s the Way.” Perhaps they could swallow the bluesy “Since I’ve been Loving You” or “Hats Off to Roy Harper” having been introduced to the same sound in their 1969 debut, but on the whole they were disappointed. Years later “Immigrant Song,” “Friends,” “Bron-Y-Aur Stomp,” and the unreleased “Hey, Hey What Can I Do” rank among Zeppelin’s greatest songs. Page seemed to be the one taking all the risks, hanging up the legendary Les Paul to fiddle with alternate acoustic guitar tunnings (Open D 4th fret capo on “That’s the Way,” Open G tuning on “Bron-Y-Aur”). And after the dust has settled on the bands monster career, “III” is behind only “IV,” “Houses of the Holy,” and “Physical Graffiti” as Zepp’s finest album.
After the thundering success of their first two albums, Led Zeppelin showed that they had more than just a heavy metal side. Led Zeppelin III has an acoustic based, earthy sound and in most places finds the band in a mellow mood. “Immigrant Song” opens the album with a driving kick that belies what will follow. “Friends” and “Celebration Day” show off Jimmy Page’s skills on the acoustic guitar while retaining the power of their electric work. “Since I’ve Been Loving You” is a mournful blues dirge in which Robert Plant bleeds his heart out all over the song. John Bonham contributes the fine “Out On The Tiles”. “Gallow’s Pole” starts with a slow beat and then builds and builds and picks up speed like water rising in a dam. The water keeps getting higher and then tension builds in the song before it comes bursting free at the end. “Tangerine” is beautiful song that doesn’t get many mentions as a great Zep song, but despite its seeming subtlety, it one of the most intricate of their songs and one of their all-time best. III is among the most critically bashed of their albums, but the acoustic nature of it was a precursor to the Unplugged albums of the 90’s and the album deserves alot more credit than it gets.