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Led Zeppelin III

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Average Rating
★★★★½
(291 Reviews)

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  • 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.

    Posted on February 8, 2010