LED ZEPPELIN — Led Zeppelin

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LED ZEPPELIN - Led Zeppelin cover
4.20 | 119 ratings | 9 reviews
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Album · 1969

Filed under Hard Rock


1. Good Times Bad Times (2:46)
2. Babe I'm Gonna Leave You (6:41)
3. You Shook Me (6:27)
4. Dazed And Confused (6:26)
5. Your Time Is Gonna Come (4:34)
6. Black Mountain Side (2:12)
7. Communication Breakdown (2:30)
8. I Can't Quit You Baby (4:42)
9. How Many More Times (8:28)

Total Time 44:50


- John Bonham / drums, timpani, backing vocals
- John Paul Jones / bass guitar, organ, keyboards, backing vocals
- Jimmy Page / guitars, backing vocals
- Robert Plant / vocals, harmonica, bass

Guest musician:

- Viram Jasani / tabla (track 6)

About this release

Release date: January 12, 1969 (US) , March 31, 1969 (UK)
Label: Atlantic Records

Thanks to Stooge, Pekka, Lynx33, diamondblack, Unitron for the updates


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

Led Zeppelin's 1969 debut still stands today as one of the most iconic rock albums from its era. Everything from the instantly recognizable cover art to the groundbreaking music contained within the album has become a staple in heavy rock culture, and calling this debut anything short of 'revolutionary' would probably be an understatement. Led Zeppelin began their musical journey with a very firm foot in the well-trodden soil blues rock, but with a level of unbridled heaviness that was quite unique when it was released in January of 1969. While I wouldn't call Led Zeppelin a flawless masterpiece, it is a very impressive and downright essential debut from England's most famous hard rock act.

Many of the chord progressions, lyrical themes, and song structures can easily be traced back to blues rock, but Led Zeppelin had quite a bit more to offer than just that with their debut. The beautiful acoustic guitars in "Babe, I'm Gonna Leave You", stunningly heavy riffs in "Dazed and Confused" (easily the highlight of the album), folk-influenced sound of "Black Mountain Side", and straightforward hard rock of "Communication Breakdown" immediately set Led Zeppelin apart from your average blues rock group - as a matter of fact, this album was nothing short of groundbreaking when one considers the musical climate in which it was released. The more straightforward blues tracks ("You Shook Me" and "I Can't Quit You Baby") don't exactly appeal to my liking very much, but there are plenty of redeemable qualities in both, especially Robert Plant's soulful vocals and Jimmy Page's blinding fretwork.

All four musicians here deliver fantastic performances individually, and collectively they shine even brighter. The chemistry between these extremely gifted musicians is unignorable, and the mix of Jimmy Page's fantastic guitar leads, John Bonham's pounding drum fills, Robert Plant's dynamic vocals, and John Paul Jones' clever basslines and occasional organ sections makes for an album of sheer musical bliss. The production is pretty raw and organic, and I think this sound suits the band's heavy rock style perfectly.

I'm pretty sure that anyone reading this review has heard Led Zeppelin's debut somewhere down the line, but if you haven't, it's obviously an essential purchase for anyone interested in the origins of heavy rock music. Though I don't adore the entire album as much as some other listeners, this is still an ambitious and, more times than not, highly successful effort from these legendary rockers. 4 stars are the least I can give to this excellent and seminal classic. Led Zeppelin got off to a spectacular start, and time would show that they would improve even more over the coming years.
Time to indulge in the Led Zeppelin discography so returning to the debut album is a sheer delight. It is a debut most bands would be proud of full of excellent musicianship and some absolutely inspired melodies. indeed many of the tracks have gone down in the annals of classic rock as masterpieces.

Best tracks are the excellent Good Times, Bad Times, the blues heavy Babe, I'm Gonna Leave You, and the quintessential moody masterpiece Dazed and Confused. Communication Breakdown is indispensable as a rock blast from the early days of proto metal, and How Many More Times is the perfect closer with massive blues rock guitars.

The group was a super group with each member being the best of their craft at the time. Plant is a dominant force on high falsetto rock vocals, and the impact of guitar legend Jimmie Page is unsurpassed. He was a presence on every album and backed this by an eccentric aloof and downright mystical stage performance.

There is not a bad moment with the likes of Your Time Is Gonna Come, Black Mountain Side and I Can't Quit You Baby. Some may call it stoner rock, as it seemed to be a requirement to be completely out of it to enjoy the music. Of course this was a product of the time, with the drug culture becoming a dark stain on the 60s spilling out onto the 70s scene. Drawing aside all hippy drug references though, the music is still killer rhythm and blues, and Led Zeppelin were masters of their domain. Rarely interviewed and virtually anonymous on the albums, the mystique of the group was encompassed as part of the overall effect; on every song there is a magical quality that cannot be put into words. The music spoke for itself and it spoke to every generation and continues to speak even today. The simplicity of the chord structures is rather understated, yet the riffs were absolutely brilliant and rank among the finest in rock history.

The album cover says it all. The Zeppelin has crashed and there is no turning back as this legendary band would set fire to every part of what was left of the 60s pop scene; a scene that was now replaced by this new breed of monster rock.
On the first Led Zeppelin album Jimmy Page had not yet developed a truly heavy metal playing style (though you can see hints towards one on Dazed and Confused). Throughout the album he plays in a mainly blues-rock and classic rock style, and although we now all recognise how revolutionary the band would prove to be at the time there was little to suggest that Page would manage to achieve anything other than play a noisy, fuzzy blues lick in a vaguely Hendrix/Clapton-influenced style. And Robert Plant's vocal delivery is good, but there's a sort of Rod Stewart edge to it which betrays that at this point in their career the boys still thought of themselves as a blues-rock band - appropriately enough, considering that that's what they were.

But damn if that isn't some good blues rock on this album. I Can't Quit You Baby and You Shook Me are classic blues pieces played more or less straight (bar the electric instrumentation), whilst classic faster-paced songs like Good Times Bad Times and Communication Breakdown rock out with the best of them. Babe I'm Gonna Leave You lurches from beautiful acoustic picking to thunderous crescendos which would point the way to future classics like Stairway to Heaven. And album closer How Many More Times showcases the entire band's abilities. Not an unbeatable classic - as proved by Zep themselves later on when they, ah, beat it, several times over in fact - but still an entertaining enough package. Three and a half stars, I'd say.
Very good debut album by Led Zeppelin. First of all this album is a mixture of very much ideas, full of blues songs (which I don't like very much) and some other interesting ideas. The best song on the album is Babe, I'm Gonna Leave You, which is true masterpiece and contains some unforgettable moments and can be described as blues rock at its height. Some other memorable songs are Dazed and Confused and Your Time Is Gonna Come. The other songs are similar and don't attract my attention enough. The band reveals its own style of music and big virtuosity of the band members. All of these help the band to establish its own way and to become second/third most successful rock band of all time (shared with Queen and behind Beatles)! 3.75 stars!!!
Conor Fynes
'Led Zeppelin' - Led Zeppelin (7/10)

Led Zeppelin's first impression to the world can easily be called one of the greatest debuts of all time. Even early on, Led Zeppelin showed that they were different from other hard rock bands. There's alot of blues influence here (more so then on any other Zeppelin release) and musical elements typical of classic rock, but theres also another force at work; the type of force that would warrant a completely acoustic instrumental in a hard rock album, and allow such a newly discovered band to take the world by storm with a single hour of music.

Despite the excellence, this is not still not prog, but a blues influenced hard rock album, in final. However, it's a good place to start off from. A genre such as blues (while obviously not the most innovative or avant- garde style of music by any measure) holds a pretty reasonable following of listeners, but also gives alot of open space to show what a musician can do, in terms of soloing and distinguishing oneself among all of the other clone-sounding blues musicians. The guitar work on songs such as 'I Can't Quit You Baby' is great, and Jimmy Page sports a fantastic lead tone for his guitar.

While I can't recommend it as highly as the material that would be released during the band's highpoint, I can definately say that this is an excellent debut, and a very impressive first step for a band that would one day conquer the world.
Zeppelin's debut is a heavy blues rock album. It's pure sex, it is about sex and it shamelessly uses high levels of testosterone to fuel its rough primal scream.

While later Zeppelin albums have plenty of more sophisticated things going for them, the debut sticks to basic blues standards. Not really my favourite genre, but when it works it does magic. The thing that makes it so special is how Zeppelin brought blues rock to a new level of heaviness. They simply blew up classic blues to monolithic proportions. Initially it didn’t go down well with many rock critics and it was rebuked for being too simplistic and overstated. But the audience thought completely different about it. And so do rock critics now. I think it is quite obvious how high the song writing quality is and how varied and dynamic this music is. It may be monumental but it’s sure subtle as well.

The pure rough power of this album has proven to be absolutely timeless and continues to move and inspire people today as much as it ever did. Both the Zeppelin-penned composition and the covers of the blues classics (Babe I’m Gonna Leave You, You Shooke Me and I Can’t Quit You Baby) are performed with unsurpassed muscle and passion. Dazed and Confused and How Many More Times in particular have ruled my charts for years on end and they still send shivers down my spine on every occasion I pick up this album.

This album may be a bit soft for modern metal lovers, but it has kept its credibility intact. This is pure, raw, heavy and intense, and it should feature in any music lover's collection. Simply essential.
Rising from the ashes of The Yardbirds this is where it all started for arguably the greatest Heavy Rock band of them all. Recorded in just thirty hours of studio time, often the norm in those days, the band show how tight they already are with a strong collection of Blues Rock. Led Zeppelin immediately state their intent with the powerful opener of Good Times, Bad Times, featuring a great Jimmy Page riff and John Bonham's dexterous kick drum playing. It's Robert Plant's show though showing immediately why he was to become regarded as one of the greatest vocalists in Rock.

Page once stated that his idea for Zeppelin was a band that could combine lots of light and shade, the acoustic mixed with the heavy rock elements. True to his word he suggested covering Babe I'm Gonna Leave You, a traditional folk song he introduced to Plant from a Joan Baez album. They truly do the song justice here with some lovely acoustic guitar from Page and sympathetic Plant vocals before the band pile in full steam for the chorus. Great stuff indeed!

You Shook Me is pure Blues, a Willie Dixon song that the band do an excellent version of here. The versatile John Paul Jones beefs up the sound with a welcome Organ solo as does Plant with his harmonica playing. This is followed by what was to become a live Page showcase featuring his violin bow routine, Dazed and Confused. It's basically a Blues song though veers off the path of true Blues midway into Page's Violin bow routine before speeding up for his guitar solo before Bonhams triplets signal the return to the verse.

Your Time is Gonna Come starts with some great Church Organ from Jones before the band fall in, Page on acoustic guitar. This is one of Plant's best vocal performances on their debut too. This segues into Black Mountain Side, Page's Bert Jansch influenced acoustic and totally instrumental piece. Well placed to follow is the straight Heavy Rock of Communication Breakdown, an early Zeppelin favourite but is rather simplistic and though not bad is the weakest track on the album.

More Blues next with another Willie Dixon Song, I can't Quit You Baby and once again the band do an excellent version of it. However it's left in the shadow of closer How Many More Times. At eight and a half minutes it's the longest track on the album and shows where the band were capable of going with their long extended live jams. Starting with Bohams swinging ride cymbal pattern and Jones walking Bass line the band fall in, full steam ahead before the song deviates into the mid section jam including excerpts from Rosie and The Hunter. Such was the power of this number the band chose to use it to close their early live shows.

So there you have it, one of the greatest debut albums of all time and better than most bands ever produce in their entire career. Not quite the full 5 stars but a well deserved 4 ½.

Members reviews

What a great solid debut for a band, no wonder they became one of the greatest bands so fast. Even though not all of it's songs are among my favourites from the band, there's no denying they are all strong ones. Going from blues, to folk, to hard rock, even to sort of psyquedelic, it is varied and enjoyable. My absolute favourite here is "Babe, I'm gonna leave you", a very hard rocking one even if it is full of acoustic passages. "Dazed and Confused" is another great hard rocker, and "Your time is gonna come" and "Black Mountain Side" are a pair of nice folkier songs. All in all, I can hardly think of many more bands that started their discography with such a strong release.
Led Zeppelin - the First (1969)

A great debut.

Though Zeppelin will never be one of my favorite bands, I must say their debut is amazing. The combination of theatric vocals, hard-rock riffs with a blues edge and fierce drums works very well here. The band has some very good songs and compositions, which would sometimes a problem on later albums. The music is very strong and heavy for it's year of release, though The Blue Cheers are heavier still.

About this songs. This record is one of those rock records with almost only classic rock tracks. Good Times Bad Times, Babe I'm Gonna Leave You, You Shook Me, Dazed And Confused and Communication breakdown are all examples of the power of the hard-rock scene and it's transition, coming from the blues. Robert Plants vocals are amazing, catchy and extremely extrovert. His emotions complete the songs. The guitars of Jimmy Page are a mess as always, but his melodies work nicely. The rhythmical compensates for his messy way of handling his instrument.

Conclusion. A record full of high-quality hard-rock material, a very influential record and a nice cover. Though Zeppelin will still not become one of my favored bands, I can't give this one less than four stars. Recommended to fans of hard-rock, blues-rock and classic rock. No progressive tracks, but the sound and style of the band are innovative by itself. Four stars.

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