LED ZEPPELIN — Led Zeppelin III (review)

LED ZEPPELIN — Led Zeppelin III album cover Album · 1970 · Hard Rock Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
Warthur
Zeppelin spread their wings a bit on this one, expanding the scope of their songwriting and musical expression from the firmly blues rock rooted approach of their first two albums. The most hard-rocking track on here, Immigrant Song, kicks things off with a proto-speed metal approach which is energising but rather outdone by Black Sabbath the same year with Paranoid. What's really interesting is what happens after that - we plunge into Friends, complete with driving acoustic guitar lines, subtle use of Moog, and a decidedly foreboding atmosphere, and we know we're no longer with the same old Zeppelin we used to know.

The band don't abandon the blues entirely - Since I've Been Loving You is one of their best slow blues rock songs, in fact - but they do delve deeply into acoustic experimentations. Apparently they were compared unfavourably to Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young when this one came out, which is just bizarre - CSNY were taking hippy folk into the 1970s, whereas here the Zeps are bringing a light acoustic touch to heavy, hard rock material, creating an altogether different sound. Although it's not very metal, it is more varied and more interesting than their earlier material.
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