LED ZEPPELIN — Led Zeppelin (review)

LED ZEPPELIN — Led Zeppelin album cover Album · 1969 · Hard Rock Buy this album from MMA partners
3.5/5 ·
Warthur
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.
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