From the Vault...


Led Zeppelin
"Led Zeppelin"

© Atlantic Records

Year of Release: 1969

track listing
  • Good Times Bad Times
  • Babe I'm Gonna
    Leave You
  • You Shook Me
  • Dazed And Confused
  • Your Time Is
    Gonna Come
  • Black Mountain Side
  • Communication
  • I Can't Quit You Baby
  • How Many More Times

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    "Led Zeppelin"

    First Album Greatness: Led Zeppelin's debut album is highly the best release of their incredible career. Jimmy Page had left The Yardbirds, as he was forming a new band, with a new sound. Concentrating more on the blues with a much harder rock edge, The New Yardbirds were renamed Led Zeppelin (the name was suggested by The Who's Keith Moon), the band's new name gave them extroadinary new heights, as high as they could go. And, with their debut release, and albums afterwards, Led Zeppelin is truly (and still remains) the best band out of the 1970s hard-rock era.

    Not only is this release Zep's best, it also has very fond memories. Discovering Led Zeppelin's music during high school, and how every other young rock fan enjoyed their music as the next person, Led Zeppelin's music has always been a force to reckon with. There are few albums where a person could say that every track on the album is exceptional. (Beatles albums come to mind easily in this situation...) Yet there are many many other albums that have a small handful of hits, and the rest were listenable, but not remarkable. Not in the case of Led Zeppelin; every track on this album is truly exceptional, and neither of them are tiring, as 30 years (!!) have passed since Zeppelin's debut album. (Wow, 30 years...)

    The album's opening song, "Good Times Bad Times" certainly grabs your attention, and encourages the listener (especially for the fan who is first discovering Led Zeppelin) to listen more. And in doing so, "Babe I'm Gonna Leave You" slows the pace, but later it kicks into another rememberable rock riff, making this song another Zeppelin classic favorite. Another memorable tune, yet its another slow pace favorite, is "Your Time Is Gonna Come," where this song may have a unique "eerieness" about it, yet its another classic, as the lyrics truly stand out for those whose "time will come."

    Focusing on the artists of blues before them, Willie Dixon's "You Shook Me" and later in the album "I Can't Quit You Baby" truly demonstrates the greatness of the blues with Robert Plant's vocal style, and the incredible guitar work of Jimmy Page.

    Showcasing on how great a guitarist Jimmy Page is, "Dazed And Confused" and "How Many More Times" features Page at his best with his guitar, with his great solos and special effects. And, these two songs, like the rest, can easily get the repeat button on the CD player, without getting tired for each repeated play. We can also say the same for "Communication Breakdown;" it simply rocks with Robert Plant's rough vocal style, and Jimmy Page's extroadinary guitar solos.

    And if there is one song that would probably get the least play, is the accoustic guitar instrumental, "Black Mountain Side." Don't get me wrong, it's a great tune, yet its not as spectacular as the remaining songs before and afterwards.

    For someone who is just discovering Led Zeppelin's music, their first album is a great start. Like The Beatles, all of their albums are great. And, as the decades that follows, neither band's music is tiring. Sure, there are the most popular songs that keeps getting constant radio airplay, ("Stairway To Heaven" does get tiring after hearing it all the time), but it's always a treat to discover the lesser-known songs that don't get airplay, and we can all argue why they weren't on a regular basis. Classic Rock fans: Wouldn't it be great to hear songs like "How Many More Times" and/or "Babe I'm Gonna Leave You" on an almost-regular basis? Instead we hear "Stairway To Heaven," and "Whole Lotta Love." Great songs, but do we have to hear them over and over and over....???

    One thing about the Led Zeppelin album is that the songs from this release are not heavily played on Classic Rock stations. So its very refreshing to hear these songs again, and not get tired of them, as in other Zep tunes that get the heavy airplay. Led Zeppelin started out this band with a new look at blues and rock. And even though they may be labeled as Heavy Metal, yet most fans would categorize their music as Hard Rock. Whether your personal choice is on that, Led Zeppelin ROCKs, and whether it be their first album, last, or anywhere in between, Led Zeppelin will always be one the many great rock bands to enjoy in future decades to come. It's been 30 years since they first appeared, and even 30 years from now, their music will always remain the same: ROCK.

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