The Debut album from the great band, LZ1 is among my personal all time favourites. A brilliant Blues-rock/metal/folk album first released in January 12th 1969 (US), it was recorded in 30 hours over a period of 9 days at a cost of $1,782, and from this basic beginning has sold over six million copies to date.
1)Good times, Bad Times - The bare, crunching chords of the opening track set a fantastic precursor for the brilliant rock album to come. With a segmented solo that would still stand up against most recent guitar today, its no wonder this usually makes it onto Zep's best of compilations (there are so many!). 8/10
2)Babe, I'm Gonna Leave You - A slight contrast to the previous track, BIGLY has got to be some of Led Zeppelin's best acoustic work ever. Robert Plant's vocals on this song are immense. The ear-splitting screams to be found on numerous occasions throughout the song sent shivers down my spine the first time I heard this song. It still amazes me how Zeppelin manage to make an acoustic song like this as heavy as it is. 9/10
3)You Shook Me - This cover of an old Willie Dixon track is the first time we see Jonesy take to the keyboards, namely the Hammond Organ. The sharp sound of Page's Telecaster rips through the speakers as this very under-rated song bursts into action. The stark contrast of the slow, bluesy rhythms and Plant's wailing vocals gives a slightly edgy feeling to "You Shook Me". With four solos (Organ, Harmonica, Guitar, and later Vocal/Guitar), this is a fine way to demonstrate Zeppelin's blues roots. 9/10
4)Dazed and Confused - I think a lot about this song goes without saying. Remembered always as one of the greatest Rock/Metal songs of all time, it has been endlessly covered by artists worldwide, to name but two Nirvana and Blaze Bailey. Derived from Jimmy Page's track "I'm Confused", a song about an acid trip he wrote in 1962 and performed most notably with the Yardbirds, Dazed and Confused always featured in Zeppelin's setlist, with versions lasting well over half an hour. This song is perhaps most remembered for Page's "bowing" work in the presolo, which, although he supposedly did not invent the technique, demonstrates the creativity and ingenuity of Zeppelin over other bands of the time. The actual solo itself is definitely my main reason for loving this song. With Bonham's heavy clash-based rhythms thundering in the background and Plant wailing along, the energy put into this solo is fantastic, and it is definitely one of the pieces of music that has inspired my guitar playing. The song finishes with some wonderful, climactic riff-work and drumming, and ends in a majestic clash. This song is truly great. 10/10
5)Your Time is Gonna Come - Not a bad song when taken at face value, but YTIGC doesn't really hold up a light to the rest of the album. The synthesisers and keyboards immediately deter the "heavier" listener from listening further. I have tried to listen to this song all the way through on many occasions, but I always end up skipping forwards too.5/10.
6)Black Mountain Side - The first of Page's acoustic instrumentals, Black Mountain Side shows The Pagemaster's dexterity and skill on an acoustic at its best. It is easy to see how the folky and relaxed nature of BMS would appeal to the more "stoner-like" Zeppelin listener. 8/10
7)Communication Breakdown - One of the most well known tracks on the album, Comm. Breakdown is often regarded as one of the first metal songs of all time, with the palm-muted e-string being put to great use, and a nice fast solo to go with it. The backing vocals "Communication Breakdown!" nearer the end remind me a lot of Steve Harris and Adrian Smith's "If you're gonna die" on Iron Maiden's "Die With Your Boots On". A great song. No wonder the mighty Maiden did a cover :cool: (which was very good). 10/10
8)I Can't Quit You Baby - This one's another Willie Dixon cover. I remember reading somewhere that this song had been voted one of the worst Zeppelin songs ever. Why??? I like this song. There's not much to say about it (it's quite similar to You Shook Me), but Page's guitar, use of the whammy bar and speedy blues solos are not demonstrative of one of Zeppelin's worst tracks. 7.5/10
9)How Many More Times - Not my favourite track off the album, but a good song nonetheless. A nice, lengthy, high-energy finale to this momentously brilliant album, it contains some mind-blowing guitar work by Jimmy Page, including another bow solo and plenty of wah-wah action. 7.5/10
"Led Zeppelin I is the band's rawest and most blues based recording. Page's guitar is on fire throughout, Bonham's drums thunder away in awe-inspiring fashion, Jones plays some terrific bass guitar and keyboards, and Plant's high-pitched vocal wail (with many a "baby baby" lyric) became the template for all future hard rock singers. Yet for all of their individual excellence, and they do all take spectacular solo turns here (particularly Page), it is the band's ensemble playing that remains most mind-blowing over 30 years later."
Five Stars, definitely!