Led Zeppelin
In Through the Out Door


4.0
excellent

Review

by Bron-Yr-Aur USER (39 Reviews)
June 29th, 2006 | 24 replies | 7,157 views


Release Date: 1979 | Tracklist


6 of 6 thought this review was well written

The bell was soon to toll. The year: 1979. For Led Zeppelin, the end was Nye, and perhaps on itsí way sooner than expected. Critics and fans alike had been counting Zeppelin out, then in, and out again for the last three years a result of the ďZeppelin curse", which claimed itsí victims in a car crash the Plantsí had, a deadly infection that took the life of Karac Plant (Robertís son), and ultimately perpetuated the death of John Bonham. While this ďcurse" is certainly ridiculed by the three remaining members, one could argue that there was something out to get Zeppelin, especially if you take into account the fact that the first two incidents alone put the band in two separate and indefinite hiatus(s). While still a tremendously revered outfit, the bandsí previous release, Presence, was met with an overall lukewarm reception, much in the vain of Metallicaís Load. By the time their final offering as a group was released, the band had a lifespan of little more than nine months left. As the times changed, so did the music, and soon the top twenty was infested with synthesized pop and the painful Rod Stewart anthem, Do Ya Think Iím Sexy. The question was more than likely mulled over. If Led Zeppelin returns, how will they sound? What will they do? Return they did, and the sound was different.


In Through the Out Door debuted at number one on the charts, illustrating the power the name of the band still commanded. Instead of adapting their previous blues-rock prowess, the band opted to continue their evolution as musicians, a term that causes many music fans to spurt into fits of terror. Instead of songs like Kashmir, which was the epitome of musical experimentation done correctly, you found yourself with songs like South Bound Suarez. While the former of which is epic in every sense of the word, the latter possesses a charm that is conspicuously absent in a lot of other material. After careful deliberation, Iíve decided to attribute this charm to the dominance of John Paul Jones on the album, a presence which would for better or worse define itsí distinctive sound. You see, by 1976, Jimmy Page was dabbling in drugs (to say the least). While this should come as no surprise to anyone who knows anything about the band, the particular drug he was dabbling in was heroin, an illicit substance which has gotten the better of countless rock stars, from John Lennon to John Frusciante. By the time the album was ready to be written and recorded, Page (as well as Bonham, though this obviously didnít affect the songwriting process) was a full-blown smack addict, and as such carried much less weight around the studio than he used to, and subsequently, he handed over the reigns to John Paul. So, how does Jonesy do?


While one could gather the impression that Zeppelin has chosen to remain a more rock based outfit from the stomping, almost defiant In The Evening, it is very clear that songs like Fool In the Rain are not written by the same band that released the devious tune The Lemon Song ten years prior. While upbeat piano playing and a jaw-dropping groove are the high-points, Page tastefully makes his way through the song, providing harmonized fills until itís time to take an impressive solo. Likewise, Hot Dog is like nothing the band had ever done before. Unfortunately, it would not go over near as well as itís predecessor. While itís easy to establish a love-hate relationship with the song (which is the choice I opted for), itís far easier to simply dismiss it as garbage and move on. The reason for this near-blasphemous statement is that the idea of Zeppelin tackling a country romp complete with boogie-piano and a female vocal accompaniment might be simply more than many can bear. Go on, hate it. No one will think any less of you.


While light-hearted pop is most certainly in order, the band has still not completely abandoned their former selves. Indeed, songs such as Caraseloumbra are positively epic, and one canít help but get the feeling that youíre on some sort of epic mission when Jimmy and John Paul combine twelve-string with synthesizer for a harmony of volcanic proportions. In fact, thatís pretty much the defining sound of the album. Take one catchy synth hook, add unto it some tasteful guitar pieces, provide a fantastic drum accompaniment and let Plant do the rest. Speaking of Mr. Plant, you may be curious as to whether or not heís in form on this, the finale of the Zeppelin legacy (with Coda being just what the title suggests). While the voice that permeates through your speakers and into your eardrums is not the same voice that once told you of a lady in-the-know, for the most part (with Hot Dog being the only real exception), Robertís voice just seems more matured. Older, wiser, but still capable of belting out the refrain from Heartbreaker if any young punks wanted to throw down the gauntlet.


Karac Plant was at the tender age of five when he became suddenly ill with an unidentified viral infection. Robert Plant, who was touring at the time, didnít find out about his boysí sudden and unexpected demise until the ambulance, which arrived late anyway, had already left. Once the news hit, the tabloids had another field day with the aforementioned ďZeppelin Curse", and the band that was Led Zeppelin for all intents and purposes ceased to be. Upon their miraculous revival some two years later, Robert presented John Paul Jones with some lyrics he had written. Jonesy sat down at his synthesizer and the song All My Love was born. There are quite a few perplexing things about the song, and quite a few Zeppelin firsts with it, as well. A short list is as follows:

* Marks the first time Page didnít receive a writing credit.

* Marks the last time Robert would ever collaborate with John Paul Jones

* Jimmy was said to have hated the song, finding it far too poppy.


Despite all the nostalgia and/or curiosity these points create, nothing changes the fact that the song is a work of pure genius. From the simple yet appropriate guitar fills to the forceful, pounding bridge, not a single thing is out of place in this, Robertís dedication to his departed offspring.


If you listen to Iím Gonna Crawl enough, you might hear more than the pseudo-blues that is more than apparent at first. If you truly focus, you might forget the fact that the song can drag on for what seems like an eternity. If you adamantly put your mind to it, you can almost hear it. The sound of a legend dying. The last breath of life from the mighty Zeppelin may appear to be a disappointing one at first, but upon repeated listening, it can become hard to disconnect yourself from the ultimate nostalgia offered in the slow, blues epic. And as it makes it exit, so does the mighty Led Zeppelin.


The album is far from the best Zeppelin album. Nevertheless, it is just as vital to their catalogue and prodigious career as their mind-blowing debut that made itsí way onto the rock charts some eleven years prior. While the album signals the death of the powerful Zeppelin, you can take comfort in the fact that most legends are meant to die, and as such, so creates their legacy.


4/5


Pros

That lovely nostalgia

Fool In the Rain

Bonhamís drumming

Cons

Hot Dog

Seven songs

Not for the average fan



Recent reviews by this author
Silversun Pickups CarnavasPink Floyd The Dark Side of the Moon
The Haunted The Haunted Made Me Do ItThe Beatles Please Please Me
Led Zeppelin Led ZeppelinRage Against the Machine The Battle of Los Angeles
user ratings (1019)
Chart.
3.3
great
other reviews of this album
FloydZepp4ever (5)
...

SethPutnam (4.5)
Led Zeppelin's massively underrated swan song...

Rocksta71 (3.5)
...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Bron-Yr-Aur
June 29th 2006



4405 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

So this leaves Houses of the Holy, Zeppelin I, and Physical Graffiti until I'm finished with Zeppelin.

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
June 29th 2006



17920 Comments


another good one, blahblahblah

Bron-Yr-Aur
June 29th 2006



4405 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I keep meaning to wait until like 5 'o clock to put these out, and then I just submit anyway. I have no self-control...

metallicaman8
June 29th 2006



4677 Comments


Excellent review as usual. I knew it was yours before I even opened the page This Message Edited On 06.29.06

Jacaranda
June 29th 2006



684 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This is a pretty terrible album. Only got a more then average rating for "Fool in the Rain" which is one of my favorite Led Zeppelin tunes.

AeroZeppelin1
June 29th 2006



142 Comments


great review..i like it...Fool in the Rain is awesome

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
June 29th 2006



17920 Comments


i never thought i would see a pete wentz avatar....

fool in the rain is the best song on here

Bron-Yr-Aur
June 29th 2006



4405 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Either that or All My Love.

JohnXDoesn't
June 29th 2006



1267 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I like this Zep album best of all. Along with Houses, Physical, and III. Severely underrated by the fanboys who claim to love this band so much. And how the hell can someone above me say it's a "pretty terrible album" and then rate it "Great". Fool In The Rain notwithstanding It boggles the mind....Good work on the review....This Message Edited On 06.29.06

Jacaranda
June 29th 2006



684 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

If you would have read the rest I said only got better then average cause of one song...
Uh duh.

JohnXDoesn't
June 29th 2006



1267 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Saw it. Edited. So one good song and the entire album is great?

oic....:pThis Message Edited On 06.29.06

Jacaranda
June 29th 2006



684 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Well ya I'm that kind of guy. Does it really matter what I rated it. I could call it awful and rate it a five does that mean anything?

JohnXDoesn't
June 29th 2006



1267 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I dunno, actually? If it doesn't matter to you I guess it doesn't. And this whole sputnik rating system is being overhauled, anyway. It's flawed, to say the least.This Message Edited On 06.29.06

Bron-Yr-Aur
June 29th 2006



4405 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah, but I've got loads of Beatles reviews to do.

Rocksta71
June 29th 2006



1023 Comments


I knew it was you before I even opened it...
What can I say? youve outdone yourself this time Bron!
A great review to say the least.
I would also just like to point out that the reason for JPJ's big influence on this album, is simply that he got to the recording studio early everyday and dabbled with new ideas before the remaining three came in. Page and Bonham were alredy Heroin junkies by the time Presence was recorded.
Other than that, great dude!

Bron-Yr-Aur
June 29th 2006



4405 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I would also just like to point out that the reason for JPJ's big influence on this album, is simply that he got to the recording studio early everyday and dabbled with new ideas before the remaining three came in.


I've never read that anywhere, but it could be true.

Page and Bonham were alredy Heroin junkies by the time Presence was recorded.


I believe I said that. I merely meant that Page wasn't hindered from working as a result of the drug until this album.

you've outdone yourself this time Bron


Nah, my Zeppelin IV butchers this, but thanks.This Message Edited On 06.29.06

The Door Mouse
June 29th 2006



2092 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

awsome review

Rocksta71
June 29th 2006



1023 Comments


Bron-"I believe I said that. I merely meant that Page wasn't hindered from working as a result of the drug until this album."


Oh, sorry my mistake, I suppose the more you use the drug the more it stuffs you up.

Bron-Yr-Aur
June 29th 2006



4405 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

No apology required.

south_of_heaven 11
June 30th 2006



5433 Comments


Why is that I always miss your reviews? But wait, does it even matter? I always vote yes cause they're always good.
But I doubt I'll pick this up. I'm still very contempt with LZ 1 - 4 and I still listen to all of those albums all the time.



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2014 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy