Led Zeppelin
Led Zeppelin


3.0
good

Review

by John weathered old reviewer Hanson EMERITUS
July 12th, 2006 | 502 replies


Release Date: 1969 | Tracklist


Led Zeppelin is undoubtedly one of the most influential rock bands in history. Disregarding any plagiarism they undoubtedly committed during their career, they almost always did things in a different and exciting way that caused them to be a veritable phenomenon in both their time and ours. Bands like Cream and Boston may have been huge for their time, very few have had the continued success and recognition that Led Zeppelin have received over the years.

Do I understand all of the hoopla? In a way, yes, but then again, not at all. Undoubtedly innovators, I just cannot see past the fact that the music has not aged well. Sure, some of their material has done so (Particularly the second and fourth self-titled albums, and [i]Physical Graffiti[/I), but most of their discography just doesnít excite like it did 30 years ago. Most fittingly, the album that most suffers from this is their first release, Led Zeppelin I.

Most of what is presented here is material that would be improved upon in later releases, or abandoned altogether for generally better ideas. John Bonham had not yet reach the ďstratospheric" heights as a drummer like he later would; although he still banged on those drums ferociously, it wasnít with anywhere near the skill weíd see on tracks like When the Levee Breaks or Achilles Last Stand just five or six years later. John Paul Jones is arguably the most impressive member of the band here, as he letís loose some of the most rollicking basslines of his career on tracks like Dazed and Confused and particularly Black Mountain Side.

Jimmy Page also shows off his chops, coming directly from the Yardbirds. While not at the height of his technical prowess, he still makes enjoyable guitar melodies and grooviní riffs, much akin to those found later, albeit not as ear catching. Of course, there is Communication Breakdown, a song driven by one of the most famous Zeppelin riffs, and Babe Iím Gonna Leave You, technically featuring the first Zeppelin guitar solo. Throughout the albums he is the prominent member, but also the one who stands out the least from his works on other albums.

The most subtly disappointing member is singer Robert Plant. Always known more for his energy and live performances, he eventually gained tremendous respect as a vocalist for songs such as Stairway to Heaven and even Immigrant Song. Here, however, itís almost painful to listen to him. The best comparison would be to a guy who can actually sing quite well, but he decides he should get tanked before a recording, and then just half-mumble and wail through his parts. Plant undeniably has a unique voice, but due to what seems to be a general lack of experience, he just doesnít come across well on the album, and itís a near deathblow. He shines at times (mostly with background ďohís" and wails), yet at most heís painfully average.

Of course, the songwriting itself is as tight as ever, which is both a good and bad thing. There is no weak track on here, the closest being the overstuffed and trudging You Shook Me, which just drags along at such a pace to put you to sleep. Mostly everything else ranges from good to great, with the singles easily being the strongest songs from the album. Theyíre hard rocking, energetic, and generally enjoyable songs that can pick up at a moments notice. Whether itís the soft acoustics of Babe Iím Gonna Leave You, the sprawling and bombastic How Many More Times, or the sweet balladry of Your Time is Gonna Come, you cannot call the album a one trick pony.

This is unfortunately also the albums fault. Going back to a previous theme, this album doesnít really distinguish itself in any way from other Zeppelin releases. Nearly everything shown here is improved upon on just their next release, and then the formula becomes expanded and the songs become grander and more epic in tone on both their 4th release and Physical Graffiti. This unfortunately leaves Led Zeppelin I in a strange place; as a single album, itís fairly good, and as a debut record, itís close to being fantastic. However, these days, there are just so many better albums to look at.

This lands Led Zeppelin I near the bottom of Zeppelinís discography. While better than later albums in the bands catalogue, it still pales in comparison to many of the mid-career Zeppelin albums, of which every album from Led Zeppelin II to Physical Graffiti is both of higher quality and more fun to listen to. The album isnít bad in any sense, just in the year 2006, itís dated, and nothing special. The album gets a 3 in the end; itís a singularly great album, dampened by the fact that when taken in todayís context, it just doesnít stack up.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Muisee
July 12th 2006


679 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Good review, do not agree with most, but you did a nice job.

metallicaman8
July 12th 2006


4677 Comments


Good, but a little lacking by your standards

kno_kontrol
July 12th 2006


448 Comments


Led Zepplin is pretty much the most overrated band ever in my opinion. Good job on the review though.

AeroZeppelin1
July 12th 2006


142 Comments


meh i dont care a lot for this review, i know what it deserves...

AeroZeppelin1
July 12th 2006


142 Comments


well this album is too much of a classic along with a lot of other their albums, no reason for such a low grade either

AeroZeppelin1
July 12th 2006


142 Comments


I know and I totally disagree with it

francesfarmer
July 12th 2006


1477 Comments


I'll vote you positive. I liked your review, just can't agree. Much. This album was inserted into my blood when I was born. My favorite Zeppelin.

mynameischan
Emeritus
July 12th 2006


17960 Comments


Good review, no reason that I can see to neg it. Look past rating disagreements, and vote on how it was written, people.

francesfarmer
July 12th 2006


1477 Comments


Yep. It was either this or HOTH, but I've been listening to this alot longer and it's one of the few albums that I enjoy every last track on.

Oh, and you messed up your HTML up at the top. The Physical Graffiti thing.This Message Edited On 07.12.06

AeroZeppelin1
July 12th 2006


142 Comments


FINE! take away the vote! im sorry!

AeroZeppelin1
July 12th 2006


142 Comments


well there, like i said its a fine written review and informative i disagree with i understand the site better, my bad, sorry...anyways

Two-Headed Boy
July 12th 2006


4527 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I've said it before and I'll say it again: I hate Led Zeppelin. Physical Graffitti is their only remotely listenable album in my opinion. Nice review.

Kyle71
July 12th 2006


19 Comments


Zeppelin I is anything but overated.


mynameischan
Emeritus
July 12th 2006


17960 Comments


Every Zeppelin CD is overrated, I think.

Oddsen
July 12th 2006


1127 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Robert Plant's voice annoys the shit out of me. Actually not that much, but whatever.

Bron-Yr-Aur
July 12th 2006


4405 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

I just did those so Bron can come and jizz on the album.




And what a jizzing it shall be. I liked this review, and it does what many reviews don't do, and that's point out the negatives about the band.



Bron-Yr-Aur
July 12th 2006


4405 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Eh, Communication Breakdown wears thin after a few months, really. Babe I'm Gonna Leave You simply murders it. And my review will.... I dunno I never really plan anything with them, but I'm certain it will be at least as good. Dawg.

JohnXDoesn't
July 12th 2006


1354 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I think this review is right on. It was a decent start. Sounds good for it's time. Well produced. But the better was yet to come. This is bombastic blues. Simply follows the lead of Cream, only doesn't do it as well. Last three tunes cook, the others are hit and miss at best.This Message Edited On 07.12.06

Bron-Yr-Aur
July 13th 2006


4405 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

I'm actualy surprised no negging occured. Yeah, I disagree with you and JXD and all, but he's got a much bigger avatar so I am timid.

Bron-Yr-Aur
July 13th 2006


4405 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Doesn't mean shit in the face of a "fanboy".



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