After making a great musical impression with their self-titled debut album, Led Zeppelin had to feed the fire of some impressed fans and released this album, also in the year 1969. In some ways, it is even better than the first Led Zeppelin album, and paved the way for the musical journey ahead for the group. Let’s take a listen to this great album, over 50 years after its release.
We kick off with the classic rock track Whole Lotta Love which has a great heavy Gibson Les Paul riff played by legendary guitarist Jimmy Page. Robert Plant sings about dirty sex style stuff, whilst the rest of group groove along. It then goes into an incredible instrumental with bongo beats, strange wooshing noises (actually a newer version of the Theremin keyboard at the time), sexual screams and a great deal of suspense. It then goes into an extraordinary guitar solo, before pulsating with energy all the way to the finish. A brilliant song. It sounds great from start to finish.
Next is What Is And What Should Never Be which is a much more straightforward rock track. It’s very ballad like, but goes from subtlety to a louder approach in the chorus. It’s a great listen for any fans of Led Zeppelin out there, and classic rock fans in general. There is a slide guitar solo here which sounds really good, and fits in the mix perfectly. Not bad for a song that is seen as a less obvious Led Zeppelin song, it’s very, very good. Robert Plants sings reassuringly above love with a woman. The outro guitar part here is really awesome, great stuff boys. A nice tune to hear.
The Lemon Song begins with a gong and a guitar riff, before going into a blues heavy romp which is likely inspired by the music of Robert Johnson. There are some incredibly macho male sexual lyrics here. It then goes into a super fast almost Punk rock jam, as an alternating section. Jimmy Page’s guitar playing is seriously good here, he sounds awesome and wonderful, and likely inspired many others to come after him. The whole band does great here, and goes into a quieter section which lets Robert Plant give it all he has got. Then, a call and response with vocals and guitars occurs, something which is super rare with rock music in general. It returns to the super fast section just before the end. Great stuff.
Thank You comes next. It’s a super sweet ballad determined to hold a love forever, no matter what the circumstances may be. It has precise drumming, beautiful organ and acoustic guitar. Very much a sound of the time, but in retrospect, has barely aged. Sung very sweetly, this is a really nice listen. A great musical piece with plenty of melodic sensibility, it is really excellent to hear. Robert Plant sings from a very emotional place, and there is a fade out here? It’s a surprise for sure, listen out for it.
Next is Heartbreaker which begins with an awesome double tracked Gibson Les Paul before going into a straightforward rock groove. It’s a great listen, and one of the best Led Zeppelin songs in the band’s history. The lyrics are pretty interesting, rather humourous as well. It then goes into a magnificent guitar solo by Jimmy Page which kicks in halfway through. It’s a mind-blowing solo, paving the way for future guitarists such as Eddie Van Halen to take such an approach. It then finishes off with more humourously sexual lyrics and a groove based ending to match.
After that we have the poppy Living Loving Maid (She’s Just A Woman) which talks about a maid who does some extra fun things on the side. It’s hilarious and great, with each member playing as though their life depends on it. Musically it is a great piece, and another good addition to the music of Led Zeppelin. Cool stuff.
Ramble On comes next. It’s actually based on the Lord Of The Rings books, which were (and still are) hugely popular. It has beautiful strummed acoustic guitar, perfect basslines, crushing drums and awesome vocals. It’s super simple, yet so good to hear. There are some really beautiful harmonica like sounds in here as well. Led Zeppelin’s music is untouchable, another great listening experience here. Good singalong piece.
Moby Dick starts off as a cool sounding jam, minus vocals, before leading into one of the most memorable rock drum solos in history. It starts off with some great tom-tom sounds which are expertly and intelligently done, before other elements are added into the drum solo itself. It has a very good rhythm about it, and builds up into a huge frenzy. It sounds awesome and precisely done, and deserves to be seen as a great drum solo. It then goes back into the jam towards the end. Excellent effort here.
Last is Bring It On Home which is a Robert Johnson cover. It’s wonderfully delivered in a traditional blues way, before going straight into an electrified rock jam. Awesome stuff, and a killer way to finish off a great rock and roll album. Fantastic stuff. It sounds like an original, regardless, even though it’s not. It goes into the classic blues jam, before ending. A nice finish to the album.
This was another huge success for Led Zeppelin, and you can clearly hear why. The record is awesome for Rock and Led Zeppelin fans in general. If you want to hear interesting music from Rock history, start with this album here. Raw, loud, sexual, but near perfect, this is an exciting listen.