This album is seen as the last really great Led Zeppelin album. It is a double album and runs well over an hour, so let’s take a listen through this slice of musical history and see where it takes us.
We kick off with Custard Pie with its heavy rock and keyboard riff, before the rest of the band kicks in. It is a loud and rocking piece that sounds really great. Led Zeppelin is in a glorious Rock God mode here, and Robert Plant’s singing here is wonderful and awesome. Some wah-wah guitar soloing is here, which makes this piece sounding definitely different. A great song, it has some unusual guitar towards the end that sounds like a harmonica. A brilliant piece of music.
Next is The Rover which is loud, rocking and awesome. The riffing here by Jimmy Page is really excellent. Robert Plant’s singing kicks in shortly afterwards, and we have a wonderful tune here. Not a dull moment is here, and this really cool sounding music. The riff changes in the middle of the song, and we have some insane guitar soloing here in this piece. sounding unlike anything else out there. A sleazy, rocking piece. Excellent from Led Zeppelin. The outro sounds fantastic.
In My Time Of Dying is an 11-minute long piece. It begins with some slide-based instrumentation here with loads of sound effects, before some stop/start sections occur, with Robert Plant singing away. This is one of the more unusual pieces from Led Zeppelin. The song gets kicking on eventually, with references to said dying. The sounds and instrumentation here are massive, and the riffs here are really great. The guitar solo here is different, sounding like it is a hybrid slide guitar solo. A great and powerful musical statement, John Bonham’s drumming here is very loud and powerful. This is one of the defining moments of both Led Zeppelin and the 1970s in general. Loud, rocking and powerful, in a way that many bands after were not. Great music, this is extraordinary and very definitive Led Zeppelin. It gets very frenetic towards the end, with some excellent playing by all four members of Led Zeppelin. The ending is pretty funny as well.
Houses Of The Holy begins with an extraordinarily awesome and punchy Rock riff. This is an excellent song, really simple, yet melodic and powerful. This is a wonderful and extraordinary listen, with some really cool lyrics about enjoying music in general. There are some absolutely killer lead guitar breaks here as well. This is extraordinary and amazing listening, even for a much shorter song than what came before. Energetic, fun and great listening, Led Zeppelin nail it here. The outro is rather Psychedelic, but welcome here.
Next is Trampled Under Foot which has a weird organ intro, and the rest of the band kick in straight away. This is an awesome listen and is pounding and energetic. A wonderful piece of classy music, this is super catchy and an excellent piece of sonic bliss. Jimmy Page’s guitar sound is really awesome on this album, playing superbly and wonderfully. Halfway through, an organ kick starts a different sounding section altogether. Some multitracked guitars enter as the solo on this track. This sounds really great, awesomely insane. A loud and fantastic piece of music, this is a fine addition to this album. “I can’t stop talking about love…” is chanted here by Robert Plant. Excellent song.
Following is Kashmir with its iconic string melody and eight-minute-long journey. This is really different from Led Zeppelin typically, but still classic Led Zeppelin all the same. This piece is a majestic journey through the world of sound. There are also horn sections here to add to the wall of sound. The song here is an excellent journey through the exploration of sound, and although it lacks lyrically, that is perfectly fine on this song. A wonderful example of Led Zeppelin’s sonic side, this is ridiculously good. A fine listen from start to finish, this is awesome Led Zeppelin. East meets West? Definitely, an unforgettable track by Led Zep. The outro is very eerie.
In The Light comes next, with some eerie sounds at the beginning, including what sounds like an Indian instrument. Some keyboard is then played, adding to the chaos here. This piece is super spacey and very hypnotic. This piece gets started with Robert Plant’s singing and sounds really good, but unusual. Drumbeats eventually kick in after a few minutes, and this piece gets underway. An excellent but odd sounding song, this is weird 101. Some really great guitar playing by Jimmy Page enters after some time before the song goes back into the odd section again. An extraordinary listen from Led Zeppelin. Really fine musicianship here, this is really fantastic here. Some great drumming is here by John Bonham, which is really excellent. The fade-out is sweet.
Bron-Yr-Aur is next, with its iconic acoustic guitar which is fingerpicked. A much shorter number at two minutes long, this is a nice change from the really long songs that came before. Excellent musical quality is here. Nice for something different, this is really beautiful listening. Some great techniques are used here. Excellent.
Next is Down By The Seaside which begins with a laidback drum and guitar intro, with a touch of an organ as well. It is a lush and well-done piece of music by Led Zeppelin, the guitar sound here is pretty far out. A lovely piece of music, this is really cool. Ideal for the long road trip to the beach. There is a tempo and instrumentation change in the middle which is really odd. The multitracked guitars here are really fine. An excellent listening experience, this is awesome and wonderful. A top piece of music here, with some fine lyrics about love towards the end. Not bad, only five minutes long this song.
Following is Ten Years Gone which begins with a beautiful clean electric guitar part. It sounds really sweet before some dirty guitar parts kick in gloriously. This is really quite tender and pretty. Robert Plant begins singing nicely before this piece gets underway. This is a really excellent piece of music by Led Zeppelin. Some loud rock riffing kicks in as a guitar solo here, showing the world that a Gibson Les Paul and Marshall Amp does indeed, sound amazing, in the right hands. It gets loud and thunderous afterwards. Great piece of music, even if it is seemingly not a highlight here. It goes back into the clean guitar playing, before finishing off the sound with many guitars and a great musical sensibility.
Night Flight is short (for this album) at three minutes long. It begins with hi-hats and immediately goes into a straightforward rock song that is really excellent, as much as the other songs on this album. Very inspired and good listening, this is yet another Led Zeppelin classic. An interesting piece of music, this is a basic Pop/Rock piece by the band. Although not a major track here, it still a good listen.
The Wanton Song is a groove-based piece that is catchy and syncopated listening. A glorious and wonderful listen, this is really very cool. The playing by Jimmy Page and bassist/keyboardist John Paul Jones is amazing here. A terrific performance here by Led Zeppelin, catchy and danceable from start to finish. This is really awesome to hear, nice effort boys. There is a keyboard solo here, not a guitar solo. Still, a very amazing listen from start to finish. Enjoyable to the full.
Next is Boogie With Stu which has some electronically processed beats, before guitar and piano kick into place. Robert Plant gets singing away and this piece is very much a nod to the past. There is a strange solo here, of what sounds like Mandolin, followed by a piano solo. Robert Plant is in full Rock god mode here, with his amazing singing over the top of this boogie. The Mandolin returns for one more solo, before exiting with beats alone. Mint.
Following is Black Country Woman which begins with some studio chatter and an aeroplane passing by, before going straight into a great acoustic number. A simple, yet interesting piece of music. Some lyrics about love troubles and a kick drum gets this one started. Halfway through, this song gets rocking when the drums enter. A fine piece of music, even though this seems somewhat racist. Good to hear anyway. There is some great harmonica here, mind you.
Sick Again is the last piece from this double album. It is a loud and rocking number that finishes off this album well and has some really awesome Gibson Les Paul riffs by Jimmy Page. A grand and excellent finish to this album, this is amazingly good. A fine piece of music and quite catchy as well. Good song, although it is clearly not one of the more important pieces here, it sounds good anyway. Top music from a top band. The harmonies and screaming by Robert Plant at the end is pretty awesome.
This is no doubt one of the better albums by Led Zeppelin. It may not be as thrilling and compact as Led Zeppelin IV, but if you have a spare hour or two, definitely check out this album. It is a definitive album of the times, way back in 1975, and a classic today. Great job boys.