#155 Led Zeppelin

Led Zeppelin is the band and the eponymous debut album. I was super excited when I saw them in the list of 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die. At the time of its release the critics wrote mostly harsh things in regards to the album and the band members. Rolling Stone magazine writer John Mendelsohn was especially harsh. I believe he must have been a frustrated old man after reading his review.

Is this the best album ever or even Led Zeppelin’s best album? I grew up listening to Led Zeppelin because of my mom first and my pothead friends later. I was not a rocker per se, but I had many friends who were. My musical genre was more new wave and alternative. Led Zeppelin was one of the exceptions to the rule. I would never object to hearing them. I do not think this album was that popular amongst my friends because I do not ever remember hearing the whole thing.

My favourite songs are “Good Times Bad Times“, “Babe I’m Gonna Leave You“, “Dazed and Confused“, “Your Time Is Gonna Come“, and “Communication Breakdown“. But “Your Time Is Gonna Come” is my absolute favourite. It is one of the more unique songs on the album because it has a church organ sound and the sing along chorus. It makes me feel like I am at gospel choir with beer and we are all singing along. Too weird? I am not sure how to express what I am thinking at the moment. It has a feeling of friendship and happiness that I rarely know.

The music is tight, but I know they will improve greatly as the years process. The place it lacks the most is the lyrically it is not anything revolutionary. Robert Plant did not do any of the writing during this recording, but that would change by the next album. Plant would have a hand at writing most of songs for Zeppelin II. What he lacked in writing on this album he more than made up for vocally. He voice makes these songs seem more important than they really are.

As good as this album is, it will not hold up against later albums for me. This one leans much more on the blues side of rock and I prefer when they go harder. I think most bands get to play together longer before they record their first album. It was not the case with Led Zeppelin. They came together quickly and were given a record deal without even being heard by the executives. Dusty Springfield has stated that she helped them get the record deal because of bass player John Paul Jones. He played in her backing band on tour.

I am not saying this is a bad album because it is more bluesy. I am not. I am saying Led Zeppelin changed music and kept raising the bar so this album is not as great and it is more raw. I would definitely buy it for a record collection if I owned a stereo. 8/10.

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