Sound — 10
Led Zeppelin: the album that ignited an entire era of new music and countless imitators. While the album itself was released in 1969, the soon-to-be supergroup of Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones, and John "Bonzo" Bonham were already touring parts of Europe in 1968 under the title The New YardBirds(The YardBirds being the band from which forth Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page originally were members of). These four incredible, at the time relatively unknown musicians collaborated together on this album to truly re-invent what blues and rock'n'roll meant. The opening track, Good Times Bad Times, characterizes what the band set out to do for the rest of their carrer: Play the heaviest rock possible! While the entire album can best be described as blues, Zeppelin created a new definition for the genre through numerous alterations and mood swings. The pace is near lightning speed throughout Communication Breakdown, capitalized with a classic solo and Plant's signature screeching. Good Times Bad Times immediately pounds your brain with it's opening riff. The two cover songs, You Shook Me and I Can't Quit You Baby, top the originals by utilizing extended guitar riffs and a heavier, droning vocals section rarely heard by Plant. The former is also one of my favorites due to the Plant harmonica, JPJ organ, and Page guitar solos all in succession, genuinely showcasing each members extreme talent at each instrument. While Your Time is Gonna Come is indeed the weakest track off the record, it does shine with a beautiful organ intro and contagious chorus. Next are the two songs that foreshadowed the vast diversity that would become commonplace for Zeppelin, the acoustic rocker Babe I'm Gonna Leave You and Indian flavor, instrumental Black Mountain Side. And finally we reach the two cornerstones of the albums experience: Dazed and Confused and How Many More Times. Dazed and Confused envelops everything that is Led Zeppelin. From the absolute greatest opening bass line of all time, to Plant's fabulous highs and lows of vocal technique, to the ever famous use of a violin bow on Page's guitar for some of the most brilliant effects in history. It was this song that all Led Zeppelin shows live revolved around, as it was not uncommon for this one song to last upwards of 45 minutes! And finally, the last track on the album, which also happens to be the longest at 8:28 and my personal favorite, is the number dubbed How Many More Times. Every single member of the band and nearly all the techniques used on the album are presented flawlessly here on this one song. Scorching vocals, the violin bow, fabulous rythm work by Bonzo and JPJ, a roller coaster of music and emotion. It is impossible to acurately describe it through words. And so, this is what to expect when venturing off into the album Led Zeppelin: sheer and utter brilliance. I have attempted to describe as best I can the impact of this album both on an individual level and rock history as well. Now all that is left is for you to experience the majesty yourself.
Lyrics — 9
Being a blues album, every song revolves around a woman or women in one form or another. But fortuanately for all the listeners, repetion never rears it's ugly head. The mood of each individual track changes from heartbreak to desire, confusion to bliss. Add to this the fact that the instrumental work provides a unique emotion on its own and the album maintains fresh throughout. It is on this album that Robert Plant solidifies his position as one of the greates vocalists of all time. Every note he hits, whether high or low, will rattle you to the very core. His screeching is young in this album, but completely charged.
Overall Impression — 10
This is the album that changed the very face of music and molded what we listen to on the radios today. No other artists have made the blues this hard and innovative. Led Zeppelin the band are without a doubt one of the best bands to have ever existed and their first album is a testament to their revolutionary style of rock and roll.