Led Zeppelin IV review by Led Zeppelin

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  • Released: Nov 8, 1971
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 10 Gem
  • Users' score: 9.7 (204 votes)
Led Zeppelin: Led Zeppelin IV
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Overall Impression — 10
On their untitled fourth album (referred to as Led Zeppelin IV or Zoso) Led Zeppelin firmly cemented their status as the greatest pure rock band of all time (The Beatles wrote a lot of pop music). The best part of this album is the versitilty of the tracks. Track one on the CD version, "Black Dog" is a classic example (like it or not Robert Plant!) of how LZ helped invent metal, with heavy guitars and solid drum work. Then there's "Rock and Roll" which is Robert Plant's way of saluting the 1950's. This song is on all lists of classic Led Zep. Track 3 is "The Battle of Evermore", a very experimental track, using a mandolin and guest vocals by British folk-rocker Sandy Denny. But the song that sums up the album is the classic "Stairway to Heaven". As anyone old enough to remember 1970's radio can recall, "Stairway" starts out as just simple plucking the strings of the acoustic guitar to all out electric mayhem and then to a quiet finish. Unfortunately this song was played constantly on the radio and got the dubious distinction of being "The Most Overplayed Song in Music History". The albums weakpoint is in tracks four and five. Although "Four Sticks" and "Misty Mountain Hop" were still very good songs, they fall short of the other six tracks. "Going to California" is next and it is quite a strange song. It is strange because it is a song that your Dad, your Grandma, and your older brother can all like. It is what it is. Unlike "Stairway" which starts out slow and becomes faster, "Going to California" is slow folk-rock for all 3:31. On the closer "When the Levee Breaks" John Bonham's drumming is the heart and soul of the song. It is a slow and sexy song.
I still wonder at the fact that Led Zeppelin could complete such a musically diverse album while still maintaining their integrity as Hard Rock Gods. This is without a doubt the greatest Led Zeppelin album ever and rivals The Beatles' "White Album" and "Revolver" as the greatest ever.

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