Sound — 9
This album is all you need to convert a non-believer. I found this record at the back of the cupboard when I was thirteen and it blew my mind. The two discs are far and away my most listened CDs. the Remasters has songs from every Led Zeppelin studio album (Led Zeppelin I, II, III and IV, Houses of the Holy, Physical Graffiti and Presence). Because the album covers material spanning ten years, there is a wide variety of styles, as you would expect from Zeppelin. It ranges from the wierd prelude to metal ('Immigrant Song') to the surreal but superb sounds of 'No Quarter'. In general the album sounds fantastic, the only niggles are Plants' vocals in 'Nobody's Fault but Mine' and a strange lapse in Pages' soloing during 'Heartbreaker'. Due to the wide variety of styles, it is not likely that anyone will like everything. The weaker second disc features 'All my Love' (Plants' tribute to his son) which has a few good lyrics but apart from that is a bit boring. 'Trampled Under Foot' starts of with an exciting funk riff but doesn't really amount to anyhing and gets very repetitive. These are the only songs over both disc that I don't like. the other 24 songs are an amazing collection of classic rock, blues-rock, rock and roll, metal, epic acoustics and a genre that can only be called Led Zepellin. Jimmy Page proves himself to be the best guitarist ever (probably) with his charged riffs and inspriring solos. he provides an enourmous variety of sounds and anyone learning the guitar should buy this album just for that. His most prominent contribution is the eternal 'Stairway to Heaven', the solo (Constantly voted he best ever)can be appreciated by anyone, regardless of musical tastes (trust me on this; I experimented). John Bonham is an inspiration, his obvious energy on the drums combined with his enourmous talent add an extra layer to every verse, chorus and bridge. In particular his intro to 'Rock n Roll' gets you on your feet jerking about like a puppet before the song even gets under way. John Paul Jones (who never gets enough recognition) can play pretty much any insrument and his keybaord/piano skills on 'No Quarter' and bass on 'Dazed and Confused' turn an album of depth into an ocean. Robert Plants is, at times, the perfect voacalist. The mans thraot is as much an instrument as Jimmys' guitar! In particular on 'Stairway to Heaven' and 'Ramble On'. The variety of sounds and styles on these two discs is alarming. However it all sounds like Led Zeppelin and so I defy anyone who listens to rock not to worship at least the first disc.
Lyrics — 8
Lyrically Led Zeppelin were not the best. Often their lyrics descend into mythology which, though iconic, can be a bit tedious. Also in find the references to J.R.R. Tolkiens 'The Lord of the Rings'lame. However the lyrics do compliment the music very well in most cases. On 'All My Love' Plant sings about chasing a feather in the wind, I think that this is one of the best lines on either disc. As this song is about plants dead son, the peotic imagry is beautiful (Plants symbol on the fourth album was a feather). Other lyrical strong points include 'Stairway to Heaven' and 'Immigrant Song'. What more needs to be said about a song that debuted the term 'Rock God! Plant makes up for the low level of writing skill with the most mind-blowing singing you could ever hear. The number of artists that has been very obviouly influenced by him is astounding (Axl Rose, Jack White etc) and that alone is testament to his skill.
Overall Impression — 10
This album is essential listening for anyone who plays guitar, bass, drums or sings. Led Zeppelin were probably the most influential rock band of all time. It is easy to find traces of their music in bands ranging form Iron Maiden ('Achilles Last Stand') to Franz Ferdinand ('Trampled Underfoot'. Obviouly the best track is stairway, but songs like 'Achilles Last Stand', 'Babe I'm Gonna Leave You' and 'Dazed and Confused' stand out. Average songs on this album are, still worth lisening to, unless you are already a Led Zep fan, some of the songs will prove to be hard going but if you stick at it, you'll discover a world of talent. Led Zeppelin remasters leaves almost any other compilation trampled underfoot! Go forth and buy, buy, buy!