Wednesday, September 2, 2009

CD Odyssey Disc 27: Led Zeppelin

Time for a little more classic rock - is it becoming apparent I like 70s rock? OK, this one is technically the sixties.

Disc 27 is...Led Zeppelin I (or simply "Self Titled")

Artist: Led Zeppelin

Year of Release: 1969

How I Came To Know It: Like most people my age, Led Zeppelin has been in my life as long as I can remember. However, hearing something on the radio and bobbing your head is different than buying an album. I'd credit my friend Andrew with getting me interested enough in Zeppelin to go buy some. He has that 4 disc box set and one day forgot one at my house. I played it and liked it. I went out and bought Zeppelin I first off, but I've only had it a couple years at most. If my love for Zeppelin were a rock n' roll flower, I'd be early out of the ground, but late to bloom.

How It Stacks Up: I dunno how many Zeppelin albums there are - 7? Right now I have 3 (I, II, and IV). This is the least of the 3.

Rating: 4 stars.

I struggled with ranking this album. I've got a strange relationship with Zeppelin. On the one hand, every time I hear them, I recognize that they are one of the greatest rock and roll bands of all time.

They have one of the greatest singers ever (Plant) and one of the greatest guitar players of all time (Page) and one of the greatest drummers of all time (Bonham) and one of the greatest bass players of all time (Jones). How many bands have such rounded talent - Rush? Queen? The list is short.

At the same time as I intellectually respect and admire them, and enjoy their music, I have always had a harder time connecting to them emotionally than most of my friends do. It is weird, but there it is.

Also, while they are far and away the best noodlers of all time, they noodle a little too much. Excessive noodling - even genius level noodling - is still noodling.

This album is very blues-rock focused. At the same time, you can see the germination of a sound that would become metal and a whole host of other sounds I'm very grateful for.

Put it all together and this album is a 5 for influence, musicianship and all the technical stuff, but a 3 in how it makes me feel, so I'm going to give it a 4. Also "Dazed and Confused" is damned fine all on its own (although I'd prefer it was the only song in excess of 6 minutes, instead of 1 of 4).

Anyway - I am attracted to Zeppelin, but I don't love them they way they deserve. It is a good thing they have many other more fulfilling relationships with their fans. This way, I get what I need from them, but don't feel guilty when I leave them on the CD rack longer between listens than they deserve. Kind of like a rock and roll booty call.

Best tracks: Dazed and Confused, Your Time Is Gonna Come, Communication Breakdown

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good review. I find that I appreciate this album more now than when I first listened to it in high school in the 1980s.

It's groundbreaking -- even if it got trashed by Rolling Stone magazine at the time...

- Fitz