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LED ZEPPELIN AND THE BLUES BOOM
The stars of what was often referred to as the British blues boom of the late 1960s were John Mayall's Bluesbreakers, Fleetwood Mac (long before their re-invention as a transatlantic pop-rock outfit), Cream and the Jimi Hendrix Experience. Led Zeppelin came in at the end with the release of this debut album, at the beginning of 1969. The music on it had been rehearsed and road-tested by the group on a brief Scandinavian tour, and it was recorded in around 36 hours, paid for by guitarist Jimmy Page and their manager Peter Grant before their record deal with Atlantic had been signed, so there was no self-indulgent getting it together over the space of several months. Though it has nods to what might be considered more commercially acceptable pop-rock and even hints of acoustic folksiness, much of it was knee-deep in the blues, and not short, sharp, sweet two-minute tracks either.
The first track is deceptively mainstream rock. 'Good Times Bad Times' was one of two short tracks which would have fitted neatly into daytime radio. It was commercial enough to have been recorded by other bands, though a magnificently furious yet concise guitar solo by Page, allied to Robert Plant's gutsy vocals, John Paul Jones's bass runs and John Bonham's no-nonsense drumming remind us that this was no mere pop group.
Then comes the real blues deal, with three numbers all clocking in at over six minutes each. 'Babe I'm Gonna Leave You' is a showcase for Page's acoustic guitar work, sounding almost like a folk number at first before the chorus and an all-out attack by the others two minutes later turn it into something harder-hitting altogether. Blues meets hard rock, although the acoustic makes its presence felt enough to provide the light and shade that would burst forth to such marvellous effect three years later on 'Stairway To Heaven'.
'You Shook Me', from the repertoire of veteran bluesman Willie Dixon, is a slow yet very intense number with Page's guitar, Jones's organ and Plant's harmonica taking it in turns to solo, eventually culminating in a remarkable call-and-respond routine at the end of the last verse where Plant's controlled scream is answered by Page mimicking him note-for-note on guitar. No sooner is it over than a majestic bass run and some nifty touch of Page playing guitar with a violin bow lead into the epic 'Dazed And Confused', another slow blues with some extraordinary experimentation on the interplay between guitar effects (with and without violin bow), bass and drums.
For those of us who remember the vinyl album (which by the way was the first rock album to be issued in the UK only in stereo - in those days, punters also had a choice of buying their long-players in mono as well), that was where side one ended. Next up comes 'Your Tme Is Gonna Come', a plaintive slowish rock epic which opens with church-like organ for the first minute or so. (Cue memories of Joe Cocker's 'With A Little Help From My Friends', a No. 1 single of the same era, on which coincidentally Page also played lead guitar). Then Bonham lets loose on the skins, and the song itself culminates in an anthemic chorus.
It cross-fades with the album's shortest track, a pinch over two minutes of the acoustic guitar instrumental 'Black Mountain Side'. Page is on his own here, almost in George Harrison sitar mode, apart from table drums by guest musician Viam Jasani.
Therer couldn't be a greater contrast between this and the almost equally short, all-out punkish charge of 'Communication Breakdown'. Simple but merciless pummelling guitar riff, a hammering on the bass and drums, and Plant's larynx being spared nothing, it wouldn't have sounded out of place in a Sex Pistols or Clash set list eight years later. This would have made a perfect single, and indeed was briefly released as such, then withdrawn after an angry Peter Grant (a giant of a man, plus temper to match, with whom one did not argue) insisted that 45 rpm records were made by pop groups for teenagers, and any punter who wanted to buy the song could go out and buy the album.
'I Can't Quit You Baby' is another Willie Dixon number. Perhaps it's not as effective as 'You Shook Me', and being in similar vein, the impact is less this time round, but no matter. Finally comes the eight-minute marathon 'How Many More Times', which is more or less a blues jam with each getting a chance to strut their stuff, more violin bow guitar, one or two shifts in tempo, and Plant even breaking into old blues standard 'The Hunter' near the end.
The front is based loosely on an iconic photograph of a zeppelin airship catching fire. Perhaps it was meant to suggest that the group were about to catch fire - but certainly not crash and burn. My CD reissue, which is dated 1994, just has a basic four-page inlay, including the basic posed group shot as per the back of the LP sleeve, and track listing plus personnel credits, but no additional notes. There may be a subsequent issue with booklet notes which I have yet to see.
The world maybe wasn't that ready for Led Zeppelin, and though the album sold steadily, it rose no higher in the UK chart (where it stayed for 79 weeks) than No. 6.
The first few times I heard this album, when some of my peers were insisting this was the next big thing, I just didn't get it at all. (They were right, I later had to concede). Rather like the Blind Faith record of about the same time, I had to come back to it many years later to appreciate it. While I probably prefer 'Your Time Is Gonna Come' and 'Communication Breakdown' to the rest, I can enjoy hearing it all the way through in its 41-minute entirety, with the changes in pace and the shifts from tightly-controlled aggression and concise arrangement to the looser extended jamming passages. It may be less varied than their later work, but there are those who say that this was the freshest and arguably the best album they would ever make in their eleven-year history. Quite ahead of its time, it's never really sounded at all dated.
[Revised version of a review I originally published on ciao]
That a group that sounded like Led Zeppelin should appear when they did was pretty much a total inevitability. Building on the British blues movement of the 1960s, this 1969 debut from the quartet throws numerous different sounds and influences (and nicked ideas) together to produce a record that is quite fitting for the end of the decade. Jimi Hendrix and Cream had shown that heavy metal was about to be born via amped-up blues rock, and Jim Morrison had opened the door (no pun intended) to the darker side of music. Led Zeppelin was a natural outcome of this trend.
Formed in 1968 out of the remnants of the Yardbirds, Jimmy Page recruited session musician John Paul Jones to provide bass and keyboard duties. They had heard about a drummer in the Midlands called John Bonham, so took a ride to see him play. Without hesitation they decided he was the one, although he took some extra financial convincing to leave his current group. Numerous singers were shortlisted, inlcuding Steve Winwood and Terry Reid, but Bonham's suggestion of Robert Plant meant that the quartet was formed. It is obvious from this debut and early bootleg recordings that the four had some seriously deep musical chemistry going on, complementing each other's styles and sounds in a natural fashion. Their debut was cut in break-neck time, with studio costs being so high and Page wanting to keep the cost to a minimum.
Opening with the 1-2 punch of 'Good Times, Bad Times', they make their intentions known from the beginning. Staccato riffing, heavy drumming and blues-moaning all gel together to form an instantly recognizable sound. It's an introduction that grabs your attention right away.
They then shift a gear to the acoustic-led 'Babe I'm Gonna Leave You', which shows guitarist Jimmy Page's enthusiasm for folk music. All intertwining acoustic lines, punctuated with electric rhythms, it demonstrates a loud/soft, light/dark contrast that would become integral to their sound. Robert Plant stretches his vocals here, all whispers and musings one minute, then all hollerin' and wailin' like Howlin' Wolf the next moment.
'You Shook Me' and 'I Can't Quit You Baby' are their riposte to Jeff Beck and Rod Stewart's loud interpretation of the blues, but done even louder still. Page and Plant are clearly paying homage to the American bluesmen they so admired as teenagers, but pushing the sounds further than they had gone before.
The track 'Dazed and Confused' is a naughty bit of musical thievery on their part. Based, i.e. copied from, a song called 'I'm Confused' by Jake Holmes, the differences are very difficult to spot in the introduction, and the lyrics are the same. How Page got away with a writing credit for this one is a bit of a mystery, although when it breaks down into freak-out psychedelic metal halfway through, it becomes easier to forgive them. For all the allegations of plagiarism hurled at Led Zeppelin, it is mostly due to their not changing the lyrics, as the music is normally morphed and moulded so much it becomes unrecognizable from the original. It shifts and groans into a lumbering monster, with Jimmy Page conjuring ethereal sounds from his guitar via the use of a violin bow.
Side two opens with 'Your Time is Gonna Come', which is a bit of throwaway pop blues, but showcases a dramatic bit of keyboard playing from John Paul Jones, a trick used later to great effect on 'No Quarter'. 'Black Mountainside' is Page's acoustic homage to Bert Jansch, which is neatly juxtaposed with the frenetic, buzzsaw guitar-driven 'Communication Breakdown', which is just as punk as anything the Stooges were up to. The album closes with 'How Many More Times', which is another blues re-interpretation that shifts into another psyche-metal meltdown akin to 'Dazed and Confused'.
The greatest achievement of this album is its contribution to studio production. Jimmy Page was arguably a better producer than guitarist; his feel for how a studio should be set up and different mixes should be treated were visionary. By treating the drumkit as the centrepiece acoustic instrument, the sound is filled out exponentially. Compare the drums on this album to any other from the 1960s, and they all sound like they're hitting pillows rather than drumkits. It also makes full use of dynamic range, and the mixes are crystal clear. A vinyl copy is the definitive here, as the CD remaster chops out Robert Plant's spooky backing vocals in 'Babe I'm Gonna Leave You' for some reason, but they turn up on ebay all the time (just don't order the one with the turquoise lettering unless you have a spare thousand quid lying around). They sit at the back of the mix, and add a much needed depth to it, so their removal is glaring and really do detract from the song.
Overall, it's a bit underwritten, but the sound that storms out of the speakers is superb. It's worth listening to just to hear the musicianship and chemistry at play; it's so prevalent it is basically a live album with a few overdubs thrown in. Its influence is also massive, as the Led Zeppelin sound and style was integral to the formation of heavy metal and, in its own way, progressive rock as well.
While they were receiving too much praise for originality at the time, Led Zeppelin would later be heralded amongst the founders of the Heavy Metal and Hard Rock movement that carried over from the late sixties into the early seventies. Their début self-entitled record was highly-instrumental in setting the foundations in having such high praise. Rolling Stone initially brushed the record off as a release without real creativity, before the Blues-Rock sound morphed into Metal completely and the music world changed forever. Subsequently, it's no surprise it was later claimed by Rolling Stone to be one of their '500 Greatest Albums of All Time'.
The Led Zeppelin début dropped at the start of 1969. Recorded in just 36 hours under financial pressure, the guitarist Jimmy Page headed 'The New Yardbirds' with the fresh recruits of John Paul Jones (bass), John Bonham (drums) and Robert Plant (vocals) after his old act disbanded and immediately took on the music world with their innovative take on old techniques found in the styles which the London boys were primarily inspired by.
The introductory track to the album really gets things off to a great start. Commanding things with and extremely-memorable percussion performance, they jam with something funky to start things off before their music sounds a lot more solid and dense as the release rolls on. The release is noted for its variety and although it may begin with a song that sounds quite danceable and lively, they quickly take away from this with the Acoustic second song and confuse it all later with the mix of tracks seen as it goes along.
Consisting of nine songs, its length was nothing out-of-the-ordinary at the time. Within these individual tracks the five of them manage to fit in all that was required of them in order to make an impact with the music they make. From tune to tune they show listeners what exactly they're about and how they have the capabilities to revolutionise the game by introducing techniques which had yet to be seen used in such an experimental and daring manner. Blues' call-and-response is filled upside down, electronic sounds were becoming much more important and this was all done without moving too far away from the sound that The Yardbirds were noted for.
The key highlights of the album come in the form of the fourth and fifth songs ("You Shook Me" and "Dazed and Confused" respectively). Taking the former into account, the layering on it means that it's a great talking point pick out. They cover a little something from Muddy Waters and decide to leave the song with the same raw outline that made it so powerful in the first place. Tripling the track in length, they're sure to give an indication of who led to them making such soulful music and what's to be expected of them in the future. The production on that song is also well-noted for its backwards echo, in which the echoing comes before the guitaring and so gives an ominous feel to the song. "Dazed and Confused", on the other hand, is a stand-out tune for a completely different reason. It stands as the other main focus of the album as a song which features some of the best vocal work from Plant and Jimmy Page offering monstrous guitar work by showing his skills when taking the bow to his instrument.
The record is especially noted for its use of riffs as the hook rather than choruses. In traditional commercial music it's the sung melodies in a re-occurring verse from a song which usually take on this role, but here the riff are far too intense and overpower almost every track on the release. This can be seen to be apparent in something which begins very jazzy like "How Many More Times" but then comes across just as clearly in a straight banger like "Communication Breakdown". There's a great mix and it comes through in a number of ways such as this. Another aspect would have to be through their choice of material. They may be billed as 'Heavy Metal', but then "Your Time Is Gonna Come" and "Babe I'm Gonna Leave You" are acoustic songs. The range keeps listeners engaged and excited by what could come next. All of it (other than the instrumental folk song "Black Mountain Side") seems to be of a high standard, and although Metal fans that got into them late may be put off by the variety, it seems to work well for them.
Overall, this is a great album and one which is definitely for the fan of early Metal and Hard Rock. This, amongst others at the time, bridges the gap between the days where what was merely an extension to Blues was then suddenly made so that 'Metal' was clearly-defined with its characteristic sound. Much of what's done here is fresh and original (in spite of the flack they received), but this is largely down to the productional techniques instead of the music itself. Of course some of this would have been new at the time, but it's clear why they were immediately given praise from the moment they released this album.
1. "Good Times Bad Times" **Five Stars**
2. "Babe I'm Gonna Leave You" **Four Stars**
3. "You Shook Me" **Five Stars**
4. "Dazed and Confused" **Five Stars**
5. "Your Time Is Gonna Come" **Four Stars**
6. "Black Mountain Side" **Three Stars**
7. "Communication Breakdown" **Five Stars**
8. "I Can't Quit You Baby" **Five Stars**
9. "Home Many More Times" **Five Stars**
The year 1968 was a pivotal one in music. The lighter pop sounds of the earlier decade had started to give way to a harder-edged, heavy blues, typified by Cream and its spin-off Blind Faith,. Across the Atlantic a band called Iron Butterfly had blown up a storm with their In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida, an album which had a foot in both camps, consisting of one 17-minute heavy blues composition and lighter pop material.
In Britain a guitarist called Jimmy Page had set new standards when he joined the Yardbirds, somehow ending up owning the name of the band but having no-one in it left to play with. Page had a keen ear for what were the prevailing music trends and he sensed America was were it was going to be at, having toured there with the Yardbirds extensively. He set about recruiting a "supergroup" to perform this new "heavy music", bringing in London session bassist John Paul Jones and two unknowns, Robert Plant (vocals) and John Bonham (drums), both of who had a big reputation in the Birmingham area but not elsewhere. Recording of their debut album began in October 1968 in London.
This album set out the Zeppelin credo, alternating light sections of music with heavy bombast, carefully timed and structured, at first consisting of reworkings of old blues standards "How Many More Times" and "You Shook Me" For its time the sound was cutting edge, with new technologies and styles of recording, using multi-microphones and distancing them at various places in the studio to create time lags in the mix. Not only was Page the complete guitarist he was also more than at home as a producer too.
One big criticism of the album was that the band seemed to have lifted whole sections of old blues guitarists like Willie Dixon and Muddy Waters' riffs without crediting them as co-writers. Whilst this was true to an extent I think this is balanced with their own compositions here. Lighter tracks like "Your Time Is Gonna Come" and the measured execution of "Good Times Bad Times" show the band quite at home playing either sturm-und-drang metal or heavy pop. My own favourite track here is the cover of Joan Baez' "Babe I'm Gonna Leave You", starting off with acoustic guitar before ending up as an all-out heavy blues attack.
I suppose "Dazed And Confused" is the one song most fans will remember from this album, from the first bar Zepp grab you by the throat and pull you into a nightmare blood-and-guts light and shade scenario, just as the title suggests. "Communication Breakdown" is a fast hard-edged number and Page gets to show off a bit on the instrumental "Black Mountain Side". Just to leave your ears throbbing, "How Many More Times" with Plant's trademark banshee wail, is possibly even louder and crazier than "Dazed".
With the release of this Zepp had set new standards and kicked open the door for literally hundreds of thousands of bands and the rock world would never be, or sound, the same again! Considering this came out nearly 37 years ago it still sounds like the band walked into a studio yesterday and recorded it right there and then. An excellent album.
This album, Led Zeppelin's 1969 debut begins with the crunching bare chords of "Good Times, Bad Times". This heavy start to the album gives it the jump start it needs to belt out more rock classics further up the track listing and sets the tone for Zeppelin's brand of guitar based rock. "Is that all there is to expect from this album?" I hear you say. Well, as soon as the second track "Babe I’m gonna leave you" begins Led Zep's dual-pronged acoustic/heavy rock approach is fully exposed to the listener. The classic from this album to most fans is "Dazed and Confused" - a Jimmy Page written piece which starts with a brooding riff from John Paul Jones' bass then moves up a gear for the solo, in which Page takes his trademark violin bow to the guitar for the first time. On the excellent "Black Mountainside" Page gets the chance to show off his nimble acoustic finger picking on the acoustic guitar, whereas on songs like "You shook me" and "Your time is gonna come" John Paul Jones shines on the keyboards. As good as this album is, there are a few down sides to it. I generally like the blues as a form of music but i think this album borrows a little too much from old blues standards. Two reasonably long old blues songs on this album is two too many. These songs are "You shook me" and "I cant quit you babe", and these songs, although not sounding the same, are just too similar to have them both on one album. The only other two downsides to this album are the fairly banal lyrics and Robert Plant's voice that after a few songs starts to grate especially when engaging in the question-answer session with pages guitar. However, when listening to the overall music, these flaws are quickly forgotten, and this album, although not one of Zeppelin's best, for being their debut and a classic is and album you should try to listen to.
Some would argue that with their debut album, Led Zeppelin began the musical genre which we would come to know as heavy metal. I don't know about that, but the sound of Led Zeppelin is certainly heavy--I know that they created that word. Led Zeppelin, by Led Zeppelin, was recorded in London in October of 1968, and released on the Atlantic label on January 12, 1969. The band was formed by Jimmy Page, the Yardbird refugee, and included a young, unknown singer named Robert Plant, who was recruited for his incredible vocal range. John Paul Jones on bass guitar and John Bonham on drums round out the band, and believe me when I say that all of these musicians were world-class players. Their contributions to this album are as follows: Jimmy Page, electric guitar, acoustic guitar, pedal steel guitar and backing vocals Robert Plant, vocals and harmonica John Paul Jones, bass, organ and backing vocals John Bonham, drums, tympani, backing vocals The following is a list of the songs on the album, and a brief description of each. 1. Good Times Bad Times--This songs starts with some powerful guitar chords and some over the top drumming by Bonzo Bonham. John Bonham played his double bass drums like they were tom-toms, and thereby influenced a whole generation of drummers. The tune itself is very representative of the Led Zeppelin sound, featuring some high-range vocals by Plant and a big guitar solo by Jimmy Page. Page used certain effects on his guitar which made it sound like he was playing in an arena all of the time, and the effects work here to give his guitar a big expansive sound. 2. Babe I'm Gonna Leave You--This song demonstrates why Jimmy Page is the most versatile guitarist in the world. His acoustic guitar work is his trademark, and this song showcases his talents with that instrument. Robert Plant's vocals are soulful, and when the entire band gets involved, the sound is really heavy. This song p
roves that you don't have to have a loud, distorted guitar to make heavy music. All it takes is a little talent and a lot of feeling. This tune is long on both. 3. You Shook Me--This a song co-written by Jimmy Page's idol, bluesman Willie Dixon. Page's blues credentials are extensive and unquestioned; in this song he shows us that he knows how to play blues guitar. Robert Plant provides just the right harmonica touch, and the organ instrumental by John Paul Jones is certainly bluesy enough. At times in the song, Robert Plant's vocal delivery gets a little vague, but he is just beginning to learn his craft--by the time the band records Since I've Been Loving You on Led Zeppelin III, Plant has mastered the style. The vocal-guitar interplay late in the song is magnificent. Bonzo Bonham's drums are relentless and provide just the right backdrop for Page to play off of. The effects on the guitar are a perfect example of the "big" sound I was trying to describe earlier. 4. Dazed And Confused--I describe this song as "dark blues". The beat is slow and ponderous, and the music is about as heavy as it can get. In the instrumental portion of the song, the bass and drums have some intricate interplay, and are soon joined by Pages's electric guitar, which he attacks with a bow. His solo is electrifying, and begins after the tempo picks up. After the solo, the song reverts back to the slow, ponderous tempo it began with. Plant's vocals are just bluesy enough and he manages to project his sincerity and his sorrows upon the listener. The tune ends with some more of that intricate instrumental interplay. 5. Your Time Is Gonna Come--A really churchy sounding organ opens this one, and it again features some outstanding acoustic work by Jimmy Page. Robert Plant furnishes an excellent vocal contribution about his unfaithful woman and what's eventually in store for her. Bonham gives us some long drum fill
s and some really tasteful rolls. The little pedal steel guitar lick that Page plays sets the song off just right. 6. Black Mountain Side--This is all about Jimmy Page's acoustic guitar--his fingerpicking is magnificent. The Indian tabla drums are furnished by Viram Jasani. No vocals on this one, just the acoustic guitar and percussion. 7. Communication Breakdown--Talk about raw, this is the one! What a fantastic high-energy rave up! A crimped, throbbing electric guitar opens this one, and the song features some high-end vocals by Robert Plant that literally scream. Drums and bass really push the beat and you can imagine Page strangling his guitar during his solo. For my money, some of the best rock n' roll on cd. 8. I Can't Quit You Baby--Another song written by the legendary Willie Dixon. This tune just demonstrates how well four white boys from England can play the blues. Plant's vocals are again a little vague, but at this point he's still mastering his craft. The drums and bass are a little loose on this one, but that just enhances the bluesy feel. Jimmy Page's guitar is again incredible. The point in his solo where everything stops but the guitar is full of feeling, and the whole effect of the song makes you feel like your'e in a roadhouse in Mississippi or somewhere. An incredible performance by the whole band. 9. How Many More Times--Drums and bass start this one out, which by the way is the perfect way to end this album. A little wah-wah guitar and then the electric guitar riff that dominates this song begins. With this song, Led Zeppelin puts their signature on the blues, and they do it in a way that is unique to them--sort of "rock n' roll blues". Plant's delivery is impeccable, and after the instrumental interlude with electric guitar effects, and some bowed guitar, the band crashes into another variation ("little Robert, he wants to come and play" and "they
call me the hunter...."). The dominant electric guitar riff begins again, and the song winds down a spectacular album. Whether Led Zeppelin was the first metal band is subject to debate. No matter which theory you subscribe to, this album is important, if for no other reason than it was the debut album of one of the greatest bands in rock n' roll history.
This debut album was recorded within their first weeks together after testing the songs while on tour to Scandinavian audiences under the name of the New Yardbirds. Rehearsed and arranged ahead of their arrival in the studio, the nine tracks took only 30 hours to record over nine days and for a reputed cost of £1,782. The four members of the band were, Guitarist - Jimmy Page, Vocalist - Robert Plant, Bassist - John Paul Jones and Drummer - John Bonham. Jimmy Page chose the black and white cover illustration of the Hindenburg airship going down, as The Who’s Keith Moon had put it, like a "Lead" Zeppelin. Track 1 – Good Times, Bad Times – This the most commercial sounding cut of the album and was considered for a time as the bands debut single. Page played his telecaster through a Leslie revolving speaker, usually reserved for electric organs, to great effect. Plant established his vocal style that was only to improve in range, power and agility over the next nine albums. Track 2 – Babe I’m Gonna Leave you – though credited as a traditional arrangement, American songwriter Anne Bredon whose own performance had been adopted by Joan Baez wrote this song. After she challenged Atlantic records in the eighties, there had to be a credit added to the ‘Remasters’ albums and substantial back-royalties were paid. This was the first time we heard Robert’s dynamic and note range painting light and shade singing both powerfully and subtly with the first emergence of the signature ‘baby baby baby’ we would hear thought the rest of his career. The powerful acoustic guitar riff was reminiscent of Chicago’s track ‘25 or 6 to 4’. Track 3 – You Shook Me – This is a great blues from the pen of Willie Dixon, that sees Jones on the Organ and Plant on wailing harmonica reaching a crescendo as Jimmy’s lead guitar slices through Bonham
217;s tom toms as they are swept across the stereo speakers. This practice later to be ‘panned’ (sorry!) for being a naive technique to remind the listeners they were not listening to a mono cut. The Page/Plant slide/vocal mimicry showed the high range and agility of Plant’s voice. The Jeff Beck Group recorded this track on its album ‘Truth’, released a few months before the Zep album. It was reported that Beck stated that Jimmy copied ‘their’ arrangement for his own devices and was further incensed when it when charging up the charts. Track 4 – Dazed and Confused – Originally an acoustic folk tune sung by Jack Holmes. Later, in The Yardbirds, Jimmy made an arrangement named ‘I’m confused.’ For this album the song was lengthened to include the violin bow parts and Plant’s vocal excursions, while Jones and Bonzo played rhythmic answerback games on the bass and drums leading to the manic part that starts the second half of the track. Track 5 – Your Time is Gonna Come – starts with the ‘church organist’ introduction from Jones only to develop into a song with the ‘hick’ feel of the Ozarks and the great anthem-esque hook that fades into the next track. Track 6 – Black Mountain Side – an acoustic guitar instrumental, acts as a respite from the more energetic tracks like the anthem that is Track 7 – Communication Breakdown - based on a simple guitar riff with impressive vocal power and agility from Plant. Track 8 – I Can’t Quit You Baby – a great Willie Dixon blues where the band just seem to kick back and simply enjoy the jam style. Robert Plant proves himself great blues awareness as well as has a powerful rock voice. There is more than a little hint of Rolling Stone’s track ‘Little Red Rooster’ another contemporary blues tune. Track 9 – How many
More Times – is another Yardbirds song – the title is almost the question posed by Plant when he looks to his other band members as they appear to be in no hurry in putting an ending on the song. This was used as a rousing end of show track that could be extended, shortened or simply woven around a medley of blues favourites depending on the reception they got from their audiences. Usually, this song was very long with Jones’ unstoppable bass guitar riff. Released in the UK on April 12, 1969, the Led Zeppelin début album, advertised under the slogan ‘Led Zeppelin – the only way to fly’, began a 79-week run on the charts, peaking at number six. This album still can hold its head up high among today’s releases and is of one of the finest debut albums ever recorded is a must for every album collection.
The first album was recorded in less than 30 hours just a few weeks after Led Zep's formation. This album contains a old song named "Dazed & Confused" which starts of as a ballad blues number and becomes fused with metal riffs, a classic song. "Dazed & Confused" and "How Many More Times" were leftovers from Page's last days with the Yardbirds. "Good Times Bad Times" combines funk with rock and was created alongside "Communications Breakdown" from their initial rehearsals. "Black Mountain Side" was based on folk guitarist Bert Jansch's Black Water Side. "Babe I'm Gonna Leave You" starts of as a ballad but progresses into a heavy rock track ,they were before their time on this one and the ending sounds like Bohemian Rhapsody. This number was borrowed from a Joan Baez album. "You Shook Me" is a classic blues cover of a Willie Dixon & JB Lenoir song. 'I Can't Quit You Baby' is a Otis Redding song. The album displays Page and Plants affinity with the blues and its release was in keeping with the British blues boom of the time. In John Paul Jones, Jimmy Page had invested in a musician of seasoned quality - marvel at the great bass playing on 'Good Times' and swirling organ that opens 'Your Time Is Gonna Come'. By recruiting two black country rockers, Robert Plant and John Bonham, Page had discovered two Rock N Roll legends. This album laid the foundations for the modern rock genre.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Good times bad times
2 Babe I'm gonna leave you
3 You shook me
4 Dazed and confused
5 Your time is gonna come
6 Black mountain side
7 Communication breakdown
8 I can't quit you baby
9 How many more times