Led Zeppelin – Led Zeppelin III

Led Zeppelin III

Led ZeppelinLed Zeppelin III Atlantic SD 7201 (1970)

“Hammer of the go-ods!”  With lyrics like that, you know that Zeppelin had reached the peak of silliness.  As usual, they have a few good and heavy riffs, but this seems so much like self-parody that it’s hard to take seriously.  Then again, it’s hard to believe this was meant to be taken seriously.

Led Zeppelin – Led Zeppelin II

Led Zeppelin II

Led ZeppelinLed Zeppelin II Atlantic SD 8236 (1969)

The deal with Led Zeppelin was that they were a bunch of grown men living the dreams of a whole lotta 15-year-old boys.  Their music has its merits I guess, but it’s also dreadfully boring when you get down to it.  I’d take Black Sabbath over this any day.  Still, if you must have Zeppelin, this is one of their better full-length albums.

Led Zeppelin – Led Zeppelin

Led Zeppelin

Led ZeppelinLed Zeppelin Atlantic SD 8216 (1969)

Gotta agree with finulanu: “‘Good Times Bad Times’ should have been the blueprint for everything this band went on to do.”  From that nice opening blast that follows on the legacy of The Yardbirds, things devolve pretty quickly into varying degrees of lameness.  Well, allow me to step back for a moment.  This might not seem lame at’all if you’ve never been exposed to decent blues before.  Maybe you’ve never heard Otis Rush rip through “I Can’t Quit You Baby.”  So, to be fair, these are merely wrote transpositions of awesome roots music into faddish pap to assuage the libidos of young boys/men.  And damn, the next time I hear that John Bonham is a great drummer — fuck, even a decent drummer — somebody’s gonna get punched in the face, many times, in rhythm.

Led Zeppelin – Physical Graffiti

Physical Graffiti

Led ZeppelinPhysical Graffiti Swan Song SSK 89400 (1975)

Led Zeppelin were never a band with a high degree of artistic integrity.  They were always a band designed to succeed by catering to what audiences wanted.  It should come as no surprise that they updated their approach through the 1970s, and with 1975’s Physical Graffiti they had adopted some funk and proto-disco into their sound.  It works.  Although all of the best-known hits are on the first disc, disc two cruises by without any hiccups.  This is state-of-the-art 1970s hard rock, with every imaginable form of studio effect used to its advantage.  Probably the band’s best album.