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Led Zeppelin – Led Zeppelin III (1970)

July 31, 2012

[Album 76/1001]

In my university residence, I remember a floormate being vexed when people would immediately reference Stairway to Heaven when hearing the name Led Zeppelin.  The source of frustration being, however outstanding that song might have been, there was so much more to the band (of equal irritation was when people felt Bohemian Rhapsody was an adequate summary of the Queen catalogue).

Led Zeppelin III displays a side of the band you’d be missing if you only listened to some of their bigger, heavier hits.  By the third album, they were on their way to being mammoth rock stars, which is what makes this such a refreshing listen.  Instead of churning out stadium anthems, there’s a lot of folk songs and acoustic guitar work.

Of course, if you’re looking for huge Whole Lotta Love-type songs, with the exception of Immigrant Song, that version of the group is not hereAt the time of release, this proved disappointing for many critics and fans.  For me, that strengthens the legacy.  If people didn’t get it at the time and the record gets more recognition later on, that’s something worth exploring.

One of my steadfast beliefs is that for a song to be truly great, it has to work with just vocals & acoustic guitars.  This album works; I’ll add an asterisk saying that mandolins & banjos are permitted as well.

From → 1970s

5 Comments
  1. Great post about a great record. Love it. One of my favourite Zeppelin records and the first one that I ever owned. On Vinyl….With the moving cover.

    • My thanks – I change my mind monthly but if asked today, I’d say LZIII is my current Zep favourite!

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