Thursday, 12 January 2017

Led Zeppelin I

Is it really 48 years since Led Zeppelin released their debut album? The eponymous Led Zeppelin?

12th January 1969 was the day the world changed forever. Nothing quite like this had ever been heard before. From the staggered intro to Good Times Bad Times, those mind-blowing triplets on the bass drum from John Bonham, just pushed the urgency of the songs on to greater heights. Plants searing vocal and the full attack of the guitar solo and the die was cast.

Zeppelin had arrived.

Babe I’m Gonna Leave You clearly displays the light and shade of what was to become a Zep trademark, haunting vocal, full of angst and pain, followed by thunderous riffs to shake the listener out of his melancholy.

Leaning heavily on the blues with the songs I Can’t Quit You Baby, and You Shook Me, songs by Willie Dixon, Zep expanding the songs to a full eight minutes. Dazed and Confused debuted the eerie violin bow scraped across the strings of Page’s psychedelic Fender Tele, and the pre-punk Communication Breakdown, the world would never be the same again.

Recorded in Olympic Studios in London, close to where I live, in just 36 hours. The album was a self-funded and a commercial success. But was not well received by the music press critics. This is probably more likely to the press at the time being out-of-touch and not ready, or quite understanding, what it was that was gracing their ears. The world of music was changing and Zeppelin were the fore-runners, launching a whole new genre of harder rock music that was to dominate the 70’s.

The artwork being the Hindenburg disaster fully explains the music on the music on the vinyl record enclosed inside, magnificent and explosive, with a hint of danger. /Don't get too close!

Will we ever see such an influential debut album from an artist ever again?

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