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Within eighteen months three members of this band had gone from total obscurity to part of the best known rock band in the world. By the end of 1971 world domination was such that they could release their fourth album without any sleeve notes, no band image or song titles on the sleeve either. Therefore it has since been called by fans a variety of names from the obvious 'Led Zeppelin IV' to the less obvious 'Runes' after its many Lord of the Rings references to 'Four Symbols'. Or 'Zosa' after its inside cover motif, or plain old 'No Title'. Still, on pre-sales it went to #1 all over the world, being released on November 8th and staying at #1 into the New Year. Over the years it has probably generated enough sales to run a fairly large country. In the last thirty-two years it has won just about every accolade there is to get. Voted the best rock record ever in such illustrious magazines as 'Classic Rock Revisited', `Rolling Stone', 'Q', 'Mojo', and even the Pattaya Mail. (We just had a vote Toto, Ella Crew, Andy, and Led Zeppelin experts Lars Fieste, John Osborne, Graham Rudd, Dai Coe, and the Dog - it was unanimous.) If you had wanted to put together a super group in 1971 all you would of had to do was put together Led Zeppelin, and there you are you had it. Out of the ashes of the `Yardbirds' founding member Jimmy Page created Led Zeppelin (well, he had to, all the others had left). The new band did one tour of Scandinavia as 'The New Yardbirds'. Jimmy Page originally joined the `Yardbirds' as bassist, but switched to lead guitar to give the band a duel pronged guitar attack with a certain Jeff Beck on the other axe. Jimmy Page had long been a top session player, playing most famously on the Kinks' `You Really Got Me' famous guitar riff that almost invented heavy metal music.Read more ›
You know, there are actually some people in the world who don't own this album? What a shame. It's a classic! From the manic vocals on "Black Dog" through the thundering backbeat and jagged guitar lines of "Four Sticks," to the rough Mississippi Delta blues of "When the Levee Breaks," the album is epic. And of course, the album's centerpiece is "Stairway to Heaven," a slow building folk rock masterpiece which climaxes in a volley of hard rock guitar lines with Plant's wailing vocals over the top. That's not to say that the album is all brawn and no melody. On the contrary, "The Battle of Evermore" and "Going to California" are beautiful folk ballads which perfect the folk sound that Led Zeppelin had been experimenting with ever since their first album came out. At any rate, if you don't own this album, then you ought to go out and buy it. Just to have one of the greatest CD's ever in your collection.
I would like to start this review by stating that this is, arguably, the greatest rock album ever recorded. I don't see how it has an overall 4.5 star rating and it's all of the idiotic 1-star reviews that bring it down. I'm not calling it the best rock album of all time because I'm giving in to the hype about it, because I'm not. I own it and have listened through it over a hundred times so I am more than familiar with it, along with the rest of Zeppelin's music. This is simply the most complete, diverse and distinctive album ever. Not only are Plant, Page, Jones and Bonham gods of their instruments but they are likewise with song writing. The songs range from funky rock and roll (Black Dog, Rock and Roll) to groovy melodies (Misty Mountain Hop) to the more melodic ballads (Battle of Evermore, Going to California) to the epic heavy hitters on the album, Stairway and When the Levee Breaks. These four guys have mastered blues-inspired rock and roll and play it like no other. Jimmy Page is equally masterful and brilliant with the electric and acoustic guitars and his melodies are some of the most unconventional, odd time-signatured yet captivating ever. This is the quintissential hard rock album and it seems like all other albums should be measured up against this one.
I give every single song on this album a 10/10 with the exception of Four Sticks, which I would give a 9.5. Albums can't really rate much higher.
These are the gods of rock and this is their masterpiece. No person who claims to listen to rock should be without it. Don't pay any attention to the 1-star reviews, or the 2- and 3- star reviews, for that matter. They are ridiculous and written solely out of rebellion. Let them listen to their Fallout Boys and Nirvanas and Panic at the Discos.Read more ›
THE BAND: Robert Plant (vocals), Jimmy Page (guitars), John Paul Jones (bass, keyboards), John Bonham (drums & percussion).
THE DISC: (1971) 8 songs clocking in at approximately 43 minutes. The digitally remastered version released in 1994. Included with the disc is a 10-page booklet containing song titles/credits, song lyrics to "Stairway To Heaven" (only), and all original album artwork. All songs written by members of Led Zeppelin. This is the band's 4th studio album. Recorded at Headley, Grange, Hampshire and Island Studios in London, England. Label - Swan Song / Atlantic.
COMMENTS: Zeppelin's 4th album (often referred to as "Zoso" or "Ruins") is the definitive Led Zeppelin recording. Here, the band's sound and concept, Plant's vocals, and Page's music and arranging skills finally crystallized into something completely distinct and original. 1971 was a great year for rock & roll. Black Sabbath had "Master of Reality". Deep Purple blazed with "Fireball". Rod Stewart told us "Every Picture Tells A Story". The Who had "Who's Next". T-Rex had his "Electric Warrior"... but nothing matched the magnitude of "Zoso". Every song is a classic and can still be heard on the radio today (over 3 decades later). Jimmy Page was the mastermind behind this band and the direction they were taking. He co-wrote every song and produced the album. Each song is a staple - "Black Dog", "Rock & Roll", "Battle of Evermore", "Stairway To Heaven", "Misty Mountain Hop", "Four Sticks", "Going to California", and "When The Levee Breaks". Hard to believe only two singles were released in the U.S. from this album in 1971-72: "Black Dog" reaching #15 (B-Side was "Misty Mountain Hop"), and "Rock And Roll reaching #47 (B-Side was "Four Sticks"). But don't forget Led Zeppelin's most celebrated composition "Stairway To Heaven"... which turned into their greatest rocking anthem. This album defines rock & roll. Classic disc (5 stars).
That isn't true if those zeros and ones can't be read off the CD with 100% accuracy. The whole point of SHM-CD is that laser scatter is significantly reduced meaning the pick-up reads the information more accurately and relies less on error-correction and interpolation.