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Zeppelin at their peak,
This review is from: Led Zeppelin IV (aka ZOSO) (Audio CD)
This album is of course Zeppelin's best-selling, because of guess which song, but a lot of people don't take the time to appreciate the incredible songs that populate the rest of the disk.
Black Dog--a sort of melding of blues and early heavy metal, this song's irregular rhythms and riffs, great solos and of course nonstop greatness from Bonham makes this one of the better songs on the disk. Like most of Zeppelin's songs, it gets better after repeated listening when you can appreciate the guitar playing skill of Page.
Rock and Roll--AKA 'The Cadillac Song'. I have more than once had to explain to someone hearing this song that no, in fact it is not The Cadillac Song, it is a Led Zeppelin song...oh well. After Black Dog with its random, roaming tunes, this song is pretty straightforward but not by any measure disappointing. Bonham really shows us what he's made of in a manner that rivals
'Kashmir', 'Levee' and 'Achilles', although the rest of the band isn't particularly great.
Battle of Evermore--very unusual-sounding mandolins, a great harmony between Robert Plant and Sandy Denny, and mystical lyrics form a great ode to Tolkien's Lord of the Rings trilogy. A relaxing break from the hard rock of the preceding songs and it fits right into the sound of the next song.
Stairway to Heaven--there's not a lot more to say about this song that hasn't been said but that it got to its place as the most popular and most played out rock song of all time for a REASON. Great performance from all four band members, great arranging skill by Page, the best guitar solo ever (so it's said) and it's great from it's quiet soothing intro through all 8 minutes to the loud, metal-sounding ending. Not Zeppelin's best song, but certainly one of the best.
Misty Mountain Hop--a song allegedly about a kid on his first acid trip, with the title being a Tolkien reference. It'll grow on you, I promise. Bonham sounding his usual (i.e. great) and nothing special from the rest of the band.
Four Sticks--aside from the fact that Bonham used two sticks in each hand to play this song (takes a lot of skill and produces and unusual sound) there is nothing great about it. It's just good whereas Zeppelin's usual is fantastic.
Going to California--an underappreciated song about hippies. Listen to it and you'll come to like it.
When the Levee Breaks--one of Zeppelin's best 5 songs, easily. Turn the volume way up right for this and let the drums shake the earth. A smashing, steady rhythm combined with distorted, slightly psychedelic guitars and harmonica especially near the end on this mind-bogglingly good song will leave you hyped for more when the album ends.