I somehow missed out on a Led Zep phase in my youth.
Nevertheless, the band has always had some presence, if nothing else because of the repeated cover versions of their ubiquitous Stairway to Heaven on ABC show The Money or the Gun.
It took my always-surprising life partner to bring the first four Zep long-players into my life (including a CD and LP version of one of the them!).
This debut isn’t one she’s played me much however. It’s a bit of a strange beast. It kicks as a pretty standard blues-rock outing, with probably only Robert Plant’s overwrought vocals the distinguishing characteristic. Sure Jimmy Page’s riffs are nifty (especially on Dazed and Confused), but with my modern(-ish) ears they seem pretty clichéd and old-hat.
The lyrical content is rather crude and a little bit silly, although there are some refreshing moments when Plant gets a bit more spontaneous and scatty on the epic final track How Many More Times.
As the album progresses there is more hints of the extent to which this band would get louder, more adventurous and preposterous on future releases. Dazed and Confused, Communication Breakdown and the aforementioned closer get a very nice groove going.
It’s all a little histrionic for my liking, but then a Doors cover band make it sound even more so (I’m gonna pester you with the Money or the Gun clips over the four reviews):
File under: Oh the Huge Manatee