Even I know enough Led Zep mythology to know that they considered themselves an ‘album band’, taking it to the extreme of refusing to release singles from their masterpieces.
It is a little surprising how patchy I’ve found the albums thus far, however. The long-players are just as reliant on a couple of standout tracks as the mere mortals I encounter here on a regular basis.
The biggies here are the opening Whole Lotta Love – built around a delightful, growling riff, and showcasing Plant’s best blues wailing; and the idiosyncratic Heartbreaker.
Those two tracks are enough to make me think a 1970s me would have been pretty chuffed when I insert this 8-track cartridge into the player in my Scooby-Doo styled van. The band had certainly made a substantial leap in acumen and achievement since their debut.
They really start to push the psychedelic envelope with aural effects. Unfortunately, they continue to wander further into the pompous and ponderous world of hobgoblins lyrically (Ramble On is the main offender here). When they stick to the bluesier domain they are on much sturdier and less embarrassing turf.
Of course, they could also try some jazz showtune styling:
File under: Beware the hobbit references