462. Led Zeppelin – “Led Zeppelin II”

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.

Album cover Led_Zeppelin_II two Heartbreaker 2 CD reviewIt 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

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One response to “462. Led Zeppelin – “Led Zeppelin II”

  1. I think you’re missing the point here. But at the same time, I’m struggling to put into words how I think you should listen to Led Zep. To really enjoy them, you can’t care whether there are some dud tracks. Who are you to judge whether the album holds together as a coherent masterpiece? It was the 70’s. It was just experimental and fun and free. Listening to this as a teenager just made it seem like making music could be a laugh. You could sing about whatever came into your head and stagger around and that was cool. I think you came at this too late to feel the flush of freedom. You better give Led Zep 3 a brilliant review, cause that’s my fave!

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