C3S9CD7 When I first started looking at this album prior to starting my review the first thing I thought was, I wonder whether the cover art of this album would be greeted with such widespread acceptance in this day and age? As you can see the album cover depicts a number of naked children climbing up The Giants Causeway Northern Ireland, entirely innocent but I would suspect the ‘moral police’ would have a field day now. I have no idea what the cover was supposed to portray, Zeppelin were trying hard to make their albums as mythical as possible, this album like the previous album did not have the name of the band on the front of the album. Whilst on the subject of the last album (Led Zeppelin IV) actually has no title, it is commonly known as IV as the first 3 albums were numbered but this was never acknowledged by the band, it is also known as 4 Symbols due to the 4 Symbols on the inner sleeve each that are associated to the band members. Anyway guess what I’m trying to say is that Led Zeppelin at this time (1973) could do what the hell they wanted and their albums would still sell by the bucket load so whether the name of the band or the album appeared made no difference.
Zeppelins 5th album and the first to have a album title, (ironically the album title appeared as a track on Zeppelins next studio album Physical Graffiti) 8 tracks, 5 of which would appear on their next album The Song Remains The Same the soundtrack to the film of the same name which was a mix of live concert footage and dream sequences, all very Spinal Tap but at the time they seemed like one of the most amazing bands in the world. Punk was just around the corner which would change things (for a little while) but at the time of this release Zeppelin were near Gods to the vast majority of the western world.
I retrospect I really like this Zeppelin album , not as much as Physical Graffiti but I think I play it more the IV, it has a good mix of styles, your standard rock which you would expect but, The Crunge is pure funk and D’yer Mak’er is reggae which may surprise many non Zeppelin fans. As I have mentioned a lot of these tracks turned up in the film but the studio versions are less bloated than the live versions and I think that suits the tracks. Favourites for me are The Song Remains The Same, The Rain Song, which is this albums Stairway to Heaven, slow mellow to start building to big rock finale, and No Quarter, but I can’t pick a duff track on this album.
I know that Led Zeppelin split music lovers, I think you either love them or hate them, but judging by the excitement that surrounded the (one off) live reunion a couple of years it’s safe to say that Zeppelins place as Rock Gods is still pretty secure.