I have known the name of Led Zeppelin for years, and with the exception of Kashmir (which is a great tune), I had never really heard any of their music. I had heard bits and pieces here and there, but never full pieces. Then one day I was watching VH1 classics, they actually play music videos unlike MTV, and saw a live performance for Stairway to Heaven. As formerly noted, I hadn't heard any of their songs from start to finish, so I watched it. I have to say that I was really impressed with the song. The levels and mood that the song created blew me away. I was so dazzled that I sought out what album it was on, because I had to have it.
Now after some research, I discovered that Stairway to Heaven is on the Led Zeppelin IV or ZOSO, or whatever name you want to call it, since the album doesn't have an official name. Since I was going to buy this CD, only knowing one song on the album I wanted to know what I was in for. So I am going to list each song track by track, in order to give a candid and fair review of this classic rock album.
1) Black Dog - This is a fast rock song. Has a good guitar riffs, catchy vocals and can get the feet moving.
2) Rock and Roll - I have heard this song before and never realized it was Led Zeppelin. This song is the epitome of classic hard rock. An ageless tune.
3) The Battle of Evermore - I am not sure how to describe this song, but perhaps the weakest song on the album. It is a duet with Robert Plant and Sandy Denny. Now it depends on my mood, but sometimes I like this song and other times I can't stand it. Strange I know. Robert and Sandy sing sometimes separate and other times together. Now Robert Plant's voice is high pitch and many times he guffaws, and in many cases or songs, it works. Consequently in this song, between Robert's shrieking and Sandy's yelling, it sounds like two cats fighting and/or a banshee and a spider monkey laughing at Hee-Haw reruns. As for the music itself, it there is a dark feel to it. Consequently, the music never seems to go anywhere.
4) Stairway to Heaven - What can I say? Not to sound like a poser or jumping on the bandwagon, but this is why I bought the CD. What an immaculate song with myriad layers. So many coatings and poetic lyrics that read like an allegory. A moving piece that begins mellow reaches a pinnacle, which is pseudo hard rock. Then ends as soft as it started. From my understanding, this is the most requested song on the radio. I just wonder how the radio is able to play an eight-minute song start without a commercial?
5) Misty Mountain Hop - There are more astonishing guitar riffs creating a good rock and roll vibe. The vocal harmonization is excellent in this song as well.
6) Four Sticks - Wonderful drums going on in this song, they really seem to stand out. I see a woman doing a strip tease to this song. I don't know why, I just do. The only downfall is at the end. This is where Mr. Bobby Plant goes a little crazy with his classic rock screaming in the last 30-40 seconds of the song.
7) Going To California - A soft acoustic like song. Some might consider it a folk melody, I really like this track. It's also rather short, only about three minutes long. This and Stairway to Heaven are the only slower songs on the album.
8) When The Levee Breaks - An eight-minute long piece of music I can hear being played in a shady bar somewhere in Texas. The harmonica and drums really set the framework for a blues-rock song. Guitar riffs and vocals give a strong rock n' roll flare. The mood of this song is somewhat abrasive and erratic. A strong piece of music and a great way to close this album.
Not sure why so much comparing between Led Zeppelin with Dire Straits, Foreigner and Green Day. When I hear the name Led Zeppelin I don't think of the former bands. It is almost like using this statement as a frame of reference: " Dude Tupac sucks, you should listen Barry Manilow."
I hope I was able to provide more insight to Led Zeppelin IV. Overall not a long album but has some solid tracks that have made it a legend in the realm of classic rock.
It is difficult to understand this Led Zeppelin phenomenon. I will admit that John Bonham was an excellent drummer and Jimmy Page does blend his guitar at times. However, lead screamer(eh.. singer), Robert Plant ruins many of the tracks(Misty Mountain Hop and Black Dog specifically) with his screetching caterwaling. In addition, the songs lack development. The great opening riff of Black Dog is wasted due to the lack of a good secondary melody. Four Sticks doesn't even have a memorable initial melody. … more
It is rather brisk in this field. The leaves are descending like a tapestry of aloof dreams. The wind entices these leaves into a plume of whimsical billowing ontological paradox. Then I recall that I … more
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Also known as the "rune" album or Zoso because of the medieval symbols adorning the inner sleeve, Led Zeppelin's fourth album, released in 1971, turned them from mere superstars into giant behemoths of the rock world. On tracks like "Black Dog," "Misty Mountain Hop," and "Rock and Roll," the combination of Robert Plant's banshee wails and Jimmy Page's frenetic guitar playing forever altered the stylistic bent of hard rock music. And the foreboding "When the Levee Breaks" demonstrated that Zeppelin could indeed play the blues fairly straight if they so desired. Still, everything here ultimately took a back seat to the album's (and, ultimately, the band's) magnum opus--the expertly constructed and deftly executed classic, "Stairway to Heaven."--Billy Altman