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Thursday, June 13, 2013

Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin II (UK 1969)

Off The Shelf

In the shower tonight one of Jimmy Page's mind blowing riffs was going through my head. I knew it was from this record but I couldn't quite remember exactly which song. After dressing I dug out said CD and decided to start with "Heartbreaker" one of my favourites. It wasn't that song and after getting through "Living Loving Maid" and "Ramble On" at neighbor annoying volume I remembered it was "What Is And What Should Never Be". I backed tracked to that track and listened intently as well as singing along until I got to that guitar part that had inspired me to dust this off, the volume went up several more notches and ecstasy ensured as I blissed out to an incredible piece of Rock history.
Led Zeppelin II was the first Zep album I had owned on cassette back in the mid 80's and it is still my favourite Zep album in a discography of outstanding music. My first run in with this music was one Sunday back in 84' when I was hanging out with some mates at their flat. They were the first of my mates to have their own flat. One of them had a pile of 7" 45's that someone in his family had given him. They were mostly from the late 60's and we spent a memorable afternoon with a crate of beer and spinning these very cool 45's. Many of the songs we were familiar with from our childhoods and the one that stood out and totally blew us all away was Led Zeppelin's "Whole Lotta love".Again we knew the song from radio play or some other exposure in our younger days, but this was the first time we really connected with it. I'm sure many music fan will have that experience, especially when still a young adult, of hearing a song that just sent you into seventh heaven. The Riff and Solo from Page in this song is just incredible, not to mention Plant's amazing vocals and Bonham and Jones excellent backing. The song is an all round masterpiece and we just hit the stratosphere when that guitar kicks back in after the weirdness of the middle of the song. Not many songs can I remember so clearly my initial encounter like that. The track got played several times that day.
 It was soon after I acquired that Cassette and came to enjoy this album very much and it was played a lot amongst my social group.
Listening to it again tonight, nearly 30 years later, and I haven't listened to it for some time, I am still enthralled by the sheer power if this music and the incredible guitar of Jimmy Page. There is nothing weak in this set, although as I already mentioned, "Whole Lotta love", "Heartbreaker" and "What Is And What Should Never Be" are standouts on a record of amazing music. This is not a review, I don't need to describe this music, this is just a fans rant and the only music that can top this and make me feel the energy and joy of the power of this music,more than this is Black Sabbath. The only down side of this album is my CD issue is a first generation CD reissue from 1990 and the sound quality is pretty horrible, especially on the Cyrus, which really shows up bad mastering and production. The last remastering of the Led Zeppelin Catalogue appears to be in 1994. Not sure what they sound like as I think all my Zep CD's are originals from 1990, but this music must be due another remaster to bring the sound into the 21st century, unless the 94' remasters are already good enough. Still a fantastic album, I don't need to recommend it, it already sold somewhere close 15 million albums in the US alone Rating 5+/5.

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