A quick one that I just needed to share with you. The review of Led Zeppelin`s legendary “4” album or the “Four Symbols” album as it is also called. Did the reviewer like it? Read and find out.
Led Zeppelin`s best of both worlds
Led Zeppelin (Atlantic 240 1012).
By Billy Walker
Side one of this, Zeppelin`s fourth album, contains perhaps the band`s best recorded material to date. For me it smashes everything Zeppelin have done before into the ground, it`s more innovative and driving than “Black Mountain Side”, “Whole Lotta Love”, “Heart Breaker” or “Gallows Pole”. The last album was a very positive move away from what we`d come to expect from the band, but this one gives you the best of both worlds – the excitement of the rock and rolling Zeppelin, and the beauty of the acoustical side which they are more and more into.
“Old Style Zep” is represented by the opening track “Black Dog”, Bonham crashing and exploding around his drum kit, while Page and Paul Jones lay down the added drive which prods and pushes Plant into those lung-splitting screeches. To cap it all they`ve included some thrusting breaks between his vocals which typified a lot of their earlier work. “Rock And Roll” continues the pace but “The Battle Of Evermore” completely breaks the spell. Sandy Denny joins Robert in a really fine song, the band play around it delicately. Plant comes out of it very well, using much more control and poise than most people would give him credit for.
But just when you begin to feel that the best must have gone, they move into “Stairway To Heaven”, the best track on the album, which opens slowly – building in speed verse by verse. The lyrics and musicianship are really beautiful and it`s Bonham that really starts to move it into an up-tempo tune, kicking it along until the final verse, when Jimmy Page takes an electric guitar solo, showing the verve and flair we know he possesses but it`s Plant`s powering, bludgeoning vocals that finally see the track out.
Side two, whilst not up to the same standard, contains “Going To California” (a slowish acoustic tune with Plant doing country vocals) and “When The Levee Breaks” and two other tracks, but despite “Levee`s” punch and commanding strength there`s a strong urge to quickly get back to the first side again.
I have personally transcribed this from the original paper. Any errors in the text from the original magazine may not have been corrected for the sake of accuracy. If you have a music-related web-page where this fits – please make a link to the article. With credits to the original writer of the article from all of us music fans!
This number of Sounds also contains articles/interviews with these people: Ray Charles, Marc Bolan, Bell & Arc, Ornette Coleman, Rory Gallagher, The Who, Paul McCartney, Van Morrison, Mr. Fox, Mountain.
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