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LED ZEPPELIN - LED ZEPPELIN IV
Any album with 'Stairway To Heaven' on can almost claim to be a classic album just on the basis of that song alone, but right from the first song this is classic Led Zeppelin.
The first song is 'Black Dog', with its solid rhythm, Jimmy Page's double-tracked guitar, and Robert Plant in lascivious form, giving some risqué lyrics a filthy twist. The band then sound really tight on the retro rocker with a modern feel, 'Rock And Roll' - John Paul Jones' pounding bass being particularly notable. 'The Battle Of Evermore', with its gentle acoustic beginning, has the treat of the great Sandy Denny duetting with Plant. Everything is overshadowed, of course, by the final track on side one, 'Stairway To Heaven'. Right from the acoustic guitar and recorders intro, it feels like something special will follow. The intriguing lyrics, Robert Plant's mellow then thunderous vocals, inspired tempo changes, and just fantastic music, mean this will always be one of rock music's wonders.
The John Bonham galvanised 'Misty Mountain Hop' is the first track on side two, while 'Four Sticks' starts off in uninspired fashion, though Bonham's frenetic drumming stands out, but the melodic chord change makes a big difference and improvement. The penultimate song is the folky 'Going To California'. Nice. The booming great groove of 'When The Levee Breaks' is a song which one can't listen to without thinking of New Orleans (Led Zep, prophets?). Another Led Zeppelin classic, and this ends the last of Led Zep's numbered albums.
Produced by Jimmy Page, 'Led Zeppelin IV' should really be used as a template for a lot of heavy rock groups influenced by Led Zeppelin. Led Zep rocked, but they were the masters of mellow, too.
- Paul Rance/booksmusicfilmstv.com.
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'Led Zeppelin IV' Track Listing
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