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116 of 126 found the following review helpful:
Save the best for first... Aug 17, 2000
By J. Brittman
"The Bottom Line"
This is Led Zeppelin's best CD. No other CD truly defines this band better than their self-titled debut. All songs on this album are indispensible. Dazed and Confused is a masterpiece, as is Babe, I'm Gonna Leave you. But the real heart and soul of this record are its blues tracks You Shook Me and I Can't Quit You Baby anchor the album. Zep was always at their best playing the blues, just check out Since I've Been Lovin' You. Your Time is Gonna Come still gives me goosebumps, and How Many More Times is the hidden gem on the album. Zeppelin would never top the overall consistency of this album, it is a true landmark in rock history and should be in every fans' collection.
33 of 34 found the following review helpful:
The beginning of a legendary sound Apr 16, 2000
By Sal Nudo
The short guitar bursts on "Good Times Bad Times" that open this firecracker debut in 1969 could be viewed as a forewarning of great songs to come, some of the most historic moments in rock and roll. These four guys were actual musicians who, as a collective unit, created a sound that was unmatchable at the time. And they didn't just blast away at their instruments, either. "Babe I'm Gonna Leave You" showcases gentle acoustic guitar at first, then later driving riffs that could inspire anyone to play air guitar. Even on their first record, Zeppelin weren't afraid to draw out their songs (some would say overstay their welcome), and four of the nine tunes last (and blast) for over six minutes. Like The Doors, Zeppelin had a keen interest in the blues; underneath all the raw rock on this album is a soulful, bluesy sound and aura with two Willie Dixon covers that the band "Zeppelinizes" to the max. Nothing, however, tops the segway from "You Shook Me" to the blazing "Dazed and Confused," which sounds amazing, raw and blistering. The organ work of John Paul Jones on "Your Time is Gonna Come" is truly beautiful, sounding like a church hymn on a rough-and-tumble rock and roll album. Undoubtedly, these British lads mixed sonic beauty and thrashing rawness to create an art form that still resonates today. "Black Mountain Side" is a busy acoustic ditty that sounds positively charming next to its follower, "Communication Breakdown," but that's Zeppelin's style in a nutshell -- heartlifting to raw in a matter of seconds. These rocking songs come off as urgent and passionate. Lyrically, the album is all blues as Plant wails majestically about one heartbreak after the other, moaning about his lost women and unabashedly feeling lonesome and sorry for himself. No matter, he'd have plenty of time to attain more women in the future. This is the work of a band ready to take on the world -- on its own terms.
27 of 30 found the following review helpful:
A Thundering Debut Aug 28, 2001
By WILLIE A YOUNG II
"From the chunky, hard riff that opens "Good Times, Bad Times" (listen to how John Bonham triples up on his bass drum during the first verse) Led Zeppelin introduced the music world to something entirely new. The zest, fervor and passion that they'd put into thier final performances as the "New Yardbirds" was heightened on this first album, and perfected with relentless touring and concentrated studio time. "Babe I'm Gonna Leave You" perfectly showcases Robert Plants' staggering vocal prowess (remember he was still a boy of 21 at the time) and the groups' brilliant arranging and playing. The two sprawling, bluesy excursions these blokes take on have become classics in thier own right (the pummeling "Dazed & Confused" and the album closing "How Many More Times" give the album it's epic feel and are perfect examples of how the blues informed and influenced the band from the very beginning. The shorter songs are oustanding as well, the punkish attack of "Communication Breakdown" provides a quick burst of energy for the listener, while "Your Time Is Gonna Come" is perfect acoustic pop that still doesn't sound dated or contrived. "Black Mountain Side" owes a debt to the Beatles in the middle 60's experimental period with it's use of tabla, acoustic instruments and somewhat unusual arrangement (no vocals). The entire band seemed to really coalesce into a tight, ferocius and intuative unit in a very short time as this debut album is completely lacking in any of the awkwardness or timidity usually associated with a new band. Throughout, Jimmy Pages' guitar (electric and acoustic) whips and soars over the heavy blues rock like a bird in flight, he essentialy rewrites the book on hard rock guitar playing here. John Bonham (THE GREATEST ROCK DRUMMER EVER, PERIOD) and John Paul Jones are an astounding rhythm section incapable of ever losing the groove and they stretch out to wondrous effect here on several selections. Led Zeppelin were a true band who only got better with time. Though their sound became more streamlined with subsequent releases, they never lost the fire that they started with in '68. This is a classic whose influence has been far reaching , but the years have only made it sound fresher and more vital. ...
59 of 74 found the following review helpful:
Great debut from Page, Plant, Jones and Bonham Mar 05, 2003
By Jack Fitzgerald
This is not my favorite Zep album, nor do I think it's their best, but it's a great debut and sign of things to come from Jimmy Page (guitar), Robert Plant (vocals), John Paul Jones (bass/keys) and John Bonham (drums).
Led Zeppelin was one of those rare groups that combined musicianship, live performance, charisma, myth and decadence into an enduring legend. The critics may have hated them, and detractors may still rip on them, but this band recorded a decent catalog of material.
These guys were also very eclectic with their musical styles, with straight-ahead rock/metal, white blues, acoustic folk, and eastern-tinged raga all showing up on different tunes. They may have shamelessly ripped off classic blues, call it sampling, but they were unafraid to push the boundaries of rock music.
"Good Times Bad Times" is a crunchy opener, with its guitar rhythm puzzle, outstanding drum fills, and excellent bass riffs.
"Babe I'm Gonna Leave You" has a nice acoustic guitar ballad feel, but rises and falls with varying dynamics. The lyrics are pretty standard 'my woman done me wrong' but Plant turns in a good performance.
"You Shook Me" is a slow-burn blues tune. Great organ solo. Interesting guitar/vocal interplay between Page and Plant.
"Dazed and Confused" is a signature tune for Led Zeppelin. My favorite thing about this song is the timing of the rhythm section, especially John Bonham's drumming.
"You Time is Gonna Come" begins with cathedral-like organ playing by Jones before breaking into an acoustic/rock number. More lyrics about 'woman done me wrong.'
"Black Mountain Side" is an instrumental featuring acoustic guitar and tablas. I like Dread Zeppelin's version for humor.
"Communication Breakdown" revs things up with more crunchy rock, with a great bassline and blistering guitar solo by Page.
"I Can't Quit You Baby" is another slow blues burn, with plenty of tasty guitar licks by Page.
"How Many More Times" has a nice swinging rhythm groove, wah guitar, and probably Plant's best vocal performance on the disk.
All in all, this is a solid effort, although the slow tempo tunes bog it down at times, and Plant is definitely still developing as a vocalist here. Still, this is a fine debut and well worth adding to your collection.
24 of 29 found the following review helpful:
Best debut ever Aug 04, 2002
That just it, it's the best debut album ever. Led Zeppelin used this phenomenal fusion of rock 'n' roll and the blues and turned themselves into the Gods of hard rock. They are the best hard rock band ever and they can easily fight with Black Sabbath as the fathers of heavy metal. They were never critics favorites, but screw the critics because the fans knew the real deal. Good Times, Bad Times features every band members specialty, the fade out gutiars are stellar. Babe I'm Gonna Leave You is the template for all of their epic rock classics like Stairway and Kashmir, long and loud. You Shook Me and I Can't Quit You Baby are flawless blues covers, phenomenal range in musical talent. Dazed And Confused is the best song on here, one of their best and most popular and the one that has become part of our everyday vocabulary. Your Time Is Gonna Come is kind of bluesy but more fist pumping rock and has a great beat. Black Mountain Song is a fabulous first instrumental. Communication Breakdown flat out rock, fast and hard. How Many More Times is another one of those beat driven epic of Led Zeppelin's many. In the end, this is the best debut and one of THE best albums of all time. This is incredible rock 'n' roll and it receives my highest recommendation.
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