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The Dark Lord

Which Album Do You Think Was Most Progressive?

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Curious to know what LZ album you found to have the most progressive (prog) leanings . I think that there is a prog element in all of their albums, but the top three for me would be Houses of the Holy, Presence, and In Through the Out Door, which had the definitive Led Zeppelin prog song, Carouselambra. For number one, I would have to give the nod to Houses of the Holy. It is pretty clear that they were trying to branch out musically on that album, kicking it off with The Song Remains the Same, which was a truly intricate piece with various time changes and segments that tie it together. Then The Rain Song, which speaks for itself as a very unique piece. Add to that Over the Hills, No Quarter, and the Crunge, and you have a pretty diverse and proggy album, but still within a rock framework. I think that they were trying to push some boundaries here, and in turn, created a fairly meandering and interesting album.

What's your choice, and why?

Edited by The Dark Lord

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Without a doubt! HOTH was a drastic diversion. My fave over all time! Yet it avoided the arch seriousness of much of prog music. It remains fun, bright and upbeat for the most part! Maybe 'cause I graduated high school the year it came out, but is still rings in my ears fresh!

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Without a doubt! HOTH was a drastic diversion. My fave over all time! Yet it avoided the arch seriousness of much of prog music. It remains fun, bright and upbeat for the most part! Maybe 'cause I graduated high school the year it came out, but is still rings in my ears fresh!

Very true. It's funny, because I rarely, if ever, listen to HOTH in the winter months, but as soon as the sun comes out and the good weather arrives, it becomes a favorite. Does anyone else feel that HOTH is "sunshine" Zep, or is that a unique observation by a few people?

Anyway, back on topic. Your choice for most prog album?

Edited by The Dark Lord

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Cool thread topic Dark Lord. After a lot of thought I have decided that for myself I will have to give the nod to the Untitled Fourth album as their most progressive album. It has so many tracks for at the time (I believe 1971) which were really futuristic compared to most mainstream rock music of the day. The Battle of Evermore stands out as a very unique song on the album, also Four Sticks and Misty Mountain Hop have different feel to them as compared to most other bands songs that were charting at the time. When the Levee Breaks has it all blues, hard rock, mega drum beat and emotional pleading from Plant, yet when you put it all together its great but some how different from what most other artists at the time were doing. Black Dog is great with the timing differences between the drums and the guitar and of course Stairway to Heaven how it starts off really slow and mellow and progresses into a great hard rock song, I love how Stairway to Heaven isn't really a song until the drums come in, as soon as Bonham hits the first drum skin it instantly becomes one of the greatest songs ever....pure genius. Anyways the Untitled Fourth album is my pick for Zeps most progressive album.

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Cool thread topic Dark Lord. After a lot of thought I have decided that for myself I will have to give the nod to the Untitled Fourth album as their most progressive album. It has so many tracks for at the time (I believe 1971) which were really futuristic compared to most mainstream rock music of the day. The Battle of Evermore stands out as a very unique song on the album, also Four Sticks and Misty Mountain Hop have different feel to them as compared to most other bands songs that were charting at the time. When the Levee Breaks has it all blues, hard rock, mega drum beat and emotional pleading from Plant, yet when you put it all together its great but some how different from what most other artists at the time were doing. Black Dog is great with the timing differences between the drums and the guitar and of course Stairway to Heaven how it starts off really slow and mellow and progresses into a great hard rock song, I love how Stairway to Heaven isn't really a song until the drums come in, as soon as Bonham hits the first drum skin it instantly becomes one of the greatest songs ever....pure genius. Anyways the Untitled Fourth album is my pick for Zeps most progressive album.

Great observations. I would put Four Sticks up there with some of the better Zep prog songs. In the Light is another.

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Very true. It's funny, because I rarely, if ever, listen to HOTH in the winter months, but as soon as the sun comes out and the good weather arrives, it becomes a favorite. Does anyone else feel that HOTH is "sunshine" Zep, or is that a unique observation by a few people?

Anyway, back on topic. Your choice for most prog album?

I agree completely. It's weird to listen to III during the winter. II and HOTH are summer albums. Same with PG, just reminds you of a sunny day with nothing better to do than listen to Led Zepp.

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I didn't really look at Zep as being prog at all, but that's just me. I looked at them mostly as a hard rock/blues band. I know that they did do a lot of varied stuff, but I never thought much of them as prog. LIke I said, just me. I guess I looked at Prog more as the heavy keyboard oriented bands, like Yes, ELP, Genesis.

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Presence has ALS, a totally "progressive" song. But PG has Kashmir! I always felt that Zeppelin had transcended the Hard Rock stereotype (think Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, etc.) by HotH. But them again Zeppelin was always "hors catégorie" music-wise.

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I didn't really look at Zep as being prog at all, but that's just me. I looked at them mostly as a hard rock/blues band. I know that they did do a lot of varied stuff, but I never thought much of them as prog. LIke I said, just me. I guess I looked at Prog more as the heavy keyboard oriented bands, like Yes, ELP, Genesis.

That's a fair observation, but they certainly did have prog moments, just like they had folk moments, heavy metal moments, blues moments, symphonic moments, rock moment, etc. Their genre was hard rock, but they dabbled in much more than that. I agree that they are not an ELP or a Yes type band. Edited by The Dark Lord

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That's a fair observation, but they certainly did have prog moments, just like they had folk moments, heavy metal moments, blues moments, symphonic moments, rock moment, etc. Their genre was hard rock, but they dabbled in much more than that. I agree that they are not an ELP or a Yes type band.

I definitely agree with you, they sure do have their prog type moments.

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When you listen with "new ears" to a lot of the albums in the mid-70's there is a TON of prog leaning stuff! They were all influencing each other!!! I recently got Chicago V having never bought it back in the day because it was perpetually on FM radio. It is sooo prog to my ears. The competition was good for the music back then. The crossroads of technology and art REALLY was fertile place in those days!

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Great bands defy or create new categories. How could complex bands like Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Queen, or Rush fit into simple categories?

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Led Zeppelin's debut, more than any - and this isn't based on Led Zeppelin actually being a "Prog" band because they weren't. It's based on the production of that first album, the arrangements, the engineering, etc., etc.

Edited by Amstel

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Led Zeppelin's debut, more than any - and this isn't based on Led Zeppelin actually being a "Prog" band because they weren't. It's based on the production of that first album, the arrangements, the engineering, etc., etc.

You know I was very tempted to say this as well. LZI is just an asbolute thunder smack to R&R. How Many More Times alone is just EPIC.

If you are talking progressive ala YES, then ITTOD.

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I think zep got pulled into the term prog, with no quarter live I guess. Yet to me it's more jam oriented. I agree that carouselambra can be filed under prog, but still it changes and flows unlike a prog song, to my hearing. With prog, ya have that lag time and tedium...zep had a groove.

As far as pushing rock music forward, being progressive, after reading through the thread, anywhere from 4 to presence. Yet, how many more times, being a touchstone song, where they showed how good a riff could sound and how well they could hammer a riff down...influencing everything that came after that.

My current customer has satellite radio and I'm listening to, the deep cuts station. After a few weeks, all I can say is, dear prudence, is the sweetest song in the world after a real proggy prog song. Also, in no way was zep to be blamed for 80s hair metal ! There were way many other 70s bands that influenced that...

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Personally I think each album is a progression for the one before it And not just in the sense that its the next in line, each album evolves into the next without repeating. No two Zeppelin Albums sound any where near the same and that's one of the top reasons why I love this band.

Edited by juxtiphi

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for me prog rock needs to have a keyboard or synth of some sort in it.

so that counts out PRESENCE as i dont hear any keys on it.

most proggy LZ album is HOTH - lots of weirdness and sudden changes in there,

followed by ITTOD despite the bad keyboard sounds, then maybe PG or IV.

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In regards to prog and keyboards, I think there was a time where musicians tried to make the keyboard, hammond sound, a premiere instrument in a rock song. After stuff like, the band, chest fever, the doors, james gang, tend my garden, anything where it really worked...musicians must've just ran with it. That 70s idea, where longer songs were better, totally ushered in the whole keyboard solo, then prog. Then pete towneshend, geddy lee, eddie van halen had interesting minimal approaches with synths, on the other side of the keyboard extreme. Still the keyboard could never compete with the guitar/drum combination in rock music imo. It could enhance it, bring a song to another level...as jpj did with zep. I guess keyboards found its best place in music, with electronic. I like the stuff the keyboardist did, with the Robert Plant, strange sensation band, implementing electronic enhancements to rock.

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Very true. It's funny, because I rarely, if ever, listen to HOTH in the winter months, but as soon as the sun comes out and the good weather arrives, it becomes a favorite. Does anyone else feel that HOTH is "sunshine" Zep, or is that a unique observation by a few people?

Anyway, back on topic. Your choice for most prog album?

HOTH for those summer days (aside from NQ).

LZ 111 for those winter nights in front of the fire.

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HOTH for those summer days (aside from NQ).

LZ 111 for those winter nights in front of the fire.

What about those summer nights!? I cant tell you how many times my friends and I listened to a No quarter while sitting by the camp fire!

Edited by juxtiphi

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What about those summer nights!? I cant tell you how many times my friends and I listened to a No quarter while sitting by the camp fire!

You American folk should try a English summer, bring something waterproof.and the Rain Song will take on whole new meaning. :bubble:

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Its an interesting subject. "progressive" can be taken in different contexts.

As a music genre, there are definately aspects to some of LZ's songs one could describe as progressive, even at just a superficial level - Immigrant Song, Battle for Evermore, NQ, Achilles, all IMO would have a progressive angle to them (even if they are under a hard rock umbrella). You can hear it in the musical composition, and in the lyrical content as well. Theres a lot of known, grounded material in Plants lyrical ideas, but there are also quite a bit of abstract and deeper concepts as well (sometimes simulatneous, within the same song), and its a perfect match for the musical ideas that are being presented.

The first word usually used to describe Page's chords structures is progressive. That isnt a music genre per say, but it does lend itself naturally to what people think "progressive" music is.

All that being said, if I had to pick an album, it would have to be HOTH. Conceptually as a whole piece - the most progressive

Edited by Dirigiblicus Maximus

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You American folk should try a English summer, bring something waterproof.and the Rain Song will take on whole new meaning. :bubble:

Ha Ha!! I live in New England so while there are many days with sun there are far too many days when the weather is a mixed bag of hot, cold, rainy, foggy and snow. :friends:

Edited by juxtiphi

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