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best album?


thatguynamedjosh247
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1 hour ago, thatguynamedjosh247 said:

what is the best album by led zeppelin, (in your opinion) and why? my personal favorite is III, because of the acoustic masterpieces such as "that's the way" and "bron-y-aur stomp". thoughts?

I love Zep III, but it's my second favorite, because Physical Graffiti is and always will be my #1. To me, it's got everything: heavy bluesy tracks, beautiful acoustic stuff, multi-layered guitars, solo acoustic guitar, short fun tracks, long epics, the entire range. More specifically, to have one album (albeit a double one) with Kashmir, In the Light, Trampled Under Foot, Ten Years Gone, The Rover, and In My Time of Dying - wow, just wow. Hard to top that IMHO.

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Pretty hard to decide, but for sentimental reasons I'd go with the debut, since it's the first studio album I listened to after my father introduced me to Zep at the sweet age of 11. And, since that introduction was in the form of SIBLY and STH from the TSRTS movie, I would say the TSRTS soundtrack would be pretty high in my book as well (if we're including live releases).

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I have to admit,  choosing my fave Zep albums has always been prone to slight changes.

Zep III was in pole position during several years, loved the sequencing, the glossy gatefold (which for one reason or another, smelled a bit like turpentine). Physical Graffiti followed, since it has even more of the Zep III goodness, plus more (Kashmir and Trampled for instance and featured an even more elaborate die cut cover). The last years I returned to my first Zep acquaintance (Zep II, bought it early 1974). Since it was so loud, I had to listen to it through headphones all the time, studying the album's gatefold cover. So  that one holds a special place.

....However, if I had to go to the desert island, I wouldn't leave unless I, II, III, IV and graffiti were in my trolley (together with 929, Texas Pop, Fillmore W. April 27, Vienna 73 and Eddie:accordian:.)


 
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On 1/3/2018 at 10:29 PM, tmtomh said:

I love Zep III, but it's my second favorite, because Physical Graffiti is and always will be my #1. To me, it's got everything: heavy bluesy tracks, beautiful acoustic stuff, multi-layered guitars, solo acoustic guitar, short fun tracks, long epics, the entire range. More specifically, to have one album (albeit a double one) with Kashmir, In the Light, Trampled Under Foot, Ten Years Gone, The Rover, and In My Time of Dying - wow, just wow. Hard to top that IMHO.

pg is my favorite in critical terms. but III holds a special place in my heart, and imho has more replay value. :goodpost:

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Physical Graffiti has everything-easily their best work, followed closely by Houses of The Holy and then Presence.

PS  I know I’ll get shot down in flames for this but my least favourite album is 1V, never really liked the production -way too muddy sounding for my ears.

Edited by Paganini
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LZ 1

Not so much because it was the best, but because it defined a paradigm shift at it's time to album oriented rock music. The fact that they made it the way they wanted and then the way the band took the world by storm within a short time is something many do not remember.

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As much as PG is the epic monster of an album that it is, it still doesn't touch IV for me. There's something mystical and magical about IV. It would be interesting to imagine a stripped down PG, shrunk to a single album size and ponder which of the tracks (other than Kashmir) would have been included. Challenging! It's sheer amount of songs does give it an advantage over all the other albums. There's something perfect about IV. The grind of BD. The dreamy mythical guitar/mandolin/vocal melodies or BOE. The 60's/70's hippy stomp with big riff MMH.  The eerie gothic rumbling threatening FS, a magical unique tune from the depths of some forest that I could imagine Kate Bush singing. The earth shaking eruption and wailing shrieking angst ridden banshee in the night that is WTLB. A pleasant GTC. RAR - A solid boisterous celebration of the love of rock and roll. And then STH. We've all heard it so many many times and the time it takes to get to the gutter solo seems to get longer each time. Other than the very first time I heard it, it always seems to have one verse too many. But it was the pinnacle at one point. There was nothing like it. And the solo is still the best of all time. And Plant's voice is just exquisite throughout the whole album. And for me the production is really clear and pumping except the guitar solo in RAR which is a bit random and very indistinct at the beginning.

Edited by Earthchief
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IV

Black Dog was my introduction to Led Zeppelin back in Jr. High School. To me, that is quintessential Led. It's got Plant's voice at it's peak, it has quite possibly the ultimate of all Zeppelin riffs, it's got the super badass start n stop verse going on, and the guitar solo is brilliant. The lyrics are good too. Aside from that, there's Stairway, and I know that the true fans are too cool for school now and aren't allowed to like Stairway that much because "everyone else likes it" and "it's been played out" but Stairway is a piece of magic. It transcends this world and gives us a peak into the parallel dimension. Then there are the other great songs on this album like Rock n Roll, which can make anyone happy at any time, Going to California, which is my favorite acoustic song from Zep, the unusual but 100% Zep "Four Sticks" and the well loved WTLB.

However, these days I seem to be leaning to HOTH for some reason. I feel it's an underrated album and in its own way, it's just as strong as the fourth. The thing about HOTH that makes it stand out is that it's not at all like the first four albums. There's no blues on it and the band went in new directions successfully. It's also the only album that has an overall bright and somewhat cheery sound (except for NQ).

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It would be impossible for me to select a favorite or "best" album.  But LZ II was the first one I heard and it holds a special place for me.  It is amazing in so many ways including the sound and range of material.  Moments of great power and beauty.  It is the album that firmly established Zeppelin as a major force, building on the debut but showing so much growth and range, such a change in sound.  Years ago I had a long email discussion with a close friend about which was the "best" album.  He made a compelling case for II, and eventually I had to see his points.  It is incredible to think that the second album had WLL, Ramble On, What Is, Heartbreaker, Thank You, the Lemon Song, and BIOH. 

The album moves comfortably from pure raunch and sex to moments of sublime beauty and back again.  One  more thing.  The sound and production are so distinctive and so compelling, while still being raw and immediate.  If I had to choose one album to show someone what Led Zeppelin was it would be LZ II. 

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Physical Graffiti could be the best 'Rock' Album of all time. But it's not perfect. A couple of wayward tunes on it. Led Zep 4 is however the Greatest Album of all time and utterly perfect. It is everything. It is the moment it lighting was captured in a bottle.

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