The Bomber Posted March 14, 2008 Share Posted March 14, 2008 All right,here it is,my own personal favourite album of all time,it holds a special place in my heart since it was the first Zep album i got,Stairway was the fist Zep song i heard,without this album,i wouldn't be here,it sold over 35 million copies worldwide and is amazing,so,here i go!: It's 1971,after their last album,Led Zep have been critisized for "going acoustic" ,they are unhurt,the album has already sold thousands,and has given them enough material for a 3-hour show,the stars are falling into place,on their next album,the name "Led Zeppelin" does not appear,just four symbols,the tales of their legendary live shows are spreading,they have played some of the new material live and it is stunning by all accounts,they are about to produce their most successful album yet,it doesn't even have a title,but here it is,Led Zeppelin IV: 1.Black Dog-Page start's off the album with the noise of the "guitar army",then Plant wails out the lyrics and you just know you're in for a good ride,Plant's lyrics are completely solo,then the band comes in with the chaotic syncopated riff,Page jamming out an intricate,flowing,triple-tracked guitar part,JPJ's bass just flows out of the speakers in an entirely different time signature,and Bonzo smashes out a stuttering,complex drum track in yet another different time signature,the end result is ruthlessly heavy funk,the parts sound incredible on their own,but together they are mind-blowing,how anyone could keep in time is beyond me.Plant then wails through the rest of the verse and every time the band respond to the call in a brilliant call and response session.Then the band build up a brilliant break,Plant's voice returns,and back to the funk,then a vocal harmony,Bonzo unleashes hell,and BAM!Break riff,funk,heaviness,everything,Plant goes into castrato mode for the vocals,the band still smashing out the vicious riff,Bonzo brings down the hammer of the gods while Page & Jones play in sync with each other,then back to Plant's a cappella showcase,the band summoning the fearsome funkiness of the riff each time in response,it buils with ANOTHER break and the verse is repeated,Plant wails his high notes for the last time,then Jimmy takes over with a solo,that ultra-heavy break comes in and the note just seem to ooze out of his fingers,it's an effortless flow of funk with incredible speed and grace through to the end of a great song and a wonderful opener. 2.Rock & Roll-A change of pace to a faster track,Bonzo opens it up with a thunderous drum roll and then JPJ and Page come in with an amazingly agressive riff,a 12-bar blues in A,jamming around in this tribute to it's namesake,after the groove is well established,Bonzo's thundering drums,JPJ's plodding bass,and Page's spectacular riff,Robert comes in with the high-notes,screaming his head off about Sex,Drugs & Rock n' Roll and brings it on back to where he comes from,it builds up in classic 50's rock style,Bonzo keeping the track together,piano,and overdubbed guitars come into the mix,Jimmy blasts out some fearsome licks and then taking a simply orgasmic blues solo,taking amazing blues and rock licks into the mix and stamping them with his own style over a flurry of sheer drunken energy,then the blues piano comes in and it just keeps getting heavier and faster,Plant wailing,Bonzo kicking the shit out of his drums,JPJ just being there,and the hard hitting blues piano,then,after that massive crescendo,it suddenly stops,Bonzo withone last,chaotic drum fill,and the last,amazingly satisfying chord comes crashing down,ending the song. If Chuck Berry was ever possessed by Satan,he might play this. 3.Battle Of Evermore-Another completely different track,a folk song,this one features a the only guest vocalist ever to work with the band,folk singer Sandy Denny,her vocals are the perfect foil for Robert's castrato/blues wail.It starts off with a fade-in mandolin and acoustic guitar intro,building in tension slowly,then releasing itself into a fluent interplay between JPJ & Jimmy,then Plant's soft vocals come in,followed by Denny's wails,complementing Plant's perfectly,both harmonizing on the high notes,building into a trippy,mystic chorus,then dropping back to the interplay between Plant and Denny,then the chorus builds,and an amazing vocal harmony,and then in a moment of musical genius,it falls effortlessly into the riff with the vocals an octave over it in perfect harmony,a technique often used by Zep and is used to great effect here with Denny to harmonize on the high-notes,then a wonderfully folksy breakdown,Plant's wails of "Bring it back!" put in the mix with reverse-echo and repeated,becoming more aggressive and powerful every time,until,amid swirling mysticism,the song fades away to nothing. 4.Stairway To Heaven-A truly great song,many covers have turned it into a cliché which is sad,it is beautiful though,my own favourite off the album overall,my favourite of all time actually,i never listen to the radio,and we don't have classic rock stations here,but the original is great,no matter how many hair metal "tributes" are payed to it.It starts off with Page's beautiful acoustic guitar arpeggiation,going through the chord progression slowly,with ease,the soft,tender sound caressing your ears,then the 3 overdubbed recorders by JPJ come in,making a creepy,mystic,beautiful sound,soothing,but somehow,unsettling,it gives a feeling of reaching out for something that isn't there,then Plant's beautiful,creepy vocals come in,adding to the mystic effect with Plant's more controlled side.The lyrics have a thousand meanings at least,they mean something different to everyone who hears them,it makes the song feel very personal,you get what you hear,it's all about how you understand the song,no two people feel the exact same way about it,i see a man and a woman,walking together in a garden,then it kind of flashes years on,the man is dead and the woman is still there,remembering him,dying,but that's just how i see it.The twelve string guitar comes in for the uplifting chorus,Plant's "ooh"ing over it adds to a very Psychedelic vibe,in the next verse,the electric guitar is still present,only this time it has replaced the acoustic 6-string,it sounds mellow,psychedelic,and mystic,Plant's voice sounds more powerful,JPJ's recorder's are pushed down in the mix,and Jimmy's guitar is much more prominent.Then the second chorus,and another cut-in with the guitar sounding more electric,getting heavier and heavier,slowly,subtly,without any quick movements,just one slow build,then Bonzo thunders in with a drum fill,Plant's lyrics sound even more potent and personal,the guitar still builds,and Bonzo keeps everything going at a walking speed,the song becomes more mystical,psychedelic,heavier,more powerful,and then the guitar breaks in,Page strums out the chords for a while,then gives what is easily one of his best solo's ever,only a handful of solo's could possibly match it,most of them also Page's work,the solo comes in with a bend,then a short wall of notes descending the neck giving a mystical feeling,then building again,and falling,Page just wails out some bends in the scale and creates a masterpiece,then he plays a few fills in the solo,always keeping a creepy,mystic,minor feel,and closes the solo into the sheer sugar-rush of the outro with the heavy,smashing chords,it sounds like a completely different song to the one at the start of the track,heavier,louder,more powerful,Plant hits the high notes with ease,wailing his heart out over the Psychedelic,pseudo-metallic feeling of the chords,a very heavy,descending bunch of power chords,crudely brilliant,power chords have never conjured up such emotions,the sheer power of it seems incredible,and the beautiful melody to the dirty chords shouldn't fit,but it does.Jimmy plays out the final bends,the song slows down,and stops,Plant eerily chanting the final line,"...And she's buying a Stairway,to Heaven".The music itself is actually a Stairway,a relentless build into the end,love it or hate it,it's worth a listen. 5.Misty Mountain Hop-A considerable change of tempo,this is the quintessential anthem of getting wasted,starting off with an upbeat,happy,trippy keyboard riff from JPJ,then the band comes in with the freaky,repetitive riff,then some creepy vocal harmonies,Plant gets the odd scream in as well,it builds and falls around the jam,you just sit there,laugh and think "dude,you're so wasted!!",even if you're not high,this song pretty much puts you in the mood,Jimmy's guitar moves along,bouncing,with JPJ's keyboard,Plant has the harmonies and screams,the chorus is brief,asnd falls back to the verse,Page takes a short solo,following the medley,possibly with an insane smile on his face,i always see the band in a situation quite akin to Alice In Wonderland,one bong makes them smaller,one makes them larger,Bonzo just smashes up his kit,Plant screams,Page just flows,JPJ's keyboards are just really,really fun,it's just a fun and funny song,probably the worst on the album,but it's the obligatory joke song,like Hat's Off,but better,a very cool,funky,psychedelic track. 6.Four Sticks-A heavy,rolling track,Bonzo's drumming can only be described with two words-HOLY SHIT!How does he keep going?It's just one brutal assault on the kit,he's playing with not two,but Four drum sticks! (Hence the title) Jimmy plays a riff over it in a completely different time signature,giving a rolling,funky sound,Plant comes in off beat again,adding to the chaos,slowly,and then building to a scream,the thing just keeps brutally rolling along,until it breaks into a completely different chorus,a cleaner guitar effect,Bonzo is still killing his drums of course,Robert is wailing higher,JPJ gives it a creepy,eastern atmosphere,crashing chords,wailing vocals,and then it drops straight back into the riff with Bonzo's tribal drum bashing with a very funky use of different time sigs in the riff (5/4 and 6/8) it builds up again to the creepy chorus,clashing chords and vocals everywhere,then a theremin (I think) comes in,and again into the fearsome,funky riff,rolling along with Robert coming to the fore,"oohing" and "aahing" 'til the song fades out. 7.Going To California-A very beautiful acoustic track,opening up with a mellow acoustic guitar/mandolin,then Plant comes in,revealing the flower-child within,Jimmy plays beautifully,going through the patterns in his beautiful finger-picking,JPJ's mandolin adding to the atmosphere,subtly guiding the song,Plant laments a lost past,then a cry of anguish as Page's picking suddenly turns unsettling "Seems that the wrath of the gods got a punch on the nose and it's starting to flow i think i might be sinking,throw me a line if i reach it in time,i'll meet you up there in the path,any time",it then mellows out again,in a very slow,lovely lamentation,JPJ's mandolin moving beautifully,Jimmy's guitar crying,Robert's tender voice,Jimmy & Robert play perfectly together on this track,they were the soul of Zeppelin,Bonzo and JPJ were the people that kept a strong foundation,they could write,but the creative ones were Page and Plant,after a long "ah",the song fades out,its there,and then it's gone. 8.When The Levee Breaks-I can't imagine a more perfect closer,this embodies everything that Led Zeppelin were about,a devastatingly heavy that makes the very earth beneath you quake and the heavens tremble,it's driven by Bonzo's amazingly powerful drumming at the start,then the riff comes in,Plant whips out a harmonica lick,and then the heavens open and a torrential flood rains over you,Plant's harmonica,Page's detuned slide guitar,Bonzo's thunderous drumming,all of these things conjure up the image of a flood,the brutal detuned slide riff just keeps rolling along ,powered by the ungodly thunder of Bonzo's drums and the sweeping harmonica,then the sound builds to a chorus,Bonzo smashing his drums up over Jimmy's ascending guitar,then it stops,then Robert's vocals come in,and the earth-shattering jam resumes,this time Robert's vocals are added to the mix,they sound incredibly powerful,the riff is still going,repeating in a never ending guitar loop,Plant's voice is powerful,feverish,filled with urgency,he some times drops off and let's the guitar continuum take over,and then returns to the song with renewed energy in this raw,endless jam.It returns to the uplifting chorus,and then a break,Jimmy's slide guitar coming to the fore in the transcendence,with Bonzo's endless cybal smashes,he gives every beat a life of it's own,the riff changes,Page is now playing a tune more akin to the chorus,a bluesy slide-lick,then Bonzo speeds up and the jamming continues,Plant adds his vocals to the mix,more powerful and raw then before,he sounds sweaty,as if he has actually been pumping the levee,Bonzo keeps smashing along over Robert's stripped down wails,then it comes back to that original riff,the harmonica is back as well,creating a dark,brooding tension,the licks are sensational,the riff is driving and powerful,all held together by the incredible assault on the drum kit,then another chorus,and returns to the guitar loop,the continuum still unbroken,Plant will occasionally breaks and returns,swooping when you don't expect,the jam keeps relentlessly bulding in tension,another break comes in,Robert wails his heart out,Jimmy's relentless slide-guitar,and of course,Bonzo's terrifying drum groove,then comes the climax,the very last,aggressive verse,the riff is even more raw and powerful then before,the jam continues to build,and then Robert takes the lead,his powerful,feverish screams hijacking the track,Jimmy keeps the slide guitar overdubs going,and Bonzo's groove,still there,still chugging along with raw power,adding fills,then Jimmy finishes the album alone,slides out,and a pick-scrape closes the track. One may believe that after the nukes are dropped and the world is over,all that will be left are the cockroaches,playing the riff to Levee. So that's it,overall,this is probably my favourite of all time,without it,Zep would never be where they are today,it sold 23 million copies in the US alone,and 35 Million+ worldwide,it broke them. So tell me what you think!Pointers,attention to detail,anything that needs improvement,maybe if i didn't give enough space for your favorite song or something. Up next:Houses Of The Holy. Also check out my reviews of LZ I,II & III and tell me what you think,always ready for criticism! Led Zeppelin I: http://forums.ledzeppelin.com//index.php?s...ic=3527&hl= ...Led Zeppelin II: http://forums.ledzeppelin.com//index.php?s...ic=3778&hl= ...and Led Zeppelin III: http://forums.ledzeppelin.com//index.php?s...ic=4711&hl= Enjoy and tell me what you think! Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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