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Led Zeppelin Remains Among Most Popular Bands (HOTH review)


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Led Zeppelin Remains Among Most Popular Bands

Nashua Telegraph, Friday, June 15, 1973


By United Press International

"It's a spectacle. They don't believe what you're doing half the time, if you have a magical night—if it's a really, really fine night. Then we do what no other people can do."

A few hours after Robert Plant spoke those words (being a rock n' roll star requires a healthy ego), he and the other members of Led Zeppelin had a magical night. All the pieces fit, and Led Zep's music was magnificent. It had to be the best rock 'n' roll on the planet that night. Sometimes I think Led Zeppelin is just about the best rock band there is. Other times, well....Led Zep is inconsistent. I figure that they have achieved about a 40 per cent success rate in recorded music over the last

five years-actually a bit under. But they are one of the most popular bands in history, because their best is so very good.

They experiment. This troubles some critics, who feel they should do what they do best, meaning hard and heavy blues blues rock. But much of Led Zep's best work has strayed far from that particular safety island. Led Zeppelin is the direct descendant of The Yardbirds, one of the great British bands of the 60s. Jimmy Page was the Yardbirds' third lead guitarist. He replaced Jeff Beck. Beck had replaced Eric Clapton. Beck and Clapton, of course, went on to personal stardom.

Page saw the band through a complete change of personnel (including the addition of Plant as lead -singer and lyricist), then changed the name to Led Zeppelin.

On stage, Led Zep has all the visual appeal and dramatic power The Yardbirds lacked. Plant is the key: topped by an immense mane of golden curls, graceful and unapologetically macho, he has a powerful voice, tremendous range and near-perfect control. Sharing the spotlight, he and Page

make a devastating team. On the second'date of their 1973 U.S. tour, Led Zep filled the Tampa Stadium with nearly 57,000 people. The show grossed $309,000. Both figures, as the PR types never tire of repeating, break the Beatles' 7-year-old Shea Stadium records. Led Zeppelin's newest album

—their fifth—is called. "Houses the Holy" (Atlantic SD-7255Q).

It's a bit of a disappointment. Out of eight cuts, three are excellent, four are fair and one (The Crunge) should never have made it out of the studio. The good ones are "No Quarter," "Over the Hills and Far „ Away." (The single-to come), and "The Ocean". They are Led Zep at its best intensely

dramatic, innovative and powerful.

As for the lyrics, Plant (who is not what you'd call the humble sort) accurately analyzes his own work as "a combination of fantasy, romanticism and vague truths." The lyrics aren't good enough to strengthen the basic weaknesses in "Houses"of the Holy" much, however. If this piece prompts you to buy a Led Zep album for the first time, I recommend number four (no title) —Atlantic Sd-7208) It's a rock masterpiece. Meanwhile, I hope Led Zeppelin keeps right on experimenting. As far as I'm

concerned, the 40 per cent is worth the trouble.

They're going to have an incredible "greatest hits" album.

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I love The Crunge and they should have put some dance steps for it on the inner sleeve, as was suggested at the time. :lol:


At least the review is consistent with the 40% success rate and 3 out 8 songs are excellent.

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