I decided today that I want to review the Led Zeppelin II album by, you guessed it, Led Zeppelin. I personally have this album on vinyl and I love it! So, I thought that I would go over it with you guys. We are going to talk about the band, the songs, the sounds, and the significance of the album and hopefully that should give you a great idea of the album. Finally, at the end I will give it a rating out of 10, which is a new trend that I would like to start during song reviews, album reviews, and band reviews. So, let’s start off with the band!
The album is obviously by the band Led Zeppelin. Today, Led Zeppelin is considered to be one of the most famous and important bands of all time, but when this album came out, their status was not so prestigious. This was their second studio album and they were still just getting started. They had made a big splash with their first album, bringing lots of new sounds and techniques into the music and now, all eyes were on them to outperform their last album. They were like the rookie that everyone is excited about. They had a lot of excitement growing around them but, they needed to perform and solidify their place in the big leagues. This album was the album that really allowed them to do that, and let’s talk about why!
The album was released in 1969, a time when classic rock was only just getting started! Led Zeppelin was not the first band to be loud, there was Jimi Hendrix, The Who, and a handful of other bands already making loud music, so it wasn’t that that set them apart from the crowd. Instead, it was that their sounds were more distinct and more experimental. For instance, you can’t hear a Led Zeppelin song without recognizing Robert Plants voice. His bluesy wailing sound along with Jimmy Page’s guitar is recognizable instantly. To add to that, they also experimented a lot with new types of sounds. For example, in the studio, Jimmy Page would often try mixing effects pedals, using different microphone setups, and try new guitar tunings. This all lead to a guitar sound that was not like any other. Jimmy page had a sound that was loud and yet, unlike the others of his time, very clean. His solos were almost perfectly clear and his riffs were always spot on. This contrasted the likes of Jimi Hendrix and others as they were loud and brash and often quite messy.
You also can not talk about Led Zeppelin without talking about John Bonham. John Bonham changed the way that drums are played forever. He experimented a lot with new techniques and to add to that, he created a whole new way to record the drums. This made the drums more of a centerpiece in the music rather than a backing track. Once John Bonham played, drums were never the same because nobody wanted to do anything other than what he was doing. This album, with tracks like Whole Lotta Love, What is and What Should Never Be, and Ramble On, changed rock and roll and solidified Led Zeppelin as one of the greatest bands.
The Band’s Growth
They pulled from all sorts of influences to create this masterpiece. You can often hear where they were influenced by blues, jazz, or other rock artists of the time. To me, this truly shows a musicians growth because you can see that they are expanding their horizons and truly trying to explore what is possible and what can be created. On top of that, you can tell that the skill of the band has increased from their first studio album as the riffs, the song structure, and the lyrics have all become more complex. Of course, this is not their final album and they went on to make albums that were much more skillfully created but, I think that this album is a great waypoint to show their progress from their first album.
I have mentioned previously that this was the album that really put Led Zeppelin in the spotlight, but I think that’s a bit of an understatement. When Rolling Stone reviewed this album, they said that it was one of the heaviest albums that they had ever heard and that the sounds on the album were ‘defining’. This album is so important because it solidified the Led Zeppelin sound and, whenever a song came on the radio that was even remotely similar to that sound, you would immediately know it was Zeppelin. This is what is so important about this album, because it really showed what Led Zeppelin can do and what they sound like!
This is my second album review, and I am still learning how to properly do these. If you have any comments or criticism, you can put it in the comments below! I hope that you learned a little more about a truly classic album today and got something worth taking away. If you enjoyed this article, if would be extremely helpful if you considered sharing if with a friend or considered following this blog! Thanks for reading and I wish you all the best luck with your Led Zeppelin listening!