Wednesday, July 25, 2007
No. 75: Led Zeppelin II
Band: Led Zeppelin
Album: Led Zeppelin II
Why Rolling Stone gets it right: A furthering of the band's debut, "Led Zeppelin II" shows the band stretching its collective legs a little more. "Ramble On" examines some acoustic leanings of Jimmy Page, "Thank You" is a slow ballad, "Moby Dick" is John Bonham showing off and "Whole Lotta Love" is the band going full throttle in "we're a bunch of badasses" mode.
Why Rolling Stone gets it wrong: It's probably repetitive to have this record and the first record on here.
Best song: "Whole Lotta Love" is one of Zep's iconic songs.
Worst song: I'm not really keen on "The Lemon Song."
Is it awesome?: It is, but to have it this high may be too much.
This is going to sound stupid, but I don't have a whole lot to say about "Led Zeppelin II" that I didn't say about the first Zep record. This is the fourth Zep record so far, tied with Dylan and the Stones for second-most in the top 75. That's fitting, of course, as Zep is about as important as you can get in hard rock.
"Led Zeppelin II" is mostly an extension of the first record. Save for "Whole Lotta Love," there isn't a whole lot of experimentation (and "Whole Lotta Love" basically is just dicking around in the studio). There are new takes on blues standards ("The Lemon Song," the disputed lyrics on "Whole Lotta Love"), a real riff-tastic duo ("Heartbreaker" and "Living Loving Maid"), some soft/loud dynamic stuff ("Ramble On" and "What Is and What Should Never Be") and, of course, Plant's screaming howl (just about every song, but especially pronounced on "Whole Lotta Love" and "What Is and What Should Never Be").
"Moby Dick" was something to behold. The "drummer as centerpiece" is not a concept popular rock and roll; Even The Who -- a band with a pretty amazing drummer -- never put Keith Moon on center stage. "Moby Dick" does just that. After a righteous Jimmy Page riff, Bonham just takes over. Legend has it that Bonham's drum solos would go for anywhere from 12 minutes to over half an hour. A sight to see, I'm sure.
I'm not sure it needs to be number 75, but "Led Zeppelin II" is pretty amazing.