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Sunday, October 16, 2016

Led Zeppelin: Led Zeppelin (IAS #42)

Here's an old favorite:

Led Zeppelin: Led Zeppelin

And an announcement to boot (reprinted from the FB page):

Upon uploading this last review, I am discontinuing the "Important Album Series", at least for the time being. It turns out that the IAS review, in the format in which it currently exists, is eating up way too much of my time, compared to the usual reviewing process, and leaves me physically drained much more often than I can really afford.
However, do not despair, because in its place I will try to reserve the Sunday for a slightly less cumbersome project - the "Important Artist Series". Basically, this will be the day when I'm still ready to forsake the alphabetical series and post one regular review of an important non-alphabetical artist. In the usual blog format - not as large as the ones on the regular site pages. This way, there will also be no doubling of the reviews (no, no more Beatles or Beach Boys or Bob Dylan reviews). As for the new artists to cover, the order is still under consideration. 


  1. While I'm sad that the IAS is getting discontinued, this sounds like the best option overall - those were some damn big reviews, and I already am in disbelief at your work ethic throughout the rest of the week! Well done on 42 truly excellent reviews, George.
    And this Artist Series is also exciting! For some great bands that don't get the love in the RYM section (lookin' at you, Gener and Deaner - and I've been wanting to know your opinion on Quebec for YEARS) that I know you have great things to say about, this is just as, if not more, exciting than the IAS.

  2. Have you considered taking the weekend off? I mean, in comparison, daily shows that I watch are often just monday-thursday, and you could still do ias in the weekend if you were so inclined, to still end up with rather above average quantity of content.

  3. Finally! We may get to hear your thoughts on Van Morrison!

  4. I think it sensible that you stop the IAS series - there can only be a limited amount of important albums.
    You just might take the Sundays off as well. One review a day must be a drain.

  5. So, on the one hand, I regret that we won't have the opportunity to compare George's thoughts on Illmatic with those already given on the Wu Tang Clan.

    On the other hand, for the first time I now dare to hope that we'll maybe get to see George revisit Paul McCartney and the Who before we all die of old age.

  6. "heavy metal" is often viewed as a relatively closed genre in itself"
    This confirms my theory that the separation heavy metal vs. hardrock only became relevant after 1980. There is a video on YouTube which shows Keith Emerson jamming with Deep Purple. Ritchie Blackmore considered teaming up with Phil Lynott and Paul Rodgers. Uriah Heep headed Pinkpop in 1976 just before David Byron was sacked. John Wetton jumped from Family to King Crimson to Uriah Heep to Roxy Music to UK (with Bill Bruford).
    Such crossovers gradually disappeared when heavy metal became a separate subgenre.

    "heaviness of pop music as a concept truly originates with the work of Zeppelin."
    As so often I prefer to understand the development of hardrock and heavy metal as a gradual process, so that "truly originated" becomes meaningless. Burn a compilation of all heavy Cream songs and the step to Led Zep I (evt. via Beck's Truth) is too small to enable us to pinpoint the origin of heaviness.

    "it's a song about getting in touch with the naughtiest, nastiest, most evil parts of your soul."
    The great plus of this version is that it, unlike Beck and Stewart, manages to do so exactly as much as back in 1969. Make a random teen sit through the entire song and watch the horror on his/her face.

    "only hinted at the potential"
    That's exactly why I forgive Led Zep all the plagiarism - they developed the potential fully and some more.

    ʻHow Many More Timesʼ is basically a revival of the general vibe of ʻYou Shook Meʼ
    Are you sure you don't mean I can't Quit You ? That one always has been the big problem for me; not because I dislike it, because it's an inferior version. The remedy is remarkably simple - switch the two. Also I like the BBC versions even better; they are even more direct. This is my tracklist:

    1. Good Times, Bad Times
    2. Babe I'm gonna leave You
    3. I can't quit you baby (BBC-session, short version)
    4. Dazed and Confused (BBC-session, short version)
    5. You're Time is gonna come
    6. Black Mountain Side
    7. Communication Breakdown
    8. You shook Me (BBC-session, Playhouse theatre)
    9. How many more times (BBC-session, Playhouse theatre)

    Originally I preferred II to I (better songs), but with this tracklist Led Zep becomes as close to perfection as possible for the band.

    "they felt themselves strongly drawn to, almost mesmerized by that demonic sound."
    It seems to be forgotten, but demonic music was fairly popular around 1970. Relevant names are Black Widow and Cressida. Both are boring.

  7. This is how I remember it. Cream had broken up leaving a gap in modern rock music. Everybody was looking for the next Cream. Led Zep was being promoted as the next Cream mainly because of Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page. The only song they played on the radio was Good times Bad Times because it was so short. People bought the album but it didn't sound a bit like Cream. It was way better once you got used to it

  8. IAS was a nice throwback to the archaic HTML layouts. Plus we got Radiohead.

    Stoked for the new direction. Thanks for all the words!

  9. It was the ellipses on Rubber Soul that tipped me off that the end was nigh. Oh well. At least we'll have loads of studious reviews of goddamn Cher to look forward to.

  10. Captain Beefheart's "Doc At The Radar Station" ... it's so good I have no remorse for recommending it twice. It was the next Beefheart album after Shiny Beast, so it would've been your next Beefheart review, had you gone to the end of the line. Doc At The Radar Station and Ice Cream For Crow were the only Beefheart albums you didn't get to ... after Crow he quit the music business and became a full-time painter.

    - B.B.

  11. I'd be interested to see what you think of Czeslaw Niemen, at least his three English albums - seminal prog-rock albums.

  12. That really sucks, what a great series! Argh

  13. I have enjoyed these in-depth reviews immensely ...especially when they subvert old & hackneyed critical tropes (not that I’d ever accuse you of resorting to the latter George). Your refreshing (and enjoyably absurdist) takes on re-visited classics like Blonde on Blonde and the White Album were enlightening, fun and informative. Looking forward to the next evolutionary step !

  14. At this point I would like to nominate the potential entry of Australian institution The Church into your extensive review canon – noting that (conveniently) they would slot into the current alphabetical timeline.

    Passion for an artist certainly grows with extended perspective ....especially when a 36 year old band never breaks up and actually improves with age ....a rarity given that such long rock careers typically degenerate into pastiche – many examples doomed to touring oldies club circuits in relative obscurity. The Church, on the other hand have released some of their finest albums in the last decade alone whilst still embarking on regular local & overseas tours ....hardly the death rattle of a career in decline, but evidence of constant evolution.

    Another ringing endorsement is that AMG have championed the band since the early internet era. In fact no less than 7 writers have awarded 15 of their 26 studio albums 4 – 4.5 stars (the remainder hovering around 3.5 stars). Placed into contemporary context, this achievement eclipses just about every other band on the site ....running just behind the Stones (or equal-to, if you discount their early 5-star run).

    The greatest cult band in existence? I say definitely worth your time.

    1. Couldn't agree more.

    2. If he missed the great Aus Crawl then The Church shouldn't get special treatment! But I do agree their latter albums are pretty much uniformly very good.

    3. Thanks for the support guys :)

      Such consistency over an extended time-span should be celebrated .... and the AMG discography even omits one of their two classic acoustic albums ("El Momento Siguiente") and un-rated fan-favourite "Back With Two Beasts" ....a re-dress would no doubt extend their 4+ star tally beyond the Stones. (and dont get me started on the symphonic-live "A Psychedelic Symphony" and numerous EP releases - probably the most collectable cult band on the planet)

  15. We NEED to know your thoughts on Quebec, George. Their masterpiece de resistance. Or am I wrong?

  16. Yes, the IAS series was getting ridiculous. A lot of covering saturated ground, plus after about 50 it becomes really subjective (which is probably the point) as far as "importance" is concerned.