Thursday, May 21, 2015

I’ve got a couple of crates full of old vinyl albums that I haven’t listened to in years due to lack of equipment to play them. Over a period of about a year and a half I revisited each album on the internet or bought the CD and ranked the songs. I also recorded some brief thoughts, rated the album, and posted the results on Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Artists comment section. I’m recycling and categorizing/grouping the posts on this website.

Physical Graffiti
I didn’t enjoy this one as much as I used to. Still like ‘em, but I’ve soured a bit on the Zep over the years.
Scale of 1 to 10:  B

1- The Wanton Song
2-Boogie With Stu
3- Night Flight
4- Ten Years Gone
5- Down By the Seaside
6- Houses of the Holy
7- Black Country Woman
8- Trampled Underfoot
9- In the Light
10- Kashmir
11- Sick Again
12- Custard Pie
13- The Rover
14- In My Time of Dying

Led Zeppelin IV (ZOSO)
Considered by most to be Led Zeppelin’s best album, containing their best song. I have all of Zep’s albums but this is only the second one I’ve revisited, so I’ll reserve judgment on that. I was a bit torn on how to rank “Stairway” since it’s been played on the airwaves to the point of cliché. I’m sure if the song was fresh to me there’d be no question I’d rank it first. But since it’s not so fresh, should I drop it to #3? You see which way I went below. 4 thru 7 are interchangeable.
Scale of 1 to 10:  A

1- Stairway to Heaven
2- When the Levee Breaks
3- Misty Mountain Hop
4- Going to California
5- Rock and Roll
6- Black Dog
7- The Battle of Evermore
8- Four Sticks

In Through the Out Door
This isn’t a bad album, but I wouldn’t call it their best. The songwriting isn’t anything special, but hey, it’s Led Zeppelin performing the songs so they’re elevated as a result.
Scale of 1 to 10:  B -

1- All My Love
2- South Bound Saurez
3- In the Evening
4- Hot Dog
5- Fool in the Rain
6- I’m Gonna Crawl
7- Carouselambra

Houses of the Holy
I’d say this one competes with IV as the best Led Zeppelin album I’ve covered so far. Not much separation among 3 thru 7 on my list. Most dismiss “D’yre Mak’er” for its simplicity. But I can’t help myself; I like it and don’t care who knows it.
Scale of 1 to 10:  B+

1- D’yre Mak’er
2- No Quarter
3- The Song Remains the Same
4- The Rain Song
5- Over the Hills and Far Away
6- The Crunge
7- The Ocean
8- Dancing Days

Led Zeppelin III
As I said before, I’ve soured a bit (but not much, mind you) on Led Zeppelin since the vinyl days. I still like ‘em, just not as much. So even though I give this one a good rating, I suspect I don’t rate it as high as most would. This album is good, but not as good as IV or “Houses of the Holy” imo. “Since I’ve Been Loving You” is one of my favorite Zep songs. Finally they throw Page a bone and let him do more than play the same riff/musical sentence throughout the whole song.
Scale of 1 to 10:  B

1- Since I’ve Been Loving You
2- Bron-Y-Aur-Stomp
3- Tangerine
4- Celebration Day
5- Immigrant Song
6- Gallows Pole
7- Friends
8- That’s the Way
9- Out on the Tiles
10- Hats off to (Roy) Harper

Led Zeppelin
Led Zeppelin’s debut album. I could rank these songs in just about any order. Most all of ‘em are good, but none of ‘em are great. I feel the same way about the whole album – good, but not great.
Scale of 1 to 10:  B -

1- Communication Breakdown
2- Good Times Bad Times
3- I Can’t Quit You Baby
4- Dazed and Confused
5- Babe I’m Gonna Leave You
6- You Shook Me
7- How Many More Times
8- Your Time is Gonna Come
9- Black Mountain Side

Led Zeppelin II
One of the better albums from Led Zeppelin. Competes with “IV (Zoso)” and “Houses of the Holy”, but doesn’t top either. 4 through 6 on my list are interchangeable. I’d include “Lemon Song” in that group if not for the Robert Plant devotion. Plant has a strong voice and obviously great range - signature to Zep’s sound. But I’m not always a big fan of his freestyle “baby, baby’s” and “ooohs and ahhhs”.
Scale of 1 to 10:  B +

1- Living Loving Maid (She’s Just a Woman)
2- Heartbreaker
3- Whole Lotta of Love
4- Thank You
5- What Is and What Should Never Be
6- Ramble On
7- The Lemon Song
8- Bring It on Home
9- Moby Dick

This is the last of the Led Zeppelin albums in the crates (I have all but “Coda”). As I recall from past conversations on these and other sites, fans don’t rate this album on par with the rest of Zep’s discography. Disagree with that. I didn’t listen to Zep so much that all of their albums are committed to memory, so based on the aforementioned past conversations, my expectations were low. Zep brings plenty of attitude to most all of their albums, but I find this one to have as much if not more. I also like that, as a soloist, Jimmy Page is showcased much more than other offerings. The album does lack a standout song that would rate as top ten or maybe even top twenty Zep songs, but still, solid enough with maybe the exception of “Royal Orleans”. Most of the songs on my rankings (except “Orleans”) could be switched a spot or two.
Scale of 1 to 10:  B -

1- Achilles Last Stand
2- Tea for One
3- For Your Life
4- Hots On for Nowhere
5- Nobody’s Fault but Mine
6- Candy Store Rock
7- Royal Orleans

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