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Led Zeppelin - IV (Classic Album Review)

Led Zeppelin


By Jac Taylor


A blast from the past, that still today remains a surprisingly cohesive timeless masterpiece. Therefore, there is no better time to reminisce about it than now. Led Zeppelin IV is a recollection of an enormously powerful golden era of rock. It is not clear exactly whether Zeppelin knew that it would be such a prominent album, but the music hipsters of the time certainly knew it. Even in recent years, the mystery photo on the album was recently found out of potluck to be a 19th century thatcher. (Check out the BBC article here - Original photo from Led Zeppelin IV album cover discovered - BBC News ). Cool right?

Led Zeppelin IV ranges from some of Rob, Jimmy, John, and John’s greatest hits to covers and seriously underrated projects. From start to finish, all out bangers. To this day, this album strikes us as incredibly unique and such an important moment for Zeppelin; being a massive contributor to their later, more infamous live show at Madison Square Garden.

The sheer fusion of progressive and hard rock in tracks such as ‘Stairway to Heaven’ or ‘Four Sticks’ where Bonham uses four drum sticks to play it. The songs on this album clearly seem like they have taken an extraordinarily long time to compose. I find this thing's music and emotions to be quite intense and edgy, and it is the exact thing to love about it the most. It is so easy to get attached to any one of the tracks in this album.

Furthermore, the versatility on the vocals is important for the fact that it conveys distinct stages of a moody emotion in the album. This could have been the way the band wanted to strike a newer, darker edge that most bands simply were not at the time. You are warned! This album will take your mind to another place. The darker edge of the album features a genius level of musicianship; trapping your ears in a gaze that is psychedelic but frightening. For example, cover song ‘When the Levee Breaks’ was initially a very folky track from the 1920s but has been remastered into a heavier, deep sounding melody.

The more meditative moods can be seen in songs like ‘Going to California’ or ‘The Battle of Evermore.’ These sound of a perfect stillness within its classic rock roots that previous Led Zeppelin records such as the first two self-titled albums share. The absolute best thing about the album is a consistent reference to J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit,with track ‘Misty Mountain Hop.’

On one hand (long-story short), this is 42 minutes and 37 seconds of a psychedelic, heavenly hard rock album. And however contradictory that sounds, we all know it is true. On the other hand, the layout of each song builds up for the next in a necessary but odd fashion. A perfect album for every kind of music fan. Whatever the genre, this one stands out above all.



The Hot Five - June #1

  • Published in Columns

The Hot Five – My favourite new tracks of the week, usually rounded off with a classic, obscure or alternate track from my music collection. Tracks usually concentrate on guitar-based music, but really focus on anything and everything that I come across.

Track of the week: Hozier – ‘Sedated’

Fast-rising Dublin singer songwriter Hozier’s latest track is one that is well worth a listen. The songs arrangement allows for the focus to be on Hozier’s vocal, and vocal harmonies in the chorus help to show off this strong vocal performance. ‘Sedated’ was debuted on Zane Lowe’s Radio One show a few weeks back, and Hozier is set to embark on a UK tour next month, and will also feature at Reading and Leeds Festival, Latitude Festival, and Glastonbury Festival among others.

Alexis Taylor – ‘Elvis Has Left The Building’

Await Barbarians is the new solo record by Hot Chip front man Alexis Taylor, due for release this coming Monday. More somber than his band material, ‘Elvis Has Left The Building’ is a piano-led piece of electronica with a strong, repetitive melody. The single subtly builds throughout while maintaining the track’s stripped-back feel. Alexis Taylor has been touring the UK in support of Await Barbarians, and will play in London, Leeds and Manchester this month before festival appearances at End Of The Road and Festival Number 6.

M+A – ‘When’

Here’s a track from Italian electro-pop duo M+A. The guys have gained some high profile coverage of late, being named winners of Glastonbury Festival’s Emerging Talent competition. Subsequently, they will take to the stage three times at Worthy Farm, most notably on the West Holts Stage on Saturday 28 June. M+A successfully combine European dance-pop and laid back electronic vibes with a soulful twist. The band will also play the Y-Not and Brownstock festivals in the UK this summer.

Lana Del Rey – ‘Ultraviolence’

There’s no doubt about it, following debut album Born To Die is going to be difficult task for Lana Del Rey. New track ‘Ultraviolence’ continues the trend set by other tracks previewed in the build up to the release of Del Rey’s second album, Ultraviolence (‘West Coast’, ‘Brooklyn Baby’). This new material is strong, picking up where her debut album left off. ‘Ultraviolence’ encompasses Del Rey’s signature sound, with its intense and atmospheric nature that has become synonymous with her haunting vocal performances. Fresh off the back of a sold out tour in the US, she is coming to Europe for a number of festival dates including Rock En Seine, Vida, Bravella and Glastonbury.

Hidden track of the week: Led Zeppelin – ‘Whole Lotta Love' (Rough Mix With Vocal)

I can’t leave it seven weeks and not mention the release of the remastered boxsets of Led Zeppelin I, II and III. Remastered by Jimmy Page, and featuring an array of bonus material on cd and vinyl formats, these remastered packages are quite the collector’s piece for any Led Zeppelin fans.

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