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Drawing a deep breath, I set out on the treacherous path of reviewing the Zepsters. I’m really a little scared about it, what with them guys being really huge, huge, huge. By all accounts, they were the Beatles of the Seventies – no, they didn’t have the Beatles’ vibe, and the music didn’t have anything to do with the Beatles at all, except for maybe a ballad or two, but on the social and commercial levels they certainly were the equivalent to the Fab Four. I give ’em a class status of C. I admit that it does seem a little strange after I’d called them the Beatles of the Seventies. I’ve never cared especially much ’bout the band just because they were a Seventies band.

And, as is the usual problem with so many Seventies bands, they weren’t a hell of an original band. The revolution they led was more about the mood and the attitude than about the music itself. Anyway, regardless of all my critiques, they were a good lil’ band, and certainly thousands of times better than the swarms of braindead metal crap bands they unconsciously bred and inspired. This, unfortunately, is a bad point against them: being a good band, they were certainly a horrible influence. But I’m sure everybody will sort it out for themselves.

And a special note for the fans who are more than willing to flame me: please don’t bother. The Led Zeppelin issue is one of the few issues where I’m not – and I mean NOT – budging an inch. I’ve had more than my fair share of Led Zep expertise over the years, and I’ve learned all about the reasons for which the band is so gruesomely overrated. There’s no way they can score more than a C, and that’s that. The line-up evocates immediate connotations with The Who, of course, and indeed, Led Zep modelled their image very much akin to that of their predecessors: with a wild, frenzied guitarist, a mad drummer, a lion-maned, free-flowing vocalist and a quiet, but highly professional bass player. This isn’t a good point: imitations are always cheaper than the originals.

The rockers are great, but Led Zep ballads are very hit-and-miss, so fake at times Why couldn’t they have all their ballads similar to ‘Babe I’m Gonna Leave You’? One point needs to be taken off because Led Zeppelin weren’t the ONLY or even the FIRST originators of heavy metal as we know it. Check out Jeff Beck, for instance. Robert Plant totally ruins this one for me. They tried being really diverse a couple of times, but I’m NOT gonna bring the diversity of Houses Of The Holy in their favour. Close to four stars, but not touching.

Heavy blues at its most uncompromised, sharp, bombastic, precise and hard-hitting. Along with King Crimson’s In The Court Of The Crimson King, this is probably the only debut album by any band I’m familiar with that far surpasses anything the band would put out since. I know that fans usually prefer III or IV, and some fans don’t even care much for this debut album at all, but they’re all nuts. Unlike the Beatles, Led Zeppelin committed a revolution in rock only once.

Since then, all they were doing was securing its results. But the beginning, and the major breakthrough, can only be found here. All of the band’s good sides are there, and most of their bad sides haven’t even yet begun to show through. Side one features the most fantastic, awesome sequence of three songs they ever managed to put together side by side. Next comes ‘You Shook Me’, a dazzling, head-spinning version of some undistinguished classic blues tune.