Led Zeppelin II

Led Zeppelin

Atlantic Records, 1969

http://www.ledzeppelin.com

REVIEW BY: Alfredo Narvaez

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 04/03/1998

Umm, a masterpiece you say. Why would I bother -- or even dare -- to tackle an album that every rock fan and nut owns/holds dear/worships right before coffee and Toaster Strudels are served? Well, I'm bored and, while leafing through the Catt Collection (nowhere near as big as the Pierce Archives), I realized it had been a while since I spun this one.

Thanks to the wonder of digital remastering, Led Zeppelin II has been cleaned up. Let me repeat that, it is CLEAN. No longer will you hear the muddled mess of junk that soiled this album. Congrats to Mr. James Page and crew -- I say, it was about long due when they did that.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Anyhow, everyone has heard this album. Following the underground success of Led Zeppelin, the band was somehow able to put most of this album together on the road. That shows you the kind of talent and level at which this band was playing.

First thing that struck me was the changes in the songs. Listen to "Whole Lotta Love" and try to pick out how many times the song takes another turn -- right before returning to that sleazy riff. Few singers could pull a song like this off right and Mr. Robert Plant proves himself. Other rockers include "Leaving Loving Maid" and "Heartbreaker." Also, is it just me, or does Plant almost rap in "What Is And What Should Never Be"? That's what it sounded to me the first few seconds whenever the pace picked up. He does it faster than he sings the rest of the song. Oh well, maybe I just need more sleep.

"The Lemon Song" proves John Paul Jones did something right on bass. Listen to when Plant brings down the song to a slow groove -- it's Jonesy's bass work that keeps it moving. With work like that, you would think John Paul Jones was a member of Parliament Funkadelic (not really, but he could have done it). Of course, everyone knows of the John Bonham rip-fest, "Moby Dick." I doubt Bonzo did this more than a couple of times. You can almost see him just beating the drums senseless.

The last two songs I'll mention clearly benefit from the cleaning up, the first one being "Thank You." The song is slow and beautiful -- one of the first rock ballads, and it shines so much after being remastered. Play this one to your girlfriend/wife/boyfriend/dog?/significant other. They'll appreciate it.

Finally, we have "Bring It On Home," a slow, funky take on the Mississippi Blues. Before, the slow beginning sounded muddled -- like the Mississippi. Now, it sounds like something you'll find in a blues bar. Then Page and company tear into it before bringing it back down for its finish. Someone in this band was a genius -- but I'm not going to point fingers.

Led Zeppelin II. It may not be for everyone. But if you enjoy rock 'n' roll in its purest form, try it.

Rating: A

User Rating: A-


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© 1998 Alfredo Narvaez and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Atlantic Records, and is used for informational purposes only.