OAAR: Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin III (1970)

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By the end of Led Zeppelin's third album, aptly titled Led Zeppelin III, I thought to myself, "Well, they can't all be winners." Truly not a bad album by any stretch of the imagination, LZ3 just didn't have the magic found on their debut or their follow-up albums. But much like every Led Zeppelin album to date, there's at least one classic that can be found on this album. Of course it's no surprise that this classic is "Immigrant Song", one of the most recognizable Zeppelin jams and unfortunately for all of us, the shortest song on the album. As a matter of fact, I think "Immigrant Song" is so fantastic and so much fun that I just don't want it to end. Ever. I actually never even noticed the bass lines during that song because in between rocking out, singing along and not really listening to the track, it can get easily lost in the shuffle but everything about the opening track is spectacular.

Unfortunately, much like a roller coaster, you never quite get as high as the highest point without a bit of help. A roller coaster is actually a great comparison to the experience of this album because right after the highs, there is a speedy descent then some climbing and another steep descent then one more climb and a final descent. The first high point is obviously "Immigrant Song" as I stated before, but my next favorite song on this album is a complete 180. "Since I've Been Lovin You" can probably best be described with common 70's terms like "mellow" and "groovy" because sometimes you just want to mellow out and groove with the music. It just so happens to be the longest track on the album clocking in at over 7 minutes. Overall, though, Led Zeppelin III is better than many modern albums today and is definitely a collection of songs you should check out.

Author: Jake

"Immigrant Song" may the be the absolute apex of Robert Plant's vocal experience in Led Zeppelin.  The song, although short, portends a tour de force of the skills of Zeppelin's members...but the album falls short.  My personal experience with this album is that it sits divisively on the fence with Zeppelin fans.  In many ways, the more melodic, softer side of Zeppelin shines through here, especially on tracks like "Gallows Pole" and "Tangerine".  Jimmy Page employs a number of open tunings for his guitar, and Robert Plant lets his intense vocals fly throughout, the highlights being (of course) "Immigrant Song" and "Celebration Day".

Overall, Led Zeppelin III remains a very unique record.  Its insane cover (and multiple version from 1970) fit well into its contents, which are hit or miss, but undoubtably cohesive.  From beginning to end, it is the best Zeppelin record other than Physical Graffiti, but its top end doesn't stand out the way the first two albums did.  One idea that we hope the Opportunity Assassins haven't planted in your head is that two or three quality songs could ever outweigh an album as beautifully constructed as Led Zeppelin III.  It's not full of five star songs, but when you get out of work on a Friday and want to just relax with a drink, crank some LZIII and get your "Friends" on.
Author: Pete

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