I’m sticking around in 1969 for a while since it is, apparently, the year that holds the most albums within the Top 250. In face the time between 1967-1971 holds just over 27% of the entries on this list so I will eventually become very well acquainted with this era.
The choice of doing Led Zeppelin’s eponymous debut album actually comes from the fact I found on Dusty Springfield playing a large role on the band getting a record deal with Atlantic Records. It also helps that I have never really listened to any Led Zeppelin because of their association with metal and hard rock. Still, with four albums on this list it made sense to get the first one over and done with now.
I say over and done with since I didn’t expect that I would enjoy it, surprisingly I did. The reason being that despite this album being an important landmark when it comes to heavy metal… it is as much metal as The White Stripes were. Yes, there are a number of guitar solos (I mean the album opener ‘Good Times Bad Times’ has some epic guitar playing, so they really did start as they meant to carry on) and it was a lot louder and more in your face than other albums that were popular at the time. In this way whilst it is a precursor to heavy metal it is far closer to blues rock, something that I tend to like anyway.
As with other albums of this era there is a change in the music upon the disc flip. For this album I have to say that it was the second half that really struck me more immediately. It opens with ‘Your Time Is Gonna Come’ which is heavy on the Hammond organ and features a very upbeat chorus for a song hoping for the downfall of an unfaithful girlfriend. This then leads into a very faux-Indian sounding track (The Beatles would be happy) which, again, is not what I expected to hear. This pattern of defying my expectations just kept on repeating throughout the album.
I guess why Led Zeppelin was able to surprise me was that it was light on the guitar solos that I know they are famous for. Whilst many are able to appreciate these I can not help but see them as showboating and not much else. We’ll see how I feel when I get to their later albums.