“Led Zeppelin IV” by Led Zeppelin - album review

features in: Album Chart of 1971Album Chart of the Decade: 1970s1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die external-link.png

TJR says

So you get a folk group and a rock group on the same top value package? And they’re brilliant in both genres? Yes please. This set is equally brilliant to last years, and is consistently terrific from beginning to end, with only the fussy bluster of “Four Sticks” going against the organic grain. “Black Dog”, “Rock and Roll” and “Stairway to Heaven” steal all the music press headlines – and justifiably so, for they are chiselled and handsome additions to the Rock arena – but, for me, the utmost power and glory lies with the less celebrated tracks. Side 1 highlight is “The Battle of Evermore” which, as Jimmy Page later explained, was “made up on the spot by Robert and myself. I just picked up John Paul Jones's mandolin, never having played a mandolin before, and just wrote up the chords and the whole thing in one sitting.” To aid the ancient other-worldly feel of the piece, Sandy Denny of Fairport Convention was invited as co-vocalist with Robert Plant: “For me to sing with Sandy Denny was great. We were always good friends with that period of Fairport Convention. Richard Thompson is a superlative guitarist. Sandy and I were friends and it was the most obvious thing to ask her to sing on “The Battle of Evermore”. If it suffered from naivete and tweeness - I was only 23 - it makes up for it in the cohesion of the voices and the playing.” A drumless Zepp with acoustic guitars and mandolins deliver the excellent “Going to California”, which Plant describes as being about “… me reflecting on the first years of the group, when I was only about… 20, and was struggling to find myself in the midst of all the craziness of California and the band and the groupies…” The album’s parting shot, a re-write of Memphis Minnie’s “When the Levee Breaks” (1929), is completely mesmerising; a relentless sludge-rocker with licks and tricks galore which only truly reveal themselves after several spins. Right here, these exceptionally creative rockers are on their A-game.

The Jukebox Rebel

A1 [04:57] 7.8.png Led Zeppelin - Black Dog (Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, John Paul Jones) Rock
A2 [03:40] 7.4.png Led Zeppelin - Rock And Roll (Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, John Paul Jones, John Bonham) Rock
A3 [05:52] 8.6.png Led Zeppelin - The Battle Of Evermore (Jimmy Page, Robert Plant) Folk
A4 [08:03] 7.2.png Led Zeppelin - Stairway To Heaven (Jimmy Page, Robert Plant) Rock
B1 [04:38] 7.0.png Led Zeppelin - Misty Mountain Hop (Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, John Paul Jones) Rock
B2 [04:45] 5.6.png Led Zeppelin - Four Sticks (Jimmy Page, Robert Plant) Rock
B3 [03:31] 8.7.png Led Zeppelin - Going To California (Jimmy Page, Robert Plant) Folk
B4 [07:08] 8.4.png Led Zeppelin - When The Levee Breaks (Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, John Paul Jones, John Bonham, Lizzie Douglas) Rock

© The Jukebox Rebel 2005-2020 All Rights Reserved