- Album name: Led Zeppelin (I)
- Group name: Led Zeppelin
- Year: 1969
- Number of discs: one
- Label: Atlantic Records
- Collection: Brenner / Gessner
- Distinguishing characteristics: “G” written on left of album, indicating that my father owned this record
- Buy it on Amazon: $24.14
Level of familiarity before listening
This is one of the few records from my parents’ collection that I used to play in the basement of their house when I was in high school, on the same Yamaha turntable and with the same Advent loudspeakers that I’m using to listen to it right now. Then in college, I bought this Led Zeppelin box set and I’ve been a fan ever since. I’ve probably listened to this record around 500 times.
What I expected
Rock, blues rock, hard rock.
What it was actually like
From the opening bars of Good Times Bad Times, I was reminded of an amazing discovery that I made as a teenager, which is that any part of Led Zeppelin’s first three records lines up perfectly with any rugby game (given that the rugby’s sound is turned off). Though I had only primitive tools available in the 1990s – the “international channel” on cable occasionally showed some extremely grainy rugby – you can validate this concept for yourself today using youtube.
At any rate, I consider this to be one of the greatest hard rock records ever recorded, one of the greatest blues rock records, one of the greatest 1960s records, and one of the greatest debut records by a rock band. Every part of it is wonderful and it’s amazing that Robert Plant was so young and his voice already so distinctive. If I had to pick a favorite song from it, I think I’d go with Dazed and Confused or Babe I’m Gonna Leave You. I wouldn’t be able to pick a least favorite, though.
5/5: love it