Led Zeppelin 1

This is the album that killed the 60s.

9 songs and 48 minutes and we could finally let go of sodding lace cravats.

Led Zeppelin began as a musical mission sent by God (Jimmy Page). Growing up around Clapton, Beck and 100s of blues records, Page went on to be one of the most prolific session musicians on the 60s scene. This experience and exposure to many music styles, artist’s mindsets and improvisation ability crafted one of Britain’s greatest axeman….now he only needed some handy mates to realise it.

Following his exit from the Yardbirds, Page founded Led Zeppelin with fellow band members Robert Plant (Vocals), Jon Bonham (Drums) and John Paul Jones (Everything else).

The first album was entirely self-funded by Page and ex-wrestler and now manager Peter Grant. This allowed complete creative control and production with the band. First thing, what an amazing level of confidence and belief in their project – As a band they knew exactly what they wanted to achieve and the step forward music needed to take.

The sixties gave birth to so many ideas and genres, however few of these had really fused outside its own musical silo. Folk was for hippies, Rock was for bikers, singer/songwriters were in some Californian woodhouse somewhere and Soul was owned in full by Motown. The Beatles, Zappa and Hendrix had started to fuse these elements but only superficially. Along came a band called Zep.

Led Zeppelin 1 features old time rock n’ roll, classic blues, and Norse/Celtic folk. Each of these genres has the pure sound of itself, yet fused in amongst each other and delivered through a WALL OF SOUND that were the 4 best musicians at what they did. Clapton? He was busy doing 12-minute random blue scales practice. Moon? He was busy cleaning his Rolls in outdoor pools. Hendrix? Yeeeeeeah you got a point, but he had checked out of England at this point…America for some reason now like him. Hendrix may have been the greatest flamboyant guitarist of all time but he none of the breadth that Page had.

Every track, be it rock, folk or blues sounds like the best version of that genre – The folk of Black mountain side beats Pentangle, Communication Breakdown trumps anything from the Who and even the oldest skool blues man in a rocking chair on a veranda who just woke up that morning to see his wife leave, and it started raining heard Dazed and Confused and thought ‘Damn, boy!’

There is such a signature sound, which is unmistakable Led Zep: Earth-moving riffs, kick-ass solos, spectral harmonies, and the Herculean vocals of Robert Plant, yelling out across a crowd of 10,000s. All this, yet nothing sounds excessive; every riff, every chord, every vocal scream is well-chosen and well-timed. It manages to sound like an academic music case study…yet it also just f*king rocks!

Funnily enough like any typical music journalists, they didn’t like it. Rolling Stone panned it with criticism of the production, writing skills and compared them to the lesser versions of the Jeff Beck Group and Rod Stewart. Thankfully, normal people such as the public violently disagreed and bought the album and made them into a highly successful live act.

Led Zep began their shaping of their discography with only releasing one token single to appease a record company, preferring the album to be listened to as a whole – another landmark album in not just a set of singles and filler, but as a journey of peaks and valleys.

Led Zeppelin’s legacy and influence

  • Helped paved the way for most stadium rock groups
  • Opened the door for heavy metal
  • Gave the album entity serious credence and a new battleground in shifting vinyl
  • Gilded the lead guitarist in a band with a new status of a struttin’, wieldin’, foot-on-monitor god
  • Made the Alpha-male front man into the mullet-banshee powerhouse we all love
  • Gave ‘the other one’ mystical status with keyboards and school percussion box
  • Somebody actually noticed the drummer

Quite simply, Led Zeppelin 1 is the finest 1st album from any rock band. No other band had the vision, the musicianship, the scale, the delivery or the courage of their own conviction.

  • Song of the album: Dazed & Confused
  • Score: 5/5

Want to hear what else we said about it? Of course you do. Listen to the full episode here.

Episode 11 Would sir care for some dessert rock?

This week we discover how Nick Drake is not Nikki Sixx or Daniel Bedingfield. We also discuss vegan fighting terms and what is the most affectionate song to cannabis…? Ever!

We deep dive into these brilliant and terrible albums:

  • Nick Drake, Five leaves left (1:12)
  • The Pixies, Surfer Rosa (15:42)
  • Queens of the stone age, 1st album (32:32)

If you hated this episode, maybe you just hate music…awwww just kidding, maybe you should take a look at our other better episodes with your favourite artist! Who we hate.

Listen along to the albums, be amazed, disgusted and then comment below. We may even read your comment and fire one of us and replace them with you.

Episode 10 Wouldn’t it be nice if we were Zeppelin?

This week we exploit child labour, discover the inevitable holy war against us and tell you which iconic artist sounds like a massive fanny. Oh, we also discover how one band was a small step away from playing the evil axis of gigs and tell you which album slew the 60s.

And…IT’S COMPETITION TIME! Find out how to win a custom t-shirt, created by our house band head honcho, Danny!

In this episode we deep-dive into the following albums

  • The Shamen, En-Tact (0:53)
  • Talking Heads, ’77 (4:24)
  • The Beach Boys, Pet Sounds (17:15)
  • Led Zeppelin, Led Zeppelin 1 (34:05)

(Want to see your artist? Maybe they’re in one our previous episodes)

Want to hear more great episodes or read some articles? Check out the episode guide! There’s singing dogs, fun quizzes about Ch**s M%rt#n (sorry, lost it a bit there…in fact, get me a transit van, a hammer and a grenade…I’m sorting this mess out, once and for all!)

It’s not all bad news though, check out this fab playlist below and listen along with us! It’s like watch with mother but without the horrendous and scarring puppets.

Episode 9 Ew, a girl!

Were you picked on in school? We put our new guest editor (a girl) through childhood trauma. The Guardian: well, more importantly its readers and should they be allowed near music? Do other artists do Dylan better than Dylan?

We deep dive into the following albums and reveal why a girl and a blonde are frankly, wrong. And bitter.

  • Kendrick Lamar, Good kid, M.A.A.D city (4:38)
  • Tracy Chapman, Tracy Chapman (19:03)
  • Bob Dylan, The freewheelin’ Bob Dylan (33:01)

Well done you, you just made yourself that little bit more interesting! Why not take it a notch up and see the many other episodes in our episode guide. You never know, it could help you chat up someone before being inevitably dumped. Loser.

Episode 8 – Talking politics in our PJs

This episode we discuss Chris’ casual approach to child adoption, discover the world’s most savage frontwoman and will Danny preserve his genitalia in a glass jar for future listeners?

This episode’s albums

  • Joni Mitchell, Blue (2:39)
  • Billy Bragg, Talking with the taxman about poetry (24:42)
  • PJ Harvey, Dry (38:14)

Yeah, yeah yeah…we’re great! Did you know that our greatness has been recorded on OTHER EPISODES?! Impressive, huh? Check out our episode guide here!

Listen along to the 3 album playlist below….maybe with a glass of cognac, pretty laydees and then bash your keyboard in rage at us in the comments.

Talking with the taxman about poetry

With thanks to Billybragg.co.uk – Original picture link here

Barking’s most famous son, Billy Bragg is a singer/songwriter is somewhere between Bob Dylan, a Doc Marten boot and an Alan Bennett novel.

Talking with the Taxman about Poetry is Bragg’s 3rd album and the one that launched him into the hearts of lefties everywhere, The Socialist Worker and most people gathering round a fire bin.

The themes running through the album include the coming of age of young men and moving from the antics of youth to the responsibilities of family, the politics of Thatcher and unrequited love. All this is brought to life by Bragg with a faithful Rickenbacker with rich, biting chords, jangling arpeggios, cascading chiming riffs and the rallying voice; thick with a gruff diamond Essex punch.

Bragg has always had the wily-Essex spirit, famously opportunistic in his purchase from a local curry house to satiate a hungry John Peel and swap a biryani for airplay of his record. This helped get his name on the map and the rest is history.

The album opens with the sensational ‘Greetings to the New Brunette’ – An anthem to touch the heart and soul of any young man with the impending fear and apprehension of becoming a father, leaving their questionable career choices and entering a new chapter in their life. The essence of Bragg is capturing the bitter sweetness of these moments – Picturing the fear but also joy of these milestones with belting melodies and poetic lyrics

The people from your church agree

It’s not much of a career

Trying the handles of parked cars

Whoops, there goes another year

Whoops, there goes another pint of beer

Here we are in our summer years

Living on ice cream and chocolate kisses

Would the leaves fall from the trees

If I was your old man and you were my missus

A hooligan, a beautiful girl, the moments of joy and love….transitioning to the mundanity of family life. This theme runs again with ‘The Marriage’ and is an ode to a new life of domesticity.

In addition to the journey of a young man, the awakening of politics and the crash of Thatcherism, the ‘loadsamoney’ generation and the attack on the working man looms large. Ideology, Levi Stubbs Tears, There is power in a union and help save the youth of America cover the spectrum of political thinking at the time.  Bragg manages to deliver a message, but never with lecturing or sanctimony…just with fantastic tunes and the power of belief.

In my opinion, Billy Bragg was the natural heir to Bob Dylan, principally owing to the political earthquake that created the two artist’s canvases.

This album deserves to be here as few others capture in such pictorial detail and wonderful imagery which is spoken not only from the heart, but standing on a desk, waving bits of paper angrily.

Bragg went onto produce many other anthems on politics, social issues and love…good ones though. He remains a prominent speaker and leftist, going for the throat and speaking with great examination on many public affairs platforms.

  • Song of the album: Greetings to the new brunette
  • Score: 4/5

Episode 7 A podc…WAIT WAIT WAIT KANYE IS HERE!

This episode the college dropout drops in. Yes, we examine the all-seeing, all-powerful, all-mega juggernaut that is Kanye West. Yes we are. We are. Kanye made us put this paragraph first.

We also look at the sensational 60s starlet Dusty Springfield and what happens when aloof posh schoolboys don’t want other more rowdy boys trying to chat up girls at their gigs and would rather dress as flowers on stage. It can only be…Genesis!

  • Dusty Springfield, A girl called Dusty (2:05)
  • Genesis, A lamb lies down on Broadway (18:45)
  • Kanye West, A college dropout (39:52)

Not convinced by posh boys dressed as flowers? Maybe try another episode? We’re sure to have cleansed fancy dress from every one of them. Check out our episode guide!

Listen to the album playlist below and listen along with us! 🙂

Episode 6 Killing Queen

This week we look at how many have confusing feelings for facial hair, totally balls up reviewing a metal album and review our first (and probably only) dance album.

This episode we deep dive into the following:

  • Queen, A night at the opera (2:08)
  • Sepultura Roo…No wait, Arise (20:48)
  • Mylo, Destroy Rock n’ Roll (42:08)

Well wasn’t that lovely? If you didn’t come to this episode for the facial hair then maybe you’d like some of our other episodes? I promise we shaved everyone. Check out our episode guide!

Listen to our handy playlist, get enraged, then hammer out a semi-coherent response in the comments below

Episode 5 While my podcast gently weeps

In this episode we discuss whether rioting should have a catchy soundtrack and wife swapping amongst bands. Oh, and albums…

  • The White Album, The Beatles (1:25)
  • What’s going on?, Marvin Gaye (16:30)
  • Rage against the machine, RATM (37:45)

Obviously you were impressed by this episode (Smug mode). Why not get on a roll and listen to even more amzing episodes?! Check out our episode guide!

Check out the 3 album playlist, listen along with us and then let us know your comments! We might even care!

Liege and lief

Liege & Lief is the heart-warming 1969 album from The Fairport Convention.

Possibly the first major British folk-rock album, it combines the nostalgia of traditional British folk with hints of electric guitar; another step towards the growing dominance of electric instruments in every nook and cranny of the musical sphere.

Suffused with drama, passion and eroticism, it comprises a mixture of traditional folk music (‘Reynardine’, ‘The Deserter’, ‘Tam Lin’) and original compositions (‘Come All Ye’, ‘Farewell, Farewell’, ‘Crazy Man Michael’) written and performed in Fairport’s electric take on the folk style, creating a work that is both familiar and new, traditional and forward looking.

Recorded in the aftermath of a tour-bus accident that had killed drummer Martin Lamble and Richard Thompson’s girlfriend, the band wrote and recorded this album in 1969, however before it was released both Hutchings and Denny had left band: Hutchings to pursue traditional music with Steeleye Span, and Denny to form Fotheringay.

‘Come All Ye’ opens the album, and for me this was the greatest moment of a truly great album.  I’m not very well-versed in folk music, so I had little expectations going in to Liege and Leif.  This track creates a feeling of welcoming the listener back into a community that they have always been a part of, but perhaps not visited in a long time.

Like many of my generation (the ‘Millennials’) I was born in the 80’s in a mid-sized industrial English city and grew up with the usual cultural markers: Noel Edmonds House Party, Panini football sticker albums and the dream of owning a Sony Playstation.  Looking back on my childhood I can see there was something missing and listening to this opening track I felt that this might have been part of ‘it’.  This lively warm and welcoming folk music creates a sense of history and belonging.  I can’t explain exactly how it does this, but that was what I felt.

As the album progressed the stories of love, mystery, danger and injustice unfold, and I was drawn deeper and deeper into the nostalgia.  Matty Groves gives the account of an extra-marital affair that ends in the death of both lovers at the hand of the cuckold husband.  Reynardine an encounter between a beautiful woman and a “sly, bold” man who entices her back to his castle, and The Deserter; a tale of a man repeatedly forced into the army when he just wants to be free.  All these songs adding to the tapestry of a long deep history of England that we have lost as part of our shared cultural memory, but many of us quietly long for.

That said, I haven’t yet left behind my city home for a simpler life in the country; growing my own food and making my own clothes out of hemp sacks, and spending days rambling across the hills and forrests getting into adventures.  But this album opened a window to me and gave me an idea of a different way of life.  Maybe one day I will.

I really enjoyed the album, and at the time of recording the podcast I must admit I fired out a rating of five stars, however having had a little more time to consider and considering the fact that I haven’t had an inkling to listen to it again in the time since recording, I have revised this to a four, and at a four it stands. 

Trak of the album:  ‘Come All Ye’

Rating:  4/5