Led Zep­pelin

Half a cen­tury, in fact, since Led Zep­pelin was born. To cel­e­brate that mile­stone, helped by some star names we’ve cho­sen some of the best Zep songs that took them to global dom­i­na­tion.

Classic Rock - - Contents - Words: Dave Ever­ley, Ian Fort­nam, Mick Wall, Henry Yates

“I wish we were re­mem­bered for Kash­mir more than Stair­way To Heaven.

It’s so right. Per­fect Zep­pelin.”

Good Times Bad Times

Led Zep­pelin, 1969

Short, sharp, rich in in­ven­tion, the open­ing salvo of Led Zep­pelin’s epony­mous de­but ex­ploded out of the world’s speak­ers into a dy­ing decade limp­ing into its fi­nal year to the an­o­dyne sound of The Scaf­fold’s Lily The Pink.

Im­pelled by driv­ing John Bon­ham beats, a bru­tal, stac­cato riff un­furls into one of the most com­plex and se­duc­tive John Paul Jones ever con­trived for Jimmy Page’s nim­ble dig­its to de­liver, and Robert Plant un­leashes a com­mand­ing vo­cal per­for­mance which, al­though still very much of the 60s, presages a sound that will come to de­fine the 70s. Page’s solo sim­ply soars. IF

AlIce cooper

“The early, early stuff is what I re­ally love. This is side one, track one of the first al­bum so it doesn’t get much ear­lier than that. My pref­er­ence for Zep­pelin’s early ma­te­rial is be­cause it sounds like The Yard­birds. We played with them at the Whisky A Go Go [in Los An­ge­les] when they had just started out – it was so early in their ca­reer they were still do­ing Yard­birds songs and their new songs. To me, Good Times Bad Times shows off the ex­cel­lence of Jimmy page. I love his guitar tones. That open­ing riff is just in­cred­i­ble, such a state­ment of in­tent.”

Steve perry, Jour­ney

“Kash­mir is one of my favourites of all time. The drum pocket and the or­ches­tra­tion of the whole thing is just mas­sive. But, when I first heard Good Times Bad Times I al­most wrecked my car. I had to pull over – I had just never heard a song do what that song does.”

Dazed And Con­fused

Led Zep­pelin, 1969

Dazed And Con­fused had been around the block by the time it closed side one of Zep­pelin’s ’69 de­but. Folk singer Jake Holmes had writ­ten the song as an acous­tic lament; The Yard­birds had bor­rowed it for the stage; now Page pre­sented it to the band as they con­vened for their first re­hearsal, on Ger­rard Street in Cen­tral Lon­don, in Au­gust 1968.

The ver­sion recorded at Olympic Stu­dios ex­plored the dark­ness at the song’s heart, from the witch­craft of Page’s open­ing guitar trills

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