Led Zeppelin – Four Symbols.

I probably shouldn’t go here. I’m not a huge Led Zeppelin fan but will easily agree that the band deserve their Rock behemoth status. They sit at the top of the Rock genre. Accessible. Dark. Genuine.

I would say the bands 4th album is my favourite (of theirs). The debut album is a fantastic record and is the closest contender?

I would not consider Led Zeppelin to be Heavy Metal. Listen to them and Black Sabbath back to back. Sabbath have a Hardcore edge that marks them apart (even if they’re not necessarily a better band). Zeppelin deliver classic albums where Black Sabbath, in my opinion just fall wide of the mark.

Delivering quality studio albums at an alarmingly fast rate, 1971 saw Four Symbols hit their natural peak. I cannot listen to Led Zep II, it’s a mish-mash despite some outstanding tracks I find it a difficult listen for one sitting.

Four Symbols blends the folky aspect with that booming, ultra-confident sound. The fact that the drums are sampled so heavily even today in Hip-Hop affirm how wide this album spreads. It really is pure quality, even if the genre is not my bag.

Any album that does not contain one bad track, from any genre, deserves to be listened too. An album that adds clear classic tracks deserves even more respect.

Black Dog (Page, Plant, Jones) from its bluesy riff to crunching drums is a very fitting album opener. You can feel testosterone pour out even though the track has a gentle side.

Rock and Roll (Page, Plant, Jones, Bonham) from its fast pace is also an all-round winner. It’s so strong you feel it must be a cover, but, well, it isn’t. Delicious chasing keys add to what is already a storming song. It has a feel good factor and sounds steeped in tradition.

The Battle Of Evermore (Page, Plant) slows the album down. Stark lyrical imagery. It even manges to make fingerpicking sound good.

Stairway To Heaven summons up a sound few bands could ever replicate. It’s the sound of perfection. Whilst the track could be knocked, largely to over familiarity, if you leave it alone for a few years and listen to it loud, well… It has the power to actually take you away if you allow it. How many songs can you truly say that about?

“there’s a feeling I get when I look to the West” as the track builds it can send shivers through you. When Jimmy Page lets loose that guitar streak at the climax of the track you just know that you are listening to one of the greatest guitarists of all-time. Not one guitar note is unnecessary, and it is not at all over done. Quite masterful.

Misty Mountain Hop (Page, Plant, Jones) kicks off Side 2 with more blues rock. A consistent track that almost acknowledges it is following the bands finest ever moment.

Four Sticks (Page, Plant) with its angular driving sound offers that mystical edge that the band do so well. A drone appears after a while to almost suggest an experimental edge.

Going To California (Page, Plant) again makes you (me) reconsider that virtues of fingerpicking. Hippy beyond hippy but still somehow firmly from a Rock stable.

When The Levee Breaks (Minnie, Page, Plant, Jones, Bonham) wraps up Four Symbols. The drums are so good they make you reconsider how to actually play a drum kit. Robert Plant’s vocal is bombastic whilst never veering into parody.

An astonishing LP that somehow fits the artwork exactly. Inner City wanders into the Country and gets away from it all whilst always maintaining ultra- confidence. Four Symbols showcases four musicians at their true peak…

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One thought on “Led Zeppelin – Four Symbols.

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