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Profile for Mr. S. A. Woodfield > Reviews

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Reviews Written by
Mr. S. A. Woodfield (High Wycombe, Bucks, UK)

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(pronounced 'leh-'nérd 'skin-'nérd)
(pronounced 'leh-'nérd 'skin-'nérd)
Price: £5.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Southern Fried Classic!!, 8 Jan. 2009
Well this is without doubt the album that really put the genre of Southern Rock on the map, and is the album that most people including myself would recommend as a first port of call when investigating the rather diverse but musically exciting genre that is southern rock, this album is a particularly engaging listen from start to finish and showcases the amazing musical talents possessed by these bunch of ragtag whiskey swilling, hard fighting, hard living geezers from Jacksonville, Florida.
I honestly do not know how to describe the Southern Rock genre in words, but if you cross a healthy dose of blues with a bit of country and then a steely never say die attitude, then you have what is often the basis for this unusual musical genre, but that doesn't begin to even touch on the fact that the people who normally play this style of music are almost always extremely competent musicians

As for Skynyrd they are definitely no exception to the rule and with this album they made one of the all-time greatest rock debuts, on the same par as Appetite For Destruction or Van Halen, unfortunately though they showed plenty of promise and in actual fact never made a bad album, they never quite made an album as good as this again, one can only imagine what new and dizzy heights this band may have reached had the majority of them not perished in an unfortunate plane crash less than a decade after this fantastic statement of intent was made, but even still they have a legacy and it continues to live on especially with this album

The song that is recognized the most on this album is without doubt the awesome nearly 10 minute long solo heavy Freebird which features awesome guitar interplay by the three superb guitarists in the band and which all of the different record executives of the time swore blind would never be played on the radio because of its length, but within a month of the album being released this song became one of the most played songs on fm radio in American history and as such been labelled the Southern Rocks "Stairway To Heaven", of course one song doesn't make an album unless of course we are talking Tubular Bells or something, so the rest of the album is as you would expect just as good and is littered with Southern Rock gems in songs like I Ain't The One, Gimmee Three Steps, Simple Man and Tuesdays Gone most of which you should recognize if you regularly listen to rock radio stations, even the three songs that do not get played quite so much on the radio have their moments and each provide moments of genius by both the musicians and the legendary Ronnie Van Zant on vocals

Basically if you have even a passing interest in the rockin sounds of the south from bands such as the Allman Brothers, The Outlaws or The Marshall Tucker Band then you really ought to own a copy of this southern fried classic, because this album defines Southern Rock probably more than any other and deserves it's place in any self respecting rockers cd collection

Led Zeppelin IV
Led Zeppelin IV
Offered by Media Vortex
Price: £14.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Genuinely Breathtaking!!, 8 Jan. 2009
This review is from: Led Zeppelin IV (Audio CD)
Well what better to start with than this is constantly voted the best rock album ever made, every single song on this album is a genuine bonafide classic and everyone of the songs on this album will be played dozens of times each on rock radio stations around the world every single day for the rest of your life and probably for the rest of any of your relatives, relatives, relatives lives

The track on this album that gets the most airplay is undoubtedly Stairway To Heaven, which for those of you unlucky enough never to have heard of it, is the song that gets voted the best rock song ever made more than any other, but if you look at the facts that becomes rather unsurprising, I mean that one song alone has officially spent more than 50 years of continuous play on the many legal radio stations across the world, but the amount of airplay its had can probably be doubled if you think about how much pirate radio stations have played that tune to death as well, perhaps more amazing is the fact that Stairway is the only tune on Led Zep 4 that isn't really based on a meaty riff, instead the song is based around a rather clever acoustic sound and only really becomes a raging rock monster when it nears its climax, which to be fair is probably the best climax to a song ever, the end guitar solo in particular is heavenly

This isn't a one trick pony album though for instance one of the slower tracks on the album, When The Levee breaks officially has the most sampled drum-beat ever and is quite the monster of a song as well
The two songs Black Dog and Rock N Roll are both major rock radio staples which both have riffs to die for, Misty Mountain Hop, Going To California and Four Sticks all show a slightly tenderer side to the Led Zep musical palette and between them provide some really good acoustic pieces and then finally there is Battle Of Evermore which is hard to describe to say the least but is like a little folk song but worth having a good listen to, if nothing else just to see how Robert Plants vocals are much stronger and powerful in the song than Sandy Dennys from the band Fairport Convention and to see how Jimmy Page implements his mandolin to good effect

As for individual performances on the album all four members played their part in making what is quite possibly the most jaw dropping musical statement ever made and you get the feeling they knew it was something really special when they made it because they couldn't be bothered to even give the album a proper name or at least put their band name on the front, the only way the album was identifiable is if you knew what you were looking at and it takes an album and a half to create its own identity

Overall this is not just a landmark album and it is not just a musical statement it is in fact a work of art and if you are into rock music the chances are you will agree, the singing on this album is fantastically emotive and powerful, the guitar work is fantastic to the point where some people think its never been bettered by anyone and the rhythm section of John Bonham and John Paul Jones is a master class in how to put real music together

This is a genuinely breath-taking album and it is one of the few albums out there that is worth 6 stars if you don't own it, invest in a copy, you won't be disappointed
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 23, 2009 12:18 PM GMT

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