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This review is from: Led Zeppelin 1 (Audio CD)
Zeppelin's début effort is a remarkable achievement. The "knock-knock" wake-up call of the surprisingly commercial opener "Good Times Bad Times" gives way to the labyrinthine acoustics of "Babe I'm Gonna Leave You". This is followed by Willie Dixon's blues tune "I Can't Quit You Baby", in an arrangement which steals from and improves upon the Jeff Beck Group's rendition. This segues into the moody, hallucenogenic "Dazed and Confused", a cornerstone of Zeppelin performances for years to come. What was side two opens with "Your Time is Gonna Come", in which a guitar figure pinched from Traffic's "Dear Mr. Fantasy" complements JP Jones' organics perfectly. This track leads straight into Page's eastern-styled acoustic piece "Black Mountain Side", which is followed by the high-speed riffage of "Communication Breakdown". Back to the Dixon songbook for "I Can't Quit You Baby", and then onto the album's finalé, the histrionic "How Many More Times", which freely borrows from Howlin' Wolf, Booker T and the MGs and a host of other sources, whilst remaining defiantly Zeppelin. Recorded in a mere thirty hours, and more than thirty years on, this sounds fresh, vital and powerful.