Published on April 21st, 2014 | by AlexandreG.2
Best Led Zeppelin Songs (From First Three Albums)
Top 10 Led Zeppelin Songs
At a time when is missing few weeks for the so anticipated deluxe editions of Led Zeppelin first three albums, we decided to make our Top 10 Led Zeppelin Songs from those same albums: ‘Led Zeppelin I’, ‘Led Zeppelin II’ and ‘Led Zeppelin III’.
10 – ‘That’s The Way‘ – (‘Led Zeppelin III’ / 1970)
This acoustic song is one one of the most gentle and mellow compositions in the Led Zeppelin repertoire. Jimmy Page and Robert Plant wrote this song in 1970 on their calm days at Bron-Yr-Aur cottage, Wales, and reflected Robert Plant’s views on ecology and environment
Page stated about the song: ‘It was one of those days after a long walk and we were setting back to the cottage. We had a guitar with us. It was a tiring walk coming down a ravine and we stopped and sat down. I played the tune and Robert sang the first verse straight off. We had a tape recorder with us and we got the tune down’.
9 – ‘How Many More Times‘ – (‘Led Zeppelin I’ / 1969)
At eight and a half minutes, ‘How Many More Times’ is a true piece of blues rock. Although the writing credit on this song went to Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones and John Bonham, some of the lyrics are from Albert King’s song ‘The Hunter,’ and much of the song was derived from Howlin’ Wolf’s ‘How Many More Years’.
On early Led Zeppelin concert tours, ‘How Many More Times’ was often the band’s closing number. In 1970, the song was dropped from Led Zeppelin’s typical setlist, although they would continue to perform it on occasion until the early stages of their 1975 North American tour.
8 – ‘Communication Breakdown‘ – (‘Led Zeppelin I’ / 1969)
The guitar riff on ‘Communication Breakdown’ was inspired by Eddie Cochran’s ‘Nervous Breakdown’, and is one of the greatest riffs of all-time. The song became an anthem for frustrated youth and popularized with its live performances that Led Zeppelin usually used to either open shows or play in an encore.
The down-stroke riff of ‘Communication Breakdown’ comes very close to punk seven years ahead of schedule. Johnny Ramone himself would later stated in the documentary ‘Ramones: The True Story’, he improved at his down-stroke picking style by playing the song over and over again on his early career.
7 – ‘Ramble On‘ – (‘Led Zeppelin II’ / 1969)
On ‘Ramble On’, Robert Plant provided a powerfull chorus where the full band kicked him with force. Plant found inspiration in the verses from J.R.R. Tolkien’s ‘The Lord of the Rings’ : ‘the darkest depths of Mordor’ / ‘Gollum and the evil one’.
Until 2007 the song was never performed live in its entirety at Led Zeppelin concerts. You can watch to an interesting performance of ‘Ramble On’ in June 2008, with Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones, joined with the Foo Fighters on stage at Wembley Stadium. The vocals was performed by Dave Grohl and Taylor Hawkins was on drums.
6 – ‘What Is And What Should Never Be‘ – (‘Led Zeppelin II’ / 1969)
This was one of the first songs on which Page used his Gibson Les Paul for recording and Robert Plant received writing credit for the first time too. According to rock journalist Stephen Davis, the lyrics for this song reflect a romance Plant had with his wife’s younger sister.
Rick Rubin has onde said, ‘The descending riff of “What Is and What Should Never Be” is amazing: It’s like a bow is being drawn back, and then it releases. The rhythm of the vocals is almost like a rap. It’s insane — one of their most psychedelic songs.’
5 – ‘Since I’ve Been Loving You‘ – (‘Led Zeppelin III’ / 1970)
There’s some people that says Led Zeppelin were plagiarized from an older African-American artist, but that’s not true. Moby Grape’s song ‘Never’, is an extended blues workout with a tempo and meter similar to ‘Since I’ve Been Loving You.’ Just compare the opening verse of ‘Never’ : ‘Working from 11:00 to 7:00 every night / Ought to make life a drag / And I know that ain’t right‘ to the opening verse of ‘Since I’ve Been Loving You’ : ‘Working from 7:00 to 11:00 every night / It really makes life a drag / I don’t think that’s right.’
‘Since I’ve Been Loving You’ is a slow blues number and was one of the first songs prepared for the ‘Led Zeppelin III’ album. The song was recorded live in the studio with very little overdubbing and was one of the hardest to record. Either way, this is a perfect music : Page never played so well and Plant never sang so well like on this magic blues track, absolutely inspired.
4 – ‘Dazed and Confused‘ – (‘Led Zeppelin I’ / 1969)
‘Dazed and Confused’ is the centerpiece of Led Zeppelin debut album. The story of this song dates back to the year 1967 – written and performed by Jake Holmes – It was covered by The Yardbirds, and later reworked by Led Zeppelin who hold a separate copyright on the song. In August 1967, Holmes opened for The Yardbirds featuring Jimmy Page, at a Greenwich Village gig in New York. After The Yardbirds broke up, Page formed Led Zeppelin and made a version of ‘Dazed and Confused’ — which changed most of Holmes’ lyrics and part of his structure.
‘Dazed and Confused’ became the centrepiece for the group at Led Zeppelin concerts, in the early years, when performed live, it was gradually extended in duration up to 45 minutes!
3 – ‘Heartbreaker‘ – (‘Led Zeppelin II’ / 1969)
The opening riff of ‘Heartbreaker’ shows how their sound had become more c0mmanding than their eponymous debut album. This was partly true because Jimmy Page have the idea of use a Gibson Les Paul guitar through a Marshall amplifier stack.
Engineered by Eddie Kramer (Jimi Hendrix, The Kinks, The Rolling Stones, David Bowie, Eric Clapton, Carlos Santana…), ‘Heartbreaker’ is famous for its memorable guitar riff. It was voted as the 16th-greatest guitar solo of all time by Guitar World magazine.
2 – ‘Immigrant Song‘ – (‘Led Zeppelin III’ / 1970)
After the huge success of the two heavy early albums, Led Zeppelin slowed down the rhythm. Although dominated by six acoustic songs, ‘Led Zeppelin III’ doesn’t abandon the brutality, as in the example of the explosive ‘Immigrant Song’.
The song that begins with a distinctive wailing cry from Robert Plant, is one of Led Zeppelin’s few single releases, having been released in November 1970. It reached #16 on the Billboard charts and its B side is ‘Hey Hey What Can I Do’. ‘Immigrant Song’ was also mistakenly released in Japan with ‘Out on the Tiles’ as the B-side rather than ‘Hey Hey What Can I Do’. That single is now a rare collectible.
1 – ‘Whole Lotta Love‘ – (‘Led Zeppelin II’ / 1969)
‘Whole Lotta Love’ its so “romantic”…if you know what i mean! Check the lyrics : ‘Way down inside…I’m gonna give you every inch of my love…I wanna be your backdoor man’. The song is for sure one of the band’s bests , and contain arguably the most memorable riff of all time.