Hold on to your hats, folks, Led Zeppelin draw near! This is our ranked list of their albums from best to worst. Agree with us?
1. Led Zeppelin IV
The supreme leader of the Zeppelin discography and the potentate of rock n roll scriptures – need more of an introduction? This album can only be faulted by using a sonically configured magnifying glass but until that’s invented I’ll list the good points.
‘Stairway to Heaven’ is nothing short of a masterpiece, a stoic brute of a track that acts as a monolith to the other gargantuan beasts that surround it on the album. Is there a top 100 rock songs list without this on? Let this song not overshadow the other heavy hitters that adorn the 40-odd-minute record with metal prowess. ‘Black Dog’, ‘The Battle of Evermore’ and ‘When the Levee Breaks’ are other minute examples of the firepower Led Zeppelin liked to play with. I needn’t say more.
2. Led Zeppelin
There were strong rumours surrounding this band and their alleged intimate relationship with the devil and Satanism, rumours stating that maybe they sold their souls to the horned man himself, but this album proves it more likely that the devil sold his soul to them!
If this were my debut album I wouldn’t know whether to be so hopped up on sheer testosterone, the flowery stench of the summer of love and my immodest appreciation of the pure lustre that I conceived, or just want to quit because there’s no way in hell (pun intended) that I can better that! The 70s started in 1969 because of Led Zeppelin and they couldn’t have started it in a dirtier way; this one is pure filth. ‘Babe I’m Gonna Leave You’, ‘Your Time Is Gonna Come’, ‘I Can’t Quit You Baby’ and the little token snack track that is ‘Black Mountain Side’ are but mere snippets of the allure that blows through this album.
3. Physical Graffiti
Coming in third is usually synonymous with the saying, ‘It’s not the winning, it’s the taking part that counts’ and this one takes part in a massive way, a huge part of the LZ history and a massive part of the rock’n’roll colossi. ‘The Rover’, ‘Trampled Under Foot’, ‘Kashmir’, ‘Ten Years Gone’ and ‘The Wanton Song’ are but mere chips off the godly statue that embodies all that is Physical Graffiti. This one came into the charts with such an electric furore that it picked up the previous 5 Zeppelin albums and stomped them right back where they belonged – in the charts also (meaning they had 6 albums in the charts at once). That riff in Kashmir, amen!
4. In Through The Out Door
Zeppelin’s eighth studio album is their most fiery-headed, their most inflammatory, their most raw and open. Lead mostly by Page and Bonham not being involved as much due to addiction, the songs take on a more bohemian type sound which comes off incredibly well. Sadly this was the last record that Bonham was to feature on before his tragic passing so luckily it lived up to all great expectations. ‘In The Evening’, ‘South Bound Saurez’,’ Fool In The Rain’, ‘All My Love’, ‘I’m Gonna Crawl’ are the true standouts in a line-up of viciously attractive songs.
5. Led Zeppelin III
It feels unfair to have this one at fifth but with such weight to hold up in a discography laden with such hulking albums, it’s not such a bad place to be after all. This one sees Led Zeppelin take a new road as such, with this album composed mainly in a cottage in rural Wales, we can see a more stripped back and acoustically driven sonic orgy for us to behold. ‘Immigrant Song’ is the standout track for its fame and airtime but gems such as ‘Since I’ve Been Loving You’ and ‘Tangerine’ deserve as much praise. Let’s all take a time-out to admire Robert Plant’s voice.
6. Houses of the Holy
This is the first LZ album to feature all original material and the last album to feature Plant’s singing in his high pitched trademark voice due to damage to his chords. This one is a more laid back, meadow jumping, firecrackers and sparklers in the wind type rock story – that’s a good thing. ‘The Rain Song’ and ‘No Quarter’ alone make this album great and although the other songs are all big in their own way, these are the two I’d show someone if they came to me asking for songs that show Zeppelin in a different light.
7. Led Zeppelin II
Last but in no way least, in no way least at all, is LZ II. To be at the bottom of the pile with those six albums at the heights of the rock’n’roll patriarchy ahead of you isn’t such a bad thing really. This album has ‘Whole Lotta Love’ on it, need I say more? ‘Thank You’ for me is up there with Zeppelin’s best tracks, the progression in it really makes me want to be a better person and more charitable, jokes aside – what a tune! Still a quality album which would be at the very top of any other list not featuring Zeppelin albums, I bow to you.
So there we go! What do you think of the list? Agree, disagree, no opinion at all? Either way let us know what YOU think.