Led Zeppelin - III (1xLP Vinyl)

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Led Zeppelin III is the third studio album by the English rock band Led Zeppelin, released in 5 October 1970. It was recorded in three locations. Much of the work was done at Headley Grange, a country house, using the Rolling Stones Mobile Studio. Additional sessions were held in more traditional recording studios, such as Island Studios and Olympic Studios in London. As with the prior album, the band eschewed the use of guest musicians, with all music performed by band members Robert Plant (vocals), Jimmy Page (guitars), John Paul Jones (bass, keyboards), and John Bonham (drums). The range of instruments played by the band was greatly enhanced on this album, with Jones especially emerging as a talented multi-instrumentalist, playing a wide range of keyboard and stringed instruments, including various synthesizers, mandolin and double bass, in addition to his usual bass guitar. As with prior albums, Page served as producer on the album, with mixing done by Andy Johns and Terry Manning.

The album showed a progression from straightforward rock towards folk and acoustic music. While hard rock influences were still present, such as on "Immigrant Song", acoustic-based songs such as "Gallows Pole" and "That's the Way" showed Led Zeppelin were capable of playing different styles successfully. The band wrote most of the material themselves, but as with prior records, included two songs that were re-interpretations of earlier works: "Gallows Pole", based on a traditional English folk song, by way of American singer Fred Gerlach; and "Hats Off to (Roy) Harper", a reworking of a blues song by Bukka White. The acoustic material developed from a songwriting session between Plant and Page at Bron-Yr-Aur cottage in Wales, which influenced the musical direction.

The album was one of the most anticipated of 1970, and its shipping date was held up by the intricate inner sleeve design based around a volvelle, with numerous images visible through holes in the outer cover. It was an immediate commercial success upon release and topped the UK and US charts. Although critics were typically confused over the change in musical style and gave the album a mixed response, Led Zeppelin III has since been acknowledged as representing an important milestone in the band's history and a turning point in their music.


Of the early Zep albums, the only one I did not grow allergic to following my massive overdose is this one. Mostly because it did not seem to get played at parties quite as much as the other albums did (or should I say that only one side got played), the second acoustic side most likely repelling the young rockers. Graced with an elaborated artwork, with its spinning disk, this album is a bit schizophrenic with two distinct facets of the group opposed with each its own side of the wax.
With the first side an electric affair, starting out on the vibrant Immigrant Song (another short effective Communication Breakdown and Sab's Paranoid-like scorcher), the highlight is the lengthy blues epic, Since I've been Loving You where Plant manages so much drama that the same kind of spine chills run down your body as there was with the debut Babe, I'm Gonna Leave You. But while the cold-feeling Celebration Day and the acoustic Friends are a bit overshadowed, they retain their qualities.

It is mostly the acoustic second side that kept me spinning the vinyl throughout the 90's (no more than once a year is my guess) and the folk rock developed here can appear progressive, with most of the tracks enthralling and exciting as the Bron-Y-Aur Stomp, and the intriguing Hats Off To Roy Harper and the lovely Tangerine. One of Zep's most secretive vinyl side in their discography.

Often overlooked (compared to other Zep albums) by rockers of my generation, This album is ultimately the most rewarding of their career. And with this album, it was really clear that they were close to their maximum potential.

By: Sean Pane

A1 Immigrant Song
A2 Friends
A3 Celebration Day
A4 Since I've Been Loving You
A5 Out On The Tiles
B1 Gallows Pole
B2 Tangerine
B3 That's The Way
B4 Bron-Y-Aur Stomp
B5 Hats Off To (Roy) Harper

Original LP artwork with wheel and die-cut holes in new tri-fold sleeve.

Deluxe 1-LP set on 180 g vinyl.

LP 1: Original album remastered by Jimmy Page