This album to me sounds like summer. I remember listening to this vinyl copy – one of my Dad’s – putting it onto tape, and then buying it on CD not long after. I always think Zeppelin’s brand of rock is quite rich – in that in most cases it’s a high level of musicianship and substance, over catchiness and pop hooks – but their second album is instantly listenable. I’d recommend it as a way-in to Zeppelin, over anything else they recorded, including their arguably superior fourth album.
I must have bought the record on CD during school holidays, as I have a really clear memory of walking up the hospital every day (I think to see my Dad who was in there for an operation), and I would listen to this on my Technics portable CD player all the way up to the hospital, and all the way back home. I think it sounds like summer to me because of this very association. That couple of weeks must have come in the middle of a hot spell – a rarity in an English summer.
It’s incredible that this record was released in 1969. It has 70s rock written all over it, but it comes from the tail end of that earlier decade. It’s also fantastic proof that a great album can be produced out of pressure, and on the road, with the band stealing studio time whenever and wherever they could to put this together.
Hit: Whole Lotta Love
Hidden Gem: The Lemon Song