Led Zeppelin 3 is my favorite album of the band, who’s probably my all time favorite band. Does that make ‘3’ my favorite album ever. No. But it still ranks VERY high in a constantly changing top ten list of fav albums.
This album was released today, Oct 5th 1970 and I thought I’d share couple of points about it.
1. Folk – I didn’t know when I was 16 and first listened to it, that I’m into folk music. But this album always seemed so different and unique to me, that today I know it’s the blend of folk music into the riffs and distorted guitars. ‘Friends’ with his eastern vibe remained an all time classic for me.
2. Faults – Zeppelin is considered a band of professional musicians, session musicians who know how to play anything. But in their music they sometimes allowed themselves to stick to the killer take, even if the band was not playing ‘right’. Such example exists in Since I’ve Been Loving You, where Bonham sets a pretty slow tempo at the beginning and end it in a whole different, much faster tempo. Not sure that the plan.
3. Design – when I was 16, it was the CD era and I was living in Israel, where local vinyl prints were often made in the cheapest way possible. So not only it took me three years to realize that the CD I hold lacks a spinning wheel that was there in the LP version – it took another two years to actually see this wheel, because the Israeli print that I bought was, well, cheap, wheel-less print. Until this day, I have the cheap version and I don’t have the wheel. Give me a wheel.
4. My bass playing evolved thanks to constant playing of three bands – The Bealtes, Yes, and Zeppelin. For some reason, with Three, I mainly listened to the music but haven’t played JPJ’s riffs that much. I think it was the frustration of not getting it right when I tried playing Immigrant Song. Why didn’t I skip that song and went to play the other songs? I have no idea.
5. Being a fan of Bert Jansch and English folk music, I knew all about Jimmy Page’s ‘uber-influence’, surprisingly similar tunes that were published before by other people and were credited to him. But it was only couple of years ago that I heard that Gallows Pole was also ‘borrowed’.
(Check out the entire album, incredible pieces for 12 strings guitar)
6. Zeppelin had several annoying fillers. The end of Physical Graffiti, or their country rock wtf Hot Dog. But the worst of the worsts is the closure of Three – Hats Off To Roy Harper. Come on.
7. That’s The Way is one of the most beautiful songs someone ever written. And the part when the song enters in Almost Famous – well, it’s a moment of golden cinema.