The power of the world's greatest Hard Rock Band can be summed up with just two words- Light and Shade.
Light represents how brightly the band shined when they turned the volume up to 11 and got into that hard-rocking groove that can only be described as relentless.
Shade was their secret weapon; the ability to bring in lighter melodies and sensibilities from other genres like folk, blues, country, and even Arabic music to weave seamlessly into those tight Bonzo grooves and Rock format.
By following this simple formula, the Mighty Zep set themselves apart from every other Rock band out there, and in the process, set the standard for the era of Classic Rock as we know it today.
My First Impressions
God I hated this band! Ha! When Zeppelin were hitting their stride, circa 1969 -1973, I was only around Ten at the time. So, It wasn't until '75 or '76 when I got into Rock that I heard of them. Instead, I was more into the heavier groups like Montrose and Kiss to fully appreciate the "light and shade" of ZOSO.
It didn't help that "The Song Remains The Same" was out at the time, which I thought (and still do) totally sucked. I used to have to ride the school bus for an hour and a half when I started High School, and the bus driver would play the 8-track to that and also to "In Through The Out Door". Talk about a miserable ride! It was bad enough I had motion sickness, but thanks to him now I also had music sickness!
So, not the best albums to start with and not the best time in life to appreciate Light and Shade. Just give me my Kiss, Aerosmith, and Ted Nugent please!
My love for Led Zeppelin did not start until 1990.
By the time 1990 rolled around, I had grown in my musical tastes and tolerances. I guess you could say I needed more diversity than just the regular "Go For The Jugular" type heavy rock, although there's absolutely nothing wrong with being stranded on a deserted island with nothing but AC/DC blaring in the palm trees!
I think the "Light and Shade" comes to all of us Rockers eventually, and I purchased the extensive Led Zeppelin Boxed Set, where most of their songs were spread across four individual CD's in a very nice package. I had also just upgraded my Stereo system with Bose 701's and a kick-ass Sansui equalizer, so I was in Audio Heaven! Ha! Really for the first time I could hear what Light and Shade was all about with that boxed set. I couldn't wait to spend quality time becoming really immersed into Led Zeppelin's magical blend of Page's Virtuoso guitar riffs, Plant's Golden God-like voice, Jonesy's Melodic Masterpieces, and Bonzo's Hammer of the Gods drumming. It had ALL finally come together for me. It's not so much if Led Zeppelin had come to me, but I had ARRIVED at Led Zeppelin!
God what I wouldn't give to be back on that bus to school again...