Led Zeppelin II - Atlantic 1969
When you listen to the album today, you should not be in doubt of its great qualities, with its contents melodic rock songs, great varied guitarplaying with sounds that were hardly previously heard. On top of this a superior vocalist and a rhythm section; which is much more than just this.
"Whole Lotta Love" was the song that brought the group on the charts, and well initially the reason for the large commercial breakthrough. You quickly discover that there are several far more memorable tracks on Led Zeppelin II. I will highlight "What is and What Should Never Be" for its multifaceted qualities; In fact, this song essence of what Led Zeppelin was at this time; especially as great composition and Page's virtuoso playing. The rock ballad "Thank You" can almost be regarded as a precursor to the classic "Stairway to Heaven" - again a very beautiful song.
"Ramble On" shows both the folk influenced acoustic side of the group, and with the energetic chorus the bluesy rocking side. "Heartbreaker" and "Livin 'Lovin Maid" are quite simply superb rock songs.
More on the regular is the traditional blues "The Lemon Song", "Moby Dick" with its for albums of that time almost obligatory drum solo and Dixon's "Bring it on Home", however, with its interlude lifts the classic blues up to a higher level.
This remastered edition is a real pleasure to listen to – the album has never sounded better – a proof of how skilled a producer Page was already at that time. The eight bonus tracks are also very worth a listen, even though there are not any "new" tracks among them "La La" is a rather ordinary instrumental.
Conclusion: Led Zeppelin from when they were at their very best