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The Vinyl Countdown: Best of Led Zeppelin I, II, and III
Join me and Dave Taylor of 106.9 The Fox as we count down the best from Led Zeppelin I, II, and III! The three albums are being reissued with bonus material, and will be released on June 3. There are three videos for this show, and all of the links are included!
25. Bron-Y-Aur Stomp
Bron-yr-Aur is where much of LZ III was written, after a tiresome US tour in 1970. It was a cottage with no electricity or running water, but it provided the inspiration for many songs on the album. This one was written for Robert Plant's dog, Strider.
24. Out On The Tiles
The title of this song is a British term for going out on the town, to bars. It's one of the more aggressive songs in Zeppelin's discography, and closes out the "heavy" first side of LZ III.
23. Communication Breakdown
This song was very popular at live shows, and was the only song to be played live every year the band toured.
22. Gallows Pole
This is the only Led Zeppelin song that features a banjo. Jimmy Page wrote it on a banjo he borrowed from John Paul Jones. The ever-talented Page had never played the banjo before.
21. That's The Way
Jimmy Page and Robert Plant wrote this in Wales, while on a retreat to the Bron-y-Aur cottage. Here, they wrote many of the songs on LZ III. They took a long walk with a guitar and tape recorder, sat down in a ravine, and wrote this.
20. Your Time Is Gonna Come
Page played a 10-string steel guitar on this tune, which he had never done before. The band played it live on their Scandinavian tour in '68, but never again.
19. Black Mountain Side
Anne Briggs did a version of a traditional folk song called "Blackwater Side," which brought it increasing popularity. Page heard her version, and based his song "Black Mountain Side" on it.
18. Moby Dick
This song showcased Bonham on drums, where his solo would usually take up to 20 minutes. The other band members would leave stage and take a break while he played. He put his blood into the song, as he sometimes beat so hard on the drums that his hands would begin bleeding.
17. The Lemon Song
This is similar to a blues song by Howlin' Wolf called "Killing Floor." In fact, it's so similar that he was eventually given composer credit.
16. Bring It On Home
The harmonica part of this song was recorded in Vancouver. The band went on tour with the master tapes from Led Zeppelin II, and would stop on the road at studios to record different parts.
15. Thank You
This is the first song that Robert Plant wrote all of the lyrics to... with the exception of, "if the sun refused to shine," and "when mountains crumble to the sea," which came from a Jimi Hendrix song called "If 6 Was 9."
Video Part 2
This song is the only one on LZ III for which Robert Plant didn't write the lyrics - in fact, Jimmy Page wrote it while he was still with The Yardbirds. The song is about love at its most innocent stages, for families and friends.
13. How Many More Times
This was the last song on the first Led Zeppelin album. It was listed as 3:30 on the album, but the correct length is 8:28. It was listed at a shorter time to promote radio play. Jimmy Page knew that radio would never play a song over 8 minutes long, so he wrote the track time as shorter on the album to trick radio stations into playing it.
12. Celebration Day
This song was almost left off of the album - there was a kink in the master tape that had to be cut out. It was then overlapped with the end of "Friends."
11. Since I've Been Loving You
This LZ III song became a staple at concerts from '70-'73 as an improvisational showcase for all band members. This song has been said to have one of the greatest guitar solos of all time.
10. I Can't Quit You Baby
This song is a blues standard, written by Willie Dixon. It was first recorded back in 1956, and Zeppelin recorded it for their debut album.
9. You Shook Me
This blues tune was recorded by Muddy Waters in 1962, and a longer version was included on Zeppelin's debut album. Page's backward echo was used in this song, which involves hearing the echo before the main sound rather than after it.
Video Part 3!
8. What Is and What Should Never Be
Apparently, the lyrics to this song reflect Plant's romance with his wife's younger sister. It was also one of the first songs giving Robert Plant credit.
7. Babe I'm Gonna Leave You
This song was a Folk standard - so the band thought nobody could claim that they wrote it. They later found out that it was written by Anne Bredon, after her son brought the news forward in 1990.
6. Heartbreaker/Living Loving Maid
These songs, often played together on the radio, were never performed together live. This is because Plant hated "Living Loving Maid." They were separate songs on II, and "Living Loving Maid" was released as the B-Side of "Whole Lotta Love."
5. Dazed and Confused
Jake Holmes wrote this song in 1967, and it was later covered by The Yardbirds and Led Zeppelin. Zeppelin holds a separate copyright after their reworking of the tune. This is one of three songs where Page used a bow on his guitar.
4. Good Times Bad Times
The opening track to Led Zeppelin's debut album, this song was also covered by Godsmack in 2007. During recording, Page put microphones up all over the studio to achieve a live sound.
3. Ramble On
This song, which the band never performed in concert, was inspired by the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Apparently, Bonham is not playing the bongos in this song, but rather a plastic garbage pail.
2. Whole Lotta Love
This song was Zeppelin's first single and only US top 10 hit. It possibly contains the first use of the backward echo, and Robert Plant did the vocals in one take.
1. Immigrant Song
This III song was written after the band went to Iceland as guests of their government. Zeppelin used this song to open their shows from 1970-72, and it became #16 on the US Hot 100 charts back in 1971.