This album defines the early part of my teenage years. Every memory of time spent in Eddie's fort or Dennis's garage or Julie's bedroom or in the sump or the schoolyard has a song from this album attached to it. Every plan we hatched, every long, pot fueled discussion about what we would do with our lives and the rock star lives we would lead were soundtracked with the wail of Jimi Page's guitar.
Double album. Just nine songs and four sides of music. A side long Dazed and Confused that was so long I knew couples that started dating and broke up while it played, so profound for us at the time musically that the build up of tension in the music left us spent when it was over. The Moby Dick drum solo. John Henry Bonham! Rock and Roll.
We knew this album inside and out. Every note, every nuance, every word that was changed or added from studio versions. We played it in the park, we played it at parties, we played it the dark of night on our headphones, listening to certain parts over and over, pretending we were Jimi Page or Robert Plant or maybe just pretending we were there at Madison Square Garden, like everyone slightly older than us claimed to be. We wore the tour shirts as if we had been there and many years later, my son would be gifted with a genuine tshirt from that tour -not a replica, but a shirt that was actually there, worn and sweated in by someone at those shows, and he put that shirt in a frame which still hangs on his wall and he listens to the album the way I listened to it, with awe and a deep satisfaction.
This album is magic for me. I may not love Zeppelin the way I used to; I barely listen to them anymore. But any song from these discs, just one note is all it takes, and I'm back there in that place where we were young and free and full of impossible dreams that we still thought were possible.
This is an album by album review of my entire record collection. This means music spanning almost 40 years, from my Archies record I cut off a cereal box to whatever I bought last week.
This is where I get to be the music critic I always wanted to be, but no magazine would have. These are more like sensory reactions than reviews; it's about what the music did for me, not what it should do for you.
You can read the entire details of the project and why I'm doing it here.