Led Zeppelin

The other day, after a week of looking, I finally took some of my tax return and bought Led Zeppelin’s “The Complete Studio Recordings” box set.

Yes, I realize the set was originally released in 1993, but I had the albums on cassette. And with the recent Led Zeppelin’s compilations, including 2007’s “Mothership” and the 2003 DVD package “Led Zeppelin,” I figured I had enough of the seminal English rock band’s music to last for a while.

Shame on me to think that I could have enough music in my collection, let alone enough Led Zeppelin.

The past few weeks I began craving the music of guitarist Jimmy Page, vocalist Robert Plant, bassist/keyboardist John Paul Jones and drummer John “Bonzo” Bonham.

The reason is simple. My old band used to play LZ’s “Whole Lotta Love.”

I found a live video recording we made and watched it. And for a bunch of high school kids, we did pretty good, if I do say so myself. Even with me pulling double duty on drums and lead vocals.

Also, when I was kid, every Sunday while getting ready for church, I would play the “Led Zeppelin II” album, which, featured “Whole Lotta Love.”

One thing led to another and I realized that I wanted the band’s catalog on my iPod. So the search commenced.

While I like all the band’s albums, my favorite isn’t “Led Zeppelin II.” It’s the band’s self-titled 1969 debut. I just like the variety of the songs. From the explosive opening chords of “Good Times Bad Times” to the frantic “Communication Breakdown” and the spaghetti western feel of “Babe I’m Gonna Leave You,” the band burns an incredible first impression.

There’s also the epic trip of “Dazed and Confused” and the hymn-like “Your Time Is Gonna Come.” And the band lets its blues influences show with amped up versions of Willie Dixon’s “You Shook Me” and “I Can’t Quit You Baby” and the band’s original “How Many More Times.”

There’s even a Cajun-influenced, tabla-highlighted, acoustic instrumental called “Black Mountain Slide,” that always enchants me with its musical and percussive textures.

As you can guess, I’ve been lost in the Led Zeppelin world for a few days. And I really don’t want to come up for air anytime soon.

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