Chris Huston; Eddie Kramer; Edwin H. Kramer; George Chkiantz; Andy Johns
Number of Discs
41m : 21s
Album Notes and Credits
Led Zeppelin: Robert Plant (vocals, harmonica); Jimmy Page (acoustic, electric & pedal steel guitar, background vocals); John Paul Jones (organ, bass, background vocals); John Bonham (drums, tympani, background vocals).
Recorded in London, England and New York, New York in 1969.
Personnel: Robert Plant (vocals, harmonica); Jimmy Page (guitar, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, steel guitar, background vocals); John Paul Jones (organ, background vocals); John Bonham (drums, timpani, background vocals).
Audio Mixer: Eddie Kramer.
Recording information: A&R Studios, New York, NY (1969); Atlantic Studios, NY (1969); Juggy Sound Studio (1969); Mirror Sound, L.A.CA (1969); Mirror Sound, Los Angeles, CA (1969); Morgan Studios, London, England (1969); Olympic Studios, London, England (1969).
From the first grinding notes of the famous vamp that introduces "Whole Lotta Love," LED ZEPPELIN II announces for all to hear that they are the definitive hard rock band of their generation. But before the listener can even settle into the groove, things takes a hard left turn into a spacey new rhythm, exotically flavored by Page's droning feedback and innovative use of a violin bow. By tune's end, Zeppelin has repeatedly toyed with the listener's expectations.
This subversive quality distinguishes most of the arrangements on LED ZEPPELIN II, as in the soft/hard dynamic shifts of "What Is And What Should Never Be," the gospelish mood of "Thank You," the rocking vamps and funk rhythms of "Heartbreaker" and "Living Loving Maid," and the country music echoes of "Ramble On." And in their appropriations of source materials from Howlin' Wolf, Robert Johnson, and Sonny Boy Williamson, Page and company continued to mine the rich vein of the blues.
Led Zeppelin was the definitive heavy metal band. It wasn't just their crushingly loud interpretation of the blues; it was how they incorporated mythology, mysticism, and a variety of other genres into their sound. They had mystique. More than any other band, they established the concept of album-oriented rock, refusing to release popular songs from their albums as singles. Led Zeppelin IV was their biggest album ever, featuring everything from the crunching rock of "Black Dog" to the folk of "The Battle of Evermore," as well as "Stairway to Heaven," the most-played song in the history of album-oriented radio. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Rolling Stone (12/11/03, p.114) - Ranked #75 in Rolling Stone's "500 Greatest Albums Of All Time" - "This album opens with one of the most exhilarating guitar riffs in rock & roll..."
Rolling Stone (12/13/69, p.50) - "...'Whole Lotta Love'...has to be the heaviest thing I've run across....The album ends with a far-out blues number called 'Bring It On Home', during which Rob contributes some very convincing moaning and harp-playing..."
Spin (12/03, p.122) - "...It's not heavy metal, but it's a damn fine blueprint..."
Q (8/00, p.126) - Included in Q's "Best Metal Albums Of All Time"
Q (6/00, p.75) - Ranked #37 in Q's "100 Greatest British Albums" - "...A chugging monster, derailed into a lengthy free-form ju-ju freak-out. Then 'The Lemon Song' reverts to straight-ahead blues-rock pastiche..."