Thursday, May 1, 2014

Led Zeppelin III (1970)

When I was growing up and my friends and I abandoned our piano lessons to teach ourselves stringed instruments, it was not Led Zeppelin's second and fourth albums that inspired me, but their third album -- Led Zeppelin III. And while true that I too taught myself to play guitar, it was not an electric that I chose to spend my basement hours with, but a mandolin.

The cover of Led Zeppelin III was designed by Zacron (Richard Drew), whom Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page met at Kingston College of Art in the late 1950s (other notable musicians of that era who attended art school include Eric Clapton and John Lennon). Although the cover remains the same on the 8-track, cassette and CD versions, the l.p. cover is die cut and features a rotating circular panel inside.

Led Zeppelin III is a strange album that kicks off with a track ("Immigrant Song") that belongs more to Led Zeppelin II . However, from that point on the album is basically a roots album that, oddly enough, has less to do with people leaving and arriving ("Immigrant Song") than the importation and amalgamation of musical styles (blues, rock 'n' roll). "That's the Way" is my favourite song on this album.

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