January 6, 2000
Early Days - The Best of Led Zeppelin: Volume One
Before [a]Jimmy Page[/a] could gurn for Guernsey and [B]Bob Plant[/B] began to resemble that stuff used to line hamster cages, there was a time when it was all Valhalla and velvet loons round [a]Led Z
9 / 10
Before Jimmy Page could gurn for Guernsey and Bob Plant began to resemble that stuff used to line hamster cages, there was a time when it was all Valhalla and velvet loons round Led Zeppelin's pad. The Black Country bumpkins were the first to pump the blues' sullen chops with glamour, portent and thunderous facial hair - thereby permanently loosening heavy metal's nascent bowels. As a result, you can probably blame the Zep for Whitesnake and those computer analysts who play air-guitar in theme pubs.
But you can't accuse them of being rubbish. 'Cos Led Zeppelin were the Greatest Rock Band Ever. Their songs - pan-buggering odes to Nordic gods that frolicked in virgin blood and with sacrificial goats - were all barrel-chested colossi that bestrode the globe and ate music as we knew it. Now, with 'Early Days...', what we have is, essentially, a Zep-by-numbers collection of the most predictable stuff from the chaps' first four albums.
So there's 'Dazed And Confused', the magnificent 'When The Levee Breaks' and the Bayeux Tapestry of over-elaborate yet strangely ace folk-rock anthems, 'Battle Of Evermore'. The fact that such a commercial, no-surprises package still sounds like Thor on Thanksgiving Day is testament to their indefinable, time-defying magic. A groupie-pestering
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