Led Zeppelin II
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Led Zeppelin II by Led Zeppelin ranked # 75 on Rolling Stone Magazine's 500 Greatest Albums list.
Led Zeppelin II, also known by the unofficial nickname The Brown Bomber, is a rock and roll album, the second released by English band Led Zeppelin in 1969.
Led Zeppelin II largely writes the blueprint for 1970s hard rock. Blues-derived songs like "Whole Lotta Love", "Heartbreaker", "The Lemon Song" and "Bring It on Home" are now standards of the genre, where the guitar-based riff defines the song and provides the key hook. Such arrangements and emphases were at the time atypical in popular music. As such, the album is generally considered to be very influential on the development of rock music, being an early forerunner of heavy metal, and inspiring a host of other rock bands such as Deep Purple, Van Halen and Guns 'n' Roses.
Led Zeppelin II also experimented with other musical styles and approaches, as on the alternately soft-and-loud "What Is And What Should Never Be" and "Ramble On", or the pop-influenced ballad "Thank You". With its mysterious atmospherics, "Ramble On" helped develop hard rock's association with fantasy themes, which had partly derived from the psychedelic rock of two to three years before, but also from lyricist Robert Plant's personal interest in the writings of J. R. R. Tolkien. This direction would later culminate on Led Zeppelin's untitled fourth album (and countless subsequent groups would later carry the influence to further extremes). Conversely, the instrumental "Moby Dick" features an extended drum solo by John Bonham, which would later be extended to a half-hour or more in live Led Zeppelin concert performances.
Jimmy Page's contribution to this album was significant, as his electric guitar solo on the song "Heartbreaker" was emulated by many younger rock guitarists, and exemplifies the group's intense musical attack. Page's innovative recording and drum miking effects on tracks such as "Ramble On" and "Whole Lotta Love" also demonstrated his considerable skill, resourcefulness and originality as a producer.
Commercially, Led Zeppelin II was the band's first album to hit #1 in the US knocking The Beatles' Abbey Road from the top spot. It also yielded Led Zeppelin's biggest hit, with the track "Whole Lotta Love". This song reached #4 on the Billboard Top 100 in January 1970, after Atlantic Records went against the group's wishes by releasing a shorter version on 45.
- Whole Lotta Love
- What Is and What Should Never Be
- The Lemon Song
- Thank You
- Living Loving Maid (She's Just a Woman)
- Ramble On
- Moby Dick
- Bring It on Home
100 Greatest Albums of All Time
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