Sunday 28 April 2013

Led Zeppelin IV - Eric Davis

I finally read this book in the 33 1/3 series after hearing those Zep trax in the films Argo and Silver Linings Playbook. Surprisingly I got through a book of 170 pages written about 1 LP. Surprising as my favourite template for LP reviews is Greil Marcus's appendix to Stranded. The appendix is basically 2 sentence reviews of hundreds of records that didn't make into the main body of the text. He once noted he loved doing that but perhaps prior knowledge was required to fully understand them. Considering we're in the age of info-overload this seems like a perfectly valid way to analyse Albums today. The kind of information in a normal media review is usually padded out with this type of background/prior knowledge anyway, so who needs another one. Every time Nick Cave puts out a record I have to wade through his immense history, usually in the Sunday supplements, before we get to the few words about his new LP. This has got to the point where I just scan to the new info or sometimes I just give up all together. So Eric Davis you've done well to get me through your 170 pages. Admittedly I didn't know that much about Led Zeppelin, their history and what they were on about.

I don't need to say anything about Led Zeppelin IV except I cant believe how much I enjoy it. For a large part of my life they were the enemy, everything worth hating about rock. This stance of course was residue from the punk/post-punk/new pop eras. I guess this all started to erode in the late 80s. I was very confused when Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth in a Juke magazine (Aussie equivalent of NME, MM & Sounds) article said he was re buying old Led Zep LPs. I think though I started to cross the line when I could no longer deny how fucking great Jane's Addiction were and bought their classic Ritual De Lo habitual. Some how I could put it down to their mix of Zep rock and post-punk/hardcore/pop flavas. I was yet to be convinced that you could listen to a Zeppelin LP in all seriousness though.

I didn't really like the more trad Zep influenced bands like Soundgarden etc so it was ok. My Phobia & denial continued despite kinda digging the Dazed & Confused film clip which was frequently played on Rage from the late 80s onward. 6 or 7 years ago I thought 'if i can be massively into the first 4 Black Sabbath albums surely I can let go of my Led Zeppelin prejudice. They must be bloody good'. In a record shop I found II, III, IV and Houses of the Holy for 5 bucks each. II was the one for a couple of years. Then III & IV took my fancy then the levee broke and it was all over. I was finally emancipated from the narrow minded anti dinosaur dogma.

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