This has got to be one of the cheapest records I’ve ever bought at the record store, and yet it’s SO SO GOOD every time I play it!
Zeppelin II came out today in 1969.
Those early Zeppelin records didn’t have much time between them! It was less than four months after the release of Zeppelin I that Atlantic pressured the guys to get new music out in time for Christmas.
Record at Olympic Studios in London…the first track amazes me for many reasons.
From Rolling Stone:
“Whole Lotta Love” was one of the first tracks they worked on; it was constructed from a riff Page invented during one of their 15-minute-plus live versions of “As Long As I Have You,” with Robert Plant adding lyrics taken straight from Muddy Waters’ 1962 single “You Need Love.” They finished it in New York with Hendrix engineer Eddie Kramer, who helped execute the terrifying middle section, incorporating a variety of sounds: Page’s slide guitar mixed backward, his eerie theremin, a female orgasm and a napalm-bomb explosion. Said Page, “It’s sort of what psychedelia would have been if they could have got there.”
Some other fun things about the album from Rolling Stone:
Guitar solos were recorded in studio hallways; Bonham played the percussion part to “Ramble On” on a guitar case, a drum stool or a garbage can (no one recalls which).
“His showpiece “Moby Dick” solo was patched together from several recordings in separate studios.”
“What Is and What Should Never Be” used stereo mixing to send Page’s guitar and Plant’s squeals ping-ponging from speaker to speaker as if mimicking a bad acid trip.”
“Thank You,” a folk hymn drenched in 12-string guitar and organ, was Plant’s first writing effort, penned for his wife during a time of intense changes; in less than a year, the band had gone from slogging it on tour in snowy English car rides to weeklong stays at the Chateau Marmont, watching Elvis Presley from the front row in Vegas and mingling with L.A.’s groupie elite, the GTOs.”
“Living Loving Maid (She’s Just a Woman)” – a twangy rocker Page said he wrote about “a degenerate old woman who tries to be young,” and which he later said was his least-favorite Zeppelin song – was undeniable.”