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Sunday 17 December 2017

Music - Listen Again: Led Zeppelin I, II & III

Led Zeppelin III
Led Zeppelin III

There are three things guaranteed to survive an apocalypse: cockroaches, Kilkenny hurlers and the first clutch of Led Zeppelin albums. This week, the fearsome foursome's first three albums get the expanded reissue treatment.

Messrs Page, Plant, Bonham and Jones could scarcely imagine the legacy that the release of their first album in 1969, would leave behind. The reissue of Led Zeppelin is augmented by an eight-track live performance from Paris which exemplifies the sheer power of the band at the time. The medley of Good Times Bad Times/Communication Breakdown is driven by the rumbling bass of Jones.

The rough mixes and backing tracks included on II will be interesting to fans, to see how the likes of Heartbreaker and Whole Lotta Love were birthed.

III is rich in unheard material. Key To The Highway/Trouble In Mind is an intimate Page/Plant performance of a blues standard. But what still shines through on all three reissues are the original tracks on each. Coming to them again after quite a time away casts a different light. Yes, they were blues magpies, but III in particular shows their versatility.

First published in INSIDER Magazine, exclusive to Thursday's Irish Independent

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