Monday, October 21, 2013

Album Side of the Evening: Led Zeppelin Side 1

Often, when I'm working on bookkeeping, I pull a favorite album, place it on the turntable, and enjoy some memorable music. The idea, of course, is that the songs will serve as background entertainment while I'm busy at the computer.

Sometimes the reality is different however: the album will from time to time prove to be so good that the work gets put aside as I become enthralled by the music.

The  album side of the evening tonight was Led Zeppelin, side 1--the most perfect album side of any that Led Zep ever produced. It starts off strong with the punchy Zep-pop song "Good Times Bad Times," which has that swirling guitar by Jimmy Page (thank you, Leslie speaker, for making that effect possible!). From there it leads into my absolute favorite Led Zeppelin song, "Babe I'm Gonna Leave You" an acoustic piece with an intense electric refrain--sounds like it wouldn't blend that well, but it actually meshes perfectly. Also love the acoustic guitar riff that opens the song; the chords are remarkably similar to George Harrison's chord pattern for "While My Guitar Gently Weeps," but it is constructed in such as a way as to create a wholly different mood here. The album side goes out with the thirteen-minute bluesy one-two punch of "You Shook Me" and "Dazed and Confused"--one a fever dream, the other a haunted nighmare. 22 minutes of musical perfection--and in spite of the fact that they packed that much music on one vinyl side, it's sonically great, with wonderful dynamic range and nary a skip (many albums with that much music have trouble playing the bass-heavy parts without skipping).

Okay, now I need to get back to work on the bookkeeping that got put on hold while I revisited an old favorite...

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