808s / The World's Greatest Hits

The World’s Greatest Hits: Untitled (Led Zeppelin IV) – Led Zeppelin

Untitled (Led Zeppelin IV) – Led Zeppelin – 1971

Claimed Sales: 37m

First listen?: Yes

Format Listened?: Apple Music

Led Zeppelin are one of those iconic 70s bands that I’ve certainly heard of, have been aware of the names of songs and albums, but have literally never sat down and listened to before. In my head they sat either side of the balance of Pink Floyd psychedelic rock and the heavier rock sound of the metal acts that would emerge in the following decades. Probably the biggest surprise for me was how hook and riff driven their sound is. Even on Hard rock tracks like Misty Mountain Hop where Robert Plant’s vocals are crazed and powerful it’s continually catchy. There’s a bunch of clashing genres on display here, whether it’s the Gaelic folk slide of The Battle of Evermore or the more straightforward Hard Rock of opener Black Dog, obvious standout Stairway To Heaven even manages to leap between these genres continuously. It’s held together by that entrancing vocal for me though, I genuinely didn’t expect Led Zepplin IV to be such an instantly accessible record. I imagined it was of the era where LPs were complicated and deserved your undivided attention. There’s flashes of progressive rock on here, but on the whole it’s easy to see why so many people across the world were sold on an untitled LP from a set of electric performers. It’s all about the catchy riffs, even catchier hooks and an outstanding vocal performance for me and for that Led Zeppelin IV is undoubtedly one of my biggest surprises of any of these series.

Rating: 7/10

Will I listen again?: I think I’m going to have to.

Best Track: Stairway to Heaven is probably the best example of Robert Plant’s impressive vocal delivery here.

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