This week one of the biggest bands in rock history was added to Spotify. Yes, friends Led Zeppelin is available to stream! I worry that I talk about Spotify a bit too much, but it’s been a godsend for me. The ability to stream a wide swath of popular music has allowed me to dig deeper than I would if I had to go out and buy CD’s. I never was a fan of illegally downloading music, though I did dabble with that in the past.
Spotify may not pay artists the way traditional album sales would, but I’d argue that the exposure the service gives band is worth it’s weight in gold. I may have slowed down my consumption of records, but more importantly I’m a fan of more artists, from more genres than ever before.
Led Zeppelin being on Spotify makes me happy for two reasons. Firstly, I just moved and all my CD’s are packed away in boxes. Meaning I’ve been living a horrible Zep-free life. Now I can hop on my computer, or smartphone, and instantly be in Led Zeppelin nirvana. Secondly, having the band’s entire catalogue available at my fingertips will finally allow me to explore the band’s last two albums. I’m ashamed to admit it, but I’ve never heard 1976’s PRESENCE or 1979’s swan song (pun intended) IN THROUGH THE OUT DOOR. Sure, I’ve heard a few cuts of each album on the radio, but I’ve never heard them all the way through. It’s basically like I’ve got new Led Zeppelin to listen to!
A few years back, my local Best Buy had a mega-sale on Led Zeppelin albums and I snapped up everything up to PHYSICAL GRAFFITI. Why did I stop there? Well, even though the CD’s were dirt cheap, Mrs. Defending Axl Rose isn’t the biggest fan of my expansive CD collection…so I stopped where everyone said the band stopped being good. But as I sit here, typing this listening to IN THROUGH THE OUT DOOR, I can assuredly tell you that Led Zeppelin were good all the way to the bitter end. Would I have had this epiphany without a streaming music service in my life? Probably, though it would have taken me years to work my way back to Zeppelin. If you’ve never fully explored the Led Zeppelin catalogue or if you’re an old-fan like me who haven’t listened to them in years, take some time and explore the band on Spotify.
My Top 10 Led Zeppelin Tracks (1969-1975)
1. “Bron-Y-Aur Stomp” off LED ZEPPELIN III. This is my all-time favorite Zeppelin song. I love the homespun feel of this song, it’s like a campfire song…Led Zeppelin-style.
2. “Living Loving Maid [She’s Just A Woman]” off LED ZEPPELIN II. Repeat after me: love the riff. Killer, killer riff.
3. “The Ocean” off HOUSES OF THE HOLY. Have Robert Plant’s super-high vocals ever been higher? Every time I go to a concert and look back on the swell of faces I think of Plant singing to his “ocean.”
4. “Going To California” off LED ZEPPELIN IV. The entire fourth LED ZEPPELIN album is amazing (everyone knows that) but if I had to pick one song that I love the most from that record it would be “Going to California.” While the rest of the album rages, this song is the quite eye of the hurricane. The song gets bonus points for being about Joni Mitchell.
5. “Kashmir” off PHYSICAL GRAFFITI. A wonderfully weird, and powerfully heavy track. It’s a shame that most kids know it as “that Puff Daddy song.” *Shudder*
6. “Communication Breakdown” off LED ZEPPELIN. The first Led Zeppelin album is more blues-oriented than most people discovering the band after that fact might expect. But while Zeppelin might have pioneered hard rock/heavy metal, they really were just bluesmen. “Communication Breakdown” is a wonderful fusion of blues and hard rock the band would later use to dominate the world.
7. “Immigrant Song” off LED ZEPPELIN III. Elves and hobbits are nice, but it’s when Zeppelin sing about Vikings that my heart soars. Truly this song is the hammer of the gods.
8. “Hey Hey What Can I Do” B-Side to “Immigrant Song.” This is probably the least-known song on this list (and not currently available on Spotify) but man, do I love it.
9. “D’yer Mak’er” off HOUSES OF THE HOLY. Funky. This song is funky. It also features a great vocal performance from Page. Took me many years to learn that this song pokes fun of the way British people say “Jamaica.” Which of course explains the reggae-ish vibe the song has.
10. “Moby Dick” off LED ZEPPELIN II. Come to Led Zeppelin for the killer Jimmy Page riffs and the stellar Robert Plant vocals…stay for John Bonham’s drumming. Why on Earth don’t more drummers try to sound like Bonham? He’s the greatest rock drummer of all time. Period. The song starts with some fun guitar licks and then devolves into an extended drum solo. The genesis of the tune is that it began as something used during the live shows to give the rest of the band a break. “Moby Dick” on record is over 4 minutes long, but Bonham would sometimes play a ten minute version live.