Led Zeppelin I – The Best Album These Guys Ever Made

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Reviews and Commentaries for Led Zeppelin I

  • A stunning pressing of Zep’s debut with A+++ sound on both sides and fairly quiet vinyl
  • The sound is MASSIVE — big, bold, lively and powerful with the kind of dynamics that bring out the best in this music
  • Demo Quality sound for a ton of Zep classics: Dazed and Confused, Good Times Bad Times, Babe I’m Gonna Leave You and more
  • 5 stars on Allmusic, BR Top 100, and one of the most important debut albums in all of rock and roll history

For the real Led Zep magic, you just can’t do much better than their debut — and here’s a copy that really shows you why. From the opening chords of Good Times Bad Times to the wild ending of How Many More Times, this copy will have you rockin’ like you won’t believe!

What do you get on a Triple Plus Zep One? Uncanny presence, clearer harmonics and transients, a fully extended top end, astonishing clarity and transparency and a WHOLE LOTTA BASS. You get all the texture, detail, and ambience that are missing from the average copy.

Two Shootout Winning Sides

Both sides have THE BIG ZEP SOUND. Right from the start, we noticed how clean the cymbals sounded and how well-defined the bass was, after hearing way too many copies with smeared cymbals and blubbery bass. When you have a tight, punchy copy like this one, Good Times Bad Times does what it is supposed to do — it REALLY ROCKS! The drum sound is PERFECTION.

Drop the needle on Babe I’m Gonna Leave You to hear how amazing Robert Plant’s voice sounds. It’s breathy and full-bodied with unbelievable presence. The overall sound is warm, rich, sweet, and very analog, with tons of energy. Dazed and Confused sounds JUST RIGHT — you’re gonna flip out over all the ambience!

Communication Breakdown sounds superb — the tone of Jimmy Page’s guitar during the solo is Right On The Money! You won’t find a better side two for this album, and we’ve rated it accordingly.

Imports — As Always, A Mixed Bag

I have numerous early pressings from England and Germany and, of course, no two of them sound the same. My A1/B1 British Plum and Orange label turned out to be pretty good but not in the same league as the very best. Other British and German originals and reissues didn’t even make it past the first round. It just goes to show (again) that you can’t figure out much about a record by looking at the label. You’ve got to play ’em to know how they sound.

Where’s The Beef?

Like any Zeppelin album, this music absolutely requires BIG BASS. Yet so many copies are sorely lacking in that area, suffering from a lack of weight in the bottom end. When some of the deep bass is missing, the tonal balance shifts upwards and the sound can become upper-midrangy and bright.

When you get a copy without the kind of big, meaty bottom end a track like Dazed and Confused demands, you’ll be left cold — just as we were from all the weak copies we heard this time around.

One Tough Ticket

Beyond that, most copies of this album we come across are thrashed beyond belief. It’s hard enough to find a copy that’s quiet enough to sell, let alone one with amazing sound. It’s why you almost never see any copy of this album on our site — Hot Stamper or not.