Updated: Jul 17, 2020
For a little context, there are 4 members of this band. There's a very realistic argument that each were the GOAT at their respective position.
Jimmy Page = guitar,
Robert Plant = vocals,
John Bonham = drums,
John Paul Jones = bass & anything else the band wanted to include
**You really can't overstate how talented these guys were, so before i start ranting, here are some of their most underrated songs in no particular order**
1. Black Mountain Side
Heavily inspired by Bert Jansch's, 'Down by Blackwaterside' Black Mountain Side is the first pure instrumental release from Zeppelin.
Only Jimmy Page's acoustic guitar & John Bonham's bongos are featured. BMS is fun, mellow, and provides some much needed contrast to Zep 1.
The first Zep piece that physically shocks you when finding out there are aren't multiple guitarists playing at the same time. Nope, just 1-track James Page.
BMS serves as a starting point, showing Zep is capable of diverse output. They improve on this acoustic/folky style in their 3rd album, making original tunes & pushing boundaries without relying on amps or Robert Plant screams.
Overall, a fun, musically impressive 2 minutes.
2. In The Light
There's simply too much going on in this one to summarize in a few sentences, better to just listen for yourself.
Give it a shot and don't be weirded out by the opening thematic noises. The payoff is huge.
One of the most unique songs the band produced.
The only 1-track-instrumental Zep ever released.
One of the greatest stand alone acoustic parts ever written.
Don't stress about pronunciation, no one knows for sure.
Named after the cabin Jimmy Page wrote it in (which used to belong to the founder of satanism)
Page knew he had something special with this one. This sounds like bottled nostalgia.
No lyrics needed for this one, you fill in the blanks.
4. Bron-Au-Yur Stomp
A stomper about a dog. Angela from the Office couldn't help tapping her foot to this one.
Features one of the most intricate acoustic backing tracks Jimmy Page ever cooked up. The evolved version of Black Mountain Side.
An all time feel good song. Something you can always fall back on for a boost in mood.
One of the most underrated songs on the list.
5. Since I've Been Loving You
Zeppelins first masterpiece, yet somehow not universally recognized.
Overwhelming for some with weaker sensibilities, Since I've Been Loving You has nerve chilling upside & re-listenability that very few songs posses.
The full musical spectrum, 4 elite musicians pushing their limits, neurotic lyrics telling the story of a faltering relationship & long working hours.
Page said this was one of, if not the single most difficult song for the band to record.
The guitar solo in this song is widely regarded as one of best of all time (allegedly recorded on the first take). Each band member pushes their boundaries, while keeping control and effortlessly switching tempo. Just an incredible, timeless song.
6. Ten Years Gone
Simply one of the greatest songs ever made. Ten years worth of weight in 7 minutes. Masterpiece^2, in a tier by itself. The elusive.... if it's possible to make a 'perfect song' this is it. Yet somehow it's not universally known.
Don't get me wrong, this one is relatively popular, but massively underrated for how good it is. How this isn't one of their biggest hits is baffling.
This is Zeppelins best song off their best album.
Clear out 7 minutes & show this song to someone who's music opinion you respect.
This deserves to be more popular than Stairway
7. Wanton Song
A no frills jam off the last side of Physical Graffiti. Unique riffs, fun timing, vague lyrics. Breaking standard timing 'rules' of music is one of Zep's trademarks, and this 4 minute track is a perfect example.
8. In My Time of Dying
Arguably Zep's best cover. Contrasting instrumentals make for a compelling 8 minute track off the front side of Physical Graffiti
The song follows human consciousness through the process of death and afterlife. The chaotic background music fits with the stories development (I won't spoil the ending for you). It's a Christian interpretation of afterlife, but the emotions of the song transcend any one religious viewpoint.
9. Achilles Last Stand
Inspired by the Illiad, this is an epic poem about an epic poem.
9 minutes of compelling instrumentals, gradually building & shifting in intensity to match the flow of the story, this song simply kicks ass. The greatest rock/mythology song of all time (no offense, Battle of Evermore)
Check out this legendary live performance which may somehow be better than the studio version. Plant takes a minute to settle in, but as someone who has spent a lot of time on YouTube watching Zep performances, this is one of their best.
One of the bands longest songs, coming in at a cool 10.5 minutes.
Yet I always end up wishing it had another verse or two.
I mean, the name alone, "Achilles Last Stand" how badass is that? Just snag this album because all of Presence is underrated.
10. Wearing and Tearing
The last song on their last album. Zep's last good song.
This comes off their last album CODA, a mixed bag of new material, old takes and extra songs they had laying around. CODA is the band making sure they don't leave anything in the tank before calling it quits.
This jam was smartly designed around Robert Plants waning vocal intensity. The wear & tear on his delivery is evident, and was likely a major inspiration for the song. Instead of ignoring the fact, they played into it.
In the end, they found a way to make his raspy/faltering voice fit in perfectly.
Awareness of nearing the end of their run & a sense of desperation resonate throughout the track. But definitely not quiet desperation.
This is Zep walking away on top with one last elite jam.
11. Poor Tom
Another CODA sleeper. Eerie, with a vintage Bonham beat that fits in seamlessly & leaves you imagining how someone can possibly produce those noises on a standard drum kit.
A solid tune all around that tends to get lost in their discography. Interesting lyrics that leave the door open for imagination. A unique single from the grab-bag album, definitely worth a pickup
All of Led Zep's albums are worth owning hard copies. That shit will be a currency when the dollar crashes so do yourself a favor, listen to their music, then come back & talk with me about it. Incredible band, always worth the time, their best songs aren't their biggest hits.
_____________________________________________ These guys were one of the rare bands that never released a 'bad album' while also producing a huge sample size of music (70+ songs)
They were handed the torch of 'most talented band of the era' by the Beatles and retired with it, not having found a worthy successor. The band ended abruptly when John Bonham supposedly drank himself to death at age 33, and there was simply no replacing the skillset/chemistry of any band member.
In short, Zeppelin is good, do yourself a favor and cop their material