The Led Zeppelin Folk Adventure: “Led Zeppelin III” 

The album was released on October 5th, 1970

The Led Zeppelin Folk Adventure: “Led Zeppelin III”

“Led Zeppelin III” was a turning point on Led Zeppelin’s career. Their third album released on October 5th, 1970, unlike it’s predecessors “I” and “II”, was mostly based on acoustic and folk songs, though still feature some of Zeppelin’s most electrical and heavy songs such as “Immigrant Song” that opens the album and “Celebration Day”. The other electric tracks on the album are “Out On The Tiles” and “Since I’ve Been Loving You”. “Tangerine” it’s a revolutionary semi-acoustic song and one of the highlights on the album, aside of all these songs “Led Zeppelin III” it’s a folk journey made of both originals and covers of old songs such as “Gallow Poles”. “That’s The Way” and “Friends” are the best acoustic tracks, “Bron-Y-Aur Stomp” and traditional song “Hats Off to (Roy) Harper” closes this historical Led Zeppelin album. “Led Zeppelin III” showed that Led Zeppelin were more than just a conventional rock band, and that they could branch out into wider musical territory, their next album “Led Zeppelin IV” from 1971 it’s still reminiscent of the influences present on “Led Zeppelin III”, however they would abandon that formula with 1973 “Houses Of The Holy”.  The artwork on the album also played an important part on the commercial success of it, “Led Zeppelin III” was packaged in a gatefold sleeve with an innovative cover, designed by Zacron, a multi-media artist whom Jimmy Page had met in 1963. The cover and interior gatefold art consisted of a surreal collection of seemingly random images on a white background, many of them connected thematically with flight or aviation (as in “Zeppelin”). Behind the front cover was a rotatable laminated card disc, or volvelle, covered with more images, including photos of the band members, which showed through holes in the cover. Moving an image into place behind one hole would usually bring one or two others into place behind other holes. This could not be replicated on a conventional cassette or CD cover, but there have been Japanese and British CDs packaged in miniature versions of the original sleeve. The album was reissued on vinyl in 2014 replicating the same artwork with the volvelle.

 

Side 1
1 “Immigrant Song” (Jimmy Page Robert Plant)
2 “Friends” (Page Plant)
3 “Celebration Day” (John Paul Jones Page Plant)
4 “Since I’ve Been Loving You” (Jones Page Plant)
5 “Out on the Tiles” (John Bonham Page Plant)

Side 2
6 “Gallows Pole” (Traditional, arr. Page Plant)
7 “Tangerine” (Page)
8 “That’s the Way” (Page Plant)
9 “Bron-Y-Aur Stomp” (Jones Page Plant)
10 “Hats Off to (Roy) Harper” (Traditional, arr. Charles Obscure)

Personnel:
John Bonham: drums, percussion, backing vocals
John Paul Jones: bass guitar, Hammond organ, Moog synthesizer, mandolin, double bass in “Bron-Y-Aur Stomp”, string arrangement
Jimmy Page: acoustic, electric and pedal steel guitars, banjo, dulcimer, production, bass guitar on “That’s the Way”
Robert Plant: lead vocals, harmonica

Recorded during: May–August 1970 at Rolling Stones Mobile Studio, Headley Grange, Hampshire Island Studios and Olympic Studios, London
Produced by: Jimmy Page
Release date: 5 October 1970
Label: Atlantic

Singles:
“Immigrant Song” Released: 5 November 1970

Strongest Tracks:
“Immigrant Song”, “Tangerine”, “Since I’ve Been Loving You”, “Friends”, “Celebration Day”, “That’s the Way”

Watch Led Zeppelin performing “Immigrant Song”, the opening track from “Led Zeppelin III”

 

Listen to “Led Zeppelin III” on Spotify

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