‘Led Zeppelin III’ Is Very Strange | Album Review

Apparently, Led Zeppelin was a very popular rock band. Years after the band’s break-up, they’re still popular, and fans talk about how their music influenced the world of rock ‘n’ roll. I’ve heard a few of their songs, but I haven’t listened to an entire album by Led Zeppelin. Then, on July 17, 2021, I decided to see what all the fuss was about and bought Led Zeppelin III (1970) from the Book Off for $7. I picked their third album because it was the cheapest one available. 

Not the greatest album cover in the world, but then again, these are the guys that were too lazy to come up with decent titles for their first four albums. Now, that I think about it, Led Zeppelin never had good titles for any of their albums. The line-up that played on Led Zeppelin III consists of Robert Plant on lead vocals, Jimmy Page on guitar, John Bonham on drums and percussion, and John Paul Jones on bass. With all that said, let’s get on with the music!

“Immigrant Song” kicks off the album and I can’t help but think of School of Rock (2003). I still can’t believe the creators got Led Zeppelin’s permission to use this song in the movie. It used to bug me that “Immigrant Song” is so short, but now, I don’t mind because I get to appreciate John Paul Jones’ epic bass line. Also, this song gives me jungle vibes and it’s probably because of Plant’s screams (“AH AH”).

Next up, is “Friends” and man, this song is garbage. I came here for rock music and instead I got an acoustic track about supporting one another and the importance of friendship. What is this Barney & Friends (1992 – 2010)? The acoustic guitar riff is annoying too. The drums return for “Celebration Day.” Musically, I can vibe with it and I love the thick bass line, but unfortunately, I don’t like the lyrics. “My, my, my, I’m so happy / I’m gonna join the band / We gonna sing and dance in celebration / We are the promised land.”

“Since I’ve Been Loving You” has a bluesy vibe, which is cool, but it’s a bit long and some of the lyrics are repetitive. Now for the positives, I enjoyed Plant’s carefree vocals, Bonham’s flavorful drumming, and Page’s emotive guitar solo. “Out on the Tiles” kicks a**! Bonham smacks those drums like there’s no tomorrow and that bass line, holy cow! Also, Plant brought some attitude when delivering those vocals. 

“Gallows Pole” is that song you listen to when you’re going fishing at a lake. Well, I hate fishing, so there’s that! If it weren’t for Bonham coming in on the drums less than halfway into the song, I would’ve tossed “Gallows Pole” in the trash. Ok fine, I’ll give the guys credit for getting creative by adding a banjo to the track. I’m sorry guys, but “Tangerine” is so depressing partially because of the acoustic guitar and partially because of the lyrics. The song reflects on an ex-girlfriend. 

If I thought “Tangerine” was depressing, “That’s the Way” is worse. To be fair, I like the story of the song. It describes a boy, whose parents are against him hanging out with another boy because of his appearance and he’s from the “darker side of town.” It’s another acoustic track, so not much drums, and yeah, I don’t have much to say about this one. Oh wait, the song mentions fish dying in dirty water and all living things being born to die. 

Obviously, there’s a lot of folk rock inspiration for Led Zeppelin III and “Bron-Y-Aur Stomp” is no different. The clapping in the song reminded me of “‘39” by Queen, which also has a folk rock vibe. Honestly, I got bored with “Bron-Y-Aur Stomp” because of my annoyance with the acoustic guitars throughout the album. I’ll take some acoustic guitars on a rock record, but I don’t want an entire rock album of acoustic guitars!

“Hats Off to (Roy) Harper” has an ancient vibe and it’s very chaotic. Plant’s voice was altered through the use of a vibrato amplifier. “Hats Off to (Roy) Harper” is the band’s tribute to their friend and folk singer named Roy Harper (shocker). In my opinion, it’s not a good track to close the album with.

So, I enjoyed 3.5 out of the 10 songs (“Celebration Day,” “Since I’ve Been Loving You,” and “Gallows Pole” got half points), which is about 35 percent. With that in mind, I’ll give Led Zeppelin III a rating of 1.75 out of 5 stars. I obviously bought the wrong album to start my Zeppelin journey and that’s ok. It wasn’t a total loss because I really dig “Out on the Tiles.” But, this is why I hardly do blind buys in this YouTube age, people!

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46 thoughts on “‘Led Zeppelin III’ Is Very Strange | Album Review

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  1. First, the vinyl cover is way cooler. It is interactive and has a disc you can rotate so different pictures show up in the holes on the cover. So vinyl is better here. Second, probably the lowest score I’ve ever seen for this album. You are a different generation for sure and weren’t brought up that these guys were the best ever. This album was very experimental for the band. They were definitely trying new things and for that I really like this one. Not my favorite by any means, but I dig it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ok, yeah! Some albums are better in vinyl form. Second of all, I tried to be mindful because I know how much Steve Clark adored Jimmy Page, so I liked his playing (on the non-acoustic stuff at least). I did read that ‘Led Zeppelin III’ was a very experimental album for the band, so I see this one as a love it or hate it thing.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Everything John said. Plus, full agreement that this is the least of the first four albums as an introduction to the band lol wow. Good on ya for sticking it out! I think when you hear I, II and IV, III will slot in nicely and have more perspective.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s a shame, because those two albums are awesome. HotH is a current fave of mine from them, and II is pure classic rawk. I guess the folks at Book Off are gouging based on the band’s popularity. Shame, that. Are they willing to haggle? Maybe you could talk them down from their silliness?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I wouldn’t want to be one of those customers that gets on their nerves. Besides, they do need to make money. I think what also stopped me from buying ‘Houses of the Holy’ was that I listened to it briefly on YouTube about a year ago and I got bored after 10 minutes (or something like that).


      3. You’re too sweet, Lana! 🙂 Used CDs overpriced are still just used CDs. And there are a million copies of Zep albums out there. Yeah they gotta make money but it’s just gouging.

        HotH bored you? Hm. You must not have played it loudly enough. That one requires VOLUME.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I mean I’m no expert on overpriced used CDs and worst case scenario, I can just buy it cheaper on Amazon.

        I think I only listened to the first one or two tracks.


      5. I wouldn’t pay more than $5-$7 for a used Zep CD. There are so many copies out there. Mind you, geographically and population-wise, you’re probably not having access to quite as much as we mainlanders do. Online may be the way for you to go.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Ha! I think I found a used Maiden album for $18, which was ridiculous. Yeah, there’s not much I could do about the in-person stores. I’ll probably have better luck online. But after my review for ‘Led Zeppelin III,’ I’ll hold off on them for a while.


      7. $18??? Coulda got that new for the same price, probably. I’ll wager your prices are higher because, let’s face it, while you’re not the boonies, I know you get stuff, etc, I just mean population-wise that the trade won’t be nearly as high. Or maybe that shoppe just gouges. either way, $18 USD for a used Iron Maiden album is bonkers. Was it rare? An out of print copy? Solid gold?

        Liked by 1 person

      8. That makes sense now. What’s cheaper for us Americans is a little more expensive for you guys. Just curious, what is moose bucks? I think Kevin used to refer to how much he paid for albums in moose bucks (for his blog posts).


      9. Haha I love it. Moose bucks is just Kevin’s way of describing our coins of the realm. We get bored in the winters and come up with new ways of describing existing things, I guess lol. Our $1 coin we call the loonie (it has a loon on it), and the $2 coin we call the two-nie (it has polar bears on it).

        Liked by 1 person

      1. God it’s such a beautiful song! The acoustics start majestically, with those big gorgeous chords. Then there’s that twangy guitar in the chorus, oh my. So lovely. Plant’s panache, and the lyrics! The solo… what a perfect song.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Shoot, that’s right! I completely forgot about your series when picking out an album to start my Zeppelin journey. But again, I was going based on the cheapest Zeppelin I could find at the time. But now that I think about it, they may be cheaper on Amazon. I would’ve bought Led Zeppelin II’ or ‘Houses of the Holy’ if they were cheaper.

      I remember Sarah really dug the latter album.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, for me, III is the odd ball of the bunch. More folk than blues or rock. Like Aaron said in another comment, the appeal of it makes more sense within the context of their other albums.

        Liked by 1 person

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