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Ducky’s Album Rankings: Led Zeppelin

All of this is in my personal opinion. I will not be including [i]Coda[/i] or [i]The Song Remains The Same[/i] in this list. I know a lot of fans like to include them in the official Led Zeppelin canon, but I only wish to rank their studio albums only.

[b]8. In Through The Out Door[/b][/center]
The band's final studio album is their most experimental record and their most divisive. Whereas [i]Presence[/i] was carried by Jimmy Page and John Bonham, [i]In Through The Out Door[/i] sees Robert Plant and John Paul Jones take the lead. This wasn't intentional, however, as Page and Bonham became unreliable due to their substance abuse. This sees a dramatic departure from the band's usual heavy rock sound (with only the opening track being the straightforward rocker) in favor of more artsy, keyboard-driven music. Naturally, this didn't sit well with fans and went to show that Led Zeppelin had become a shell of their former selves. [i]In Through The Out Door[/i] may not be one of their essentials, but it still has some excellent tunes. I would go as far as to say the album is rather underrated, even. I may not agree with some fans on the album being bad, but I am in full agreement with it being their weakest.

Highlights: "Fool in the Rain", "All My Love", "In The Evening"

[b]7. Presence[/b][/center]
This marks the start of the band's twilight years. [i]Presence[/i] sees Robert Plant noticeably lacking in his usual charismatic energy, to the point where his vocals actually take a backseat for once. This was due to the fact that Plant had recorded his singing from the confines of a wheelchair since he had been recovering from injuries suffered from a car wreck. As a result, the band sorta went back to basics with their earlier, more boisterous work, while Jimmy Page and John Bonham both assume leadership and carry the record with their guitar and drum work, respectively. [i]Presence[/i] was done by a weakened Led Zeppelin and is a step down in quality from their previous albums. But it would be a disservice for one to overlook it completely, especially to Page and Bonham who have some of their best career highlights on this album. Page's epic riffs and Bonham's explosive drumming are truly the centerpieces of this album. Not to mention is has some of a couple of the band's heaviest songs!

Highlights: "Achilles Last Stand", "Nobody's Fault But Mine", "For Your Life"

[b]6. Led Zeppelin II[/b][/center]
I can already hear everyone's jaw hitting the floor all the way from where I am! Let me just say [i]Led Zeppelin II[/i] being featured lower on my list is not to say that it's a bad album. Of course it isn't. It holds so many of the band's classics, it could be considered a greatest hits album and its raw, gritty sound was some of the heaviest of its time that went on to influence countless bands after. I can pay the band's second album the respect it deserves, but it's one I very seldom find myself coming back to listen to. As great as it is, it's also not one of their musically diverse or creative works. Most of the songs follow a similar formula, which just doesn't make it as riveting for me personally. Maybe I've just heard the songs from this album on the radio too many times, but I simply cannot get into it that much. I'm not going to say it's overrated or anything like that, but it is not one of my favorites from this band.

Highlights: "Whole Lotta Love", "Ramble On", "Moby Dick", "Heartbreaker"

[b]5. Houses of the Holy[/b][/center]
The band's most uplifting album in tone and their first to be composed entirely of original material. [i]Houses of the Holy[/i] is one of those records that just goes all over the place in terms of style. While they were riding high off the monumental success of their fourth album, no less! They didn't even need to try with their fifth, but they did! We get vintage-sounding Led Zeppelin songs, but then we get a funk song, a reggae song and even progressive rock that's very Pink Floyd-esque! This album was a bit ahead of its time, as the musical diversity just confused people when it was first released. Its lighter tone and experimental nature almost foreshadows the direction they'd end up taking on [i]In Through The Out Door[/i] (but this is much better, obviously.) Whether you enjoy it or no, there's no denying the group's creativity which is showcased excellently on [i]Houses of the Holy.[/i]

Highlights: "Over The Hills and Far Away", "D'yer Mak'er", "The Ocean"

[b]4. Led Zeppelin III[/b][/center]
Another that splits the group's fanbase right down in the middle. A lot of fan rag on [i]Led Zeppelin III[/i] for being the softest record by the band. I personally never understood it. Is an acoustic album really so out-of-place when they've done acoustic songs from the beginning? I quite enjoy it, as it shows the band take a more mature perspective on the folk aspect of their music when it was purely a novelty on their previous folk tracks. The whole point of them taking on such a drastically different style from their usual harder-sounding stuff was to demonstrate their writing creativity - that they could break the mold if they wanted to and weren't afraid to do so. They still include a couple songs with their signature fast and heavy sound that ought to keep any fan partial to that kind of music satisfied. Overall, [i]Led Zeppelin III[/i] is the band's most criminally underappreciated works that deserves so much more praise than it gets.

Highlights: "That's The Way", "Immigrant Song", "Gallows Pole", "Celebration Day"

[b]3. Led Zeppelin (I)[/b][/center]
Led Zeppelin's self-titled debut is also one of their more unique albums, as it's the bluesiest record they've ever done and while they would demonstrate further blues influence in their music later, they would never do so quite as strongly as they did here again. In many ways. Led Zeppelin gives us a foretelling into the band's career, as we're given insight into their heavier, hard-knocking tracks, their softer folk rock tunes and they also show that they could experiment with different sounds on one song. Not many people had high expectations from Led Zeppelin. Their very name comes from a running joke that the band would come crashing down like a lead balloon. You can bet naysayers are While it does establish the musical prowess of the group, it's also the most egregious of the band's plagiarism. It's a shame they couldn't have just given credit to their heroes, rather than ripping them off since lots of bands start off doing covers. Unoriginality aside, it remains one of the greatest kick-offs to one of the greatest bands ever.

Highlights: "Good Times, Bad Times, "Dazed and Confused", "Communication Breakdown", "Babe, I'm Gonna Leave You"

[b]2. Physical Graffiti[/b][/center]
By all rights, the band's sole double album [i]Physical Graffiti[/i] is something of a lazy effort by the band, half of it being composed of outtakes and previously unreleased material from past albums. Heck, the only reason that was done was for the sake of making it into a double album! Perhaps as a consequence of this, [i]Physical Graffiti[/i] does not have many classic Led Zeppelin hits you'll hear on the radio. But it doesn't need to, because the album is filled with so many excellent songs, it's enough to make it one of their greatest! Sure it's half composed of leftovers from the three albums before it, but even those songs make up this album's high points and are not the filler you'd expect them to be! Goes to show if any band can make a mish-mashed record and make it great, that band is Led Zeppelin. Maybe the very fact that it's not filled with overplayed tracks is what makes [i]Physical Graffiti[/i] more appreciable. It's a solid double album that's consistent from start to finished and serves as the last great effort by the group,

Highlights: "Kashmir", "Trampled Under Foot", "Houses of the Holy", "The Wanton Song", "The Rover"

[b]1. Untitled (IV)[/b][/center]
Honestly, where else on this list was this gonna be? It's almost impossible to rank Led Zeppelin's untitled fourth album (commonly referred to as [i]IV[/i]) anywhere higher than at the top of their discography because it's just amazing. Every song on this record is an essential recording. Not just for Led Zeppelin, but for rock music as a whole, for how profoundly influential it has been. The group were already skyrocketing to fame and breaking new ground with their first three albums, but this was the album that granted them immortal status as one of the best of all time - that Led Zeppelin were a band made of up four musical geniuses that had reached their peak. Even though most of these tracks have been overplayed to death, I don't have that same complaint for this album as I do their second and I think it's because the sheer quality of these songs is so damn good, they just haven't gotten old for me. It seems that way for most people, really. Which goes to show that Led Zeppelin's fourth is one of the most timeless pieces of music ever made.

Highlights: the whole album


Feel free to share your opinions on my album ranking and thanks for reading!
ineedadrink · 51-55, M
Not gonna disagree with your rankings but I love Coda, though I get what you're saying about it.

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