Led Zeppelin III
Released: October 5, 1970
Peak: 14 US, 14 UK, 14 CN, 14 AU
Sales (in millions): 6.0 US, 0.3 UK, 12.2 world (includes US and UK)
Genre: classic rock/metal
Song Title (Writers) [time] (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to singles charts.
Total Running Time: 42:42
4.180 out of 5.00 (average of 26 ratings)
Awards: (Click on award to learn more).
About the Album:
“On their first two albums, Led Zeppelin unleashed a relentless barrage of heavy blues and rockabilly riffs, but Led Zeppelin III provided the band with the necessary room to grow musically” AMG making a “progression from straightforward rock towards folk and acoustic music.” WK The band even adds a string section, arranged by Jones, on Friends “which Page had wanted to achieve an Indian style of sound.” WK
“There are still a handful of metallic rockers” AMG but they “aren’t as straightforward as before.” AMG “The galloping Immigrant Song is powered by Robert Plant's banshee wail.” AMG It was written about the Viking invasions of England after Led Zeppelin did a tour of Iceland in June 1970. WK “Celebration Day turns blues-rock inside out with a warped slide guitar riff, and Out on the Tiles lumbers along with a tricky, multi-part riff.” AMG
Much of the album “is built on a folky, acoustic foundation that gives the music extra depth” AMG and shows the band as “capable of playing different styles successfully.” WK Gallows Pole offers “a menacing flair” AMG on the traditional folk song “The Maid Freed from the Gallows” as inspired by a version recorded by Fred Gerlach. WK
Page wrote Tangerine in 1968 while still with the Yardbirds. WK That’s the Way, originally called “The Boy Next Door,” was written “about the problems two people faced in a relationship and the clashes with their families.” WK Page “thought highly of Plant’s lyrics and considered it a breakthrough in their development as a songwriting team.” WK Rolling Stone critic Lester Bangs called it “beautiful and genuinely moving.” WK
Bron-Y-Aur Stomp was originally known as “Jennings Farm Blues,” WK It was originally recorded in 1969 as an electric arrangement, but reworked as “an infectious acoustic romp.” AMG Those two songs and “That’s the Way” “are shimmering songs with graceful country flourishes.” AMG
“The band hasn’t left the blues behind.” AMG One of the first songs recorded for the album was “the epic Since I've Been Loving You.” AMG They also offer “the twisted bottleneck blues of Hats off to (Roy) Harper,” AMG a reworking of the Bukka White song “Shake ‘Em on Down.” WK
Notes: A 2014 reissue added a second disc with alternate versions of songs from the album as well as a recording of “Key to the Highway” / “Trouble in Mind.”
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First posted 3/21/2008; last updated 8/17/2021.