Wednesday, February 06, 2008

The Early Blues Roots of Led Zeppelin (Complete Blues Records)

This is actually a pretty great compilation, though I’m not sure how much it would appeal to Led Zeppelin fans. Everything on here is very early, acoustic blues, certainly nothing that average metal fans would necessarily appreciate.

These are the songs that influenced Plant and Page, though while Page obviously took things from some of the guitarists included here, the music that Zep created sounds nothing like this in any way, shape or form! In fact, if Plant had been a little more creative and wrote his own words, no one would have any idea that these songs had anything to do with Led Zeppelin’s recordings! But, I suppose it was a nice homage and gave some recognition to these early blues singers.

This comp leaves off the obvious songs – “You Shook Me”, “How Many More Times”, "Whole Lotta Love", etc – that people know are covers and whose originals are easily available. This concentrates on the early stuff – such as Memphis Minnie’s “When the Levee Breaks”, Blind Willie Johnson’s “Nobody’s Fault But Mine”, Bukka White’s “Shake ‘em on Down” and Leadbelly’s “Gallis Pole”. There is plenty more here, also, with songs from Robert Johnson, John Lee Hooker, Sonny Boy Williamson and Big Bill Broonzy, among others.

Again, while these songs were obviously influential to the Zep guys, don’t buy this thinking that you’re buying a heavy, electric blues comp. But for a good overview of acoustic blues from the 20’s through the 40’s, this is a great purchase!