Hard rock stalwarts Led Zeppelin have managed a neat trick. They are simultaneously one of the most overrated bands in history, and one of the most underrated.
How is this possible? It’s easy. Somewhere along the line they stopped being referred to as a band and became a holy, revered, cultural institution instead, replete with a mythology that saw lead singer Robert Plant referred to as a golden god and guitarist Jimmy Page categorized as a practitioner of the dark arts.
This situation may have been good for publicity, but it also had the effect of obscuring the band as a bunch of dudes who simply made great music. As a result, a lot of their best material has been obscured by the very same reputation that they fought for and won.
That material has also been overshadowed by their radio hits, very few of which are anywhere near as good as some of their deeper cuts. Some of those radio hits have also simply been played to death on FM radio, with its incessant need to GET THE LED OUT every day by playing the exact same goddamn five songs over and over again.
“Whole Lotta Love,” for example, could probably be retired like Mickey Mantle’s jersey. Who, at this point, still needs to hear it? And wouldn’t the five minutes be better served by playing a song that radio listeners have only heard a million times, as opposed to 20 billion times?
Anyhoo, as part of our ongoing quest to correct everything that’s wrong with the world, The Z Review presents a list of the top 10 most underrated Led Zeppelin songs. In addition to ignored studio cuts, there are also live versions of well-known songs that are better than their studio counterparts.
I would ask you not to get your balls in an uproar, but if you do, please leave the hateful invective in the comments section below, as opposed to on social media. It makes us feel more loved.
“Your Time Is Gonna Come” from Led Zeppelin
“Bring It On Home” from Led Zeppelin II
“Out On The Tiles” from Led Zeppelin III
“Hey, Hey What Can I Do” 1970 B-Side
“The Immigrant Song” from How The West Was Won
“The Rain Song” from The Song Remains The Same
“Houses Of The Holy” from Physical Graffiti
“In The Light” from Physical Graffiti
“The Wanton Song” from Physical Graffiti
“Fool In The Rain” from In Through The Out Door