Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin III - Review
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critics' view

Following two neat albums in ’69, the third Led Zeppelin long player raised the game, and had some wholly terrific bounty, ranging from blues rockers to folk stompers, with even shades of psychedelia on the stunning highlight track, “Friends”.

Speaking of the album’s lean towards arrangements which were more acoustic than ever, Jimmy Page shed some light:

“After the intense touring that had been taking place through the first two albums, working almost 24 hours a day, basically, we managed to stop and have a proper break, a couple of months as opposed to a couple of weeks. We decided to go off and rent a cottage to provide a contrast to motel rooms. Obviously, it had quite an effect on the material that was written… It was the tranquillity of the place that set the tone of the album. Obviously, we weren't crashing away at 100 watt Marshall stacks. Having played acoustic and being interested in classical guitar, anyway, being in a cottage without electricity, it was acoustic guitar time… After all the heavy, intense vibe of touring which is reflected in the raw energy of the second album, it was just a totally different feeling.”

Robert Plant echoed these recollections:

“Bron-Yr-Aur was a fantastic place in the middle of nowhere with no facilities at all-and it was a fantastic test of what we could do in that environment. Because by that time we'd become obsessed with change, and the great thing was that we were also able to create a pastoral side of Led Zep. Jimmy was listening to Davey Graham and Bert Jansch and was experimenting with different tunings, and I loved John Fahey. So it was a very natural place for us to go to.”

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