Certain Songs #891: Led Zeppelin – “Whole Lotta Love”

Album: Led Zeppelin II
Year: 1969

Opening with one of the most pile-driving riffs anybody had ever heard, the hairy-chested huge-dicked “Whole Lotta Love” signaled that Led Zeppelin was going to get even more audacious on their second album in 1969.

It also signaled that Jimmy Page was more that just a guy who knew how to layer guitars; turns out he was also one helluva producer, as well.

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Certain Songs #890: Led Zeppelin – “Communication Breakdown”

Album: Led Zeppelin
Year: 1969

Rocketing out of the final notes of “Black Mountain Side” like a pissed off laser beam, “Communication Breakdown” was not just a 2:30 shot of finely amplified adrenalin but also an anomaly in Led Zeppelin history: it’s probably the only song where John Bonham couldn’t figure out what to do.

I didn’t even realize it until a couple of years ago, but on the verses, Bonham is playing against the energy of the song. Jimmy Page, Robert Plant & John Paul Jones are all hopping a supersonic rocket ship to the moon, and with every single beat, Bonham is trying to keep it anchored to Earth. It’s a very weird drum part.

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Certain Songs #889: Led Zeppelin – “Dazed and Confused”

Album: Led Zeppelin
Year: 1969

The centerpiece of their debut album, “Dazed and Confused” was probably first track track where Led Zeppelin truly distinguished themselves as a completely unique band. Unlike the pop song, amplified folk song and blues cover that preceded it, “Dazed and Confused” really had no antecedent.

Which, I know, is ironic, as Jimmy Page had been performing it in the Yardbirds, and it was also a cover of a dark folk song by a guy name Jake Holmes. But gang, nobody knew any of that in the 1970s. Or at least us teenagers didn’t. You had reference points for “Good Times Bad Times,” “Babe I’m Going to Leave You” and “You Shook Me.” Not so for “Dazed and Confused.” What even was it?

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Certain Songs #888: Led Zeppelin – “Good Times Bad Times”

Album: Led Zeppelin
Year: 1969

BAWL DAWL!
tick tick tick tick

BAWL DAWL!
tick tick tick tick tick tick

BAWL DAWL!
tinka tinka tinka tinka tinka

BAWL DAWL!
tinka tinka tinka tinka tinka

BAWL DAWL!
rumble dumble rumbledly downa rattledly smash!

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Certain Songs #887: LCD Soundsystem – “All My Friends”

Album: Sound of Silver
Year: 2007

I didn’t really get into LCD Soundsystem until they were breaking up. So while I was most certainly aware of them, they really didn’t click with me until I took a flyer on This is Happening in 2010, and enjoyed it so much I figured I’d knew I need to go backwards.

And, like so many people smarter and faster than me, got completely bowled over by “All My Friends,” which is easily one of the best songs of the millennium. Which, I know, I don’t have to tell you, because you already knew that.

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