Led Zeppelin II
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Media Type: CD
Street Release Date: 06/21/1994

Riff rock had been what Jimmy Page's former band, the Yardbirds, were all about, and on Led Zeppelin's second album, released, like its predecessor, in 1969, the inventive guitarist demonstrated that he'd indeed learned his lessons well. Witness "Whole Lotta Love," a woozy epic based on one simple, head-banging-friendly guitar riff. Or the mock-dramatic "Heartbreaker," propelled by far more intricate but similarly effective note squashing. Between Page's sonic wizardry, John Bonham beating his drums into submission ("Moby Dick"), and the juice running down Robert Plant's leg ("The Lemon Song"), Led Zeppelin here just about succeeded in raising rock & roll excess to an art form. --Billy Altman

Led Zeppelin II is an album of Jimmy Page riffs so huge, and John Paul Jones/John Bonham rhythms so deep, that the heavy metal genre this classic helped create has tried for decades to catch up, mostly without success. And no wonder: since II catches the band before they'd headed too far into their ridiculous medieval fancies, this might be as good as Zep would ever be. Regardless, the thunderous "Whole Lotta Love," a Top 5 hit, and "Bring It on Home" are very nearly as fierce and twisted as British white blues would ever get. --David Cantwell

Customer Reviews:

  • The Definition of Rock !!!
    From the opening chords of Whole Lotta Love on Led Zeppelin's second album, one can sense the arrival of a monster riff that defined rock there and then. And then, still, people heard that middle part where Jimmy Page's theremin sounds and Robert Plant's orgasmic delivery left everyone gobsmacked just to be followed by a thunderous drum roll which welcomed one of the greatest guitar solos ever!!!

    It was 1969 and the world of recorded music was still young, the beginning of the seventies was looming around the corner and loads of stuff had to change - rock music being one of them. And this was when it did.

    By blending various influences, Led Zeppelin II is also blessed with the beauty of Thank You, the blues of The Lemon Song and Bring It On Home, the tales of old of Ramble On, the sheer hard rocking of Heartbreaker, the light and shade of What Is And What Should Never Be and John Bonham's mammoth delivery on Moby Dick. Also, not to be forgotten is John Paul Jones's incredible input: his bass playing is an irreplaceable contribution on all songs.

    The massive surprise this album brought must've been extreme. Nothing like that had ever come out, and the chemistry these four truly gifted musicians had playing together is still unmatched today - 40 years after its release....more info
  • Definitive Zeppelin Album
    When push comes to shove most hardcore Zeppelin fans I know, including myself, prefer their first album over this effort. However, song for song this is the one that is most familiar to more casual fans and seems to best define them as a band. Not quite as bluesy as their first album, but there's more hard rockin' and hip swinging material here if that's what you prefer. If you're just getting into Zeppelin and don't own any of their albums, this is probably the best one to get started with since it's extremely easy to digest. ...more info
  • Blues done wrong, blues done white
    I've heard it said before. If there was a rock and roll equivalent of Mount Rushmore then surely four lads from the United Kingdom known collectively as Led Zeppelin would have their faces (for better or worse) gracing the mighty rock. I can even sort of picture it now. Jimmy Page, perhaps chiseled into the rock with a slightly sallow, greenish complexion compliments of some condition picked up from another misspent night with another misplaced hypodermic. Bonzo Bonham, bloated, face like a bowling ball to reflect the many pounds his poor frame endured from chronic alcohol abuse. Robert Plant, head full of dirty blonde, unruly hair, and perhaps the goatee he's taken to sporting in recent days which makes him look like an even lamer version of Sammy Hagar. John Paul Jones, can anyone even remember what John Paul Jones looks like? Neither can I.

    It is with not a little awe and certainly a handful of piety that one should gaze upon this collection of washed up ex-junkies, ex-boozers, ex-hippies. Unfortunately the only thing that hasn't been "ex-ed" out yet is the fact that they still insist on trying to make new music. They are for some inexplicable reason, venerated as the Gods of Rock by sundry music lovers. Sadly, unlike most people's more traditional personal gods, whether it be Yahweh, Allah, Christ, or whatever, they refuse to stay out of sight and more importantly, out of sound.

    40 years ago, this ragged, unkempt parade of wanna-be's unleashed their second effort in which they successfully exported someone else's ideas to a mass audience. In the case of their particular passion, the blues, they offered absolutely nothing of consequence to a style that had been performed decades before by Black American musicians. I wish to compare and contrast a terrible, shameless band of no depth or orgnality like Led Zeppelin and their treatment of the blues (perhaps better said, their thievery of the blues) with someone who also took as his foundation, blues music, but unlike Zep, he made it his own. I apologize in advance because I'm going to be referring to a very literary and intelligent songwriter and this is anathema to Zeppelin fans. Not to mention it will likely strain their comprehension skills to breaking point.

    If we compare Led Zeppelin's embarrassing plundering of the blues style on their first two albums, it should strike any informed fan as the pathetic meanderings of a talentless gang of rip-offs inundating the senses with something that is derived 100% from a sound and style that was decades old at the time. One cannot over-emphasize the word "derivative" enough. It conjures up images of exactly what they are and excel in, hack job replicas, completely second rate, but much more commercial than the original articles they have plundered. The very first track on here was partially nicked from a blues player born in the 1910's called Willie Dixon. As a person who is not fond of the blues played either by the orginal generators of it or their sad rip-off's, I find it uninspiring lyrically and usually dull muscially. The lengthy wailing guitar solo's are simply tedious. However, compare Zep's copycat act with Australian singer/songwriter Nick Cave's first two albums and you will see that they weren't only separated physically by miles and miles, but that Cave is light years beyond them in terms of orginality, intellect, and just simple talent.

    Now I'm sure that Zep fans are arduously scratching their heads at the name Nick Cave and aside from the reverberation of the usual empty clinging sound, are at a loss. Cave's first two albums came out in 1984 and 1985. Several years after Zeppelin and he is several years younger as well. It may seem unfair to compare artists that far apart in time, but if it was possible to use the blues as your starting point and still manage to create your own style, it would have been easier to do it in Zep's time. By 1984, the blues was even older, even more plundered by Zep and their sad acolytes. Cave managed to do it then simply because he had something Page and company never will. Brains, talent, skill, ingenuity, creativity, artistry, etc.

    Musically Cave and the Bad Seeds entailed four musicians like Led Zeppelin. Unlike Zep however, this quartet who did use blues as their starting point, created something unique and original in spite of the fact. While Jimmy Page abuses his instrument with more frustration and indulgence than a pimply geek on prom night on virtually every song, you'll find not a single guitar solo on either of Cave's first two albums. Not one. Why? Because it's dull, because it's derivative, because it means **** all to anyone who isn't themselves a pretentious white flop trying to ape the blues. "Whole Lotta Love" is ripped off from blues man Wille Dixon, and it's clear. It has about as much uniqueness as any other Zep song on the first two albums, which is to say, none. Lengthy, mind numbingly dull guitar solos and a drummer likely in an alcoholic haze struggling to keep the beat. Cave's "Tupelo" employs minimal instrumentation, it is virtually the bass alone that propels the song along eerily as Cave prophesies the doom that lay ahead for the inhabitants of the birthplace of the King. I'd love to see the hacks in Zeppelin create a song that is driven by little else but the bass guitar, but at this point I'd settle for a Zep song that didn't have a pathetic pseudo-bluesy guitar solo. "Saint Huck" is another that is propelled largely by an eerie bass line and again a demented Cave detailing the doomed Huck's venture from the river to the city. "From her To Eternity" most prominently contains crashing keyboards as well as a rivetting bass. Throughout, the guitar is hardly noticeable, much less aped to the point of fawning adulation as Jimmy Page excels in.

    Music aside, perhaps the biggest contradiction is in the lyrics. Whereas Robert Plant appears to have the mind of a petulant child perpetually p*ssing and moaning over matters of the libido (matters one suspects he lacks the maturity to even understand) Cave expands in a unique and original way on elements of blues that were always there. Plant takes elements that were always there in blues lyrics and pretty much regurgitates them verbatim to a white audience (with cutomary orgasmic yelp of course). Cave takes the themes common in blues music, melancholia, despair, hopelessness, bad luck, and then precedes to elevate them to a higher, more literary, adult level. Cave's lyrics explore religion and God and those that they have condemned. They explore dirty death row floors, the psychosis of a broken and jilted lover, the mythology of evil symbols and figures and what it is claimed they foretell. Loneliness, isolation, despair, abandonment by God and/or man, all elevated to a level that is then crammed down the listener's throat with violent assaults of voice and sparse instrumentation. There's not a lot of electric guitar on those first two Cave albums and there's many tracks when the drums are either absent or tame, but this combination contains within it approximately 1000 times more force and power than the "pedal to the medal" pseudo-energy of Led Zeppelin. Perhaps Zep had to be harder and faster in an effort to conceal how truly unoriginal and derivative these guys are. Perhaps it had to be harder and faster to conceal that the Emperor indeed has no clothes on. ...more info
  • Badd Hippie Rock!!
    Whats good people!! I love rock, get that into your head first, when I turn on the radio I expect to here good nu metal and nu rock bands but all they play is stupid old hippie rock that was made in the 70's and 80's like this!! The singer just wails like a girl, the guitarist plays random notes that don't flow naturally, the bass player is a little better than the guitarist, but thats not saying much, the drummer is the worst of all, he plays lazy and his drums are too loud in the mixx. The worst part is the lyrix, who would write songs about lemons, livin' lovin' maids and dumb books like "Moby Dick" they forced you to reed in collidge?? For good rock look into the reunited Creed, metal gods Limp Bizkit, emotional yet brutal rockers Lincoln Park, grunge gods Puddle Of Mudd, Nickleback, Theory Of A Deadman and Mudvayne, punk rockers All American Rejects and Blink 182, and hip hop legends Soulja Boi, 50 Cent, T Pain and Lil Wayne. Led Zeppelin is going nowhere and will never be on MTV!! Go Bengals, Who Dey!!...more info
  • Classic Rock
    One of Zeppelins best. Led Zep was one of the best bands of the 70's. It is hard to pin down any one thing. I Recomend buying at least the first 6 anyways. ...more info
  • In the darkest steps of Mordor
    First of All; Every cd by Led Zeppelin are 5-star cds in one way or another in my humble opinion. Of all the monster studio recordings this one is the least played of all my Zep cds. I just never got the chill I got from the others, but this is still solid rock....more info
  • Their Sgt. Pepper's
    Heavy Led at their heaviest. Help to make 1969 one of best years for rock 'n roll....more info
  • A classic since its release
    You don't need me to tell you how good this album is; you've heard it. The CD firmat brings out all the great sounds you heard in the '60s....more info
  • Led Zeppelins' Best
    Not only is this their greatest album of all time, it also features some of their most underrated songs.

    My two favorite songs are Moby Dick, Ramble On, and Whole Lotta Love.

    Whole Lotta Love: Awesome, powerful song. The mid-ways rift is mezmorizing in itself. 10/10

    What Is and What Should Never Be: I never cared much for this song. It was okay, but "The Rain Song" off of "Led Zeppelin IV (ZOSO) is a much more dominant slow song. This song just sort of drones on, and not much changes. Still, it's pretty good. 6/10

    The Lemon Song: I like this song. It has some pretty sweet vocals. 8/10

    Thank You: Still not quite as good as "The Rain Song" but better than "What Is and What Never Should Be". 7/10

    Living Loving Maid (She's Just a Woman): I REALLY liked this song somew nice guitar rifts and such. 9/10

    Ramble On: Oh HOW I LOVE THIS SONG. This was the first song by Zepp I ever heard. It came on the radio on the way back from my school. 10/10

    Moby Dick: The best song on the album. No doubt. Everything's perfect. From Jimmy Pages' face-melting guitar, to John Paul Jones' rolling bass rifts, to finally: The drums. This is one of the single greatest drum solos ever constructed. It's insane how he's able to keep it going for the that long. A masterpiece for the ages. John Bonham at his best. Robert Plants' just the acing on the epic cake. 11/10

    Bring It On Home: Finally, they conclude the album with one of John Paul Jones' greatest efforts. Being a bass player myself, I admire his style. 10/10

    I just turned 14, and I'm already a dye-hard Led Zeppelin fan. Buy this album now.

    ...more info
  • Great album just wish they came up with there own stuff.
    I like Led zeppelin 2 but every song is a remake or page stole the song and never gave them credit,at least give the writers credit.I gave it 4 stars for the great players and making ever song sound like theres though there not.still a great band.There not a totally original band.
    ...more info
  • Led Zep's funkiest effort, and certainly one of their greatest
    Led Zeppelin has always seemed to be a gem among gems. When you combine Robert Plant's spirited vocals, Jimmy Page's outrageously revolutionary guitar playing, John Paul Jones's wizardry over the bass and keys, and of course, John Bonham's masterful madhouse of drumming, you get the rock and roll behemoth that is Led Zeppelin. And while they have given birth to such popular songs as the haunting "Kashmir" (Physical Grafitti), the heavenly headbanger "Communication Breakdown" (Led Zeppelin 1) and what is probably the greatest rock and roll song ever "Stairway To Heaven" (Zoso), this album is something even more.

    Back in 1969, when people were probably least expecting it, came along this titan of an album. Within are tree-trunk drums, deep basslines, soaring vocals, and a truckload of awesome guitar riffs. For musicians, this album is like gold, for it forever changed guitar and drum playing. And for music lovers everywhere, it's a festival of good old rock 'n' roll music. Through these nine tracks, the four, then-young rockers of Led Zep take you through a journey of funk-influenced, strongly blues-based hard rock that is sheer joy.

    "Whole Lotta Love": A great song carried by the legendary guitar riff and similar bassline. After a minute and a half long break of percussion, guitar effects and spacey vocals, which give this song a very surreal feel to it, a smashing solo rips through by none other than Jimmy Page!

    "What Is And What Should Never Be": Progressive verses build up to an explosive and very funky chorus, along with some mystical lyrics to accompany this very cool song.

    "The Lemon Song": A slower and longer song that's quite blues-based, where John Paul Jones shines as a bassist. Just goes to show how underrated the man was as a musician.

    "Thank You": An excellent ballad combining superior acoustic guitars, dreamy keyboard lines, and an amazing vocal/lyrical. A truly beautiful song to put it simply.

    "Heartbreaker": A personal gem on the album. The funky drums and stunning guitar riff carry this song through. It's also got two of the greatest guitar solos of all time. Definitely one of Zeppelin's best songs.

    "Living Loving Maid": I just don't understand why the band doesn't care for this song, because it's great. Even though it's short, at only two and a half minutes, the heavy drumbeat and funky riff make this one a real rocker.

    "Ramble On": Starts off acoustic but has a great build-up. The instrumentation and lyrics make this one an awesome Led Zeppelin folk song, as they have done some great ones.

    "Moby Dick: Legendary drum performance, pure and simple. Every drummer should listen to this, as it changed drumming history for good. Of course, this has something for guitarists/guitar enthusiasts, too, as it's got a fantastic, but incredibly deep, slow-strut riff to it.

    "Bring It On Home": A wonderful closer to the album. The first thirty seconds are bass-playing and Robert Plant on the harmonica. Actually, this works really well, as this song, like others, has a build-up. At the high point of the song, the guitar and drums come in for an excellent solo and stellar riff.

    Basically speaking, this album inspired a generation. Everything about this album is great, as every song is strong, some, though, stronger than others. But to get my point across, this is a milestone in classic rock history and I would definitely recommend this, especially to classic rock/guitar/Led Zeppelin fans, especially newcomers to Led Zeppelin. Hope you all enjoy this one, 'cause like I've said before, it's a real gem!...more info
  • Just buy it.
    If you like rock music, buy it. If you like folk music, buy it. If you like the blues, buy it. If you are young, buy it. If you are old, buy it. If you are a man, buy it. If you are a woman, buy it. If you are a child, buy it (but ask your parents first). If you are healthy, sickly, active, passive, curious, smug, pretentious, unassuming, wellfed, hungry, vacationing, hard at work, lobotomized, or manic, buy it....more info
  • Whole Lotta Riffs
    Led Zep II is an innovative studio album with Page & Jones at the top of their studio wizardry. The album kicks off with the famous redundant Whole Lotta Love riff and continues through the over indulgent psycedelic bridge one is truly glad when this song ends. What is & What Should Never Be is definitely the album highlight with Zep firing on all cylinders. The bluesy Lemon Song and the poppy Thank You follows. The old war horse combo Heartbreaker/Living Loving Maid keep the album rocking and Page seems like he has riffs to burn. From here the album cools off with Plant's Hobbit influenced wispy Ramble On. the lame space filler Moby Dick instumental follows. The album closes with another highlight "Bring it On Home" a rockin blues tribute. Although Zep's creativity showed this album the music sounds lifted like a Lenny Kravitz album....more info
  • Its a Classic
    This album is one of the least talked about album but one of their most famous. With songs Like Whole Lotta Love and Heartbreaker its already worth buying but with other songs like moby dick and livin lovin maid (she's just a woman) it is an even better album. so do yourself a favor and buy this album....more info
  • Led Zeppelin
    Led Zeppelin. One of the best rock groups. I now have I II and III. I will keeep on getting more....more info
  • Love it!
    As a huge LZ fan, this is definetly one of their best. Anyone who is a rock and roll fan in general should own this album....more info
  • A Juggernaut Classic!!!
    This album is a prime example of why Bonham, Jones, Page, & Plant are legends in the Rock & Roll industry. It has everything a R & R fan could possibly want. A bluesy feel, tight Guitar riffs, solos from the soul, well constructed songs, layers of music, & passionate vocals. For me the true cohesion comes from the rythym section. Bonham's drums drives the band ever forward while JPJones is ethereal on the keyboards & perfect on the bass Guitar. There are no duds on this their Sophmore album.

    These are my seven favorites in no particular order. "Heartbreaker," opens with a classic riff. The midsection flows to an improvisational section with a fine Guitar solo. Here the lyrics & music blend easily. I have always liked this one more than the more publized "Whole Lotta Love." "Moby Dick," is a fine instrumental with Bonham's drum midsection carrying it. "Living Loving Maid," is often paired in direct succession with "Heartbreaker." It's an upbeat rocker with a memorable riff & a contagious melody. "The Lemon Song," has one great bass line as JPJones moves smoothly throughout as the crescendo than picks up & takes flight. "What Is And What Should Never Be," is a very different type of song that is hard to classify. I have been told by musicians that this is one of the harder Zeppelin songs to learn. Here the interesting lyrics play as a melodic counterpoint to Plant's vocals. "Ramble On," is the driving other side of the latter song representing moving on from the angst of love. This is one of the most underated of Led Zeppelin's songs. "Thank You," clearly is the bands best ballad until "In Through The Outdoor's All My Love." This one is smooth & brings out the romantic in the listener. This is one of their three best albums. Buy it, you won't be disappointed....more info
  • Puts the Heavy in Metal
    I really don't know how you could critize this album/CD. Possibly you could find some fault with it if you were coming from the perspective of comparing it to the first two Hendrix outings or early Doors but looking at this on a comparative basis to 95 per cent of everything else before or after then you realize just how massive the effect of this work has been. Intense, non-stop over the top talent setting an early bar for this type of music that really has never been eclipsed. Regardless of critisism of where Page got his licks and compositions, he sat in the driver's seat and pushed the pedal to the metal on every track on this one. The overall effect is a major mind attack by one of the top 3 heavy rock bands of all time. If you are young and have never experienced Zeppelin, then you need this one or if you have forgotten what the real deal is, you need this refresher course. ...more info
  • just because it's Led Zeppelin doesn't automatically make it fantastic
    Zeppelin's second album is good, but weaker than people will have you believe. You see, radio stations like to try and convince us that it's the second or third best album the band ever made, but that's not true at all. Their very best albums were Houses of the Holy and Physical Graffiti. This album was also recorded rather poorly, which explains why it sounds severely dated. It does affect the listening experience as well, because all that noise in the middle of "Whole Lotta Love" is hard to sit through. Why anyone could consider that song a classic with all that annoying noise in the middle is beyond me.

    I won't knock "What Is and What Should Never Be" because that song IS a classic. The build-up to the loud chorus rules and grabs my attention every time. "The Lemon Song" is another great song. The band was good at the blues. I also love "Thank You" a lot. A beautiful ballad.

    The second side has a few weakpoints that simply get old in a hurry. The guitar riff that opens up "Heartbreaker" is nice, but doesn't excite me nearly as much as it did when I first heard it many years ago. The rest of the song passes by harmlessly without really exciting me the entire time. An okay riff, and alright vocals. No more needs to be said about it. "Living Loving Maid" pretty much stinks though. I don't know WHAT the band was thinking putting this song on record. "Ramble On" is even worse. It never really picks up or goes anywhere. I guess it was supposed to copy what "What Is and What Should Never Be" did, but it fails because the vocals never really come together to create a good melody. The long drum solo is pointless and "Bring It on Home" is a decent way to end the album.

    No classic, just a nice hard rock album that bands like James Gang, Humble Pie, and Captain Beyond did a LOT better. ...more info