If Led Zeppelin’s first two albums turned them into the biggest rock band in the world, Led Zeppelin III cemented their place as the greatest. Rarely has an album been more eagerly anticipated – rarer still that a band has surprised their followers with such a huge stylistic jump. Largely eschewing the turbo-charged blues and thunderous riffing of Led Zeppelin and Led Zeppelin II for a more pastoral, acoustic direction.
Expanding musical palette
Despite often being described as the band’s “acoustic” album, Led Zeppelin III opens with Immigrant Song, as heavy a track as they ever committed to record. Over John Bonham’s thunderous drumming and the visceral drive of Jimmy Page’s Les Paul riffing, Robert Plant unleashes a banshee wail as he describes the marauding Viking hordes.