Led Zeppelin III, the third album by English rock band Led Zeppelin, was released October 5, 1970 by Atlantic Records. It was recorded between January and July 1970 at Olympic Studios, London and Headley Grange, East Hampshire, then mixed at Ardent Studios, Memphis in August 1970 during Led Zeppelin's sixth American concert tour. The album was produced by guitarist Jimmy Page and engineered by Andy Johns.
It has been suggested that Led Zeppelin III was something of a watershed release for the band, as it marked a change from Page's domination of the first two albums towards a more democratic affair in which all four group members offered up their own compositions and ideas - a pattern that would continue in future sessions. The album added acoustic and folk rock elements to the band's established rock and blues repertoire, which also helped endear the band to progressive rock fans. However, some detractors attacked the heavier tracks as being mindless noise, whilst the acoustic material was criticised by others for imitating the music of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. Although these negative reviews had a slight effect on sales at the time, Led Zeppelin III was still a trans-Atlantic #1 hit. Sales eventually lagged in the wake of Led Zeppelin I and II, but with the passage of time III's reputation has recovered considerably.
The album contains two of Led Zeppelin's most well-known songs: "Immigrant Song" and "Since I've Been Loving You". The first of these, written by Jimmy Page and Robert Plant, is about the Norse invasions of England (an ironic interpretation of immigration) and was inspired by the band's recent performances in Iceland. "Since I've Been Loving You" is a classic, original blues in minor key featuring heartfelt interplay by all four group members. It would become a performance staple of Led Zeppelin concerts, especially from 1971 through 1973, replacing Willie Dixon's "I Can't Quit You Baby" from the first album as the band's slow blues showcase. Other fan favorites from the album were the rock songs "Celebration Day" and "Out on the Tiles", and the acoustic tracks "Bron-Y-Aur Stomp" and "That's the Way", the latter considered by many critics to be a breakthrough for still-developing lyric writer Plant. The song "Gallows Pole" is actually an arrangement of a traditional folk song by that name, also recorded by Lead Belly some thirty years earlier.
"Immigrant Song" (Jimmy Page, Robert Plant) – 2:25
"Friends" (Page, Plant) – 3:54
"Celebration Day" (Page, Plant, John Paul Jones) – 3:29
"Since I've Been Loving You" (Page, Plant, Jones) – 7:23
"Out on the Tiles" (Page, Plant, John Bonham) – 4:08
"Gallows Pole" (trad. arr. Page, Plant) – 4:58
"Tangerine" (Page) – 3:12
"That's the Way" (Page, Plant) – 5:39
"Bron-Y-Aur Stomp" (Page, Plant, Jones) – 4:18
"Hats Off to (Roy) Harper" (traditional) – 3:42
Jimmy Page – acoustic guitar, electric guitar, pedal steel guitar, backing vocals, banjo
Robert Plant – vocals, harmonica
John Paul Jones – bass, organ, synths, mandolin, backing vocals
John Bonham – drums, percussion, backing vocals
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