List: Top 5 Led Zeppelin Songs off the first three remasters

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ledzeppelinA week or two ago we ran our story quoting Jimmy Page saying “It’s a closure, if you want to use that word, of the recording world, the studio world of Led Zeppelin and the time, those years that Led Zeppelin was indeed a band.” If these painstaking album reissues are going to provide a closure. I thought there’d be no better way to celebrate than to knock out a top five list of tracks from the first three albums that where released in the reissue series.

Since all these albums are so memorable, some difficult choices had to be made. But here, based on ingenuity, influence, and all out rock ‘n’ roll energy, I’ve assembled my top five tracks. I’m sure you Rocknuts fans can attest to how good these sound as the needle travels through the 180 gram groove — or whatever your preferred listening method may be. I also hope to visit the other six albums in the series in the coming weeks.

1. “How Many More Times”

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With No. 2 on our list being the Led Zeppelin opener, It‘s only fitting that our No. 1 is the Led Zeppelin closer. What separates “How Many More Times” above all these other great tracks? Plant‘s opening vocal howl, the reappearance of Page‘s violin bow, memorable Jonesy bass line, as well as the breakdown near the end. Plant croons about Rosie while Page provides a sexually-charged, bounding riff that never leaves your head. It’s one of our favorite parts to ever grace a Zep song and easily makes this our #1.

2. “Good Times, Bad Times”

Not many people would refuse advice from the one and only Robert Plant. Knowing Led Zeppelin as we do now, we know that they never had much of a struggle for the attention of female fans, but you wouldn’t know it by this song’s lyrics. Accompany Plant’s down-on-your-luck lyrics with Page and his deadly, lesser-known “Dragon” Telecaster, and that’s a classic in the making.

3. “Friends”

“Friends” is a classic example of Led Zep mysticism. Inspired by their love of Indian/Persian culture, this acoustic number soars. “Friends” is also one of the few Zep tracks that actually includes a string arrangement, this one by bass player John Paul Jones (who unfortunately never got a writing credit for it).

4. “The Lemon Song”

Sexuality is always a factor for Led Zeppelin, and “The Lemon Song is a great example of that. Drawing on their fascination with early blues greats such as Robert Johnson, John Lee Hooker, and Howlin‘ Wolf, this is a rocker for the ages. Plant references “Killing Floor,” a Howlin’ Wolf song about male-female relationships—specifically, that age-old problem of a woman getting you down.

5. Dazed and Confused”

Evolving out of The Yardbirds song “I’m Confused,” “Dazed and Confused” grabs you immediately as it starts it slow creep. Marking the first time Page used a violin bow on his Telecaster, “Dazed and Confused” creates an evil vibe not shared by many at the time. For its solos alone it had to crack the top 5.

Photo credit: By p_a_h from United Kingdom (flickr.com) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

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