Led Zeppelin II

Led Zeppelin II is the second studio album by the English rock band Led Zeppelin, launched on 22 October 1969 in america and on 31 October 1969 in the UK by Atlantic Information. Recording classes for the album occurred at a number of places in each the UK and North America from January to August 1969. The album’s manufacturing was credited to the band’s lead guitarist and songwriter Jimmy Web page, and it was additionally Led Zeppelin’s first album on which Eddie Kramer served as engineer.

The album exhibited the band’s evolving musical type of blues-derived materials and their guitar riff-based sound. It has been described because the band’s heaviest album.[1] Six of the 9 songs had been written by the band, whereas the opposite three had been reinterpretations of Chicago blues songs by Willie Dixon and Howlin’ Wolf. One single, “Entire Lotta Love”, was launched outdoors of the UK (the band would launch no UK singles throughout their profession),[2] and peaked as a top-ten single in over a dozen markets all over the world.

Led Zeppelin II was a industrial success, and was the band’s first album to succeed in primary on charts within the UK and the US. The album’s cowl designer David Juniper was nominated for a Grammy Award for Greatest Recording Package deal in 1970. On 15 November 1999, the album was licensed 12× Platinum by the Recording Business Affiliation of America (RIAA) for gross sales passing 12 million copies. Since its launch, numerous writers and music critics have recurrently cited Led Zeppelin II as one of many biggest and most influential albums of all time.[3]


Led Zeppelin II was conceived throughout a busy interval of Led Zeppelin’s profession from January via August 1969, once they accomplished 4 European and three American live performance excursions.[4] Every tune was individually recorded, blended and produced at numerous studios within the UK and North America. The album was written on tour, in periods of a few hours in between concert events, a studio was booked and the recording course of begun, essentially leading to spontaneity and urgency, which is mirrored within the sound.[4] A number of songs resulted from improvisation whereas touring, together with throughout the instrumental sections of “Dazed and Confused”, and had been recorded principally reside within the studio.[5]

The album used all kinds of recording studios within the UK and the US. A few of these had been ill-equipped; one studio in Vancouver, credited as “a hut”,[6] had an 8-track set-up with out even correct headphone amenities.[7] A extra beneficial set-up was Mystic Studios in Hollywood, Los Angeles with Chris Huston engineering.[7] Lead singer Robert Plant later complained that the writing, recording, and mixing classes had been finished in many various places, and criticized the writing and recording course of.[8] “Thank You”, “The Lemon Tune” and “Moby Dick” had been overdubbed throughout the tour, whereas the blending of “Entire Lotta Love” and “Heartbreaker” was additionally finished on tour. Web page later acknowledged, “In different phrases, a few of the materials got here out of rehearsing for the subsequent tour and getting new materials collectively.”[9]

Recording classes for the album occurred at Olympic and Morgan Studios in London, England; A&M, Quantum, Sundown, Mirror Sound and Mystic Studios in Los Angeles; Ardent Studios in Memphis, Tennessee; A&R, Juggy Sound, Groove and Mayfair Studios in New York Metropolis; and R&D Studios,[10] known as a “hut,” in Vancouver.[11][6] Manufacturing was solely credited to Jimmy Web page, with Eddie Kramer engineering.[7] Kramer later stated, “The well-known Entire Lotta Love combine, the place every little thing goes bananas, is a mixture of Jimmy and myself simply flying round on a small console twiddling each knob recognized to man.”[7]

Kramer later gave nice credit score to Web page for the sound that was achieved, regardless of the inconsistent circumstances during which it was recorded: “We minimize a few of the tracks in a few of the most weird studios you may think about … however in the long run it sounded bloody marvellous … there was one man in cost and that was Mr. Web page.”[12] Web page and Kramer spent two days mixing the album at A&R Studios.[12]

Music and lyrics

The completed tracks mirror the evolving sound of the band and their reside performances.[13][14] Plant had his first songwriting credit on Led Zeppelin II; he had been unable to have his contributions to the writing course of credited for the primary album due to a previous contract with CBS Information.[15]

Facet one

“Entire Lotta Love” was constructed round a five-note Web page riff. Elements of the lyrics had been taken instantly from Willie Dixon’s “You Want Love”, which led to the group being sued for plagiarism, ultimately settling out of courtroom. The association additionally resembles the Small Faces monitor “You Want Loving”.[15][16] With fundamental tracks recorded on Web page’s houseboat, the center part of the tune contained quite a lot of overdubbed devices and vocals which had been blended reside by Web page and Kramer, making full use of stereo panning and different controls accessible on the desk. The tune was edited right down to a single within the US, the place it grew to become a prime 5 hit. Within the UK, a single launch was cancelled; the group by no means issued any singles there throughout their lively profession collectively.[17] It was lastly issued as a single in 1997.[18] A primarily instrumental model of the tune was recorded by CCS and was used because the theme tune to the BBC TV present High of the Pops, guaranteeing it was well-known by just about everybody in Britain.[19]

Led Zeppelin carried out “Entire Lotta Love” at each gig from June 1969 onwards. It was the closing variety of their reside reveals between 1970 and 1973, typically prolonged to include a rock’n’roll medley in the direction of the top of the set. A unique association of the tune was performed for the Knebworth Fayre concert events in 1979. It was the final tune the group ever carried out reside with Bonham, on 7 July 1980. “Entire Lotta Love” has since been critically praised as one of many definitive heavy metallic tracks, although the group have by no means thought of themselves to suit that particular type.[19]

“What Is and What Ought to By no means Be” was primarily written by Plant. It options quite a lot of dynamics throughout the monitor, together with flanged vocals and wide-panned stereo guitars.[19]

“The Lemon Tune” was a re-arrangement of Howlin’ Wolf’s “Killing Flooring”, which had change into a daily a part of the group’s reside present throughout 1969. It was principally recorded reside and expanded to incorporate new lyrics, together with the sexually-charged phrase “squeeze my lemon” which was borrowed from Robert Johnson’s “Travelling Riverside Blues”, which the band had performed for the BBC radio present High Gear broadcast on 29 June 1969.[19][20][21][22]

“Thank You” was written by Plant as a love tune to his spouse, Maureen. Web page performed twelve-string guitar and Jones performed Hammond organ on the monitor.[19]

Facet two

“Heartbreaker” was principally written by Web page as a showcase for his guitar expertise, together with an unaccompanied solo in the course of the tune. It rapidly grew to become a reside favorite, being carried out recurrently from October 1969 onwards, and all through the group’s profession.[19]

“Dwelling Loving Maid (She’s Only a Lady)” was presupposed to be written a couple of groupie the band encountered whereas touring the US. The group disliked the monitor, contemplating it to be little greater than filler, and consequently it was by no means performed reside by the group. Plant carried out the monitor reside on his 1990 solo tour.[19]

“Ramble On” was written by Plant. The lyrics had been impressed by J. R. R. Tolkien, and comparable themes appeared on subsequent Led Zeppelin albums. The monitor made good use of dynamics, shifting from a quiet acoustic guitar within the opening, to quite a lot of overdubbed electrical guitars in the direction of the top.[23] It was by no means carried out reside by Led Zeppelin throughout their important profession, however Plant has carried out the tune recurrently on solo excursions, and it was a part of Web page and Plant’s reside set within the mid-Nineties. It was lastly carried out reside for the primary time by Led Zeppelin on the Ahmet Ertegun Tribute Live performance in 2007.[24]

“Moby Dick” was designed as a showcase for Bonham’s drum solo. It was initially known as “Pat’s Delight” (after his spouse) and options quite a lot of drums and percussive devices performed with naked palms in addition to drumsticks. It was a daily a part of Led Zeppelin’s reside present, creating to incorporate further percussion and digital drums.[23]

“Carry It On Residence” was a canopy of a Willie Dixon tune initially carried out by Sonny Boy Williamson II. Led Zeppelin’s association features a sooner center part along with the simple blues construction of the unique. It was performed reside recurrently all through late 1969 and 1970.[23]

Art work

The World Warfare I {photograph} on which the album sleeve was primarily based

The album sleeve design was from a poster by David Juniper, who was merely advised by the band to give you an fascinating concept. Juniper was a fellow pupil of Web page’s at Sutton Artwork Faculty in Surrey.[25]

Juniper’s design was primarily based on {a photograph} of the Jagdstaffel 11 Division of the German Air Power throughout World Warfare I, the Flying Circus led by the Pink Baron. Juniper changed 4 of the flyers’ heads with photographs of the band members, added facial hair and sun shades to a few of the flyers’ faces or changed some with the faces of different folks. The blonde-haired girl is French actress Delphine Seyrig in her function as Marie-Magdalene within the movie Mr. Freedom, a leftist anti-war satire by William Klein. The duvet additionally pictured the define of a Zeppelin on a brown background (just like the duvet of the band’s first album), which gave the album its nickname “Brown Bomber”.[26]

Launch and reception

The album was launched on 22 October 1969 on Atlantic Information, with advance orders of 400,000 copies.[27] The promoting marketing campaign was constructed across the slogans ‘Led Zeppelin – The Solely Technique to Fly’ and ‘Led Zeppelin II Now Flying’.[15] In america, some commercially duplicated reel-to-reel copies of Led Zeppelin II made by Ampex bore the title Led Zeppelin II – The Solely Technique to Fly on their backbone. Commercially, Led Zeppelin II was the band’s first album to hit No. 1 within the US, knocking The BeatlesAbbey Highway (1969) twice from the highest spot, the place it remained for seven weeks.[15] By April 1970 it had registered three million American gross sales, while in Britain it loved a 138-week residence on the LP chart, climbing to the highest spot in February 1970.[15] In the meantime, the album reached the highest spot in different 5 nationwide albums charts (together with Canadian, Australian and Spanish albums charts). In November Ritchie Yorke reported in Billboard that whereas the album had achieved “staggering” gross sales, as a tough rock report it was thought of unsuitable for North American High 40 radio stations, who had been “dreary and indifferent from the mainstream of up to date rock music”.[28]

The album additionally yielded Led Zeppelin’s greatest hit, “Entire Lotta Love”. This tune reached No. 4 on the Billboard Scorching 100 in January 1970, after Atlantic went in opposition to the group’s needs by releasing a shorter model on 45. The only’s B-side, “Dwelling Loving Maid (She’s Only a Lady)”, additionally hit the Billboard chart, peaking at No. 65 in April 1970. The album helped set up Led Zeppelin as a world live performance attraction, and for the subsequent yr, the group continued to tour relentlessly, initially performing in golf equipment and ballrooms, then in bigger auditoriums and ultimately stadiums as their recognition grew.[29]

Crucial response to Led Zeppelin II was not optimistic initially. John Mendelsohn wrote a detrimental evaluate of the report for Rolling Stone, during which he mocked the group’s heavy sound and white blues, whereas writing that “till you’ve got listened to the album eight hundred occasions, as I’ve, it appears as if it is only one particularly heavy tune prolonged over the house of two entire sides”.[30] In The Village Voice, Robert Christgau jokingly referred to the band as “one of the best of the wah-wah mannerist teams, so soiled they drool on demand”, whereas complaining that “all of the songs sound alike”, earlier than assigning the album a “B” grade.[31] He nonetheless conceded in 1970 that “Led Zeppelin merely out-heavied everybody” the earlier yr, “pitting Jimmy Web page’s repeated low-register fuzz riffs in opposition to the untiring freak depth of Robert Plant’s vocal. This trademark has solely emerged clearly on the second album, and increasingly I’m coming to grasp it as an inventive triumph.”[32]

On 10 November 1969, the album was licensed gold by the Recording Business Affiliation of America and in 1990 it was licensed 5× platinum reflecting transport of 5 million copies. By 14 November 1999, Led Zeppelin II had shipped twelve million copies and was licensed 12× platinum by the RIAA.[33] The 2014 reissue of the album helped itself get again into the Billboard High 10 when it received to No. 9.[34]

Legacy and reappraisal

Retrospective skilled rankings
Evaluate scores
Supply Score
AllMusic [35]
Blender [36]
Encyclopedia of Fashionable Music [37]
Leisure Weekly A+[38]
MusicHound Rock 4.5/5[39]
Q [40]
The Rolling Stone Album Information [41]
Tom Hull – on the Net B+[42]

Led Zeppelin II has since been thought to be the quintessential heavy metallic album.[43] AllMusic editor Stephen Thomas Erlewine stated it “supplied the blueprint for all of the heavy metallic bands that adopted it”.[13] Whereas crediting the band for basically inventing metallic, Tom Hull stated that, after the primary album had declared their musical ambition, “the second honed it right down to a singular entity, a sound”, with subsequent albums increasing on it in “refined, subtler, typically fairly clever” methods, however nonetheless indebted to “the essential dumbness” of II – “dumb not within the sense of silly however of non-speaking. Lyrics are there after all, however as an integral a part of the music, a music higher appropriated tactilely, via incoherent sensation, than intellectually, literarily.”[44]

The album was described as a “good if heavy-handed blues-rock offensive”, by fashionable music scholar Ronald Zalkind.[45] In accordance with Robert Santelli’s The Huge Guide of Blues: A Biographical Encyclopedia (2001), Led Zeppelin “had already begun to maneuver past its blues-rock influences, venturing into beforehand unexplored hard-rock territories”.[46] Blues-derived songs like “Entire Lotta Love”, “Heartbreaker”, “The Lemon Tune”, “Moby Dick”, and “Carry It On Residence” have been seen as representing requirements of the metallic style, the place the guitar-based riff (moderately than vocal refrain or verses) defines the tune and gives the important thing hook.[17] Such preparations and emphasis had been on the time atypical in fashionable music.[13] Web page’s guitar solo in “Heartbreaker” was an affect on later famend guitarists Eddie Van Halen, as inspiration for his two-handed tapping approach, and Steve Vai. [47]

Since its preliminary crucial reception, Led Zeppelin II has earned a number of accolades from music publications, continuously ranked on critics’ “greatest album” lists.[3] In 1989, Spin journal ranked the album No. 5 on its record of The 25 Biggest Albums of All Time.[3] In 1990, CD Evaluate ranked it sixth on their record of prime 50 CDs for beginning a “pop/rock” library; an accompanying blurb described the album as “white boy blues with a tough rock edge”.[48] In 2000, Q journal positioned Led Zeppelin II at quantity 37 in its record of the 100 Biggest British Albums Ever.[49] In 2003, the album was ranked quantity 75 on Rolling Stone journal’s record of the five hundred biggest albums of all time,[50] 79 in a 2012 revised record,[51] and 123 in a 2020 revised record.[52] The album was additionally included within the e-book 1001 Albums You Should Hear Earlier than You Die.[53]

Accolades for Led Zeppelin II
Publication Nation Accolade 12 months Rank
Grammy Award United States “Grammy Award for Greatest Recording Package deal”[54] 1970 Nominee
Guitarist United Kingdom “High 50 Most Influential Guitar Albums of All Time Ever”[55] 1994 3
Mojo United Kingdom “The 100 Biggest Albums Ever Made”[56] 1996 41
Platendraaier The Netherlands – Dutch “High 30 Albums of the 60s”[57] 2015 11
The Guitar United States “Album of the Millennium”[58] 1999 6
Rolling Stone United States “The five hundred Biggest Albums of All Time”[52] 2020 123
Q United Kingdom “100 Biggest Albums Ever”[59] 2003 37
Rock Laborious Germany “The five hundred Biggest Rock & Metallic Albums of All Time”[60] 2005 318
Robert Dimery United States “1001 Albums You Should Hear Earlier than You Die”[61] 2006 *
Basic Rock United Kingdom “100 Biggest British Rock Album Ever”[62] 2006 8
Rock and Roll Corridor of Fame United States “The Definitive 200: High 200 Albums of All-Time”[63] 2007 47
Q United Kingdom “50 Years of Nice British Music (Sixties)”[64] 2008 *

(*) designates unordered lists.

2014 reissue

2014 reissue rankings
Mixture scores
Supply Score
Metacritic 95/100[65]
Evaluate scores
Supply Score
The Austin Chronicle [66]
Consequence of Sound A−[67]
Pitchfork 10/10[68]
Q [69]
Rolling Stone [70]

Together with the group’s self-titled debut album and their third album, Led Zeppelin III, the album was remastered and reissued on 2 June 2014. The reissue is available in six codecs: a typical CD version, a deluxe two-CD version, a typical LP model, a deluxe two-LP model, a brilliant deluxe two-CD plus two-LP model with a hardback e-book, and as high-resolution, 24-bit/96k digital downloads. The deluxe and tremendous deluxe editions function bonus materials containing different takes, backing tracks and the beforehand unreleased instrumental, “La La”.[71] The reissue was launched with an altered color model of the unique album’s art work as its bonus disc’s cowl.[72]

The reissue was met with widespread crucial acclaim. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized score out of 100 to critiques from mainstream publications, the album obtained a mean rating of 95, primarily based on 10 critiques.[65] Pitchfork journalist Mark Richardson stated, “the reissue sounds as thrilling as ever”,[68] whereas Julian Marszalek of The Quietus famous the bonus disc’s “intriguing perception” into the unique report’s creation.[73] In Rolling Stone, David Fricke wrote, “the alternate takes spotlight Robert Plant’s ripening vocal poise and, in a tough mixture of ‘Ramble On’, the decisive, melodic pressure of John Paul Jones’ bass and John Bonham’s drumming.”[70] “As a two-disc set”, Consequence of Sounds Michael Madden wrote, “this reissue is each a reminder of the unique album’s wallop and a better have a look at the alchemy of a band more and more attuned to concepts of development.”[67] Raoul Hernandez from The Austin Chronicle was extra crucial of the bonus disc, discovering it to be “the thinest of extras” provided by the reissue program.[66]

Observe itemizing

Facet one
No. Title Author(s) Size
1. “Entire Lotta Love”
  • John Bonham
  • Willie Dixon
  • John Paul Jones
  • Jimmy Web page
  • Robert Plant
2. “What Is and What Ought to By no means Be”
  • Web page
  • Plant
3. “The Lemon Tune”
  • Bonham
  • Chester Burnett
  • Jones
  • Web page
  • Plant
4. “Thank You”
  • Web page
  • Plant
Facet two
No. Title Author(s) Size
1. “Heartbreaker”
  • Bonham
  • Jones
  • Web page
  • Plant
2. “Dwelling Loving Maid (She’s Only a Lady)”
  • Web page
  • Plant
3. “Ramble On”
  • Web page
  • Plant
4. “Moby Dick” (instrumental)
  • Bonham
  • Jones
  • Web page
5. “Carry It On Residence”
  • Bonham
  • Dixon
  • Jones
  • Web page
  • Plant
Complete size: 41:38


  • Cassette tape releases of the album had “Heartbreaker” ending the primary aspect and “Thank You” beginning the second aspect. On some cassette points “The Lemon Tune” was credited as “Killing Flooring”.
  • Authentic LP pressings of the album incorrectly listed the working time of “Thank You” at 3:50, because the tune’s coda contains a false fade at that time.
  • Sides one and two had been mixed as tracks 1–9 on CD reissues.
2014 deluxe version bonus disc
No. Title Author(s) Size
1. “Entire Lotta Love” (Tough combine with vocal)
  • John Bonham
  • Willie Dixon
  • John Paul Jones
  • Jimmy Web page
  • Robert Plant
2. “What Is and What Ought to By no means Be” (Tough combine with vocal)
  • Web page
  • Plant
3. “Thank You” (Backing monitor)
  • Web page
  • Plant
4. “Heartbreaker” (Tough combine with vocal)
  • Bonham
  • Jones
  • Web page
  • Plant
5. “Dwelling Loving Maid (She’s Only a Lady)” (Backing monitor)
  • Web page
  • Plant
6. “Ramble On” (Tough combine with vocal)
  • Web page
  • Plant
7. “Moby Dick” (Intro/Outro tough combine)
  • Bonham
  • Jones
  • Web page
8. “La La” (Backing monitor)
  • Web page
  • Jones
Complete size: 32:39


Led Zeppelin

  • John Bonham – drums, backing vocals
  • John Paul Jones – bass guitar, organ, backing vocals
  • Jimmy Web page – guitars, theremin, backing vocals
  • Robert Plant – lead vocals, harmonica


  • Producer – Jimmy Web page
  • Recording engineers
George Chkiantz at Olympic Studios, London: “Entire Lotta Love”, “What Is and What Ought to By no means Be”
Chris Huston at Mirror Sound, Los Angeles: “The Lemon”, “Moby Dick”
Andy Johns at Morgan Studios, London: “Thank You”, “Dwelling Loving Maid (She’s Only a Lady)”
Eddie Kramer at A & R Studios, Juggy Sound Studio, and Atlantic Studios (resp.), New York: “Heartbreaker”, “Ramble On”, “Carry It On Residence”
  • Director of engineering and mixing at A & R Studios – Eddie Kramer
  • LP mastering – Robert Ludwig
  • Govt producer – Peter Grant
  • Art work – David Juniper

Digitally remastered editions

  • First 1987 CD mastering [19127-2] – Barry Diament at Atlantic Studios
  • 1994 digital remastering (from the unique grasp tapes) – Jimmy Web page and George Marino at Sterling Sound
  • 2014 192 kHz/24 bit digital transfers of the unique analogue tapes – Jimmy Web page at Metropolis Mastering, London
Extra engineering for prev. unreleased studio outtakes – Drew Griffiths at Metropolis Mastering, London
Mastering of prev. unreleased tracks – John Davis at Metropolis Mastering, London
  • All reissues produced by Jimmy Web page



Gross sales certificates for Led Zeppelin II
Area Certification Licensed items/gross sales
Argentina (CAPIF)[95] Gold 30,000^
Australia (ARIA)[96] 4× Platinum 280,000^
Austria (IFPI Austria)[97] Gold 25,000*
Canada (Music Canada)[98] 9× Platinum 900,000^
France (SNEP)[99] 2× Gold 200,000*
Germany (BVMI)[100] Platinum 500,000^
Italy (FIMI)[101]
gross sales since 2009
Platinum 100,000*
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[102] Gold 50,000^
Sweden (GLF)[103] Gold 25,000[104]
United Kingdom (BPI)[105] 4× Platinum 1,200,000^
United States (RIAA)[33] 12× Platinum 12,000,000^

* Gross sales figures primarily based on certification alone.
^ Shipments figures primarily based on certification alone.

See additionally

  • Record of best-selling albums in america
  • Record of Billboard 200 number-one albums of 1970



  • Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian (2004). The New Rolling Stone Album Information (4th ed.). New York: Simon and Schuster. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8.
  • Buckley, Peter (2003). The Tough Information to Rock. London: Tough Guides. ISBN 1-85828-201-2.
  • Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Guide 1970 – 1992. Australian Chart Guide, St Ives, N.S.W. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  • Lewis, Dave (1990). Led Zeppelin: A Celebration. Omnibus Press. ISBN 978-0-711-92416-1.
  • Lewis, Dave (2010). Led Zeppelin: The Full Information To Their Music. Omnibus Press. ISBN 9780857121356.
  • Lewis, Dave (2012). From A Whisper to A Scream: The Full Information to the Music of Led Zeppelin. Omnibus Press. ISBN 978-0-857-12788-4.
  • Lewis, Dave; Pallett, Simon (1997). Led Zeppelin: The Live performance File. London: Omnibus Press. ISBN 0-7119-5307-4.
  • Rosen, Craig (1996). The Billboard Guide of Quantity One Albums: The Inside Story Behind Pop Music’s Blockbuster Information (1st ed.). New York: Billboard Books. p. 118. ISBN 0-8230-7586-9.

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