Led Zeppelin – In Through the Out Door
It seems that with quite a few bands I started late or even at the end of their recording output, and then had to work my way backwards through their catalog. Led Zeppelin is one such group and this is one such record, being the band’s last studio album.
If iTunes is right, this one came out on January 1st, 1979. I don’t doubt them, but releasing an album on New Year’s Day seems odd. Considering how old I was and where I was in my musical tastes at that age, it makes sense that I had not listened to previous Zeppelin albums. I was… how to say it… a bit of a wimp back then… I really did not listen to anything hard or edgy, so, there it is. In Through the Out Door, however, was a fairly accessible and commercial album and was a nice starting point for a guy like me.
The sad and frustrating thing about coming to the party late, of course, is who you might miss… and less than a year after the release of this one, drummer John Bonham would be dead and the band would break apart. The way he went, sadly was not uncommon… but according to reports he had no drugs in his system, just way too much booze. Choking on one’s own vomit and the death of a drummer would become a running joke in rock band send ups; but the tragedy was all too real and without the man many consider the best Rock N’ Roll drummer of all time, the band decided it did not want to go on.
I had heard that Robert Plant was offered something like 100 million dollars (maybe even more, a lot more) to do a reunion tour with Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones and John’s son, Jason Bonham on drums… and said no. Either he is crazy, or has amazing integrity. Although, I really don’t get it and want to know why he would consider that some kind of sell out. With some people and some bands…. I get it… Like the ones who have had multiple farewell tours… Ooops. While a Zeppelin tour would grossed a gazillion dollars, it would be still, I think, be about the music. For those of us who never saw Zep live, it would have been something… not everything, but something. Ah well. We have the vinyl and the video.
Aside from hearing some Zep on the radio yesterday, I think they popped into my head because of that tragic story out of Germany and the Goodyear blimp pilot sacrificing his own life to save all those people. Goodyear announced recently that they were switching from blimps to zeppelins.
Led Zeppelin was born out of the crazy great band The Yardbirds (some amazing stories there and interesting who Zeppelin might have been) and were signed by Atlantic Records due partially to the recommendation of the fabulous Dusty Springfield. That is pretty cool.
In Through the Out Door meanders through many styles, which is perhaps why the reviews were mixed… but I love it along with the band’s “sonic experimentation.” Sitting still and doing the same thing over and over again sucks. Led Zeppelin was anything but seat sitters. They were alway pushing boundaries and trying new things, and I can only imagine what we would have seen and heard had Bonham not died.
I keep trying to fix that damn time machine, but so far I’m still stuck here… At least I can go backwards in time with the Led Zeppelin catalog… last album to first and all that’s in between.