Led Zeppelin: The 1970s Folky Acoustic Set

Led Zeppelin live album
Led Zeppelin in action.

Led Zeppelin is one of our favourite bands. And as we’re back in lockdown tomorrow here in England, we fancied covering the band’s uplifting 1970s acoustic set.

The band is famous for its heavy rock numbers, but it’s important to remember the four members were also adept with folk music.

So, here’s the acoustic set. Around this time, the band would take a mid-gig break to go into the acoustic set. With these three numbers playing consecutively.

That’s The Way

Written in 1970 at Bron-Yr-Aur cottage in Wales, we think the song show the band at its thoughtful best.

With his big hair and good looks, singer Robert Plant was very bloody effective on this number. It’s off Led Zeppelin III (1970).

The band’s music on that album had a marked shift away from the heavy numbers off the first two albums.

That’s the Way is a highlight—a folk ballad that appears to be about two young kids who are banned from playing with each anymore. So, it’s a childhood lament of sorts.

Going to California

Off the legendary untitled fourth album (yes, that one with Stairway to Heaven on it), this features a mandolin played by John Paul Jones.

Plant later said he was a bit embarrassed by some of the lyrics, but is a reference to his lifestyle when he was but a nipper at 22.

“Smoke my stuff”, is possibly what he’s referring to there. Not his best line ever, sure, but the mandolin more than makes up for it.

Bron-Y-Aur Stomp

Here’s a change in tone, with a bouncy little number where drummer John Bonham gets stuck into the action.

Also off Led Zeppelin III, it’s what we saw called a “country music hoedown”. Yeehaw and all that!

We can’t stand country music. But we do like this bopping number, which is clearly designed to get the audience back in the mood for big heavy blues rock numbers.

Brun-Yr-Aur

Later featuring on the 1975 Physical Graffiti album, Page had another nod back to his time in that tiny Welsh cottage.

Here’s a beautiful little acoustic number, which we think shows off Page’s genius as a musician in full flow.

But there we go! Four acoustic numbers we thought you might like to hear on this fine day.

Unless you don’t like Led Zeppelin. In which case this whole post is a waste of time for you.

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