Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Led Zeppelin - All My Love

I’m not sure whether I should be impressed or disappointed in myself for managing to get through thirteen months, and subsequently thirteen songs, without mentioning Led Zeppelin.

I think I’ve waited long enough.

For anyone who actually loves music, opposed to just liking music, we all have a first love, not unlike adolescent drama actual love. The advantage of our first love of music is there is never awkward or embarrassing moments or heartbreak, only fond wonderful memories. For me Led Zeppelin was my first love, the first CD I ever owned was “Led Zeppelin 4”, the second album I owned was “Led Zeppelin 2”, the third “Led Zeppelin - Houses of the Holy,” the forth was “Pink Floyd - The Wall,” but now I’m clearly getting off topic.

If I remember correctly I fell asleep every night listening to Led Zeppelin between the ages of thirteen to sixteen, and listened to an average of seven hours of Led Zeppelin every day in that time. I would have listened to them more but I had to sleep sometimes and school often got in the way too.

Back when the Internet was a new place for me one of my first endeavors was to get my hands on any song on the radio I liked but did not posses. In that effort there was Napster, which was near dead by the time of my arrival on the web, so the first program I ever really used to download mp3s was Alakazam, if anyone remembers that?

Soon after accumulating a few hundred songs and thinking I had an impressive number of songs, the songs I knew by title and wanted to download was becoming a slimming list. So to avoid the evil that is boredom I begun to download hordes of Led Zeppelin songs, live, rare, demos, whatever I could find. Among my greatest find was the original uncut version of “All my Love,” off of the album “In Through the Out Door.” “All my Love,” was then, and probably still is one of my twenty or so favorite songs. As you can imagine having a version that was one minute and fifty-one seconds longer was simply all the better.

You have heard this song on the radio, or you have been doing something very impressive to keep yourself ignorant. There is an additional moment at the beginning with the band fooling around with the opening notes before they stop laughing and actually start playing the song as we know it. But, we get at least a full minute after the song usually fades out.

I always say, you know, you know a song really well, when you can sing along with gibberish at the end. Now every time I hear “All my Love” on the radio not only do I sing along with the entire song, but also always after the song has faded out I keep singing the rest of the virtually unknown remainder of the original version. The extended ending mostly consists of various forms of the chorus and gibberish with Robert Plant showing off how he can sing the same lyrics under a variety different tempos and still keeps within the melody of the baseline. He does that a lot, and I mean a lot, in the song “Tea for One,” off the album “Presence,” if you ever heard it.

Ever since that fateful day I found the original extended version of “All my Love,” I never heard of any mention of such a version anywhere, and its not as if I haven’t been looking. I’m always on the lookout for anything remotely new (to me) by Led Zeppelin. Sometimes I think I’ve grown more fond of something other then Zeppelin but every time I put a CD in, I have too listen to the entire album, beginning to end, knowing every last word. It’s like visiting an old friend and all the little details I nearly forgot come back to me like memories relived.

I doubt it will be long before I review Led Zeppelin again. I have yet to review my all time favorite song, and no it’s not “Stairway to Heaven,” but something as beautiful.

Until next month, keep on rocking in the free world.

- Colin