Hour after hour my teenage self stayed in my room listening to rock albums. For a large block of those years, it was Led Zeppelin on the turntable. I would put on a stack of records at bedtime, and every twenty minutes or so a fresh side would drop down, so much variety and yet always so familiar.
The band influenced me in many ways. I read The Hobbit after dreaming of packing my bags for the Misty Mountains. I tracked down Willie Dixon and Muddy Waters records after listening to “You Shook Me” and “Whole Lotta Love.” I grew to love Robert Johnson and Skip James. Not many shy, dorky suburban girls knew anything about the blues, so in addition to opening up a new world of music for me I guess it also gave me a sort of niche when I really needed something to talk about and somewhere to belong.
My record collection had been in boxes with no way to play them for over a decade when we refinished our basement recently and got a turntable once again. I still listen to music a lot, but it’s almost always in the background, in the car on the way to somewhere, or playing on my computer while I’m getting work done. It’s rare that I will sit and really listen like I used to as a kid, when the only thing I did was look at the album cover or follow along with the lyrics, maybe doodling or writing in a journal too.
Most of my favorite artists came along into the digital era with me; I have CDs of Eric Clapton, the Band, Little Feat, Van Morrison, and the Beatles. For whatever reason, Zeppelin stayed in my past, so it brings up the most nostalgia when I hear them. For this reason, I decided to listen to all of my Led Zeppelin albums in a row:
- Led Zeppelin (1969)
- Led Zeppelin II (1969)
- Led Zeppelin III (1970)
- Led Zeppelin IV (1971)
- Houses of the Holy (1973)
- Physical Graffiti (1975)
- Presence (1976)
- The Song Remains the Same (live) (1976)
- In Through the Out Door (1979)
- Coda (1982)
I put on the first album. “In the days of my youth, I was told what it means to be a man….”
I am instantly brought back to my past, except there are no posters of Jim Morrison or unicorns on the walls, and my teenage boys are sitting beside me.
What albums are the most nostalgic for you?
#13. 101 things in 1001 days. Listen to 10 classic albums all the way through.
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