In the days of my youth… Listening to Led Zeppelin

collage

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.

Led Zeppelin I

What albums are the most nostalgic for you?

Related posts: 50 Greatest Rock Songs | Big Grooves and Little Feat | Love in a Mixtape | 47 Years of Great Rock

#13. 101 things in 1001 days. Listen to 10 classic albums all the way through.

About Marcy

I blog about trying to get out of my comfort zone, completing 101 things in 1001 days, and writing my memoirs. I am a teacher and writer living in Connecticut.
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40 Responses to In the days of my youth… Listening to Led Zeppelin

  1. sammy says:

    Love this Marcy – whenever we listen to old albums my oldest says … "what is this retro crap" … there is nothing like reliving your youth!

    For me it's anything David Bowie, I also love Van Morrison … Micko is more the Smiths, Crowded House anything 80's.

  2. Travelbug says:

    I do enjoy Eric Clapton!
    I'm not sure i could name a Led Zeppelin song though, lol, sorry :o)
    Retro for me is actually what my parents listened to when i was growing up, lots of Queen, Phil Collins, Dire Straits!

  3. MultipleMum says:

    I can’t say I have ever listened to an entire Led Zepplin album. Songs, yes, album, no. That was quite an indulgence with 10 back-to-back. Have you recovered yet? Thanks for Rewinding and for your invite to your link up. x
    MultipleMum recently posted..Weekend Rewind – April 2011 EditionMy Profile

  4. Charis says:

    The Who, The Drifters, The Kinks, Jimmy Cliff.. when I was a teenager it was all about rock & motown. Love a bit of Led Zep!

    Visiting via the Rewind :)
    Charis recently posted..We Need To Talk About KevinMy Profile

  5. DrBron says:

    I know it’s a cliche, but Stairway To Heaven still gives me shivers
    DrBron recently posted..PuppetsMy Profile

  6. Kelly says:

    Love Led Zeppelin. Especially “In through the Out Door”. There are so many songs and albums that are nostalgic to me as music played a huge part of my life and still does – Beatles, Helen Reddy, Supertramp, Kris Kristofferson, Rita Coolidge, Natalie Merchant, Janis Joplin, Dixie Chicks….. – there are so many!

    • Marcy says:

      I would like to do the same “project” with the Beatles, but I don’t have all the records. They produced so much great music and went through so many changes so quickly!

  7. Katie says:

    Wow, this brought back so many memories for me. I guess many of us shy, nerdy girls sat in the floor of our bedrooms, transfixed by lyrics and album covers. Mine might have been cassette tape and CD sleeves, but I definitely get you sentiments. My experience with albums came both very early and very recently in life. Very early my parents had a turntable and several Sesame Street albums I can remember listening and playing to. “Rubber Duckie” was nearly worn down it was played so much. More recently, I’ve taken to collecting Johnny Cash and Bob Dylan albums. I don’t have a turntable, so I hang them on my wall instead. When I look at them, I hear the music perfectly.
    Katie recently posted..The Case of the Missing OvaryMy Profile

    • Marcy says:

      Old albums are art, aren’t they? CDs have never been the same for me. Maybe you’ll get a turntable someday? I hadn’t had one for so long, but it really brings on the nostalgia to hear every little pop and hiss.

  8. May says:

    For me lots and lots of Elton John. Lots and lots!
    May recently posted..CalmMy Profile

  9. Patty says:

    Wow….after reading this I dug out some Grand Funk Railroad along with all of my Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers albums. Growing up, I wasn’t allowed to listen to much music because my parents regarded R&R as “crap” so it wasn’t until after I married that I started to accumulate albums, then 8-tracks, cassettes and cd’s. Now, all of that is on my iTouch and I love every minute of it! I won’t even mention Iron Butterfly because I’m sure you never heard of them….and, I’m dating myself, lol.

    Great post! So glad I hopped-over from the Lightning Bugs!
    Patty recently posted..The wall…My Profile

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  11. Mihee says:

    So much fun! I love the intentional progression through all of LZ’s albums. What a juxtaposition – experiencing it again as a teenager, and then having your teenagers right there with you. Love those moments.

  12. Hey Marcy,

    Loved this post! Thanks for reading mine (Bring Back the Vinyl, Man!), and commenting with this link, so I could find yours. :-) How absolutely awesome that you get to introduce your boys to Led Zeppelin, the way you experienced it, so many years ago. There truly is something magical about listening to old records. I just recently bought Simon and Garfunkel’s Greatest Hits on vinyl–an old record I found on Amazon from a thrift store. I can’t stop listening to it. Sound of Silence just SOUNDS different on a turn table.
    Shari Lopatin recently posted..Bring Back the Vinyl, Man!My Profile

    • Marcy says:

      My boys thought the vinyl records were so cool, too. The cover, the liner notes–it was all cooler in some way. Hearing Simon and Garfunkel now always reminds me of trips I took with my dad when I was a kid, and he would play that album over and over. Thanks for visiting!

  13. I love this line “a fresh side would drop down”. It took me back to some dropping down of my own with a stack of 45s (what I spent my allowance on). Do your boys like your music? I only saved one 45, something by Prince, because it came in plastic. Anything of late 70s is nostalgic for me. Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, George Benson, the list goes on an on. I probably have more 70s and before my time music on my iPod than anything else. TALU

    • Marcy says:

      My boys don’t tend to like most of the old music, but here and there we love some of the same songs. We all now love Jack White and the White Stripes, though, and it is so much fun having music we all like to listen to together in the car and when hanging out at home. Thanks for sharing your tastes. I love Stevie Wonder.

  14. Anne Kimball says:

    This is a great post, Marcy. Like you, I went from listening to music “on purpose” as a teen and young adult, to just listening to whatever was on the radio by default as an adult. I need to start choosing and connecting again!
    Thanks for linking this up with the TALU….

    • Marcy says:

      I really like putting on a vinyl disc too; the whole experience is so nostalgic. My kids were really interested in the album covers and art. It’s just not the same with an mp3 :)

  15. Azara says:

    You’re right: I rarely just sit and listen to music like I used to. I’m not even sure when I stopped doing that. (TALU)

  16. My youngest just told me yesterday that he wants the albums! And an eclectic mix it is, too: everything from Three Dog Night, The Who and the Cars, to Eddy Arnold…and Bill Cosby’s, “To Russell My Brother Whom I Slept With”. Everyone in America who has a sibling should have to listen to that one. :D

  17. I LOVE the feeling you get when you hear a song that you played over and over and over. it stirs up all sorts of emotions and memories. so glad you took the time to re-listen and remember. TALU.

    • Marcy says:

      Yes, old songs are the best. There are so many that I love so much. And I agree that it takes hearing a song many times to develop that feeling.

  18. My sister and I were beside ourselves with laughter when remakes of old Tommy James and the Shondells songs started popping up – Tiffany with I Think We’re Alone Now, etc. It really is amazing how a song coming on the radio can immediately send you to a specific point in time. Some bring me to the beach in summer, others back to college, some to an old love, etc. Music is a powerful thing. [First time stopping by via the #TALU]

    • Marcy says:

      Sometimes I will refer to an old song, and when my 7th graders know it, I know it must be a cover. I get very specific memories from some songs, too.

  19. I have several that always take me back down memory lane. It amazes me how music can bring old feelings to the surface. :) Some good and some bad. (talu)

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  23. Natalie says:

    I grew up listening to them too. Brings me back. :)
    Natalie recently posted..Three Years AgoMy Profile

  24. TriGirl says:

    We were listening to Zeppelin in the car today! Not the same as vinyl, but it was still good. I used to think I was so cool for listening to them in the days of my youth.
    TriGirl recently posted..Hey, Did I Tell You I Ran a Marathon?My Profile

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  27. Ian Black says:

    This is what Jack Black calls a Zepathon!

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