In Through The Out Door

Led Zeppelin

Swan Song Records, 1979

REVIEW BY: Benjamin Ray


The world's best rock band staggers to an inglorious ending.

The plain brown wrapping on the original album is an indication of what's inside. This is not the Zeppelin of guitar pyrotechnics, winding epics and mystical sorcery. This is just straight-ahead rock and ballads, performed well but lacking the spark, spirit the sheer excitement of the band's earlier releases. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

"In the Evening" is held up as a classic Zep track, but it's not. The lyrics are mediocre and hard to understand, while the music rarely rises above mildly interesting. "South Bound Saurez" is kind of funky - together with "Hot Dog" it represents a completely different side of the band that's hard to classify but shows their penchant for experimentation hadn't died just yet. Yet neither track is truly memorable, and that's what Zeppelin did best, make music that really moved you.

"Fool in the Rain" is a eyebrow-raising curiosity, albeit a catchy one. It's so hard to listen to "Stairway" and then this; it seems like a different band. Same with "All My Love," the closest the group got to a mainstream pop song. It is quite beautiful, though, and not the least bit cloying or sentimental, infused as it is with true emotion from Robert Plant, singing about his recently-departed son.

Finally, "I'm Gonna Crawl" is a very slow blues number that's good once in a while, ending the album with a sigh of resignation. The only other track, the ten-minute keyboard wankfest "Carouselambra," features John Paul Jones running rampant with keyboards on an epic instead of Jimmy Page layering guitars, as in the past. But the monotony and tinny production don't carry it.

In Through the Out Door is interesting in spots, but given what had come before, it ends the story with a whimper, not a bang.

Rating: C+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


© 2005 Benjamin Ray and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Swan Song Records, and is used for informational purposes only.