My Top 1000 Songs #174: When The Levee Breaks

Led Zeppelin are another band I feel almost obligated to include somewhere on the list, because, c'mon, it's Led Zeppelin. But I can't say there's a lot of passion behind it.

My Zep agnosticism is undoubtedly based largely on radio overplay in my youth; even if, like any other white blooded male in the 70s, I had great love for 1971's LZ IV (and Houses of the Holy, and other works scattered across their catalog), it was always hard to motivate myself to pull out those records very often when I knew I'd be hearing them soon enough somewhere on the FM dial.

These days, with satellite radio segmented and FM no longer a part of my life, the overplay has somewhat receded, and I can listen to the music with slightly fresher ears. But then there's my association of Zeppelin with the sort of teenage knuckleheads who wanted to stuff me into the junior high lockers.

So, yeah, a bit of ambivalence here.

But then the bone-rattling opening drumbeat of "Levee" pops up when this record comes up on shuffle-play, and I'm ready to throw myself head-first into the apocalypse.

Live in '75 (audio only):
Like a lot of Zeppelin, "Levee" was pilfered from the Delta blues. Here's the original, by Kansas Joe McCoy and Memphis Minnie: