The 8 Led Zeppelin Albums, Ranked
Led Zeppelin albums are unlike anything else you'll ever hear. It is beyond rare to be spoiled by this degree of general consistency in music.
Robert Plant on vocals. Jimmy Page on guitar. John Paul Jones on bass and keys. John Bonham on drums. This cast of stars undoubtedly made their mark on rock & roll.
This month in 1979, Led Zeppelin released their last studio album, In Through the Out Door. In honor of the legendary group's impact, we'll be ranking their whole catalog of studio albums.
Studio albums refer to bodies of music that are created in a studio environment, not live recordings from tour or compilations. Led Zeppelin has more albums in general, but just 8 studio-recorded projects.
By no means is the worst album on this list bad at all; this is all relative to one of the greatest rock bands of all time. So without further ado, let's get started.
Table of Contents
- Led Zeppelin IV
- Led Zeppelin II
- In Through the Out Door
- Houses of the Holy
- Led Zeppelin
- Physical Graffiti
- Led Zeppelin III
1. 'Led Zeppelin IV'
Release Date: November 8, 1971
Context: Led Zeppelin's 4th studio album, released by Atlantic Records.
In what's arguably their most masterful display of musicality, Led Zeppelin makes the incredibly difficult look easy. As they're nearing the end of their relationship with Atlantic Records, they've got their trademark sound down-pat. However, there's a lot of creative surprises that show just how far they've come since their first album in 1969.
2. 'Led Zeppelin II'
Release Date: October 22, 1969
- "What Is and What Should Never Be"
- "Living Loving Maid (She's Just a Woman)"
Context: Led Zeppelin's 2nd studio album, released by Atlantic Records.
If "Stairway to Heaven" wasn't on Led Zeppelin IV, this album would've stood a great shot at our number one spot. This album is oozing with classics; it's hard to discern between hits and deep cuts on this one.
3. 'In Through the out Door'
Release Date: August 15, 1979
Context: Led Zeppelin's 8th and final studio album, released by Swan Song Records (how appropriate for their goodbye, right?).
On their final album, Led Zeppelin put the cherry on top of the 7 albums they'd released prior. In Through the out Door is a top-notch display of both musicality and outside-the-box thinking, and is the final proof of Led Zeppelin's evolution over the decade (1969-1979).
4. 'Houses of the Holy'
Release Date: March 28, 1973
- "Over the Hills and Far Away"
- "The Song Remains the Same"
Context: Led Zeppelin's 5th studio album, released by Atlantic Records.
This album was the final studio-recorded project that Led Zeppelin released with Atlantic Records. While on paper, they were still in the same spot as before, their sound on Houses of the Holy tells a much different story.
5. 'Led Zeppelin'
Release Date: January 12, 1969
- "Your Time Is Gonna Come"
- "Communication Breakdown"
Context: Led Zeppelin's 1st studio album, released by Atlantic Records. What a way to start.
This is one of the most iconic entrances of all-time in rock music. Nearly every song is memorable, which is not easy to come by. Their understanding of music history up to that point, combined with their innovative skillsets, adds up to an unforgettable body of music.
6. 'Physical Graffiti'
Release Date: February 24, 1975
Context: Led Zeppelin's 6th studio album, released by Swan Song Records.
While Physical Graffiti sounds like a bit of a reach, it makes a lot of sense why. This is their first album apart from Atlantic Records, after a storied career of hitmaking. It's safe to say they had plenty of creative freedom on this one, which bred tracks like "Kashmir" and "Trampled Under Foot."
7. 'Led Zeppelin III'
Release Date: October 5, 1970
- "Since I've Been Loving You"
Context: Led Zeppelin's 3rd studio album, released by Atlantic Records.
Outside of "Stairway to Heaven," "Immigrant Song" might be one of the greatest songs to come from this timeless band. Can you imagine the sensation of putting this record on a turntable in 1970 -- and the first thing you hear is "Immigrant Song"? Crazy. Also, "Tangerine" is a slept-on hit that you NEED to listen to.
Release Date: March 31, 1976
- "Nobody's Fault but Mine"
Context: Led Zeppelin's 7th studio album, released by Swan Song Records.
While Presence is somewhat underwhelming compared to the rest of the band's catalog, it feels like a passion project of theirs. The group wasn't necessarily aiming to make hits or satisfy any fans with this one. Regardless, true Led Zeppelin fans are bound to love this one.
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