Dazed and Confused – Led Zeppelin – 1968
The term ‘heavy metal’ didn’t really catch on until the seventies, and you can argue about when and with whom the style began, but if you said right here – when it was still called rock – I don’t think you would be too far wrong.
Led Zeppelin was certainly one of the bands that took the genre in its infancy and throttled it into life, and Dazed and Confused – from their debut album – is the best song they ever released. Yes, that’s right – contrary to popular belief, it’s not Stairway to Heaven.
Robert Plant delivers here with such passion and emotion that it’s hard to believe he was only twenty years old when this was recorded. Meanwhile Jimmy Page wails on the guitar, and John Bonham smacks the skins like they owe him money.
At a blistering six and a half minutes Dazed and Confused is quite lengthy for the time, but it’s merely a commercial break compared to the extended ad-libbed versions Led Zeppelin were known to have performed at their concerts, which sometimes went in excess of half an hour.
Yes, the fidelity of music has moved on since the late sixties, but while hard rock certainly sounds cleaner and more crisp these days, I don’t know if it has ever sounded as raw and alive as it did almost fifty years ago when these four young English guys did it.