Forty-nine years ago today, Led Zeppelin II was released. The Brown Bomber. It changed my life, and I hadn’t even hit puberty.

II is among Led Zeppelin’s best works, and definitely among its heaviest and most powerful.

A lot of rearranged blues, to be sure, but I’m concerned with crunch, not copyright. Zep’s eponymous first LP was every bit II’s equal, but II marked when the Page/Plant axis really started to spin, taking over and altering rock music.

Jimmy Page wearing what appears to be a mash-up of a sweater vest and a cardigan in the live videos at London’s Royal Albert Hall is not to be ignored. Nor is Robert Plant’s version of “The Lemon Song” in 2016. The Brown Bomber holds up, even today.

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