Forty years after

And suddenly, a new contender appears.

The song grabs you in the first two seconds: two shots on an E chord, followed by quarter-note hi-hat hits. You know something big’s going to happen. No—it already is happening.

At five seconds, the hi-hat hits double into eighth-notes as the E chord shots repeat. At seven seconds, the addition of a swung sixteenth-note (played on cowbell with a brush) signals the imminent, exhilarating plunge into a song you’ve never heard, but which you now want to hear more than anything else.

And at twelve seconds, an authoritative, effortlessly-executed drum fill plunges you into what might be rock and roll’s greatest first song on a first album, ever…and we already know—before the song, or even a proper drum part, has started—we’re in the presence of drumming greatness. The rest of the song, as well as the rest of the album, only further confirms it.

If you’re as dyed-in-the-wool a rocker as I am, you already know which song he’s talking about, and which band, and which drummer. The surprise here, though, isn’t that it’s another great music post from Steyn Online. The surprise is that it isn’t Steyn writing this one; it’s his increasingly-impressive co-author, Tal Bachman, who is the scion of a pretty danged rich rock and roll legacy his own bad self.

I don’t even have to say it, right?

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
John Wilder

Fantastic album. I remember the first time I heard them, on a scratchy AM station (five hundred miles away) at night . . .


Ha, well I didn’t know. Not surprising. But when I listened I remembered it, and it was was in my early days and looked it up – 1969 release, so I was all of 16.

Led Zeppelin is timeless.


The Forty Years After threw me off, but I was pretty sure it was Led Zep I from 51 years ago.
Ahhhh, so it’s Forty Years since we lost Bonham.

Figures the critics hated Zep the whole time they were together but now admit how great they were after the whole World knew that.

Fuel Filter

Living in L.A. at the time I saw Zep every time they came to town (excepting their gigs at the Long Beach Arena) but I did screw up badly when I missed their first gig at, believe it or not, the tiny club the Whiskey a GoGo. Now THAT must have been some show…

Their best gig for me was at the Rose Palace in Pasadena. I got there very early and was in a SRO crowd only 10-15 feet from the stage directly in front of Robert Plant.

I have no words to describe what that show was like. It was a real FuckMe experience. Second best concert I ever went to and I went to literally hundreds.

Fuel Filter

BTW, I just rec’d a two disc set of a re-mastered concert in NYC called “The Song Remains the Same” from Amazon. Costs around $23.00 or so. Too damn bad they aren’t Blu-Ray. I have yet to watch them but they are getting rave reviews.


Isn’t that their concert movie that was first in the theatres in the 70’s.
It’s a powerful Live album but I have been told the show was late in the tour and they were getting road weary. If that is them at their less than best I can’t imagine what Zep was like when they were crushing it.

I was too young to see them live with Bonham. I wasn’t even a teenager yet when Physical Graffiti came out. First album I recognized when it came out.
I wasn’t even old enough to vote when Bonham died.