One of the most varied Led Zep albums, and, not coincidentally, one of their finest, with the gentle Rain Song and humorous D'yer Mak'er balancing off the crushing Dancing Days and No Quarter . From 1973.
Buoyed by the runaway commercial success of Led Zeppelin IV
, Jimmy Page used this 1973 follow-up to hone his already impressive production skills, and the result was a collection sporting an impressively expansive sound. Benefiting--especially on tracks such as "Dancing Days Are Here Again", "The Crunge" and "Over the Hills and Far Away"--was Zeppelin's always underrated rhythm section: thunder-fisted drummer John Bonham and rock-solid bassist John Paul Jones. Jones also emerged here as a secret weapon on keyboards with his subtle work on more pensive fare such as "No Quarter" and "The Ocean". And the goofy "D'yer Ma'ker" showed that Zeppelin had more of a sense of humour than most people ever gave them credit for. --Billy Altman