What else can be said about Led Zeppelin that hasn't already been repeated time and again? Arguably the greatest band of all time, the combination of John Bonham's/John Paul Jones' driving rhythms, Robert Plant's wailing vocals and Jimmy Page's mastery of the guitar makes Zeppelin the greatest heavy metal band to ever take the stage, and Led Zeppelin II sets the bar for all heavy metal albums that ever came after; almost an unreachable standard.
The music of Led Zeppelin helped to define a generation, and their over-the-top stage presence was absolutely electric. It is always a challenge bringing that type of live energy to the studio, but few accomplished this like Zeppelin. Though it might not be accurate to say that Led Zeppelin II defined the music of the band, as it was constantly changing and evolving, it did reflect the band at their heavy metal purest; before the band began their flirtation with a more medieval sound (a la Stairway to Heaven/Battle of Evermore). Led Zeppelin II represents the band at its hardest and most raw.
The question of the originality and influence of Led Zeppellin as reflected in II is always a heated debate between the belivers and the non-convinced, but in my humble opinion, there is a reason that Zeppelin has earned its reputation. Any fool who even compares a band like Queen or Deep Purple to Zeppelin needs to up the dosage on their medication. These bands, though great, (and favourites of mine), cannot hold a candle to the sheer brilliance of Zeppelin. And with regard to the 'questionable influence' of Zeppelin, one needs to realize that Zeppelin essentially invented the genre which they made famous; they were the original and remain the standard. The Rolling Stones and Beatles invented rock and roll, yet Mick Jagger has never denied the influence of men like Chuck Berry on his music. The suggestion that Zeppelin is unoriginal is insulting not only to the band but to anyone who knows anything about the nature of music. I doubt very much that any living member of Zeppelin would claim to never have been influenced by another band. The music of Led Zeppelin II is reflective of Zeppelin's unique and original take on the powerful blues riffs that they took to new heights in popularizing heavy metal. This sound has never been improved upon. Though I myself am only 17, and was never lucky enough to see Zeppelin firsthand, I do know for sure that not find the pinnacle of heavy metal music, one must invariably seek out Led Zeppelin, and above all others, Led Zeppelin II.
To all the people who do not believe Led Zeppelin lives up to the hype, this record should be more than enough to refute any argument that may be devised. The vocals of Plant are incomparable, and the titanic riffs and solos of Page are unparralleled, on any album, in any era. My favourite Led Zeppelin's album; it is essential to any music fan.