Led Zeppelin / Led Zeppelin II

Back in the days of musician classifieds, the name John Paul Jones was oft referenced by bands seeking bassists. And Led Zeppelin II, waxed in various studios in 1969, is the reason why. The former John Baldwin’s command of rhythm & blues and soul – profoundly influenced by James Jamerson Jr. was watershed in the realm of hard rock.

Jones renders funky, fluid passages on and off the beat with stunning results. In doing so, John emerges as a catalyst to his virtuoso bandmates – who, to my ears, never sounded better. And kudos to Jimmy Page and engineer Eddie Kramer who wisely kept Jones up in the mix on this iconic slab.