The Led Zeppelin's Sources of Inspiration compilation contains 20 original jazz and blues recordings circa the 1920s and 1930s that would inform some of Led Zeppelin's most revered reworkings and original compositions. In fact many of these sides have been erroneously credited to either Jimmy Page and/or Robert Plant. The authenticity becomes instantly evident from the copious surface noise taken from the original 78 rpm source materials. That caveat aside, there is some vital music here, which could be considered the rock & roll of its era. Most of the titles found on this volume can be easily associated with their obvious counterparts. Case in point, the 1929 recording of "When the Levee Breaks" by Kansas Joe and Memphis Minnie as well as Bukka White's "Shake 'Em on Down" from 1937, which Zep dubbed "Custard Pie" for inclusion on Physical Graffiti (1975). Although the title "That's No Way to Get Along" may not immediately click with rock fans, many will inevitably know the same tune as "Prodigal Son" by the Rolling Stones, which is among the cuts that Plant would reference during the extended "Whole Lotta Love" medley. A majority of these classic recordings were lifted and electrified into more straightforward interpretations such as Howlin' Wolf's "How Many More Years" and Tiny Bradshaw's "Train 'Kept a Rollin'." The latter was a holdout from the Yardbirds that was brought into the fold by Page and revived on Led Zep's final tour. Even Robert Johnson's "Travelin' Riverside Blues" -- which was rarely performed by the band -- is included here, presumably for the sake of completeness.
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AllMusic Review by Lindsay Planer