Throughout the years, there have been oodles and oodles of Led Zeppelin tribute albums. And many of these releases feature hard rock bands that merely replicate Zep classics note for note, karaoke-style. In 2007, along came Vanilla Fudge's "tip of the cap" to Bonham-Jones-Page-Plant, titled Out Through the In Door. Unlike most other bands that have covered Zep, Vanilla Fudge actually have some honest to goodness history with the group they're paying homage to, as Zep supported the Fudge on one of their earliest U.S. tours, back in 1969. And it's common knowledge among drummers that John Bonham studied -- and perhaps even borrowed a thing or two from -- the Fudge's powerhouse drummer, Carmine Appice. What makes Out Through the In Door work -- unlike many other Zep tributes -- is that Vanilla Fudge inject their own style and approach to the tunes, and aren't afraid to stray a bit from the original compositions. One case in point is "Ramble On," which gets much more soulful (especially in the chorus), and another is the nice touch provided by Mark Stein's organ flourishes on "Fool in the Rain" -- while both elements collide in an impressively haunting reading of "Dazed and Confused." Few Zep tribute albums -- or even most classic rock tribute albums in general -- work as well as Out Through the In Door does.
AllMusic Review by Greg Prato