Led Zeppelin III is the third studio album by the English rock band Led Zeppelin. It was recorded between January and August 1970 and released on 5 October by Atlantic Records. Composed largely at a remote cottage in Wales known as Bron-Yr-Aur, this work represented a maturing of the band’s music towards a greater emphasis on folk and acoustic sounds. This surprised many fans and critics, and upon its release the album received rather indifferent reviews.
Although it is not one of the highest sellers in Zeppelin’s catalogue, Led Zeppelin III is now generally praised, and acknowledged as representing an important milestone in their history. Although acoustic songs are featured on its predecessors, it is this album which is widely acknowledged for showing that Led Zeppelin were more than just a conventional rock band and that they could branch out into wider musical territory.
Many of the songs featured on the album were conceived in mid-1970 at Bron-Yr-Aur, an 18th-century cottage in Gwynedd, Wales, on a hilltop overlooking the Dyfi Valley, three miles north of the market town Machynlleth. There, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant spent some time after an exhausting concert tour of North America to play and compose new music. This remote setting had no running water or electric power, which encouraged a slight change of musical direction for the band towards an emphasis on acoustic arrangements.As Page later explained:
After the intense touring that had been taking place through the first two albums, working almost 24 hours a day, basically, we managed to stop and have a proper break, a couple of months as opposed to a couple of weeks. We decided to go off and rent a cottage to provide a contrast to motel rooms. Obviously, it had quite an effect on the material that was written… It was the tranquility of the place that set the tone of the album. Obviously, we weren’t crashing away at 100 watt Marshall stacks. Having played acoustic and being interested in classical guitar, anyway, being in a cottage without electricity, it was acoustic guitar time… After all the heavy, intense vibe of touring which is reflected in the raw energy of the second album, it was just a totally different feeling. Wikipedia