Arguably one of the greatest guitarists of his generation, Red Hot Chili Peppers’ dynamic axman, John Frusciante, has always shared his love of music with his fans. Through a series of interviews, he has often lauded the works of David Bowie, guitar hero Jimi Hendrix and countless others. But, perhaps the performer and therefore band who has most shaped the creation and stylings of Frusciante is the mercurial Led Zeppelin guitarist, Jimmy Page, the guitarist noting him as “the first person that made me want to play.”
Frusciante, now into his third stint as lead guitarist for the band, rejoined Flea, Anthony Kiedis and Chad Smith last year and is hoping to start touring with the group as soon as the opportunity arises. A prolific rock musician, Frusciante has released no fewer than twelve solo albums and seven EPs while exploring a whole host of different genres, including experimental rock, new wave, ambient music, electronic and, on two occasions, acid house.
Frusciante’s thirst for music in all its forms has led him to take an interest in a typically eclectic and wide-ranging number of artists. As well as pushing his own boundaries of creation, the musician has collaborated, produced or recorded with the likes of Wu-Tang Clan, Black Knight, Ziggy Marley, Johnny Cash, George Clinton, Johnny Marr, Duran Duran and countless others.
The musical evolution of Frusciante can be traced back to the swashbuckling style of Page and his band Led Zeppelin, of which Frusciante said: “I don’t believe another rock band could carry around more power than they did.” But what was his favourite Led Zeppelin album? Luckily, we know the answer to this question after Frusciante gave Discogs his 40 favourite records of all time.
Frusciante calls Led Zeppelin II the band’s finest album. Despite not sharing a direct quote, he does include the LP in his list, and it is widely considered the group’s finest work. Difficult second album syndrome was not something that affected Led Zeppelin. On their second record, the group emerge from their chrysalis as a beautiful heavy rock butterfly. Having used their debut to make a big impact, on Led Zeppelin II, the group delivered a truly potent record capable of knocking out anyone in front of them.
The band’s gruelling touring schedule had honed not only their sound but their vision for the future too. They implemented that vision with aplomb on this record. Still resting heavily on the deep and leathered blues sound the band had brought us on their debut, but this time it came with extra verve and a double dose of swaggering rock. The record was proof of a band that had big plans and looked more than capable of achieving them. With songs like ‘Moby Dick’ and ‘Whole Lotta Love,’ it’s easy to see how this LP set the band on their way to domination and inspired countless musicians like Frusciante to begin their own journey to greatness.
Listen to John Frusciante’s favourite Led Zeppelin album below.