Untitled a.k.a. Led Zeppelin IV or Zoso/Led Zeppelin (1971)
There was no official title given to their fourth album, but it is nicknamed "Led Zeppelin IV", and "Zoso". Given its greatness, this album should've appeared in this page much earlier. With this album, Led Zeppelin completed their aesthetics through more advancing the essence in their 1st to 3rd albums. One of the most prominent features of their aesthetics is of course the fabulous combination of dynamic and static, or should I say, electric/hard and acoustic/soft. The former includes the smash hit "Black Dog" and their anthem "Rock And Roll", and the latter includes "The Battle Of Evermore." Moreover, "Stairway To Heaven", a legendary material in rock history, has both dynamic and static feelings in one song. This album was ranked in the all American album chart for as long as 234 weeks. As mentioned earlier, this album has no credit of title or band name on its cover. Jimmy Page once explained: they did so because they wanted those who come to like this album without preconception to listen to it. This album made Led Zeppelin reach their maturity in terms of Jimmy Page's guitar-work, Robert Plant's shouting vocal, Bonzo's one-of-a-kind drumming, and John Paul Jones' multi-talents including his excellent arranging capabilities.
Dreamboat Annie/Heart (1976)
Ann and Nancy Wilson have been my super cutie idols. When I was a junior high school student, I always kept their pictures with me. However, as the core members of Heart, they are much more than just cute. Both of them are considerably talented musicians. Heart is the lineal successor of the 70's hard rock school. Especially, they were deeply influenced by Led Zeppelin. Like Zeppelin, their music style is based on the beautiful combination of hard and powerful tunes and mellow and magnificent acoustic ones. Until now, they have been maintaining such style. And, they had already established such style in a very sophisticated fashion before they released this first album of Heart. Ann's high-tone shouting vocal has always fascinated me. On the other hand, Nancy is fabulously good at playing acoustic guitars (she is also a good singer). Her acoustic guitar work in the introduction part of 'Crazy On You' is one of the greatest acoutsic plays I have ever heard. 'Sing Child' is really a 70's hard rock kind of song. Check the "Now Hear This" section below (now removed).
The One That You Love/Air Supply (1981)
Air Supply was formed in 1976 by two Australian singers/composers, Graham Russell and Russell Hitchcock as the core members. This sixth album was a smash hit as the previous album called "Lost In Love" had been, creating throughout the U.S. a great sensation of Australian rock music with Little River Band. The title track and first single "The One That You Love" marked a No.1 on the Billboard Charts, "Here I Am" No.5, and "Sweet Dreams" No.5. The album itself claimed No.2 on the US album charts, and was enjoyed by millions of Americans, making the album go Multi-Platinum. Air Supply's love songs were exclusively refreshing, clear and light. The most remarkable characteristic of their music was the exquisite contrast between Russell Hitchcock's beautiful clear high-tone voice and Graham Russell's husky one, which often made their songs very thrilling. I used to feel I would be happiest if I could sing like Russell Hitchcock. Graham Russell's production talents was also outstanding. He wrote a great number of beautiful songs at that time and the more he composed the more hits followed. Behind their success, there were some factors: (1) their songs were extremely melodious and catchy, (2) their songs were not so long, (3) their lyrics were not so complicated. People can remember and sing their songs soon. Their music are quite good driving music. Their music is no doubt pop music, but is it only me who feel the influence from Michael Schenker in one of their songs called "Sweet Dreams?" The guitar parts in the middle of this song remind me of "Martian Landscape."