Led Zeppelin: Classic Or Dud?

Message Bookmarked
Bookmark Removed
Fred says Led Zeppelin rock and I'm a wimpy Brit who can't feel the noize. I say Led Zep suck and Fred's punching at straw men. Who's right? Both of us? Neither?

Tom, Wednesday, 27 September 2000 00:00 (14 years ago) Permalink

Fred is right here. With most of his points, anyway (Zeppelin did not make their name by playing fast.)

With Zeppelin, the sound is the thing. Tom, you should approach Zep's body of work the way you would Dr. Dre's 2001. Sure, Dre is not the greatest rapper, but he knows how to lay down rhymes that compliment his brilliant productions. I would argue that the same holds true for Page & Plant. The massive, bottom-heavy sound that Page captured with his studio work reaches perfection only with Plant's voice floating on top.

Mark Richardson, Wednesday, 27 September 2000 00:00 (14 years ago) Permalink

If you ask me they were the archetypal American teen boy fantasy band -- music for young lads to cruise around in battered pickup trucks smoking weed drinking beer and checking out the chicks. Or at least the soundtrack to which they *fantasize* about doing things like that...

All the while feeling vaguely smug and intellectual because of the Crowley and Tolkien references. Bleargh.

Fred's not totally wrong though -- the Zep had their occaisional moment, but they're still overrated beyond belief. Early Black Sabbath could have them for breakfast!

Nicole, Wednesday, 27 September 2000 00:00 (14 years ago) Permalink

Exactly. Why would I ever want to listen to Zeppelin when I could be listening to Sabbath? Or Creedence? Or Daphne & Celeste for bleatsakes? I've heard one Daphne & Celeste song once and it had more of an impact on me than all the Zeppelin I've ever heard put together. I still never recognize Stairway to Heaven until 6 minutes in. I'm all for cruising around in battered pickup trucks smoking weed drinking beer and checking out the chicks, but gimme Kid Rock over Zeppelin any day. Hell, gimme Aerosmith over Zeppelin.

But the best reason to hate Zeppelin, as Nicole pointed out, is that they were a band who sung about J.R.R. Tolkien. I fucking hate Tolkien. J.R.R. fucking Tolkien is not rock 'n roll.

Otis Wheeler, Thursday, 28 September 2000 00:00 (14 years ago) Permalink

Fred's probably right when he says he likes Led Zeppelin, but he's most likely wrong when he seems to say that all one has to do to 'get' them is listen to it correctly.

I loathe 'ver Zep', their sweatiness, their ponderousness (is that a word?) and their pretension. I'm very used to listening to music for the noise. Led Zeppelin make a nasty noise.

I don't think I've ever heard a band rock harder than the Roots Radics circa '81, and they sounded *beautiful*.

Tim

Tim, Thursday, 28 September 2000 00:00 (14 years ago) Permalink

Otis *is* right on one key point -- Tolkien was never rock and roll. God knows what he thought of all the stuff recorded in the late sixties and early seventies liberally borrowing from him, but hopefully he never had to listen to it.

With regards to the man's general worth, though, we must differ. ;-)

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 28 September 2000 00:00 (14 years ago) Permalink

Looks like Zep's going to lose this round, oh well. Not like they need more support anyway. A couple of things:

1) There is nothing even remotely intellectual about Zep or their fans; their music is populism at its finest.

2) Hard to imagine what could be more smug than picking on teenage kids in middle America.

3) Why listen to Zep when you can listen to Sabbath? JOHN BONHAM. Black Sabbath, while masters of the riff (and Reality), had an anemic rhythm section. How many hip-hop groups have sampled Bill Ward's drum parts?

Zep ARE pretty sweaty, though.

Mark Richardson, Thursday, 28 September 2000 00:00 (14 years ago) Permalink

Mark's right when he says that Zep are rhythmically superior to Sabbath; unfortunately Sabbath are superior in every other field imaginable.

Fred's right when he says Robert Plant's voice sounds like an escape (specifically, from the stuffiness and politeness of Britain when Plant was growing up) but, you know, you could say the same thing about fucking Merseybeat, for fuck's sake. While at the time they were hailed as an astonishing sonic progression from *that* lot over six years, Zep remind me of what Tom and I once said about the Beatles' hangers-on; you can't deny that they sounded like an escape and a new dawn for certain people listening to them, but that doesn't alter the fact that the music is terrible.

Yeah, Tom's nailed them good and proper.

Robin Carmody, Thursday, 28 September 2000 00:00 (14 years ago) Permalink

I refuse to say negative things about a band that has contributed wonderful things like "The Battle Of Evermore", "Black Dog", "Kashmir", "Good Times Bad Times", "The Lemon Song", "D'Yer Maker", and the blueprint for disco-rock "The Immigrant Song". I DEFY you to tell me you couldn't imagine people dancing their asses off to that one.

Why listen to Led Zep when you have Black Sabbath? Because only listening to one band is boring unless it's The Cure or Prince.

Dan Perry, Thursday, 28 September 2000 00:00 (14 years ago) Permalink

well, the voice of pitchfork has chipped in...and he has side with ME! case closed.

but seriously (ha ha ha)! tom is oblivious to many of the things that make zep great, unless he's fooled me all of this time and is really into virtuosity and locking rhythm sections. ;) mark, as you say the music isn't really made for or by intellectuals. the concept of "suspension of disbelief" comes to mind, checking your brain at the door, etc., and if you're not up for that then, let me say it again, maybe zep isn't the band for you.

and what's all this talk of sabbath? are the same people who are criticizing robert plant's voice listening to a band fronted by ozzy? certainly, sabbath has created some incredibly sludgy and heavy riffs (and are probably currently a bigger influence than zep) but, as mark says, the rhythm section is weak and, God, i just can't *stand* ozzy. more power to you if you can!

fred solinger, Thursday, 28 September 2000 00:00 (14 years ago) Permalink

All this obsession with 'checking your brain at the door' etc. is just silly - brains don't work like that: when you listen to Zep, Fred, your lack of analysis is an analytical choice itself. And if you *really* didn't think about them you'd not have spent so many paragraphs going on about them. I've said it before and I'll say it again: it's a cop-out.

And Pitchfork can kiss my arse ;).

Tom, Friday, 29 September 2000 00:00 (14 years ago) Permalink

and i'm here to say that your constant tossing about of the term, "cop-out" is in itself a cop-out, you big bitch.

i write paragraphs about them because i force myself to think about them: normally, zep isn't one of those bands one rattles on about. if i were listening to the music and *thinking* it'd be a conscious effort.

and pitchfork is *still* the internet king of music reviews, if you ask me. maybe -- and this is only a *maybe* -- you'd be in their league if you wrote a review, oh, more than once a month (or when the latest merritt album comes out).

fred solinger, Friday, 29 September 2000 00:00 (14 years ago) Permalink

Surely the appreciation of instrumental virtuosity requires the very distancing that Fred says is anathema to the Zep listener? You can't have it both ways, surely? Mind you, I quite like them so I should probably keep my trap shut.

David, Friday, 29 September 2000 00:00 (14 years ago) Permalink

One last post and then I really will shut up!

The ironic thing, I've just realised, is that my reaction to Led Zep *is* pretty much 'instinctual' - as I said to Fred in chat a few days ago, the difference is that I'm basically more of a punk than him. So I like Motorhead, he likes Zep, and both of us look around for rationalisations as to why the other one is less rockin'. Having grown up on the British music press and their horror of anything approaching prog or dinosaur rock, my gut instinct is to mistrust the virtuosity and bombast of the Zep: so my negative judgement is based on that 'unthinking' reaction.

Of course, I *could* think myself into liking some of their stuff, but as Fred says, that's hardly the point...

Tom, Friday, 29 September 2000 00:00 (14 years ago) Permalink

OK, off the top of my head:

Busta Rhymes - 'This Means War' samples 'Iron Man'

Cypress Hill - 'I Ain't Goin' Out Like That' samples 'The Wizard'

And I'm sure that 'Behind the Wall of Sleep' has been used on a record too, Okay it's not quite 'When the Levee Breaks' but it's still got a fucking good, if loose, groove

Chewshabadoo, Friday, 29 September 2000 00:00 (14 years ago) Permalink

I can never hear the lyrics very well unless it's Bob Dylan. So, thankfully, lyrics rarely interfere with my rock and roll enjoyment. For Zep it's the riffs man, it's the riffs. For Sabbeth, it's the riffs man, it's the riffs. For Rage Against the Machine, it's the riffs. For the Stones, the riffs. The riffs are probably why bombastic, butt-simple rock and roll works at all. When you put virtuosity and rock and roll together, I worry. Rock and roll is the professional wresting of music and I love it.

Who has more original, harder, stranger, colder, more bombastic riffs than Zep?

That said: Stairway to Heaven may be Zep's pop masterpiece, but pop isn't what I want out of a hard band. I've seen them twice but after the first album, they could only play arrangements of their multitracked recordings. If Zeps extraordinary arrangements bear any responsibility for the over-produced so-called power ballads that came after, I curse them. Finally, Jimmy played the coldest blues based solos ever - his solos bother me every time I hear them but, maybe that's a good thing.

TK, Friday, 29 September 2000 00:00 (14 years ago) Permalink

the term "virtuosity" is being tossed around a lot. is johnny marr virtuosic? kevin shields? does tom (or whoever) appreciate them for their virtuosity. i suspect the answer is yes.

as for zeppelin, to paraphrase cole gagne on branca, it does not matter what anyone thinks about them any more than it matters what anyone thinks of the sun. they were my ecstasy and education from ages 10-14 or so. i can't stand them most of the time now, after punk happened long ago for me but there are always precious moments when i can listen and get into it again. the reasons for loving them and hating them are both equally obvious and *don't matter*. zeppelin simply are.

curiously neglected so far:

i) the obvious vulnerable and androgynous qualities of robert plant's voice and persona. *this* is one item that separates them from standard macho beer-drinking rock and makes them valuable to misfit teen boys (god knows none of the *jocks* were listening to them in my gr 8 class).

ii) the tolkien's not there to make the fans feel smug and intellectual. fuck, when do most people read tolkien? gr 6? gr 7? it's there because, along with the music, zeppelin really aimed to create a fantasy-world and to achieve an otherworldly experience. item number two.

listening to just the cure all the time though. gah.

sundar subramanian, Friday, 29 September 2000 00:00 (14 years ago) Permalink

also interesting that zeppelin is being described as totally non-intellectual, primal, etc. such claims are never made of, say, fugazi. are they really more sophisticated?

sundar subramanian, Saturday, 30 September 2000 00:00 (14 years ago) Permalink

Also, no one's yet mentioned the heavy debt Zep had to the English folk tradition. Maybe that's not as obvious on their albums, but the only thing of theirs I own is Boxed Set II and they really play it up in the liner notes.

Josh, Sunday, 1 October 2000 00:00 (14 years ago) Permalink

or their explorations of indian classical music for that matter.

sundar subramanian, Monday, 2 October 2000 00:00 (14 years ago) Permalink

Zeppelin's definitely a classic. No question about it.

The best Zep, though, were "Physical Graffiti" and "Presence." The first LP of the former is the best funk record ever recorded (better even that Parliament/Funkadelic). The second is just great.

Tadeusz Suchodolski, Thursday, 5 October 2000 00:00 (14 years ago) Permalink

First of all, a considerable portion of Led Zeppelin is quite classic; they are one of the very few bands that could make absofuckinglutely ANYTHING rock: calypso, english pussy folk, black magic, disco, cavestomp, whatever. They were like a karaoke studio band gone bananas (Robert Plant adding a pure ridiculousness factor that puts them over the top, Stairway and all.) But I CANNOT BELIEVE the grief that the greatest rhythm section rock has ever known, the band that invented the rhythmic language of heavy metal as it were, are getting here. Bill Ward, Geezer Butler, and Tony Iommi did EVERYTHING as rhythm; just because Ward didn't mike his bass drum at the end of a canyon doesn't make their rhythms weak. Listen to the syncopated crashing on a song like Supernaught and spot the rhythmic equivalent anywhere other than maybe early seventies electric jazz or Sun Ra. No-one in rock has even come close. No, it isn't usually funky, but that's hardly the point. While Zeppelin were busy goofing around with trying to convert as many forms of music as possible into rock and roll, Sabbath invented and perfected a new form of expression.

Kris.

Kris P. Ozzfest Rainout, Thursday, 5 October 2000 00:00 (14 years ago) Permalink

1 month passes...
Zep rules.... i didn't read everyone answer cuz im too stoned.....but zep kicks ass and everyone that said that zeppelin's music sucks, is way too stubborn to let the music take over.......by not liking zep you have just not succum to transendece or Plants voice............you think its cool not to like what everyone else thinks...(you all know who u are).....u think that by liking a less popular band it makes you more unique.....but in actuality your just a bunch suckers that think it cool to listen to a shitty band.....

f.ccccc, Wednesday, 29 November 2000 01:00 (14 years ago) Permalink

1 month passes...
How timely, just the other day i was in the mood for some 70s style RAWK! But scanning my Led Zep box I saw too much songs that gave me the creeps. Exceptions for me still are "Kashmir", "In my time of dying" and in spite of Plant's voice, "No Quarter"...that wah-wah riff instantly turns me into a air-guitar playing dork, going "Whagawahgawha, whagawahgawah" (etc.)

Omar Munoz, Wednesday, 3 January 2001 01:00 (14 years ago) Permalink

3 weeks pass...
Led zeppelin fucked a girl with a shark. they also made some totally huge sounding music. also, they made some pretty bad music. seeing as they fucked that girl with the shark,though, they rule.

swastikas forever, Thursday, 25 January 2001 01:00 (14 years ago) Permalink

3 weeks pass...
Led Zeppelin is a good band, not god-like, but they had many good qualities. I only own two of their albums. I only own one of their CDs. I only own that album for one song: "When The Levee Breaks." My gosh that's a good song. Cathartic, escapist, whatever the hell you wanna call it. I do have one complaint: Why did Plant have to do his primal scream/grizzled bluesman shouting thing during the _first_ slide guitar break? That led to the second one being kind of anticlimactic. Ah well, beggars can't be choosers.

Jack Redelfs, Wednesday, 21 February 2001 01:00 (14 years ago) Permalink

1 month passes...
Personally I believe that Led Zeppelin is on of the most overrated rock band of all time. Yes, they are one of the most requested rock bands in history, but that doesn't make them good. Black Sabbath was a much more influential than Zeppelin ever was. Sabbath inspired the entire Heavy Metal genre, while zeppelin can maybe be credited with 80's hair bands.

Jeff J., Monday, 26 March 2001 00:00 (14 years ago) Permalink

Led Zeppelin is the WORST band.They SUCK so bad that they make puff daddy sound good......it's true.All the dumbasses that listen to this shit should get some help.......All Led Zeppelin is,is a bunch of faggots that can't play for shit.........it's true.Thank goodness they are RETIRED.So we don't have to put up with the badness that they display......it's true.They are probabley enjoying their retirement collecting $207.42 a month for the rest of their lives.......that's not bad money for them considering their making more money now then when they played to empty night clubs.......it's true.

ray charles, Tuesday, 27 March 2001 00:00 (14 years ago) Permalink

2 months pass...
Maybe you don't like LZ, but they were NOT bad musicians. Bonzo is the BEST ROCK DRUMMER, and if you don't agree, who's better? Travis Barker? And when you consider his praise from other musicians, I'd say that Jimmy Page is not a bad guitarist.

LZ, Saturday, 23 June 2001 00:00 (14 years ago) Permalink

All you people have no taste or anything musical in you if you say that Zeppelin sucks. Like they are actual artists unlike those fucking skid groups or rap fuckers these days.How can you compare zeppelin to Dr. Dre. Jimmy Pagfe is perhaps the greatest guitarist of all time and in my mind he is the king of rock n roll. Led Zeppelin is the geatest band of all time and I shit on you pricks who don't know what they are talking about.

Fuck you all

Milton Robertson, Thursday, 28 June 2001 00:00 (14 years ago) Permalink

Ray Charles fucks fred nice and Hard up the ass. ZEPPELIN RULES MAN. NOW I'M GONNA GO SMOKE A JOINT FOR ZEP THE I'M GONNA TAKE A SHIT TO REPRESENT RAY'S AND FRED'S INTELLIGENCE

Fred's gay, Thursday, 28 June 2001 00:00 (14 years ago) Permalink

Er, obviously bob cannae read. But he did make me laugh.

Nicole, Thursday, 28 June 2001 00:00 (14 years ago) Permalink

I can not believe that there is even a discussion on whether or not led zeppelin was good. Unlike other bands, they constantly progressed and changed. They started out as a blues band, with some hard rock, like dazed and confused off of their first album. As result of their progression and experimentation, they became one of the first hard rock bands of all time.

Later bands would imitate the screamin and screaching guitars; however, the rythm sectio could not be duplicated. Furthermore, the sound of led zeppelin was a result of a combination of many influencs,including indian classical and celtic. Later bands' sound was a result of musical interests within the band that were limited in genre.

All of the musicians in the band are of the highest quality. JImmy Page ranks as one of the best guitarists ever, and the rythm section of John Paul Jones an John Bonham is unrivaled. The songwritig duo of Page and Plant was also one of the best ever.

Contrary to the beliefs of some people who have posted, Led zeppelin set records for sales of tickets and albums. Their live performances shattered tickt sales records, due to elongated versions of songs such as moby dick, which is also an example of Bonham's amazing talent. They are also right behind the beatles in total record sales. HOwever, the beatles had 21 albums, where zep only had 10.

Now could somebody clarify how zeppelin isn't good, because i just don't see it.

jim, Saturday, 30 June 2001 00:00 (14 years ago) Permalink

1. Ever experimental without losing the brand value. Is that claasic? 2. Some times fake - Kashmir does not have a yellow desert. Classic? 3. Inspiration galore: Golum, the evil one. 4. Pioneering: Whole lotta love. Absolute classic. 5. Aura. natural.

Rajesh Naik, Friday, 6 July 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

All of the musicians in the band are of the highest quality.

Guaranteed to never shrink or fade. But they might get very wrinkly and boring.

Tracer Hand, Friday, 6 July 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

Robert Plant sounds like a cat being kicked in the balls. THAT is enough for them to be described as dud. Yeah, they may have continually progressed or whatever, but Percy himself never progressed beyound sounding like an feline in extreme pain.

Richard Tunnicliffe, Friday, 6 July 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

2 weeks pass...
The only reson ou have not to like Led Zeppelin and even Tolkien is because you're in a different state of mind. It's about escaping reality a creating one of your very own. So don't give me that crap about it being shit. This is the basis of all forms of art.

muppet monkey, Tuesday, 24 July 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

"They are also right behind the beatles in total record sales. However, the beatles had 21 albums, where Zep only had 10": this the clicher for me. 21 = kewl number (3 x 7); 10 = evil number (2 x 5). D'you SEE?

I like Plant's voice.

mark s, Tuesday, 24 July 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

Their most powerful moments were often the quieter ones..."That's the Way" off of III, "The Rain Song" from Houses, "Down By the Seaside" from Physical Graffiti.

But the stuff I think I most enjoy from them are when they were just plain goofy and/or eccentric. I'm thinking "Boogie with Stu", "Hats Off (to Roy Harper)", "The Crunge", "Hot Dog", etc

Can't think of too many weak moments from Zep, actually...

Joe, Wednesday, 25 July 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

It's kind of hard to get into an argument about Led Zeppelin when the ground rules seem to be that they weren't pretty accomplished usicians who managed to extend the vocabulary of popular music in ways that few bands ever do.

I can understand those who don't like them becasue of the Prog/Dinosaur overtones, but simply noting that they were in that field would negate the accusations of them bieng anti-intellectual and lacking skill.

Sure, some of their songs are *fairly* simple, but on the whole, they almost always managed to do something unexpected or quirky within the context of Loud Blues.

They're one of the few Rawk bands I can stand, because there's always something ungraspable about how they came to what they ended up doing. To me, if you can figure out how a band got to their end product (and could replicate it yourself), why bother listening to it?

CountV/John T, Friday, 27 July 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

1 month passes...
Some of these "Black Sabbath" fans crack me up with there total lack of knowledge about rock history. Led Zeppelin did not influence that horrible hair metal of the 80's musically. All those lame bands did was try to "look" like them. There music was silly pop dreck with loud guitars.

Zeppelin's music, if you listen to it, was exstremly inventive and layered. Led Zeppelins actually musical influence can actually be felt most from everyone from Prince to REM to Jane's Addiction to Smashing Pumpkins. Not lame hair metal, lol. On the other hand all Black Sabbath ever influenced was moronic crap like death metal, or black metal and a bunch of low IQed, beer swilling "metal heads" with a mentality to "break stuff" and worship the devil. Please.

Also the comments about Led Zeppelin not being intellectual are ignorant in my opinion. Is Mozart not intellectual? He certainly did not have many lyrics about war or polotics did he? What was intellectual about Zeppelin was there musical ability. The world was filled with tons of good and lame bands that where "politcally consious", i think they where and still are a breath of fresh air. I like some Punk rock, but if you are that non-ecclectic as to be turned off to great musicans because of some silly ideal or scene (like punk) then your a idiot.

Robert, Friday, 21 September 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

Well it's more than likely that Led Zep isn't the greatest rock band of all time. The majority of their lyrics seems to have come straight from their waists and some of their more popular riffs are remarkably simple. Plant is probably overrated and had he not died so prematurely, Bonzo might never have been as celebrated as he is now. Still, does that mean that Immigrant Song is not worth listening to, or that Over The Hills and Far Away is useless tripe from a pretentious 70s band? Maybe... but no one can argue that they were more influential than Sabbath ever could have been. Firstly, I contend that it is Led Zep and not Sab that should be pointed out as the originators of heavy metal if you had but one finger to point with. But even if you don't agree, let us remember that it was Black Sabbath's unbearbable stagnation that was in the most part responsible for the New Wave of British Heavy Metal movement in the 1980s. (The fact is that most tributes to Black Sabbath - how many are there, seven? - feature generic death metal bands with cookie monster vocalists.)

So, did Sabbath influence Iron Maiden or Judas Priest? Probably, but not in the way they might have liked. There may be a reason Maiden - a band that does few covers - did one of Whole Lotta Love, but never a single Sabbath tune.

Jack Torrance, Thursday, 4 October 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

Well it's more than likely that Led Zep isn't the greatest rock band of all time. The majority of their lyrics seems to have come straight from their waists and some of their more popular riffs are remarkably simple. Plant is probably overrated and had he not died so prematurely, Bonzo might never have been as celebrated as he is now. Still, does that mean that Immigrant Song is not worth listening to, or that Over The Hills and Far Away is useless tripe from a pretentious 70s band? Maybe... but no one can argue that they were more influential than Sabbath ever could have been. Firstly, I contend that it is Led Zep and not Sab that should be pointed out as the originators of heavy metal if you had but one finger to point with. But even if you don't agree, let us remember that it was Black Sabbath's unbearbable stagnation that was in the most part responsible for the New Wave of British Heavy Metal movement in the 1980s. (The fact is that most tributes to Black Sabbath - how many are there, seven? - feature generic death metal bands with cookie monster vocalists.)

So, did Sabbath influence Iron Maiden or Judas Priest? Probably, but not in the way they might have liked. There may be a reason Maiden - a band that does few covers - did one of Whole Lotta Love, but never a single Sabbath tune.

J Corabi, Friday, 12 October 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

7 months pass...
Just the fact that so many people still feel strongly about Zep, 20 years after their demise, says something. Unlike 99% of the crap that is made today and forgotten 6 mopnths later. Long live "classic" rock.

Ron

Ron Murray, Friday, 7 June 2002 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

Led zeppelin fucked a girl with a shark.

So they influenced R. Kelly, too!

Dan Perry, Friday, 7 June 2002 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

R. Kelly isn't in their league.

dleone, Friday, 7 June 2002 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

it was the vanilla fudge at the edgewater inn in washington state that fcked a girl with the shark.

chaki, Friday, 7 June 2002 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

Yes, Zep were the red snapper, not the shark

Ben Williams, Friday, 7 June 2002 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

the vanilla fudge invented everything!!

mark s, Saturday, 8 June 2002 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

1 month passes...
I quite like Zep. And I don't think Sabbath come close really because they are so one-dimensional (to my fascistic ears, at least). Whereas, Zep were multi-faceted and instead of writing a few good somngs, wrote a string of shit-hot albums.

Anyband with Bonham at the back was on to a winner (unless it was Bonham's own band) and Page and Plant ain't so bad either. Actually, I recall Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull fame telling Melody Maker back in the day that with his lyrics and Zep's music they "could have made quite a good little rock and roll band." Ha ha ha ha ha.. sorry, I laugh my ass off everytime I hear that.

Gimme Physical Graffiti everytime. I think it's actually too good, if that's possible, which it isn't, but it feels like it is when I listen to that album. Does anyone else know what I (don't) mean?

Roger Fascist, Monday, 29 July 2002 00:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

interesting point about the sequencers. when reading interviews in tape op or whatever i'm always surprised how early click tracks were used in studios, like for putting together soundtracks or commercials in the '50s and '60s. they had some crazy methods for generating them too.

festival culture (Jordan), Friday, 12 December 2014 22:53 (6 months ago) Permalink

xp something about the way he sets his own context before almost every Q&A seems pretty manipulative.

$0.00 Butter sauce only. No marinara. (Sufjan Grafton), Friday, 12 December 2014 22:54 (6 months ago) Permalink

Yeah, this is a fact that's not brought up often enough, IMO! A lot gets written about his rapid-fire lead drumming style, but tracks like 'Baba O'Riley' and 'Won't Get Fooled Again' etc. show that he could, when needed, stay in time with sequenced backing!

― Welcome To (Turrican), Friday, December 12, 2014 4:49 PM (1 hour ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

I haven't read it yet, but supposedly there's a section in the new Glyn Johns autobio where he recalls the recording of "Won't Get Fooled Again." He realized at that moment that he was witnessing a pivotal moment in the history of popular music, with this untamed band keeping in perfect sync with a sequenced/synthesizer backing tape and losing none of their edge.

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Friday, 12 December 2014 23:06 (6 months ago) Permalink

No matter how many times I hear it I never lose my sense of awe about Baba O'Riley

you say tomato/i say imago (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Saturday, 13 December 2014 02:37 (6 months ago) Permalink

1 month passes...
1 month passes...

PG remaster has leaked. Lots of great little stereo details apparent this time around. Especially love the low horn-like synth (?) that switches channels during parts of "Kashmir". Nice on 'phones.

Acid Hose (Capitaine Jay Vee), Monday, 23 February 2015 02:47 (4 months ago) Permalink

"Squeeze my lemon, til the juice leaks on the internet..."

Don A Henley And Get Over It (C. Grisso/McCain), Monday, 23 February 2015 03:44 (4 months ago) Permalink

both. more of the latter.

Banned on the Run (benbbag), Monday, 23 February 2015 04:56 (4 months ago) Permalink

Leaked? It's in the shops over here.
I thought we'd be behind other places.
Is UK before U.S.? I thought Ireland was at least a week behind UK.

Stevolende, Monday, 23 February 2015 14:24 (4 months ago) Permalink

Hits U.S. stores tomorrow, I believe.

ƋППṍӮɨ∏ğڵșěᶉᶇдM℮ (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Monday, 23 February 2015 18:37 (4 months ago) Permalink

And sounds gooood.

Josh in Chicago, Monday, 23 February 2015 18:38 (4 months ago) Permalink

1 month passes...

man the PG remaster is so sizzling

Hammer Smashed Bagels, Monday, 23 March 2015 02:27 (3 months ago) Permalink

2 months pass...

details on the last three reissues:

Track listing for Presence
“Achilles Last Stand”
“For Your Life”
“Royal Orleans”
“Nobody’s Fault But Mine”
“Candy Store Rock”
“Hots on for Nowhere”
“Tea For One”

Disc 2
“Two Ones Are Won”
“For Your Life (Reference Mix)”
“10 Ribs & All/Carrot Pod Pod (Pod)”
“Royal Orleans (Reference Mix)”
“Hots On For Nowhere (Reference Mix)”

Track listing for In Through the Out Door
“In The Evening”
“South Bound Saurez”
“Fool in the Rain”
“Hot Dog”
“Carouselambra”
“All My Love”
“I’m Gonna Crawl”

Disc 2
“In the Evening (Rough Mix)”
“Southbound Piano (South Bound Saurez)”
“Fool in the Rain (Rough Mix)”
“Hot Dog (Rough Mix)”
“The Epic (Carouselambra – Rough Mix)”
“The Hook (All My Love – Rough Mix)”
“Blot (I’m Gonna Crawl – Rough Mix)”

Track listing for Coda
“We’re Gonna Groove”
“Poor Tom”
“I Can’t Quit You Baby”
“Walter s Walk”
“Ozone Baby”
“Darlene”
“Bonzo’s Montreux”
“Wearing and Tearing”

Disc 2
“We’re Gonna Groove (Alternate Mix)”
“If It Keeps On Raining (When the Levee Breaks – Rough Mix)”
“Bonzo’s Montreux (Mix Construction in Progress)”
“Baby Come on Home”
“Sugar Mama (Mix)”
“Poor Tom (Instrumental Mix)”
“Travelling Riverside Blues (BBC Session)”
“Hey, Hey, What Can I Do”

Disc 3
“Four Hands (Four Sticks – Bombay Orchestra)”
“Friends (Bombay Orchestra)”
“St. Tristan’s Sword (Rough Mix)”
“Desire (The Wanton Song – Rough Mix)”
“Bring It On Home (Rough Mix)”
“Walter’s Walk (Rough Mix)”
“Everybody Makes It Through (In the Light – Rough Mix)”

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Wednesday, 3 June 2015 17:00 (4 weeks ago) Permalink

curious why stuff like Four Hands, Friends, etc. are on the Coda reissue and not on earlier reissue

Οὖτις, Wednesday, 3 June 2015 17:05 (4 weeks ago) Permalink

I'm considering picking up the whole set of reissues (the multi-disc versions) once they're all out. I suppose it will depend on price. I have the old gray box, and that sounds great to me. But if I have the extra cash, and Amazon offers a good deal on all nine, I might go for it.

the top man in the language department (誤訳侮辱), Wednesday, 3 June 2015 17:05 (4 weeks ago) Permalink

XP: Because how else would they get people to double+ dip on Coda?

Love, Wilco (C. Grisso/McCain), Wednesday, 3 June 2015 17:21 (4 weeks ago) Permalink

Also: Is this 'BBC version' of "Travelling Riverside Blues" the same one that was a bait track on the original box set? Or is it something never before released that's orphaning that version?

Love, Wilco (C. Grisso/McCain), Wednesday, 3 June 2015 17:23 (4 weeks ago) Permalink

Yeah, instead of reissuing Coda, they should've slotted those songs into the reissues for the appropriate albums (e.g., "Poor Tom" on LZIII). It's not like Coda as a standalone collection is canon.

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Wednesday, 3 June 2015 17:29 (4 weeks ago) Permalink

yeah I get why they did it from a financial standpoint it's just weird to reissue Coda as an expanded dumping ground for random outtakes, it's just messy

Οὖτις, Wednesday, 3 June 2015 17:32 (4 weeks ago) Permalink

Funny that Page went on and on about avoiding releasing anything that had already been bootlegged. Um...looks like that's no longer the case.

Acid Hose (Capitaine Jay Vee), Wednesday, 3 June 2015 18:37 (4 weeks ago) Permalink

Loads of albums aren't "canon", but still get a reissue treatment... but yeah, it would have made far more sense to put all of the relevant studio outtakes as bonus tracks on the appropriate albums.

You’re being too simplistic and you’re insulting my poor heart (Turrican), Wednesday, 3 June 2015 19:34 (4 weeks ago) Permalink

Page seems like a dude that does not realize that after all this time, he is no longer the best authority on things Led Zeppelin. "Wait until you hear this show you've never heard before! It'll ... what? You've heard it? Hmm, OK, get a load of these incredible outtakes from ... how did you know I was going to say that? You have them already? All of them!? Hmm. OK, how about this incredible batch of unreleased songs? Haven't heard them yet, have you? Well, that's because they do not exist, you suckers! Now shut up and buy the records again."

Josh in Chicago, Wednesday, 3 June 2015 20:13 (4 weeks ago) Permalink

The band were together for 12 years (and touring most of the time) and they ceased recording over 35 years ago. I don't know what the fuck people are expecting, to be honest, some mythical lost album to just magically appear out of nowhere? That's the problem with these fucking "classic" acts like Led Zeppelin and The Beatles etc. It's as if people won't be content until the barrel has been scraped so hard that there's a gaping hole in the bottom of it. "There must be more! There must be more!" ... At some point, there is no more.

You’re being too simplistic and you’re insulting my poor heart (Turrican), Wednesday, 3 June 2015 20:44 (4 weeks ago) Permalink

what do you mean?

Οὖτις, Wednesday, 3 June 2015 20:48 (4 weeks ago) Permalink

"No more unreleased material in the archives, folks, but here's a vintage recording of John Lennon laying down a shit on his toilet at Tittenhurst Park circa 1971"

"*gasps* Oh my god, such genius! What a musical colon! BEST BAND EVAAAAAAA! MUSIC HAS NOT BEEN IMPROVED SINCE THE '70s!!!11!!"

You’re being too simplistic and you’re insulting my poor heart (Turrican), Wednesday, 3 June 2015 20:49 (4 weeks ago) Permalink

Nothing I've read about 'Carnival of Light' suggests to me that it's anything more than The Beatles dicking around for a long time and that it's probably unreleased for a very good reason.

You’re being too simplistic and you’re insulting my poor heart (Turrican), Wednesday, 3 June 2015 20:54 (4 weeks ago) Permalink

If they ever make the DVD of the Beatles singles videos, "Carnival of Light" should be the menu music. Anything else gives it undue prominence.

Mark G, Wednesday, 3 June 2015 21:09 (4 weeks ago) Permalink

What are the odds on Page's next move being an 'Authorized Bootleg' series of live stuff?

Love, Wilco (C. Grisso/McCain), Wednesday, 3 June 2015 21:12 (4 weeks ago) Permalink

Actually, LZ is pretty unusual for not having a bunch of interesting leftovers. Them and ... Pink Floyd? Bowie? But the Beatles archives stuff has often been illuminating. Likewise Dylan, Springsteen, the Beach Boys and a bunch others. Stones holding tight in terms of cool outtakes, but lots of other acts have done it. I'd buy an LZ set of just isolated Bonham beats.

Josh in Chicago, Wednesday, 3 June 2015 22:10 (4 weeks ago) Permalink

Beatles have lots of unreleased rambling studio stuff because that's primarily how they worked in the later years. Without playing live the only way to get chops back was jamming it out in the studio.

Led Zeppelin were a touring act for their entirety. Plus two of the band members were studio pros, so yeah less prone to dicking around in studio.

©Oz Quiz© (Adam Bruneau), Wednesday, 3 June 2015 22:15 (4 weeks ago) Permalink

I am in a constant state of amazement of how much unreleased junk has come out of the Beach Boys vaults over the years, the output is staggering

xp

Οὖτις, Wednesday, 3 June 2015 22:25 (4 weeks ago) Permalink

Serious question: does anyone ever listen to outtakes for enjoyment in the same way as they would the main feature? Or is listening to that stuff just an intellectual exercise or to satisfy curiosity as to how certain bands worked together, the way they interacted with one another, the way they developed up the tracks that would eventually become the main feature, or a window into what the band considered to be "not good enough" to be properly released?

I only ask because I've got copies of The Beatles' Anthology discs, and I've heard the Get Back bootlegs and all of that kind of stuff, and while it's all very interesting for maybe one or two spins, you can see why a lot of it ended it up on the cutting room floor and wasn't deemed worthy for release. Some might say they're "historical documents", but don't the proper releases count as that and do it far more successfully? I must have felt the urge to listen to Abbey Road hundreds upon hundreds of times, but hardly ever have I thought "yeah, Anthology 3, that's my listening for the night sorted!"

I get the feeling that when it comes to certain "classic" artists, people won't be satisfied until every single last note of the archives is released in some way, which they'll probably listen to once or twice at the very most.

You’re being too simplistic and you’re insulting my poor heart (Turrican), Thursday, 4 June 2015 00:43 (4 weeks ago) Permalink

I listen to the beatles anthology stuff all the time, esp 2

Οὖτις, Thursday, 4 June 2015 00:54 (4 weeks ago) Permalink

I probably listen to the White Album demos more than most regular Beatles albums. I like to imagine it's their DIY K Records LP.

©Oz Quiz© (Adam Bruneau), Thursday, 4 June 2015 01:07 (4 weeks ago) Permalink

I listen to outtakes mainly for pleasure ( see Prince as Exhibit #1). The "Oh! I see what they changed there!" moments happen for me the first couple of plays. Afterwards I rarely think about that stuff.

Acid Hose (Capitaine Jay Vee), Thursday, 4 June 2015 01:08 (4 weeks ago) Permalink

I listen to outtakes, both as an exercise (hmm, where did this song come from?) and for pleasure, since there are often new things to hear/learn/enjoy. Prince, Springsteen ... so much cool stuff.

Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 4 June 2015 01:18 (4 weeks ago) Permalink

I get as much enjoyment out of Who, Miles, Coltrane, Hendrix, and some Beatles alternates/outtakes as I do from the master takes.

And speaking of the Who, few artists had an Odds & Sods in them, an outtakes compilation that stands up to (and in some cases betters) the regular output.

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Thursday, 4 June 2015 04:16 (4 weeks ago) Permalink

Honestly it depends upon the band and how they worked. For the Beach Boys, for instance, there's three CDs worth of the band recording backing tracks for "Good Vibrations". I can't listen to that and get aesthetic enjoyment out of it, though it's a fascinating document for understanding Brian's process in the studio. On the other side of things is stuff like "The Complete Funhouse Sessions", where the Stooges went in and laid down the songs live in the studio, complete with vocals, multiple times, and then just picked the ones they like best. Any one of those is really about as good as any other.

Those are both pretty extreme examples. But what it boils down to is that, at least in the primary era for bootlegging, studio outtakes would often wind up being unreleased for reasons other than artistic merit. The Beach Boys are, again, a prime example. They have a ton of completed songs that didn't make it out officially either because they were a thoroughly dysfunctional band (see: Dennis' songs for "Surf's Up"), or because the songs were profoundly out of touch with the commercial realities of the day (see: "My Solution").

Another example of the way process changes can affect the listenability of outtakes, even within the same band, is Talking Heads. I really enjoy listening to the outtakes from "Fear of Music", because Eno and Byrne tried a lot of different things with the songs. Fripp was originally brought in to play on three or four different songs on the record, but only wound up on the finished record on one song. There's a version of "Cities" that incorporates a loud "WHOOP WHOOP WHOOP" noise during parts of the song (referenced by Byrne on the live version from "The Name of This Band Is..."). They did a version of "Mind" with extreme treatments on the vocals. I wouldn't argue that any of these versions are, in artistic terms, _better_ than the finished product, but they're enjoyable to listen to on their own terms.

"Remain in Light", in contrast, I don't enjoy listening to the outtakes for at all. It seems to me that the recording process for that was less open-ended. After making "Fear of Music", Byrne and Eno were more sure of themselves and what they wanted to do. So while "Remain in Light" is a more experimental album, the recording process was, at least based on existing documentation, less experimental.

The tipping point for me is possibly Nebraska. Springsteen, a major artist, recorded acoustic demos of his songs for the band to play, and afterwards decided he liked the acoustic demos better and released them as the album. The success of the Basement Tapes probably made that possible, and honestly the Basement Tapes are, I think, still the best go-to argument for listening to outtakes (or songwriting demos) as songs, because the way they were recorded was completely out of touch with the way the market worked back then.

Well, maybe the Basement Tapes are even more anomalous. Because with scattered exceptions like "I Go to Sleep", rock musicians didn't do songwriting demos. The sixties were the apex of the songwriter-performer cult.

Anyway, I think having enjoyable, listenable unreleased outtakes is mostly an artifact of the way the industry worked, technologically and sociologically, during the rock era. Today the process of construction is less likely to produce aesthetically enjoyable rejects, and the standard for what is considered "releasable" is more inclusive.

rushomancy, Thursday, 4 June 2015 11:15 (4 weeks ago) Permalink

Yeah, there are some "Nebraska"-era demos that are incredible, like the menacing "Pink Cadillac," a stark contrast to the radio version. Re: Talking Heads, "Remain in the Light" was constructed largely out of jams, even more so than the previous records, so I'm not sure there are real outtakes, per se. Just bits and pieces and fragments. Ever heard a band try to play "Once in a Lifetime" like the record? It's pretty much impossible, since it was constructed in the studio and the one keeps moving around.

Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 4 June 2015 11:53 (4 weeks ago) Permalink

This Remain In Light outtake is pretty great

NotKnowPotato (stevie), Thursday, 4 June 2015 12:02 (4 weeks ago) Permalink

I can hear bits and pieces of that creeping into "The Great Curve."

Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 4 June 2015 13:31 (4 weeks ago) Permalink

tbh I just put outtakes on my ipod with the rest of the artists' catalog, they just become part of the body of work. so what if the Bee Gees never released/finished "Completely Unoriginal", it's still one of my favorite songs of theirs and it's really funny

Οὖτις, Thursday, 4 June 2015 15:17 (4 weeks ago) Permalink

Serious question: does anyone ever listen to outtakes for enjoyment in the same way as they would the main feature? Or is listening to that stuff just an intellectual exercise or to satisfy curiosity as to how certain bands worked together, the way they interacted with one another, the way they developed up the tracks that would eventually become the main feature, or a window into what the band considered to be "not good enough" to be properly released?

I only ask because I've got copies of The Beatles' Anthology discs, and I've heard the Get Back bootlegs and all of that kind of stuff, and while it's all very interesting for maybe one or two spins, you can see why a lot of it ended it up on the cutting room floor and wasn't deemed worthy for release. Some might say they're "historical documents", but don't the proper releases count as that and do it far more successfully? I must have felt the urge to listen to Abbey Road hundreds upon hundreds of times, but hardly ever have I thought "yeah, Anthology 3, that's my listening for the night sorted!"

I get the feeling that when it comes to certain "classic" artists, people won't be satisfied until every single last note of the archives is released in some way, which they'll probably listen to once or twice at the very most.

― You’re being too simplistic and you’re insulting my poor heart (Turrican), Wednesday, June 3, 2015 7:43 PM (2 days ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

Honestly if I had to choose between only listening to the Dylan bootleg series or the proper Dylan studio albums from now til the end of my life I would choose the Bootleg Series

kurt kobaïan (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Friday, 5 June 2015 18:51 (3 weeks ago) Permalink

and don't get me started on what's supposed to be on Neil Young Archives Vol II

kurt kobaïan (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Friday, 5 June 2015 18:51 (3 weeks ago) Permalink

but Dylan's weird contrariness is legendary, why he left "Blind Willie McTell" off of Infidels and kept "Union Sundown" or "Neighborhood Bully" god only knows

kurt kobaïan (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Friday, 5 June 2015 18:52 (3 weeks ago) Permalink

Yeah, I guess I would make a distinction between outtakes and alternate takes. Because if I'm being honest, the latter not so much. But demos and unreleased stuff from acts, sure.

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 5 June 2015 19:28 (3 weeks ago) Permalink

“Two Ones Are Won”
“10 Ribs & All/Carrot Pod Pod (Pod)”

curious about these 2 presence outtakes and also i've been waiting for presence in general, i wonder how the remaster will affect its sort of compelling murkiness

kurt kobaïan (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Friday, 5 June 2015 20:24 (3 weeks ago) Permalink

“10 Ribs & All/Carrot Pod Pod (Pod)”

Is this a Pavement cover?

chr1sb3singer, Friday, 5 June 2015 20:27 (3 weeks ago) Permalink

features Robert Plant doing a Mark E. Smith impression

Οὖτις, Friday, 5 June 2015 20:27 (3 weeks ago) Permalink

Pretty sure that song was on the Pacific trim 7"

chr1sb3singer, Friday, 5 June 2015 20:28 (3 weeks ago) Permalink


You must be logged in to post. Please either login here, or if you are not registered, you may register here.