Led Zeppelin: Classic Or Dud?

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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 (13 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 (13 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 (13 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 (13 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 (13 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 (13 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 (13 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 (13 years ago) Permalink

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

Nicole, Thursday, 28 June 2001 00:00 (13 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 (13 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 (12 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 (12 years ago) Permalink

R. Kelly isn't in their league.

dleone, Friday, 7 June 2002 00:00 (12 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 (12 years ago) Permalink

Yes, Zep were the red snapper, not the shark

Ben Williams, Friday, 7 June 2002 00:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

the vanilla fudge invented everything!!

mark s, Saturday, 8 June 2002 00:00 (12 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

Haha Zeppelin vinyl pressing fuckup, that must be a code red on the Hoffman boards

you say tomato/i say imago (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Thursday, 11 December 2014 14:13 (1 week ago) Permalink

I know that Baker is held in high regard by some, but oftentimes I've found myself listening to his drumming and wondering exactly why that is. He comes across as an obnoxious, cantankerous dick as a person too. I dunno, I just haven't heard anything that he's done which has impressed me in the same way as, say, Mitch Mitchell from the Jimi Hendrix Experience, let alone Bonham or Moon.

have you seen the doc?

guess that bundt gettin eaten (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 11 December 2014 14:16 (1 week ago) Permalink

have you seen "Gonks go Beat" ?

Mark G, Thursday, 11 December 2014 14:45 (1 week ago) Permalink

Haha Zeppelin vinyl pressing fuckup, that must be a code red on the Hoffman boards

― you say tomato/i say imago (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Thursday, December 11, 2014 2:13 PM (30 minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

Hahahahaha! I must confess though, I lurk there from time to time and often find what they have to say extremely useful when it comes to the matters of pressings and general audiophile geekery!

Welcome To (Turrican), Thursday, 11 December 2014 14:46 (1 week ago) Permalink

have you seen the doc?

― guess that bundt gettin eaten (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, December 11, 2014 2:16 PM (30 minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

The one where he comes across as an obnoxious, cantankerous dick?

Welcome To (Turrican), Thursday, 11 December 2014 14:50 (1 week ago) Permalink

ginger baker's jazz drumming is so leaden and heavy-handed compared to any jazz dude though

― festival culture (Jordan), Wednesday, December 10, 2014 9:05 PM (Yesterday) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

OTM.

Don't get me wrong, I enjoy Cream as much as anyone who enjoys that band, but Baker's drumming just doesn't excite me... and never has!

Welcome To (Turrican), Thursday, 11 December 2014 14:55 (1 week ago) Permalink

Yeah I honestly love those goofs at Hoffman and there are some seriously knowledgeable people on there. I think I was first aware of it in those dark days when we found out the Beatles vinyl was being sourced from digital *shudders*

you say tomato/i say imago (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Thursday, 11 December 2014 15:14 (1 week ago) Permalink

One of the biggest boners in the Baker doc is when he rips on John Bonham for not swinging enough or something (unless I'm making that up). I like Ginger Baker as a drummer just fine, but I wouldn't want him sitting in for Tony Williams any time soon. Like, even here, is Blakey dumbing himself, trying to outrock Ginger, or is Ginger trying to outjazz Art?

But then there's this, where Ginger is really getting it going, like a "real" jazz drummer:

Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 11 December 2014 15:32 (1 week ago) Permalink

I like Ginger Baker as a drummer just fine, but I wouldn't want him sitting in for Tony Williams any time soon.

Ha, that reminds me, Keith Moon was also Tony Williams' favorite drummer. "He's beautiful. Totally free."

Like, even here, is Blakey dumbing himself, trying to outrock Ginger, or is Ginger trying to outjazz Art?

I don't necessarily get the sense that Blakey is trying to outrock Ginger; maybe more showing that he can do everything Ginger can do, plus everything Ginger can't do.

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Thursday, 11 December 2014 15:53 (1 week ago) Permalink

Seems to me Baker is in a halfway house of neither being the premier jazz or rock drummer of his generation, not that he had to be, but i cant imagine conversation based purely on his prowess is anything like what it was decades ago

Master of Treacle, Thursday, 11 December 2014 16:11 (1 week ago) Permalink

Baker is an OK jazz drummer with just enough swing to make his rock work sound cool and interesting. I don't think the apposite comparison is Bonham or Moon; I think it's Bill Ward, who actually swings harder at times, but would have been totally incapable of handling a real jazz set.

Humorist (horse) (誤訳侮辱), Thursday, 11 December 2014 16:16 (1 week ago) Permalink

Yeah. Bill Ward can swing. Moon is a mess. Bonham can groove better than any of them.

Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 11 December 2014 16:29 (1 week ago) Permalink

Moon is sort of a mess but what an incredible mess
The Who is basically 4 dudes trying to show each other up

you say tomato/i say imago (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Thursday, 11 December 2014 16:40 (1 week ago) Permalink

Nobody's mentioned Charlie Watts yet?

Mark G, Thursday, 11 December 2014 16:52 (1 week ago) Permalink

Then again, it's a Zep thread, not a Ginger Baker one.

Mark G, Thursday, 11 December 2014 16:53 (1 week ago) Permalink

Baker is the worst cunt I've ever had to spend time with.

Unsettled defender (ithappens), Thursday, 11 December 2014 17:32 (1 week ago) Permalink

he is a dick, but tbf he is also pretty funny
http://arthurmag.com/2009/11/02/ginger-baker-on-fela-kuti-1999/

Οὖτις, Thursday, 11 December 2014 17:34 (1 week ago) Permalink

that's pretty good.

Absolutely nothing. (pause) That was a combination of a lot of things before it, that we made the record, and a lot of things after it. It wasn’t just a one-off thing, I mean I did a five-week tour with Fela’s band when
Tony Allen was ill.

Oh, okay—

“Oh, okay.” Yes. ISN’T THAT FUCKING AMAZING? “How extraordinary!” Fucking, man…

lol

festival culture (Jordan), Thursday, 11 December 2014 17:45 (1 week ago) Permalink

baker's autobiog is a miserable experience. "I was shitty to everyone, I cheated on my wife constantly, there wasn't anyone I wouldn't fuck over for drugs or for horses or just because I fancied it, why won't anyone spend any time with me whatsoever?" It's up therewith Chevy Chase's bio as an example of the form that lets you know, in no uncertain terms, what an irredeemably fucked up character the subject is.

he seems awful in the movie too, but the director seemed a risible douche also.

Nixon head is essential. (stevie), Thursday, 11 December 2014 23:16 (1 week ago) Permalink

horses?

Οὖτις, Thursday, 11 December 2014 23:21 (1 week ago) Permalink

i enjoyed the movie, like in a weird way after all the rodiguezes and deaths etc etc it was almost nice to see one where there was no redemption narrative like he's a disagreeable motherfucker right to the end

you say tomato/i say imago (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Thursday, 11 December 2014 23:23 (1 week ago) Permalink

this one guy on the hoffman board linked to a sample of the distortion issue on "the ocean" which is indeed pretty bad:

https://onedrive.live.com/?cid=dabf476bb2a81cf6&id=DABF476BB2A81CF6%21322&ithint=file,wav&authkey=!AON7uyn387pPefM

LIKE If you are against racism (omar little), Thursday, 11 December 2014 23:37 (1 week ago) Permalink

ginger's dead into horses, had a big farm in south africa where he was training them

Nixon head is essential. (stevie), Friday, 12 December 2014 09:27 (1 week ago) Permalink

Ginger is bonkers, Bonham is the one member of Zep that is timeless. And JP is otm, he could've criticized many things about his style but the man knew how to swing.

Moka, Friday, 12 December 2014 09:38 (1 week ago) Permalink

Bonham didn't know how to be subtle, that's why the calm acoustic guitar sections of LZ very rarely feature any sort or percussion. He was an attention whore. Either way I'm sure that if him or Keith Moon were alive and gave themselves the challenge to behave and do jazz they would kick Ginger's ass any day of the year.

Moka, Friday, 12 December 2014 09:44 (1 week ago) Permalink

I hate undefinable terms like 'swing' and 'groove' but to my ears Leibezeit seems to have had both more than Bonham.

calstars, Friday, 12 December 2014 10:10 (1 week ago) Permalink

I think Baker revered certain drumming traditions, whereas Bonham and Moon expanded on the language of those traditions. And the fact that they blew past him, while he was busy respecting the rules, no doubt irritated him to no end.

Boom! And so it's apt that he played with Clapton, who was in the same boat - gaining fame playing authentic respectful blues guitar with the Bluesbreakers, then Hendrix shows up who has a complete understanding of the language of the blues but uses it as a launchpad to outer space.

the_ecuador_three, Friday, 12 December 2014 12:04 (1 week ago) Permalink

One of the things I love about Bonham is that Page would throw all kinds of stop-start and odd-time riffs at him and Bonham could make them sound like the most natural thing in the world. I don't think that really applies to Baker/Cream or Moon/Who.

the_ecuador_three, Friday, 12 December 2014 12:06 (1 week ago) Permalink

Was listening to "III" bonuses yesterday and marvelling at Bonham's drumming on the "Out OnThe Tiles" instrumental.

Acid Hose (Capitaine Jay Vee), Friday, 12 December 2014 12:27 (1 week ago) Permalink

Bonham was not always subtle, no, but he threw in all sorts of genius fills and accents and whatnot, not to mention him and JPJ being able to manage and navigate any number of weird turnarounds (that, too often, actually threw off Page live, who stationed himself in front of the kit to watch Bonham's cues). And frankly, Bonham knew more than well when to hold back. "Kashmir" is nearly as simple as it gets, except for all the stuff that is not so simple. But most of that song is him plodding along - bass, snare, bass, snare. There is no way Baker or Moon or most anyone could have stayed still that long. Same with much of "The Ocean." And something like "Fool in the Rain" is both subtle and sophisticated, and certainly not showy.

Honestly,every member of LZ was an attention whore except maybe JPJ, and even he got a 25 minute solo.

xpost Frankly Leibezeit belongs in a different discussion. Much different drummer playing a much different style of music.

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 12 December 2014 14:09 (1 week ago) Permalink

I think Baker revered certain drumming traditions, whereas Bonham and Moon expanded on the language of those traditions. And the fact that they blew past him, while he was busy respecting the rules, no doubt irritated him to no end.

Boom! And so it's apt that he played with Clapton, who was in the same boat - gaining fame playing authentic respectful blues guitar with the Bluesbreakers, then Hendrix shows up who has a complete understanding of the language of the blues but uses it as a launchpad to outer space.

― the_ecuador_three, Friday, December 12, 2014 6:04 AM (3 hours ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

this is pretty OTM

though i will say in the modern world in which taylor hawkins from foo fighters is considered a "great drummer" i wouldn't kick ginger out of my band!

you say tomato/i say imago (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Friday, 12 December 2014 15:35 (1 week ago) Permalink

It's true, I would definitely fire him by email rather than risk physical contact.

For some bizarre reason I had the fool idea that Keith Moon took lessons from Philly Joe Jones, which led me to this excellent piece by Rob Chapman:

http://www.rob-chapman.com/pages/moon.html

sʌxihɔːl (Ward Fowler), Friday, 12 December 2014 15:38 (1 week ago) Permalink

JB is in my top 5 drummers of all time -- and yeah, he could be subtle when it was needed (which was rare for LZ songs -- usually when they wanted "subtle", they just axed the drums entirely). His pattern in "Fool in the Rain" has to go down as one of the all time great grooves, and I can't name a SINGLE hard rock drummer from that time who could have played it so well, or even come up with something like this. Maybe Aynsley Dunbar? But then he had the jazz chops.

I never quite got what was supposed to be so great about Ginger Baker. I think at the time, he was one of the drummers who gave legitimacy to rock music, especially heavy stuff. Similar to Mitch Mitchell (who I like better) or even someone like Michael Shrieve (whose solo in Woodstock is more fun than anything I've heard Baker play), he kind of symbolized this new idea that rock drumming could be taken seriously in its own right. And it wasn't as if Cream was the Ventures or something, basically just session musicians playing tunes for the kids -- they were a "real" band, they were, uh, hip.

Also, it's funny to me how quickly the floodgates opened -- once you get to the 70s, awesome rock drummers seem to fall out of the sky, as if they were just waiting for the moment in time when serious players could get big playing this new kind of music. I think Ginger Baker helped this happen -- and in a way, Cream got "muso" respect a lot quicker than LZ did, so I imagine drummers were repping him a lot more at the time. But then there came Billy Cobham, Dunbar, Ian Paice, Neil Peart etc etc etc...

Dominique, Friday, 12 December 2014 15:51 (1 week ago) Permalink

Guys like Aynsley Dunbar played in pop bands in the mid 60s I'm sure they weren't given the opportunity to let loose.

Root It Oot (Tom D.), Friday, 12 December 2014 15:58 (1 week ago) Permalink

there's a reason why people sample Bonham breaks and not Moon or Baker.

festival culture (Jordan), Friday, 12 December 2014 16:01 (1 week ago) Permalink

The thing about Moon, though, is that he never tried to groove like Bonham (or Baker) -- it's like saying Milford Graves could't play metric time like Philly Joe Jones.

What Moon did was completely explode/ignore the traditional role of The Drummer. Moon was the lead percussionist in the Who; if anything, Townshend's role was more that of a traditional drummer than Moon's (a role Townshend has retrospectively said he hated).

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Friday, 12 December 2014 16:15 (1 week ago) Permalink

*couldn't

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Friday, 12 December 2014 16:15 (1 week ago) Permalink

sure, it's a beautiful thing in its own right (although i never listened to the Who very much). i do think that Bonham's style happened to age very well into the modern world of hip-hop/electronic music/beats though.

festival culture (Jordan), Friday, 12 December 2014 16:24 (1 week ago) Permalink

Absolutely. Bonham's impact on hip-hop is significant and measurable; Moon's and Baker's is nonexistent.

Interestingly, though, of those three drummers, only Moon played along to sequencers (or at least the patched-together analog 1970s equivalent thereof).

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Friday, 12 December 2014 16:32 (1 week ago) Permalink

yeah that is funny, as wild as he was he was playing to automation

you say tomato/i say imago (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Friday, 12 December 2014 17:07 (1 week ago) Permalink

I think Ginger Baker helped this happen

And Michael Giles, big time.

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 12 December 2014 17:54 (1 week ago) Permalink

Goddamn, that Klosterman interview with Page is a shitshow.

Prince Kajuku (Bill Magill), Friday, 12 December 2014 19:11 (1 week ago) Permalink

Interestingly, though, of those three drummers, only Moon played along to sequencers (or at least the patched-together analog 1970s equivalent thereof).

― Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Friday, December 12, 2014 4:32 PM (5 hours ago) Bookmark Flag Post 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, 12 December 2014 21:49 (1 week ago) Permalink

I guess in a weird way that makes Moon kind of a forerunner to all the modern drummers now that stay in time with Pro Tooled backing onstage, by way of the early '80s drummers who played along with CR-78's and stuff.

Welcome To (Turrican), Friday, 12 December 2014 21:51 (1 week ago) Permalink

Klosterman comes across as a dick in that interview. Sheesh. Never read him so maybe he just IS one?

Acid Hose (Capitaine Jay Vee), Friday, 12 December 2014 22:33 (1 week ago) Permalink

idk if he's a dick but he's p terrible

Οὖτις, Friday, 12 December 2014 22:38 (1 week 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 (1 week 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 (1 week 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 (1 week 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 (1 week ago) Permalink


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