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 (nineteen years ago) link

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 (nineteen years ago) link

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 (nineteen years ago) link

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 (nineteen years ago) link

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 (nineteen years ago) link

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 (nineteen years ago) link

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 (nineteen years ago) link

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 (nineteen years ago) link

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 (nineteen years ago) link

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 (nineteen years ago) link

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 (nineteen years ago) link

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 (nineteen years ago) link

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 (nineteen years ago) link

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 (nineteen years ago) link

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 (nineteen years ago) link

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 (nineteen years ago) link

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 (nineteen years ago) link

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 (nineteen years ago) link

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 (nineteen years ago) link

or their explorations of indian classical music for that matter.

sundar subramanian, Monday, 2 October 2000 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

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 (nineteen years ago) link

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 (nineteen years ago) link

one 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 (nineteen years ago) link

one 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 (nineteen years ago) link

three 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 (nineteen years ago) link

three 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 (nineteen years ago) link

one 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 (nineteen years ago) link

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 (nineteen years ago) link

two 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 (nineteen years ago) link

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 (nineteen years ago) link

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 (nineteen years ago) link

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

Nicole, Thursday, 28 June 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

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 (nineteen years ago) link

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 (nineteen years ago) link

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 (nineteen years ago) link

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 (nineteen years ago) link

two 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 (nineteen years ago) link

"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 (nineteen years ago) link

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 (nineteen years ago) link

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 (nineteen years ago) link

one 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 (eighteen years ago) link

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 (eighteen years ago) link

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 (eighteen years ago) link

seven 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 (eighteen years ago) link

Led zeppelin fucked a girl with a shark.

So they influenced R. Kelly, too!

Dan Perry, Friday, 7 June 2002 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

R. Kelly isn't in their league.

dleone, Friday, 7 June 2002 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

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 (eighteen years ago) link

Yes, Zep were the red snapper, not the shark

Ben Williams, Friday, 7 June 2002 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

the vanilla fudge invented everything!!

mark s, Saturday, 8 June 2002 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

one 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 (eighteen years ago) link

Also they used to cover Upper Egypt by Pharoah Sanders

Pinche Cumbion Bien Loco (stevie), Friday, 31 July 2020 10:20 (one week ago) link

Yeah I dunno, I had read so much about MC5 before I heard them and initially it was just so much more regular rock than I expected

I've come to appreciate them a lot more on their own terms but honestly I don't personally hear the avant garde jazz in them

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Saturday, 1 August 2020 16:04 (one week ago) link

pretty sure there's an MC5 thread in the archives that does a deep dive into how they are the archetypical "sounds incredible on paper, notsomuch on record" band.

Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Saturday, 1 August 2020 16:14 (one week ago) link

Has another (i.e. not the MC5) band lived up to the MC5’s promise?

pomenitul, Saturday, 1 August 2020 16:17 (one week ago) link

What was their promise? A free jazz infused radical politics rock band? The biggest issue is that essentially *none* of the rock bands of the era or beyond had the free chops of Coltrane or Coleman or Sanders or Miles or whomever. It's not particularly political, but the Stooges "Fun House" (the song and album) is jazzier and more dangerous and less conventional than anything I've ever heard from the MC5.

Josh in Chicago, Saturday, 1 August 2020 16:47 (one week ago) link

Fun House is one of the GOATs in my book, and I agree, but it's not as improvisationally 'loose' (heh) as I imagine that promise to have been.

pomenitul, Saturday, 1 August 2020 16:50 (one week ago) link

Band of Gypsys manages that on occasion but I'm still not sold on the album as a whole (for the usual reasons).

pomenitul, Saturday, 1 August 2020 16:52 (one week ago) link

I think the closest you can get to maybe the free/loose/improvised rock thing is, I dunno, some later No Wave stuff? Or Dog Faced Hermans or the Ex? Here are the Hermans covering Ornette:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_LBd9SnMn6o

Josh in Chicago, Saturday, 1 August 2020 16:55 (one week ago) link

Herman's Hermits were dope it's true

Joey Corona (Euler), Saturday, 1 August 2020 16:57 (one week ago) link

That Dog Faced Hermans track is cool but it's almost too self-consciously (free) jazzy, mostly because of how prominent the brass is.

pomenitul, Saturday, 1 August 2020 17:01 (one week ago) link

Basically what I want are recommendations for MC5-alikes without braggadocio (or these other tropes).

pomenitul, Saturday, 1 August 2020 17:02 (one week ago) link

It's not particularly political, but the Stooges "Fun House" (the song and album) is jazzier and more dangerous and less conventional than anything I've ever heard from the MC5.

Or is it just that the Stooges added some honking free jazz sax to the mix? I'm not especially an MC5 fan but I believe they may have stretched out more live.

Sonny Shamrock (Tom D.), Saturday, 1 August 2020 17:04 (one week ago) link

Well, Kick Out the Jams is a live album…

pomenitul, Saturday, 1 August 2020 17:06 (one week ago) link

Yes, but there's a lot of other live MC5 stuff out there (that I've never heard).

Sonny Shamrock (Tom D.), Saturday, 1 August 2020 17:07 (one week ago) link

I always found the MC5 hugely disappointing for exactly the reasons described above. They were supposed to be The End Of The Fucking World...and they were basically a hard 'n' heavy garage rock band with the occasional "out" guitar solo. I mean, their Sun Ra cover is just a chant with some big riffing.

That said, toward the very end of their career, they achieved their true final form as an awesome biker rock force, which you can hear on the live bootleg Teen Age Lust, recorded in January 1970. It totally smokes, and if they'd sounded like that all along they would have been amazing.

but also fuck you (unperson), Saturday, 1 August 2020 17:10 (one week ago) link

what promise, kick out the jams is awesome

Ban pomenitul

brimstead, Saturday, 1 August 2020 17:12 (one week ago) link

lol we naysayers are legion, you have no power here!

pomenitul, Saturday, 1 August 2020 17:14 (one week ago) link

For real tho, I actually enjoy Kick Out the Jams now that I've accepted it'll never live up to the ancestral hype.

pomenitul, Saturday, 1 August 2020 17:15 (one week ago) link

yeah i'll add my name to the list of folks spending all this time reading the MC5 hype and being really disappointed when i finally heard "kick out the jams"

as i've gotten older i've learned to love them tho

budo jeru, Saturday, 1 August 2020 17:16 (one week ago) link

Maybe they achieved their *final* final form when they jammed with Primal Scream in London back in 2008.

pomenitul, Saturday, 1 August 2020 17:18 (one week ago) link

Watch it.

Sonny Shamrock (Tom D.), Saturday, 1 August 2020 17:27 (one week ago) link

Seriously tempted tbh.

pomenitul, Saturday, 1 August 2020 17:27 (one week ago) link

Zen Guerilla is the closest to MC5 as I can think of

https://youtu.be/LpsvGZ7iUHU

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Saturday, 1 August 2020 17:33 (one week ago) link

Haha, clearly I didn't read that much about them. What I heard sounded like garage rock and I thought that's what people liked about them.

Feel a million filaments (Sund4r), Saturday, 1 August 2020 17:46 (one week ago) link

what did you all expect, bitchez brew or something?? Was it too heavy and rockin for ya??

brimstead, Saturday, 1 August 2020 17:51 (one week ago) link

I am so crabby today lol sorry

brimstead, Saturday, 1 August 2020 17:51 (one week ago) link

what did you all expect, bitchez brew or something?? Was it too heavy and rockin for ya??

Honestly, I didn't know it at the time (because it was the early '90s and they didn't exist yet), but I was kind of expecting/hoping for...Earthless, basically.

but also fuck you (unperson), Saturday, 1 August 2020 17:55 (one week ago) link

“Kick out the jams” - great title, average tune

calstars, Saturday, 1 August 2020 18:19 (one week ago) link

The biggest issue is that essentially *none* of the rock bands of the era or beyond had the free chops of Coltrane or Coleman or Sanders or Miles or whomever.


Chops, schmops. The 5 had the chops for what they did. If they didn’t, they would’ve done something else. And anyway, ffs, legions of “jazz” critics and musicians at the time said Coltrane, Coleman, Sanders, and Miles didn’t have “chops” (cf. Bill Dixon talking about “all those people that laughed at Ornette, and then had to learn how to play like him”).

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Saturday, 1 August 2020 20:30 (one week ago) link

I could see people saying that about Ornette but hadn't Coltrane and Miles demonstrated ample chops by then, even by traditional standards?

Feel a million filaments (Sund4r), Saturday, 1 August 2020 20:33 (one week ago) link

Yeah I'm going to see the citation on Coltrane didn't have chops

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Saturday, 1 August 2020 20:34 (one week ago) link

People were critical of Coltrane’s multiphonics, among other aspects (another criticism was, “oh, he’s just running scales”), and Miles was unfavorably compared to Dizzy Gillespie and, particularly, Clifford Brown in some quarters.

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Saturday, 1 August 2020 20:38 (one week ago) link

I’ve heard the Miles criticism quite a few times, yeah. He was no Maynard Ferguson (O Canada!) either, apparently.

Time Will Show Leo Weiser (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 1 August 2020 20:51 (one week ago) link

Yeah Miles I could see but I don't get not being impressed by Coltrane

But jazz beef is the bitchiest beef

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Saturday, 1 August 2020 20:53 (one week ago) link

Seems like there were various strains of Moldy Figs such as, say, Kingsley Amis, just to shoot one fish in one barrel, who didn’t ever get it

Time Will Show Leo Weiser (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 1 August 2020 20:58 (one week ago) link

Never forget Philip Larkin calling Coltrane "anti-jazz."

but also fuck you (unperson), Saturday, 1 August 2020 20:59 (one week ago) link

The thing is, even the most strenuous — and, in many instances, racist — detractors of the new music of the ‘60s conceded that this was the next major development in the music after Parker, Gillespie, Monk, Clarke, Roach, et al. The tone in contemporary Down Beat writing is generally, “Yeah, I know this is the ‘new thing’ — that doesn’t mean I have to like it! I’m going to go listen to my Benny Goodman Trio records!”

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Saturday, 1 August 2020 21:03 (one week ago) link

Right, and someone — Ira Gitler, maybe? — characterized a Coltrane/Dolphy set as “hate music.”

xp

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Saturday, 1 August 2020 21:04 (one week ago) link

Those aren't necessarily the same as "have no chops", though. Obv lots of people hate and hated free jazz.

Feel a million filaments (Sund4r), Saturday, 1 August 2020 21:08 (one week ago) link

While we are at it, Slonimsky was some kind of Old World Wit who wrote all kinds of well-regarded Biographical Dictionaries and Compendiums of Anecdotes and Invective, but in one of his memoirs I came across some hateful bemusement on his part about the bump in sales of his Thesaurus due to purchases by “Ignorant Jazz Musicians” - I am mentally blocking on the the exact hateful wording- that made me see Redd.

Time Will Show Leo Weiser (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 1 August 2020 21:10 (one week ago) link

Some people get overly attached to a particular aspect or quality of a music, and that aspect or quality also forms part of their identity and sensibility, and then when that genre of music departs from that quality, it offends their identity and sensibility. It creates a kind of narcissistic wound, almost like seeing a parent enter a midlife crisis while still a young child. Jazz critics dismissed Miles's psychedelic explorations because Miles's prior cool/cerebral approach flattered the cool cerebralness they wanted to see in themselves, and the psychedelic stuff shattered their little refuge from crass hippie culture, letting in exactly what they were trying to use jazz to keep out.

longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Saturday, 1 August 2020 21:46 (one week ago) link

Wow

Time Will Show Leo Weiser (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 1 August 2020 21:53 (one week ago) link

Bonhams zoso symbol is a worthy design target for beer glass condensation rings

calstars, Saturday, 8 August 2020 18:18 (two days ago) link

purity
booty
flavor

missed the mc5 revive. i don't know what the mc5 were "supposed" to be but whatever it was they probably weren't? heard a gig of theirs from a '70 festival with the stooges. wouldn't say the stooges "blew them off the stage" - fun house-era stooges, from what i've heard, never quite seemed to live up to the album.

best i can say for the mc5 is that they did "skunk (sonically speaking)", which, once you get past that shit minute-long drum intro, is a fierce monster of... something. heard a tape of some mc5 remnants backing up iggy in '78, again, not bad at all but not epoch-defining. idk what the mc5's heritage is. i have a tape of guitar wolf doing "kick out the jams", and even though it's a recording and therefore listening to it does not cause chronic deafness, i find it worthy.

why are the zep knockoffs nobody's heard of so much better than the better-known ones? yesterday i was listening to mass temper's "grave digger", which is dead up what zep would sound like if the singing and production was black sabbath. if these unknowns could nail the zep sound so well, why can't greta van fleet?

Kate (rushomancy), Saturday, 8 August 2020 19:00 (two days ago) link

that mass temper track is like somewhere between blue cheer and wicked lady

budo jeru, Saturday, 8 August 2020 19:08 (two days ago) link

He picked his symbol because it was the Ballentine Beer logo turned upside down!

🖼

🖼
oh shit

calstars, Saturday, 8 August 2020 20:02 (two days ago) link

Ha, "Grave Digger" is not bad.

magnet of the elk park (Sund4r), Saturday, 8 August 2020 20:11 (two days ago) link

you know for some reason i'd not heard wicked lady before even though i was familiar with dark

looks like martin weaver is active again, doing some space rock stuff with a norwegian dude, pretty cool shit imo

https://doctorsofspace.bandcamp.com/album/ghouls-n-shit

Kate (rushomancy), Saturday, 8 August 2020 21:32 (two days ago) link


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