Led Zeppelin

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Jolly Joker
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Led Zeppelin

Postby Jolly Joker » Jan 16 2008, 19:04

I've dug into youtube a bit to check out the Led Zeppelin reunion concert - the event of the century, it seems - and while the quality of the recordings you can watch there is poor to abysmal, it's enough to see that this seems to have indeed been an event that, as improbable as it may seem, not only lived up to the extremely high expectations, but exceeded them yet.
I've read a few reviews of the concert, and everyone seems to be awed. What I can make out of those recordings is indeed great. These are artists that have aged gracefully.

It's difficult to tell (because the quality is so bad), but it sounds like Plant is singing better than ever, just concentrating on the songs, not having the range anymore and giving berth to the higher notes, but singing extremely expressive nonetheless.

Page may not be the genius solo guitar player with 63 anymore - but that seems just to emphasize how great his riffs are and what monster of a heavy sound he's creating with soloing being used much more sparingly than 3ß years before which ain't so bad for the songs.

John Paul Jones's bass play is dying a bit in the poor quality - but that only emphasizes what a good keyboarder he is. No Quarter never sounded better, and there is a video of Misty Mountain Hop on youtube which isn't complete, but reletively good quality, that seems to give a good impression, how darn tight those grandpas were.

Lastly Jason Bonham is simply fantastic. That may sound cliché, but I'm sire his father would be proud of him.

In short: I've been moved to tears.

Has anyone been there? Any opinions?
ZZZzzzz....

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Postby Robenhagen » Jan 18 2008, 8:43

I think I've seen even less than you of this concert, but it did sound really nice - the nicest thing though, was that I read, a couple of days later, that the old rockers had enjoyed themselves so much, they've started talking about going on a real tour again ... that is some of the best news I've had in a long time. I haven't seen them perform live, except for when Plant performed solo in Denmark 15 years ago (or so).
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Postby Jolly Joker » Jan 18 2008, 9:52

Well, Jimmy Page did indeed say that it would be a shame to have done so much rehearsing just for one concert, but Plant already has other tour dates this year, so we'll see.
I think the awesome thing here is that Led Zeppelin, after so many years, is still Led Zeppelin. This is completely different from every other "reunion", maybe with the exception of the Black Sabbath reunion nearly ten years ago: most others feel like a coverband is doing all the stuff, and that includes the Rolling Stones as well who sound like some circus, but not like the Rolling Stones. What I mean to say is that you still feel the power of the songs in last year's concerts, you feel it's THEIR songs. That's something I haven't heard for a long time from one of the really old bands.
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Postby Muszka » Jan 29 2008, 4:01

Jolly Joker wrote:...that includes the Rolling Stones as well who sound like some circus, but not like the Rolling Stones.
That's a bit too much in my opinion. Tough I could not listen how the Stones sounded 30 years ago, but they sound reasonably well now. They have now over 45 years of experience and I think they are the recordholders in the longevity of a band category. So making them circus clowns it's too harsh. Something requires age or a specific man, Freddy Mercury for example. Just look at the "Tribute to FM", and you can see, how Plant is lost if he needs to fill Freddy's place.
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Postby Jolly Joker » Jan 29 2008, 7:37

Ah, but you CAN easily listen to how the Stones sounded 35 years ago, when they were at their best.
Now, this
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pwqKCMDsUZU
is how they sound 2006. It's Midnight Rambler, what I would call a very ambitious song to play in 2006. You may listen to it and watch it a bit.
And then you may want to have a look at this here
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4UPlG1w2qzw
or any other sample from the first half of the 70s. Listening and watching the Stones then you'll immediately grasp why the Stones then may have been the greatest rock'n'roll band in the world.
You may take every other rendition of every known Stones song. Listen, for example, to an actual version of Paint it Black and compare it with the old studio version and you'll immediately feel the difference.

Freddy's place can't be filled by anyone, simply because no one would sound like him.
ZZZzzzz....

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Postby ByteBandit » Jan 29 2008, 8:48

Yeah, Freddie was the best. I'm a Zep fan through and through. I have all their vinyl. Bought them when I was in my 20's. I had a ticket to see them before Bonham died. Still have the ticket. No, it's not for sale.

The Stones best album, IMO, is Exiles on Main Street. All songs were basically recorded on one take. First album they did on Rolling Stones records. A good raw album. Mick was drunk as Hell. Keith was stoned the whole album. Charlie Watts MADE the album perfect as usual. It's the only album they did where all the Stones said they had fun making an album. In all those years together, too. Lots of Sax, bar room piano, and those back up black girl singers. Just an incredible album! If you have'nt heard it, I recommend it highly!! It's sloppy, lots of missed notes, and so on, for a studio recording. The Stones were best between 1969 to 1976.

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Postby Jolly Joker » Jan 29 2008, 9:10

I agree about Exile, but I'm rating Sticky Fingers higher yet (which was the first record on their own label, I'm sure). And I certainly agree about the period. Beggar's Banquet to, well Black and Blue which is probably underrated even though Keith said that it was certainly not their best effort, especially with him having a serious H problem at the time.
Anyway, I saw the Stones the last time live on their Steel Wheels tour which was ok, I suppose. The 80s were done and the Stones had basically stopped trying to sell their new stuff in concerts (at least in earnest). It was, as I remember, the 1st of those greatest hits tours and as such it was good. 15 years later it gets old, really.
And, yes, I have all LZ albums on vinyl as well, of course. I'm still not sure which LZ album I'd rate best. Probably Physical Graffiti because of the sheer mass of music on it. :)
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Postby Muszka » Jan 29 2008, 12:39

Jolly Joker wrote:Listening and watching the Stones then you'll immediately grasp why the Stones then may have been the greatest rock'n'roll band in the world.
Heavy words. Too heavy. In those times many bands were fighting for the non-existing town, the name what come to my mind are Zepp, Purple (the biggest adversaries in my eye), Stones, Sabbath, Queen(don't recall any other, but anyone left out isn't intentionally, but the Winner would be without doubt the Pink Floyd.

Thanks for the links, I meant it rather being able to see them alive.
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Postby Jolly Joker » Jan 29 2008, 13:09

Nah, Pink Floyd never were a rock'n'roll band.
Anyway, I just quoted themselves (the Stones). If you watch them in the period 68-, well, let's say 74 (and there do exist a lot of live documents out there) you'll see that Mick Jagger really deserved his status at the time. He's as charismatic a singer as it gets; you cling to his lips, and he has a wonderful diction and sensuality. He's extremely confident. Opposed to him, Keith looks like a street urchin and plays like one as well while Mick Taylor looks like a fair-haired innocent boy and plays contrapart to it. Charlie and Bill, lastly, keep things tight and sparsely together.
It's not the music that counts here, imo, because the music is all a question of taste. Rock Music has always been about ATTITUDE more than anything else, and there was a time when the Stones' did incorporate that attitude more than everyone else. Hendrix died early. Brian Jones had started proceedings (being, if I recall right, here the trend setter as a member of the Rolling Stones as well). Clapton was on the way, but recovered, miraculously, but the guy who really outlived everyone's expectations is of course Keith Richards (and maybe Lemmy who would later on establish Motörhead and invent Speed Metal).
Sure, LATER, there were other bands, but AT THAT TIME, turn of the decade, when the Beatles had split and some rock musicians had died the Rolling Stones were clearly on top.
ZZZzzzz....

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Postby ByteBandit » Jan 29 2008, 18:28

Yeah. Zeps' best album was Physical Grafitti. That's where they started to sound original. But my fave song by Zep is "When the Levee Breaks." John Bonham at his best. Playing drums on that song is not easy. I guess Bonham was the best musician for Zep in my book.

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Postby Jolly Joker » Jan 29 2008, 19:12

Yup. When the Levee breaks has been one of my favorites from the day I heard IV for the first time. Sort of heavy and I agree it's the drumming that it makes it sound so.
I'm not sure about the musician ranking, though. I'm, no drummer, but play guitar, so I can't compare them really. In my book both are QUITE good, even though Bonham may as a drummer have a higher rank than Page as a guitar player.
But I prefer to see them as a band: if you take away any part of the band it wouldn't be the same anymore and I guess that made the performance so remarkable: Jason did seemingly one hell of a good job to sound like his father would have or did in the past.
ZZZzzzz....

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Postby ByteBandit » Jan 29 2008, 19:28

Page is a good guitarist, no argument there. But you ask a zep member, and they all bring up John Bonham. First time Page heard him, no other drmmer was asked to audition. And Bonham was Plants' friend to boot.
I also think the album "Presence" is overlooked. It was a departure from normal Zep sounds, and was what the future held for Zep had Bonham lived. You could hear that they were centering around the drumming more than before. It continued in "In through the Out Door" but Presence was better.

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Postby Jolly Joker » Jan 29 2008, 19:43

Fully agreed. When the album came out I couldn't understand the lukewarm reviews it got. The album is simpler, rawer than Graffity and Houses. No complex arrangements, no strings, no keys and so on. That's probably because it sounds more drum centered. Also it was recorded in a very short time I seem to remember. Probably Zep's tribute to punk or something. :)
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Postby ByteBandit » Jan 29 2008, 20:00

Persence was recorded during the time Plant was in a car accident. He sang while he had a broken leg. So, many critics thought he did'nt put his whole effort into it, which was wrong. And they did'nt tour that year.
I remember the album duels of Queen and Zep. While you waited for the newest Zep album, you listened to the latest Queen album. And vice versa. At least that's how it was where I lived.

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Postby Jolly Joker » Jan 29 2008, 20:33

I seem to remember that Queen was a lot later than Zep. I absolutely loved (and still do) Sheer Heart Attack which was then Queen's 3rd album, but it was released, umm, 1974 I think, and Queen's first 2 records wasn't really noticed. Housese of the Holy was released 1973. So it went Heart Attack, Graffiti. Of course then came A Night at the Opera which stunned everyone, me included. By the way, I DO have a Brian May guitar now (the Red Special) since a good month, and I absolutely love it.
After Opera Presence was released and afterwards A Day at the Races probably one of my biggest disappointments in terms of a highly expected new album. It was probably not possible to top or even equal Opera, but Races is really weak.
Lots of great music at the time.
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Postby ByteBandit » Jan 29 2008, 20:49

Yup. Mid 60's to mid 70's was the best music around by far. Too many good bands to list. See if I can jog the memory a bit. Off topic I know.

Savoy Brown, Foghat, Mahogany Rush, J.J. Cale, Nazereth, Ten Years After, Robin Trower and Cheap Trick.

Good bands. All overlooked. Perhaps the bands I listened to most.

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Postby Jolly Joker » Jan 29 2008, 21:44

For me one of those is really good (Ten Years After) and one sticks out: Robin Trower. Really love him. Still plays. I've all his old records and even a recent (official) DvD of a concert played in Germany.
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Postby Muszka » Jan 30 2008, 0:33

Jolly Joker wrote:Nah, Pink Floyd never were a rock'n'roll
Indeed, they were more likely a psychedelic rock band, but so it is the Zepp too. And I agree that when giving such titles as 'best', it would be a mistake, to judge (only) by the music, the band played, because as you've said that's a matter of taste. But when I wrote that Pink Floyed is above the others, I kept in mind the fact, the effect it had upon music of the next generations, till the present days.

What Jagger said, to be the best... at that time many bands/artists proclaimed themselves as the 'best'. Take for example Hendrix. When once he was asked about who is the best guitarist ever, he answered that he is the best of course, than he was asked who's the second best, he answered that he is the second best too. Than it was asked, to tell the best guitarist after him, because it has to be someone after him. His answer now was: 'There's a boy, who plays very well, his name is Ritchie Blackmoor'. Now proclaiming Hendrix as the best would actually say that Dylan or Clapton are less great what's not true. Also Blackmoor and Page are great, but Hendrix is insanely good, if it would't be so, he could not invent a Hey Joe on the stage, a song what is history. So is it with Stones, but when they started their carrier, there was also the Beatles, and the people gone mad after the guys in the Yellow Submarine. So they somehow remained in the background for the majority of the people, being called by some 'the black sheep', and if someone looks at the past behavior of Keith noone doubts that statement.

I think I went enough off topic, so I try to return back.

Now anyone can call me unoriginal for that, but my favorit Zepp song is Stairway to Heaven, and actually that is one of my all time favorits.
It seems that the fact that I was born after the goldan age of these great bands it has the effect, that I'm not that selective concerning the periods in a bands life, so for me All of my love sounds just as great as the Whole Lotta Love.

P.S.: My pub's official name is Zeppelin actually :)
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Postby ByteBandit » Jan 30 2008, 2:50

Best Guitarist ever? Joe Satriani without question. Listen to the album "Flying in a Blue Dream" and tell me that ain't the heaviest album you ever heard. Especially the song "Bells of Lal Pt II." Makes Hendrix look like a student. And I like Hendrix.
Jimmy Page and Robert Plant got all the accolades for Zep, but it was Bonham who kept the band tight. Notice when Bonham died they never recorded as Led Zeppelin ever again.
My 'Fantasy" band would be Joe Satriani - Guitarist, Stevie Ray Vaughn - Rhythm Guitarist, John Bonham - Drummer, Paul McCartney - Bassist, Trent Reznor - Keyboards and Ozzy Osborne - vocalist. With Stevie Nicks and Anne Lennox as back up female vocalists.

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Postby Muszka » Jan 30 2008, 3:40

What a band... B-) , I don't know, if that could be kept together for more than a month.

As for Bonham, I think that the band would have split with any of his members dead. They even tried to replace Bonham with his son, but it just didn't worked.

To be honest, I don't like Satriani nor Steve Vay nor the style they play, it's good and professional, but it has no soul. After a Final Cut of David Gilmour or a Soldier of Fortune from Ritchie Blackmore they sound... (let me quote)
Leonard Cohen wrote:The maestro says it's Mozart, but it sounds like bubblegum...
Now I had a lot of talk about this with a friend of mine, who learns to play violin in university, but we could never agree. I accept their supreme talent, but if I have to listen guitar solos I would rather listen Paco De Lucia than a guitar magician like Satriani, and I'm not a Jazz fan.
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