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The Led Zeppelin Discography Breakdown Thread

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In reply to an earlier post on Jan 2, 2013 11:41:12 AM PST
I agree. I've known those who think that only the first four or five albums are worth it, but for me, IV, Houses, PG and ITTOD show an almost fearless desire to see how far they could push the music, given the talents available to them. The only one I thought was treading water was Presence, and I still like that one a lot.

Posted on Jan 2, 2013 11:43:34 AM PST
I guess just the aesthetic of Jagger/Richards and Page/Plant is very different. One similarity in descripion of Page and Keith is they were both riff meisters. Just able to freely think up great lasting rockin' riffs, off the cuff. Just feel players. Both sloppy, unschooled and bluesy rock n roll. Loose and free wheeling in their soloing and rhythm. Totally different in what comes out of the amp. But similiar approaches to playing.

Jaggar and Plant not really similar. Charlie and Bonzo not really similar. Ron Wood or Mick Taylor. Ron yea, similar to both Keith and Jimi, to me. Mick no, he's a disiplined, more schooled musician. John Paul Jones and Bill Whyman, well both kick it in the backround and do the quiet bass playing stereotype. Jones more musically diverse, classical, keys, mandolin. But both fill the bass player roll similarly, i guess.

The Stones once they found their sound stuck to it. Some Girls is pretty diverse for a Stones record after they had found that Stones sound. Zep were always all over the place in mood, feel, and style. Page had a lot to say in many styles. All over the place. But both sound like who they were, you know it's them, which is what make 'em great.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 2, 2013 12:06:35 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 2, 2013 12:40:19 PM PST
AlexMontrose says:
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In reply to an earlier post on Jan 2, 2013 12:26:37 PM PST
Dude, give it a rest. What is all this vitriol for? Back then, there was no YouTube, no internet, you got what was released on vinyl. And Zep had Plant's vocal style on vinyl before Gillan did with DP. To say that rock vocalists, including Gillan, weren't influenced by Plant's approach is clueless, to say the least. And maybe in Gillan's spare time he was cutting loose, maybe, but Plant and Zep had the cajones to commit it to record and say "this is what we do" before DP jumped on that bandwagon.

And I'd argue that Paul McCartney's vocals on Helter Skelter probably influenced the both of them.

I don't know why this would be so important to you to write reams of this. Especially in the really antagonistic tone you are doing it in. You're turning a lot of people off, just by the manner in which you are trying to make a point.

Posted on Jan 2, 2013 12:43:07 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 2, 2013 12:48:02 PM PST
Led Zeppelin II, Side 2

The second half of Zep II doesn't really break any new ground like the first side did, but more or less continues the advances begun on that side.

Heartbreaker - Who isn't already humming this riff in their heads as they read this? A great riff, immediately identifiable and again, the production shines. How did they get such a clear and heavy and open sound in 1969? Once you get past the riff, how cool are those guitar parts during the verses? I mean, Page isn't playing any sort of conventional riff..He's just sort of making the guitar drone along with Plant's vocal. My description could be way off but it doesn't really follow any basic rhythmic pattern and still fits perfectly. This is an example, to me, how little things mean a lot. Change that pattern and the entire song changes. The start and stops are used to great effect as well.

The rest is Page's lead guitar interlude and then his solo before settling back into the main riff. A great, solid rock song and it shows that Page wasn't a one-riff wonder.

Livin' Lovin' - One of my absolute favorite Zep songs! Page's riff is excellent and funky, but it is Bonham that pushes and drives this song harder and harder. It's a propulsive rhythm. This song isn't nearly as effective without him. The song also exemplifies something that is very rare for me when I hear Zeppelin...It leaves me wanting more in it's conciseness and brevity when more often than not, by the end of a Zep song I want to scream, "Enough already! I get the point!"...LOL ...Sometimes less is more....

Ramble On - This is really just an acoustic song with some electric added for coloring. It's a nice effect and novel approach as the opposite usually occurs more often than not. Typically in rock the acoustic provides the texture but not in this song. Wow, pretty impressive start to side 2!

Moby Dick - Not as good as the Herman Melville original. The fact they would take a pretty boring song like this and completely overindulge with it in a live scenario may say more about the drugs they were taking than how proficient a player Bonham was.

Bring It On Home - When I listen to albums, one of the first things I take notice of are the 'four corners', otherwise known as the opening and closing tracks on each side. It's just me, not saying it's right or wrong but I believe in it. Side one opens with WLL and closes with Thank You. Side 2 opens with Heartbreaker and closes, this song...It's a good blues song but it's a bit of a letdown following Moby Dick and especially after the first rate material that was spread throughout this amazing record. By the time Dick ends, aren't you ready for another high caliber song to end this record on an undoubtedly high note? I don't know for sure, but it appears the band was a little short on material for a complete album and was forced to throw in a few filler tracks to round it out.

As it stands this is still a classic album. The good material is so powerful the fact it has 2 or 3 filler cuts, depending on your viewpoint, doesn't tarnish it's reputation as one of the greatest rock albums ever. Following this Zep will expand their sound which is a smart idea as Page foresaw how easy his band could be pigeonholed had they continued in the exact same direction. Bless the guy for his ambition because the easiest thing for Page to have done at this point was to make Led Zeppelin II part 2...but he didn't...Instead he made Zep III! :)

Posted on Jan 2, 2013 12:55:41 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 2, 2013 12:58:19 PM PST

This is the version of "Happy" I was talking about. It's from the bootleg I saw and it's terrible. Jagger sees he needs to run over to the mike and save the song. Richards is so blasted here it's sad. He doesn't even realize he is too far from the microphone to be heard...and this only 3 years removed from the amazing '72 tour. He drifts off to the back near Charlie almost like he forgot he was the one that is going to sing the song.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 2, 2013 12:58:59 PM PST
Yup, I'd say that's pretty well right on. If I liked traditional blues better, the album would probably get more rotation from me than it does. Because The Lemon Song and Bring It On Home kind of chaps my hide. Everything else on here, except for Ramble On, is brilliant, and Ramble On is good enough for me to not skip it.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 2, 2013 1:06:09 PM PST
AlexMontrose says:
Hey David,

You can log off Toppers computer now and you guys can go have lunch together. There's a long history here so we agree to disagree. But you made Toppers day and being the classless pansy that he is you will see a post any minute now where he will show you how happy he is to have found a friend. With a bunch of exclamation marks. Doesn't happen often so you made his day.

As far as you other opinions, you sound like as much of a moron as Topper is. Or just the typical chump who jumps in and didn't bother to read any previous posts. I already stated that Plant influenced many vocalists. That's a no brainer. It's when you don't give equally as good contemporaries, icons any credit for anything and then say they were rip offs, clones, cheezy and emotionless where I have the problem. But you missed all that.

If Zeppelin being on vinyl first means they had the cajones to do it first, you go with that if it makes you happy. I'll go with all the bands and musicians we're talking about here had the music in them and were just waiting for their break. Zeppelin's came a few months earlier. Sabbath, Purple, etc right around the corner. But to insinuate that they copied Zeppelin and had no plans to become hard rock outfits on their own is clueless beyond belief.

And if this turning you off, you know what you can do with that. You can blow in here and make your comments because you're so turned And then follow along and read like 20 other people are doing now. The thread was doing fine, stick around and make some more comments and we'll see where it goes.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 2, 2013 1:12:09 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 2, 2013 1:16:01 PM PST
Stick around, David. Next we're going to argue for 10,000 posts who the first person was to ever play the piano with their feet. ;)

HINT: It wasn't Gillan, Plant or Blackmore...but maybe I'm wrong.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 2, 2013 1:13:16 PM PST
Oh, I see. You just dislike anyone who dares suggest that Gillan isn't God. Got it. Most of your posts have been creating arguments that aren't there. I suggest that you are looking for a fight, regardless of whether there are points to agree on or not.

Stick around and make even more comments, and we'll all see where that goes.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 2, 2013 1:14:15 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 2, 2013 1:14:41 PM PST
You see, I DO like traditional blues..and that's mainly the reason I feel Zep's blues renditions bludgeon the passion and feel out of those songs.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 2, 2013 1:17:07 PM PST
I'd agree with that... I've never cared for traditional blues (that's personal taste, not criticizing the genre), although my fiancee does. And she doesn't care for Zep's takes on traditional blues, either.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 2, 2013 1:18:59 PM PST
@Anthony Fernandez: "I love Charlies playing it really fits Keiths feel but i also love Bonzo and that heavy pounding lead style which fits Jimi's power chords. "When The Leavee Breaks" that heavy beat is so cool but then you have "Sympathy For The Devil" and its building groove and feel that is heavy in mood, both rock for me."

You hit the nail on the head: Watts' style was perfect for the Stones, in the same way that Bonham's style was perfect for LZ.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 2, 2013 1:23:12 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 2, 2013 1:33:29 PM PST
@Exile: "That's not uncommon where artists dislike their own work, is it?"

John Lennon downed a good 3/4 of his Beatles material in interviews over the years, so yes, it's common. Artists are perfectionists that way.

"I'm not downing Zep at all. Running through their catalogue will at least help me to appreciate them more, if not really convert me."

I think you're giving them a very fair shot. I actually think your comments on Zeppelin have been similar to mine on my Deep Purple thread--you have problem's with the vocalist's affectations, the "bigger/louder" bombast approach, etc., but find good things to enjoy as well (btw I don't know if you caught my earlier question, but what's your take on Deep Purple, again?). I was just in your shoes a few weeks ago and I know what it's like to stick your neck out there and create a thread where you write mixed reviews of a very popular band. The payoff is, it generates some great discussion. The Byrds review thread was highly enjoyable, too (and no Montrose to argue endlessly over pointless minutiae with).

Posted on Jan 2, 2013 1:34:40 PM PST
(btw I don't know if you caught my earlier question, but what's your take on Deep Purple, again?).

I had stated in that thread that DP (as with most 70's hard rock) doesn't do much for me anymore. I still like DP and Blackmore, but I always felt he was sort of out of his element as a rock guitarist. Lyrically they were nothing special but I think that was the whole idea. They kept it simple lyrically while trying to expand into new areas musically. I don't dislike them as I will always have a place in my musical heart for them..I just feel I've grown out of that sort of sound. I do prefer Gillan over Plant but as for who copied who, I couldn't care less. They both had different styles and sounded different on the records.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 2, 2013 1:39:03 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 2, 2013 1:40:50 PM PST
AlexMontrose says:
I can understand you seeing things that way David. No Gillan isn't God, he was/is a singer. I'm not "looking" for a fight, some might suggest Topper and I are like an old married couple. We get along for a week or two and then fight the rest of the time. If you're not a drive by then you will see where that goes.

In the meantime, there are obviously points to agree or disagree with and we will slug it out defending them until the cows come home. That's the way it is. You can chime in on anything you agree or disagree with but spare me the Knight in shining Armour routine. You disagree with me, great, I disagree with what you originally said. And off we go.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 2, 2013 2:24:49 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 2, 2013 2:33:37 PM PST
@AlexMontrose: I see the proportion of insult to actual argument here is getting worse and worse, with endless insults and Cheevers and Robinson Crusoe and anything else from the kitchen sink you can throw into the mix. I'm actually starting to get worried you'll burst from all those skyrocketing blood pressure levels, LOL.

Like I said, whether Gillan sang that way in private before '69 is totally moot, it doesn't mean diddly squat since as I said (and you ignored), people have to *hear it* in order for it to mean anything. I could say that I had the entire storyline in my head for "Skyfall" five years before that film was released, and told one or two people in private, but would you or anyone else care? No. But I highly doubt Gillan did sing that way before '69--if he knew he could sing that high, and that it would attract an audience, he *would have*, and in public. But no one thought of it in 1966. Singing that high was probably considered weird and/or too feminine. A no-no, not even to be tried. Until Plant showed how it could sound powerful and intense.

You probably did mention not having heard any Episode Six at one point, I can't remember now. But that makes your recent statement that Gillan was singing that way in Episode Six even more moronic--how would you be qualified to make *any* statement about E6, if you've never heard them? You just threw it out there, assuming he must have sang with Episode Six the way he sang with Deep Purple, blithely unaware of the actual facts of the matter. You were caught, and now all you can come up with in response is some bizarre off-the-wall crap about Cheevers and Crusoe. More diversion tactics.

You definitely did not specify "hard rock band" w/orchestra. You just said they were the first band ever to do something with an orchestra. Ironically, if you *had* been more specific (and not just in your head, or hastily rearranging your words after the fact), if you had said "DP were the first rock band to perform *live* with a full orchestra", you would have been correct and I would have had no problem with that. I can admit when DP were the first at something, and in *live* terms, they *actually* were the first at something. But you didn't say that, you said they were the first with an orchestra, period (and, if you know anything AT ALL about The Moody Blues, which you clearly don't, you'd know that "Days Of Future Passed" is very much constructed with orchestral segments alternating with band segments, so there goes that argument). Just as if the original guy who talked about Jon Lord had said something like "Lord was the first one to use an overdriven hammond sound within an early heavy metal context", I might not have been so quick to bring up Emerson. But he didn't--he said "Lord was the first to use the organ in hard rock". I knew Lord wasn't, so I innocently brought up the first keyboardist that came to mind, although Emerson wasn't even the only organist before Lord to work in a hard rock context. You then, of course, blew a gasket and acted like I had just personally nailed Christ to the cross (the ironies of Jon Lord's name are not lost on me, here).

You express such enormous outrage at my saying Gillan or Lord weren't the first at something, or were influenced by other people, because I'm not "giving them their due" or that I'm saying they weren't capable of doing what they did. Nothing could be further from the truth. I've said many times now that being first isn't the end-all-be-all in terms of actual quality. If you're great at something, I don't care at all if you were the first at it. I've said Lord is a fine keyboardist. Gillan I have more of a problem with, although I like his lower register OK. And I've said both men had the capabilities to do what they did--of course they did, or they wouldn't have been able to do it (duh). Saying that they weren't the first at what they did does not imply that I won't give them their due (if I think they deserve it--clearly in Gillan's case I just don't care for his higher vocal register) or that they weren't capable; you read that whole thing into it, and used it to go bananas and throw childish wikipedia insults for months now.

OTOH, just because Lord had his classical training, or Gillan possessed those vocal chords, in 1965 is not the whole picture. They weren't using those things in their work (and again, only PUBLIC work is of any real value, here) until somebody else pointed the way. It's not a slight, but you have to face reality--they, like hundreds of other keyboardists and vocalists, just hadn't thought of singing/playing in those particular styles. Maybe if Emerson and Plant hadn't lived or been musicians, Lord and Gillan might have been the first at them, as they did at least possess the innate talent (whether they possessed the kind of imagination to break through to a new way of playing is another matter, although I'm *not* saying they had no imagination so put down the knife now, please). Or it could have been Steve Winwood and Steve Marriott. Or it could have been The Hollies who first played live with an orchestra, instead of Deep Purple. Or maybe The Rolling Stones would have kickstarted the Brit Invasion and not The Beatles. But it's useless theorizing, because we'll never know. We only know what *actually happened*, who *actually* came first at doing what.

"We're talking about what talents these guys had and what they could do if asked. That's why the JCS example."

Yeah, but that's not the argument, what talent in general Gillan possessed (nice try to try and change the entire paradigm of the debate, though). The debate is, was Gillan singing in his high register before he heard Plant. JCS would have absolutely no bearing on that argument, and that's where these oh-so-pesky timelines are important.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 2, 2013 2:52:45 PM PST
I saw that one. I was at one of those 9[?] Forum concerts and it was great. No idea that he was wasted, or maybe he was sober that night. Now Steve Tyler at the Forum a year later, that dude could barely stand up at times.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 2, 2013 2:53:41 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 2, 2013 2:59:53 PM PST
@David K.Myers: as you can see, Alex has a temper. This is why no-one who has been lurking around our debates usually intrudes--because they know that if they support the sensible position (mine), they set themselves up for a whiff or two of his uncontrollable psychotic wrath. With Alex, you're either with him, or you're being insulted by him. I see you're handling it quite well--better than I do, since you didn't take any of his bait. My favorite bit is when he starts screaming at people "oh, you don't know the history between us, so back off!". Fact is, you don't need to know 'the history'--the arguments about Gillan/Plant have been laid out here for anyone to comment on, no "history" required.

@AlexMontrose: "I already stated that Plant influenced many vocalists. That's a no brainer."

Yeah, it is. But you won't admit he influenced Gillan, in spite of obvious evidence to the contrary. The only reason I can think of is, Gillan is your extra-special fanboy crush, who, like the rest of DP, *has* to be the first at everything. I mean, just because we don't have any recorded or film evidence of him singing in his high pitch before Jan '69 doesn't mean that he didn't practice while doing a #2 on the toilet, right? Youtube doesn't go there, so he MUST have done it just as he was squeezing a nice turd out of his system, no? I guess youtube *isn't* everything, huh?

"It's when you don't give equally as good contemporaries, icons any credit for anything and then say they were rip offs, clones, cheezy and emotionless where I have the problem."

You mean, you have a problem with a person having an opinion? There's lots of "icons" you don't like, starting right off with Bruce Springsteen. BTW I would NEVER call Gillan a clone--if he was a *clone*, he'd sound exactly like Plant and I wouldn't have any problem. It's his 'variation' on the whole high-pitched vocal thing that drives me up the living wall.

"Zeppelin's came a few months earlier. Sabbath, Purple, etc right around the corner. But to insinuate that they copied Zeppelin and had no plans to become hard rock outfits on their own is clueless beyond belief."

Funny you should mention Sabbath, because Ozzy has mentioned many times over how hearing Led Zeppelin's debut changed his life, and how he then immediately wanted to incorporate the sound and feel of that album into his band's sound. According to the self-proclaimed Crown Prince of Heavy Metal, Led Zeppelin's debut is on a par with The Kinks' "You Really Got Me" in terms of being a seminal influence on his career. Yet more rock history you obviously didn't know, if you are making statements like the one you just made above.

"...but spare me the Knight in shining Armour routine."

Hey, I thought the "Emotional Rescue" discussion was on another thread? ;)

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 2, 2013 3:09:42 PM PST
David, this is what those 2 do. AM especially lives for this. I think he gets bored otherwise.
It might balance out his golf game. I think you have to be pretty mellow to play golf.
Speaking of mellow...

Exile was not kidding about the 10,000 feet thing. I think Jon Lord taught John Jones how to play piano.
But then someone else will tell me that Keith Emerson taught John Jones how to play melletron.
And then someone else will say "that's not how you spell mellowtron"
And it will go on and on
and on

That sounds like a Zep lyric.

I swear someday I am going to create a thread called

Then people can just go there to get all the bad vibes off their chest. The political and religious forums really need a room for that.

Posted on Jan 2, 2013 3:22:04 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 2, 2013 3:24:30 PM PST
@SA: "I swear someday I am going to create a thread called ROOM FOR AN ARGUEMENT"

That's partly why I created the "Deep Purple: Reviews From A Hater" thread--to give Alex and I a forum to debate the one topic we seem to keep coming back to (DP), so that we wouldn't be hijacking other threads with it. Although naturally, with a thread on Zeppelin, Alex was going to interpret anything I said positively about Plant and negatively about other singers, as a direct and heretical attack on Ian Gillan (although admittedly, I include Gillan in my list of imitators I don't like--even though he's known this for like, a year now), which kind of started things up again. Anyone not interested in hearing us debate about whether Gillan let out a high-pitch wail on the crapper sometime in February 1968 can just skip our posts!

Posted on Jan 2, 2013 3:29:16 PM PST
Gillian has one of the best voices in Rock music. I would but him second to only Mercury.
I need to listen to Porcupine Tree's Hatesong, since it is one of the things you both agree on.
Not sure why you don't liike it. Too boring for you?

Posted on Jan 2, 2013 3:40:59 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 2, 2013 3:41:52 PM PST
@SA: Freddie Mercury is IMO far, far worse than Gillan, so clearly we have some differences of opinion when it comes to vocalists, LOL. Although I realize that I'm in the minority, here, since both vocalists are considered among rock's very best.

It's been a while since I heard "Hatesong", but I remember reviewing it in detail for the PT thread. If I remember, I didn't like Wilson's mopey vocals or the dragging tempo. The metal influence seemed grafted on, rather than instinctively blended. The solo didn't impress me. So, yeah, I found it boring. I'll hear it again, though, if you want to discuss it further.

Posted on Jan 2, 2013 4:19:19 PM PST
[Deleted by the author on Jan 2, 2013 4:48:33 PM PST]

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 2, 2013 6:06:04 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 2, 2013 6:52:49 PM PST
Kreutzbear says:

Your "debate" with AlexMontrose is certainly entertaining. I'm sure you know this but since you didn't mention it, I will. The story is that Jimmy Page did not "come up" with the bow technique. It was suggested to him by the noted Russian concert violinist Ephrem Zimbalist, the father of the actors Ephrem Zimbalist Jr. and Stephanie Zimbalist, she of Remington Steele fame. Or is that just one of those rock and roll legends?
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Initial post:  Dec 30, 2012
Latest post:  Feb 3, 2013

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