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The Led Zeppelin Discography Breakdown Thread

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Posted on Jan 7, 2013 12:29:56 PM PST
vivazappa says:
Misty Mountain Hop-Yea
Four Sticks-Nay

Posted on Jan 7, 2013 6:00:43 PM PST
...something just clicked for me with "In My Time of Dying...."

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 7, 2013 6:02:46 PM PST
Aren't those clicks nice? I don't know if I want to hold my breath, but Kashmir is shorter than Dying, so...

Dying was always one of my favorites from PG.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 7, 2013 6:12:26 PM PST
LOL..its on now...

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 7, 2013 6:14:22 PM PST
Having come from my extremely limited background before accepting contemporary music as valid, I had tons of "clicks" for a long time. My coworkers were much amused. I still enjoy them immensely when they happen.

Posted on Jan 7, 2013 9:58:50 PM PST
Man Exile "in My Time Of Dying" is the closest Zep got to Delta true genuine 'spinetinglyness' for me. Blind Willie Johnson channelled otherworldly greatness to me. It's a mood a perfect song for me. But to each his own. It's similar to "No Quarter" which you didn't dig either so i see a trend.

I really love your reviews. Not at all condecending. Just great. Thanks.

It's a trip everyone went literal with country. Many songs by the Stones have a country feel and genuineness, to me. "Wild Horses" is a catchy ballad but it's country to me. Any country star could do it real well. Exile On Main Street is a dark drunken high off you rear country and blues and total rock n roll glory album all the way through to me. The Stones blues was country blues.

And Exile as you said about "Dead Flowers" Townes covered it dead serious, to me he is the greatest songwriter ever, just me of course. But Townes from Texas did it straight up, cool version too. The Stones are just naturally country. The way Keith plays is pure rock n roll but also pure country to me. Zep and the Beatles didn't have this gene. I love all three, more of a description than any critisism.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 7, 2013 11:01:39 PM PST
@Zaplighting: "Never know, in the future you may be reviewing a few Norwegian Black Metal bands:)

Oddly enough, my supervisor at work (who is a huge metal fan) was watching one of those bands on his computer the other day. The singer was dressed in some very dramatic makeup, and the music didn't sound *too* bad either, I think there was an orchestra in the background. The Europeans now do classic UK/US genres better than we can now, be it metal, punk, or art-rock.

Posted on Jan 7, 2013 11:35:02 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 7, 2013 11:40:59 PM PST
Well, I think I may have been a little too dismissive of "In My Time of Dying". Its not like I never heard the song before but today as I'm reaching to get disc 2 of PG I got the urge to hear disc one again so I knew subconciously something clicked even if I wasn't fully aware of it yet. Now I never get the urge to hear Zeppelin so I went with it and played disc one. I found myself rocking to IMTOD...well well I can die eeeeaaaaaaassssyyy....and Page's playing and it all came together. As for Kashmir it's so hard to be objective. It's a good song to me and overplay has probably jaded me more than I'd like to admit.

I had a similar experience with "Exile on Main Street". When I first heard it I didn't know what to think of it. I didn't like it very much but I found a few songs tolerable or pretty decent. Every so often I would get the urge to hear it and think, "Nah, still don't like it." Then a week later again....and I would take it out and play it. What was happening subconciously was that I really liked the album but didn't even realize it. Why else was I getting the urge to hear it?

What happened next is kinda funny/weird. My friends and I used to drink at a bar called Moon Shadows. This was about 1990 and we were underage but the place was a dump so they allowed us in. Next door to this dump was an old two story house that was abandoned and boarded up. One night we got drunk and decided to break into this abandoned house. We did and there was crap everywhere, like the people just left and took nothing with them, but it was an absolute mess. I don't recall much of what we did but I do recall going through some boxes and one of them was loaded with Rolling Stones crap like old magazines, pictures, books...Everything Stones..Someone was a huge fan. I should have but didn't take it all but I did come away with some interesting reading and an Exile on Main Street songbook. The next day I put the album on and from the first note to the last, followed along while reading the lyrics. BAM, that was it..It all clicked right then and there. My subconcious became my concious in that 67 minutes. The rest is history.

Posted on Jan 7, 2013 11:36:16 PM PST
Topper..we're awaiting your disc one PG review. :)

Posted on Jan 7, 2013 11:45:06 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 7, 2013 11:54:11 PM PST
OK, "Physical Graffiti"...

This album was yet another turnaround for the group, who after the second album never seemed to want to repeat themselves. Unlike the relaxed, carefree, polished, sunny "Houses", "Physical Graffiti" is largely dense, heavy, rough and rocking. Once again, the change ended up working for them and this album presents some of their very greatest material. OTOH I *do* think it suffers from double-album syndrome--it's just too long and bloated. There's about three sides of excellent material here, so I can see their dilemma on whether to prune it to a single or expand it (obviously they chose the latter). I'm not sure what I would have done, but the actual end result contains some mind-bogglingly epic songs, superb rockers and also a fair amount of filler (esp on side four, but more on that later).

I find it interesting to analyze the album from a recording session standpoint. The eight songs the group actually recorded during the '74 sessions for the album, which were meant *as* an album, are almost uniformly outstanding. These songs were "Custard Pie", "In My Time Of Dying", "Trampled Underfoot", "Kashmir", "In The Light", "Ten Years Gone", "The Wanton Song" and "Sick Again". I would choose only one of these eight songs as slightly expendable (Which one? Read on!). However, finding that they had over an album's worth of material, they added seven outtakes from the past three album sessions. These outtakes, IMO, are largely junk (with one or two very notable exceptions) and should have remained outtakes, to be compiled later on something like "Coda". I mean, maybe they're not junk, but most of them reek of filler, and this ends up hurting the album overall. If only the CD age existed, they could have compiled a stellar 50-55 minute album...but wait! There *were* single albums of that length being released back then ("Aftermath", "Selling England By The Pound", "Bless Its Pointed Little Head", a *lot* of Todd Rundgen's stuff), so I'm not really sure why the need to expand it into a double. Anyways...

Custard Pie--a strong opener, and right from the start the feel is different from "Houses". This is a dirty, funky little piece with a roughshod production, and Plant's vocal sounding *very* rough, almost shot. The whole thing works, though, as the groove is sublime and the atmosphere rough'n'ready. There are many great riffs on PG, and this is one of them.

The Rover--an outtake from "Houses", this one never caught on with me. I don't see anything really memorable about it, outside perhaps of some of Page's guitar work. But something doesn't click.

In My Time Of Dying--this gynormous epic was something I, too, didn't care for at first, until I had my "click" moment with it. Clearly, it's a track that rewards repeated listening. This is a monstrously heavy song, probably the heaviest thing the group ever laid down. Slow, chilling Delta blues which then explodes into an insanely huge-sounding groove. Page laying down incredible slide work. Plant singing like his life depends on it. When he screams "oh my Jesus!" over and over again at the close, he truly sounds like he's pounding at the gates of heaven with all the might he can muster, a spine-tingling moment. The odd mixture of Christian afterlife imagery and horny-as-all groove is also quite thrilling--although for all that I like this song, it was really one for the stage. The live version at Earl's Court on the DVD *really* injects juice into the proceedings; the way the group goes on and on and on could be wearying, but somehow I find the whole thing quite transformative by its close.

Houses Of The Holy--side two opens with the track that should have closed side one of "Houses", but at least is used well here. This the only one of the seven outtakes used to fill this album that I find *truly* essential. It sounds like a track from those '72 sessions--bright and upbeat, while still rocking. A perfect, precise, catchy rock/pop hybrid that doesn't lose its charm, and lends the album some change from the unrelenting heaviness up to this point.

Trampled Underfoot--the group's attempt to do a heavy metal funk song was extremely successful, resulting in a storming heavy number whose insistent funk groove keeps it light on its feet (danceable, even!). The song might go on a minute or so longer than needed, but I can't say that about the live version from Earl's Court (although that one was twice as long), namely because Page busts out a series of ultra-trippy guitar solos which reach truly climactic heights when melded with the irresistable Jones/Bonham rhythm section. Talk about intense! And you can still hum the verses.

Kashmir--yes, it goes on and on, but there are multiple changes to keep one interested, and the repetition of other sections certainly has a hypnotic, trance-like quality which befits the Middle Eastern mood. It's also probably the best-produced thing on the album, with Jones' eerie sounding mellotron and some drum phasing touches added for total atmosphere. I, too, like how this very lengthy epic doesn't contain any solos; LZ were not above showboating, but they also knew when to cut back when needed. This is truly one of the greatest things in their entire catalog.

So far, with IMO the exception of "The Rover", the album has come on like gangbusters. Sides three and four? Tomorrow, I suppose...

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 7, 2013 11:49:54 PM PST
@Exile: interesting comparison between "Exile" and PG. I can see it, too--especially since I have similar opinions of these albums. Like you, I was only mildly attracted to them at first...they both seem so dense and roughshod on first listen. Then, more songs came into focus. Now I see both albums as containing some of those bands' greatest material--although I still find both a little overrated, and wish they were pruned to single-disc length (I'd excise six songs from "Exile" and also five or six from PG).

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 8, 2013 12:18:04 AM PST
I get that there are weaker tracks and filler present but a huge part of the appeal of both records is the sprawl of the double album and, especially in the case of Exile, feel trimming them down would dilute much of their impact. Hey, I get it. Trust me, I've been there but now feel differently. I'm not much for the Beatles and think the White Album is loaded with filler but I have come to the conclusion that THAT is all part of it's charm.

I will comment on your review tomorrow...except for this.."The Rover" kicks my bloody butt! It may be my favorite on the entire album....

Posted on Jan 8, 2013 1:02:10 AM PST
Exile On Main Street, Physical Graffitti, and The White Album have a similarity to me. I like a mess that works. All three work and are messes. I can't break down Physical Graffitti too much i don't like Houses Of The Holy or Down By The Seaside the rest i love.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 8, 2013 1:30:51 AM PST
RE: "The Rover" kicks my bloody butt! It may be my favorite on the entire album....

Maybe mine too. I remember when PG came out and I originally bought it, after I'd heard the whole album through a time or two, it was the song that I'd put on first and play a couple of times before letting an entire side play.

Posted on Jan 8, 2013 7:30:29 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 8, 2013 7:30:44 AM PST
vivazappa says:
The thing about Physical and other great double LP's is that the stuff people call filler is still d@mn good. There is not a single tune I don't like on this record (even the overplayed Kashmir) and I would not call myself a huge Zep fan.

Custard Pie
Boogie w/Stu
10 Years
Dying (Page killed this one on the Outrider tour)

Posted on Jan 8, 2013 8:38:27 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 8, 2013 8:39:20 AM PST
@vivazappa: if a song is "d@mn good", it's not filler (for you). Clearly there are differences of opinion on the relative quality of some of these albums. While I get the "sprawling is good" argument for these double albums, I use it more for The White Album or "Tusk" than I do for "Exile" or PG, simply because there's no songs I really skip on those first two albums, whereas there are ones I simply do not care for on "Exile" and PG. Someone else would disagree and say there is definitely "filler" on The White Album and "Tusk". It just all depends on what you see as filler.

Posted on Jan 8, 2013 8:47:14 AM PST
vivazappa says:
Tusk may have some filler (Ms. Nicks tunes can be a bit demanding) but if it is listened to end to end it all fits.
White Album...Revolution #9 is a mess otherwise no filler for me. filler.
Yellow Brick Road has no filler from my perspective.
The Lamb is also great side to side...for some the end of side 3 into the begining of side 4 can get off base.
The filler otherwise the story would fall apart. filler. filler for me but I can see people having issues with this one.

I am a big fan of doulbe LP's as for all the 80 minute CD's we see now many of those can be trimmed.

Posted on Jan 8, 2013 9:06:22 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 8, 2013 9:12:17 AM PST
@vivazappa: I see Nicks' songs as the strongest on "Tusk". Buckingham's are really awesome, too. Christine's are mostly great but if there's any filler on the album, it's hers.

"The Lamb" can be said to have some "filler" in that some of the songs do not stand alone outside the work, but if you listen to it all together it's 100% brilliant.

"The Wall"--tons of filler. For me, "filler" just means a weaker song that sounds tossed off to fill out the album, it doesn't matter if it's part of a storyline or not. "The Wall" has maybe seven good tracks, the rest I can easily live without (uh oh...I see more no-votes coming my way, LOL). And unlike "The Lamb", the filler songs do not get any better for me when I hear the whole thing as one piece; instead, they detract.

"Quad"--some filler, but overall the album works well.

"Tales"--filler, but the last listen I had of it a week or so ago was the most enjoyment I've ever had from the album. I think there's less filler on it than I used to.

"Electric Ladyland"--a little bit of filler on side two, one or two songs, otherwise extremely solid

"Manassas"--same as "Ladyland"

"Blonde On Blonde"--there's not really "filler" as every song is meant to be a major statement, but since I only like a couple of tracks on it, it's still a big disappointment for me.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 8, 2013 9:08:52 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 8, 2013 9:14:01 AM PST
CD Lover says:
Not to get off-topic, but this would make for an interesting discussion thread. Pick anywhere from 10-12 studio double albums and give your impressions of whether it's all golden or whether there is filler. If you feel there is filler, state which songs you feel are filler and why. Vivazappa and Michael have given a good start for it here.

Of course, we need to finish this Zeppelin discussion thread first (...and we're back on topic.)

Posted on Jan 8, 2013 9:18:45 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 8, 2013 9:20:16 AM PST
MC says:
This thread has really turned out to be a great read and very entertaining, being a Led Zep fanactic, I don't agree with everything said, but it has been for the most part a mature and even description of peoples likes and dislikes, very well done, thank you !!

Funny based on some things said yesterday, I had a long conversation with a friend about filler on double albums, a real coincidence.....

Posted on Jan 8, 2013 9:21:34 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 8, 2013 9:22:28 AM PST
Man, talk about how people see things differently, even when they agree on an album being great. Christine McVie's songs are some of the strongest of her career on "Tusk" and feel Nick's contributions like "Sisters of the Moon" and "Angel" to be the weakest spots on there.

Posted on Jan 8, 2013 9:28:25 AM PST
There will always be some sort of amount of filler on double albums and some ought to be trimmed, but why take some of the best double albums in history and tinker with them? It may be fun to debate but the bottom line is they work well just as they are. I wouldn't touch "Exile" at all! I think it would lose much of what makes it so special and really, I think every cut on there adds to the bigger picture, which is easy to overlook. If Exile were a single disc, there are great moments you wouldn't normally get on a record Wanna See His Face..which works so well again, in the bigger picture.

As for the Stones latter day material yes, those records would have been better served at 40 minutes. Don't mess with the Mona Lisa and screw with the colors. :)

Posted on Jan 8, 2013 9:43:38 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 8, 2013 9:44:18 AM PST
@Exile: I love four of the six McVie songs on "Tusk", and I agree, those are some of her very best. "Think About Me" and "Never Forget" are the two I find relatively weak, although they are still both nice. All five of Nicks' songs, I feel, are among the *very* best in FM's entire catalog--she was never better. "Tusk" is my very favorite double album, largely because it is just so strong from end to end. Only those two McVie songs I would rate slightly lower, like 3.5/5, where everything else is 5/5.

"Just Wanna See His Face" is a song I keep in my 'dream' 12-track version of "Exile". I've burned a copy for myself and I don't miss anything that I left off, and I feel the album still has all the variety and atmosphere it did as a double. I really think this just comes down to, I like those six tracks that I cut less than you do.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 8, 2013 9:52:43 AM PST
Re: Exile:

Well yeah, I would imagine you do like them less. I just wouldn't tinker with something that has had such an amazing track record and think it would make it even better. It is one of the most heralded double albums in history and think "Casino Boogie" is filler but I still wouldn't remove it.

I like double albums, I like their huge sprawl and the tracks that wouldn't make a single disc collection. I love every darn minute of "Sandinista" even though the 3rd record probably wasn't meant to be listened to more than once or twice...but that's me. :)

Posted on Jan 8, 2013 9:56:17 AM PST
@Exile: I tinker with albums all the time. :) First tinker: replacing "The Crunge" with the title track to "Houses" on that album. I have whole lists I've made of albums I'd revise/perfect (according only to my taste, of course). We've had a few threads about it on these forums, too. Nothing is sacred, not even "Sgt.Pepper" (take out the very nice "Getting Better" and "Lovely Rita" and replace with the astounding "Penny Lane" and "Strawberry Fields" and voila! It's how the album should have been!).
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Discussion in:  Classic Rock forum
Participants:  31
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Initial post:  Dec 30, 2012
Latest post:  Feb 3, 2013

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