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The Who vs. Led Zeppelin....which one do you prefer?

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Showing 126-150 of 474 posts in this discussion
Posted on Aug 15, 2011 10:00:19 PM PDT
Both bands are nearly perfect. Zeppelin did "Stairway to Heaven" but the Who more or less equaled that with "Won't get Fooled Again". Zeppelin did "Physical Graffiti" but the Who more or less equaled that with "Who's Next." Plant is better than Daltrey but not by a whole lot, whereas Entwistle is easily better than Jones. Slight edge of Bonham over Moon. Page is a better guitarist than Townshend but Townshend is the better songwriter. Seems Zeppelin is the greatest group ever BUT the decisive factor for me is The Who replaced Moon with Jones whereas Zeppelin disbanded after Bonham's death so my choice finally goes to the Who for that reason.

Posted on Aug 15, 2011 11:02:29 PM PDT
Mathew V. August: I loved Zeppelin more as a kid between the ages of 6 and 11, mainly due to the connection to The Yardbirds, although I was always a bigger Clapton fan than Page fan. I also thought Beck was more talented than Page back then. I did think that Page was a great session guitar player. He played on Joe Cocker's With A Little Help From My Friends which I still love. He really didn't get cooking as a guitarrist until 1969 or 1970 creatively to me. I think he is a better guitar player than Townshend but only electricly. I love Townshend's acoustic guitarring better than Page's. Daltrey's voice is more melodic and versatile to me. John Entwhistle is my favorite bass player next to Paul Mccartney and I don't love bass much. I was blown away by Entwhistle when I saw him play with Ringo Starr around 1995. I thought John Paul Jones was better on keys than bass even though he was never toughted as a keyboard player. I really liked his synth playing which wasn't fully recognized until In Through The OutDoor to me. I loved Carouselambria which many people I talked to thought was too disco. I think The Who were more innovative in concept with Tommy and Who's Next. Daltry's voice is still strong, and Plant's not as much. I actually think Plant's solo work is better than a lot of Zeppelin's music, minus ZoSo, Houses Of The Holy, and Physical Graffitti. That album has grown on me over the years. So in closing I think The Who's music has stood the test of time especially lyrically, even if it is more poppy. You can also sing more Who songs than Zeppelin tunes, and more people know Who songs in general to me.

Posted on Aug 15, 2011 11:09:52 PM PDT
The Who. Why? Because they were a great singles band, a great albums band, a great live act, great players, great interpreters of genres and other people's songs, and they were great personalities. They lasted longer, they did more albums, they redefined several elements of popular music (rock operas, synth rock, R'n'b), they produced heaps of solo albums (some of which were actually quite good) they were involved in at least two seminal rock festivals (Monterey and Woodstock), they nurtured other bands (Crazy World of Arthur Brown, Golden Earring, etc), they were responsible for at least two decent movies - (Quadrophenia, The Kids are All right - and possibly even some others - like Tommy) - and above all, they were not as overtly calculated as Zeppelin, who were on occasion phenomenal, but mostly lended up lookiong like the mercenary session musos they originally started off as. And Keith Moon, for all his desire to hog the limelight, never did 25 minute drum solos, bless his errant soul!

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 15, 2011 11:50:06 PM PDT
Hinch says:
I saw 'The Song Remains the Same' many years ago in a theater. I thought Plant's vocals were terrible. I think we left before it was over. Very disappointing. I like a lot of Zep's music, but they're very over rated.

Posted on Aug 16, 2011 12:04:04 AM PDT
K. Neubauer says:
THE WHO hands down!

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 16, 2011 1:02:13 AM PDT
Jersey Joker says:
Yeah, it's that performance that gave me the impression that Zep is not good live -- and it's largely due to Plant's vocals. But it's not necessarily par for the course for Zep.

This discussion could (and most likely will) go on ad nauseum, since there are those who will NOT budge on their own opinions .... which is FINE, that's what was asked for in the first place.

What's good about a thread like this is that sometimes it prompts people to revisit the material. Nothing wrong with that.

I still insist (along with several others here) that both bands are excellent. They both stand as Icons of 70's rock in performance and composition (even if Zep "borrowed" from the old Blues players -- and I'm putting that politely...)


In reply to an earlier post on Aug 16, 2011 1:11:19 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 16, 2011 1:12:06 AM PDT
Jersey Joker says:
Good post. I really love the last sentence:

"... Keith Moon, for all his desire to hog the limelight, never did 25 minute drum solos, bless his errant soul!"

Beautifully stated.

And I might be in the minority here to admit that I LOVE the movie "Tommy".

Posted on Aug 16, 2011 1:17:17 AM PDT
Bernard J. says:
As much as I like Zeppelin, they belong to that era of indulgence - tedious, overlong guitar/drum solos etc.
So many bands by the 70's were doing that. Maybe it's just me who found those sorts of things to be somewhat boring.
I don't think I can listen to a 15 minute plus guitar /drum solo on CD and fully concentrate all the way through. My mind eventually begins to wander off somewhere .

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 16, 2011 1:20:21 AM PDT
Jersey Joker says:
Hmm, I actually like some of the long, rambling guitar solos. But I can agree that there's nothing more boring than a long, rambling DRUM SOLO (and I'm a drummer!)

I can appreciate the TALENT that it takes to be able to DO a drum solo -- but I would prefer not to actually sit and listen to it.

Posted on Aug 16, 2011 1:34:52 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 16, 2011 1:40:32 AM PDT
Bernard J. says:
Jersey Joker
I guess we're all different. I like guitar solos, but I suppose I just don't like them to go on for 'too long'.
I guess I prefer them to stay within a 5 minute time frame.
Something like the Mick Taylor solos with The Stones, songs like 'Time waits For No One', 'Can't You Hear Me Knocking' etc.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 16, 2011 2:29:14 AM PDT
Jersey Joker says:
Well, you just named two of my favorite Stones songs ...

Posted on Aug 16, 2011 3:37:31 AM PDT
Adam82 says:
I'm a big fan of both. Some of my favourite bands. I probably like Zep just a little more, but there's no denying they are both some of the greats.

Posted on Aug 16, 2011 3:54:23 AM PDT
Adam82 says:
I had never heard of any rivalry between fans of these bands? I always thought the greats like The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Rolling Stones, The Who, Jimi Hendrix, Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Cream, Queen, etc, were beyond reproach. As much as Mozart, Beethoven, etc. All those bands I mentioned are from the golden age of popular music and are rightly considered the greatest bands of all time.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 16, 2011 6:49:41 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 16, 2011 6:52:40 AM PDT
Jersey Joker says:
I don't think there's a rivalry between *the members* of The Who & Led Zep. But there are definitely fans of both bands, and sometimes in an effort to show their loyalty to one, they put down the other. You'll see it all the time with other bands too (Beatles vs Stones vs Kinks, etc), although I seem to remember a bit more passion in this particular rift.

It's sometimes silly, sometimes ridiculous -- but it's generally interesting to hear how some people justify the superiority of one over the other (the T-shirt angle was pretty humorous ... )

I'm a fan of a good portion of the bands you list above, as well as a lot of prog rock, jazz, fusion & alternative. Actually, I think I like too much music ...


Posted on Aug 16, 2011 9:19:59 AM PDT
One thing I've noticed reading through these posts is that a lot of people are forming opinions of Zeppelin based on "The Song Remains the Same". I'm one who thinks Zeppelin can do no wrong (except for "Moby Dick"!!), but I even admit that movie was pretty lame! The so-called fantasy sequences are almost painful to watch. Anyway, it's not really representative of the overall quality of what the band could do. And you know, the "Tommy" movie left a lot to be desired as well!

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 16, 2011 9:35:53 AM PDT
The Ou just don't do it for me, so the Zipper gets the edge.

Posted on Aug 16, 2011 10:59:52 AM PDT
zlh67 says:
I hear a lot of people slag "The Song Remains The Same". The performances are lame, the band was tired, etc. etc. etc. Even the band says it's not their best.

As someone who's heard plenty of other Zep boots, I disagree. If you don't like the fantasy sequences or other elements of "The Song Remains The Same", ok, but as for the audio and the performances, I find them to be pretty representative of what Zep sounded like onstage. Which isn't to say it's the ABSOLUTE BEST they could have hoped to capture on film, but it's not like Zep were on some whole other level most nights and on the Song Remains the Same they were somehow "off".

Posted on Aug 16, 2011 11:24:39 AM PDT
MC says:
zlh67 - Well having seen that tour twice, in San Fran, and in Seattle, I would say that they got a real sub-par performance to record, not terrible, but I heard much better on that tour.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 16, 2011 12:12:01 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 16, 2011 12:43:33 PM PDT
AlexMontrose says:

I don't even care about this whole discussion, Zep vs. the Who. Been there a thousand times on this forum. For the record I'll take the Who. Back in the day it might have been a toss up but you've probably seen some of my posts regarding Zeppelin, Page etc. For me their mix of folksy, whiny, bluesy rock has become very uninteresting over time.

But what I did find interesting is that for all the complaining I see about the movie "The Song Remains The Same"....what about the final product? I'm sure they had tons of film to choose from. Yet people always say how bad the music was in the film. Who has the final say so on that? Probably Page and the director I would assume but music wise if it was "so bad" why would Page and maybe Plant give their ok?

Lol...probably because to them anything Zeppelin did..had to be great. It's Zeppelin wow ;) When a band doesn't even know the difference between a subpar night and a great one, that says a lot about the band.

Posted on Aug 16, 2011 12:16:36 PM PDT
MC says:
As much as I hate doing it, I'm going to agree with you about the arrogance of those involved, WTF were they thinking; I dunno'.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 16, 2011 12:36:35 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 16, 2011 12:56:56 PM PDT
zlh67 says:
What specifically is so sub-par about the performances in The Song Remains The Same??

I ask because while I've never seen Zep live, I have about a dozen boots, and of course there are now more recently relelased live albums like BBC Sessions and How The West Was Won too. So all in all, live albums and boots combined, I've heard about 15 complete Zep concerts spanning nearly every major tour from 1970-1977 and I can definitely say I haven't heard better versions of 'Whole Lotta Love' or 'Dazed and Confused' than what's in "The Song Remains The Same." There's some excess (mainly in Dazed), but it's worth it to hear the quality improv'd sections they add.

"Rock and Roll", "Celebration Day" and the title track all sound fabulous too. "Moby Dick" is... well, it's "Moby Dick". Either you like Bonzo's playing for 20 minutes or you don't, but it sounds as good on "Song" as on any other show I've heard. And "Stairway" sure seems solid to me as well. In fact, the only songs I find disappointing on "Song" are the songs I don't like from the studio either (Rain Song, No Quarter).

I do think "How The West Was Won" is a little better, partially because the band seems a little tighter and more energetic, but, also because it's got a more complete setlist, incorporating some of their acoustic-based stuff. BUT... it's not night and day better, and other than that one, I haven't heard another Zep show that's any better than "The Song Remains The Same"... Not saying it's their best, but if it's so bad, where are all the boots of the supposedly superior shows?

Posted on Aug 16, 2011 12:57:12 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 16, 2011 12:58:16 PM PDT
MC says:
Well specifically, it is exactly the level of energy and the tightness, togetherness of the band that makes it sub-par for me. There are great moments, but the performance of 'Whole Lotta Love' just doesn't compare at all with the version on WTWWW, or that I saw on the same tour. Now this is very subjective and I'll admit so, but four out of five times I saw them there was a sheer joy in preforming ,in playing, that they just don't exhibit in TSRTS, it seems flat to me, and they sound that way too (IMHO).Personally I find both BBC, and HTWWW, to be far superior live statements, BUT THAT'S JUST MY OPINION, there was a level of energy, palpable energy at their shows that is lost completely on the 'song', again just my opinion from having been there. Truthfully none of their live stuff truly captures the essence of their live performance....

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 16, 2011 1:20:21 PM PDT
I give the edge to Led Zeppelin, once John Bonham died they knew they had to disband, though the band mates tried solo and other bands in their careers it was never the same. The Who after Keith Moon died did not have that same feel they did back in the glory days. Though I have never had the chance to see either in concert I just give it to Led Zeppelin.

Posted on Aug 16, 2011 1:21:03 PM PDT
I give the who the slight edge because of Pete Townsend's larger vision as a writer. Led Zep had some great songs, but concept albums and rock operas were not what they were about. the who could come up with big concepts and then translate it down to a rock and roll stage. Pink Floyd could do that too, but few other bands could even come close. So, the edge goes to The Who...

Posted on Aug 16, 2011 2:04:27 PM PDT
zlh67 says:
Fair enough MC. You've seen 'em live and for any great band, the difference between BEING there and watching on even a high quality dvd is like the difference between riding a rollercoaster and having someone TELL you about it. Just not the same... So I can defnitely see why you find "Song" a letdown. But maybe the big difference you see is that the "Song" movie just didn't capture the magic you felt when you saw them live, but then maybe people who were at the NYC shows where the film was recorded feel the same way? Maybe....

Maybe 10 people will speak up and tell me I'm all wrong, but just listening to the live albums themselves and the boots I have without having anything else to compare it to, I think "Song" stands up fine, and would likely stand up better if it were a complete unedited show from the get go. As it is, they chose to include marathon tracks like "No Quarter" and "Rain Song" + "Moby Dick" which so many don't like, and that's half the frickin' show right there! Due to limitations of vinyl in '76, they had to chop other songs and the whole double-album consisted of all of what, 9 songs? With 3 of them being not necessarily fan favorites and another (Dazed and Confused) taking a whole album side? Without the shorter songs to offset that, I can see why the soundtrack was viewed as bloated and excessive, but in listening to the actual music, I find the performances on par with most other live Zep I've heard.

I guess the recent remaster and re-release fixed some of the above by adding in a few other tracks, but at the same time they tinkered with the original performances and what they came up with for my two favorite songs (Dazed & Whole Lotta Love) don't equal the magic of the initially released performances, so I actually prefer the original CD release, although the sound on the new one is vastly superior and it is nice to have the extra tracks.
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Initial post:  Aug 9, 2011
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