Posts Tagged ‘Jimmy Page’

This relatively unknown band formed out of the Yardbirds‘ ashes and recorded an eponymous debut album. Spearheaded by guitarist Jimmy Page, the band was predicted to “go down like a lead zeppelin” by Keith Moon, drummer for The Who. The album was recorded in September and October 1968 at Olympic Studios, London, shortly after the band’s formation. It contains a mix of original material worked out in the first rehearsals, and remakes and rearrangements of contemporary blues and folk songs. The sessions took place before the group had secured a recording contract and were paid for directly, and took 36 hours and less than £2,000 to complete.

Released on the 12th January 1969, Led Zeppelin’s self-titled debut arrived out of the ashes of guitarist Jimmy Page’s former group, the Yardbirds. With singer Robert Plant, bassist John Paul Jones and drummer John Bonham, the record built upon the heavy blues sound created by Cream, the Jimi Hendrix Experience and Page’s one-time bandmate Jeff Beck by adding elements of American and British folk and Indian music into the mix. Along with Black Sabbath and the Who, as well as less popular but influential acts such as Blue Cheer, they would also help pave the way for heavy rock in the ’70s.

Now, 50 years later, Led Zeppelin I stands up to the test of time. From the opening chords of “Good Times Bad Times” to the closing notes of the blues saga “How Many More Times,” there isn’t a single dull moment on the whole album. Songs genres bounce from hard rock to deep blues to folky, three styles that the band would embrace throughout their career. Transitions like “Black Mountain Side” a steel-string acoustic guitar ballad, into “Communication Breakdown” a fast-paced rocker, immediately showcased this band’s extraordinary talent. For the recordings, Page played a psychedelically painted Fender Telecaster, a gift from friend Jeff Beck after Page recommended him to join the Yardbirds in 1965, replacing Eric Clapton.

But for all the originality found in the virtuoso musicianship and Page’s production, Led Zeppelin has a checkered history with regards to songwriting credits. Although Willie Dixon was listed as the writer of “You Shook Me” and “I Can’t Quit You Baby,” four of the seven other tracks have roots in songs composed by other artists.

Led Zeppelin was recorded with almost no overdubs in London’s Olympic Studios by musicians still looking for a shared language. “Nobody really knew each other,” said Plant, who had never been in a high-caliber studio before. “I’d go back to the playback room and listen. It had so much weight, so much power — it was devastating. I had a long way to go with my voice then, but the enthusiasm and sparking of working with Jimmy’s guitar … it was so raunchy.” That raunch was rendered overwhelming and spectral by Page, who placed mics all over the studio to get a vérité sound that might recall the raw, big-room ambience of old Chess and Sun records. Uncredited engineer Glyn Johns added to the effect by putting Bonham’s drum kit on a riser to enhance his “phenomenal” sound. Much has been made of Bonham’s power (the beat on “Communication Breakdown” is nearly punk-speed), but Jones was just as impressed by his restraint: “John kept a really straight beat on slow numbers like ‘You Shook Me” he recalled.

“Good Times Bad Times”

As the opening track on Led Zeppelin’s first album and their debut single, it was the first music from them that many people heard. And yet, according to reports, the band rarely played “Good Times Bad Times” in concert. Bits of the song were occasionally included in their early days as part of a full performance of its b-side, “Communication Breakdown,” but it’s believed that the only time they played it in its entirety was their 2007 reunion concert, when it opened the show. Perhaps John Paul Jones explained why they never played the whole song until then when he spoke with Rolling Stone after the show. “That’s the hardest riff I ever wrote, the hardest to play,” he said. “But it was a good starter, because everybody had to focus.”

“Babe I’m Gonna Leave You”

Jimmy Page heard “Babe I’m Gonna Leave You” on Joan Baez’s In Concert, Part 1 record. Baez didn’t know that the song was written by Anne Johannsen (later Bredon) — she’d learned it from another folksinger, Janet Smith — so she credited it, as was often the case with folk songs, as traditional, with Baez providing the arrangement. Zeppelin followed suit, with Page credited as the arranger. In the ’80s, Smith heard Led Zeppelin’s version and contacted Bredon about the lack of credit. Bredon worked out a deal with Zeppelin’s publishing company, Superhype, and, since the early ’90s, has received 50 percent of the songwriter’s royalties.

“You Shook Me”

As with “Babe I’m Gonna Leave You,” “You Shook Me” was another example of what Pete Seeger called the “folk process,” whereby music evolves by building upon existing works. In 1962, Muddy Waters took an instrumental recorded a year earlier by one of his Chicago blues contemporaries, Earl Hooker, added lyrics by Willie Dixon, which he sung in tandem with Hooker’s guitar, and released it as “You Shook Me.”  Jones, Plant and Page took a solo on Hammond organ, harmonica and guitar respectively. Page put backwards echo on the track, which was then a novel production device.

Six years later, Waters‘ track was reinterpreted twice within a few months of each other. Jeff Beck recorded a blistering take for the album Truth, but Led Zeppelin’s version redefined the song even further. In addition to more-than doubling the original’s length (Muddy’s was under three minutes while Zeppelin’s lasted nearly six-and-a-half minutes), with Plant wailing away on the harmonica and Jones, who also played on Beck’s rendition, taking a keyboard solo. Plant also changed the lyrics to have the woman in question leaving the singer instead of being involved in an extramarital affair.

“Dazed and Confused”

“Dazed and Confused” With its slow, descending bass-line, the song lingers in the mysterious before punching its way into hard rock legend. Add in a guitar solo played with a violin bow, and you have yourself an instant classic.

Originally written by Jake Holmes, who didn’t receive credit until he sued the band in 2011, “Dazed and Confused” was first heard by Page after Holmes opened up for the Yardbirds in 1967. The Yardbirds had covered the song regularly in concert during 1968, and performed it for several radio and television sessions. But as with the other covers, it underwent a few changes by the time Led Zeppelin recorded it, including the famous solo where he played guitar with a violin bow. Although Page didn’t invent the technique — it was used by Eddie Phillips of the Creation on “Making Time” — he learned about it through David McCallum Sr., with whom Page was chatting during a session. The song was an important part of Led Zeppelin’s live show throughout their early career, and became a vehicle for group improvisation, eventually stretching in length to over 30 minutes. The improvisation would sometimes include parts of another song, including the group’s “The Crunge” and “Walter’s Walk” (released later on Houses Of The Holy and Coda, respectively), Joni Mitchell’s “Woodstock” and Scott McKenzie’s “San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)”. It was briefly dropped from the live set in 1975 after Page injured a finger, but was re-instated for the remainder of the tour. The last full live performance during Led Zeppelin’s main career was at Earl’s Court, London later that year, after which the violin bow section of the song’s guitar solo was played as a standalone piece.

As Page recalled, “[O]ne of the violinists came to me one day and he said, ‘Have you ever considered playing a guitar with a bow?’ And I said, ‘Well, I don’t think it’ll work.’ Because the strings are uniformed wheres a violin is arched. And he said ‘Well here’s my bow. Would you like to try?’ And I said ‘Absolutely.’ So I tried it and i could see there was massive potential. After that I went and bought my own bow.”

“Your Time Is Gonna Come”

Page pulled out another weapon from his bag on “Your Time Is Gonna Come,” the track that opens the second side, with a pedal steel guitar entering the mix during the first chorus. As with “Good Times Bad Times,” the song didn’t feature into their live set, with its only known performance coming at a 1971 show in Tokyo during the “Whole Lotta Love” medley. However, Page brought it out during his 1999-2000 tour with the Black Crowes, as heard on their Live at the Greek: Excess All Areas live album.

“Black Mountain Side”

The instrumental “Black Mountain Side” is another instance on the record where the folk process calls into question the authorship of the work. Bert Jansch, a fixture on the British folk scene, recorded his own version of the traditional Irish folk song “Down by Blackwaterside” in 1966. Page adapted Jansch’s arrangement, added a tabla for percussion, gave it a new name and claimed it as an original.

By the time of Led Zeppelin’s release, Jansch had already formed Pentangle and released a pair of albums. A year later, Basket of Light reached No. 5 on the British album chart. They split in 1973, with Jansch eventually returning to his solo career, although several reunions followed until his death in 2011.

As Colin Harper noted in Dazzling Stranger: Bert Jansch and the British Folk and Blues Revival, Jansch never sued Page because he was never in a position to afford the legal costs involved. But it remained a sore point with him throughout his life, particularly when his path crossed with Page’s.

“The thing I’ve noticed about Jimmy whenever we meet is that he can’t look me in the eye,” Jansch said in 2007, later adding, “Well, he ripped me off, didn’t he? Or let’s just say he learned from me. I wouldn’t want to sound impolite.”

“Communication Breakdown”

While much has been made about Led Zeppelin’s influence on the development of ’70s hard rock and metal, and punk’s overall disdain for those styles, “Communication Breakdown” turned out to be influential on Johnny Ramone. As Mickey Leigh of the Rattlers wrote in I Slept with Joey Ramone: A Family Memoir, he performed the riff note-for-note for the future Ramones guitarist, and he dug how Page created the riff’s power using only downstrokes.

“Most people don’t realize that,” Leigh recalled Ramone as saying. “That’s how rock & roll should be played. All of it! Everything should be a down stroke.” Drummer Marky Ramone confirmed the influence, saying that Johnny “loves Jimmy Page and he also likes ‘Communication Breakdown.’ Even though he’s not the lead guitar player, those are rhythm songs. That’s why he likes that stuff.”

“I Can’t Quit You Baby”

Another Willie Dixon composition, “I Can’t Quit You Baby” was made famous by Otis Rush in 1956. But for all of the inspired call-and-response interplay between Plant’s vocals and Page’s guitar, the take released on Led Zeppelin has never been a favorite of the guitarist.

“There are mistakes in it, but it doesn’t make any difference,” he told Guitar Player in 1977. “I’ll always leave the mistakes in. I can’t help it. The timing bits on the A and Bb parts [the power chords] are right, though it might sound wrong. The timing just sounds off. But there are some wrong notes. You’ve got to be reasonably honest about it.”

“How Many More Times”

While many of the tracks on Led Zeppelin have their antecedents in one specific song, the eight-and-a-half minute album-closing “How Many More Times” drew its influence from several sources. Zeppelin honed their virtuosity into compositions; even the eight-minute “How Many More Times” was designed for maximum impact. “There was very little free-form anything,” said Johns. “They were very hard-working. The Stones took nine months to make a record; these guys took nine days including mixing.”

“That has the kitchen sink on it, doesn’t it?” Page told Brad Tolinski. “It was made up of little pieces I developed when I was with the Yardbirds, as were other numbers such as ‘Dazed and Confused.’ It was played live in the studio with cues and nods.

As Aaron Krerowicz noted, the bass line that kicks it off has its roots in the Yardbirds‘ live cover of Howlin’ Wolf’s “Smokestack Lightning,” and its title and opening verse were rewritten from another Wolf track, “How Many More Years,” while other verses borrow from Albert King’s “The Hunter” and Jimmie Rodgers’ “Kisses Sweeter Than Wine.” The rhythm from another cut off Jeff Beck’s Truth, the Page-composed “Beck’s Bolero,” shows up around the three-minute mark.

Page brought back the bow for the solo. “I think I did some good things with the bow on that track,” he told Tolinski, “but I really got much better with it later on. For example, I think there is some really serious bow playing on the live album [The Song Remains the Same]. I think some of the melodic lines are pretty incredible. I remember being really surprised with it when I heard it played back. I thought, Boy, that really was an innovation that meant something.”

ENGLAND - 1969: Rock band 'Led Zeppelin' poses for a publicity portrait in 1969 in England. (L-R) John Bonham, Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

Led Zeppelin was produced by Page and engineered by Glyn Johns, both of whom had known each other since teenagers in the suburb of Epsom. According to Page, most of the album was recorded live, Two other songs from the Olympic sessions, “Baby Come On Home” and “Sugar Mama”, were left off the album. They were released on the 2015 reissue of the retrospective album Coda.

thanks to Ultimate Classic Rock

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Technically this album is a re-release. But the very rare 1971 original was so poorly mixed—and trashed up with obviously ersatz crowd noise from bullfights, no less—that Jimmy Page had it deleted. (With help from Peter Grant’s The Song Remains the Same mobster hit squad perhaps?) Page’s mega-potent remix is revelatory: a reminder of the wrecking-ball force that original Yardbirds Chris Dreja, Jim McCarty, and Keith Relf put behind Page’s white-hot and unhinged Telecaster flurries, and a startling peek at Zep’s origins. (“Dazed and Confused,” for example, is well on it’s way to becoming the Zeppelin version, but more feral here). There’s heaps of raging Telecaster and Tone Bender fire. (The sickest Page tone, in my book.) A second disc of abandoned studio sessions reveals other possible Yardbirds tangents later made whole by Zep, including a beautiful, breezy, California canyon-tinged take on “Tangerine.” This was easily the rock record I listened to most this year—especially on Friday and Saturday nights, when the neighbours had no reasonable expectation of quiet.

Setlist :

LIVE AT ANDERSON THEATER (DISC 1) Train Kept A Rollin’ 00:00 Mr, You’re A Better Man Than I 03:05 Heart Full Of Soul 08:08 Dazed And Confused 09:55 My Baby 16:05 Over Under Sideways Down 18:54 Drinking Muddy Water 21:11 Shapes of Things 24:07 White Summer 26:39 I’m A Man (contains Moanin’ And Sobbin’) 30:26

STUDIO SKETCHES (DISC 2) Avron Knows 40:45 Spanish Blood 44:36 Knowing That I’m Losing You (Tangerine) 47:52 Taking A Hold On Me 50:46 Drinking Muddy Water (Version Two) 53:49 My Baby 56:38 Avron’s Eyes 59:38 Spanish Blood (Instrumental) 1:02:34

Led Zeppelin‘s soundtrack to their concert film The Song Remains The Samehas been remastered and will be reissued across multiple formats in September.

The band’s performances in July 1973, at New York’s Madison Square Garden, were recorded for the concert film, The Song Remains The Same. The soundtrack to the film, produced by Jimmy Page, was originally released in 1976. Recorded live at the conclusion of a North American tour in support of the band’s Houses of the Holy album

The release is scheduled for Sept. 7, which will mark the 50th anniversary of the first show Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, John Bonham and John Paul Jones ever played together. In addition to the Super Deluxe Boxed Set edition,

This reissue is similar to the recent reissue of their live album How The West Was Won, since the formats on offer include an expansive super deluxe edition box set that includes the remastered audio on two CDs and four vinyl LPs and a two-DVD set of The Song Remains The Samefeaturing the full theatrical version of the film plus bonus content including four performance outtakes that were not part of the original film:  Celebration Day, Over The Hills And Far Away, Misty Mountain Hop, and The Ocean. The box also includes a DVD of the entire album in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround and PCM Stereo, a download card of all stereo audio content at 96kHz/24 bit, a 28-page book (with photos and an essay by Cameron Crowe), a replica of the Japanese program from 1977, and a print of the original album cover (as usual, the first 30,000 will be individually numbered).

9-disc super deluxe edition • Blu-ray audio • Full album 5.1 mix

As well as the big box, there’s a 4LP vinyl set, a blu-ray audio with the 5.1 mix (96kHz/24 bit) and surround mixes and a humble remastered two-CD package.

It’s worth noting that for the 4-LP set, Page made a change to the track sequence, allowing the 29-minute version of Dazed And Confused to be featured in its entirety on one side of vinyl for the first time.

The Song Remains The Same will be reissued on 7 September 2018.

Before she became the Teutonic ice queen chanteuse of the Velvet Underground, Nico, via her then boyfriend Rolling Stone Brian Jones, was introduced to Stones manager Andrew Loog Oldham and signed to his Immediate Records label, where a young Jimmy Page was employed as house producer, session musician and A&R scout. (Page’s brief career as a session musician saw him adding his distinctive guitar sounds to recordings by The Who, The Kinks, PJ Proby, Lulu, Jackie DeShannon, Van Morrison and Them, Burt Bacharach, French singer Johnny Hallyday, Marianne Faithfull, Vashti Bunyan, Donovan and many others. It’s amusing to think of Jimmy Page being a part of Petula Clark’s “Downtown” single, but there he was. There are several CD compilations of Page’s early session work, probably the best is Hip Young Guitar Slinger.)

Page produced and played on Nico’s sole 1965 single for Immediate, a cover of Canadian folkie Gordon Lightfoot’s “I’m Not Sayin’ ” which was backed by “The Last Mile,” a song composed by Page and Oldham. Jimmy Page plays a six-string in the song, while Brian Jones plays a twelve-string guitar. The single is being re-released by Charly Records in a gatefold sleeve featuring photography by Gered Mankowitz from the original recording session for Record Store Day on April 21.

A promotional film for “I’m Not Sayin’” was shot at the site of London’s West India Docks (now the considerably different looking Canary Wharf) by Peter Whitehead.

thanks dangerousminds

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Dazed and Confused” is a song written by American singer-songwriter Jake Holmes in 1967, It was described as “a stark, spooky folk-rock track with stinging reverbed lead guitar, Holmes‘ own pained vocals, and furiously strummed rhythm guitar that winds itself into an anguished climax. Holmes recorded the song for his debut album “The Above Ground Sound” of Jake Holmes and he performed it in the late 1960s and early 1970s on the New York City folk scene and the college coffee house circuit. The lyrics refer to the effects of a girl’s indecision on ending a relationship.  This version from Live Supershow 1969 .

In August 1967, Holmes opened for the Yardbirds at a Greenwich Village gig in New York According to Holmes, “That was the infamous moment of my life when ‘Dazed and Confused’ fell into the loving arms and hands of Jimmy Page.” When the track appeared on Led Zeppelin’s eponymous debut album in 1969, Holmes was aware of it at the time, but didn’t follow up on it: “In the early 1980s, I did write them a letter and I said basically: ‘I understand it’s a collaborative effort, but I think you should give me credit at least and some remuneration.’ But they never contacted me.

After hearing Holmes perform the song in 1967, English rock group the Yardbirds reworked it with a new arrangement. It became a centerpiece of the group’s tours in 1968, several recordings of which have been released. “Dazed and Confused” was further adapted later that year by Yardbirds guitarist Jimmy Page’s “New Yardbirds” group (soon to be rechristened Led Zeppelin) for their debut album, Led Zeppelin“Dazed and Confused” became a concert staple with solos that sometimes stretched the performances to 45 minutes.

When the Yardbirds disbanded in 1968, Page planned to record the song in the studio with the successor group he had assembled that summer. According to Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones, the first time he heard the song was at the band’s first rehearsal session at Gerrard Street in London, in 1968: “Jimmy played us the riffs at the first rehearsal and said, ‘This is a number I want us to do’.” The future Led Zeppelin recorded their version in October 1968 at Olympic Studios, London, and the song was included on their debut album Led Zeppelin (1969). “Dazed and Confused” was the second song recorded at the Olympic sessions.

Page recorded the song in one take with a Telecaster and violin bow as he had performed it with the Yardbirds.  Singer Robert Plant wrote a new set of bluesier lyrics, according to Page though Plant is not credited on the album. Other sources say Page wrote the new lyrics himself. Whichever the case may be, Plant’s vocal is raw and powerful, delivered with “unrelenting passion.”Other than the lyrics and vocal, the song remained very similar to that performed by the Yardbirds earlier that year.

This bolt of lightning likewise illuminates the already thick and portentous soundscape further setting a tone for the impending sonic onslaught. John Bonham (drums) sneaks in with a rock solid downbeat beneath Plant’s opening line. During the bridge [Bonham] explodes front and centre with his trademark blend of keen rhythmic gymnastics and straight-ahead swinging percussive support. The band collectively combust throughout the remainder of the cut as they alternate between scintillating and scorching.”

Led Zep RSD 2018 cover

Limited Edition 7-Inch Single, Produced By Jimmy Page, To Be Released On Record Store Day Featuring Unreleased Versions Of “Rock And Roll” And “Friends”

Led Zeppelin are releasing something special for Record Store Day. Before the legendary band kicks off its 50th anniversary celebration this September, a special 7-inch vinyl single will arrive at independent record stores everywhere on April 21st from Atlantic Records and Rhino.  The single, pressed on yellow vinyl, will premiere two previously unreleased studio mixes: the Sunset Sound Mix of “Rock and Roll” b/w the Olympic Studios Mix of “Friends.”  Both of these tracks have been selected for this release by producer Jimmy Page.

“Rock and Roll” is only the third track released from the fabled Sunset Sound Mixes of Led Zeppelin IV.  The studio mix of “When the Levee Breaks” actually made the original album, while the mix of “Stairway to Heaven” was included on the 2014 Deluxe Edition.  The Olympic Studios Mix of “Friends” is described by the label as a “stripped-down version without the orchestration of the final mix, offering a true fly-on-the-wall feel from the band’s recording sessions for Led Zeppelin III at Headley Grange.”

This limited edition single will follow the release of the remastered How the West Was Won in multiple formats on March 23rd including the first ever vinyl and Blu-ray Audio editions (with the Blu-ray containing hi-res 5.1 surround sound). The live album features performances from Led Zeppelin’s landmark California concerts at the Los Angeles Forum and Long Beach Arena on June 25th and 27th, 1972, as sequenced to replicate one entire concert.

How The West Was Won (3CD/4LP/1DVD)

Led Zeppelin are undoubtedly one of the greatest live acts of the 1970s, but their only live album from the era — the soundtrack to 1976’s The Song Remains The Same — captured them on a rather limp night. This situation was finally resolved in 2003 when Jimmy Page combed through hours of tapes from the band’s 1972 tour and cobbled together this killer 18 track set. There are tons of Zeppelin bootlegs floating around, but none of them sound this crisp and alive, even though they occasionally cheated and combined multiple versions of a song into one. Highlights include a ferocious “Immigrant Song,” a 25-minute “Dazed and Confused” and a 23-minute “Whole Lotta Love” jam. “It’s Zeppelin at its best,” Page said in 2003. “Every single member of the band is in tip-top form. It’s the magic point where it takes on a fifth element.”

Fifteen years ago, Led Zeppelin issued How the West Was Won, premiering performances from the band’s June 25th and 27th, 1972 concerts at the Los Angeles Forum and Long Beach Arena.  Now, those seminal tracks have been newly remastered under the supervision of Jimmy Page for a surprise addition to the band’s Super Deluxe library – as well as in a variety of formats, all of which are due from Atlantic/Swan Song on March 23rd including the first-ever Blu-ray Audio and vinyl editions.  The remastered How the West Was Won arrives in advance of the band’s official 50th anniversary celebration, which will kick off this September.

How the West Was Won (a No. 1 album in the U.S. and a No. 5 in the U.K.) sequenced material from the Los Angeles and Long Beach concerts to replicate a single concert from start to finish as the band introduced songs from its then-unreleased fifth album, Houses of the Holy (which would be released nine months later), and looked back on its already-storied catalogue.  Among its 18 tracks are a 25-minute version of “Dazed and Confused,” a 21-minute blues medley built around “Whole Lotta Love,” and fiery takes on “Rock and Roll,” “Moby Dick,” “Immigrant Song,” “Black Dog,” and of course, “Stairway to Heaven.”

The remastered How the West Was Won will be available in the following versions:

  • CD – Remastered audio on three CDs;
  • Vinyl – Remastered audio on four 180-gram vinyl LPs;
  • Blu-Ray Audio – 96kHz/24 bit 5.1 (DTS-HD Master Audio Surround) and stereo mixes (PCM Stereo and DTS-HD Master Audio Stereo);
  • Streaming & Digital Download – Remastered audio; and
  • Super Deluxe Boxed Set:

o Remastered audio on three CDs and four 180-gram vinyl LPs.
o DVD of album in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround and PCM Stereo, plus photo gallery.
o High-def download card of all stereo audio content at 96kHz/24 bit.
o A book filled with rare and previously unpublished photos of the band at each of the concert locations, plus memorabilia and ephemera.
o High-quality print of the original album cover, the first 30,000 of which will be individually numbered.

Look for all formats from Atlantic/Swan Song on March 23rd, and watch this space for information on further Led Zeppelin releases as the band’s  50th anniversary approaches!

Led Zeppelin, How the West Was Won (Atlantic/Swan Song 83587-2, 2003 – reissued 2018)

Day on the Green

Led Zeppelin’s eleventh—and final—American jaunt was in support of their seventh studio album, Presence ..

The 1977 tour was plagued by unfortunate incidents, with the most notorious occurrences taking place backstage at one of the last shows and a most tragic event bringing an end to the outing.

The vibes were bad before they even played a single gig. Large, menacing manager Peter Grant had recently gone through a nasty divorce, while guitarist Jimmy Page was incredibly thin, reportedly in the throes of heroin addiction. Throughout the tour, police had to be brought in to quell audience violence, culminating in a riot in Tampa; nineteen were arrested, 50 were injured. At multiple stops, a new crop of younger, wilder fans threw lit firecrackers on the stage, which would explode inches from the band members. During a Cincinnati show, a fan died after falling from the third level of the coliseum—the first tragic event of the tour. The trek was to run for three legs of dates from April through August. For the final leg, eleven stadium shows were scheduled. The band only played four of them.

On July 23rd and 24th, Zeppelin performed in front of sell-out crowds at Oakland Coliseum. Rick Derringer and Judas Priest opened. The shows were part of the recurring “Day on the Green” concerts organized by Bill Graham. The stage set was constructed to resemble the Stonehenge monument, and was likely the main inspiration for one of the funniest moments in the brilliant mockumentary, This Is Spinal Tap    (and before you say, “But what about…,” we debunked the theory that Black Sabbath’s Stonehenge stage influenced the film).

Led Zeppelin

Two nasty backstage episodes took place on the 23rd. The first happened when Peter Grant was asked by a member of Graham’s crew if he needed help getting down some stairs, which Grant perceived as a slight on his weight. John Bindon, a London gangster brought on by Zep as their chief enforcer for the tour, stepped in and knocked out the stagehand, who banged his head on the concrete floor. Later, Grant’s teenage son was about to remove a temporary sign to keep as a souvenir, but was sternly rebuffed by a member of Graham’s security team. This prompted drummer John Bonham to kick the guy in the balls, and then Grant and Bindon beat the man so badly that a shocked Graham had him rushed to the hospital. Graham also claimed that his production manager was hit on the head with a lead pipe.

 On the 24th, Graham’s security were looking for revenge, yet the show concluded without further incident. The following day at the band’s hotel, the SWAT team showed up and arrested Bonham, Grant, Bindon and tour manager, Richard Cole, who were charged with assault. After they were bailed out, the Zep entourage flew to New Orleans for the next show. Once they were settled in, Plant received a call from his wife and learned that his young son, Karac, had died suddenly on the 24th. Plant immediately flew home to England. Led Zeppelin would never play stateside again.

Footage from the July 23rd gig is available online. This first video appears to be professionally filmed, and was perhaps meant as B-roll for a TV news piece. The first note of the Zeppelin show is heard at the 5:55 mark. At 6:10, the camera zooms in for a closer look at the band and the Stonehenge stage set.

thanks dangerousminds.net

Atlantic

On November. 8th, 1971, Led Zeppelin released their fourth album. There was no title printed on the album, so it is usually referred to as Led Zeppelin IV, following the naming sequence used by the band’s first three studio albums. The album has alternatively been referred to as , Four Symbols, The Fourth Album (those two titles each having been used in the Atlantic catalogue), Untitled, Runes, The Hermit, and ZoSo, the latter of which is derived from the symbol used by Jimmy Page for the album sleeve. Page often had the ZoSo symbol embroidered on his clothes.

The album contains many of the band’s most famous songs, including “Black Dog”, “Rock and Roll”, “Going to California” and the band’s signature song, “Stairway to Heaven”, Led Zeppelin IV was a commercial and critical success. The album is one of the best-selling albums worldwide

To celebrate its 46th birthday of Led Zeppelin‘s masterful fourth album, which of its songs are the best and worst,
there’s hardly a wasted track on the fourth album release. Is it the best rock ‘n’ roll record ever made and, at the same time, not even the best Zeppelin album, Its amazing, emblematic of the band, but not their best work.
Maybe the ultimate testament to Led Zeppelin’s greatness is that an album as colossal and widely worshiped as IV actually has three or four legitimate challengers for “Best Album” within their amazing catalog. But if IV is not their best for groundbreaking reasons, Its influential, mould-setting reasons then whichever of Led Zeppelin’s first seven albums is playing on your stereo right now is the best record that’s ever been made. But I’d give IV the silver medal and save the gold for Physical Graffiti, which has even more range, weight and sophistication.

The best song on the album?
It changes all the time. The opening rush of “Black Dog” is one hell of a way to kick off an album, and “Stairway to Heaven” is such an expertly structured song. But “When the Levee Breaks” is the one that most often has me turning up the volume. Those drums!
“Stairway to Heaven.” has become synonymous with Led Zeppelin you’ll find it’s astounding. Also, like the album itself, it’s emblematic of the band. It shows off what they do best:: creepy, Celtic folk, cryptic lyrics paired with haunting vocals, a bombastic crescendo with evil blues guitar and drum fills that define perfection. That said, the first 10 seconds of “Four Sticks” is probably the best thing they’ve ever done. that said, the first minute of “When the Levee Breaks” is probably the best thing they’ve ever done. which closes the LP with so much power and atmosphere, and maybe the heaviest drum sound ever captured, from the bottom of that stairwell at Headley Grange. I suppose, too, because it’s fundamentally a blues, it can represent Led Zeppelin’s musical bedrock in its most epic form , “Black Dog.” So powerful, so sexy, so smart. We’ve all read about the hard work and creative genius that went into making the song work, but it’s impossible to think of it as anything but purely instinctual when it’s playing.

“Four Sticks” is the only song that consistently feels sub-par when I listen to IV. The fact its named that way because Bonham played it with a pair of drumsticks in each hand doesn’t say much about the lyrics, which I’ve heard described by Jimmy Page as being abstract, and to me that sounds like another way of saying, “This was filler and we couldn’t even be bothered to tidy up the lyrics, so yeah, it’s so abstract, man.”

Led Zeppelin

The hipster record clerk at my favorite record store insisted on calling it Zoso. Atlantic Records had it listed as Four Symbols or Led Zeppelin IV. If they wanted to break the pattern established by the numerical naming of their first three albums, they should have given it an actual title. it’s perfectly acceptable to occasionally and judiciously refer to it as “Zep IV.”

'Presence'

Presence is the seventh studio album by the English rock band Led Zeppelin , released by Swan Song Records on 31st March 1976. The album was a commercial success, reaching the top of both the British and American album charts, and achieving a triple-platinum certification in the United States, despite receiving mixed reviews from critics and being the slowest-selling studio album by the band

“It was taken from the balls, you know,” Plant said of Presence. “It was a cry from the depths, the only thing that we could do.” It’s Led Zeppelin’s most tightly focused record: seven tracks, no acoustic songs, no keyboards, just jewel-hard power – from the frantically charging “Achilles Last Stand” to “Nobody’s Fault but Mine,” a variation on a Blind Willie Johnson song where the band turns its firepower on itself.

They had reason to be frustrated. After the August 1975 car accident that confined Plant to a wheelchair for months, Led Zeppelin had to cancel an American tour. Unable to return to England for tax reasons, they developed the core of the album “Presence” in rehearsals at Los Angeles’ SIR Studio in October, then headed to chilly Munich, Germany, to record in the hotel-basement studio Musicland. From the start, the group knew they wouldn’t have long (the Rolling Stones had already reserved Musicland to add overdubs to their forthcoming Black and Blue album in early December). So they blasted through the recording process in 18 days, with Plant often singing from his wheelchair.

Page asked the Stones if he could have a little more time to finish guitar overdubs; he reportedly stayed up around the clock for two days to get them done, with “Achilles Last Stand” occupying the first day and everything else the next. Though it didn’t come with any major hits, Page called it Zeppelin’s “most important album”: bleak, bruised and crackling with electric fury.

Like In Through The Out Door, Presence was recorded during a period of time when Robert Plant was recovering from a car accident, with the normally charismatic frontman recording his vocals from the confines of a wheelchair. Despite this, the record still sounds like classic Led Zeppelin, though its sales ended up being some of the worst the group had seen during their career.

Due to the strong presence of Jimmy Page throughout the recording of the record, the record sounds less like a group effort, and more of a bluesy solo record from the guitarist. With John Bonham throwing down some stunning rhythmic answers to Page’s blistering guitar-work on tracks like ‘Achilles’ Last Stand’ and ‘Nobody’s Fault But Mine’, Presence still shows Led Zeppelin as the dominant force they always were.