Posts Tagged ‘Jimmy Page’

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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.

'Led Zeppelin'

48 years ago today, on January. 12th, 1969, music changed for many people. It was on this day that Led Zeppelin released their debut LP . Of course, critics panned the record, but to the record buying public, well they never listened to critics anyway. It only takes the first two seconds of the first song on their first record for Led Zeppelin to make crystal clear exactly what they intend to do – and exactly what they intend to do to you. In the opening to “Good Times Bad Times,” the band drops a two-note attack that falls like a cartoon safe, clearing the air for John Bonham’s syncopated groove, Jimmy Page’s swift-sword guitar and Robert Plant’s high-end howling about sex so loud it gets the neighbors talking. “It really wasn’t a pretty thing,” Plant later said. “It wasn’t supposed to be a pretty thing. It was just an unleashing of energy.”

just a few weeks before their album’s release — opening for Vanilla Fudge and Spirit. Although booking agent Ron Terry had to beg promoter Barry Fey to add Led Zeppelin to the already-sold out show, the band did not disappoint. “You didn’t have to be a genius to know that Zeppelin was going to be a smash,” he later said. “Oh, my God. People were going crazy!” Rock station KLZ was so jammed with calls the next day that Fey had to run a copy of the unreleased self titled album to them, where it played for an entire day.

We could go on for days on the impact that this record had at the time and still has to this day, but you all know that. Just 3 of the songs “Your Time is Gonna Come”, “Good Times Bad Times” and “Communication Breakdown” were Led Zeppelin originals. When Led Zeppelin debut album was released in January 1969, it went to the Top 10 in the U.S. and the U.K. charts, despite lukewarm reviews. The enormity of Zeppelin’s innovation wasn’t entirely easy to recognize. In an era of spiritual transcendence and tales of brave Ulysses, they’d flipped teenage rock & roll’s sex-zonked mania into something huge and seething and mythic- bestial. Eastern mysticism and Mordor and prom-ruling radio gold would all come later.

Page’s vision for the album was so clear that they recorded the entire thing in just 30 hours. “I financed and completely recorded the first album before going to Atlantic,” he later said . “It wasn’t your typical story where you get an advance to make an album: We arrived at Atlantic with tapes in hand.” The result was a new, uncompromising sound and unabashed rock star lifestyle, paving the way for everything from prog-rock to heavy metal.

Led Zeppelin was born from the ashes of the Yardbirds. They had disintegrated in the summer of 1968, leaving guitarist Jimmy Page with the rights to the name — and a series of shows in Scandinavia he was contractually obligated to complete .So he recruited Robert Plant, John Paul Jones and John Bonham, and the four toured as the New Yardbirds. But by the time they entered Olympic Studios in London in late september 1968 , they had moved their sound away from English folk-rock, into the blues-influenced band Page had always wanted, and soon had a new name, Led Zeppelin, as well.

As with so many great records, when it first came out the critics didn’t care for it. Therefore many people knew it would be good.

On January. 12th, 1969, Led Zeppelin released their self-titled debut LP “Led Zeppelin” in the US. It wouldn’t be released in the UK until March 31st. The LP combined Blues and Rock and was very well received by music fans. A number of the songs were ‘borrowed’ from older Blues musicians who at first were not given any credit.

It was an incredible record that changed the way many looked at Rock music.

Robert Plant (vocals/production); Jimmy Page (guitar); John Paul Jones (bass); John Bonham (drums)

The Album Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, John Paul Jones and John Bonham Recorded Before 'Led Zeppelin'

all four members of Led ZeppelinJimmy Page, Robert Plant, John Paul Jones and John Bonham were recording together before there even was a Led Zeppelin. While still in  mode, the four pre-Zeps took part in the August 1968 recording sessions for P.J. Proby’s 1969 album, “Three Week Hero”.

Page and Jones were successful session musicians at this point, and when Jones got the Proby gig, he invited his fellow New Yardbirds along. Jones recollects “I was committed to doing all the arrangements for the album. As we were talking about rehearsing at the time, I thought it would be a handy source of income. I had to book a band anyway, so I thought I’d book everybody I knew.” The sessions started August 25th, 1968, and led to an album that didn’t cause much of a stir when it was released the following April.

“The boys told me they were going over to play in San Francisco and all that, and I said, ‘Look, from what I’ve heard and the way you boys played tonight, not only are you not going to be my backing band, I’m going to say goodbye right now, because I don’t think I’m ever going to see you again’,” Proby has said .

“‘That’s how successful you’re going to be. You’re exactly what they want, you play all that psychedelic stuff and everything.’ I said, ‘You’re going to go over there and go down so great I don’t think you’re ever going to come home.’ They didn’t ever come back until they changed their name to Led Zeppelin and stayed over there and came back huge huge stars. … I said goodbye that day when I cut that album, and I haven’t seen one of them since.”

Is there any doubt this is Led Zeppelin? This is part of the eight-minute medley that closed the album.

Here’s track two “The Day That Lorraine Came Down” from the PJ Proby album, which was released on CD in 1994. It’s easy to imagine Robert Plant on vocals—not that there’s anything wrong with Proby’s voice.

 

Image result for jimmy page and robert plant

Jimmy Page dug up several unheard gems for the recent batch Led Zeppelin reissues. But there’s one song that still remains unreleased “Swan Song”.

The fertile sessions for Led Zeppelin’s Physical Graffiti album produced a number of landmark songs, including In My Time Of Dying and Kashmir. And among them was another track that had the potential to be a Led Zeppelin classic. An ambitious, virtuoso instrumental titled Swan Song, it was sketched out and partially recorded during the album sessions but, frustratingly, never completed – even though, like many of his ideas, Jimmy Page would not quite let it rest.

The seeds of Swan Song were sown in early 1974 when Zeppelin reconvened to begin work on Physical Graffiti at Headley Grange, the 18th-century workhouse in Hampshire where they’d recorded their fourth album.

The band had endured a crisis the previous autumn when John Paul Jones announced that he was fed up with the relentless touring and was planning to quit the band. He even suggested, albeit with his tongue firmly in his cheek, that he was considering becoming choirmaster at Winchester Cathedral. It took all the efforts of manager Peter Grant to talk him out of it.

But by the time the four band members got back together they were once again firing on all cylinders. Reunited, they began pooling ideas. “Some of the tracks we assembled in our old-fashioned way of running through a track and realising before we knew it that we had stumbled on something completely different,” recalled Robert Plant.

By contrast, Page had grand plans for a lengthy new track he was calling Swan Song. The guitarist had already plotted out the instrumental piece at his home studio in Plumpton Place, East Sussex. Even at that early stage, his vision was clear. According to Page, it featured “a number of sections and orchestrated overdubs”.

The track was broken up into sections, two of which were recorded in late February 1974 (and which can be heard on various Zeppelin bootlegs and on YouTube). The first part opens with Page’s drifting acoustic guitar, before the John Paul Jones/John Bonham rhythm section kicks in with the sure-footed syncopation that characterised their greatest work. The second segment commences with Page again leading off, his descending riff hinting at the song’s majestic potential. Tantalisingly, he would later reveal that this epic-in-waiting would not necessarily have remained a purely instrumental track – there were plans to add other sections and even lyrics.

So why did they leave the piece unfinished? The simple truth is that Zeppelin’s creativity was at an all-time high during the Physical Graffiti sessions. At the same time, they had also been working on Ten Years Gone, another lengthy track that incorporated similar guitar orchestration. Faced with an abundance of quality material, they could afford to leave Swan Song for another time. Consequently, it was Ten Years Gone that ended up on Physical Graffiti.

But the Swan Song story didn’t end there. Zeppelin were planning to launch their own label and rumours abounded that it would be called Shag or Slut Records – a lewd reference to their notorious on-the-road antics. Instead, at a press reception in New York on May 7, 1974, it was announced that the new label would be called Swan Song, after their unfinished song. “I’d been recording this long instrumental and somebody shouted: ‘What’s the title?’” revealed Page. “I shouted back: ‘Swan Song’. And everybody stopped and said what a good name that would be for the album. From there it got carried over to being the name for our label.”

Never one to let go of a good idea, Page talked about returning to the incomplete song to finish it off. “I’ve spoken before about a long piece I’d written,” he said in 1976. “I wanted to orchestrate the guitar and put it through various treatments. The original idea was to have four sections coming back to the same theme each time. There would be four separate melody lines dealing with the seasons. Robert will do the lyrics. I know I can work the whole thing out from the trial runs I’ve laid down. It’s a really exciting prospect.”

Page continued to incorporate elements of Swan Song into his live improvisational piece White Summer/Black Mountain Side during Zeppelin’s 1977 tour. It would reappear again during the band’s Knebworth shows in 1979, and even as late as their final European tour, in 1980. Had Led Zeppelin not disbanded following the death of John Bonham on September 25,1980, there’s every chance that Page would have gone back to work on the song in the studio.

But even that wasn’t the end of his great lost opus. Page’s first major live appearance following the dissolution of Zeppelin was as part of an all-star nine-date US tour in 1983 in aid of the ARMS charity to help multiple sclerosis-stricken ex-Small Faces bassist Ronnie Lane. With Paul Rodgers on vocals, Page performed a lengthy song called Bird On A Wing, which featured some chord structures that clearly dated back to Swan Song.

By the time Page and Rodgers formed their blues-rock supergroup The Firm, it had been revisited once again. “It was reworked with Paul Rodgers, who supplied some inspired lyrics, and it became Midnight Moonlight,” said Page, referring to the song which closed The Firm’s self-titled album in 85.

Today, Swan Song has passed into Zep legend as one of the band’s great lost masterpieces – albeit one that has, tantalisingly, filtered into the ether in various incarnations. As with other unfinished Zep treasures such as Sugar Mama and Fire, it’s difficult not to wonder how significant Swan Song would have become had they actually finished it.

On July 7th, 1980, the original members of Led Zeppelin performed together for the final time at Eissporthalle in Berlin, Germany.

The concert was the last scheduled stop on a 14-date European tour in support of the group’s most recent (and ultimately final) studio album, 1979′s In Through the Out Door. Trouble had been circling the band in previous years, with John Bonham and Jimmy Page both struggling with alcohol and drug addictions.

Two weeks before the Berlin show, on June 27th in Nuremburg, Germany, Led Zeppelin were forced to stop their show after just three songs when John Bonham was rushed to the hospital after suffering what was reported as food poisoning but rumored to be the result of a blackout.

Berlin 7.7.80

A North American tour, which, like the European jaunt, was to see the band trimming some of the excess soloing and pageantry of previous expeditions, was scheduled to begin in October. But on Sept. 24th, after reportedly drinking 40 measures of vodka during a 12-hour period on a rehearsal day, Bonham went to bed at Page’s house and was found dead the following morning.

A few months later, on Dec. 4th, 1980, the group issued a statement declaring they would be breaking up as a result of Bonham’s passing. The surviving members have reunited only a few times since then, including short sets at Live Aid in 1985 and the 40th anniversary concert for Atlantic Records in 1988. Most recently, they performed a full-scale show on Dec. 10th, 2007, in London that was captured on the Celebration Day concert film that was released in 2012.

Although the photo above is taken from a show a few days prior, you can see photographs, the complete set list, ticket stubs and other memorabilia from Led Zeppein’s final show at their official website.

Berlin 7.7.80

 

Robert Plant first came to the public eye in the late ’60s as a member of one of the biggest bands ever, Led Zeppelin. But long before the spotlight was on him, he was a member of The Crawling King Snakes which would prove to be pivotal as it put him in touch with John Bonham. Plant, like most aspiring musicians from England, was influenced by blues artists from America. In 1968 Jimmy Page was searching for a lead singer for the Yardbirds and after meeting Plant, he offered the gig to him on the spot. Collaborations between Page and Plant gave us some of the most memorable moments in rock history. With John Bonham on drums and session player John Paul Jones on bass, the band conquered the world with a mix of blues, folk and straight-ahead rock. Throughout the ’70s, the band released some of the most prominent records of all time. As a live act, they would often jam out songs 10 to 15 minutes beyond the originals as Plant would riff off Page and vice-versa. Robert Plant, like Roger Daltrey, had a golden mane, devastating good looks and incredible stage presence. Often performing in shirts that would show off his chest and arms, he became a rock god, and the band’s hotel stays while touring are legendary. In 1980, Bonham died after a night of hard partying, leaving the rest of the members no choice but to retire. Despite retirement, Plant has had an amazing solo career releasing ten studio albums. In 1984, he joined Jimmy Page and Jeff Beck in the super group the Honeydrippers who found success with such singles as “Sea of Love” and “Rockin’ at Midnight.” Plant would reunite with Page again on the 1994 project Unleaded which sparked a tour. Seemingly joined at the hip, the duo would release another album. No Quarter featured reworked versions of Zeppelin classics. To date, Jimmy, Jones and Plant received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, and in 1995 Led Zeppelin was finally inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

yardbirds

This is the first of the 3 clips (in HD) from the “Bouton Rouge” French TV show hosted by Pierre Lattès on 9th March 1968.

This is the second of the three clips (in HD) from the “Bouton Rouge” French TV show hosted by Pierre Lattès on 9th March 1968.

This is the last of the three clips from the “Bouton Rouge” French TV show hosted by Pierre Lattès on 9th March 1968.

The Yardbirds were an English rock band that had a string of hits in the mid-1960s, including “For Your Love”, “Over Under Sideways Down” and “Heart Full of Soul”. The group is notable for having started the careers of three of rock’s most famous guitarists: Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page, all of whom are in the top five of Rolling Stone’s 100 Top Guitarists list. They are a blues-based band that broadened its range into pop and rock, the Yardbirds had a hand in many electric guitar innovations of the mid-1960s, such as feedback, “fuzztone” distortion and improved amplification. Pat Pemberton, writing for Spinner, holds that the Yardbirds were “the most impressive guitar band in rock music”.After the Yardbirds broke up in 1968, their lead guitarist Jimmy Page founded what would become Led Zeppelin.

The bulk of the band’s most successful self-written songs came from bassist/producer Paul Samwell-Smith who, with singer/harmonica player Keith Relf, drummer Jim McCarty and rhythm guitarist/bassist Chris Dreja, constituted the core of the group. The band reformed in the 1990s, featuring McCarty, Dreja and new members. The Yardbirds were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992.

Available in just under three weeks time the Remastered editions in a few different formats, with one unreleased studio track and some outtakes,

ledzepphoto

small clips of the new Zeppelin re-issues Jimmy Page found the outtakes in a climate controlled super secret vault in a West London studio alongside other cinematic and sound artifacts.The first series of deluxe re-issues are due on the 3rd June. Page has listenend to every outtake, demo and live recordings with rarities and alternative versions Live cuts like the 1969 Paris show that was broadcast live on radio to alternative takes of the “Immigrant Song” through to covers like the blues classic “Keys to the Highway” . Page now 70 years old wanted to do it all alone he had scoured the planet for the original Live tapes to that Paris show this will be the bonus edition on the first album Led Zeppelin1.


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