March | 10 | 2021 | Music Collection Update

Hey, what kind of website would BuriedOnMars.com be if it isn’t always changing evolving? I’ve decided to have less structure with the collection updates starting… now. The month to month schedule wasn’t really working for me. Some month’s I’d have little to show, then others I’d have a plethora to go through and need break up into two posts.

This also meant leaving a pile of CDs and a few records off to the side until I can do a post at the end of the month. I want to put this stuff away, dang it! So, now post happen whenever I have enough for one.

One pre-order came in. Weezer‘s latest, OK Human! arrived on Saturday:

I’ll need to a full review sometime soon. I don’t want to be leaving all of the 2021 releases until the end of the year like I had in December. Speaking of December…

…this past weekend was the first since late 2020 where Covid restrictions in my region had dropped from “lockdown” to “not very lockdown”. This allowed for the mission thrift in my area to open again! They sell their CDs for 2 moose bucks a piece, so you need to get there early on a Saturday to find the good stuff. And find, I did…

I had never seen this live show from Tom Cochrane & Red Rider before. For this one they are joined by the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra to accompany them to play many of Tom’s and Red Rider’s hits. This came out in 1989, 10 years before Metallica’s S&M! I was a little leery of it considering I’m not much of a fan of S&M, but I really dug this! The orchestra really does just accompany the band and doesn’t feel wedged in like they do with Metallica. This might be the pick of the crop! Next we have a couple of soundtracks from the ’80s…

…that mostly contain music from the ’60s. My sister had the soundtrack to Buster on cassette tape. She still might for all I know. It is a pretty good ride with a few “modern” tunes from Phil Collins mixed with the golden oldies. I also recently watched The Big Chill and its soundtrack is aces with a bunch of Motown hits. There is no wonder as to why it sold a bazillion copies. Speaking of an album that sold way more than it should have…

Advertisements

Guns n’ Roses“The Spaghetti Incident?” has a lot of unnecessary punctuation in its title but the music contained on the disc is… not as bad as I remembered. It is still a steaming pile of meh, and this band is really lucky of have Slash. I do like his style. I can’t see myself spinning this one often, but it is G’NR for 2 moose bucks. Speaking of unnecessary purchases…

I had zero reasons to buy Led Zeppelin‘s Mothership other than I liked the cover and the funky CD case. I have never seen anything like it. I already have all of the tunes on the discs and it would have been nice if it included Travelling Riverside Blues and Hey, Hey, What Can I Do? since they are the two I am looking for. Oh well. One album I did need…

Advertisements

…was Big Brother & The Holding Company’s Cheap Thrills. For those who don’t know, this was the band Janis Joplin was the front-woman for before she became Janis Joplin. It contains the classic tunes Summertime and Piece of My Heart. Just don’t look too closely at Robert Crumb’s artwork on the cover. It would make Dr. Seuss blush. Speaking of something less racist…

… I had never heard of The Alarm but this had a cover of Neil Young’s Rockin’ In The Free World on it, so I took a chance. I have lukewarm feeling for this after only one spin. For something I’m not lukewarm on…

…I truly believe that Engelbert Humperdinck doesn’t get the same respect other crooners like Sinatra, Bennett, or Goulet get. The ‘dinck ranks right up there in my book! And this collection from 1993 is pretty smooth. Speaking of smooth…

…Why do these three CDs share a photo? Well that is because they are all still sealed! Yes, all three are still encased in a thin layer of plastic. All three will be opened on Friday during The Vinyl Collection on STCPod channel. Should be fun to open three CDs that each have been sealed for approx. 30 years. I know Neil Young‘s Luck Thirteen is of questionable quality, but not the other two! I saw “Weird Al” when he came to Sudbury during the Alapalooza tour, so this is destiny. And how about finding a seal promotional copy of The Tragically Hip‘s Greasy Jungle during my series of tandem reviews with Sarah on The Tragically Hip? Whoa… trippy….

Advertisements
Advertisements

October 2020 Music Collection Update, Part 1

October was an excellent month for adding new tunes to the collection!  I’ve been doing very well selling off video games and squirreling away the profits, but I allowed myself to spend some of the earnings on discs with music on them.  The month was so good, I decided to break them up into TWO parts!

Also, I need some time to listen to this stuff, hence the mid-November post.  It is what it is.

For part one, these are all albums I grabbed from eBay, amazon, and a online order from The Beat Goes On.  Some is new, some is used.  All were in the $10 -$15 range except for the box sets.  So, here we go:

I wanted to full some holes in my Anthrax collection and I did:

20201108_201759

Worship Music is from 2011 and For All Kings is from 2016.  Anthem is an EP collection of cover tunes that does include Rush’s Anthem among others. Chile On Hell is a live CD/DVD box set of a show they did in 2014, which has a crowd that is WAY in Anthrax.  A fun watch, for sure.

Fistful of Metal is their debut with their first vocalist, Neil Turbin.  Neil’s voice is not as melodic Belladonna’s, but he has a great rocks voice and wrote some solid lyrics.  I’m happy with all of these. 

Continuing with the thrash metal, I got Testament’s Titans of Creation which came out earlier this year in March.  

20201108_212506

I want to do a full review before the year is up as I’m sure it will make my best of 2020 list. 

I also grabbed the last Black Sabbath album I’ll need with Ozzy:

20201108_201926

The End is an EP of extra material from the last studio album, 13 that was originally only available to those who attended their final tour.  But it must have been reissued at some point because it wasn’t very expensive on eBay and it seems legit.

For some reason during one of my purge sessions I got rid of my Pantera CDs.  Well, I corrected that error this month: 

20201108_202330 When it comes to Pantera, the first three albums are my jam.  Although, I have turned the corner on Reinventing the Steel and may have a deluxe edition soon heading my way. 

I got three Alice Cooper albums:

20201108_202214

The early Greatest Hits collection has different mixes that what is on the album.  Plus, it is the one I had on cassette during my teens. 

20201108_202059

Deep Purple’s In Rock is staple in influencing heavy metal bands that followed it.  Just listen to it back to back with Iron Maiden’s first album for proof.  People seem to be mixed on The Who’s The Who By Numbers but I like it.  Squeeze Box is the tune causal fans will know but it has quite a few solid album tracks on it. 

20201108_202131

I have both of Led Zeppelin’s In Through The Out Door and Presence on vinyl already, but they’re not in the best shape.  I bought them in the ’90s when they were more for wall art.  These were dirt cheap and in nice shape, so I though why not? 

20201108_202011

For some reason I stopped buying Sloan albums at some point.  Another correction needed to make.  Peppermint is an early EP with some tunes that ended up on their debut album but with different mixes, so you’ll need this if you want the OGs.  I don’t have too much experience yet with Never Hear The End Of It but Parallel Play is a gem of an album.  Doesn’t get the respect it has earned! 

20201108_203748

Jimi Hendrix Blues was an album one of my college roommates had and I always had wanted and People, Hell & Angels is a collection of rare tracks all remastered by Eddie Kramer.  And… oops, Stone Free is a $2 mission thrift pickup that slipped in here.  Well, the tribute album is mostly “meh” but there are some gems. 

And finally, 

20201105_215110

I already wrote about Tom Petty’s Wildflowers & All The Rest right here.   Just thought I’d mention it again to remind people of how good it is. 

So, that is all.  That would have been enough but I had a good day at my local mission thrift last month.  So, Part Deux will feature some Paul Simon, The Beatles, and a rare Beach Boys set!  All $2 grabs  You don’t want to miss it!

We’re Gonna Groove: Led Zeppelin Lists & Guests!

Catch Sarah and me tonight on Mike’s show The LeBrain Train, 7 pm EST as we run through our top ten Led Zeppelin tunes… EVAAARRRRR! Good times are afoot!

mikeladano.com

The LeBrain Train:  2000 Words or More with Mike Ladano

Episode 37

In case you didn’t know, Sarah and Kevin (Caught Me Gaming and Buried On Mars respectively) just finished a massive Led Zeppelin review series.  Separately, they reviewed each Zeppelin album, from Zep I right to Coda.  They did a fantastic job of it, so with that completed, I had to have them on.  We’re going to do the Nigel Tufnel Top Ten Led Zeppelinsongs, with a few bonus guest lists in the hopper as well.

“But Mike!” you say.  “I have a hard time keeping up with all those lists, and remembering how many times certain songs or albums were picked.”

You’re right; I have a hard time keeping track too.  So this time, finally, we’re bringing in Geoff from 1001albumsin10years.  Geoff is the graph master.  You give him any subject you can think…

View original post 45 more words

Led Zeppelin Studio Albums | Ranked

Sarca Sim and I have one final tandem Led Zeppelin post for you!  After all of those album reviews, we thought it would be fun to sunset the series by ranking all of them in order from worst to first.  So be sure to check out how Sarca Sim ranked Led Zeppelin’s studio albums right here!

Before you dive into my list, I just want to be clear that I don’t believe any of these albums are “bad”.  Even the ones I enjoy least have their merits.  Their ranking here is only in comparison to the rest of Zep’s catalog.  And with only 9 albums, all of them are in my top ten!

So, on with the countdown…

Advertisements

9. Presence

20201011_100515

Despite it sporting one of my favourite Led Zeppelin tunes, Nobody’s Fault But Mine, there is not much else that can keep me invested.  John Paul Jones, the band’s underdog and therefore my favourite member, played as if he had checked out.  The album’s 9 plus minute closer, Tea for One might be their weakest track, IMHO.
Best tune: Nobody’s Fault But Mine
Full review

8. Coda

20201101_145948

Zep’s leftovers are better than most band’s main course, but when they are sandwiched together like this, they can be awkward to listen to.  But, the majority of it does work well.  I’m on the hunt for an extended edition that contains the tracks that originally should have been included.
Best tune: Darlene
Full review

7. Led Zeppelin III

Zep 3 front

Folky Zep is good stuff, just not my favourite kind of Zep.  Although it blasts off with The  Immigrant Song, one of their heaviest tunes, the rest of the album is a mellow out session that bores me a bit. 
Best Tune:  Since I’ve Been Loving You
Full review

6. In Through The Out Door

20201018_144319

John Paul Jones took the lead for the song writing on this one, and his chops are most impressive.  This is Zep’s most unconventional album and an interesting listen.  Carouselambra is precursor to the sound Phil Collins would get from Genesis after Peter Gabriel left.
Best Tune: Carouselambra
Full review

5. Physical Graffiti

20201004_083749

A Physical Graffiti trimmed down to a single disc would most likely have earned my top spot, but in its current from, I find it to be a bit bloated with filler like Boogie with Stu.  But the good stuff, like the brilliant In My Time of Dying is some of their best work ever.  
Best tune: In My Time of Dying
Full review

4. Led Zeppelin IV

zep iv cover

Zep took a perfect blend of blues and folk influences and made one of the most successful rock albums of all time.   Music that could work in a club, a huge arena, a chill out session.  This had it all.  Album tracks like When the Levee Breaks are an absolute thrill to listen to even 45-50ish years later.
Best Tune: When The Levee Breaks
Full review

3. Led Zeppelin

20200830_105202

Zep’s debut is a giant blues fest.  Covering some classics from some blues greats is fairly common but doing it with your own unique sound isn’t.  Oh, and the originals on here are quite good as well.  A great album to launch out of the gate with.
Best Tune: How Many More Times
Full review

2. Led Zeppelin II

20200906_125652

Taking what they did on their first album to the next level.  Blues jams, big riffs, and some deep dives into psychedelia.   One drum and guitar solo that is too long aside, the rest is perfection.  “Big brown” is one of the greatest hard rock albums of all time.
Best Tune: The Lemon Song
Full review

1. Houses Of The Holy

20200927_102344

The funky influence of James Brown for “The orange one” will always be my favourite.  Led Zeppelin came into their own on the pervious album, Led Zeppelin IV, but this is were Zep refined their a sound that would influence generations of rock to come.  
Best Tune: Over The Hills and Far Away
Full review

And that is a wrap on Led Zeppelin!  Sarah and I are spit balling ideas for a band to cover next.  We’ll be taking some time off from tandem posts for now and plan on following up this series sometime in January.  So stay tuned!

Advertisements

[Album Review] Led Zeppelin | Coda

Welcome to the 9th (and final!) installment of my Led Zeppelin studio album reviews!  These are tandem reviews with my amazing wife, Sarah who is posting her own over at Caught Me Gaming.  So be sure to check out her write up on Coda right here

As for me, I can sum up Coda like this:

A little uneven, but alright.

As a Led Zeppelin Album: 3/5
Compared to the Rest: 3.5/5

After the passing of John Bonham in 1980, the group’s remaining members wanted to land the heavy blimp for good, but they had one more studio album to record to fulfill their contractual obligation to Atlantic Records before they could do so.  And that is how Coda came to be. 

The album is a collection of mostly studio outtakes from their previous studio albums, and since their contract specified a studio album, hijinks were afoot for two of its songs.

To cover up evidence that they were recorded live, both the album’s opener, We’re Gonna Groove and I Can’t Quit You Baby were remixed, overdubbed, and had the live audience removed.  In reality, both were recorded live on from January 9th, 1970 in London. 

The rest are legit studio outtakes. 

Poor Tom was recorded during the Led Zeppelin III sessions, Walter’s Walk is an outtake from Houses of the Holy, and Bonzo’s Montreux is recorded by Bonham in Montreux, Switzerland in 1976.  The rest, Ozone Baby, Darlene, Wearing and Tearing are studio outtakes from In Through the Out Door.

And how are these songs?  Well, I’m glad you asked.

I like my rockers and We’re Gonna Groove was designed as a show opener to get bums out of seats.  I gets mine moving when I hear it.  Poor Tom is quite good with its shuffle beat and it would have been one of my favs from Zep III

I didn’t really need another cover of Otis Rush’s I Can’t Quit You Baby from Zep.  I can’t phantom why it is on here as I don’t find it that much different from the one that is on the debut album, Led Zeppelin.    

I do like Walter’s Walk but I can see how it would have been hard to find a place for it on Houses of The Holy as it has sounds closer to something on Zep’s previous two albums.  

Ozone Baby is a good rocker with a sing along chorus: “Ewwww, It’s my love… My own true love… My own true love…”  It sticks with you.

Darlene is the hidden gem.  It’s the closest the album gets to a big Zep riff from the glory days.  Page rips a couple of bluesy solos, John Paul does the same on the piano, and Bonham has some excellent drum fills.  A fun track to listen to and one that you don’t hear too often.

I can more leave than take Bonzo’s Montreux.  I’m not a fan of big drum solos.  Fun to watch, but a bore to listen too.  It does have more melody than Led Zeppelin II‘s Moby Dick as it has some melody, but then I found out how Page added in electric sound effects after the fact.  I’m disappointed how it wasn’t Bonham was hitting some device that played them down.

Wearing and Tearing wraps up the album on a rocking note.  It’s a bit of a frantic number though.  Not bad. 

All that is it. 

Coda is a short album of only 33 minutes making it a crime to not have included such tracks as the B-side to the The Immigrant Song‘s single, Hey, Hey, What Can I Do or Travelling River Side Blues from their BBC recordings.  Neither had a home in 1982.  

The songs that did make the album are decent, but awkward to listen to as a collection.  I don’t believe I Can’t Quit You Baby and Walter’s Walk were ever meant to go back to back on any album, yet here they are.

But the majority does work.  And there are extended editions of Coda that now include the tracks I mentioned.  I wonder if I have a legit reason to upgrade my copy…. 

20201101_150407

Hmmm….

Hmmmm…

Hmmmm…

[Album Review] Led Zeppelin | In Through The Out Door

Welcome to the 8th installment of my Led Zeppelin studio album reviews!  These are tandem reviews with my amazing wife, Sarah who is posting her own over at Caught Me Gaming.  So be sure to check out her write up on In Through The Out Door right here

As for me, I can sum up In Through The Out Door like this:

John Paul Jones is back, baby!

As a Led Zeppelin Album: 4/5
Compared to the Rest: 4.5/5

Yeah, JPJ took command of the heavy blimp for this one.  He is listed with the top writing credit on 6 of its 7 tracks.  Hot Dog is the only Page/Plant contribution, which features Plant channeling his inner Elvis.  It is a little fun but filler.  So, bonus for John Paul.

20201018_144456

In The Evening, Fool In The Rain, and All My Love became FM radio staples.  Honestly, for me, In The Evening feels a little like a weaker track that you would find on Physical Graffiti.  It’s not bad, but I have never found its hook all that interesting.

I like how different Fool in the Rain is.  The bass and piano are on a 6-beat (both played by John Paul) while the drummer John Bonham is on a 4-beat.  The samba-style breakdown with John Paul hammering it on the piano is out there too.

20201018_144734
If you’re going to grab In Through The Out Door on vinyl, be sure the one you’re looking at has the insert and the mock brown paper bag outer sleeve. The inner sleeve was originally black and white outlines only.  Both sides filled in with colour when washed with a little water.

All My Love is a synth driven easy rocker.  Page strums clean bar chords like it is a Motown song, then the synth and guitar go at it with solos.  Good stuff.

South Bound Saurez is a bit of a straight up rocker, but not too heavy.  A little forgettable, but still a good time.  Page’s roaring solo is a throw back to the band’s earlier albums.

The hidden gem on this one is the opener for side 2, Carouselambra.  It might not be for everyone as it reminds me of a deep cut from a Phil Collins Genesis album… and it is 10-plus minutes long!  But I enjoy following John Paul’s sexy swingin’ bass and his funk on the keys.  The bridge, the break down, it is all aces in my book.  I’d have this one on the radio all of the time.

For the 2nd album in a row, Zep wraps it up with a slow bluesy number.  I like I’m Gonna Crawl much better than Presence‘s rote Tea For One.   This is as close in sound as Zep gets to their early selves with Page ripping another stand out solo and the synth being the only give away. 

After their first two albums, Zep never stopped experimenting and In Through The Out Door is their least conventional album.  And I find it to be their most interesting.  I would have loved to see where they went from here.

20201018_144428

 

[Album Review] Led Zeppelin | Presence

Welcome to the 7th installment of my Led Zeppelin studio album reviews!  These are tandem reviews with my amazing wife, Sarah who is posting her own reviews over at Caught Me Gaming.  So be sure to check out her write up on Presence right here

As for me, I can sum up Presence like this:

Unimpressive overall.  I really like three of the tracks though. 

As a Led Zeppelin Album: 2/5
Compared to the Rest: 3.5/5

One of my favourite things to do with a Zep album is to follow along with John Paul Jones’ bass.  On Zep’s previous albums there has always seemed to be a song that he would quietly dominate on the bass.  Like his improvisation in The Lemon Song or his locked in groove in How Many More Times.

I don’t mean to pick on the guy as he is not THE problem with this album, but I think his mostly rote playing is a reflection of the entire product.  He has a nice tone on the album’s 10-plus minute opener, Achilles Last Stand, but it is disappointing how he mostly sticks to following the melody.  Maybe he was uninspired as he finds the tune to be as bland and overlong as I do. 

For Your Life is a fully serviceable track but a bit boring.  John Paul does not deviate from melody again, even when the tune breaks into its more funky moments.  

The band goes full funk for Royal Orleans.  This song has felt like filler to me in the past but I really got into its groove this time.  This is the first time the band sounds jovial and it is a fun track to listen to. 

Then we get to Nobody’s Fault But Mine.  I adore this one!  Yes, it is yet another blues number where they completely ignore the original artist.  Blind Willie Johnson is the target this time:

 

It would have been a well-disguised cover if it were not for Plant completely lifting the lyrics.  Instrumentally, the entire band kills it.  Page’s bluesy riff must have had guitarists everywhere looking for phase pedals. Drummer, Bonham is locked in and John Paul plays it a bit simplistic but his driving groove fits.

Zep explores rockabilly with Candy Store Rock but they don’t nail it as well as funk. I give them props for trying something different here though. John Paul’s bass still doesn’t have much to say.

It wouldn’t surprise me to discover that Hots On For Nowhere is a leftover from the Houses of the Holy sessions.  This is the hidden gem! Bonham drives this one hard and the variations on the main riff throughout the track lifts ones spirit.

Finally, the closer Tea For One has one huge tease of an opening. The band sounds like they’re gearing up for for a classic Zep groove… then it switches gears to Since I’ve Been Loving You, Part II: The Quest for More Money.  Well a least they are lifting from themselves now!   Since I’ve Been Loving You has some stand-out moments. It’s a tune that sticks with you. I dare anyone to remember what they just listened to after hearing all 9 and half minutes of Tea For One. John Paul is completely checked out for it.

This was Zep’s 7th studio album in 7 years, and the previous was a double. The follow up for Presence didn’t make a… presence until three years later. So, if they were not beginning to feel burnt out by this point, Presence still sound as if they were.

[Album Review] Led Zeppelin | Physical Graffiti

Welcome to the 6th installment of my Led Zeppelin studio album reviews!  These are tandem reviews with my amazing wife, Sarah who is posting her own reviews over at Caught Me Gaming.  So be sure to check out her write up on Physical Graffiti right here

As for me, I can sum up Physical Graffiti like this:

There is a spectacular single disc album that is drowned out in a bloated double disc.

As a Led Zeppelin Album: 4/5
Compared to the Rest: 4/5

It took me a while to get into Physical Graffiti.  Not only did I find the double disc to be intimidating, the tunes felt a little all over the place.  I got Use Your Illusion I & II vibes from it.  I would be having a better time if they had weeded out the filler.

It wasn’t until I got my dark green 2003 Ford Ranger that I really dove into the album.  It was the first vehicle I had with a CD player!  The first disc I spun in the drive was of course Highway to Hell, a “dark green” album to match my truck.  I can’t remember exactly why I grabbed Physical Graffiti next but… I immediately appreciated how that first disc sounded on the road.  

Custard Pie, The Rover, In My Time of Dying… my goodness… what an opening set of tunes!  Especially In my Time of Dying.  Page’s slide guitar work on it is sublime.

Next came Houses of the Holy, which I thought was weird that their previous album was named the same.  It wasn’t until much later that I found out how the band recorded 8 new tunes for the album in 1974.  A few of them were epic in length and they all totaled up to an album and a half.  So, they decided to bloat beef up the track list with several outtakes from previous album sessions and make Physical Graffiti a double.

THAT explains why it feels uneven.  

I have no issue with the next two tunes that make up for the rest of disc 1, Trampled Under Foot and Kashmir .  It is not until we get to the 2nd disc where it gets bumpy. 

Most of it is good.  Ten Years Gone, Night Flight, The Won Ton Song, and Sick Again are all keepers.  Black Country Woman is a little bare bones, but it still very much on my good side.  

What I would cut is In The Light, Bron-Yr-Aur, Down by the Seaside, and Boogie with Stu.  The first three are the opening tracks for disc 2.  So, you can see how we’re not off to a great start.  Even though In The Light and Down by the Seaside have their moments, the weaker parts really drag.  And Bron-Yr-Aur and Boogie with Stu are straight up filler.

I suppose four weak tracks from a double album isn’t too bad at all, but I still feel if they stuck to only the songs they recorded for Physical Graffiti in ’74, they would have a killer line up:

1. Custard Pie
3. In My Time of Dying
3. Trampled Under Foot
4. Kashmir
5. Ten Years Gone
6. The Wanton Song
7. Sick Again

This could rival Houses of the Holy as my favourite Zep album of all time!  The only tune I dropped from the ’74 sessions is In The Light.  And I would miss The Rover.  But, it would become the killer must have track for 1984’s “Coda II”.

20201004_083823

 

 

 

[Album Review] Led Zeppelin | Houses of the Holy

Welcome to the 5th installment of my Led Zeppelin studio album reviews!  These are tandem reviews with my amazing wife, Sarah who is posting her own reviews over at Caught Me Gaming.  So be sure to check out her write up on Houses of the Holy right here

As for me, I can sum up Houses of the Holy like this:

At the time, no other rock band was riffing on James Brown.

As a Led Zeppelin Album: 5/5
Compared to the Rest: 5/5

This is the Zep album I have bonded with the most.  In the early moments of Sarah’s and my relationship, I was taking full advantage of her complete Zeppelin collection on CD and I found myself grabbing “The Orange One” to listen to the most.

It wasn’t love at first note though.  I wasn’t a fan of Plants vocals on the opener, The Song Remains The Same.  He sounds like a cat being whipped around by its tail to me.  I’ve since warmed up to it. 

The rest was/is fantastic.   

If you have been following this series, you know that I enjoy Zep’s bluesy side the most.  Houses will only lean into the devil’s notes on occasion, but that can’t take away from them coming into their own as songwriters.  You look at the writing credits and (even today) there isn’t anything they have to credit others for.   

All four of these guys are stellar musicians and they have meshed together well before, but I think they elevated to the next level with tunes that are truly their own.  Each song feels like it’s derived from several genres instead of one.  You have blues, folk, rock, and now funk.  And there is not a dog on here.

20200927_102506

Plant follows up my least favourite performances from him with one of what his best on The Rain Song.  John Paul Jones on the Mellotron mixes well with the plastic sound of Page’s Danelectro guitar too.  

Over the Hills and Far Away might be my favourite Zeppelin tune ever.  It was one of the first I learned on acoustic guitar.  I might need a bit of a refresher if I tried to play it today though.

The Crunge is all kinds of James Brown and I think it is the moment where they finally found the balance between copying and a homage.  Plus, all of the “Take me to the bridge” stuff made for a great shirt worn by an extra in Almost Famous.

writing | hippiesandhipsters

As for side 2, what genre does Dancing Days, D’yer Mak’erNo Quarter, and The Ocean belong to?  It has become impossible for me to think of them as anything other than Zeppelin.  If anyone tries to do songs like these, you’re aping Zeppelin.

And I suppose from an artistic perspective, it is the best spot for any band to be in.

20200927_102409

 

 

 

[Album Review] Led Zeppelin | Led Zeppelin IV

Welcome to the 4th installment of my Led Zeppelin studio album reviews!  These are tandem reviews with my amazing wife, Sarah who is posting her own reviews over at Caught Me Gaming.  So be sure to check out her write up on Led Zeppelin IV right here

As for me, I can sum up Led Zeppelin IV like this:

When The Levee Breaks.

As a Led Zeppelin Album: 4.5/5
Compared to the Rest: 5/5

Will this gag ever get old?  It probably already has.

Speaking of gags, Led Zeppelin had one lined up for this album.  Believe it or not, I’m not the only one who had lukewarm feelings to Led Zeppelin III.  In 1971, the critical response for it was less than glowing and the sales were a bit sluggish compared to the band’s first two.

And they used it as bulletin board material.

Not to go the safe route and make a rehash of their bluesy first two albums.  Or, fall into line with whatever was popular at the time to get a hit to chart for radio play.

But they went Full Zep instead.

There isn’t a song on here that you can potentially point to being radio-friendly prior to 1971.  But Stairway To Heaven, an 8-minute and 2-second epic, went on to have the most radio airplay of all time.  Zep went on to become, if not the most popular rock band of all time, one that is always mentioned in the top 5.  The rest is history.

I had heard most of the tunes on Zep IV before I got to the album, but I appreciate them better within its context.  Black Dog and Rock And Roll is a great 1 -2 punch to start.   The Battle of Evermore is not one of my favorites on its own, but it makes for a nice breather before getting into Stairway here.

As great as side one is, I think I like side two even more.  Zep big rockin’ riffs are usually one string affairs, but Misty Mountain Hop is a solid chord rocker.  Four Sticks is a lower point for me on the album as it goes a just a bit too long for me, but it’s alright.

The last two songs are really where it is at for me.  I’m not usually one for their folky ballads and Plant’s vocals can be a little cheesy, but Going To California is a drop-dead gorgeous tune.  And When the Levee Breaks.  Perfection.  The drums, the guitar, the tone, the lyrics.  Everything.  Home Run.

I think this is why rock ‘n roll will always belong to the young and overconfident.  They are the only ones who have the balls to pull off something like Led Zeppelin IV.  Think of the temptation they must have to switch things up.  How many bands do we know that did just that?  Instead, Zep doubled down on what the did best and wrote (or let’s be kind and say, at least arranged) some stellar tunes.