Posts Tagged ‘Led Zeppelin’

War Of The Covers Immigrant SongLast week, we had one of the best battles that we have ever had even though it was a blowout. The band that recorded the best version of The Sound Of Silence according to you that voted is Bobaflex. That is all you have to is just click and vote so that the version you love wins. This week we have another good one for all of you guys to decide on. It is absolutely no secret that I am a huge fan of a particular Led Zeppelin track that has been attached to the trailer of the brand new Thor: Ragnarok film in the classic The Immigrant Song. Led Zeppelin recorded and released the track on their Led Zeppelin III album in 1970. There are dozens of different covers of the track, but I chose two tracks from two distinctly different rock bands from two different eras. Stryper was a christian metal band that got their start in the 1980’s with powerful releases like Soldiers Under Command and To Hell With The Devil. For Swiss rock titans Gotthard, their journey began in 1992 with their self titled debut. Unfortunately for Gotthard, they would lose their beloved lead singer Steve Lee in 2010 to a motorcycle accident, but the band has soldiered on. In 1996, on the Asian release of their third studio album G., Gotthard would record a cover of the track for the album. In 2011, Stryper would record a cover of the song for their all covers album The Covering. As always you have until the very next War Of The Covers to decide and as always just have fun with it.

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led zeppelin led zeppelin_IIThe album that I chose for this week’s album of the week was inspired by the trailer for the new Thor: Ragnarok film which features the track The Immigrant Song. Now before you jump to any conclusions, I know that The Immigrant Song is not on Led Zeppelin II but rather on Led Zeppelin III. It’s just that you can’t review III before II considering we already reviewed one before. That is why for this week we are reviewing the band’s second album which was aptly titled with a II and it once again featured the classic and only line up that matters in Jimmy Page (Guitars), Robert Plant (Vocals), John Paul Jones (Bass), and John Bonham (Drums). The album was probably one of the most successful albums for the band and it helped them avoid the sophomore jinx as it went number one in seven countries that included the UK, United States, West Germany, Australia, Canada, Denmark, and Spain with three other top three finishes as well. The album has been certified platinum in the United States 12 times meaning that it has sold 12 million records (it went 4X platinum in the UK, 9X Platinum in Canada, etc.).

Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin 2-Back1.Whole Lotta Love– One of the most popular and probably overplayed song on the radio from the band that is about what you think it’s about. Using the AABA formula, Jimmy came up with the track on his houseboat that sees the track go from a blues feel right into a free jazz like break complete with a theramin solo and a bad ass drum solo from Bonham as well. 5/5

2. What Is And What Should Never Be– One of the first tracks that Page recorded with a Gibson Les Paul that contains that cool effect where it pans back and forth on the channels. There is also a cool effect used on Plant’s vocals during the verses. It has that cool effect where it changes in tempo from a cool bluesy tune into a full on rock track. It’s also the first Zeppelin song that Plant received writing credit for in this track that is about a romance he had with his wife’s sister. 5/5

3. The Lemon Song– A very sexual bluesy track in nature, but the song was inspired by Howlin Wolf’s song Killing Floor (Both first verses are indentical). In fact in 1972, the band was sued by the handlers of Howlin Wolf to which they settled out of court and Howlin Wolf is given credit on the track. 4.5/5

4. Thank You– One of my favorite Led Zeppelin songs that was for the first time completely written by Plant. It was the track that showed Page that Plant could handle himself in the lyrics department. A very cool power ballad from the band that everyone should check out. 5/5

5. Heartbreaker– A bad ass bluesy rock track with huge balls is the best way I can describe this track because it has that feel to it. Page told Guitar World in 1998 once that, “The interesting thing about the guitar solo is that it was recorded after we had already finished “Heartbreaker” – it was an afterthought. That whole section was recorded in a different studio and it was sort of slotted in the middle. If you notice, the whole sound of the guitar is different.” 5/5

II6. Living Loving Maid (She’s Just a Woman)– A cool hard rock track from the band that Page recorded with a Vox 12 string guitar and just to let you know, it’s Page’s least favorite song which is why it has never been played live. I definitely approve of the track. 4.5/5

7. Ramble On– If there was ever a track back in the day that made it cool to read The Lord Of The Rings, it was this track from the band. The song starts off with an acoustic feel which is just Page using regular open chords, but played a little higher on the fret board. It’s also a track that Jones and Bonham shined on showing how unique their relationship was in the band. 5/5

8. Moby Dick– For all the John Bonham lovers in the world, this is definitely your track as it was basically Jimmy Page recording all of Bonham’s jam sessions in the studio. The only thing is that in the beginning and the end, Page and Jones lead the way for him and end the track with him. 5/5

9. Bring It On Home– This is the last track on the record and it’s a cover of blues legend Sonny Boy Williamson II’s track that was written by Willie Dixon. 4/5

My Final Thoughts– It is almost the perfect album by the band and one that is considered to be one of the most influential rock albums of all time. Who in their right minds then did not want to be Led Zeppelin. The band’s sound which change however as they went for a more folkier sound with the next album. This is definitely must listen album for any fan off Zeppelin. I am going to give the album 4.7 stars out of five for a final grade.

beastie-boysThere was some terrible news on the tele the other day about some people desecrating the Adam Yauch Park in Brooklyn, New York. While I am severely disappointed in humanity over that, I thought we would celebrate his life and work on the blog by covering the band’s debut album License To Ill for our album of the week this week. The Beasties Boys were made up of Adam “MCA” Yauch, Mike “Mike D” Diamond, and Adam “Ad-Rock” Horovitz. The group would release License To Ill on November 15, 1986 and the album would literally skyrocket to the top of the charts as it peaked at Number One on The Billboard Charts and it was the first rap LP to top the charts. It’s also one of Columbia’s fastest selling debut records in history and it eventually sold over ten million records worldwide. After the death of Adam Yauch, the album re-entered the Billboard charts at number 18 and it reached number one on Billboard’s Catalog Albums chart.

1. Rhymin & Stealin– The track opens with the sample of Led Zeppelin’s When The Levee Breaks before the sample of Black Sabbath’s Sweet Leaf drives the song. 5/5

beastie-boys-licensed-to-ill-insert2. The New Style– The track features a cool guitar/drum sample and features one of the most famous lines in “Ummm Dropppp!”4.5/5

3. She’s Crafty– A very educational track on the kind of girls the group likes which sees the band sample The Ocean by Led Zeppelin. 5/5

4. Posse in Effect– a track that showcases the groups talents as MC’s in the business. They sample Catch a Groove by Juice, Pee-Wee’s Dance by Joeski Love, and Change the Beat (Female Version) by Beside. 4.5/5

5. Slow Ride– The track starts off with the band sampling Low Rider by War before it just goes with a hi hat beat during the verses. 4/5

6. Girls-a simple and great track that features a keyboard beat and they sing about Girls. 5/5

7. Fight For Your Right– an amazing track that was written as a parody to all the party songs on the scene like I Wanna Rock or even Smokin In The Boys Room. This is definitely one of my favorite tracks on the record. 5/5

_18. No Sleep Till Brooklyn– A track that was a play on Motorhead’s No Sleep Till Hammersmith and features Kerry King of Slayer playing the guitar parts and solo. 5/5

9. Paul Revere– a track that was inspired by Run from Run-DMC where the music sounds like it’s being played in reverse. 4.5/5

10. Hold It Now, Hit It– The song contains a ton of samples in, but there have been lines from the track that have been sampled by Eric B & Rakim and even Eazy-E. 4/5

11. Brass Monkey– a track that is about a certain brand of alcohol that the group raps about in the track that samples Bring It Here by Wild Sugar. 5/5

12. Slow and Low– a track that samples 8th Wonder by the Sugarhill Gang and Flick Of The Switch by AC/DC. 4.5/5

13. Time To Get Ill– The last track on the album that samples a laundry list of groups ranging from Creedence Clearwater Revival to Steve Miller Band and even Kool & The Gang. 4.5/5

My Final Thoughts– This is definitely one of my all time favorite records, but the group would take the ultimate risk with their next album. They wanted to get away from what they called the frat party scene and they wanted to be serious rappers. They wanted to be respected for their craft and they would ultimately leave Def Jam after this record. Nevertheless this is a classic and that is why I am giving the album 4.8 stars out of five for a final grade.

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For those of you out there that have been wondering just what in the world has Amy Lee been up to then never fear cause I have some sort of an answer for you. Amy Lee apparently has been busy recording a solo EP that she expects to release sometime in the future. She recently unveiled some covers that she did like U2’s With Or Without You, It’s A Fire by Portishead, and today’s Cover Of The Week in the Led Zeppelin classic Going To California. Amy had this to say about her love for the track, “This song is a classic that I’ve loved for as long as I can remember. It puts me at peace.” She added after a performance with her band Evanescence, “It’s a pleasure to sing a song publicly that is such a part of who I am offstage – my roots, the style of music that we always played around my house when I was growing up, and still at every big family gathering, singing and playing music with my dad.” Amy has quite the voice and one that is perfect for covering Led Zeppelin. Check it out and judge for yourself.

John BonhamOn September 25, 1980, the rock world lost John Bonham of Led Zeppelin, who was arguably the greatest rock drummer to have ever lived. During his time in Led Zeppelin, Bonham had appeared on all nine Zeppelin albums which include the great Led Zeppelin 1, 2, 3, and 4 as well as other classics such as Houses Of The Holy, Physical Graffiti, and so much more. The man was known for his hard hitting style as well as his feel for the groove which influenced so many rock drummers all over the world. John Bonham was the reason a lot of kids wanted to become a rock drummer back in the day and he still should be influencing people. Unfortunately, on this day in 1980, he would be found dead in Jimmy Page’s house by John Paul Jones and Benji LeFevre, who was Zeppelin’s tour manager. According to a report, in a 24 hour period he consumed, “40 shots (1–1.4 litres) of 40% ABV vodka.” Nevertheless, the man left a legacy in his work and if you want to hear some of his hard hitting smash sound, check out the tracks Immigrant Song (Led Zeppelin III), When The Levee Breaks (Led Zeppelin IV), Kashmir (Physical Graffiti), The Ocean (Houses Of The Holy), and Achilles Last Stand (Presence). He also appeared on other songs from all sorts of different artists like Lulu (Everybody Clap), Screaming Lord Sutch (Lord Sutch And Heavy Friends), Jimmy Stevens (Don’t Freak Me Out), and more.

Bonhams-630x420In a recent interview with Train Singer Pat Monahan’s podcast, Jason Bonham reflected on the day he was told his father passed away, “I was 14, he was 32. It was like, wham! — I remember not knowing really what the hell was going on. When you don’t know anything about death, and no one close to you has died […] I can play that day back perfectly clear in my head. I went to the back door — knock on the back door. There was Robert Plant and Maureen were there, which was strange, because they were supposed to be at rehearsals. I’m in my school uniform. He says, ‘Is your mom here?’ And I went, ‘Yeah, hold on.’ ‘Robert’s here? What’s he doing here? Where’s your dad?’ […] I remember seeing family arrive out of the corner of my eye and getting upset, and I didn’t know why I was upset, but I knew something was up. My mom came in and said ‘Your father’s passed away.’ I remember going, ‘Oh, okay. Am I still going to school tomorrow?’ You’re just — life goes on.” I am going to share with you, two of my favorite Zeppelin songs below with one being Bonzo’s legendary drum solo Moby Dick and the second being my favorite Zeppelin song Immigrant Song. Long Live the legacy and legend of John Bonham.

axlSome of you may just be wondering who in the heck is Shark Island and why is it featuring Axl Rose and Tracii Guns? Well, Shark Island is a group that was formed back in 1979  as Shark originally and they played the scene in LA for a very long time. So many lineup changes later and the band was signed as Shark Island only getting to release two records before the band disbanded with Law Of The Order (1989) being the last released. During a show in 1986, the band decided to invite some guest on stage to perform a cover of the Led Zeppelin classic Rock N’ Roll and those guests were Guns N’ Roses Axl Rose and LA Guns Tracii Guns. Im not sure how the timeline works as far as the date of the show according to the video on Youtube, but Axl was originally in L.A. Guns in the early 80’s and Tracii Guns was also in Guns N’ Roses for a short time before leaving which allowed Slash and co. to come in. Nevertheless, this is one of those cool discoveries that you find online that you just want to share with everyone. So, check it out below and rock out.

war of kiEveryone’s favorite Swedish rock band is back with their tenth studio album War Of Kings which continues the direction the band has been in since they returned in 2004. What is incredible about this album is that the original Final Countdown lineup of Joey Tempest (Vocals), John Norum (Guitars), John Levén (Bass), Mic Michaeli (Keyborads), and Ian Haugland (Drums) are still making music together after all these years. That is an impressive statistic considering most bands from that era are missing multiple members. One of the things I was most impressed about with this album is the fact that Joey Tempest has reinvented himself vocally and I love it because it adds a different dimension to their music like in the first track which is also the title track. It has a very Deep Purple-esque sound to it and Norum’s guitar solo is impressive. Hole In My Pocket heads more in the rock and roll direction with a little stank added to the guitar sound while Second Day gets epic like a Led Zeppelin track. Praise You gets real garage band ballsy with elements of Sabbath-esque riffs while  Nothin’ To Ya has some monster riffs that will make you turn it up way past 11. California 405 continues the lesson in what real rock and roll is for all the kids of America with it’s Deep Purple-esque monster riffs matched with the keyboards that would make Jon Lord proud. Days of Rock ‘n’ Roll is the second single off the record and it’s another rocker with Europe adding their flavor to it while Children Of The Mind had a Dio/Black Sabbath feel with the monster bass riff to accompany the guitars. Rainbow Bridge has this Middle Eastern like sounding keyboard riff with that power chord heavy guitar riffs while Angels (With Broken Hearts) is very bluesy, but the tempo is slowed down and I love Norum’s playing on this track. Light It Up is the last track on the album and the bass playing is very impressive on the track while the song is a rocker that closes out the album right. This album is a lesson on what real rock is supposed to sound like, so kids grab a pen and paper and take some notes. I am giving the album four stars out five for a final grade. Check out in stores or online now!!! The band is also touring this spring so check out the dates below to see if you’re one of the lucky ones.

EUROPE U.S. Tour Dates:

4/18 – 4/22 – Miami, FL @ Monsters of Rock Cruise

4/24 – Milwaukee, WI @ Potowatomi Casino – w/ Black Star Riders

4/25 – Cleveland, OH @ House of Blues

4/26 – Indianapolis, IN @ The Vogue

4/28 – Chicago, IL @ House of Blues – w/ Black Star Riders

4/30 – New York, NY @ Irving Plaza – w/ Black Star Riders

5/1 – Niagara Falls, NY @ The Bears Den

5/2 – Columbia, MD @ Merriweather Post Pavilion – M3 Rock Festival

5/3 – Uncasville, CT @ Mohegan Sun

MashopolosIn the first 100 plus albums that I have reviewed for this blog, I have reviewed various forms of metal, a comedy album, a rap album, and so far a tribute album. I wish I had covered this earlier, but now I am going to add a Mashup record to that list and one from one of the finest in the business. The art of Mashups is taking two opposite songs, mash them together, and create one really awesome product and that is exactly what Wax Audio has done. Wax Audio is a producer named Tom from Australia who started out as a musician in the local scene near Sydney before he started Wax Audio as an Anti-war project. He would later on start to create remixes or mashups of more pop songs and such and I am reviewing the first album Mashopolos which he released in 2007. No one in the metal and pop world is safe from Wax Audio as he mashes everyone from Metallica, Pink Floyd, AC/DC, The Bee Gees, Iron Maiden, Kate Bush, Led Zeppelin, and even a Bollywood artist named Sunidhi Chauhan to name a few. There is only one imprtant rule that you must live by when creating Mashups and that is the music has to flow right as if they were the same song and not two different songs in one. If you want more information about Wax Audio like how to download some of the mashup albums, just visit his site here. Let’s check some of these out.

1. Black Zeppelin- Whole Lotta Sabbath– In this beautiful Mashup, he uses the Led Zeppelin track Whole Lotta Love as the base of the track as far as music with some parts from War Pigs, but Ozzy’s vocals are used with some occasional vocals from Robert Plant to War Pigs. This is truly an amazing Mashup. 5/5

ThunderBusters2. Thunder Busters– Another Mashup that blows my mind as Ray Parker Jr.’s Ghostbusters music is used as the base of the track with AC/DC’s Thunderstruck as the vocals of the track. 5/5

3. Stayin’ Alive In The Wall– This is another one of my favorites that follows every rule of Mashups because it molds very wel together as Stayin’ Alive from The Bee Gee is the base of the music while the vocals of Pink Floyd’s Another Brick In The Wall PT 2. The choruses are always fun as they use both choruses from both songs together. 5/5

4. Hallowed Be Thy Enemy– This one I thought was going to be weird, but it combines both music from Public Enemy’s Public Enemy Number One and Iron Maiden’s Hallowed Be Thy Name as the base of the music at first, but then they just use the vocals from Public Enemy with Iron Maiden’s music. 4/5

5. Full Metal Jackson- This mashup may not seem like it makes sense to you right now, but he uses Metallica’s Eye Of The Beholder as the base of the music and the vocals from Michael Jackson’s Smooth Criminal. It’s pretty awesome, editing at it’s best. 4.5/5

6. Back In Blackened– This one is an interesting track as it uses two tracks from Metallica and one from AC/DC. He uses Metallica’s Harvester Of Sorrow and Blackened as the base of the music and he uses the vocals from AC/DC’s Back In Black. 4/5

7. Mashing Up That Hill– I wasn’t very familiar with Kate Bush before I heard this track and I wasn’t too familiar with Sign ‘O’ The Times by Prince as well. He uses Kate Bush’s Running Up That Hill as the base of the music with vocals from Prince. This is actually a really good mashup. I probably would have bought this back in the day if it sounded like this. 4/5

8. Maiden Goes To Bollywood– This is where things get really interesting as far as Mashups are concerned. He uses the music of Sunidhi Chauhan’s Crazy Kiya Re (Dhoom 2) at first on it’s own before it becomes the base of the music while Bruce Dickinson’s vocals from Flight Of Icarus comes in. This is actually really awesome. 5/5

MetallicaGoestoPunjab9. Metallica Goes To Punjab– Another very interesting mashup which takes Metallica and he mashes them with Panjabi MC. He uses both Panjabi MC’s Mundian To Back Ke and Metallica’s The Four Horseman as the base of the music with vocals coming mainly from Panjabi MC. 4.5/5

10. Dissolved by the Water All These Years (Cover Me)– This song sees Wax mashing Björk’s Cover Me with PJ Harvey’s Down By The Water, Tori Amos’s Silent All These Years, and Massive Attack’s Dissolved Girl. 4/5

11. Maiden Goes To Hollywood– This is the way to close out an album and that is do one that is massive. This is the mashing of Iron Maiden with Frankie Goes To Hollywood. He uses Iron Maiden’s The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Seventh Son of a Seventh SonThe Rime of the Ancient Mariner (Live), and Only the Good Die Young, and he mashes it with Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s Welcome to the PleasuredomeRelax (12″ New York Mix)The World is My Oyster, and Relax. It’s absolutely massive, do you think you can handle all this. 5/5

My Final Thoughts– In my opinion, Wax Audio is definitely one of the best in the business at what he does and this first Mashup album is living proof of it. It’s fun to listen to, but not easy to accomplish. It takes a lot of skill and work to make the tracks flow the right way. I am giving the album 4.5 stars out of five for a final grade.

Led Zeppelin 1For this week’s album of the week, I wanted to chose an album that was so iconic that everyone knows who it is no matter what song you play. It can be argued that the self titled debut album from Led Zeppelin (otherwise known to their faithful as Led Zeppelin 1) could be the album that kick started the hard rock and heavy metal genre. I know Sam Dunne explored this theory in many of his documentaries, but one thing that you can’t deny is that their fusion of rock and roll and the blues laid the ground work for what was to be known as hard rock. On the UK album charts, it peaked at number 6 while it peaked at 10 on the Billboard 200 selling 8 million copies (8X Platinum) with 10,025,000 world wide sales (this includes the US sales of 8 million). The legendary band that featured Jimmy Page (Guitars), John Paul Jones (Bass), Robert Plant (Vocals), and the late great John Bonham (Drums) released an album that has awards and accolades that include The Grammy Hall Of Fame and it made the definitive 200 list for the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. The album cover for the record is just as iconic as the music as it features the Hindenburg disaster picture of the crash in New Jersey.

Led Zeppelin Back CoverGood Times Bad Times is one of the most amazing tracks that opens up this iconic record with their in your face approach matched by some amazing drumming from Bonzo. Bonzo was so innovative that drummers would immitate him for years especially since he was repeating a series of two sixteenth-note triplets on a single bass drum. It was so amazing for it’s time that Page once said, “The most stunning thing about the track, of course, is Bonzo’s amazing kick drum. It’s superhuman when you realize he was not playing with double kick. That’s one kick drum! That’s when people started understanding what he was all about.”  Babe I’m Gonna Leave You is Led Zeppelin’s cover of the Anne Bredon penned track that originally featured Joan Baez singing. You Shook Me is the band’s blues tinged cover of the Muddy Waters classic. Dazed And Confused is a song that takes you on a musical journey of ecstasy and is one of a few tracks that features Page playing his guitar with a bow.

led zeppelinYour Time Is Gonna Come is the first track of side b that features Jimmy Page playing an out of tune 10 string steel fender guitar and it features John Paul Jones playing the organ in the beginning of the track. Robert Plant shows off his love for the blues in this track as he sings about a girl who is very unfaithful. Black Mountain Side is a very creative instrumental that featured Page creating his magic with his guitars. Communication Breakdown features a kick ass pounding guitar intro from Jimmy Page before the band explodes into full throttled rock and roll madness. I Can’t Quit You Baby is Led’s  blues rock cover of the Otis Rush classic that was originally written by Willie Dixon. How Many More Times is the ninth and final track on this classic album and it’s an epic 8 and the half minute long song that is divided into sections that were held together by a bolero rhythm named after Beck’s Bolero by Jeff Beck. This is one of my favorite Led Zeppelin albums and a real asset to the history of Hard Rock. That is why I am giving this record five stars out of Five for a final grade.