Posts Tagged ‘Led Zeppelin’

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