Posts Tagged ‘Robert Plant’

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.

Advertisements

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.

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.

stp 1I grew up a huge fan of the 1980’s metal scene so let’s just say that I was a little disappointed when grunge showed up. I didn’t understand the fact that the bands looked like they weren’t having fun and I’m sorry, but at 10 years old fun is the only thing you care about. I didn’t understand the negative side of life that was being portrayed through these grunge bands, but there was one band that I liked out of all of them. Cue in a band that goes by the name of Stone Temple Pilots to non-fans, but STP to it’s many loyal and faithful fans. The band which was made up of vocalist Scott Weiland (Vocals), the brothers Dean (Guitar) and Robert DeLeo (Bass), and Eric Kretz (Drums) made up the boys from San Diego, California who were here to prove that rock wasn’t dead. They released their amazing debut album Core on September 29, 1992 to which the world was changed. The album peaked at number one on the Billboard Heetseekers charts and even made it to number three on the Billboard top 200 while the album is currently certified 8X platinum.

stp 4Dead & Bloated kicks off the album with it’s epic 70’s rock esque big sound that sounds like it explodes out of your speakers. Weiland’s vocal style and harmonies are just hypnotizing as it reminds of you greats like Bowie or even Plant. Sex Type Thing follows and it doesn’t hold back as the band launches into overdrive in a track that weiland described as being about abuse of power and how man treats women. Wicked Garden is probably one of the most famous STP tracks that deals with the loss of innocence and purity. No Memory‘s Zeppelinesque sound is an instrumental intro that was written by Dean DeLeo. Sin runs on a different pace than the previous track of it’s Zeppelin like riff as Scott sings about violent and ugly relationships. When talking about the lyrics on the album Weiland was once quoted saying, “I feel very strongly that all individuals, regardless of age, race, creed or sexual preference, should have the freedom to exercise their rights as human beings to enjoy life, pursue what they want and feel comfortable about who they are. I guess I tend to find the darker sides of life more attractive than the yellows and oranges. I know its something that I relate to when I listen to music.”

stp 3Naked Sunday has a awesome drum build up that fades in with the music exploding out of your speakers. Weiland has said that the lyrics are “about organized religion. About people who tell others what to do and what to believe. They switch off people’s minds and control the masses. It gives me a feeling of isolation, when I think about it. Organized religion does not view everyone as equals.” Creep is the acoustic classic that everyone in the world knows from this album and can instantly sing along to when you hear the first lyric. Piece Of Pie is next and we return to that big rock sound the band was giving us right front he start. Plush was the first single on the record that I remember and according to a source the song structure was based on Robert’s love of Ragtime music. The lyrics are about a story Weiland had read about a girl that was found dead outside of San Diego. Wet My Bed was the first song ever written for the album and it was an improv session that occurred when Scott and Robert were in the studio alone. If you listen closely, producer Brendan O’Brien is the voice at the end that says “Okay, Now What?”

stp 2Crackerman is the next track and it explodes out of the speakers like a freight train going 1000. It’s an amazing hard rock song that reminds you of the greats of yesteryear. The beginning of Where The River Goes reminds me of Zeppelin’s Where The Levee Breaks, but the band quickly carves it’s own blues infused identity to the song while Weiland continues to woo you. Robert DeLeo once explained the idea behind Core’s structure as “You know how when you listen to a Led Zeppelin album, you listen to the entire album, not just the odd song? We wanted to make a record like that. We wanted to create a vibe which would run right through the whole album.” The band did an amazing job keeping you glues to the album as every track is just amazing. It’s still one of my all time favorite rock albums from the 90’s. I am going to give the album four and the half stars out of five for a final grade.

File:SabbathBorn.jpgThe album I chose for this week’s album of the week celebrated it’s 30TH anniversary on August 7TH and in my opinion is the most underrated album ever released by Black Sabbath. On August 7, 1983, Black Sabbath released their 11TH studio album Born Again which featured legendary Deep Purple vocalist Ian Gillian. The band was originally supposed to be called Born Again, but their manager Don Arden suggested that the band used the Black Sabbath name because it was more recognizable. Before settling on Gillan, the band had considered other candidates like David Coverdale (Deep Purple/Whitesnake) and Robert Plant (Led Zeppelin) to replace Ronnie James Dio, but decided that Gillan was the best vocalist out there that was available. The album also marked the return of original Sabbath drummer Bill Ward who was living a new sober life. There was also a lot of controversy surrounding the album cover that the guys chose. The album cover was designed by Steve ‘Krusher’ Joule and was taken from a black and white photo of a baby that had appeared in a magazine. Bill Ward hated the album cover and had even said that Ian Gillan had vomited when he saw the cover for the first time even though Iommi approved the cover. Don Arden, who hated Ozzy Osbourne for marrying his daughter Sharon, would tease Ozzy by saying that his children resembled the baby on the cover.

born againThe first track on the album was called Trashed and the song was about how Ian Gillan crashed Bill Ward’s car during a alcohol fueled race around the grounds of the recording studio. It was also one of the 15 songs to make the PMRC’s Filthy Fifteen list. Stonehenge is just a weird and eerie intro track to the next song complete with a heartbeat and some soundscapes. Disturbing The Priest starts like a bat out of hell with Ian Gillan giving a menacing laugh. The song contains the best of both worlds for both Deep Purple and Black Sabbath fans with the bluesy doom metal sound and some amazing, epic vocal screams from Gillan. The Dark is another intro track with some weird sounds, but it leads into one of my favorite tracks on the record. Zero The Hero is the prototypical Sabbath doom metal track that the band was known for doing with those deep notes that you feel in your guts when Butler and Iommi are together. Plus the track has an amazing guitar solo and it ends side one of your vinyl or cassette.

born again 2Digital Bitch shows that Tony Iommi can shred with the best of them and it kind of has a Deep Purple feel to it. Born Again, the title track, is very bluesy at heart and Gillan’s voice is just amazing throughout the whole track. Hot Line showcases  the fact the band can write a real hard rock song while still making it cool enough to be a Sabbath song. Keep It Warm‘s sleazy blues like ways close out the most underrated Sabbath album known to man. I know a lot of different people have talked crap about the album cover, but I think it’s kind of iconic at this point in the game. One last cool fact before I give this a final grade is that the fact Sabbath couldn’t use the life size replicas of Stonehenge because they wouldn’t fit into arenas inspired a scene in This Is Spinal Tap. For a final grade, I am going to give the album 3.8 stars out of Five. If you’re a fan of both Black Sabbath and Deep Purple then you need to check out this album.