7/02/2006

Where are they now: Led Zeppelin

Led Zeppelin rose to prominence in the early 70s, formed from the ashes of the Yardbirds. Guitarist Jimmy Page gathered fellow session player John Paul Jones, singer Robert Plant, and drummer John Bonham, vowing to carry on as the New Yardbirds. Later changing their name to Led Zeppelin, the band mixed blues with a sound Page once described as "heavy, but with a lot of light and shade."
Zeppelin toured practically nonstop for the next three years, releasing Led Zeppelin II and III along the way. In 1971 the band released the untitled fourth album, known variously as IV, Zoso, or The Fourth Album. The album contained the classic "Stairway to Heaven."
In 1973, Zeppelin released "Houses of the Holy," followed in 1975 by the double album "Physical Graffiti." Despite their success, Led Zeppelin would never have a song chart higher than number four, which was "Whole Lotta Love" from their second album.
A car crash in 1976 slowed the band’s schedule and allowed them time to record "Presence," and finish work on the concert film "The Song Remains the Same" and its accompanying soundtrack.
The band had just released "In Thru the Out Door" and was planning a world tour when, in 1980, Bonham died from accidental asphyxiation. In December of that year, the group announced they would no longer continue and disbanded.

Of course I mean all of this tongue-in-cheek. Everyone knows who Led Zeppelin is. What’s fun to me is the series of recordings the surviving members have made. Some are good – even approaching Zep-type good, while other, well, not so much. What I’ve picked for today’s post are a couple of rarities and not-so-often heard tracks.

The Honeydrippers was Robert Plant’s return to his blues roots. In 1984 he, and guests including Page, original Yardbird Jeff Beck, Nile Rodgers, and keyboardist Paul Shaffer recorded the EP "The Honeydrippers, Volume One." "Sea of Love" was the biggest hit. What I’ve attached here is "I Got a Woman," a cover of the Ray Charles song.
I Got a Woman.mp3

Death Wish II, the second in Charles Bronson’s vigilante series, was generally panned by critics. Rotten Tomatoes.com cites reviewers who say, "All the blood and none of the brain" (Scott Weinberg, EFILMCRITIC.COM), and "The latest in our continuing series, 'Why The Hell Was This Sequel Made?'" (Rob Vaux, FLIPSIDE MOVIE EMPORIUM).
One bright spot, though, was the soundtrack. Jimmy Page recorded this shortly after Zep disbanded. The track here, "Jam Sandwich," is an instrumental featuring Page on guitars, Dave Mattacks on drums, and Dave Paton playing bass. Page’s guitar sound is easily recognizable.
Jam Sandwich.mp3

Page’s distinctive sound is also heard on "Spaghetti Junction," from the Scream for Help soundtrack arranged in 1984 by John Paul Jones. The film starred, uh, nobody famous, and was directed by Michael Winner, who had directed Death Wish II. As far as I can find, this is the only thing Jones has released since Zeppelin disbanded. Jones and Page are the only musicians on this track, although Madeline Bell and Yes front man Jon Anderson do vocal duties on other tracks.
Spaghetti Junction.mp3

I thought about also including the 20-minute version of Moby Dick from "How the West was Won," but decided against it. Had he lived, Bonzo would have just turned 58 on May 31. Let us just remember one of the greatest drummers ever: John Bonham, John Henry Bonham....

1 Comments:

At 9:47 PM , Blogger el bobov said...

Im not all that much of a Zep fan actually but i think John Paul Jones did an album with Diamanda Galas didnt he?

 

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