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Chris Smith

I know I'm not the first to say that JPJ is way underrated..

20 posts in this topic

But it's fucking true. He is perhaps the most important element of the band and so easy to take for granted. He not only plays bass but is a kickass keys player and can even play mandolin, guitar, etc. if needed. He is a true musician. I am a guitar player but if I were a bass player I would easily see him as a master over Flea, Les Claypool, etc. 

Everyone hails every other member of Led Zeppelin and it's almost "default" to sort of acknowledge John Paul Jones as an afterthought. I can see why he was upset with being left out of the Unledded sessions.

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I think most have come to realize what an amazing musical talent John Paul Jones is. True, he was overshadowed in Led Zeppelin. But, Much of that was due to his own personality and approach. He chose to keep a low profile on and off stage. He wasn't up there doing cartwheels. He deliberately changed his appearance before each tour. He always played what was necessary for the song. No more no less. The consumate pro. 

IMO, he is the one member who not only fully maintained his musical abilities from the Zeppelin days, he's even better now. 

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His arranging contributions to the song constructions was seriously under acknowledged.  On one hand, had he had a stronger personality he would probably have received more writing credits, but then again, this would probably have caused consternation with Pagey who wasn't keen on sharing writing credits with anyone unless they contributed what he felt was actual words or music.

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Even though I have always felt the same in regard to Jonesy, it was not until the 1999 Zooma tour that I fully grasped what this man was truly capable of. Here was a guy who played bass leads which would make Chris Squire, Les Claypool, Charles Mingus, and Geddy Lee weep with envy. Then switch to pedal steel guitar and whip out a blinding solo and single-handedly managing When the Levee Breaks and other Zeppelin tunes which, if I were Page, would seriously think Jones was just as talented on guitar as him except more consistently so. Now on to keys to play beautiful, complex but emotive compositions. Still not satisfied, time for the mandolin and a pedal bass.

Its one thing to play numerous instruments, its quite another to play them better than just about anyone else in your genre AND still make it sound beautiful, emotional, and effortless at the same time. Musician, composer, arranger, bon vivant, Jones is the whole package plus the buffet.

Underrated? I would say calling Jones underrated is an understatement.

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3 hours ago, IpMan said:

Even though I have always felt the same in regard to Jonesy, it was not until the 1999 Zooma tour that I fully grasped what this man was truly capable of. Here was a guy who played bass leads which would make Chris Squire, Les Claypool, Charles Mingus, and Geddy Lee weep with envy. Then switch to pedal steel guitar and whip out a blinding solo and single-handedly managing When the Levee Breaks and other Zeppelin tunes which, if I were Page, would seriously think Jones was just as talented on guitar as him except more consistently so. Now on to keys to play beautiful, complex but emotive compositions. Still not satisfied, time for the mandolin and a pedal bass.

Its one thing to play numerous instruments, its quite another to play them better than just about anyone else in your genre AND still make it sound beautiful, emotional, and effortless at the same time. Musician, composer, arranger, bon vivant, Jones is the whole package plus the buffet.

Underrated? I would say calling Jones underrated is an understatement.

Let's not get carried away here... :P

Seriously though, when you're talking about players of that caliber, no need to put one over the other. All are top-tier.

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Posted (edited)

16 hours ago, IpMan said:

Even though I have always felt the same in regard to Jonesy, it was not until the 1999 Zooma tour that I fully grasped what this man was truly capable of. Here was a guy who played bass leads which would make Chris Squire, Les Claypool, Charles Mingus, and Geddy Lee weep with envy. Then switch to pedal steel guitar and whip out a blinding solo and single-handedly managing When the Levee Breaks and other Zeppelin tunes which, if I were Page, would seriously think Jones was just as talented on guitar as him except more consistently so. Now on to keys to play beautiful, complex but emotive compositions. Still not satisfied, time for the mandolin and a pedal bass.

Its one thing to play numerous instruments, its quite another to play them better than just about anyone else in your genre AND still make it sound beautiful, emotional, and effortless at the same time. Musician, composer, arranger, bon vivant, Jones is the whole package plus the buffet.

Underrated? I would say calling Jones underrated is an understatement.

Whoa! Now wait just a minute. Yes, JPJ is a legend and all, but Geddy Lee and Les Claypool are by no means sub par. Like Sath brilliantly stated, this is not a contest. All of these guys are top notch. No need to downplay any of these legendary bassists' capabilities, please. 

Edited by Kiwi_Zep_Fan87

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14 hours ago, Sathington Willoughby said:

Let's not get carried away here... :P

Seriously though, when you're talking about players of that caliber, no need to put one over the other. All are top-tier.

HA!!!! I put Les in there just to get your goat Sath. I knew that would rial ya up a bit :thumbsup:

In all honesty though you are correct, when you get to that level there really is no best per se, just different.

I think I need some Big Brown Beaver right about now...

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59 minutes ago, Kiwi_Zep_Fan87 said:

Whoa! Now wait just a minute. Yes, JPJ is a legend and all, but Geddy Lee and Les Claypool are by no means sub par. Like Sath brilliantly stated, this is not a contest. All of these guys are top notch. No need to downplay any of these legendary bassists' capabilities, please. 

Only joking Kiwi, after all, I don't think anyone could make Charles Mingus weep with envy. I kinda put that line in there to see if Sath was paying attention. All good fun.

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I feel like even though JPJ comes off as possibly passive... I still imagine he could throw his weight around within the confines of Zep but just didnt care for the spotlight as much as the other bands members as other forum members have pointed out. Kudos to JPJ. He has though thrown some 'tude when it comes to how good Zep were musically. One of his touchy points.

It cracked me up one time when he talked about doing the same drugs and pushing his limits but just being able to keep it together... (Didnt want to put quotes on that one in case i misheard)

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4 hours ago, IpMan said:

HA!!!! I put Les in there just to get your goat Sath. I knew that would rial ya up a bit :thumbsup:

In all honesty though you are correct, when you get to that level there really is no best per se, just different.

I think I need some Big Brown Beaver right about now...

 

4 hours ago, IpMan said:

Only joking Kiwi, after all, I don't think anyone could make Charles Mingus weep with envy. I kinda put that line in there to see if Sath was paying attention. All good fun.

haha great bait mate. :P ;)troll-face-smiley-emoticon.png

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On 6/11/2017 at 10:14 PM, IpMan said:

Only joking Kiwi, after all, I don't think anyone could make Charles Mingus weep with envy. I kinda put that line in there to see if Sath was paying attention. All good fun.

LOL! Cheers, mate! Like Sath said, great bait! :lol:;) 

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23 hours ago, cosmic_juice said:

I feel like even though JPJ comes off as possibly passive... I still imagine he could throw his weight around within the confines of Zep.

I'd like to think that was true but I know Robert didn't necessarily think too highly of the pop oriented work JPJ had done prior to Led Zeppelin. The same Robert who years later would be the driving force between All of My Love.

I doubt JPJ was the best at any instrument but he was very multi-faceted and could score strings. While never a driving force to the music LZ made, it was something that allowed a song like Kashmir take on added dimensions as he could think through music from multiple perspectives. Jimmy always seemed to know and understand the value of this, sometimes I wonder if it made Robert feel a touch inadequate as a songwriter, specially in the early days of the band. Jimmy and JPJ had a shared musical vocabulary from their session backgrounds that Robert wouldn't have.

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Well actually probably for the last 10-15 yrs it's come out that Jones wrote a lot of riffs that Jimmy took credit for or fans assumed Jimmy wrote. Since Zep, what legendary riffs has Page come up with ?? Some interesting stuff on DW2 and

Outrider, " Crackback"( Jones on bass !!!). But no Jones, what happened to the riffs ?? Also I must say Chris Squire and

Jones are a few notches above Claypool and Lee. Squire and Jones played a 360 degree of music, and were just as much

visionaries as virtuosos. Rush and Primus etc. were great bands, but not really incorporating all different styles of music

from around the world. Big difference.

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Posted (edited)

I tend to think of musicians who are as talented as Jones are there because they love playing music. Of course he probably loved the money, (who wouldn't) but fame is not something he was really comfortable with or really after. Just my speculation. Call him underrated and he could care less. The dude is essential to Zeppelin and the band would have been completely something else without him.

Edited by Tremelo

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John Paul Jones is one of the greatest rock bassplayers there's ever been. We all know this. Out there, they do underestimate him, presumably due to his relatively low profile compared to the others. But most people would have had a lower profile compared to Page, Plant and Bonham! I thought Diamanda Galas made a very incisive comment when she said that JPJ's bassplaying 'propelled  the music' - that's so true and it does so in a way few other rock bassplayers have managed. Could be his Motown influences, I dunno. Diamanda also said that she and Jonesy got along so well because 'we're both bastards'! That reminded me of when Jason was asked if JPJ 'really was a lovely man' - 'Bonham looks baffled' was the response. So I'm sure Jonesy can be as tetchy as Jimmy and have as much tude as Robert - and so he should, he's earned the right. He can do what he likes - he's John Paul Jones FFS! :)

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On 6/10/2017 at 7:15 PM, IpMan said:

Even though I have always felt the same in regard to Jonesy, it was not until the 1999 Zooma tour that I fully grasped what this man was truly capable of. Here was a guy who played bass leads which would make Chris Squire, Les Claypool, Charles Mingus, and Geddy Lee weep with envy. Then switch to pedal steel guitar and whip out a blinding solo and single-handedly managing When the Levee Breaks and other Zeppelin tunes which, if I were Page, would seriously think Jones was just as talented on guitar as him except more consistently so. Now on to keys to play beautiful, complex but emotive compositions. Still not satisfied, time for the mandolin and a pedal bass.

Its one thing to play numerous instruments, its quite another to play them better than just about anyone else in your genre AND still make it sound beautiful, emotional, and effortless at the same time. Musician, composer, arranger, bon vivant, Jones is the whole package plus the buffet.

Underrated? I would say calling Jones underrated is an understatement.

I've always been intrigued by Zooma. Think I will have to get it now.

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2 hours ago, Chris Smith said:

I've always been intrigued by Zooma. Think I will have to get it now.

I highly recommend it.

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When I first listened to Zooma, I was struck not only by the subtlety of Jones ability on various instruments and in many styles.

What was striking as well was Jones really cranking away on certain songs. And , I could very well see that whomever Robert

or Jimmy had utilized as a bass player since Zep, had very little on Jones, with all due respect. A tremendous shame Jimmy

and Jones can't/couldn't put something together. But I think Jimmy knows he couldn't just coast thru such a project, Jones

would certainly be playing some demanding ideas and material, not just extending Zep based ideas. Although I would love

to hear what besides the Zep material Jimmy and John Paul may have been jamming on in 2008.

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I just don't understand after a great debut solo record, zooma......why would he then decide to "sing" on thunderthief.....and quickly ruin his whole solo career? Why...just why

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Yes, JPJ is very underrated! very talented musician

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