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The Rover

Weakest Studio Album Opening Track

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8 hours ago, nick2632 said:

Hmm this is a bit tough when thinking about what song on the album would have made a better opener. The other 6 songs on ITTOD would have made very awkward openers, Wearing & Tearing would have been the only other option but In The Evening is a perfect opener with the extended moment before a classic Page riff.

I'll have to say For Your Love would been a better opener on Presence.

Not picking on you but I don't get the love for Wearing and Tearing imo it's crap..

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Posted (edited)

Wearing & Tearing is a good song and like it.  I had always thought it was a live song, as if it were performed at Knebworth or something.  Can almost see it performed at a huge festival in a way.

I realize it was finally performed at Knebworth 1990, but the song always felt to me as a Big Festival song performed live

 

 

 

Edited by SymphonyX

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Here is why "Achilles Last Stand" works for "Presence". It's a journey song, so it like the opening of a book. The opening arpeggios softly enter and gradually get louder preparing you for the opening slam-bam of the song. The album was released on the cusp of April and the very first words of the song are:

"It was an April morning when they told us we should go

And as I smiled you turned to me and said 'how could we say no?'"

Right then and there, the song and album hook you for the ride. It's a brilliant opening and no other Presence song would have worked as well.

As for those of you carping about the opening to Led Zeppelin IV, let me remind you of the context in which that album was released.

In the aftermath of Led Zeppelin III, the clueless rock media was full of "Have Led Zeppelin gone soft?" articles. Jimmy Page was fed up by the time they started Led Zeppelin IV and he had a very specific reason for sequencing the tracks on Led Zeppelin IV the way he did.

He wanted the album to start off with the two hardest rockers so as to dispel any doubts about whether Led Zeppelin had gone all CS & N on their fans. That is why "Black Dog" and "Rock and Roll" open the album. And it worked.

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Posted (edited)

Achilles is a good song and kinda solid.   For me the song does not start getting good journey wise until the 4 minute mark.  The rest is kinda flat in the beginning and pretty certain there gotta be other mixes in the vaults or ideas that would be much better when comparing.

 

The fade in does sound good and in a way symbolizes the long return from their absence ?  What is the whole reason behind the name Presence?   The song itself does not start at the beginning.  It's like an existing Presence that already has been there all along and fades right in. 

 

It's really weird,  Custard Pie compared to the great openings of other albums, this would definitely rank the least.  But I think Achilles is better but at same time being least favorite would still be perfect and nothing wrong as the song itself would represent the long absence of Zeppelin but the Spirit and Presence was always there and perfect least favorite opening song as it represents the return. 

Edited by SymphonyX

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7 hours ago, JTM said:

Not picking on you but I don't get the love for Wearing and Tearing imo it's crap..

High five. Worst song on Coda. And how is it called "a response to punk"? Calling that punk is laughable.

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On 6/2/2018 at 2:52 AM, porgie66 said:

Black Dog may be the most questionable choice but I wouldn't say it's weak. Rock and Roll would've been a better choice  to open LZ4. I agree also about Achilles not being the best opener...I think NFBM would've been a better choice. But,  none are weak....just maybe questionable. I dunno. 

When I recorded IV on cassette for the car, I put R&R first, followed by Black Dog. Right, I got that...none of the songs are "weak". Just some are "less strong" than others... The strategy being that you open an album with the stronger, or strongest material.

On 6/2/2018 at 5:50 AM, Mook said:

In The Evening by a country mile.

Of the songs to choose from from ITTOD, I think ITE is the best choice to open the LP.

22 hours ago, dandak said:

Strongest Achilles Last stand. Weakest for me, GTBT. But then I MUCH prefer the mighty Zep from the mid 70s than the earlier stuff.

Being an older fan, I much prefer the earlier stuff, but I love the later stuff too!!

As for ALS, I always thought that that was for 12 year olds. It never impacted me they was it seemed to blow the minds of pre-teens.

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On 6/2/2018 at 3:00 AM, porgie66 said:

I think NFBM would maybe have been a better choice to open Presence. But, who cares what I think?? 😄

Well, who knows, but this is a Forum where you get to express your opinion, and see if others agree or disagree with your opinion. Isn't that neat.

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On 6/2/2018 at 9:06 AM, the chase said:

There isn’t a weak one in the bunch. Love them all. 

Top down strongest to the “weakest”. It’s pretty much a 5 way tie on the top.

Whole Lotta Love

Good Times Bad Times

Black Dog

TSRTS

Immigrant Song

Achilles Last Stand

In The Evening

Custard Pie

We’re Gonna Groove

 

I really wasn't trying to pit all opening songs against each other, but hey, that's okay.

What I was trying to do, is noting the songs included within each album, which song chosen to open the album was the least strongest choice, once again, from the songs to choose from.

I think Custard Pie is too commercial to open PG. It rocks, but it doesn't rock hard enough to be the opener. I usually skip CP when listening to PG.

As for LZ II, I think they should have opened with HB. But WLL does just fine.

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On 6/1/2018 at 5:42 PM, Strider said:

There's only one answer. "We're Gonna Groove" from CODA by a country mile.

"The Rover" is a great tune, better than "Custard Pie", no question. But the nature of its slinky, spacious opening and the serpentine guitar solo that closes it, makes it the perfect link between "Custard Pie" and "In My Time of Dying".

"Custard Pie", with its emphatic opening riff, is a better way to start the album.

Personally I think “Wanton Song” would’ve been the best opener for PG. A punch directly to the face.

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Seems to be two separate debates here:

1. Weakest opening track out of all the albums.

2. Should another track have been selected as the opener on a specific album.

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, The Rover said:

I really wasn't trying to pit all opening songs against each other, but hey, that's okay.

What I was trying to do, is noting the songs included within each album, which song chosen to open the album was the least strongest choice, once again, from the songs to choose from.

I think Custard Pie is too commercial to open PG. It rocks, but it doesn't rock hard enough to be the opener. I usually skip CP when listening to PG.

As for LZ II, I think they should have opened with HB. But WLL does just fine.

They took some heat at the time for Houses Of The Holy not being heavy enough overall  ...much like, as Strider pointed out, they did earlier for LZ3 and later for In Through The Out Door.

Opening PG with 2 pretty heavy songs like CP and The Rover I think was also a response to that criticism ...similar to the 4th album opening with 2 in your face cuts.  

I’ve foolishly second guessed Page’s decisions in the past about song selection. Why would he include The Crunge but not Houses on Houses?? But he sure as hell knows how to open an album..

I also didn’t intend to pit openers against each other .. but I did.  As soon as I throw out a favorite list... questions and a lot of second guessing pop in my head. That’s why I said it was a 5 way tie ..but even then.. I love We’re Gonna Groove. It was a one time show opener. A strong one at that..But, compared to the mammoth openers on the 8 others.. it’s weakest.  

Edited by the chase

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5 hours ago, Boleskinner said:

Seems to be two separate debates here:

1. Weakest opening track out of all the albums.

2. Should another track have been selected as the opener on a specific album.

Agreed, things did shift from one to two. 

No comment on one.

With regards to two I do believe Achilles Last Stand could have been best served as the final track on side one or first track of side two.

Also think The Wanton Song would have made for an awesome opener, as stated above, even though Custard Pie does a great job at it. 

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The more I think about it the more I like Custard Pie as the opener for PG. The Rover sounds like the obvious choice at first, but then you gotta realize that it's a "leftover" track and the sound quality really isn't on par with the newly recorded songs. Custard Pie sets the tone for the album and isn't too much or too little. It's a good introduction to the album.

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6 hours ago, gibsonfan159 said:

The more I think about it the more I like Custard Pie as the opener for PG. The Rover sounds like the obvious choice at first, but then you gotta realize that it's a "leftover" track and the sound quality really isn't on par with the newly recorded songs. Custard Pie sets the tone for the album and isn't too much or too little. It's a good introduction to the album.

It is a good opener, but when compared to the rest of the true studio albums, it just starts the album with less punch, IMO.  Still love It - but the rest of PG’s songs from that recording session just have more sonic punch. Strange they never played it seeing that it’s the opening song on an epic album.

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41 minutes ago, Walter said:

It is a good opener, but when compared to the rest of the true studio albums, it just starts the album with less punch, IMO.  Still love It - but the rest of PG’s songs from that recording session just have more sonic punch. Strange they never played it seeing that it’s the opening song on an epic album.

i saw Jimmy play it on The Outrider tour and it sounded great! Huge Wah Wah sound..

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All I know is that every time I bought a Led Zeppelin album I never felt the need to skip past the opening track.

Until "Coda". The actual live version from Royal Albert Hall would have been a much better choice than the antiseptic sound check version with the horrid octavider overdubs during the solo.

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1 hour ago, the chase said:

i saw Jimmy play it on The Outrider tour and it sounded great! Huge Wah Wah sound..

Same here, plus plant/page did it as well as Crowes/page. Awesome song live!

1 hour ago, Strider said:

All I know is that every time I bought a Led Zeppelin album I never felt the need to skip past the opening track.

Until "Coda". The actual live version from Royal Albert Hall would have been a much better choice than the antiseptic sound check version with the horrid octavider overdubs during the solo.

Agreed. I always enjoed We’re Gonna Groove as a show opener.

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Posted (edited)

lol, we should start giving out Participation Trophies now.

Who the heck would buy a fresh new album and just skip over the first track ?  Some songs get boring, especially if these Corporate Pigs play the heck out of stuff every other hour on the radio or television.

Edited by SymphonyX

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23 minutes ago, SymphonyX said:

lol, we should start giving out Participation Trophies now.

Who the heck would buy a fresh new album and just skip over the first track ?  Some songs get boring, especially if these Corporate Pigs play the heck out of stuff every other hour on the radio or television.

Good grief. Just because radio played the hell out of "Whole Lotta Love" and "Black Dog" does not mean they were bad album openers. I am fine with the eight studio albums the way they are. Jimmy picked them correctly. I am done with this topic.

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I'm sorry to offend.  It's a real touchy subject but as Rover already pointed out in regard to - to pit all opening songs against each other.  That's very difficult and like performing neurological surgery.   As for me, my list constantly changes.  I could draft up a list of songs and in 5 years that list order will totally change.

I'll go on record as saying I dont hate any songs, every song has a special place in my heart, but many people agree some songs are better than others.   Immigrant Song is so Animalistic and so easy to rank higher as a favorite compared to Custard Pie.   But once you get to The Song Remains the Same you get stumped trying to choose but still both songs top out over Custard Pie.

Constant repeating songs all the time ware out.  It's even joked about in Wayne's World saying No Stairway at the Music Store.  

I think Jimmy did a great job with picking songs.  But at the same time these Corporate Monsters forced the whole band to make decisions at last moment or constant pressure into things.  At the end of the day we all should realize Corporations do not have peoples mind really in their best interest.  They personally screwed me over beyond any recognition.  I guess that's how the cookie crumbles in life, and they have terms for all of it.  CEO's get Golden Parachutes while the VA Hospitals get fences put in the parking garages so our former troops don't jump to their death and to cover up the humility in the press.

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17 minutes ago, SymphonyX said:

Constant repeating songs all the time ware out.  It's even joked about in Wayne's World saying No Stairway at the Music Store.

I have worn out on WLL and HB, and STH. I 've just mined all the juice out of them possible.
But, no worries... there are still plenty of Zep songs that I enjoy listening to, from their 1st album, to their last.

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Posted (edited)
On ‎6‎/‎2‎/‎2018 at 7:44 AM, gibsonfan159 said:

Sometimes I wonder if the sides of Presence accidentally got switched post production and they just went with it. Then again, Page is such a control freak that I doubt he would've let that happen.

That's an Interesting Observation!  ...And "In Through the Out Door" became somewhat like that!:

  1. In the Evening has a droning intro like Nobody's Fault But Mine, both that start an album side
  2. Southbound Suarez is a fun , light little tune like Candy Store Rock, both second tracks
  3. Achilles Last Stand opening Side Two is akin to Carouselambra opening Side Two, both big, sprawling epics (just my opinion, maaaan.)
  4. Silly--albeit enjoyable--tunes like Hot Dog and Royal Orleans closes a side
  5. A slow, bluesy number closes out opposite side:  Tea for One and I'm Gonna Crawl

Back to topic, I used to hate Custard Pie as an opener, but I later "saw the light" after hearing the Black Crowes/Jimmy version.

 

Edited by dpat

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On 6/3/2018 at 9:19 PM, The Rover said:

Being an older fan, I much prefer the earlier stuff, but I love the later stuff too!!

As for ALS, I always thought that that was for 12 year olds. It never impacted me they was it seemed to blow the minds of pre-teens.

Haha thanks! But I'm probably older than you. I was 16 when ALS was released, not a preteen!! But thank you again, it would be nice to be 5 or 6 years younger right now!

Frankly while I LOVE their early albums too, I just cannot stand listening to their early concerts. Sometimes I am actually embarrassed FOR them when they do that weird stuff I cant stand.

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On 6/3/2018 at 9:19 PM, The Rover said:

As for ALS, I always thought that that was for 12 year olds. It never impacted me they was it seemed to blow the minds of pre-teens.

HA!!! As a teenager, ALS was my ALL TIME FAVORITE Led Zep song. I hadn't listened to it in ages and then put it on a couple of years ago and felt like, "Oh, yeah. I like it" but definitely not at the obsessive, playing it over and over again and memorizing the lyrics level like I did 30 years ago!

I think a really hard part of producing an album must be deciding the order of the tracks. After coming up with the songs, working together on the lyrics & arrangements, laying down all of the different parts, producing, editing, etc, etc, it must be difficult to then try to figure out how they all should flow and ESPECIALLY what song should be the opener. Come to think of it, until this thread, I never really gave this part of the music making process much thought! 

Since I really love all Zep tunes (except for Tea For One!), I don't think any one in particular is a weak opener. I agree with the posters that said ALS is an odd one to open an album with. The only other track on Presence that could work in the opening spot is Nobody's Fault But Mine, but honestly, it could go either way. I feel the same way about In The Evening on ITTOD. I like it; it's one of my favorite songs AND albums but I think they could have gone with Fool in the Rain or South Bound Suarez to open ITTOD with equal result. 

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1 hour ago, dandak said:

Haha thanks! But I'm probably older than you. I was 16 when ALS was released, not a preteen!! But thank you again, it would be nice to be 5 or 6 years younger right now!

Frankly while I LOVE their early albums too, I just cannot stand listening to their early concerts. Sometimes I am actually embarrassed FOR them when they do that weird stuff I cant stand.

I was 20 in 1976. In the year I was 16 (and your were 12), LZ IV was released. It's impossible for me to say if I would have reacted differently to ALS at 16??

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