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Canadianzepper

That first song you heard and you said to yourself "man, that Jimmy Page is a genius"

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Summer is here, and I reminisce today about one of those "moments".  So many songs obviously followed over time but that moment for me came when listening to Going to California.  Which is why I am quite happy that there is an instrumental on the remastered as I really appreciated it all over again as I did when I first heard it, in many ways I enjoy it more.  Allows me to just hear Jimmy and JPJ put it together for 3 and a half minutes.

Anyways, something about the way the song melded so perfectly, just an angelic harmony of sound.  I felt the same way when I heard Little Wing for the first time, just a characteristic that one can't always put their finger on, but when you hear it you just shake your head and say "its just beyond what I could even fathom anyone else constructing.  Pure genius".  Just twists and turns but always making sense and never losing the overall feel of the song.  Perfection.  I've felt the same of other songs, and they each have that moment for me in some form, but Going to California was that initial moment when I knew Jimmy was from another planet.

Any of you have that realization after hearing a particular song?

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Over The Hills & Far Away.

Heard it on a tape someone gave me circa '95 & with that intro that was me hooked.

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Pretty much the first songs that was played for me as a kid, while very nicely stoned - thanks to a really great mate who loved Zep. I hadn't really heard them before outside of Stairway (radio play).

WLL from TSRTS and IMTOD off Physical Graffiti.

I just couldn't believe how good it was. Once I got TSRTS and started listening to it, the same happened with SIBLY. The emotion and feeling Jimmy is able to convey I have always thought puts him apart from anyone else. Its perfection. I haven't heard another artist - individual or band, that comes close to being able to convey something like Led Zeppelin - Jimmy in particular - do. And IMHO he never lost that right up until the tragic end. He still delivered. They all did.

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I've had that moment so many times over the last 11-12 years of constantly listening to Led Zeppelin that it's hard for me to remember the first time. I've had it on so many songs of theirs. I feel like when I first listened to Led Zeppelin I for the first time it was Dazed and Confused that really made me appreciate the band even more than I had prior to that (when I would just hear Rock N' Roll or Whole Lotta Love here and there on the radio). The inclusion of the bow and the way the song slows down and builds back up in a climax gave me a significant moment of intense appreciation. It made me really interested in hearing all I could by Led Zeppelin but I don't think it quite gave me that moment you describe. But the energy is so deep on that track, especially when you first intently listen to it or haven't listened to it in a while. When that transitioned into 'Your Time is Gonna Come' I was even more amazed with the enchanting beauty of that track and the way it went from a heavier song to another track that was so beautiful and enthralling. Two stark differences energetically. Most bands don't do that. I think it especially impressed me as they opened the album that way with Good Times Bad Times into Babe. Once again most heavier bands never pull those changes the right way and make it sound so organic and timeless.

I know for a fact the first time I ever thought "Led Zeppelin is genius, and by far the best and most important band ever" which was synonymous with "Jimmy Page is an absolute genius" was the first time I watched their show at the Royal Albert Hall on the Led Zeppelin DVD. It was actually one of the first bits of Led Zeppelin merchandise I was given. The energy on that performance is so intense it just sucks you in from the start with We're Gonna Grove. That show (regardless of set list, I mean most of their material wasn't released yet) is just as good as any other great performance by them on any tour. For instance I think it's just as good as Blueberry Hill but just in a slightly different way.

It was that show that really inspired me to get all of their albums which then further confirmed that moment of "Jimmy is genius, Led Zeppelin is the most important band ever." Once having all of the albums I had that moment many times. But prior to that I believe I only had Led Zeppelin I and MAYBE led zeppelin II. Both of which had already amazed me and made me think of Jimmy as a genius. But that performance at the Royal Albert Hall hit me so much harder that it honestly changed my life and my outlook at both music and guitar, that's how amazed at the performance I was; it made me appreciate them significantly more than I had prior to that.

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When I first heard that Heartbreaker guitar break in about 1974, I was hooked!  I'd never heard anything like that...

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8 minutes ago, chef free said:

When I first heard that Heartbreaker guitar break in about 1974, I was hooked!  I'd never heard anything like that...

This. To have all other instruments drop out was and still is genius.

That and the layering of guitars on Achilles Last Stand. I would love a proper 5.1 mix of ALS to give the guitars a little more room just so I could appreciate each one a little more. 

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3 hours ago, chef free said:

When I first heard that Heartbreaker guitar break in about 1974, I was hooked!  I'd never heard anything like that...

 

I think Eddie Van Halen was mesmerized by this solo too, (or Jack White, I forget now).  It is said to have influenced his tapping style and the song Eruption).

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In 1969, I was not aware enough of what was out there musically regarding bands, and songs on albums, to know that what I heard on LZ II was unusual or exceptional, to garner a "genius" designation. But, I did very much like what I experienced from LZ II, and I latched onto that, because I had never heard anything like that before.

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4 hours ago, Canadianzepper said:

 

I think Eddie Van Halen was mesmerized by this solo too, (or Jack White, I forget now).  It is said to have influenced his tapping style and the song Eruption).

By the time 1978 rolled around, when I heard VH's debut LP... now that, I labeled as genius, knowing what I knew about what was out there, and how exceptional EVH's style and sound was.

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The solo from Traveling Riverside Blues. Page's playing had grit that I hadn't heard from any other guitarist from the era. It was messy, aggressive, and cool at the same time. 

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1980. I was an avid  Kiss fan and Zep was heard in the background on NYC radio that I was not privy to but heard via my older siblings. I knew there was competition ala CREEM magazine polls and I was a Zep hater since they always beat KISS in the annual polls. Then one day, yes one Friday summer night, my neighbor Rocco said to me-" have you ever heard Physical Graffiti " ? 

Trampled Underfoot...period. Still , to me, an underrated powerhouse of a song to this day sounds like it was recorded last Tuesday. Jimmy's overdubbed guitar fills and never , if you listen close, repeating the riff in the exact tone or timing. He always added something. Pure genius . It was like I graduated from KISS. They were like grade school and Zep were the master instructors. I never , ever, looked back to this day. 

I still listen to TUF and hear how much is going on in that very short simple riff. 

I still like KiSS though but only pre 1977. Can't deny Frehleys tone and his Jimmy low hanging guitar style. 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Blaize86 said:

1980. I was an avid  Kiss fan and Zep was heard in the background on NYC radio that I was not privy to but heard via my older siblings. I knew there was competition ala CREEM magazine polls and I was a Zep hater since they always beat KISS in the annual polls. Then one day, yes one Friday summer night, my neighbor Rocco said to me-" have you ever heard Physical Graffiti " ? 

Trampled Underfoot...period. Still , to me, an underrated powerhouse of a song to this day sounds like it was recorded last Tuesday. Jimmy's overdubbed guitar fills and never , if you listen close, repeating the riff in the exact tone or timing. He always added something. Pure genius . It was like I graduated from KISS. They were like grade school and Zep were the master instructors. I never , ever, looked back to this day. 

I still listen to TUF and hear how much is going on in that very short simple riff. 

I still like KiSS though but only pre 1977. Can't deny Frehleys tone and his Jimmy low hanging guitar style. 

 

 

I find the live versions of TU mystifying.

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On 7/4/2018 at 4:46 PM, The Rover said:

By the time 1978 rolled around, when I heard VH's debut LP... now that, I labeled as genius, knowing what I knew about what was out there, and how exceptional EVH's style and sound was.

No to intentionally take the piss, but I never found anything exceptional about EVH. Yes, he is an extremely gifted and capable player, however he invented nothing. There were virtuoso guitarists tapping in the 1950's and guys like Steve Hackett from Genesis was doing EVH style tapping in 1971.

Hmmm, I wonder what that sounds identical to? I just can't seem to put my finger on it (get it, that was a joke).

Anyway, I prefer to think the whole band was genius and not just Jimmy. Jimmy was an amazing guitarist / composer / producer but it was what all four guys did together which truly made them genius.

As mentioned above, Black Dog is an excellent example of pure genius made to sound simple. This is one of the most complex songs to pull off live due to Bonham playing slightly behind the beat in a different time signature from Jones & Page, plus, the changing of time signatures as well. The only way to pull this off is with all three members working together and an almost psychic drummer. This is genius. Kashmir is another song where Zep does this as well and the reason why its so damn easy for the wheels to fall off the cart if all are not on point, and that is not including the changes.

In closing Fool in the Rain. No one has ever done a song like that before or since and is another complete bitch to play, yet it moves so simply and seamlessly.

That was the genius of Zep, they could take songs on the complexity level of a Genesis, Yes, or Rush and make them sound simple, accessible, and groovy all at the same time.

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, IpMan said:

No to intentionally take the piss, but I never found anything exceptional about EVH. Yes, he is an extremely gifted and capable player, however he invented nothing. There were virtuoso guitarists tapping in the 1950's and guys like Steve Hackett from Genesis was doing EVH style tapping in 1971.

Hmmm, I wonder what that sounds identical to? I just can't seem to put my finger on it (get it, that was a joke).

Anyway, I prefer to think the whole band was genius and not just Jimmy. Jimmy was an amazing guitarist / composer / producer but it was what all four guys did together which truly made them genius.

As mentioned above, Black Dog is an excellent example of pure genius made to sound simple. This is one of the most complex songs to pull off live due to Bonham playing slightly behind the beat in a different time signature from Jones & Page, plus, the changing of time signatures as well. The only way to pull this off is with all three members working together and an almost psychic drummer. This is genius. Kashmir is another song where Zep does this as well and the reason why its so damn easy for the wheels to fall off the cart if all are not on point, and that is not including the changes.

In closing Fool in the Rain. No one has ever done a song like that before or since and is another complete bitch to play, yet it moves so simply and seamlessly.

That was the genius of Zep, they could take songs on the complexity level of a Genesis, Yes, or Rush and make them sound simple, accessible, and groovy all at the same time.

I think you'd have to be on drugs to be impressed or amused with the tapping that Steve Hackett was doing there. I think the genius is what you do with something. I was very impressed with what EVH did. I saw Genesis with Peter Gabriel in 1973, because that's what the UT Student Union had booked. I was not impressed--- didn't go get their album. But, bty, I saw the band straight, and not under the influence of pot or lsd or anything.

As to the topic here of considering Jimmy a genius, I just have never viewed him in that terminology. But, I like to put Jimmy in the category of a guitar wizard and the producer of the band. But, as you stated, it's a group thing. The alchemy of the four. I doubt Led Zeppelin would have been "Led Zeppelin" with any other 3 + Jimmy, no matter the talent or background of the other 3. Lightning in a bottle.

Bty, I was totally blown away by what I heard on LZ II in 1969, 14, and totally sober. I listened to HB and WLL with the big headphones on, and I knew right there, that this band, was my new band, and I stuck with them until the end. I don't maked decisions about that lightly.

I'm not anti-drugs, but, if you have to be on drugs to enjoy the music, then the music isn't worthy of being "special".

So, with said, I guess I would say that Jimmy is a genius for producing music that you can completely enjoy stoned or straight.

 

Edited by The Rover

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Steve Hackett is an amazing guitarist.

I would listen to him 9,999 times before I would listen to someone as cheesy as Eddie Van Halen.

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On 7/4/2018 at 11:23 AM, paplbojo said:

Ramble On

I agree.  LZII was the first Zeppelin album I heard and that track is special.  It seamlessly blends many different elements.  I know I said in another post that Bring It On Home made the biggest initial impression on me, but Ramble On has more to explore. 

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First "absolute genius" was ALS. I had heard about 6 or 7 Zep tracks and I thought Page was great, but ALS had that amazing

guitar architecture and the guitar solo which had these radical EQ shifts which are impossible live. Also the opening section

and the end, sound like some ancient civilization which was very advanced but has been lost or forgotten. Whatever, the song

is just truly exotic for me, Page in particular.

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23 hours ago, IpMan said:

No to intentionally take the piss, but I never found anything exceptional about EVH. Yes, he is an extremely gifted and capable player, however he invented nothing. There were virtuoso guitarists tapping in the 1950's and guys like Steve Hackett from Genesis was doing EVH style tapping in 1971.

Hmmm, I wonder what that sounds identical to? I just can't seem to put my finger on it (get it, that was a joke).

Anyway, I prefer to think the whole band was genius and not just Jimmy. Jimmy was an amazing guitarist / composer / producer but it was what all four guys did together which truly made them genius.

As mentioned above, Black Dog is an excellent example of pure genius made to sound simple. This is one of the most complex songs to pull off live due to Bonham playing slightly behind the beat in a different time signature from Jones & Page, plus, the changing of time signatures as well. The only way to pull this off is with all three members working together and an almost psychic drummer. This is genius. Kashmir is another song where Zep does this as well and the reason why its so damn easy for the wheels to fall off the cart if all are not on point, and that is not including the changes.

In closing Fool in the Rain. No one has ever done a song like that before or since and is another complete bitch to play, yet it moves so simply and seamlessly.

That was the genius of Zep, they could take songs on the complexity level of a Genesis, Yes, or Rush and make them sound simple, accessible, and groovy all at the same time.

Great Post

 

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Well some of Yes/Genesis stuff Jimmy could only play if he was constantly playing or practicing, which he clearly wasn't from 

about 75' on, if not earlier. The whole timing thing with Black Dog, actually in the main riff there is a dotted eighth note among

the other eighth notes. If you miss that, yes, everything collapses.In the studio track Page mainly sticks locked in in the end

solo, live Jimmy would often fight the beat and only occasionally play "along" with JPJ and Bonzo. Live, yes Bonzo would very

noticeably be behind the beat, and vary on that as well. Which would be a major headache if you tried a live version with your

band.

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The very first Led Zeppelin song I heard.

As elucidated at length elsewhere on this forum, the very first time I heard "Dazed and Confused" on the radio in the spring of 1969, Led Zeppelin seized my brain and shook me. Compared to what else was being played on the radio at that time, it was like a message from the future. That whole ambient middle section and then that screaming guitar solo. Not since Hendrix had a guitar roared out of the speakers like that to me. 

So yeah...Jimmy Page pretty much had me at 'hello'.

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