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Earthchief

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About Earthchief

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    Over the hills and far away

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  1. Earthchief

    Walking Into Clarksdale - Rediscovered

    I've only just encountered Window and Whiskey for the first time and I think they're brilliant. Really interesting guitar, cool drumming/bass and vocals on Window. And Whiskey is just such a dark sinister blues guitar - love it. Always great to come across new stuff but this is excellent. If Radiohead played Window at Glastonbury it would have been lauded as genius.
  2. Earthchief

    ITTOD

    Ahh! ITTOD. What a conversation. First of all, a brilliant album cover from an era when album covers were part of the whole experience. And then we all put the record on! It's taken me years and years to come to terms with ITTOD. First of all, I always thought IGC was one of the most amazing ways to 'end it' as it were given that in theory it was the last song of the last album released while they were still a band. Plant's vocals are fantastic in that song. In the evening opens magnificently. And form memory I liked it 'a lot' but struggled with those chorus breaks and the sound of the keyboards all the way through. But when I saw a live version the choruses made sense, pure Zep. Plus, I think if you play it a bit slower on You Tube at .75 it gets better. And I always liked the solo but I love every Page solo except Rock and Roll. SBS it a really cool track. The opening piano is different. I actually think it's one of my favourite Zep 'songs' in the real sense of the world. And again, lots of cool guitar. IF you were driving along and that came on you'd put the foot down and open the windows. It would have been a great track on any Zep album. Then up comes FITR. A great guitar riff. Bonzo's drums right up in the mix. I love the latin drums in the break because everything Bonzo does is great. And the way they come out of the latin part is venomous. But yes, it's suddenly not sounding like Zep. I get that. But then the magnificent subversive gnarling guitar solo. Genius. Dripping with all sorts of ideas, jazzy, bluesy, esoteric. Always loved it. Then it comes back into that stomping riff and the Baroque acoustic guitar laid over the end brings me back to all the great Zep of the past. Hot Dog - a bit of Led Zep throwaway fun. Harmless but pointless. Something they should have bashed out in sound checks for their own amusement. For me the difficulty really starts with side 2. All My Love - Hmm, not a big fan. And JPJ makes a mistake in his keyboard solo. The sweet vocal melodies in places could be of the same school as Thank You or Going to California. Nice acoustic solo by Page. If the keyboards where the Gibson double neck twelve string I think it could have been a better song. As with most of the album it's the keyboards that irritate. Which takes me to Carouselambra. A song I have always hated but wanted to like. It's is the resident epic on the album so we want it to be utterly great like the ones that had gone before. But those damned keyboards. And iffy vocal melody. But I'm trying and I think I might be slowly getting there. I think it could have been great eventually with live run outs. And a much bigger guitar sound. I came across this cover (below) which might give a sense of what was lurking within it. The ending here is powerful and a hint at what Zeppelin might have done with it. In the end, I'd love to hear the album once and for all remixed - I think that's it's biggest problem. There's great playing on it but Page in his producers role just didn't bring this to where it should have been. And it's missing at least one track which is why side two sounds so lost in ways. One stomper, one more big rising airship. So in the end, a half brilliant album and a half lost opportunity. But still a Led Zeppelin album. Not their best and every band has their hierarchy if albums but I still love that we have it. F
  3. I think history has already decided it's WLL and STH. If, God forbid any of them die, I would bet my house that the TV news broadcasts would show a clip of one or the other if not both. So I'll leave them two to the rest of the wider world. It can never be Kashmir for me because of one simple fact. As epic and magnificent as it is, it's missing the one vital ingredient that you need to be the one single legacy track by Led Zeppelin and that's a great solo by the world's greatest ever guitar player who strode the galaxies in dozens of amazing solos. Still bugs me a bit that there isn't a solo. Like the rest of you my take probably changes from day to day depending on what I've listened to last. But I'll give three option. Achilles Last Stand - guitars from another planet. The way it ends on that guitar picking fading out leaving you contemplating what it was that you just heard and where you'd just been taken. Over The Hills and Far Away - Live version when Page really lets loose. Any live version. It can't be NQ either, even the live version because that wonderful dark underworld sound was only in a couple of songs, this and D&C. Led Zeppelin are more defined by the big city levelling riffs and all the blues stuff, including WTLB are only one side to Zep so my third choice for today is: Black Dog. - the menace of that opening scratch on the strings hinting at what was to come and then what came.
  4. Earthchief

    Does 'Coda' Count?

    It absolutely is a Led Zeppelin album. Especially for me as it was my first Led Zep album (bought for me as a Christmas present). At that time I had only ever heard Side A of IV on n old cassette that ran out just before the end. It was a year or so later before I ever hear the bit where plant sings the last line acapella. People forget there was no internet back then, no Led Zeppelin on TV. There were no magazines in my world with anything about LZ. I didn't know that the theme to Top of the Pops was a Led Zep riff. There was no classic rock radio in rural Ireland. I didn't even know what they looked like. For some reason i imagined Plant to look something like what Axl Rose with a headband! When I started to meet Led Zep fans thereafter they would look at me with almost envy that I hadn't heard Kashmir yet. So CODA was my first. I loved the mysterious outer cover. And the texture of the cover. Plus I loved the name as I knew it was their last closing statemnt. And inside a wealth of amazing photographs. I didn't know then the story of Zeppelin. I didn't know that it was an album of left overs. I knew it sounded different to Side A of IV. So 'We're Gonna Groove' was my Whole Lotta Love. To me it was powerful and wild. With an amazing mid section and that staccato drum break. Bonzo's Montreaux was my Moby Dick. I loved it then and I love it now. Poor Tom was probably my LZ111 moment. A band that could rock the walls down and then do something so authentically folky. Darlene to me was what many big Led Zeppelin stomp rock songs have been over the years. Big pounding drums and guitar. Wearing and Tearing could easily have been on PG. Wild and punkish. At that time, not knowing what I was going to hear later, it was the best album I had heard because it was Zeppelin and they're there, playing and doing what Zep do. So for me it was the complete Zep album experience. I can only guess what it must have been like for older Zep fans of that era to hear that a new album/collection was coming out and the wait and the expectation. My next album was IV and I finally heard the last line of STH. And the journey began and it took many years for me to appreciate Presence and ITTOD to the same extent and eventually beyond. And I still think WGG is one of there greatest rockers.
  5. Earthchief

    best album?

    As much as PG is the epic monster of an album that it is, it still doesn't touch IV for me. There's something mystical and magical about IV. It would be interesting to imagine a stripped down PG, shrunk to a single album size and ponder which of the tracks (other than Kashmir) would have been included. Challenging! It's sheer amount of songs does give it an advantage over all the other albums. There's something perfect about IV. The grind of BD. The dreamy mythical guitar/mandolin/vocal melodies or BOE. The 60's/70's hippy stomp with big riff MMH. The eerie gothic rumbling threatening FS, a magical unique tune from the depths of some forest that I could imagine Kate Bush singing. The earth shaking eruption and wailing shrieking angst ridden banshee in the night that is WTLB. A pleasant GTC. RAR - A solid boisterous celebration of the love of rock and roll. And then STH. We've all heard it so many many times and the time it takes to get to the gutter solo seems to get longer each time. Other than the very first time I heard it, it always seems to have one verse too many. But it was the pinnacle at one point. There was nothing like it. And the solo is still the best of all time. And Plant's voice is just exquisite throughout the whole album. And for me the production is really clear and pumping except the guitar solo in RAR which is a bit random and very indistinct at the beginning.
  6. Earthchief

    New Book.....new thread ?

    Hadn't seen that. Looks like just what I'd love, the story behind every song. What sort of stuff does it go into?
  7. Earthchief

    The O2 In Retrospect...

    I think the show was fantastic for what it was and in fact only serves to remind people of just how great Zep were. A lot of comparisons are made with other bands who have kept touring over the years (The Stones) or reformed (Eagles) etc. But Zeppelin were never that type of band. They played to a much higher level of difficulty, intensity, dexterity, improvisation, exploration, stretching, pushing, searching all the time. To be frank, most of the music of the Stones and the Eagles is very easy to play, no matter how old you are. At the 02 you had men in their 60's replicating what they did in their 20's. It was never going to be the same experience. But it was wonderful in other ways. They looked cool. They reminded us of the power of live human music. They demonstrated what an art form it was to create that power and composition. And many of the songs are fantastic on the 02 DVD. There were times when each of them reminded the world that they were otherworldly. A freakish alignment of the stars brought them together. I was nervous about how they would perform especially based on their post 80 performances. But on the point about further shows. I also feel it is a tremendous pity that they didn't get to do one last journey together. For a number of reasons. 1. They would have probably have gotten even better with more shows, loosed up, lost the nerves, felt the freedom to be who they once were. 2. They would have probably added one or two or several other songs to the set as they went adding to the library of live interpretations. We all have favourites that they didn't get to play. 3. They might even have completed one or two of the epic tracks that emerged over the years from vaults that sound like they could have been amazing if they had finished them. Or bring to life one or two of the tracks that didn't quite work on the later albums but just needed a couple of live run outs to get there. They may even have been inspired to do another album. Of course they owe us nothing. But an opportunity was lost. They're standing has been restored. Many of the critical media over the years, with the benefit of hindsight and time have finally got what Led Zeppelin were. And how it's never been replaced or surpassed in it's genre. The whole punk virus dinosaur thing now looks like what it was, a complete load of nonsense. Nobody ever criticised Miles Davis for his thirty minute improvisations. The world finally understood that they were at the core, musicians stretching the boundaries of music, not politics or social issues. Just music. Creativity. And a final tour would have just amplified that and nailed it on the head once and for all, Page is without question the greatest rock guitarist of all time. Plant an extraordinary musical vocalist. JPJ as is often said, totally underestimated as a bass player - the guy is sensational and Jason did a great job replicating his fathers ingenuity but neither he nor anyone would claim he's the same thing. Doesn't mean he's not brilliant at what he does. And we've lived through decades of some huge pyrotechnic audio visual extravaganzas at concerts that all came after Zeppelin. It would have been amazing to see them in that modern setting with all the technical capability to bring their vision to life as it never had been before. Pity. But still epic.
  8. I don't think the typical Led Zeppelin fan would mind holding out till after Christmas.
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