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Christopher Lees

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About Christopher Lees

  • Birthday 01/25/1974

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    Massachusetts

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  1. I think Page's peak was 73, Europe and the end of July, but a close second is 1971. On another day, I might have said 1971 was his peak, especially the Japan tour. I agree with those who said he started playing sloppy in 1975 and beyond. I noticed this right away, as soon as I started listening to my first 75 boots way back in the day. I was disturbed by his slop. He was this towering figure in my life, the ultimate guitar hero, my musical idol, and I was suddenly faced with the reality that Jimmy was human, all too human, when I listened to his playing in 75 and beyond. In fact, it wasn't until many years later when I started picking up lots of boots from 75 (because of the internet), that I finally came across a few shows that showed me Jimmy still had the spark of genius in him. I was so happy to hear his playing on 2-14-75, and I had the version from TDOLZ, which was a nice audience version. Then I heard the show from March 27, 1975 and was blown away by the NQ. It was great to see these flashes of greatness return here and there. But in 1973, Jimmy played at an inspired level almost every show, with just a few exceptions. His playing was fresh, inventive, aggressive, sharp, articulate and fast. He was very energetic. Same can be said for 69-72. In 1975, I found him drifting and repeating some used up boring licks over and over again. I found him incoherent at times, like he forgot what he was playing and had to reorient himself on stage in the moment. I do not see it as Jimmy "exploring" and being "inventive". I can tell the difference. There's simply a level of slop that crept into his playing after 73. To me, it sounds like he stopped practicing. He probably wasn't as hungry as he was in 69-73, when he had something to prove. He was always on tour and always recording. That keeps the rust off. After an 18 month break from 73 to 75, he sounds like he came back really rusty and slowly got back in shape, somewhat, during the tour. When you stop playing for a while, you lose your vocabulary and your technique both, and that's what Jimmy sounded like to me. There are a number of notable exceptions in 75, but in general, I think he was consistently less great than in 73. Not to mention, if he was getting drunk then forget it. The fingers do not behave. And once the heroin became a problem, well, then there's no time at all for discipline and practice. A top musician is like a top athlete: they must train and train hard to maintain their top form.
  2. Back around 1990 I caught a live version of Communication Breakdown being played on the Zep set. Pro quality sound, must have been a BBC bootleg. They went into It's Your Thing (do what you wanna do - I can't tell you, who to sock it to...) with excellent wah pedal work. It was kind of funky sounding. Really great. I can't find it anywhere on YouTube. Does anyone know for sure what show this was from and what the deal is with not being able to find it?
  3. It's rather poignant that Zeppelin's last studio album song is a blues. I think it's the best song on ITTOD and has Jimmy's best solo since the early albums, up to HOTH.
  4. I agree that the show is sluggish on the whole, but I think Page's solo in OTHAFA is excellent. Smoking. Love the descending g-string lick in the solo. Really effective on this show.
  5. Thanks for your response. What would we call this effect nowadays? I want to search for it so I can edit some vids and try to do this same thing, but I don't even know how to describe it or look for it. Any clue?
  6. Houses of the Holy. Growing up, it was either 4 or 2, but these days, I'm liking the originality of Houses of the Holy. The guitar work on TSRTS is phenomenal. I was a little underwhelmed by this album when I first picked it up. Before that, all I had were 1, 2 and 4, plus a copy of the BBC sessions when they were still boots (1988). I was looking for another Black Dog, or WLL, or Heartbreaker, or Stairway, so when I heard HOTH I felt a little disappointed because the material was much lighter fare. TSRTS was lacking riffs, the Rain Song was a little long and boring, OTHAFA was more my style. It was like a song on any of the earlier albums and same is true for The Ocean. I hated the Crunge with a passion, but Dyer Maker was okay by me. I thought the riff in Dancin' Days was hypnotic and effective and NQ was cool, good solo. I see it totally different these days, some 33 years later. I realize now that Zeppelin, for once, didn't rely on some old blues riffs to revamp, or old blues tunes to cover their own way. They went in an entirely fresh direction and wrote all of the material themselves this time, and the sophistication of the music is up a level from earlier albums. Not sure if that really matters, but I notice it. I also love the bright, happy vibe of the album on the whole. This albums strikes me as, perhaps, the most original one of them all. I think ITTOD is like a distant cousin to this album in terms of originality (and used to hate ITTOD with a passion, gross keys, boring songs, Plant has no range, questionable solos from Page, no riffs, no magic). I can see Carouselambra as an extension of TSRTS. These days I have much more respect for ITTOD. I like it now.
  7. What is that film effect called during Dazed when the band moves in super slow motion and the colors change to red and blue, a different color on each down beat? It starts exactly here:
  8. 1 - Good times bad times 2 - Heartbreaker 3 - Since I've Been Loving You 4 - Stairway HOTH - Over the Hills and Far Away PG - The Rover Presence - Nobody's Fault but Mine ITTOD - I'm Gonna Crawl CODA - Darlene
  9. I think I answered this question before, but before I could possibly run across my old response, I ranked them all again today, just to see how my opinion might have changed. I'll share my geeky method. I ranked each song by an idea, rather than just by number. Yes, I overthought this AND played a psychological trick on myself (successfully) at the same time. Here are my ranking labels. All Time Great (in my book) Excellent Very Good Good Fair It's Okay (I guess) Don't Like It I thought about how I felt about each song and labeled it. Then I want back and numbered those labels 1-7 (7 being all time great). I put the correct number next to each song based on the label and calculated the average for each album and then put them in the following order: Led Zeppelin I Led Zeppelin IV HOTH Led Zeppelin II PG ITTOD Led Zeppelin III Presence CODA For those interested in what my album averages were, remember the highest rank is 7, not 10. Led Zeppelin I 5.8 Led Zeppelin IV 5.8 HOTH 5.6 Led Zeppelin II 5.3 PG 5.3 ITTOD 5.1 Led Zeppelin III 4.9 Presence 4.7 CODA 3.3 There were no ties. I rounded up but actually, but the tie breakers were in the hundredths column.
  10. Interesting order. Why did you choose HOTH? I have my own ideas but I want to hear yours and other's first.
  11. It was 1987 and I was kind of new to seriously listening to music. I became of fan of Whitesnake, especially their song In The Still Of The Night. My mother heard me watching it on MTV from the other room and said, "Oh, that's Led Zeppelin." I told her it wasn't but she argued with me. "I KNOW what Led Zeppelin sounds like. That's them." She came in and watched the video with me and sure enough at the end it said Whitesnake. She told me it was a dead ringer for Zeppelin. I figured if Zeppelin sounds like Whitesnake, they must be pretty good, even though they're OLD! A few day later my cousin gave me a cassette copy of Black Dog, Rock n Roll and Stairway. I was blown away, even though I thought they were OLD (even in 1987, Zeppelin were already OLD). I listened to those three songs so many times, I lost count. Black Dog really got me into them. I consider that song quintessential Zeppelin. Around this time I started playing guitar and had the music to Black Dog from Guitar Magazine. I learned the riff and I was hooked. Then I read Hammer of the God's and was REALLY hooked!
  12. Profoundly true! I still remember the first time I heard it. I got a bootleg from someone in high school (in the late 80s) and couldn't wait to get home and listen to it. It was Berlin 1980. At this point the only other bootlegs I had were Osaka 71, Blueberry Hill and BBC (when it was still a bootleg), so I had high expectations. Well, I could barely get through it. It sounded as bad as Atlantic Records 40th Anniversary, which was bad, bad, bad. Jimmy sounds so uninspired on the Berlin version. To make a comparison to boxing, Jimmy in 1980 was like Muhammad Ali in 1980.
  13. I loved Hammer of the Gods! A friend showed it to me in the library on school vacation. I was about 14 and just got big into Zeppelin. Only had a couple cassettes, so when I was reading the book, I wondered what all these songs sounded like. I hadn't even heard WLL yet. I had Zeppelin 1 and Zeppelin 4 and that's all I had for quite a while. Anyhow, I started reading the book and it drew me in hook, line and sinker. I learned so much about 60s rock and blues music that I otherwise would never have known, and even about Robert Johnson and Paganini (selling their souls etc...). I thoroughly enjoyed it and it helped cement me as a life long Zeppelin fanatic. Funny thing, I remember reading about Lori Maddox and how she was only 14. I was 14 too and I was thinking, "so what?" Needless to say, I think differently now at 47 than I did at 14! When I got the book, it had only been out a couple years. I think I was reading it in 1988. Years later I read how Jimmy and Robert didn't like the book and said that a lot of it was invented. I don't know. I've seen the both of them say contradictory things in interviews over the years. I bet most of the stuff in HOTG was true but they were embarrassed about it later. Who wants to admit to the Shark Incident when they're 70 years old?
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