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zeppelincheetah

What are your opinions on Walking into Clarksdale?

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For me I view the CD as a Plant Solo effort with Page guesting. I mean, its Plants solo band to begin with and its clear he was calling the shots. I like the CD ok. It's not great but I do like the ending of Burning Up and do think Most High is a keeper. I think Page was happy to be with Plant playing in front of large crowds after the seldom discussed Coverdale / Page ticket sales bomb that lead right in to the American tour being cancelled.

Interesting point. i would hate to think Plant did that on purpose. I just don't think thats possible.

I believe they were a band all four members. Its not what i would think of as a guitar record, but i think page's playing especially on the solwer songs is masterful and innovative. maybe Page did not have the final say as much as he may have in zeppelin, but I'd rather think of this as an full band album. Also, I think they all got songwriting credits.

Edited by boggie woogie

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I was there the day it was released, I couldnt wait! Maybe I was different but I was NOT expecting a Led Zeppelin remake at all. The interviews I had read lead me to believe this would be a continuation of what they had done on the UnLedded album and tour, Morrocan/World music mixed into a hard rocking frame work (Something like Pages Domino comes to mind). Needless to say I was quite mistaken.

To be honest Im not really sure what they were trying to do with this album. It was neither an atttempt to do a new Led Zeppeling record nor was it a continuation and or expansion of the work they did on Unledded (With the exception of Most High..maybe).

But in all fairness IMO it does have some interesting moments, and a few of the tracks were solid, shinning in the light was a good opener.

But to my ears most of it fell flat, from the vocals right on down to the guitar work. Not "terrible" by a long shot, just not the level I would expect from these two musical giants.

But hey if you liked or loved it thats cool by me, art is very subjective and I wouldnt diss that for nothing.

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I had mixed thoughts the first time I listened all the way through. Songs I liked, songs I didn't, songs I thought (and still think) are great. You have to listen a few times to get the vibe of it. No, it's not 1975 and it's not Zeppelin. People expect these guys to make excellent albums that EVERYONE loves because of who they are, but for what it's worth, I think it's a good honest album. The title track is a good song, as is Burning Up, Most High, Shining in the Light, When the world was young, When I was a child. The production on the other hand didn't sit well with me. I think Page may have done better as a producer. But, it is what it is. Personally , it's better than the Unledded album. All that was, were mostly Zeppelin songs re-arranged. That didn't do anything for me.

Edited by Rock Historian

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Personally , it's better than the Unledded album. All that was, were mostly Zeppelin songs re-arranged. That didn't do anything for me.

Hi Rock Historian, I feel that way as well. I am somewhat bored by the 2 of them doing Zeppelin songs. I prefer them doing music live from a new CD. I only like the WIC songs on their tour for that CD, not the Zeppelin stuff, it wasn't interesting.

I like the new songs from Unledded, very nice (except or Yallah. Great title, but the guitar theme is lacking to me). City Don't Cry has a great acoustic sound at the beginning, and for me, much more impact than what they did with the orchestra. The re-arranged songs were well performed by the extra musicians, but it lacked imagination for me.

Wonderful One was a great song, Page sounded very sensitive on that one. It was well done.

Page's playing on Thank You from that gig wasn't my favourite. His solo sounded shaky to me. His acoustic work on the CD was mostly hampered, for me, by his choice of Ovation for the guitar. I found it too thin sounding.

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Hi Rock Historian, I feel that way as well. I am somewhat bored by the 2 of them doing Zeppelin songs. I prefer them doing music live from a new CD. I only like the WIC songs on their tour for that CD, not the Zeppelin stuff, it wasn't interesting.

I like the new songs from Unledded, very nice (except or Yallah. Great title, but the guitar theme is lacking to me). City Don't Cry has a great acoustic sound at the beginning, and for me, much more impact than what they did with the orchestra. The re-arranged songs were well performed by the extra musicians, but it lacked imagination for me.

Wonderful One was a great song, Page sounded very sensitive on that one. It was well done.

Page's playing on Thank You from that gig wasn't my favourite. His solo sounded shaky to me. His acoustic work on the CD was mostly hampered, for me, by his choice of Ovation for the guitar. I found it too thin sounding.

Yes, those details I can agree with. I bought the disk because it was Page/Plant and was so excited to see a new release. I thought the CD had a decent amount of imagination as far as shedding new light on the few Zeppelin arrangements like "No Quarter" and "Nobody's Fault" but besides that it was kind of a weird album for me to handle. I still don't know if I can listen to it the whole way through again. The things they did with the desert musicians was something they have done and been facinated with for a long time. I think the "unreleased" recordings they did with the Bombay orchestra in 1972 ("friends") was such a better listen...for me anyway. The ones on Unledded had no impact on me at all, besides Wonderful One. As for The Clarksdale stuff, it had it moments where I still felt the fire, even though it wasn't continuous throughout.

Edited by Rock Historian

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Yes, those details I can agree with. I bought the disk because it was Page/Plant and was so excited to see a new release. I thought the CD had a decent amount of imagination as far as shedding new light on the few Zeppelin arrangements like "No Quarter" and "Nobody's Fault" but besides that it was kind of a weird album for me to handle. I still don't know if I can listen to it the whole way through again. The things they did with the desert musicians was something they have done and been facinated with for a long time. I think the "unreleased" recordings they did with the Bombay orchestra in 1972 ("friends") was such a better listen...for me anyway. The ones on Unledded had no impact on me at all, besides Wonderful One. As for The Clarksdale stuff, it had it moments where I still felt the fire, even though it wasn't continuous throughout.

I forgot about the version of No Quarter, that was good! I preferred the stronger songs on Fate of Nations to the Unledded project as a whole.

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Both Unledded and WIC were a treat to the ears....and I loved both of them. Fave track off of WIC is definitely Blue Train.

The title track is also kickass. Rocking blues at it's best!

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I remember they gave an interview before the show in Bucharest (March 1998) and Page was asked about the not-so prominent guitars on the album: his reply was that it was intentional, they wanted subtlety. He also agreed with the interviewer that they looked for a symphonic sound on it. They both (P&P) referenced Brasil as a strong influence.

I like the maturity, the subtlety and the honesty of this album. I like to think that Page used to live in Brasil at the time and dived a bit more into the black music from there. This is how I took this album. I would have been veeery disappointed if they had made No Quarter II out of this. They've never repeated themselves.

(on the side note, how I wish Robert would repeat SS ...)

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(on the side note, how I wish Robert would repeat SS ...)

SS was a great thing. It's gotta be my favorite time period with Plant outside Zeppelin or Page. Mighty Rearranger was a strong album.

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To my ears...this sounded like a musical compromise between the boys that left no one happy.

Most of the tracks really sound like Page writing to what he 'thinks' Plant would be 'into'. The exceptions being Shining in the Light and Most Hight...both tracks 'stink' (in good way) of Jimmola.

It seems they tried to a take a 'Presence' approach to the recording process...i.e. 1 or 2 takes then move on...don't over think it; to very, very mixed results in my opinion.

To me, if they were going to go into a more uncharted territory approach...they should have dropped Golden Horse, When I was a Child and subbed them with 'The Window' and 'Whiskey from the Glass.'

Edited by keithg

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When I heard that Steve Albini was producing I have to admit I was expecting something totally different.

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When I heard that Steve Albini was producing I have to admit I was expecting something totally different.

So did I, Jahfin, so did I. Not saying I was expecting the second coming of Big Black or Flour, but it was a tad more subdued than I was hoping. But I still liked the album once I gave it a few listens. An opinion that seems to be in the minority here.

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Interesting Keith, I don't think Window or Whiskey really fit the rest of the album though.

Ok, throw in 'Rude World' as well and drop WiC (the song) you've got a very tasty, very unexpected approach by the men...

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On the matter of Steve Albini, I will say that Steve has nothing but high praise for Page &Plant and fond memories of the Walking Into Clarksdale sessions and would gladly work again with Page and Plant anytime they wished.

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Someone thought highly of it...

Walking Into Clarksdale is a complex, elegant, beautiful record.

Mojo Magazine (May 1998)

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Someone thought highly of it...

Mojo Magazine (May 1998)

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scan0005-3.jpg

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Excellent, thanks for posting this! You know personally I think Clarksdale is better than anything Jimmy Page has done after Led Zeppelin.

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I enjoyed this album more than any other post-Zeppelin music. Shining in the Light, Burning Up and WitC totally rock, Blue Train is so gut level Plant, maybe the most personal song he has ever recorded and Most High is the kind of thing that I wanted more of from Unledded (which I was uninterested in, I've heard all those Zep tunes). As for Pagie's guitars turned way down, that was the way of the era, it's like that on ITTOD too, in fact a lot of hot guitar players were doing that in the '80's, Clapton, Fripp, Richards, etc.

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i was listening to some of steve albinis stuff with big black and shellac on youtube and could see him producing a john paul jones record, considering how zooma and his playing with diamanda galas sound. even further yet, still cant help to imagine john paul jones involved in the walking into clarksdale record...thinking of some hybrid of post zeppelin sounding thing, around the physical graffiti album vibe.

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I bought Walking Into Clarksdale the day it came out - had to drive a pretty long ways to get it, because I was living in VERY rural Virginia at the time. When I popped it into my cd player, I really enjoyed it for the most part. Still do. My take on it was that it was a pretty solid representation of where Page and (more so) Plant were at the time. Like many before me said, the absence of a lot of guitar solos stuck out to me, but the fact that really shone through to me was that it really seemed that they weren't trying to be Led Zeppelin all over again, and that was a bold move. A move that I would've expected from them one hundred percent. And where Jimmy wasn't soloing as much, there was still a lot of intriguing things happening guitar-wise on that album. I love the spooky sound he gets on Heart In Your Hand. Sure, any guitarist can get that effect, but Page is the only one who can bring that feel, that spooky sort of sound to it. Burnin' Up - wow, can the grand sorcerer of the magic guitar still play! Incredible Page handiwork there. Most High is hypnotic and very powerful. Great lyrics and vocals from Robert. I still skip Upon A Golden Horse every time. But for the most part, I like Walking Into Clarksdale. It was exciting to hear new music from two members of my favorite all time band at the time, and it's great to pull and listen from time to time now.

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