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What are your opinions on Walking into Clarksdale?


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  • 2 weeks later...

Terrible production; mostly good songs; better than ITTOD.

What I found most interesting was the contrast in the production values between the songs on the album, and the 'B' sides (which had minimal Albini involvement).

I think the album itself is muddy and lifeless (apart from 'heart in your hand, which is lush - shame about the fumbled vocals), but found 'the window' really breathed... (and that was apparently produced/mixed by Charlie Jones if my memory serves.)

The whole album could do with some judicious editing and re-mixing, and then I think the songs would really shine.

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  • 1 year later...

Old thread, but due for another visit. I bought WIC on the day it came out, and have it on CD and vinyl. I love it, and would give it an 8 out of 10. Although not a Zep album, it takes the ITTOD approach and develops it further. I love the fact that Page is taking a softer stance in the music, and it really allows the listener to concentrate on his rhythm and orchestration abilities, apart from being center stage and loud, as we have become accustomed to. Page has so much talent, and I love hearing him in this capacity. There are a lot of different aspects to this album, including the eastern influenced Most High, blues, rock, orchestrations, and even some nods to the past including ITTOD and Little Games. Walking is a brilliant album on so many levels, and my favorite post Zeppelin release. It was great to see Page change his focus a bit, as it showed a lot of maturity and growth, and I did not miss his out front flash at all. The production was a bit muddy, but I think that this type of album would have been very fitting for Zeppelin if they had continued to grow and develop upon the changes that we saw with ITTOD. In a word: brilliant. So was ITTOD, as both albums exposed another side to the artists who created them.

Edited by The Dark Lord
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Anyone else agree that if they had deleted perhaps 'When I was a Child', 'Upon a Golden Horse' and 'Burning Up' substitute them with 'The Window' and 'Whiskey from the Glass' and 'Rude World' that you now have a very progressive, reaching and INTERESTING new album (granted Mr. Lee have been doing lot of drum pad triggering live in this case BUT......)?

Edited by hitchslap
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I've been listening to this album a lot lately, along with Coverdale Page. Walking into Clarksdale has always been a cherished disc and I love everything about it. Having just listened to Most High, I am struck by what a powerful and intense song it is, and the fact that Page and Plant (and Jones a bit too) really defined that eastern influenced sub-genre of heavy rock. They are unrivaled in this area, and they may in fact be the only contemporary western heavy rock artists to make a claim on this type of music. I love the fact that this style and influence has run through so much of their music over the years. Songs such as Friends, Fours Sticks, Kashmir, In the Evening (intro), and Most High are truly enhanced by this aspect. Albums such as Unledded are founded on it. There isn't a bad example or flawed application of this style in their catalogue, and I only wish they did more of it in the Zeppelin years.

Edited by The Dark Lord
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I went back and listened again, and I'm sorry Albinis production just sucked all the power out of the album, just terrible production.

Roberts voice sounds weak and thin, it just doesn't work for me.

Jimmy sounds too constrained, where's the guitar army?

Charlie Jones, bleh. Michael Lees drums sound flat and one dimensional.

Still can't get into it.

This is one album that would benefit greatly from a remix.

Edited by bluecongo
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I've been revisiting this album recently - I can safely say its now one of my favourite post Zeppelin releases, however this is after a rather long time of not really 'getting it' so to speak. Whilst Jimmy may not be in full lead guitar god mode on it I think there's some great playing to be found. I think if you don't go in expecting a Zeppelin album you won't be disappointed and I admire them for doing something different and not just doing the obvious. I wish Robert would play some stuff from it in his solo sets.

Edited by LesPaulPlayer
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Love this album.

For my money, "Burning Up" is one of the hottest Page guitar tracks in his entire post-Zeppelin career. He's on FIRE! Should've been a single. Don't know WTF Atlantic was thinking missing out on that one... :ahhh:

Saw Page/Plant numerous times on the `95 tour and they were brilliant. But they were never better than they were on the `98 tour, IMHO.

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I agree with Hitchslap. The window validates them as a creative team. Ditching the classic rock approach, just making something entirely new. Also agree with Les Paul Player. Why expect or even want a Zeppelin type thing? Plant called it, its a young mans game. Page didn't realize that with the Coverdale Page project. After hearing "Feeling Hot" from that (to me, a career low point), its was really nice to see he could still do it right, with Burning Up. Page hits new ground in Blue Train, that solo is free of Rock God expectations, its like something Harrison would have done around Revolver. I also see what Blue Congo mentions, the sound is musty, old. I kind of like it though, its a bit dirty, human sounding. Jones and Lee are capable, but so what. Not remarkable. Plant has tended to sound strained a lot since the early 90s. I like that it is all new songs, as opposed to Unledded.That was a bit of a rip off to me, little in the way of original stuff (which was good, love Wonderful One and City Don't Cry). Its mostly a glorified Unplugged project, which was very much the thing to do then.

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  • 1 month later...
  • 1 year later...
  • 2 weeks later...

For some reason I never picked up Walking Into Clarksdale on vinyl just cd,  but I am extemely happy I am finally getting one, picked one up for 50 bucks on Amazon. The vinyl version is pretty hard to find. none of the record stores in my area had it.  You can find it on ebay and other places, but the prices being asked are pretty steep, like over $200 dollars at one place I looked. Same thing with Unledded.

Edited by luvlz2
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On 2/5/2016 at 3:36 AM, luvlz2 said:

Ran across this today, Steve Albini talking about recording at Abbey Road with Jimmy Page and Robert Plant.

 

 

The most eye-opening thing that Albini has to say about the WIC sessions is the sheer amount of time they took to record an album that in places still sounds like a demo.
 

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5 hours ago, woz70 said:

The most eye-opening thing that Albini has to say about the WIC sessions is the sheer amount of time they took to record an album that in places still sounds like a demo.

I have discussed before that Robert's mother passed away during these sessions, leading to an unforeseen hiatus of several weeks in the Autumn of 1997. I've mentioned many times the mix for this album is horrible and it is simply screaming to be remastered at long last. My most fond memory of this album, aside from the live shows, is a Northbound drive made thru the whole of Wales that summer with only this cd as my musical accompaniment. Entering the Black Mountains with Upon A Golden Horse reverberating at top volume--priceless!    

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2 hours ago, SteveAJones said:

I've mentioned many times the mix for this album is horrible and it is simply screaming to be remastered at long last. My most fond memory of this album, aside from the live shows, is a Northbound drive made thru the whole of Wales that summer with only this cd as my musical accompaniment. Entering the Black Mountains with Upon A Golden Horse reverberating at top volume--priceless!    

Even a really good remaster won't help WIC - it just needs to be remixed.  It sounds to me like they got far too bogged down in the (frankly awesome sounding) acoustic space at Abbey Road to the point that everything, especially the drums, sounds like it was recorded at the end of a hallway.   It just leaves the whole thing sounding distant and cluttered at the same time.  You can hear the genesis of the 'swampy' sound that has pervaded just about every single Robert Plant record since this, but sadly most of WIC ended up muddy, with the exception of the really sparse songs like 'Heart in your hand' which allows the acoustic space to work with the song, rather than against it.

Loud music whilst driving through Wales is always awesome.

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3 hours ago, bluecongo said:

I wonder how T Bone Burnett would be as a producer for Page and Plant.  

Albini just blew this project in a major way. 

I find Albini extremely annoying in the clip above. He exudes a kind of pompous nerd-chic. Plant hired him, so they got what they deserved. I actually went on youtube and listened to a few tracks from WIC for the first time in ages. With the passing of time, and reduced expectation, it's actually not bad. Just not that memorable or rousing. A lot of it sounds like demos that could have been worked on more to produce a better result. But I know that Plant was going on for a live in the studio type thing. 

For me, the album validates Zep's decision to split after Bonham died and illustrates how integral all four band members were to the sound. You're only getting 50 % of the magic that was Zeppelin on WIC, and it shows. 

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11 hours ago, Flares said:

I find Albini extremely annoying in the clip above. He exudes a kind of pompous nerd-chic. Plant hired him, so they got what they deserved.

They also brought in what's her face to produce the promo video for Most High. The technique that was used was all the rage back then but it looks very dated now.

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