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McSeven

The Black Sabbath Sound vs the Led Zeppelin Sound

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I was listening to a podcast that Tony Iommi from BSabbath. He state that the difference between Zep and Sabbath is that Zep was Percussive Heavy than Sabbath and that Sabbath Guitar sound was heavier than Zeppelin.

What do you guys think. Songs like Immigrant song and IMTOD/When the Levee Breaks sound heavy to me. I listed to both. I do agree that TI guitar sounds heavy most of the time. On the other hand its not like the Zep guitar sound is light and fluffy.

Anyways. All comments welcomed.

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The best way to describe the sound of Jimmys guitar playing is that of the voice of The Tolkien Dragon "SMAUG " powerful like thunder from the bowels of the earth yet soft as the settling dew on a rose petal! TI had a few great licks in him but there is NO comparison. PEACE LOVE LED ZEPPELIN

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Man you got some balls not only tampering with the great ZEPPELIN music but also Sabbaths if in fact you have what it takes to do that combination video! SHAME ON YOU

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Well by Ozzy's own words, the members of Sabbath sat around listening endlessly to Led Zeppelin II when it was first issued and they took that as their inspiration to make their own music. So I don't think one can deny Zeppelin's influence on them.

The first four Sabbath albums were killer though so they took those influences and ran with them in a very big way.

Both bands are revered today for very good reasons.

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The best way to describe the sound of Jimmys guitar playing is that of the voice of The Tolkien Dragon "SMAUG " powerful like thunder from the bowels of the earth yet soft as the settling dew on a rose petal! TI had a few great licks in him but there is NO comparison. PEACE LOVE LED ZEPPELIN

Iommi had more than just a few licks. He's a riffmaster as well, just not very versatile when compared to Page. Almost every Sabbath song is based around a riff, same as Zeppelin. I know all the members of Sabbath had great respect for Zeppelin as musicians and I'm STILL waiting for that infamous Black Zeppelin jam to emerge from the depths one day- some sources say it exist.

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I think that Led Zeppelin's music was produced better than any of Black Sabbath's music. Alot of the Black Sabbath songs were very dark and gloomy with a very heavy emphasis on Tony Iommi's guitar. (Don't get me wrong because I also Love Black Sabbath). I believe that Led Zeppelin's music was also heavily dominated by Jimmy Page's guitar and musical vision but with alot more emphasis on versatility and light and shade.

Ozzy Osbourne once said something to the effect that "Paranoid" was basically Led Zeppelin's "Communication Breakdown" with different lyrics.

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I'll put in another plug for Led Zeppelin FAQ by noting that I go over the Zeppelin-Sabbath comparison in the book, including the "Paranoid"/"Communication Breakdown" overlap; I have a whole chapter that points out the links between Zeppelin and a range of other acts, including Sabbath, the Beatles, the Stones, Bowie, Alice Cooper, AC/DC, Dylan, the Who, et al...

Definitely an interesting debate. Hard to find a fan of Zeppelin who doesn't also respect Sabbath, and vice-versa. Physical Ecstasy, Technical Graffiti, it's all good.

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IMO not a relevant comparison. Besides both playing rock music not many similarities. Geezer and Bill are a more jazz influenced rhythm section. They aren't driving the beat into the ground as much as soaring around it. For all practical purposes there is a bit of role reversal, they fill the musical space RP and JP fill in LZ. Ozzy and Tony are the hard thump of the band. The wrote from different places. LZ more often than not wrote about happy, sexy things. Sabbath delved into darker topics inspired by the doom and gloom of the times. Not much in common.

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I'm lucky because I got to see Sabbath with Ozzy and they are noway the same kinda music...Percy hated Zeppelin being called "Heavy Metal"with the likes of Sabbath,Judas Priest sound.Zeppelin are more of a heavy blues band with some hard rock songs and some folky songs..

Dont get me wrong I was raised on bands such as Sabbath,Priest and Maiden,I was part of the NWOBHM (New Wave Of British Heavy Metal) in the 80's,head banging to some of the best metal around,but I would never put Zeppelin into that category of music.

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Led Zeppelin was light and shade. Black Sabbath was pretty much all shade. Jimmy Page was very versatile because he had all sorts of influences on acoustic guitar (Bert Jansch, Robert Johnson, Joni Mitchell), and he could play both acoustic and electric very well. Jimmy Page was like the bridge between folk and metal, and everything in between. That's why his music appeals to so many people.

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He state that the difference between Zep and Sabbath is that Zep was Percussive Heavy than Sabbath and that Sabbath Guitar sound was heavier than Zeppelin.

I'd agree with that. Iommi's tone was very thick and sludgy which gave Sabbath their heavy sound. With Zep if you listen to a song like Misty Mountain Hop you can see that a lot of Zep's heaviness came from Bonham's drumming. When the song starts the keyboard riff is quite light, then Page's guitar comes in which gives it some hard rock kick, but then Bonham comes crashing in and the whole thing becomes lot heavier and more powerful. Without Bonham that song would have sounded a lot lighter.

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IMO not a relevant comparison. Besides both playing rock music not many similarities. Geezer and Bill are a more jazz influenced rhythm section. They aren't driving the beat into the ground as much as soaring around it. For all practical purposes there is a bit of role reversal, they fill the musical space RP and JP fill in LZ. Ozzy and Tony are the hard thump of the band. The wrote from different places. LZ more often than not wrote about happy, sexy things. Sabbath delved into darker topics inspired by the doom and gloom of the times. Not much in common.

Years and years ago when I saw Sabbath live they actually broke out into a very jazzy interlude when they played "Wicked World" (I think it was that tune anyway)........so the jazz reference regarding them is really valid.

Folks don't usually think "jazz" and "Black Sabbath" simultaneously.

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Years and years ago when I saw Sabbath live they actually broke out into a very jazzy interlude when they played "Wicked World" (I think it was that tune anyway)........so the jazz reference regarding them is really valid.

Folks don't usually think "jazz" and "Black Sabbath" simultaneously.

The chorus to Sabbath Bloody Sabbath was pretty jazzy as well. I thought that was very interesting. It would have been cool if they had experimented more with "light" like Led Zeppelin had, but I guess it just wasn't to be.

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^ that's my favorite Black Sabbath album, other than Heaven and Hell. Different than what they normally did, and regarded as their worst, but I dig it.

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^ that's my favorite Black Sabbath album, other than Heaven and Hell. Different than what they normally did, and regarded as their worst, but I dig it.

it was also Ozzy's last album with Sabbath.

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^ that's my favorite Black Sabbath album, other than Heaven and Hell. Different than what they normally did, and regarded as their worst, but I dig it.

Yeah, there's some great stuff on it. Bill Ward recently did a tribute to Tony Iommi on a college radio station and played six Sabbath tracks. Two of them were from 'Never Say Die!', 'Air Dance' and 'Johnny Blade'. http://www.black-sabbath.com/2012/02/bill-ward-tribute-to-tony-iommi/

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Yeah, there's some great stuff on it. Bill Ward recently did a tribute to Tony Iommi on a college radio station and played six Sabbath tracks. Two of them were from 'Never Say Die!', 'Air Dance' and 'Johnny Blade'. http://www.black-sab...-to-tony-iommi/

You've got to be kidding me. I go to that college! I've been going there for a few years now and Bill Ward has been coming on campus every month to guest host on a radio show?! I almost don't believe it...

Edited by publicenemy3

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You've got to be kidding me. I go to that college! I've been going there for a few years now and Bill Ward has been coming on campus every month to guest host on a radio show?! I almost don't believe it...

What a coincidence! :)

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The last two Sabbath albums with Ozzy were pretty good, different for sure but I never did see why people were so put off by them.

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I love both bands, I play a lot of songs by Page and Iommi (as well as Brian May) and to me the difference between Led Zed and Black Sabbath is the difference between hard rock and heavy metal. Lez Zep had a more open sound while Black Sabbath were more..ehm, metallic. Plus, if you want to listen to the best of Sabbath you need to listen Heaven & Hell and Mob Rules, Ozzy didn't a hold a candle to Plant BUT Dio was very skilled.

The two drummers are pretty similar, the bands could have switched them: they both had this heavy touch and were...brutal. As a bass player Geezer had more influence in the sound and songwriting, but of course JPJ is a multistrumental player.

Now: the two guitarist. Page, like May, was one of these who tried to build the famous army of guitars, Iommi is much more straightforward and in most of his songs he just play rhytm and overdubs the lead. Page is the sound of rock, Iommi is the sound of steel.

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I'd agree with that. Iommi's tone was very thick and sludgy which gave Sabbath their heavy sound. With Zep if you listen to a song like Misty Mountain Hop you can see that a lot of Zep's heaviness came from Bonham's drumming. When the song starts the keyboard riff is quite light, then Page's guitar comes in which gives it some hard rock kick, but then Bonham comes crashing in and the whole thing becomes lot heavier and more powerful. Without Bonham that song would have sounded a lot lighter.

I like this point a lot. Bonham did really have the effort to change the tempo or feel of a Zeppelin song.

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To me, Sabbath was always a more "metal" sounding band. I have always thought they should be the band credited with starting that genre. It was their sound and their sound alone at the time. Sabbath has always sounded very "crungy" to me. I love their sound. It's amazing and unique. Just like a certain band named Led Zeppelin. I think the difference between the bands lies in their overall sound the the cataouge of music they put out. I always found Zeppelin to be more of a varied group that was much harder to define musically.

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