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Reappraising 1980/07/07 - Berlin


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On ‎5‎/‎24‎/‎2015 at 3:49 PM, renounce said:

This show and much of the 1980 tour help me appreciate the sheer amount John Bonham brought to the Zeppelin party. I say this because it is only when you hear John Bonham 'off' that you really begin to appreciate how crucial he was to the success of their sound. Take Nobody's Fault and Kashmir from the Berlin show as examples, Bonzo is often doing little more than just tapping-out the beat. Without the energy, funk, swing, groove, inventive playfulness, command and sheer hammer he would usually contribute, these numbers almost completely fail to lift. The effect is that Zeppelin, even when playing masterpieces like Kashmir, sound decidedly flat and ordinary, almost like just another one of the 100s of so-so 2nd tier rock bands out there.


Even if other members were off, as long as Bonzo was on then the show would at least hold together, and very often kick-ass to boot. But, what the '80 tour often illustrates (IMHO) is that when Bonzo was off then the Zeppelin formula didn't really work. A bad night from Robert or Jimmy could be carried by the others. Most of the '75 and '77 shows are still very listenable despite either Robert or Jimmy often being off. But a bad night from Bonzo could not be compensated for or carried by the others. This is, I think, is the main reason why John Bonham could not be replaced.

That's an awesome post.  And 100% correct.

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