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ITTOD - Why is this the most disliked album of Led Zeppelin?


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On 07/02/2016 at 4:56 AM, William Austin said:

Not counting Coda, ITTOD is the only album that I feel could have been better with the material available. 

Jimmy has implied over the years that he didn't always compile an album with the strongest material available, rather the ones that fit together in tune and make up a cohesive album. Houses of The Holy is a good example of this; while The Rover is one of the strongest and best songs in the HOTH sessions, it doesn't sound like the other songs whatsoever and Jimmy left it off. It fit much better on Physical Graffiti, and Jimmy chose wisely when compiling the first seven albums.

In the case of ITTOD, Jimmy supposedly originally claimed that they were going for a different sound on this one, but in more recent years has said that he felt the style was a bit off right from the start. If this is true, he probably changed his story to not have to eat his own words. Either way, it's clear that he doesn't care for it much.

I think the problem with the album is that while it does sound like a cohesive album, which is what Jimmy apparently strived to do, there are two cuts on it that I feel are too weak to be included and should have been replaced with stronger cuts while not disrupting the flow of the album... and those are South Bound Saurez and Hot Dog, replaced with Ozone Baby and Wearing And Tearing, respectively. Doing so wouldn't have even been a timing conflict as it would make side one run only about 40 seconds longer.

I didn't know Jimmy made that admission about not always including the strongest material on hand at the time and instead going for a more cohesive overall approach; it certainly makes the previously bewildering (to me) exclusion of such gems as 'Hey, Hey, What Can I Do' (which the band thought a little "too scrappy" according to Jimmy) and 'Wearing and Tearing' all the more explicable in that new light, thanks for that.

Guess it just meant there was more for Coda  when it finally emerged... and again, the universe balances itself out, as it always does B).

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2 hours ago, The Old Hermit said:

I didn't know Jimmy made that admission about not always including the strongest material on hand at the time and instead going for a more cohesive overall approach; it certainly makes the previously bewildering (to me) exclusion of such gems as 'Hey, Hey, What Can I Do' (which the band thought a little "too scrappy" according to Jimmy) and 'Wearing and Tearing' all the more explicable in that new light, thanks for that.

Guess it just meant there was more for Coda  when it finally emerged... and again, the universe balances itself out, as it always does B).

I believe Jimmy's exact words were, when asked why such tracks as The Rover and Houses of The Holy did not appear on the album they were recorded for, "Because they're not like the other songs on the album."

Excluding HHWCID, it's also obvious that this is also the reason the outtakes from III and IV were excluded from their respective albums of origination, and this particularly applies to the latter, IMO.

Night Flight and Down By The Seaside are great tracks, but it's very difficult to tell that they originated from the fourth album sessions. I can't put my finger on why, but it's almost like they sound too... plain. Most of the tracks on the fourth album were recorded in a rather unorthodox manner and all sound very unique... in a good way. I don't believe said tracks would have fit on the album at all.

Boogie with Stu does sound like a descendent of When The Levee Breaks, but I'll bet Jimmy deemed it a bit to jammy and/or not strong enough to put it on his masterpiece album that he was striving to put together to tell the critics to go #@%* themselves.

 

That said, I really wish that Jimmy could have produced an album for his hero Elvis Presley during the early '70s. RCA and his producer, Felton Jarvis never approached Elvis' albums with care, and Elvis himself never had any say. Many of his album, particularly the albums that originated from his 1971 sessions, were basically put together like...

RCA: Ok, we recorded some pop tracks, some gospel tracks, and some holiday tracks; let's take the best holiday and gospel tracks and put them on two respective albums.

Jarvis: But we still have some tracks of those genres left over. What will we do with those?

RCA: Well we payed for studio time to record these, so everything needs to get released.

Jarvis: But some of those songs aren't that great.

RCA: It doesn't matter, the fans won't care.

Jarvis: Ok, so how do you want me to approach the pop album? Which twelve tracks should be used?

RCA: Ten tracks. We think it's a good idea to start including less songs for the same price; less royalties to pay. Also this way we can make two pop albums.

Jarvis: But I don't have enough songs to put on two albums.

RCA: Use the holiday and gospel outtakes as filler; and DON'T include the singles we've already released. They didn't even make the top 30, so let's forget about them.

 

^That ladies and gentlemen, is the management of the King of Rock and Roll. Very sad.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Not on my most dis-liked Zeppelin album list.

I listen to ITTOD more than I listen to LZ III, HOTH, and Coda.

Speaking purely of the tracks found on those albums, and *not* the same songs, as listened to on live or bootleg recordings....

 

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I can see that ITTOD seems to me to be like a cube with all the posters pointing out the various angles. Seems like

most dislike HD and SBS, but I was in a band where we played HD, and we always got a huge response, not puzzled

silence. And strangely enough HD is still heard on the radio today. I believe the song has the Zep mojo(energy), but

just like D'yer Mak'er, too far out of character. Ozone Baby and Wearing are better fits for the album, but I don't see

that they are MUCH better replacements for HD and SBS. Then you have the albums' unprecedented slickness, but I

believe certain tracks are enhanced, some reduced by this(I'm Gonna Crawl). Still a very good song and performance,

just too clean. Probably (maybe) the biggest issue is lack of hard rock. No explanation necessary.

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The album is very dark at it's core and I do believe that Fool , HD and Suarez brighten it up. I really don't care for Suarez but the song is worth the few minutes because Bonzo's drumming (just fantastic!) . They had Wearing , Walters Walk, and Ozone Baby ready but I think if you replace  HD , Fool and Suarez out for the others the album would have went from dark to depressing. They could have tweaked it but as it stands I love it.

Carouse is a Progressive Rock epic and maybe JPJ saw the writing on the wall and if  the band was going to remain relevant going forward it would be in the Progressive Rock genre. A power struggle would have been inevitable .

I always took ITTOD as a gift and I appreciate it...but that's just me.

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At one time a long, long time ago I used to put this record on quite a lot.

These days not so much.

 

I have to disagree with the notion that Hot Dog should be left off.

It's a silly little riff, that I suspect is a parody of Black Dog, but it's one of Plant's finest lyrics. Great story.

Fool in the Rain as well.

These are very solid, well-crafted pop songs. Not prog. Not rock. Not weak. Great performances by Jones and Bonham on both too.

 

I'm Gonna Crawl is kind of like Tea for One part 2... and also a lot like SIBLY, so a kind of nod to the past, in a way, but a really long one.

 

Page's guitar flourishes in All of My Love are so un-Page-like that one could ALMOST question their authenticity.

I'm not a big fan of the long, repetitive fade-out of this tune, but anyone can see why it had to be included on the album.

Judging by his playing on the 1980 tour it sounds as though Page is starting to view the guitar more as a sound source, than

a traditional instrument.... his bow solos always went into this sort of territory.

 

There are lots of rich tones throughout the album, but I find some of the structures a bit simplistic and repetitive at times.

 

I also have occasionally thought that ITTOD sounds like perhaps it was Robert Plant's first solo album as produced by John Paul Jones,

which I noticed someone else had mentioned.

 

The comparison with LZ II was, as someone else said, "a brave" statement, but

those two could be Zeppelin's most Pop oriented records. IV may be their biggest seller,

but it certainly doesn't sound to me like they've got their sights set on the Top 40 with that one.

 

I also recall times when I've put this on for company, who aren't particularly deep zep heads, to the chuckling response,

"What is THIS?" in a rather uncomplimentary tone.

 

There is a Robert Plant interview somewhere in which he states, "They're ALL good.... just don't start with ITTOD."

 

A friend once told me that he saw Presence as new Zep I, but that they didn't get a chance to make a new Zep II, so ITTOD was like a second Zep III...

in the sense that Presence is relatively stripped down to just a rock band in the studio,

then TSRTS mirrors Zep II in that it's all pasted together...

then ITTOD is total experimentation defying all expectations...mirroring Zep III

It's a stretch, but, an interesting idea nonetheless.

However,

as others have alluded to, their next effort could have fused the rich pop textures of ITTOD with something harder, but also more sophisticated... prog? Maybe. They were always a progressive band, in the traditional sense of the word.

 

Others have suggested that had Bonham not died, Page would have.... conjecture, of course.

 

I wouldn't say I "dislike" this record. On the other hand it doesn't get a lot of air time at my home.

I'd put it on right now,

but I've got this killer Dazed and Confused from Osaka in 1971 on right now,

and I'll be damned if I'm gonna switch THIS off before the song ends.  :)

 

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Just to clarify . I thought Carouse was very progressive and was the "epic" song on the album.

Crawl rooted in blues. Hot Dog really good and you know something I never heard Jimmy hit the solo live not once , not one layer even.

Hmmm....

Food for thought. 

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Yeah, Page never played the solo to HD properly----those changes require real country leads, not the disorganized mess

he did. Obviously he never rehearsed it for live.  Great insights from the last three posts in particular. This album I can

never view the same from day to day, sometimes I think it's real good, sometimes indifferent. But, a weak Zep album

is a great album by most other bands.

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11 hours ago, Mithril46 said:

I Probably (maybe) the biggest issue is lack of hard rock. No explanation necessary.

I think that's my biggest issue with it. Someone mentioned that's similar to III, in some instances sure, but III is still waaayyy better. I can honestly say this is the one I listen to the least.

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Yeah I listen mostly to boots but ITTOD is definetly last in many respects,

except maybe diversity. I can't compare it to lll because even the mellower

songs have a quiet intensity, whereas portions of ITTOD  are not exactly

sterile, but are too contained for my tastes.

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I'm hoping at some point in time I can get into I T T O D like I  do their other albums.
I have tried, but I am not there yet.  It's still on the bottom of the pile.  I'd like to
get to a point where I appreciate it as much as the rest.

Question for those who super duper love I T T O D.  How does say Presence rate
for you?  I ask since there is a big difference in those two for me.   Very cool for those
who love both. :)

Edited by KellyGirl
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There are the first five albums. Then PG pulled everything together the leftovers and partials etc. To clarify, the term leftovers is not meant minimize how brilliant the content used for PG is. I know they had new songs like Kashmir , IMTOD (very old bones but a new song) and TYG that where arguably some of the best songs they wrote. For me Trampled flourished live , but as usual I digress.

It's seldom heard I don't like Led Zeppelin 1 2 3 The Fourth, Houses or PG. I don't like that Houses doesn't have it's namesake song on it but love the album regardless. 

I love Presence and ITTOD both "super duper" love. I really appreciate ITTOD but for different reasons than I really appreciate Presence . I think of them as very similar.

First sight, I reacted the same way.

First spins, I reacted the same way.

First impressions, I reacted the same way.

"This is breaking new ground and maybe they (or it) will grow on me". Well of course they did and still remained similar. Both albums featured songs I just didn't like. Candy Store Rock and Suarez but again similar , I love Bonzo's drums on both!

Achilles set the tone on Presence, it's raw , stripped and in your face . The layers of guitars (guitar army) are far from slick production on previous albums. Not a heck of a lot of experimenting no drums in the hallway or guitars in the bathroom etc. Just straight forward fury complimented by so many drum fills , JPJ plucking the bass like I have never heard him do before or even imagined he could. All following Jimmy's lead to Tea For One . Really heavy raw blues and rooted in traditional blues.

Robert is in a wheel chair but it's clear that his voice is changed and not like the first time you heard him sing SRS. And you know what ? It fit and he sings the songs. No effects or very little compared to previous opuses  The lyrics are harder to understand than ever before.  But it is a sonic assault, unprecedented. Dark shade, little light. Virtuoso Jimmy Page in every groove.

Fast forward to ITTOD . In The Evening doesn't set the tone as clearly as Achilles did but synthesized effects are evident in every aspect of the song and used by all to some degree. The album is clearly a departure from guitar driven fury. Made all the more evident after the next two tracks SB and Fool In The Rain it took me sometime to appreciate Fool but there are lots of time changes at least one solid bridge while it is very pop sounding it's pretty darn inventive. The Bee Gees couldn't pull it off.

SB is also a well structured song and again the slick drum work. Hot Dog is no different than The Crunge or D'yer Maker it's a fun Zep song and probably features the best guitar solo on the album, Jimmy couldn't play it live but the fact remains it's a great solo.

Then The Epic, Carouse. It's what kept me coming back. I am a fan of ELP and Yes so it wasn't hard to digest. I think JPJ and Robert had very high hopes for the song as a live centerpiece, perhaps as was mentioned, a NQ in reverse Jimmy soloing and Jonesy creeping in with Bonzo keeping it together. Its a very complex composition , Robert takes some thinly veiled shots at Jimmy but not to detract from the song. It was always dark and mysterious and pre-internet no one knew all the words , at least to a certainty.

All Of My Love is what it is and to deny Robert this song would have been VERY wrong. Its another beautiful composition , poignant and heartfelt and again just beautiful "He is a feather in the wind" He is everywhere, drifting carefree and unburdened. That's what I get anyway.

Crawl brings us back to the blues roots but it's not like any blues before it, I have heard Robert refer to Communication Breakdown as blues, perhaps but no one played the blues like that before. I won't speculate who Robert was singing too but he's convicted for sure and its my favorite vocal on the album.

I grew to love this album. I mentioned composition a number of times and the songs are largely compositions not riff based songs . Of course I would have loved an ass kicker or three with Jimmy leading the way but it didn't happen. He was sick. 

As was mentioned this album may well have been produced by JPJ. He gave it his all and more. As I matured and read more about Zep (not Cole) I felt a peace was made between JPJ and Robert  before one could  have been made with Jimmy. Being so sick and all he could not truly atone and moreover understand that as a leader you have to care and feel for your men, allow them to draw strength and comfort from you. It was Jimmy's band.

Take the album for what it is and not what you expected or wanted and maybe you'll be "super duper" for it.  It's a gift. ; )

Tired. Peace.

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That's a very good case for ITTOD. My deal breaker between that album

and Presence is that Presence is much more intense thruout and on

Presence Page plays absolutely stunning guitar parts not heard anywhere.

ITTOD I still find worthwhile but there is a certain slickness to most tracks

and although Page is still creating a buzz with his playing at times , sometimes he sounds like an ace session player. Interesting in a way, but not

what I listen to Jimmy for.

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I agree the and that is a good observation, it does seem at times that Jimmy is a session player. His playing on the album is really very good. It fits the songs and is not upfront in the mix because on most of the numbers don't call for it but when need be it's there and played well, very well. I love Hot Dog and certainly Jimmy wrote the solo for it , played it and couldn't play it again ? I don't know.

I also agree the Jimmy Page I appreciate most is the guy blazing through inventive guitar parts live and the studio magick.

I wasn't trying to make a case for ITTOD just explaing why I love the album and that's what came out. It took much longer to have the same love for ITTOD than the others. The First, II III The Fourth Album, Houses and PG are my favorites but I love them all.

But the boots are really where it's at for me, the good ones anyway.

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You mention the boots and I must note(a bit off topic, still relevant) that Zep is one of the few rock/hard rock groups

where not only the solos were improvised, even the song parts themselves. I like bands like Rush, Iron Maiden, Metallica,

even some thrash, but there is a limited appeal because unlike Zep(or Hendrix, another great example) there isn't

really a sense of a grand adventure possibly taking place. Even if Zep failed( never really satisfied with live HD or ITE),

songs were different from night to night, not a studio re-creation except for the guitar solo.

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8 hours ago, Jimmywalnutz said:

I agree the and that is a good observation, it does seem at times that Jimmy is a session player. His playing on the album is really very good. It fits the songs and is not upfront in the mix because on most of the numbers don't call for it but when need be it's there and played well, very well. I love Hot Dog and certainly Jimmy wrote the solo for it , played it and couldn't play it again ? I don't know.

I also agree the Jimmy Page I appreciate most is the guy blazing through inventive guitar parts live and the studio magick.

I wasn't trying to make a case for ITTOD just explaing why I love the album and that's what came out. It took much longer to have the same love for ITTOD than the others. The First, II III The Fourth Album, Houses and PG are my favorites but I love them all.

But the boots are really where it's at for me, the good ones anyway.

Its not that he ever could play that solo live since it is actually two solos being done simultaneously with one solo slightly slowed down. So, unless Page grew two extra arms ala Krishna, it could never be possible. Page did this on several solos which resulted in his live solos being improvised versions, or even completely different from the studio versions. This is, as Mithril pointed out, the reason why Zep were so amazing and electric live, they were four guys who, in the case of Jones & Page, would have to pull off the parts of four, five, or even six musicians on their own...two guys handling six parts! That is what was so unique about the Zep, and also the reason why when any member, especially Page, was off, the whole thing could become an epic fail. If Page shared the stage with another guitarist he could have an off night and no one would even notice, which in retrospect would have been a great idea from 77' on.

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Ala Krishna ,Yes. I should have clarified. I mentioned earlier that he couldn't hit one layer live. Someone else mentioned a country lead was needed. I'm not a musician by any stretch.....

A second guitarist  has been food for thought for me. I never mentioned it here for fear of attack, really. I had been warned before participating, that message boards can be brutal and ruin your day. Not here.

You have much more history , 2k posts. Since you opened the door I will walk in....

A second guitar would have made them much more flexible, many songs we never heard live may have been possible but in there prime it wasn't really necessary.  I thought the same about a dedicated keyboard / organ/ mellotron player for live shows. I'm not so sure I would have liked either. The live experience was made special by the magick 5th element. I would imagine there was a certain innate balance. Why F with it ? 

 In 77 Jimmy was still capable more often than not. By 80 another guitar would have been useful. The  magick died with the 77 Tour . So nothing to lose in that regard. Nowadays , Black Sabbath has a second  guitar off stage but Iommi is 70 + and had cancer . Page was still young in 80.

Page (or his shell) still had it in 1980 (some nights) but the sickness would not have stopped it's insidious progression. Chasing the dragon or just feeding it to get straight, no matter , all bad to worse. 

Jimmy (pride , ego and just being Jimmy Page !!) wouldn't have wanted another guitar live or studio and JPJ would want to give up his keys on the heels of his greatest accomplishment and contribution to the band? No.

But just saying what if ? Then who ? A guy hiding backstage or new member ?  The hidden player would have sucked and a new member ? Or members. Like I said I have given this thought.

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Totally true that HD is a mix of solos. However, the song had a " authentic country chord progression"  and me being a

musician, Jimmy never worked out the changes properly for live, the errors are not subtle, they clash with Jone's piano ..When

Jimmy played with the Crowes, that's when. he "locked in " with other guitarists. He proved that he could be very disciplined live, but I thought Jimmy's famous for playing on the edge, not playing it safe.As far as playing with another guitarist late in Zep, as soon as you have two guitars particularly in a hard rock setting, much freedom is lost particularly

in a Zep setting where riffs must match or be in sync. A really good example(s) of this would be Jeff Beck, EVH, and Page 

himself. EVH would be tremendously diminished with another guitarist, and live you want him to be his reckless self.

If you love what Page did with the Crowes, that's cool.I liked it but Page was on a leash. But he hadn't done that before,

so it was something new.

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In Through the Out Door is the most disliked album of Led Zeppelins storied career is because those that dislike it say so.  Me, personally, I Love it. 

What is there to "dislike" it?  This is, after all, a Led Zeppelin album done toward the end of the 1970's.  A different album at a different time then what Led Zeppelin created in 1968-1975.  Nonetheless, still a record recorded by Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, John Paul Jones and Mr. Bonham. 

A Led Zeppelin "Swan Song" so to speak...

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6 hours ago, kingzoso said:

In Through the Out Door is the most disliked album of Led Zeppelins storied career is because those that dislike it say so.  Me, personally, I Love it. 

What is there to "dislike" it? 

On 3/10/2016 at 9:41 PM, Mithril46 said:

I Probably (maybe) the biggest issue is lack of hard rock. No explanation necessary.

I think that's my biggest issue with it. Someone mentioned that's similar to III, in some instances sure, but III is still waaayyy better. I can honestly say this is the one I listen to the least.

 

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Those of you who don't like it do so because it doesn't fit "YOUR" expectations. "oooh it's not hard enough", "oooh Jimmy isn't at forefront", oooh "why didn't they do this"  or "why didn't they do that"

The truth is, Led Zeppelin made the music THEY wanted to make,  "YOU"  were never a concern while making any of their albums. You either like Zeppelin's music because you understand where the band is coming from or you don't.

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Well, by 79' Page was limited by what he could pull off or create in his deteriorated state. He still plays very well and even

great on the album, the issue is his meager composition input on the album. Just saying, well Jimmy had his way with

Presence, let Jonesy have the next record, is a excuse for Jimmy's addiction. Either way IMO it's a worthwhile album

despite whatever weaknesses it may be perceived to have.

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Cool responses :) 

If you measure it with internet info. i.e. 'Google' searches, YouTube plays, digital downloads, threads
on the Led Zeppelin forum and interviews from Jimmy himselfIn Through The Outdoor  has received
the least amount of attention out of all the studio albums.
*Leaving Coda  out of this, since it's a different
animal*
  It can't be because media and fan chatter on the internet have made it into the notorious anti Zep
album is it?  It's like a weird form of propaganda that eggs people into disliking it.
:wacko:

What part does Jimmy have in that?  It doesn't get the nostalgic reminiscing or the walk down memory
lane in interviews the way the other albums do.  I'm not saying Zep fans pick and choose their favourite or
least favourite album based on how little or how much Jimmy Page talks about them... BUT there is a chance
it could play a bit of a role with some Zep fans not overly liking In Through The Outdoor,   because  Jimmy has
never overly gushed about it.  Look at interviews where he talks about the material he wrote at  Bron-Yr-Aur
and Headley Grange  compared to the material he came up with on  In Through the Outdoor.  Who really knows
how much all of that over time influences fans who came in the 90s and 2000s into deciding what's a good Zep
album and what's not. 

Now before anybody starts saying you silly ass fan girl
:rant:  why are Jimmy's words more  influential than Plant
and Jonesy?  Well I'm only singling out Jimmy because he's the go-to-guy when it comes to  promoting Zep's music
to new generations and keeping the bands legacy alive. That is all.
:lol:

I kind of wish there was a poll on the board indicating what's the age of majority for those who love this album.

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6 hours ago, juxtiphi said:

Those of you who don't like it do so because it doesn't fit "YOUR" expectations. "oooh it's not hard enough", "oooh Jimmy isn't at forefront", oooh "why didn't they do this"  or "why didn't they do that"

The truth is, Led Zeppelin made the music THEY wanted to make,  "YOU"  were never a concern while making any of their albums. You either like Zeppelin's music because you understand where the band is coming from or you don't.

Oh boy am I guilty of the bolded.:blush:, but I  do indeed get  what you're saying Juxtiphi :)
 

Edited by KellyGirl
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