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Did Led Zeppelin make the right decision to break up?


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First time I've heard someone challenge the mighty Zep in the early days, and there is some truth to it. Some fans don't

know for example that until mid-69' or so , many shows Zep actually outsludged Black Sabbath for crashing and lumbering

heaviness. Plant sounded great in one way, but the caveman holler often paid no heed to what was needed for a song.

Still quite a spectacle, but agreed that a real consistency was not achieved until at least 71' and the Crown Jewels in 73'.

About the drugs, in many books Keith has described his madcap adventures to much entertainment while high. Jimmy could

do the same, I'm sure there are incredible stories, but then show how that addiction led to other addictions and eventual

personal ruin. Of course Jimmy won't do that, but what a story to tell. Jimmy's drug/alcohol timeline is all mixed up, he never

did smack for 7 yrs straight, he quit many times, and even on tour with the Firm(85') he was on smack partially . Many a time Page would have strange weight changes on tour, some Firm photos he's thin, others a bit of a belly.

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I remember the excitement generated by the Who farewell tour in 1982, and also how flat they sounded with Kenny Jones yet sold all these stadiums out anyway. It was proof positive that Zep had done the right thing in breaking up, I thought, and suggested to me that Townsend was a bit callous about replacing Moon. Nothing could have been further from the truth, of course, as Moonie was very dear to Pete and the Who had The Kids Are Alright and the Quadrophenia films in the works when Moon died. The show had to go on, if only to promote the art, and it was the right thing to do for Quadrophenia in particular. Through the years many of the reunion performances have happened within the context of the two rock operas, which require Townshend and Daltrey to play together, and why hire anybody else but the Ox to play bass? Moon's death did have its effects and Townshend and Daltrey spent more time on other projects. Townshend's Empty Glass (1980) was a fine album - some think it's a masterpiece. Daltrey did a film on his own. They made Face Dances and It's Hard, a couple of so-so efforts but for "Eminence Front", did the farewell tour in 1982 and then broke up. They didn't last very long without Moonie - 4 years, with much of that time spent on other projects.

Zep didn't have quite the artistic obligations Townshend had with the Quadrophenia, and its all apples to oranges anyway. While the Who were doing their farewell tour, the Death Wish II soundtrack was out and I was ecstatic about it, happy to hear new stuff from Jimmy and know that he had succeeded expectations to both the film and the album. It's still a terribly underappreciated album. Pictures at Eleven came out later in the year, and, lo and behold, Robert made a fine album which received a lot of radio play and was a good listen and I played it quite a lot that summer while doing a horrible job fingering Robbie Blunt's guitar chords. (Yeah, I was all but convinced Robbie Blunt was Jimmy). Those were proud days to be a Zep head, knowing that they had done the right thing in calling it quits yet were still creating good and sometimes great music for us, though separately.  

But by 1990-91 the record stores have become cd stores and they're flooded with Led Zeppelin product. The people bought them, and they outsold everybody but Garth Brooks in the 1990s. How this translated into "we can't play with John Paul Jones" I will never understand, and most of what was said about now and than was and is bullshit, imo. I think from 1990 on the surviving members of the Who were more honest with themselves and their fans, let the critics howl and moan about the Tommy tour, which they did -- & who cares what the critics think anyway?

Edited by Mercurious
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I always blamed Plant for Zep not at least doing a few more shows in 2007 just for the fans and thought it was almost a big 2 fingers to the fans. But having seen a few interviews with him recently, he clearly cares a lot about Zeppelin and up until 77 at least loved his time in the band. He knows it could never be the same so why spoil it. I must admit to being wrong about the guy and have far more respect for him now.

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Also if you look around the "rock world" there are certain bands who simply had members EXTREMELY at each others

throats. The Police took 20 years to reunite, but musically, they were amazing...all members going off on some brilliant

jams, no loss of ability. Floyd, the rift between Waters and Gilmour, even a quarter billion for a tour, Gilmour won't do.

Robert could have done more shows, but my intuition tells me that the whole thing with having to deal with detuning

on half of the songs, I'm not sure he could just laugh it off. Let's say Jimmy had some dexterity problems, and had to

record full song guitar backing tracks if his fingers were off. As much as Jimmy would love to do a large US Zep

tour, I really don't think Jimmy would be okay with that.

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It's all about Bonham being a very unique drummer, with great improvisational and technical ability and sound. In a way it's also always about 'no one is irreplaceable' and other three worked really well together as well alone, but Bonham was very important for the band and a good friend and someone else could do it in a different style, but it wouldn't be right! Also others started to loose their technical ability with years a bit and while there is no reason their music is not allowed to be technically simplified as years go by, as that is alright, as some of their music was always simple and mellow and even without solos and drums, that is not what you would expect and Jimmy also seems to be loosing his songwriting ability as years go by. So there you have it!

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Absolutely you are on the money. Bonzo IMO was not only the best rock drummer ever, but the best rock MUSICIAN ever.

I have read reviews of Zep studio releases and occasionally there may have been some criticism of what the remaining

members played on a certain song, but Bonzo, almost never. Even on ITTOD Bonzo kept expanding, Fool In The Rain,

he totally nailed that Latin beat with it's subtleties. And Jimmy really relied upon Bonzo enormously, once Bonzo passed

Jimmy had a very hard time getting the enormous sound Bonzo provided in Zep. Jimmy actually spoke of this, and the 

adjustment to any other drummer apparently was quite frustrating.

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1 hour ago, Mithril46 said:

Absolutely you are on the money. Bonzo IMO was not only the best rock drummer ever, but the best rock MUSICIAN ever.

I have read reviews of Zep studio releases and occasionally there may have been some criticism of what the remaining

members played on a certain song, but Bonzo, almost never. Even on ITTOD Bonzo kept expanding, Fool In The Rain,

he totally nailed that Latin beat with it's subtleties. And Jimmy really relied upon Bonzo enormously, once Bonzo passed

Jimmy had a very hard time getting the enormous sound Bonzo provided in Zep. Jimmy actually spoke of this, and the 

adjustment to any other drummer apparently was quite frustrating.

Where is the upvote button? Exactly this mate. Got it in a nutshell.

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It wouldn't be the same without Bonzo, period. Led Zeppelin was 4 talented musicians that created a 5th element / member when playing together. I think the Rolling Stones are somewhat beating a dead horse with the incessant touring 50 years on, but at least their lineup, absent Bill Wyman, is pretty much the same as it's been since Ron Wood replaced Mick Taylor in the '70's. I saw a billboard in my city the other day advertising Roger Daltrey performing Who classics at the Hard Rock. Just Daltrey. Pete sent his brother Simon in for him on guitar. That's not the Who. 

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2 minutes ago, EaglesOfOneNest said:

I saw a billboard in my city the other day advertising Roger Daltrey performing Who classics at the Hard Rock. Just Daltrey. Pete sent his brother Simon in for him on guitar. That's not the Who. 

"Queen + that bloke who looks like Peter Andre" isn't Queen either. As the years go by, and the Stones start to sound like their own tribute band, I'm more convinced than ever that Zeppelin made the right decision. I've said it before, but the MTV era would have ruined the mystique. No more not appearing on TV policy. "and that was Duran Duran and here is Led Zep", nope I just can't conceive of it.

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I don't know, assuming they continued, and were rising again (Jimmy/Peter reigning it in somewhat, a scare pulled them back from the brink, and another album was another winner) Continuing to give almost no TV could have worked for them. Their album sales were fine, and their reputation was the live gigs. I don't know the "new generation" that was tv obsessed would have hurt much.

But then again, they might have begun exploring TV on their own terms. Peter Grant spoke in that interview on the Thames posted here recently how TV was not an option because it just sounded shiite. There might have been a revisit to that thought with advances and possible opportunities. Like I say - on their terms.

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11 hours ago, 76229 said:

 "and that was Duran Duran and here is Led Zep", nope I just can't conceive of it.

Don't know about that. I bet old Robert would have been quite keen chasing around half naked honeys' on a beach while belting out Shake My Tree or Fire in 1982. Then again, thank god it ended when it did. Just imagine Robert jumping the shark with a Billy Squire Rock Me Tonight video moment.

Edited by IpMan
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11 hours ago, 76229 said:

"Queen + that bloke who looks like Peter Andre" isn't Queen either. As the years go by, and the Stones start to sound like their own tribute band, I'm more convinced than ever that Zeppelin made the right decision. I've said it before, but the MTV era would have ruined the mystique. No more not appearing on TV policy. "and that was Duran Duran and here is Led Zep", nope I just can't conceive of it.

I never understood the Queen + concept. Surely if they wanted to really get it right it should have been Queen + Whoever - (John Deacon + Freddie Mercury) = 

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Music on tv did sound shite in the 70s and 80s - but it still does.
They seem to close mike everything, the drums sound like someone tapping on a bog roll, everything's tinny and flat with no depth and they don't seem to understand what room mikes are.
The complete antithesis of Jimmy's production techniques - I can see why he didn't even view tv as an option. 
 

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On 10/4/2017 at 3:04 AM, babysquid said:

I never understood the Queen + concept. Surely if they wanted to really get it right it should have been Queen + Whoever - (John Deacon + Freddie Mercury) = 

I think the only band that successfully pulled off swapping in another singer was Journey and that's because Arnel Pineda sounds EXACTLY like Steve Perry (and kinda looks like him, too). Yes, Iron Maiden and AC/DC were successful after the addition of Bruce Dickinson and Brian Johnson, but in the case of Maiden, DiAnno was replaced after one album (I think) and AC / DC .... well, I don't know, maybe they are actually another example of successfully replacing their singer. 

Anyway, you really really cannot top Freddie Mercury

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16 hours ago, EaglesOfOneNest said:

... and AC / DC .... well, I don't know, maybe they are actually another example of successfully replacing their singer. 

Anyway, you really really cannot top Freddie Mercury

ACDC are two different bands. I absolutely LOVE the Bon Scott albums. Back in Black, mostly written for Bon, was pretty good, but Brian's voice never sat well with me. Bon had a cheeky Aussie way about him that shone through. Brian just grates my nerves to be honest. Angus was good enough to keep writing enough great songs to keep the success, but they were nowhere near what they were and nothing like what they would have been with Bon. The lost potential there is staggering. Just like with Zep.

And yeah, no way EVER could Freddie be replaced. Probably the best rock singer/showman EVER.

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9 hours ago, rm2551 said:

ACDC are two different bands. I absolutely LOVE the Bon Scott albums. Back in Black, mostly written for Bon, was pretty good, but Brian's voice never sat well with me. Bon had a cheeky Aussie way about him that shone through. Brian just grates my nerves to be honest. Angus was good enough to keep writing enough great songs to keep the success, but they were nowhere near what they were and nothing like what they would have been with Bon. The lost potential there is staggering. Just like with Zep.

And yeah, no way EVER could Freddie be replaced. Probably the best rock singer/showman EVER.

Yeah, I'm going to admit that I'm not that much of an AC/DC connoisseur; I just generally like their hits. Taking a quick look at their catalog, I see most of my favorites are from the Bon Scott era. I also see that they have Chris Slade back on drums again! 

Some friends of mine had tickets for a show last year that got canceled due to Brian Johnson's hearing issues. It was rescheduled later with Axl on vocals and they said it was the most expensive cover band they've ever been to see! 

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9 hours ago, rm2551 said:

ACDC are two different bands. I absolutely LOVE the Bon Scott albums. Back in Black, mostly written for Bon, was pretty good, but Brian's voice never sat well with me. Bon had a cheeky Aussie way about him that shone through. Brian just grates my nerves to be honest. Angus was good enough to keep writing enough great songs to keep the success, but they were nowhere near what they were and nothing like what they would have been with Bon. The lost potential there is staggering. Just like with Zep.

And yeah, no way EVER could Freddie be replaced. Probably the best rock singer/showman EVER.

100% agree!  I was lucky enough to see AC/DC with Bon back in the day and they blew me away!  Even though I hated his replacement, I went and saw them again during the Brian years - not the same band anymore.  I ceased being a fan from that time on. 

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7 hours ago, Stryder1978 said:

100% agree!  I was lucky enough to see AC/DC with Bon back in the day and they blew me away!  Even though I hated his replacement, I went and saw them again during the Brian years - not the same band anymore.  I ceased being a fan from that time on. 

 

7 hours ago, EaglesOfOneNest said:

Yeah, I'm going to admit that I'm not that much of an AC/DC connoisseur; I just generally like their hits. Taking a quick look at their catalog, I see most of my favorites are from the Bon Scott era. I also see that they have Chris Slade back on drums again! 

Some friends of mine had tickets for a show last year that got canceled due to Brian Johnson's hearing issues. It was rescheduled later with Axl on vocals and they said it was the most expensive cover band they've ever been to see! 

 

16 hours ago, rm2551 said:

ACDC are two different bands. I absolutely LOVE the Bon Scott albums. Back in Black, mostly written for Bon, was pretty good, but Brian's voice never sat well with me. Bon had a cheeky Aussie way about him that shone through. Brian just grates my nerves to be honest. Angus was good enough to keep writing enough great songs to keep the success, but they were nowhere near what they were and nothing like what they would have been with Bon. The lost potential there is staggering. Just like with Zep.

And yeah, no way EVER could Freddie be replaced. Probably the best rock singer/showman EVER.

How do you guys feel about Sabbath without Ozzy and the revolving door of musicians that came after? At one point Tony Iommi was the only original member.

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On 10/5/2017 at 10:51 AM, EaglesOfOneNest said:

I think the only band that successfully pulled off swapping in another singer was Journey and that's because Arnel Pineda sounds EXACTLY like Steve Perry (and kinda looks like him, too). Yes, Iron Maiden and AC/DC were successful after the addition of Bruce Dickinson and Brian Johnson, but in the case of Maiden, DiAnno was replaced after one album (I think) and AC / DC .... well, I don't know, maybe they are actually another example of successfully replacing their singer. 

Anyway, you really really cannot top Freddie Mercury

DiAnno was replaced after two albums, Iron Maiden being the first Killers being the second, those were the classic Msiden albums.

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7 hours ago, BledZabbath said:

 

 

How do you guys feel about Sabbath without Ozzy and the revolving door of musicians that came after? At one point Tony Iommi was the only original member.

I have only recently heard more than the 2 Sabbath hits I'd previously heard (Paranoid, Iron Man) thanks to RebelFM rock station here and Weeknights with Alice Cooper. So I can't comment on changes. Only to say the more I hear, the more I like. I'm a bit of a music and hard rock mushroom. Apart from Zeppelin, I have until very recently been mainstream.

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4 hours ago, rm2551 said:

I have only recently heard more than the 2 Sabbath hits I'd previously heard (Paranoid, Iron Man) thanks to RebelFM rock station here and Weeknights with Alice Cooper. So I can't comment on changes. Only to say the more I hear, the more I like. I'm a bit of a music and hard rock mushroom. Apart from Zeppelin, I have until very recently been mainstream.

You have to check out the entire Ozzy led Black Sabbath discography, I'm sure you'd like them all.

The post Ozzy era Sabbath are not bad up to Born Again, the rest are an acquired taste.

P.S.

Like I've said before, most definitely Zep made the right choice, they kept their legacy intact by doing so, I wish Sabbath would've done the same after Ozzy was kicked out, if the remaining members wanted to continue without Ozzy, they should've renamed the band.

Edited by BledZabbath
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On 10/6/2017 at 8:40 PM, BledZabbath said:

DiAnno was replaced after two albums, Iron Maiden being the first Killers being the second, those were the classic Msiden albums.

Thank you for that! :-) 

Not a fan of an Ozzy-less Sabbath. I do quite like his post-Sabbath solo stuff. 

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11 minutes ago, EaglesOfOneNest said:

Thank you for that! :-) 

Not a fan of an Ozzy-less Sabbath. I do quite like his post-Sabbath solo stuff. 

Glad I could help, I like Ozzy-less Sabbath, but don’t consider it Sabbath.

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