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coogeeboy

Why Zeppelin ?

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I often wonder exactly why i am so attracted to the music of Led Zeppelin.

I take a huge interest in how they rose from the ashes as the New Yardbirds into the band that we all know & love so what is it that makes them so special ?

With Jimmy & JPJ you had two seasoned musicians who didn't really need to start up a band as they could have survived on session work alone.

In Robert & Bozo you had two humble working class musicians who were lucky enough to have been invited on the ride of a life time.

As a band they were mystical yet powerfull, they were streamlined yet could play with as much reckless abandon as any garage band could.

No other band in history proved that a rhythm guitar was not the essential requirement of the perfect rock sound.

Collectively we have possibly the greatest combination of music styles that only the Beatles could hope to rival.

To me they were the perfect band for the times in which they reigned & although the period between 1969 - 1979 was riddled with other great bands / musicians it was Zeppelin who showed the way.

They weren't scared to experiment yet still stay close enough to never neglect the blues, they were innovative, they were never tiresome or boring, they pushed the boundaries of a normal guitar, bass, drums line-up & wrote songs about images they made us dream.

I would love to hear what other Zeppelin fans think about exactly why the band means so much to them.

Edited by coogeeboy

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The only area zep falls flat is that they never did songs that were politically relevant.

When I got more politically aware, I left zep and adopted the Clash as my default 'whats your favorite band' answer. Escapism is alright, but zep didnt match the Beatles ability to write songs about virtually everything. Plant was mostly about writing safe lyrics that worked with the genre of the music. 'this is a blues tune..it needs old timey blues lyrics' or 'this is a rock tune..it needs some baby, baby lyrics' or 'this is an otherwordly tune..it needs vague-ish lyrics'.

Not saying zep should have defined themselves as a politcal band, but some marley/lennon/csny real-world relevance would have made them better or more relate able.

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The only area zep falls flat is that they never did songs that were politically relevant.

When I got more politically aware, I left zep and adopted the Clash as my default 'whats your favorite band' answer. Escapism is alright, but zep didnt match the Beatles ability to write songs about virtually everything. Plant was mostly about writing safe lyrics that worked with the genre of the music. 'this is a blues tune..it needs old timey blues lyrics' or 'this is a rock tune..it needs some baby, baby lyrics' or 'this is an otherwordly tune..it needs vague-ish lyrics'.

Not saying zep should have defined themselves as a politcal band, but some marley/lennon/csny real-world relevance would have made them better or more relate able.

I agree that Zep is not a political band. Politics polarize people, music is supposed transcend barriers. I couldn't imaging anti-war or patriotism lyrics in any zep song. I love what they did for the melding of musical genes, soundscape and musical ecstasy. :D

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Political relevance is hardly necessary and, quite frankly, unwanted in music for me.

It falls under the "shut up and sing" category.

I listen to music, watch movies and shows because I like the particular music, movies or shows, not because I give a shit what their political philosophy is.

I don't want to hear Bill O'Reilly or Alan Colmes sing or play music, and I don't want to hear Bruce Springsteen's or The Dixie Chicks' political opinions.

Not that I actually LISTEN TO Bruce Springsteen or The Dixie Chicks, either, I'm just making a point :lolo:

Edited by TypeO

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Sorry, but I would much rather hear Robert sing about the juice running down his leg than what his views were on the Vietnam war... ;)

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Sorry, but I would much rather hear Robert sing about the juice running down his leg than what his views were on the Vietnam war... ;)

Same here.. :D I wouldn't want them to sing "HEEEEEAAAAAAAL THEEE WOOOORLD" and then go and have fun with groupies.

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another point is Zeppelin's music has a definite timelessness, whereas many political songs become dated as they are tied-in to the event or condition the song is about.

"Four dead in Ohio" is a great reminder of a bad time, but the song is forever frozen in time with the event.

I often imagine how particular Zeppelin songs would stand up if they were just released (suspending disbelief that no one had ever heard the songs before), and they consistently pass the timeless test.

From Whole Lotta Love to Achilles' Last Stand, pretty much any Zeppelin song would hold it's own.

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another point is Zeppelin's music has a definite timelessness, whereas many political songs become dated as they are tied-in to the event or condition the song is about.

"Four dead in Ohio" is a great reminder of a bad time, but the song is forever frozen in time with the event.

I often imagine how particular Zeppelin songs would stand up if they were just released (suspending disbelief that no one had ever heard the songs before), and they consistently pass the timeless test.

From Whole Lotta Love to Achilles' Last Stand, pretty much any Zeppelin song would hold it's own.

Their music has stood the test of time & this is where i believe that they have cemented their legacy to both past & future generations.

They are one band that doesn't need to get political to get their message across & besides celtic mythology is a fascinating subject in it's own right.

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I love Zeppelin because they're four great artists who when thrown together became something magical. I suppose you could call it the 'X factor'. They were completely on the same wavelength when they played. You can hear it. I think that's what makes a great band and great music.

Edited by Cali

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I love Zeppelin because they're four great artists who when thrown together became something magical. I suppose you could call it the 'X factor'. They were completely on the same wavelength when they played. You can hear it. I think that's what makes a great band and great music.

yeah! Led Zeppelin is different in that ALL 4 members have INCREDIBLE talent. Bonham's the best drummer, Page is the best guitarist, Plant is the best singer and JPJ is the icing on the cake with everything else.

and about the politics thing: I too cringe at the thought of led zep singing about politics. I agree with the person that said their music is timeless, because they don't focus on current events.

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These comments arent particularly shocking, but saying you cant be politically relevant without being dated strikes me as lazy.

I guess my point is that zep were more concerned with trying to conjure up a mysteriously unapproachable vibe than being personally relevant to people. True, thats kickass if you get into it as a teen and it influences your development in that angle...but its easier to grow out of a zep phase because zep songs rarely acknowledge the listener. I've come across a few ex'zep fans have a sort of bitterness about them once they graduated to punk/hardcore music because those genres spoke to them. But, if you get pissed at life, get mellow, get angery, get political, get whatever...a band like the Beatles is there to stay with you because they have songs for all occasions, unlike zeppelin.

Who would define the Beatles as a political band? Yet you can play the Beatles Revolution at vitrually any progressive gathering. 'chairman mao' is mentioned, but its not like you go 'oh shit, chairman mao is mentioned...this isnt relevant so lets not use it'.

Likewise, you can play All You Need Is Love, Give Peace a Chance, or Imagine at any point in the future because those are timeless.

Even the Who have their tunes that can be appropriated for a number of issues.

The message I get is that you guys think making songs of a similar social vein, but still unmistakably Led Zeppelin was out of their league?

Pretty much Zeps only song in that catagory is The Funeral Song (aka Stairway)....which you still have to infuse with a lot of contextual purpose cause the lyrics themselves mean jack.

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First, I don't and didn't mean to imply ALL politically relevant songs become dated, and you have cited excellent examples.

The message I get is that you guys think making songs of a similar social vein, but still unmistakably Led Zeppelin was out of their league?

"Out of their league" as in "unable to attain"? I personally don't think so.

I just don't think it's necessary for a band to "prove" themselves with politics.

In other words, that they can't be taken as seriously if they don't have a stated (through their music) real-world opinion.

This discussion almost feels like arguing whether a sci-fi/fantasy movie is as good as a movie dealing with actual/historical events.

I don't agree with a lot of things Zack de la Rocha feels strongly about, but I enjoy the resultant passion in his music.

Ditto many other fiercely political bands/artists.

I think all of the passions Zeppelin stirs, while not political, are just as legitimate as those of artists who are. Passion is key, and if LZ can stir it without using politics, I think it shows even more genius/finesse than those who resort to common hot-button issues or conditions.

On a final note, yes, I do think some bands/artists actively seek politics in an attempt to be recognized and taken more seriously.

Edited by TypeO

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