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elKZacha

ITTOD

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On 26/12/2017 at 2:25 PM, John M said:

Musically and lyrically there is a great range of material and styles.  Plant's vocals are very different across songs.  I am glad Zeppelin did an album like this with some upbeat and fun songs again after Presence.  I think Presence is amazing but Out Door was a welcome relief.  It harkens back to Houses with its great variety of styles and approaches.   The great thing about Zep is that all their albums are very different.  

HotH just can’t be compared to ITTOD imo. Every song on HotH is just so original in its sound and structure. No Quarter and OtHaFA are prime examples of this.

ITTOUD has many ambitious sounding tracks but idk, I just can’t seem to appreciate them. They’re all either too long or just lack direction. Carouselambra is a complete headache for me, although that could possibly be put down to the unfortunate mixing.

And saying Zep albums are all very different is true to a point, yet LZ I and II are pretty much in the same vein. No fault in that of course.

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On 24/12/2017 at 6:32 PM, gibsonfan159 said:

I've seen some off the mark opinions before, but I can't agree with any of that. How is ITTOD one dimensional? Less dimensional than some of the others, sure, but not nearly as bad as Presence. ITTOD had some acoustics and plenty of keyboards. It was also more diverse musically, with samba, blues, prog, ballads, and rockabilly. I think it was mixed and produced better than Presence, though that's truly a matter of opinion.

Put simply, the one dimensional aspect to Presence just worked. It was a gritty album and in my opinion that didn’t hurt it. Royal Orleans is the clear break between the darker tracks, comparable to Hot Dog balancing out the more keyboard laden tracks.

Presence is also just so crystal clear in it’s production. Even with the numerous guitar tracks present on ALS, it’s never cluttered or messy. The same cannot be said for tracks such as Carouselambra and ITE, which can sound real muddy at times.

Although many instruments are supposedly used on ITTOD, it doesn’t really result in a more intersting structure musically. Hell, I think Jimmy managed to texture Tea for One well with just an electric guitar than all the instruments on ITTOD.

I guess the underlying point I’m trying to make is that whilst maybe ITTOD isn’t strictly a completely one dimensional album, it does lack cohesion, with much of the variety of tracks making for a pretty uneasy listening experience. PG is a prime example of wildly different ideas being done well, as is LZ III, and neither album is jarring to listen to.

 

 

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On 24/12/2017 at 5:08 PM, IpMan said:

Hate to break it to ya but there is no LP on ITE, it is 100% Strat. There is nothing twangy nor is a single coil (Strat, Tele) used on Carouselambra (Gibson double neck, humbuckers only) or IGC (LP only). The solo on FITR is also his LP put through an MXR Blue Box giving it that fat, phased, muted sound.

Are you serious?

Give ITE another listen and tell me that isn’t the sound of a distorted neck humbucker.

Good luck getting that thickness with a Strat.

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25 minutes ago, elKZacha said:

Are you serious?

Give ITE another listen and tell me that isn’t the sound of a distorted neck humbucker.

Good luck getting that thickness with a Strat.

Nope, it's not, it's a Strat per Jimmy Page and sounds like one to me. The sound IMO is not as warm and thick as a LP but sharper like a Strat. Much comes down to pick attack as well, after all Hendrix could make his Strat sound like a LP when he wanted it to...to a certain degree of course.

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2 hours ago, IpMan said:

Nope, it's not, it's a Strat per Jimmy Page and sounds like one to me. The sound IMO is not as warm and thick as a LP but sharper like a Strat. Much comes down to pick attack as well, after all Hendrix could make his Strat sound like a LP when he wanted it to...to a certain degree of course.

I don’t think we’re discussing the same segment.

Whilst the majority of the song is clearly a Strat, the break after the solo in which Jimmy does a few bends is clearly a humbucker equipped guitar (LP).

Edited by elKZacha

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On 12/17/2017 at 8:36 PM, tmtomh said:

I really like ITTOD. I don't rate it among my favorite Zep albums, but I don't see it as nearly as much of a drop-off from their very best work as some seem to.

On the other hand, in my view no reasonable person can deny that the album is more popular here - on the LZ forums, after all! - than among the general rock-fan public.

To me, it's clearly a transitional album as much as a "death throes" album. There's a lot of interesting stuff there, and had the band kept going and achieved a new kind of success in the '80s, ITTOD would be viewed differently and I think a bit more favorably today.

More specifically, I think the album polarizes fans because it's got some stuff on it that just never had appeared on a Zep album before: South Bound Saurez, Hot Dog, Fool in the Rain, and All My Love are all real curveballs in the catalogue. Personally I think FITR and All My Love are undeniably solid musical pieces, and there's a difference between them being bad or disposable songs (which they most certainly are not) on the one hand, and not every Zep fan's cup of tea (which for many is the case) on the other. Hot Dog and South Bound Saurez are in my view more of a lark, not unlike D'yer Maker and The Crunge on Houses - which BTW I think is a great album but also Zep's most overrated album.

For the remaining tracks, In the Evening is a great song and fantastic opener. The only reason it's not considered one of the all-time best album openers is that Zep already is responsible for at least five other all-time great openers (Good Times Bad Times, Whole Lotta Love, Immigrant Song, Black Dog, and Achilles Last Stand). 

I'm Gonna Crawl has been lauded and defended in another thread. I'll just agree that it's a great track and every bit the equal of Tea for One.

That leaves Carouselambra, which is a very typical Zep epic, except with Page having made a rare bad mixing decision, probably from a good-faith spirit of teamwork, highlighting Jones' creative work with his new toy. The ITTOD Deluxe reissue companion disc is very eye-opening for this song, because the rough/alt mix makes the vocals a bit clearer and pushes the guitar up in the mix, making for a much better effect in my view. What Page did with In the Evening, making the final mix more murky, worked very well. But for this track it backfired in my view - no one wants to listen to murk for 11 minutes.

100% agree here, especially with the parts tmtomh said about In The Evening and Carouselambra. 

Another point is that the songs from this album didn't get played live very much, if at all. Radio stations aren't going to play the longer songs on the air, either. 

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1 hour ago, EaglesOfOneNest said:

100% agree here, especially with the parts tmtomh said about In The Evening and Carouselambra. 

Another point is that the songs from this album didn't get played live very much, if at all. Radio stations aren't going to play the longer songs on the air, either. 

All Of My Love gets occasionally played on BBC Radio 2 - which says it all really

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24 minutes ago, chillumpuffer said:

All Of My Love gets occasionally played on BBC Radio 2 - which says it all really

Here in the US, too. I can't think of any ITTOD song other than AML that gets played on the radio in the US. Even on Sirius. 

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3 hours ago, EaglesOfOneNest said:

Here in the US, too. I can't think of any ITTOD song other than AML that gets played on the radio in the US. Even on Sirius. 

Fool in the Rain used to get played fairly often, not sure about recently.  The Loop FM 98 in Chicago plays In The Evening . I prefer the rough mix of ITE because the bass is very clear. Also the rough mix of Carouselambra is less muddy sounding , more natural, to me, but the most annoying aspect is still the delay effect on the vocals. Bonzo and Jones bass playing are tremendous on that track ! 

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Here I recall only hearing FITR and In The Evening on "popular rock" FM stations.

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I notice how during the page and plant project they would use parts of the latter half of carolselambra as the middle section of ITE.  Pure genius .

Had things been different I suspect this idea might have become a standard live set piece.

 

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Concerning ITTOD I am schizophrenic, day to day. On one hand Jimmy plays some different stuff, as always, not repeating

himself. But much of the album has a Steely Dan  spic an span production. There is much variety about, but it's not

of the far more intense variety of HOTH. I think Carouselambra is interesting in parts but hardly comparable to exotic

epics like Kashmir or Achilles. Although many label ITTOD as Zep's weakest, it is very misleading because even the

"filler" ( HD, SBS, AML ?!?!?) is hardly brutal on the ears.  Initxially I was not  totally satisfied with the album, but after

awhile I realized the album was quite interesting and Zep is always attempting new things.

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I like ITTOD quite a bit, actually; it's a musically more diverse and arguably more adventurous album than Presence, it has some wonderful playing by Bonzo, and it has one of my top five Zep tracks of all time in 'Carouselambra'... I like it, always have done, and the recent remastering was a revelation!

It's downsides are;

 - the the fact it was recorded at the sonically-dead Polar Studios... necessitating the unfortunate need for Jimmy to add artificial reverb,

 - the aforementioned Jimmy being AWOL as an active creative participant owing to his chemical-induced orbit of Neptune at the time and becoming in essence a session player on his own band's album,

 - the exclusion of 'Wearing and Tearing' from the released album as it badly needed at least one proper ROCK track to balance out the more esoteric material... and it would have went down a storm live to boot!

In all, ITTOD is a poignant, somewhat melancholic, but ultimately gracious end to Zeppelin's active recording days... too much damage was done at that point for them to last much longer - either Plant leaving or Jimmy/Bonzo dying was inevitable, it was just a case of when not if on either - they were a band on their last legs, even if they didn't know it at the time, and ITTOD sounds like it; the flame still burned, but thanks to death, drugs, and overall excess, it burned less bright than before and unbeknownst to all, it was about to be snuffed out for good.

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3 hours ago, The Old Hermit said:

 - the aforementioned Jimmy being AWOL as an active creative participant owing to his chemical-induced orbit of Neptune at the time and becoming in essence a session player on his own band's album,

 

While this statement is sad, it is true and also a somewhat amusing observation! 

Hot Dog is a fantastic song. I love the whimsy and the different direction. ITTOD is a great album. IF (and that's a huge if, given the problems both physical and psychic within the band) they stayed together, I think the '80's would have taken them in an interesting direction.

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I too blame it all on Page and his being out of the loop due to drugs. So sad. He eventually recognized it when he relates how he and Bonham decided the NEXT album would go back to what Zep does best...riff driven rock. Unfortunately this was the last album. Not enough Page and Bonham input and way too much Plant and Jones input.  Now, when I scan the truck radio and stop on a Zep tune, it is almost always the dreaded FITR and I just cant take it...have to hit 'scan' on the truck radio again.

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I remember when this came out, we'd had the tragic death of Robert Plants son, the drugs and violent episodes of the 77 tour. The anti 'big' band punk wave. I was expecting something possibly cathartic like Presence after Plants accident. On seeing them play at Knebworth that summer in a brilliant concert I was suddenly very eager to hear what they would actually bring out. 

To be honest I found the album to have an uplifting sense of joy. ITE is a great opener, the next three tracks are great fun, and then three mega tracks for the whole of the second half. The sheer range of colours, textures, moods is absolutely captivating. 

Fortunately for me the album worked, and bearing in mind the expectations we had with each album release this was a high mark to reach. It wasn't perfect, especially the under mixed vocals in the first section of carouselambra.

It seemed that the knebworth concerts and this album had Led Zep overcoming everything that could be thrown at them at every level. Such a shame that the worst tragedy was still to come.

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Well it's great that some Zep fans can look upon ITTOD as not that far off in quality and execution as the rest of their

studio albums. I consider it interesting but lacking in the passion of earlier albums. I just have to mention the Knebworth

dates, as they are inseparable from the soon to be released ITTOD. Being a guitarist, the opening TSRTS on both

dates is awful. Page actually sounds more sour than most of the 77' debacles. I have heard different versions of the

shows, but have not found a great performance version. What's recommended ? I totally salute the second  Copenhagen

show, to me it's far superior to either Knebworth dates. Also at Knebworth on the HTWWW DVD, all the songs including

the ITTOD songs the audio is heavily processed.

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Ahh! ITTOD. What a conversation. First of all, a brilliant album cover from an era when album covers were part of the whole experience. And then we all put the record on! 

It's taken me years and years to come to terms with ITTOD. First of all, I always thought IGC was one of the most amazing ways to 'end it' as it were given that in theory it was the last song of the last album released while they were still a band. Plant's vocals are fantastic in that song. In the evening opens magnificently. And form memory I liked it 'a lot' but struggled with those chorus breaks and the sound of the keyboards all the way through. But when I saw a live version the choruses made sense, pure Zep.  Plus, I think if you play it a bit slower on You Tube at .75 it gets better. And I always liked the solo but I love every Page solo except Rock and Roll.

SBS it a really cool track. The opening piano is different. I actually think it's one of my favourite Zep 'songs' in the real sense of the world. And again, lots of cool guitar. IF you were driving along and that came on you'd put the foot down and open the windows. It would have been a great track on any Zep album. 

Then up comes FITR. A great guitar riff. Bonzo's drums right up in the mix. I love the latin drums in the break because everything Bonzo does is great. And the way they come out of the latin part is venomous. But yes, it's suddenly not sounding like Zep. I get that. But then the magnificent subversive gnarling guitar solo. Genius. Dripping with all sorts of ideas, jazzy, bluesy, esoteric. Always loved it. Then it comes back into that stomping riff and the Baroque acoustic guitar laid over the end brings me back to all the great Zep of the past. 

Hot Dog - a bit of Led Zep throwaway fun. Harmless but pointless. Something they should have bashed out in sound checks for their own amusement. 

For me the difficulty really starts with side 2.

All My Love - Hmm, not a big fan. And JPJ makes a mistake in his keyboard solo. The sweet vocal melodies in places could be of the same school as Thank You or Going to California. Nice acoustic solo by Page. If the keyboards where the Gibson double neck twelve string I think it could have been a better song. As with most of the album it's the keyboards that irritate. 

Which takes me to Carouselambra. A song I have always hated but wanted to like. It's is the resident epic on the album so we want it to be utterly great like the ones that had gone before. But those damned keyboards. And iffy vocal melody. But I'm trying and I think I might be slowly getting there. I think it could have been great eventually with live run outs. And a much bigger guitar sound. 

I came across this cover (below) which might give a sense of what was lurking within it. The ending here is powerful and a hint at what Zeppelin might have done with it. 

In the end, I'd love to hear the album once and for all remixed - I think that's it's biggest problem. There's great playing on it but Page in his producers role just didn't bring this to where it should have been. And it's missing at least one track which is why side two sounds so lost in ways. One stomper, one more big rising airship. So in the end, a half brilliant album and a half lost opportunity. But still a Led Zeppelin album. Not their best and every band has their hierarchy if albums but I still love that we have it. 

 

F

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On 12/17/2017 at 9:58 AM, elKZacha said:

Now I know the easiest album to attack in the band’s discography is ITTOD, but I feel there’s a reason for it.

I feel that it just fails to exhibit any of the impressive qualities that Led Zeppelin were built on, which is each member’s individual prowess, interesting mixing nuances and so forth.

It’s a very one dimensional album and some like that, some don’t. A fair few of their albums such as LZ I, II and especially Presence are also very one dimensional, but they are in my opinion still outstanding records with endless replay value.

The same just can’t be said for ITTOD. 

Some tracks are obviously expendable, such as SBS and FITR. Whilst other albums like PG also had throwaway tracks like BWS, there was always a degree of musicality which at least made the songs fun. The same can be said for Hot Dog, it’s a fun little ditty, yet the difference is that PG’s other stronger songs could back up the more expendable material. ITTOD just doesn’t have enough strong material on it. IGC is one of the few tracks on the album which holds my attention all the way through, the lyricism is on point as is the musicianship, despite its length.

On the other hand, Carouselambra is a bloated mess of half arsed ideas that blend together to make a boring flop of a tune. There’s no direction, it just holds on to one thing, be it the jarring keyboard riff or the nonchanlant chord strums. It’s simply too long for it’s own good.

All My Love is a fantastic tune, for what it is. It’s heartfelt and it comes together beautifully, excusing the dreadful keyboard break. The song really exemplified what Plant was feeling, and that’s what makes it so good.

I suppose that’s the bottom line really, purpose. Most of the songs, if not the entire album just seem unnecessary. 

 

I’d love to enjoy it, but to me it just pales in comparison to so many other albums in Zeppelin’s discography. 

 

 

Your thoughts?

Respectfully disagree. I think it's anything but one dimensional. As far as showcasing individual prowess, I think this album definitely does that. In my opinion, the guitar work on I'm Gonna Crawl is fantastic. It's the best guitar solo post 1973. It's such a powerful blues solo, and in true Jimmy Page style. It's bluesy like so many others he did, but this time it was more original and even traces a melody of sorts, rather than just being a pieced-together blues solo made of cool licks arranged nicely. This solo has a story to it, like the Stairway solo. It has a beginning, middle and end. It's well executed too. I also love the augmented chord in the main riff during the verses. A total Page showcase! For Plant, I think his vocals on All of My Love are outstanding, not to mention Page's soulful use of the B-bender on his tele. Bonham once said that that track was the best Plant had ever sung. It's the best Robert sounded since his voice changed, in my opinion. The lyrics are great too and have a wonderful flow. Fool in the Rain is a Bonham showcase for sure! He's doing his own take on the Purdy Shuffle and it's amazing. When people hear that song, they are familiar with all the little drum fills he does. It's part of the signature of the song. It's a happy sounding song too. For Jones, well, his mark is on the whole album because he basically produced it!

We have bluesy songs like I'm Gonna Crawl, dark sounding tunes like In the Evening, happy tunes that tap your feet like FITR, soft rock pop tune like All of My Love, a fun, not so serious country tune in Hot Dog - I think it's anything but one dimensional. The only thing I don't like is the super synth-heavy Carouselambra. I think I would have to rate ITTOD ahead of Presence, III and Coda.

 

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I love ITTOD, great album, only downside is the mix on Carouselambra and the overpowering keys on that song. The rough mix on the re-issue sounds SO much better, guitar is up, bass is up and bright, vocals are less muddy, unfortunately they sound of the keys just kinda sucks. Nothing wrong with keys but they were used wrong on the song and the sound of the keys is just cheesy IMO. Something tells me they may have experimented with a more guitar heavy mix but may have been afraid it would have come off as "son of Achilles" instead of something original. I have played around with this song with my band trying to do it right so to speak and the problem is if you use the guitar in place of the keys but keep the same structure it does indeed come across as "son of Achilles." My solution to this, which works pretty good if I say so, was to completely remove the intro, and just start the song after the keys intro. Still keep the basic structure after that but completely change the tone and effect of the keys so a murkier, heavier tone while keeping the guitar and bass bright as a nice contrast. The recoded version is the exact reverse with overly bright keys and a dark, muddy guitar tone.

I do believe, just like WIC, Carouselambra would have come alive played live and we would have heard a very different interpretation.

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