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Balthazor

Led Zeppelin vs Deep Purple

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I just saw this article pop up in a few places:

https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/news/general_music_news/opeths_akerfeldt_led_zeppelin_would_disappear_against_deep_purple_on_top_form_black_sabbath_wouldnt_stand_a_chance_either.html

"When Deep Purple are on top form, there is no other band that can rival that. You couldn't put Led Zeppelin against Deep Purple on top form... they would disappear. And especially Black Sabbath, they wouldn't stand a chance! It's high energy at the top of its game"

I've never been a big fan of Deep Purple, they frankly bore me. I actually prefer the early Rainbow stuff to Purple, but that's all just a matter of taste. And I can't say much about comparing the talent level of these bands, I just don't know enough to have a worthwhile opinion.

However, I do find fault with Akerfeldt's "no band could touch Deep Purple" statement given that, to my recollection, Purple has nothing that even approaches songs like No Quarter, Stairway to Heaven, Kashmir, Achilles Last Stand, When the Levee Breaks...I mean seriously. Child In Time is a great song, my favorite Deep Purple song in fact, but it's not in the same league as these masterpieces.

Ironically, it seems like these days Deep Purple is best known for Smoke on the Water, a great rock song, yet one so simple it's literally the first song many aspiring rock guitarists learn to play.

Akerfeldt has been a Deep Purple fanboy forever, and admittedly I'm probably just as big a Led Zeppelin fanboy, but really I think he's being a bit delusional here. Even if you wanted to argue that Purple's musicians leave Zeppelin in the dust, which may be a fair argument, the fact that their catalog seems to pale in comparison to Zeppelin's, well I think that's got to ne taken into consideration. The Beatles weren't exactly a band of Steve Vais and Neil Pearts, yet their catalog is unmatched in all of rock history. So this whole "Led Zeppelin disappears next to Deep Purple" seems a bit of a stretch to me.

Not sure why this was moved from the news forum, since it is involving a news story, but ok. One final point I wanted to make is that Akerfeldt says if Led Zeppelin was put up against Deep Purple in their prime, Led Zeppelin would disappear. That seems silly to me because, as it happens, Led Zeppelin WAS put up against Deep Purple at their prime. Both bands were hitting their peaks at roughly the same time. Only, Zeppelin didn't disappear. Instead, they sold more albums, sold more tickets, wrote more memorable songs...in every way possible, Led Zeppelin did the exact opposite of disappear against Deep Purple.

Edited by Balthazor

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It's all a matter of opinion, and the author is entitled to theirs.  A seasoned Led Zeppelin fan could write a similar type of piece praising Led Zeppelin while writing demeaning comments about other artists.  Years ago an interesting article was written for the Deep Purple fanzine Darker Than Blue that showed similarities between Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin. The article even has noted Led Zeppelin author Dave Lewis' opinion at the end of it which I thought was a great thing to do considering it's a Deep Purple fanzine and they asked Dave for input.  Whenever, I visit other sites devoted to another artist they generally seem jaded and all other music is terrible unless it's created by their favorite artist. Anyway all copyright credit goes to the authors of the Darker Than Blue fanzine.

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Robert

www.anextranickel.com

Edited by Sems Fir

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Good points in this article. Thanks Sems Fir!  I always thought that both bands pushed the limits of rock over towards the progressive edge...

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I'm sorry, but, there is no comparison between what Purple did and what Zep did with just Dazed alone forget all their other great songs. The instrumental machinery on display during 1973 is of phenomenal proportions and I challenge any person to post a track where purple jams with the same ferocity and intensity and virtuosity.

 

ps. someone posted a vid of Purple playing Sweey child in Time. Love that track but I'm sorry it does not come close to John John Paul And Jimmy

Edited by hummingbird69

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I've shamefully slept on Deep Purple and really need to go through their entire catalog. Blackmore was a near flawless technician who introduced some of the first elements of shredding. I think if Zep gets credit for the foundation of hard rock, then Purple should get credit for power metal.

Purple standing with Zep in raw, live power? Heh. Maybe mid/late 70s, but 69-73 is no contest in my opinion.

 

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6 hours ago, gibsonfan159 said:

I've shamefully slept on Deep Purple and really need to go through their entire catalog. Blackmore was a near flawless technician who introduced some of the first elements of shredding. I think if Zep gets credit for the foundation of hard rock, then Purple should get credit for power metal.

Purple standing with Zep in raw, live power? Heh. Maybe mid/late 70s, but 69-73 is no contest in my opinion.

 

Made in Japan. THE best live album ever made

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Led Zeppelin VS Deep Purple- comparisons like this are not my cup of tea. I love both of them, it is as simple as that.

And yes, Made in Japan is brilliant, no overdubs & no frankenstein-studio-wizardry. Mr. Page, example given.

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When comparing live albums, you should compare How the west was won and Made in Japan, if there is any point in comparing anyway, or compare Zeppelin's jams in Europe 1973, or even most of the early tours. Zeppelin are at least equal live, in my opinion better.

And I only know four albums from the most classic Deep purple line up, but these are the kind of songs they pretty much wrote all the time, while Zeppelin

wrote all sorts of complex compositions like The rain song, Ten years gone, Achilles last stand, Kashmir all sorts of acoustic songs and so on and Deep purple themselves said, that their sound is based almost entirely on early Zeppelin, they just expanded the jams in their own style a bit. 

And even if Zeppelin did borrow a SMALL amount of music, they made it very original, while Deep purple were heavily based on Zeppelin and even something extraordinary like Child in time has the intro copied note for note exactly from a song called It's a beautiful day by Bombay calling.

Don't get me wrong, Deep purple are a great band, great virtuosos, very clean in technique, great keyboards with an original idea to make them very loud and a great singer.

 

Edited by SamoKodela

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I think Autumn & SamO are right on with their posts. Both are great bands and I too like both.

Why is there always a need to compare & rank instead of simply enjoy?

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No need to compare...both GREAT rock bands featuring stellar musicians.  Both brought in different cultures and styles of music into rock  and had rock gods as guitar players.  Jimmy and Ritchie are my two favorite guitarists  and picking which I like best would be like asking me which of my children I like the most!  Just kick back and enjoy the flavors each band gave us.

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Agree with most of the comments here;  two great bands/guitarists (Zeppelin/Page are my favorite, Purple/Blackmore probably #2), very different in some ways, similar in others, little point in comparing them.  They definitely both had high-energy, very improvisational shows, other great bands from that period (e.g. Black Sabbath or Rush) tended to play the same structure each night.  Zep's influence on early Purple is not in doubt, and Blackmore has always praised Page's musicianship.  I actually like Coverdale-era Purple a bit better than Gillan-era, mainly because of Blackmore's playing, but Made in Japan is truly a classic (check out Dream Theater's full length cover of it, it's on youtube, too lazy to look it up right now).  But from the bootlegs, the MSG '73 shows hold up just as well without any of the studio surgery Page subjected them to for the official release.  I would love if the three shows were simply released in full form, as Purple did for the Japanese shows underlying Made in Japan, but that's sadly unlikely to happen.

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On 11/11/2018 at 4:04 AM, gibsonfan159 said:

I've shamefully slept on Deep Purple and really need to go through their entire catalog. Blackmore was a near flawless technician who introduced some of the first elements of shredding. I think if Zep gets credit for the foundation of hard rock, then Purple should get credit for power metal.

Purple standing with Zep in raw, live power? Heh. Maybe mid/late 70s, but 69-73 is no contest in my opinion.

 

 Yes, in a way. But even more "Rainbow", the band Blackmore created in 1975 after leaving Purple. The Dio era albums are the blueprint for power metal and metal in general. Especially songs like "Kill The King" or "Stargazer".  If you don't know Rainbow, you don't know much about hard rock :D

Ritchie Blackmore at his peak was really something special. Page couldn't hold a candle to him. It's not even close. Sorry guys. I've been studying Purple and Zeppelin for years, especially from a guitar players' perspective. Yet for me it has always been Zep > Purple, and it remains to this day. Reason: Zep has better songs, better grooves and they had Bonzo and Jones. Live, however, Purple were much more consistent. Page and Plant have always been Zep's weak spots in live concerts. Ian Gillan was a better singer than Plant in the 70's, even though he struggled with the high screams in "child in time" sometimes. I think Gillan was much better trained than Plant. And if you really think Zep were better at improvising, you probably haven't listend much to DP from the old days.

For the record: I'm talking about the Mark II and III era Purple here (pre 1994).

Long story cut short: There is so much to enjoy about both bands. If you are new with Purple, check out "In Rock", "Made in Japan" and "Machine Head" first. Then "Burn".

Check out this peak Blackmore solo from 1993. He really was a guitar god.


https://youtu.be/Mc6GLYatAfY?t=250

Edited by the-ocean87

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Just because Blackmore is technically better, it doesn't make him a better player. For some yes, for some no, he certainly never touches me with his solos the way Page so diversely does and I never percepted Page and Plant as weak spots in the early days, just not so technically polished and because I like that, post 72 for vocals and post 75 for guitar never sounded particulary bad to me either. 

So I guess if you are more into exotic diversity of complex, layered compositions without technical perfection then Zeppelin is for you. And Zeppelin jams are also much more composed, they changed the composition quite a bit every night, but they mostly expanded it and kept building a composition within the solo itself, while keeping it an integral part of an excellent song.

Edited by SamoKodela

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4 hours ago, the-ocean87 said:

A showcase for improvisation:

 

Excellent musicianship, but my brain will never accept an organ as a rock instrument. It's one of the reasons I get so turned off by the band and I'm so glad Jones used it sparingly. 

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31 minutes ago, gibsonfan159 said:

Excellent musicianship, but my brain will never accept an organ as a rock instrument. It's one of the reasons I get so turned off by the band and I'm so glad Jones used it sparingly. 

Well it can be very loud and powerful. I understand someone doesn't like it, but I always thought Zepppelin showed any instrument could be a rock instrument.

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He may be a very good guitar player but he looks like a fool with his wig 

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43 minutes ago, Stryder1978 said:

Correction...he is a GREAT guitar player, and I couldn't care less if he wore a dress and clown make-up.

This.

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6 hours ago, gibsonfan159 said:

Excellent musicianship, but my brain will never accept an organ as a rock instrument. It's one of the reasons I get so turned off by the band and I'm so glad Jones used it sparingly. 

Nothing wrong with taste. You should give "Rainbow" a try then. Not so much organ. Start with "Live on Stage", since you seem to like improvisations.

Or check out this concert (nice intro by Blackmore (Greensleves and Bach's Brandenburg concerto)

 

Edited by the-ocean87

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1 hour ago, the-ocean87 said:

Nothing wrong with taste. You should give "Rainbow" a try then. Not so much organ. Start with "Live on Stage", since you seem to like improvisations.

Or check out this concert (nice intro by Blackmore (Greensleves and Bach's Brandenburg concerto)

 

I've been through Rainbow's studio albums, but I'll def check out the live stuff.

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As fantastic as Made in Japan is, I prefer the playing and sound on the three live bonus tracks on the reissue of the Concerto for Group and Orchestra, from Sept 1969.  The bonus disc has only  Hush, Wring that Neck, and Child in Time, but they are all superb.  I wish there was a full length Purple only concert from that performance but of course it was just an opening before they played the Concerto with the orchestra.  If you don't have this double CD seek it out.  The whole thing is amazing.  This was about 9 months before In Rock was released with Child in Time.

 

 

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5 hours ago, John M said:

As fantastic as Made in Japan is, I prefer the playing and sound on the three live bonus tracks on the reissue of the Concerto for Group and Orchestra, from Sept 1969.  The bonus disc has only  Hush, Wring that Neck, and Child in Time, but they are all superb.  I wish there was a full length Purple only concert from that performance but of course it was just an opening before they played the Concerto with the orchestra.  If you don't have this double CD seek it out.  The whole thing is amazing.  This was about 9 months before In Rock was released with Child in Time.

 

That version of Child in Time was really something else! Ritchie at his best. Much better than the studio version. Hadn't listened to it in a long time.

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