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gibsonfan159

Nitpicking Page 1980

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Nice reviews!!! Been getting into 1979/1980 stuff again lately. 1980 was maybe a drastic year for Zep...well it was. But these shows are not that bad considering all. Too bad we don´t have any full lenght video-footage. 

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1 hour ago, Mikelangelo said:

Nice reviews!!! Been getting into 1979/1980 stuff again lately. 1980 was maybe a drastic year for Zep...well it was. But these shows are not that bad considering all. Too bad we don´t have any full lenght video-footage. 

Thanks. Glad to see people enjoy the "warts and all" side of the band. 1980 wasn't terrible but you can almost tell that the guys were getting burnt out playing the same songs for 12 years. All in all I'd almost put 1980 on par with 1975 as far as performances go.

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16 hours ago, gibsonfan159 said:

Thanks. Glad to see people enjoy the "warts and all" side of the band. 1980 wasn't terrible but you can almost tell that the guys were getting burnt out playing the same songs for 12 years. All in all I'd almost put 1980 on par with 1975 as far as performances go.

Once I got over the shock of hearing how sloppy Jimmy played in 75 vs how laser sharp he was in 73 (Europe, NYC), and how Plant croaked like a frog and couldn't hit a note to save his life, I started to like 75. They reached some great peaks with NQ, Dazed and Stairway as well as some great improvs on Trampled and Sick Again. I think the 80 tour was pretty far below the 75 tour, but then again, it was a totally different kettle of fish too. The 80 tour had the songs cut down to size (Plant wanted that) and the 20 minute improvs were gone. That was probably a good idea. Just listen to the Stairway solo in Berlin, which was long and indulgent but also terrible in my opinion, and you can imagine that a whole concert like that would have been horrible. I remember when I got the Berlin boot back in high school (late 80s, early 90s). I had it in my hands all day at school and couldn't wait to get home to hear it. At this point, Jimmy could do no wrong. He was my hero. It was a hell of a thing to face the facts when listening to this for the first time. I just couldn't get over how uninspired he sounded. It was awful. I think the 80 tour stays all by itself in last place. Zeppelin had a lot of bad concerts from 75 onward. It's the truth.

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Yeah,  in my opinion Jimmy was always a good composer, better composer than a guitar player. I mean, c' mon, he was always sloppy!!! But that's also part of his style and when it worked, it worked well!!! In Through The Outdoor is a great album, different but great :standup_bass:

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22 minutes ago, Mikelangelo said:

Yeah,  in my opinion Jimmy was always a good composer, better composer than a guitar player. I mean, c' mon, he was always sloppy!!! But that's also part of his style and when it worked, it worked well!!! In Through The Outdoor is a great album, different but great :standup_bass:

Yeah, he is so sloppy that's why he is consistently ranked in the top 5 guitarists, even among professional players. Jimmy was a loose player, just like Hendrix and Alvin Lee, but they were still great players. You never hear anyone (except for a drunk EVH) claim that Hendrix was "sloppy" though he was a loose player. Jimmy had sloppy night's post 73' for sure. 75' went form Jimmy playing brilliantly, better than ever in fact, to trainwreck but that can be not only expected but understood as he was playing with a broken finger. Shit, pretty much every other guitarist would cancel a whole tour over a hangnail much less a broken finger. Though between Robert's flu & Jimmy's finger, the tour should have been postponed at least a month. Everything after 75' is pure Jimmy's fault and pure drug / alcohol related. I saw them on April 10th 1977 and except for Jimmy botching the first solo in TYG he played like a man possessed that night. After that I saw Jimmy every time he came to the states with the exception of the ARMS tour but that was because I moved cross country that year, missed Robert's show too. Every single time I have seen Page perform live he was brilliant, just fantastic. Just a brief example: If you want to hear Jimmy playing at an incredibly high level in 75' listen to Montreal or St. Louis, or even Chicago Jan 20th show. Though for a truly amazing performance at official release quality check out NQ from May 18th & 23rd EC.

So, to recap, a guitar player who played inconsistently live from 77' - 80', but was great prior and great after, is saddled with being a sloppy player for life. Funny how Page is the only one who is held to this standard when Tommy Bolin was even shittier live with Deep Purple before he died from his abuses and EVH put on some of the absolute worse shows in history from 83' - 87' when he was in the midst of his addictions (I was at the 1984 show in Phx, worse concert I ever saw hands down). Those are just two examples.

I will be the first person to call out Jimmy for a poor performance, and will be there to praise him for coming through the fire of addiction to first completely re-invent his style of playing with the b-Bender, and then play some of the most amazing live music during the 98' tour.

To each their own I guess.

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Jimmy was a sloppy player, and not just live. I have a ton of isolated tracks from his studio multitracks and I was fairly surprised at how poorly he played some chords and phrases, which are obviously masked in the final mixdown. But, that discussion is for a different thread.

Edited by gibsonfan159

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Posted (edited)
33 minutes ago, gibsonfan159 said:

Jimmy was a sloppy player, and not just live. I have a ton of isolated tracks from his studio multitracks and I was fairly surprised at how poorly he played some chords and phrases, which are obviously masked in the final mixdown. But, that discussion is for a different thread.

   Are you talking about the isolated tracks from Zep II?  I've got those,  If not where can I/we download these tracks. I'm sure we all want to hear them.

 

 

Edited by hummingbird69

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38 minutes ago, hummingbird69 said:

   Are you talking about the isolated tracks from Zep II?  I've got those,  If not where can I/we download these tracks. I'm sure we all want to hear them.

 

 

Yeah, II mostly and a few others.

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1 hour ago, gibsonfan159 said:

Yeah, II mostly and a few others.

I have Bonham's isolated drum tracks. what others am I missing?

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51 minutes ago, hummingbird69 said:

I have Bonham's isolated drum tracks. what others am I missing?

I have some ITTOD guitar tracks, but they're not as sloppy as the II tracks.

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I think Jimmy's style requires that kinda of playing 😁 Anyway, he was/is a great composer, arranger and producer, besides being highly regarded guitarist. 

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In the early days, Jimmy was pretty stationary on stage, focusing on his playing. Then, starting in 73 and especially in 75-77, Jimmy and the rest of the band, started to move around a lot more. They wanted to up their stage presence. I think I read that in the Jimmy Page biography that came out about 10 years ago, if I'm not mistaken. It was excerpted from an interview. So that means more show boating, dropping the guitar down even lower, using your arms in a theatrical manner and focusing on movement and showmanship. When you do that, the playing suffers, but Jimmy wasn't hung up on the super-anal perfectionist critiques that would appear in the future. He was hung up entirely on the moment, delivering something exciting in the present, and that includes the visual aspect. Of course we can't explain away all of Jimmy's slop on this. He was also drunk, on hard drugs and without proper sleep. You can't play drunk. You can't play floating around on heroin. Put it all together and you get Page Slop in 75-80.

 

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Posted (edited)
22 hours ago, gibsonfan159 said:

I have some ITTOD guitar tracks, but they're not as sloppy as the II tracks.

Where to find these? I need to hear the ITTOD guitar tracks! About the II tracks being sloppy, some may just be quick ideas he's getting down that he can work on later.

Another thing about Page being sloppy on the albums, is that sloppiness doesn't really exist unless it ruins the song. If you can isolate a guitar solo and hear some funky noises, that's one thing. But if those noises are inaudible in the mix, then they are meaningless. It's like if a tree falls in the woods and there is no one there to hear it, does it make a sound? Something like that. The albums were good enough to become legendary in their own time and then to pass the test of time decades later, so although one may identify imperfections, it seems an overreach to label them sloppy.

When I read the reviews of the concerts from 69 when Zeppelin was new, some reviews don't like Plant all that much, some do. Some mention Bonham and say things like he's loud but not particularly inventive (I know, go figure!), but all of them mention Jimmy Page and say that he is an extraordinarily fine guitarist, a virtuoso. They didn't say, "Meh, he's just okay". They didn't say he was "kinda sloppy". This idea of Page being sloppy came about in the 80s (perhaps in the late 70s when he played some bad shows) when everyone was obsessed with speed exercise playing (some call it shredding), which has very little to do with real music. Page was playing real music that also happened to be something of a controlled chaos. He was the author of a brand new way of making music. It was an original and new framework with which he could add his solos. He played solos with a producer's mindset, not a guitarists mindset, as he was big-picture oriented and no minutiae oriented. Those people who go on and on about Page being sloppy are swamped in minutiae and can't see the forest through the trees.

Edited by Christopher Lees

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22 hours ago, gibsonfan159 said:

I have some ITTOD guitar tracks, but they're not as sloppy as the II tracks.

So let me in on the source boot so I can hunt them down. I'm sure plenty of us here would love a copy

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41 minutes ago, hummingbird69 said:

So let me in on the source boot so I can hunt them down. I'm sure plenty of us here would love a copy

I'm sure whatever I have is available on YouTube. I may be wrong about ITTOD.

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1 hour ago, Christopher Lees said:

He played solos with a producer's mindset, not a guitarists mindset,

Agreed. His session success obviously came from how well and quickly he could put songs down in the studio, not how precisely he played everything. Just as live, he rarely played the same chord the same way twice in the studio, which is what made Zep such a dynamic band.

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15 hours ago, Christopher Lees said:

Another thing about Page being sloppy on the albums, is that sloppiness doesn't really exist unless it ruins the song. If you can isolate a guitar solo and hear some funky noises, that's one thing. But if those noises are inaudible in the mix, then they are meaningless. It's like if a tree falls in the woods and there is no one there to hear it, does it make a sound? Something like that. The albums were good enough to become legendary in their own time and then to pass the test of time decades later, so although one may identify imperfections, it seems an overreach to label them sloppy.
 

Good example of this is the isolated bass tracks available on YouTube. Duran Duran's Rio (great bassline whatever you think of the band) has several small mistakes, including one where John Taylor hits the open (low) E string too hard and it goes sharp. Can you hear it if you really listen closely? Yes. Does it detract from a casual listen of great pop song? Absolutely not.

Jimmy's sloppiness is similar. It does happen surprisingly often. He even muffs the opening of the Whole Lotta Love riff when he plays it for the Edge & Jack White on It Might Get Loud. But he's still Jimmy Page, playing one of the all time great riffs.

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Nitpicking Page 7/2/1980 Mannheim (Flagge)

mannheim_7-2-80-2_0.jpg.f3081b46045b4c63e9bc95302cdcf36d.jpgmannheim80a_0.jpg.2a48dbdcb623dd7ff282a82f6627830e.jpgmannheim_7-2-80-8_0.jpg.49aa9bb6e9868434f1cfd67026cb9305.jpg

A very hissy soundboard, but otherwise clear and balanced. The Flagge release is the best version I've heard and it's the one I'm using.

Train Kept A Rollin- A very long crowd intro on this boot. Jimmy's guitar doesn't quite have the bite it usually does. Plant sounds about average. First solo- Some very basic lead riffs instead of the usual flurry of notes. Second solo- Much better as Page cuts loose a little more. "B".

NFBM- 1:07, Jimmy's tone is very separated from the mix and the phaser effect is barely audible. 1:18, out of sync a little. Harmonica- Starts good but Plant seemingly runs out of steam. 2:43, Page's chording is very sloppy. Solo- A decent start but sticky. 4:12-4:32, stickier and Page's volume drops, it gets cranked back up at 4:32. A very lethargic version with some technical difficulties. "C+".

Black Dog- Introduced by Page as "Strangers In The Night". Good energy off the bat as the guitar crunch has returned. 2:04, good scream from Plant. 2:57, Page's guitar cuts out again briefly and it's obvious it's a connection/cable issue. 3:45, a clicking sound from the guitar feed that sounds like an input jack being checked. Solo- Page gets on track for a decently played and phrased solo. Nothing too amazing, but a very solid solo. A good, heavy version akin to the Europe 73 ones. "A".

In The Evening- Page switches guitars but he's still very low in the mix. Solo- Fairly good but not as good as other versions. 6:02, Jones playing some chords very loosely. He's really not been on these past few shows. Outro solo- hit and miss as Page seems to leave gaps between the phrases. Bonham was good. "B".

Rain Song- Decent start. 1:58, bad synth chords. 2:22, the guitar starts to cut in and out again. Rock section- crashes in violently and is played with passion. 7:24, Page flubs the last chord. "B".

Hot Dog- Intro is loose but not bad. Plant, a Brit, tells Germany "C'mon Y'all, let's go back down to Texas." Solo- The usual start, but at 2:09 Page plays a very interesting phrase where an ascending treble run is played while he's also playing the low notes. He's done something similar before, but not in this fashion or this precisely. Some good bends follow. 2:39, chokes a couple chords but otherwise an excellent solo. A solid ending for a very solid version. Not perfect but I'll go "A+" for 1980. Page and the boys knocked this one down quite well and a better audio source would be great.

All My Love- Bonzo is dragging badly on the start and nobody seems to know which tempo to follow. Solo- Hallelujah! Page comes prepared for this one and gets a solid set of phrases in. The track coasts out as usual, though Bonham is more reserved on the big drum fills. Apart from the misguided start it's a good, moody, slightly more melancholy version. Page's good solo knocks this up to a "B+".

Trampled Underfoot- The usual thunderous start. 2:22, Page plays a background phrase here I've never heard before. Solo- Page gets going well, but not as out there as previous solos. 4:11, Plant jumps in with some vocal interplay reminiscent of Dazed And Confused. 4:18, guitar drops in the mix right as Page takes back off for some excellent wah runs. Outro solo- Page plays some very speedy licks then switches to some heavy riffing accented by the wah. Not nearly as mind-blowing as previous versions, but a solid run through. "B+".

SIBLY- Intro is spastic and loose, but played fairly well. 2:27, wonderful piano phrases. Solo- Massive hesitation before he kicks off. 4:50-5:00, Page treads a fine line between playing passionately and overdoing it. 5:41, enter Heartbreaker. Not a bad solo, but there's some stickiness among the lightning fast runs. Plant sings with vigor on the last half for a decent ending. Page just wasn't focused for this one. "B".

Achilles- A decent start. The guitar drowns out everything and makes this hard to judge. First solo- Slight hangup at 5:33, but otherwise average. Second solo- Page has a hard time keeping up with Bonham and Jones, but plays decent. Third solo- 9:30 sounds a little rough. A very strong ending. Page was very loose on this. Obviously it's impossible to judge a performance by a soundboard but this sounded very rough around the edges. "B".

WS/BMS- Not much of a flow at all. 2:12-2:20, it's hard to tell if Page jumped into the fast part here or not but Bonham accompanies him anyway. 4:20-4:50, Page is just maniacal on this, cramming everything he can in as fast as possible, and not in a good way. 7:17, chord flub. One of the sloppiest (if not the sloppiest) versions I've heard. "C+".

Kashmir- Solid throughout. 6:18, a tape cut sends it into the outro. A very solid version, shame it was cut. "A".

Stairway- A fairly good first half though Plant sounds slightly half-hearted. Solo- Very sloppy off the bat. Very sloppy all the way through. He picks up a little steam at 8:38, but not enough to save it. Honestly one of the laziest solos I've heard by Page. The climax has some botched chords and Plant is scratchy. A sleepy version that should be skipped. "C+".

Rock And Roll- Page's guitar once again gives him trouble on the intro, cutting out slightly. Very little bass on the recording. 1:37, Plant belts out an Immigrant Song scream. Solo- Page barely holds it together. "B".

WLL- A good energetic start. The funk section is played quite well, making one think this is 1973 and not 1980. Solo- Played differently, but fairly well. Boogie Chillen- I find it very strange that with all the changes they made in 1980 they decided to keep playing the medley for this. Not a bad rendition, but boy is that solo sticky fingered. 12:00, bass comes in loud and clear. 12:54-13:10, a nice series of turnarounds. The return is good and they finish up strong. Really not too bad. "B+".


Final Assessment- Talk about hit and miss, this is certainly a show of dynamics. There's an overall lack of energy throughout the show compared to other recordings. Jones and Bonham are just there to do their respective jobs and the other two are not exactly impressive, with the final result being a display of mediocrity. The highlights are a solid Hot Dog and Black Dog. 

Edited by gibsonfan159

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On 12/29/2019 at 8:06 AM, rm2551 said:

I thought the 29th was almost on par with this one too, I was surprised at your rather mundane take on it.

Agreed. I haven't listened to Zurich or Fankfurt in many years (maybe 15) but I remember being pleasantly surprised at both of these shows. It had me thinking, if only for a moment, that Zeppelin wasn't too bad in 80 after all. I haven't heard all the shows from the 80 tour, but I was distinctly unimpressed with what I had heard so far, until Zurich and Frankfurt. I think their version of Money is great too. I will listen to these two soon enough, but actually, I just got done listening to July 5th for the first time ever and it was a great show, especially for 1980! Really strong performance, especially from Plant, but Page also.

 

On 12/26/2019 at 3:58 AM, gibsonfan159 said:

NFBM- The usual thunderous start. Harmonica- 2:18, the lowest harmonica note I've ever heard. Not bad. Solo- 3:33, Page fails to launch properly but manages to get back on track. 3:39, a nice run. 3:56, a unique, country sounding lick that works great. 4:10, some sticky icky. 4:46, Bonham isn't sure when Page wants to end it. Despite the botched intro and ending, it's an intriguing solo. 5:24, Plant sounding rough. I've heard worse. "B".

I noticed you can't bring yourself to give them an honest grading :)

Botched intro, botched ending, Plant sounding rough, "I've heard worse" and then give them a "B" anyway? Or, you give them a grade sometimes like "An 'A' for 1980" and I know what you mean, but you're not being brutally honest! I know it's tough because I have this inner dialogue with myself all the time, which is why I get some chuckles out of this. If everything is an A or B (with the odd C+ thrown in) then the A's and B's lose their essence. It's like when everyone wins a trophy lols.

We need to be honest about this and unafraid. We need to thinking critically and keep our biases in check, lest we award a B when it should be  a C-. If we can agree that an A+ is something like, say, the WLL from Osaka 71 and an A+ solo from Jimmy (being clean and fast) is Heartbreaker from 9-14-71, then what we would consider an A- is still pretty close to perfection! If we backslide from there just a wee bit to a B+, it should still be totally awesome. See where I'm going with this? I guess what I'm getting at is an objective standard where WLL from Osaka 71 is graded on the same scale as NFBM from Zurich. Just my two cents and none too serious. All the same, I enjoy reading these concert descriptions with a focus on Page.

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6 hours ago, Christopher Lees said:

I noticed you can't bring yourself to give them an honest grading :)

I mentioned in the 1973 thread that I'd have to tailor the ratings to Jimmy's overall playing level for the year because it would be foolish to compare 73 with 80. Considering this is a year by year analysis, I'm really trying to sort out the best and worst of each year, not compare their entire history. You can do that if you'd like.

As far as the off the wall ratings I'm giving, I may be over analyzing the performances but I'm certainly not making spreadsheets comparing each individual note. So the ratings are reflective of the immediate impression I get and an honest judgement of what I think it deserves in relation to other performances of the same year. Remember, I just started using the "grading" to help sort things out a little. It's really not relevant to the nitpicking, just a face-value quick guide for the track. I have no "bias" for the music and often realize days later that a rating might not have been accurate (but we can't edit past a certain time frame, so it is what it is).

I suppose the best way to grade the performances would be to tally all the flubs from all four members and give a total for each track, which I originally thought about doing, but let's be honest- some performances with few "flubs" are still played poorly considering tempo, timing, and low energy. 

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The first Mannheim show is one of my least favorites from 80, not good.

Following nite much better imho 

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4 minutes ago, bluecongo said:

The first Mannheim show is one of my least favorites from 80, not good.

Following nite much better imho 

Is this Hot Dog as good as I think or am I over glorifying it? Seems like one of the best to me.

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On 1/16/2020 at 11:27 AM, gibsonfan159 said:

Considering this is a year by year analysis, I'm really trying to sort out the best and worst of each year, not compare their entire history.

I see, and this is perfectly understandable. Now I know your angle.

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On 1/16/2020 at 12:36 PM, gibsonfan159 said:

Is this Hot Dog as good as I think or am I over glorifying it? Seems like one of the best to me.

I went back and listened, he starts strong, but kinda loses it at the end.  Pretty typical 80 solo really.

If I may be so bold, I suggest using my Matrix as listening source for next Mannheim show 7/3.  Lookup Mannheim Steamroller by yours truly.  
 

thanks. 

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On 1/19/2020 at 6:52 AM, bluecongo said:

If I may be so bold, I suggest using my Matrix as listening source for next Mannheim show 7/3.  Lookup Mannheim Steamroller by yours truly.  

I'm listening to it now. Fantastic job on this!

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