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Achilles Last Stand


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I only need a few seconds from this song to call it one of Zep's most exciting. That's not to say I don't love the whole thing, but the moment around 4:08 - 4:23 is just one of the most amazing things I've ever heard. Particularly, Page's second lick. It's just one of those astonishing musical moments to me.

I've never heard a live version where the band nails this section of the song like they do in the album version (I've never heard Page even try), but I'm hoping that I will someday.

Edited by 5
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Complexity for the sake of complexity..... is much like speed for the sake of speed...

Or Loudness for the sake of Loudness....

It may have it's devoted followers..... but Louder is not always better... than softer, etc.

They use the same resoning for argueing that Neal Peart is a better drummer than John Henry Bonham, becuase Neal's drumming ... is more "complex"....

You want complexity ? ? Don't begin and end with ALS.... Seek out Jazz .... Now that's complex...

I think that ALS is for 12 year olds..... Or the mentality of a 12 year old....

And, those that are facinated with complexity...

Nothing wrong with that....

I was never in to Zeppelin when I was 12. Went straight from The Beatles ... to Led Zeppelin.

No KISS or Def Leppard to "bridge" the gap....

But complexity for the sake of complexity... doesn't get me.

Thing is it isn't as complex as people seem to think, its an epic though from the opening Em9 arppegio to Page's incredible guitar solo..

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  • 3 months later...

who gives a shit ??

its a good song, infact the older i get, the more i'm convinced it's one the the best pieces of a guitar/bass/drum set up by anyone. if any other band had written a song half as good as this, including queen, they would of made a mess of their pants.

this song shows zep really spreading their wings i9n the latter half of their career, this piece is as deep as a chopin nocturne or a bach fugue.

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Before I start, let me slip into my Nomex undies because i'm sure to get flamed.

Most of the polls i've seen around here about LZ's greatest songs usually include ALS and I have a tough time with it. I just don't think it's one of their better songs. Sorry, but to me it's gets boring and I wouldn't even list it in my Top 20 of their library. Even on Presence, which I think is one of their better albums, i would listen to Hots On, NFBM or Royal Orleans long before Achilles. In fact, i can remember skipping over the song to get to FYL and RO back when it was a new record.

Geez, I know i'm committing a felony here, but I got to get it out.

Hey-Up,

I bought "Presence" on my 11th birthday in 1977. I got it home, put it on the "Grammaphone"!!! Achilles was a track that I could not stop playing, way back then. Having it then played Live in front of me, on the second date of Knebworth, at the tender age of 13, I always love this Song. :notworthy: .

As time's gone by, like alot of Followers on here & other Sites, we all have likes & Dis-likes, each to there own, hey?? Flying forward some 30yrs almost now, & close to the Anniversary to Knebworth, I have found/ or Unearthed a copy DVD of 04/08/79, Knebworth 1st gig, I was informed that apart from it being in 5.1 Dolby, & No Bleed Screen, so for a DVD that is reacthing its 30th birthday, i was told that I would "Piss my Pants" at the quality/sound/ & coverage of Pagey & Bonzo more than other copies, when I put it in the DVD player, Song list popped up, & Achilles was the first Track I chose to play.....At nearly Full Blast on a 42" plasma, WOW!!! what a why to start. Apart from reafferming what a Fu#=ing Excellent Song it is,

i decided not to pluck out certain tracks, I had to watch from the start, over 3hours of Uninterupted

"Pure Magic", faded memories started to flood back, & certainly replayed Achilles again & again.

Presence is an Under-rated album, but not in my Book.

Please look out for the DVD named "Past-Present- & Future", it really is a Diamond.

All the best,

Hang-man :ph34r:

-

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I cannot think of a song like ALS anwhere in popular music, to me its very very original and in Rock music thats a hard thing to do as there is usually some sprt of crossover...Epic !!

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Achilles Last Stand is always one of the very first songs I think of when I try to decide on a favorite Led Zeppelin song. (Which I may never be able to do...) But I think it might be the song that most completely captures each member's talent.

Edited by dharmashark
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for me, ALS used to be a good song, in the last few years, imho, now i realise, (with the aid of a good quality playback system), the song in a masterpiece.

the song, being so long, always grips me, and i dont find it indulgent, the phaser guitar parts always seem to climb, the solo (im my opinion) is possibly the best electric guitar solo of all time, the six verses are always rivetting, the added guitar refrains jsut add to it, the

"mightly arms of atlas...hold the heaven from the earth" refrain, which occurs twice, is slightly different the 2nd time round, the second time there is yet another phaser guitar effect which adds to the constant yearning and relentless climbing i find in the song. i've realised that there are many many parts to this song, should you not be to fond of the song, may i suggest you play the song on a good stereo system or a good set of headphones, very loudly...

the song is massive, add the various odd time signatures, the vari speed, the production and you have zeppelin at their most untouchable.

bands have had multi platinum careers by picking off this carcass that is ALS

Great post.

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Put on some headphones, close your eyes and listen to 8:30-8:55 I don't know what it is, but that part takes me to another place with Bonzo rifling out those beats and the many layered guitar bends.

That is the greatest 30 seconds of music ever recorded.

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How about that live version from 6-23-77, totally awesome! Bonham is almost ablaze! I wonder how they kept his drum kit from spontanously combusting. And Jones slapping that bass, he's whats holding Page and Bonham together!

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I'd say ALS is a musical masterpiece that is not for everybody. It's an acquired taste, much like a particular dish whose taste is not very common. But I've loved it from the first time I heard it. I remember watching an interview of the 3 where they were asked what songs were their favorites. John Paul answered What Is And What Should Never Be (if I remember right), Jimmy had more than 1 and Robert said ALS. :rolleyes:

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Just a note for extreme subtlety - Listen to the last time Robert sings "For the mighty arms of Atlas... hold the heavens from the Earth" No Reverb. No Echo. Dry as a bone, in your face. Front and center. As he goes into his classic "aaaaahhhh" sequence the reverb builds and it pushes the vocal into the background so the other elements of the song can move into priority. Truly a tiny fragment of one of the best songs ever mixed by a great audio engineer. I could go on for pages, but this, as a studio mix, just hits the pinnacle of what great engineering and mixing can do for a monumental artistically written achievement of a band speaking a language no one else will ever decipher.

My 2 cents.

Steve

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Achilles is fast, epic, and includes Jimmy's best solo. No, I didn't say "one of the best." The best.

It also has an awesome galloping bassline from Jones, something you don't hear often.

Nuff Said

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Something else I really enjoy about the song I just found out is listening to the guitar when it does the chords it does from :50-1:15. Its played later in the song also, but you get the idea. Anyways go full blast through some headphones for this part and you can feel the soundwaves from Jimmy's guitar slamming into your right ear, pulled through your head, and being sucked back out through your left ear. Pretty cool.

Anyways I guess thats the main point, there are so many parts and levels to the song, everytime you listen to it, you catch something small, new, and great, and its all compiled together to make an awesome song.

Edited by frankb
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Something else I really enjoy about the song I just found out is listening to the guitar when it does the chords it does from :50-1:15. Its played later in the song also, but you get the idea. Anyways go full blast through some headphones for this part and you can feel the soundwaves from Jimmy's guitar slamming into your right ear, pulled through your head, and being sucked back out through your left ear. Pretty cool.

Anyways I guess thats the main point, there are so many parts and levels to the song, everytime you listen to it, you catch something small, new, and great, and its all compiled together to make an awesome song.

:yesnod: That's true of most Zep songs :D

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This post caught my eye and I just had to join. Next will go to post that Zeppelin fans are the smartest.

Yes, Yes you people are wicked smart. I have been educated, in just this one post, of the schematics and science of putting together a song.

Who needs religion?

There is Zeppelin.

nuf said

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