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Maybe the best album ever. If you don't have it, you should.

 


Hammer of the Gods
What it was like to be a rock god back in the day when that was possible.

I'm with the Band : Confessions of a Groupie

Pamela DeBarres delightful memories of what it was like to be a groupie/girlfriend back in the 60s & 70s. She had affairs with Mick Jagger, Jimmy Page, Keith Moon, Waylon Jennings, Chris Hillman, Noel Redding, and Jim Morrison, among others. She traveled with Led Zeppelin; lived in sin with Don Johnson; turned down a date with Elvis Presley; and was close friends with Robert Plant, Gram Parsons, Ray Davies, and Frank Zappa. As a member of the GTO's, a girl group masterminded by Frank Zappa, she was in the thick of the most revolutionary renaissance in the history of modern popular music. Warm, witty, and sexy, this kiss-and-tell-all stands out as the perfect chronicle of one of rock 'n' roll's most thrilling eras.

 

Page & Plant: Walking into Clarksdale
Release Date: 1998

In 1998, Robert Plant and Jimmy Page released a mildly late followup to 1994's wildly successful album No Quarter. Unlike No Quarter, Walking into Clarksdale was received only lukewarmly by fans, probably due to their disappointment at the complete departure in style. Whereas No Quarter was atmospheric, live, and very middle eastern/african flavored, Walking into Clarksdale is straight ahead rock and roll. There's almost no hint of any of the influences of No Quarter here, and to me, that is not a bad thing. It is merely a DIFFERENT thing. That said, let's move onto the songs!

Shining in the Light: Moderately fast paced song, excellent lyrics, and no fancy guitar work. This song really sets the tone for the rest of the album as stripped, straightforward rock and roll. Nothing particularly special about Plant's vocal performance, but it is pretty. 3 out of 4.

When the World Was Young: First single off the album, this song features some excellent jangly guitar work by Page, a nicely thumping (albeit quiet) bass line, and nice drumming work. Starts off slow, and works its way to a thundering chorus, rinse, repeat. Excellent vocal work by Plant, showing off what's left of his range, with both deep, soft whispering and, of course, some great, although surprisingly restrained, wailing. 4 out of 4.

Upon A Golden Horse: Worst song on the album, by far. Pros: loud, fast, strings, manic wailing by Plant. Cons: the end result is a shambled, disorderly mess. 2 out of 4.

Blue Train: One of the best tracks on the album, and one of the best general rock tunes to come out of the 90s. Starts off very softly, with a neat bass line, Plant whispering, and Page only interjecting some jangly guitar here and there. The build up to the chorus is kind of unusual, in that the music doesn't get any louder, only Plant's voice does... and then BOOM! The loud drumming starts, Page kicks up his guitar a notch, and Plant sings with gusto. Goes soft again, features a nicely done solo by Page, and then back to the drumming and whatnot. Finishes off strong. Great song, one any Led Zeppelin fan could appreciate. 4 out of 4.

Please Read the Letter: This song is sort of a slow paced rocker. Features prominent guitar by Page all the way through, along with excellent drumming work, but a lackluster vocal performance by Plant and a stupid chorus mar what could have been a great song. 2 out of 4.

Most High: Second single off the album, and not about what one would think upon glancing at the title. Features excellent drum-machine like drumming, driving keyboards, good bass, and a top notch guitar performance by Page. Plant's lyrics, although pretty stupid, are delivered with gusto. 3 out of 4.

Heart in Your Hand: Electric Ballad. Features soft, whispery lyrics delivered by Plant, and a nice, melancholy guitar rhythm by Page, and not much else. Excellent song, heartfelt lyrics, just simply a beautiful song. 4 out of 4.

Walking into Clarksdale: Title track is a rousing, rocking blues number. Features rapid-fire spoken lyrics by Plant, a mixture of different guitar styles by Page, and nice lyrics that pay homage to Robert Johnson. 4 out of 4.

Burning Up: Straightforward rocker. Good, loud, and badly sung by Plant. 3 out of 4.

When I Was a Child: Ballad. Features echoing, jangly guitar and keyboard work, and beautifully, softly sung lyrics by Plant. Unlike the other ballad on the album, this one does feature a chorus with drumming, which is typically excellent. 4 out of 4.

House of Love: Loud drumming, loud guitar work, loud bass, and straightforward rocking vocals delivered by Plant. Mid Tempo. Good Song. 4 out of 4.

Sons of Freedom: Again, Loud drumming, loud guitar work, loud bass, and straightforward vocals, except this time Plant alternates between rapid-fire spoken and sung lyrics. Apparently not a well received song at the time, it is the most underrated tune on the album.

Rating:


Maybe the best album ever. If you don't have it, you should.


Hammer of the Gods
What it was like to be a rock god back in the day when that was possible.

I'm with the Band : Confessions of a Groupie

Pamela DeBarres delightful memories of what it was like to be a groupie/girlfriend back in the 60s & 70s. She had affairs with Mick Jagger, Jimmy Page, Keith Moon, Waylon Jennings, Chris Hillman, Noel Redding, and Jim Morrison, among others. She traveled with Led Zeppelin; lived in sin with Don Johnson; turned down a date with Elvis Presley; and was close friends with Robert Plant, Gram Parsons, Ray Davies, and Frank Zappa. As a member of the GTO's, a girl group masterminded by Frank Zappa, she was in the thick of the most revolutionary renaissance in the history of modern popular music. Warm, witty, and sexy, this kiss-and-tell-all stands out as the perfect chronicle of one of rock 'n' roll's most thrilling eras.

 

Page & Plant: No Quarter
Release Date: 1994

by Spikeb

In 1994, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant, the legendary front-men for the group Led Zeppelin, had a reunion on MTV's Unplugged - except the concert was far from unplugged, and was thus dubbed Unledded. This review concentrates on the audio CD based on that incredible performance.

Let's get the technical stuff out of the way first, before going in depth on each track. The sound quality is superb. Page's guitar playing is excellent, and Plant's voice is in fine, although different, form. The duo performs with the assistance of Plant's backing band, an Egyptian quartet, and the string section of the London Symphony Orchestra.

On to the songs! Each song will have it's own notes and an individual rating.

No Quarter: The Led Zeppelin version of this song is not one of my favorites, and tends to drag on as the length of the song approaches eight minutes. The new version thankfully cuts that length in half, and gets rid of some of the clutter. Plant's vocals are still screwed up, thanks to the help of some fancy electronics, but overall this song is much preferable to the Zeppelin version. 2.5 out of 4.

Thank You: Very similar to the album version, and that is a good thing. Very sweet song, but again not one of my favorites. Not much to say here other than Page's guitar work is excellent. 2.5 out of 4

Friends: MUCH better than the Zeppelin version of the same name, with Plant's vocals being much clearer, a lovely gem of a song. 4 out of 4.

Yallah: Excellent new song. The sound mixing on the DVD is much better than on the audio CD, with Plant's vocals being much more up front. Ditto for Page's Guitar. That said, this song is simply outstanding, with a great beat and nice vocal work. 4 out of 4.

City Don't Cry: Another of the new songs, again very excellent. Egyptian quartet shows up here and does a very good job in combination with Page's rhythm guitar. Good lyrics, nice vocal performance, excellent middle eastern theme throughout the song. 4 out of 4.

Since I've Been Loving You: Old Led Zeppelin staple, this song is almost exactly the same as the studio version, with the addition of the orchestra. Incredible song, incredible blues guitar playing by Jimmy Page. Features one of the few times Plant bothers flexing his powerful pipes. A Must Listen. 6 out of 4. That's right. It is that good.

Battle of Evermore: Very good performance. This adaptation of the song remains technically true to the studio version, with a completely different outcome. Instead of being haunting, it is transformed into a dreamlike song, with the help of Namja Akhtar on vocals. She sings the high notes that Plant no longer bothers reaching, and the result is simply delicious. Plant's singing in a lower register really works with this song.

Wonderful One: Best song on the cd. Period. Incredible, incredible new song. Features a prominent beat that sounds like a slow heartbeat. Nice, slow, clear guitar work by Page. Excellent, haunting, and longing vocals by Plant. Great lyrics. This song is as close to perfect as one can get. 8 out of 4.

Nobody's Fault But Mine: The original version of this song is not one of my favorites, featuring herky jerky, start-stop beat and guitar playing, few vocals, and silly lyrics. The new version features re-worked lyrics that mean something, and a complete re-do of the music. Sounds nothing like the original, and that is a good thing. Appropriately desperate and strained vocal performance by Plant, restrained rhythm guitar playing by Page. 4 out of 4.

Wah Wah: Weakest new song on the CD that still manages to be an excellent and catchy tune. Features the egyptian quartet, including on vocals (both backup and duet with Plant). Pretty good background music. 3 out of 4.

That's the Way: The original version of this song is not one of my favorites, but the reworked version is quite excellent. Stays somewhat true to the original, except during the choruses, which introduce drums and whatnot to the mix. Good remix, and not too shabby of a song. 4 out of 4.

Gallows Pole: Sounds true to the original version, just different mixing and lower registers on the vocals. One of my favorite Led Zeppelin songs, and also one of my favorite Page & Plant songs. Nice acoustic guitar work on this rockabilly song by Page. 4 out of 4.

Four Sticks: Not one of my favorite songs, good listen nonetheless. It's a bit crazy, just like the original. 3 out of 4.

Kashmir: What can you say about this song that has not been said already? Nothing. One of the greatest Rock songs ever, this version is just as good. Aside from the softer opening, this version remains true to the original and even surpasses it, thanks to incredible work by the London Symphony Orchestra and an impassioned performance by Plant. 10 out of 4.

To sum it up, this CD rocks. I highly recommend it for any Led Zeppelin or Robert Plant fans. Buy it through our amazon link and help pay our internet costs!

Rating:

 

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