Discussion in '70's Music' started by METALPRIEST, Mar 27, 2010.
The Best Of The
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just came across this
In Memory of Karac Plant
via Ultimate Classic Rock
37 Years Ago: The Tragic Loss That Changed Led Zeppelin Forever
by Jeff Giles July 26, 2014 6:14 AM
Led Zeppelin appeared to lead something of a charmed existence during the early part of their career, enjoying blockbuster success with fans in spite of negative reviews from critics and quickly earning a spot near the top of the rock ‘n’ roll pantheon. But by the mid-’70s, they seemed to be suffering from a curse, as multiple setbacks kept them from capitalizing on the momentum they’d built — and on July 26, 1977, when singer Robert Plant suddenly lost his five-year-old son Karac to a stomach virus, it nearly split the band completely.
The Plant family’s terrible tragedy came during what was supposed to be a triumphant American tour for Zeppelin. Two years earlier, the band had been forced off the road for an extended spell when Plant and his wife were involved in a serious car accident while visiting the Greek island of Rhodes — but even if the time off helped Plant recuperate from his injuries, it did nothing to prevent a series of disasters that dogged the tour, starting with Plant picking up a case of laryngitis that forced the group to push its first date back from February to April.
Ticket sales were still strong, but the postponement had a ripple effect; as guitarist Jimmy Page later pointed out, the band’s equipment had already been shipped overseas, complicating any efforts to rehearse. “We didn’t have any instruments for a month,” he lamented. “All the equipment was shipped over there five days before we were due to go. I didn’t play a guitar for a month. I was terrified at the prospect of the first few shows.”
Once they were finally able to get out in front of fans, the problems continued to pile up. An April stop in Cincinnati was marred by violence when a group of ticketless fans tried to force their way into Riverfront Coliseum, and a “mini-riot” broke out after their June concert in Tampa ended up being rained out partway through the set. Things got even uglier the following month, when manager Peter Grant led a group — including drummer John Bonham — into the savage beating of a Bill Graham employee following their July 23 performance in Oakland, Calif.
“There was an extraordinary amount of tension at the start of that tour,” recalled a band employee. “It just got off to a negative start. It was definitely much darker than any Zeppelin tour ever before that time … The kind of people they had around them had deepened into some really criminal types. … They still had their moments of greatness (but) some of the shows were grinding and not very inspired.”
After making their way out of Oakland, the band members made their separate ways to the next stop on the itinerary, a planned appearance in New Orleans. Shortly after arriving in the city, Plant received the devastating news, half a world away and helpless to join his son during his confusing final moments. “The first phone call said his son was sick,” said tour manager Richard Cole, describing a fateful pair of calls from Plant’s wife. “And the second phone call, unfortunately, Karac had died in that time.”
“Karac was the apple of Robert’s eye. They idolized one another,” said Plant’s father in an Associated Press report announcing the immediate cancellation of the tour, which had been scheduled to run into August. Searching for answers about the sudden illness, Plant retreated home, taking comfort from his wife Maureen and daughter Carmen while Zeppelin went on hold. As Page later put it, “We were all mates. We had to give the man some space.”
That didn’t mean Plant shut out his bandmates, however. “After the death of my son Karac in 1977, I received a lot of support from [Bonham], and I went through the mill because the media turned on the whole thing and made it even worse,” Plant told Barney Hoskyns. “I had to look after my family, and at that time, as we regrouped, I applied to take a job at a Rudolph Steiner training college in Sussex. I wanted to just get out of it — to go away and forget it.”
“I lost my boy. I didn’t want to be in Led Zeppelin,” Plant told Rolling Stone. “I wanted to be with my family.” He also, he later claimed, quit all of his chemical habits cold turkey. “I stopped taking everything on the same day,” Plant recalled. “The most important thing to me is my family and when I got off my face, I found it difficult to be all things to the people that meant a lot to me.”
As he alluded in an above paragraph, the idea of pursuing a career in education briefly seemed like it might lure Plant away from the spotlight. Admitting that “it’s not something that we, as a family, have been able to get over yet,” Plant told GQ in a 2011 interview that “Our family had always been close to the Rudolf Steiner Waldorf education in the West Midlands and I just liked the way it all worked. … I just thought there was something far more honest and wholesome about just digging in and putting the ego away in the closet. Because no matter what we say, entertainers are usually quite insecure, wobbly characters underneath, and maybe that bit of glory or that bit of expression or whatever it is compensates in some area. But I thought I should be rid of it. Yeah, I thought it was not a bad idea. Sometimes I still feel like that.”
“During the absolute darkest times of my life when I lost my boy and my family was in disarray, it was Bonzo who came to me,” Plant recalled. “The other guys were [from] the South [of England] and didn’t have the same type of social etiquette that we have up here in the North that could actually bridge that uncomfortable chasm with all the sensitivities required…to console.”
Zeppelin biographer Mick Wall took Plant’s comments a step further, claiming that the distance Plant describes was even more profound — and that when Page, bassist John Paul Jones, and Grant declined to appear at Karac’s funeral, it created a rift that never truly healed. “Until then Robert was still in thrall to Jimmy and what he had created with Zeppelin. After that incident Jimmy no longer held the same mystique for Robert,” Wall claimed. “It was also the beginning of Robert having much more power over what the band did or didn’t do next. He truly no longer cared and therefore was ready to walk at any point if they didn’t fit in with him. And that’s the way it remains to this day.”
But if Bonham stayed closest to Plant’s side during the months following Karac’s death, it was ultimately Page who talked him out of retiring from music. “I was thinking about leaving the group. But Jimmy Page kept me from doing it,” Plant said in an interview at the time. “He said without me, the band’s nothing. He wanted me to take a break until I felt ready for playing again. I realized that we are more than business partners. We are real friends. We have enough money to live a life without troubles, but nobody knows how long our fans can wait. They might forget us if we don’t play anymore. I don’t want this to happen to the band. Our friends kept calling us every day. They helped us through this.”
To Zeppelin fans’ everlasting regret, the road ahead for Zeppelin wouldn’t last much longer; although they soldiered ahead for 1979′s ‘In Through the Out Door,’ Bonham’s death on Sept. 25, 1980 ended the band as a creative unit once and for all. And although it’s impossible to know what they might have accomplished together if he hadn’t passed away, the group’s final days found them in an artistic flux, struggling to move forward while coming to grips with what they’d been through.
“‘In Through the Out Door’ wasn’t the greatest thing in the world, but at least we kept trying to vary what we were doing, for our own integrity’s sake. Of all the records, it’s interesting but a bit sanitized because we hadn’t been in the clamor and chaos for a long time,” Plant later pointed out. “In ’77, when I lost my boy, I didn’t really want to go swinging around. ‘Hey hey mama, say the way you move’ didn’t really have a great deal of import anymore.”
The Best Of The
^i didnt make my earlier post clear enough-^^^click the above link named best of for an interesting discussion^^^
Runes and Houses
courtesy of Ultimate Classic Rock
Led Zeppelin Continue Reissues With 'IV' and 'Houses of the Holy'
Alternate versions and 80-page hardbound book highlight classic band's reissues
By Kory Grow
July 29, 2014 9:55 AM ET
Less than a year after reissuing their first three albums as deluxe sets, Led Zeppelin plan on putting out two more in the fall. On October 28th, the group will release deluxe editions of its 1971 album, Led Zeppelin IV, and its next record, 1973's Houses of the Holy.
Like the previous deluxe reissues, each album will include the original LP, newly remastered by guitarist and producer Jimmy Page, alongside a second disc of previously unreleased audio culled from the band members' vaults. Additionally, each release will also be available as a single album, a single vinyl LP, a deluxe double-LP, digital download and a super deluxe box set, the latter of which features the CDs, LPs, a download card, an 80-page hardbound book with previously unseen photos and memorabilia and a high-quality print of the album cover.
The group's fourth album has become one of the best-selling albums in history since its 1971 release. Home to AOR staples like "Stairway to Heaven," "Rock & Roll," "Black Dog" and "When the Levee Breaks," the album, which is technically untitled, has been certified 23-times platinum. The deluxe edition contains previously unreleased versions of each of the album's eight tracks. Included are alternate mixes of "Rock & Roll," "Misty Mountain Hop" and "Four Sticks," a mandolin/guitar mix of "The Battle of Evermore" and a markedly different version of "Stairway to Heaven" that the group recorded at Los Angeles' Sunset Sound Studio.
That record's follow-up, Houses of the Holy, contains the singles "Over the Hills and Far Away" and "D'Yer Mak'er" and has been certified 11-times platinum since its 1973 release. The deluxe edition bonus disc for Houses of the Holy contains rough, in-progress mixes of "The Ocean" and "Dancing Days," as well as two songs with varied instrumentation: a guitar mix backing track for "Over the Hills and Far Away" and a version of "The Rain Song" without John Paul Jones' piano.
Although the group worked together on assembling these reissues, its surviving members have no intention of touring together anytime soon. In May, Robert Plant told Rolling Stone that he wished to leave things off with the group's 2007 one-off at London's O2 Arena. "A tour would have been an absolute menagerie of vested interests and the very essence of everything that's shitty about big-time stadium rock," he said. "We were surrounded by a circus of people that would have had our souls on the fire. I'm not part of a jukebox!"
Page said he was "fed up" with Plant's comments in a June interview with The National, but ultimately took the high road. "We have a great history together and like all brothers, we have these moments where we don't speak on the same page but that's life," he said.
Here are the track listings for the deluxe editions' companion audio discs (the songs remain the same on the original LPs):
Led Zeppelin IV (Companion Audio)
1. "Black Dog," Basic Track With Guitar Overdubs
2. "Rock and Roll," Alternate Mix
3. "The Battle of Evermore," Mandolin/Guitar Mix From Headley Grange
4. "Stairway to Heaven," Sunset Sound Mix
5. "Misty Mountain Hop," Alternate Mix
6. "Four Sticks," Alternate Mix
7. "Going to California," Mandolin/Guitar Mix
8. "When the Levee Breaks," Alternate U.K. Mix
Houses of the Holy (Companion Audio)
1. "The Song Remains The Same," Guitar Overdub Reference Mix
2. "The Rain Song," Mix Minus Piano
3. "Over the Hills And Far Away," Guitar Mix Backing Track
4. "The Crunge," Rough Mix - Keys Up
5. "Dancing Days," Rough Mix With Vocal
6. "No Quarter," Rough Mix With JPJ Keyboard Overdubs - No Vocal
7. "The Ocean," Working Mix
1988 Atlantic Records 40th Anniversary rehearsals
'Ultimate Classic Rock' have put together a List of 'worst to best' of Led Zep's albums. Personally, I wouldn't stray too far from the list, though I know there will be different opinions out there. Any thoughts?
With Led Zeppelin, the albums were always the thing. Their legacy, unlike Jimmy Page‘s antecedent group the Yardbirds, was built not on singles but on longform statements of purpose. Similarly, Led Zeppelin’s legend grew over an extended arc, as the foursome of Page, Robert Plant, John Paul Jones and John Bonham constructed a new alchemy from the rock-solid foundation of roots music.
Along the way, they’d stir in heavier sounds, delicate folk and Celtic influences, orchestral thunder and primal sensuality, as Page summed up their unboastful credo: ‘Ever onward.’ Only Bonham’s 1980 death could stop Led Zeppelin, which appeared to be on the crux of a never-finished final transformation with its pop-focused ‘In Through the Out Door.’
A full-circle compilation of more blues-focused outtakes, appropriately titled ‘Coda,’ ended their initial canonical run of recordings — one highlighted, defined but never limited to the strikingly diverse, 23-times platinum ‘IV.’ In fact, this determinedly album-oriented band’s catalog continues to yield intriguing new insights, as you’ll see as we rank Led Zeppelin albums, from worst to best.
9.'In Through the Out Door' (1979)
With Page and Bonham spiralling into substance abuse and booze, the other half of Led Zeppelin was left to piece together the group's latest iteration. The results, outside of the odd greasy groover like 'In The Evening' or 'South Bound Saurez,' often couldn't be any further away from the monstrous blues rock that Zeppelin had unleashed 10 years before. But they might have pointed to more chart success. Put another way, Plant's pop-leaning solo career began right here.
It's become almost mandatory to dismiss this odds-and-ends package issued after Bonham's death. Critics will tell you that its uneven, that it lacks focus. Go back, though, and 'Coda' uncovers the ferocious beating heart of Led Zeppelin after the sadly diffused period surrounding 'In Through the Out Door.' Rather than the sad goodbye that album might have been, 'Coda' reminded us of their now-lost greatness.
7.'Physical Graffiti' (1975)
This bloated set's best moments struggle to overcome the throwaway double-album debris that engulfs them. For every funk-filled joy like 'Trampled Underfoot,' there's 'Boogie with Stu.' The towering Eastern mysteries of 'Kashmir' grind to a halt for speed bumps like 'Black Country Woman.' Unfortunately, 'Physical Graffiti' can come off (like so many multi-disc sets of that era) like a kitchen-sink project in desperate need of a good plumber. There's a fantastic single-disc release in here somewhere, though.
If 'In Through the Out Door' belonged to Plant and Jones, then 'Presence' was a showcase for the others -- meaning a return to their bawdy early sound. Page unleashes a torrent of layered grooves, while Bonham brings his sticks down with teeth-splintering force on gems like the galloping 'Achilles Last Stand' and the coiled 'Nobody's Fault But Mine.' After a period of furious invention, and no small amount of rock star decadence, the grimy grooves of their initial period have a renewed sense of force and danger.
5.'Led Zeppelin' (1969)
There's no denying this set's heavy-blues immediacy, its sense of throwback menace, or even that it's one of the all-time great debuts in rock. But too much of the songwriting felt (and, in some cases, actually was) borrowed from the rootsy greats that inspired Led Zeppelin, and the album -- for all of its raw power -- only hints at their flinty ambition. For anyone else, this would have ranked higher, maybe even at No. 1. Not Zeppelin.
4.'Houses of the Holy' (1973)
Fresh off 'IV,' Led Zeppelin was clearly in the mood to stretch its legs. The result is a project as ambitious as any the group ever attempted. Of course, that remains its blessing and curse. Dotted with songs both unusual (the anthemic expanse of 'The Rain Song,' the strange sensuousness of 'No Quarter') and approachably fun, 'Houses' tended to anger those who wanted them to remain in a heavy-rocking box. Expectations aside, though, it showed there was nothing Led Zeppelin couldn't do. Unfortunately, its proximity to 'IV' likely doomed it from the start, and it's simply not as cohesive.
3.'Led Zeppelin III' (1970)
Largely overlooked in its day, principally because it was said to have moved too far and too quickly into Zeppelin's growing experimental curiosity. Still, this set of warm, more acoustically focused tracks -- while not the building-levelling delight of Led Zeppelin's first two albums -- works as a road map toward their growing facility with complex arrangements and inspired melodic twists. That, of course, is what eventually made 'IV' into a career-shifting triumph. This album, transitional though it may be, had to happen first.
2.'Led Zeppelin II' (1969)
Led Zeppelin begins to emerge from its own influences, setting a template for heavy-rock sounds that would stand for generations. A punishing touring schedule had hammered them into fighting shape and, with 'II,' they came out swinging. It remains a staggering wonder. That said, while there's still plenty of grinding blooze, Led Zeppelin begins to rapidly expand its sonic palette -- and it's in those moments that we sense the greatness to come.
1.'Led Zeppelin IV' (1971)
A singular achievement -- in rock, or anywhere else -- 'IV' ties together all of the exotic strands that transformed Led Zeppelin from brilliant musicians playing blues rock to brilliant musicians, period. A bold new vision framed by rock, folk, blues and classically tinged orchestral settings would creatively combine the best of everything they'd done through three albums -- reshaping the band's sound and its legacy forever. There's a reason this is Led Zeppelin's best known, most recognized project. Everything comes together right here.
Interesting list, thanks for posting that JTG.
I must admit I'm rather surprised to see Presence placed above Physical Graffiti - I think it's because I'm so used to reading the view that Led Zeppelin went into decline after PG, and if anything Presence seems to have few defenders than In Through The Door even though it's generally regarded as being better than that album. I've yet to hear anything from Presence apart from a couple of snippets from Achilles' Last Stand though so can't really comment on it just yet.
IV is a worthy winner I think, it's a great showcase of the things they did best, and I'm happy to see II come second as well. The part I'd most strongly disagree with is placing Houses of the Holy above I, although I do think Houses is a great album with a fantastic variety of different songs, it feels less 'important' to my ears than the debut set - I enjoy The Crunge and D'yer Mak'er but I couldn't place an album with these two tracks above the consistently strong debut.
IV features quite a way down the list for me.
Mine would be
1. Physical Graffiti. ...it rates this high due to the first LP being Godly IMO.
4.Presence.....Achilles Last Stand...wow
7.Houses of the Holy
First 7 are amazing the last 2 I wont even bother with.
For me personally.
1. Physical Graffiti
2. Houses of the Holy
5. In Through The Outdoor
In terms of album preference.
Separate names with a comma.