Page & Plant

Led Dentures. HA! Get it??? THEY'RE OLD!!!!
*special introductory paragraph!
*No Quarter
*Walking Into Clarksdale

Jimmy Page and Robert Plant are big rock stars who used to play together in a band called Led Zeppelin. After they broke up in 1980 upon their drummer's vomiting expiration, they went their separate ways with such chart-topping acts as Coverdale/Page, The Firm, The Honeydrippers and Robert Plant. But in the late `90s, they felt the time was rife for a revolution in music. The kind of revolution that could only be created by two really old, slow men. Their creations were good too! Just not very energetic. Guess that happens when you turn 9 billion years old.


No Quarter - Atlantic 1994
Rating = 8

On this, the debut release for this band of young whippersnappers from (fill in blank later, or make up some town - nobody gives a shplaloppidydopple where they're from - just fake it, like you pretend to listen to all these albums that you "review". HA! You steal all your facts from TV Guide and all your jokes from Phil Donahue and you bloody well know it, you American Benedict Arnold of the Arts!), England set out to redefine a generation's hard rock standards and redefine this generation's hard rock standards as an Eastern thing like hippies used to smoke acid with. With lots of pounding drummers, an Egyptian Ensemble with Doholla, Duf, Bendir, Duf, Finger Cymbals, Nay (Egyptian Bamboo Flute) and Oud, which I think is one of those guitars that's like, double guitars. And then they have musicians in Marrakech and a hurdy gurdy and all kinds of weirdass foreign shit. Because they're not content to be a golden oldies act like such luminaries as Paul Revere (of Paul Revere & The Raiders) and John Kay & Steppenwolf (featuring Steppenwolf's John Kay AS "John Kay & Steppenwolf"). No, they are reworking such hits that you know - like "Nobody's Fault But Mine," for example, is played acoustically and with a violin! Can you believe them apples? And both "Thank You" and "No Quarter" are played on guitar! NOT ORGAN! See, that's what happens when fuckin' John Paul Jones isn't around stealing the spotlight like he always did, the scenery-eating egotist Bono-predecessor. "Four Sticks" acoustic? "Since I've Been Loving You" lousy? Three songs NEW???

That LAST is what interests me most. I was disappointed in Black Sabbath's two new songs with Ozzy, so imagine my surprise when when when I discovered that the three new songs by Page/Plant were GOOD!!!! Not just good but GOOOOOOD! And you do understand that "O"s don't grow on trees, no matter how much a berry might resemble an "O" and try to convince you to use it in a sentence like fuckin' berries always do. Except Chuck Berry, who's only interested in ONE kind of "O" and that's the kind poop comes out of.

The new songs are !)( guitar like the best parts of "Midnight Moonlight," a hugely successful record-breaking epic smash hit by The Firm, (#) "Biolas with an odd little "Four Sticks" style sound repetition and (#) Neat distorted chords Eatern riffs but hampered by a boring "acid" guitar solo in the middle. Oh! I should tell you the names of the new songs - they are "Stairway To Heavenly Goodness," "Whole Lotta Ludwig Van Beethoven" and "Cashmere (Sweater)."

Say! Did I mention that they replaced John Bonham with the hilarious novelty duo Barnes & Barnes of "Fish Heads" fame?

Reader Comments

sonicdeath10@hotmail.com
Never heard this but it was recently re-released and shit. Maybe I should pick it up: sounds interesting. Also, I know Walking into Clarksdale is at a used CD, guitar, movie shop in town here. Maybe pick them up.

Hey get Zooma by John Paul Jones. PAUL "MARK FARNER" LEARY plays guitar on it and it's very strange and interesting. Worth tracking down. I found it for ten bucks :D

threelockboxtodd@yahoo.com
Dull. Who wants to hear hospital zone renditions of Led Zep classics? Not me. Why is it we stomp all over some artists because we think they're rehashing the same sound or themes over and over, but geezers like these guys and the Eagles get a free pass to offer up the exact same thing they released decades ago as a new album.

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Walking Into Clarksdale - Atlantic 1998
Rating = 8

But a whole CD (certificate of deposit) worth of original songs? That's like asking a dead whore to sell you a cracker! Somehow they pulled it off though. s fuck off, underproduced by Steve Albini, take 4 - PUNK AINT

Many apologies. Underproduced by Big Black's Steve Albini, this album floats along on a gentle stream of slow deliberate restingness. This is NOT two old men trying to "ROCK OUT"! Every song is very relaxed and nice. Nice pretty little understated guitar melodies (with lots of them Pagey bent notes they rave about in Switzerland!), Robert Plant singing calmly and lovely like on his last couple of solo albums - and a mix that at first sounds great because it's so live and right there and real and not full of processed crap, but soon begins to sound incredibly stale and lifeless. As a result, the songs never DEVELOP. The last chorus of each song sounds just like the first verse - no added elements, no progression. Which is FINE for a damn live show, but a studio CD full of tiring slow- moving songs sometimes needs a bit more than Jimmy Page playing one track of guitar and a faceless rhythm section doing whatever it is a rhythm section claims it does for a living (mail delivery). So Albini kinda blew this one, which is quite rare for him. Maybe he did it on purpose.

The songs are awfully nice though! You know that last Robert Plant album, right? The one with the planet and crap on the cover? Of course you do. You can't throw a rock without infuriating somebody who's worn out twelve copies. Well, this sounds as peaceful, spiritual and gracefully aged as that one, but with Jimmy Page's guitarfingers all over the limbs of time! And he is no one trick phony - there's acousticals, electricial Hungarian fun men, tremolo, dark western feel, droney, friendly, weird, blues shuffle, angriness, a little blandness to go with the age and even, right at the end, a fucking UPTEMPO SONG. AND I GOTTA TALK ABOUT A FUCKING DOG DYING! FOR THE LAST GODDAMN TIME I WANT SOMEONE TO USE HIS FUCKING BRAIN AND PLAY A SONG THAT ISN'T UPTEMPO EVERY TIME I DO A GODDAMN DEATH DEDICATION!

Ooo! You like the Negativland references? Here's another one for you:

We aren't any good and only release a decent album like once every five years.

Reader Comments

foland_ratzl@hotmail.com (Roland Fratzl)
An 8?? Are you insane???

Nothing rocks here at all, and there isn't any interesting experimentation. To be clear, I certainly wasn't expecting anotther Led Zeppelin (how could anyone), but this sort of pedestrian crap is way below what these guys should be capable of, even now that they're washe dup old farts. Sounds more like a Robert Plant solo album, and you know how ass wipingly wretched those are.

This was THE biggest letdown of 1998 in terms of new music by established veterans. Every single aspect of the album is completely uninspired, with lazy performances all round. It reeks of cheesy cash-in based solely on the reputation of their famous former band.

Letdowns of this magnitude are pretty rare, kinda like how I was droolingly anticipating Jennifer Connelly's appearance at the 2002 Oscars only to see that she's more or less starved herself to the point where there are now only little doorbells remaining where her mammoth mammaries of yore once proudly stood.

tater794@hotmail.com (J G)
This is a good CD. Maybe some don't favor it as much as Unledded but then again, Unledded was the closest thing to a Led Zeppelin "reunion" that we're going to see, so, of course, everyone was all stoked. Don't like that they left Jonesey out of it, but he and Plant have been in a bitchy cat-fight since the early 90's.

This CD focuses more on that "Mississippi Blues/Robert Johnson" thing and the more you listen to the title track, "Walkin' Into Clarksdale", and know the myth/legend of how Robert Johnson came to his crossroads, etc., the more the song grows on you.

"Please Read The Letter' is great with Plant's dual vocals. Very catchy.

"Most High" has the Indian/Egyptian/Kashmir-ish thing going on and really, seems like a follow-up song to the whole theme of "Unledded".

The song, "Sons of Freedom" is a rocking song and has great riffs but it doesn't fit Plant's voice. Plant's voice is too beautiful and melodic to sing such a fast, speedy song, that rushes through the lyrics. That was a song more suited to the likes of the late Michael Hutchens or maybe, Eddie Vedder.

Page's guitar, as usual, is superb.

Overall, I give it an 8.

Cragy1231@aol.com
I always thought Jimmy was the creative musical influence behind LZ? This can't be the same man who was responsible for this CD. If it is the same man, then John Paul Jones must have been the secret unsung hero of all time. Jones' instrumental solo stuff at least has "life" in it. This crap is pure garbage. Is it any wonder why they can't pull off a reunion tour? They aren't capable of it. Frank Sinatra had more spark left in him in his last year on Earth than Page & Plant at this point.

grecod@comcast.net (Devin)
I was a total Led Head growing up in the 80ís, and believe me when I tell you as a 13yo kid I wanted to see nothing on earth more than for Led Zeppelin have a reunion tour. In spite of that, I did go see Jimmy Page and Robert Plant live separately, and while it didnít totally satisfy my appetite, I didnít regret spending my hard earned money I had to save up to go, and I still have great memories of both the shows and the after parties.

The music produced after was well short of anything in their Zeppelin days, and anything they ever will produce individually or collaboratively again. However for itís time it was pretty well put together and enjoyable for the most part. What Iím getting at was that Zep was an amazing rock band, and collectively some the most talented songwriters to ever produce music to this day. As I got older, my taste changed, but they are still one of my favorite bands to listen to, and I still can tolerate and even enjoy some of their solo work as well.

But I also realized, likely along with them, that hey, these guys lived hard and on top for a long time. Thereís no crime in not being able to recreate Led Zeppelin in all its power and glory, so they took a stab at it, along with Jonseyís back, and created No Quarter and later Walking into Clarkesdale. No Quarter, I honestly did not find to be very exceptional, but it did add a new element with the live orchestra joining them on the tour, which I enjoyed very much thank you. More than anything memory wise, I do recall feeling kind of sad for Jimmy Page as they had borrowed the Cureís Porl Thompson to assist him as he struggled along with the riffís and soloís. However it was an enjoyable show regardless, and I thought Porl played pretty damn well and Plantís voice was as strong as I had heard in years.

So onto my point to counter his insults, Walking into Clarkesdale, was about as good as I could have expected from these two aging rock icons, twenty years post Zep. It was somewhat original sounding, multilayered with Jimmyís synchronous riffís and even a pretty daring edge to some of the tracks. Now is it Led Zeppelin Runes all fucking over again, not a chance, but it was quite a sound for sore earís for a starving Zep fan that was too young to see them in their prime. After finally seeing them live twice on that tour, I was totally taken aback at their stage presence, Jimmy was playing alone tearing through riffís sharper than heíd done since the early seventies, and Robert sounded surprisingly well. Minus a sleeper or two, they had rekindled what separated them from the rest of the pack in their prime, and thatís the energy that makes their music popular to this day. Iíve been to hundreds of rock shows in my life, and seen many great shows from some of the best stage performers of our time, and never in my life did I hear a crowd as juiced and psyched in hungry anticipation for more as we were after the two shows I went to on that tour. People were literally screaming their lungs out for more for well over a half hour after the third encore.

All in all, I found this website refreshing with itís witty humor, and I tend to think the reviews were actually fairly accurate in spite of the joking overtone. I just felt compelled to defend their later collaborative work, in spite of the fact that Iíd love to know what Jonsey ever did to have them leave him so out of the fold. He was the most technically sound musician in the band, and Jimmy often went to him when songwriting, especially in the early days because he had a great deal of respect for his musical genius. So if any of you have any dirt on what went down between the three of them after 1980, Iíd love to hear it. I donít buy that itís simply because it would be too close to a ďLed Zeppelin reunionĒ, or even any horseshit that he was the only one that didnít sell his soul to Satan. (yes..im sure to this day there are some that really believe it)

BlaineSports10@aol.com
Hello my names John im from Minnesota and upon reading your article about Jimmy Page and Robert Plants walking into clarksdale i was offended by your mockery of the late John Bonhams death and making fun of two men who you probably never listened to in Led Zeppelin your a joke dont bash other peoples music when you probably are incapable of reading a sheet of music dont clown around with stuff you dont know about im sure millions of Zepheads would agree with me on this and it dosent surprise me that your from NY your probably a dirty yankee fan so by the way GO RED SOX!!! and go ZEPPELIN

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