All posts tagged: Led Zeppelin

led_zeppelin6

CD REVIEWS: Led Zeppelin, “IV” and “Houses Of The Holy” (reissues)

I don’t know how to find the right words for two albums that were almost “standard issue” when I was a teen and starting to move towards playing guitar and getting into “serious” rock (after a youth-filled power pop foundation).  EVERYONE  had IV; you had to.  It had fucking “Stairway To Heaven” (which, admittedly, I’ve grown to cringe at whenever I hear it).  It had “Black Dog” and “Rock And Roll”.  It had “The Battle of Evermore” and “Misty Mountain Hop”.  Did I love it when I heard it; did it inspire me?  No, but I went along with everyone else and said “oh yeah”.  Houses Of The Holy was the next album for me to discover and it was an eye-opener.  From the weirdly angular (but instantly memorable) riff of “Dancing Days” to the magnificent opening acoustic whirlwind of “Over The Hills And Far Away” – this was a Zeppelin album I embraced. So now, over 36 years since I first had and absorbed these records, I’ve revisited them, thanks to the latest re-issue …

Night Ranger

Spotify Playlist: Night Ranger Picks Their Favorite Tunes

Veteran rockers Night Ranger might be celebrating their 31st year as a band, but that doesn’t mean that they’re slowing things down one bit. The band just released their 11th studio album High Road on June 10 and they’ll be on the road playing shows around the globe for the rest of 2014. For some good road trippin’ music, we asked bassist/vocalist Jack Blades, drummer/vocalist Kelly Keagy and guitarist Brad Gillis to give us a Spotify playlist of some of their favorite songs and they were happy to oblige. They chose a rockin’ list of tunes with some of their favorite songs from their own catalog spiked in, including several songs from the new album. Enjoy the playlist and read the band’s comments on each song below! “White Room” – Cream Love the timpani in the intro. It is one of the most unusual sounding vocal tracks. One of the coolest ‘Wah Wah’ solos in the history of rock ‘n roll in the 2nd verse…”I’ll wait in the cue”….. love it! “Burn” – Deep Purple Glenn Hughes and …

Hurtsmile

Exclusive: Extreme’s Gary Cherone Previews The New Hurtsmile Album “Retrogrenade”

Gary Cherone is perhaps best-known for being the longtime vocalist of the Boston-based rock band Extreme and after that, the guy who picked up the microphone for Van Halen as the group’s singer for the Van Halen III album and tour. (If you’re a Van Halen fan, hopefully you got a chance to see Cherone on that tour — the shows were great!) Since 2007, Cherone has been focused on his new band Hurtsmile, a collaboration with his brother Mark playing guitars, bassist Joe Pessia and drummer Dana Spellman. They released their self-titled debut in 2011, which Cherone described at the time as an album which was “about returning to my roots [and] writing a record in my basement — a straight up rock `n’ roll record that turned out to be more diverse and ambitious than I expected.” The Hurtsmile album was well-received and Cherone and crew have come back around for round two, with plans to release their second album Retrogrenade in late May. Fans can pre-order the album now via PledgeMusic and …

vinyldiaries_aerosmith

The Vinyl Diaries: Aerosmith, “Done with Mirrors”

Remember when Aerosmith’s Music from Another Dimension was supposed to be the band’s return to rockin’ form, a Seventies-style throwback to the groovin’, Stonesy, Yardbirdsy, slap-happy lewdness of Toys and Rocks, complete with the full-album return of Jack Douglas, who’d been behind the boards for those early high-water marks? Remember when, with the exception of Douglas’ return, it wasn’t any of those things? Did we believe them? How could we believe them? How could we believe that Perry, Tyler, and the other three dudes (who don’t get to wander the catwalk), could channel their most triumphant moments as young men, into the creepy, over-slick mannequins they’ve become in their dotage? How could fans view the record as anything other than a cash-grab in the wake of Tyler’s American Idol experiment, or as an excuse to light out upon another headlining shed tour? And how could fans view the ballad “Can’t Stop Lovin’ You”—a duet with Carrie-freakin’-Underwood—as anything other than a thumb in the eye, a knee to the groin, and a full-body coating of methanethiol …

eagles

You’re Dead to Us…Blockbuster Greatest Hits Albums

In which we look at once common curiosities of pop culture that don’t exist anymore, be it because of changing tastes, the fragmentation of culture, or merely the fickle nature of fads.  In the ‘50s and early ‘60s, the singles market and the albums market were two separate entities and rarely did they meet. Logically, singles (or 45s) were cheap, and directed at teenagers, because teenagers don’t have much money. Albums cost more, and directed at adults. That’s why Elvis Presley had #1 hit after #1 hit, while Harry Belafonte and Broadway cast albums dominated the album chart. Today, singles essentially serve as a taste of an album – they’re promotional tools. Like the single you heard on the radio, or YouTube, or Spotify? Then you’ll love the rest of the album, which will have that leadoff single on it. That wasn’t a universal in the middle of the 20th century. An artist released singles, and then they released albums of completely different material. In 1958, some evil genius at Columbia Records had a brilliant …

Detail from the cover of "Led Zeppelin III." Cover artist Zacron died last fall.

The #1 Albums: “Led Zeppelin III”

On October 24, 1970, Led Zeppelin III blased onto the Billboard 200 album chart at #3. The next week, it knocked Santana’s Abraxas from the #1 spot and remained there four weeks, before Abraxas returned to the top. The album charted for 42 weeks, and to date has sold something like six million copies in the United States alone. But the most amazing factoid about Led Zeppelin III might be this: it reached #30 on Billboard‘s Soul LPs chart in a run of at least 14 weeks. This seemed so odd to me that I wondered if it was a Wikipedian fantasy, so I went to the Billboard archives at Google Books, and sure enough, there it is on the soul album chart alongside James Brown, Isaac Hayes, Curtis Mayfield, the Jackson Five, Stanley Turrentine, Jerry Butler, and others. (The CCR album Pendulum is there, too, at the end of January 1971.) So here are four other factoids about Led Zeppelin III, also from Wikipedia: —The album was written at Bron-Yr-Aur cottage in Wales and …

John Denver

Tour Preview: A Look Inside “John Denver: A Rocky Mountain High Concert”

It’s been more than 15 years now since singer/songwriter John Denver passed away tragically while flying his personal plane. Every year since Denver’s death, former members of his band have gathered in Aspen, Colorado to pay tribute to the music and memory of their beloved friend. This year, that legacy is being celebrated nationwide with a unique touring experience called John Denver: A Rocky Mountain High Concert which will feature for the first time, video footage of Denver performing his greatest hits and also some album track favorites as well, backed live by members of his original touring band, including legendary saxophonist/woodwinds player Jim Horn, keyboardist Chris Nole and bassist Alan Deremo. Rounding out the group of performers will be musical director Jim Salestrom (handling a variety of instruments) and drummer/percussionist Nate Barnes. The tour, which is being produced by Denver’s estate, began last week and will run throughout the month of February (including a stop in the Cleveland area at the Stocker Arts Center in Elyria, OH on February 14) with additional tour dates …

Photos of the members of Led Zeppelin were added to a photo of a World War I German Air Force unit to create the cover of "Led Zeppelin II." (Atlantic Records)

The #1 Albums: “Led Zeppelin II”

In 2003, Eric Boehlert (now at Media Matters) wrote an essay for Salon called “The Greatest Week in Rock History” in which he proposed that the week of December 20, 1969, was “when revolutionary rock ‘n’ roll, powerhouse R&B, and shimmering pop creations all shared top billing as they never have before or since.” It was indeed a magical week, in which the majority of the acts among the week’s top 10 albums would eventually be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Boehlert’s essay places the music in context of the tumultuous period in American and world history in which it was heard, and it’s one of my favorite pieces of music writing. Boehlert says that Led Zeppelin II, the album sitting at #2 during his Greatest Week, invented heavy metal: “Not just the relentless, thundering sound, but the strutting, cocksure attitude that would dominate rock (often in inflated, caricatured forms) for years to come.” He quotes Stephen Davis, author of the Zeppelin biography Hammer of the Gods, who observed that Led Zeppelin …

page-thumb

Popdose at Kirkus Reviews: “Light and Shade”

For almost 80 years, Kirkus Reviews has served as the industry bible for bookstore buyers, librarians, and ordinary readers alike. Now Popdose joins the Kirkus Book Bloggers Network to explore the best — and sometimes the worst — in pop-culture and celebrity books. This week, one of rock’s most mysterious figures opens up — to a degree… Despite a renewed media presence — a new concert film hitting theaters this Wednesday, Brad Tolinski’s new book Light and Shade: Conversations with Jimmy Page reaching bookstores later this month — it’s not quite right to say that Led Zeppelin is back, simply because they never really went away. True, it’s been thirty-some years since the band’s breakup following the death of drummer John Bonham, and the surviving members have reconvened only a handful of times since, for one-off events like the 2007 Ahmet Ertegun Tribute Concert captured in the aforementioned documentary Celebration Day. But the band has remained a staple of rock radio, and lead singer Robert Plant’s solo career burnishes the old mystique even when he’s …

Munk Duane Band

Desert Island Discs With Munk Duane

Boston-based Munk Duane has been a fixture in the local music scene for years. The New York-born musician went to college at the prestigious Berklee College of Music. His music has been featured in a variety of podcasts, movies and TV shows over the years, including The Sopranos, NCIS, and the 2010 Super Bowl halftime show. He also has a video blog called “Subfamous”, that details the triumphs and tribulations of a working musician. Inspired by the country music his parents listened to as a child as well as the explorations of albums like U2’s The Joshua Tree and The Rolling Stones’ Exile On Main Street, Munk’s latest project finds him getting deeper into the sound of American roots music than he has before. The EP Everywhere is South of Somewhere (available digitally everywhere) contains five songs that incorporate everything from rock ‘n roll rave ups to country balladry. Under the name the Munk Duane Band, this project serves as a musical rebirth for the artist. True to his eclectic nature, Munk served up a …