Honestly I was never THAT into Zeppelin. I had a little phase in junior high like every kid that likes rock and roll does, but it mostly consisted of my playing my burnt Zeppelin live album that “the Paine” gave me over and over and over and over again. In those few months, I was ALL about Led Zeppelin. I remember this one specific instance where we were taking my brother to the airport at like eight in the morning and I stuck that CD in the car stereo and everybody was like, “Do we have to listen to this?” I was just really confused why no one wanted to rock. It rocks!
My Zeppelin collection is pretty sparse, consisting now of only I, III and IV, so these are just the top 10 that I’ve enjoyed listening back to over the last week.
10. I Can’t Quit On You Baby
One thing that really came back to me listening to all these songs again was just how much I miss jamming. More specifically how I miss just playing the drums. This song just grooves like I could never groove. By the time I was done playing this song we’d be be playing 260 BPM. Plant’s lyrical rhythms also really add to that as well. Each line is delivered just a little bit later, and that latency just has you sitting on the edge of your seat.
9. Rock & Roll
I’m not going to try to pick obscure songs to be cool, so this is just one of the great songs that I loved growing up. Since I’ve been doing a lot of research on recording and how to become a better engineer etc., one of the things I noticed about these recordings is that a lot of the songs are spaced very openly. You can tell it’s just drums/bass/guitar/ vocals. Except this one. Just a wall of rock.
8. Communication Breakdown
I have a soft spot for the ones we performed obviously. This is one that I was always just exhausted after. My right leg would just be burning by the end of the song because of the constant kick drum, not to mention it was the end of the set usually, so I was just going as nuts as I could possibly go. John Bonham must have calves the size of my waist.
7. Four Sticks
I don’t even know what John Bonham’s doing here. Like I sit down and listen to it over and over again. I’m pretty sure it’s more than just him playing percussion, but then I tell myself it’s John Bonham, stop trying to figure out what he’s doing. It’s impossible. Just listen.
6. Black Dog
I never struggled more playing the drums than whenever “the Paine” broke out into a jam with this song. I couldn’t wrap my head around how Bonham played that slow, subdivided groove to a riff with so many notes. Maybe he couldn’t figure out how to play a faster groove so he just played a “fuckin’ money beat”. Maybe he was being teased from another band who had “label interest.” Who knows.
5. Misty Mountain Hop
So Plant saw a bunch of hippies in a park, he didn’t know what time it was, so he stayed a while. Then it got dark. So some homeless guys told him to get in a line. This line was for tea and fun. Then the homeless people told Plant to go in to a deep self-examination. Then he warns people that if they go in the streets, they better open their eyes. Or they might be hit by a car or something. This song is weird. But it rocks.
4. Out on the Tiles
I love unison bass/guitar riffs. Especially when they span odd measures. This is also an example of something Bonham does that I could never do no matter how much I practiced. I had to buy a double bass pedal to be able to play triplets. Bonham just gets drunk and plays them all day long. Maybe I should have been drinking.
3. Immigrant Song
This song was always really disappointing to me, because of how much I didn’t really enjoy III that much. I started listening to it and was like, “Yeah this rocks!” But only to be disappointed by the next 40 minutes and 33 seconds of my life. I’ve grown to appreciate the album more, but I still am a little disappointed every time I hear it.
2. Good Times Bad Times
Dun Dun. Dun Dun. Dun Dun. Dun Dun. Is there really anything else to say. This is really the epitome of Zeppelin. Rockin’ guitar solo, sweet bass fills, in your face and technically intricate drums, and Plant being, well, Plant. One thing I love about this song is the harmonies on the verses. I wish they did more of that.
1. Stairway to Heaven
You know what? Fuck it. I’m putting it as my number one because it is. One of my proudest memories of the Defenestrators is how we practiced the shit out of this song for what seemed like months. I loved playing the keyboard flute, and I loved even more coming in with that simple, yet powerful, tom fill (biggest regret is missing that cue, but I couldn’t hear anything! I swear!) It’s a shame it’s so over played, but at the same time that just reiterates how great of a song it really is.
I can’t wait for “Who knows?” tomorrow!
Yeah! This is really “The Paine” heavy I am about it… But not as much as I’m about fucking money beats.
Go for you dreams, implement away!
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