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Proof that Led Zeppelin fans are geekier than Rush fans
November 17, 2007 6:28 PM   Subscribe

Led Zeppelin's The Song Remains The Same motion picture soundtrack, reverse engineered.

To commemorate Monday's remixed 5.1 Surround double-disc DVD/HD-DVD/BluRay/CD reissue of Led Zeppelin's 1976 film, The Song Remains the Same, we present you with The Garden Tapes, a Zapruder-esque analysis of every song from the soundtrack and film recordings.
posted by melorama (58 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite

 
"At 0:58 there are a couple of "Ah, yeahs" that do not appear on the bootleg recording."

With this knowledge, my life is complete.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:33 PM on November 17, 2007 [8 favorites]


Proof that Led Zeppelin fans are geekier than Rush fans

Rush started as a Zeppelin cover band. And Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson are no John Paul Jones or Jimmy Page, respectively.

Furthermore, this post-production jiggery pokery should come as no surprise. Page was regarded as master producer and engineer, a perfectionist in pursuit of a sound that would covey the bands raw energy without sounding raw and muddy.

And if being a rock fan makes one geeky, I guess this would not be a good time to point out that an intrepid yet unknown Pink Floyd fan has somehow released to the internet a DVD-Audio disc purporting to be the original quadraphonic master of Dark Side of the Moon by then-Abbey road engineer Alan Parsons. It is available at all bays frequented by pirates for your listening pleasure.

Note that this quadraphonic master is not a remaster - it's the original.

Thanks for the post, and I'll be checking out these links for days to come.
posted by Pastabagel at 7:00 PM on November 17, 2007 [1 favorite]


And Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson are no John Paul Jones or Jimmy Page, respectively.

I hasten to add that Peart ain't no Bonzo, neither.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:04 PM on November 17, 2007 [2 favorites]


A couple of things about this site (the fanboy obsessiveness, the frames-ified page design) remind me of this site.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 7:05 PM on November 17, 2007


Geddy Lee is better than John Paul Jones in every way imaginable and Alex Lifeson, although I'd never say "better", at least isn't half as sloppy a player as Jimmy Page.

I am aware that I will now be pilloried.
posted by psmith at 7:07 PM on November 17, 2007


Sloppy is almost always better. With guitar playing, as in every other facet of life.
posted by melorama at 7:08 PM on November 17, 2007


Geddy Lee is better than John Paul Jones in every way imaginable

Except at playing bass guitar.
posted by drjimmy11 at 7:11 PM on November 17, 2007 [10 favorites]


And keyboard.
posted by Pastabagel at 7:12 PM on November 17, 2007


Geddy Lee is a better Jones, a not-quite-as-good-as 1970's Plant, and head-and-shoulders above the current Plant. Lifeson is more of a backgroundy session player than a Page-like virtuoso.

[This is good.]
posted by Reggie Digest at 7:14 PM on November 17, 2007


and at riding around the english countryside in a weird mask and then coming home and scaring his wife and young daughters for no well-explained reason.
posted by drjimmy11 at 7:15 PM on November 17, 2007


I grew up eating up drum solos with a fork and spoon (Neil Peart's solos on "All The Worlds a Stage" and "Exit Stage Left", in particular), but I honestly can't imagine how even the die-hardest of die-hard Bonzo fans could tolerate sitting through a 28-goddamned-minute version of Moby Dick.

Thank heavens that Jimmy at least had some sense, as far as the razorblade is concerned.
posted by melorama at 7:15 PM on November 17, 2007


I've seen Rush a half dozen times (1976 - 2007). I saw Led Zeppelin once (1977). Rush is one of the best live bands I've seen and I've seen a ton of them. But they never approached the level of raw power, grandeur, muscle, and improvisation that Zeppelin could attain on a great night. If Jimmy wants to play revisionist history well it's nothing that hasn't been done before. "Get Yer Ya-Yas Out" was supposed to be one of the greatest live albums of all time and it was doctored beyond the imagination.

If you want to find where fan-boys like this guy spring from, search here but tread carefully. This is a land where anal obsessiveness is considered a good thing.
posted by Ber at 7:19 PM on November 17, 2007 [1 favorite]


"Get Yer Ya-Yas Out" was supposed to be one of the greatest live albums of all time and it was doctored beyond the imagination.

So many little details like a flubbed notes, botched entries and suchlike are part and parcel of many a live performance, but the visceral elements of a live show often minimize the little mistakes. When your heroes are up there in the flesh jumping around onstage (and the drugs are kicking in) a botched lyric here and there is just not that important. Once that live performance is recorded and experienced as a recording, however, listening to mistakes over and over might not be so great. So, understandably, lots of bands have doctored their live recordings.

I always wondered about, for example, the Grateful Dead's Europe '72. I mean, they're a classic example of a band that delivered clinkers and clams by the dozen at their live shows (not to mention very scattered vocal performances), but Europe '72 is remarkably well-executed and well-sung. And sure enough, according to good ol' Wikipedia, plenty of doctoring was done: "Although Europe '72 is billed as a live album, the songs featured on the release were subject to significant overdubs after the fact, specifically with respect to the lush harmony vocals."

And, hey, we're all the better for it. Who wants to listen to ragged, out-of-tune singing and flubbbed lyrics over and over? That's why God invented multi-tracking!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:49 PM on November 17, 2007 [2 favorites]


In my experience, Rush is best enjoyed as something played in the background while you play text-based adventure games with your friends on a Commodore 64, eat corn chips, drink Faygo, and flip through your friend's dad's back issues of Heavy Metal. When you're thirteen. By fourteen, it's all over.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 8:16 PM on November 17, 2007 [8 favorites]


If you want to find where fan-boys like this guy spring from, search here but tread carefully. This is a land where anal obsessiveness is considered a good thing.
posted by Ber at 10:19 PM on November 17


This is why I love Metafilter. On the site Ber links to, there is a thread " Tangerine Dream "Phaedra", remix?". Meanwhile Phaedra was already playing in my Foobar2k as I read it. And you know what, they're right, the '95 TD remasters do sound like crap.
posted by Pastabagel at 8:26 PM on November 17, 2007


Earlier this week I came across a copy of the music Jimmy Page recorded for the film Lucifer Rising. I gotta say he ain't no Alex Lifeson.
posted by Sailormom at 8:33 PM on November 17, 2007


Geddy Lee is better than John Paul Jones in every way imaginable

*applies head to desk*
posted by Wolof at 9:27 PM on November 17, 2007


If you thing John Paul Jones is a better bass guitarist than Geddy Lee you need to have your head examined. I mean, Led Zeppelin is a great band and Page is a great guitarist and Bonzo is a great drummer, but that is just wrong in any way other than "they're a legend so therefore we will call them all awesome without actually thinking about it".
posted by psmith at 9:51 PM on November 17, 2007


i can spell "think" when i try really hard too
posted by psmith at 9:51 PM on November 17, 2007


Geddy Lee wins the battle if for no other reason than the fact that he is an irreplaceable 3/5 of his band. John Paul Jones...well, he's really just "the other guy in Led Zeppelin" -- their Alex Lifeson. (Sorry, Alex.) If he'd died instead of Bonham, Zep probably wouldn't even have split up.

Now, on the subject of quadrophonic masters: How common were these back in the day, and how popular? I see the occasional reel-to-reel tape on eBay and wonder what such-and-such would sound like through four speakers.
posted by Reggie Digest at 10:24 PM on November 17, 2007


Geddy Lee wins the battle if for no other reason than the fact that he is an irreplaceable 3/5 of his band.

No one is irreplaceable.




Except John Bonham. He was irreplaceable.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 10:48 PM on November 17, 2007 [1 favorite]


As a rule I hate the "my guy is better than your guy" variant on the "my dick is bigger than your dick" conversation. That said, John Paul Jones is a fucking awesome bassist. Doesn't mean that Geddy ain't great also, but don't take anything away from JPJ. I give you "Good Times, Bad Times" and "The Lemon Song" for evidence.

right on time, flapjax!
posted by fingers_of_fire at 11:12 PM on November 17, 2007


Well, you know f_o_f, us drummers gotta stay on time!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 12:03 AM on November 18, 2007


I've been on a live Zep kick lately, and this site is MUCH appreciated, as it answers a lot of the questions I had about their recorded performances. Thanks for the post!

Gotta say, even with overdubs and edits, this is some great
music. My tastes skew more towards jam bands, but Zeppelin clearly brought the goods when they played. I would prefer a "warts and all" collection of complete concerts, but I won't kick their edited live disks out of bed for eating crackers.
posted by mosk at 12:38 AM on November 18, 2007


I expected to laugh but I was very impressed.

I got "How the West Was Won" last year and was utterly blown away by the energy and the level of musicianship. Now I know it's partly a product of editing with the active management of the band, well, damn, I'm even more impressed.

I was personally very surprised to discover quite late in life that the famous Hendrix solo on Woodstock is in fact a cut down version of a much longer section. I was interested to hear the longer section but again I never noticed any transitions and I feel the edited version is superior.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 1:10 AM on November 18, 2007


"Gotta say, even with because of overdubs and edits, this is some great music.

Sorry, mosk, but that was just screaming out for the "fixed that for ya!" treatment...

and this from lupus_yonderboy:

Now I know it's partly a product of editing with the active management of the band, well, damn, I'm even more impressed. --- I feel the edited version is superior.

This comment represents a kind of breakthrough in layman's (non-musician's) thinking about recorded music! If the edited version is superior, that's as it should be. The recording, that is, something to exist as the artist's statement for all time, the artists's legacy, why shouldn't it be edited, finessed, worked out, honed to whatever perfection the musician deems necessary? It's not a live show anymore, even if it started as a live show. It's a record. It's a piece of recorded art. And those "purists" who maintain that their recordings should not be "doctored", do they feel the same way about, say, paintings? Did the first pencil sketches and smears of oil dabbed onto the canvas by Leonardo or Picasso appear to the viewer as the final product? Of course not! They worked and reworked the ideas until they were finished. Presentable. Sellable!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:16 AM on November 18, 2007


John Paul Jones...well, he's really just "the other guy in Led Zeppelin" -- their Alex Lifeson. (Sorry, Alex.)

Ouch, Reggie. I understand what you're trying to say, but there are lots of knowledgeable people out there -- even ones who wouldn't call themselves Rush fans -- who agree that Alex Lifeson is an incredible guitarist who often dials back his own solo virtuosity for the good of the group.

In other words, he could play at 11, but he's so good he doesn't have to.
posted by chihiro at 3:28 AM on November 18, 2007


According to my calculations, Rush is the only known band to draw even less interest from females than Steely Dan. Crowd shots of a Rush concert depict 10,000 air drummers and 100 irritated girlfriends. Zeppelin RULES!
posted by well_balanced at 4:14 AM on November 18, 2007 [3 favorites]


well_balanced: I hear ya, and I made similar noises about lack of female fans vis-a-vis Steely Dan in another thread a while back, to which there were at least 2 or 3 females chiming in with "I love Steely Dan" and suchlike. I still maintain that those gals were the exception to the rule, however.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:55 AM on November 18, 2007


Geddy Lee is better than John Paul Jones in every way imaginable

Except that Jones had the good sense not to sing.

(I like Rush, but I like Zep more, but Geddy's no singer, although he gets mega-points for displaying his sense of humor on 'Take Off.')
posted by jonmc at 5:08 AM on November 18, 2007


Flapjax, I agree the musicians should put out whatever they feel like, but you can't expect nobody to notice when they then present it as a live document.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 6:34 AM on November 18, 2007


And, to be honest, a fuck appears to be something I am unable to give about either Rush or Zep.

I am interested in people's interesting "ethical" responses to recordings, music, and documentation, though.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 6:35 AM on November 18, 2007


Flapjax, I agree the musicians should put out whatever they feel like, but you can't expect nobody to notice when they then present it as a live document.

I hear that.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:46 AM on November 18, 2007


Doesn't really matter - Entwistle and Moonie kick the ass of anybody mentioned above anyway.
posted by Arch_Stanton at 7:57 AM on November 18, 2007


Entwistle .
posted by Sailormom at 8:37 AM on November 18, 2007


Clearly the only way to settle this debate about Rush v. Zep is to cast a 20 sided die.
posted by Cookiebastard at 8:41 AM on November 18, 2007 [2 favorites]


Rush is the only known band to draw even less interest from females than Steely Dan. Crowd shots of a Rush concert depict 10,000 air drummers and 100 irritated girlfriends.

I like Steely Dan.

I've always had a measure of respect for Rush after reading an interview with them in which, when asked who they thought their audience was, one of them immediately replied "18 year old male musicians." That is a band that has no illusions about its place in the world, understands its listeners, and knows that 18 year old male musicians, as a demographic, are a pretty good audience to claim.

Also, their appearance on Trailer Park Boys is legend.

(I saw Zeppelin a couple of times in their heyday, and everthing after Robert Plant's naked chest bored the hell out of me. However, I was 14 and a bit clueless, and wanted everything to sound the way it did on the albums.)
posted by jokeefe at 10:34 AM on November 18, 2007 [1 favorite]


I saw Zeppelin a couple of times in their heyday, and everthing after Robert Plant's naked chest bored the hell out of me.

And yet you like Yes. The world makes no sense to me at all.
posted by jonmc at 11:24 AM on November 18, 2007


Yes, I remember seeing The Song Remains the Same as a midnight movie back in the day, and the discontinuities between the soundtrack and movie disturbed me. Of course back then there was no Internet or Metafilter with which to discuss this kind of thing.

This is in fact one of the things I most enjoy about the Internet, using it as a tool to resolve the intellectual discontinuities that I've accumulated throughout life.

I see a number of segments of the movie are currently up on YouTube.

Led Zeppelin is to rock what Euclid was to geometry.
posted by Tube at 1:41 PM on November 18, 2007


jonmc, what the fuck is up with you and Yes? Did Jon Anderson kill your family or something?
posted by Reggie Digest at 1:41 PM on November 18, 2007 [1 favorite]


And chihiro, I didn't mean to suggest that Lifeson is a crappy guitarist or anything, only that Rush is Geddy Lee, Neil Peart and the other guy, just like Led Zeppelin is Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, John Bonham, and the other guy.

If anything, it speaks to exactly what you say about Lifeson 'dialing down'; if he'd wanked out in every song, people would probably give him more recognition, but then Rush would probably also really super suck.
posted by Reggie Digest at 1:59 PM on November 18, 2007 [1 favorite]


Dear Participants, FYI

1) Geddy Lee hasn't sung in screaming falsetto for decades;
2) Geddy Lee can play YYZ, La Villa Strangiato, The Analog Kid, and lots of other complex songs, with his fingers rather than a pick (as is now common);
3) John Paul Jones could never play those songs, even on Bass Guitar Hero;
4) Have you even heard a Rush song from the last 25 years? No? So you're just trafficking in a lazy 30 year old critique? Well done, dude; and
5) Zeppelin is an awesome band and I never argued they were better than Rush and I'm still not doing that. John Paul Jones, however, is a shitty bassist.

This thread needs more Dragonforce.
posted by psmith at 6:34 PM on November 18, 2007


Reggie Digest, I understood where you were coming from. I just found it so troubling and hard to believe that someone with Alex Lifeson's skill is considered "the other guy." My Supreme Rush Authority has confirmed that this is the case, however, so I concede the point.
posted by chihiro at 6:38 PM on November 18, 2007


The Zeppelin enthusiasts here seem to be defending Zep on the basis of whether they themselves like Rush or not.
posted by chihiro at 6:57 PM on November 18, 2007


Dear participant, FYI

1) Your technique is not a measure of your musicality, although it may restrict it at the upper end. J-P J has as much technique as he needs to do his thing. Victor Wooten has ten times the technique of Geddy Lee, but I'm sure he'd be the first to tell you he doesn't consider himself ten times the bassist.

2) It doesn't matter a flying one whether you use a pick, your fingers, your thumb or an armchair cushion as long as you get your sound. It's entirely irrelevant.

3) John Paul Jones, however, is a shitty bassist.

Shitty bassists are not capable of anchoring a great rhythm section. Shitty bassists do not get to chisel their musical DNA onto the historical record. Shitty bassists do not get to take that ride. There are no passengers in that band.
posted by Wolof at 7:22 PM on November 18, 2007 [1 favorite]


jonmc, what the fuck is up with you and Yes? Did Jon Anderson kill your family or something?

No, they just perfectly embody what went wrong with rock music in the '70's and why punk had to happen. Is Jon Anderson your godfather or something?

(and jokeefe is an old friend. we've had a playful prog-rock vs. trad-rock duel going on for years and it's mainly an affectionate one)
posted by jonmc at 7:55 PM on November 18, 2007 [1 favorite]


Great rock bassists:

Chris Squire
Billy Sheehan
Les Claypool
Mike Dirnt

Better rock musicians*:

Michael Anthony
Mike Mills
Dee Dee Ramone
John Paul Jones
posted by melorama at 9:14 PM on November 18, 2007


see, psmith, you totally shot your credibility with number 5 (probably a lot sooner, but I'm feeling generous). I'm fine with you saying that Geddy is better than JPJ - I disagree, but different strokes, etc. But that's not what you are asserting - you are asserting that JPJ is a SHITTY bassist. And that is just unsupportable bollocks. You can NOT like him - but, to be perfectly blunt, the man has more music in his little toe than you'll ever know in your lifetime.
posted by fingers_of_fire at 10:57 PM on November 18, 2007


the man has more music in his little toe than you'll ever know in your lifetime

We don't know how old psmith is, or even if he plays. I hope his boat floats, but the "shitty" thing just plain annoyed me. I can find a deal of respect for anyone who can play proper time, for example; that's a skill not given to everyone, and it takes a while for some to hear. J. P., for example, has the "rock pocket" down cold, and that ain't nothing. He can hold the centre while the others walk that way. Or whatever damn way, they're free to move about while the pulse is taken care of. See: Ron Carter.

/bass playing person

posted by Wolof at 11:59 PM on November 18, 2007


I believe this comment in the Rush FPP from a few weeks back sums up psmith's perspective, which seems to be that more technical prowess = "better". And I guess there's nothing wrong with that perspective if that's what you're looking to get out music. I, myself, continue to enjoy listening to "technicians" like Eddie Van Halen, even though most of my music collection is comprised of punkrock, lo-fi and "indie" music.

The reason why guys like EVH continue to hold my interest is because he knows when to shut up and respect the "pocket", as Wolof mentioned. And that's also why I think Michael Anthony is particularly unfairly dissed for being a "shitty" bassist. Those Van Halen records would have sounded completely stupid if he did the same type of bass wankery that makes Eat 'Em and Smile sound so ridiculous now, in 2007.

A "shitty" bassist is one who plays inappropriately for the music he/she is supposed to be laying the foundation. Dee Dee Ramone is a "shitty" bassist if you place(d) him in the context of a jazz group. But for "Blitzkrieg Bop", his playing is PERFECT.

Led Zeppelin was all about Jimmy Page, and to a lesser extent, Bonzo. If the fact that JPJ wasn't Jack Bruce or Geddy Lee within the context of a band like Led Zeppelin makes him "shitty" in your eyes, then I would have to say that you're probably missing the whole point of rock music....which is to ROCK!

John Paul Jones knows how to ROCK. End of discussion.
posted by melorama at 1:25 AM on November 19, 2007


the whole point of rock music....which is to ROCK!

To be a rock, and not to roooooooolllllllllll!!!!!!!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:24 AM on November 19, 2007


This is ridiculous. First of all JPJ can play the hell out of the bass guitar. Oh, there's his bluegrass fixation.
Geddy has been known to play a double-neck but a triple-neck guitar?

(can't believe I'm in such an infantile argument over two great musicians - should learn to never fight with trolls)
posted by Ber at 5:40 AM on November 19, 2007


I saw Zeppelin a couple of times in their heyday

I saw them a couple of times in their heyday as well. In 1971 at Liverpool Uni Students Union, and later that same year at the Liverpool (Wrestling) Stadium. And though I really disliked their albums, I really enjoyed their live sets.

Back in those days, it seemed like it was almost impossible to go out at night without Led Zeppelin playing a set somewhere locally.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 5:56 AM on November 19, 2007


A Led Zeppelin v. Rush debate. Dude, where is my bong?
posted by kirkaracha at 8:04 AM on November 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


Oh dear god, we are still arguing about this?

These debates always go the same way. Zeppelin is awesome, no Zeepelin is overrated. Page was brilliant, Page ripped off blues musicians for all his licks, unless he was ripping off Spirit. Rush is awesome because it has technically complex bass playing, and Neil Peart is a great drummer, but oh wait, it's not 1977 anymore, and these guys are just a hack proto-prog band that was too clever for its talent, and that no one gives a crap about drummers anyway. Unless it is John Bonham, who of course was a great drummer, and round and round we go. We git it.

And then the Who guys show up with how great Enwhistle is and if we've every listened to Quadraphenia which was much better than Tommy don't you know (yes, we've heard it, and besting Tommy is not really any sort of an accomplishment).

Then the Pink Floyd fans show up with how underappreciated their pre-Meddle stuff was, and how Gilmour is awesome, at which point everyone just stops and glares, because secretly no one even realized Pink Floyd had any albums out before Meddle and no one has listened to the Dark Side of the Moon in its entirety while sober since forever.

By this point the thread is a day old and all the young guys start to show up with their Les Claypools and their Nick Menzas, talking about how those guys were all okay for their time, but heavy metal really raised the bar for musiciazzzzzzzzzzzz

And what's worse is that the heavy metal talk opens up the floor to all kinds of nonsense. "Is Tool the new Pink Floyd?" Hint: No. Or we backtrack and start talking about Deep Purple, and how most of their stuff is really complex, despite the fact that the only Deep Purple song anyone knows is "Smoke on the Water" and that song makes Black Sabbath's "Iron Man" sound like a 4-movement symphony.

And as bad as this all is, it can get worse because God forbid, someone could stroll in here right now and throw down Dream Theater, at which point everyone will quickly down the last of their beer, grab their keys and head for the door. Nothing says "Party's Over" like "Dream Theater". Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence or How We Crammed Three Hours of Unlistenable Dullness into 100 Minutes. Seriously, they have a song on that album about the debate over stem-cell research. I'm not kidding.

And if the thread takes that turn for the awful, the only option left is the nuclear option. I'm talking about the ultimate Godwin of "Which rock musician is better?" threads.

Steve Vai. There, I just did it. Close the thread, let's move on, nothing left to see here. Steve Vai is by default the winning play of any which-musician-is-better argument. He can play better than any human, living or dead, and 97% of machines on this planet. He can play anyone's music better than the original performer. Now, he can't compose a blues riff to save his life, but hey, you're into Bulgarian wedding music in 9/16 time, aren't you?

In short, Zeppelin rules.
posted by Pastabagel at 11:15 AM on November 19, 2007 [7 favorites]


Guys, why are we fighting? Does anyone remember laughter?
posted by turaho at 12:47 PM on November 19, 2007


Wow, I was a total prick here. I was having a really shitty weekend and apparently took it out in my comments in this thread.

Not that anyone will read this after all this time, but I totally apologize.
posted by psmith at 7:02 PM on November 21, 2007


Hey, no problem!

Sorry about your shitty weekend.
posted by Wolof at 7:15 PM on November 21, 2007


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