Posts Tagged ‘Led Zeppelin’

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – The Jukebox Series #79 – Led Zeppelin: “D’yer Mak’er” b/w “The Crunge”– Atlantic 45-2986 (S8/T8)

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Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – The Jukebox Series #79 – Led Zeppelin: “D’yer Mak’er” b/w “The Crunge”– Atlantic 45-2986 (S8/T8)

I jumped onto the Led Zeppelin bandwagon after the release of Led Zeppelin IV (Zoso) and the single “Stairway To Heaven” in 1972 when I was eleven years old. You couldn’t escape “Stairway” on FM radio and, at the time, I had no notion that they had existed before that record. With further investigation, I came to discover the three records before Led Zeppelin IV, although that came much later.

So when the mighty Zeppelin (Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones and John Bonham) delivered their fifth album Houses Of The Holy in 1973, I was firmly in their camp as a fan as was most of my peer group. But for older, long-time fans of the band, the release of Houses was met with much derision and whisperings of selling out due to the album’s first single “Dancing Days,” which was the most radio-friendly track the band had ever released. When fans began playing the record, they found several other tracks to gripe about including today’s jukebox classic and second single from the album, “D’yer Mak’er” backed with “The Crunge,” which really made the die-hard rockin’ blues-based Zep fans really cry foul.

“D’yer Mak’er” is an awkward hybrid of reggae and doo wop that is loaded with charm, a term seldom used to describe Led Zeppelin, and an attribute that Led Zep fans didn’t find to their liking. Jimmy Page: “I didn’t expect people not to get it. I thought it was pretty obvious. The song itself was a cross between reggae and a ’50s number, “Poor Little Fool,” Ben E. King’s things, stuff like that.” (Schulps, Dave (October 1977). “Interview with Jimmy Page”. Trouser Press via Wikipedia)

It was one of the few in the Zeppelin catalog where all four members of the band shared writing credits since it sprang forth from a studio jam. The band was never serious about the track as it was initially conceived as a joke, and bassist John Paul Jones went out of his way on numerous occasions to let it be known that he never liked the song. As a result, it was never performed in its entirety by the band in concert, although it did occasionally feature in the medley of tunes the band would incorporate into “Whole Lotta Love” on stage. That said, it was a commercial track and Atlantic Records in America chose to release it as a single which climbed to #20 on the charts.

The title of the song has several meanings including a slang for the phrase “Did you make her” which loosely translates to did you get to have sex with her. Another interpretation of the title was derived from an old Jamaican joke that went like this: “My wife’s gone to the Caribbean.” “Jamaica?” (which in Jamaican patois is pronounced “D’you make her?”) “No, she went down on her own.” Yuk, yuk, yuk…Ba-da, bum! (Wikipedia)

The flip of today’s single finds the mighty Zep tapping into their inner James Brown with aplomb on an ultra-funky workout that evolved out of another studio jam session. It is one of the greatest recordings the band ever committed to vinyl showing off just how tight they were while capturing a jerky groove with ever-changing time signatures. It is also one of John Paul Jones’ favorite Zeppelin recordings.

The song pays homage to James Brown with it’s ending line, “Where’s that confounded bridge?” The line is a reference to James Brown’s penchant for recording live in the studio and shouting out orders to the band on the fly, including “Take it to the bridge.” Since “The Crunge” doesn’t have a bridge, the line grinds the song to an abrupt halt. Additionally, the lyrics “Ain’t gonna call me Mr. Pitiful, no I don’t need no respect from nobody,” pay tribute to Otis Redding’s recordings of “Mr. Pitiful” and Aretha Franklin’s “Respect.”

“The Jukebox Series” focuses on the 80 records that inhabit my 1963 Seeburg LPC1 jukebox. I’ve had my jukebox (or as I like to call it “the prehistoric iPod”) for a little over 14 years and in that time I’d like to think that I’ve perfected the mix of 45s within.

Edited: October 4th, 2015

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “She’s Crafty” by Beastie Boys

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Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “She’s Crafty” by Beastie Boys

From their not-so-humble beginnings as a truly awful Hard Core band who I had the privilege to see as an opening act at Big Audio Dynamite’s first U.S. show at a club called “The World” in New York City in 1984…to the juvenile hardy partyers who opened for Madonna on her “Virgin” tour the following year riding on an inflatable penis…to the Brooklyn Dust masters who came into their own with Paul’s Boutique in 1989 and followed with iconic Spike Jonze-directed videos in in 1994…to the elder statesmen of Hip Hop today…the Beasties managed to invent and reinvent Rap and Hip Hop in their own image many times over.

Today’s Song Of The Day by Eric Berman comes from The Beasties The Beasties (Michael Diamond/”Mike D. ,” Adam Yauch/”MCA” & Adam Horovitz/”King Ad Rock”) debut Def Jam album License To Ill which was produced by Rick Rubin and Russell Simmons.

It’s a record that could not exist today because of the prohibitive cost of samples by the likes of Led Zeppelin on this tune and The Beatles’ song “The End” on which they sampled for the song “The Sounds Of Science” from this record’s follow up. Such were the early days of hip-hop.

Edited: August 21st, 2014

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – The Jukebox Series #79 – Led Zeppelin: “D’yer Mak’er” b/w “The Crunge”– Atlantic 45-2986 (S8/T8)

45ADAPTERledzeppelindyermaker45ledzeppelinthecrunge45

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – The Jukebox Series #79 – Led Zeppelin: “D’yer Mak’er” b/w “The Crunge”– Atlantic 45-2986 (S8/T8)

“The Jukebox Series” focuses on the 80 records that inhabit my 1963 Seeburg LPC1 jukebox. I’ve had my jukebox (or as I like to call it “the prehistoric iPod”) for a little over twelve years and in that time I’d like to think that I’ve perfected the mix of 45s within.

I jumped onto the Led Zeppelin bandwagon after the release of Led Zeppelin IV (Zoso) and the single “Stairway To Heaven” in 1972 when I was eleven years old. You couldn’t escape “Stairway” on FM radio and, at the time, I had no notion that they had existed before that record. With further investigation, I came to discover the three records before Led Zeppelin IV, although that came much later.

So when the mighty Zeppelin (Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones and John Bonham) delivered their fifth album Houses Of The Holy in 1973, I was firmly in their camp as a fan as was most of my peer group.  But for older, long-time fans of the band, the release of Houses was met with much derision and whisperings of selling out due to the album’s first single “Dancing Days,” which was the most radio-friendly track the band had ever released. When fans began playing the record, they found several other tracks to gripe about including today’s jukebox classic and second single from the album, “D’yer Mak’er” backed with “The Crunge,” which really made the die-hard rockin’ blues-based Zep fans really cry foul.

“D’yer Mak’er” is an awkward hybrid of reggae and doo wop that is loaded with charm, a term seldom used to describe Led Zeppelin, and an attribute that Led Zep fans didn’t find to their liking. Jimmy Page: “I didn’t expect people not to get it. I thought it was pretty obvious. The song itself was a cross between reggae and a ’50s number, “Poor Little Fool,” Ben E. King’s things, stuff like that.” (Schulps, Dave (October 1977). “Interview with Jimmy Page”. Trouser Press via Wikipedia)

It was one of the few in the Zeppelin catalog where all four members of the band shared writing credits since it sprang forth from a studio jam. The band was never serious about the track as it was initially conceived as a joke, and bassist John Paul Jones went out of his way on numerous occasions to let it be known that he never liked the song. As a result, it was never performed in its entirety by the band in concert, although it did occasionally feature in the medley of tunes the band would incorporate into “Whole Lotta Love” on stage. That said, it was a commercial track and Atlantic Records in America chose to release it as a single which climbed to #20 on the charts.

The title of the song has several meanings including a slang for the phrase “Did you make her” which loosely translates to did you get to have sex with her. Another interpretation of the title was derived from an old Jamaican joke that went like this: “My wife’s gone to the Caribbean.” “Jamaica?” (which in Jamaican patois is pronounced “D’you make her?”) “No, she went down on her own.” Yuk, yuk, yuk…Ba-da, bum!

The flip of today’s single finds the mighty Zep tapping into their inner James Brown with aplomb on an ultra-funky workout that evolved out of another studio jam session.  It is one of the greatest recordings the band ever committed to vinyl showing off just how tight they were while capturing a jerky groove with ever-changing time signatures. It is also one of John Paul Jones’ favorite Zeppelin recordings.

The song pays homage to James Brown with it’s ending line, “Where’s that confounded bridge?” The line is a reference to James Brown’s penchant for recording live in the studio and shouting out orders to the band on the fly, including “Take it to the bridge.” Since “The Crunge” doesn’t have a bridge, the line grinds the song to an abrupt halt. Additionally, the lyrics “Ain’t gonna call me Mr. Pitiful, no I don’t need no respect from nobody,” pay tribute to Otis Redding’s recordings of “Mr. Pitiful” and Aretha Franklin’s “Respect.”

Edited: February 17th, 2014

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – 8/23/13 -“Ready For Love” by Bad Company

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Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Ready For Love” by Bad Company

I was a rock snob during the 1970s and 1980s. I admit it, and for those that know me well, this revelation should come as no surprise. I loved prog rock, some southern rock, glam rock and glam’s second cousin disco. I had little tolerance for what I’ll term meat ‘n’ potatoes “dumb-ass” rock.

As a result, I missed out on huge hit albums by Boston, Kiss and Bad Company, to name but a few. However, over the years I’ve come to appreciate the early albums by all three bands. (For some unexplained reason, I always liked BTO, and still do.)

During the ‘80s, I took a pass on most of the hair metal (Poison, especially) and records by Foreigner, Def Leppard, Whitesnake and REO Speedwagon. I pretty much still hate those bands.

Bad Company was yet another supergroup featuring Paul Rodgers (vocals) and Simon Kirke (drums) from Free, Boz Burrell (bass) from King Crimson and Mick Ralphs (guitar) from Mott The Hoople. (King Crimson’s Mel Collins also plays saxophone on the album.) The group’s secret weapons were Paul Rodgers who had perhaps one of the greatest lead-singer voices in all of rock music and the crunchy guitar work of Mick Ralphs.

Being seasoned musicians, they knew their way around the business and approached Led Zeppelin manager, Peter Grant to handle them. He, in turn signed them to Zeppelin’s Swan Song record label in the U.S. (they were signed to Island everywhere else.) Their association with Zep’s record label also gave them added credibility on these shores.

Their sound was about as formulaic as you can get, and with each successive album they released, the songs became more and more generic, however their self-titled platinum chart topping debut album is a stunner. Like many of the biggest albums from the era, the cover was designed by Hipgnosis, but unlike most of Hipgnosis’ designs, they went for a stark and simple, straight-up branding approach for Bad Company rather than going psychedelic or surreal as they did for Pink Floyd, et al.

Today’s Song Of The Day is one several power ballads on the album. It was originally recorded by Mott The Hoople on their 1972 All The Young Dudes album. While I think that Mott’s glammed up version of the song is still better, Bad Company’s version does feature some really nice piano work courtesy of Ralphs and it is still one of the strongest cuts on the album.

The album included two chart singles, “Can’t Get Enough” (#5/1974) and “Movin’ On” (# 19/1974), but included a clutch of album tracks that have become staples of classic rock radio including the “Rock Steady,” the title track and today’s Song Of The Day.

This album also is one of a handful of albums where the name of the band is shared with the name of the album and also the name of a song on the album (i.e. “Bad Company” from Bad Company by Bad Company). I know of only a few others like that, and “Black Sabbath” by Black Sabbath from Black Sabbath immediately comes to mind.

My one and only attempt at being in a band was in middle school. The band was called Toxic Angel and I was the lead singer. The only song we ever attempted to play was “Can’t Get Enough” by Bad Company because it was so easy to pull off.  In fact, my bright and shining moment of rock star glory was when we performed the song during our 8th grade talent show in middle school. (We didn’t win.)

Straight Shooter, the follow-up album, was just as strong as the debut and spawned two more indelible singles in “Good Lovin’ Gone Bad” (#36/1975) and “Feel Like Makin’ Love” (#10/1975). From there it was all downhill with each successive album being more generic than its predecessor.

Edited: August 22nd, 2013

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – 12/8/12

 

 

 

 

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Kashmir” by Led Zeppelin

OK, I’m gonna go out on a limb here and make a statement that will have Led Zep fans loathing my very existence. The Led Zeppelin of the 2007 reunion show and recent “Celebration Day” DVD/CD are so much better in every way than the Led Zeppelin of “The Song Remains The Same” circa 1973. Or, at least, the slightly touched up Led Zep of 2007 is better than the 1973 model. While it’s tough to compare a band that’s fresh off of releasing an album like “Houses Of The Holy” with a bunch of semi-retired veterans who have remained somewhat active over the years with various projects of relative merit, this final lap around the track for Led Zep ’07 found them a tight, succinct unit. In contrast, the Led Zep of 1973 were often sloppy, bombastic and ponderous on stage, making the “Song” soundtrack and bootleg concerts from the ’73 tour unlistenable at times. I will concede that Robert Plant’s voice is just a mere shadow of the miraculous wonder of a voice he had back in the day, but Plant rose to the occasion for the 2007 reunion, and with the addition of studio postproduction touch-ups, his voice sounds terrific here too. Besides, the 1973 Madison Square Garden recordings that provided the soundtrack to “The Song Remains The Same,” were also heavily touched up. Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones are as great as ever in 2007, and the band looks and sounds like they are having a ball on stage. And what can be said about Jason Bonham, other than there are no better substitutes for father John than his son, who makes mincemeat out of his drum skins. Now let’s talk image a little bit…” The film portrayed the band members via mystical vignettes that were just plain silly (and slightly boring) in 1976 when the film was released, although with hindsight those prog-rock visuals do come off somewhat nostalgic today (and still pretty silly). The “Celebration Day” film and concert is all business with none of the histrionics that surrounded the reunion (resulting in over 20 million requests for tickets to the show), with a focus squarely on the band and the occasion. I really didn’t want to buy into the whole “Celebration Day” hype machine, but I must admit that I am sitting here with a big grin on my face enjoying the latest installment in the Led Zep cannon. So, is “Celebration Day,” essential listening? Maybe not, but for anyone who remembers laughter, it’s a welcome addition to their discography…and heck, I’d go see them in a heartbeat if they decided to take the show on the road!

Edited: December 7th, 2012

Song Of The Day – 9/3/11

Song Of the Day – “The Crunge” by Led Zeppelin

My Rhino Records calendar proclaims that this month is Zeptember! Who am I to argue? Here we have the mighty Zep tapping into their inner James Brown with aplomb on this ultra-funky workout from their 1973 album “Houses Of The Holy.” “Where’s that confounded bridge?,” indeed!

Edited: September 3rd, 2011