Monday, June 9, 2014

Remasters 2014 Report: Led Zeppelin II

I gotta tell you, this reporting on the remasters is hardly a chore.  I can call it "reporting" but we know what it really is - indulging. 

I've been waking up in the morning with the music in my head. It’s become the soundtrack to my life.

As before, this report is a first impression, written while I listened to the remaster for the first time

Led Zeppelin II

I’m struck anew with the immediacy of the remasters. 

The original genius pulls out of the archives the sound that he hears in his own mind.  How amazing is that?

Whole Lotta space cadet! Haha – I remember now what I was doing when I first listened to this album back in the day. [censored censored censored]

Geez – if anyone walked in the room and saw me now they’d think I was nuts with this big, silly grin on my face. That's probably just what I looked like back then, too.

I don’t want to listen to the music I want to be IN the music.  A good recording lets you do that.

Each one of them had such a tremendous ability to put expression into the music. Bass, drums, vocal, guitar – all of it individually and then expressing it together.

The change of phrase. Another way of saying something musically with the slippery slide of the guitar - it is what is and could never be otherwise.

I listen to the voice without trying to understanding the meaning of what Robert's singing. Heck, half the time it seems he's just making up words anyway. But that makes the voice an instrument, not a song.

I so get into the music that it seems the songs are over before they're hardly started. That’s why I love the live stuff – the long, long, long delivery.  

The weight of the words isn't greater than the weight of the other instruments – that’s one extraordinary difference between LZ and others

That tone of guitar in The Lemon Song solo. Somehow it is Jimmy the sound is coming directly from, not his guitar. 

I get those fingers on the strings as if I was right there. What is it about the sound that makes it seem that way?

And then the little guitar comments on Robert’s vocals. Just little asides.

The juice – baby baby baby

And that little squeakiness tone to the guitar. Sly humor there.

Happiness no more be sad. This music.

Love the organ ending, JPJ with just the quiet chords, the fade out, then coming back. What crazy mind comes up with that?

There in the middle of Heartbreaker my heart breaks not with grief but just sheer pleasure

Then back to business.

Not for the first time I wonder if anyone has ever counted up how many different tones JP gets out of his guitars

Sometimes the guitar comes in and I don’t realize for a second that it’s not a human voice.

Ramble On – no doubt some kind of masterpiece. No ordinary music, just loaded to the top with Magick. One of my absolute favorite LZ works. Great light and shade. The different guitar phrases just knock me over. I like that little tappy tappy stuff Bonzo does sometimes. Thing is… even though Dave Grohl kind of sucks cause he shouts the lyrics, I like the Foo Fighters version at Wembley better, but then maybe it was JP who was better for that song then.  I'm not discounting that.

The bass balance on this album seems pretty high to me (I haven’t changed any settings from the first two remasters). I like it just fine.

This studio album is a good contrast with LZ live. It’s much more constrained. Of course, maybe it's because I still haven’t replaced my speakers and can’t turn UP THE VOLUME.

I love Robert on harmonica. He gets the same expression as he does with voice. And the weird voice on Bring It On Home gets me every time. I forget who he's emulating, doesn't matter. Nice echoey sound on this and you get sucked in and then they get BIG. Light and dark, baby! And then tweet!

WHAT??? It’s over already????

I’m definitely hearing stuff on the remasters I wasn't hearing before.


  1. Replies
    1. I don't do emoticons (never have bothered learning the shortcuts) but if I did a smiley-face one I'd paste it here for you, Ed.