Rocks In The Attic #285: Led Zeppelin – ‘The Song Remains The Same (O.S.T.)’ (1976)

RITA#285There may be 50 Reasons To Listen To Led Zeppelin, but I could probably think of 50 reasons not to listen to Led Zeppelin play live. Some bands just outstay their welcome on stage, and for me a twenty seven minute rendition of Dazed And Confused is the very definition of taking the piss.

For me, a band’s live work should be representative of their studio work. If I was at a Pink Floyd gig, and they played all twenty three minutes of Echoes (the song that takes up all of the second side of Meddle), then fair enough. What I don’t want a band to do is an extended jam on a song that only takes up four or five minutes of running time on an album.

I wonder how much of the lengthy set-list was invented to soundtrack those long self-indulgent mini-film pieces in the concert movie, or conversely if those mini-films were designed to just keep viewing audiences interested. Watching four middle-aged men stand on a stage for an hour and a half isn’t exactly the most engrossing thing to watch when you’re at the cinema.

As much as I dislike Dazed And Confused’s lengthy running time though, I do love that breakdown half way through where Plant riffs on the lyrics to San Fransisco (Be Sure To Wear Some Flowers In Your Hair) by Scott McKenzie.

The playing on this album is superb – nicely catching Zeppelin at their prime – but spreading nine songs over an hour and a half of music just makes the experience a chore to listen to. In comparison, How The West Was Won, released in 2003, is a far punchier affair, and much more enjoyable to listen to.

Hit: Stairway To Heaven

Hidden Gem: Celebration Day

4 thoughts on “Rocks In The Attic #285: Led Zeppelin – ‘The Song Remains The Same (O.S.T.)’ (1976)

  1. Matthew Gibson

    No mention of Moby Dick? Drum Solos should be banned. Especially ten minute long ones. Led Zeppelin had one of the beat drummers ever (although he’s no Tony McCarroll) but even drum solos by great drummers are an insult to the audience.

  2. mrjohnnyandrews Post author

    I was thinking about drum solos just the other day. Earlier this year, I saw a couple of really good drum solos within days of each other (by the respective drummers of Black Sabbath and Aerosmith), and I loved the shit out of them.

    For some reason, it really amps the crowd up. It must go back to that primal thing where us cavemen are all looking at one caveman who can hit the skins really well. But no matter how enjoyable it might be in the flesh – it just doesn’t translate onto record (or film).

    There needs to be more bass solos.

  3. Pingback: Rocks In The Attic’s buyer’s guide to….Led Zeppelin | Vinyl Stylus

  4. Pingback: Rocks In The Attic #531: Led Zeppelin – ‘The Complete BBC Sessions’ (1997) | Vinyl Stylus

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