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Author: Subject: What's your take on the 'Song Remains the Same' controversy?

Zen Peach





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  posted on 11/30/2007 at 02:03 PM
Whether it be the new re-issue or the old release.

The original release (and probably the new release) cut and pasted together songs from a three night run to produce a final mix. Not just different songs per set, but cutting out sections of vocals or solos from one night and attaching to another night, or editing down the song altogther. Also, the original movie and the soundtrack had different versons anyway.

Since it's all live anyway, does it matter? Would it matter if they took Warren's solo from Camden on Whipping Post, and overlaid into the Whiping Post of Atlanta? I'd think so.

Kind of like the Fillmore Concerts, where one night's solo is tacked onto another nights song.

Personally, I'd rather hear live and unadulterated. But if no one ever said anything, I guess I'd never know the difference unless I was there and had source tapes anyway.

 

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  posted on 11/30/2007 at 02:14 PM
What makes it so aweful is the pretentiousness of the band. They were at their peak and bascially thought they could do anything and people would scream. They had gotten far away from the music at that point and it was more about ego and posing. I was a huge fan and we would go to the midnight moves to see concert and cult flims I lost all interest in them after see that film and I still have a hard time listening to them. I had just discovered the ABB and a friend of mine had the Fillmore video on Beta max and we had watched that prior to going to see song remains the same so there was no comparison to me the difference in musicianship. Zepplin had some great early studio albums and wrote a great collection of tunes but as pure musicians playing from the heart the difference I saw between the ABB and zepplin on film was huge...no comparsion

 

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  posted on 11/30/2007 at 03:06 PM
quote:
"Kind of like the Fillmore Concerts, where one night's solo is tacked onto another nights song. "


Huh? I hadnt heard about that. Which song?

"D"

 

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  posted on 11/30/2007 at 03:09 PM
quote:
quote:
"Kind of like the Fillmore Concerts, where one night's solo is tacked onto another nights song. "


Huh? I hadnt heard about that. Which song?

"D"



I'm pretty sure they took Duane's solo from one night and tacked it onto another night for IMOER. This was per Tom Dowd in the liner notes for that release.


 

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  posted on 11/30/2007 at 03:11 PM
Yep, Tom Dowd did some chopping on Fillmore East.

I dont mind a band playing two nights and the best cuts of whole entire songs from each night being lined up together, but I'm not big on parts of songs being spliced. My pet peeve these days with live albums is when they go crazy on the applause/crowd reaction volume, making it sound much louder and enthusiastic than it actually was in the house.

 

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  posted on 11/30/2007 at 03:15 PM
quote:
What makes it so aweful is the pretentiousness of the band. They were at their peak and bascially thought they could do anything and people would scream. They had gotten far away from the music at that point and it was more about ego and posing. I was a huge fan and we would go to the midnight moves to see concert and cult flims I lost all interest in them after see that film and I still have a hard time listening to them. I had just discovered the ABB and a friend of mine had the Fillmore video on Beta max and we had watched that prior to going to see song remains the same so there was no comparison to me the difference in musicianship. Zepplin had some great early studio albums and wrote a great collection of tunes but as pure musicians playing from the heart the difference I saw between the ABB and zepplin on film was huge...no comparsion




All I can say is, lucky you for having been around back in the day to witness the greatness in Rock God-dom that was Led Zeppelin. Having been born in 1966, for many years, all I had to cling to was their studio output, Robert Plant's solid solo tours from the 1980s, and, of course, TSRTS at the midnight movies and its soundtrack. It was magical times up there on the screen, and I'll never forget the double feature at Menlo Park Mall of TSRTS and Stop Making Sense. Good times.

Meanwhile, some good news from the Zep reunion rehearsals:

BONHAM EMOTIONAL AT LED ZEPPELIN GET TOGETHER
2007-11-29 03:33:22 -

The son of late LED ZEPPELIN drummer JOHN BONHAM had to fight back tears when the group reformed for rehearsals in June (07) because he was sitting in his dad's seat.

Jason Bonham admits the get together was charged with emotion, but it hit him harder than bandmates Robert Plant, Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones.

Bonham, who is currently a member of rockers Foreigner, took time out to mark the historical reunion calling it "a real lump in the throat (moment)".

The 41-year-old drummer feared the rehearsals would be a disaster at first, as the group's founders tried to find their old sound - but he was wrong.

He recalls, "I didn't think there would be an instant sound. I thought, 'It's going to take some time.'" But, as soon as they started playing the classic No Quarter, it was as if they had never been apart.

He tells Rolling Stone magazine, "When the riff came in, there was this look that went around. It was brilliant." And the band were so fired up after the run-through of their next song, Kashmir, Page and Plant insisted on embracing.

Bonham reveals, "Jimmy said, 'Can you give me a hug?' and Robert shouted, 'Yeah, sons of thunder!'" Led Zeppelin reformed to headline an upcoming tribute concert for late Atlantic Records founder Ahmet Ertegun in London next month (10Dec07). But the rockers are also rumoured to be planning a U.S. tour with The Cult in 2008.

Laura in NJ

 

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  posted on 11/30/2007 at 03:15 PM
I never liked 'The Song Remains The Same', however I have seen live clips of Zep that are awesome and display what great musicians they were. Try watching 'How The West Was Won'. Lots of great live footage. I love Led Zeppelin music. I will be skipping the reunion tour though because I just don't think it will be that good. Jimmy Page was cool to see with the Black Crowes, but he had two guitar players boosting the sound for those shows. I'm not so sure he can cut it anymore unless they have additional musicians playing with them. Kind of like what the Who have become.

 

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  posted on 11/30/2007 at 03:23 PM
I find Song Remains the Same extremely boring. 68 is right, there's tons of other footage showing how great the LZ could be.

I also think the GD movie can be snoozer in alot of parts also.

 

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  posted on 11/30/2007 at 07:32 PM
In the January 2008 issue of Guitar World, with Jimmy Page on the cover (no longer tryng to color his now all white hair), there is an extensive interview with him that helps explain the reasons behind why "Song Remains the Same" ended up being a cut-and-stitch video.

It seems that the guy they hired to do the film ended up miscalculating badly and ran out of film at critical points on a number of tunes. They weren't crazy about the results but felt they had to work with it as best as they could. The fantasy sequences were an after-the-fact decision to cover the places where the director had screwed up.

Page's quote; "We surmised that they were probably stoned; it was quite as simple as that. Everyone was stoned at the time, but at least we did our job"

[Edited on 12/1/2007 by Fujirich]

 

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  posted on 11/30/2007 at 07:41 PM
Frank Zappa probably cut and pasted more live shows than not.

He was a master at tape splicing.

Bothers me not.

 

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  posted on 11/30/2007 at 09:56 PM
quote:
Jimmy Page was cool to see with the Black Crowes, but he had two guitar players boosting the sound for those shows. I'm not so sure he can cut it anymore unless they have additional musicians playing with them. Kind of like what the Who have become.


Why not? Tony Iommi doesn't have any additional guitar players to boost the sound and he still can cut it. Watch this if you have any doubts.


quote:
Try watching 'How The West Was Won'.


I wish I could. LOL. You must be talking about that dvd. The Royal Albert Hall portion must be the best live footage of any band ever recorded and that includes Candlemass.

 

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  posted on 11/30/2007 at 10:23 PM
I don't know anything about 'Song Remains the Same' but it's not uncommon for live shows to be compiled to make one CD....they're two different birds. And there have been cases where songs have had to be spliced to make them work for one reason or another. That being said....the first Aquariam Rescue Unit album recorded live at the Georgia Theatre is just what you heard those two nights...it's an amazing work of art start to finish!

 

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  posted on 11/30/2007 at 11:29 PM
quote:
What makes it so aweful is the pretentiousness of the band. They were at their peak and bascially thought they could do anything and people would scream. They had gotten far away from the music at that point and it was more about ego and posing. I was a huge fan and we would go to the midnight moves to see concert and cult flims I lost all interest in them after see that film and I still have a hard time listening to them. I had just discovered the ABB and a friend of mine had the Fillmore video on Beta max and we had watched that prior to going to see song remains the same so there was no comparison to me the difference in musicianship. Zepplin had some great early studio albums and wrote a great collection of tunes but as pure musicians playing from the heart the difference I saw between the ABB and zepplin on film was huge...no comparsion





To be fair, this was at the end of a very long stretch of touring and the band is not at its best. The party had
gone on a bit too long at this point.

There were much better shows on that tour.

They just were not filmed.

 

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  posted on 11/30/2007 at 11:46 PM
Derek,

quote:
"My pet peeve these days with live albums is when they go crazy on the applause/crowd reaction volume, making it sound much louder and enthusiastic than it actually was in the house."


Me too. Neil Youngs Live Rust album is that way. I am a huge Neil fan but I dont like that album much because of it. It was obviously severely doctored. During Neils quiet acoustic songs (like Needle and the damage done) it sounds like mass hysteria going on. People just dont do that during solo acoustic numbers!

The mostly live single disc "Rust never sleeps" sounds better to me.

"D"

 

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  posted on 12/1/2007 at 07:01 AM
quote:
Kind of like the Fillmore Concerts, where one night's solo is tacked onto another nights song.


Just for sake of accuracy - the original At Fillmore East album was edited the same way the Fillmore Concerts was. The liner notes for the FC are pretty confusing because Tom Dowd maintains that Liz Reed was spliced on FC but not on @FE. Both versions are really the same so I'm not sure where the misunderstanding came from. You Don't Love Me is also a splice job right where the band drops out and leaves Duane on his own. Both albums have the same takes edited in the same place, but the edit is a bit neater on FC. And of course there's Stormy Monday which was edited on @FE but not on FC.

Sorry, geek alert.

Cheers! Jules

 

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  posted on 12/1/2007 at 08:41 AM
quote:
quote:
Kind of like the Fillmore Concerts, where one night's solo is tacked onto another nights song.


Just for sake of accuracy - the original At Fillmore East album was edited the same way the Fillmore Concerts was. The liner notes for the FC are pretty confusing because Tom Dowd maintains that Liz Reed was spliced on FC but not on @FE. Both versions are really the same so I'm not sure where the misunderstanding came from. You Don't Love Me is also a splice job right where the band drops out and leaves Duane on his own. Both albums have the same takes edited in the same place, but the edit is a bit neater on FC. And of course there's Stormy Monday which was edited on @FE but not on FC.

Sorry, geek alert.

Cheers! Jules


That's news to me. I always believed that AFE was totally live. Especially based on some of the archive recordings coming out today as well as other trades and vines.

So if it is a cut/paste job, oh well. It still stands as THE best live album ever.
Totally live? well ...

 

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  posted on 12/1/2007 at 09:43 AM
That's news to me. I always believed that AFE was totally live. Especially based on some of the archive recordings coming out today as well as other trades and vines.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------- ----------------------

I believe all the parts were recorded live, just edited together.

 

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  posted on 12/1/2007 at 09:50 AM
quote:
. Jimmy Page was cool to see with the Black Crowes, but he had two guitar players boosting the sound for those shows. I'm not so sure he can cut it anymore unless they have additional musicians playing with them. Kind of like what the Who have become.

People have this take on Page anymore that he can't play or do it like he use to. I am not sure how people know that. Page hardly has done much to be noticed over the last 25 yrs except for the Firm , Page and Plant stuff,Crowes and one solo album.All of those were pretty brief. Has he done enough to be judged? I am not sure if that equates into loss of talent or ability.
Jimmy is my favorite guitar and one of the best(and there are many great ones). You can't rank guitar players like Rolling Stone did a few years ago. Too many styles and differences, it's like comparing apples to oranges.
Maybe he has lost something..I am not sure but I hear that from alot of people. I wonder how they know that given his limited activity over the last many years.

 

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  posted on 12/1/2007 at 10:37 AM
Everyone who posted brings up good points however, it's what get's your groove the most. I like listening to live music and I understand there are all sorts of enhancements to live music that is produced. When I read about Liz Reed live and how it was created, I was a little disappointed at first but it is what it is. When I listen to it though, I don't think about it. I just listen and picture the band doing it's thing on stage. It still gets my mojo and groove and I even clap and cheer now and then when it's over (especially when I'm in my car).

What ever it is that get's your mojo mojoing, play it loud and play it proud. Eventually, there will be a day when we can't and we won't care what's been added/removed either way. Hopefully that's sooner than later for all of us!

P.S. As I posted a few weeks ago, Heaven And Hell's new DVD just fricking jams! Check it out if you get a chance.

 

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  posted on 12/1/2007 at 12:39 PM
quote:
quote:
. Jimmy Page was cool to see with the Black Crowes, but he had two guitar players boosting the sound for those shows. I'm not so sure he can cut it anymore unless they have additional musicians playing with them. Kind of like what the Who have become.

People have this take on Page anymore that he can't play or do it like he use to. I am not sure how people know that. Page hardly has done much to be noticed over the last 25 yrs except for the Firm , Page and Plant stuff,Crowes and one solo album.All of those were pretty brief. Has he done enough to be judged? I am not sure if that equates into loss of talent or ability.
Jimmy is my favorite guitar and one of the best(and there are many great ones). You can't rank guitar players like Rolling Stone did a few years ago. Too many styles and differences, it's like comparing apples to oranges.
Maybe he has lost something..I am not sure but I hear that from alot of people. I wonder how they know that given his limited activity over the last many years.


I think the Live album with the Crowes shows some sloppy playing. But I saw that tour later after the record was out a while and he had gotten his playing chops back in shape. He had gotten it back. Particularly he was better playing the faster passages.

Miles Davis once gave up the trumpet for about 5 years. He said it took him three years to get back to where he was when he stopped playing.


I think the point about inactivity is a valid one. And the show I saw shows that playing a stretch of shows with the Crowes got him back into better playing shape.



 

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  posted on 12/1/2007 at 12:55 PM
quote:


Why not? Tony Iommi doesn't have any additional guitar players to boost the sound and he still can cut it. Watch this if you have any doubts.






Sorry, had to chime in. Not that it's a big deal, but when I saw Heaven and Hell this year, there was most certainly a second guitar playing at most if not all times during the show. In addition to keyboards filling out the sound. Everyone I was with (musicians and otherwise) heard it loud and clear. I don't think he does that with Sabbath, though.

 

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  posted on 12/1/2007 at 01:13 PM
goldtop, this is exactly what happened to me in 1976 or so:
quote:
I was a huge fan and we would go to the midnight moves to see concert and cult flims I lost all interest in them after see that film and I still have a hard time listening to them.
My friend Rich and I went over to Duck Creek Plaza to see a midnight showing of Reefer Madness and The Song Remains the Same. I was appalled at Led Zep in that--everything about them rang false. I was embarrassed for, and repelled by, Robert Plant--who, by the way, couldn't sing anymore. I thought all the fantasy sequences were really dumb. Fujirich, I've read things along the lines of Pagey's explanations, but I'm not sure I'm buying them.

By that time in my youth, I was getting to see bands in bars all the time and at a few concerts, and I truly felt Jimmy's playing and especially Bonzo's playing were worse than some of the better local and regional musicians I was seeing. Nevetheless, John, I agree that Zep could've had much better nights on the same tour.

Seeing that midnight show, though, was kinda the nail in the coffin for me and Led Zep, after great disappointment with their studio output for a few years, too.

 

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  posted on 12/1/2007 at 01:54 PM
At Fillmore East splicing

First, I'll state that most of that kind of editing of live albums is, for the most part, wrong, whether it's the Allman Brothers, Led Zep, or Frank Zappa. The reasons are mostly because you want the recording to be true to the live experience, even if that includes wrong notes or aimlessness at points. For example, you want to be able to evaluate a guitarist's ability to craft a meaningful solo from beginning to end, not just as short bursts of color or longer noodling but really telling a story. Now, if a novel-length solo has been cut down to short-story length, you don't get a true picture of the guitarist's art, or lack thereof. Some of the best longer-form solos and jams have an architecture or a trajectory to them (really mixing metaphors now!), or, going back to the story idea:
* Introduction
* Character (motif) development
* Conflict (tension)
* Resolution (climax)
* Epilogue (outro)

If this is done spontaneously, or at least semispontaneously (like in the better long ABB jams), in concert, it's an awesome thing. If this is tampered with in editing, it's misrepresentation and fraud, often. At its best, it can't be regarded as a document anymore but another edited album not unlike a studio album, where the musicians provide raw material that is fashioned into shape by the producer.

Okay, about all this At Fillmore East editing, see Jules's post. There are a few significant edits around the album, but, according to Kirk West, "In Memory of Elizabeth Reed" is not one of them, and Tom just got confused in those infamous liner notes. See this thread for a bit of the details:
Board Index > Magic Men > Tom Dowd > Tom and =At Fillmore East=
http://www.allmanbrothersband.com/modules.php?op=modload&name=XForum&am p;file=post.reply&fid=75&tid=14375&repquote=t|14375

Some of that thread is repeated in the following, but there's also some updated info and further details here:
Duane Allman > Different versions of Hot 'Lanta on @Fillmore East
http://www.allmanbrothersband.com/modules.php?op=modload&name=XForum&am p;file=viewthread&tid=10680#pid
D, you're in that thread!

Anywho, I go from being bugged to not caring about the particular splices in At Fillmore East. It's still an awesome album, and I guess as long as you're mindful of the splices, you can still consider it an awesome document of an awesome moment in music history. As long as you don't run out of "awesome"s.

 

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  posted on 12/1/2007 at 03:18 PM
To add another two cents, I broke out my old Zep stuff and realize just how they pale in comparison to the ABB and Grateful Dead. The same setlists each night and the exploratory stuff just doesn't exist. I loved Zepp when I was teenager 30 years ago, but my feeling is that they just don't age as well ( as I sit here listening to a 15 year ABB show from Atlanta)
 

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  posted on 12/1/2007 at 06:30 PM
quote:

Sorry, had to chime in. Not that it's a big deal, but when I saw Heaven and Hell this year, there was most certainly a second guitar playing at most if not all times during the show. In addition to keyboards filling out the sound. Everyone I was with (musicians and otherwise) heard it loud and clear. I don't think he does that with Sabbath, though.


Are you sure you heard a second guitar? I found no evidence of that, neither on the dvd nor during the show I witnessed. I'm no expert, but from what I know it's not difficult to create a copy of a guitar part and manipulate it to harmonise with itself. It gives you the impression of a second guitar playing. Or did you hear a rhythm guitar playing during Iommi's solos?

 
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