Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The Glory of the Human Voice: Special What is With the Hollering, Already? Edition

Led Zeppelin -- "Whole Lotta Love." The vocal track.

I'll grant you Bob is pretty good, but he's no FLORENCE FOSTER JENKINS.

Hey guys -- tighten up the instrumentals and you might just have a hit.

[h/t cahuenga]


Anonymous said...

The engineer is probably wondering which Bob needs more: a sock for his pecker or his face?

Anonymous said...

That's "timber" not timbre coming from Robert Planet. Who, btw, I love in spite of his flaws.

Isolating the vocal from the rest of the track will often produce results like this. In fact, soundboard tapes with a vocal heavy mix can be even more irritating. For example. a plethora of Grateful Dead soundboard tapes which sound nothing like what the audience heard. Especially the ones with too much Phil Lesh and Donna Godchaux. Oouch!! God, she was awful. Did her monitor ever work. Couldn't she hear the wretchedness emanating from her pie-hole?

If you've ever heard Neil Young from the Catalyst 1984 on the initial, vocal heavy, horrible sounding soundboard versus the audience tape, you'll know what I mean. Or the Rolling Stones Happy Birthday Nicky Perth show from 1973. It's hard to take when there's too much Mick. He's better off hiding between the guitars.

It's all in the mix, music and attitude. Most hard rock singers will sound like buffoons (and many really are) when the elements don't come together, or are taken as separate entities, textures and hues without the whole.

Jimmy Page was a genius in the studio. Also when you're working with engineers like Andy and Glyn Johns, George Chkiantz and Eddie Kramer you have the best there is on the team.

The Led Zeppelin 2014 reissues of the first three albums are worth checking out if you're a fan.

Affability is subversive in a snarky world,

Vickie Rock

steve simels said...



steve simels said...

BTW, I agree about Page being a genius producer.

I'm not a Zep fan, but a lot of those records -- even ones I don't like -- are brilliant technical accomplishments.

Anonymous said...

Yeah the Linda tape always satisfies. And there are others of her just as awful. Set her fader to zero.

There is a vocal-heavy Fleetwood Mac bootleg floating around on which Christine McVie finds her inner Eastman. Simply a wretched performance. And the rest of the band is spot on. There must have been monitor problems, or at least that would be a good place for her to begin to place the blame. I feel sorry for the crowd at that show. It's also kind of painful for me to hear because I dig her songwriting and singing quite a bit. "Homeward Bound" still knocks me out as one of the ultimate rock chick songs. "Why" also stood out. "Songbird" and "Warm Ways" are nothing to sneeze at either. But I digress.

A lot of soundboards have this problem. That's why I disdain collector types who will only shell out cash for a bootleg if it's a "board." An audience tape done with good equipment will always surpass them and capture the show in it's original ambience.

I've traded tapes with drummer Jim Keltner before. He loves audience tapes. He told me that he never wants to hear another soundboard tape as long as he lives. I could go on about him but I might get him in trouble with the artists he does sessions with.

Then there's Keith turning Chuck Berry's guitar way down in the mix for the film which honors the latter, no less. You gotta love it.

Regarding Zeppelin, while I respect your opinion, it doesn't mean I understand it. For me, disliking Zeppelin is as unfathomable as disliking the Beatles, Creedence or the Stones. I just don't see how. They're part of the canon.

I think the first six albums are amazing works and cover lots of diverse territory. None of the other hard rock bands of the time or since come close in scope or progression.

For me, each new album, after the 2nd one, took a while to settle in. That's because they moved in so many different directions. The structure of songs like "Misty Mountain Hop" and "Four Sticks" are just as radical today as they were then.

When Houses of the Holy came out, a foreign exchange student at my high school that I was music buddies with and has since gone on to become a rock scribe, declared that Zeppelin had gone "beaner" (no offence Latinos, my first long-term guy was Hispanic and we made two super gorgeous kids). The fact that he said "beanerrrrrr" in a rrrrolling Rrrr foreign accent made it even more memorable and humorous. He definitely soaked up the Southern California culture like a sponge on a binge.

This statement was in particular reference to "D'yer Mak'er", which married Rosie & the Originals with reggae ala thumping leaden Zep. Quite a send up as was "The Crunge." This kind of stuff, along with the sheer weirdness of "Dancing Days", structurally and melodically, not to mention Plant's frequently inane lyrics, insured that fans of Zep would not be allowed to remain complacent lions standing alone with a tadpole in a jar.

Plus Led Zepp is such sensual, primal music. A must for mind-blowing performance art in the bedroom.

Are you sure you're not listening to them in the closet? Not even as a very guilty pleasure?

Shake 'em on down,

Vickie Rock