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Jimmy Page is a sloppy player and shameless plagiarist. He’s also an all-time great.

John H

Gold Supporting Member
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4,680
I was lucky enough to see Zep, on their second US tour. They were INCREDIBLE, as you might imagine! "Led Zeppelin" and "Led Zeppelin II" were significant parts of the soundtrack to my senior year of high school. However, to my ears, Jimmy Page paled in comparison to several other guitarists whom I much preferred. Perhaps, as a result, I turned away from LZ and went down other musical rabbit holes. When I saw Page, live (ARMS Concerts), he was a pale shadow of what I saw him as, with LZ (okay, he was awful - "sloppy" doesn't begin to cover it!).

When the Zep box set came out, I went back and did a deep dive. I came to a deep respect for him, though, principally, as a wizard in the studio. I wish he'd done more work as a producer, if not just as a musician. I don't appreciate most of what he's done, post LZ. Ymmv.
 

Stratofuzz

Member
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2,174
sloppy - sure.
one man's slop is another man's feel- that's how I interpret his less than precise playing.

shameless plagiarist- well, that's kinda what blues guys did.
They all stole from each other. Doesn't seem like a big deal until lots of money gets involved.
 

DCAddy

Member
Messages
3,550
The thing about Page is he was a proud rocker to the core. A guy with great arranging/writing skills who wouldn't sacrifice a fantastic riff for the sake of technical perfection.
We could use more like him.
Imaginative producer too.
 
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twoheadedboy

Member
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13,178
Funny, I’ve never found Page to be sloppy.

He could be quite sloppy live, but his final studio takes are quite solid.

FWIW, sloppiness isn't necessarily a bad thing. It usually doesn't work if everyone in the band is sloppy, but in a band with John Bonham and John Paul Jones, a little sloppiness adds a sense of unpredictability than can work nicely.

Another example of this is the band The Jesus Lizard. The band itself is super tight and consistent, but the vocalist (David Yow) is super chaotic and acts like a lunatic on stage. The tightness of the band provides a solid platform for Yow to do his thing, and it all works beautifully. If the band wasn't so tight, Yow wouldn't be able to be so crazy.
 
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Good Grief

Member
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293
shameless plagiarist- well, that's kinda what blues guys did.
They all stole from each other. Doesn't seem like a big deal until lots of money gets involved.

Exactly. Hendrix does All Along the Watchtower = timeless legend. Zeppelin does “The Lemon Song” and he’s a shameless plagiarist no talent clown. What??

Business wise, fine he should have been better with crediting. Musically? The source of the (early) tunes couldn’t matter less. Zeppelin did them in a totally unique style. Blues and folk music has been centered around a few tunes since forever.

Oh and let me know who he “stole” The Rain Song, Houses of the Holy, Dancing Days, Stairway to Heaven, Song Remains the Same etc etc etc from.
 

HiddenAgenda

San Francisco
Silver Supporting Member
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1,750
Technical perfection sounds lifeless and boring to me as if I'm hearing a computer sequence. I've heard some live clips on You Tube where his playing was seriously awful, but I think he was high. The studio recordings sound fine to me.
 

marvin cobain

Member
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2,159
people use to say he was sloppy as an insult, but I remember him saying that he recorded everything in one or maximum two takes, because he thought it was much more important the feel than perfection. And after he was someone who listened a lot of classic country blues and electric blues. Have you ever heard someone saying that Skip James was sloppy? Anyone into blues would have laughed at the idea that playing perfectly is more important than feel.
 

simoncroft

Member
Messages
43
In short, Page contains multitudes.

(This thread brought to you by a fresh listen to Led Zeppelin I by yours truly.)

I was never that into Led Zep, but any band that had their own aircraft must have done something right. While I don't mind that they took earlier, black bluesmen's work and reshaped it, claiming it as their own was a total no-no, as far as intellectual property is concerned. I doubt that they imagined Muddy Waters had so much money, it was OK for them to dip into it.
 




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