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Jimmy Page or Pete Townshend?

Pick Favorite; State Reasons; Go!

  • Jimmy Page

  • Pete Townshend


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Messages
348
More meandering thoughts... Just my opinion, your mileage will certainly vary.

Of the great early power trios / trio plus singer, there's a lot of similarity in Cream, Jimi Hendrix Experience, and Led Zep. It's blues based. Cream never really wandered very far away from the blues, except to go a bit experimental pop. Hendrix went into sonic sculptures that set a standard and that still amaze. Led Zep - I think it's fair to call the band a power trio - made blues rock that had some serious bottom end, you could finally hear the kick and it had some damn weight, esp compared to Cream and Hendrix. The riffs and tones were spectacular, and yes, Page *borrowed* some songs and licks from older blues musicians but whatever.

I grew up with these bands, they were new when I first heard them. With the way radio latched on to Led Zep, I suspect lots of Page fans grew up to music that was already several decades old. And, when you talk about blues based heavy rock, there is really no equal. How can you improve on the first 4 Zep records? Then they got experimental - Presence, Physical Graffiti. "Kashmir" is utterly unique: Moroccan rock? WTH??

So, if blues based rock is your thing, Led Zep is probably your band.

The Who was unique among this bunch. Early on, they were "power pop" - British Invasion with a lot more male frustration. When they did blues covers, they came out radically different, and that part of their discography is not that notable. Townshend listened to jazz, his Dad was a jazz musician, and when The Who took on Mose Allison, the result was unprecedented. Listen to Mose's version of "Young Man Blues" and then The Who's. How the hell did that even happen?

"Going Mobile" is a trio recording with some overdubs, even the vocal was live. Townshend's vocal and acoustic guitar are one take, and they are stunning:
Think that's easy to play? Give it a shot. Then try singing the lead vocal!

Anyway, Page and Townshend are both great, iconic musicians. Pete's my fave, probably has more to do with where I was when I started listening than anything else.
 
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Messages
348
More regarding "Going Mobile" - here's the isolated track, live with his vocal bleed. It switches to the touch wah solo for some reason, wish it had stayed with the acoustic.

You can even here several spots where they punched in the acoustic, the sound changes a bit:
Best...H
 
Messages
348
If you are listening to Who's Next, Quadrophenia, and Who Are You, that guitar sound was made with a Gretsch Chet Atkins and a Fender 3x10 Showman amp. Your mind sees the Hiwatt and the Gibson, but in the studio, the Gretsch/Fender pairing was his go to for years.
This was my understanding, until I read this: https://www.sweetwater.com/insync/iconic-guitar-tones-pete-townshend-wont-get-fooled-again-the-who/

Turns out the sound might be the SG / Hiwatt doubled with the Gretsch / Bandmaster. Pete's quote: "On “Won’t Get Fooled Again,” there are two electric guitars. One is the stage rig. So, SG with P90s into a Hiwatt. I then carefully doubled (overdubbing) what I’d recorded using the Gretsch. At least, that’s what I recall. When I get a chance, I will check out the Master 16-track reel and make sure."

My '65 SG with a single dog eared P-90 is the most rock sounding instrument I own - and I own one of the orange 6120's. It's a '63 I think. Both are great sounding instruments.

Also interesting that Pete is a Sweetwater customer!

Best...H
 

Loudguitar

Member
Messages
406
This was my understanding, until I read this: https://www.sweetwater.com/insync/iconic-guitar-tones-pete-townshend-wont-get-fooled-again-the-who/

Turns out the sound might be the SG / Hiwatt doubled with the Gretsch / Bandmaster. Pete's quote: "On “Won’t Get Fooled Again,” there are two electric guitars. One is the stage rig. So, SG with P90s into a Hiwatt. I then carefully doubled (overdubbing) what I’d recorded using the Gretsch. At least, that’s what I recall. When I get a chance, I will check out the Master 16-track reel and make sure."

My '65 SG with a single dog eared P-90 is the most rock sounding instrument I own - and I own one of the orange 6120's. It's a '63 I think. Both are great sounding instruments.

Also interesting that Pete is a Sweetwater customer!

Best...H

Interesting. That is the first time in almost 50 years of listening to the album that I have ever heard that.
 

iamdavea

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
8,939
Clapton always stuck to 5 note scales; he knew he would always have a 20% chance of hitting the correct note in his soloes.
This is about, what?, the seventh time you've used this tired line? And it just gets more pathetic, each time you do. Are you 15 years old?
 

vortexxxx

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
11,326
Jimmy was a highly paid session musician before LZ. He played lead on a Rolling Stones song that wasn't originally released, likely before Mick Taylor came one. Jimmy's playing didn't quite sound right for the Stones.
 

JK1965

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
4,394
I just wish I could play as sloppy as Jimmy. The windmills are easier (although timing is everything)...
Timing is something Pete was always great at! We recently watched The Kids are Alright movie again and there was one scene where the band was really cooking and he was behind Daltry slamming chords. You could see his right hand striking the strings on each chord change and the precision and timing were jaw dropping. My wife was never much of a fan and she looks at me like are you bleeping kidding me?! I said you caught that huh? She just shook her head and says oh my god that was so on point! She was stunned by how great a band they were and now sees them in a whole different way.
 

JK1965

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
4,394
Holy s#!t “I can’t quit you baby” is insane. Starts at around 5:00. Anyone doubting Page should give this a listen.
At his best he was astounding at times! The slagging became a thing later and I heard it a lot from guys who were too young during JP’s prime. Their guys were the faster more technical players and to them Page was sloppy and not very good. It is all a matter of context though. From my POV Page, Hendrix and all the 70’s guys smoked guys like Chuck Berry and I’m sure I said as much. Now I realize that they all played his licks and that everything evolves out of what came before.

Page was THE rock guitar god for most of the 70’s to a lot of people. I was there. A monster player. The sloppiness so many talk about was part of the magic and it so fit the music at times. Very sinister in the best way.
 

Chic-Pop

Member
Messages
844
Page was THE rock guitar god for most of the 70’s to a lot of people. I was there. A monster player. The sloppiness so many talk about was part of the magic and it so fit the music at times. Very sinister in the best way.
A different measure of expressing the passion...
 
Messages
106
Some people want to compare Page at his worst to Townsend at his best. Don’t get me wrong, I love The Who. I wore out Love at Leeds.but if we’re comparing them both at their best, it’s Page, definitely. So much more versatile and complete musician. Rock and Roll, Hard Rock, Prot-Metal, Blues, Country, Eastern, English and American Folk. Proficient song writer, player, engineer, and producer. All those attributes and skills make him the better player. Many people don’t realize the full extent of Pages contributions to music. His pre-yardbirds session work was voluminous. He played guitar on so many works from Burt Bacharach, Brenda Lee, Petula Clark ( Downtown), Donovan, Van Morrison, Marianne Faithfulan, on and on. Shel Talmy brought JP in to sessions recording the Kinks AND The Who. A move that Davies and Townsend respectively hated. While we know JP definitely played on a couple of their biggest hits, it not clear exactly what tracks were left on the final releases. Artistic jealousy and egos had to be soothed. John Entwistle and Keith Moon definitely preferred Pages company to that of Townsend. Listen to the Townsend penned song “Circles” by The Who, then listen to the version by The Fleur Di Lys that Page produced and played on. The superior FDL version was recorded and released first and featured in a movie. watch and listen to Page play with Led Zeppelin live at the Royal Albert Hall. Debate ender right there. But just my humble opinion. Enough of the Jimmy Page fanboy stuff from me- however I’ll end with this thought - Back in the day- I could light one up, kick back and let No Quarter, Kashmir and many others transport me to another place. Nothing The Who played could do that.
 
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mycroftxxx

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
843
Shel Talmy brought JP in to sessions recording the Kinks AND The Who. A move that Davies and Townsend respectively hated. While we know JP definitely played on a couple of their biggest hits...
Page played on exactly one Who session, for the B side of Can’t Explain, a Shel Talmy composition called Bald Headed Woman. Talmy wanted Page to play on the A side, but Pete wouldn’t loan him the Rickenbacker, so the only guitar on that track is PT.

Page was not involved in any other Who sessions.
 
Messages
106
Page played on exactly one Who session, for the B side of Can’t Explain, a Shel Talmy composition called Bald Headed Woman. Talmy wanted Page to play on the A side, but Pete wouldn’t loan him the Rickenbacker, so the only guitar on that track is PT.

Page was not involved in any other Who sessions.
I believe you’re mistaken. Page has been acknowledged by Townsend and Daltry as having played rhythm guitar on Can’t Explain, but it was apparently taken out of the final cut at Townsends insistence. The fuzz guitar you hear on Bald Headed Woman is absolutely Jimmy Page. Jimmy Page stated that he wasn’t sure why Talmy brought him in for Cant Explain
because he felt that PT was “roaring” and didn’t need any backup. Page played fuzz guitar on BHW as he purportedly had the only fuzz box in England at the time and guarded it carefully. Looking at the song credits- page is listed as lead fuzz guitar. Page acknowledged it shouldn’t have been credited that way since it wasnt really lead guitar. Anyhow, I’m not knocking Townsend at all. Love most of his work with The Who. I could be wrong about all this but I believe further research will bear it out.
 
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