Get the Led Out (of Here)

A funny joke of a pun started the idea behind this months mix—one that any hard rock fan who counted the Who over Led Zeppelin in their formative years has probably thought at least a hundred times. With dozens of friends over the years, not to mention classic rock radio DJ’s, insisting that Led Zeppelin, and not the Who, where the best English rockin’ band featuring a gonzo drummer, an incredibly gifted and underrated bass player and, and a cocksure front man with golden locks to his shoulders (oddly enough these aren’t the only two that fit that description!) it was nearly enough to drive us Who fanatics insane. I’ve alway remained steadfast that the Who are where it’s at—in many ways Led Zeppelin to me were birthed in an attempt for Jimmy Page to have his own Who to himself. Thus, via the very definition of ‘derivative’, Led Zeppelin were always a slightly more sluggish, prodding, less cerebral Who. In effect, a Who for the bar crowd who were thicker than any Porter on the menu. 

Of course, this isn’t a bad thing; there are several top notch rocking’ LP’s there, and a bevy of thrilling riffs produced with an ear that still sets the template for hard rock production. Nevertheless though, I’ve heard over the years, fans (again, friends and DJs) in my vicinity endlessly ‘Get the Led Out’, i.e. play some variation of a rock block of Led Zeppelin tunes, often never straying that far outside a well established 6 or 8 top classics in their discography. Perhaps, somewhere in there is one of my chief problems with Led Zeppelin: that their depth implies a shallowness that narrow embracing of their catalogue would imply (i.e. much of my negative take on them is due to overhearing a few key—often great I admit—tunes to near nausea). Or, perhaps, I’m being a snooty jerk. Yeah, could be that (hehe). Thus, with this mix I attempted to both ‘Get the Led Out’, but also ‘Get it Out of Here’, meaning create a mix of very Led Zeppelin inspired tunes, all coming before or just after the Led Zeppelin tune(s) I’m connecting them to. The point being, that there is no need for a Led Zeppelin fan to be so hung up on a small number of great tracks, not only in their discography, but in the discographies of dozens of very good hard rocking bands in Heavy Metals first glorious generation.

Rounding out the rest of the mix are references to a recent co-worker I worked with who was just such a Led Zeppelin fan. I’m wishing him well in his next phase of life after being let go; the company might have said to him “Get Out”, while I tell him to “Get the Led Out—of Here! Play something new!”

Happy listening.

 

 

Track listing is as follows:

1. Intro (contains excerpts from ‘Dazed and Confused’ [live, disc 2 of BBC Sessions], Led Zeppelin [recorded April 1971]; ‘Dazed and Confused’ Jake Holmes [1967; second half excerpt], and various audio clips from Twin Peaks: The Return 2017, episode 4 and found audio footage of United Airlines passenger removal from 2017)
2. ‘Snakebite’, Stone Axe (1971)
3. ‘Immigrant Song’, Led Zeppelin (1970; slight excerpt)
4. ‘Ride the Sky’, Lucifers Friend (1970)
5. ‘Drown Yourself in the River’, Gun (1969)
6. Medley attempt at recreating ‘Stairway to Heaven’: ‘Feeling Good’, Black Cat Bones (1970; first half excerpt); ‘Taurus’, Spirit (1968); ‘Last Blues’, Bakerloo (1969; second half excerpt)
7. ‘Down Man’, Brainbox (1969)
8. ‘Communication Breakdown’, Led Zeppelin (1969; slight excerpt) 
9. ‘Shylock’, Buffalo (1973)
10. ‘Chocolate Piano’, Orang-Utan (1971)
11. ‘It’s a Beautiful Day’, Stone Garden (1969)
12. Outro (contains excerpts from ‘Dazed and Confused’ [live, disc 2 of BBC Sessions], Led Zeppelin [recorded April 1971]; ‘Feeling Good’, Black Cat Bones [1970; second half excerpt]; and various audio clips from Twin Peaks: The Return 2017, episode 4)

(Originally, I envisioned a slightly different idea within the same overall framework. It was going to be a riff on replacing classic Led Zeppelin tracks, but rather than keeping the bands as contemporaries to Led Zeppelin, I starting doing personal favorites, mostly from the 80’s and 90’s American underground. While it’s really fun to point out how Jesus Lizard’s ‘Mistletoe’ reminds me of ‘Immigrant Song’, or Albini’s post-Big Black band Rapeman’s ‘Superpussy’ could be used as a ‘Heartbreaker’ replacement, or the earlier ‘Move it On Over’ by Del Shannon subbed in for ‘Whole Lotta Love’. But keeping it within contemporaries of Led Zeppelin, made for a more worthwhile exercise for me. As such, there was a bevy of great, obscure cuts that fell to the cutting room floor this month. Anyone who is a fan of this type of stuff would be really well served to check these out: Attila, ‘Wonder Woman’; Euclid, Heavy Equipment; Felt, ‘World’; Highway Robbery, ‘Fifteen’; Iron Claw, ’Skullcrusher’; J.C. Heavy, ‘Do What You Like’ and ‘Is This Really Me’; Punch, ‘Deathbed’; Screaming Lord Sutch & His Heavy Friends, ‘Flashing Light’; Sir Lord Baltimore, ‘Lady on Fire’; Stray Dog, ‘Chevrolet’; Sudden Death, ‘Leather Woman’; Truk, ‘Winter’s Coming’; Zior, ‘Entrance of the Devil’)

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