Saturday, September 21, 2013

1000 SONGS - DAY 293 SONG # 324

DAY 293: The Very Best of Classic Pre-Hard Rock

Led Zeppelin are sometimes labelled as Hard Rock and sometimes as forerunners of the genre. Be that as it may, they are rightly listed on the blues-influenced side of the bands with an impact on later hard-rock bands. John Bonham, influential rock-drummer, died on Sept. 25, 1980, 32 years of age, because of drinking too much vodka (40 shots or so), as has been reported. Within only a few days this will be 33 years ago. "Stairway to Heaven", from Led Zeppelin IV, has been eagerly discussed for its alleged reverse-masking: it is said to  contain satanic messages if heard backwards. I do not understand who the fucking hell should have any interest to listen to this song rendered backwards - the forward version really is beautiful - starting with a kind of english folk tune and gradually growing into a rock tune that makes you jump like wild... Anyway, here is a link on a discussion of that reverse masking-thing (interestingly, the passage under suspicion is the one where the drums come in). Jimmy Page may be an adept of good (or bad) old Aleister Crowley, self-declared Anti-Christ, but as Christianity is still a major religion in this here world and Crowley is dead, wtf? Nietzsche, another self-declared Anti-Christ, surely had the better arguments against Christianity, and no reverse masking needed (try to read Nietzsche's Antichrist backwards...). There is also a version of Stairway to Heaven by the Maestro himself, as rendered on his 1988 tour, the great FZ, featured after the LZ version. I think that this is one of the greatest rock songs ever (until now) recorded. And, although I think that Zappa was one of the best musicians that ever lived (in a line with Mozart and Strawinsky), I like the Zeppelin version more (that does not mean that I would not be aware of all the great musicianship in Zappa's arrangement and the way his band realises it).

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