Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by DLeet, Jun 9, 2014.
Maybe the Page blasters are remembering this awful gem of a solo
You mean make mistakes without help? Baker and Bruce were basically jazz guys who wanted to see if Clapton could keep up with them.
It’s half tongue in cheek. It can mean whatever you want it to mean...
I think it's unfair to label Clapton as "safe and narrow". In his prime, he just had such an incredible blues vocabulary that he could draw from. That he could reel off an endless stream of ideas in pretty much flawless fashion shouldn't be confused with being safe. Do I think Page took more risks? Yes. But do I think that makes him as good an improviser as Clapton? Not even close. And if pushed to choose I'd probably take Led Zeppelin's catalog over that of Cream.
Also, I admire risk taking to a degree, but not at the expense of musicality. John McLaughlin is an example of a guy who took risks like I'd never heard and could be transcendent, but I also feel he'd end up in a lot of areas which didn't make melodic sense. Of course, it goes without saying that this is all just opinion.
Live performance is a rigorous test of the true mettle if an artist, the shortfalls of which, in this case, seem to be too often overlooked in the gushing over Page, Plant, et. al.
I thought the first solo on "Lucille" was pretty excellent! Careening and almost out of control, but at the last moment he made it work! The second solo was obscured by the ugly flange effect, so its hard to judge. The "Barbara Ann" solo was kinda crappy, but all and all I don't have much of a problem with this off-the-cuff performance. I've heard worse from Jimmy.
I'm not a fan of his B-Bender Telecaster sound or the way he uses the bender. That's an instrument and technique I wish he hadn't spent so much time on.
Relatively safe and narrow...as compared to Page.
And as in "an incredible BLUES vocabulary that he could draw from" [your words, not mine]. But he rarely ventured outside of that whereas Page's approach - live and in the studio - was varied musically and technically. Page simply used a broader palette of chords and shapes and harmonies and scales and rhythms than Clapton live.
When I listen to Page live, I have "WTF did he just do there?" moments. With Clapton, I know pretty much what he's doing, but the way he does it is so damned elegant.
Personally, I prefer Jeff Beck to both of them.
I really like the B-Bender, but only as an occasional accent and not overdone.
The first time I heard it on a boot (Ten Years Gone probably?), I had no idea what a B-Bender was and I kept trying to figure out how he was holding the note on G string cleanly and pulling the B sting up a half-step (or whatever it was, I can't remember exactly). Only later did I see a video and figure out he had a contraption rigged to his strap button...
I love Jeff Beck - he's the most technically capable of the three. And when he's on, he's unbelievable. But so much of his stuff - particularly since the 70s - is more super high-level noodling to me and his phrasing just isn't nearly as memorable as the other two.
He takes chances and I dig instrumental music.
Page hasn't done much since Zeppelin that is worthwhile.
Clapton is somewhat interesting in concert due to his back catalog but I haven't bought a new studio release by him in a long time.
I just find that the B-Bender effect is so limited that it overstays its welcome very fast. It really only does one or two things, and most of that can be done or approximated with fingers. It's certainly no substitute for an actual steel guitar, which is what it's supposed to mimic, I guess. I'm not just picking on Jimmy, either - I think Clarence White's use if it is almost as repetitive as Page's.
Page had a broader vocabulary overall, but let's not confuse songwriting with improvising. MOST of Page's live improvisation revolved around minor pentatonic scales with some melodic minor thrown in. He and Clapton were not in dissimilar territory and thus a comparison can be made. If I listen to Cream live in their prime I hear rarified air that Clapton was in and I don't think Page is in the same building in that specific regard. Why Page chose to beat this area into the ground live, I don't know. I don't think it was consistently convincing, but others such as yourself do. That's how this stuff works.
Page pulled off some fantastic improvs but like every musician he had strengths and weaknesses. His strengths were numerous but in this specific area we're discussing I think it exposed some weakness. His long, drawn out live playing I think could be argued to often have been the very definition of "overplaying". Sometimes it worked (IE: many versions of "No Quarter"), sometimes it didn't (IE: nearly every live version of "Stairway").
He did that once with the Black Crowes for a short tour and live album. How about a Santana's 'Super Natural'-like album with a bunch of guest vocalists?
Didn't he already do that on "Outrider"?
Yes, he did. Do it again with even more diverse A-listers. Dave Grohl, Adele, Beyonce', Maynard James Keenan, you name it.
Beck takes chances, but what does it matter if most of it isn’t particularly memorable?
I have no problem with instrumentals. The problem is that he’s by far the least melodic of the three players being discussed - particularly when left to his own devices. It’s a big reason why he never achieved large scale success. I find I listen his work now and I’m like “wow, is he good, but it all kinda sounds the same.”
Can’t disagree on post-Zep Page. Mostly zip in the last 30 years.
I’m okay with Clapton’s latter day work but it’s mostly paint by numbers by his standards.
Beck's stuff not being memorable is your opinion but not mine.
I believe that fact that his music is mostly instrumental contributed to his lack of "large scale success" but he has the respect of his fellow musicians.
As a major Jeff Beck enthusiast, I find a significant amount of his 1999-2017 work to be very memorable and among the best of his career.
As for Jeff not being as melodic as his fellow ex-Yardbirds, that's ridiculous on it's face. Melody's his stock-in-trade.
O/T, I guess, but listening now to Royal Albert Hall "The Initial Tapes" as loud as I can stand, and it wouldn't matter if they hadn't played a single in-tune note in the next 10 years.
Definitely over Clapton, destroys Clapton, badly.
To me, Clapton is the Mickey Mouse of Cream. Yes, he's the face, but he's the least interesting by a long shot
Like it or not, it’s not just my opinion. Him being instumental-based is only part of it. Even when he had a vocalist, his music only connected with the public on modest scale. Just because he’s a wonderfully gifted guitarist, it doesn’t necessarily make him one who was a hook machine like Page or Clapton.
I’m well aware of the respect he has of fellow musicians. It’s also irrelevant to what I said.
Yer neighbour was also lucky to catch Zeppelin on a good night- the Fort Worth show is nicely "tight but loose".
It's a real song, man, not merely something I dreamed (nor would I consider it my masterpiece, either, that's still Dark Days) I've never played it live, of course (I haven't played live in almost twenty years) but I included "Gonzo" as the final track on my ampersand album, ten years ago. Like "Toad" and "Moby Dick" it starts/ends with a unison guitar/bass riff (which I wrote back in high school) before going into the "drum solo" which I played on my old BOSS Dr Rhythm manually. If I had an actual band to play it live, of course, I'd leave the drum solo up to an actual drummer, let him spontaneously combust at the end of it Drums play a big part in my music, so it only seemed natural to come up with a "Moby Dick"-style homage.
The closest I can think of to that kind of thing is one of the 1980 shows -I want to say it's either Bremen or Brussels- where John Bonham is having lots of fun throwing additional fills and off beats into his playing just to shake things up a bit. I don't think Bonzo was doing it deliberately to throw Page and Jones off, I think he was just screwing around. I'm pretty sure it's the same show where on the soundboard recording you can hear Bonham yelling stuff back at the audience between songs and even gets out from behind the drums to introduce "Hot Dog"!
IMO Page did over do it with the B-Bender, especially during the Firm period. That "Botswana Brown" B-Bender Tele of his is a damn nice axe, though.
Jimmy Page and Maynard James Keenan...now that is a collaboration I would love to hear!
Only saw Zeppelin Live once, shortly before the 4th album came out and thought they were terrible.
I’m sure they had a lot of great nights and a lot of bad ones.
Separate names with a comma.