Forty Years Ago – Led Zeppelin Released “In Through The Out Door”

On this day forty years ago, Led Zeppelin signaled the begging of the end when they released their final studio album, In Through The Out Door (Atlantic). That title alone should have been then first clue really, that this was not your older brother’s Zep album. The turmoil stricken members fought through loss, and injury, and drugs, and excess, but wound up still making fine music. ITTOD is a solid album with moments of greatness. It’s definitely a late-era gem in their catalog in many ways, but also a signpost to the fatigue they were feeling after over a decade on top of rock’s peak. Drummer John Bonham would pass away just thirteen months and two weeks after this release, more or less ending the band as a regular unit. Continue reading

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Brian Johnson’s AXS TV Show To Debut This September

AC/DC frontman Brian Johnson’s AXS TV series Brian Johnson: A Life On The Road will make its US debut on Sunday, September 15 at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT. The network has acquired the first two seasons of the program from Eagle Rock Entertainment, featuring a combined total of 12 unforgettable episodes never seen before in the United States. “A Life On The Road” joins a star-studded Sunday night lineup that also includes the new music series “Paul Shaffer Plus One”, hosted by musician and television personality Paul Shaffer, premiering September 15 at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT. Watch the trailer below. Early episodes feature Sting, (The Police) Robert Plant (Led Zeppelin), Roger Daltry (The Who), Joe Elliott (Def Leppard), Lars Ulrich (Metallica) and Nick Mason (Pink Floyd). Continue reading

The Woodstock 50th Anniversary Festival Is Canceled

In news that surprises few following the story, the previously announced 50th Anniversary event of the original Woodstock Festival has been canceled. The three-day music event that was meant to honor the original Woodstock was set to take place the weekend of Aug. 16 in Watkins Glen, N.Y. Some of the rock artists set to perform were Robert Plant, Black Keys, Greta Van Fleet, The Killers, but mostly pop and rap artists with little in common with the original festival were to dominate the lineup.  This made it a non-starter for fans from the jump. Dentsu Aegis Network was funding the festival and released a statement earlier today. Tickets for the festival were originally set to go on sale April 22, but news broke last week that the sale was being delayed. Continue reading

Mastodon – Stairway To Heaven

Covers are a funny thing in music. Nowhere else in art is this level of flattery both respected and derided. Copies or recreations of painting or sculpture are often labeled as “influenced by” or worse, a forgery. All the remakes Hollywood keeps ramming our eyeholes with are mostly flaming hot garbage at summertime in New York City. With cover songs, the best ones are often not a note for note recreation of the original, unless it is an underrated artist or a little known song. From ‘Yesterday” to ‘Cum On Feel The Noise’, Covers have earned a place in our musical culture not only as a novelty. Others can take a well-known song and take it to new heights. Mastodon has done some stellar covers (‘The Bit’ from Melvins, ‘Emerald’ by, Thin Lizzy) and has now added all-time classic rock anthem ‘Stairway to Heaven’ by Led Zeppelin to the mix. Done in tribute to their late manager Nick John on the Stairway To Nick (Reprise Records) 10″ single for Record Store Day 2019, since Nick was a massive Zep fan. Tragically he passed away after a bout with pancreatic cancer in 2018. Mastodon will donate the proceeds from this release to research for that very disease. You can actually say they did it “because Nick John would have wanted it that way”. And you’d be right. He’d be touched. Continue reading

Led Zeppelin’s Debut Album Turns 50

Led Zeppelin has few peers on record in their fiery but brief career. Born from the crowded blues-rock wave, post-British Invasion 1960s, the band expertly and cleverly guess the tastes and whims of the growing music world and capitalized on them. Long gestated in Jimmy Page’s brain as a way to create his own band with a distinct identity that could touch many music bases, but not be commercial and weak. Page created Led Zeppelin and the album Led Zeppelin I (Atlantic) on the back of years of writing, planning, and plotting. The marriage of Jimmy Page’s writing and Robert Plant’s voice, in particular, is the secret sauce of the album and the early era of the band and what makes their debut one of the all-time greats. Continue reading

Earthless – From the West

San Diego trio Earthless is no stranger to live recordings and From the West (Silver Current/Nuclear Blast), recorded just before the launch of last studio album Black Heaven (Nuclear Blast), seems to laud that album’s release and the band’s new deal with the larger label. Continue reading

Watch Robert Plant Perform A Bunch Of Led Zeppelin Songs In Concert

Robert Plant has a long-standing tradition of not playing many or any of the iconic Led Zeppelin songs from earlier in his career. In fairness to the legend, he doesn’t actually play his hits from his early solo career often either, rather choosing to perform tracks and covers from his most recent folk and Americana albums. So imagine the surprise of fans who turned up to see Robert on his current tour of the USA and got an earful of him doing as many nine Zep classics at once! Granted, they are not all in their original form. Some of them are new interpretations of older songs or from his Page & Plant-era unplugged style. Still, you might get choked up watching these fan-filmed videos, so break out the tissues! 2018 marks the 50th anniversary of the greatest rock band ever and there are many commemorative activities on tap such as a new coffee table illustrated book, and a rumored reunion show in 2019 at Glastonbury Festival.  Continue reading