The Song Remains the Same: Led Zeppelin

Rating: 90%

Led_Zeppelin_-_The_Song_Remains_the_SameSo, when I was younger I owned the cassettes to this sound track. Now, I own the DVD movie, the original vinyl, and the 2007 remaster CD set with unreleased songs of this concert. I no longer have the cassettes, they were lost many years ago.

Now, I’ve heard from both sides about the content of this live performance. Many people say it’s not their best because of the fact that many of the songs are drawn out. Or, because of the stardom has taken the band over. On the other end, I heard those in favor of this album say it’s one of Zeppelin’s best performances. Either way, this album has pros and cons. Forget about the movie. The movie was OK, but that’s what bands did back then before MTV. They were entertainers first, and not movie directors. Even “Let There Be Rock” by AD/DC has it’s slow parts during the interviews that makes no sense of the actual concert.

What I like about this album is Jimmy Page’s guitar solos and his performance. Forget about the fact that Robert Plant can’t hold a single note on here or keep up with the music. What Jimmy Page showcases is talent that is undeniable. He plays based upon feeling and not by perfection. John Paul Jones on is a talented bassist. His bass is clearly heard all over this performance. Then, you have John Bonham the master of the skins. His performance too is outstanding. It’s amazing to hear how in tuned he, John P. Jones, and Jimmy Page are playing together. This performance is almost a solo album for each of the musicians in so many ways. The improve of each musician is something that most bands can’t do today.

Track listing:

Side one
1. “Rock and Roll” 4:03
2. “Celebration Day” 3:49
3. “The Song Remains the Same” 6:00
4. “The Rain Song” 8:25
Side two
1. “Dazed and Confused” Page 26:53
Side three
1. “No Quarter” 12:30
2. “Stairway to Heaven” 10:58
Side four
1. “Moby Dick” 12:47
2. “Whole Lotta Love” 14:25

Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Man: The Bob Seger System

Rating: 90%

Ramblin'_Gamblin'_ManSo, I picked this album up for $3.00 and the vinyl was in great condition. As a younger person who was looking for content as a guitarist, this album did inspire me. I used to play the tape all the time as I learned to master several of the songs on here. It isn’t the Bob Seger that many people think. So take “Turn the Page” and “Beautiful Looser” and forget about that sound as this album has neither styles on it.

The year was 1969 and Detroit was rocking. Bob Seger and his band released their debut album “Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Man.” This album featured songs that are a melting pot of sorts. Seeing what worked and what didn’t work. It’s got Folk, it’s got Hard Rock, and it’s got Blues and yes, elements of Garage Rock which is a formation of Punk. It’s Psychedelic elements are very attractive. It’s got groove and funk as well as a dash of country. There’s a few atmospheric moments too!

The musicianship is very good. Bob Seger sounds out standing as a lead vocalist and guitarist. Don Honaker throws out some very groovy bass lines. Pep Perrine keeps the tempo and beats on the drums. The music structure features many mid paced tempos. Many of the songs are short coming in under three minutes. Musically, it’s a good collection of heavier style of music and it contains those elements of the softer sounds. Great riffs too. It’s a bit raw at times. 

Track listing:

1. “Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Man” 2:21
2. “Tales of Lucy Blue” 2:28
3. “Ivory” 2:23
4. “Gone” 3:28
5. “Down Home” 3:01
6. “Train Man” 4:06
7. “White Wall” 5:20
8. “Black Eyed Girl” 6:33
9. “2 + 2 = ?” 2:49
10. “Doctor Fine” 1:05
11. “The Last Song (Love Needs to Be Loved)” 3:04

Death Had No Name (The Lost Ep): Danzig

Rating: Priceless

R-2028854-1406389132-9792.jpegSo, I stumbled across this long lost ep of Danzig that is a bootleg from 1991. It contains the song “When Death Had No Name” with alternate lyrics. The B-side includes the Elvis cover “Trouble” and “Possession.” All three songs, one can more of the Blues influence coming out while Danzig begins loosing the Punk feel to his music as these are to be some of the earliest versions of the songs.

Although, the sound quality isn’t the best, this ep shines light on the making of three songs. All of which I have heard before. The earlier versions of the Elvis cover “Trouble” and “Possession” were released with the Samhain box set. Two versions of the “When Death Had No Name” were released on the Danzig Lost Tracks, and the 1993 version was released as a b-side on the single “Dirty Black Summer.” All three songs are very rough, raw, and dark. This to me is what makes this such a great piece of Danzig history. A small ep, but it packs one hell of a punch.

I have to admit, sound quality aside, I really like these versions of the songs. “When Death Had No Name” again features a totally different set of lyrics, but the tempo is much faster. It’s always a neat thing to hear a song progress from day one to it’s final cut in production. “Trouble” is cut from classic Elvis and is sung is Elvis fashion, but it retains some originality, as Danzig adopted this song and cut it to form his own song. Only Glen Danzig can do a song like this. “Possession” is another one that is pretty damn good.

Track listing:

A When Death Had No Name
B1 Trouble (Demo Version)
B2 Possession (Demo Version)

You and Me: Glenn Danzig & the Power and Fury Orchestra

Rating: 100%

danzig.jpgIn 1987, the Glenn Danzig did something different since Samhain was pretty much on hold. He contributed the song “You & Me” to the movie “Less Than Zero.” The results were big. Glenn vocals for the first time in the studio really shined. Using the influences of the likes of Elvis and Morrison, Glenn proved that he can not only do Punk music and Heavy Metal, but he could rock with other styles of music.

The vocal work is amazing. The song structure with the Power and Fury Orchestra is fantastic. The song itself, still remains somewhat dark in nature, but it’s so enlightening at the same time. This song also kind of sets the stage for the band Danzig and the direction that Glenn is going for.

In fact, the entire “Less than Zero” sound track is pretty good, even with Slayer performing “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” originally released by Iron Butterfly.

Black Hell: Danzig

Rating: 95%

DanzigBlackHell12Web.jpg“Black Hell” was released on the sound track for the 2011 movie “The Hangover Part II.”  It opens on a lone almost out of tune and heavily distorted guitar. Then Glenn’s classic low vocal style, almost to the point of a spoken word, comes in. Between the vocal and the guitar, the song becomes a very dark, eerie, and evil to listen to.

The lyrics are very dark. The music and song structure is also very dark. The song itself has a great slow and mid level tempo. The chorus has some outstanding harmony between the vocals and the music itself. This is classic Danzig at it’s best.

The Lost Tracks Of Danzig

Rating: 90%

LostTracksofDanzigIn 2007, Danzig released his compilation album “The Tracks.” This two CD set includes much material that wasn’t released or was featured as B-sides on singles. This compilation features songs from 1988-2004, covering the classic line up of Danzig’s debut to “Danzig 777 album.”

There’s a lot of good songs on here. Many of which, I think should have been released much earlier. But in 2007, it was worth the wait. So many changes in sounds that one can hear that covers Danzig’s career.

The most important piece on this set is the two tracks “When Death Had No Name.” You can hear how this song progressed from the earlier years to when it was released as a b-side to “Dirty Black Summer” single. I have heard this song numerous times performed live. “Cold Cold Rain” has a rich bluesy feeling to it that screams Elvis. “Lick the Blood Off My Hands” even begins with a nice blues riff. Aside from the Blues influence, there are some Industrial Metal sections on here that are very unique. The other “Deep” song that wasn’t released is really good.

Even the covers are done Danzig style. T. Rex’s “Buick McKane”, The Germs’ “Caught in My Eye” and David Bowie’s “Cat People” are so good that they should have been released on the Danzig’s covers album which is by far my least favorite album. These songs are as if they were written for Glenn himself.

These tracks are a great look into Danzig’s career. They showcase how talented Danzig is, and how much perfection goes into each album. These songs were considered as not throw a ways, but interrupted the flow of the the album they were written for. Again, lots of good material that is worthy.

Track listing:

Disc 1
“Pain Is Like an Animal”
“When Death Had No Name”
“Angel of the 7th Dawn”
“You Should Be Dying”
“Cold, Cold Rain”
“Buick McKane”
“When Death Had No Name”
“Satan’s Crucifiction”
“The Mandrake’s Cry”
“White Devil Rise”
“Come to Silver” (acoustic)
“Deep”
“Warlok”

Disc 2
“Lick the Blood Off My Hands”
“Crawl Across Your Killing Floor”
“I Know Your Lie”
“Caught in My Eye”
“Cat People”
“Bound by Blood”
“Who Claims the Soulless”
“Malefical”
“Soul Eater”
“Dying Seraph”
“Lady Lucifera”
“Under Belly of the Beast”
“Unspeakable Shango Mix “

Black Laden Crown: Danzig

Rating: 85%

Cover_of_Black_Laden_Crown_(2017)_by_DanzigThe man in black has returned with his most darkest and doomy record in years. That’s right, we’re talking about Glenn Danzig with Danzig’s “Black Laden Crown.” I have been a major Danzig fan for years, ever since his first solo record came out way back in 1988. How I miss the classic line up. But, many of those records since the break up of the classic line up have been fairly good.

“Black Laden Crown” is not a bad album, but it does contain flaws in the production of the overall sound. At times, the instrumentation is drowned out by the vocal work. Other times, the vocals are so low, that the music itself drowns out Glenn.

So what about the musicians itself. This is where if production was better, this album could be a great album. You have the mighty Glenn Danzig on vocals. He still has range, but his voice is showing his age. But that is expected. The man is in his 60’s. He also contributes to the album by playing drums on tracks 2, 4, and 7 as well as bass, guitar and piano. Tommy Victor has returned to the lead guitar spot as well as playing bass. As far as the drum spot, this is where this album gets exciting. Aside from Glenn playing drums you have Joey Castillo on tracks 3 and 8, Johnny Kelly on tracks 1 and 5, Dirk Verbeuren on track 6, and Karl Rosqvist closing out the album on track 9.

Song structures are a bit slower and heavier than the previous Danzig albums. It features a ton of solos and some really good riffs. Some of which are catchy. The snapping of the thumbs in the beginning and first verse of “Last Ride” is awesome. I like the fast paced tempo of “Devil on Hwy 9.” “But a Nightmare” and “Skulls & Daisies” both feature great riffs, solos, and vocal work. “But a Nightmare” has some awesome drum work.

So, the seven year period without new real Danzig is over. I looked forward to this release as I do his next. Was the wait worth it? In my opinion….yes! It was.

Track listing:

“Black Laden Crown” – 5:59
“Eyes Ripping Fire” – 4:19
“Devil On Hwy 9” – 3:52
“Last Ride” – 4:59
“The Witching Hour” – 5:59
“But a Nightmare” – 5:04
“Skulls & Daisies” – 3:58
“Blackness Falls” – 5:47
“Pull the Sun” – 5:54