20 Awesome Albums That Critics Initially Hated

(via Yardbarker) By Matt Sulem

Jan. 12 marks the anniversary of the historic release of Led Zeppelin’s self-titled debut album, also known as “Led Zeppelin I.” Now ranked among the greatest rock records ever made, “Led Zeppelin” actually wasn’t initially received well by critics. However, as you’ll soon see, many now-iconic records also didn’t get the warm welcome you might have expected from critics. And back before anyone with an internet connection could be a published music writer, major publications held a lot of power, and a couple of bad reviews could really damage a band or artist (one reason why the list tends to skew older). With that, here are 20 awesome albums that critics initially hated…

Read more: https://www.yardbarker.com/entertainment/articles/20_awesome_albums_that_critics_initially_hated/s1__28172303#slide_1


As much as I might agree that critics were about as off the mark as could be on albums like Abbey Road and Blood on the Tracks, I have a few further thoughts on the topic.

While you may (with sight not afforded the critic appraising new music) recognize AC/DC as a great “classic rock” band, actually it’s hard to argue with Billy Altman’s description of them as  “two guitars, bass and drums all goose-stepping together in mindless three-chord formations”.

I mean, that’s the point of AC/DC, right?

And while McCartney’s Ram sounds in retrospect like a classic and a predecessor to indie pop, perhaps we needed indie pop to come along to form that consensus.

But fresh on the heels of the full band polish and meticulous George Martin production of late-period Beatles’ releases, how could it not sound spare and undeveloped?

The bottom line is that the appreciation of music (or lack thereof) is subjective and never takes place in a vacuum. It’s all about context.

If you as a listener hadn’t (presumably) grown up in a world that generally reveres “classic” rock–and rightly so in most cases–you could likely be convinced AC/DC is annoying if your ears prefer the relative subtlety and sheen of Fleetwood Mac.

Just as you could be persuaded that Fleetwood Mac have no balls because they lack the testosterized swagger of AC/DC.

The critic has to walk out on the limb, so to speak. Has to make his judgment without benefit of hindsight, with the past as his only context. It’s an impossible job, really.

I think Blood on the Tracks would have become near and dear to me regardless of anyone else’ opinion of it. But then again, if I hadn’t come across the album at a time when I was experiencing the same kind of pain Dylan was writing about–who knows? Maybe he would have sounded annoying.

I just think it’s possible to both see how obviously these critics missed the mark (and later recanted/reappraised) and see some truth in their original words. To some degree, both things can be true at once.

How a Car Accident Began a Run of Bad Luck For Robert Plant

(via Ultimate Classic Rock) by Michael Gallucci

Robert Plant and his family were vacationing on Aug. 4, 1975 in Rhodes, Greece, when the car he was driving spun off the road and crashed. It was the first in a string of bad luck moments for the Led Zeppelin singer.

The band was on a short break and in between tour dates when Plant, along with his wife and children, took a trip to the Greek island of Rhodes. They rented a car, which Plant lost control of and crashed. The accident left Plant and his wife Maureen injured; his kids escaped with just a few bruises…

Read More: How a Car Accident Began a Run of Bad Luck For Robert Plant | https://ultimateclassicrock.com/robert-plant-car-accident/?utm_source=tsmclip&utm_medium=referral

Video of the Week: What You Should Know About Spirit vs Led Zeppelin

An excellent wider-picture exposition of what is at issue in the recently concluded lawsuit involving Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven” and Spirit’s “Taurus”.

Certain snarky newsfeed sites have portrayed the ruling in favor of Led Zeppelin as a good thing, and the lawsuit by the estate of Randy California as a bit of a classless money grab. We encourage you to take in the contents of TJR’s exceptionally well-done YouTube video before making up your mind.

Ten Artists Sounding Uncannily Similar to Other Artists


Welcome to our little homage to musical homage. The following ten artists, whether by willful attempt or sheer happenstance, managed to pull off amazingly credible imitations of more notable musical acts. They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. We’ll let you decide:

Dave Kerzner: “Stranded”

This Dark Side-era Pink Floyd sound-alike couldn’t possibly have happened by accident. Kerzner’s 2014 New World album, though it literally and figuratively shows its influences on its sleeve, is actually an outstanding progressive rock record in its own right. But “Stranded”, more than any song I’ve ever heard, shows an artist who’s assimilated the Floydian musical vocabulary.



Lissie: “Further Away (Romance Police)”

Late-70’s Fleetwood Mac is revisited by singer-songwriter Lissie, complete with the Lindsey Buckingham guitar and Stevie Nicks vocals.


Ali Thomson: “Take a Little Rhythm”

You may remember this #15 hit from 1980. If so, you almost surely thought it was Paul McCartney because it perfectly mimicked the sound of his late-70’s hits, not to mention the Tom Scott sax solo of “Listen to What the Man Said” and the prominence of the bass guitar in the mix. And also because who the hell is Ali Thomson?


Jeremy Fisher: “Scar That Never Heals”

With all the stories floating around about Paul Simon cribbing musically from other artists it’s good to see another singer so “inspired” by Paul. Or so it sounds to me.



Kingdom Come: “Get it On”

This one’s just brazen. From John Bonham’s thunderous drum sound to Robert’s Plant’s wail to a riff that, to say the very least, “evokes” Led Zeppelin’s “Kashmir”…come on, guys. I mean, that sound is taken. Get your own.


Tyler Ramsey: “Stay Gone”

Neil Young is channeled on this one, though it’s not clear if Tyler Ramsey consciously does so. I hear echoes here of some of young Neil’s early 70’s tunes such as “Winterlong”.



Band of Horses: “Long Vows”

Again with the Neil Young! Band of horses sound like they got hold of a Zuma outtake here. In a good way.


UNSPECIFIED - CIRCA 1970: Photo of Simon and Garfunkel Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Kings of Convenience: “Homesick”

The Norwegian duo known as Kings of Convenience capture the close harmonies and intimate spare sound of “Scarborough Fair”-period Simon & Garfunkel on this one. Or as their own words in this very song describe it “two soft voices, blended in perfection”.


Accept: “Balls to the Wall”

It seems in the world of 80’s metal you could scrape out a bit of a career merely by imitating an iconic act. Since their red hot career has presumably cooled off by now (unless like Spinal Tap they’re enjoying a revival in Japan) I wonder if it’s occurred to no-hit wonder Accept–and to the previously mentioned Kingdom Come for that matter–that there’s always a living to be made as a tribute band? Who could better fill the AC/DC void now that Brian Johnson has called it quits?



Tin Tin: “Toast and Marmalade for Tea”

In case you’re not conversant with late-60’s pop, or old enough to remember that the Bee Gees had quite a successful career before anyone had ever heard of disco, Aussie duo Tin Tin was pretty much exactly what the Gibb brothers sounded like from about 1968 to ’72. It’s not a shock that Maurice Gibb produced the quaint “Toast and Marmalade for Tea”, Tin Tin’s only U.S. top 40 hit and a long-forgotten chestnut. It carries the stately sound of contemporaneous Bee Gees hits such as “Lonely Days” and “I’ve Gotta Get a Message to You”.

Led Zeppelin is going to trial for allegedly lifting the opening chords to ‘Stairway to Heaven’


(via The Week)

Led Zeppelin’s 1971 classic “Stairway to Heaven” is taking them straight to court. A U.S. judge ruled Friday that the song has “substantial” enough similarities to the instrumental piece “Taurus,” written by the band Spirit in 1967, that a jury should decide whether Led Zeppelin’s members are liable for copyright infringement…

Read more: http://theweek.com/speedreads/617902/led-zeppelin-going-trial-allegedly-lifting-opening-chords-stairway-heaven

Flashback: Jimmy Page Forms Short-Lived Supergroup With Members of Yes

page chris

(via Rolling Stone)

by Andy Greene

The very early 1980s was a scary and confusing times for many rock gods of the previous decade. This new thing called MTV was turning oddball British acts like Kajagoogoo, Adam Ant, Culture Club and Haircut 100 into overnight stars, and 1970s stadium rock giants like the Who, the Eagles, Wings, Emerson, Lake and Palmer, Led Zeppelin and Yes were breaking up with stunning regularity. What do you do when you’re in your early thirties and all of a sudden your band is gone and nobody wants a 10-minute drum solo?

Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/videos/flashback-jimmy-page-forms-short-lived-supergroup-with-members-of-yes-20150804#ixzz3hyKFFOF3

Video of the Week: Student Musicians Rock Zeppelin

“Too good not to share”, wrote Jimmy Page when he posted this video of his Facebook page.

As its 3 million + views attest, the medley of Led Zeppelin classics, played by a group of young percussionists taught by Diane Downs, is indeed too good not to share.

Drumming Great Bernard Purdie and his ‘Purdie Shuffle’

Bernard Purdie is the most recorded drummer in the world, having played on over 4,000 albums. In the above video he demonstrates the “Purdie Shuffle”, a pattern he came up with as a youngster and inspired by the pushing/pulling dynamics of a train.

We’ve all heard variations of the Purdie Shuffle, even if we didn’t realize it had a name. Bernard himself played it on Steely Dan’s “Home at Last”, from their Aja album:

Jon Bonham employed a variant on Led Zeppelin’s “Fool in the Rain”, from the final album he recorded with the band prior to his death in 1980, In Through the Out Door.

More recently, Death Cab for Cutie used the beat on the song “Grapevine Fires”. In deference to Purdie, Death Cab drummer Jason McGerr resists calling his work on the song a Purdie Shuffle. As he told the New York Times recently: “It doesn’t matter how much I practice, I will never play that shuffle like Purdie. It’s because he has an attitude that seems to come through every time. He always sounds like he’s completely in charge.”

Sounds like a fair approximation to me, though I’ll admit that’s from a non-drummer’s point of view.

And finally, the late, great Jeff Porcaro created his own variant for Toto’s “Rosanna”. Porcaro’s pattern, said to combine the Purdie Shuffle and the Bo Diddley beat, has itself become known as the “Rosanna Shuffle”.

There’s a Bustle in my Hedgerow

Pie Chart to Heaven


Led Zeppelin to Visit ‘Letterman’

(Reprinted from Rolling Stone)

No word whether rockers will perform on December 3rd show

John Paul Jones, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant of Led  Zeppelin will visit the Late Show With David Letterman when the  show broadcasts from Washington D.C. on December 3rd. The rockers, along  with Letterman, are among  the recipients of this year’s Kennedy Center Honors, which take place  December 2nd. There’s no word on if the band will play on the show.

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