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A Music Blog (#29: How can it fly)

Posted April 27th, 2013 at 06:07 AM by bobandbill
Updated June 1st, 2013 at 06:48 AM by bobandbill

Another double blog, because in all honesty it is just hella hard to pick two songs out of the countless ones this band have made which have a guitar solo in them that sounds good. =p (Yes, that guitar solo theme is still going!)

Led Zeppelin is the choice today, and I'll start by saying there's still no Stairway to Heaven. Not because I don't think it's worthy - because it is - but I figure everyone else should know of this song by now. It's not the most played song on FM radio overall for nothing after all, but that alone means you've likely heard it. And if you haven't then you probably don't have access to a radio. :V

At any rate other songs that I would have quite easily put in may end up in this ages away anyways so! Let's start with the far longer of the two I suggested, a 10 minute epic with a fairly fitting name to match its length. I also wonder if you heard either of these before- might be interesting to know.


Alternate Link!
Lyrics:
Spoiler:
It was an April morning
When they told us we should go.
And as I turned to you you smiled at me
How could we say no?
Whoa the fun to have,
To live the dreams we've always had.
Whoa the songs to sing,
When we at last return again.

We swept New York a glancing kiss,
To those who claim they know.
Under the streets the steam and hiss,
The devil's in his hold.
Whoa to sail away,
Sandy lands and holidays.
Whoa to touch the dream,
Eyes inside have never seen yeah.

And to the sun the south the north,
Flocks of birds have flown.
The shackles of commitment fell,
In pieces on the ground.
Whoa to ride the wind,
To tread the air above the din.
Whoa to laugh aloud,
Dancing eyes above the crowd yeah.

Seek a man whose pointing hand,
A giant step unfolds.
Guide us from the curving path,
That churns up into stone.
If one bell should ring,
In celebration for a king.
So fast the heart should beat,
As proud for him who can’t be beat yeah.

Days went by when you and I,
Bathed in eternal summer's glow.
It's far away and distant,
A mutual time to grow.
Whoa the sweet refrain,
Soothes the soul and calms the pain.
Oh I'll here remain,
Sleeping now to rise again.

Wandering and wandering,
One place to rest the search.
Where the mighty arms of Atlas,
Hold the heavens from the Earth.

Where the mighty arms of Atlas,
Hold the heavens from the earth,
From the earth.

Where the mighty arms of Atlas,
Hold the heavens from the earth,
I know the way, know the way, know the way, know the way.
I know the way, know the way, know the way, know the way.

Where the mighty arms of Atlas
Hold the heavens from the earth
Ooooooohhh

The fitting name I speak of refers to Achilles - a greek hero who fought at Troy and was also the main character of Homer's Illiad, one of the first epic tales that's been recorded.

But there's a double meaning (or triple?). Achilles in the tale is undone by being stabbed in the leg/heel, perhaps in what is currently called the Achilles tendon (which on that note is a horrible thing to break). Robert Plant, the singer, had prior to the song broken his ankle - the song was apparently thought to be initially called The Wheelchair song. I think I prefer this title better.

As for the song itself! The beginning is... unique (and I like how it's also akin to the ending), and I feel a neat way to not only begin the song but the album it was on. A fade in riff followed by the guitar and drums just sets it up nicely. The vocals are nice and there's just the way Plant sings some lines that gets to you. It feels wrong to have the lyrics as they are rather than writing them how they are sung (The devil's in his ho-oo-oold~). And the guitar (and drums too) complements it well too. You have the weird guitar line after the 5th verse for instance that just joins it with the next one, and after the 6th (about 3:41) you have the solo. And it's a pretty good one from Jimmy Page, and for me the highlight of the song. You have shorter bits of guitar and drums interlaced throughout too, but that part is the pinnacle of the song.

The song as a whole just sounds like an epic should. Long but grand throughout.

If you're still here after that song, here's a change of pace now - an acoustic song! I think it shows the second side of the band rather well. The main version here is also live, and purposefully chosen as well - it's neat to watch them playing and also to see just how good they were live.


Alternate Link! (Album version...and also live - also worth a listen)
Lyrics:
Spoiler:
Spent my days with a woman unkind,
Smoked my stuff and drank of my wine.
Made up my mind to make a new start,
Going to California with an aching in my heart.
Someone told me there's a girl out there,
With love in her eyes and flowers in her hair.

Took my chances on a big jet plane,
Never let them tell you that they're all the same.
The sea was red and the sky was grey,
Wondered how tomorrow could ever follow today.
The mountains and the canyons started to tremble and shake,
As the children of the sun begin to awake.

Seems that the wrath of the gods,
Got a punch on the nose and it started to flow, I think I might be sinking.
Throw me a line if I reach it in time,
I'll meet you up there where the path runs straight and high.

To find a queen without a king,
They say she plays guitar and cries and sings.
Ride a white mare in the footsteps of dawn,
Tryin' to find a woman who's never never never been born.
Standing on a hill in my mountain of dreams,
Telling myself it's not as hard hard hard as it seems.

(For those interested, this was performed at the Earls Court Concert).

This song is part acoustic guitar, part mandolin. The main feature of that is I would say the way the guitar is played there. It sets the mood and is soothing... The most impressive thing I feel is that you could say in the live version it's as if at times he's purposefully playing wrong notes. Pay attention to how it sounds - it somehow can sound off in itself. And yet it sounds great all together.

And the vocals - and lyrics, for that matter - are pretty sweet too. The short version is that the song is about going to California to find a woman, but it doesn't go so well as planned - there's a sense of delusion, especially in the closing lines.

And of course, the video also documents a heck of a lot of hair. =p

I don't have much else to say on this, truth be told. Maybe I should just let the music do the talking.


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  1. Old Comment
    Bay Alexison's Avatar
    Quote:
    But there's a double meaning (or triple?). Achilles in the tale is undone by being stabbed in the leg/heel, perhaps in what is currently called the Achilles tendon (which on that note is a horrible thing to break). Robert Plant, the singer, had prior to the song broken his ankle - the song was apparently thought to be initially called The Wheelchair song. I think I prefer this title better.
    I know it more as Achilles Heel, but heel/tendon are the same thing I think. And lol The Wheelchair Song.

    Anyways, both great songs there! The hairstyle back then, haha.
    Posted May 1st, 2013 at 07:01 PM by Bay Alexison Bay Alexison is offline
  2. Old Comment
    bobandbill's Avatar
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Bay Alexison View Comment
    I know it more as Achilles Heel, but heel/tendon are the same thing I think. And lol The Wheelchair Song.

    Anyways, both great songs there! The hairstyle back then, haha.
    Same area of the leg at any rate, I suppose!

    I bet their hairstyles were also musically gifted.
    Posted May 8th, 2013 at 11:52 PM by bobandbill bobandbill is online now
 

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