Classic Rock Review

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Jimmy Page & The Black Crowes Live At The Greek (2000)


Review Possibly the best “live” album ever released. Even better than The Song Remains The Same. This is Led Zeppelin live as they’ve never been heard! What started as a one-off fund rasier in London grew to what is now a full fledged tour. Why? Because this band belongs in the Rock’N’Roll Hall Of Fame now!

You’ve never heard Zep songs this lush in a live setting. The Crowes have the Zep songs down pat (I’ve read that they sat around listening to all the Zep albums). From the first note to the last, what a treat. All the force of Zep plus two other guitars and a keyboard player.

Highlights from the Zep catalog include Ten Years Gone, with a slow bluesy guitar romp that’s incredible; Jimmy’s slide guitar on In My Time Of Dying is stupendous and wait until you hear the organ intro and outro on Your Time Is Gonna Come, it’ll make you cry it’s so sweet. And That’s just the first disc!

The Lemon Song opens side two with all the gut=wrenching blues of the first Zep album rolled into one song; and then the three guitar attack of Nobody’s Fault But Mine just absolutely ignites the song like never before; and then there’s the Out On The Tiles/Whole Lotta Love Medley that finishes the album will leave you wishing that you had been there.

Then there’s the other cover tunes(problems with Sony keep most of the Crowes tune off the album which is disappointing because Rich Robinson’s best solos are on them, i.e., Remedy, No Speak No Slave), Shape Of Things is done ala Jeff Beck Group with the lead solo done Yardbirds (? ); BB King’s Woke Up This Morning will definitely wake you up with it’s foot stopmin’ pace and Jimmy rips this solo out that shreds!

The slide guitar battles on Sloppy Drunk are incredible (more shredding), not to mention Willie Dixon’s Mellow Down Easy and the Mac’s Oh Well are equally awesome. Too bad they take after Pearl Jam and have soundboards available for every show. The textures of the Zep songs will please even those who don’t buy live albums because the sound too different from the record(cd) will enjoy these discs.

This release suparses the musicmaker Excess All Areas as there aren’t any gaps in between the songs. The only disappointment is that both shows weren’t released in their entirety (the shows were recorded Oct. 18 & 19. 1999) If you love loud hard guitar based music then this is an absolute must have collection.

Review For many people, Jimmy Page IS the soul of Led Zep. Back in 1999, after finishing his world tour with Robert Plant – he went on tour with the Black Crowes presumably to fill the hole in the soul. And you know what? The combination worked.

I had no idea what to expect when I heard that the two had teamed up. The Black Crowes? All I knew was their cover “Hard to Handle” and “Shake Your Money Maker.” So the real reason for me buying this may have been Jimmy Page – but it takes two to tango – and incredibly, the Black Crowes made a perfect fit.

Live At The Greek is a trip into the heady past of Zep and its roots. Chris Robinson doesn’t have quite the same range as Plant – but comes close surprisingly in spirit and feel. Surprisingly, he feels like a young Plant bursting out of the gates. It’s not easy singing any Zep song, but Robinson does his best in hitting the high notes. He succeeds on most tracks -like Celebration Day, Out on the Tiles, Sick Again, Custard Pie -but he kinda flops on Heartbreaker. (That’s a minor foible though) The band just rocks though and never lets up – twin guitars playing Zep and the blues – creating a full on sound that even Zep couldn’t do in its later touring years.

Ironically, the Page-Black Crowes combination evokes much of Zep’s early years precisely because of the straight arrangements and the blues covers. More so than Page-Plant could really do. Of course there’s no substitute for the real thing, but you can’t blame a guy like Jimmy Page for jamming the world’s greatest rock songs can you?

June 15, 2013 - Posted by | Jimmy Page & The Black Crowes Live At The Greek | ,

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