Long the centrepiece for the group at Led Zeppelin concerts, at least through the release of “Whole Lotta Love” from their second album, “Dazed And Confused” was usually played at a slower overall tempo, and gradually extended in duration as a multi-section improvised jam.
Their show at Inglewood, California on March 27, 1975 gave the audience the longest version the band ever played. Grab a coffee, folks, it’s 45 minutes long.
In his 1997 publication Led Zeppelin Live: An Illustrated Exploration of Underground Tapes, Luis Rey dissects the pattern of the song (as it was in 1975) into twelve sections, in order to demonstrate its gradual state of evolution when played live:
Stage 1: Bass intro and wah-wah interludes
Stage 2: Main vocal theme
Stage 3: Fast instrumental and ‘oriental’ riffs
Stage 4: “San Francisco/Achilles Last Stand” or “Woodstock”
Stage 5: Violin bow episode including echo-slapping from the guitar; interlude with Plant’s ‘instrumental voice’; Gustav Holst’s Mars, the Bringer of War and return of the rhythm section
Stage 6: Fast guitar solo and battle with Plant
Stage 7: Slower tempo solo and ‘funky’ moods
Stage 8: Violent breaks and call and response interlude
Stage 9: Faster solo in crescendos and occasional break-up tempo
Stage 10: New arrangement of Mars, the Bringer of War (slow and fast versions) and final frenzy
Stage 11: Return to main theme
Stage 12: Coda. Final instrumental and vocal battle inside syncopated rhythms, drum-solo and final explosion
The Downward Spiral, the magnificent second album from Trent Reznor, aka Nine Inch Nails, features 14 recordings showcasing Reznor’s rich, emotive voice and some of the strongest and melodic negative energy ever put on wax. Its creation, its impact and the traumatic past and present of Reznor is all there to hear. It not only crysalized everything Reznor might have felt about his past, but it changed his future to something he fought against for years – a household name. It’s hard to believe 20 years has passed since the release of the album, so let’s take a look at 20 Facts about The Downward Spiral.
1. Co-produced by Trent Reznor and Flood (U2, Depeche Mode,) The Downward Spiral was conceived after the Lollapalooza 1991 festival tour as a human release for the negative energy felt in the concerts.
2. His record label, TVT, also had him angry, so Reznor co-founded Nothing Records with his former manager John Malm, Jr. and signing with Interscope for distribution. This was pivotal, as Reznor could now take all the time he wanted to record the album without record label suits watching him.
3. Reznor was so depressed that his friends suggested that he should be on Prozac. Reznor felt it would be better to channel the energy into his music.
4. Reznor began renting a house at 10050 Cielo Drive, Benedict Canyon, Los Angeles in Beverly Hills, California to record the album in 1992 and had a recording studio built inside.
5. This was the same house Charles Manson visited in late 1968, when it was occupied by couple Terry Melcher (the son of actress Doris Day) and Candice Bergen with roommate/talent manager Roger Hart. In February 1969, Roman Polanski and his wife Sharon Tate began renting the home from Altobelli. On August 9, 1969, the home became the scene of the murders of Tate, Wojciech Frykowski, Abigail Folger, Jay Sebring and Steven Parent at the hands of the Manson “Family.”
6. Reznor’s home studio, dubbed Pig (sometimes called Le Pig) is a reference to murderer Susan Atkins writing “Pig” in Tate’s blood on the front door of the house.
7. In December 1993, Reznor was confronted by Patti Tate, who asked if he was exploiting Sharon Tate’s death in the Tate house. In an interview with Rolling Stone, Reznor recalled:
While I was working on [The] Downward Spiral, I was living in the house where Sharon Tate was killed. Then one day I met her sister [Pattie Tate]. It was a random thing, just a brief encounter. And she said: ‘Are you exploiting my sister’s death by living in her house?’ For the first time, the whole thing kind of slapped me in the face. I said, ‘No, it’s just sort of my own interest in American folklore. I’m in this place where a weird part of history occurred.’ I guess it never really struck me before, but it did then. She lost her sister from a senseless, ignorant situation that I don’t want to support. When she was talking to me, I realized for the first time, ‘What if it was my sister?’ I thought, ‘Fuck Charlie Manson.’ I went home and cried that night. It made me see there’s another side to things, you know?
8. That same studio was also used for the recording of Marilyn Manson’s debut album Portrait of an American Family, which Reznor co-produced. Marilyn Manson was the first band other than Nine Inch Nails to sign with Nothing Records.
9. Adrian Belew, who played in several bands, including King Crimson and the live band for David Bowie, recorded what became the odd ending of “Mr. Self Destruct,” the opening song of the album.
10. In 1996, a remix of “Mr. Self Destruct” (“The Art of Self Destruction, Part 2″) was used in a Levi’s television advertisement, which was directed by David Fincher. Reznor and Fincher would later collaborate for the soundtracks to the films The Social Network and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
11. The frantic drumming “Piggy” is Reznor’s only attempt at performing drums on the record, and one of the few “live” drum performances on the album. The recording was from him testing the microphone setup in studio, but he liked the sound too much not to include it.
12. Go on, YOU try drums for “March of the Pigs” with it’s unusual meter. It alternates three bars of 7/8 time with one bar of 8/8 time, making in effect, a 29/8 time signature. The song’s Beats Per Minute? 269.
13. 13 years after its release, “March Of The Pigs” debuted at #9 and peaked at #6 on the Canadian Singles Chart. Chalk it up to record stores carrying the physical single CD again.
14. “Closer”‘s drum track features a heavily modified bass drum sample from the Iggy Pop song “Nightclubbing” from his album The Idiot. In 2006, “Closer” was voted number one in a VH1 Classic poll titled “20 Greatest Music Videos of All Time.” Strangely enough, Paul Shaffer and the CBS Orchestra have played it a number of times on the Late Show with David Letterman.
15. Senator Bob Dole, then head of the Republican Party, sharply criticized Time Warner (who distributed the album) after a meeting between Michael J. Fuchs (head of the Warner Music Group), William Bennett, and C. Delores Tucker, at which Tucker and Bennett demanded that Fuchs recite lyrics from “Big Man with a Gun” because they thought the lyrics were an attack on the United States Government. Reznor denied any political interest, and that “Big Man With A Gun” was a satire of the gangster rap genre.
16. “Hurt” received a Grammy Award nomination for Best Rock Song in 1996 but lost to Alanis Morissette’s “You Oughta Know”.
17. In 2002, Johnny Cash covered the song for his album, American IV: The Man Comes Around. Not only did Cash remove the swear words in the song, but he used his tone more directly to reference Christ and Cash’s devout Christianity. Its accompanying video, featuring images from Cash’s life and directed by Mark Romanek, was named the best video of the year by the Grammy Awards and CMA Awards, and the best video of all time by NME in July 2011. The cover was released on a single with the B-side ‘Personal Jesus’, a cover of the Depeche Mode single.
18. When Trent Reznor was asked if Cash could cover his song, Reznor said he was “flattered” but worried that “the idea sounded a bit gimmicky.” He became a fan of Cash’s version, however, once he saw the music video.
“I pop the video in, and wow… Tears welling, silence, goose-bumps… Wow. [I felt like] I just lost my girlfriend, because that song isn’t mine anymore… It really made me think about how powerful music is as a medium and art form. I wrote some words and music in my bedroom as a way of staying sane, about a bleak and desperate place I was in, totally isolated and alone. [Somehow] that winds up reinterpreted by a music legend from a radically different era/genre and still retains sincerity and meaning — different, but every bit as pure.”
19. Before the Columbine High School massacre, two Columbine High School student mass murderers Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold referenced lyrics from Nine Inch Nails multiple times in their journals, with the latter specifically naming The Downward Spiral as a symbol of his depression.
20. The critics loved the record from the start. Entertainment Weekly says “Reznor’s pet topics (sex, power, S&M, hatred, transcendence) are all here, wrapped in hooks that hit your psyche with the force of a blowtorch.” Rolling Stone gave the album five out of five stars and called it “a powerful statement, and one of the landmark albums of the Nineties.” The album entered the Billboard 200 at number two and was certified quadruple platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America for shipments of four million copies in the United States.
Meredith Shaw visited and performed at the Music Canada office today! Meredith played a short set of songs from her new EP, ‘Hardest Goodbye,’ including the title track and ‘Slide.’ A few dozen people took in the mid-afternoon set including the neighbours from the Liberty Village business community.
‘Hardest Goodbye’ is Meredith’s second EP in a series of three 3-song EP recordings, and was released just yesterday via eOne Music Canada. The EP was produced by John-Angus Macdonald of the multi-platinum certified band The Trews, and follows 2013’s release of ‘Trouble,’ which was produced by acclaimed artist Joel Plaskett.
Via Music Canada
Here’s your first Look At Andre Benjamin as Jimi Hendrix in ‘All is By My Side’ clip. Don’t expect to hear Jimi’s music in All Is By My Side – the Hendrix Estate did not participate in the making of the film.
The movie will be screened at SXSW next week and is set for release later this year.
In celebration of the 21st anniversary of Frente’s Marvin The Album, Angie Hart and Simon Austin are heading out on their first full national headline tour since 1997.
Visiting Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane and Perth and making regional visits to Castlemaine and Lismore, Frente will perform Marvin from beginning to end, as it appears on the original Australian release. The encore will also feature the US cuts and a selection of fan favourites. A double CD anniversary edition of the album will also be released on May 16 featuring a fully remastered version of the album plus the long-out-of-print Whirled and Clunk EPs and bonus tracks from the Marvin era.
Frente’s Marvin The Album 21st anniversary shows:
Thursday, May 22 – Playhouse, Arts Centre, Melbourne
Friday, May 23 – Playhouse, Arts Centre, Melbourne
Saturday, May 24 – Theatre Royal, Castlemaine
Friday, May 30 – The Basement, Sydney
Saturday, May 31 – The Basement, Sydney
Friday, June 6 – The Gov, Adelaide
Saturday, June 7 – The Astor, Perth
Friday, June 27 – Star Court Theatre, Lismore
Saturday, June 28 – Powerhouse Theatre, Brisbane
Source: Faster Louder