Speaking Of Talent...

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by LSchefman, Apr 4, 2016.

  1. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    How on Earth did Jimmy Page have the talent to write, play, and freaking produce all those great Led Zeppelin tracks, some of the greatest ever in rock?

    Dude was/is a MONSTER.

    Thinking about that talent level is scary.
     
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  2. PRSAK

    PRSAK I am only an egg

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    Agree! Mr. Page is from another world. But I was just having similar thoughts about John Fogerty. I've been reading his autobiography and was struck by just how quickly that guy was able to put together songs. CCR recorded 3 top selling albums in 1969 alone and two more in 1970. Most of the songs from those albums are STILL classic rock staples. Just an incredible amount of music in a very short time span. And then he went on to do the "one man band" thing where he woodshedded to learn every instrument from drums to horns. (He played every instrument on Centerfield.) He obvioulsy wasn't a virtuoso on all of them but certainly passable. I think that dude has some serious talent!
     
  3. shinksma

    shinksma What? I get a title?

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    I play in a band with a couple of other folks that write excellent material. Not as famous as Jimmy Page, but really good stuff, IMHO.

    Every time I start to think about writing a song, I am daunted by the tall shadows of my collegues, and even more so the rest of the music business. Steven Wilson (Porcupine Tree, No-Man) looms quite large for me.

    I still scribble down my pathetic lyrics and music, but I realize I am an ant in a land of giants.

    I carry on because it is my own little bit of creativity. But I have a very keen sense of reality, and I have no delusions of grandeur.
     
  4. The Fight

    The Fight Long Hair Demigod

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    I noticed that on the album House Of The Holy, there's alot of cool studio tricks. Alot of which compliments and adds to the mystery that is Led Zeppelin. Jimmy Page has come a long way with his song structure and recording. Pure talent.
     
  5. Kazz

    Kazz Kaptain Kazz of the Triple Sickle Alliance

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    Don't forget that Jimmy Page started out that even on Led Zeppelin's first albums (significantly into his early career) they were still largely doing relatively simple blues staples and were not (in terms of songwriting) any kind of giants at that point.

    They worked on it though, probably had tons of ideas they never used, and soon grew into something more unique and (in my opinion) better.

    I think that what sets a lot of the greatest songwriters and musicians apart from many other talented people is their dedication and drive to keep pushing themselves and their music forward - along with talent and some luck, of course, but the study and work they put into learning instruments, songwriting techniques, studio tricks, and the time they spend working on each aspect of music production that they're interested in are what really let them get to another level.

    For example, beyond his own work, Steven Wilson spends time collaborating with and/or producing albums for other bands, and has even been remixing all of Jethro Tull's older albums for 40th Anniversay releases. I'm sure he's doing a lot of things I'm not even aware of.

    Not everyone has that much time or creative energy to put into music, but the main point is if you have even a little bit of talent and skill, you can build on that to the point where you can eventually be very good if you just keep working on it. :)
     
  6. shinksma

    shinksma What? I get a title?

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    Indeed, and that is partly what keeps me going.

    The other part that keeps me going is the surprises I occasionally give myself in what I write. Nothing earthshattering, but better that I ever would have expected when I was a younger man.
     
  7. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    However the extremely creative arrangements, the part-writing and the production values were really different at the time, too. I remember hearing the first album when it was released, and the thing tore my head off and got me really excited - it sounded so different from anything else out there. It was much less of a jam than, say, Hendrix or Cream, who were big at the time, and every note had clarity and purpose in the arrangement.

    That record was a game changer.

    That's great producing, top-of-your-game stuff, that only a great musical mind can do.
     
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  8. CVS

    CVS Not so new member

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    +1 & really like the songs they came up with that are in alternate tuning - amazing
     
  9. jfb

    jfb Plank Owner

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    I remember discovering Zeppelin as a kid. There's no doubt my interest in the band was fueled by Page. Artistic vision for days.
     
  10. Kazz

    Kazz Kaptain Kazz of the Triple Sickle Alliance

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    I wasn't there to get that feeling, but I've heard similar things from other sources and I do still enjoy those albums. What I was mostly talking about there was songwriting. Page, Plant and I'm sure the others got better at writing their own unique songs as time went on. :)

    Even by Led Zeppelin's first album though, Page had experience in other bands plus a lot of time in studios as a session player, so while he clearly has talent I still think that his experience and dedication are what allowed him to become truly great. :)
     
  11. NomadMike

    NomadMike New Member

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    I have to think that the frequency of album releases in the 60's may have forced a bit of creativity with some bands or at least allow performers to get several albums out when a band is at their creative peak.
     
  12. Rachmaninoff

    Rachmaninoff New Member

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    Yep, that's all true. However, he was a rather sloppy live player.
     
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  13. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    So you're saying he should have combed his hair, shined his shoes... ;)

    Seriously, I never cared about that. There are guys in tribute bands who can play the parts better live. So what.

    That's muscle memory stuff. It's not nearly the same as dreaming them up in the first place.
     
    #13 LSchefman, Apr 5, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2016
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  14. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    Um...no.

    I can only speak as a person with 26 years of studio experience writing, arranging, producing, and recording professionally, and that alone requires lots of dedication, and even a little talent. I've also worked with plenty of dedicated musicians who had some talent, and have guest lectured on this stuff at University level. I know lots of dedicated, experienced people with some level of talent.

    None of them, including me, have proven your theory correct. Quite the opposite. The ones I know with big talent are the ones who go on to do great things. The rest get to a certain level, and that's that.

    Very few folks have a talent for part writing - this is why Page got session calls in the first place, there are plenty of good players who can't create a solo melody to save their lives. Very few folks make great producers; at the top level you see the same names over and over, and there's a reason for that; it's because they're more talented and better at their jobs.

    Page only had a few years' experience under his belt, he was a kid, relatively speaking, when he did the Zep records.

    I've seen a lot of hard working, dedicated, experienced people come and go. Talent is the distinguishing factor. The ones who have it do things a little differently from the rest of us, the people with a modicum of talent who work hard for a long time, the lumpenproletariat of the world of music.

    Talent is something people are born with, it's not learned. And there is great talent, and smaller talent, and the differences between them are easily observable.

    Certainly talent can be brought out and informed by experience, it can be nurtured, but you either have it or you don't, and if you don't, you could be in the studio for a million years and not make a record as good as Zep's stuff that is still being listened to after nearly 50 (!) years.

    In the introduction to Rimsky-Korsakov's classic book on orchestration, he made the observation that he could teach you everything you need to know about orchestration (in addition to being a great composer and military officer, Korsakov taught in his later years at a university) but he could not teach you to be a composer, because that ability is something that can't be taught. That's as true now as it was in the 1890s when the work was published.
     
    #14 LSchefman, Apr 5, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2016
  15. Drew

    Drew New Member

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    I have to stomp on this a bit. The early Zep stuff was highly derivative and the chord progression to Stairway was most definately ripped. So, Jimmy as a "writer" is questionable. He came up with some pretty great stuff, though. But, so did John Paul Jones. I'd even suggest that without JPJ, Zep never achieves nearly what they did. He was the guy that really made that band go with his bass work and synth/organ stuff. Songs like Since I've Been Loving You would never have happened, nor would No Quarter or Kashmir...among many others. As a player, Jimmy was sloppy and haphazard. When I was a teenager, Jimmy was king. But, I admire players like Alex Lifeson way more these days.
     
  16. ozboy

    ozboy New Member

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    Led Zeppelin were a great band, but as usual singling out on individual slightly overstates the case. Robert Plants unique vocals were essential,to the sound, never mind the drumming. Some fantastic songs but I can't listen to led Zeppelin as much or as often as some other bands from the era. Saying that my cover band does a couple of led Zeppelin songs and I love them. As Les says a massively creative muso in that period. Clearly knew his way around a studio and excellent at arrangements.

    Whole lotta love one of my favorite songs. Gunna play it right now.
     
  17. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    I'm not claiming Page is the greatest all time anything, just marveling at how talented he was (and no doubt still is). I'd been listening to his work with Zep a lot lately. The more I learn during the course of my own musical journey, the more I've come to appreciate and respect the pioneering work of truly talented folks.

    I could make the same comment about many other musicians whose work I respect.
     
  18. IKnowALittle

    IKnowALittle New Member

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    Jimmy Page was a seminal musician. A huge influence, incredibly popular and a pioneer of rock.
    Any "greatest" or "best" list is by nature subjective, but this is Rolling Stone's "greatest" guitar list ...
    1. Hendrix
    2. Clapton
    3. Page
    4. Richards
    5. Beck

    Now a lot of folks enjoy denigrating Rolling Stone, and they certainly have there share of warts, but when you look at the people that complied that list, it's pretty difficult to argue their "bona-fides".
    The odd thing with Page is that when Zep dissolved, he pretty much dissolved with it. Really a shame ... for him and for us.
     
  19. Dusty Chalk

    Dusty Chalk alberngruppenf├╝hrer

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    There was a rumour that he was in tight with Satan...I personally don't believe in that stuff, but the rumour was there...

    Rain Song is one of my favourite examples of his brilliant writing -- the guitar evokes many different forms of rain cinematically throughout the song. I have never heard anything else like it.
     
  20. NomadMike

    NomadMike New Member

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    Page was in the right place, at the right time, with the right set of skills, the right people and a vision of what he wanted. LZ was not a happy accident like many bands but something that was really put together by one guy.
     

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