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The 100 greatest songs of 1971 #1 “When the Levee Breaks” Led Zeppelin


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And that’s all, folks! The entire list can be found in the OP. I appreciate everyone who took the time to read this, and feel free to comment or criticize.  I had so much fun with this I might have

59. Ten Years After “I’d Love to Change the World” (from A Space In Time) https://youtu.be/BYRTK62pVWQ Though a few of the lyrics are politically incorrect, the overall theme of this song mi

9. Elton John “Tiny Dancer” (from Madman Across the Water)  https://youtu.be/aqlGlaNlcWE Turns out @wikkidpissah’s fear was correct; the top ten would indeed include an Almost Famous moment!

11 minutes ago, Ghost Rider said:

Wow, I am majorly jealous.  I did see them in '94 at Arrowhead Stadium in KC, so I have that at least. :P

I was just getting into Floyd at the time, so I didn’t recognize the greatness of the performance until Delicate Sound of Thunder was subsequently released.

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4 minutes ago, zamboni said:

I was just getting into Floyd at the time, so I didn’t recognize the greatness of the performance until Delicate Sound of Thunder was subsequently released.

I still wish they would get off their butts and give Delicate Sound of Thunder a proper DVD/Blu-ray release.  The new Later Years release from the same tour is making the rounds now and it is cool, but those specific performances from DSoT are so ingrained in my head. :cool:

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2 minutes ago, Ghost Rider said:

I still wish they would get off their butts and give Delicate Sound of Thunder a proper DVD/Blu-ray release.  The new Later Years release from the same tour is making the rounds now and it is cool, but those specific performances from DSoT are so ingrained in my head. :cool:

Agreed - the version of Great Gig In The Sky with the three backup singers is outstanding too.

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I hadn't mentioned this before but my best friend in high school and I used to argue what the best year for music was. I said 1969 and he said 1971. 

He was probably right.

It's been fun agreeing and disagreeing with your picks!  

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9 minutes ago, zamboni said:

Agreed - the version of Great Gig In The Sky with the three backup singers is outstanding too.

And, don't get me wrong, Pulse is awesome, but Delicate Sound of Thunder not only has (what I consider) the definitive versions of One of These Days and Sorrow, but has some of the A Momentary Lapse... songs that weren't played at the Pulse show (On the Turning Away, One Slip).

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20 minutes ago, Ghost Rider said:

I still wish they would get off their butts and give Delicate Sound of Thunder a proper DVD/Blu-ray release.  The new Later Years release from the same tour is making the rounds now and it is cool, but those specific performances from DSoT are so ingrained in my head. :cool:

They did. It was part of The Later Years Box set. It came out in December. IIRC, they added in the missing songs and provided full versions of songs that were shortened. On DVD and Blu-ray.

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1 hour ago, Just Win Baby said:

The edited Joy to the World single was released in February 1971. I understood your criteria to be that the songs were released as either album or single in 1971.

 

Right but it’s edited not really a different version. Had it been a significantly different version it would have made the list. 

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2 hours ago, zamboni said:

I was at that show :thumbup:

Saw them twice on that tour. I saw PF, The Who, and the Stones that summer, all outdoor shows in Carter-Finley stadium, all within the first 10 rows on the field. Great shows. 

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11 hours ago, [scooter] said:

It wasn't a blues "standard" -- it was incredibly obscure, actually. It was released on an a 78 RPM record in 1929, then went out of print and was virtually unknown for the next 35 years. Nobody else covered the song. Then, the original version was included on an obscure compilation album which was only released in the USA, but somehow a copy found its way to Birmingham, England, where it eventually ended up in the possession of Robert Plant.

Here is the original version

Here is an early version by Zep

That is really cool. Listening to both of those, it's easy to appreciate how Bonham's drums made that a completely different song. And it makes me wanna put on my old denim jacket with the Led Zep patches and talk about how Page was a rock god. Wish I could've seen them in concert.

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2 hours ago, Mr. Mojo said:

I hadn't mentioned this before but my best friend in high school and I used to argue what the best year for music was. I said 1969 and he said 1971. 

He was probably right.

It's been fun agreeing and disagreeing with your picks!  

So, fire up a 1969 thread!

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3 hours ago, Ghost Rider said:

Yep, this thread was a fun read. Music threads are always the best. :yes:

@Just Win Baby, as much as I love Pink Floyd, I am not keen on the original version of One of These Days.  I think the later live versions done by the band in the late 80's and 1994 were far better.

As someone who almost always liked studio versions, PFs live Pompeii version of Echoes made me convert, for that song at least.

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2 hours ago, timschochet said:

Right but it’s edited not really a different version. Had it been a significantly different version it would have made the list. 

But it was the hit version and was released in 1971.  :wall:

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22 hours ago, squistion said:

Then it should be entitled Tim's 100 Greatest Songs of 1971 not holding it out as the definitive list for that year from also a popular and critical standpoint. 

You really don’t get this or are you trolling Tim for some reason?

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20 hours ago, squistion said:

Yes, you did.

This list is incredibly arbitrary, songs are all from 1971, except those that aren't. There are no live versions, except those that are. Songs included because they have California in the name. 

Is this guy real or is this some kind of Andy Kaufman performance art?

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2 hours ago, Dr. Octopus said:

Is this guy real or is this some kind of Andy Kaufman performance art?

No, he is just a guy who has no interest in having fun with the thread or taking it easy. Everything is a battle with him.  He's even going in this thread at Tim, who seems to be one of the few in P/R who tolerates him.

INB4 he reports me. :P

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8 hours ago, Leroy Hoard said:

As someone who almost always liked studio versions, PFs live Pompeii version of Echoes made me convert, for that song at least.

Have you seen the performance of Echoes from Gilmour's live release from around '07-ish?  Richard Wright was part of his touring band and they played all of Echoes.  Unbelievably awesome performance.  That version from Pompeii is tremendous as well.

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7 minutes ago, Ghost Rider said:

Have you seen the performance of Echoes from Gilmour's live release from around '07-ish?  Richard Wright was part of his touring band and they played all of Echoes.  Unbelievably awesome performance.  That version from Pompeii is tremendous as well.

That was from Gilmour’s concert in Gdańsk. I drafted that in the desert island draft. Might indeed be the very best version of Echoes there is outside the original. 

Edited by zamboni
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6 minutes ago, zamboni said:

That was from Gilmour’s concert in Gdańsk. I drafted that in the desert island draft. Might indeed be the very best version of Echoes there is outside the original. 

True that.  I was zoning out on the name of the DVD/Blu-ray release, but good call. :hifive:

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On 5/29/2020 at 11:36 PM, squistion said:

Yes, you did.

This list is incredibly arbitrary, songs are all from 1971, except those that aren't. There are no live versions, except those that are. Songs included because they have California in the name. 

GOOD GAWD you are a pleasure.

@timschochet really enjoyed this thread.  Appreciate the hard word and time to put it together.  It was a pleasure to follow even if you made numerous errors.

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On 5/30/2020 at 10:48 AM, Anarchy99 said:

They did. It was part of The Later Years Box set. It came out in December. IIRC, they added in the missing songs and provided full versions of songs that were shortened. On DVD and Blu-ray.

Sorry, I meant to reply this yesterday, but got distracted replying to another post. :)

I remember hearing that it was included in that box set, but it is crazy expensive, and as much as I want it, I don't want it so bad where I am willing to grab my ankles for it. ;)

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On 5/6/2020 at 5:34 PM, timschochet said:

97. Yes “Long Distance Runaround” (from Fragile

https://youtu.be/La9Me7alNqA

The 1971 edition of the band Yes consisted of: 

Jon Anderson: Vocals 

Steve Howe: Guitar 

Chris Squire: Bass 

Rick Wakeman: Keyboards 

Bill Bruford: Drums 

 

What an incredible ensemble this was! Putting aside Anderson (who is kind of an acquired taste vocally somewhat in the same way Geddy Lee is) all of these guys were among the best at their respective instruments who ever lived. And they never really sounded as well put together as they did on Fragile. “Long Distance Runaround” was on the B-side of another song which I’ll get to later, but DJs and radio listeners on AOR enjoyed it so much it became a standard. (At which point the discord started because Anderson, who wrote the lyrics, claimed ownership, while Howe and Squire insisted it was a collaborative effort, and that started the squabbling which eventually led to the breakup of this version of the band. These egos were never going to last together very long. ) 

Anderson claims the song is about organized religion, and the second verse is about Kent State, though there’s no way you can tell either fact from the obscure lyrics. I just love listening to it. Though I enjoy all of the instruments involved, inevitably my ear always returns to Squire’s bass because he is playing a countermelody through most of the song. Love that. 

He's not. He may not be everyone's cup of tea, but I've never once heard anyone get as annoyed with Anderson's vocals as some people (coughWIKKIDcough) do with the most dentist-drill of Lee vocals (generally from their early period). 

I've always thought of this album as 1972 because that's how it was identified in the Rolling Stone guides and such. Both are right. Dec. 1971 in the UK, Jan. 1972 in the US. 

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1 hour ago, Pip's Invitation said:

He's not. He may not be everyone's cup of tea, but I've never once heard anyone get as annoyed with Anderson's vocals as some people (coughWIKKIDcough) do with the most dentist-drill of Lee vocals (generally from their early period). 

I've always thought of this album as 1972 because that's how it was identified in the Rolling Stone guides and such. Both are right. Dec. 1971 in the UK, Jan. 1972 in the US. 

comparing the plaintive wail of Jon Anderson's to Geddy Lee's is like contrasting the cries of a starving baby with those of Donald Trump

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On 5/13/2020 at 8:25 PM, timschochet said:

65. The Temptations “Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me)” (from Sky’s the Limit

https://youtu.be/M5Z9-QCmZyw

Written by Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong, “Just My Imagination” represented the end of an era as Eddie Kendrick left the group shortly after the recording. And it’s a throwback to the best of 60s Motown, with its sweet falsettos. So much of the best music of 1971 was a forerunner of what was to come, this song was instead a kind of heartfelt goodbye to an earlier, simpler era. They don’t make tunes like this anymore. 

This tune has a special place in my heart because it was #1 the week I was born.

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On 5/29/2020 at 1:59 PM, Anarchy99 said:

IMO, I grew up at the WORST time as far LZ goes. I caught the tail-end of the band right before JB died. FM radio sort of took a turn for the worst in the 80's from what I can remember. In the 70's, I recall DJ's playing deeper tracks from artists, and daily radio shows were a little more free form and unscripted. When the 80's came, it seems like FM stations changed their programming format from AOR to be more AOR-pop in a much greater attempt to boost station ratings and get more advertising revenue.

I remember there was a big push to play classic rock requests and the newest songs from class rock groups. Lots of stations played classic rock blocks, and LZ got requested more than any other band and blocks of theirs got played every hour or so. Things got way out of control where I lived. Stairway was so into heavy rotation that it got played every hour or two on every classic rock station. I lived in Connecticut, so I got a blend of NY and CT rock stations (and there was no shortage of them at the time).

You literally had to try to avoid LZ if you didn't like them. There was ALWAYS a block of LZ on the radio. Or what was called Stairway to Seven (7 Zep songs played at 7 o'clock). Or double shots on Double Shot Tuesday and Thursday. There were even a couple of stations in the country that went to an EXCLUSIVE LZ format. That's all they played. I remember hanging out with some friends one night, and we scanned the radio dial every 5 minutes to see how many times we could come across Stairway. IIRC, it got played 10 times in two hours. This was in the late 80's.

So yeah, I have had my fill of Stairway. My life would go on just fine if I never heard it again. Robert Plant apparently feels the same way, as he's never played it as a solo artist. Even in the Page / Plant collaborations and tours of the 90's, the song was left off the setlist for every show. HERE is the only time Page & Plant performed Stairway together . . . on a Japanese TV show in 1994 (and only a partial version at that).

All that being said, it still is a great song, an iconic song, LZ's signature song, and certainly a Top 10 song from 1971 . . . even if I chose to change the station when it comes on the radio these days.

This is what I experienced as well (but in Philly). And I didn't discover LZ or FM radio until the '80s, so I'm guessing you're a few years older than me. LZ was all over the FM stations in the '80s, and it was because their listeners DEMANDED it. 

 

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