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No Quarter: Jimmy Page and Robert Plant Unledded

No Quarter: Jimmy Page and Robert Plant Unledded
[Click above for album images]



Ever since Led Zeppelin parted ways after the death of drummer John Bonham, fans were clamoring for the mighty band to reunite. This willfully ignored both the vital contribution Bonham gave to the group's mystique and Zeppelin's woeful one-off reunion at the 1985 Live Aid charity concert, but the legend of the band was so strong, reunion rumors reached a fever pitch whenever vocalist Robert Plant or guitarist Jimmy Page had a new album in the stores. In 1994, following Plant's moody, misunderstood 1993 album Fate of Nations and Page's widely lambasted collaboration with Whitesnake singer David Coverdale, the two quietly reunited to record a concert for MTV's then-popular acoustic concert series Unplugged. Page & Plant interpreted the Unplugged moniker rather liberally, bringing in a full orchestra, mandolins, and a hurdy-gurdy among other instruments, and Page turned to an electric guitar on occasion. Nevertheless, the "unplugged" setting did give the duo an opportunity to gracefully back away from the bombast that was assumed to be Zeppelin's stock-in-trade; after all, it would have been very hard to do "Whole Lotta Love," "Dazed and Confused," or "Trampled Underfoot" in this setting. Instead, this gives them a chance to dive into the moodiest material, trading heavily on the folk, blues, and world music that gave Led Zeppelin a richness unheard in their heavy rock peers. This might not be what some diehards were expecting from a reunion, but it was a gutsy move from Page & Plant, and the ensuing album, No Quarter, has aged remarkably well. That's not to say that it's timeless music, or a latter-day comeback on the level of Bob Dylan's Love and Theft, but this is ambitiously atmospheric, restless music by musicians not content to rest on their laurels. They do draw heavily from their past, but these new versions of classic Led Zeppelin songs sound reinvigorated in these new arrangements. At times, this means that the songs are given rather drastic reinterpretations -- "Nobody's Fault but Mine" brings the brooding undercurrent of the original to the surface, "Four Sticks" sounds livelier in this spare setting -- while other tunes sound similar to the recorded versions but are given spirited readings ("That's the Way," "The Battle of Evermore," "Gallows Pole"). Between these revived Zeppelin numbers are a few new songs, all ambitious and solid, fitting right into the vibe of the album; even if they don't match the older tunes, they're respectable and gain strength upon repeated listens. As good as much of No Quarter is, it isn't necessarily the kind of record that invites those repeated listens. At its core, it's an experiment, the sound of two middle-aged musicians looking back at their groundbreaking work and finding both sustenance and inspiration there. That makes for fascinating listening, both upon the first spin and a return play several years later, but it doesn't necessarily make for an album that's played all that often. [Upon its original 1994 release No Quarter contained 13 tracks. Several years later, it was reissued overseas, adding the previously unreleased original "Wah Wah" as a bonus track. Upon the album's tenth anniversary, it was reissued in the U.S. with "Wah Wah," plus the previously unreleased "The Rain Song," which took the place of "Thank You," which was cut from the album on this reissue. Finally, the 2004 reissue retitled the original "Yallah" as "The Truth Explodes."] -Allmusic
Statistics

Released:
Nov. 8, 1994
Oct. 26, 2004 (Reissued)

Chart Position:
#4 (US) #7 (UK)

Certified:
Gold: Dec. 22, 1994
Platinum: Dec. 22, 1994

Tracks

1. Nobody's Fault But Mine
2. Thank You
3. No Quarter
4. Friends
5. Yallah
6. City Don't Cry
7. Since I've Been Loving You
8. The Battle of Evermore
9. Wonderful One
10. That's the Way
11. Gallows Pole
12. Four Sticks
13. Kashmir


2004 REISSUE
1. Nobody's Fault But Mine
2. No Quarter
3. Friends
4. The Truth Explodes (formerly known as Yallah)
5. The Rain Song
6. City Don't Cry
7. Since I've Been Loving You
8. The Battle of Evermore
9. Wonderful One
10. Wah Wah
11. That's The Way
12. Gallows Pole
13. Four Sticks
14. Kashmir
Quick Fact

Robert's vocals, first recorded at J'ma el FNA Square in Marrakech Morroco, had to be later re-recorded back in London, due to issues with his voice.
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This Month in
Led Zeppelin History

February 7, 1962 - Deborah Bonham, sister to John, was born in Redditch, Worcestershire, England
February 23, 1966 - Warren Grant, son of Peter, was born.
February xx, 1969 - Led Zeppelin enters the Billboard Top 40
February 16, 1969 - Led Zeppelin wrap up their first American tour in Baltimore, MD.
February 07, 1970 - Edinburgh gig cancelled after Plant receives facial injuries in a car accident
February 28, 1970 - The band performs as "The Nobs" in Copenhagen after threat of legal action from Countess Von Zeppelin
February xx, 1971 - John Paul Jones involved in legal issues regarding a musician who shares the same name
February xx, 1971 - Overdubs for the fourth album are recorded at Island Studios
February 14, 1972 - The band is refused admission into Singapore due to their long hair
February 16, 1972 - The Australian tour begins in Perth
February 21, 1972 - Led Zeppelin: Rock and Roll b/w Four Sticks (Atlantic 45-2865) 45 single is released in the US.
February xx, 1973 - The band makes final preparations for the European tour
February 16, 1973 - The release date for Houses Of The Holy is pushed back due to some sleeve problems
February xx, 1974 - Sessions for Physical Graffiti continue
February 14, 1974 - Page, Plant and Bonham attend a Roy Harper concert
February 04, 1975 - Zeppelin perform a last minute show at Nassau Coliseum to accomodate fans after being banned in Boston
February 24, 1975 - Physical Graffiti finally issued worldwide to phenomenal sales
February xx, 1976 - Media reports that Zeppelin are due to release an album entitled Obelisk
February xx, 1977 - Robert contracts a bout of tonsillitis postponing the American tour
February xx, 1978 - Robert Plant helps produce a record for punk band Dansette Damage
February 16, 1978 - The cases against Bonham, Cole & Grant stemming from the Oakland incident are heard and all receive suspended prison sentences and fines
February xx, 1979 - Although absent from the US stage or market, Led Zeppelin rank best in many music magazine categories
February xx, 1979 - Mixing sessions for In Through The Out Door take place at Polar Studios. Rumors fly of a European tour
February 03, 1980 - Robert joins Dave Edmund’s Rockpile at the Birmingham Top Rank
February 13, 2005 - Led Zeppelin receives a Grammy for Lifetime Achievment.
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