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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


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November 21, 1968 - Robert becomes a father to a baby girl named Carmen Jane.
November 09, 1968 - Robert marries Maureen in London. Their reception is a performance at the Roundhouse in London
November xx, 1969 - Tempers flare over Atlantic in the UK wanting to release singles
November xx, 1969 - Recording for Led Zeppelin III begins at Olympic Studios in London
November xx, 1970 - Plans are in motion for a Yardbirds reunion
November 08, 1971 - Finally after much anticipation, Untitled is released
November xx, 1972 - Houses Of The Holy is mixed and completed
November 10, 1972 - Led Zeppelin sell out 120,000 tickets in one day
November xx, 1973 - Initial recordings for Physical Graffiti commences at Headley Grange
November 04, 1973 - Led Zeppelin finalize the purchase of Headley Grange to be their new corporate headquarters
November xx, 1974 - The band makes plans and rehearses for the tenth North American tour
November xx, 1975 - Led Zeppelin records Presence in a mere 18 days
November xx, 1976 - Led Zeppelin book into Ezyhire Studios to rehearse new material for an upcoming tour
November 04, 1976 - The Song Remains The Same movie premieres in Europe
November xx, 1977 - Jimmy dispells rumors of Led Zeppelin’s break up
November 06, 1978 - Led Zeppelin purchase and ship new gear to Polar Studios to begin work on a new album
November 10, 1979 - Led Zeppelin and their entire entourage attend an ABBA concert
November 07, 1980 - The band meets with Peter Grant to announce the retirement of Led Zeppelin
November 29, 1999 - The RIAA announced that Led Zeppelin were only the third act in music history to achieve four or more Diamond albums, a Diamond album being awarded for accredited sales of more than 10 million units in the US.
November 01, 2007 - An announcement was made that Jimmy Page had fractured his finger on his left hand after a fall in his garden and the reunion show would be postponed to December 10, 2007.
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