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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

December 16, 1968 - Zep plays Bath Pavilion for a mere £75.
December 26, 1968 - First American concert at the Coliseum in Denver, CO
December xx, 1969 - Led Zeppelin are reported to have sold 5 million dollars worth of albums in the US
December 11, 1969 - Led Zeppelin are presented gold and platinum discs for their first two albums
December xx, 1970 - The band enters Island Studios to begin work on the fourth album
December xx, 1971 - The band plays a few low-key shows back in England
December 23, 1972 - The band break for Christmas holiday after a London gig
December xx, 1973 - John Paul Jones works on studio productions for Madeline Bell
December xx, 1973 - Joe Massot films Jimmy Page’s fantasy sequence at Loch Ness
December 19, 1974 - John Paul Jones and Jimmy Page jam with Bad Company at the Rainbow Theater
December 10, 1975 - Led Zeppelin play a 45-minute show with Norman Hale at Behan’s in Jersey
December xx, 1976 - Led Zeppelin rehearses for the 1977 tour
December 25, 1976 - It’s announced that Plant and Bonham will reunite with the Band of Joy for three shows in the new year
December xx, 1977 - The band minus Robert gather to discuss Led Zeppelin’s future plans
December xx, 1978 - The new album is completed quickly at Polar Studios and mixed at Jimmy’s Plumpton Studio
December xx, 1979 - John Bonham considers joining Paul McCartney’s Wings
December 29, 1979 - The band minus Jimmy Page attend the Paul McCartney And Wings Kampuchea befefit show
December 04, 1980 - Led Zeppelin issue the following statement not to carry on as a band: "We wish it to be known, that the loss of our dear friend and the deep respect we have for his family, together with the deep sense of harmony felt by ourselves and our manager have led us to decide that we could not continue as we were."
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