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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

April 24, 1969 - 2nd US Tour begins (1st as headliners) at the Fillmore West
April xx, 1970 - Robert comments about the violence in the audience near the end of the fifth tour
April 04, 1970 - Jimmy Page performs White Summer/Black Mountain Side on the Julie Felix BBC show
April 16, 1970 - Whole Lotta Love was certified Gold in the US after selling over a million copies. The single had peaked at No. 4 on the US singles chart. In the UK, Atlantic Records had expected to issue the edited version themselves, and pressed initial copies for release on December 5, 1969. However, band manager Peter Grant was adamant that the band maintain a "no-singles" approach to marketing their recorded music in the UK and he halted the release.
April xx, 1971 - Untitled is rumored to be released this month
April xx, 1972 - Recording sessions for Houses Of The Holy at Stargroves and Olympic studios
April xx, 1973 - Led Zeppelin rehearse their new stage show in preparation for their huge 1973 US Tour
April xx, 1974 - Swan Song concentrates its efforts on signing new acts
April xx, 1975 - Jimmy does some mixing at Electric Lady studios for TSRTS soundtrack
April 19, 1975 - 51,000 tickets sell in two hours for three nights at Earls Court, two added dates see another 34,000 tickets sold
April xx, 1976 - The band decide they will release their film to theaters
April 30, 1977 - Led Zeppelin breaks the record for the largest attendance for a single-act show in the Pontiac Silverdome with 76,229 in attendance
April xx, 1978 - The band hold a meeting, this time with Robert, to discuss Zeppelin’s future
April 03, 1979 - Page, Bonham and Plant jam with Bad Company again in Birmingham
April 27, 1980 - The band rehearses at Rainbow Theater for an upcoming European tour
April 26, 1988 - James Patrick Page III’s birthday. He is named after his father is the only son of Jimmy and Patricia Ecker. Jimmy spoke of his son saying: "He is wonderful. He has made a big difference to my life."
April 21, 1998 - Page and Plant released Walking Into Clarksdale.
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