The Thunderthief
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As in his previous solo album, The Thunderthief makes it very clear exactly what John Paul Jones brought to Led Zeppelin: driving bass, epic compositions, and impeccable musicianship. It's also very clear what he wasn't doing for Zeppelin: writing the lyrics. The tracks with words on the album are awkward and occasionally laughable, particularly the title track, which sounds suspiciously like a jab at Robert Plant, and Angry Angry, a presumably mock punk song. Both detract from what is otherwise a very impressive album. Jones plays nearly every instrument on the record and mixes sounds from seemingly every continent and era he could think of. The Thunderthief's best moments are its surprises, like Down to the River to Pray, a beautiful rendition of the bluegrass standard, and Hoediddle, which starts off a classic rock jam and works its way into an Irish jig. On Freedom Song Jones mixes Eastern sounds in with Western philosophy and somehow makes its work. At the very least, The Thunderthief is evidence that Jones continues to experiment and brave new territory -- encouraging news from a man who could just rest on the greatest of laurels. -Allmusic
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Released:
Jun. 15, 2001

Tracks

1. Leafy Meadows
2. The Thunderthief
3. Hoediddle
4. Ice Fishing at Night
5. Daphne
6. Angry Angry
7. Down to the River to Play
8. Shibuya Bop
9. Freedom Song
Quick Fact

The track Shibuya Bop features a traditional Japanese instrument called a Koto. "I bought that in Japan in about 1972, on a Zeppelin tour. I've always had it around and had it tuned up. "ShibuyaBop" was inspired by a walk through Shibuya. Actually it was inspired by a techno track I heard coming out of some shop. I just liked the intensity of it and so that became a new song and the koto went on it. Probably the first rock 'n' roll koto solo in history," said Jones, in a 2002 interview.
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This Month in
Led Zeppelin History

January 09, 1944 - James Patrick Page was born in Heston, Middlesex
January 03, 1946 - John Baldwin was born in Sidcup, Kent
January 02, 1946 - Led Zeppelin Tour Manager Richard Cole was born in Kensal Rise, London, England
January 05, 1967 - Jimmy Page begins recording Little Games with The Yardbirds at De Lane Lea Studios in London.
January 17, 1969 - Led Zeppelin released in the US
January xx, 1970 - Led Zeppelin now play without support acts in order to perform longer sets
January 09, 1970 - Royal Albert Hall gig filmed and recorded for documentary that is eventually scraped. (But was recalled for 2003’s DVD)
January xx, 1971 - Recording continues at Headley Grange
January xx, 1972 - Page has a studio built into his home
January 02, 1973 - Plant’s car breaks down and Bonham and he barely make the Sheffield City Hall gig
January 22, 1973 - Led Zeppelin record a live gig at Southampton University
January xx, 1974 - Recording Physical Graffiti at Headley Grange
January xx, 1974 - The band resigns with Atlantic and forms their own label
January 03, 1975 - Jimmy breaks a finger at Victoria Station just a week before the European warm up shows
January 17, 1975 - The band rehearses in Minneapolis for the upcoming US tour. Bootleg "Johnny Kidd And The Pirates" evolves out of this rehearsal
January xx, 1976 - Jimmy contemplates the release of The Song Remains The Same film but, continues work on the soundtrack
January 01, 1976 - In Paris, Robert takes his first unaided steps since his car accident
January xx, 1977 - Rehearsals for US tour take place at Manticore Studios in Fulham
January 24, 1977 - Bonham and Plant watch The Damned perform at the Roxy in London
January xx, 1978 - Media still claims Led Zeppelin have broke up
January 21, 1979 - Robert Plant is now proud father to son Logan Romero
January xx, 1980 - Zeppelin donate Candy Store Rock to a benefit album to benefit children
January 31, 1995 - Jimmy Page escaped being knifed when a fan rushed the stage at a Page and Plant gig at Auburn Hills, Michigan. The fan was stopped by two security guards, who he knifed instead. After his arrest, he told police that he wanted to kill Jimmy Page because of the Satanic music he was playing.
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