No Quarter: Jimmy Page & Robert Plant Unledded [US Bonus Tracks]

No Quarter: Jimmy Page & Robert Plant Unledded [US Bonus Tracks]

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by Jimmy Page

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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…  See more details below


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."]

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Product Details

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Jimmy Page   Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Mandolin,Electric Guitar
Najma   Vocals
Robert Plant   Vocals
Peter G. Hanson   Violin
Mark Berrow   Violin
Caroline Dale   Celli
Nigel Eaton   Hurdy-Gurdy
Rusen Gunes   Viola
Hossam Ramzy   Musical Direction,Dobola
Pauline Lowbury   Violin
Rita Manning   Violin
Stephen Milne   Celli
Edward Shearmur   Hammond Organ,Hammond B3
Cathy Thompson   Violin
Porl Thompson   Banjo,Guitar
Janet Atkins   Viola
Ben Chappell   Celli
Bill Hawkes   Viola
Jim Sutherland   Mandolin,Bodhran
Harriet Davies   Violin
Rosemary Furness   Violin
Clare Thompson   Violin
David Ogden   Violin
Andrew Parker   Viola
Jeremy Williams   Violin
Cathy Giles   Celli
Ed Coxon   Violin
Ian Humphries   Violin
David Juritz   Violin
Nic Pendlebury   Viola
Elizabeth Layton   Violin
Amin Abdelazeem   Strings
Waiel Abo Baker   Strings,Soloist
Jonathan Tunnell   Celli
Charlie Jones   Bass,Percussion,Bass Guitar
Abdul Salam Kheir   Oud
John Jezzard   Viola
Najma Akhtar   Vocals
Andrew Brown   Viola
Bashir Abdel 'Aal   Nay
Farouk El Safi   Bendir
Ibrahim Abdel Khaliq   finger cymbals,Bendir
Farid Khashab   Bendir,Reque
Bahig Mikhaeel   Strings
Anne Morlee   Violin
Jessica OLeary   Violin
Ali Abdel Salem   Bendir
Hanafi Soliman   Strings
Perry Montague-Mason   Violin
Andrew Brown   Viola
Michael Lee   Percussion,Drums

Technical Credits

Jimmy Page   Arranger,Composer,Producer
Robert Plant   Arranger,Composer,Producer
John Paul Jones   Composer
John Bonham   Composer
Edward Shearmur   Orchestral Arrangements
Kevin Shirley   Remixing
Mike Gregovich   Engineer
Traditional   Composer
Farouk El Safi   Contributor
Ibrahim Abdel Khaliq   Contributor
Ali Abdel Salem   Contributor

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No Quarter 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the CD that introduced me to the majesty of Led Zeppelin. The only problem is that upon hearing these amazing versions, the original recordings seem so primitive. Robert Plant's voice sounds great, putting the original vocals to shame. I love how the "Battle of Evermore" becomes an amazing, exotic vocal masterpiece, (this is my favourite song). All I can say is Wow!, even after almost 10 years of listening to it, it still captures my imagination. This isn't just a CD, it's an experience. It has many textures and shades of light. It's great to listen to really loud, in the case of "Kashmir", or with your eyes closed, for "Wonderful One". I'm still at a loss for words when discribing this recording, so I will just say, give it a listen, and let the music do the talking.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This album is a live album but the choir sounds African. This is a proof that never should do again that what is already good. Old Led Zeppelin songs has been rewened. There is a couple tracks "Gallows Pole", "Friends" and "The Battle of Evermore" that sound good but the rest of the album is awful.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This CD shows me that older musicians can and do make better music, especially when they are concentrating on their own material. Every track is excellent, most of them are better than the original, and the musicianship is excellent throughout. I can only wonder why they didn't invite John Paul Jones to join them.
Davidthemightytexan More than 1 year ago
the title has some irony in it. "unledded" it's not. it's the closest thing i've heard to having a led zeppelin reunion, unless they put the '08 reunion on cd. this could not have been perfect without j p jones on it. it was a nice tour through zep 1,2, and the lovely 3.i think plant and page know 3 was the most underrated zep album. they should have called this album "thank you" to tie off the zep era, not no quarter. that song did not come off well here. gladly,they left off the tired "stairway to heaven".