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His presence (no pun intended) in Led Zeppelin was comparatively quiet and unassuming, but the music he's crafted as a solo artist attests to the fact that John Paul Jones was the creative spark behind many of that band's more unconventional offerings. The Thunderthief is a bit more accessible than Jones's last outing -- the all-instrumental Zooma -- but it's still chock-full of surprises. Chief among these is Jones's emergence as a singer. Admittedly, he's Robert Plant, but his arm rasp is mighty effective on the hard-driving title track as well as on the angular post-punk gem "Angry Angry." Aside from that double-barreled assault, the bulk of The Thunderthief is more introspective, focusing on acoustic instrumentation, particularly Jones's dexterous mandolin work, which grabs center stage on the Celtic romp "Hoediddle." Jones picks up the koto for "Shibuya Bop" (one of the few tracks on the disc recorded by a full band, rather than JPJ alone) and even settles in behind the piano on the surreal soundscape "Ice Fishing at Night." There's more to the disc than mere virtuosity, however: Even at this stage of his career, John Paul Jones knows how to have fun with music -- and how to spread that feeling to his audience.
Performance CreditsJohn Paul Jones Primary Artist,Organ,Synthesizer,Acoustic Guitar,Bass,Mandolin,Piano,Autoharp,Bass Guitar,Electric Guitar,Ukulele,Vocals,Koto,Mandola,6-string bass,12-string Bass Guitar,Kyma
Adam Bomb Guitar,Soloist
Nick Beggs Chapman Stick
Robert Fripp Guitar,Soloist
Terl Bryant Percussion,Drums
Technical CreditsPeter Blegvad Artwork
John Paul Jones Arranger,Producer,Engineer,Engineering
Terl Bryant Contributor
Moe Jones Executive Producer
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I'll admit it, I bought this CD out of curiosity, wondering how it would sound like. Boy, was I surprised at how cool this recording is! Right from the get-go, the first track has a pounding bass line that just shakes the speakers on my poor little stereo. The CD only has four songs with lyrics, but do not be put off by that. The songs are just as cool without words. I never knew just how nice ice fishing at night could be, or how being angry, angry could sound so funny, funny! The last track (Freedom Song) is bound to be everyone's favorite song. When you give it a listen you'll know what I mean. The words just speak for everyone who's ever wanted to get away from it all. So, if this little review doesn't satisfy you, you can always buy the CD anyway, and then write your own review. But I bet you'll end up liking it, just like me. So go ahead buy it, and tape down your stereo speakers!
I never write reviews. But this album is one of the most wonderful treats you'll ever be able to get your hands on. For some strange cosmic reason i heard one of the songs on the radio (it was an interview with Jonesy) and was blown away. Went to the store the next day and bought it. I've loved it ever since. It's been out for a while, but I felt like writing this because i just got tickets to see him in LA (it's july 2004). God, this album is amazing. To all the people that have never given him his due credit in the Mt. Rushmore of rock, this will leave no doubt whatsoever about his talent and musicianship. "Leafy Meadows" is like listening to Les Claypool on steroids. It's THAT GOOD. Thrashy, pounding bass that'll knock your socks off. "Hoediddle" has got the best intro since Pink Floyd's "Run Like Hell". When the bass and drums kick in, you're flying high with a delicious grin on your face. "Ice Fishing at Night" is like nothing you've ever heard. I have over 500 cd's in my collection and this is one of the most haunting songs out there. It fills your mind with gorgeous images, and it's still strangely eerie and beautiful at the same time. "Angry Angry" is silly, rowdy and fun. Really fun. "Down to the River to Pray" will leave you breathless. This is the rarest of albums. It's heavy and thrashy as hell, and then the next song is pure heaven. Hats off to Robert Fripp too. We all know JPJ is pretty much set for life. He doesn't have to "prove himself" to anyone. He's John Paul Jones for crying out loud! There's no pretentiousness here, no bologne, no gimmicks. Just good solid music from a living legend. Trust me on this one, do yourself a favor and get this.