No Quarter (song)

Last updated
"No Quarter"
Song by Led Zeppelin
from the album Houses of the Holy
Released28 March 1973 (1973-03-28)
Recorded1971–72
Studio Island, London
Genre
Length7:03
Label Atlantic
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s) Jimmy Page
Audio sample

"No Quarter" is a song by Led Zeppelin that appears on their 1973 album Houses of the Holy . It was written by John Paul Jones, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant. The song became a centerpiece at all Led Zeppelin concerts thereafter, until their final tour. It appears in both the film versions and both live album versions of The Song Remains the Same released in 1976 and expanded in 2007. It appeared once more in 1994 on Page and Plant's reunion album as the title track. It also appears on Led Zeppelin's 2012 live album Celebration Day, which documented their 2007 reunion performance at the O2 Arena in London. It was re-released in the deluxe edition of Houses of the Holy.

Led Zeppelin English rock band

Led Zeppelin were an English rock band formed in London in 1968. The group consisted of vocalist Robert Plant, guitarist Jimmy Page, bassist/keyboardist John Paul Jones and drummer John Bonham. Along with Black Sabbath and Deep Purple, the band's heavy, guitar-driven sound has led them to be cited as one of the originators of heavy metal. Their style drew from a wide variety of influences, including blues, psychedelia and folk music.

<i>Houses of the Holy</i> 1973 studio album by Led Zeppelin

Houses of the Holy is the fifth studio album by the English rock band Led Zeppelin. It was released on 28 March 1973 by Atlantic Records.

John Paul Jones (musician) Multi-instrumentalist, producer, bassist of Led Zeppelin

John Richard Baldwin, better known by his stage name John Paul Jones, is an English musician and record producer who was the bassist and keyboardist in the rock band Led Zeppelin. Prior to forming the band with Jimmy Page in 1968, he was a session musician and arranger. After the death of drummer John Bonham in 1980, Zeppelin disbanded and Jones developed a solo career. He has collaborated with musicians across a variety of genres, including Josh Homme and Dave Grohl with the supergroup Them Crooked Vultures.

Contents

Overview

"No Quarter" was recorded in 1972 at Island Studios, London. It was engineered by Andy Johns and also mixed by Johns at Olympic Studios, London. The version that made it onto the album evolved out of a faster version Led Zeppelin had recorded earlier at Headley Grange, an old mansion in East Hampshire, England. [4] Jimmy Page applied vari-speed to drop the whole song a semi-tone, in order to give it a thicker and more intense mood. [5] In addition to the pitch change, the album version featured a very highly compressed guitar track, giving it a tone unique to Led Zeppelin. The guitar solo effect was achieved by direct injection and compression. [4]

Jeremy Andrew "Andy" Johns was a British sound engineer and record producer, who worked on several well-known rock albums, including the Rolling Stones' Exile on Main Street (1972), Television's Marquee Moon (1977), and a series of albums by Led Zeppelin during the 1970s. His sound is exemplified by Free's album Highway, which he engineered and produced.

Olympic Studios cinema in Barnes, Richmond, London, England, formerly also used as a film and recording studio

Olympic Sound Studios was a renowned independent commercial recording studio, best known for the many legendary rock and pop recordings made there from the late 1960s onwards. It has been described as the "go-to studio for many of rock and pop's leading lights in the music industry's golden era, from the Rolling Stones and Jimi Hendrix to Led Zeppelin and the Beatles", and as being of the same importance as Abbey Road Studios. The studio's sound mixing desks eventually became famous in their own right, and were later manufactured commercially.

Headley Grange is a former poorhouse in Headley, Hampshire, England, UK. It is best known for its use as a recording and rehearsal venue in the 1960s and 1970s, by acts including Led Zeppelin, Bad Company, Fleetwood Mac, Genesis, Peter Frampton, the Pretty Things, Ian Dury and Clover.

The title is derived from the military practice of showing no mercy to a vanquished opponent and from the brave act of not asking for mercy when vanquished. This theme is captured in several of the song's lyrics.

In war, a victor gives no quarter when the victor shows no clemency or mercy and refuses to spare the life of a vanquished opponent in return for their unconditional surrender. In some circumstances, the opposing forces would signal their intention to give no quarter by using a red flag; however, the use of a red flag to signal no quarter does not appear to have been universal among combatants.

Record producer Rick Rubin has remarked on the song's structure, "It takes such confidence to be able to get really quiet and loose for such a long time. [Led] Zeppelin completely changed how we look at what popular music can be." [6]

Rick Rubin American music producer

Frederick Jay Rubin is an American record producer and former co-president of Columbia Records. Along with Russell Simmons, he is the co-founder of Def Jam Recordings and also established American Recordings. With the Beastie Boys, LL Cool J, Public Enemy, Geto Boys, and Run-DMC, Rubin helped popularize hip hop music. Rubin has also worked with artists from other genres such as AC/DC, Johnny Cash, Justin Timberlake, Metallica, Slayer and Slipknot amongst others.

Live performances

From 1973, "No Quarter" became a centerpiece at Led Zeppelin concerts, being played at virtually every show the band performed until 1980 (it was eventually discarded on their final tour "Over Europe" in that year). [4]

Led Zeppelin concerts Wikimedia list article

From September 1968 until the summer of 1980, English rock band Led Zeppelin were the world's most popular live music attraction, performing hundreds of sold-out concerts around the world.

Tour Over Europe 1980

Tour Over Europe 1980 was the last concert tour by the English rock band Led Zeppelin. The tour ran from 17 June to 7 July 1980. Ten of the tour's shows were performed in cities throughout West Germany, as well as one show each in Brussels, Rotterdam, Vienna, Zürich, and West Berlin.

During live performances Jones frequently improvised on keyboards and performed parts of classical music. On the band's ninth North American tour in 1973, performances of the song lasted twice the length of the studio version. On Led Zeppelin's concert tours from 1975 onwards, Jones would also play a short piano concerto (on a Steinway B-211 grand piano) frequently turning the seven-minute song into a performance exceeding twenty and sometimes even thirty to thirty-five minutes, in a handful of cases. Page and Bonham would always join him later in the song. He was particularly fond of playing Rachmaninoff pieces, but sometimes included Joaquín Rodrigo's Concierto de Aranjuez and "Amazing Grace" as part of an extended medley. [7]

Classical music broad tradition of Western art music

Classical music is art music produced or rooted in the traditions of Western culture, including both liturgical (religious) and secular music. While a more precise term is also used to refer to the period from 1750 to 1820, this article is about the broad span of time from before the 6th century AD to the present day, which includes the Classical period and various other periods. The central norms of this tradition became codified between 1550 and 1900, which is known as the common-practice period.

Led Zeppelin North American Tour 1973

Led Zeppelin's 1973 North American Tour was the ninth concert tour of North America by the English rock band. The tour was divided into two legs, with performances commencing on 4 May and concluding on 29 July 1973. Rehearsals took place at Old Street Film Studios in London.

Sergei Rachmaninoff Russian composer, pianist, and conductor

Sergei Vasilyevich Rachmaninoff was a Russian composer, virtuoso pianist and conductor of the late Romantic period, some of whose works are among the most popular in the Romantic repertoire.

In Led Zeppelin's concert film The Song Remains the Same , "No Quarter" was the thematic music behind Jones' personal fantasy sequence, in which he played a haunting masked horseman or highwayman roaming the graveyards. Jimmy Page also used a short segment of theremin as an added sound effect while playing the song live, as can additionally be seen in the movie.

Page and Plant recorded a version of the song in 1994, without Jones, released on their album No Quarter: Jimmy Page and Robert Plant Unledded . Robert Plant played a radically different version of the song as the opening number on his solo tour in 2005, as is included on the DVD release Soundstage: Robert Plant and the Strange Sensation . "No Quarter" was also a central part of Jones' own solo concerts between 1999 and 2002.

"No Quarter" was performed at Led Zeppelin's reunion show at the O2 Arena, London on 10 December 2007, and was played in C minor to accompany Plant's vocals.

Reception

In a contemporary review for Houses of the Holy, Gordon Fletcher of Rolling Stone gave "No Quarter" a negative review, calling the track, along with "The Rain Song", as "nothing more than drawn-out vehicles for the further display of Jones' unknowledgeable use of mellotron and synthesizer." [8]

See also

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References

  1. Shadwick, Keith (2005). Led Zeppelin: The Story of a Band and Their Music 1968–1980 (1st ed.). San Francisco: Backbeat Books. p. 191. ISBN   0-87930-871-0.
  2. 1 2 Christman, Ed (January 9, 2019). "Led Zeppelin At 50: Every Zep Song, Ranked By Revenue Generated". Billboard . Retrieved January 27, 2019.
  3. Zaleski, Annie (September 20, 2013). "No. 10: 'No Quarter' – Top 50 Led Zeppelin Songs".Cite web requires |website= (help)
  4. 1 2 3 Dave Lewis (1994), The Complete Guide to the Music of Led Zeppelin, Omnibus Press, ISBN   0-7119-3528-9.
  5. Brad Tolinski and Greg Di Bendetto (January 1998). "Light and Shade". Guitar World.Cite web requires |website= (help)
  6. Colothan, Scott (January 11, 2019). "The 20 greatest Led Zeppelin songs of all time". Planet Rock . Retrieved January 27, 2019.
  7. Bream, Jon (2008). Whole Lotta Led Zeppelin: The Illustrated History of the Heaviest Band of All Time. Voyageur Press. p. 4. ISBN   978-1-61673-149-6.
  8. Fletcher, Gordon (7 June 1973). "Houses of the Holy". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 14 August 2017.