The Led Zeppelin album John Paul Jones calls his own

Led Zeppelin

From the ashes of The Yardbirds, Jimmy Page, the band’s third guitar hero after Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck, pieced together a new lineup. With Robert Plant, John Bonham, and John Paul Jones on board, a new era of Led Zeppelin began. As the 1970s approached, this group of exceptionally brilliant musicians began to forge a new path for rock and roll.

Page’s assembling was flawless for the most part. With global stadium tours and hedonistic tendencies, the band achieved a good balance. They embodied the classic rock group alongside The Who and The Rolling Stones. However, Led Zeppelin displayed indications of disharmony and conflict in a few isolated instances, particularly near the end of the 1970s.

Before the 1979 release of In Through the Out Door, tensions escalated. Page and Bonham’s intense partying began affecting professionalism. Simultaneously, Plant and bassist John Paul Jones were more focused on studio work. They consistently showed up, taking on most album responsibilities. During this period, the band functioned in two separate spheres, with Page and Bonham frequently recording late at night.

Plant captured the essence of this challenging phase in the album’s track, ‘Carouselambra.’ In this revealing song, the frontman questions the absence of support and commitment, singing: “Where was your word / Where did you go? / Where was your helping? / Where was your bow?”

“I thought parts of ‘Carouselambra‘ were good, especially the darker dirges that Page developed,” Plant told Mojo in 2003. “And I regret it now because the lyrics on ‘Carouselambra’ were about that environment and situation.” That song tells the entire narrative of Led Zeppelin in its later years… and I can’t understand what they’re saying!

In a 1991 interview with Australian music journalist Ritchie Yorke, Jones discussed In Through the Out Door. He stated that, due to Page’s absence, his bass compositions formed the backbone of much of the record.

“It just appeared that Robert and I got to practices first, and we wrote the album, just the two of us,” Jones said. “We were left alone for a lot of the time, along with John [Bonham], so I think we just got on with it.” You could say that In Through The Out Door is my album, just as Presence was Jimmy’s.”

Unfortunately, after In Through the Out Door, Led Zeppelin would only be together for another year. On September 25th, 1980, Bonham was found dead; the cause was determined to be asphyxiation after excessive drinking.

Instead of getting a new member, Led Zeppelin broke up to honor their late friend. In a statement on December 4th, 1980, the band conveyed to fans their deep sorrow over the loss of their dear friend. They explained that this, combined with their profound respect for his family and their manager’s agreement, led them to the decision that they couldn’t continue as before.

Listen to ‘Carouselambra‘ here.

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