Monday, August 31, 2020

W.O.C.K On Vinyl: Dread Zeppelin - Un-Led-Ed (1990)


Before things get too serious here at Rock On Vinyl, I thought it might be fun to post a song / album at the end of each month, that could be categorized as being either Weird, Obscure, Crazy or just plain Korny.

Now here's a thought......What if Elvis didn't actually exit the building? 
What if he chose to do something totally different and high-tailed it out of America and settled in Jamaica as a recluse. What if Elvis's drug addiction went to the next level and he got stuck into some of the local 'wacky weed'. And what if Robert Plant had decided to leave Led Zeppelin and Elvis was asked to step in.  
It's an interesting concept, but perhaps a little too crazy, even for WOCK on vinyl. 
But I did get your attention, didn't I !

I think this band's bio below might have the answer:

Dread Zeppelin is an American rock band best known for performing the songs of Led Zeppelin in a reggae style as sung by a 300-pound (140 kg) Las Vegas Elvis impersonator. Over the years they have also performed songs originally by Elvis Presley, Bob Marley and The Yardbirds. The group toured extensively around the world during their tenure with I.R.S. Records.

The nucleus of Dread Zeppelin, bassist Put-Mon (Gary Putman), drummer Cheese (Curt Lichter) and guitarist Jah Paul Jo (Joseph "Severs" Ramsey), were from a Pasadena, California group called The Prime Movers. Signed to Island Records in 1986, The Prime Movers had some success in the UK with singles "On The Trail" and "Dark Western Night."

When The Prime Movers ended in 1989, Jah Paul Jo hatched the idea for a new group that would call itself "Dread Zeppelin." Aside from the three original members, the band recruited guitarist Carl Jah (Carl Haasis) and 300-pound Vegas-era Elvis impersonator Tortelvis (Greg Tortell).

The first Dread Zeppelin recording was meant to be a goof on Led Zeppelin's 45 single "Immigrant Song" and its sought-after non-LP B-Side "Hey Hey What Can I Do". Produced by Jah Paul Jo and Rasta Li-Mon (Lee Manning) and released on their indie Birdcage Records label, the single sold amazingly well and represses featured the seven inch 45 RPM in a rasta rainbow of colors: red (original), green, yellow, blue, white and clear vinyl. All early Dread Zeppelin recordings and most of the band's first album Un-Led-Ed were recorded at the home studio of Dave Stewart of Eurythmics, where Rasta Li-Mon was a house engineer.

In 1990, Dread Zeppelin were signed to Miles Copeland III's IRS label. Their first album, Un-Led-Ed, consisted of more covers taken from Led Zeppelin and Led Zeppelin II, plus "Black Dog" from Led Zeppelin's untitled fourth album. Original drummer Cheese (Curt Lichter) left the band just after recording Un-Led-Ed. He was replaced by Fresh Cheese (Paul Maselli). Un-Led-Ed has been their most successful album release to date, selling over 1 million copies.

So folks, this post certainly ticks most of the WOCK boxes for this month's consignment - it's Weird, it's Crazy and definitely very Korny.  Mind you, some of the lead guitar work by Carl Jah is pretty damn good, and certainly gives his protege' Mr. Page a run for his money, so this album is not a total parody and worth the listen. But I'm still not sure about those Elvis vocals - thank you, thank you.
Ripped from CD in MP3 (320kps) format with full artwork

01   Black Dog    5:21
02   Heartbreaker (At The End Of Lonely Street)   4:47
03   Living Loving Maid   3:47
04   Your Time Is Gonna Come   5:11
05   Bring It On Home   4:38
06   Whole Lotta Love   4:37
07   Black Mountain Side   2:02
08   I Can't Quit You Baby   6:05
09   Immigrant Song   2:53
10   Moby Dick   4:19

1 comment:

  1. Ah, the 80s - when you built a weird premise for a novelty act and stuck to it.

    Actually saw these guys at Belconnen Labor Club - the most impressive thing was the bass playing/player who had what looked like a tiny Chiquita travel bass and got this amazing subsonic sound by having really loose strings and barely tapping them over the pickups.