From the Vault...


Dread Zeppelin
"It's Not Unusual"

© IRS Records

Year of Release: 1992

track listing
  • Disco Inferno
  • You Should Be Dancing
  • Night Fever
  • Shaft
  • Jungle Boogie
  • Ramble On
  • More Than A Woman
  • Jive Talkin'
  • Dancin' On
    The Killing Floor
  • Takin' Care Of Business

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    Dread Zeppelin
    "It's Not Unusual"

    They're here... Dread Zeppelin... This UNIQUE band debuts this week on WSVNRadio. The best definition of this band (from Wikipedia): Dread Zeppelin is an American band best known for performing the songs of Led Zeppelin in a reggae style as sung by a 300 pound Vegas Elvis impersonator. Over the years they would also perform 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 and spread their patented "zeppelin-inna-reggae-style."

    Being a huge Elvis Presley fan, I just had to check out this band, and their debut album, Un-Led-Ed (1990). This debut consisted of Led Zeppelin tunes, in the style of reggae, sung by the "Fat Elvis." The band's original singer, "TorTelvis" (Greg Tortell), had left the band when It's Not Unusual was released. Bass player Gary Putman (aka Put-Mon) took over the vocals, and credited his name as "Gary B.I.B.B.") Gary's vocal style is definitely NOT Elvis, yet the reggae style still is intact throughout this album.

    Most of the Disco songs were from Saturday Night Fever. The Trammps' "Disco Inferno" starts out the album. Very different different than the original, this is just the beginning of what you can say "I can't believe there's an album like this."

    Dread Zeppelin does use its beginning Led Zeppelin roots in "You Should Be Dancing," as they use a reference to "Immigrant Song." Although it is a remake of a well-known Bee Gees hit, don't expect fans of the Bee Gees (nor the Bee Gees themselves) express how great this song is.

    Although there is some hope on another Bee Gees classic, "Night Fever." Again, DZ's version is very different than the original, and is considered the "best song" thus far, up to this point. Isaac Hayes' "Shaft" is close to the original, yet imitated, but not duplicated. (No, it is not as classic as the original either.) Kool & The Gang's "Jungle Boogie" could be another unique and different arrangement. It has a harder rock edge than the original, yet it's quite bad.

    Led Zeppelin's "Ramble On" is definitely not a disco song, yet the reggae flavor still exists here. The Bee Gees' "More Than A Woman" continues the reggae fashion, and during the lyrics of this song, DZ references Tom Jones' "It's NOt Unusual" -- a song I personally wished they had included, being the title of the album. Another Bee Gees classic, "Jive Talkin'" continues the reggae, as it has a very impressive reggae sound. This song is probably considered the best reggae song from this album. "Dancin' On The Killing Floor" I'm not familiar with, and like some other songs here, it's bad. The album's closing song was originally popular by Bachman Turner Overdrive, the classic "Takin' Care Of Business." It's a boppin' tune, and BTO member Randy Bachman helps out.

    It's Not Unusual IS Unusual, IS unique. Dread Zeppelin may not be for everyone, as this band is more of a novelty act, rather than a more serious band. Tortelvis would return to Dread Zeppelin after this release. Dread Zeppelin's debut on WSVNRadio It's Not Unusual is hardly a good start to discover their music. Un-Led-Ed is definitely better, and with Tortelvis as the main singer, their other releases will be interesting in the future to review. All in all, It's Not Unusual is an album not easily to recommend. But their music is unique, and funny to listen to. Whether you take them seriously or not, they are a band most likely to chuckle at. It's Not Unusual may not be one of their best albums, but its fun to listen to, and easily to laugh at them, rather than laugh with them.

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    Previous Review: #1295
    Kiss--Music From The Elder
    Next Review: #1297
    Badfinger--Magic Christian Music