General

Studio Sessions Ultimate, Official Album Releases in Mono , All that glitters is gold , Sessions, The lost sessions Vol 2, Clearwater Castle, Strange tales from the road, The Lost Mixes EP Vol. 1 , XYZ Cinema 90XYZ , ARMS: Dallas 1983 , It's only rock 'n roll , Robert Plant - Los Angeles 1-Nov-90 , Priory Of Brion, Stourbridge, 8 December 1999 , Jimmy Page/The Black Crowes Jones Beach 10-Jul-00 , John Paul Jones - Los Angeles 15-Nov-2001 , 24th March 2005 Robert Plant with Strange Sensation , Robert Plant and his Strange Sensation Coventry 2 April 2005 , Robert Plant 2006

Studio Sessions Ultimate Scorpio LZ-07001~12

Disc 1:  Babe I'm Gonna Leave You (take 8), Babe I'm Gonna Leave You (take 9), You Shook Me (take 1), Babe Come On Home (take 1), Babe Come On Home (take 2), Babe Come On Home (take 3) (Olympic Studios, London - September 20th - October 10th, 1968), untitled instrumental (take 1), untitled instrumental (take 2), untitled instrumental (take 3), untitled instrumental, untitled instrumental (take 4), untitled instrumental untitled instrumental (take 7) (Olympic Studios, London - October, 1968), Moby Dick, Moby Dick (Mirror Sound Studios, Los Angeles, CA - May, 1969), Sugar Mama (Morgan Studios, London, England - June, 1969)

Disc 2:  Jennings Farm Blues, Jennings Farm Blues, Jennings Farm Blues, Jennings Farm Blues, Jennings Farm Blues, Jennings Farm Blues, Jennings Farm Blues, Jennings Farm Blues, Jennings Farm Blues, Jennings Farm Blues, Jennings Farm Blues, Jennings Farm Blues (Olympic Studio, London, England - November 1969)  That's The Way, Feel So Bad / Fixin' To Die / That's All Right, Since I've Been Loving You, Since I've Been Loving You, Friends, Immigrant Song, Immigrant Song / Out On The Tiles, Bron-Yr-Aur, Poor Tom, Hey Hey What Can I Do, Friends (Headley Grange, Hampton, England - May - June 1970), Poor Tom (Olympic Studio, London - May 5th, 1970)

Disc 3:  I Wanna Be Her Man, untitled instrumental, untitled instrumental, untitled instrumental, untitled instrumental, untitled instrumental, untitled instrumental, untitled instrumental, untitled instrumental, untitled instrumental, untitled instrumental, untitled instrumental, untitled instrumental, untitled instrumental, untitled instrumental, untitled instrumental, untitled instrumental, untitled instrumental, untitled instrumental, Hey Hey What Can I Do?, untitled instrumental, untitled instrumental, untitled instrumental, untitled instrumental, untitled instrumental, untitled instrumental, Down By The Sea Side, unknown song, untitled instrumental, unknown song, unknown song, unknown song, untitled instrumental, untitled instrumental, Poor Tom, untitled instrumental, untitled instrumental, That's The Way, That's The Way, That's The Way, That's The Way, Bron-Yr-Aur, untitled instrumental, untitled instrumental (Bron-Y-Aur, Wales, UK - May, 1970)

Disc 4:  Stairway To Heaven, untitled instrumental, untitled instrumental, untitled instrumental, Black Dog, Black Dog, Black Dog, Black Dog, Black Dog, No Quarter, Stairway To Heaven, Stairway To Heaven, Stairway To Heaven, Stairway To Heaven, untitled instrumental, Stairway To Heaven, Stairway To Heaven, The Battle Of Evermore, When The Levee Breaks (Headley Grange, Hampshire, England - January, 1971) Four Sticks, Black Dog (Island Studios, London, England - January, 1971)
Disc 5:  Friends, Friends, Friends, Friends, Friends, Friends, Friends, Friends, Friends, Friends, Friends, Four Sticks, Friends, Friends, Friends (take 1), Four Sticks (take 1), Four Sticks (take 2), Four Sticks (take 2) (Bombay, India - March, 1972) Walter’s Walk (Stargroves, Berkshire, England - May 15th, 1972), No Quarter, No Quarter, No Quarter, No Quarter, No Quarter, No Quarter, No Quarter (Island Studios, London - 1972) 

Disc 6:  Love Me, Frankfurt Special, King Creole, Love Me (Old Refectory, Southampton University, Southampton, England - January 22nd, 1973) Sugar Baby, Sugar Baby, Sugar Baby, Wanton Song, The Rover, The Rover, The Rover, The Rover, Night Flight, Night Flight, Night Flight, Night Flight, School Days, Nadine, Round & Round, Move On Down The Line, Please Don't Tease, Move It, Move It, Dynamite, Shakin' All Over, Hungry For Love, Hungry For Love, I'll Never Get Over You, Reelin' & Rockin' (Chicago Auditorium, Chicago, IL - July 6th, 1973)

Disc 7:  Lucifer Rising, Lucifer Rising, Lucifer Rising (Boleskine House, England - Nov. 1973) untitled instrumental, untitled instrumental, untitled instrumental, untitled instrumental, untitled instrumental, untitled instrumental, untitled instrumental, untitled instrumental, untitled instrumental, untitled instrumental, untitled instrumental, untitled instrumental, untitled instrumental, untitled instrumental, untitled instrumental, untitled instrumental, untitled instrumental, untitled instrumental, untitled instrumental, untitled instrumental, untitled instrumental, untitled instrumental, untitled instrumental, untitled instrumental, untitled instrumental, untitled instrumental, untitled instrumental, untitled instrumental (Headley Grange, Hampton, England - Nov. 1973)

Disc 8:  untitled instrumental, Ten Years Gone, Ten Years Gone, Ten Years Gone, Ten Years Gone, Ten Years Gone, Ten Years Gone, Ten Years Gone, Ten Years Gone, Ten Years Gone, Ten Years Gone, Ten Years Gone, Ten Years Gone, Midnight Moonlight, Midnight Moonlight, Midnight Moonlight, Midnight Moonlight, Midnight Moonlight, Midnight Moonlight, Midnight Moonlight, Midnight Moonlight, Midnight Moonlight, Midnight Moonlight, Midnight Moonlight, Midnight Moonlight, Midnight Moonlight, Midnight Moonlight, Midnight Moonlight, Midnight Moonlight, Midnight Moonlight, Midnight Moonlight, Midnight Moonlight, Midnight Moonlight, Midnight Moonlight, Midnight Moonlight, Midnight Moonlight, Midnight Moonlight, Midnight Moonlight, Midnight Moonlight, Midnight Moonlight, Midnight Moonlight (Headley Grange - Nov. 1973)

Disc 9:  The Wanton Song, The Wanton Song, Take Me Home, Take Me Home, In The Morning, Trampled Under Foot, Trampled Under Foot, Trampled Under Foot, Trampled Under Foot, Trampled Under Foot, Trampled Under Foot, Trampled Under Foot, Trampled Under Foot, Trampled Under Foot, In The Light, Sick Again, The Rover, untitled instrumental, In My Time Of Dying, In My Time Of Dying, In My Time Of Dying, In My Time Of Dying, In My Time Of Dying, In My Time Of Dying, In My Time Of Dying  (Headley Grange Nov, 1973 - July 1974) The Wanton Song, Trampled Underfoot

Disc 10:  Trampled Under Foot, Kashmir, Custard Pie, In The Light, Midnight Moonlight, Midnight Moonlight (Olympic Studio, London - 1974) Ten Years Gone, Ten Years Gone, Ten Years Gone, Ten Years Gone, Boogie With Stu, Boogie With Stu, Boogie With Stu, Boogie With Stu, Boogie With Stu, Boogie With Stu, Boogie With Stu, Boogie With Stu, Night Flight, Night Flight, Night Flight, Night Flight, Night Flight, Night Flight (Olympic Studio, London - 1974) The Wanton Song (WLIR)

Disc 11:  Royal Orleans, Tea For One, Don't Start Me Talking (SIR Studios, Los Angeles, CA - Nov. 1975), Carouselambra, unknown song, Wearing And Tearing, Fool In The Rain, Hot Dog, In The Evening, South Bound Saurez, Darlene, Fool In The Rain, Carouselambra, All My Love (Polar Music Studio, Stockholm, Sweden - Nov. - Dec. 1978)

Disc 12:  Fire, Carouselambra, Carouselambra, Carouselambra (Clearwell Castle, Forest Of Dean, Wales - May 1978), White Summer, White Summer / Black Mountain Side, Kashmir, Achilles Last Stand, Achillies Last Stand, Stairway To Heaven (Victoria Theatre, London, UK - May 1980)

Led Zeppelin collectors are among the most fortunate when it comes to owning outtakes and rehearsals.  Except for The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, no other big group has as many and various behind the scene tapes as Zeppelin.  So much of this material has been released that it is possible to trace the entire history of the band, from the first album sessions right through to their last.  The first massive collection to be issued was the Antrabata eleven disc set Studio Sessions released a decade ago.  This set collected every piece of tape known at the time and presented them in a chronological, cohesive order.  Despite the knock against it for using inferior sounding tapes, it remains a popular and sought after item.  Akashic was going to attempt a comprehensive box set in the winter of 1999 to be called The Final Option.  This, however, was scraped and only five discs spread out over three titles, Meet Led Zeppelin, Scorpio Rising and The Smithereens, have been released.  Now the new Scorpio label, with the new release Studio Sessions Ultimate, gives a much needed overhaul of Antrabata.  Spread over twelve discs, Scorpio not only includes everything found in the older box set, but also include most of the material that has surfaced in the past decade and use only the best sounding versions of the more familiar tapes.  Generally speaking, the sound quality of this release is not worse, and in some cases better than anything else in circulation.

The first disc follows the track listing of Antrabata's first disc except for the addition of "Moby Dick".  It dates from the very first sessions for the first album in Olympic Studio in October 1968.  These outtakes can also be found on Olympic Gold on Scorpio (LZ 92-SC), Gems + Jams (ZELCD101), Studio Haze (Laughing Skull), Anyway You Want (KFM 008), Babe, I'm Gonna Leave You (Dynamite Studio DS92J031), Hairway To Steven (Invasion Unlimited IU9645-1) and the latest release Early Days (Refinded Masters) was released in 2004.  The sessions for the first album began on September 27th, 1968 at Olympic Studio where they recorded under the name, according to studio records, as The Yardbirds.  The first two tracks are full band run through of "Babe I'm Gonna Leave You".  It is appropriate this track begins this massive box set since this is the song Jimmy Page and Robert Plant bonded on in their first face-to-face meeting at Page's home.  The final product sounds much more restrained than these two takes, with Plant singing his guts out.  "You Shook Me" is the very first take according to the voice of engineer Glyn Johns.  It lasts for almost eight minutes and cuts out at the very end.  There are three takes of "Tribute To Bert Burns", which surfaced in 1993 as "Baby Come On Home."  This dates from the final day of recording.  What follows is a half hour of guitar and organ exercises.  Its origin and purpose is a mystery and when they first surfaced it was claimed the organ player was Steve Winwood. 

The music is very moody and it sounds like Page and John Paul Jones trying to get a handle on "Your Time Is Gonna Come".  These sessions were most recently released on Danish TV & Studio Sessions (Watch Tower WT 2001009).  "Moby Dick" dates from the hectic recording schedule for Led Zeppelin II during their second US tour.  The first disc ends with the very rare cover of  Sonny Boy Williamson's "Sugar Mama".  This dates from Morgan studio in the summer of that year intended possibly for the second album.  It is a bouncy, catchy pop number and is obvious why it has never been issued by the band in any form.  It sounds dated even for 1969, but is good to have.  The first half of the second disc contains the fascinating track "Jennings Farm Blues."  Led Zeppelin's manager Peter Grant at the time was quoted in the music press that the band have "written a special number which they intended as their first British single which they will be recording next week" for a January, 1970 release to coincide with their appearance at the Royal Albert Hall.  This would have been their first single but this, along with several throughout their career, was scrapped and England wouldn't have a single from Led Zeppelin until 1997's "Whole Lotta Love."  This tape, dating from November 1969, first surfaced on the old Scorpio label on Jennings Farm Blues, was copied by the Australian Farmhouse Blues (Blue Kangaroo BK-11), and appears on the second disc of the Antrabata, 1970 Studio Works on Theremin, Scorpio Rising (Akashic AKALZ-Studio-002), and The Lost Sessions Vol. 6 (Empress Valley EVSD-325). 

The sound quality of "Jennings Farm Blues" (named after Robert Plant's farm) is outstanding.  It is one of Page's early attempts to create a guitar orchestra with many layers of guitars weaving around one another in increasing complexity.  As the sessions go on both the playing and Page's comments reveal a lot of frustration and the song never passed the instrumental stage.  The final version does have some pretty lyrical passages and it's a shame it was never completed in this form.  The basic melody would be used again six months later for "Bron-Yr-Aur Stomp" and the vision of multi-layered guitars will come to fruition three years later for "The Song Remains The Same".  The balance of disc two contains outtakes from the sessions for the third album.  These recordings first surfaced on Studio Daze on Scorpio (SE 64-10-171) and are also available on Led Zeppelin III (Tarantura Trantic CD 19128), Studio Daze Revisited (TMOQ) as well as disc two of the Antrabata.  "That's The Way" through "Since I've Been Loving You" are label Headley Grange but that isn't correct.  "That's The Way", which sounds identical to the final version, was recorded in Island Studios in London.  "Feel So Bad" is a medley of blues hits played by Page on a nervous sounding slide guitar and is part of the sessions for "Hats Off For (Roy) Harper" which closes the album and was recorded at Olympic studio.  "Since I've Been Loving You" was recorded at Island Studios with the guitar solo dating from Memphis in April, 1970.  This is the take used for the final product with the addition of Plant screaming during the solo.

This is followed by the three-minute vocal take of "Since I've Been Loving You"of which many collectors question its authenticity.  The following six tracks date from rehearsals for the third album and its location and date isn't clear.  The two versions of "Friends", "Poor Tom", "Bron-Yr-Aur" and "Hey Hey What Can I Do?" sound like they date from the Bron-Yr-Aur cottage since it contains only Page and Plant playing guitar and bongos.  "Immigrant Song" and "Out On The Tiles", are full band rehearsals and bootlegs have always attributed them to the third album rehearsals in Headley Grange.  However the sequence of events after the cottage is first a rehearsal  session at Plant's farm in Worcestershire.  Afterwards they convened in Olympic Studio to record "Friends" and "Poor Tom" and afterwards continued rehearsals in Headley Grange.  It is difficult to determine which set of rehearsals those two tracks date from, but if indeed all six tracks come from the same rehearsal then they were recorded at Plant's farm.  The two full band electric rehearsals are fascinating to hear as the band work on them.  "Immigrant Song" contains the famous screeching and inaudible lyrics different from the Viking saga the song developed into.  The final studio version doesn't have a guitar solo, but the rehearsal has one that is short and primitive.  "Out On The Tiles", John Bonham's song, has the basic melody and only the chorus present ("all I need from you / is all your love").  The final track on disc two is "Poor Tom", Led Zeppelin's interpretation of Robert Wilkins' "Prodigal Son."  This was recorded on May 5th, 1970 and the version here is the same as what appears on Coda but in much worse quality and without lyrics.

The third disc contains an important tape in the story of Led Zeppelin.  After their tour of the U.S. in the spring, which saw the last date cancelled because of Plant's exhaustion, the singer and Page retired to Bron-Yr-Aur cottage in Wales.  The intent was to have a working vacation where they can write songs together and to add a folk dimension to the band's sound.  Several vinyl releases document this tape like Rehearsals 1970 and Hiawatha Express (Stash 2304).  On compact disc, p art of the rehearsals appear on A Tribute To Johnny Kidd And The Pirates on Scorpio, along with the 1973 rehearsal tape.  That release is interesting since the label actually invented names for some of the tunes on the tape like "Snowdonia", "Wind In The Willow" and "Who Remembers Davey Graham?"  The tape has seen releases also on  Another Way To Wales (Black Swan BS-03), Led Zeppelin III (Tarantura Trantic CD 19128) Hiawatha Express on CD (Toasted Condor #1980), and Scorpio Rising (Akashic AKALZ-Studio-002) as well as the third disc of the Antrabata set.  The sound quality on Studio Sessions Ultimate is again excellent given the age and condition under which the tape was produced.  Most of the disc is devoted to Plant and Page playing acoustic guitar, producing some interesting meditative harmonies.  Some parts become familiar like some melodies that will be used for "Over The Hills And Far Away", "Gallow's Pole", and a cover of Crosby, Stills And Nash's "Suite:  Judy Blue Eyes."

What this tape reveals is that "Down By The Seaside" is perhaps the earliest song written at the cottage.  It certainly is the first one with lyrics.  Also among these doodlings is the earliest idea for "Stairway To Heaven."  Tracks 33 to 45 have a different sound quality than the first 32.  It is more dull than the rest and comes from a different tape source.  This tape has more developed and familiar melodies including "The Rover" two years before it appears onstage in Sydney.  Also by this stage "That's The Way" has had taken a more recognizable form with lyrics close to the final version.  "Bron-Yr-Aur" is much slower than the final version that appears on Physical Graffiti, lasting three minutes, and is played as a Page and Plant duet.  Given its importance, collectors are fortunate that not only have some of these tapes survived but have been circulating for many years now.  The fourth disc moves on to the sessions associated with the fourth album.  The sequence of events is similar to the third album with Page and Plant spending some time at the cottage in Bron-Yr-Aur followed by the entire band meeting at Island Studios.  Early on though they decided to record in a rural setting as a band this time and chose the three-story house Headley Grange aided by the Rolling Stones' mobile studio and the Stones' Ian Stewart.  This is the location where Fleetwood Mac recorded and where Genesis would later record The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway.  The acoustics in the cavernous hallways and the spooky atmosphere (John Paul Jones remembers he saw ghosts there) were conductive to producing some of Zeppelin's best ever work for their classic LP.

Afterwards the band returned to Island studios to finally record and mix the album.  The earliest titles with this material were on vinyl including Rehearsals January 1971 (Rock Live 2-A-B) and Inedits (LZ1-2).  On compact disc these sessions have appeared on many titles such as All That Glitters Is Gold (Celebration CSM-001A/B), Another IV Symbols (Tarantura TCD-4), Hairway To Steven (Invasion Unlimited IU9645-1), Led Zeppelin IV Outtakes (Tarantura), Stairway Sessions (Silver Rarities SIRA 71), Studio Haze Vol 1 (Laughing Skull), Ultra Rare Tracks Vol. 1 (Missing Link ML-001), Stairway To Heaven Sessions 1970-1971 (Live Storm LSCD 52631 and also on Zoso's Company ZOSO-9301/2), Sessions (The Diagrams Of Led Zeppelin Vol. 49) and on the sixth disc of the Antrabata set.  Scorpio made an error on the track listing that needs to be noted.  The first "Stairway To Heaven" is followed by three untitled instrumental tracks followed by five "Black Dog" rehearsal tracks.  Scorpio list the second two instrumentals as "Black Dog" giving the impression there are seven tracks to the song and not five.  The first take of "Stairway To Heaven" and the following three instrumental tapes feature Page on guitar and Jones on electric piano.  "Stairway To Heaven" is a three and a half instrumental run-through of the opening theme played at normal speed, faster, and then returning to normal.  The following jam features Jones playing a happy theme on the keyboard and Page accompanying him with a bouncy, catchy melody.  

The recording is clear enough to be from Island studio, but it could also date from Headley Grange.  What are clearly from the house are the "Black Dog" rehearsals.  It sounds as if it was recorded on a two-track, sounding heavy with the echo.  "Black Dog" at this stage has yet to be fully worked out and Plant is improvising lyrics on the spot (something he would continue to do on stage for many years, come to think of it).  It gives a fantastic aural snapshot of the band creating a classic track in the studio.  By the third take, the band are clearly having difficulty mastering the difficult riff until Jones shouts out instructions and leads the band on the bass guitar.  Page, followed by Bonham hit into a groove with Bonham shouting, "YES!"  The final take is a very confident delivery.  "No Quarter" again dates from Headley Grange and is the earliest reference to the Houses Of The Holy song, three years before its official release.  Even in this primitive state the basic melody and structure of the song is present although it is a bit too up-tempo.  Plant scats vocals and Page plays a solo before the tape runs out.  The next seven tracks come again from the "Stairway To Heaven" sessions.  The first four rehearsals feature Page and Jones again working on the breaks and tempos of the piece.  The untitled instrumental is a minute long doodle with nothing interesting.  The final two "Stairway To Heaven" tracks are joined by Plant adding vocals to the rehearsals and Jones adding recorders at the beginning, bring the song closer to the final, recognizable version.

An important story in Zeppelin mythology is about the spontaneous nature of the lyrics to the classic song with Plant claiming the words just came to him.  There is some truth to this claim since, besides some minor variations and differences in the melody; it is very close to what appears on the fourth album.  The song in this take approaches the traditional ending but returns to the opening theme.  The final take of "Stairway To Heaven" comes from a different tape than the previous ones and sounds brighter and clearer.  Bonham joins the band to lay down a drum track and the song sounds even closer to the final version.  There are smaller variations in the lyrics (“when she gets there she knows/ if the stores are all closed / she can call in and see...") but still mostly correct.  The song builds into a crescendo and Page switches his guitar and rips out a solo with ideas that will find their way into the live performances of the piece for the next decade.  The song still doesn't have the closing verse ("there was a lady we all know / who shines bright light...") but has the soft ending and the track closes with amazement with Bonham saying "bloody 'ell!"  They spoke to the press about developing an epic to replace "Dazed And Confused" and they know they wrote an excellent song.  "The Battle Of Evermore" contains the final instrumental track and has Plant singing lyrics, with some variations from the final version, without Sandy Denny's contribution.  The sound quality of this track is below the others on this disc and the vocal is located in the right channel so it is a tough listen.

The final three tracks, "When The Levee Breaks", "Four Sticks", and "Black Dog" are the variations of the final tracks that first surfaced in 2001 on The Lost Mixes EP Vol. 1 (Empress Valley EVSD-89) and were quickly copied by Watch Tower on Control Monitor Mixes EP, a bonus with their Salt Lake City release and released by Celebration on All That Glitters Is Gold (Celebration CSM-001A/B).  These are pristine quality versions of the official releases with some minor variations in the mix.  "When The Levee Breaks" begins with inaudible studio chatter and the opening drums are missing, beginning with the first verse.  Absent also is the second verse and some guitar overdubs.  The bass and drums are louder than the final mix.  "Four Sticks" begins with Bonham playing the rhythm on drums, stopping and speaking about the sound being "African" before the tune begins again.  This does sound slightly clearer than the final version.  "Black Dog" begins with the same guitar tune-ups but there is a Bonham count-in before the vocals begin.  Bonham's time keeping on the sticks is louder and the ending of the song contains a solo that was omitted from the final version before the fade.  

The fifth disc focuses upon material from 1972 and contains the complete Bombay sessions from March, following their tour of Australia.  These sessions appear on All That Glitters Is Gold, Bombay (CG 40), Bombay India, The Complete 1972 Bombay Sessions (Tecumseh TRC-003), Sessions (The Diagrams Of Led Zeppelin Vol. 49), Studio Haze Vol 1 (Laughing Skull), first disc of The Smithereens (AKA-Studio-003) The Lost Sessions Vol. 2 (EVSD-165) and disc seven of the Antrabata box.  This tape is one of the most often often released and popular outtake.  Page and Plant recruited famous Indian musician Vijay Ragav Rao to assemble an ad hoc orchestra comprised of both western and Indian instruments.  What can be clearly heard are both Jimmy Page and Robert Plant speaking to Rao, and Rao translating their instructions to the musicians.  The orchestra tries their best but the different takes reveal missed cues and misunderstandings.  This is the first time they tried to interpret their musical ideas to anyone other than members of the band and they have difficulty in explaining what they want.  Rehearsals exist only for "Friends", as well as a very good final take with vocals.  For "Four Sticks", the other eastern inspired tune they practice, only more polished takes without vocals exist.  "Walter's Walk" is the instrumental track recorded on May 15th, 1972 at Stargroves during the rehearsals and recording of Houses Of The Holy.  This track would find its way into "Dazed And Confused" on the following U.S tour and would be resurrected for 1982's Coda.  Plant recorded vocals at that time for Coda and this represents his final recorded vocal performance as a member of Led Zeppelin.

The "No Quarter" sessions close this disc and these first surfaced on Studio Daze on Scorpio and were last issued on The Lost Sessions Vol. 6 (EVSD-325).  This tape has recordings of the session that produced the final version as it appears on Houses Of The Holy.  Ever since the first Scorpio release it has been attributed to Electric Ladyland Studio in New York during June 1972.  In reality this comes from Island Studios in May of that year, before they left for the eighth tour and features John Paul Jones working with John Bonham to nail down the rhythm.  The first "No Quarter" opens with Bonham banging the sticks singing "Pictures Of Lily" before Jones begins the familiar cold organ intro.  This is a complete seven and a half minute run-through without vocals or guitar solo, but with the same timbre of the official version.  The second take is thirty seconds and is aborted by Jones with a giggle.  This is followed by another attempt stopped after twenty seconds since Jones hits a bum note.  This is followed by the second full run-through, lasting eight minutes.  Again no vocals, guitar solo or grand piano is present, but Jones and Bonham change the rhythm during the solo.  After two more aborted takes, with Jones hitting a really nasty note, we are rewarded with the final take of the song.  This one is complete with vocals, guitar solo, and grand piano flourishes in the solo.  There are also additional effects and guitars by Page and some Plant moans that were eventually cut out of the final release.  "No Quarter" is one of the greatest Zeppelin songs and to have such clear quality outtakes like this is wonderful to listen to.

The sixth disc contains the two well-known 1973 rehearsal tapes.  The first is a six-minute fragment that comes from either January 21st at the Gaumont Theatre, Southampton or January 22nd at The Old Refectory, Southampton University.  Both dates have been attached to this tape.  With the existence of a soundboard tape from the latter of the two (an interesting show which should be released soon) it most likely is the latter.  It begins with Bonham cursing at a roadie before Bonham, Jones and Plant (no Page) bang out some Elvis hits.  "Love Me" and "King Creole" are two songs that were never played in any medley so it's good to have these.  Southampton can be found on the vinyl Hiawatha Express and on the cd title Elvis Has Just Left The Building (LZ 6837-281).  The rest of the disc contains the mysterious hour-long rehearsal tape.  This appeared previously on Magical Mystery Tape (Tarantura TMMT-1), A Tribute To Johnny Kidd And The Pirates, Round And Round (Ghost CD 53-48), Hookin' And Jabbin' (TRC 1000), disc two of The Smithereens (AKALZ-Studio-004), and most recently on The Lost Sessions Vol. 5 (EVSD-179) issued in 2005.  The last one also claimed that Jimmy Page himself will clear up the mystery of its origins, but has so far failed to do so.  The quality of Plant's voice and Page's guitar points to being from 1973 but the location is not known.  Both "The Rover" and "Night Flight" were released in 1975 but were finished and recorded many years before that.

"Sugar Baby" (or "Strawberry Jam" as it is called on earlier releases) sounds like the funky section of "Whole Lotta Love."  "The Wanton Song" included on this tape is only a small fraction of the song.  It doesn't have the main riff nor lyrics, but is only the descending riff leading to the bridge, so it is a bit of a misnomer and it is more accurate to say it is a riff that was later incorporated into the song whose working title was "Desiree."  The fourth track listed "Night Flight" is a complete version of the song taken at a faster tempo and reveals that it could have been a compelling stage piece if they bothered to include it in any set list.  The rest of the tape includes lots of rock and roll oldies and tuning beginning with several Chuck Berry tunes.  Plant sings only the final three verses of "School Days", "Nadine (Is That You?)" and several verses and the chorus of "Round And Round."  What follows is the first verse and chorus repeated several times of Roy Orbinson's "Move On Down The Line," a song they played in some "Whole Lotta Love" medleys.  What follows is a song that is listed here, and on every release of this tape, as "Love Me Like A Hurricane" but this isn't accurate.  What they are playing is a cover of Cliff Richard's "Please Don't Tease", a single that spent three weeks at number one on the charts in the summer of 1960.  "Shakin' All Over" is Johnny Kidd And The Pirates' 1960 number one hit that was covered by The Who, The Guess Who, and Iggy Pop.  Zeppelin gives a dramatic rendition in this sound check.

Two more Johnny Kidd And The Pirates hits follow, "Hungry For Love" and "I'll Never Get Over You" before the session falls apart.  Bonham bangs out the beginning of "Rock And Roll", Plant sings a line from "Surrender" and Jones tunes the organ before the tape runs out.  The sound quality on Scorpio is as good as I've heard and this is one of the most remarkable Zeppelin tapes in existence.  Although it will be good to learn the actual date and location, that doesn't detract from the enjoyment of the band playing these songs, many of which never appeared in their live act.  The seventh disc contains Jimmy Page alone in various recordings.  The first five minutes is devoted to outtakes from his soundtrack for Lucifer Rising in excellent quality.  This tape is found also on disc eleven of the Antrabata box set and on Midnight Rehearsals (GEJM-0001).  The full Jimmy Page soundtrack is not included and would have been a great addition to this collection.  It was released on vinyl on Solo Performances (RPJP A-B) but has never seen a release on compact disc.  The many and various Lucifer Rising titles all contain the soundtrack used for the final cut of Kenneth Anger's film recorded by Bobby Beausoleil And The Freedom Orchestra.  (If anyone wants to hear the real Page soundtrack, let me know and I'll email it to you.  It is spooky music!)  The three tracks consist of violin bow on guitar exercises and Page finding the right harmonics to produce an unsettling effect.  The tape dates from late 1973 but the location of recording, although always attributed to Boleskine House, is unconfirmed.

The final forty-five minutes is devoted to Page rehearsals that are a mystery.  The only other release of this complete tape is on disc four of Antrabata's set so it is a very welcome addition in this set.  Scorpio date it at the same time as the Lucifer Rising outtakes but Louis Rey dates this in 1971 during the fourth album sessions.  The tape quality changes throughout so it most likely dates from many and various times.  It consists of Page working out melodies on the acoustic guitar.  Many of the melodies introduced on the guitar are then played on piano.  The piano playing is very good and causes questions as to whether or not it is Page playing or someone else.  There is no further evidence on tape that he even plays the instrument.  Nevertheless some of the melodies are recognizable including the fast break found in 1976's "Hots On For Nowhere" and an embryonic version of "The Rain Song."

The following disc continues with more of Jimmy Page's personal demos.  The first track is a three minute long mellow acoustic number which never went past the developmental stage.  This is followed by thirteen takes of the Physical Graffiti number "Ten Years Gone."  These appear on the third disc of Brutal Artistry (Midas Touch 72731/2/3), but are not very interesting to be honest.  The first track captures Page practicing one of the themes on acoustic guitar.  The rest are of Page piling electric guitar lines on top of one another, working on the transition between the second guitar solo (after Plant's "did you every need somebody") and the reiteration of the main theme at 4:06 in the finished version.  The next hour is devoted to Page working on the famous lost Zeppelin epic "Swan Song."  Scorpio labels this "Midnight Moonlight" and that is correct since it did finally surface in the early eighties with The Firm.  This tape appears on Dangerous Relation (Medusa JP 2-1.2) and the second disc of Brutal Artistry, but not on the Antrabata set.  But it is an important piece of Zeppelin's history too, giving the band the name of its record label, and deserves to be acknowledged as such.  This recording has Page playing acoustic guitar over splashes of mellotron.  He works on themes that have been heard onstage for years in his "White Summer" improvisations, and over the hour or so he runs these themes through many different textures and variations.  The twenty-first "Midnight Moonlight" is an eight minute long variation of the old Yardbirds track, bending it past any recognition.

The ninth disc continues with Physical Graffiti material and corresponds almost exactly with the ninth disc of Antrabata's outtakes box set.  It contains the rehearsal tape from Headley Grange in the autumn, 1974.  This tape first surfaced in the eighties on the vinyl releases Tangible Vandalism (TV A-D) and In Through The Outtakes (Widget Recordworks 7800).  On compact disc it appears on the first disc of Brutal Artistry (Midas Touch 72731/2/3), Alternative Graffiti (CSM-002A/B), Headley Grange (Immigrant IM-003), In Through The Outtakes (Musichen) Physically Present (House Of Elrond), Totally Tangible (Blimp BL001), and Tangible Vandalism (Goblin CD 3011).  This tape is very popular because it offers a fly on the wall perspective of Led Zeppelin working together as a band jamming and working on songs of one of their greatest albums.  The sound quality is very good for being a rehearsal tape and some of the discussions are audible.  "The Wanton Song" is much more complete than in the 1973 sound check tape with lyrics close to the final version and plenty of missed time signatures.  The second "The Wanton Song" is the same descending riff from the earlier tape capturing the band nailing down that difficult transition with the track ending with Bonham saying "hold on, hold on."   What Scorpio list as an "unknown song" has been labeled on other releases as "Take Me Home".  It has a country picking beginning before landing on a Zeppelin groove very similar to "The Wanton Song" with Plant singing about someone wanting to leave or some such.

The second take reaches almost five minutes and is more of the same.  Zeppelin wrote two songs, "The Wanton Song" and "Sick Again" about the groupies on their previous tour of the US and this sounds like a third such with its slutty groove.  The next track is labeled "Take Me Home", but this is an error.  What is on this release labeled "Take Me Home" is an early version of "In The Light" with its original diatonic arrangement and lyrics about singing a song of salvation.  The next nine tracks are the band working out "Trampled Under Foot."  None of the tracks is longer than three and a half minutes and they try different tempi over Jones' clavinet melody.  Following this is another five-minute stab at "In The Light", called "In The Morning" at this point.  Jones plays grand piano over Plant's lyrics before the band kick in.  "Sick Again" is an early rehearsal of the closing track of the LP.  The following untitled instrumental begins with Robert Plant saying, "... and John Paul Jones is produced by Mojo."  John Bonham follows with "Without whom nothing would be possible."  Jones replies to Bonham by saying, "Without whose help this album would still be on sixteen track tape."  What follows is a three minute rhythmic workout that at times is very catchy and has the ironic underpinnings that are completely absent from Physical Graffiti but are found on Presence in spades.  This song, had it gone anywhere, would have fit on the follow-up perfectly.  The track ends with Plant teaching his daughter Carmen the ABC's. 

The "In My Time Of Dying” rehearsals consist mostly of Page working with Bonham to get the correct rhythm down.  The third "In My Time Of Dying" is an almost complete take lasting eight minutes and breaks down by the end.  The last couple of tracks reveal some tensions with Bonham.  "You've got to have a count,” he says after one take.  "There's got to be a count.  It would be easy but the way Rob..."  "Just do it again and see" Page says to the drummer trying to calm him down.  "Now just a minute, Rob's vocals never come in."  Page plays the riff and Bonham responds with marching patterns on the drums before it all come crashing down and Bonzo saying still "we gotta have a count.  We'll give Robert there his freedom and it doesn't matter what Rob does we can still do it."  Plant asks, "but where are you counting from now?"   "Well I can't count where he stops because your vocals might be different.  I mean, your voice might go half a beat and we're gonna be fucked."  Plant responds, "Ah, but if you do that it will be like 'Black Dog', it gives me time to move."  Bonham shouts back, "but the reason we did 'Black Dog' is because we counted and you did it afterwards."  They attempt it again but the tape cuts out after half a minute.  It is this kind of material that makes collecting just plain cool.  Even a great band like Led Zeppelin can sound like a bunch of idiots in the garage arguing over the songs.

The final two tracks on this disc first surfaced on T he Lost Mixes EP Vol. 1 on Empress Valley and are included on Watch Tower's Control Monitor Mixes EP and Celebration's Alternative Graffiti.  Both songs are the final mix done at Olympic Studios that appear on Physical Graffiti but with minor variations in the mix.  "The Wanton Song” has a count in and is perhaps a bit more raw in the vocals than the final mix.  "Trampled Under Foot" has a very soft count-in from Jones.  There are subtle differences in the guitar mix and additional guitar dubs in the end.  This version also fades out whereas the final mix ends with a sustained chord.  Since these are more polished outtakes they probably would have fit better on disc ten rather than nine, but are here probably for space considerations.  The first six tracks on the tenth disc are also from Olympic Studio. They have appeared on releases Brutal Artistry, Physically Present, Physical Graffiti Alternate Trax on Tarantura but in mono instead of stereo, and Swan Song Sketches (Achillies Records CD001).  They appeared after the release of the Antrabata set so weren't included.  "Trampled Under Foot" is another mix of the final version and "Kashmir" is the instrumental rhythm track used in the final version.  "Custard Pie" is again the final mix but without the harmonica at the end.  "In The Light" is a perfectly mixed polished version of the version heard on the Headley Grange rehearsal tape.  It is amazing to think how far this version got before they scrapped it in favor of the arrangement used on Physical Graffiti.

I'm sure that sessions for the official version of "In The Light" is on everybody's wish list for future outtake material and would be an event if they ever did.  The following two tracks are perfectly mixed versions of "Swan Song", but with no vocals.  It was a revelation when it first appeared since nobody knew just how far the band went with it.  Collectors' reaction to this gave the name "Oh My God!" to this tape.  Since the band spent the time to record and mix "Swan Song" in the studio, it begs the question why it was never completed with vocals.  There were some stories in the press that Page was working on a suite based on the four seasons and this was one of them, but that project never got off the ground.  It is also amazing to think it sat in the vaults for the final five years of the band's existence with no attempt to use it on subsequent releases.  This tape got released because Plant himself gave it to someone who passed it around and we are all fortunate to have it available to listen to and enjoy.  It is truly the greatest of Zeppelin's lost tracks and deserves an official release, even in this form, in the future.  The bulk of this disc is devoted to mix downs for three songs from the album.  "Boogie With Stu" was not recorded at Olympic Studio in 1974 but at Headley Grange in 1971 with Ian Stewart of the Rolling Stones on piano.  These appeared on Ultra Rare Trax Vol. 2 (Savege Beast Music SB-969631) and with "Night Flight" on Brutal Artistry 2 (Midas Touch 72811).  The final track is "The Wanton Song" from WLIR radio on Long Island.

Disc eleven begins with the only rehearsal in common circulation for the Presence LP.  This fifteen-minute tape dates from the initial sessions at SIR studios in Los Angeles in November 1975.  The band were supposed to be on tour at this time but couldn't because of Plant's accident in Rhodes in August.  The instead placed their energies in a new album instead to be recorded later in Munich in December.  This tape appears on Brutal Artistry 2, Bizarre (Tarantura RH-001) and disc eleven of the Antrabata box.  It is a cassette recording in the rehearsal studio of the entire band playing together.  "Royal Orleans" is only twenty seconds of the opening riff.  The following "Tea For One" is called the "Hootchie Cootchie" version.  The final song is a slow blues dirge, but this is at a faster pace with Plant singing the hootchie cootchie lyrics over the plodding rhythm.  The final five minutes of the tape show the band jamming on some blues oldies before the tape cuts out.  It is valuable since this is all we have from such a tumultuous time but doesn't really reveal all that much.  The rest of the disc is occupied with alternate mixes of songs from the Stockholm sessions in late 1978 that produced In Through The Outdoor.  These sessions were released before on vinyl as Out Through The Back Door (Amazing Stork ITT A-D) and on compact disc as All My Love (Tarantura NO 16000), Alternative Coda (Ritual 003), Different Mixed Coda (Pot 010/011), In Through The Outtakes (Musichen), Out Through The Back Door (Exile CD4016) and disc two of The Lost Sessions Vol. 4 (EVSD-308/309).

"Carouselambra" is the instrumental track used for the final mix without vocals.  This is the last of Zeppelin's great epics and incorporates new wave and disco elements within a bombastic idiom that only Zeppelin could pull off.  Hearing the music only reveals the depth of textures used to convey meaning.  This sounds brighter than the final version and doesn't end in a fade out.  The "unknown song" that follows is an eight second fragment of God knows what.  "Wearing And Tearing" was going to be a special EP to commemorate the Knebworth concerts but was scrapped and wouldn't be released until 1982's Coda.  This is the final version of the piece with a count-in by Bonham and additional Plant interjections throughout the song.  "Fool In The Rain" begins with a count-in from Bonham.  And Plant, referring to the Latin flavor of the song, shouts "quartro!"  There is an additional "oh yea" by the beginning but the whistle, Plant's vocals in the bridge and guitar solo are missing.  "Hot Dog" is the same as the final version except with the guitar solo missing and Plant throwing in funny interjections like "that's my kind of music" and "c'mon Mr. Philips you can do it again."  "In The Evening" sounds dull and fuzzy compared to the others.  Since it has the vocals, guitar solo and vocal and guitar overdubs this is the final product but has a drone introduction rather than the one used for the final take.  The second "Carouselambra" begins with a snort and giggle and contains the final take of the lyrics.

The final track, "All My Love", is one of the greatest outtakes from these sessions to emerge.  It begins with giggling and tuning before Jones counts the band in.  After an abrupt stop and another giggle, the band begins again.  There is a deeper drum sound than on the final version but the vocals are the same.  This version is missing the trumpet fanfare solo in the middle and unlike the version on In Through The Outdoor comes to a stop instead of a fade.  What is chopped off is some of Page's most lyric and sublime playing on record.  It is well known that he and Bonham didn't care for this song, but it is a mystery why the final edit chose to omit these beautiful and delicate riffs.  Collectors have singled out this track repeatedly and it's obvious why.  The final disc in this collection begins with seventeen minutes of an armature recording from Zeppelin's first rehearsal after the death of Plant's son in 1977.  In May 1978 they convened at Clearwell Castle by Wales to work on new material.  This tape appears on Rehearsing Clearwell Castle (CG), Midnight Rehearsals (GEJM-0001), and Missing Links (TDOLZ Vol. 81) among others.  This tape covers two songs.  The first is an amazing fragment named "Fire."  This sounds like the beginning of what would be an epic track written and dominated by Page.  It stands in contrast to the keyboard dominated numbers that would form the final album with Bonham's loud drums and Page taking flight over the chaos.  The number breaks down for some conversations before the tape cuts out.  This song unfortunately never went past the rehearsal stage and, to the best of our knowledge, was never recorded in studio. 

There are three takes of the John Paul Jones written "Carouselambra."  The three takes go as far as the first section.  The other two, the slow moving bridge played on the double neck and the fast paced "disco" sections wouldn't be written until much later.  It is claimed Zeppelin rehearsed this for the Knebworth concerts and the following summer tour of Europe but never made it to the set list.  It is also said this was going to be featured on the North American tour in late 1980 and early 1981 but with the end of the band we'll never know.  It is a shame it was never brought to the stage, but this is the closest we have to a live version of this piece and is enjoyable to hear them play it with abandon.  The final part of the Scorpio box set is the soundboard rehearsal tape from Victoria Theater in London in May 1980.  Editions of this tape appeared on vinyl The Last Rehearsal - Bonzo's Last Stand (OZNOB A-B) and the Strange Tales From The Road 10 LP box set.  CD versions include Last Rehearsal (Missing Link ML-002) with two songs from Copenhagen, 1971, Strange Tales From The Road and 1980 Rehearsal (EVSD-39) on Empress Valley.  On this tape are the epic numbers that were included in the set list on Zeppelin's final tour.  "White Summer", which by July would sound wandering and incoherent, sounds pretty good here, as do the two takes of "Achillies Last Stand."  "Stairway To Heaven", which Plant hated by this point, sounds stale.  He said they used to do a reggae version in rehearsals which would be great to someday hear.  The sound quality again, even though there is some surface noise (all CD releases come from vinyl), is excellent and the proper way to end this massive set. 

Studio Sessions Ultimate is packaged in a cardboard box with a photo of the Hindenberg on the front cover.  The discs are packaged in white sleeves with the clear window on the front to allow easy identification.  Also included is a four-fold insert with the track listing which is generally accurate.  Some of the new tapes which surfaced in the past couple of years didn't make their way into this collection, including:  the four minute Led Zeppelin II tape from The Lost Sessions Vol. 2:  Led Zeppelin In India (Empress Valley EVSD-165) which would have fit perfectly on disc one.  Also, the drum sessions from In Through The Outdoor that are found on the first disc of The Lost Sessions Vol. 4:  Led Zeppelin In 1978 (EVSD-308/309) are absent, although their authenticity is questioned.  The various "The Battle Of Evermore" mixes from Sessions on The Diagrams Of Led Zeppelin weren't included, and finally the "pre-vocal masters" of "Hey Hey What Can I Do", "Celebration Day", "Out On The Tiles", "Four Sticks", and "When The Levee Breaks", which appear on The Lost Mixes EP Vol. 3 (EVSD-307) and on The Smithereens, are also not included.  Those five tracks actually sound like they come from a karaoke tape and their authenticity is disputed.  More outtake material by Led Zeppelin should be surfacing in the future (and let's hope "St. Tristan's Sword" and "Lost In Space" finally appear).  Hopefully Scorpio can keep on top of them and keep this box set current.  The bottom line is this is a fantastic, well thought out box set by Scorpio and is a worthy and essential upgrade to own. (Gerard Sparaco May 07)

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Official Album Releases in Mono

A Collection of Mono Albums (Scorpio, LZ-07002-01~03) 3CDs

Disc 1 (Led Zeppelin II) (41:38): Whole Lotta Love / What Is And What Should Never Be / The Lemon Song / Thank you / Heartbreaker / Living Loving Maid (She’s Just A Woman) / Ramble On / Moby Dick / Bring It On Home

Disc 2 (Led Zeppelin III) (43:00): Immigrant Song / Friends / Celebration Day / Since I’ve Been Loving You / Out On The Tiles / Gallows Pole / Tangerine / That’s The Way / Bron-Y-Aur Stomp / Hats Off To (Roy) Harper

Disc 3 (Houses Of The Holy) (41:46): The Song Remains The Same / The Rain Song / Over The Hills And Far Away / The Crunge / Dancing Days / D’yer Mak’er / No Quarter / The Ocean

This title from Scorpio features mono versions, rather than the original stereo versions, of three studio albums.  Naturally, in terms of musical contents, there is nothing new included in it.  The title seems to be reproduced from some promo vinyl LPs distributed to DJs back then, as evidenced by the needle scratch noises we could hear in the title as well as the pictures of the center parts of such vinyl LPs shown in the leaflet included in it.  Since they are “mono” versions, all the special effects we could experience in the original stereo versions are lost in the title.  For instance, in the title, there is no panning of sounds as we hear in the stereo versions of “Whole Lotta Love” and “What Is And What Should Never Be.”  We also cannot fully enjoy the dynamisms created by the unison playing of riffs by Jimmy and Johnsey which originally came from the different channels, such as that in “Whole Lotta Love” and “The Lemon Song.”  The only time I feel great about this title is when Jimmy’s guitar solo which came only from one of the two channels now comes loud and powerful out of both of the two channels, such as that in “Whole Lotta Love.”  In addition, I am not at all impressed by the sound quality of Disc 3 of the title.  Frankly, so far as “Houses Of The Holy” is concerned, I think that its original vinyl release still sounds best, being brighter and more edgy than any subsequent CD release, whether it was “remastered” or not.  What is relatively enjoyable in this title is its Disc 2, because the degree of loss of our enjoyment due to the conversion from stereo to “mono” is smaller.  Actually, in songs like “Immigrant Song” and “Out On The Tiles,” the “mono” versions may sound more powerful as if all the sounds were streaming out of a single “hard rock.”  All in all, a title you may pass, unless you are a completist.  (Takemi Hiramatsu, May 07)

Scorpio Rising (Akashic AKALZ-STUDIO-002) 1 CD
Various studio outtakes 1969 to 1972

Track listing (77.43): That's The Way / Hats Off To Roy Harper / Feel So Bad / Since I've Been Loving You [Headley Grange May/June 1970] Jennings Farm Blues (aka Bron-Yr-Aur Stomp) 14 tracks [Olympic Studios, Barnes November 1969] No Quarter 4 tracks [Electric Ladyland Studio, New York June 1972]

The second CD of outtakes from Akashic, this one is an upgrade of the classic Scorpio release many years ago Studio Daze. The sound quality is superb, and is an upgrade on all prevoius versions. Unfortunately the opening bar of That's The Way is for some reason missing on this release, which is a pity. The packaging is as one would expect from this label, excellent, a thick card gatefold, with an Akai reel to reel tape deck on the front. The CD is made to look like a reel to reel tape. There are two different editions of this release, both promo versions, each numbered and limited to 100 copies, with an overall limit of 200 copies. Yet another great addition to the outtakes repetoire. Underground Uprising would like to publish a detailed overview of Led Zeppelin outtakes, with accurate studio locations and dates. If any reader has compiled this then please get in touch as we want to hear from you. Eye thank yew! (Jules McTrainspotter July 04)

Scorpio Rising(Akashic AKALZ-STUDIO-002) 1 CD
Various studio outtakes 1969 to 1972

Track listing (77.43): That's The Way / Hats Off To Roy Harper / Feel So Bad / Since I've Been Loving You [Headley Grange May/June 1970] All My Love [Polar Studios Dec 1978] Jennings Farm Blues (aka Bron-Yr-Aur Stomp) 14 tracks [Olympic Studios, Barnes November 1969] No Quarter 4 tracks [Electric Ladyland Studio, New York June 1972]

What Akashic release! This is an overall satisfying release in terms of packaging and sound. The packaging is a sensational digipak-style, glossy gatefold, with photos of a reel-to-reel deck on the outside and the Jennings Farm Blues master reel on the inside. Most importantly, the packaging itself smells wonderful. As Mr McTrainspotter noted, there are two versions of this release, each limited to 100 copies and, whilst they have the same content, they appear to have different titles. The first batch is entitled The Studio Masters Scorpio Rising and the second is The Bootleg Masters Scorpio Rising. It is good to see Akashic catering for diverse consumer interests. The general sound is brighter, cleaner or more crisp than the Studio Daze and Jennings Farm Blues releases. A timely indication of the improvement in sound is the louder squeaking action of Bonzo's drum pedal during SIBLY. There are one and a half extra minutes of the Jennings Farm Blues takes, which are not on the Jennings Farm Blues release. Also, Akashic have indexed what they believe to be each take, instead of leaving them as one long track. As Mr McTrainspotter noted, That's the Way is missing the first bar but, as a trade off of sorts, SIBLY contains the opening notes, which are missing on Studio Daze. The only other let down is during the final take of NQ, from 5:50 to 6:20, where there is some clicking in the right channel. Otherwise, well worth adding to the collection. (Liam Stone Aug 04)

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All That Glitters Is Gold (Celebration) 2 CD
'Led Zeppelin IV' Outtakes

DISC 1:
HEADLEY GRANGE AND STUDIO 1971
1. BLACK DOG outtake 2. FOUR STICKS instrumental 3. FOUR STICKS alternate take 4. BLACK DOG rehearsal take 1 5. BLACK DOG rehearsal take 2 6. NO QUARTER demo 7. STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN acoustic demo 1 8. STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN acoustic demo 2 9. GUITAR IMPROVISATIONS 10. STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN acoustic vocal demo 11. STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN rehearsal take 1 12. THE BATTLE OF EVERMORE alternate take 13. THE RAIN SONG original acoustic demo 14. TEN YEARS GONE acoustic demo 15. TEN YEARS GONE electric demo 16. WHEN THE LEVEE BREAKS alternate take 1 17. WHEN THE LEVEE BREAKS alternate take 2
DISC 2:
BOMBAY SESSIONS March 1972
1. FRIENDS rehearsal part 1 2. FRIENDS rehearsal part 2 3. FRIENDS rehearsal part 3 4. FRIENDS rehearsal part 4 5. FRIENDS rehearsal part 5 6. FOUR STICKS 7. FRIENDS vocal take 1 8. FRIENDS vocal take 2 9. FOUR STICKS take 1&2 10 FOUR STICKS take 2 continued

A rather unfortunate title for this release, as there appears to be nothing new at all on either disc, and it looks as if Celebration have regurgitated the two Empress Valley Monitor Mixes CDs. A detailed review from anyone who has heard this would be very welcome and no doubt of great assistance to fans. (Jules McTrainspotter June 04)

All That Glitters Is Gold (Celebration)

This release takes all the available 4th album outtakes (rough demos and studio) and puts them in one place.  The audio for the home demos is very good, and the studio is excellent. For those that have none of this material you can do one of two things. Buy this CD bootleg, OR get it via download/b and p. I personally chose the latter If Atlantic Records or Jimmy Page is reading this, let me just say that you are missing a unique opportunity to cater to us hardcore collectors.  Please release more archival material. Better yet start releasing the bootlegs and put us out of our misery. Do it via mail order. At this point releases like 'All That Glitters Is Gold' prove one thing and one thing only. The booters are scraping the bottom of the barrel, and are still charging PREMIUM prices. All I have to say to Celebration is 'sorry fellas you aint getting my bucks'. (Jim Sirigos, June 2004)

All That Glitters Is Gold (Celebration)

This is mostly made up of previously released material, the majority of which can be found on EV's "Monitor Mixes" release and SIRA's "Stairway Sessions". The Bombay Session material found on Disc 2 is the most ivid I have heard to date, this was a pleasant suprise to me Previously unreleased, Disc 1's instrumental version of "Four Sticks" from the LZ IV sessions sticks close to the official release, although the mix is different, you can hear Jones' bass lines clearly and the 2nd version of Levee has a few seconds more of count in, slightly different reverb and echo on guitar and harmonica and runs at a slower speed, lowering the pitch.  I would call it a different mix from the  one on "Monitor Mixes" even though the vocal lines are the same. If you don't have any of this material, this is a great sounding and as complete and all inclusive release as you will find. (R. Pinder June 04)

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Sessions(The Diagrams of Led Zeppelin TDOLZ 499701/499702)

Disc 1:  Stairway to Heaven (instrumental version 1), acoustic guitar/organ instrumental (Down By The Seaside early version), acoustic guitar instrumental 1 (Bron-yr-Aur Stomp early version), acoustic guitar instrumental 2 (Bron-yr-Aur Stomp early version), Black Dog (rehearsal take), No Quarter (rehearsal take), Stairway To Heaven (instrumental 2-4), untitled instrumental, Stairway to Heaven (take 1), Stairway to Heaven (take 2), The Battle of Evermore (acoustic intro fragment), The Battle of Evermore (alternate stereo take, different lyrics with Plant only), The Battle of Evermore (alternate stereo mix, echoed harmonies and chorus only), The Battle of Evermore (alternate stereo mix, higher main vocals), The Battle of Evermore (alternate final stereo mix version 1), The Battle of Evermore (alternate final stereo mix version 2)

Disc 2:  Friends (studio rehearsal session), Four Sticks (instrumental), Four Sticks (instrumental), Four Sticks (instrumental), Friends (with vocals)

This two disc set was released by TDOLZ a while ago, and features new Battle of Evermore outtakes that were discovered after the publication of Louis Rey's book. The first disc is an excellent and comprehensive way to obtain the 1971 Headley Grange demos if, for anything else, to get the evolution of Stairway To Heaven. It is interesting to hear the No Quarter demo many years before it was released.  Plant said in the Bonzo's Birthday concert they had been working on it for a while before it was released, and we can hear that here.  We also hear John Paul Jones giving instructions on how to play Black Dog. The second disc is the often-released Bombay sessions where they worked on Friends and Four Sticks.  The first half hour of the disc is taken up with Page and Plant rehearsing with the orchestra, trying to each them the tune.  The final four tracks are the finished result of the rehearsals with the final take of Friends having vocals. When this tape was first released the stereo separation on the finished tracks were very unbalanced (tambla in one ear, violins in the other).  This version is more centered making it easier to listen to and much more enjoyable. (Gerard Sparaco March 02)

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The Lost Sessions Vol.2 Led Zeppelin In India- Empress Valley EVSD-165
EMI studios, Bombay, March 1972
1CD in a jewel case.
Song List:-
Friends (rehearsal session) / Four Sticks (rehearsal take) / Friends (final vocal mix take 1) / Friends (final Vocal mix take 11) / Four Sticks (final mix take 1) / Four Sticks (final mix take 2)
BONUS track : Led Zeppelin II outtakes. Whole Lotta Love - Heartbreaker - Ramble On

There is only a marginal improvement in sound quality from previous releases of these Indian sessions. However Empress Valley were extremely foolish to release the fragments of Led Zeppelin II outtakes, as this has jeopardized the negotiations for the complete release of around one hour of previously unheard outtakes. How stupid can you be to potentially ruin it for others? (Jules McTrainspotter Aug 03)

Lost Sessions Vol 2 / Led Zeppelin In India EVSD 165

The latest release from Empress Valley is the famous Bombay sessions recorded after the group's short Australian tour of 1972. Previously available on the Tecumseh label as The Complete Bombay Sessions. Comparing these two releases I found the EVSD release to be a full 20 minutes longer than the Tecumseh release. These extra minutes consist of an extra rehearsal take of Friends and a bit of studio banter from Messrs Page & Plant. The sound quality is a great upgrade on the Tecumseh release which sound like it's mastered from vinyl whereas EVSD claim that their release is directly from the masters. The overall sound is much fuller and brighter with a nice full bass level. The real interesting thing about this release is the bonus track consisting of a medley of Led Zeppelin II out-takes. The track stars with the intro to Whole Lotta Love with the guitar and bass very low in the mix, Bonzo joins a few bars in and steals the show as the drums are awesome! His intricate bass drum patterns are astounding and really drive the song along, this segues into the guitar solo in Heartbreaker which pans from the right to the left speaker, this is the same take as the album version. Next up is Ramble On, First we hear the chorus with just the drums and bass which are fantastic. (Yage August 2003)

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May-78 Clearwater Castle

Missing Links (TDOLZ Vol. 81) Stockholm 1969 / June 28, 1970 Bath

Festival / Clearwell Castle 1978

CD: (51:08) I Can't Quit You, I Gotta Move, Dazed And Confused, How Many More Times (beginning only), Heartbreaker, That's The Way, Fire, Carouselambra, Carouselambra, Carouselambra

An interesting compilation of material presented in amazing quality from TDOLZ - the best available versions thus far. The last four tracks have also been available on titles such as "Midnight Rehearsals" on GEJM and "Rehearsing Clearwell Castle 1978" (CG-45). The title 'Fire' never evolved into any official release, and ends up sounding very dissimilar from any other song title in the Zeppelin catalog. The genesis of Carouselambra gives great insight as to how the title matured into its final epic presentation. These Clearwell Castle recordings are presented in a good but seemingly distant and slightly muffled recording. "Missing Links” on TDOLZ is presented in very nice packaging - typical of TDOLZ. The unique cover has also been seen as the Turkish LP cover for Led Zeppelin II. Definitely a very good release by any standard, and highly recommended to the collector who already has almost everything. (Scott Davis Feb 99)

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Strange Tales From the Road TDOLZ, Smokin' Pig (STFTR 001-008)

Straight transfer of the old vinyl set onto compact disc.

Disc 1: C'mon Everybody, Whole Lotta Love, Communication Breakdown, Something Else, Bring It On Home, How Many More Times (Royal Albert Hall, January 9, 1970), The Song Remains the Same/Sick Again, Nobody's Fault But Mine (Chicago, April 9, 1977)

Disc 2: Since I've Been Loving You, No Quarter, Ten Years Gone (Chicago, April 9, 1977), Who's To Blame, Carole's Theme (Death Wish II soundtrack), Merry Hopkins Never Had Days Like These (B side of PJ Proby single), The Song Remains the Same/Sick Again, Nobody's Fault But Mine (Tampa, June 3, 1977)

Disc 3: The Song Remains the Same/Sick Again, Nobody's Fault But Mine, Over The Hills and Far Away, Since I've Been Loving You, No Quarter (New York, June 14, 1977)

Disc 4: Ten Years Gone, The Battle of Evermore, Going to California, Black Country Woman/Bron-Y-Aur Stomp, White Summer/Black Mountain Side/Kashmir (New York, June 14, 1977)

Disc 5: Bring It on Home, How Long, Got My Money, Stormy Monday, Splanky, Big Boss Man, Whole Lot of Energy, Love & Money, Invitation, Jimmy Page solo, King Of All I Survey (Nottingham, June 5, 1984)

Disc 6: Got My Mojo Working, Every Day I Got the Blues, Hoochie Koochie Man (Nottingham, June 5, 1984)

Disc 7: White Summer/Black Mountain Side, Kashmir, Achilles Last Stand, Stairway to Heaven (May? Sept?, 1980)

Disc 8: Santa Claus Is Back in Town (NBC studio, Christmas 1984), Spaghetti Junction (Scream For Help soundtrack), Black Dog, That's The Way, Dazed and Confused (Osaka, September 29, 1971)

A very laudable effort for those of us who were never able to obtain this on vinyl. All of the tracks were sourced from vinyl (except for the Royal Albert Hall material, which sounds identical to the soundboard which was released some years back). Overall a disappointment. The pops and clicks are annoying (especially during the 1980 rehearsal material). And did they have to take this so literally? Instead of just copying the vinyl release, couldn't they have maybe expanded on the concept? Maybe include other "strange tales" which came to light since the original release, like the Nuremberg show in 1980, or the Milan show from 1971? That aside, it is interesting to hear some of these shows. The Chicago show, which was cancelled because of Page collapsing from food poisoning, is very interesting. It really shows that, despite Page's ill health, it still sounds decent! The Tampa show is the one which was rained out after three songs. You can hear the taper running for cover during the storm. The New York material from June 14 was previously released on disc in Tarantura's "Week For Badge Holders" . The playing is inspiring! However, the only thing "strange" is the human heartbeat you hear at the end of the "No Quarter" solo. The best part of the set is on discs 5 and 6, where Jimmy Page plays in the Alexis Light Orchestra for the Alexis Korner tribute broadcast on Radio Trent. We hear a band composed of Ian Stewart, Jack Bruce, Charlie Watts and others playing blues and jazz standards. Very good!!(Gerard Sparaco May 99)

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The Lost Mixes EP Vol. 1 (Empress Valley Supreme Disc EVSD 89)

Four Sticks (alt mix with Bonzo chat & drum intro), Black Dog (alt mix with count-in), When The Levee Breaks (no drum intro alt mix), Wanton Song (alt mix with count-in), Trampled Under Foot (alt mix).

This is a single release by Empress Valley of new out take material. The source for the first three tracks is from Olympic Studio (the monitor mixes being found in the garbage like the first album out takes, according to the liner notes). The version of Four Sticks begins with Bonzo playing the drum motif through, and remarking that it sounds very "African." The complete song is the source used for the fourth LP, but with much less echo used. Black Dog again is the version used for the LP. Bonzo's count in between the opening guitar and Plant's vocal is left in. Jimmy Page mentioned in an interview that Bonzo had to keep time throughout the song by banging on his sticks, and that is very audible. Also, the guitar solo is much more extended. When The Levee Breaks is missing the opening drums, beginning on the first verse. The Wanton Song and Trampled Under Foot are new discoveries from the 1974 Physical Graffiti sessions. The Wanton Song sounds a bit clearer with the drums louder, and Trampled Under Foot likewise is clearer and ends in a fade. All in all, they are interesting without revelations. This is recommended for those who have a Beatle-like fascination with alternate mixes. (Gerard Sparaco Dec 01)

The Lost Monitor Mixes EP Vol.1 (Empress Valley Supreme Disc EVSD-89)

Four Sticks (alternate mix with [allegedly] Bonzo's chat and drum intro)/Black Dog (alternate mix with count-in)/When The Levee Breaks (no drum intro alternate mix)/The Wanton Song (alternate mix with count-in)/Trampled Underfoot (alternate mix). Packaging is a single jewel case, limited to 300 copies only.  Front liner cover is a B & W tinted image of a very young Page in the studio, possibly at the mixing desk.  Inside liner notes are in English and Japanese explaining each of the 5 tracks, although it does state there are only 4!  Reverse cover shot is a B & W image, again tinted, of Jones, Plant and Bonham in the recording studio and is quite possibly taken from the Led Zeppelin II sessions. This release, in excellent soundboard quality, has sparked a debate as to the validity and authenticity of these song mixes/takes. One thing for sure is that it is not John Bonham's voice on the first track. (Brian Damage Dec 01)

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XYZ Cinema 90XYZ (Highland 294/295)

Disc 1:  Believe It, Telephone Secrets, Instrumental (Mind Drive), Fortune Hunter (instr.), Telephone Secrets, Make It Easy, I'm With You, Moving In, Moving With The Times, Changes, Girl It Ain't Easy, Hold On, Fools, Who Were You With Last Night?

Disc 2:  Mussorgsky except "Promenade", Harmony, Tonight's Our Night, Owner Of A Lonely Heart, Would You Feel, Baby I'm Easy, It's Enough, Turn It On, Heart Beat, Slow Dancer, Don't You Know, Make It Easy, I'm Down.

The first four tracks on disc one represent the XYZ demo from 1981 featuring Jimmy Page, and Chris Squire and Alan White from Yes.  This was a year where both Zeppelin and Yes were over:  Zeppelin after Bonham's death, and Yes after the disastrous UK tour with their "Buggles" line-up. These four songs, from a reported nine total, surfaced in 1997 and were released before on After The Crash on Midas Touch, which also featured some Robert Plant demos.  This title from Highland features the same tape but from the Yes point of view. The XYZ demos are very good soundboard.  It is a bit hissy, but enjoyable.  The mileage these songs have is remarkable, considering XYZ never officially existed. The first song, Believe It, is a Chris Squire song that has been released officially on the new Yes title Magnification (Can You Imagine).  The third, untitled demo is an Alan White song which was used for the song Mind Drive on Keys To Ascension 2 in 1996 and released this year on Keystudio.  The final XYZ song, Fortune Hunter, is a Jimmy Page song he reworked for The Firm.  The second song, Telephone Secrets, has not been released (maybe too complicated).  However, we get two versions on this title:  one from 1980 featuring Squire, White and Steve Howe, and the other with Squire, White, and Jimmy Page. The final song on disc two, I'm Down, is also of interest to Zeppelin fans.  It features the final encore for Yes' show in June, 1984 in Dortmund, Germany.  Page joins Yes, and he attacks the song with vigor, playing a solo very similar to Immigrant Song. The XYZ demo is very interesting to hear (Page's playing is very similar to In Through The Outdoor and Death Wish II).  It is said that the band fell apart when Robert Plant didn't show any interest in the project.  I really don't think these songs would have sounded any better with Plant as opposed to Squire singing.  We can always imagine it! (Gerard Sparaco Dec 01)

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ARMS:  Dallas 1983 (Heartbreakers HB-947-1/2)

Disc 1:  Everybody Ought to Make a Change, Lay Down Sally, Wonderful Tonight, Rita Mae, Ramblin' On My Mind/Have You Ever Loved a Woman?, Cocaine, Man Smart Woman Smarter, Don't Touch Me, Watching River Flow, Worried Life Blues, You Are So Beautiful, Seven Days,
Feelin' Alright, Star Cycle, The Pump

Disc 2:  Blue Wind, People Get Ready, Going Down, Prelude, Who's To Blame, City Sirens, Boogie Mama, Midnight Moonlight, Stairway To Heaven, Layla, With A Little Help From My Friends, Goodnight Irene

This title on the excellent Heartbreakers label chronicles the opening night of the ARMS tour at the Reunion Arena in Dallas, Texas on November 28, 1983. The source is an excellent audience recording hampered only by some cuts between tracks.  As was the programme for all of the shows in the ARMS tour, the first third was devoted to Eric Clapton, and the second third of the show devoted to Jeff Beck.  The final third of the show, beginning on disc 2 track 4, is the Jimmy Page set.  His set relies heavily upon the Death Wish II soundtrack material (Prelude, Who's To Blame, and City Sirens) with Paul Rogers singing.  Boogie Mama is a song from Paul Rogers' solo album.  What is of interest, however, is Midnight Moonlight.  This would be recorded for the first Firm album.  This show is the live debut of the track.  Page and Rogers are very tentative with the song as it flows between sections and Kenny Jones does his best Bonzo impersonation.  I guess they were hoping the song would not fall apart!  "We'll have to work on that one" Page says after the performance. Overall it is much more effective than the studio version that would be released later. The instrumental version of Stairway To Heaven just brings down the house, especially when Page repeats the "You remember laughter" at the appropriate point in the song.  Hearing the song as an instrumental reminds one of how beautiful the song really is. The show ends with Layla (excellent) and With A Little Help From My Friends sung by Joe Cocker (whose fame is based upon singing a Beatles song souped by Jimmy Page).  The encore is Goodnight Irene which is quite anti climactic. Overall this title is recommend for those who want to hear Page's first steps to performing regularly again in the 1980's, and definitely worth it to hear Midnight Moonlight and the Stairway To Heaven instrumental. (Gerard Sparaco March 02)

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IT'S ONLY ROCK 'N ROLL BLACK CHERRY BLACK C-01

Introduction (0:21)/ Kashmir (8:16)/ Heartbreaker (3:08)/ Whole Lotta Love (5:58)/ Misty Mountain Hop (4:34)/ Stairway To Heaven (11:07)/ Bass Warm Up (1:31)/ Misty Mountain Hop Rehearsal #1 (first half) (1:04)/Misty Mountain Hop Rehearsal #2 (first half) (0:44)/ Misty Mountain Hop Rehearsal #3 (through) (2:26)/ Misty Mountain Hop Rehearsal #4 (second
half) (1:41)/ Misty Mountain Hop Rehearsal #5 (second half) (0:48)/Misty Mountain Hop Rehearsal #6 (second half) (1:09)
Recording: Tracks 1-6 very good to excellent soundboard. Tracks 7-13
fair to good.
Source: Madison Square Garden New York City May 14 1988.
Time 42:48.
(Bob Walker Dec 01)

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Robert Plant - Los Angeles 1-Nov-90

1 November 1990
Los Angeles Universal Amphitheater (Soundboard)

Set list: DISC 1:- 1.Watching you  2.NBFBM  3.Billy's revenge  4.Tie dye the Highway
5. Anniversary 6. In the Mood 7. Liar's dance 8. Going to California

DISC 2:- 1. Little by little 2. Nirvana 3. Immigrant song 4. Hurting kind 5. Ship of fools 6. Living loving she's just a woman 7. Tall cool one

The tape used for this release is near excellent Soundboard recording. Very little tape hiss can be heard and the balance is excellent. The audience is barely noticeable until songs are complete. Robert had a very strong voice for the evening and went through his normal Plantations for the show, "Good Evening." Anniversary is highlighted during this set as Robert does the guitar solo, In the mood seemed to develop into it's own and got longer as the tour went on. Sprinkles of "That's the Way" and In my time of Dying often surfaced, "Oh my Jesus." Robert singing to the audience "One thing I want you to do for me," and "20 years," working hard from the stage. The acoustic set for the evening is something old and something new. Going to California was usually in order, and Liars Dance was and is just a beautiful song. After a trip through the years we move into "Living Loving, She's Just A Woman" Robert often closed his shows with this one. When it was played you could here it from his heart. The players have changed through the years but the intensity is the same. For those who own the show I'm sure you are enjoying it, for those who collect it must be added to your collection. (Nelson Jan 02)

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Priory Of Brion, Stourbridge, 8 December 1999

Band Of Joy (Akashic Records AKA - 28 -1/2) 2 CD
8 December 1999, Stourbridge Town Hall, Stourbridge, West Midlands

Disc 1 (48.14): Morning Dew/A House Is Not A Motel/Something/Waiting For My Man/If I Were A Carpenter/Girl From The North Country/Darkness Darkness/Bummer In The Summer/Band Intros/Think
Disc 2 (45.36): Early In The Morning/We're Gonna Groove/Baby Please Don't Go/As Long As I Have You/Gloria/No Regrets/Trouble In Mind

This beautifully packaged and sounding presentation from Akashic Records (the same stable as Tarantura), is a rare but very worthwhile release of a Priory Of Brion concert. On the front of the gatefold thick card slipcase in big letters it is proclaimed: original soundboard recording. However this is not true, it is an excellent audience recording sourced from either a DAT or a minidisc digital source. There is very little audience noise and the sound is excellent. This was a really excellent performance by Robert Plant, no doubt mainly due to the fact that this was a local venue for him. He went to school in Stourbridge, and the during the concert we are treated to numerous anecdotes about his schooldays and youth in the town. Kevyn Gammond is also mentioned (who is now a lecturer at the college in Stourbridge). It sometimes feels as if Plant is performing for friends and family. His knowledge of the area and the local people is also evident. This, combined with excellent performances from all the band makes up a very special night. The two CDs are picture discs, and the packaging is superb, complete with an obi. There are 100 numbered promo copies and 200 numbered general release copies. The date of the concert is incorrectly given as the 6th December, when in fact it was on the 8th December. All in all this is a lovely release. (Jules McTrainspotter Feb 04)

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Jimmy Page/The Black Crowes Jones Beach 10-Jul-00

Hots On For New York (SOBO-011/012 Celebration Definitive Masters)

Jones Beach Amphitheater, Wantagh, New York, July 10, 2000

CD 1: (61:39) Celebration Day (first 2 minutes cut, dropout near beginning followed by an increase/decrease of the bass in the mix with distortion at its end), Wanton Song, Misty Mountain Hop, Hots On For Nowhere ("vinyl pop" near end), No Speak No Slave, Sick Again (dropout near beginning), What Is & What Should Never Be (2 adjacent "vinyl pops" and a separate one near middle), Horsehead, Oh Well, Ten Years Gone, In My Time of Dying (includes I Cant Be Satisfied (Muddy Waters)) ("vinyl pop" near beginning)

CD 2: (56:37) Your Time Is Gonna Come (dropout/cut near middle), Remedy, The Lemon Song, In The Light (first 4 minutes only), Heartbreaker ("vinyl pop" near middle of guitar solo), Bring It On Home, She Talks to Angels, band introduction, Out On the Tiles, Whole Lotta Love ("vinyl pop" near end)

This release uses an excellent, stereo soundboard recording. It sounds semi-professionally mixed and is more dynamic than the dry sounding October 12th Roseland Ballroom soundboard recording. The cut during In The Light also cut Shapes of Things and Nobody's Fault But Mine. (Brian Ingham Jan 2001)

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John Paul Jones - Los Angeles 15-Nov-2001

CDR (Third Eye Productions)  65mins.
Intro/Zooma/Leafy Meadows/The Smile Of Your Shadow/That's The Way/Steel
Away/When The Levee Breaks/B.Fingers/Freedom Song/Hoediddle/Tidal/Black Dog

Santa dropped a package on the postmat (previously opened by UK Customs!) containing an audio version of the 15th November show. (A video version is also available). The recording is a typical clear and bright DAT effort with almost no audience disturbance. Slight distortion at the beginning, the sound settles down quickly and is clear and balanced. On the
headphones, the stereo image moves around a bit, probably because of audience members arriving/leaving. (Remember JPJ was the support act to King Crimson.)
A quick run through some of the highlights:
Zooma, what a dirty bass sound! None of the pristine sound from the album, it could be Lemmy up there on stage! As the song progresses so does the discordant confusion. And yet they all the band ends at the same time. (Well done!!). That's The Way - all the hyperbole has been about JPJ's vocals. Well getting them out of the way first, he has a gentle voice, sings in tune and adds his own style. No worries there. But the highlight of this song is John's Mandolin playing, shut your eyes and we're back to the concert halls of the 70's....this is a great version of an old Zep classic. Steel Away - good ole Mandolin-pickin' blues. (Before John shuffles over to the Lap Steel Guitar to finish the story). When The Levee Breaks - you'd have to be a pretty bad outfit to wreck this song. Obviously you're in safe hands with the "owner" of the bass part. Freedom Song - the hardest song to describe. Almost a poem to words. A simple song in which John appears to be persuading the missus to come on a last minute holiday. It includes the hilarious section when John boasts how he will be able to bunk off work no problem!! Overall a nice package - with a couple of up to date pix on the cover too! (Dave Linwood Dec 2001).

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24th March 2005
Robert Plant with Strange Sensation

Irving Plaza 2005 (Thumbs Up Records) 2 CDR
Irving Plaza, New York City, 24 March 2005

Disc 1 (59.19): No Quarter, Shine It All Around, Black Dog, Freedom Fries, Morning Dew, Heartbreaker, That's The Way, All the Kings Horses, If I Were a Carpenter, Darkness Darkness, Tin Pan Valley.

Disc 2 (42.55): Babe I'm Gonna Leave You, Tall Cool One, When the Levee Breaks, The Enchanter, Whole Lotta Love.

This is an audience recording. The sound quality is stunning. An easy 9. It is a good concert. Plant is on form. The band give a terrific performance - they are so tight. From the outset the show gathers pace and intensity. The first part of the show includes four re-worked Zeppelin tracks. Personally I think they sound great. The new tunes come across well. There are two interesting track selections, All the Kings Horses and If I Were a Carpenter. This is the quiet part of the show. There is a lot of audience noise around the taper. Plant is singing with minimal accompaniment and the crowd all seem to be chatting. A bit annoying. The first disc ends with a rousing rendition of Tin Pan Valley. From here the concert really takes off. Babe I'm Going to Leave You is just terrific. Plant is at his best. Tall Cool One really races along. What a groove. Recently I listened to the band's interpretation of When The Levee Breaks at a concert at Warwick University. It is played differently this time around. The base drum is to the fore. It reverberates. Awesome sound. The Enchanter gives you a bit of a breather before a belter of a workout on Whole Lotta Love. From the point of view of sound quality this really cannot be bettered. This is a budget price release and accordingly the packaging, slimline jewel case with inexpensive insert cards is entirely acceptable. If, like me, you enjoy Plant in his current incarnation then get this. (John Morrison May 05)

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Robert Plant and his Strange Sensation
Coventry 2 April 2005

Robert Plant with Strange Sensation
Warwick University 2005 (Franny Records, FR-025/026) 2 CDR
Warwick University, Coventry, England, 2nd April 2005

Disc 1 (79.59): Introduction, No Quarter, Shine It All Around, Black Dog, Freedom Fries, Morning Dew, Heartbreaker, That's The Way, Takamba, Tin Pan Valley.

Disc 2 (44.55): Babe I'm Gonna Leave You, Tall Cool One, When the Levee Breaks, Encore, The Enchanter, Introduction to Whole Lotta Love, Whole Lotta Love.

Since Plant's UK tour I've been seeking out, without success, a good sounding boot. Plant in his recent incarnation with the Strange Sensation are extremely good. From the tour personal highlights being Morning Dew and Whole Lotta Love. I obtained Robert Plant, Astoria 2002 on Masterport. Dreadful release. To be avoided. I do have the Genuine Masters release, Austin City Limits. This is a superb title. The drawback being that Whole Lotta Love was not on the set list. This two CDR title is presented in a slimline jewel case. On the front there is an insert card. It is a picture of Plant on stage cupping the microphone. On the reverse there is a picture of Plant to the foreground and others in the band slightly to the rear. The artwork is a very acceptable quality. The track listing on the rear is in white writing and easy to read. The packaging/artwork, for a budget release is highly acceptable. The good news - the sound quality is superb. This title really does have a small club feel about it - I mean that in a positive way. There is quite a lot of crowd noise near the recorder but it does not detract. In fact it shows that perhaps Robert Plant has mellowed a bit with age with regard to shouts from the crowd. After That's The Way a male in the crowd shouts "Where's Jimmy?". Plant's response is humorous. The banter is all good natured. The band play a tremendous mix of songs. No Quarter made a surprise appearance. It's Plant's re-worked version. I enjoy it. There was a number of songs off Plant's new album. They do sound good live. I remember once reading a reviewer's comment of In My Time Of Dying. He said that it would be a real tub thumper played lived. Tin Pan Valley is a real tub thumper. This track would not be out of place in a Zeppelin catalogue. I was delighted to hear Plant's version of When The Levee Breaks. Plant is in good voice. The band are very tight. The concert has a good flow - the tempo is maintained. I wish I had been there. Pity I can't go to America to see him on tour. (John Morrison May 05)

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Robert Plant 2006

Keep On Jamming! (Beelzebub BSD 109/110) 2 CDR
Disc 1 (39.22): Montreux Jazz Festival 30 June 2006 (Tracks 1 to 7); Montreux Jazz Festival 7 July 2001 (Tracks 8 & 9, Page/Plant SBD 2 songs)
Disc 2 (45.20): Sunflower Jam Festival, London, 14 September 2006

This two CD release conveniently brings together two performances by Robert Plant and his Strange Sensation. The first disc has a very good audience recording from the 2006 Montreux Jazz Festival. I was not wildy moved by this performance or the songs themselves, this one is for completists only I think. The best thing about the first disc is the first ever release (albeit incomplete) soundboard recording of two songs only (Baby Let's Play House, and Heart In Your Hand) from the Page and Plant performance at the same festival in 2001. It would be great to have the whole thing. I think that if these two newly surfaced songs had been blended into the audience recording of that show, this would have been a better and more popular first disc. The second CD has an excellent audience recording of a shortened concert Plant gave for the Sunflower Jam Festival in 2006. This is a very nice show and worth having. Nice packaging again, but this release by its content will only have a very limited appeal. (Jamie Boswell Dec 06)

Keep On Jamming! (Beelzebub Records BSD 109/110) 2 CDR
Disc 1 ( 39:20):  Montreux Jazz Festival 06/30/06 “Rockin At Midnight”, Lonely Avenue, I Got A Woman, Leave My Woman Alone (false start), Leave My Woman Alone, Don’t Play That Song, We’re All Family Montreux Jazz Fest 07/07/01 SOUNDBOARD  Baby, Lets Play House, Heart In Your Hand
Disc 2 (45:18) Sunflower Jam Festival 09/14/06 I’m Your Witchdoctor, What Is And What Should Never Be, Can’t Help Falling In Love, Crawling Up A Hill, For What It’s Worth, Ramble On, Good Times Bad Times, Help Me

Beelzebub have released a 2 disc set of Robert Plant and the Strange Sensation with the first show being a near excellent AUD recording from the 2006 Montreux Jazz Fest and Plant & Co. in fine form. The surprise of this disc is the SOUNDBOARD sourced material from 07/01/01 with Page & Plant together. It’s too bad that there’s only 2 tracks however one can hope the rest will circulate in the future. The 2nd disc consists of the Sunflower Jam Festival which is a nice AUD with some Zep tracks and also some great covers. Once again Plant & Co. are in fine form. This title comes in a cardboard gatefold with vibrant pictures from the performances. The discs contain nice pictures also. (LedMan Dec 06)

Keep On Jamming! (Beelzebub BSD 109/110) 2 CDR

Disc 1:  Montreux Jazz Festival 06/30/06, Rockin At Midnight, Lonely Avenue, I Got A Woman, Leave My Woman Alone (false start), Leave My Woman Alone, Don’t Play That Song, We’re All Family Montreux Jazz Fest 07/07/01 Baby, Lets Play House, Heart In Your Hand
Disc 2Sunflower Jam Festival 09/14/06,  I’m Your Witchdoctor, What Is And What Should Never Be, Can’t Help Falling In Love, Crawling Up A Hill, For What It’s Worth, Ramble On, Good Times Bad Times, Help Me

Keep On Jamming! is an interesting release from Beelzebub.  This label usually just rips off the latest Empress Valley release and says it is their own.  But there is no corresponding Empress Valley release for these Robert Plant tapes.  Since whatever worthwhile past Beelzebub releases has depends upon EV, this one has none of it. These are audience tapes that are very boomy and difficult to hear. The bonus songs from the soundboard come from the last time Page and Plant played together and they are okay. It sounds more like a video soundtrack and it makes me wonder where Beelzebub got this and if there is more. The bottom line though is that these tapes really aren't too good and this isn't really worth having. (Belzlegion Dec 06)

Robert Plant
Keep On Jamming! (Beezlebub Records 109/110)

Disc 1
Montreux Jazz Festival 06-30-06 (Audience Recording) Rockin' At Midnight, Lonely Avenue, I Got A Woman, Leave My Woman Alone (False Start), Leave My Woman Alone, Don't Play That Song (w/ Ben E. King), We Are Family (All Star Jam) Montreux Jazz Festival 07-07-01 (w/ Jimmy Page) (Soundboard Recording) Baby Let's Play House, Heart In Your Hand

Disc 2
Sunflower Jam Festival, London 09-14-2006 (Audience Recording) I'm Your Witchdoctor, What Is And What SHould Never Be, Can't Help Falling In Love, Crawling Up A Hill, For What It's Worth, Ramble On, Good Times Bad Times, Help Me

Beezlebub Records have given us something that is definitely new to our ears. The shows contained on this release might appeal more to the collector who desires to have everything, rather than the general collector. The first show on disc 1 is more of an all-star jam than a solo Plant show so the song selections are a bit more diverse. Hearing Robert Plant sing We Are Family is right up there with Vince Neil doing the Chicken Dance. For me, the best song of this show is Rockin' At Midnight. I'd forgotten just how cool this song actually was until hearing it again on this set. Next up are two Soundboard tracks (previously unreleased) w/ Jimmy Page. These two tracks are definitely the highlight of this release. Jimmy is playing well and Robert sounds as if he's having a good time. These two songs document the last time the two have played together.  Heart In Your Hand is a very cool track to hear in this quality.
Disc 2 contains yet another Audience Recording but this time we get Robert & the Strange Sensation. The few Zeppelin songs that pepper the set are the highlights for sure. I'm not too sure why Plant wold choose Can't Help Falling In Love to play but it's definitely an odd choice and he doesn't really do it justice. Good Times Bad Times is my favorite tune from this set and one song Robert should have played more often. Overall, the sound quality of the three shows contained on this release is good. I'm not too sure how much of a demand there is for solo Plant stuff but if you are just a big all around fan like me then go ahead and pick this up. Chances are you won't be disappointed. (HarleyDog Dec 06)

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