New Releases



Magazine Review:

"Tight But Loose" Issue 43

Issue 43 of the longest running and best Led Zeppelin fanzine "Tight But Loose" has just been released. Yet another bumper edition, crammed full of interesting articles and excellent photos, starting with the superb Ross Halfin cover photo taken at the O2 Arena concert ten years ago. In the editorial Dave Lewis warns all his avid and loyal readers that due to other commitments the TBL magazine will in future be released as and when time allows. We know from Dave's posts on Facebook just how much time, effort and passion goes into each issue, and this news is understandable. This issue opens with a look at Robert Plant's forthcoming solo release "Carry Fire", which just illustrates Robert's passion and hunger to push himself on new and different projects. Robert has been busy in 2017, and three of his solo concerts this year are given full page coverage for each one in this issue.

There is coverage of a blue plaque for the house where John Bonham was born, and then we have an interview with his sister Deborah, covering the reissue of her albums and discussing her music and current work. This leads on to an interview with Glenn Hughes of Black Country Communion, followed by an extremely interesting interview with Chris Farlow, and the London music scene in the early 1960s, and meeting with Jimmy Page.

With the tenth anniversary of the O2 Arena concert rapidly approaching, not surprisingly this monumental event gets the lion's share of coverage in the magazine. Dave gives us the story and events leading up to that night (I still can't believe that it was 10 years ago and that I was lucky enough to have been there too!). There are some newspaper reviews, what the band members though, and a few reminiscences from people who attended. This is followed by a very detailed coverage of the wonderful Celebration Days UK Convention in May 1992. I went to this tremendous event on both days, it was a brilliant experience. Organised by Dave Lewis and Andy Adams,it was the first ever UK gathering of fans. It was at this convention that I met many fans who have become great friends over the years, and we all keep in touch and meet up whenever possible. Many thanks to both Dave and Andy for organising a truly classic gathering of the faithfull!

Andy Crofts follows with detailed coverage of the 1977 US tour, looking at the outstanding concerts and recordings, and then examining all the songs played, which is most illuminating. And neatly tying into the 1977 coverage we have an article from John Meacham, an 18 year old who got tickets to attend their Birmingham, Alabama, concert on 18th May. This is followed by Paul Sheppard's analysis of the Bombay Sessions from October 1972. The songs played with local musicians are discussed, as are the numerous CD releases of them. We then have an article looking at one of Jimmy Page's songs from 1965, She Just Satisfies. As this issue draws to a close there is coverage of recent Empress Valley CD box set releases, and the vinyl reissue of the classic "Going To California" LPs. The final word comes from Dave as he looks at Jimmy Page's release of his collaboration with the Black Crowes on vinyl of their Jones Beack concert from July 2000.

As usual, the extremely high production and print quality standards are adhered to, and TBL 43 is another great success. You can order it from Dave here: Many thanks as always to Dave for flying the flag for all matters relating to Led Zeppelin (to paraphrase JJ Jackson:: "individually and collectively"), and continuing to keep interest in the band and its members vibrant and informative. (Jules McTrainspotter, September 2017)

Book Review

"Five Glorious Nights - Led Zeppelin at Earls Court May 1975" written by Dave Lewis (Rufus Stone Limited Editions, Newbury, Berkshire, 2015. ISBN: 978-0-9932879-0-9).

(288 pages, colour and black & white, 12" x 12", with a dust wrapper).

This book, released in late June 2015, is a visual tribute to the legendary five nights that Led Zeppelin played at Earls Court Arena in London, exactly 40 years ago. The first thing that strikes you about this big and heavy book is the size, it is exactly 12 inches by 12 inches, the same size as a vinyl LP. This is a homage to the hallowed vinyl by the publisher. Rufus Stone have in the past published some large and lavish books on Deep Purple, the late and great Ronnie James Dio, the Beatles, Whitesnake, and Yes, a rather eclectic variety of musicians and musical art forms by anybody's standard! However with this new book on Led Zeppelin's very famous, if not legendary, five nights at Earls Court, the publisher has pulled off a remarkable visual feat for all Led Zeppelin fans. As already stated, this is a large and heavy book, but it can still be ready comfortably with it resting on your lap. It is indeed most fortunate that the author of this book is Dave Lewis, the man behind the superb Tight But Loose magazine, and numerous excellent books about the band. Dave attended all five concerts, so he can write with considerable authority and insight about them, as he witnessed each one first hand. He has put in a tremendous amount of hard work into this project, in fact as he just said to me in an email: "I put my heart and soul in that one, and then some!". The book is heavy because of the high quality paper used in the printing. As the publisher advised me, it would have been a lot cheaper to have this printed in China. But quite clearly this book has been produced on the highest quality terms alone, not on costs. Hence why it is an expensive book, limited to 1000 numbered copies, each signed by the author. There is also a super deluxe leather bound edition, strictly limited to 100 signed and numbered copies, inside a white powder coated slipcase, that is completely sold out.

The book opens with a lovely introduction from DJ Nicky Horne, who introduced the band on the 24th May. He recounts that a few days after the concerts he was given a beautiful engraved Asprey's silver goblet as a thank you, a lovely jesture from the band. Dave sets the background to these May 1975 concerts with a review of the North American tour that had run from late January to the end of March. This is followed by a detailed look at the the massive organisation and logistics of preparing for these five mammoth concerts. Each of the five nights are then covered, illustrated by countless superb colour and black & white photos from the well known photographers who were lucky enough to get passes for the shows. Intersperced on the pages are quotes from the press reviews, but mainly from what Robert Plant said each night to the audience. The quality of the reproduction of these photos is outstanding, and they add up to make this book one of the finest rock concert records extant. As a serious photographer myself (I bought my first Pentax SLR in 1971), I can appreciate the difficulties in shooting on film (negatives or positive slides) using only available light, at a concert with constantly changing conditions. With today's massively powerful DSLRs it is straightforward to crank up the ISO and get shot after shot bang on. It was very much harder in those days, manually focussing as well. So the photos displayed in this book are a testament to the professionalism and skills of these photographers. Apart from the photos there are also colour reproductions of the adverts and posters, and at the end of the book all the tickets, bootleg LPs, CDs and DVDs are also illustrated.

Having carefully gone through the book, it is still very difficult to pick out my favourite photos, as there are so many great ones to choose from. Suffice it to say, this book is crammed full of outstanding images, which will bring great enjoyment to all fans lucky enough to own this book. Combined with the extremely high standard of printing (rare in this day and age), this all adds up to a truly wonderful record of those five concerts from exactly 40 years ago. There are also interviews with the promotor, Mel Bush, one of the photographers, Barry Plummer, and finally the music journalist Chris Welch. The book concludes with a brief resume of the events that followed these concerts, with Robert's terible car accident just a few months later, that ground the juggernaut that was (and remains) Led Zeppelin to a halt. And also a look at the stupendous double LP that was the highlight of 1975, "Physical Graffiti". The very last photo in the book, on the last page, is most aptly one of John Bonham, hard at work behind his drum kit. Without him there would be no Led Zeppelin, and there never can be again, he was totally irreplaceable.

The standard edition, limited to 1000 signed and numbered copies, can still be purchased direct from the publisher for £120 plus courier charge:
Having seen how carefully each book is packed, in a bubblewrap sleeve inside a very stout thick cardboard mailer, then there should hopefully be no problem at all of any damage in transit.
Every serious fan of Led Zeppelin needs this beautiful and superbly printed and produced book. (Jules McTrainspotter June 2015).

40 of the best Led Zeppelin ‘live’ bootlegs on Cd
Compiled by Paul Sheppard

This summary covers Cd ‘live’ recordings only and is my considered view of 40 of the very best Led Zeppelin ‘live’ bootleg Cd packages produced to date. This selection is purposely a blend of what I consider to be the best recording, best performance, notable performance and best packaging. Most bootlegs these days can often be found on download websites but this article is slanted towards ‘ownership’ which reflects my personal preference and the views expressed here are not the last word on the subject by any means. Meanwhile, in approximate chronological order, here is the list:

#1: Lifetime Guarantee (Empress Valley) 1 Cd box set.

Gonzaga 30/12/68 (58 mins).
Packaging: Deluxe long box in the form of a four sided sleeve around a cardboard tray with paper insert card containing liner notes in Japanese and English.
Comments: The earliest known ‘live’ recording of Led Zeppelin is from Gonzaga December 30th, 1968. With a fair to good mono audience sound, Empress Valley made this available as a CD or as a CD+DVD package. An early flourish of the power of Led Zeppelin and a fantastic document of their 3rd ever show in the USA.

#2: Fresh Garbage (Scorpio) 5 Cd.
CD1: San Francisco 10/1/69 Set #1 (45 mins).
CD2: San Francisco 10/1/69 Set #2 (49 mins).
CD3: San Francisco 11/1/69 Set #1 (42 mins) / San Francisco 9/1/69 (4 mins).
CD4: San Francisco 12/1/69 Set #1 (41 mins).
CD5: San Francisco 12/1/69 Set #2 (39 mins).
Packaging: Deluxe jewel case.
Comments: This is easily one of the best Zeppelin releases on the Scorpio label from early 1969 and well worth seeking out. All in good mono audience sound and an important collection of Zeppelin’s first real breakthrough nights in the U.S.

#3: The Complete British Broadcasting Corporation Radio Sessions (Empress Valley) 4 Cd.
CD1: BBC Radio Sessions
BBC Radio 3/3/69 (20 mins) / BBC Radio 19/3/69 (18 mins) / BBC Radio 16/6/69 (19 mins) / BBC Radio 24/6/69 (19 mins).
CD2: Rock Hour / BBC Radio 27/6/69 (62 mins) / BBC TV 23/4/70 (5 mins).
CD3-4: In Concert
BBC Radio 1/4/71 (110 mins).
Packaging: Deluxe hinged box with two individual paper cases holding CDs. The inner sleeves are reproductions of the typical yellow BBC Transcription Series vinyl sleeves.
Comments: Superb mono professional pre-FM recording radio broadcasts and a comprehensive collection of Zeppelin’s BBC appearances. The much booted Radio 1 ‘In Concert’ from April 1st 1971 is also liberally available elsewhere so the real selling point here is that all of the BBC radio sessions are included here, in full (including ‘Sunshine Woman’ from the Alexis Korner sesion) though the John Peel comments for the group’s ‘Top Gear’ session are strangely omitted.

#4: Avocado Club (Empress Valley) 6 Cd.
EMPRESS VALLEY SUPREME DISC EVSD 270/271/272/273/274/275
San Francisco 26/4/69 Set #1 (58 mins).
San Francisco 26/4/69 Set #2 (62 mins).
San Francisco 27/4/69 Set #1 (68 mins).
San Francisco 27/4/69 Set #2 (55 mins).
San Francisco 27/4/69 Set #1 (69 mins).
San Francisco 27/4/69 Set #2 (62 mins).
Packaging: Deluxe jewel case.
Comments: Two seminal appearances, one at the Winterland, the other at Fillmore West. What makes this Empress Valley release so essential is that this 6 Cd set includes the audience source for both nights on discs 1-4 and a seamless mix of the soundboard and audience tape from the 27th of April on discs 5 and 6, available together for the first time in one release..

#5: Final Winterland (TCOLZ) 6 Cd.
CD1-2: San Francisco 6/11/69 (96 mins).
CD3-4: San Francisco 6/11/69 (91 mins).
CD5-6: San Francisco 7/11/69 (92 mins).
Packaging: Deluxe jewel case.
Comments: Two very good audience recordings of the 6th and one from the 7th, from a period when Zeppelin were really starting to ‘cook’. Overall, an excellent job by TCOLZ and well worth seeking out.

#6: Jimmy’s Birthday Party (Empress Valley) 4 Cd.
London 9/1/70 (128 mins). [soundboard] / London 9/1/70 (116 mins). [mix].
Packaging: Deluxe quad glossy gatefold sleeve.
Comments: A combination of two mixes and perhaps the best presentation of this classic show from the Albert Hall in early 1970. Many other alternative releases exist but in my view, this is the one worth having at the end of the day.

#7: Lili Marleen (Tarantura2000) 4 Cd box set.
TARANTURA2000 TCD-49, 50
CD1-2: Down By The River
Hamburg 10/3/70 (115 mins).
CD3-4: Shake'em On Down
Hamburg 11/3/70 (118 mins).
Packaging: Deluxe quad glossy gatefold cardboard sleeve with sticker, paper sleeves and picture CDs.
Comments: Definitive package of the two shows from Hamburg 1970. Although the source tapes are a bit hissy and overloaded in places this is still an essential document of Zeppelin finding their ‘live’ feet. Rare and expensive, this is very much a luxury package.

#8: Everybody Feel Alright? (Empress Valley) 2 Cd.
L.A. 27/3/70 (146 mins).
Packaging: Deluxe jewel case.
Comments: Superb and complete show from group’s first appearance at the (now) legendary L.A. Forum. An overall improvement over the older releases, this is worth having especially because it has not been booted very often. The recently released ‘For the Benefit if Mr Kite’ on Tarantura uses the same source and is more lavishly packaged.

#9: Bath Festival 1970 (Empress Valley) 2 Cd box set.
Bath Festival 28/6/70 (131 mins).
Packaging: Deluxe long box in the form of a four sided sleeve around cardboard tray with the two-sided glossy card insert reprinting the original "Immigrant Song/Out On The Tiles" artwork.
Comments: Owning a recording of Led Zeppelin’s performance from the 1970 Bath Festival is more a question of owning an important historical document than it is of owning a top quality bootleg given the poor sound quality of the source tape. Nevertheless, the show is worth hearing at least once so you can see what the fuss was all about at the time. Also available as a 4 Cd set, the only difference between the two recordings offered in that set being the artwork and disc numbers.

#10: Live on Blueberry Hill (Sanctuary) 2 Cd.
L.A. 4/9/70 (132 mins).
Packaging: Deluxe gatefold cardboard glossy double digi-pack. Each CD housed in a paper sleeve.
Comments: The most famous bootlegged Zeppelin show from the L.A. Forum, available on many labels with varying degrees of quality and completeness. Every Zep fan’s collection should have a version of the show and if you can find it, this version on the Sanctuary label is probably the best though the recently released version on the ‘Eat a Peach’ label is pretty good too.

#11: Have You Ever Experienced? (Tarantura2000) 4 Cd box set.
TARANTURA2000 TCD-17-1~4
CD1-2: New York City 19/9/70 (112 mins) [afternoon show].
CD3-4: New York City 19/9/70 (145 mins) [evening show].
Packaging: This was released in 2 versions, both limited to 75 numbered copies. The first version was called the "Acrobat" edition (as pictured) with a Swine Song sticker for the Japanese market and is a silver covered square thick card slipcase showing acrobats performing a stunt on top of a skyscraper and holding a luxury thick quad fold-out Digi pack housing the 4 picture CDs. The second version is called the "Coke" edition for the export market in red with Coca Cola style lettering "Enjoy Led Zeppelin" and "Have You Ever Experienced?" either side of an old German Zeppelin poster in colour advertising 2 days to North America with Gold sticker and holding a luxury thick quad fold-out Digi pack housing the 4 picture Cds.
Comments: How Zeppelin wrapped up 1970 and boy, didn’t they do it well! A rumbustious New York audience help to give the shows plenty of atmosphere too. This is another rare and expensive title but there are cheaper alternatives out there including the new release ‘Storming the Big Apple’, which is just as good.

#12: 911117 (Tarantura2000) 4 Cd box set.
CD1-2: Listen to this Murphy
Belfast 5/3/71 (104 mins).
CD3-4: I Can’t Believe It!
Dublin 6/3/71 (108 mins).
Packaging: Deluxe glossy hinged open box with digi pack holding CDs inside. Limited edition to 200 numbered copies - first 100 are "container cover" edition and another 100 are "painting cover" edition. Includes sticker. 2 versions of the 1st edition were produced. First version cover is a painted war scene on a square card slip case with sticker containing a luxury thick quad foldout digi pack housing the 4 picture Cds and Limited to 100 copies. The second version is again a square card slip case resembling the guitar case for 911117 in black with aluminium coloured edges plus sticker, housing the luxury thick quad foldout digi pack and picture Cds.
Comments: Two shows from Ireland in 1971 and the first ‘live’ outing for Stairway to Heaven so essential to hear these two shows if you can. Empress Valley made a mess of their presentation of the Dublin show and there are cheaper versions out there of both shows but, for me, it was worth the mega bucks to buy this beautiful box set (I have the first edition), easily the best package and best sounding of these two shows. It’s also the most complete versions of each show too.

#13: Firecrackers Explosion 1971 (Empress Valley) 4 Cd.
CD1-2: L.A. 21/8/71 (135 mins).
CD3-4: LA. 22/8/71 (135 mins).
Packaging: Deluxe gatefold sleeve case.
Comments: More complete, louder and a bit clearer than previous releases of these two shows, a superb package of two outstanding concerts. A must-have!

#14: Going to California (Tara TMOQ) 2 Cd.
Berkeley 14/9/71 (96 mins).
Packaging: 1st issue: This was produced in a single thick textured slipcase with sticker, paper sleeves and picture Cds in at least 2 different colours, yellow and orange.
2nd issue [illustrated]: This is a collectors "3D" edition and comes in a white single thick card slipcase plus sticker, paper sleeves and picture Cds. The front cover image is light blue and a 3D design of the band on the back of the flying elephant.
3rd issue: The last release is a card gatefold open slipcase resembling the old TMOQ vinyl release and housing the paper sleeves and picture Cds. Strictly Limited edition of 50 un-numbered copies. This version was released about a year after the four disc "Going To California" in a cardboard sleeve replica of an old vinyl release.
4th issue: deluxe glossy hinged open box with poster containing reproduction of the cover artwork with famous drawing.
Comments: The well-known ‘sourced from vinyl’ recording from Berkeley, 1971. Not a complete show but every fan should have a version of this amazing concert. This is a truly beautiful package from the Tarantura stable on one of its ‘satellite’ labels. There are plenty of other more affordable alternatives out there if your funds can’t stretch to afford this one.

#15: First Attack of the Rising of the Sun (Empress Valley) 4 Cd.
Tokyo 23/9/71 (153 mins) + (31 mins).
Packaging: Deluxe hardcover book-style gatefold cover with a replica ticket and mini-tour program.
Comments: It could be argued that all of the 1971 Japan Tour recordings are essential. If not, it’s certainly true of this gem. Fantastic recording and fantastic show, the only puzzling thing about this release is the addition of a 4th disc with an alternative source for the first part of the show. Never mind, seek it out and enjoy!

#16: Live in Japan (Empress Valley) 6 Cd box set + DVD.
EMPRESS VALLEY SUPREME DISC EVSD 776/777/778/779/780/781
CD1-3: Osaka 28/9/71 (168 mins).
CD4-6: Osaka 29/9/71 (200 mins).
Packaging: Deluxe hinged glossy cardboard box, housing two individual glossy sleeves. Also included are two inserts. There's also a second version in the exact same type of packaging without the DVD.
Comments: A recent and gorgeous presentation of the two shows from Osaka at the close of the 1971 Japanese tour. The 29th has been available many times before and in various guises but the 28th is not available to the same extent. This is a great way to enjoy both nights and is highly recommended. The DVD is interesting as it contains snippets of the performance from the 23rd and a few other gems too!

#17: Feelin' Groovy Definitive Edition (Empress Valley) 3 Cd box set.
Ipswich 16/11/71 (145 mins).
Packaging: Deluxe long box in a form of a four-sided sleeve around cardboard tray, housing each CD in a paper sleeve with an Empress Valley logo, also with credit card-sized double-sided insert containing photos.
Comments: Excellent release of the group playing a smaller venue in the UK and yes, ‘Gallows Pole’ is played ‘live’ too. Not easy to find and likely pricey, this ‘definitive’ version is the one to have. There are two other versions, a two Cd version and a four Cd version but neither of them have the two encores which are on the definitive version.

#18: Electric Magic Wembley Empire Pool (Empress Valley) 3 Cd box set.
London 20/11/71 (141 mins).
Packaging: Deluxe glossy box with lid and glossy gatefold sleeve with discs housed inside. One insert is inside the box plus two others and a poster included in the gatefold sleeves. Also available as a standard jewel case edition with just one insert.
Comments: Another gorgeous package, rivalled only for this particular show by Tarantura2000’s ‘Empire Strikes Back’ (which uses the same source tape), this is nonetheless cheaper than the Tarantura and uses the same source tape. The first of the two ‘Electric Magic’ shows from London, this release is as complete as it gets and is in the best sound available. Sadly, there is no known recording of the following night.

#19: Thunder Down Under (The Complete 1972 Australian And New Zealand Recordings) (Empress Valley) 20 Cd box set + DVD.
CD1-2: Shattering Rock Experience
Adelaide 19/2/72 (96 mins) [Version A (basic mix/edit)].
CD3-4: Shattering Rock Experience
Adelaide 19/2/72 (96 mins) [version B (alternate mix/edit)].
CD5-6: So Loud So Hot
Melbourne 20/2/72 (109 mins) [Version A (basic mix/edit)].
CD7-8: So Loud So Hot
Melbourne 20/2/72 (109 mins) [version B (alternate mix/edit)].
CD9-10: Biggest Gathering
Auckland 25/2/72 (138 mins) [Version A (basic mix/edit)].
CD11-12: Biggest Gathering
Auckland 25/2/72 (138 mins) [version B (alternate mix/edit)].
CD13-14: Pop Goes The Showground
Sydney 27/2/72 (129 mins) [Version A (basic mix/edit)].
CD15-16: Pop Goes The Showground
Sydney 27/2/72 (129 mins) [version B (alternate mix/edit)].
CD17-18: Indoor Farewell
Brisbane 29/2/72 (142 mins) [Version A (basic mix/edit)].
CD19-20: Indoor Farewell
Brisbane 29/2/72 (142 mins) [version B (alternate mix/edit)].

Packaging: Deluxe glossy heavy cartoon hinged open box housing five four-sided gatefold glossy cardboard covers and one DVD disc.
Comments: You can get all these shows individually on other labels and Equinox also offer a 7 Cd box set (with a less complete ‘Sydney’ and missing ‘Auckland’) but when all is said and done this is a wonderful and comprehensive way to own the whole tour in one package. Two sources are offered for each show with some mixing and splicing. Overall, it’s just fabulous with a DVD which has the Sydney footage, the WLL promo, Press Party and the JP/RP radio interview from Perth.

#20: Whole Lotta Led – Get the Led Out (Tarantura2000) 5 Cd box set.
TARANTURA2000 TCD-99~1/2/3 TCD-100~1/2
CD1-3: The Ultimate Power Blues
Uniondale 14/6/72 (155 mins).
CD4-5: Willie and the Hand Jive
Uniondale 15/6/72 (119 mins).
Packaging: A mixture of tri-fold gatefold sleeve and gatefold sleeve, and both fitting into a custom boxwith a magnet on the side to hold the upper flap down.
Comments: Magnificent box set from the 8th U.S. tour, combining the two nights at Hempstead in June 1972. Both are classic Zep nights with the band in full flow and as exciting as ever. The recording for the 14th is as good as it gets, given the quality of the source tape.

#21: Dancing Again (Empress Valley) 3 Cd.
Seattle 19/6/72 (192 mins).
Packaging: Deluxe four sided sleeve around cardboard tray. The reissue is deluxe jewel case with different artwork, has exact same content, same catalogue nos. and has no sticker and inserts.
Comments: An essential show to own from one of their very best gigs, this version on Empress Valley is the best I’ve heard but it’s only slightly better sound quality than the recording from Bath 1970. Still, persevere and the Gods will sprinkle harmonious and ear-bashing delights upon you!

#22: Burn Like A Candle (Tarantura2000) 5 Cd box set.
L.A. 25/6/72 (188 mins).
Uniondale 14/6/72 (3 mins).
Bonus Cd: Interview/Rehearsals (17 mins).
Packaging: Luxury thick card flip-top box with sticker housing a glossy quad gatefold with paper sleeves and picture Cds. Also contains bonus single card slipcase with sticker, paper sleeve and bonus picture disc, mini poster and radio interview transcript.
Comments: Another classic from the 8th U.S. tour, a fantastic 25 minute ‘Whole Lotta Love’ medley and another beautiful package from Tarantura2000, this one also includes a bonus CD from the Wolfman Jack radio show on June 26th, 1972 and the Southampton rehearsal from January 21st, 1973. Lots of cheaper alternative versions of the show are out there so do your ears a favour and find one if you can’t afford this!

#23: The Campaign (Tarantura) 14 Cd box set.
TARANTURA 1972-1~14
CD1-2: No Use Greco
Tokyo 2/10/72 (125 mins).
CD3-4: 2nd Night In The Judo Arena
Tokyo 3/10/72 (128 mins).
CD5-6: Dancing Geisha
Osaka 4/10/72 (120 mins).
CD7-8: Cherry Blossom
Nagoya 5/10/72 (115 mins).
CD9-10: Live
Osaka 9/10/72 (142 mins).
CD11-12: The Last Campaign
Kyoto 10/10/72 (90 mins).
CD13-14: The Campaign
Tokyo 2/10/72 [alt source] (130 mins).
Packaging: Deluxe box displays one of the two "Houses Of The Holy" promotional posters. Each show comes in a hard cover booklet, which, when they are all are slotted into the box, shows a bright red sun on the spines. Each of the booklets has a picture of a Japanese woodblock print landscape, with a Zeppelin airship somewhere in the scene, except for the first night, which has a lovely colour drawing of Jimmy (by Mrs. Stout) attired in traditional Japanese costume. There is a small booklet enclosed showing photos taken at the time of the group off-stage. Early versions also came with a scroll.
Comments: What can one say? An outstanding and early Tarantura release of the complete Japan 1972 tour (with bonus discs of another version of October 2nd). Although alternative versions of the shows exist the recordings in this set are equally as good as the others. Simply awesome!

#24: Ascension in the Wane (Godfather) 10 Cd box set.
CD1-2: Oxford Blues
Oxford 7/1/73 (94 mins).
CD3-4: One For The M6
Liverpool 14/1/73 (120 mins).
CD5-6: Groovin' In The Garden
Stoke 15/1/73 (122mins).
CD7-8: The Black Hole Of Calcutta
Southampton 22/1/73 (150 mins).
CD9-10: Odds And Ends
Bradford (51 mins) / Dundee 27/1/73 (37 mins) / Southampton 21/1/73 soundcheck (6 mins).
Packaging: Deluxe hard cartoon glossy hinged open box with three separate glossy gatefold sleeves housed inside. Includes 56-page booklet and tour poster replica. Picture discs.
Comments: Godfather make excellent box sets and this one is no exception. Four shows from the UK in early 1973 plus a bonus of two soundboard extracts and rehearsals too. The contents are all available individually on other labels but this is a great way to own them in one package. First class!

#25: Mercy on Me (no label) 2 Cd.
No catalogue numbers
Hamburg 21/3/73 (129 mins).
Packaging: Deluxe jewel case.
Comments: You’ll never hear Bonzo bash the skins louder or heavier than you will on this recording from Hamburg 1973. This presents the entire Hamburg show on silver disc for the first time by editing together both the audience recording and the soundboard fragment to utilize all the best available sources. It is the best way to now hear Hamburg in its entirety. Not expensive to buy either!

#26: Custard Pie (Cobla Standard) 2 Cd.
Offenburg 24/3/73 (118 mins).
London 17/5/75 (9 mins).
Packaging: Deluxe glossy cardboard single pocket sleeve. Insert inside.
Comments: So many wonderful offerings from the 1973 European tour exist but this one from Offenburg probably best encapsulates the group’s power and excitement at that time. All in all, this is the best edition of this show (so far). To replicate the vinyl recording ‘Kashmir’ from 17th May 1975 has also been included (unnecessarily in my view).

#27: Two Years Older (Sherman Mickissack Master Recording) 3 Cd.
No catalogue numbers
Houston 16/5/73 (144 mins).
Packaging: Deluxe jewel case.
Comments: Wow! What a show! Most releases out there merely have the available soundboard. This one offers the full audience tape. Ok, so it’s a typical audience recording being muddy and distorted in places, but this is definitely one worth shifting mountains to find, if you can.

#28: A Celebration For Being Who You Are (Godfather) 3 Cd.
San Francisco 2/6/73 (168 mins).
Packaging: Deluxe tri-fold cardboard sleeve. Includes booklet.
Comments: The classic Kezar Stadium concert. The sound isn’t amplified, the speed/pitch seems to be corrected and splices between audience and soundboard are done in a truly perfect way. Overall, this set, which features a stunning performance, offers the best sound yet for the audience tape and is the most complete version.

#29: Detroit Rock City (Graf Zeppelin) 3 Cd.
Detroit 12/7/73 (144 mins) / Detroit 13/7/73 (55 mins).
Packaging: Deluxe jewel case.
Comments: For me, the best show from the 9th U.S. tour, this magnificent set from Detroit 1973 also has the soundboard from the following night too. Everything this label has released has been excellent. Don’t settle for the alternatives, seek this one out!

#30: The Garden Tapes (Empress Valley) 18 Cd box set + DVD.
Rocking the Big Apple: First Night at the Garden
CD1-2: New York City 27/7/73 (104 mins) [aud].
CD3-4: New York City 27/7/73 (104 mins) [sbd].
Bonus disc: New York City 27/7/73 (54 mins).
Taking the Building into the Stratosphere: Second Night at the Garden
CD1-3: New York City 28/7/73 (170 mins) [aud].
CD4-6: New York City 28/7/73 (170 mins) [sbd].
Bonus disc: New York City 27/7/73 (61 mins).
Final Magick: Third Night at the Garden
CD1-3: New York City 29/7/73 (186 mins) [aud].
CD4-6: New York City 29/7/73 (186 mins) [sbd].
Packaging: The CD sets are housed in special paper cases inside an awesome box similar in style to Thunder Down Under. This deluxe set is released in two forms: as 6CD promo box limited to 100 numbered copies and with only soundboard sources for July 28th and July 29th and an 18CD/1DVD box (as above) limited to 300 unnumbered copies. The DVD contains outtakes from the film as well as every piece of amateur video footage known to be in underground circulation.
Comments: Another ‘wow’ release from Empress Valley. All three shows from the MSG in July 1973 are included with both audience/soundboard mixes and soundboard/audience mixes from all three nights. Empress Valley are offering what they claim to be the most complete of the available tapes for all 3 shows. That may be so but although they have included audience and soundboard tapes, each type of recording has been augmented by splicing in from the other type to make it smoother on the ears. However, they have also included bonus discs and a DVD of concert footage (a la TSRTS) so all in all it's a pretty good package to own. What struck me was how good the shows are, particularly the 27th, which has a certain Zep energy about it although the 28th and 29th aren't bad either. If you can afford it it's well worth it in my opinion. Very expensive, this would make any Zep collector happy so never mind the new car, save up for this instead!

#31: Throwing the Wild Seeds (Godfather) 6 Cd box set.
CD1-3: Led Faces over Coliseum
Uniondale 13/2/75 (192 mins).
CD4-6: Few Hours with St.Valentine
Uniondale 14/2/75 (202 mins).
Packaging: Deluxe hard cartoon glossy hinged open box with two separate glossy gatefold sleeves housed inside. Includes 20-page booklet and two mini replicas of original 1975 North American Tour poster and New York February 1975 show poster. Picture discs.
Comments: Another superb Godfather box set, this time covering the two shows at Uniondale in February 1975. After a stuttering start to their 10th U.S. tour, the group have finally got into the groove. These are two fantastic performances presented in great quality too.

#32: Dedicated To Anyone Who Got Divorced Today (TCOLZ) 6 Cd.
Long Beach 12/3/75
CD1-3: 1st source (176 mins).
CD4: 2nd source (34 mins).
CD5-6: 3rd source (154 mins).
Packaging: Deluxe jewel case. The first 50 copies are numbered and have a sticker.
Comments: Much better performance than the previous night, this set offers us three different sources from the second Long Beach concert in March 1975. The second night at Long Beach wasn’t recorded overall as well as the first night but it’s still well worth listening to. The first source offered here is the most complete but the others in this set are also worth hearing. Fantastic package once again from the folks at TCOLZ.

#33: Having a Fit (Tarantura2000) 4 Cd box set.
TARANTURA2000 TCD-83-1~4
Seattle 21/3/75 (210 mins).
Packaging: Deluxe thick glossy cardboard box with the discs in individual sleeves and a small poster of Jimmy Page included.
Comments: The most complete version of the classic show from Seattle 1975 ever pressed on silver disc. There is also little tinkering with the tapes and this release sounds simply wonderful. For these reasons Tarantura have produced the definitive edition of this show. Devotees might also wish to know that this is a blend of both the prime sources. The most complete (and best) version of source one (which is missing the final part of the show) is available on ‘Blow Away’ (no label).

#34: To Be a Rock and Not To Roll (Watch Tower) 4 Cd box set.
WATCH TOWER WT 2001072/73/74/75
London 24/5/75 (218 mins).
Packaging: Deluxe hinged box with quad gatefold sleeve.
Comments: Well, we had to include Earls Court didn’t we? This version from the fourth night is probably the best and the most complete one available. There have been so many releases of this concert, but at last it has now been done with a great deal of care. Don’t hesitate, seek it out!

#35: The Destroyers (Tarantura2000) 6 Cd box set.
CD1-3: Cleveland 27/4/77 (164 mins).
CD4-6: Cleveland 28/4/77 (162 mins).
Packaging: Deluxe glossy box set with sticker holding individual sets of thick card slipcases, paper sleeves and picture Cds. Cds 1, 2 and 3 are gold and Cds 4, 5 and 6 silver.
Comments: Cheaper alternatives exist of these two well-known shows from Cleveland 1977 but this package is breathtaking to see and own. As good as they get.

#36: Magical Sound Boogie (Empress Valley) 3 Cd.
New York City 7/6/77 (180 mins).
Packaging: Deluxe jewel case with insert. It re-uses the same Cds as the original release. Limited to 200 numbered copies (only soundboard discs have catalogue numbers though) and released as a deluxe glossy triple gatefold housed in a slipcase.
Comments: I had to include something from oft-overlooked 6 nights in MSG in June 1977 so I’ve plumped for this one from the first night. There is a 6 Cd version also available offering a second source but the 3 Cd version is plenty good enough for me.

#37: Sequence of Events (no label) 6 Cd.
No catalogue numbers
San Diego 19/6/77 (162 mins).
L.A. 21/6/77 (198 mins).
Packaging: Deluxe jewel case.
Comments: Whichever ‘Eddie’ version you listen to, as long as it’s as close as possible to the Mike Millard taped master then you can’t go wrong. This version is supposed to be as complete as it gets. The bonus here is that you get the San Diego show from two days before as well. Most of the other available versions of ‘Eddie’ out there are just as good. The Mike Millard recording of this show is almost as famous as the ‘Blueberry Hill’ recordings in Zep circles and with good reason. So ‘listen to this, everyone’ and surrender gracefully to the power and majesty of the best band ever!

#38: Sgt. Page's Badgeholders Club Band (Tarantura2000) 3 Cd box set.
L.A. 23/6/77 (195 mins).
Packaging: A promotional prototype version of "For Badgeholders Only". Deluxe glossy cardboard case housing picture CD's. Limited edition of 50 numbered copies of each set (four variations A-D were produced). Two versions have been made – the first for Japanese customers, the second for export. The cover is a parody of the Beatles' "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" with the original four Beatles' members replaced by Messrs. Page, Plant, Jones and Bonham.
Comments: Oddly titled and somewhat quirky, this is very much a deluxe package and one to drool over. The one I own is presented in a deluxe glossy cardboard case housing picture CD's and is truly beautiful on the eye. The cover is a parody of the Beatles' "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" with the original four Beatles' members replaced by Messrs. Page, Plant, Jones and Bonham and is available in 4 different versions. Another Mike Millard recording and probably the best version of the ‘Badgeholders’ concert on Cd. Quite stunning!

#39: Past, Present and Future (Empress Valley) 6 Cd box set.
EMPRESS VALLEY SUPREME DISC EVSD 754/755/756/757/758/759
CD1-3: Knebworth 4/8/79 (198 mins).
CD4-6: Knebworth 11/8/79 (162 mins).
Packaging: Deluxe glossy box with lid housing two gatefold glossy sleeves.
Comments: In my view, the two Knebworth shows in August 1979 were not Zeppelin’s finest hour but if you were there or just want a record of the shows, then this recently released package will do the job nicely. A reissue of the ‘Blind Date’ set, this beautifully packaged and an excellent souvenir of both shows.

#40: Heineken (Tarantura) 2 Cd.
Berlin 7/7/80 (136 mins).
Packaging: Deluxe card gatefold cover. Limited edition to 100 unnumbered copies. (Initially only 20 copies were made but due to the high demand another 80 were pressed at a later date).
Comments: Led Zeppelin’s last ever gig in their original incarnation, this amusingly titled offering (a reference to Bonzo’s fondness for Heineken lager) brings us the full soundboard from Berlin 1980. Due to its very limited edition, this is one of the rarest (and oldest) Tarantura efforts.

Also worthy of mention are:

  • The Complete Rockpile Tapes (TCOLZ) 5 Cd.
    An excellent compilation of the Toronto shows from 1969.
  • Texas International Pop Festival (Oh Boy) 1 Cd.
    A really nice recording from August 1969 with an insert of the original programme included.
  • Charisma (Tarantura2000) 2 Cd box set.
    A beautiful presentation of the Montreux show from March 1970.
  • Ouija/Fortune Teller (Tarantura2000) 2 Cd.
    Two days before the ‘Blueberry Hill’ show but arguably a better performance.
  • Ayers Rock (Tarantura2000 2 Cd box set.
    A sumptuous box set of the Sydney show from 1972.
  • Riot House (Wendy) 3 Cd and Disturbance House (Wendy) 2 Cd.
    The best available versions of the two nights at Alexandra Palace, London in December 1972.
  • Bonzo’s Birthday Party (Sanctuary) 3 Cd.
    Just about the best version I’ve heard and the most complete of the 31 May 1973 show.
  • Deep Throat (Empress Valley) 9 Cd box set + DVD.
    Comprehensive package of the three nights at L.A. Forum in March 1975. Two versions available.
  • Demand Unprecedented In The History Of Rock Music: The Complete Earl's Court Arena Tapes (Empress Valley) 22 Cd box set.
    Lavish and comprehensive box set of the 5 nights at Earl’s Court in 1975 (but a new upgrade and a lavish set from Tarantura are soon to follow).
  • A Week for Badgeholders (Tarantura) 19 Cd box set.
    Luxurious and rare box set of all six nights at the L.A. Forum in 1977. TDOLZ and Empress Valley offer similar (and cheaper) box sets of the 6 shows.
  • The Last Performance In The U.S.A. (Scorpio) 6 Cd.
    The best way to hear the last two shows from the 1977 U.S. tour.


Happy listening!

Concert Memories

With the 40th anniversary of the five May 1975 Earls Court concerts imminently approaching, here is the concert memory of the opening night, the 17th May, from a fan who also recorded the show, the tape of which is referred to as the second audience source for this concert:-

I plotted how to record this concert for days using a BASF 4 band radio cassette recorder, that was about half the size of a briefcase and just as fat. It also consumed four big cell batteries For assembling at Earls Court, the microphone was shoved up an empty loo roll. Empty loo roll carefully inked externally with black ink, internally it was packed with grey foam, with a thick layer of foam at the rear to stop reflected echo, and a thin foam film for the front. My knowledge of the acoustics of Earls Court with its heavy echo was nil prior to the concerts and for years after.
Microphone stand was a gents city type umbrella using sellotape to wrap said loo roll to it. Koss K6 headphones for monitoring using an adapter to the 2 pin DIN plug socket.
All hidden under a greatcoat casually draped over my left arm, with my hand hanging onto the radio cassette recorder for entrance and exit. Headphone held against my kidneys with lead shoved into my trouser pocket and microphone and loo roll and sellotape carefully wrapped around a pen in various pockets on my jacket. Two BASF C90 cassettes, unused but freshly FF and REW to ensure no jamming and bedded to the recorder. The microphone stand (umbrella) was always on my left foot to ensure no knocks from the arena floor. Seated right of centre, two blocks from the stage.
I was really not expecting the sheer volume of the Showco 100,000 watt PA system (per Richard Cole?) nor video screen so when Bonzo hit the snare drum before the first number I was in shock by the volume and concerned that the auto level recorder was going to be unable to cope with the sheer volume.
As the tapes were completed per side after 40 minutes or so I FF them and flipped them over and when both sides were done I gave them to my sister sitting alongside me. I did not get caught out by running out of tape during a song but I did not have enough tape for Bron-Yr-Stomp (never on my favourite list) and had to edit Bonzo's solo on Moby Dick, and I struggle to remember whether I edited JPJ on No Quarter.
After the concert, and with my sister duly primed to get well ahead with the tapes, we left and headed back to the car, she was under instruction to take the tube and train if I didn't show up within 15 minutes had I been rumbled on the way out.
Had I known about Peter Grant, his physical size plus his previous occupation and his ways of dealing with tapers, would I have risked recording the 17/5/75, and photographing with 2 rolls of Ektachrome Tungsten on the 23/5/75 including casually walking down to the barrier at the front with a 200mm tele on my Praktica SLR? Doubtful, very doubtful, I was the 9 stone weakling then.



          “Thunder Down Under” (subtitled The Complete 1972 Australian And New Zealand Recordings) is Empress Valley’s newest title - a massive luxury box set containing 20 CDs and 1DVD of - what was told  - a complete and comprehensive collection of all available audio and video from Led Zeppelin’s one and only Australia/New Zealand tour that took place in February of 1972. The box itself looks awesome: glossy cardboard hinged set with five individual gatefold sleeves housed inside. For the front artwork, they’ve used fantastic photo from Melbourne gig, showing members playing on the outdoor stage just as the dark stormy clouds started to appear in the sky and bringing some heavy rain. The back has famous Swan Song logo along with album’s title, usual credits (to Mr. Diamond, whoever he is) and EVSD logos on bottom rears (and with another photo in the background). Each gatefold cover is differently titled and contains two versions of each show, presenting basic edit or source mix (version #A) and alternate edit or source mix (version #B). Each gatefold album utilizes Melbourne photos done during the show and before the rain started to drop.

          When it was first announced in October 2013, many negative comments started to pop up and many people complained about its content, saying that yet again thislabel is reissuing the old material known from their previous titles, and stolen a DVD shared by the fans throughout the torrent sites. There were also some problems with flawed discs (actually, disc #16 of Sydney show), and replacement copies were quickly released and sent to everyone, who picked up box at its first selease. After some hesitation I decided to get a copy for myself, and I have to say that even if most of this material already surfaced many years ago, the sound quality and completeness of this collection is undoubtedly far superior to every past title containing any of shows included in this box. There are some rumours saying that this time label used a better tapes and mastering and even if this is not true at all, the overall effect is more than satisfying.

          So let’s examine this deluxe set disc by disc, also making some recollections from the past and study this wonderful piece of music. Since we have already plenty of reviews describing each of five shows, I’ll concentrate much on technical aspects, and try to make a comprehensive comparison between titles.

“Shattering Rock Experience” – Adelaide February 19th, 1972

Version #A (EVSD 609/610)
CD1: Immigrant Song/Heartbreaker/Black Dog/Since I’ve Been Loving You/Stairway To Heaven/Going To California/That’s The Way/Tangerine/Bron-Yr-Aur Stomp
CD2: Dazed And Confused/Moby Dick/Whole Lotta Love

Version #B (EVSD 611/612)
CD3: Immigrant Song/Heartbreaker/Black Dog/Since I’ve Been Loving You/Stairway To Heaven/Going To California/That’s The Way/Tangerine/Bron-Yr-Aur Stomp
CD4: Dazed And Confused/Moby Dick/Whole Lotta Love

This is the famous Adelaide show, and best sounding tape of all five nights that have surfaced so far from this tour. Adelaide was the second stop (after Perth, which has a tape that hasn’t surfaced yet, according to rumor). The show first circulated many years ago on TDOLZ’s “Oooh My Ears Man” and was later reissued by few major labels, of which worth to list are Equinox’s “Live In Adelaide” (also released as stunning 7 CD box set titled [ sic! ] “Thunder Down Under” and collected everything that was available from the tour at that time), Tarantura’s “Voo Doo Drive”, T2K’s “Voo Doo Drive Version 2004” and EVSD’s “Deep Downunder”. Each of these past titles are quite similar in content and quality except for the EVSD’s “Deep Downunder”, which has some edits from between the songs removed out to present a bit more compact listening. EVSD’s newest version included in the box seems to be a little clearer/brighter, has additional several seconds at the very start of tape and overall the recording sounds freshier. Most likely, they’ve used a newly circulated master clone that was traded just few years ago. Between this and first EVSD title I do hear some noticeable difference in depth, and I am calling the box set version a winner.

The show itself is very powerful, with brilliant versions of “Immigrant Song”, “Heartbreaker” (these two songs are unlikely performed with a long break due to a broken string of Jimmy’s guitar and funny comments from some members of the audience, reporting the devastating level of sound (“ooh my years man!” can be heard just right after the first song, when someone was literally blown away by the large amount of decibels), “Stairway To Heaven”, “Dazed And Confused” (a really furious and heavy version, one of the best from 1972 I think), and “Whole Lotta Love medley”. The only minor of this show are numerous cuts and edits throughout the show that caused the dropping of some Plantations from the set, and omitting (probably) some songs that might be played that evening (“Celebration Day” or “What Is And What Should Never Be” and maybe “Communication Breakdown” as the final encore).

Between both versions, version #A contains literally everything that have surfaced on tape while version #B is very similar in content to EVSD’s “Deep Downunder”, and has some edits removed out from compilation. It’s also worth to say that some of edits that plagued original recording are repaired here in a smooth way, making this show even more interesting.

“So Loud, So Hot” – Melbourne February 20th, 1972

Version #A (EVSD 613/614)
CD5: Immigrant Song/Heartbreaker/Black Dog/Since I’ve Been Loving You/Stairway To Heaven/Going To California/That’s The Way/Tangerine/Bron-Yr-Aur Stomp
CD6: Dazed And Confused/Rock And Roll/Whole Lotta Love

Version #B (EVSD 615/616)
CD7: Immigrant Song/Heartbreaker/Black Dog/Since I’ve Been Loving You/Stairway To Heaven/Going To California/That’s The Way/Tangerine/Bron-Yr-Aur Stomp
CD8: Dazed And Confused/Rock And Roll/Whole Lotta Love

          The Melbourne show was the first date from the tour that started to circulate amongst the collectors back in the early/mid 1970s, and few vinyl LPs containing first half of the gig in acceptable fair quality appeared just few years after the show. After that, at least three new different source tapes as well as more complete basic source have surfaced, and it’s a hard to say which tape is really complete. At the early 1990s, various labels started to release this show in unique way, and at the end, we have at least a dozen of different titles, and this is probably the most bootlegged date from the entire tour. The most noticeable past versions of this set are: “Acoustically” (TDOLZ), “Count Me Out When It’s Hot” (Cobra), “”Down Under Daze” (Image Quality), “Live In Melbourne” (Equinox; also as 7CD compilation), “Melbourne Masters” (Immigrant), “No Longer Down Under: Live In Melbourne” (Graf Zeppelin), “On Stage Melbourne” (Wendy), “Shivers ‘n’ Shakes” (Red Hot), and “Wet Head Is Dead” (EVSD). Between all of them, no one is truly complete (except for EVSD, Graf and Wendy), and each offers different source mix between at least two or three tape sources. Newly released EVSD title offers almost the same mix as the one found on Graf Zeppelin and Wendy, and is the most complete version of this show so far.

          This show was played under very cloudy conditions with rain cutting it short at the end, and was cut short because of thepossibility of electrocution. EVSD used probably four different tapes sources to present a complete concert. Version #A is very similar in content to the versions released by Graf Zeppelin and Wendy (as mentioned) and differs only in very few minor spots (mostly a technical issues). The tape starts with the old “vinyl” source, and then is patched with almost excellent sounding tape, recorded close to the stage and without any serious distortion except for the fact that it sounds a tiny bit weak to me. For the “Rock And Roll” and very start of “Whole Lotta Love” they’ve used another tape that sounds very poorly, lacking complete clarity and it obvious that it was recorded somewhere from the balconies at the end of stadium. Frankly, it lasts maybe within 5 or 6 minutes at all (if count all the minutes used for this particular source) and it doesn’t disturbing overall atmosphere. Very likely, another tape recorder is used for some patches in between the songs but I am not 100 percent sure because when you’re listening multiple source changes, your ears starting to be a bit tired. In opposite, version #B is somewhat much more interesting, at least for someone who’s a mad completist as me. For this version, the label used so called entire “vinyl” source as primary source and used another two (or three?) recorders to patch missing parts in between the songs and for the parts, where basic source tape doesn’t exist (ie. some of “Dazed And Confused”, “Whole Lotta Love” etc.). It is very interesting to hear the whole alternate tape because, even if this source isn’t as clear and dynamic as the one used for the basic version, it allows me to celebrate this date in a much different perspective. Anyway, congrats to EVSD for doing such a great research and – at this point - I must complain on excellent Bootledz site, which states they missed something. (I more believe that some of older titles just faked or repeated some audience parts rather than EVSD accidentally cuts out something, because the same site didn’t say anything bad when referring to Graf Zeppelin/Wendy titles, which are very similar in content to this newly box set and have literally everything in order.) The bad aspect of this version is the fact that they included "Rock And Roll" after "Whole Lotta Love", which is obviously a big error and I hope that the label will replace this soon with corrected copies of the first disc  for version #A.

          The show itself starts in with usual medley of “Immigrant Song” and “Heartbreaker” and is followed by good renditions of “Black Dog”, “Since I’ve Been Loving You” and “Stairway To Heaven”. I don’t know why, but for me one of the highlights for this date is acoustic set. The band seems to enjoying themselves much and I have a feeling that night before they were in rush and this night all four members of the group – along with audience - were much more relaxed. The weather started to getting worse as the band went heavily through a great version of “Dazed And Confused”, and near the end it was obvious that the group had to stop the show and wait for a better time. An abrupt version of “Rock And Roll” followed soon and, again, the rain scared everyone during the “Whole Lotta Love” medley, which was shortened “because electricity and water just don't get together at all”, but even this fact, this concert is really good and worth attention (at least in my humble opinion).

“The Biggest Gathering” – Auckland February 25th, 1972

Version #A (EVSD 617/618)
CD9: Immigrant Song/Heartbreaker/Black Dog/Since I’ve Been Loving You/Celebration Day/Stairway To Heaven/Going To California/That’s The Way/Tangerine/Bron-Yr-Aur Stomp
CD10: Dazed And Confused/What Is And What Should Never Be/Rock And Roll/Moby Dick/Whole Lotta Love/Communication Breakdown

Version #B (EVSD 619/620)
CD11: Immigrant Song/Heartbreaker/Black Dog/Since I’ve Been Loving You/Celebration Day/Stairway To Heaven/Going To California/That’s The Way/Tangerine/Bron-Yr-Aur Stomp
CD12: Dazed And Confused/What Is And What Should Never Be/Rock And Roll/Moby Dick/Whole Lotta Love/Communication Breakdown

          This show started to circulate back in 2003 as a single, excellent sounding tape, but was very incomplete (missing many songs). In 2010, an alternate and much more complete tape recorder was found, and this time almost entire show was captured. The show was first released exclusively on two premium labels, Akashic and T2K, under the title “Going To Auckland”. This is followed by another three titles, “Live In New Zealand” (EVSD), “On Stage Auckland” (Wendy) and “No Longer Down Under: Live In Auckland” (Graf Zeppelin); each of them mixed both tape sources and are much similar in content. However, each of them focused on first tape source, using alternate recording only to fill gaps in basic source. Newly released EVSD presents two unique source mixes: version #A is somewhat very similar to their predecessors and version #B includes second tape source as its foundation.

          Between all of these titles, the quality is much similar; however, once again, newly EVSD title seems to be sourced from freshier transfers and has more depth to me. Also, version #B is much more interesting because it reflects on alternate recorder that hadn’t been in circulation anywhere but on low gens and here is presented in its entirety, what allows me to explore this show in a different mood.

          Auckland date is known especially from the fact of being the first and only appearance of the band in New Zealand. Almost 25,000 fans went to see the group and for this groundbreaking event, Peter Grant hired a Zeppelin Express - an exclusive train to bring fans from Wellington up for the show. This is another excellent performance (probably – mostly because of its quality – shares the same top sound with Adelaide and Sydney), showing a very rare early glimpse of Jimmy Page’s creative prowess on stage and Plant’s explicit praise of the logistics of the show. Probably for the first time during this tour a fast and heavy version of “Celebration Day” was performed and in the middle of “Dazed”, Page incorporated opening riffs of “The Song Remains The Same” (back then the song was yet not finished and was only rehearsed under working title, “The Plumpton And Worcester Races” [sic! ] and existed as a spontaneous, loose jam). “Whole Lotta Love” is my all time favorite from the tour, and furious and heavy “Communication Breakdown” is played as a closer to delight of rowdy audience.

“Pop Goes The Showground” – Sydney February 27th, 1972

Version #A (EVSD 621/622)
CD13: Black Dog/Stairway To Heaven/Going To California/That’s The Way/Tangerine/Bron-Yr-Aur Stomp/Dazed And Confused/What Is And What Should Never Be
CD14: Moby Dick/Rock And Roll/Whole Lotta Love/Communication Breakdown/Organ Solo/Thank You

Version #B (623/624)
CD15: Black Dog/Stairway To Heaven/Going To California/That’s The Way/Tangerine/Bron-Yr-Aur Stomp/Dazed And Confused/What Is And What Should Never Be
CD16: Moby Dick/Rock And Roll/Whole Lotta Love/Communication Breakdown/Organ Solo/Thank You

          For the Sydney show two different tape sources are known to exists. The first tape is only a 40-minute fragment containing “Black Dog”, “Bron-Yr-Aur Stomp”, “Rock And Roll” and “Whole Lotta Love” and it was released on Equinox’s “Live In Sydney” (released also as a part of 7CD “Thunder Down Under” set) and on Black Cat’s “Australian Tour Part 1”. The quality is muffled and distant but enough fairly listenable. The second tape surfaced few years after and was taped by Mr. Leo Ishac. It has excellent, wide sound and was taped much close to the stage. Sadly, only equalized transfers are in wide circulation and some of listeners always complained on that fact, saying that the sound is way too much tempered due to process of equalization. On the other hand, this tape source captures almost entire show (minus “Immigrant Song”, “Heartbreaker”, “Since I’ve Been Loving You”, and  “Celebration Day”) and was released soon after on “Ayers Rock” by T2K. (Other reports says that the taper recorded entire show, but because of some unknown reasons, he dropped them out from copies he traded over the years.) T2K title is even more tweaked what causing of a rather painful listening experience for this show. Soon after few more labels started to released their own versions, using first (shorter) source to fill gaps in longer tape: “Rumble In Sydney” (Further Along), “Balloon Goes Up On Led Zeppelin” (EVSD), and “On Stage: Sydney” (Wendy). Newly released EVSD title (presented on version #A) uses the same source mix but it seems to be done a little more carefully, keeping everything in right order. Also, for the very first time, the small gap in between “Hello Mary Lou” and “The Rover” in the middle of “Whole Lotta Love’ medley is filled by first tape source, making this ‘marathon’ truly complete. Version #B (similar to Adelaide show) includes an alternate edit, where some of worst cuts are gently eliminated, providing smoother version of this concert.

          Sydney show itself is a very strong performance, with many great moments. “Black Dog” is played with fury and impact and “Dazed And Confused” (especially the bowing solo), is a delightful novelty to the provincial punters and this is another great version of this song. “Rock And Roll” is delivered with swaggering fury. Plant reaches the notes the ear expects. Very long and somewhat unique “Whole Lotta Love” and its rock medley, including a fully-realized, instrumental version of “The Rover”, heard years before its official release, is a truly awesome. A great pair of encores (with extremely jammy “Communication Breakdown” and glorious “Thank You”, preceded by organ solo), closing this amazing gig.

“Indoor Farewell” – Brisbane February 29th, 1972

Version #A (EVSD 625/626)
CD17: Immigrant Song/Heartbreaker/Black Dog/Since I’ve Been Loving You/Celebration Day/Stairway To Heaven/Going To California/That’s The Way/Tangerine/Bron-Yr-Aur Stomp
CD18: Dazed And Confused/What Is And What Should Never Be/Moby Dick/Whole Lotta Love

Version #B (EVSD 627/628)
CD19: Immigrant Song/Heartbreaker/Black Dog/Since I’ve Been Loving You/Celebration Day/Stairway To Heaven/Going To California/That’s The Way/Tangerine/Bron-Yr-Aur Stomp
CD20: Dazed And Confused/What Is And What Should Never Be/Moby Dick/Whole Lotta Love

          At the start I need to say that probably this was the biggest surprise for me, having previously only heard the entire Brisbane show and remembering its poor quality, I was even more happy enjoying the fact that EVSD used better sounding transfers up here. Furthermore, all previous titles offered only single source – and - for the very first time large speed issues that plagued both recordings are finally fixed in excellent way.

For many years only first tape source circulated on silvers, making its appearance on Black Cat’s “Australian Tour Part 2” and “Live in Brisbane” (Equinox; released also on 7CD set titled “Thunder Down Under”). Both titles uses poor sounding and somewhat incomplete tape. Newly released EVSD set includes this tape source on version #A as its foundation and filling missing parts with second tape source, that is released on silver for the very first time. Version #B rely on second tape source as basic tape and uses first tape source in parts, where second tape isn’t available. The quality is still muddy and distant but is much more clear and all issues that were presented on past titles are fully repaired, making listening much more comfortable journey. Even the weakness of the sound couldn’t broke my excitement, since Brisbane show is really worth of close attention.

The concert was the final show of the tour and the only indoor gig of all five dates. In fact, this is excellent, high-powered show in front of another rowdy Australian crowd! The opening numbers are excellent and Robert's singing on “Since I've Been Loving You” is pure emotion and one of the best versions from the entire Australian episode. A restless audience stops “That's The Way” a minute into the song. After Plant's seating instructions, they start the song again. “Dazed And Confused” is another long version and “Whole Lotta Love’ medley medley is excellent and contains some really rare inclusions. We can only wondering if the group played some encores, since end of tape captured people leaving the hall but if they did any, “Communication Breakdown” might be the answer (judging their two previous shows, they used this song as a definitive set closer).

DVD: Immigrant Song*/Heartbreaker*/Black Dog*/Since I've Been Loving You*/Celebration Day*/Stairway To Heaven*/Going To California*/That's The Way*/Bron-Yr-Aur Stomp*/Dazed And Confused*/What Is And What Should Never Be*/Moby Dick*/Rock And Roll*/Whole Lotta Love medley incl .Boogie Chillun, The Rover*/Immigrant Song**/Black Dog**/Since I've Been Loving You**/Celebration Day**/Going To California**/Bron-Yr-Aur Stomp**/Dazed And Confused**/Moby Dick**/Rock And Roll**/ Heartbreaker***/Black Dog***/Dazed And Confused***/Thank You****/Miscellaneous scenes*****

         The DVD disc is added as a bonus to the set and makes this release a very special gem. The only minor problems are the incompleteness of footages included, but assuming the fact that back in early 1970s no one had a chance to capture an entire show on video, this is a remarkable piece of rock history and pure delight for all LZ fans, having a chance to see the group live on stage! Four different amateur movies have surfaced from the Sydney show (I marked them from * to **** symbols) and all four have sound dubbed from actual concert, except for the parts where original soundtrack doesn’t exist (these short parts are dubbed from Brisbane show). The fourth (****) footage is supposed to be much longer but the complete copy is still in the hand of the taper. The fifth (*****) footage is allegedly taken from Melbourne and showing people arriving to the Kooyong stadium, also partially exploring stage and band’s equipment. Since we all know that seeing LZ on video is something outstanding, I need to say only that the idea of including all these films was really accurate and it's even more great to see also famous GTK footage (along with Sydney press party) attributed to this DVD.

Summary: As for any other massive sets, this title is recommended especially for more serious collectors out there. Two versions for each of shows might be a boring thing for less advanced listeners and for those, who cannot afford it, at least one single title for each show can be adapted. The minor flaws here and there (mostly attributed to the Sydney tape and unavailability of raw unprocessed transfer for the Leo Ishac’s source tape) are vastly overshadowed by the excellent presentation and editing work of the sources presented in this box set. Just about all the shows presented here are in either same or improvement in terms of sound quality and completeness over previous releases with EVSD taking full advantage of the very careful mastering technique (making all these shows sounding fantastic, especially Melbourne, where multiple source changes are done in a truly professional way). Furthermore, this box set will probably become highly collectable in years to come, not only because the fact of being strictly limited to few hundred copies only but mainly because of its content as the most complete and comprehensive collection of all these shows (until new tape sources are about to surface someday). If I need to discuss any bad sides, I’d point out problems with flawed discs for Melbourne and Sydney shows and its high price and for sure for those who cannot afford a few hundred of $, a direct download copies (that will appear very soon on torrent sites) are an excellent ways to obtain this release for free. (argenteumastrum, Dec 2013)

Double Shot  (Empress Valley, 6CDs (EVSD-571~573 and 580~582))
Capitol Centre, Landover, MD, 25 and 30 May 1977

25 May 1977
DISC1(67:12): The Song Remains The Same / The Rover Intro ~ Sick Again / Nobody's Fault But Mine / In My Time Of Dying / Since I've Been Loving You / No Quarter
DISC 2 (48:16) / Ten Years Gone / The Battle Of Evermore / Going To California / Black Country Woman / Bron-yr-Aur Stomp / White Summer ~ Black Mountain Side / Kashmir
DISC 3 (60:41) / Over The Top / Page Guitar Solo /Achilles Last Stand / Stairway To Heaven / Whole Lotta Love/ Rock And Roll

30 May 1977
DISC1(69:45): The Song Remains The Same / The Rover Intro ~ Sick Again / Nobody's Fault But Mine / In My Time Of Dying / Since I've Been Loving You / No Quarter
DISC 2 (49:12) / Ten Years Gone / The Battle Of Evermore / Going To California / Black Country Woman / Bron-yr-Aur Stomp / White Summer ~ Black Mountain Side / Kashmir
DISC 3 (60:54) / Over The Top / Page Guitar Solo / Achilles Last Stand / Stairway To Heaven / Whole Lotta Love/ Rock And Roll

EV has finally continued its “soundboard revolution” with this new title released at the end of 2012.  This time, they have unearthed the SBDs from the remaining two shows (i.e., those on 25 and 30 May) held in Landover in ’77.  Together with the SBDs from the other two shows on 26 and 28 May that were released by EV a while ago, the SBDs from all of the four shows in Landover are now available.Since the quality of the SBD from the 28 May show was compressed and dry, I had been afraid, before I got the title, that the newly surfaced SBD might sound similarly.  However, my fear was unfounded.  The SBDs newly surfaced from both 25 and 30 May shows sound fuller and warmer than the SBD from the 28 May show.  The sound quality of the new SBDs is more or less similar to the SBD from the 26 May show but may be even slightly better than that.  It is generally well balanced, although it may be a bit bottom heavy.  Between the two new SBDs, the one from the 30 May show may be a bit better balanced than the one from the 25 May show.  However, both are very enjoyable.  EV elected to patch some minor gaps existing in the SBDs with some audience recordings for both shows, but it does not greatly subtract our enjoyment of the shows. The photo of JP on stage as put on the front cover of the outer paper case is rare and looks great.  The 3CDs for each show are housed in a separate inner paper sleeve.  EV printed a number of photos from ’77 on both the outside and the inside covers of the two paper sleeves.  While most of those photos are already familiar ones, this new title decorated with the photos is much better than EV’s previous issue entitled “Snow Blind” as decorated with tasteless artwork. All in all, the new title is definitely worth having.   Since the newly surfaced SBDs sounded better than I had expected, I also got the luxury box set called “Maryland Moonshine”  housing 12 CDs presenting all of the SBDs from the four shows in Maryland ’77, expecting that even the SBDs from the 26 and 28 May shows might have been upgraded . However, as I listen to the CDs contained in the box set, the SBD from the 26 May show sounds almost the same as that presented in EV’s past title “Bringing The House Down.”  On the other hand, the SBD from the 28 May show as included in the box set may be slightly better due to some equalizing or amplification than that presented in EV’s past title “The Powhatan Confederacy.” However, it is not at all a substantial upgrade and does not warrant our new investment.  Accordingly, collectors should stay away from the box set unless they desire to have it on account of the different artwork for it.  (TH  Jan. 13)

Vancouver 19 and 20 March 1975

Snowblind (Empress Valley Supreme Disc  EVSD 564-566) 3CDs plus Bonus 6CDs
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

19 March 1975
Disc 1 (56:29): Rock And Roll/Sick Again/Over The Hills And Far Away/In My Time Of Dying/The Song Remains The Same/The Rain Song/Kashmir
Disc 2 (57:08):  No Quarter/Trampled Underfoot/Moby Dick
Disc 3 (69:09): Dazed And Confused/Stairway To Heaven/Whole Lotta Love/Black Dog

20 March 1975
Disc 1 (54:57): Rock And Roll/Sick Again/Over The Hills And Far Away/In My Time Of Dying/The Song Remains The Same/The Rain Song/Kashmir
Disc 2 (57:52):  No Quarter/Trampled Underfoot/Moby Dick
Disc 3 (73:47): Dazed And Confused/Stairway To Heaven/Whole Lotta Love/Heartbreaker

It’s been a long time since they did it last, but EV have finally returned to continue their “Soundboard Revolutions” by releasing this title, which has unearthed a new soundboard recording of the Vancouver show on 20 March 1975.  In the past, what had been available from the show was only a distant audience recording which should be rated no better than “good”.  As we listen to the show with the newly surfaced excellent sounding soundboard, it makes us realize that the show is one of the best from the band’s ’75 tour, including their Earls Court days.  Especially, the recovery of Robert’s voice is remarkable at this show and he is in a good mood to make various attempts, which he did not dare to do in most of the prior shows on the tour .  In addition to the rhythm section which was stable throughout the tour, Jimmy is also in good shape at this show with very loose fingers, although he became somewhat erratic in the last chords of “Heartbreaker”.  The band seemed to end up playing the tune in an impromptu manner following Jimmy’s unexpected introduction of the guitar riff after Bonzo’s fill-ins, which should have led to the guitar solo part in the middle of “Whole Lotta Love”, instead of playing the more regular encore number “Black Dog.”   The balance of the SBD recording of the second show in Vancouver is similar to that of the SBD from the first night that was originally released in EV’s title called “Snow Jobs” some time ago.  However, it is slightly better balanced with lower bottom ends.  Accordingly, the newly surfaced SBD is now a “must have “ for  any serious Led Zeppelin collectors.
However, the manner of EV’s sales of the newly surfaced SB should be criticized.  I understand EV’s need to recoup its investment in getting and releasing a new SB. This time, they have elected to combine it with the “digitally remastered” version of the SB from the first show at the same venue to make it a 6CD set release rather than a mere 3CD release, boosting the price of the set.  As I checked the “digitally remastered” version of the SBD from the first show, it does not sound very different from the original version, although the balance issue may have slightly improved.  In addition, the label included the “bonus” 3CDs featuring the audience recording of the show in Montreal on 5 February 1975.   However, they do not sound any differently from the version used in the label’s past release entitled “The 1975 World Tour”.  Accordingly, neither the SB from the first night nor the bonus discs add little value to the set.  EV also seems to boast about the artwork, which an artist called “Hanger 18” created for the set, depicting a snowy landscape, trains running in the snow, and a cartoon of three members of the band in action on stage.  While the artwork is not too bad, it is not as tasty or creative as artwork created by Tarantura for their titles.  In my opinion, EV should concentrate on the contents of their releases rather than spending any additional costs in creating artwork to wrap them that matches the quality of Tarantura’s, so that EV could sell their  titles at cheaper prices.   Therefore, except for those “die hard” fans who could not help but rush to get the newly surfaced SB, collectors should wait until only the newly surfaced SB is released separately.  (TH  April 12)

Performed Live In Seattle - Haven’t We Met Somewhere Before (Empress Valley Supreme Disc  EVSD-553, 554 and 555) 3CD
Seattle Center Coliseum, Seattle, WA, 17 March 1975

Disc 1: (57:28): Rock And Roll/Sick Again/Over The Hills And Far Away/In My Time Of Dying/The Song Remains The Same/The Rain Song/Kashmir
Disc 2: (57:12): No Quarter/Trampled Underfoot/Moby Dick
Disc 3: (67:34): Dazed And Confused/Stairway To Heaven/Whole Lotta Love/Black Dog

EV has finally released one of the SBs from thetwo Seattle ’75 shows that were rumored to fall into the label’s hands a long time ago.  The quality of the SB is what we could expect from similar past '75 SB releases.  It is generally excellent and well balanced, although Jonsey's bass sounds a bit too conspicuous in the SB for my taste.  There is no immediately noticeable gap or drop in the tape.  Unlike the audience recording of the show, “Rock And Roll” does not cut in but starts from the beginning.  A minor complaint is that Discs 1 and 2 end abruptly rather than smoothly fading out.  The SB reaffirms that the first '75 Seattle show was an excellent one from the '75 standard.  There are a number of moments showing that the instrumental trio were inspired at the show.  Robert's voice is also very strong.  The subtitle came from the song a snippet of which Robert sang before the band started “Dazed And Confused.”  The cover artwork for the title reproducing that for the old LP boot release of the Seattle '73.7.17 show is not very imaginative, but I found that the changing "V 1/2" to "VI 1/2" was witty.  All in all, this is another surprising release by EV of a unveiled SB from one of the great shows in the band’s ‘75 tour.  The 6CD set limited to 200 copies comes with bonus 3 CDs featuring a very good audience recording of the same show.  However, I doubt that it is any better than what we already had.  I now very much hope that the label would also release a SB from the more legendary second '75 Seattle show!  (TH  May 2011)

Page/Plant Sacramento, CA, October 6 1995 (Third Eye DVD)

Terry Stephenson is in the process of PC-authoring all of his Page/Plant videotapes to DVD, many for the first time. This one, Sacramento ’95, has never been put onto DVD before.
This is the first in a very exciting project, by renowned video cameraman Terry Stephenson, to remaster all his Page/Plant concerts from 1995, 1996 and 1998. Initially all these releases came out on video, but a number were subsequently released on DVDR. And now, with the advances in DVD PC editing and remastering, Terry is working his way through his tremendous back catalogue. And of course the advent of reasonably priced dual layer recordable DVDs means that the picture quality is as high as is possible. This release, a concert not made available before, is from Sacramento in California on 6 October 1995. The colours in this release are deep and rich. There is unfortunately some camera shake, unintentional, due to the nature of the venue itself, but by and large it is all very nicely captured. Sound quality is excellent too, using a punchy audience recording. This show has a number of unique facts, as Robert does Bonzo’s vocal intro to “The Ocean” which leads into Whole Lotta Love, and he also gives us vocals on “Out On The Tiles”, which leads into Black Dog.
Robert was clearly having a great time that night, and Jimmy does unique guitar bends on every solo.
The packaging is really nice, with an insert card inside the DVD case which has a copy of the original VIP ticket, regular ticket and the car park ticket too.
The DVD is a dual-layer disc with PCM stereo, available in both NTSC & PAL and it is also available as single-layer discs too. A great start to what promises to be an excellent series of concert releases, by a man who did them all exceptionally well. (Jules McTrainspotter Dec 2010)

The Valkyrie’s Vigil (Tarantura, TCD-94~97) 6 CDs

“In The Act of Invoking The Spirit“ (TCD-94) 10 October 1969, Olympia, Paris, France
Disc 1 (77:51): Introduction/Good Times Bad Times/Communication Breakdown/I Can’t Quit You/Heartbreaker/Dazed And Confused/While Summer Suite/You Shook Me/How Many More Times

“Never Was Angel In Heaven” (TCD-95-1&2) 1 April 1971, Paris Cinema Theatre, London, England
Disc 1 (55:05): Interval/Introduction/Plant MC/Immigrant Song/Heartbreaker/Plant MC/Since I’ve Been Loving You/Plant MC/Black Dog/Plant MC/Dazed And Confused/Plant MC/Stairway To Heaven/Plant MC
Disc 2 (54:06): Plant MC/Going To California/Plant MC/That’s The Way/Interval/False Start/What Is And What Should Never Be/Plant MC/Whole Lotta Love/Plant MC/Thank You/Communication Breakdown/John Peel MC

“In The Old Refectory” (TCD-96-1&2) 22 January 1973, Southampton University, Southampton, England
Disc 1 (77:41): Opening/Rock And Roll/Over The Hills And Far Away/Black Dog/Misty Mountain Hop/Since I’ve Been Loving You/Dancing Days/The Song Remains The Same/The Rain Song/Dazed And Confused
Disc 2 (77:04): Stairway To Heaven/Whole Lotta Love/Heartbreaker/Organ Solo/Thank You/How Many More Times/Communication Breakdown

“Plays Gothic Blues” (TCD-97) 14 March 1969, Konserthuset, Stockholm, Sweden; 25 April 1969, Winterland, San Francisco
Disc 1 (46:34):I Can’t Quit You/MC/I Gotta Move/Dazed And Confused/How Many More Times/Train Kept A Rollin’/You Shook Me/Communication Breakdown/MC/As Long As I Have You

This most recent release from Tarantura is a 6CD box set which is a combination of several soundboard recordings made in the earlier part of the band’s career.  Since the last disc of this set was originally said to feature some recording of the band’s show held at “Uppsala University Hall” in Stockholm, many collectors hoped that it would reveal an unearthed recording of that mysterious show.  To our disappointment, however, it has eventually turned out to be the familiar soundboard recording of the show at Konserthuset, with an odd addition of the audience recording from the band’s show on 25 April 1969 at Winterland, San Francisco.  In addition, while the tape from the Olympia show is a pre-FM broadcast version before the annoying French MCs were overdubbed, the same version was already made available by TCOLZ in its title called “One Night Stand In Paris”.  Accordingly, in terms of materials contained, there actually is nothing new and surprising in this box set and those materials are all common and already familiar to most of us.  However, all the tapes have been professionally mastered by the label to be very loud and punchy versions.  Especially, the tape from the show at Konserthuset as featured in this title apparently is its best-ever version, sounding better than the version in TDOLZ’s “Missing Links”.  All the other tapes also sound better than or as good as they sounded in most past titles, except, to our regret, that the tape from the show at Paris Cinema Theater as featured in this title sometimes cracks in its high ends.  Therefore, the set could not be an essential item for our collection.  However, the true charm of this set lies in its beautiful presentation.  The outer box and the four paper sleeves contained in it to house the discs are all beautifully decorated with artistic paintings from medieval or Renaissance eras.  Also, reproduced on them are a number of photos of the band members from the relevant years and ticket stubs and posters for some of the very concerts.  In addition, all the CDs are picture discs on which one of those photos is printed.  Accordingly, it would be difficult for many avid collectors to resist getting the set, being attracted by its beautiful presentation.  In fact, the 150 limited copies of the set seem to have already sold out!  (TH December 09)

Good Old Led Zeppelin (Tarantura, TCD-89~92) 7 CDs
Winterland Ballroom, San Francisco, 25 & 26 April and 6 & 7 November 1969

“Train Kept A Rollin’ “(TCD-89)(25 April 1969
Disc 1 (24:30): Introduction/Train Kept A Rollin’/You Shook Me/Communication Breakdown/As Long As I Have You
“You Shook Me” (TCD-90-1&2)(26 April 1969)
Disc 1 (58:60): Opening/Communication Breakdown/I Can’t Quit You/Dazed And Confused/You Shook Me/How Many More Times
Disc 2 (62:41): Tuning/White Summer Suite/Killing Floor/Babe I’m Gonna Leave You/Pat’s Delight/As Long As I Have You/Whole Lotta Love
“Something Else” (TCD-91-1&2)(6 November 1969)
Disc 1 (53:11): Introduction/Good Times Bad Times/Communication Breakdown/I Can’t Quit You/Heartbreaker/Dazed And Confused/Tuning/White Summer Suite/What Is And What Should Never Be
Disc 2 (42:16): Moby Dick/How Many More Times/C’mon Everybody/Something Else
“Heartbreaker” (TCD-92-1&2)(7 November 1969)
Disc 1 (50:51):Good Times Bad Times/Communication Breakdown/I Can’t Quit You/Heartbreaker/Dazed And Confused/White Summer Suite
Disc 2 (41:28):Babe I’m Gonna Leave You/What Is And What Should Never Be/Moby Dick/How Many More Times

This long -awaited new release from Tarantura has turned out to be one of the most beautiful box sets that the label has ever released.  The title covers all the audience recordings known to exist of the shows which the band performed at Winterland Ballroom in 1969.  As presented in this box set, (i) the tape of the show on 25 April is cleaner than the one used as bonus tracks in Lemon Song’s “California ‘69”, (ii) the tape of the show on 26 April is almost identical to the one used in old Tarantura’s legendary title “Lead Set” which had long been recognized as its best version, (iii) the tape of the show on 6 November is obviously cleaner than the one used in old Tarantura’s “Punk!” and has fatter bottom ends, making it easier for us to keep listening to, than the one used in House of Elrond’s “C’mon Everybody” which had more harsh higher ends, and (iv) the tape of the show on 7 November is cleaner and more upfront than the one used in Missing Link’s “Winter of Our Content”, although the notorious “tape cuing” problems still exist.   All in all, all the tapes as presented in the box set can be said to be their respective best-ever versions.  What are more impressive regarding the new release are its artwork and manner of presentation.  The artwork for the new title is based on that for the legendary “Lead Set” but has further been expanded and elaborated.  The size of the outer hard paper box for the set is twice larger than the one used for “Lead Set”, so that it can contain not only a smaller hard paper box in which the 7CDs are housed in 4 paper sleeves but also a T-shirt on which the front artwork for “Lead Set” is reproduced.  I got a T-shirt of M-size in back color but there seems to be T-shirts of other sizes and in other colors to come with the title.  The outer hard paper box is decorated with (mostly rare) nice color or black & white photos of the band members, especially those of Jimmy, as well as reproductions of the poster and a ticket stub for the concerts in November and what seems to be a local newspaper article announcing those concerts.  The smaller hard paper box which was produced to look like a book features some mysterious drawings of “hard-boiled” type as well as photos of the band members of the era.  The CDs are picture discs on which the photos of the band members are reproduced.  Those photos seem to be shots from the very shows at Winterland Ballroom.  The only minor complaint about the set is that the paper sleeves to house the CDs are a bit too small to put 2CDs together in it.  Since the 120 limited copies of the title initially made available by the label are said to have sold out with pre-orders only, I am sure that the title will be one to be highly sought after by collectors who unfortunately failed to get one of those copies.  Another wonderful massive box set release by Tarantura!  (TH  August 09)

Toronto 18 August 1969

The Complete Rock Pile Tapes (The Chronicles Of Led Zeppelin TCOLZ 031/032/033/034/035)
The Rock Pile, Toronto, Ontario, Canada – February 2, 1969/August 18, 1969

Disc 1: (45:37) February 2,1969 – Introduction, The Train Kept A Rollin’, I Can’t Quit You Baby, Dazed And Confused, You Shook Me, Killing Floor, How Many More Times

Disc 2: (52:39) August 18,1969 1st show -  Introduction/The Train Kept A Rollin’, I Can’t Quit You Baby, Dazed And Confused, You Shook Me, How Many More Times

Disc 3: (53:05) August 18,1969 2nd show (1st source) - Introduction, The Train Kept A Rollin’, I Can’t Quit You Baby, Dazed And Confused, White Summer/Black Mountain Side, You Shook Me

Disc 4: (29:03) August 18, 1969 2nd show (1st source continued) - How Many More Times, Communication Breakdown

Disc 5: (79:22) August 18, 1969 2nd show (2nd source) - The Train Kept A Rollin’, I Can’t Quit You Baby, Dazed And Confused, White Summer/Black Mountain Side, You Shook Me, How Many More Times, Communication Breakdown

The Complete Rock Pile Tapes from The Chronicles Of Led Zeppelin collects all previously available tapes from the Rock Pile in Toronto and includes for the first time a new audience source for the August 18th second show.
Disc one contains Led Zeppelin’s first Canadian appearance from February 2, 1969. This tape comes from the first of two sets and was first released on CD as Canada 2-2-69 (Totonka) but was missing “Killing Floor”. Absolutely Gems (Sanctuary) included this with the August 18th Rock Pile shows in a 3CD set and was the first to feature “Killing Floor”. Rockpile Tapes (Badgeholders) followed and while it had the same content as Sanctuary, Badgeholders had some editing errors.
This tape is a good to sometimes very good sounding recording that does suffer from some tape problems. There are a few brief drop outs and some areas of muffled sound. The overall level of the music fluctuates a bit and background noise and hiss are sometimes more prominent than others. “Train” has a brief drop out at the start and “I Can’t Quit You” has a tape problem near the beginning where a few seconds of tape are lost. “You Shook Me” is missing the first few notes and has a larger cut near the end. “Killing Floor” has a cut before and after it and is played faster and more vigorous than what would be recorded for “The Lemon Song”. “How Many More Times” closes the set and contains references to “Fever”, “The Hunter”, and “Money”. In comparison TCOLZ is more powerful than Sanctuary and has a deeper sound. Sanctuary is geared more toward the higher frequencies and is very hissy with more tape noise present. Totonka and TCOLZ are more similar in sound but TCOLZ does sound a bit cleaner to me.. TCOLZ is missing about six seconds at the tape problem in “I Can’t Quit You” that so far have only been found on Totonka.
Zeppelin returned to the Rock Pile in August and played two shows on the 18th. Both sets were featured on Complete Rockpile Shows (The Symbols), Absolutely Gems (Sanctuary) in slightly improved sound and also on Rockpile Tapes (Badgeholders). The first set was slightly shorter due to the fact that Zeppelin started late but by the way they stretch out some of the numbers they don’t seem worried about time restraints. This is a very muffled sounding recording with some level problems and is the poorest source in this set. It does clear up some after the first two tracks but there are more problems throughout the tape.
The playing is excellent and Page really opens up during the solo in “I Can’t Quit You Baby”. By “Dazed And Confused” the sound seems to have stabilized some and becomes more enjoyable but at 7:56 there is a five second gap missing some music and the sound worsens with a lot more background noise present. Luckily, it does clear up some during “You Shook Me” where Page plays some really cool slide in the main solo and is an outstanding version that makes me wish the sound quality was a little better. The playing however in “You Shook Me” and “How Many More Times” more than makes up for the lack in sound quality. TCOLZ has not been amplified as much as The Symbols and Sanctuary and is a little less distorted and less hissy as a result. TCOLZ is also closest to actual speed where Sanctuary is a tad slow and The Symbols runs very slow. Badgeholders has the metallic sound which is very noticeable in places.
The first source for the August 18th second show on discs three and four are the best sounding of the set here having more of a fuller sound than the rest of the tapes and can be considered a very good recording for the era. The first show was good and helped the band loosen up for an outstanding late show. They seem more confident in their delivery of the material. A few seconds of “You Shook Me” are missing at 4:26 but otherwise the tape is pretty complete. “How Many More Times” is one of the longest versions so far and includes “The Hunter”, “Trucking Little Mama”, “Needle Blues”, and “The Lemon Song” among other obscure references. “Communication Breakdown” is the only encore and features a bass solo from none other than “King John Paul Jones” as Plant introduces him. TCOLZ’s version is again un-tampered and sounds a good deal quieter than Sanctuary and The Symbols. Sanctuary sounds good and bright but has been a little over amplified and can be harsher on the ears.
The real curiosity here is the new source for the August 18th second show on disc five. This is a very good audience source with some distortion in spots and is almost on par with the older source. The tape cuts in during the last ten seconds of “Train” and is also missing some time between tracks allowing it to fit onto one disc. There is noticeable tape deterioration during “You Shook Me” but overall the tape is in decent shape. This new source is enjoyable and is another very welcomed document to add to the Zeppelin catalog.
The Complete Rock Pile Tapes from TCOLZ is packaged in a fatboy jewel case that houses the five discs. The photos used are excellent early shots and are used to make up a nice little collage on one of the inner sides (nicely done). Overall, I feel this is another awesome comprehensive set to satisfy the Zeppelin collector. Technically, this could have been squeezed onto four discs but considering TCOLZ is a budget minded label the price for an extra disc is irrelevant. (wgpsec Feb 09)

Paris 10 October 1969

One Night Stand In Paris (The Chronicles Of Led Zeppelin TCOLZ 029/030)
L’Olympia, Paris, France – October 10, 1969

Introduction, Good Times Bad Times Intro/Communication Breakdown, I Can't Quit You Baby, Heartbreaker, Dazed And Confused, White Summer/Black Mountain Side, You Shook Me, How Many More Times

Disc 1: (78:11) Pre-FM Transfer

Disc 2: (78:02) FM Broadcast Version inc. DJ Comments

Led Zeppelin’s appearance in Paris on October 10, 1969 was recorded for French radio and was originally broadcast on Musicorama in 1969. The recording was known to exist for many years but amazingly never surfaced on any bootleg until it was rebroadcast in December 2007. This created a huge buzz in the Zeppelin community and quickly became a favorite among collectors. The rebroadcast contained a French radio announcer speaking over the performance in six different spots unfortunately marking the recording.
Within about a month or so of the 2007 airing, there were no less than six releases issued. Olympia 1969 (no label), Paris Olympia 1969 (Wendy), Paris Par Excellence (Empress Valley), and N’est Aucun Imbecile (Black Dog Rekords) all issued the complete broadcast including the DJ comments. Ain’t No Fool (Black Dog Rekords) and L’Olympia (Godfatherecords) both edited the comments out along with the underlying music. Good Times Bad Times (Scorpio) was released in July 2007 and paired this tape with the show at the Lyceum from two days later and reportedly replaced the DJ with music from another night (a practice I could personally do without). While most of these titles sounded great, Godfather and Empress Valley were considered two of the best versions with Godfather praised for some really nice editing work.
This performance comes right before the release of Led Zeppelin II and we get the first documented version of “Heartbreaker” here, a true highlight. It is rumored that perhaps “Moby Dick” was played but unfortunately not broadcast. The rest of the set was a pretty standard show for the time starting with the “Good Times Bad Times” intro into “Communication Breakdown”, which worked very well as the opener, and finishing with the long stretched out “How Many More Times”. The performance here is both powerful and stunning and falls under the “must have” category for both avid and casual Zeppelin collectors.
TCOLZclaims to present a pre-FM transfer on disc one of One Night Stand In Paris and I must say, this appears to be the real deal. There is no DJ chatter and no apparent evidence of edits or cuts. Also, the overall level seems quieter and doesn’t have that amplified characteristic that would be associated with an FM broadcast. The sound quality is excellent and is the best this has sounded so far.
Disc two contains the tape exactly as it was broadcast including commentary. While One Night Stand In Paris offers the best of both worlds, disc one, with great sound and no chatter, is the definitive version of this show. TCOLZ has uncovered a true gem and even though sometimes a little tinkering with the sound can be beneficial, I would much rather see the tapes left alone than over equalized. Bottom line is that the Zep community needs a label like TCOLZ to offer collectors un-tampered source tapes and so far have proven worthy. This comes packaged in a double slimline jewel case with a very nice layout for the artwork. (wgpsec Jan 09)

Bristol 8 January 1970

Out Of The Bristol Tale (The Chronicles Of Led Zeppelin TCOLZ 047/048)
Colston Hall, Bristol, England – January 8, 1970

Disc 1: (61:31) We’re Gonna Groove, I Can’t Quit You Baby, Dazed And Confused, Heartbreaker, White Summer/Black Mountain Side, Since I’ve Been Loving You, Organ Solo, Thank You, Moby Dick
Disc 2: (31:26) How Many More Times, Whole Lotta Love, Communication Breakdown

January 8th was the second of eight shows played during Led Zeppelin’s short UK tour at the start of 1970. It is one of two documented performances from this string of dates with the other being the famous Royal Albert Hall performance finally released officially on DVD by the band in 2003. This show in Bristol is one day before the RAH show and offers a glimpse at a few tracks not featured in the DVD.
Out Of The Bristol Tale features a fair to very good audience source that is distant but clear enough to be enjoyed. The quieter portions can be very clear while some detail does get lost in the heavier parts. A new year brings a new set list and the show cuts in during the beginning of “We’re Gonna Groove”. This would prove to be just as effective an opener as “Communication Breakdown” or “Train Kept A Rollin” but would only serve this slot (with the one exception of Dusseldorf on March 12th) until the Bath Festival on June 28th, being replaced by “Immigrant Song”.
“Heartbreaker” is a killer version and contains a piece of “Bouree” in Page’s solo. Jimmy receives incredible applause for “White Summer/Black Mountain Side” and rightfully so as he achieves a very fluent performance. We also have the first documented versions of “Since I’ve Been Loving You” and “Thank You” and get to hear how they would have sounded at the RAH the following night. “Since I’ve Been Loving You” has not been recorded yet but has the same basic structure with some different lyrics and hasn’t fully developed into its final form. A short organ solo precedes “Thank You” taking full advantage of the Hammond organ used on stage now.
“Moby Dick” gets cut off at just over two minutes eliminating the lengthy drum solo. “How Many More Times” has Plant’s band introductions including Jimmy “Hoochie Coochie” Page and includes “The Hunter”, “Boogie Chillun”, “Move On Down The Line”, “High Flying Mama”, and “The Lemon Song” in the medley. “Whole Lotta Love” is now a regular part of the set and the band does their best to duplicate its studio counterpart. No Theremin is used but Page plays around with de-tuning his low string to some effect. The final encore “Communication Breakdown” has a really cool reference to “Good Times, Bad Times” that would be expanded upon in the future.
This show has previously been issued as a no label release titled Bristol Stomp. In comparison, Bristol Stomp runs about 6% too fast and is slightly less complete than TCOLZ. Out Of The Bristol Tale is also much better sounding being clearer and brighter without the low end hum that Bristol Stomp suffers from. Tarantura also recently issued this as A Day Before The Hoochie Coochie Man’s B’Day and is reported to have sold out the first day. Out Of The Bristol Tale is very similar to Tarantura’s version (both presumably using a lower generation tape than Bristol Stomp) but TCOLZ will be much easier to find.
Overall, this is a very good show that would serve as a great warm up for the following night’s spectacular event. Considering there are so few tapes from this tour, this is certainly an acceptable sounding document from one of Led Zeppelin’s greatest eras. It is packaged in a slimline jewel case and uses excellent black and white photos from the era. (wgpsec June 07)

London 9 January 1970

The Initial Tapes (Godfather Records GR 286/287) 2CD
Royal Albert Hall, London 1/9/70

CD1 (63:11): We're Gonna Groove/I Can't Quit You Baby/Dazed And Confused/Heartbreaker/White Summer medley incl. Black Mountain Side/What Is And What Should Never Be/Moby Dick
CD2 ((52:12): How Many More Times medley incl. The Hunter, Boogie Chillun,Truckin' Little Mama, Move On Down The Line, Leave My Woman Alone, TheLemon Song/Whole Lotta Love/Communication Breakdown/C'MonEverybody/Something Else/Bring It On Home/Long Tall Sally/BandOutroduction/Communication Breakdown (shorter version)

2 CD silver discs with tri-fold paper gatefold packaging.  Linear notes are printed in the middle inside of the inside of the tri-fold. This new title has released the latest of the Kevin Shirley tapes of the 1/9/70 concert at the Royal Albert Hall.  There have been many releases of this well known soundboard tape - most recently the EV release titled Jimmy's Birthday Party.  The quality of the soundboard (SB) audio is excellent as in the EV release ( discs 3 and 4).  Of note, this release does not change the sequence of the songs from the actual show and does not appear to have made any changes (equalization or amplification) to the audio of the Shirley tape.  Heart Breaker has the normal cut at the end....Overall this is a very nice sounding SB that would be worthwhile if you do not already own this in it's complete version in high quality SB - and I it is excellent SB quality! (R. Schnell, July 08)

Baltimore 11 June 1972

Triangle Of Love (Tarantura, TCD-109) 3CDs
Civic Center, Baltimore, Maryland, 11 June 1972

Disc 1 (63:59): Introduction/Immigrant Song/Heartbreaker/Black Dog/Since I’ve Been Loving You/Stairway To Heaven/Going To California/That’s The Way/Tangerine/Bon-Yr-Aur Stomp
Disc 2 (57:00): Dazed And Confused/What Is And What Should Never Be/Moby Dick
Disc 3 (40:09): Whole Lotta Love/Rock And Roll/Communication Breakdown

Tarantura chose to release a title presenting another show in June 1972.  This time, it is the one held at the Civic Center in Baltimore.  There were several past titles featuring the same audience recording of the show.  I compared this title especially with Flagge’s “The Axman Of Cometh”, which was noted as the best among them by our webmaster.  First of all, Flagge’s title misses Robert’s opening salute of “Good evening!” before the show started, while Tarantura’s (as well as all the other past titles) includes it.  In addition, Flagge’s title misses approximately a minute of the tape at the end of the show that kept recording after the band had finished its performances, while Tarantura’s reserves it.  Accordingly, Tarantura’s version seems to be longer than Flagge’s.  In terms of audio quality, Flagge’s title sounds very loud but may be too much amplified since both high and low ends crack when we turn up the volume.  On the other hand, Tarantura’s version is not as much amplified as Flagge’s, avoiding such cracking of the audio even when we turn up the volume.  Accordingly, Tarantura’s version sounds cleaner and superior to Flagge’s, now making it the best-ever sounding version of the tape.  Therefore, Tarantura’s new release is very worthy of our collection.  The band worked truly hard in June 1972 and constantly showed excellent performances.  This show is no exception.  For instance, “Since I’ve Been Loving You”, referred to by Robert at this show as “ a song of triangle of love”, is a great, passionate version.  “Dazed And Confused” is average from the standard of the era but is impeccable.  “Whole Lotta Love” includes a very enjoyable rock’n roll medley in length, as typical for the era.  “Rock And Roll” is played with all the glory of its studio version.  June 1972 was certainly a great month for the band.  Tarantura elected to print several rare photos of the band on the cover and inner sides of the paper sleeve which contains the CDs as well as on the CDs themselves.  The photo used on the cover of the paper sleeve is most mysterious.  Although it is a bit out of focus, the venue shown on it seems to be a rather small one where audience were sitting around tables.  However, if it is a shot taken at the very show held at the Civic Center (or any other show of the same era), it is a nice and valuable find of a new photo of the band in the month of its glory. (TH  July 10)

Uniondale 14 & 15 June 1972

Whole Lotta Led - Get The Led Out (Tarantura, TCD-99,100) 5CDs
Nassau Coliseum, Uniondale, NY, 14 & 15 June 1972

“The Ultimate Power Blues” (TCD-99)(14 June 1972)
Disc 1 (61:52): Introduction/Immigrant Song/Heartbreaker/Black Dog/Since I’ve Been Loving You/Stairway To Heaven/Going To California/That’s The Way/Tangerine/Bon-Yr-Aur Stomp
Disc 2 (49:43): Dazed And Confused/What Is And What Should Never Be/Moby Dick
Disc 3 (43:22): Whole Lotta Love/Rock And Roll/Communication Breakdown/Weekend/Bring It On Home

“Willie And The Band Jive” (TCD-100)(15 June 1972)
Disc 1 (60:04): NY Drone/Immigrant Song/Heartbreaker/Black Dog/Since I’ve Been Loving You/Stairway To Heaven/Going To California/That’s The Way/Tangerine/Bon-Yr-Aur Stomp
Disc 2 (58:35): Dazed And Confused/What Is And What Should Never Be/Moby Dick /Whole Lotta Love

This new box set released by Tarantura has turned out to be a very nice one.  The two shows which the label elected to present in the set are legendary ones held at Nassau Coliseum in June 1972.  If they were recorded professionally, Jimmy Page would be able to produce another official live album which could be entitled “How The East Was Won” as the counterpart of the last official live album made from the two shows held in the West Coast in the same month.  Unfortunately, there has been no evidence or clue that such professional recordings actually exit and, instead, only the audience recordings of mediocre qualities have been made available to us.  Especially, the one which captured the show on June 14 has been notorious in our circle for its bad quality.  Tarantura notes and boasts inside the box that in producing the new title, it used “the only transfer made by taper (in October 2008) direct from the master cassettes since June 14 1972”.  In fact, the improvement of the sound quality of the audience tape is apparent.  There is an inevitable limitation due to the generally poor quality of the master cassettes.  However, in this title, it sounds more stable with less fluctuation, and cleaner with less hiss noises, than in any of the previous commercial releases, easily making it the best-ever version of the show.  Since the tape fortunately captured the show almost entirely including the encore, its improved version in this title is a very welcome and worthy addition to our collection.  I note that Tarantura chose to edit and erase some portions of the tape suffering from cuing problems.  There may be debates on whether it was a right choice, I would personally vote for it since it enables us to continue our listening experience without being bothered by the problems.  On the other hand, in this new title, the audience tape from the show on June 15, which unfortunately is incomplete especially losing the encore, does not sound very different from, but at least sounds as good as, any of the versions we could hear in previous commercial releases such as old Tarantura’s “Welcome Back”.  It is certainly nice to have the quality versions of these two legendary shows packed in one box.  As usual with any release by the label, the artwork for this title is intricate and outstanding.  This time, Tarantura elected to use mysterious or demonic drawings for the cover of the box and the back of the paper sleeve for the first set.  It also elected to use a dated photo of several people sitting around a table, with a ghost-like human hand strangely emerging from under the table, for the cover the paper sleeve for the first set.  Otherwise, the label properly and carefully decorated the back of the box, two sets of the paper sleeves and the CDs contained in them, with a number of stage shots of the band presumably taken at the respective very shows, images of several ticket stubs for those shows as well as a color photo of the venue itself.  In sum, this title should be welcomed and enjoyed by us as something enabling us to virtually experience “How The East Was Won” unless and until an official live album with the same title is ever released. (TH  June 10)

Southampton 22 January 1973

Live In Southampton 1973 (CMI Music) 2 CDR
22nd January 1973, Old Refectory, University, Southampton

Recorded by Eddie Kramer
Mixed by Kevin Shirley
Source: rough multitrack mix-down
Remastered by CMI Music in August 2008
Total Time: 02:32:28

CD 1 (76:57):
1. Rock And Roll
2. Over The Hills And Far Away
3. Black Dog
4. Misty Mountain Hop
5. Since I've Been Loving You
6. Dancing Days
7. The Song Remains The Same
8. The Rain Song
9. Dazed And Confused

CD 2 (75:30):

1. Stairway To Heaven
2. Whole Lotta Love Medley
~ Everybody Needs Somebody To Love
~ Boogie Chillun'
~ Baby I Don't Care
~ Let's Have A Party
~ I Can't Quit You Baby
3. Heartbreaker
4. Organ Solo
5. Thank You
6. How Many More Times
7. Communication Breakdown

This is my remastered version of this great recording and is made using definitive raw version of this source from Empress Velley "Live At Southampton - Working Tapes" release. For all who might doesn't know, first leaked R-O version is basically the EV version with some glitches already edited out and with some digital errors (bad CDR copy) on it in addition. "Dancing Days" track is an example.
I fixed all glitches and crackles. Also all three gaps in recording were fixed. No EQ and no Noise Reduction were aplied. Modern standart dynamic compression was applied, so now it sounds as loud and powerful as HTWWW. All tracks are re-indexed.
BTW, Winston Remaster of this show is great but it sounds so different to the original. Also his mistake is the usage of Presence's source. (CMI September 2008)

Live In Southampton 1973 (CMI Music) 2 CDR
22nd January 1973, Old Refectory, University, Southampton

I love this remaster, my hat goes off to everyone involved in this release. The things I love about this remaster are:
There's a balance of the instruments in the recording, no one in the group is dominating over the rest  ( I personally found Bonham's drums/cymbals, and Plant's vocals to be the most dominate instruments in previous releases, drowning out things like Page's guitar work, and Jonesey's bass and organ work). So thank you for balancing out the instruments in the recording.
The channel issues (where one channel is more dominant than the other) have also been fixed very nicely.
Things that were buried under the recording (crowd cheers, and comments) come in much clearer, so there's more of a feeling of listening/being apart of a crowd attending a concert. Nice job on making the tape hiss as soft as possible, You've given the show a fuller sound, more of the feeling of a live show, not a rehearsal. (acapulcogold Nov 08)

Buffalo 15 July 1973

Slowing Down In Buffalo (The Chronicles Of Led Zeppelin TCOLZ 059/060/061/062/063)
War Memorial Auditorium, Buffalo, New York – July 15, 1973

Audience Recording 

Disc 1: (64:05) Rock And Roll, Celebration Day, Black Dog, Over The Hills And Far Away, Misty Mountain Hop, Since I’ve Been Loving You, No Quarter, The Song Remains The Same, The Rain Song

Disc 2: (37:59) Dazed And Confused, Stairway To Heaven

Disc 3: (54:07) Moby Dick, Heartbreaker, Whole Lotta Love, The Ocean

Soundboard Recording

Disc 4: (65:38) Rock And Roll, Celebration Day, Black Dog, Over The Hills And Far Away, Misty Mountain Hop, Since I’ve Been Loving You, No Quarter, The Song Remains The Same, The Rain Song

Disc 5: (45:09) Dazed And Confused, Stairway To Heaven

TCOLZ come through once again with another comprehensive set featuring both the available soundboard and audience tapes for Led Zeppelin’s July 15, 1973 Buffalo show. The soundboard has been available for many years and in 1996 Midas Touch released the best version on Where The Buffalo Roam. The only musical cut during the board tape is at 2:26 during “The Rain Song” and the tape unfortunately ends after “Stairway”. In comparison, TCOLZ sound is geared more toward the low end where Midas Touch is equalized more toward the upper frequencies. Midas Touch has a clearer top end but sounds somewhat thinner than TCOLZ as a result.
TCOLZ present, for the first time on silver disc, the entire audience source on the first three discs. Previously only the Wendy label had released the final portion on Silly Putty, used to complete the soundboard. The audience source is rather thin and brittle sounding with distortion but there are sections of the tape that are surprisingly clear and enjoyable too. Another problem is some tape drag in places that gets worse and becomes unstable as the night goes on. The source is fairly complete with the exception of a cut at 3:13 in “Since I’ve Been Loving You”, one at 12:04 in “No Quarter” (that repeats about a minute of music), a cut at 7:07 in “The Rain Song”, at 16:53 in “Dazed”, and a tiny insignificant cut at 12:42 in “Moby Dick”.
The first half of the show is somewhat uneven but the band seems more inspired as the concert progresses. Robert is having a bit of a rough start in “Rock And Roll” and John Paul Jones gets lost during the solo section. Page however, is having a decent night from the beginning as is evident in “Celebration Day” and “Black Dog”. There is an explosion during the intro to “Over The Hills” prompting a disgusted Plant to say “there’s one guy who’s not on the same journey”. The band is extra playful, pushing each other in “Misty Mountain Hop” and Page once again shines during his signature blues in “Since I’ve Been Loving You”.
The bow section sounds very effective in “Dazed And Confused” especially in the soundboard. “Stairway To Heaven” is also above average for the tour and Jimmy is in total control throughout the solo. Even Plant goes for the high notes at the end with great results. With the band improving as the show goes on it is a shame that the soundboard ends here. 
Now with the release of the audience source we get to enjoy the final hour of the performance. “Moby Dick” is about 30 minutes with some nice tympani work where Bonham gets very musical. Unfortunately for Page, he is late on his reentry for the closing of the song. He will certainly redeem himself with some stellar playing both in “Heartbreaker” and “Whole Lotta Love”. 
The repeat in tape during the audience recording is a bit of an annoyance but at least TCOLZ were thoughtful enough to offer the entire source, and without the metallic sound that is reported to be on the Wendy title. The set comes packaged in a 5-way fatboy jewel case with photos from the 73 tour. The only way to top Slowing Down In Buffalo now would be if the remainder of the soundboard would surface. (wgpsec May 2010)

Chicago 20 January 1975

Finger Flu: 1975 Chicago Tapes Volume 2 (The Chronicles Of Led Zeppelin TCOLZ 027/028)
Chicago Stadium, Chicago, Illinois – January 20, 1975

Disc 1: (51:59) Rock And Roll, Sick Again, Over The Hills And Far Away, When The Levee Breaks, The Song Remains The Same, The Rain Song, Kashmir, The Wanton Song
Disc 2: (55:37) No Quarter, Trampled Underfoot, Moby Dick, In My Time Of Dying, Stairway To Heaven, Whole Lotta Love, Black Dog, Communication Breakdown

With the release of Finger Flu, TCOLZ present a newly surfaced alternate audience source for Zeppelin’s first of three nights at Chicago Stadium. The title refers to Jimmy Page’s broken finger and Robert Plant suffering from the flu. This alternate tape source is an important release in the fact that it clears up some speculation about the song order and exactly what songs come from the first night. Previous releases of the original audience source were said to come from a mix of the 20th and 21st. Now with Finger Flu, it is clear that “How Many More Times” does not come from this night.
This new source from TCOLZ is a good to very good audience source that lacks in low end but does capture a good amount of detail. This show is most notable for the inclusion of “When The Levee Breaks” and “The Wanton Song”, two songs that unfortunately would not las t in the set. It’s really a shame as they are decent versions that only would have gotten better as the tour progressed.
This is the second date from the American tour and the band is in fairly rough shape and is still chipping the rust off in spots. In the first half of the show Plant’s flu is very evident but surprisingly Page pulls off the broken finger technique without a hitch. One might never know by listening to him solo in “Rock And Roll” and “Sick Again”. Page comes out of the solo wrong in “Over The Hills And Far Away” but Bonham and Jones adjust without a problem. The first rarity of the night comes with “When The Levee Breaks” which may be Zeppelin’s final live performance of the track. Jimmy extends the end and sounds like something he could have expanded further on in the future if it hadn’t been dropped so quickly. After a workout in “The Song Remains The Same”, “The Rain Song” allows Plant to relax a bit more, not having to push his vocals to the limit.
The first m usical cut comes at 4:12 in “Kashmir” and is followed by the second rarity of the night, “The Wanton Song”. From here on out the band seems to improve delivering some of the better performances of the night. The flu must be getting to Robert’s head where he mistakenly introduces “No Quarter” as “a track from the fourth album”. This reaches about 13 minutes tonight and will be extended as the tour rolls on. “Moby Dick” is cut at 0:57 and again at 2:16 missing most of the drum solo and is only four and a half minutes in this recording. “In My Time Of Dying” follows and was not played in the early part of the show as was previously speculated. This is one of the better played tracks from the night and Plant doesn’t sound so bad in this version. “Stairway To Heaven” has a very small cut at 0:24 and a near disaster is avoided about a minute and a half in, in what sounds like confusion about where they are in the song.
Plant mentions Chicago after “Stairway” confirming the location and apologizes for the flu again (he mentions this several times throughout the night). “Whole Lotta Love” is only a minute in length and acts as a lead in for “Black Dog”,20which unfortunately misses the last few seconds. “Communication Breakdown” has a nice break during the solo where Jimmy plays a few riffs by himself and is a nice closing to a somewhat shaky show. The tape ends abruptly at the finish of “Communication Breakdown” omitting any audience cheer.
While listening to the older source, Live At The Chicago Stadium, a pro-cdr from the Cobra label, Cobra’s “Rock And Roll” appears to be a two source mix. The first half is very distant with lots of echo that cuts to the normal source just before Page’s solo. I compared this to Finger Flu and found the first half to be from a different night. After the change the performances match. The sound quality for the first half of “Rock And Roll” from Cobra is very similar to “How Many More Times” so both of these could possibly be from the following night. But until the 21st surfaces, we can only speculate.
Despite the physical shape of the band they still pull off a pretty decent show and although the tape isn’t as full sounding as the older source, Finger Flu gives us a better representation of the show and is a really good listen. This is packaged in a double slimline jewel case and is the first TCOLZ title to have artwork as opposed to the brown paper bag look of the earlier titles.. The front cover has a great picture of Page while the back cover shows Jimmy and Robert (and Jones) in action. (wgpsec Dec 08)

Landover 10 February 1975

Heavy Zeppelin - (TCOLZ 008/009/010) 3 CD
Capital Centre, Landover, Maryland, February 10, 1975

Disc 1: (47:18) 01. Rock And Roll, 02. Sick Again, 03. Over The Hills And Far Away, 04.
In My Time Of Dying, 05. The Song Remains The Same, 06. The Rain Song
Disc 2: (63:08) 01. Kashmir, 02. No Quarter. 03. Trampled Underfoot, 04. Moby Dick
Disc 3: (62:14) 01: Dazed And Confused, 02. Stairway To Heaven, 03. Whole Lotta Love, 04. Out On The Tiles Intro/Black Dog, 05. Heartbreaker.

Ladies And Gentleman!  Please welcome to the SIlver CD Club "Led Zeppelin's February 10th, 1975" concert at the Capital Centre in Landover, Maryland.  TCOLZ has made an odd choice in releasing this show but it's not a poor choice.  This show is a great one and pressing it to Silver CD has long been overdue.  The recording sounds a bit distant but is definitely still listenable and enjoyable.  I must be honest and say that this is the first time I've listened to this show.
There are quite a few spots throughout this release that contain various types of audio issues but 99% of them are due to the age of the recording and oxide loss on the tapes.  Although some of these artifacts are a bit rough they do not take away from this release.  You get to hear the tapers carry on a conversation between themselves as well as with a couple of girls in the row in front of them.  They mention taking pictures at various times throughout the show.  I wonder where those pics are?
Although the artwork is plain and somewhat unappealing I do have to say that it doesn't bother me as I still consider it nostalgic.  A lot of people aren't too hip on the artwork but it's the music that counts.  TCOLZ should be praised for this release and I for one am a happy camper. (HarleyDog Nov 08)

New York City 12 February 1975

Four Blocks In The Snow (The Chronicles Of Led Zeppelin TCOLZ 015/016/017/018/019/020)
Madison Square Garden, New York, NY – February 12, 1975

Source #1: Discs 1/2/3

Source #2: Discs 4/5/6

Disc 1 (75.42): Introduction, Rock And Roll, Sick Again, Over The Hills And Far Away, In My Time Of Dying, The Song Remains The Same, The Rain Song, Kashmir, No Quarter
Disc 2 (63.49): Trampled Underfoot, Moby Dick, Dazed And Confused
Disc 3 (37.54): Stairway To Heaven, Whole Lotta Love, Black Dog, Heartbreaker
Disc 4 (58.36): Introduction, Rock And Roll, Sick Again, Over The Hills And Far Away, In My Time Of Dying, The Song Remains The Same, The Rain Song, Kashmir
Disc 5 (45.45): No Quarter, Trampled Underfoot, Moby Dick
Disc 6 (72.02): Dazed And Confused, Stairway To Heaven, Whole Lotta Love, Black Dog, Heartbreaker

Four Blocks In The Snow is another 6CD set from The Chronicles Of Led Zeppelin this time collecting two different audience sources for the February 12, 1975 show at Madison Square Garden. Again, like they did with We’re Playing Our Balls Out, TCOLZ did not mix the sources and left them separate in their unaltered form.
Source one is the tape most commonly issued before and has been released repeatedly by a number of different labels. The original Tarantura released this as The Jumpleg and was copied on 10th US Tour by Whole Lotta Live. Last Stand Disc issued this twice, both under the title MSG 1975. TDOLZ also released this twice, first in a limited box set and later in a gatefold cardboard sleeve both titled Can’t Take Your Evil Ways and both claiming to be uncut. Tarantura 2000’s title Ladies and Gents also claimed to be uncut but was missing time found on other titles. The sound quality from this tape is nice and clear with a very good balance and one of the best sounding from the first leg of the tour. The tape captures a very nice atmosphere, free of up close crowd noise.
Led Zeppelin had a very rough start to the 75 tour. Plant’s vocals were in bad shape due to the flu and Page had broken a finger. The American tour started on January 18th so this show is about three and a half weeks in. By this time Jimmy’s finger had healed and Robert was improving, although not completely up to par but was gaining more control over his vocal. This is an interesting show played during a snow storm and the title comes from Plant’s comments “We came four blocks in the snow to get here…”
For “No Quarter”, John Paul Jones hadn’t yet incorporated the change to acoustic piano and he goes a little over the top at the end of Page’s solo where Jimmy has to reel him back in for the final verse. There is a sound change at 9:45 in “Moby Dick” where there appears to be a cut right where Bonham switches over from sticks to hands. This is said to be an uncut source so I compared this against source two. Source two has no apparent cut at this point in the song and both tapes matched up almost identically. What’s even stranger is the fact that Empress Valley’s soundboard version, Flying Circus, sounds like it has a cut in the exact same place but their content seems to match also. So if in fact there is a cut/edit at this point it is really minute but does seem rather unlikely that all three sources would have the same edit.
“Dazed And Confused” is the longest version so far from the tour and contains a piece from “Walter’s Walk” starting at 22:44 lasting less than a minute. “Whole Lotta Love” is the first encore featuring an abbreviated version that runs nonstop with “Black Dog” and the second encore, “Heartbreaker” contains a jam on “That’s Alright, Mama” during the break in the middle.
When comparing TCOLZ to TDOLZ I found that Four Blocks In The Snow has a longer introduction and runs at the correct speed where Can’t Take Your Evil Ways runs slightly faster. TDOLZ also emphasized the highs a bit too much giving Four Blocks the advantage where they use no equalization.
Source two comes from another very good sounding tape that is a bit bottom heavy causing low end distortion throughout the recording that gets really overbearing during the end of “Kashmir”. This comes from the same noisy tapers that recorded the opening night in New York on 2/3/75 (and also the 9/3/71 show at MSG and the 6/15/72 show at Nassau Coliseum) but luckily most of the comments are left to between songs allowing most of the performance to shine through better. There is a cut at 0:35 in “Sick Again”, 6:59 in “The Rain Song”, 1:14 and 3:18 in “Moby Dick” while “Dazed And Confused” has a drop out at 24:32.
This source was first released by Electric Magic in 2001 as That’s All Right New York and hasn’t been released since. EMC used the first source to complete some gaps and fix some problems and also has the common “metallic sound” featured on a lot of Electric Magic/Celebration titles that was frowned upon by collectors. TCOLZ doesn’t contain any harsh mastering and the overall volume was left at a reasonable level making this a better alternative for this source.
TCOLZ packaged this in a 6-way fatboy jewel case with the plain brown wrapper look again. Although packaging should never be the main focus of any title, it will be nice to see that the label is changing things up for future releases. Four Blocks In The Snow is a great way to get these two sources un-equalized in one convenient set and is now my preferred versions of these audience sources. (wgpsec Nov 08)

That's Alright New York (Godfather Records 327/328/329)
Madison Square Garden, New York City, NY February 12, 1975

Disc 1 (55:59) 01. Rock And Roll (4:53), 02. Sick Again (6:01), 03. Over The Hills And Far Away (8:40), 04. In My Time Of Dying (12:40), 05. The Song Remains The Same (6:06), 06. The Rain Song (8:52), 07. Kashmir (8:47)
Disc 2 (49:36) 01. No Quarter (19:02), 02. Trampled Underfoot (9:31), 03. Moby Dick (21:03)
Disc 3 (65:14) 01. Dazed And Confused (33:55), 02. Stairway To heaven (13:16), 03. Whole Lotta Love (1:52), 04. Black Dog (6:04), 05. Heartbreaker (10:07)

When Empress Valley released the soundboard for this show it was a revelation of sorts.  Not only was it previously uncirculated but it sounds as if it's a professionaly mixed multi-track recording.  The general consesus among collectors was that this recording was the best of the best and could not get any better.  UNTIL NOW!!!  Godfather has pulled off a miracle.  This new release has taken what was already a three layer cake and added the richest icing possible.  Godfather has improved the seemingly unimprovable.  They did what was said couldn't be done.  They have taken the best sounding soundboard out there and turned it into the best sounding soundboard ever...  Sure Flying Circus is great but this recording blows it away.  Godfather used a professional recording studio to work their magic on this release. This release may definitely take the place of the official Live Led Zeppelin releases in my collection.  This release has a beefier sound to it which overall makes this a slamming recording.  There's absolutely no hiss present and this is as clean as it gets.  This release will help to set Godfather's Legacy in stone.
One thing that has confused me over the years is that inside the first edition of Luis Rey's "Led Zeppelin Live" book he lists both the audience and soundboard sources for this show.  Mysteriously the next two editions of his book have only the audience source listed. Obviously Mr. Rey had access to the soundboard long before any of the rest of us did.  We're talking at least 10 years in between the first edition of his book and the release of Flying Circus.  I don't ever remember too much of a stink made over the listing of the Soundboard and no actual soundboard circulating.  Someone in the know got to Mr. Rey and hushed him up.  Conspiracy Theories at their finest.  That right there proves to me that there's still plenty of stuff circulating amonsgst the "Elite" collectors that the rest of us have no idea about.
This release is packaged in the typical Godfather Gatefold with numerous pictures of the band.  Inside is another short summary by Mr.
Paul De Luxe.  He basically writes a short summary of the show.  The soundboard source has been previously released as Flying Circus (Eelgrass & Empress Valley Supreme Disc) and Madison Square Graffiti (Red Devil)".  Audience source #1 has previously been released on LP as The Final Option (Rock Solid Records & The Swingin' Pig Records), In Concert (Rock Solid Records), In Person (Rock Solid Records), Live At Madison Square Garden 1975 (no label issues & Zep Toepper), Live In Madison Square Garden Part 1&2 (Box Top Records), Madison Square Garden (The Swingin' Pig Records) & Madison Square Garden 1975 (The Swingin' Pig Records)" and on CD as The 10th US Tour (Whole Lotta Live), Can't Take Your Evil Ways (The Diagrams Of Led Zeppelin),  Can't Take Your Evil Ways Un-Cut Version (The Diagrams Of Led Zeppelin), Four Blocks In The Snow (The Chronicles Of Led Zeppelin), Good To Be Back In New York City (Planet), Heartbreakers Back In Town Pts 1&2 (TNT Studios), The Jumpleg (Tarantura), Ladies And Gents (Tarantura2000), M.S.G. 1975 (Last Stand Disc, both issues), & Shakin' All Over (Triangle Records)".  Audience Source #2 has previously been released on CD as Four Blocks In The Snow (The Chronicles Of Led Zeppelin) & That's All Right New York (Electric Magic)".  The combined sources have been previously released as Four Blocks In The Snow (Small Fish CD-R)". DVD-A versions were released as Flying Circus (Empress Valley Supreme Disc) & Heartbreakers Back In Town (Genuine Masters).
I've always held Flying Circus in high regard due to the sound quality but this release has taken over the coveted spot of "Best Soundboard in  Circulation!"  Hands down it wins!  Thanks must got to Godfather for taking something amazing and making it extraordinary. Eat Your Heart Out Empress Valley. (HarleyDog Nov 08)

Uniondale 14 February 1975

St. Valentine’s Day Massacre (Empress Valley Supreme Disc) February 14, 1975 - Nassau Coliseum, Uniondale, NY
CD1(55:47): Rock And Roll, Sick Again, Over The Hills And Far Away, In My Time Of Dying, Since I've Been Loving You, The Song Remains The Same, The Rain Song
CD2(67:00): Kashmir, No Quarter, Trampled Underfoot, Moby Dick
CD3(73:16): Dazed And Confused, Stairway To Heaven, Whole Lotta Love, Black Dog, Heartbreaker

After having released a number of dubious titles, Empress Valley has finally found  its way back to further its “ Soundboard Revolutions.”  Out of the blue, they somehow found a soundboard recording from what many fans consider is one the greatest shows that the band performed in ’75.  Since I listened to the audience recording with the old Off Beat Record’s title “St. Valentine’s Day Massacre,” I have been a fan of this show because, despite the mediocre quality of tape and its incompleteness, I was able to feel the power and vibe which the band emitted or created in the first half of the show.  Later, I also got Image Quality’s “St. Tangerine’s Day” featuring a more complete version of the audience tape and, with that title, I was able to confirm that the band had actually presented a nice performance throughout the show, including a gutsy version of “Stairway To Heaven” and “Heartbreaker” with very irregular arrangements.   However, this new title from EV has blown all those past titles away!  Despite some promotional advertisement referring to the term “stereo,” the newly surfaced soundboard as featured in the title is in mono rather than stereo, apart from a part of "Dazed And Confused" is actually stereo, as Jimmy's violin bow solo pans from one channels to the other.  It is also a small regret that the soundboard did not capture the famous opening announcement saying “The American Return of Led Zeppelin!” as well as Robert's interesting reference to "Tangerine" after "Dazed And Confused" is finished.   However, the soundboard presents the great show in almost full length.  The recording is also very well balanced among the instruments and Robert’s voice and is therefore very enjoyable.  Especially, Jonsey’s bass sounds are conspicuous in the recording, providing richness in the overall sounds.  Accordingly, I am certain that the title lives up to the fame which EV once got with its “Soundboard Revolutions.”  I truly hope that EV will continue its efforts to release more amazing titles such as this.  The title comes in a paper case with two different types of artwork: the rare “Murder Incorporated” version limited to 200 copies (using the photos of a mass murder case which occurred in Chicago on some Valentine’s Day) and the standard edition featuring the band's stage shots.  I got a copy of the "Murder Incorporated" version for myself on account of its rarity.  However, the regular version may be more appealing to some others.  In any case, the important thing is the tape presented in the title rather than the artwork.  The title is definitely a “must” for any serious fan.  (TH  Nov 08)

St. Valentine’s Day Massacre (Empress Valley Supreme Disc) February 14, 1975 - Nassau Coliseum, Uniondale, NY
CD1(55:47): Rock And Roll, Sick Again, Over The Hills And Far Away, In My Time Of Dying, Since I've Been Loving You, The Song Remains The Same, The Rain Song
CD2(67:00): Kashmir, No Quarter, Trampled Underfoot, Moby Dick
CD3(73:16): Dazed And Confused, Stairway To Heaven, Whole Lotta Love, Black Dog, Heartbreaker

This title is a new superb stereo soundboard from Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Hempstead, New York, New York Feb. 14 '75. EV delivers in a deluxe trifold gatefold cover inside slipcase. Two version of it are available. The first one, titled "Murder Incorporated Edition" is limited to 200 copies only. The second, titled "Standard Edition" is not strictly limited and differs with artwork. This is another great soundboard release by Empress Valley Supreme Disc of never before available tape. I purchased the Murder Inc. version due to the limited offering.  The sound quality is quite good but I found that with a little additional equalization that it can be improved.  It seems this release has a heavy preference to the high end.  By lowering the high end a bit and raising the lower end a bit I feel you get a more evenly balanced and better sounding experience.  It's probably a matter of TH says in his November review this is a must have.  I would agree if you are a collector of these EV releases.  On the other hand one wonders if and when another label will come out with this same title at a far lower cost with a slightly better balance? (Rick Schnell Dec 08)

Baton Rouge 28 February 1975

Rampaging Cajun 2/28/75 (Empress Valley - EVSD 534, 535,536) + 3 CD Audience Bonus CD
Louisiana State University Assembly Center, Baton Rouge, Louisiana Feb. 28 1975.

CD1: Band Announcements/Rock And Roll/Sick Again/Over The Hills And Far Away/In My Time Of Dying/The Song Remains The Same/The Rain Song/Kashmir
CD2: No Quarter/Trampled Underfoot/Moby Dick
CD3: Dazed And Confused medley incl. Woodstock/Stairway To Heaven/Whole Lotta Love medley incl. The Crunge/Out On The Tiles Intro/Black Dog

Empress Valley has released for the first time a soundboard source for Baton Rouge 2/28/75.  The release came late December 2009 with several offerings/packaging.  I purchased the type B which includes the soundbord 3 CD in a sharp digipack case with a bonus 3 CD audience source in a single paper slip case similar if not the same as the one used for the combination release of Snow Jobs a few years ago.
As with their prior 75' sounboard releases this one is quite nice to listen to although pricey to obtain.  Disks 2 and 3 of the sounboard sound better than disk 1 - especially "No Quarter" - fantastic!  Plant's voice sounds a bit off at the start but improves during the show.  The sound seems to be well balanced with even bass and sharpness on the vocals and Page's guitar. 
Despite the cost I totally enjoyed this release - it is as good as their recent soundboard releases (Long Beach Californication) if not better - at least better in some spots.  I would rate it is as a superb soundboard that is worth the effort and cost to acquire it.  It will be interesting to see what others say....I have to say two thumbs up! (R. Schnell, Jan 2010)

Long Beach 11 March 1975

Long Beach Californication (Empress Valley Supreme Disc  EVSD 523-525) 3CDs
Civic Arena, Long Beach, CA

Disc 1(53:53): Introduction/Rock And Roll/Sick Again/Over The Hills And Far Away/In My Time Of Dying/The Song Remains The Same/The Rain Song/Kashmir
Disc2 (52:12):  No Quarter/Trampled Underfoot/Moby Dick
Disc 3 (54:43): Dazed And Confused/Stairway To Heaven/Whole Lotta Love/Black Dog

After having released a number of mediocre titles which were in substance mere reissues of past titles, they finally did it again!  EV has returned to continue its “Soundboard Revolutions” by releasing this title which has unearthed a soundboard recording of the Long Beach show on 11 March 1975.  As well-known, the show was captured by the legendary Mike Millard and there have been numerous past titles which were produced with his excellent audience recording of the show.  However, this release from EV is still very welcome and worthy of our collection, because, while an excellent audience recording may better capture how the band overall was actually heard in the venue, a soundboard recording better captures how the band members did perform (and enjoy or struggle) on stage. The rule also applies to this release.  For instance, it more clearly and vividly captures how Bonzo played his drum kits and yelled on stage.  The newly surfaced ‘75 soundboard is very well balanced and, in its quality, is close to the soundboard featured in EV’s past title “Snow Jobs,” with a bit less emphasis on bass this time.  It does not sound as harsh in its higher ends as the soundboard featured in EV’s another past title “St. Valentine’s  Day Massacre” and is cleaner than that.  In fact, although the tape is slightly distorted at the beginning, there is no noticeable hiss noise in the new soundboard, except that there is a very noticeable digital error at the end of “Moby Dick.”  Accordingly, it could overall be deemed as one of the best and most well-balanced soundboard recordings from the band’s ’75 shows.  (Incidentally, in this title, EV elected to use the Millard tape at the beginning of CD1 in order especially to include the famous exciting opening announcement of "The American Return of Led Zeppelin!".)  In terms of the band’s performance, it is widely thought that this show is not as good as the one on the immediately following day.  It may be true.  (Now that the soundboard from the 11 March show has surfaced, I truly hope that the one from the 12 March show will also surface in the not too distant future.)  The band’s performances actually suffer from several technical or equipment problems especially in the former half of the show.  However, in the latter half of the show, the band in fact played very well, even better than on 12 March in some places.  For instance, “Dazed And Confused” is spectacular from ’75 standard and “Stairway To Heaven” is flawless and gutsy.  Jimmy also played better in the funky section in “Whole Lotta Love” than on the following day.  Accordingly, I think that we should sit back, relax and enjoy the new release rather than first complaining about the fact that the excellent Millard tape of the same show was widely available before.  EV released this title in 3 different types: “Type A” limited to 100 copies coming with a T-shirt, “Type B” limited to 200 copies and regular “Type C”.  The artwork for Type A is nicer than the artwork for "Type B."  The photo used on the front cover of the outer box for Type A is the one showing Jimmy in the storm trooper costume with a groupie leaning upon his bare chest in the Starship.  As I saw a mini replica of the T-shirt, the same photo would be printed on the white T-shirt with some English liner notes about the concert, which looked very nice.  In addition, the photo used for the back cover of the outer box is the one showing the band members sitting at a table surrounded by a number of groupies at Rainbow in LA.  On the other hand, the photos used for the outer cover of Type B are rather common and looked very alike the ones used for EV’s "St. Valentine's Day Massacre" showing Jimmy in action on stage.  The photos used for the outer cover of "Type C" showing Robert on stage are even more common (as used for some past Earls Court titles) and less attractive.  One problem with Type A is that since EV has not completed its production of the T-shirts, they will be delivered later and I have not yet seen the T-shirt in its final form as of the present time.  In addition, T-shirts are available only in “L”-size.  I  am now anxiously waiting for the attractive T-shirt to arrive, while enjoying the excellent soundboard.  (TH September  09)

Long Beach 12 March 1975

Dedicated To Anyone Who Got Divorced Today (The Chronicles Of Led Zeppelin TCOLZ 036/037/038/039/040/041)
Long Beach Arena, Long Beach, California – March 12, 1975

Disc 1: (76:13) 1st source – Rock And Roll, Sick Again, Over The Hills And Far Away, In My Time Of Dying, The Song Remains The Same, The Rain Song, Kashmir, No Quarter

Disc 2: (72:36) 1st source – Trampled Underfoot, Moby Dick, Dazed And Confused, Stairway To Heaven

Disc 3: (26:52) 1st source – Whole Lotta Love/The Crunge, Out On The Tiles Intro/Black Dog, Heartbreaker

Disc 4: (34:06) 2nd source – Stairway To Heaven, Whole Lotta Love/The Crunge, Out On The Tiles Intro/Black Dog, Heartbreaker

Disc 5: (79:56) 3rd source – Introduction, Rock And Roll, Sick Again, Over The Hills And Far Away, In My Time Of Dying, The Song Remains The Same, The Rain Song, Kashmir, No Quarter

Disc 6: (74:19) 3rd source - Trampled Underfoot, Moby Dick, Dazed And Confused, Heartbreaker

Led Zeppelin played two nights at Long Beach Arena on March 11th and 12th, 1975. March 11th was captured in a stunning audience tape recorded by Mike Millard and was the more popular of the two nights because of this but the second night is more known among collectors for its superior performance. The band seems much more in tune with each other and delivers a much better performance than the previous night. Plant sounds strong both vocally and spiritually making this one of the best nights of the tour. Three very unique sources are available for this show and TCOLZ presents all three separately.
The first source came out years ago on Standing In The Shadow (TDOLZ) and Trampled Under Jimmy’s Foot (Silver Rarities) and contained almost the complete show. The second tape, recorded by Millard was featured on Long Beach Arena Fragment (Holy) and both Bootleg License (Tarantura 2000) and Taking No Prisoners Tonight (Badgeholders) are mixes of sources one and two. Long Beach Continuous Performances (Wendy) was the first to issue source three, using source one to fill the gaps and included source two as bonus tracks.
The first source suffers from low end distortion with the drums and bass pedals being the biggest culprits. There is a cut at 3:27 in “The Song Remains The Same” and again at the start of “The Rain Song”, eliminating the first few seconds. “No Quarter” has a small cut at 18:50 during Jones’ transition back to electric piano omitting Plant’s reentry and the track cuts out at 19:44.
The show is full of great moments and Page really burns up the solo in “No Quarter” and sounds very loose. “Dazed And Confused” is almost 32 minutes and Plant mentions afterward “the vibes are really good tonight, a bit better than last night”. He wishes a “Happy Birthday to Steve Weiss” before “Whole Lotta Love” where they get into “The Crunge” almost complete. John Paul Jones gets to stretch out with some funky bass during the theramin solo while Robert gets into “Cold Sweat” and “Lickin’ Stick” but only briefly. “Heartbreaker” returns to the encore section after being absent for almost two weeks and includes an impromptu version of “I’m A Man”.
Source one of Dedicated To Anyone from TCOLZ is an upgrade over Standing In The Shadow. It has a much fuller sound, is better balanced and runs at the correct speed. It has an extra minute and a half of “Moby Dick” and doesn’t have the digital static during “Stairway” that was present on TDOLZ.
The second source on disc four was recorded by Millard and is an excellent sounding tape. It is by far the best sounding but sadly the most incomplete version. What was recorded is a real treat and to hear the entire show in this quality would have been outstanding. It cuts in during the beginning of “Stairway” and runs through the encores only containing a little over a half hour. TCOLZ sounds much better when compared with Long Beach Arena Fragment (Holy) but does miss the first eight seconds of the tape.
The third source offers a new perspective on this great show and is complimentary to the Millard tape in regards to content. It is much quieter than the other two recordings but less distorted than source one and is a more enjoyable listen. The tape unfortunately cuts out at 28:17 in “Dazed And Confused”, missing “Stairway”, “Whole Lotta Love”, and “Black Dog”, but does includes six minutes of audience cheer before “Heartbreaker”. The story I’m told is that the missing portion of tape was badly damaged and could not be salvaged.
TCOLZ’s title comes from Robert’s comments before “Kashmir” where he dedicates this to “Anybody who got divorced today”. Dedicated To Anyone is packaged in a fatboy jewel case with some nice live shots and a scan of the ticket. TCOLZ is the most comprehensive release of this show to date and offers an excellent way to obtain all three sources in good sound quality. (wgpsec April 09)

Los Angeles 27 March 1975

We're Playing Our Balls Out (The Chronicles Of Led Zeppelin TCOLZ 021/022/023/024/025/026)
The Forum, Inglewood, CA – March 27, 1975

Source #1: Discs 1/2/3
Source #2: Discs 4/5/6

Discs 1&4: Introduction, Rock And Roll, Sick Again, Over The Hills And Far Away, In My Time Of Dying, The Song Remains The Same, The Rain Song, Kashmir, Since I've Been Loving You
Discs 2&5: No Quarter, Trampled Underfoot, Moby Dick
Discs 3&6: Dazed And Confused, Stairway To Heaven, Whole Lotta Love, Black Dog

We're Playing Our Balls Out covers Led Zeppelin’s third and final night at The Forum in March 1975 and is also the final night of their American tour. This is one of the longest nights from the tour and clocks in at over three and a half hours. The Chronicles Of Led Zeppelin assembled both known recordings from this show in a comprehensive 6CD set. There is no mixing of sources and both are featured in their original form.
While I won't get into every previous release of this show on CD, a few worth noting are Get Back To LA, a 9CD set containing all three nights from LA on Tarantura, Remainz on Akashic, and Final Show In The Forum 1975 on Jelly Roll. Deep Throat was also a massive 9CD box set from Empress Valley once again collecting all three shows in LA and also contained a DVD of amateur footage. Final Night In The Forum 1975 from Power Archives is the only title to utilized the inferior second source to fill some gaps but the title had its share of problems as well. Jelly Roll seemed to be the best alternative to the expensive and very rare Empress Valley set and is what I had for comparison. Jelly Roll’s version is brighter with a slightly louder level and definitely sounds more enhanced than TCOLZ which is a bit softer to the ears.. They both sound great so it would come down to personal preference but I did find Jelly Roll to be a slight bit harsher on top.
Source one features the famous Mike Millard recording in excellent stereo capturing the event vividly. All instruments are clear in the mix and the source used here is very natural sounding. Led Zeppelin is introduced by Linda Lovelace tonight, star of the porn classic Deep Throat. Plant battles his way through “Rock And Roll” before a solid version of “Sick Again” with good solos from Page at the end. Jimmy delivers a very lengthy solo in “Over The Hills And Far Away” getting very experimental and even borders on wandering. It becomes evident at this point that he is out to extend this evenings performance every chance he gets and this will reach its peak later during “Dazed And Confused”. “The Rain Song” has a silent gap between 4:10 and 4:23 and the label chose not to close the gap. Changes in the program have the band performing “Since I've Been Loving You” for only the third time during this tour and as a result get an inspired version.
In “No Quarter” John Paul Jones switches from electric to acoustic piano in his solo showpiece of the night. Jones plays some interesting piano under Jimmy’s solo and the piece is stretched to a half hour this evening. There is a fade and silent gap at 24:01 that lasts until 24:07 with only a very short amount of time lost. “Trampled Underfoot” contains the “Gallows Pole” lyrics at the end and after Robert says “that was Trampled Under Gallows”. “Moby Dick” is cut around 11:14 not missing much, if any time and from 16:18 to 16:25 is another silent gap.
“Dazed And Confused” reaches 45 minutes in length and has Plant singing “Loving You” during what would normally be the “San Francisco” section and later plays around very effectively with delay. The recording picks up the echo in the venue nicely adding to an already great atmosphere. At 36:24 there is a quick fade in/out to handle the cut. This version of “Dazed” is definitely Zeppelin in its most free form. At 6:11 the right channel becomes weaker in “Stairway” just before another very loose Page solo. “Whole Lotta Love” includes “Lickin’ Stick” before an insane Theremin battle with Plant. This is segued with “Black Dog” and the tape picks up the audience call and response well. “It’s time to ramble on, good night” are Plant’s final words from the American tour.
The second source included on discs 4, 5, and 6 is more distant, a bit muffled and has some distortion in places. It suffers at times from some tape speed problems where the tape drags. In addition to a few cuts between tracks, “No Quarter” has two cuts at 7:45 and 25:20. “Trampled Underfoot” is cut at 10:23 eliminating the end; “Moby Dick” is cut at 2:18, 11:32, and again at 25:46 also missing the end. “Dazed And Confused” has a few cuts at 33:41, 35:58 and again misses the last few seconds. TCOLZ is the first label to press this source to CD in its entirety.. I must admit even though it is great to have both sources (and I hope TCOLZ continue this practice) source one is the real gem here. We're Playing Our Balls Out comes packaged in a 6-way fatboy jewel case with the familiar brown paper bag artwork and contains an insert with some photos and a shot of the ticket stub. Despite the bland packaging, this is a nice welcomed addition to my ever growing Zeppelin collection. (wgpsec)

We're Playing Our Balls Out - TCOLZ 021/022/023/024/025/026
Great Western Forum, Inglewood, CA March 27th, 1975

Disc(s) 1 (71:16) & 4 (71:34): 01. Introduction, 02. Rock And Roll, 03. Sick Again, 04. Over The Hills And Far Away, 05. In My Time Of Dying, 06. The Song Remains The Same, 07. The Rain Song, 08. Kashmir, 09. Since I've Been Loving You
Disc(s) 2 (71:55) & 5 (68:39): 01. No Quarter, 02. Trampled Underfoot, 03. Moby Dick
Disc(s) 3 (76:37) & 6 (76:35): 01. Dazed And Confused, 02. Stairway To Heaven, 03. Whole Lotta Love, 04. Black Dog

The final show of Led Zeppelin's 1975 U.S. tour is represented here in two different sources.  The first source is the famous "Millard Source". Mike Millard is famous for taping numerous show in the Southern California area during the 70's.  His most famous recording is the June 21st, 1977 Led Zeppelin concert at this same venue.
Many stories have been told about Mike Millard but the one heard most often is that he used a wheelchair to sneak his recording equipment in to concerts. Whatever the case may be his recordings are some of the best ever and that fact cannot be disputed.  The recording here is of exceptional quality and all of the instruments are well balanced and equally represented in the mix.  There is no hiss present and the recording does not distort.  The recording level is perfect.  An A+ is definitely in order for Mr. Mike Millard.
The 2nd source used on this release is not as good as Mr. Millards but does give an accurate representation of the  concert.  This helps in rounding out the oeverall view of the concert as far as what it was like to be there.  The cuts are slightly different on this source which allows for a more complete recording between the two sources.
TCOLZ claims that these are RAW transfers and completely un-manipulated as far as EQ'ing and remastering are concerned.  Hooray!!!  It's about time that a label gets back to what the raw tapes actually sound like.  It's always great to hear upgrades of recordings, although alot of times this has affected the sound quality in negative ways.  TCOLZ has definitely done right by both fans and collectors.  The packaging of this release is a carbon copy of TCOLZ's other releases with the brown paper bag look. There is an insert included which contains some really nice color shots of the band  live. I for one do not hate the look of TCOLZ's artwork.  It's something a bit different and is nostalgic as well.  I'm sure it helps to keep the overall costs of their releases down too.  In the end I really enjoy this release and I will definitely be revisiting this show in the near future. Thanks TCOLZ..... (lvtapetrader -  Nov. 1st, 2008)

Earls Court. London 24th May 1975

In the Court of King James 5/24/75 Empress Valley DVD 021 - 022)

Track list

DVD1: Nicky Horne Introduction/Rock And Roll/Sick Again/Over The Hills And Far Away/In My Time Of Dying/The Song Remains The Same/The Rain Song/Kashmir/No Quarter/Tangerine/Going To California/That's The Way/Bron-Yr-Aur Stomp
DVD2: Trampled Underfoot medley incl. Gallows Pole/Moby Dick/Dazed And Confused medley incl. Woodstock/Stairway To Heaven/ Whole Lotta Love medley incl. The Crunge, Sex Machine, Turn On Your Lovelight/Out On The Tiles Intro/Black Dog

Great new DVD by Empress Valley.  For the most part the picture is sharper and clearer than other releases including Heavy Metal Kids.  This is not a re-make of Heavy Metal Kids....the two disc DVD is available in normal NTSC DVD and a non-pressed Blu Ray version.  The most noticeable improvement is with Tangerine - complete and sharp - no cuts of any kind.  Very nice to have a new DVD in what has been a rather boring year - this definitely will make some noise! (tjs115 Sept 2010)

New York City 7 June 1977

Magical Sound Boogie (Empress Valley, 3CDs)
Madison Square Garden, New York, 7 June 1977

Disc 1 (70:10): The Song Remains The Same / The Rover Introduction ~ Sick Again / Nobody's Fault But Mine / In My Time Of Dying / Since I've Been Loving You/ No Quarter
Disc 2 (48:13): Ten Years Gone / The Battle Of Evermore / Going To California / Black Country Woman (cut) / Bron-Y-Aur Stomp / White Summer ~ Black Mountain Side /Kashmir
Disc 3 (61:44): Over The Top / Page Guitar Solo (including Star Spangled Banner) / Achilles Last Stand / Stairway To Heaven / Whole Lotta Love / Rock And Roll

Bonus 3CDs: An audience recording of the entire show held at the same venue on 10 June 1977, plus a soundboard recording of Page guitar solo as performed at LA Forum on 23 June 1977

At last, EV has managed to continue its “Soundboard Revolution” by releasing this title featuring a newly surfaced SB from the first show that the band held at MSG on 7 June 1977. As rather expected, its sound quality has turned out to be unfortunately not as good as the SBs made available from a number of shows in 1975 and more or less similar to those already available from some shows in 1977, sounding drier and more compressed.  It sounds somewhat stiff.  More precisely, I will rank it in between EV's "The Powhatan Confederacy" (from the show on 28 May 1977) and the same label's "Bringing The House Down" (from the show on 26 May 1977).  The last one sounds best in terms of the range and the balance among the three titles which were recorded at proximate times.  In any event, it is certainly good to have another SB from 1977, especially from one of the shows at MSG, since there was no great audience recording of any of those shows, despite the general belief of people who witnessed that the levels of the band’s performances at those shows were great.
If my memory serves me correctly, Jimmy Page has once revealed that the atmosphere for the first night at MSG in 1977 was "electrifying."  Now we can confirm, through this SBD, that the in natural response to such an atmosphere, the band's playing at the show is gutsy and generally excellent from 1977 standard.  Every member of the band is in good shape.  Now we can confirm that the band's performance at this show should truly be comparable to those at LA Forum that have long been available through better sounding audience recordings.  In addition, I note that the acoustic set on CD2 is very well recorded and sounds nice in this SB.  However, "Black Country Woman" is cut very short for some unknown reason.  It's regrettable.
Notably, "No Quarter" at this show includes another enjoyable "Nutcracker" section.  However, the band loses its way in the middle of "Kashmir," as it often happened.  The band loses its way again in the latter part of "Rock And Roll" after Robert mistakenly attempted to finish the song earlier.  Overall, however, the band’s first return to MSG since February 1975 was definitely a triumph for the band.
The bonus 3CDs feature the newly surfaced audience recording of the show on 10 June 1977, although the paper insert incorrectly refers to "June 6, 1977."  At the end of Disc 3, it also includes a SB recording of Jimmy's guitar solo as performed in LA on 23 June 1977.  Therefore, the bonus discs are basically the same as what Wendy released in its title "Relic From A Different Dream" but the EV version of the SB is said to be longer than Wendy's.  Let’s hope that we would in the near future be able to enjoy the legendary Badgeholders’ show with a SB in its entirety.
The 6CD set version of the title comes in a package similar to that for EV’s “Rampagin' Cajun”.  Its outer case features two photos of the Zeppelin ship waiting to take off (with the band members symbols added on its wings) and flying over the skyscraper, while its three-way foldable inner case features several stage and backstage shots of the band.  (TH  Nov 2010)

Magical Sound Boogie (Empress Valley, EVSD-550/551/552, 3CDs)
Madison Square Garden, New York City, 7 June 1977

Disc 1 (70:10): The Song Remains The Same / The Rover Introduction ~ Sick Again / Nobody's Fault But Mine / In My Time Of Dying / Since I've Been Loving You/ No Quarter
Disc 2 (48:15): Ten Years Gone / The Battle Of Evermore / Going To California / Black Country Woman (cut) / Bron-Y-Aur Stomp / White Summer ~ Black Mountain Side /Kashmir
Disc 3 (61:46): Over The Top / Page Guitar Solo (including Star Spangled Banner) / Achilles Last Stand / Stairway To Heaven / Whole Lotta Love / Rock And Roll

Bonus 3CDs: Audience recording of the entire show held at the same venue on 10 June 1977 (incorrectly dated June 6 on the insert!), plus a soundboard recording of the Jimmy Page guitar solo from the LA Forum on 23 June 1977

In a change to a regular diet of 1975 US Tour soundboards, Empress Valley has managed to pull off a great coup and release a nearly complete soundboard recording for the opening night at Madison Square Garden in New York, on the 7th June 1977. This was the first of six concerts, a run up to the classic six concerts at the hallowed LA Forum on the West Coast just a few weeks later. The band are very pleased and excited to be back in New York, and Plant makes a number of references to this. And also to the Silver Jubilee for Queen Elizabeth II back home in Great Britain. The standard of playing is extremely high, The concert starts with a barrage of fireworks, lit by imbeciles, clearly heard on the mikes before the band get on stage. There are some cuts in the soundboard tape, one just before 4 minutes 30 seconds into No Quarter, and Black Country Woman is a bit of a stumble with bits missing. There is another small cut about 14 minutes and 40 seconds into Moby Dick. A great pity that Empress Valley did not use the audience recording to fill the gaps. No doubt, and as is usual these days, dedicated and knowledgeable fans will transform this release and improve and complete it. And then make it available free on the Net. But we must not detract from the importance of this release, and the fact that Empress Valley will no doubt have had to pay a princely sum to the hoarder who has been sitting on this. Full marks to them for this very significant release. The sound quality is in the main fairly well balanced stereo, and extremely good. Some copies come with the audience recording from the 10th June (albeit incorrectly dated 6 June!), a useful bonus. The main release is in a gatefold card release, inside a colour sleeve. (Jules McTrainspotter Nov 2010)

New York City 14 June 1977

Final Night At The Garden (The Chronicles Of Led Zeppelin TCOLZ 057/058)
Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York – June 14, 1977

Disc 1: (65:31) The Song Remains The Same, The Rover Intro/Sick Again, Nobody’s Fault But Mine, Over The Hills And Far Away, Since I’ve Been Loving You, No Quarter
Disc 2: (59:11) Ten Years Gone, The Battle Of Evermore, Going To California, Black Country Woman, Bron-Yr-Aur Stomp, White Summer/Black Mountain Side, Kashmir, Moby Dick

The source for Led Zeppelin’s June 14th show in New York has seen two previous silver editions in the past. Over The Hills And Far Away from the original Tarantura featured the first half of this tape and mixed it with June 22, 1977 to complete that show. It was also available as part of the 8CD set Strange Tales From The Road, copied from the LPs of the same name, which not only ran at the wrong speed but showed evidence of being sourced from vinyl and is less complete. TCOLZ offers the most complete version and runs at the correct speed certainly making this the definitive version.
Final Night At The Garden features a very good sounding audience source for the last of the Garden shows. It is somewhat distant but the sound is clear and sounds like it comes from a low generation tape. It is lacking in the bass guitar but captures the drums nicely. There is a decent atmosphere although some crowd noise is present but really doesn’t detract from the music. Plant is also loud in the mix and his voice is in good shape (for ’77 standards anyway) while Zeppelin delivers perhaps what is the best of the ‘77 New York shows. An interview with Plant after revealed his dislike for returning to the same venue night after night but it seems to have paid off in this string of concerts.
Page sounds like he is having a very good night as well. His playing is loose yet energetic in “The Song Remains The Same” and continues into “Sick Again”. Plant greets the audience with “welcome to the last night at the Garden” and goes on to once again make excuses for a delay. He hits the notes with ease at the end of “Nobody’s Fault” and is a testament to the strength of his voice tonight. “In My Time Of Dying” was played next at the first two Garden shows and with the exception of June 11th, is replaced with “Over The Hills And Far Away” for the remainder of the New York concerts. Robert is pushing his limits and reaches for some high notes with mediocre results before returning to his comfort zone.
John Paul Jones’ electric piano sounds nice and full in the recording and Jimmy plays some beautiful passages during “Since I’ve Been Loving You”. Some firecrackers can be heard in the verse and also in Jones’ piano solo about eight minutes into “No Quarter”. A very small cut is evident at about 16:40 right in the middle of a blistering Page workout and another at 24:16 omitting some of the last verse but the track is still an amazing 28 minutes.
Page stumbles a bit in his solo in “Ten Years Gone” but gets quickly back on track. This is followed by the standard ’77 acoustic set. Plant teases with “Gallows Pole” by singing “Hangman” a couple times before “The Battle Of Evermore” and Page hints at “Dancing Days” during “Bron-Yr-Aur Stomp”. “White Summer” is another good workout for Page and is segued into a solid version of “Kashmir”. Only the first four minutes of “Moby Dick” are featured before the tape cuts off and also misses “Guitar Solo/Achilles Last Stand”, “Stairway”, and “Whole Lotta Love” at the very least. We can imagine that perhaps Zep may have included an extra encore being the last night in New York. I will remain hopeful that someday the full soundboard recording from this night will become a reality so we can finally have the benefit of the entire show.
TCOLZ continue offering nice looking artwork. Final Night At The Garden is a very enjoyable performance from the ’77 tour and a worthwhile addition to any Zeppelin collection. (wgpsec Jan 2010)

Oakland 23 July 1977

A Quiet Before The Storm: The Day On The Green Tapes Volume 1 (The Chronicles Of Led Zeppelin TCOLZ 042/043/044/045/046)
Alameda County Coliseum, Oakland, CA – July 23, 1977

Disc 1: (61:14) 1st Source - The Song Remains The Same, The Rover Intro/Sick Again, Nobody’s Fault But Mine, Over The Hills And Far Away, Since I’ve Been Loving You, No Quarter
Disc 2: (60:20) 1st Source - Ten Years Gone, The Battle Of Evermore, Going To California, Black Country Woman/Bron-Yr-Aur Stomp, Trampled Underfoot, White Summer/Black Mountain Side, Kashmir
Disc 3: (45:56) 1st Source - Guitar Solo, Achilles Last Stand, Stairway To Heaven, Whole Lotta Love, Rock And Roll, Black Dog

Disc 4: (64:56) 2nd Source - The Song Remains The Same, The Rover Intro/Sick Again, Nobody’s Fault But Mine, Over The Hills And Far Away, Since I’ve Been Loving You, No Quarter, Ten Years Gone, The Battle Of Evermore
Disc 5: (70:59) 2nd Source - Going To California, Black Country Woman/Bron-Yr-Aur Stomp, Trampled Underfoot, White Summer/Black Mountain Side, Kashmir, Achilles Last Stand, Stairway To Heaven, Whole Lotta Love, Rock And Roll, Black Dog

A Quiet Before The Storm from The Chronicles Of Led Zeppelin collects two separate audience sources for Zeppelin’s first of two shows in Oakland for promoter Bill Graham’s A Day On The Green. The 1977 tour would sadly be cut short due to the death of Plant’s son making this the second to last performance of the year.. The show takes place outdoors at the Alameda County Coliseum in the afternoon and was opened by Judas Priest and Rick Derringer.
The first part of the show has a rather uninspired feel and Plant even apologizes for the sluggish start. Both Page and Plant seem to take the longest to warm up and deliver an uneven performance for the first half of the show. Jimmy’s solo during “Over The Hills And Far Away” is bland but starts to play some nice stuff by “Since I’ve Been Loving You”. “No Quarter” features Jones on some interesting blues during his piano spotlight before the common extended solos. “Ten Years Gone” is less successful as Page’s late entry for the solo is disastrous and it’s amazing that the band were even able to recover from it.
Robert mentions Winterland before the acoustic set and is in strong voice throughout. The acoustic set comes across very well and must have been nice in an outdoor afternoon setting. The second half of the day has some shining moments with strong performances of “Trampled Underfoot”, “Kashmir”, and “Achilles Last Stand”. A brief “Whole Lotta Love” leads into “Rock And Roll” for the first encore while the second encore features a unique “Black Dog”, this time with no musical intro. The first show in Oakland is certainly not one of Led Zeppelin’s best performances but at least the show improves as the day progresses and still ranks very good.
Source one featured on the first three discs is a very good audience tape lacking some in the bottom end with the occasional change in sound quality that naturally occurs in an outdoor event. “No Quarter” has a small cut at 5:58 but other than that, the tape is virtually complete. The only previous silver release of this source was It’s Been Great on IQ. In comparison, IQ is louder and much heavier in the low end. TCOLZ sounds quieter and perhaps a bit thin sounding but is easily corrected by adding a touch of bass. This source could have benefited from some added low end but would go against the label’s principle of presenting tapes in their natural form.
The second source was previously issued on Confusion (no label). It is a good to very good audience recording that sounds closer to the stage than source one and also has uneven sound quality in spots due to the outdoor setting. When the tape is clear it is much more enjoyable than source one and has more low end present which leads to some overloading, especially in Jones’ bass pedals. The taper presumably wanted to conserve tape and therefore are a lot of cuts between songs leaving quite a few tracks clipped at the start. In addition to “The Song Remains The Same” cutting in during the first verse, there are some scattered musical cuts (i.e. “Since I’ve Been Loving You”, “No Quarter”, “White Summer” to name a few) and is completely missing the guitar solo before “Achilles Last Stand”.
TCOLZ offers up another worthwhile comprehensive set with A Quiet Before The Storm. With the subtitle The Day On The Green Tapes Volume 1, I am hopeful they will issue Volume 2 with the following day’s performance in a nice comprehensive set like this one. This comes packaged in a fatboy jewel case with some very nice photos. (wgpsec July 09)

Knebworth Festival 4 August 1979

Knebworth Masters (no label) 3 DVD
Knebworth Festival, Stevenage, England - August 4th, 1979

DVD 1:  Introduction, The Song Remains The Same, Celebration Day, Black Dog, Nobody’s Fault But Mine, Over The Hills And Far Away, Misty Mountain Hop, Since I’ve Been Loving You, No Quarter, Ten Years Gone, Hot Dog, The Rain Song, White Summer/Black Mountain Side, Kashmir

DVD 2:   Trampled Underfoot, Sick Again, Achilles Last Stand, Guitar / Bow Solo, In The Evening, Stairway To Heaven

DVD 3:  Audience, Rock And Roll, You’ll Never Walk Alone, Whole Lotta Love, Heartbreaker.  Knebworth Extras:  8mm Cine Films, BBC Radio at Knebworth Park, Rock And Roll - DVD off-cut, Heartbreaker - Alt Camera Mix, Heartbreaker - Solo Camera

I have had a chance to take a complete and relaxed watch of this release and I have to say I apologize for missing what is obvious the second time around - that is this release is simply great.
This title uses Winston matrix between excellent sounding audience and soundboard sources and spliced it with entire pro shot video. The end of Whole Lotta Love video is taken from August 11th, 1979 and the gap after The Rain Song and at the beginning of White Summer uses some nice images from the actual show to fill the gap in the original video. The silent beginning of amateur footage is spliced with the official stuff. Believe this title is a spin-off production from the same people who runs The Chronicles Of Led Zeppelin label.
One will ask if this is better than the Watchtower or Empress Valley releases?  I would say definitely yes and by a fair margin.  I really enjoyed the Watch Tower release of this show and their boxed set CD still stands as one of my favorite CDs but this new DVD of the 8/4/79 show is quite simply stunning.   It is a clean video - possibly first generation tape and the matrix sound is nice and it is a superior quality over the other releases of this show.  The extra material on disk 3 is a nice touch.
Knebworth Masters claims to be from the master video which may be true.  The colors are a bit off in some of the brighter moments but overall the picture is sharp, detailed, colorful and very lively making the two and a half hour performance a joy to watch.  As with other releases the video was geared for the large screens above the stage to give those sitting in the back a view of the action so the shots favor intense close ups of faces, fingers, guitars and pianos.  But make no mistake - it is probably the best Zep DVD I have seen - wish they could do the same with the Earls Court material.
The bonus material on disc three includes 8mm footage of the event, a BBC radio report by DJ Tommy Vance and several “works in progress” footage of “Rock And Roll” and “Heartbreaker” from several angels.  It works well as a bonus to give one a historical context in enjoying the show and to hear what the press were speculating regarding Zeppelin’s Knebworth shows.
I would agree that this three disk DVD set now stands as the definitive version of this video. (R. Schnell, February 2010)

Raid Over Brussels ( TCOLZ 011/012) 2 CD
Voorst National, Brussels, Belgium June 20th, 1980

Disc 1 (58:43) 01. Train Kept A Rollin (3:14), 02. Nobody's Fault But Mine (6:20), 03. Black Dog (6:00), 04. In The Evening (8:46), 05. The Rain Song (8:48), 06. Hot Dog (3:55), 07. All My Love (6:42), 08. Trampled Underfoot (4:44), 09. Since I've Been Loving You (10:14)

Disc 2 (61:57) 01 Achilles Last Stand (11:40), 02. White Summer/Black Mountain Side (10:16), 03. Kashmir (10:07), 04. Stairway To Heaven (12:44), 05. Rock And Roll (4:28), 06. Whole Lotta Love (12:42)

The Chronicles Of Led Zeppelin Presents: the 3rd stop of Zeppelin's Tour Over Europe 80 in stellar quality.  Although the recording seems a bit distant it is quite clear and very pleasant to listen to.  There is no real  noticable hiss and all of the instruments are equally balanced.  I didn't really notice any overloading or distorting of the sound either.  One thing that is apparent right off the bat is that this audience recording sounds better than the soundboard recording.  The majority of the 1980 soundboards are flat and lifeless while this audience recording gives off the actual feeling of being at the show.  It's full and rich sounding.  This recording is definitely one to have.
Led Zeppelin are still energized from the beginning of the tour a few days earlier and it shows in their playing.  All four members sound great and put their all into this show.  The only low point seems to be Robert's apparent boredom with Stairway To Heaven.  He does not through too much feeling into this version.  Jimmy gets a bit lost during Achilles Last Stand.  One thing that is great about this  recording is that Kashmir is complete unlike the soundboard recording which has a cut in the middle.  There is a slight cut at the end of Kashmir but none of the music is missing.  This cut is more than likely due to a tape swap.
This recording has been released before as Brussels Audience (Tarantura2000)" but this version sounds much better. The packaging for this release is the standard TCOLZ brown paper bag artwork.  As I've stated in previous reviews this artwork does not bother me and did not remotely keep me from getting this release.  Ultimately it's the music that matters in the end.  At the end of the day I am really impressed with the sonic quality of this release and I am glad to have it in my collection.  TCOLZ has done us all proud again. (HarleyDog Nov 08)

Cosmic Energy DVD -  Reunions Full Circle - CE 019

The "Reunions" DVD from the Cosmic Energy Label and series whose releases have always been noteworthy in terms of quality and sourcing...and this looks to be another in their archive to consider.  This DVD  compiles all the post-Zeppelin performances and events that have been well-documented in previous efforts.  I have not seen the similar Wendy release but this one has the added footage of the 07 reunion gig not on the Wendy release - hence the full circle?  Deluxe DVD case with impressive insert.

I am not really fond of most CE releases but this one along with the Bizzare Festival (CE - 015) have impressed me.  The opening tracks of Live Aid are of good audio quality but there is some difficulty with the aduio - seems to crackle with amplification.  Also for this show Page seems out of sorts - I'll just leave this point alone.... 

The Rock N Roll Hall of Fame is quite good - Neil Young tears it up with the band playing "When the Levee Breaks".

Again, it's the sources and some surprises that will likely cause this one to stand out, here's a rundown of what is featured here on this DVD-R production - NTSC region free - PCM stereo sound as follows
LIVE AID July 13th, 1985 (FM broadcasted used for soundtrack)
JFK Stadium, Philadelphia, PA
. Rock & Roll
. Whole Lotta Love
. Stairway To Heaven
. Interview after show
Atlantic 40th Anniversary May 14, 1988 (FM broadcasted used for soundtrack)
Madison Square Garden, New York, NY
Rehearsals & backstage are upgrades
Performance features 2 seperate audio tracks; an FM Source and a very rare
and unrelased audience source.
. Rehearsals (Misty Mountain Hop)
. Backstage
. Kashmir
. Heartbreaker
. Whole Lotta Love
. Misty Mountain Hop
. Stairway To Heaven
Rock & Roll Hall of Fame,  January 12, 1995
Ritz Carlton Hotel, New York, NY
Finally, the complete performance. The first two songs are from a new
alternate source.  Also a variety of news reports covering this event are
. CNN Showbiz Today
. MTV Week In Rock
. E! Channel News
. MTV Interview with John Paul Jones
. Induction by Steven Tyler & Joe Perry
. Train Kept A Rolling
. For Your Love
. Bring It On Home
. Long Distance Call
. Baby Please Don't Go
. When The Levee Breaks (w/ Neil Young)
Ahmet Ertegun Tribute,  December 10th, 2007 (multi-cam source)
02 Arena, London, UK
First time available. This 3-song multicam-mix compiles more than 10
different audience shot angles
. Black Dog
. In My Time Of Dying
. For Your Life
. Black Dog (proshot) news footage
Knebworth Festival June 30th, 1990
This concert is compiled from two video sources. One source being the
original televised broadcast and the second is an audience shot used to
patch in the missing pieces.
. Misty Mountain Hop
. Wearing and Tearing
. Rock and Roll
Montreux Festival July 7th, 2001
Proshot, This is the first time Robert and Jimmy appeared onstage together
following the Walking into Clarksdale 1998 tour.
. Baby Let's Play House
. Heart In My Hand
Polar Lifetime Achievement Award 2006
Remaining members of Led Zeppelin receive this very prestigious award.
Various Interviews with Page, Plant & Jones 2006
. Today Show
. Polar Awards
. Sweden TV Special
All videos are from Master source. (Rick Schnell Sept 09)

Page/Plant - You Can't Sink a Rainbow
9/29/95 SB & Pro Shot 2 CD (EVSD 521 - 522)  Bonus DVD Empress Valley

Tingley Colliseum, Albuerque, New Mexico  - Superb effort on this show.   Complete show on two CDs and a bonus DVD of the entire show.  Very hot start with a rare version of "Hey Hey What Can I Do" as the seventh track.  Track 5, "Thank You", is also superb. 

The CDs and DVD come in a fat triple CD case with EV sticker - complete track listing on the rear cover and a nice shot of Jimmy and Robert on the front.  I have not seen such a complete version or offering of this show and it is quite good. 

The band is definitely into their program on this night and it has 21 songs - mostly Zep material without alot of the garbage you fid on some of the later P&P releases.  If you collect or like some of the hotter P&P releases here is an opportunity to own both the audio and video of something that is on par with their last Vegas show or the Bizzare Festival show on 8/23/98. Very recommended. (R. Schnell Dec 09)

Jimmy Page/Robert Plant Tokyo 13 February 1996

Utamaro 2/13/96 Empress Valley (EV DVD 009) Collectors Edition

Track list:  Thank You/Custard Pie/Black Dog/Tangerine/Hurdy Gurdy Solo/Gallows Pole/Tea For One/Band Intros/The Song Remains The Same/Going To California/Babe I'm Gonna Leave You/Whole Lotta Love/Friends/Yallah/Four Sticks/Kashmir/What Is And What Should Never Be/Rock And Roll

This is a splendid DVD from the last night at the Budokan Hall in Tokyo.  This EV release comes in a beautiful deluxe DVD case and has full menu options.  Excellent audio quality with the superb camera work by what I believe is the 3rd eye video. As with other releases it is a complete show - the track list includes an excellent and rare version of Custard Pie as well as Tea for One.  The Budokan is obviously a superb setting and the lighting and audio is most impressive. Overall I would say this is one of the better Page/Plant releases and is well worth the extra cost for the EV version if you desire "collectable" versions.(Rick Schnell Feb 09)