Friday, August 8, 2008

UPDATE: 1/22/1975 Chicago, IL

1/22/1975 Chicago, IL  (1st gen)
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, The Wanton Song, No Quarter, Trampled Underfoot, Moby Dick, How Many More Times, Stairway to Heaven, Black Dog, Communication Breakdown

The newly-surfaced recording begins with a few seconds of crowd noise before Rock and Roll crashes into motion. Plant's voice has improved greatly since the first night, but is still a bit rough at times. Following Sick Again, he tells the crowd "this is the last night we got in Chicago, I'm gettin' over me flu, Pagey's finger is just about healin', and we're gonna have a good time tonight." Page shreds through the guitar solo during Over the Hills and Far Away. In My Time of Dying is excellent. The beginning of The Song Remains the Same is missing from the tape. 

Plant delivers a strong performance during a powerful rendition of The Wanton Song. As the song ends, a cut in the tape leads directly into Jones's intro to No Quarter. There is a slight cut in the tape during the piano solo. The instrumental section features a dynamic guitar solo from Page. Plant introduces Trampled Underfoot as "another one of those tracks that we hope will soon get to you through the good media of FM radio" before dedicating the song to Chuck Berry. Page blazes through the guitar solo. Bonzo is introduced as "the man with only two cavities" before Moby Dick. The majority of the drum solo is missing from the tape. 

How Many More Times is introduced as "an old one." Page solos wildly during the lead-in to the bow solo as Plant sings about his "little school girl", ending with "she's gone!" The final verse is a riotous explosion of energy. As the song ends, Plant jokes "I think we should rehearse that, maybe put it on an album." There is a slight cut accompanied by a brief volume shift during the initial verses of Stairway to Heaven, just before Bonzo enters. Page breaks a string during the guitar solo, causing him to improvise an alternate arrangement. The pyrotechnics at the beginning of Black Dog are met with a loud cheer from the crowd. The band closes the show with a blistering Communication Breakdown, which includes lyrics from Kisses Sweeter than Wine during the funky breakdown. A surprisingly strong performance for the band's final night in Chicago.

The tape is clear and enjoyable, if a bit distant, hissy, and lacking in bottom end.

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