Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Day 121: 11/30/1972 Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, England

11/30/1972 Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, England (unknown gen)
Rock and Roll, Over the Hills and Far Away, Black Dog, Misty Mountain Hop, Since I've Been Loving You, Dancing Days, Bron-Y-Aur Stomp, The Song Remains the Same, The Rain Song, Dazed and Confused, Stairway to Heaven, Whole Lotta Love, Immigrant Song, Heartbreaker, Thank You

The tape begins during Bonzo's intro to Rock And Roll. There is a slight cut during the first chorus of Over the Hills and Far Away. Page shreds through the guitar solo. Plant introduces Black Dog as "My Brain Hurts." The Song Remains the Same has finally been given a proper title. The tape is cut at the end of The Rain Song, leading directly to the intro of Dazed and Confused. The lead-in to the bow solo includes a brief instrumental version of what will become the San Francisco interlude.

Page's intro to Stairway to Heaven receives a big cheer from the crowd. Bonzo's snare is like a machine gun during the excellent guitar solo. Pant dedicates Whole Lotta Love to Roy Harper. The medley includes Boogie Chillen', Elvis Presley's Let's Have a Party, and Goin' Down Slow. After a cut in the tape, Immigrant Song begins with a strange, out of tune intro. Page blazes through the solos during Heartbreaker. The show ends with a lackluster Thank You.

The tape is quite muffled and hissy.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Day 120: 10/10/1972 Kyoto, Japan

10/10/1972 Kyoto, Japan  The Old Capital
Rock and Roll, Black Dog, Misty Mountain Hop, Since I've Been Loving You, The Song Remains the Same, The Rain Song, Dazed and Confused, Stairway to Heaven, Over the Hills and Far Away, Whole Lotta Love, Immigrant Song

The final show of Led Zeppelin's final tour of Japan begins with a brief soundcheck before Rock and Roll crashes into motion. Page's fingers get a bit stuck in the strings during the guitar solo in Black Dog. A high-speed Misty Mountain Hop is introduced as "one about Japanese grass." Page is on fire during an excellent Since I've Been Loving You, played at a hurried pace. A lightning-fast The Song Remains the Same is again introduced as "The Campaign." The Rain Song is beautiful.

Plant asks "what's the time?" adding "we got an hour..." off-mic before the shortest Dazed and Confused since 3/5/1971. Page blazes through the bare-bones guitar solo/workout section. As the song ends, Plant says "to the man who's sleeping in the front row, will you please stand up!" In an unusual setlist change, Over the Hills and Far Away is played after Stairway to Heaven. Whole Lotta Love includes a frantic new intro. The Everybody Needs Somebody to Love section is an explosion of raw energy. The medley includes Boogie Chillen', That's All Right, a frenzied rendition of Brenda Lee's Let's Jump the Broomstick, and Goin' Down Slow, which includes a wild blues improvisation. The show ends with a quick Immigrant Song. An excellent compact finale to a rather lackluster tour.

The tape is fairly clear, if a bit noisy.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Day 119: 10/9/1972 Osaka, Japan

10/9/1972 Osaka, Japan  (1st gen cassette>video hifi)
Rock and Roll, Black Dog, Over the Hills and Far Away, Misty Mountain Hop, Since I've Been Loving You, Dancing Days, The Song Remains the Same, The Rain Song, Dazed and Confused, Stairway to Heaven, Moby Dick, Whole Lotta Love, Stand By Me, Immigrant Song

In the four days since the show in Nagoya, Plant has had time to rest his injured voice, and it shows. He's not quite back to his former glory, but there has definitely been an improvement. Page blazes through the guitar solo during Over the Hills and Far Away. Before Misty Mountain Hop, Plant tells the crowd "this is a track... all about getting busted... but we wouldn't say that if we were in England or America, would we?" Since I've Been Loving You is drunk and bluesy. The Song Remains the Same is introduced as "The Campaign" tonight. Plant's voice finally allows him to do the song some justice. The lead-in to the bow solo during Dazed and Confused features a hauntingly heavy rendition of Down By the River. Page is on fire during the guitar solo/workout section. He solos wildly during the outro. 

Plant is in a good mood, joking with the crowd before Stairway to Heaven, which includes a great guitar solo from Page. Before the only appearance of Moby Dick this tour, Plant announces "ladies and gentlemen, tonight we have an added pleasure... John 'Samurai' Bonham!" The drum solo features extensive use of Bonzo's recently acquired tympani. Page plays a great new riff during the Everybody Needs Somebody to Love section in Whole Lotta Love. Plant skips the usual boogie tonight and dives straight into a riotous medley of classics including Something's Got a Hold On MeMilk Cow BluesRay Charles's Leave My Woman Alone, Lawdy Miss Clawdy, Heartbreak Hotel, a fantastic Wear My Ring Around Your Neck, and an excellent Goin' Down Slow. The tape is cut right at the end of the finale. After asking the crowd "you want John Bonham to sing, yes?," Plant leads the band in an amazing rendition of Stand By Me, with Bonzo providing sporadic backing vocals. The show ends with a powerful Immigrant Song. By far the biggest triumph of the band's final visit to Japan. Must Hear.

The tape is fairly clear, if a bit hissy, with Bonzo slightly buried under the rest of the band.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Day 118: 10/5/1972 Nagoya, Japan

10/5/1972 Nagoya, Japan D.R.A.G.O.N.
Rock and Roll, Black Dog, Misty Mountain Hop, Since I've Been Loving You, Dancing Days, Bron-Y-Aur Stomp, The Song Remains the Same, The Rain Song, Dazed and Confused, Stairway to Heaven, Whole Lotta Love, Thank You

The crowd is eerily quiet during Black Dog save for a few whistlers, giving the impression that the band is alone in the room. Plant announces "it is very nice for English boys to be in Nagoya" before Misty Mountain Hop. Since I've Been Loving You is a bit of a disjointed mess. Plant's introduction of Bonzo draws a big cheer from the crowd before Bron-Y-Aur Stomp. The Song Remains the Same is once again introduced as "The Overture." Plant's voice is at its weakest, seemingly unable to sustain any note. The Rain Song is beautiful.

The intro of Dazed and Confused is drenched in wah-wah. The lead-in to the bow solo includes a great funky jam. Page throws some As Long as I Have You licks into his call and response with Plant during the excellent guitar solo/workout section. He solos frantically during the outro. The Everybody Needs Somebody to Love section during Whole Lotta Love is a riotous explosion. Plant has finally warmed up and it shows in his enthusiastic performance during the medley. A frenzied Boogie Chillen', which features some great new lyrics from Plant, is followed by Elvis Presley's Let's Have a Party and You Shook Me, which includes another fantastic blues improvisation. Thank You is preceded by a highly dramatic organ suite from Jones, which includes a rendition of Sakura. Page delivers an epic guitar solo. The recording ends with a simple "goodnight Nagoya" from Plant.

The tape is fairly clear, if a bit distant and hissy. Thank You is from an inferior source with a very tinny sound.

Click here for audio samples courtesy of Black Beauty.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Day 117: 10/4/1972 Osaka, Japan

10/4/1972 Osaka, Japan (?)
Rock and Roll, Black Dog, Over the Hills and Far Away, Misty Mountain Hop, Since I've Been Loving You, Dancing Days, Bron-Y-Aur Stomp, The Song Remains the Same, The Rain Song, Dazed and Confused, Stairway to Heaven, Whole Lotta Love, Heartbreaker, Immigrant Song

The tape begins with a brief soundcheck before Rock and Roll crashes into motion. Plant is getting better at controlling his voice, but it's still far from perfect. He's all over the place during Over the Hills and Far Away, trying and failing to find a melody to accommodate his weakened voice. Misty Mountain Hop is introduced as a song "about the problems that come across just a simple walk in the park on a saturday afternoon. The Song Remains the Same fades in during the intro directly after the end of Bron-Y-Aur Stomp. Plant's out-of-tune vocals put a damper on The Rain Song. As the song ends, he announces "John Paul Jones on the mysterious Mellotron."

The intro of Dazed and Confused is punctuated by a violent, screeching outburst of wah-wah from Page. The lead-in to the bow solo features the first appearance of a mellow instrumental that will develop into the San Francisco interlude on the next tour. Page is in his own world during the guitar solo/workout section, soloing wildly in all directions as the rest of the band tries to follow along and anticipate his next move. Whole Lotta Love is introduced as "an old song that we think might go a long way... might take us a long way." The medley includes a riotous Boogie Chillen', Elvis Presley's I Got a Lot O' Living to Do and Let's Have a Party, and You Shook Me, which features an excellent extended blues improvisation. Bonzo is out of control during the finale, firing off machine gun-like snare bursts at every turn. Page is on fire during the solos in Heartbreaker. Bonzo's snare explodes like cannon fire during the fast guitar solo section. The show ends with Immigrant Song, which Bonzo turns into an imperial death march during the guitar solo.

The tape is excellent, perfectly clear and balanced.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Day 116: 10/3/1972 Tokyo, Japan

10/3/1972 Tokyo, Japan (master>dat)
Rock and Roll, Black Dog, Over the Hills and Far Away, Misty Mountain Hop, Since I've Been Loving You, Dancing Days, Bron-Y-Aur Stomp, The Song Remains the Same, The Rain Song, Dazed and Confused, Stairway to Heaven, Whole Lotta Love, Immigrant Song, The Ocean

The tape begins with a simple "good evening" from Plant before the thunderous crack of Bonzo's intro to Rock and Roll echoes through the hall. Plant is still having trouble with his voice. He gets into a call and response with the crowd before the guitar solo during Black Dog. Page blazes through the guitar solo during Over the Hills and Far Away. Before Misty Mountain Hop, Plant announces "it is very good to be back in Tokyo," adding "when group come to Tokyo, group have much fun."

Plant rushes the first verse of Since I've Been Loving You, causing the rest of the band to speed up the changes to catch up. Dancing Days is introduced as "a song about summertime and all the good things that happen." Plant introduces The Song Remains the Same as "The Overture" tonight. The Rain Song is fantastic. Unfortunately, there is a cut in the tape near the end of the song. Someone in the crowd shouts "John Paul Jones!" before Dazed and Confused, drawing a big cheer from the audience. There is an ear-piercing squeal of feedback during a quiet passage in the bow solo. Page leads the band in a great jam just before the call and response with Plant during the guitar solo/workout section. Bonzo explodes like a violent earthquake during the Mars, the Bringer of War section.

Stairway to Heaven is introduced as "a song about time... and some of the factors that go with our passage through it," adding jokingly "heavy trip, man." Plant sings a few lines of Blue Suede Shoes a cappella before Whole Lotta Love. The explosive Everybody Needs Somebody to Love section includes vocals from Plant for the first time. The medley includes Boogie Chillen', Elvis Presley's Let's Have a Party, and You Shook Me. There is a slight cut during the finale. The show ends with the Japanese premiere of The Ocean.

The tape is fairly clear, if a bit distant and echoey.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Day 115: 10/2/1972 Tokyo, Japan

10/2/1972 Tokyo, Japan  Led Zeppelin is My Brother
Rock and Roll, Over the Hills and Far Away, Black Dog, Misty Mountain Hop, Since I've Been Loving You, Dancing Days, Bron-Y-Aur Stomp, The Song Remains the Same, The Rain Song, Dazed and Confused, Stairway to Heaven, Whole Lotta Love, Heartbreaker, Immigrant Song, Communication Breakdown

The first show of Led Zeppelin's second and final tour of Japan begins with a brief introduction by Goro Itoi. The premiere of the newly revamped setlist kicks off with the first appearance of Rock and Roll as the opening number. Plant is almost nonexistent during the initial verses, his voice breaking with every note he tries to hit. Page's fingers get a bit sticky during the guitar solo. During the intro of Over the Hills and Far Away, Page hits a bum note, throwing himself off a bit. Plant is having a lot of trouble with his voice, unable to hit the high notes like he used to.

Black Dog is followed by the first appearance of Misty Mountain Hop since 5/3/1971. Bonzo is in top form, throwing in inventive fills at every turn. The new arrangement of Since I've Been Loving You is highly dramatic. Page's soloing is flawless. Plant introduces Bron-Y-Aur Stomp by imitating a dog for the non-english-speaking crowd, saying "this song about a *woof woof*." He tells the crowd "Jimmy Page no use Greco, Jimmy Page use Gibson" as Page tunes his acoustic guitar. Before the first appearance of The Song Remains the Same, Plant explains "at the moment, we ain't got no title for it... we'll just call it Zep." An excellent performance with Bonzo wailing on his new tympani. The premiere of The Rain Song is absolutely beautiful and features Jones's newly-acquired Mellotron

Page retunes his guitar during the intro of Dazed and Confused. Bonzo is out of control, thrashing at anything within reach as Page solos wildly during the guitar solo/workout section. Plant's introduction of Stairway to Heaven draws a loud cheer from the crowd. The guitar solo is drenched in echo. Whole Lotta Love is introduced as "one that really got us here... hope it'll get us back." The Everybody Needs Somebody to Love section is a cacophonous explosion. The medley begins with a mellow call and response between Plant and the crowd before Boogie Chillen', Elvis Presley's My Baby Left Me, the first appearance of Killing Floor since 9/6/1971, as well as an excellent new arrangement of I Can't Quit You Baby in it's first appearance since 12/2/1971. Page blazes through his solos during Heartbreaker. Plant's voice returns at full force during Immigrant Song, his Valhalla cries echoing through the hall. The show ends with a lightning-fast Communication Breakdown.

The tape is excellent, very clear and atmospheric. It gives the feeling of being in the crowd.

Click here for audio samples courtesy of Black Beauty.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Day 114: 6/28/1972 Tucson, AZ

6/28/1972 Tucson, AZ Arizona's Smiling
Immigrant Song, Heartbreaker, Black Dog, Over the Hills and Far Away, Since I've Been Loving You, Stairway to Heaven, Bron-Y-Aur Stomp, Dazed and Confused, What is and What Should Never Be, Dancing Days, Moby Dick, Whole Lotta Love, Rock and Roll

Immigrant Song is a devastating sonic assault. Bonzo is like a one man blitzkrieg as Page shreds through the guitar solo. The thunderous attack doesn't let up during Heartbreaker. Page's excellent a cappella solo is topped only by the frenzied explosion of the fast guitar solo section. Plant announces "today is the fifteenth birthday of Terry Hansen, so this is a song for Terry Hansen" before a brutally heavy Black Dog. He tells the crowd "this is the last gig of this tour, so we intend to have a really good time" before an excellent Over the Hills and Far Away, which is introduced as "a special treat." Page tears through the guitar solo as Bonzo and Jones hold down an urgently funky rhythm.

Since I've Been Loving You is painful and aggressively beautiful. An amazing performance. Stairway to Heaven is introduced as "a little song that came one night... when all was lost." Page plays an epic guitar solo. Plant tells the crowd "tonight's the last night, so we're gonna get so silly... sometime in the next twenty-four hours" before introducing the only acoustic song of the night, Bron-Y-Aur Stomp. Bonzo's relentless pounding is like cannon fire during the initial verses of Dazed and Confused. Page is on fire during the frantic guitar solo/workout section. The four of them are locked into each other, playing as one well-oiled machine during the epic improvisation. A truly mid-blowing performance, one of the best thus far.

Moby Dick is outstanding. There are some disturbing speed fluctuations during Whole Lotta Love, which add an interesting new dimension to Page's theramin trickery. The riotous medley includes Boogie Chillen', featuring an excellent guitar solo from Page, a fantastic rendition of Elvis Presley's Let's Have a Party, a raucous Stuck on You, Hello Mary Lou, and an incredible Goin' Down Slow, which includes a great keyboard solo from Jones. Plant announces "Arizona's smiling!" and jokingly sings a bit of When You're Smiling before the band closes the show with a high-energy Rock and Roll. Page starts the guitar solo late, causing a bit of confusion until he catches up with himself. As the band leaves the stage, Plant says "thank you very much... next year." A phenomenal end to the legendary 1972 American tour. Must hear.

The tape is clear and well-balanced, if a bit overloaded and lacking in bottom end.

Click here for audio samples courtesy of Black Beauty.

About three minutes of silent color footage is available on Hercules's Film Noir Vol. 1. Unfortunately, the footage, consisting of various short fragments from the show, is distant, blurry, and quite washed-out.

Click here for a video sample courtesy of Black Beauty.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Day 113: 6/27/1972 Long Beach, CA

6/27/1972 Long Beach, CA (see below)
Immigrant Song^, Heartbreaker^, Black Dog+, Over the Hills and Far Away+, Since I've Been Loving You^, Stairway to Heaven^, Going to California^, That's the Way+, Tangerine+, Bron-Y-Aur Stomp^, Dazed and Confused+, What is and What Should Never Be*, Dancing Days*, Moby Dick*, Whole Lotta Love+, Rock and Roll#
^- source 1: (unknown gen)
#- source 2: (reel master>vhs>dat>cdr)
+- source 3: How the West Was, Too!
*- soundboard: (master quads>dat)

The second of two shows used to create 2003's How the West Was Won, the tape begins with Immigrant Song already in progress. Black Dog is introduced as "a story about a dog who liked to boogie." Plant comments on the show at The Forum two nights earlier, telling the crowd "that was too much, it was really great" before Over the Hills and Far Away, which is dedicated to "the freak" throwing firecrackers. Page's frantic soloing lends a sense of urgency to the mournful tone of Since I've Been Loving You. A highly dramatic rendition.

Stairway to Heaven features another dramatic guitar solo from Page. Plant tells the crowd "all parents can join in the choruses" at the beginning of That's the Way. A mournful Tangerine is introduced as "a nice little song that people usually chatter in." Plant jokes that Bonzo's rendition of It's Only Make Believe was meant to be on the last album, "but he paid us enough money to keep it off" before Bron-Y-Aur Stomp. The lead-in to the bow solo during Dazed and Confused features a great driving rhythm before everything slows down to a cool, jazzy tempo to accompany Page's ethereal wanderings. Bonzo is like an out of control locomotive during the guitar solo/workout section, with Page racing to keep up. The Mars, the Bringer of War section is extremely heavy. Page solos wildly as Plant's echoed chants soar over the crowd during the outro, causing someone near the taper to comment "look at Page... incredible!"

Plant comments on Americans' tendency to dismiss new songs that they don't know before Dancing Days, adding "this is one of those." Bonzo is introduced as "percussionist, second vocalist, fighter, drinker, lover of the world... in fact, general odd job man... and king of the coffee shop" before Moby Dick. The Everybody Needs Somebody to Love breakdown during Whole Lotta Love is explosive. The medley includes Boogie Chillen', another great rendition of Elvis Presley's Let's Have a Party, a raucous Hello Mary Lou, the first appearance of Blueberry Hill since 9/19/1970, and Goin' Down Slow, which includes a dynamic blues improvisation. The show ends with a quick and dirty Rock and Roll, the crowd is left begging for more.

The audience tapes are clear and well-balanced, save for source 2, which is a bit distant and noisy. The soundboard tape is superb.

For a fascinating breakdown and analysis of how How the West Was Won was created, visit Eddie Edwards's The Garden Tapes.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Day 112: 6/25/1972 Los Angeles, CA

6/25/1972 Los Angeles, CA Burn Like a Candle
Immigrant Song, Heartbreaker, Over the Hills and Far Away, Black Dog, Since I've Been Loving You, Stairway to Heaven, Going to California, That's the Way, Tangerine, Bron-Y-Aur Stomp, Dazed and Confused, What is and What Should Never Be, Dancing Days, Moby Dick, Whole Lotta Love, Rock and Roll, The Ocean, Louie Louie, Thank You, Communication Breakdown, Bring it on Home

The first of two shows used to create 2003's How the West Was Won, the tape begins with the familiar droning intro before Immigrant Song comes crashing through the gate like a thunderous stampede. Page shreds through the frenzied guitar solo during Heartbreaker. Plant tells the crowd "we'd like to try a number out off the new album," but warns "we haven't really decided what we're gonna do at the end of it yet, so you'll have to bear with us" before the first complete recording of Over the Hills and Far Away. The choruses find Plant in all his high-pitched glory.

Before Black Dog, Plant assures the crowd that the song is about "a poor dog" and has "nothing to do with a chick in Detroit." Since I've Been Loving You is a bit subdued despite some inspired soloing from Page. Plant's introduction of Stairway to Heaven draws a loud cheer from the crowd. Page blazes through the guitar solo. Plant's voice gets a bit rough during the final rock section. Before the acoustic set, Plant criticizes the security staff for "cartin' people out with little flash cameras," calling them "the gestapo." Going to California is absolutely beautiful. Following an excellent That's the Way, Plant tells the crowd "we got a long, long time to go... we've been known to play for twelve and a half hours." He calls for a spotlight on Bonzo before Bron-Y-Aur Stomp.

Bonzo attacks his drums with incredible ferocity during the initial verses of Dazed and Confused, his snare cracks like gunfire during the frantic lead-in to the bow solo. Page's fingers get a bit sticky as he solos wildly during the guitar solo/workout section. The extended outro is fantastic, Page's soloing is particularly inspired. Plant jokes that the next album will be called "Burn That Candle" before Dancing Days. Bonzo mounts a full-on sonic assault during Moby Dick, his thunderous pounding is like a violent earthquake. Whole Lotta Love is dedicated to LA. The excellent medley includes Boogie Chillen', an excellent rendition of Elvis Presley's Let's Have a Party, a fantastic Hello Mary Lou, Heartbreak Hotel, a riotous Slow Down with a frenzied guitar solo from Page, and an exceptional Goin' Down Slow.

Page shreds through the guitar solo during Rock and Roll. Someone near the taper can be heard shouting "When the Levee Breaks!" as Plant introduces Jones before another raucous rendition of Louie Louie. Jones plays a bit of Everyday People during the organ solo before Thank You. The show closes with a laid-back Bring it on Home. Another epic marathon at the LA Forum. Must hear.

The tape is excellent, very clear and well-balanced.

For a fascinating breakdown and analysis of how How the West Was Won was created, visit Eddie Edwards's The Garden Tapes.

Day 112: 6/25/1972 Los Angeles, CA (part two)

Since Blogger has seen fit to impose a limit of twenty labels per post and Led Zeppelin saw fit to occasionally perform more than twenty songs in one evening, I've been forced to carry those extra couple songs over to this supplemental post. For the full review of this outstanding performance, please see 6/25/1972 Los Angeles, CA (part one).

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Day 111: 6/22/1972 San Bernardino, CA

6/22/1972 San Bernardino, CA Excellence in San Bernardino
Immigrant Song, Heartbreaker, Black Dog, Since I've Been Loving You, Stairway to Heaven, Going to California, That's the Way, Tangerine, Bron-Y-Aur Stomp, Dazed and Confused, What is and What Should Never Be, Moby Dick, Whole Lotta Love, Rock and Roll

The tape begins with the familiar deep droning intro as someone near the taper repeatedly shouts "we're ready!" Plant's Valhalla cries are almost nonexistent during the initial verses of Immigrant Song. Page solos wildly during the lead-in to an exceptional a cappella solo in Heartbreaker. Plant sounds tired while introducing Since I've Been Loving You as "a song of distressed love." Page plays in extremes, quiet and restrained one moment, wild and dramatic the next. His epic soloing paints a vast emotional landscape.

Plant introduces Going to California as "a song about experiences." Page is barely audible over the chattering crowd during Tangerine. Bron-Y-Aur Stomp is introduced as "something for everybody with a loud mouth in the audience." There is a tape speedup/cut two minutes into the song. Page's fingers fly across the fretboard as Bonzo and Jones hold down a funky rhythm until everything slows down for an ethereal intro to the bow solo during Dazed and Confused. The guitar solo/workout section is an explosion of energy with Page's high-flying acrobatics leading the way. Plant encourages the crowd to "do The Crunge!", adding seductively "c'mon you white folk sisters..."

A firecracker explosion just before What is and What Should Never Be is dismissed as "greasy kid's stuff" by Plant. Bonzo is introduced as "the gentleman... you've all been waiting for, ever since this rodeo started... our percussionist... one hundred and sixty-eight pounds... John Henry Bonham" as Page quietly jams on a bluesy riff before Moby Dick. The medley during Whole Lotta Love includes Boogie Chillen', Elvis Presley's Let's Have a Party, Hello Mary Lou, and Goin' Down Slow, with Page unleashing a flurry of wild licks during the extended blues improvisation. As the band returns to the stage to close the show with Rock and Roll, Plant announces "it's very nice to be back again." A fairly standard performance with Page providing most of the excitement.

The tape is very clear with Page and Plant in front.

About three minutes of excellent color footage featuring fragments of Immigrant Song, Heartbreaker, Black Dog, Stairway to Heaven, Dazed and Confused, and Whole Lotta Love is available on Hercules's Film Noir Vol. 1. The film, which focuses primarily on Page, is shot from close to the stage and is very clear and enjoyable. The footage is also available on Celebration's Early Visions, but is not properly synched on that release.

Click here for a video sample courtesy of Black Beauty.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Day 110: 6/19/1972 Seattle, WA

6/19/1972 Seattle, WA Dancing Again
Immigrant Song, Heartbreaker, Black Dog, The Ocean, Since I've Been Loving You, Stairway to Heaven, Going to California, Black Country Woman, That's the Way, Tangerine, Bron-Y-Aur Stomp, Dazed and Confused, What is and What Should Never Be, Dancing Days, Moby Dick, Whole Lotta Love, Rock and Roll, Louie Louie, Let's Dance, Thank You, Money, Over the Hills and Far Away, Dancing Days

The tape begins during the final verse of Immigrant Song. A thunderous Black Dog is followed by the first appearance of The Ocean. Bonzo pummels his drums during an urgent Since I've Been Loving You. Someone near the taper exclaims "oh wow, oh wow!" as the song ends. Page blazes through the guitar solo during Stairway to Heaven, repeating licks to mesmerizing effect. The very beginning of Going to California is cut. There is quite a bit of chatter going on around the taper, destroying the delicate atmosphere.

Following a cue from Plant, the rest of the band joins in for the first complete performance of Black Country Woman. Someone near the taper inquires about his tape recorder after That's the Way, taking time to say "hi" into the microphone. There is a cut near the beginning of Tangerine due to a tape flip. Bron-Y-Aur Stomp transforms the crowd into a foot-stomping hoedown. Plant comments on the previous night's show and the trouble in Vancouver before Dazed and Confused, the opening notes of which cause someone near the taper to yelp and howl with excitement. The lead-in to the bow solo features some excellent interplay between Page, Jones, and Bonzo. Page solos wildly during the outro, which Bonzo and Jones turn into a menacing imperial march. Unfortunately, the tape is cut during the frenzied race to the finish.

What is and What Should Never Be is followed by the first appearance of Dancing Days. Still unsure of the changes, the band gets a bit mixed up a few times. Plant mentions Bonzo's efforts to lose weight this tour, introducing him as "John Bonham, at the beginning of this tour, two hundred and ten pounds... right now he's at a hundred and seventy-five pounds!" before Moby Dick. During the drum solo, the taper says "I hate drum solos, I hate them... hate 'em a lot" directly into his microphone. There is a cut about fourteen minutes in. The theramin freakout during Whole Lotta Love is a cacophonous explosion. The medley begins with a new slow arrangement of Boogie Chillen' before the familiar fast riff kicks off a marathon of classics including Elvis Presley's Let's Have a Party, Hello Mary Lou, an out of tune rendition of Only the Lonely, Heartbreak Hotel, and Goin' Down Slow, which is cut during the "please write mama..." verse, leaving us at the end of the finale.

Plant introduces Rock and Roll as "an old one." Jones's organ solo includes hints of Everyday People before the rest of the band joins in for an excellent rendition of Louie Louie followed by Let's Dance. Page tears through a great guitar solo during Thank You. The crowd goes absolutely wild as the band returns to the stage for a riotous rendition of Money, which is unfortunately cut after two and a half minutes. After the cut, we're left in the middle of the first appearance of Over the Hills and Far Away. If all of this wasn't enough to push the crowd over the edge, the recording ends with the second performance of Dancing Days of the night, with Plant joking "this is one that you might have heard about two hours ago." A marathon performance of epic proportions. Must hear.

The tape is fairly clear, if somewhat noisy and overloaded.

Click here for an audio sample courtesy of Black Beauty.

Day 110: 6/19/1972 Seattle, WA (part two)

Since Blogger has seen fit to impose a limit of twenty labels per post and Led Zeppelin saw fit to occasionally perform more than twenty songs in one evening, I've been forced to carry those extra few songs over to this supplemental post. For the full review of this outstanding performance, please see 6/19/1972 Seattle, WA (part one).

Friday, April 18, 2008

Day 109: 6/18/1972 Seattle, WA

6/18/1972 Seattle, WA  (master>dat)
Immigrant Song, Heartbreaker, Black Dog, Since I've Been Loving You, Stairway to Heaven, Going to California

The tape begins with a brief stage announcement explaining that the show is being delayed until everyone is in the building as a lot of people came from Vancouver after an earlier incident prevented the band from entering Canada. Immigrant Song comes thundering out of the gate. Bonzo thrashes at his drums like a madman during Heartbreaker. The volume shifts a few times during Page's excellent solos. The fast guitar solo is particularly electrifying. 

Plant comments on the trouble in Vancouver and greets those in the crowd who came down for the show before Black DogSince I've Been Loving You is intense and powerful. Plant asks if anyone in the crowd remembers the first time the band came through with Vanilla Fudge before introducing Going to California as "a song about California and all the different buzzes you get off it." The interplay between Page's guitar and Jones's mandolin is absolutely beautiful. Unfortunately, the recording ends just as the song does.

The tape is very clear and well-balanced. It's too bad the recording is so short.

Day 109: 6/17/1972 Portland, OR

6/17/1972 Portland, OR  (cassette3>dat>cdr)
Stairway to Heaven, Going to California, That's the Way, Tangerine, Bron-Y-Aur Stomp, Dazed and Confused, What is and What Should Never Be, Moby Dick, Whole Lotta Love, Rock and Roll

The tape begins during the guitar solo in Stairway to Heaven. The final verse is cut after Plant sings the first line. He comments on a regulation that's keeping the house lights on before attempting to calm the crowd for the acoustic set. Plant is in good form, hitting some great high notes while chanting "it ain't right!" near the end of That's the Way. He introduces Bron-Y-Aur Stomp as "a song about a blue-eyed dog... the best friend I ever had." Unfortunately, the middle of the song is missing.

Dazed and Confused is introduced as "one from a long, long time ago." The lead-in to the bow solo includes a slow, haunting jam. There is a cut near the beginning of the bow solo, as well as a few during the guitar solo/workout section. Plant introduces Bonzo as "our one hundred and eighty pound wonder" before Moby Dick. The medley during Whole Lotta Love includes Boogie Chillen', Carl Perkins's Boppin' the Blues, Hello Mary Lou, and an extended Goin' Down Slow. The recording ends with a thunderous Rock and Roll.

The tape is quite muffled, distorted, and hissy.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Day 108: 6/15/1972 Uniondale, NY

6/15/1972 Uniondale, NY  Whole Lotta Led
Immigrant Song, Heartbreaker, Black Dog, Since I've Been Loving You, Stairway to Heaven, Going to California, That's the Way, Tangerine, Bron-Y-Aur Stomp, Dazed and Confused, What is and What Should Never Be, Moby Dick, Whole Lotta Love

The tape begins with the first appearance of the droning intro before the sonic attack of Immigrant Song crashes into motion. Someone near the taper sings along with Plant during the first verse. Page tears through the guitar solo as Bonzo causes a stampede of drums during Heartbreaker. Plant asks the crowd "was anybody here last night?" before introducing Black Dog as a song "about a dog who used to boogie too much." There is quite a bit of talking/shouting coming from near the taper between and during songs, including someone who sings along with Plant's "sweet jelly roll" line. Since I've Been Loving You is dramatic and powerful. Bonzo is like a tidal wave, repeatedly crashing against the shore. 

There is an argument about tickets and seat locations near the taper during the initial verses of Stairway to Heaven. The guitar solo and final rock section are absolutely explosive. Prior to a beautiful Going to California, Plant announces "well, twenty-three is old now, so I gotta sit down" before complaining about the PA. The delicate instrumental section before the final verse is interrupted by someone shouting "everybody smokin' that dope?" very close to the taper's microphone. That's the Way is ruined by the talking and random yelping of the tapers. Plant dedicates Tangerine to "the good times." Unfortunately, the tape is cut after just over a minute. There is a cut during the instrumental breakdown in Bron-Y-Aur Stomp, which includes the first appearance of Plant's "Stryder!" call at the end of the song.

The lead-in to the bow solo during Dazed and Confused features an excellent driving improvisation followed by a great jazzy interlude, courtesy of Bonzo. Page is on fire during the frenzied guitar solo/workout section. Another excellent rendition of The Crunge is followed by even more high-flying guitar heroics, even managing to shut the tapers up for a few minutes. The Mars, the Bringer of War section is devastatingly heavy. Page solos wildly as Plant's chants echo over the crowd during the outro. A true epic, one of the best thus far. 

Plant announces "somebody's thrown me a capsule... I'm gonna have to hand this in I'm afraid" before What is and What Should Never Be. He introduces Bonzo as "our number two vocalist" before Moby Dick. Unfortunately, only the intro and outro survive. The Everybody Needs Somebody to Love section during Whole Lotta Love is a frenzied cacophony. The medley includes Boogie Chillen', which Plant introduces by saying "I think this is the national anthem," Johnny Otis's Willie and the Hand Jive, Hello Mary Lou, Money Honey, Heartbreak Hotel, during which Plant defiantly insists that the houselights go down, and John Lee Hooker's Bottle Up and Go. Unfortunately, the tape is cut during Goin' Down Slow, ending the recording. A truly inspired performance. Must hear.

The tape is clear, but the tapers' running commentary can be a bit distracting at times.

Click here for an audio sample courtesy of Black Beauty.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Day 107: 6/14/1972 Uniondale, NY

6/14/1972 Uniondale, NY  (2nd gen>dat>cdr)
Immigrant Song, Heartbreaker, Black Dog, Since I've Been Loving You, Stairway to Heaven, Going to California, That's the Way, Tangerine, Bron-Y-Aur Stomp, Dazed and Confused, What is and What Should Never Be, Moby Dick, Whole Lotta Love, Rock and Roll, Communication Breakdown, Weekend, Bring it on Home

The tape begins with Plant telling the crowd "it's nice to be back again." Immigrant Song is a sonic assault. Page blazes through the inspired solos during Heartbreaker. During a long pause after Black Dog, Plant explains that Jones's keyboard is the cause of the delay, adding "it's a nightly problem, it's cool." Plant is in good form during Since I've Been Loving You, his interplay with Page building tension until the climactic release of the guitar solo. High drama at its finest. 

Stairway to Heaven includes the first appearance of Plant's famous "do you remember laughter?" ad lib. That's the Way is beautiful. Plant speaks to the crowd about King Arthur and chivalry before Tangerine. Bron-Y-Aur Stomp is dedicated to Dion and the Belmonts after Plant sings a couple lines from Runaround Sue. Page is absolutely on fire during the guitar solo/workout section in Dazed and Confused. He plays Walter's Walk at lightning speed, causing the rest of the band to race just to keep up. A frantic rendition of The Crunge is followed by another blistering guitar solo. The band is in an intense race to the finish, creating a vast sonic wall until everything peaks at the explosive return to the main riff. A truly amazing performance.

Moby Dick is cut after seventeen minutes. The medley during Whole Lotta Love features Boogie Chillen', John Lee Hooker's Bottle Up and Go, Hello Mary Lou, Lawdy Miss Clawdy, and Goin' Down Slow. The long string of encores begins with the riotous one-two punch of Rock and Roll and Communication Breakdown. The band returns to the stage for another great rendition of Eddie Cochran's Weekend followed by Bring it on Home, which is cut just before the instrumental battle section, ending the recording. An epic performance.

The tape is fairly clear, if a bit distant and hissy.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Day 106: 6/13/1972 Philadelphia, PA

6/13/1972 Philadelphia, PA  Philadelphia 1972
Heartbreaker, Black Dog, Bring it on Home, Since I've Been Loving You, Stairway to Heaven, Going to California, That's the Way, Dazed and Confused, What is and What Should Never Be, Moby Dick

The tape begins with Heartbreaker already in progress. Plant's introduction of Black Dog receives a big cheer from the crowd. Page tears through the guitar solo. There is a long pause before the first appearance of Bring it on Home since 3/5/1971. Plant chants "squeeze my lemon" through his harmonica before a short, frantic guitar solo from Page. That's the Way is cut before the final verse. Dazed and Confused features the first appearance of a fully-formed The Crunge, sans vocals, during the guitar solo/workout section. The crowd gets quite loud and rowdy during What is and What Should Never Be. Plant introduces Bonzo as "a wonderful musician, a great friend" to which Bonzo enthusiastically responds "bullshit!" before Moby Dick, which is cut after only twenty seconds, ending the recording.

The tape is muffled, muddy, distant, hissy, and at times overloaded, improving slightly as the show progresses. There is a great performance buried somewhere in the mud, but this is a rather rough listen, even for a pair of seasoned "bootleg ears".

Monday, April 14, 2008

Day 105: 6/11/1972 Baltimore, MD

6/11/1972 Baltimore, MD  Baltimore Jack
Immigrant Song, Heartbreaker, Black Dog, Since I've Been Loving You, Stairway to Heaven, Going to California, That's the Way, Tangerine, Bron-Y-Aur Stomp, Dazed and Confused, What is and What Should Never Be, Moby Dick, Whole Lotta Love, Rock and Roll, Communication Breakdown

Bonzo is out of control during Heartbreaker, thrashing away at anything within reach as Page blazes through his high-flying finger acrobatics. Plant mentions that Page's guitar is falling apart before introducing Black Dog. Since I've Been Loving You is an epic drama. Plant calls for a spotlight on Bonzo as he does his best Johnny Cash impression before Bron-Y-Aur Stomp

Dazed and Confused is dedicated to "the man with the loud voice" by Plant. Bonzo turns the lead-in to the bow solo into a battleground with his explosive pounding. Page is on fire during the guitar solo/workout section. Moby Dick is a mind-blowing twenty-seven and a half minute epic, even with a cut two-thirds of the way through. The riotous medley during Whole Lotta Love includes Boogie Chillen', Elvis Presley's I Need Your Love Tonight, Hello Mary Lou, a slow, mournful Heartbreak Hotel, a blistering rendition of Don Nix's Going Down, and another excellent extended Goin' Down Slow. Bonzo thrashes away like a madman during Rock and Roll. The crowd goes wild as the band returns to the stage to close the show with a frantic Communication Breakdown.

The tape is fairly clear, but distant.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Day 104: 6/9/1972 Charlotte, NC

6/9/1972 Charlotte, NC  Charlotte 1972
Immigrant Song, Heartbreaker, Celebration Day, Black Dog, Since I've Been Loving You, Stairway to Heaven, Going to California, That's the Way, Tangerine, Bron-Y-Aur Stomp, Dazed and Confused, What is and What Should never Be, Moby Dick, Whole Lotta Love, Rock and Roll, Communication Breakdown

Page has the crowd clapping along with his country-flavored licks during the a cappella solo in Heartbreaker. Plant sounds a bit under the weather, his voice breaking a few times during the final verse. Celebration Day seems a bit sluggish. Black Dog is introduced as "a song dedicated to an old hunting dog in England... he used to go out to see his lady friend and he used to get so wasted that he couldn't get back!" Page blazes through the guitar solo. The tape is cut between songs. Since I've Been Loving You is slow and mournful. Page, Plant, and Bonzo play a bit of Knees Up Mother Brown before Stairway to Heaven. One of the tapers comments "I'm hopin' they'll get better... they look like they're kinda drunk or somethin'... they are much better than this" after Tangerine

The initial verses of Dazed and Confused are slow and loose. Plant improvises lyrics to calm the rowdy crowd during the heavy lead-in to the bow solo, which is cut slightly at the beginning. The ever-expanding guitar solo/workout section features an excellent Walter's Walk jam. Plant warns the crowd to stay off the stage before What is and What Should Never Be. He introduces Bonzo as "weighing in at two hundred and ten pounds... two hundred and six pounds, John Henry Bonham, Moby Dick!" Jones pounds on his organ during the theramin freakout in Whole Lotta Love, which is played without a medley for the first time since the Bath Festival. A shout of "fuck your latest album!" can be heard coming from the crowd as Plant introduces Rock and Roll. The show ends with a somewhat sluggish Communication Breakdown. A rather lazy performance overall with a few moments of inspiration.

The tape is fairly clear with Plant front and center.

Click here for audio samples courtesy of Black Beauty.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Day 103: 6/7/1972 Montreal, Quebec

6/7/1972 Montreal, Quebec  (master>cassette>cdr)
Immigrant Song, Heartbreaker, Black Dog, Since I've Been Loving You, Stairway to Heaven, Going to California, That's the Way, Tangerine, Bron-Y-Aur Stomp, Dazed and Confused, What is and What Should Never Be, Moby Dick, Whole Lotta Love, Rock and Roll, Thank You

There is a slight dropout during the first verse of Immigrant Song. Page shreds through the excellent solos during Heartbreaker. After Black Dog, there is an argument between the taper and his friends over who gets to hold the binoculars with one friend saying "when Whole Lotta Love plays, I wanna see 'em, because I wanna see how he makes that sound!" Page is on fire during an incredibly dramatic and powerful Since I've Been Loving You. Plant's introduction of Stairway to Heaven receives a loud cheer from the crowd. Page plays a bit of Black Country Woman before a beautiful That's the Way, to which Plant responds by joking "that's the next album." The acoustic set closes with a great high-energy Bron-Y-Aur Stomp

Plant announces "we're nearly four years old now... this was in the first fifteen minutes" before Dazed and Confused. Page solos wildly during the constantly developing lead-in to the bow solo. The guitar solo/workout section is an epic journey. Page is on fire, improvising freely with Bonzo and Jones locked in close behind, even including early hints of Walter's Walk. There is a slight dropout during the final verse. The Everybody Needs Somebody to Love section during Whole Lotta Love features some great soloing from Page. The riotous medley includes Boogie Chillen' and Hello Mary Lou before a source change. The remainder includes Running Bear, Money Honey, Elvis Presley's A Mess of Blues, and another excellent extended Goin' Down Slow, including an amazing slow blues When the Levee Breaks finale. 

Rock and Roll is a high-speed explosion of energy. The recording ends during the final verse of an epic Thank You, which includes a fantastic high-flying guitar solo from Page. A truly amazing performance from beginning to end. The 1972 North American Tour has begun.

The tape is fairly clear, if a bit distant and bass-heavy. Highly enjoyable. Unfortunately, the remainder of the show after the source change during the Whole Lotta Love medley is plagued by constant volume fluctuations.