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About tmtomh

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    Zep Head

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  1. Very interesting! I would guess the mastering is a clone of the official 2014 reissue - however, I would guess the mastering for the 3 extra tracks is taken from the 1993 George Marino-mastered CD of Coda from the Complete Studio Albums box set, because that's pretty much the only place you could get "Baby Come on Home" as of 2014. The track of course appeared on the recent Coda reissue, but that came out in 2015, so it was not available to the Russian bootleggers (or anyone else) in 2014.
  2. Agree with much of what's been written here. I will only add a few thoughts: Page: Parts of '77 definitely rank with '80 as a low point for him IMHO. On the other hand, 3 or the 4 1979 gigs find him in very good form, and the two Copenhagen warm-ups in particular are excellent shows, including his playing. Plant: Given how awful 1975 was for him, he's actually not bad on most of the Earls Court tapes, and his voice is in shocking good shape on many of the 1977 tapes. Bonham: Agree, 1980 was the one (and pretty much only) mediocre/uninspired period for him. Jones: Also agree he was the most consistent of the group. I will say, however, that 1977 and 1980 are the closest he comes lows for me, not for performance reasons (although he does play his part in the band's seemingly inability to get through Kashmir without a mistake in 1980) - but rather for sonic reasons. IN 1977 he switched to the alembic bass, which sounds just awful on every soundboard and audience source; and the move from mellotron to electric piano and synthesizers sounds particularly cheesy on those 1980 soundboards.
  3. Yes, very sad. He was in his 40s and leaves a family behind as well. He'll be fondly remembered by thousands of people for a very long time, for the community and resource he created at the Hotel.
  4. If we're talking strictly instrumentals, then I'd rank true instrumental tracks over backing tracks. In that spirit, I agree with Glyn on TSRTS - it gets my vote for the best instrumental because it's been a kind of holy grail for so long, and it's not just a backing track that lacks vocals and some of the final overdubs. Rather, it is (AFAIK) unique among the companion tracks in that it's an instrumental version that ultimately had instrumental parts removed in the officially released version. So it's one of the rare tracks where we're hearing new instrumental overdubs we've never heard before. And it's just a great piece of music, in which this instrumental version is different, but IMHO fully the equal of the official vocal version. After that, I'd say St. Tristan's Sword is fantastic, and Jennings Farm Blues is essential. And in 4th place I'd put 10 Ribs/Carrot/Pod/whatever - a beautiful track. (I like La La too, but I'd rank the other four above it.) As far as the backing tracks, my favorites probably are Thank You, Bathroom Sound, Battle of Evermore, and Going to California.
  5. When it comes to Zep II, the really valuable one, the holy grail, is the Robert Ludwig mastering, which is the original US mastering. The telltale signs of the most collectible/expensive version are "RL" and "SS" in the deadwax (Robert Ludwig, Sterling Sound), and a noticeably narrow deadwax on Side B. In the 1970s and '80s, Japanese pressings were generally sought after because they were usually higher-quality pressings than the standard US ones - heavier vinyl, more likely to be virgin vinyl, and/or flatter pressings with no warps etc. In addition, for Zep, 1st UK pressings often are valued because they are from the home country and sometimes thought to be better masterings - for example the 1st UK pressings of Zep III and Physical Graffiti are very highly regarded and generally considered superior to the US pressings. When it comes to Zep II, however, the Japan and UK pressings aren't especially valuable - the US Ludwig is the one. One other tidbit: while the "RL SS" narrow deadwax version is the most valuable/collectible, Robert Ludwig has claimed in interviews that non-narrow-deadwax versions are just as good and based on the same mastering. There are also many early US Zep II pressings that have "LH" on one or both sides instead of "RL." Ludwig has said that Lee Hulko was his working partner and that anything with "LH" in the deadwax also is the same mastering and just as good. Finally. as reswati notes above, is an excellent resource for researching specific pressings.
  6. The Garden Tapes site is a fantastic resource, and Eddie Edwards is a great gift to the Zep community.
  7. Do you mean the "It's Your Thing" vocal snippet from the final 1969 performance? If so, yes, still missing.
  8. It's all subjective of course, but the EVSD generally gets praise for the '69 sets, but not the '71 sets. So I would say sound quality wise, this new release certainly is better than EVSD for the '71 show. However, Whole Lotta Love is edited, losing three bits from the melody, a total of 6 minutes (same edits as on the original 1997 official release). The best combo of good sound and a (nearly) complete Whole Lotta Love is the Japanese FM/pre-FM source that circulates here and there. It's got one minute cut but otherwise is complete. Edited, same as with the original 1997 official release.
  9. I think a much better Deluxe Edition would be a reissue of Walking into Clarksdale. There are two great studio tracks - the non-album b-side "The Window" and the Japan CD bonus track "Whiskey from the Glass." Plus the 1998 Page and Plant tour was the best thing since 1973 Zeppelin, and we know the March 25 '98 London show was professionally recorded (because 3 tracks showed up on a Japanese CD single/EP of Shining in the Light), as was their final performance together, an excellent 4-song mini-set at the Paris Amnesty International benefit show in December of '98 (which tracks only ever were released on the DVD from that show). Hell, he could make it a Super Deluxe and also include a newly remixed version of the album itself as well. That way it wouldn't sound like crap. I would totally be on board for that.
  10. I agree - a decent list, and perfectly reasonable given how subjective these things are and that it's limited to a Top 10. However, I do agree that In My Time of Dying should be there. And I am surprised that no one has mentioned Sick Again, which is just a snarling, super heavy assault (not to mention the live versions, which were even heavier).
  11. The way it sounds to me is that the vocal take was complete - I believe it's the same vocal take as in the final album version. I think this rough mix simply clips that part of his vocal. In other words, it was a mixing error, and at the time it didn't matter because it was just a rough mix Page used on the way to them getting the final mix they wanted.
  12. My booklet is fine too (purchased from Amazon US). RE the store display - or lack thereof - my understanding is that digital physical media, i.e. CDs, SACDs, etc., are still very popular in Japan, moreso than in the US and Europe. So I don't think you're going to find anything like that HMV Japan display in the West. As for the sound, I have gone from mildly pleased to overjoyed as I've listened to this new mastering. The clarity is unparalleled, and all the sonic problems with the original 1997 John Astley mastering have are gone - no screechy, piercing high end, no noise reduction, more bass, and much better definition and instrumental separation, particularly of Bonham's drums. For me, the album is now so much fun to listen to, whereas before I never could get into it. I thought maybe the early '69 performances were too rough for me, or perhaps the BBC tapes were just engineered strangely. But no, it turns out it was just sucky mastering that was standing in the way. Finally, when I first saw the bonus disc track listing, I though, "Geez, do we really need a 4th and 5th version of Communication Breakdown?!?" But I must admit, these are my two favorite bonus tracks. When you put all the tracks in their true chronological session order, it turns out the newly released versions of this song are the first and last songs Zep ever played for the BBC. The first one starts things out much better than You Shook Me does IMHO. And the last one is a scorching encore that ends things for the '71 show on a very different note than Thank You does. I've ripped all the tracks and renumbered them in iTunes so they play in their true order (excluding the 3 shortwave radio-based tracks - too disruptive sonically for me), and I've listened to them that way several times, all the way through. Phenomenal. EDIT: I agree with sixpense - the feedback so far on the vinyl version has been universally positive - flat, centered, quiet pressings. I also agree about the BBC engineers playing with the levels. It's especially apparent, and irritating on How Many More Times. That said, I think they did a great job overall, especially considering that Zep was by all accounts the loudest band they'd ever had to accommodate at the time. By comparison, look at how the engineers handled the October 10 '69 Paris show that's on the Zep I reissue companion disc - the levels and mix are up and down and all over the place throughout most of the show.
  13. Are you referring to the 09 14 1971 Berkeley show? If so, it is indeed one of the best.
  14. Page has said in an interview that he felt Swan Song was too unfinished to be released as a companion disc track (on PG, I suppose, or possibly on Coda). I interpret that statement to mean that since it became a full-on track recorded by a different band (The Firm), he's not inclined to think of it as a Zep song, but rather an idea he had, which he didn't develop into a song until The Firm. On a related note, he's said many times - including in the documentary It Might Get Loud - that the original long instrumental thing he was working on was indeed called Swan Song, that it was a suite of course, and that it's also where the basic riff from Kashmir came from.
  15. Great news - I've already pre-ordered the CD version at Amazon. Some things to be aware of, however: New material all is grouped on CD 3 (and I guess LP 4) - that likely means the previously released tracks will not have their edits restored, for example probably still will be several minutes cut out of the 1971 Whole Lotta Love, and probably still will have that 10 seconds of "It's Your Thing" cut out of one of the 1969 versions of Communication Breakdown One web site says the three "lost songs," from '69, including Sunshine Woman, have been restored from the AM radio recording that circulates among collectors. In other words, these three tracks will be in mono, and the sound quality will be noticeably inferior to the other tracks (which is likely why they not only are on CD 3, but at the end of it). I am a little concerned that, so far, there's been no specific info about the remastering process. Are these new digital transfers from the original BBC tapes? Or are these new masterings from the raw 1997 digital files? Or are these merely tweaked/EQ'd versions of the previously mastered 1997 version?