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Everything posted by tmtomh

  1. It seems we're clearly talking past each other and appear to feel the other is not hearing what we're saying. Wouldn't be the first - or 1000th - time that has happened on an internet forum. Perhaps we can at least agree on that.
  2. I agree we need to agree to disagree. As for an argument, I've made my argument, in detail, with a list of tracks and five different reasons why I think they are worthwhile. I agree with you 100% that you don't have to agree with my reasons - but to say I don't have reasons at all, is just silly. Conversely, your argument seems devoid of specifics, and your main "reasoning" consists of zingers ("we got a happy meal instead of a mother lode") and vague generalities that have no bearing on the actual argument: "music is judged with emotion and gut feeling" - well of course it is. We just feel differently about the tracks.
  3. Man, that's a tough one! I think folks here have really nailed the top choices. If I had to choose, I'd guess I'd go with Seattle 6-19-72 because it's such a long, interesting, and fantastic show, and the existing source is just awful-sounding. Osaka and Offenburg would be right behind it on my list though. The only show I can think to add into the mix that hasn't been mentioned yet is the 9-19-1970 evening show at Madison Square Garden. Fantastic, and while the AUD source is decent, it would be astounding to hear this show in better quality.
  4. Again, you are arguing against a straw man. There's no graphs or pie charts here - and you know it. A 50% return is not "a crap return in any walk of life." If you think my argument is contrived, then provide some evidence for that claim. Mindless arrogance won't win you any arguments. Also, it helps if you display at least a minimum of accountability for what you say. So at least acknowledge that you're not the OP of this thread.
  5. Unless you have two accounts here or the admins deleted the original first post in this thread, you're not the OP; Flares has the first post here. Your Titanic and happy meal jokes don't make any sense in this context. Your "tamborine slightly louder in the mix" comment is silly, and doesn't acknowledge that right at the outset of my comment I agreed that many of the tracks are indeed of little value. And so your claim, via the WIC analogy, that I actually know the companion material is lame but am trying to rationalize that it's better, is both inaccurate and condescending. I get that it's easier to argue against the view you would prefer others have, than to argue against what they actually write. You are welcome to your opinion, but you are not welcome to mine.
  6. Good point about IS and GP - agree, especially about GP.
  7. I disagree. Yes, the casual fan is not going to be interested in many of the companion tracks. And I agree some tracks are fairly pointless, providing very minor variations (e.g. Rock and Roll, Kashmir). And I agree that the companion-disc versions of Fool in the Rain, All My Love, and I'm Gonna Crawl on ITTOD sound terrible and it's an embarrassment that Page included them. But having revisited all 67 of the companion tracks (excluding the live Paris show companion to Zep I), my argument is that about half of them - just over 30 - are very worthwhile. I'm sympathetic to the argument that they could have released the best companion tracks on a single 3-CD set - and if they had, I am confident many naysayers would've changed their tune. But even so, these tracks are available inexpensively on CD - when they came out the Deluxe CDs could be had for as little as $1 or $2 more than the album-only CDs. Not to mention the companion tracks always have been available a la carte for $1.29 or so from the online music download sites. So I don't think how they organized them or priced them is a problem. At any rate, here are the tracks I think are valuable, and here's a key to my reasons for each one. Would be very interested in others' perspectives. Key to Reasons for Inclusion on the List: Previously unreleased (either totally unreleased, or never officially released) Significantly or totally different version, take, or mix Better sound than prior masterings Instrumental version that's interesting and/or benefits from removal of vocal Similar to album version but with better or interestingly different sonics or mix Zep II Ramble On (rough mix with cold ending) (2) (totally different feel from the album version) La La (1) Zep III Since I've Been Loving You (first take) (2) (totally different take) Bathroom Sound (4) That's the Way (rough mix with dulcimer) (2) (totally different version, and at original speed/pitch Jennings Farm Blues (1) Key to the Highway/Trouble in Mind (1) Zep IV The Battle of Evermore (4) Stairway to Heaven (5) Going to California (4) Houses of the Holy The Song Remains the Same (instrumental with guitar overdubs) (2, 4) (this has been a grail for many hardcore fans for years, and great to have without the sped-up helium vocals) The Rain Song (rough mix) (5, and also necessary to pair with TSRTS) Over the Hills and Far Away (4) No Quarter (4) (great to have without the slowed-down quaalude vocals) Physical Graffiti Brandy and Coke (Trampled Under Foot) (2 or 5) Sick Again (early version) (2) (a revelation) Houses of the Holy (rough mix) (5) Presence 10 Ribs & all/Carrot Pod Pod (Pod) (1) (Could include the alt. vocal version of Royal Orleans too, but it's horrid so I didn't ) In Through the Out Door In the Evening (rough mix) (2) The Epic (Carouselambra) (5) Coda If It Keeps on Raining (When the Levee Breaks) (2) Bonzo's Montreux (mix in progress) (2, 5) (better than the album version) Baby Come on Home (3) Sugar Mama (1) (different mix and better sound than the bootleg version too) Hey, Hey, What Can I Do (3) Four Hands (Four Sticks) (Bombay) (1) (grail for many hardcore fans) Friends (Bombay) (1) (grail for many hardcore fans) St. Tristan's Sword (1) (epic grail) Desire (The Wanton Song) (2) Bring It On Home (rough mix) (2) (totally different than album versions; a revelation) Walter's Walk (instrumental) (4) (great to have without the 1982 vocals) Everybody Makes It Through (In the Light) (2)
  8. Oh, sorry, I misunderstood.
  9. Not sure, but Zep always had a sense of humor. After all, their band name means failure. So I'd guess they named their label Swan Song for a similar tongue-in-cheek reason. (The winged-man logo comes from a German artist's drawing, but it also looks quite a lot like Icarus in his final moments of flight before his wings melted - another fatalistic/ironic failure image...) As for the song/musical suite itself, perhaps Page thought there was an elegiac or funereal quality to it.
  10. Yes - but based on how good the 9-28-71 soundboard snippet sounds, it would seem that a regular/true soundboard source for 9-29 would sound a good deal better than the botched multitrack/stage-mic recording of 9-29 that currently circulates.
  11. I'm not going to defend the 2007 version - but one thing to keep in mind is that some of the crappy edits on the 2007 version were because they did a single mix, edit, and mastering for the CD and DVD re-releases, and so all the tracks that appear in the movie had to be edited to fit the existing video footage - apparently Page doesn't have the rights that would allow him to recut/change the video in any way. That said, I agree with others - it was f***ing stupid not to make the audio version its own thing and keep the musical integrity of the original 9 tracks.
  12. D'oh! That was a typo on my part when I wrote 9-29-71 - I meant -928. At any rate, I share your hope about 9-28 (and 9-29!).
  13. Also Montreux 3-7-1970, NYC 09-19-1970 (evening show), Fillmore West 4-27-69 (also 4-26, but 4-27 has much better sound) - and the upcoming Seattle 3-21-1975 soundboard release is going to be epic.
  14. I wouldn't get your hopes up, although I hope I'm wrong in my pessimism. If I had to guess, I would guess it will be an "upgraded" version of the video soundtrack source, whose sonic benefits over the existing best versions are modest at best. As I say, I hope I am wrong. Also, I'd much prefer to see the 9-29-71 soundboard released - great performance, plus holy sh** the one-song teaser we got last year is one of the best-sounding Zep soundboards from the entire '69-'71 period. But it would be weird to have that promotional photo, with that particular date, if it weren't a 40th anniversary release of Seattle '77.
  15. I'm not sure if the HTWWW mastering is the issue, or if it's the mix. If the latter, it would be a much bigger project to do a reissue that sounded better. The rare DVD-Audio version's 2-channel stereo track is slightly less congested than the standard CD - almost all the DVD-A tracks register 1dB higher on the Dynamic Range Meter than their CD counterparts. But the DVD-A sounds only modestly better. Even better is the DVD-A's 5.1 channel surround mix, downmixed to stereo - much more dynamic and open, although it lacks some presence and punch and there's something funky with the relative levels of the center and low-frequency channels when you have your disc player automatically do the mixdown. The real best version is Winston's unofficial remaster, How the West Was Redone, which he made by taking the 6 surround tracks and doing a custom mix, along with I believe some judicious bass EQ, then mixing in, at a much lower volume level, the original stereo mix to help glue it all together. It's by far the best version, although a bit tough to find "out there" because it doesn't show up much where live bootlegs usually show up, since it contains officially released material and most fans and sites are hesitant to make that type of thing available for download. In terms of pure sonics, I very much doubt Page and any professional engineer could do much better than Winston did.
  16. Yeah, I think the half-a-dozen songs Page picked from Earls Court all are fantastic performances, including In My Time of Dying, which definitely is among the very best of the 1975 performances of this track. (They were inconsistent with this track in 1977 - of course - but when they nailed in '77, they really nailed it.) Interestingly, all the songs on the DVD are taken from the final night, the 25th - except In My Time of Dying, which is from the 24th:
  17. I very much doubt there will be a next Live Zep DVD. There's simply not enough compelling footage of really good performances. However, I do think it's possible there could be an audio-only Earls Court release. With five shows to mix and match, Page can stitch together an excellent performance. I could see a 3-CD release with a bonus Blu-Ray disc containing higher-res video of the Earls Court section of the 2003 LZ DVD, perhaps with video footage of a few extra songs as a token bonus. Personally I don't care about video - the 2003 DVD is plenty IMHO. But a professionally mastered, nearly complete Earls Court setlist drawing from the best performances of each song from the five nights - that I would pay good money for. I appreciate the bootlegs we have, but really, only the final night is available in what I would call excellent audio quality right now. (The video soundtrack of the 24th isn't bad, but nowhere near official-release quality.) IMHO the acoustic portion of the DVD's Earls Court section is among the very best Zeppelin in existence, sonics-wise. Oh - and Bath 1970; apparently the video footage is unusable because it's too dark. But I've never read anything saying that the audio is not salvageable. Would pay good money for an official release of that audio too!
  18. Like @Strider, I'm partial to the 4-27-69 Fillmore show. I think it's incredible - Killing Floor is my favorite ever; Page's guitar intro is (based on the available tape sources anyway) the heaviest he ever played. The whole show is just incredible IMHO and the sound quality of the soundboard is excellent too. I will admit, though, that I am partial to the sbd sources over the aud sources, so I'm probably giving less weight to some great but so-so sounding shows, e.g. 4-26-69, which is killer.
  19. One update: I've since realized/discovered that whomever made the bootleg Coda companion CD inserted (probably accidentally) an extra 2-second gap between each song. Because of this, I can't recommend this version any longer - for me, it interrupts the flow too much.
  20. Inspired by this thread - thanks @BGS! - I went to discogs and looked at all the Russian bootlegs of the 2014/2015 Zep CDs. (I have already purchased all the official deluxe CDs and the Super Deluxe sets, so my conscience is clear.) I went ahead and got Coda and Zep III. I got Zep III because it adds Hey Hey What Can I Do and Poor Tom as bonus tracks on the main album, and Hey Hey What Can I Do instrumental version and the Feel So Bad medley as bonus tracks on the companion disc. These are great additions and make for a very cool listen. (The main album also includes the June 1969 BBC performance of White Summer/Black Mountain Side, which doesn't really belong with Zep III but works fine to close out the disc.) Coda does not add any extra tracks, but it combines both of the companion discs onto a single CD, and I find that a tremendous convenience when listening to that material on disc - no interruption of the flow, and no getting up to swap the discs. The other Russian fakes are interesting, but they don't have any appeal to me: They don't have enough bonus tracks (or none in the case of Presence), or else most of the bonus tracks don't really go with the album in question. Sonically, Coda is a bit-perfect digital clone of the official release. So the sound is great. Zep III also is a bit-perfect digital clone of the official release, when it comes to the tracks included on the official release - so it sounds great too. For Hey Hey What Can I Do, Poor Tom, and White Summer, however, this Russian version does not use the new remasters. The reason is simple: When this was made in 2014, the new remasters of those three tracks were not yet available (Hey Hey and Poor Tom came out in 2015 on Coda; and White Summer came out last year on the Complete BBC). I haven't tracked down the sources, but they clearly are not vinyl rips, so therefore Hey Hey has to be from the 1990s George Marino mastering (in the box set or the 1993 expanded Coda). Poor Tom probably also is the 1990s Marino mastering (from Coda). Theoretically it could be from the 1980s Barry Diament mastering of Coda, but it doesn't sound like it to me. As for White Summer, I think it might be from the Empress Valley Supreme Disc bootleg, because it's the full version, whereas I believe all the official versions have a small bit edited out. The particular show that this track is taken from, happens to be the best-sounding of all the 1969 BBC sessions, and the bootleg is pretty close sonically to the official release. So it still sounds nice. So IMHO the sonics of these three bonus tracks are fine, but not as good as the newly remastered versions we got in 2015 and 2016. However, Hey Hey does not have the early fade-out that the 2015 Coda version has, and White Summer does not have the edit that the 2016 BBC version has. So you do get slightly more complete versions of those two, which is nice. The two bootleg tracks on the Zep III companion disc - Hey Hey instrumental, and Feel So Bad medley - are impossible to source precisely, but they sound as good as the best bootleg versions I've heard. Finally, the packaging and discs. This is a mix of better and worse than the official releases. Better than the official: Digipaks with clear plastic trays to hold the CDs, as opposed to the official releases' too-tight paperboard slots Nice, glossy finish to all the paperboard parts Digipak format makes for wider, easier to read spines that stand up better on the shelf and are less likely to get creased Translucent plastic track-listing that was on the shrinkwrap of the official releases is part of the rear printing here - so you have an easy-to-access track listing Discs play and rip perfectly, no errors Worse than the official: No booklets Zep III cover does not have the spinning disc - just a flat image Coda's cover is not textured, just flat, and the cover background color is off, having a beige-yellowish tint instead of the proper brownish grey Silkscreening on the discs is inferior - colors are washed out, especially on the green and orange Atlantic label on Zep III (the Swan Song label on Coda is closer to the official version) "2 CD Deluxe Edition" hype sticker with barcode is part of the front printing here - kind of cool but also detracts from the look of the front album art Discs rip and play fine, but they seem to rip slightly slower than the official discs, and they take slightly longer for my CD player to initially read when I insert them. So it's possible the manufacturing quality, while fine, is not quite as good as the official releases.
  21. Robert Plant actually put a bunch of shows up there for sale, I believe in 2012 or 2013 when he first went on tour with the Sensational Space Shifters, in South America.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.