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missytootsweet

What's the real deal on Earl's Court?

71 posts in this topic

I have been enjoying many of the performances from the Earl Court's shows on You Tube. Using the "search" feature here I checked to see about a dvd release. But there is no official one.

Why is that? I got the the 2003 dvd set and I love it. But let's be honest, it's really a retrospective and not a complete concert of anything in the their prime (excluding Royal Albert Hall). TSRTS is not like a true complete concert experience either because of all the dream sequences.

It seems all the material is out there. I think I read recently in a Led Zep bio that the band even authorized the pro filming of these gigs for their own personal collection or whatever. Can anyone confirm that?

If they would release one complete official Earl's show then I'll bet it would sell like hotcakes. I would love to see a show from beginning to end AND that includes any blemishes, mis-steps or missed notes, etc. So what's the real deal? Does anyone know or please offer an opinion?

I hope it's not due to any band member only willing to release "perfect" performances. That's just not realistic. As a fan, (probably like most others) whatever they do is going to be close enough to perfect for me........missy

Also, what is a soundboard and what is it's significance at concerts? (I saw these terms and didn't understand) thanks for your answers!......missy

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;)

It seems all the material is out there. I think I read recently in a Led Zep bio that the band even authorized the pro filming of these gigs for their own personal collection or whatever. Can anyone confirm that?

correction; the footage was shot with the sole intention of having visuals on the giant screens. In other words,, both the Knebworth and ECourt footage served a purpose; providing the people at the back, some of the interplay (hence the attention for close ups)

Jimmy Page is a perfectionist and rightfully so. A great bootleg is not always a sane choice for a legitimate release. May 24th and 25th 1975 ( and parts of May 23th) have been recorded on perfect quality multi track. Those 2" reels represent some of the finest Zep live recordings. But honestly...if hard pushed, Jimmy will give priority to 1969 or 1971 sources.

Edited by duckman

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Hi,

if you look around you can often pick up DVDs of Earls Court (or download them), not official and not perfect but some are pretty good quality.

Andy

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Many of the band's shows have been preserved as Led Zeppelin bootleg recordings, which continue to be prized by collectors and fans. In addition, footage of Led Zeppelin concerts has been released officially on the band's 1973 concert film The Song Remains the Same, and on the Led Zeppelin DVD (2003). However, unlike other artists of the era such as The Who and The Rolling Stones, comparatively little official concert footage exists of Led Zeppelin. This is largely because of the successful efforts of manager Peter Grant to limit the exposure of the band to television appearances, in order to encourage fans who wanted to see the band to attend Led Zeppelin concerts. Of the few professionally shot concerts the band did, six are today available to fans through bootlegs. These concerts includes the two last nights of their five-concert run at Earl's Court in London in May 1975, their show in Seattle's Kingdome in 1977 and their two shows at Knebworth in August 1979. In addition to these, their Royal Albert Hall performance from January 1970 is also available but not so attractive due to the fact that the near complete-performance was released officially on 2003's DVD.

Now thats what Wikipedia tells us, which is frankly quite believable when we see footage such as Kezar 1973 and Australia 1972, I think this is purely FAN MADE Footage when we see this footage it is literally pot luck that it surfaces and the Led Zeppelin youtube page include it on their. I don't think Led Zeppelin actually hired cameras for concerts they did except for the ones we see the rest we see are done on shoddy 16mm cameras, Led would have hired special cameras dont you think? I've never seen those huge cameras they used to use on stage when i've seen official concert photos of the shows/..

Edited by NobodysFaultButJimmys

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I have been enjoying many of the performances from the Earl Court's shows on You Tube. Using the "search" feature here I checked to see about a dvd release. But there is no official one.

Why is that? I got the the 2003 dvd set and I love it. But let's be honest, it's really a retrospective and not a complete concert of anything in the their prime (excluding Royal Albert Hall). TSRTS is not like a true complete concert experience either because of all the dream sequences.

It seems all the material is out there. I think I read recently in a Led Zep bio that the band even authorized the pro filming of these gigs for their own personal collection or whatever. Can anyone confirm that?

If they would release one complete official Earl's show then I'll bet it would sell like hotcakes. I would love to see a show from beginning to end AND that includes any blemishes, mis-steps or missed notes, etc. So what's the real deal? Does anyone know or please offer an opinion?

Well, ONE reason (among others) is that the original mastertapes are in poor condition. Extensive restoration (to include tape baking) and editing was required just to salvage and present the footage that is included on the dvd.

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Video for Earls Court was also only intended for the people at the shows, not for future release.

lz19750523_04.jpg

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Well, ONE reason (among others) is that the original mastertapes are in poor condition. Extensive restoration (to include tape baking) and editing was required just to salvage and present the footage that is included on the dvd.

Mr.SteveAJones, thank-you for the answer. What you said makes sense combined with the assumption that Jimmy Page is a perfectionist.

Also, I noticed when I changed the favorite clips I watch on you tube to full screen on my computer (which is 1080p HD) there is a big blurring affect. I'm thinking this would be even more of a problem on my 46 inch LCD TV, correct? I still think it's a shame something more comprehensive can't be released officially from Earl's (or even Knebworth). It would be a great thing for Jimmy Page and the band. Renew even more interest in their whole body of work. I believe the fans would be thrilled to buy new official product ,---yes even if it is from 1975 or 1979. And the bootleggers wouldn't keep making money off the back of the band. Do you think I make any valid points Mr.SteveAJones? Your expertise is appreciated!....missy

Video for Earls Court was also only intended for the people at the shows, not for future release.

Hi dazedjeffy,

Yes, perhaps at that time. But, I would say if Peter Grant (or anyone in the band) had psychic powers and knew about the upcoming VHS then DVD revolution, you can be sure they WOULD have been taping with full intention of future release for the fans enjoyment and $$$$ too. Don't you think so, or am I being too presumptuous?.........missy

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Also, I noticed when I changed the favorite clips I watch on you tube to full screen on my computer (which is 1080p HD) there is a big blurring affect. I'm thinking this would be even more of a problem on my 46 inch LCD TV, correct? I still think it's a shame something more comprehensive can't be released officially from Earl's (or even Knebworth). It would be a great thing for Jimmy Page and the band. Renew even more interest in their whole body of work. I believe the fans would be thrilled to buy new official product ,---yes even if it is from 1975 or 1979. And the bootleggers wouldn't keep making money off the back of the band. Do you think I make any valid points Mr.SteveAJones? Your expertise is appreciated!....missy

Hi dazedjeffy,

Yes, perhaps at that time. But, I would say if Peter Grant (or anyone in the band) had psychic powers and knew about the upcoming VHS then DVD revolution, you can be sure they WOULD have been taping with full intention of future release for the fans enjoyment and $$$$ too. Don't you think so, or am I being too presumptuous?.........missy

Most of the clips on You Tube are uploaded in non-HD, low resolution format and as a result the blurring affect occurs.

It'll be interesting to see what may come this year as a result of band meetings. I'd argue the timing could be right for another major Led Zeppelin DVD release to be prepared to coincide with the 2011 Christmas sales season.

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Now thats what Wikipedia tells us, which is frankly quite believable when we see footage such as Kezar 1973 and Australia 1972, I think this is purely FAN MADE Footage when we see this footage it is literally pot luck that it surfaces and the Led Zeppelin youtube page include it on their. I don't think Led Zeppelin actually hired cameras for concerts they did except for the ones we see the rest we see are done on shoddy 16mm cameras, Led would have hired special cameras dont you think? I've never seen those huge cameras they used to use on stage when i've seen official concert photos of the shows/..

The B/W footage from Sydney was filmed by a crew from the music program on the ABC called GTK (Getting To Know) and screened almost immediately, from memory there was around 20 minutes in all.

The Immigrant Song footage was taken by someone in the crowd and mixed with another concert, I think it was from a LA show.

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As has been said the Earls Court filming was for the benefit of the people at the back as was Knebworth. It was and still is common practice for large venues. The 24th & 25th EC shows are widely available on DVD through the err "cough cough" trading channels as is Knebworth, and have been upgraded many times. It always amazes me to see the bootleggers blagging that " 1st Gen source" or "Straight from the master" blah blah blah. Whilst some may find the bootlegging profiterring, in some ways it's the only way you'll see (and hear) a band who were notoriously shy of filmed and recorded work. A shame really.

Unless Jimmy was telling porkies, I remember in an interview after the DVD release in 2003 he stated that "that was pretty well all that was left". Although i assume he meant of artistic merit that he would release commercially. I reckon this will be the reason the O2 show would not be released because to be honest, emotions aside, it's not exactly brilliant (IMHO).

Still i may be wrong, but if you do the sums it's 40 odd years since the band were at the zenith of their existance and saddened to say i think we've seen all there is to see. Now if we could turn back the time and the dickhead set the camera exposure right at the Bath Festival in 1970, this would make our days complete?

By the way "Soundboards" are straight from the mixing desk or video feeds as apposed to an audience recording where our intrepid hereos give away the right to go bonkers for the pleasure of the listening public. Unless of cousre you want to record yourself.

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earls court is filmed a hundred times better than TSRTS.....the real embarassment

and its a VASTLY superior performance to knebworth

the last show was the final concert with zep at their mightiest.....and Plant's joking comment at the end about it being the bands swansong was prophetic

because it was :(

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It'll be interesting to see what may come this year as a result of band meetings. I'd argue the timing could be right for another major Led Zeppelin DVD release to be prepared to coincide with the 2011 Christmas sales season.

There is anohter debate/thread right there!! :D

Isn;t Earls Court being demolished this year too? :(

Edited by johnlennon696

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Isn;t Earls Court being demolished this year too? :(

Really? I didn't know that...that place is huge. Demolishing Earls Court will certainly alter that entire area, that's for sure. The sound always sucked, and I'm sure the 02 Arena has put EC out to pasture, concert wise, but they still did a lot of trade shows and such there, didn't they? 'Course, from what I've seen/heard, London itself has changed considerably since I was there back in 2007-08. Can't say I'd ever go back. Too police state like nowadays...talking CCTV cameras and whatnot :blink:

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Isn;t Earls Court being demolished this year too? :(

From most reports it looks to be after the Olympics in 2012

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Regarding the video being filmed for EC audience - Jimmy has said this is one reason he isn't keen on releasing a whole DVD. The video is nearly all close ups (because it was meant to help people at the back see better) and the lack of audience shots to help define the scale of the gig is something he doesn't like. It's just too closed in for his tastes. Think of a modern, purpose shot, concert DVD, and how many times you see the audience to really get the feeling of "hey - this is a big gig & the crowd are going nuts". By comparison EC seems sterile visualy.

(NB - I'm not saying the EC performances are sterile. My DVDs of 24th/25th are probably my favourite Zep boots)

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I agree that the two Earls Court shows are the most enjoyable of what is out there officially or not, showing the band at their absolute height (before the fall). It's amazing to me that a band so notoriously camera/TV shy should be so well represented with official and unofficial footage - from Denmark 1968/pretty much a whole gig from 1970/1973 (TSRTS)/2+ entire gigs from 1975/1 from 1977/2 from 1979 + all the other endless clips and excerpts.

The Earls Court footage would (as has been said) shot on 2" videotape (the standard of PAL video in the 1970's - giving way to 1" and then digital formats in the 1990's onwards). As has been mentioned, the problem with these big old tapes is how well they fare over many years (video wise that is, they would have audio splits to mix from - hence why the 2003 DVD has 5.1 capability in many cases). This would be a pretty major restoration job - but doable. You're also dealing with an analogue format which would then have to go through a digital intermediate process (ie. scanned digitally and then restored) - lots of time, pots of cash and an end result that may not live up to what they would be happy with.

It is also all shot in 4:3 ratio - the standard at the time, so any 16:9 versions would entail cropping the image top and bottom and then re-racking the footage to ensure you didn't lose heads/feet etc - all fiddly and not desirable as you effectively lose 25% (approx.) of the picture image. It will be interesting to see if they re-release the 2003 DVD on Blu-ray what they do with the ratios (in my opinion they should leave them alone and don't crop/stretch etc).

The Albert Hall and TSRTS footage were shot on film - the former 16mm, the latter 35mm - hence why picture quality is that much better (if a little grainy on RAH).

Personally, I think that they won't ever release a full gig for perfection reasons: the whole point of the band in their heyday was the pushing of the performance and trying new ideas/improvising etc - not all of which came off. I think they would stay away from any kind of warts and all release. Of course the O2 was shot on loads of HD cameras (16 or 17 I believe) and could come out looking absolutely immaculate once any audio problems were sorted (feedback in the opening numbers etc). They really should do this as it's superb, if only for the charitable benefit...

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Regarding the video being filmed for EC audience - Jimmy has said this is one reason he isn't keen on releasing a whole DVD. The video is nearly all close ups (because it was meant to help people at the back see better)

so is knebworth......in fact almost exclusively so....and nothing is filmed worse that TSRTS......seems like the band handed the cameras to a group of shitfaced 3 year olds

earls court on the 25th actually has some very nice multiple performer shots

although the band played much better for TSRTS.......earls court is a much much better example of what the band is like live

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Don't really care for the Earls Court shows, or the footage really. I can see why so many people will always have a homeland connection to them, though.

I much prefer the better shows from the US tour from March. Better playing, better energy, and Plant's voice during some of the better ones from March was by far much easier to listen to than any of the Earls Court shows. The Earls Courts shows almost completely lack any spontaneity, as well.

Listen to No Quarter, Dazed and Confused, or the funky Whole Lotta Loves from Long Beach, Vancouver or Seattle. No contest really. Better shows all around.

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Don't really care for the Earls Court shows, or the footage really. I can see why so many people will always have a homeland connection to them, though.

I much prefer the better shows from the US tour from March. Better playing, better energy, and Plant's voice during some of the better ones from March was by far much easier to listen to than any of the Earls Court shows. The Earls Courts shows almost completely lack any spontaneity, as well.

cc

Listen to No Quarter, Dazed and Confused, or the funky Whole Lotta Loves from Long Beach, Vancouver or Seattle. No contest really. Better shows all around.

Rubbish. The 24th & 25th are widely regarded as a highpoint of the year. The footage in itself was rated highly enough to be included on the official DVD. And pray tell me whern did the band include a touch of reggae to Communication Breakdown on the US tour?

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[/The Earls Court footage would (as has been said) shot on 2" videotape (the standard of PAL video in the 1970's - giving way to 1" and then digital formats in the 1990's onwards). As has been mentioned, the problem with these big old tapes is how well they fare over many years (video wise that is, they would have audio splits to mix from - hence why the 2003 DVD has 5.1 capability in many cases). quote]

For the production of DVD, Jimmy waded through his multi tracks (Rolling Stones Mobile Truck?) from the May shows to replace the standard mono audio captured on the 2" video. The mono soundtack (as used on sevreal silver releases such as when we were kings, Evoluzione,...) are pretty good, but the multi track sounds amazing.

The resolution of these old analog video's is very limited, a bluray 'upgrade' would -alas- be a bit pointless.

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Rubbish. The 24th & 25th are widely regarded as a highpoint of the year. The footage in itself was rated highly enough to be included on the official DVD. And pray tell me whern did the band include a touch of reggae to Communication Breakdown on the US tour?

I agree, the footage is wonderful to have. But the footage was what they had available, and pretty much the only truly usable footage from 75-77. Of course the band themselves thought the shows were a triumph. They were. They're a highpoint of the year because they were playing shows for their fellow countrymen and "pulling out all the stops", having just conquered america.

I happen to prefer the shows they did in March, all around. Plant's voice is pretty well trashed on the entire run of EC shows. And Page's playing lacks a good bit of the spontaneity that it did on the better shows from the US tour. Specifically the gigs in Long Beach, Vancouver and Seattle. Jimmy's No Quarter solos in particular aren't any better during the EC shows, they're just longer. And Dazed and Confused at EC don't compare to the 40 minute adventures from Vancouver, Seattle and the final night in LA, imo.

I find the touch of reggae in CB to be one of those funny moments the band sometimes got into onstage. I agree it's great, but more of a joke than anything. I think for pure playing power the James Brown funk medleys from March 75 beat out the similar attempts and reggae stuff from EC anyway.

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Goes to show how much of an alchemist Jimmy Page truley is. He was willing to put the original footage into an oven and bake it, and risk losing all of it. Instead he alchemicized the fuck out of it. You know that he actually took that seriously also. He probably (not even exaggerating) performed some sort of secret spell/ritual on that material in his most private of moments in order to preserve its majesty. Quite the risk he took but it really paid off.

Now, I would agree, that it's time to do that with a full Earl's Court concert. I have been thinking the exact thing for a little while now. As I found out in Light and Shade, this was basically the last truley great moment for Led Zeppelin before things would never be quite the same ever again. Anyone know which dates exactly are we watching on the Led Zeppelin DVD as far as Earl's Court is concerned? I am curious because I have watched some youtube footage where Plant's voice is completely awful, which I've heard was due to the flu. On the DVD his voice is phenomenal, and there's no way that that's just Jimmy Page's intense mastering. It's obviously different shows. I'm wondering which dates were "on" and which were "off" regarding Earl's Court?

I just watched this footage again tonight in the middle of the night, and am reminiscing how ten years ago, when I was 13, this dvd package, combined with a big screen TV and 5.1 Dolby Surround Sound, completely changed my life. Now, over 1000 (not exaggerating) watches later, It's still the holy grail of concert DVDs for me. It was really the first thing that fully entranced me into Led Zeppelin. I had owned the first album up until that point, but this two disc DVD is what really initiated me. And now Celebration Day has stepped into the picture. I haven't even tested that on the surround sound and big screen yet, as I have been living elsewhere from its location. But I plan on doing this very soon.

I would also love to see (or hear) some 1971 footage. Either right before or right after the release of the fourth album. Their creativity soaring, their popularity really rising, yet they're not TSRTS status quite yet. Man, they must have been Fresh in their delivery.


Well, ONE reason (among others) is that the original mastertapes are in poor condition. Extensive restoration (to include tape baking) and editing was required just to salvage and present the footage that is included on the dvd.

Edited by Chris Smith

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Anyone know which dates exactly are we watching on the Led Zeppelin DVD as far as Earl's Court is concerned? I am curious because I have watched some youtube footage where Plant's voice is completely awful, which I've heard was due to the flu. On the DVD his voice is phenomenal, and there's no way that that's just Jimmy Page's intense mastering. It's obviously different shows. I'm wondering which dates were "on" and which were "off" regarding Earl's Court?

Almost certainly the 24th and/or the 25th were included on the DVD. I don't think there is any footage at all of the 17th/18th or the 23rd

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I was at the concert on the 24th, believe me it was a brilliant way to spend three and a half hours. No one can ever take that away from me.

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