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CBR_1000RR

Was Jimmy's peak in 1973?

66 posts in this topic

6 hours ago, Wolfman said:

What is considered by most to be the best show of '73?  Offenburg???

That's a subject for a new thread. 

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Page had so many peaks in 1969-73.  It is hard to say which is the peak.

The Danish TV HMMT solo is a marvel of raw biting tone and unbelievable dexterity, fluidity and emotion.  It to me is one of his finest moments ever.  But he also continued to grow stylistically beyond his blues roots.  He really got creative and threw out the rule book in songs like Immigrant Song and Celebration Day in 1971.  He was really stretching the boundries there.

In some ways 1973 was the final consolidation, where he added even more creativity in solos like No Quarter, and he reached the peak of rock/rockabilly/blues/swing playing in WLL.  I know they are doctored up a bit but it does not get much better than TSRTS WLL, unless of course we look at TSRTS Dazed, which has so many approaches and styles it is difficult to keep up.  Special mention must be given to TSRTS Stairway solo, a monument to creativity and skill if there ever was one.

From 1975 on he was better suited to the newer material like Kashmir, IMTOD, Trampled, etc.  His rhythm playing and riffs were still unmatched but his lead playing suffered a great deal, except on perhaps IMTOD and Trampled.  On some nights the Kashmir ended crazed chromatic jams were also special. 

The great thing about Jimmy is that there is so much variety to keep exploring and discovering.

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On 2/8/2017 at 6:33 AM, porgie66 said:

That's a subject for a new thread. 

Essen.

Even though Offenburg is just one of those shows where you know exactly Jimmy is on about when they had "magick" nights.

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On 2/9/2017 at 9:43 PM, John M said:

Page had so many peaks in 1969-73.  It is hard to say which is the peak.

The Danish TV HMMT solo is a marvel of raw biting tone and unbelievable dexterity, fluidity and emotion.  It to me is one of his finest moments ever.  But he also continued to grow stylistically beyond his blues roots.  He really got creative and threw out the rule book in songs like Immigrant Song and Celebration Day in 1971.  He was really stretching the boundries there.

In some ways 1973 was the final consolidation, where he added even more creativity in solos like No Quarter, and he reached the peak of rock/rockabilly/blues/swing playing in WLL.  I know they are doctored up a bit but it does not get much better than TSRTS WLL, unless of course we look at TSRTS Dazed, which has so many approaches and styles it is difficult to keep up.  Special mention must be given to TSRTS Stairway solo, a monument to creativity and skill if there ever was one.

From 1975 on he was better suited to the newer material like Kashmir, IMTOD, Trampled, etc.  His rhythm playing and riffs were still unmatched but his lead playing suffered a great deal, except on perhaps IMTOD and Trampled.  On some nights the Kashmir ended crazed chromatic jams were also special. 

The great thing about Jimmy is that there is so much variety to keep exploring and discovering.

He really had never played guitar like he did on that first album.

That is such a milestone for him playing wise, anything pre Zep I is nowhere near what he started doing around late 68.

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I tend to agree with Europe( Germany in particular) 73'. Much states playing that year as well. 73' is when Jimmy would 

play solos that sometimes sounded like 2or 3 guitars talking back to each other. Actually kind of a blues technique, but

far advanced. And Jimmy had excellent  technique, how about those shredding solos jumping all over the neck,

colliding with each other, before the " San Francisco" bits in D&C ?? There is great stuff all over the place, even bits of

80'. Some would say, well Jimmy kept growing as a player past 73', but the sloppiness started to drown the style expansion.

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Posted (edited)

On 2/1/2017 at 6:25 PM, CBR_1000RR said:

Was that the absolute best form he was ever in over the course of his career?

Listening to the 1973-1-22 Southampton show was mind-blowing with his playing. The band was a little sluggish on Rock and Roll, but by the time they hit Black Dog, Jimmy takes off from there. The pick work seems effortless and his fingers seem to just dance on the strings. I love his playing no matter the year, but while people say 1968-1973 was his window, I feel like 1973 is just him being effort less and displaying incredible dexterity that flows. 

Difficult to argue with any of this. In terms of "dexterity that flows" he really does hit a peak in 1972-73. He's in better physical shape then, I suppose, than later on, or when he was dealing with the fractured fret finger. He was also aided by the new material 72-73 -- he doesn't have No Quarter in 1970-71. He's got Thank You.  He flows all over that, but after a while it's pentatonic jamming, effortless free and easy. The Rain Song and TSRTS help, too, and so does OTHAFA, which gives him a chance to get into some dissonant playing. What they're doing in Dazed 72-73 is simply awe-inspiring. When we hear guitarists talking about Jimmy Page changing their lives, they're usually talking about those years or 1969, when he's just blowing people's minds on those early tours.

But I'd take No Quarter from  1977 over 1973 versions BECAUSE it's not effortless. I think it's more thoughtful playing, more expressive. He's definitely adopted a dissonant jazz phrasing and, no, it's not always smooth. Often it wasn't supposed to be. I also like all that wah noise on Trampled Under Foot, so there we have new material, new ideas, more dissonance. He may not be playing "better" in the political sense, but I think he's communicating more in 1975. In 1977 we have Achilles instead Dazed, and i can't make a call on that. The best thing about Page is that he doesn't just stay in one place -- he keeps evolving and devolving, not changing with the times but in what he wants to say with his playing. This is different from the question of "how" he was playing.  

Edited by Mercurious

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After 1973 he lost a lot of fluency in his playing.

He acquired "Sticky fingers" and never fully got the fluency back.

For me, 73 is his peak, because he still had the fluency and had the HOTH material to draw on, which was more diverse than previous albums.

The 75, 77 and Copenhagen 79 shows had their moments, but a compilation of the best bits of each tour would suffice for me.

 

 

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A great thing about Jimmy is that as previously stated his playing kept changing, usually for the better except IMO

parts of 77' and most of 80'. No Quarter from 77' could be amazing, but in actuallity Jonesy juggles the blues bits a

little and to my ears Jimmy is just not catching the change, ever. If it was true dissonance on his part, he would play

some in key licks, no just always never catch Jonesy's change. TUF 80' is another matter, Jimmy does some very interesting

stuff with his wah and echo, along with a lot of successful dissonance licks. The dissonance stuff IMO was always there,

started with live D&C. Sometimes though in D&C live 71'-72' on, after the bow solo, Jimmy in parts sounds like he's playing

thrash metal leads without distortion. And Bonzo is doing the thrash drum thing, at times !! I still prefer 73' overall, as the

band had much time to jell. Early on there were great gigs too , but awkward spots, and some songs hadn't grown yet

into their later legendary status.

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On Wednesday, February 01, 2017 at 10:53 PM, IpMan said:

 However I would suggest he was just as good if not better in 98'. In 98' he was amazing every damn night, just mind blowing on that tour. 

Absolutely not!

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On 4/8/2017 at 5:31 AM, Boleskinner said:

He acquired "Sticky fingers"

...73 is his peak...but a compilation of the best bits of each tour would suffice for me.

Exactly.

Excitement/enthusiasm peak was 68-71
Command/execution peak was 72ish

I will say '79, '98 and '07 were just fine for me.  Not a fan of the over-nuanced push and pull of his phrasing in '77-Over Europe, for me it's annoying.

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Yeah, that's a real good sum-up. 77' and 80' at full force Jimmy was often overplaying, although I liked some of his

"hysterical woman" bits in the solos for ALS and SIBLY. Never ceases to amaze me how few fans know about

Jimmy's practical Phoenix rising from the dead in 98'. Of course it's not Zep....but Jimmy is literally as consistent as any

Zep period, and many versions of HMMT and NQ are just blistering.

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I agree with those, who said between '69 and '73.  His playing was very clean, and inspired, then. 

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1975 for me. That's when he peaks in terms of ambition and complexity as a player, and he invariably pulls off what he's trying to do. I don't understand why people say he's sticky in 75... I just don't hear that. March 75 (although he was no slouch in Jan/Feb either) and then again in May at Earls Court are his peak as a player. Watch a few songs of the unedited Earls Court footage; he's utterly in command of the band and the instrument.

It's a fair point to say that 73 and earlier he was more fun to listen to; he was doing more of the blues/rock and roll/Scotty Moore stuff then, which he largely cuts in 75. He hints at it in some of the Heartbreakers in 75, but never takes it very far.

 

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2 hours ago, Crimson Avenger said:

1975 for me. That's when he peaks in terms of ambition and complexity as a player, and he invariably pulls off what he's trying to do. I don't understand why people say he's sticky in 75... I just don't hear that. March 75 (although he was no slouch in Jan/Feb either) and then again in May at Earls Court are his peak as a player. Watch a few songs of the unedited Earls Court footage; he's utterly in command of the band and the instrument.

It's a fair point to say that 73 and earlier he was more fun to listen to; he was doing more of the blues/rock and roll/Scotty Moore stuff then, which he largely cuts in 75. He hints at it in some of the Heartbreakers in 75, but never takes it very far.

 

Really?!  The sticky fingers are omnipresent thought 75 and 77. Also his ideas don't flow as smoothly...clearly drugs and booze were affecting his playing. It's amazing that he could largely pull off all the demands of being the guitar section every gig for 3 hours at a time but he is constantly clamming notes and chords. I think many Zep fans have rose colored ears when it comes to Plants singing post 72  and Pages playing post 73. This is why I don't get too excited anymore about another soundboard tape from 75 or 77. They highlight the slop which is always there, to a greater or lesser extent. I'm not saying they're bad shows , I'm strictly referring to the detail of Jimmys guitar work and Plants voice cracking. I'm hard pressed to find one soundboard show that doesn't highlight these problems from 75. The audience tapes mask the shortcomings. That's why I prefer the audience tapes to the boards, especially the Millard tapes.  Soundboards are like fluorescent ugly lights turned up bright. 

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48 minutes ago, porgie66 said:

Really?!  The sticky fingers are omnipresent thought 75 and 77. Also his ideas don't flow as smoothly...clearly drugs and booze were affecting his playing. It's amazing that he could largely pull off all the demands of being the guitar section every gig for 3 hours at a time but he is constantly clamming notes and chords. I think many Zep fans have rose colored ears when it comes to Plants singing post 72  and Pages playing post 73. This is why I don't get too excited anymore about another soundboard tape from 75 or 77. They highlight the slop which is always there, to a greater or lesser extent. I'm not saying they're bad shows , I'm strictly referring to the detail of Jimmys guitar work and Plants voice cracking. I'm hard pressed to find one soundboard show that doesn't highlight these problems from 75. The audience tapes mask the shortcomings. That's why I prefer the audience tapes to the boards, especially the Millard tapes.  Soundboards are like fluorescent ugly lights turned up bright. 

Speak for yourself

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Posted (edited)

2 hours ago, porgie66 said:

Really?!  The sticky fingers are omnipresent thought 75 and 77. Also his ideas don't flow as smoothly...clearly drugs and booze were affecting his playing. It's amazing that he could largely pull off all the demands of being the guitar section every gig for 3 hours at a time but he is constantly clamming notes and chords. I think many Zep fans have rose colored ears when it comes to Plants singing post 72  and Pages playing post 73. This is why I don't get too excited anymore about another soundboard tape from 75 or 77. They highlight the slop which is always there, to a greater or lesser extent. I'm not saying they're bad shows , I'm strictly referring to the detail of Jimmys guitar work and Plants voice cracking. I'm hard pressed to find one soundboard show that doesn't highlight these problems from 75. The audience tapes mask the shortcomings. That's why I prefer the audience tapes to the boards, especially the Millard tapes.  Soundboards are like fluorescent ugly lights turned up bright. 

I could not agree less in regard to 75' and Crimson was spot on in assessment. Yes, Jimmy had a small (very small) fluency problem in some shows in 75', likely due to the broken finger, but his work as a whole was brilliant in 75'. Have you listened to his NQ playing from the May 23rd show? He never did the solo (or guitar in general) like that before or after. His use of the Strat on that song was one of the best decisions Page ever made and he really should have stuck to it. One of Jimmy's best live solo's hands down. The weak link in 75' was Plant and in fact IMO Plant's performances were downright embarrassing for many shows. Why they did not postpone the tour for at least a month I have no clue but it should have been done. AS much as I love the instrumental work in Four Blocks in the Snow, I just cannot handle Plant's shit voice, he completely ruins every song he sings except for songs like NQ where his vocal range does not matter. 

Also, to say Plant's voice was not good in 77' is a strange assessment. He does his best singing since 72' on this tour and would never sound so good again...this was the last of Plant in his Golden God persona and capability. Jimmy in 77' was capable of reaching his pinnacle of playing ability, playing the most ambitious and dexterous of his career, the problem was is three songs later in the same show he would just as likely fall into seven year old picking up dad's guitar for first time mode. Sticky fingers??? More like fingers caught in strings. Therein is the paradox which is Page live in 77'. Well, not really a paradox, just his need for a good high vs. his need for a quality, consistent performance. Page proved time and again he had the chops and the ability in 77', he just did not give a shit which is both unfortunate and selfish IMO.

No rose colored ears there, honest assessment.

Edited by IpMan

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1 hour ago, IpMan said:

I could not agree less in regard to 75' and Crimson was spot on in assessment. Yes, Jimmy had a small (very small) fluency problem in some shows in 75', likely due to the broken finger, but his work as a whole was brilliant in 75'. Have you listened to his NQ playing from the May 23rd show? He never did the solo (or guitar in general) like that before or after. His use of the Strat on that song was one of the best decisions Page ever made and he really should have stuck to it. One of Jimmy's best live solo's hands down. The weak link in 75' was Plant and in fact IMO Plant's performances were downright embarrassing for many shows. Why they did not postpone the tour for at least a month I have no clue but it should have been done. AS much as I love the instrumental work in Four Blocks in the Snow, I just cannot handle Plant's shit voice, he completely ruins every song he sings except for songs like NQ where his vocal range does not matter. 

Also, to say Plant's voice was not good in 77' is a strange assessment. He does his best singing since 72' on this tour and would never sound so good again...this was the last of Plant in his Golden God persona and capability. Jimmy in 77' was capable of reaching his pinnacle of playing ability, playing the most ambitious and dexterous of his career, the problem was is three songs later in the same show he would just as likely fall into seven year old picking up dad's guitar for first time mode. Sticky fingers??? More like fingers caught in strings. Therein is the paradox which is Page live in 77'. Well, not really a paradox, just his need for a good high vs. his need for a quality, consistent performance. Page proved time and again he had the chops and the ability in 77', he just did not give a shit which is both unfortunate and selfish IMO.

No rose colored ears there, honest assessment.

I am not challenging the color of your ears LP Man, I think you make very good astute observations ! B) But, when I think of a player in their peak I consider all the elements that should be there. Fluency of ideas, execution, vocabulary, sound, creativity. I simply don't hear his playing post 73 having those elements in greater quantity than pre-73.  Heroin will make you not care so much about other things in life, like playing your instrument well , and the amount of clammed notes and chords seems to indicate that to me.  Also, he seems to repeat phrases more, often because he missed a note or two or can't seem to flow into the next idea, and his solos tend to ramble because of that. I love that solo from 5/23, its a motherfucker...as well as the solo from 5/18 , and in many other solos from 75 Jimmy displays such an evolved sense of ideas and sonic soundscapes - but in terms of consistent fluidity of ideas and articulation I hold that his peak with Zeppelin was pre-75.  I was also veering a bit off topic by bringing up the soundboard thing but it really does highlight the sticky-ness.

Also, I should clarify, I meant specifically Plants voice in 73 and 75. I wasn't clear there. I agree his singing voice in 77 was excellent and he never quite reached those highs range wise or stylistically again.  

And, of course I am speaking for myself !!

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3 hours ago, IpMan said:

I could not agree less in regard to 75' and Crimson was spot on in assessment. Yes, Jimmy had a small (very small) fluency problem in some shows in 75', likely due to the broken finger, but his work as a whole was brilliant in 75'. Have you listened to his NQ playing from the May 23rd show? He never did the solo (or guitar in general) like that before or after. His use of the Strat on that song was one of the best decisions Page ever made and he really should have stuck to it. One of Jimmy's best live solo's hands down. The weak link in 75' was Plant and in fact IMO Plant's performances were downright embarrassing for many shows. Why they did not postpone the tour for at least a month I have no clue but it should have been done. AS much as I love the instrumental work in Four Blocks in the Snow, I just cannot handle Plant's shit voice, he completely ruins every song he sings except for songs like NQ where his vocal range does not matter. 

Also, to say Plant's voice was not good in 77' is a strange assessment. He does his best singing since 72' on this tour and would never sound so good again...this was the last of Plant in his Golden God persona and capability. Jimmy in 77' was capable of reaching his pinnacle of playing ability, playing the most ambitious and dexterous of his career, the problem was is three songs later in the same show he would just as likely fall into seven year old picking up dad's guitar for first time mode. Sticky fingers??? More like fingers caught in strings. Therein is the paradox which is Page live in 77'. Well, not really a paradox, just his need for a good high vs. his need for a quality, consistent performance. Page proved time and again he had the chops and the ability in 77', he just did not give a shit which is both unfortunate and selfish IMO.

No rose colored ears there, honest assessment.

 

1 hour ago, porgie66 said:

I am not challenging the color of your ears LP Man, I think you make very good astute observations ! B) But, when I think of a player in their peak I consider all the elements that should be there. Fluency of ideas, execution, vocabulary, sound, creativity. I simply don't hear his playing post 73 having those elements in greater quantity than pre-73.  Heroin will make you not care so much about other things in life, like playing your instrument well , and the amount of clammed notes and chords seems to indicate that to me.  Also, he seems to repeat phrases more, often because he missed a note or two or can't seem to flow into the next idea, and his solos tend to ramble because of that. I love that solo from 5/23, its a motherfucker...as well as the solo from 5/18 , and in many other solos from 75 Jimmy displays such an evolved sense of ideas and sonic soundscapes - but in terms of consistent fluidity of ideas and articulation I hold that his peak with Zeppelin was pre-75.  I was also veering a bit off topic by bringing up the soundboard thing but it really does highlight the sticky-ness.

You both make some very good points. I'd agree that Page's most consistent era of playing was '73, specifically the March Euro tour. By that time he had been touring with Zeppelin for around four and a half years, with few breaks in between. This meant that he was completely unafraid to try new, exciting ideas, and experiment left and right, knowing that the rest of the band would be right behind him. One example I can think of is right after the bow solo in D&C in Vienna. Instead of launching into the fast section, he does this molten solo with Bonzo throwing in a couple of fills. It sounds incredible. I always cite that and the last 8 or so minutes of D&C from Hamburg (that WICKED start/stop jam! :o) when I introduce people to the Euro tour. In fact, I'd argue the soundboards only enhance the performances there. Regardless, Page would never be as consistent after that tour. Even the 73 American tour shows signs of his sticky fingers in a few shows.

That being said, he still had phenomenal nights in latter years, it's just that they were on a less consistent basis. TUF from 3/27/75, Stairway from 6/23/77, NQ from 7/24/79...I defy anyone to say these solos are horrible or that Jimmy wasn't on for those particular performances. Bottom line: yes, Page could be sloppy, especially in latter years. Yes, after '73, he was more inconsistent. But, imo, he never lost the ability to blow the audience away, if even for a snippet of a song or two.

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Posted (edited)

Just listened to 5/23 NQ again and you're right, that solo is off the charts. Maybe playing the Strat inspired  I him to those heights that night  Insane!! Bonzo's interaction is incredible too. Very wild and fired up but controlled fury. Fucking amazing. Wish there was video from that night. 

Edited by porgie66

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I think one of the best ways to describe Page's "decline" would be that from 75' on the length of Jimmy's lyrical lines

or spots of lengthy musical flow became shorter and shorter. Not so  much in 75', but on the 77' tour the stickiness

would often result in short bursts of notes broken by a sustained note or a tiny stop. Actually from the beginning

Jimmy played like this at times, but now he was kind of stuck, obviously from no practice or the substances. However

you could make some argument that Page never played the same on any tour, and actually some will be howling

that I consider the 5/22/77 ALS solo to be amazing. Slightly out of tune, but Page is both sloppy and lightning fast

in a 5 second phrase, and, just like the album, makes the guitar sound like a siren. I stick with Euro 73' but there are

gems to be found. I initially hated the5/22 solo, until I thought of it as sound sculpture, as opposed to "rock guitar

solo". But Jimmy does play like a 7 yr old in some of the real amateur mistakes, unbelievable.

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I think Dazed is probably the culprit for many people's poor assessment of 1975. I for one hate - hate - the way he starts the first guitar solo, using a phrase which worked well towards the end of one of the solos in 73, but sounds hackneyed in 75. But he does it every night, so he's doing what he wants to, and executing it properly. It's not like ALS in early 77, where he's not worked out what to do with the lead and is clearly winging it. The best playing in Dazed 75 is usually in the second half, when many people will have switched off.

As for the rest of 75, he's usually on it throughout and has done his homework for the tour. Just take almost any OTHAFA or TU, for example. I'm listening to TU from 18th May as I type, and it's great. He's good from the beginning too... I'm sceptical about the effect we hear 40 years on from the broken finger; it's hard to spot a difference between Brussels and Chicago. The early shows are shorter, but he plays well in January too. A decent board tape from Jan 75 would be most welcome.

1977, sure, he's down a notch or two, for whatever reason. But not 1975.

 

 

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21 hours ago, porgie66 said:

Really?!  The sticky fingers are omnipresent thought 75 and 77. Also his ideas don't flow as smoothly...clearly drugs and booze were affecting his playing. It's amazing that he could largely pull off all the demands of being the guitar section every gig for 3 hours at a time but he is constantly clamming notes and chords. I think many Zep fans have rose colored ears when it comes to Plants singing post 72  and Pages playing post 73. This is why I don't get too excited anymore about another soundboard tape from 75 or 77. They highlight the slop which is always there, to a greater or lesser extent. I'm not saying they're bad shows , I'm strictly referring to the detail of Jimmys guitar work and Plants voice cracking. I'm hard pressed to find one soundboard show that doesn't highlight these problems from 75. The audience tapes mask the shortcomings. That's why I prefer the audience tapes to the boards, especially the Millard tapes.  Soundboards are like fluorescent ugly lights turned up bright. 

I'd be interested if you could give a concrete example of stickiness in 1975... we may be talking at cross purposes! Sure he doesn't hit every note exact and some solos he struggles with (Rock and Roll springs to mind), but that applies equally to pre 75. But it's interesting that I can listen to 1975 (soapbox time: I've listened to every note of every show) and draw the opposite conclusion. I find it remarkably unsticky from Jimmy throughout.

I'm pretty sure heroin wasn't an issue in 75. Stephen Davis insinuates it, but as with so much in his books there's nothing to back up the assertion. 1976 and beyond, sure.

Books actually are maybe another reason why people have a poor view of 1975. Luis Rey's initial book was quite down on 75, which is understandable because he was writing before a lot of the good recordings came out. I don't have the more recent version, so can't comment on that. Davis in both his books makes a lot of disparaging comments about 1975 which are either unprovable or demonstrably false.

 

 

 

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9 hours ago, Crimson Avenger said:

I think Dazed is probably the culprit for many people's poor assessment of 1975. .....

As for the rest of 75, he's usually on it throughout and has done his homework for the tour. Just take almost any OTHAFA or TU, for example. I'm listening to TU from 18th May as I type, and it's great. He's good from the beginning too... I'm skeptical about the effect we hear 40 years on from the broken finger; it's hard to spot a difference between Brussels and Chicago. The early shows are shorter, but he plays well in January too. A decent board tape from Jan 75 would be most welcome.

1977, sure, he's down a notch or two, for whatever reason. But not 1975.

He's feeling alright by the time they hit Madison Square Garden in early February, and they play Dazed for the first time on the tour. Chicago's a rough one for Plant - really struggling with the cold.   Your assessment is pretty similar to mine.  Dazed in 1973 is so good I can't imagine playing that any better, but I do enjoy the 1975 versions also. TU is something he doesn't have in 1973, and that backwards sounding bent wah wah noise on it is all too wicked and strange. I love that stuff. His solos on NQ in 1975 are advanced from the smooth 1973 solo, and one can see that he's going for a dissonant approach and introducing new ideas in his playing, an electric noise and jazz touch.  By opening the 1975 sets with Sick Again, they are challenging the listener with new material and the new tone and approach on guitar.  Earl's Court he's a little stiff to start out, imo, but Sick Again is supposed to sound sick, like falling down, so there is some cinema verite happening there. I think his doctor no doubt told him to lay off the guitar and let the finger heal, so I don't think he plays very much between the end of the U.S. tour in March and the Earl's Court shows in May.  However, by NQ he's loosened up, and when he hits the wah to drive the solo to its end, he's on. There are much, much better shows than Earl's Court from that tour.

Overall, his playing is more diverse in 1975, and the material has grown as well, imo. One might say he didn't want to tell the same old same stories he told in 1972-73, so he made some changes to keep the material fresh.  "Tangents within a framework" indeed.

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Posted (edited)

Sadly, Zeppelin did not make it through the Dallas-Ft.Worth area in '72. The '71 and '73 shows in Dallas were okay, but I was blown away by Jimmy's performance on the March 4th Dallas '75 show and the May 22nd Ft. Worth '77 performance.

I guess it depends on what night you see the band.

Concerts as a whole, the best impressions were made on me:

Ft. Worth 1970

Dallas 1975

Houston & Ft. Worth 1977

Edited by The Rover

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I for one have come to enjoy his playing in '75 from a stylistic standpoint. He is quite sloppy during the post bow solo during Dazed most of the time (2/12 is a really poor example of this at some points) but he is playing with such an attitude by the latter half of that tour. The Over the Hills solos and No Quarter solos are usually great. An incredibly unique "voice" you could say. But there's no doubt that his skills are truly diminished from what they were in 73. I'd say that his technical skills peaked either during USA 72 or Europe 73, take your pick. My favorite single concert of him playing though would /29/71. He doesn't have the speed he would acquire later on, but he sounds so unique during that show, see the Black Dog, Immigrant Song, and Celebration Day solos for example. And while he isn't really speedy he isn't sloopy/inaccurate either ie 75

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