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Sue Dounim

Favourite 'Achilles' Last Stand' of the '77 LA Run?

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Since a bunch of 'favorite' threads have been getting posted, I'll throw this into the mix. In order of favourite to least favourite, mine are:

1977/06/22

1977/06/25

1977/06/23

1977/06/21

1977/06/26

1977/06/27

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6-23 is flawless.

Couldn't agree more. I love how Page throws in licks San Francisco as it sounded in '73 and '75 during Dazed, which is of course what Achilles evolved out of. I hope that makes sense!

Edited by tom kid

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Another vote for 6/23! I'm still thrilled that the newer sources aren't cut. The 25th is very strong too.

Edited by chef free

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6/23 here too...I think it's pretty much unanimous thus far, except for Sue, the OP!

let's hear it:

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It always amazes me how fucking fast they played "Achilles Last Stand" on some of the '77 gigs :lol: "Speed Metal" (though I'd be inclined to say it was more coke than speed)...the pace of the piece is almost claustrophobic; I think that's why I generally prefer the 1980 versions of ALS because they're closer to the studio version tempo, more room for the song to breathe.

Like Tom, I also notice the "San Francisco" licks in the live versions, which I'd be wiling to bet was deliberate- and probably confirms the theory of how ALS evolved out of "Dazed And Confused".

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Mine's 06/21. I find Eddie to be superior to Badgeholders in everyway. I'm in a vast minority in that I find the whole 06/22 show to be better than Badgeholders as well.

Mind you I find 06/23 to still be a fantastic show, certainly better than anything from say Landover.

Maybe we should open this question up to the best shows of the LA run, if it pleases the people. My list:

1) 06/21

2) 06/22

3) 06/25

4) 06/23

5) 06/26

6) 06/27

I can say I have listened to every show multiple times. Has everyone who claims their favorite version of Achilles listened to every show???

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Admittedly, I haven't listened to the 26th or 27th since I don't have those shows.

Edited by TBLacK457

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Admittedly, I haven't listened to the 26th or 27th since I don't have those shows.

I would definitely listen to the 26th, the sound is not as good quality as yr Eddies, badgeholders, Saturday Night but it is an amazing show. Tbh I dont usually have the patience to listen to dogshit audience recordings but i make an exception for this one

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How about your favourite Achilles of the New York run?

Mine are:

1977/06/11

1977/06/10

1977/06/13

1977/06/08

1977/06/07

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How about your favourite Achilles of the New York run?

Mine are:

1977/06/11

1977/06/10

1977/06/13

1977/06/08

1977/06/07

Isn't 11/6/77 the one where Page broke a string, necessitating a quick mid-song guitar change that didn't work out so well? :lol:

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Hmm...very difficult! It's close between 06.21 and 06.23...but I have to give the edge to 06.23 - probably due to nostalgia.

It also seems telling to me that Sam (?) used the audio from that performance for the

on the official YT page.

The Badgeholders gig, more than any other - except maybe the L.A./Long Beach 1972 concerts - illustrates Led Zeppelin at their best and most joyful, at least for me. Not to mention the great sound Millard was able to get there! (The power of the song's introduction on 06.21 can't be glossed over, though...those opening bars are pure metal.)

Edited by Melcórë

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Another old topic I'm stumbling upon now ;) 

I haven't heard the June 26th version yet, so I'll refrain from including it here. With that said, here's my rankings:

  • 6/23 - A very tight version with no discernible mistakes. Everyone in the band is on point and locked in. Bonham's drumming is fantastic (as it was for the entirety of this run, specifically the first three nights) and Jimmy is right there with him. My only complaint about this version is Jimmy's guitar intro seems softer compared to earlier versions (see below)
  • 6/22 - This version is absolutely ferocious! Almost every second is an explosion of energy. Bonzo is pummeling the crowd and his drums sound massive (I mean, they always did anyway, but you know what I mean :D). The ONLY thing that keeps this from the top spot is Jimmy breaking a string in the middle, which leads to some brief noodling about halfway through. Still a devastating all-around version from one of the most underrated Zeppelin shows ever.
  • 6/21 - Probably Bonzo's best drumming out of the entire run. In fact, this is some of the best drumming I've ever heard period. I also love Jimmy's metallic intro here. It sounds so evil and nasty! With that said, to my ears, Jimmy flubs some notes here and there, especially in the beginning just after the rest of the band jumps in, and at the end when they drop out. Nothing too major, but it indicates that he may have been struggling to keep up with Bonzo (who can blame him though? On this night, John Bonham was the personification of cocaine). Regardless, this is still an excellent version. Honestly, these top three are very neck-and-neck and are only a hair apart for me.
  • 6/25 - This one seems slower compared to the others. In fact, it sounds closer to the versions they would play in later shows (albeit still a little fast). Bonzo sounds tired here, as he did for much of this show. Jimmy also seems to flub some notes, more so than the 21st. There's a couple of obvious mistakes, but overall this is still a solid version, just a step down from the first three shows.
  • 6/27 - The band is very loose here. Jimmy is sticky-fingered, Robert occasionally hits some bum notes, and Bonzo is out of control (in a way that is both good and bad). His drumming is unpredictable, which keeps the song interesting, but also leads to some worrying moments: at times, the band veers dangerously close to being out-of-sync with one another, but they manage to right themselves. Overall, not a bad version (certainly no Tempe, hehe), but certainly not as good as the versions from earlier in the week for me.

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6/22 - broken string can't detract from the amazingness of the rest of it for me; love the sound of Jimmy's deluxe Les Paul that he has to switch to because of the broken string...

6/21 - not sure what to say lol...everyone knows the merits of this one

6/26 - probably the tightest of the six--this whole show might be the tightest of the six

6/23 - call me blasphemous, but I actually think this one is a tad sloppy compared to the three ahead of it

6/25 - as others have said in this and other threads, bit of an off-night for Bonham--this is actually my least favourite of the six shows, even though it has the best "Over The Top" of the bunch, the best "Kashmir" of all time, one of my favourite versions of "Trampled Under Foot," and the only "Communication Breakdown" of '77.  Worst "No Quarter" of the six in my opinion.  Part of this could be the recording sounding a tad more sterile than the others if that makes sense?

6/27 - Bonham's Keith Moon impression definitely screws this one up a bit

 

P.S.  We need Strider to chime in since he witnessed all of them except 6/22...

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The jarring cut in the 6/27 "Achilles" sorta throws things off a bit from a listening perspective as well.

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Posted (edited)

If this thread hadn't been bumped I would not have known of its existence. I somehow missed it when Sue first posted this topic.

As to which "Achilles' Last Stand" was best on the L.A. run, I can tell you that I was not complaining after the show about any of the "Achilles" I saw that week. All five I saw rampaged thru my brain like the Tasmanian Devil. Between that and the titanic impact "Kashmir" had, the audience was laid to waste. They could have played nursery rhyme songs the rest of the night and I would have been satisfied.

Of course, with the benefit of tapes you can hear slight differences in quality over the six different nights.

On 2/27/2017 at 7:59 PM, Bonzo_fan said:

6/22 - broken string can't detract from the amazingness of the rest of it for me; love the sound of Jimmy's deluxe Les Paul that he has to switch to because of the broken string...

6/21 - not sure what to say lol...everyone knows the merits of this one

6/26 - probably the tightest of the six--this whole show might be the tightest of the six

6/23 - call me blasphemous, but I actually think this one is a tad sloppy compared to the three ahead of it

6/25 - as others have said in this and other threads, bit of an off-night for Bonham--this is actually my least favourite of the six shows, even though it has the best "Over The Top" of the bunch, the best "Kashmir" of all time, one of my favourite versions of "Trampled Under Foot," and the only "Communication Breakdown" of '77.  Worst "No Quarter" of the six in my opinion.  Part of this could be the recording sounding a tad more sterile than the others if that makes sense?

6/27 - Bonham's Keith Moon impression definitely screws this one up a bit

 

P.S.  We need Strider to chime in since he witnessed all of them except 6/22...

Dude. It's like you read my mind...your list is practically identical to what my list would be.

The first three nights are definitely tops for me. The June 21-22-23 ALSs are all great, high energy performances. Which one is #1 is hard to choose...it helps that the sound quality is better for the 21st and 23rd. Flip a coin and any one would be a worthy #1.

But what I also like about the June 22 ALS is that it is preceded by my favourite noise solo of the entire 1977 tour. All the segments flow really nicely, which means Jimmy was especially focused on that night. The "Cathedral" section on the 22nd is especially more effective and better executed than on the 21st.

The second group of shows from June 25-27 are more problematic. The energy flags more in these shows, especially after "Kashmir", and some of the performances sound sloppier. Only the June 26 has an "Achilles" that can measure up to the first three nights. For some reason, I don't get the same buzz from the tapes of the June 25 and June 27 "Achilles" that I got the nights of the show. The flaws, slight as they are, are more noticeable.

So I guess my list would be:

1A. 6-23

1B. 6-22

2. 6-21

3. 6-26

4. 6-25

5. 6-27

Edited by Strider

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Strangely enough, as the person who started this thread, my list has almost completely changed. Now it's

1977/06/22
1977/06/27
1977/06/25
1977/06/23
1977/06/26
1977/06/21

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Sue Dounim said:

Strangely enough, as the person who started this thread, my list has almost completely changed. Now it's

1977/06/22
1977/06/27
1977/06/25
1977/06/23
1977/06/26
1977/06/21

Happens to me all the time. 😏 My favourite "Dazed and Confused" has run the complete gamut and back again.

Edited by Strider

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