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Mr_K

Top 5 Live For A Newcomer

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At another site great music site, I posted the question: which live show would you offer to a young person as a first must hear!

I wanted to encourage a "Zeppelin newcomer" to Zeppelin. Any age with open tastes. I think I was trying to help my 10 year old (at the time) nephew, and he ignored just about everyone, including me, and went off the European deep-end and picked Hamburg 73.

Now I want a top 5 live list. It should be "easy at first bite." If you lost all the other shows but these, this is the set you would listen to and share with everyone. Many familiar songs, a few rarities, and no clunkers, if Zeppelin can ever be said to clunk.

Near great shows wouldn't sustain interest throughout - everything from 79/80 - Early shows might lose from a small set list - 4/27/69. Maybe a fine show is missing a key performance or obvious "classics" - why did they play WLL on 4/26/69 but not the following night?

Skip the not-stellar recording - Providence 73, which I'm listening to now and never get tired of. It took time to value.

Maybe a middle to later concert lacks full sustained energy from all the members of the band - does anyone like Earls Court as I do but think that no one show is a masterpiece?

I want hell-dog perfection and variety. I want payback for a bad critical review or the audience not appreciating their roots in American blues. Total energy wildness - 9/29/71.

The choice explains longevity. After hearing the 5, the newcomer knows why the band was honored by the President, why we're talking about them 30 plus years after death virtually ended the band.

I accept imperfection if it makes it a bizarre first listen - drum and guitar solos on 6/21/77. I want Plant talking/joking/scoldiing/pumping the audience, pulling up chestnuts - Louie, Louie in June 72 - like it was their final show.

From opening - each of the songs is hummin'.

I want a list to explain why I burned the pot roast because I didn't want to get up, go to the kitchen and stop writing about the music!

I want someone to listen to the top 5 and say, "Rock can't get better than this."

Thank you.

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Mr. K,, I am going out on a limb on this one (God forgive me )!! Here we go,,(top 5 in no specific order) #1 Live on Blueberry Hill. (1969)- #2 "Until my brain Hurts" OsakaJapan (1972)-# 3 "Live at Three Rivers Stadium" Pittsburgh (1973)-#4 " St.Valentines Day Massacre" Nassau Colloseum N.Y(1975)- #5 For Badge holders Only" LA Forum (1977)!!!!

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The best place to start is the Led Zeppelin DVD or How the West Was Won. These have stellar performances and better sound quality than you'll find on any bootleg. Also, they are much easier to find than specific bootlegged shows.

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The best place to start is the Led Zeppelin DVD or How the West Was Won. These have stellar performances and better sound quality than you'll find on any bootleg. Also, they are much easier to find than specific bootlegged shows.

Spot on. If there's one thing newcomers don't enjoy, it's sub-par sound quality. And no, "fantastic Mike Millard audience tape" does not make the grade either for the casual fan who's never really heard Zep live before.

How the West Was Won is one of the best live albums ever released by any band. It's true that some of the wildness and fun of the two shows it is based on (June 25 & 27) is missing because the between-song banter is edited out (and the fantastic organ solo-Louie Louie-Thank You sequence from the 25th isn't there). Nevertheless, this is still a rollicking show, with plenty of "light and shade," hard-rocking electric stuff and beautiful acoustic numbers; long epics and shorter, more compact songs - and it's 3 full CDs' worth, which comes within about 20 minutes of representing the full length of a '72 to '77 Zep concert set. And the sound, while a little compressed and congested for my taste (thanks a lot Kevin Shirley), just smacks you right in the face. Anyone who likes Zep at all will get the Hammer of the Gods feeling from this album.

It's true, of course, that there's nothing from Physical Graffiti on HWWW, nor is No Quarter represented. But so what? If the person ends up liking HWWW, you can then play them the Earls Court section of the DVD, which has great performances of In My Time of Dying and Trampled Underfoot - not to mention one of the best live Stairways, as well as the three-song mini acoustic set - which is the most beautiful, sonically pristine Zep ever laid on tape, live or in studio.

And to flesh it out, you can play them Sick Again, Kashmir, and In the Evening from the Knebworth section of the DVD (all killer performances); and No Quarter and Celebration Day from The Song Remains the Same soundtrack (original 1976 version only - the 2007 version butchers them both).

If they don't like live Zep after all that, well, then, I'm afraid it's a hopeless cause. :-)

Edited by tmtomh

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I really like the angle of this thread. Taking the mountain of material we have and narrowing it down to the most listenable performances that define the band's greatness.

A challenge for sure with no real wrong or right answers. But it's obvious Mr. K is an informed fan and is looking beyond official releases.

Let's review the parameters of Mr. K's challenge.

-A list of five separate shows. He mentions this 3 times.

-Nothing from 79/80

-Sound quality better than Providence 73 (sorry 1970-09-19!)

-Shows with sustained energy, hell-dog perfection, variety, and great Plantations.

-Shows which provide a valid explanation for burnt pot roast.

My journey started with 1977-06-23. A high generation tape dub with lots of hiss that played fast. I still got sucked in, and for the reasons Mr. K is trying to spotlight. . It appears to me Mr. K is taking it a step beyond official releases and looking to lay some raw truth on someone. He knows what he wants. And if this forum can't help him, who can?

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I think a good place to start would be the Fillmore West show from April 27'th 1969. This recording doesn't just have good sound it has great sound! If you listen to this show and are not blown away by the performance and the sound quality then give up.

You need to have what I call "Bootleg Ears" by that I mean, in order to enjoy bootlegs you must have the ability to listen past the obvious misgivings of the recording and still perceive what Zeppelin is doing on stage. One of the first vinyls I bought was "A Cellar Full of Noise" Sept 29'th 1971. It was a test pressing and ran at the wrong speed. I had to spin the turntable manually with my finger in order to get it close to the right speed. I played it like that many many times and I was blown away by Jimmy's solo for The Immigrant Song every time.

I have listened too a lot of recordings (for instance) Jan 26'th 1969 many times. The sound is not good but in terms of being able to still hear what the band is doing it passes with flying colors. For me the Standouts from this show are , Pat's Delight and How Many More Times, although incomplete HMMT is magic from start to finish where the tape cuts out. Jimmy is fast as lightning, The improv in the middle is beautiful (one fo the best I have ever heard them play) and the bow solo with Robert singing the original lyrics as heard on the first album is spine chilling. Bonham's Drumming during his solo is tremendous and must be heard to be believed.

Even though there are plenty of great sounding boots that's not the norm. You have to brave the quality to experience the magic.

Top 8

4-27-1969 Fillmore West

9-04-1970 Inglewood Forum L.A

9-29-1971 Osaka Festival hall

3-24-1973 Offenburg

3-21-1975 Seattle

6-23-1977 L.A Forum

7-23-1979 Copenhagen

6-30-1980 Frankfurt

I know its more than five but these shows are all killer performances and have highly listenable sound quality.

I skipped 1972 because of the HTWWW cd

Edited by juxtiphi

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Mr. K,, I am going out on a limb on this one (God forgive me )!! Here we go,,(top 5 in no specific order) #1 Live on Blueberry Hill. (1969)- #2 "Until my brain Hurts" OsakaJapan (1972)-# 3 "Live at Three Rivers Stadium" Pittsburgh (1973)-#4 " St.Valentines Day Massacre" Nassau Colloseum N.Y(1975)- #5 For Badge holders Only" LA Forum (1977)!!!!

....."3 "Live at Three Rivers Stadium" Pittsburgh (1973)..."

Wow, you must have a new source I'm unfamiliar with! My current source - Great show, disappointing recording. But I'll keep looking for an upgrade.

"'St.Valentines Day Massacre' Nassau Colloseum N.Y(1975)" - I think a list should include a show from that 3 day run, except when I start considering Seattle 1975/03/21 and Earls Court final show pops its lovely head in my musical reconnaissance....

Thanks for being the first to post.

Edited by Mr_K

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I really like the angle of this thread. Taking the mountain of material we have and narrowing it down to the most listenable performances that define the band's greatness.

A challenge for sure with no real wrong or right answers. But it's obvious Mr. K is an informed fan and is looking beyond official releases.

Let's review the parameters of Mr. K's challenge.

-A list of five separate shows. He mentions this 3 times.

-Nothing from 79/80

-Sound quality better than Providence 73 (sorry 1970-09-19!)

-Shows with sustained energy, hell-dog perfection, variety, and great Plantations.

-Shows which provide a valid explanation for burnt pot roast.

My journey started with 1977-06-23. A high generation tape dub with lots of hiss that played fast. I still got sucked in, and for the reasons Mr. K is trying to spotlight. . It appears to me Mr. K is taking it a step beyond official releases and looking to lay some raw truth on someone. He knows what he wants. And if this forum can't help him, who can?

Thank you for your post. I'm glad you appreciate my desirable parameters/limits? that I placed.

My nephew is particular! Like me.

One disagreement - 9/19/1970, which should be on a first draft final "should I recommend" list from Zeppelin fans for a top 5 live for a newcomer.

True, 9/19/1970 evening has faults. Yes, it's not the best audience recording. But I think an above-average recording qualifies, if barely, for contention. A step above Providence 73.

The band this concert. One more show then home to their peaceful family life in England. In New York, shades of thunder wouldn't stop. They were playing the audience like it was their last show, and it was, albeit for 1970.

Consider. The opening fire. The exotic pounding of IS. The slow pain of SIBLY after the poignant tribute to Jimi Hendrix. The hammer-on devilish pace of gold rock classics. The HMMT medley after the concert could have ended as a triumph. And Blueberry Hill to cap the banquet.

It would be on my top 5 for a newcomer.

[break for a Zeppelin interlude......]

Now that I'm listening to LA 08/21/1971, I think I'll go a bit list crazy..... can the final 5 ever be final!

Thanks.

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I think a good place to start would be the Fillmore West show from April 27'th 1969. This recording doesn't just have good sound it has great sound! If you listen to this show and are not blown away by the performance and the sound quality then give up.

You need to have what I call "Bootleg Ears" by that I mean, in order to enjoy bootlegs you must have the ability to listen past the obvious misgivings of the recording and still perceive what Zeppelin is doing on stage. One of the first vinyls I bought was "A Cellar Full of Noise" Sept 29'th 1971. It was a test pressing and ran at the wrong speed. I had to spin the turntable manually with my finger in order to get it close to the right speed. I played it like that many many times and I was blown away by Jimmy's solo for The Immigrant Song every time.

I have listened too a lot of recordings (for instance) Jan 26'th 1969 many times. The sound is not good but in terms of being able to still hear what the band is doing it passes with flying colors. For me the Standouts from this show are , Pat's Delight and How Many More Times, although incomplete HMMT is magic from start to finish where the tape cuts out. Jimmy is fast as lightning, The improv in the middle is beautiful (one fo the best I have ever heard them play) and the bow solo with Robert singing the original lyrics as heard on the first album is spine chilling. Bonham's Drumming during his solo is tremendous and must be heard to be believed.

Even though there are plenty of great sounding boots that's not the norm. You have to brave the quality to experience the magic.

Top 8

4-27-1969 Fillmore West

9-04-1970 Inglewood Forum L.A

9-29-1971 Osaka Festival hall

3-24-1973 Offenburg

3-21-1975 Seattle

6-23-1977 L.A Forum

7-23-1979 Copenhagen

6-30-1980 Frankfurt

I know its more than five but these shows are all killer performances and have highly listenable sound quality.

I skipped 1972 because of the HTWWW cd

"You need to have what I call "Bootleg Ears" by that I mean, in order to enjoy bootlegs you must have the ability to listen past the obvious misgivings of the recording and still perceive what Zeppelin is doing on stage."

Agreed. But my ears find too many flaws in HTWWW. Tried to listen to it today. Good - but I couldn't get past disc 1. Only done so a few times. Hear the raw 6/25/72 often. The official release is strong but it shortchanged us. Even without the special encores, it's still missing something. The stage banter, the live "feel". I've listened to the 1971 Allman Brothers Live at the Fillmore I don't know how many times, and HTWWW to me doesn't measure up, doesn't get me excited for Zeppelin the way it should, the way, say, Japan's 9/29/1971 does.

"One of the first vinyls I bought was "A Cellar Full of Noise" Sept 29'th 1971...."

Agreed. It's on my top 5 list. It's the only one I'm certain of. It's the one I'd choose if I only could pick one. Powerful performance. Close to perfection in 1971. It still "growls".

I'd still ask you to narrow down to 4 others. I pick 5 to allow the newcomer a one day feast. I figure 3 hours per show, on average, especially if 75/77 shows are included. 15 hours total, manageable for a one day gorge! And by the 15th hour, we'd convert a music novice to a new Zep fan.

Thanks for the post.

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Thank you for your post. I'm glad you appreciate my desirable parameters/limits? that I placed.

My nephew is particular! Like me.

One disagreement - 9/19/1970, which should be on a first draft final "should I recommend" list from Zeppelin fans for a top 5 live for a newcomer.

True, 9/19/1970 evening has faults. Yes, it's not the best audience recording. But I think an above-average recording qualifies, if barely, for contention. A step above Providence 73.

The band this concert. One more show then home to their peaceful family life in England. In New York, shades of thunder wouldn't stop. They were playing the audience like it was their last show, and it was, albeit for 1970.

Consider. The opening fire. The exotic pounding of IS. The slow pain of SIBLY after the poignant tribute to Jimi Hendrix. The hammer-on devilish pace of gold rock classics. The HMMT medley after the concert could have ended as a triumph. And Blueberry Hill to cap the banquet.

It would be on my top 5 for a newcomer.

[break for a Zeppelin interlude......]

Now that I'm listening to LA 08/21/1971, I think I'll go a bit list crazy..... can the final 5 ever be final!

Thanks.

Fair enough. I do whole heartedly agree 1970-09-19 is a top 5 if not the top Zep show of all. Very special. I'm still not sure it's "easy at first bite" sound wise. But if you can turn somebody on to it, more power to you.

And thank you for referencing Providence. It's been a while so I put it on today and it stopped me in my tracks. My new current favorite.

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Someone who is just getting into Zeppelin might not want to listen to bootleg, and even though I know there are lots of great quality bootleg recordings out there, the Royal Albert Hall is one I would suggest to anybody. Amazing energy and all of the band members are at their absolute best. And it's not bad to have a video to look at as well.

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The Song Remains the Same soundtrack (original 1976 version only - the 2007 version butchers them both).

I've made my peace with both versions of TSRTS as they stand; it's no secret Jimmy Page wasn't happy with the original 1976 mix, so I don't begrudge him creating a brand new mix from scratch as happened with the 2007 release, just accept the fact they're two completely different albums, buy both and listen to both, each have their strengths and their weaknesses... and at least the 1976 version is still freely available to buy on CD for those who want to, give Jimmy credit for that at least.

Anyhoo, editorial over. As a Zep newbie - June last year - I would recommend any other newcomer start with the official live releases, both TSRTS (album and film) and HTWWW are fine works in their own right and give the listener a darned good introduction to the joys of live Zep, and if they still want more, the 2003 DVD is pretty much the last word in that field... at least until the Earl's Court live album comes along :smiley_pray: ...

Bootlegs I haven't got around to yet, so couldn't comment one way or the other... am I missing anything there?

Edited by The Old Hermit

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If yer gonna pick ONE 1977 show, at least, well...one more shout out for Cleveland 28-4-77 (sorry guys :lol: )

-not overlong, can sustain a newbie's interest over the 2hrs 45 mins of playing time

-excellent performance, damn near mistake-free

-good quality audience recording (I'd give it an easy 8 outta 10)

Do NOT confuse this with the soundboard recording from the previous night in Cleveland, which is only interesting to hear as an example of just how different the band could sound from one night to the next.

Edited by Nutrocker

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To be frank, the reason why I'd give them TSRTS first is because it's just the right blend of good playing and imperfection to make them open to everything. If you start em with RAH 70 they might become one of those snobs who turn their nose up at any show after Tuscon 1972.

Edited by Sue Dounim

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I think 4/1/71 is a great one for a newcomer. For some reason, it rarely gets mentioned here.

Either sides 3 and 4 of the BBC sessions (for official release) or for a boot, try "London Calling". There may be better bootlegs of that show, but I only have "London Calling". I had a recording of this show that I taped off the radio (WMMR in Philly) back in the 80s. I wore that tape out. I must have listened to that show more often than TSRTS back then.

Sides 1&2 of BBC might be good for a newbie too, but I don't think that fits your original request.

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oops. Sorry, I got a little confused. The BBC sessions I was referring to was the Empress Valley Complete BBC, and not the "Official" BBC Sessions. The official BBC only has 2 sides and is missing parts of the 4/1/71 show.

I guess I do have 2 "unofficial" versions of that show.

Edited by hf21

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Top 10

4-27-1969 Fillmore West

8-31-69 Texas Pop Fest

9-4-1970 Inglewood Forum L.A

4-1-71 London BBC

3-24-1973 Offenburg

3-21-1975 Seattle

6-21-1977 L.A Forum

6-23-1977 L.A Forum

7-24-1979 Copenhagen

6-30-1980 Frankfurt

Edited by chef free

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Top 10

4-27-1969 Fillmore West

8-31-69 Texas Pop Fest

9-4-1970 Inglewood Forum L.A

4-1-71 London BBC

3-24-1973 Offenburg

3-21-1975 Seattle

6-21-1977 L.A Forum

6-23-1977 L.A Forum

7-24-1979 Copenhagen

6-30-1980 Frankfurt

Gee, your top 10 looks a lot like my top 8

4-27-1969 Fillmore West

9-04-1970 Inglewood Forum L.A

9-29-1971 Osaka Festival hall

3-24-1973 Offenburg

3-21-1975 Seattle

6-23-1977 L.A Forum

7-23-1979 Copenhagen

6-30-1980 Frankfurt

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Gee, your top 10 looks a lot like my top 8

4-27-1969 Fillmore West

9-04-1970 Inglewood Forum L.A

9-29-1971 Osaka Festival hall

3-24-1973 Offenburg

3-21-1975 Seattle

6-23-1977 L.A Forum

7-23-1979 Copenhagen

6-30-1980 Frankfurt

Great minds think alike? ( I almost went with New York '75 "Four Blocks in the Snow" and LA 6-21-77)

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