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Crimson Avenger

Copenhagen 24.07.79 Oh yes!!

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Holy moses, I've just given this a proper listen for the first time, many thanks to those who pointed me to it.

Where the hell did that performance come from? the whole band is hot, and Jimmy, yes Jimmy, is on it throughout, playing better and guitar tone better than many nights in 73. No Quarter just left me with a silly grin on my face at the brilliance of it all. Anyone who thinks there was nothing left in the tank needs to hear this show.

And I have to wonder, how on earth could Plant stand on that stage and think, nah, I'm not interested in more of this. Very sad.

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The two 79 dates in Copenhagen (IMHO) were some of their best. I felt Jimmy wasn't nervous and his playing shows. These two shows were seen a warm-ups for Knebworth so maybe the pressure was off.

 

Plant lost his son, so his heart wasn't in it, or he was dealing with the grieving process. Even John Paul Jones almost quit after the 73 tour. 

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The story goes like this.  Zeppelin, remembering the shaky starts to their 1975 and 1977 tour, finally take the time to be truly well-rehearsed before going out in public again.  They play two warm-up shows to small venues in Copenhagen, and the insatiable crowd drives them to remarkable performances.

Led Zeppelin, understandably nervous to play to a crowd of two hundred thousand, deliver a few lackluster performances amongst an otherwise strong set at Knebworth on 4 August 1979.  Definitive versions of Kashmir and Achille's Last Stand in particular.  However, the press have constructed a narrative wherein punk is the future and Zeppelin are some archetype of the past, and who are also on bad terms with the band due to relatively neglectful UK tour stops and early animosity due to the press underestimation of quality in the band's music.

The press/critic crowd, who are already going to Knebworth wanting to savage Zeppelin, decide to focus their reports on the low points of the set.  Zeppelin lets the coverage get into their heads and deliver a less-than-stellar performance on 11 August.  With a dull thud, whatever plans the band had to continue performing in 1979 are cancelled.

Years later, having seen the bad press of Knebworth, the first footage to emerge from 1979 is of the 11 August performance, seemingly confirming the critic reviews.  Most fans subsequently write off 1979 for Zeppelin.

...

In my opinion, a soundboard matrix with the audience recording of 24 July 1979 would make the 1975 and 1977 tours irrelevant.  That may seem like a dramatic thing to say, but I really believe it, for a number of reasons.

Plants voice had not been so strong since 1972.

Page's guitar work was as fluid as 1973.

It may have been John Bonham's strongest performance ever.  1977 was Bonham's most aggressive and experimental year, but I don't think most of that experimentation was successful.  Listening to The Song Remains the Same from 21 June 1977 for the first time gives you a rush but the LA 77 performances always end up fatiguing because Bonham is overdoing it.  Too many fills, too many rolls...it's too much!  And he's always hitting hard! In 1979, he was sticking to what worked, and man was he ever dynamic in regards to volume.  What a range!

The setlist was a summation of what makes Led Zeppelin truly unique as songwriters.  No one has ever made music seem so much larger than life than Led Zeppelin.  I can imagine other bands writing songs like Since I've Been Loving You or Good Times/Bad Times, but I can't imagine anyone else writing something like Kashmir or Misty Mountain Hop.  The 1979 set seemed to be focused on all the mythic/mystical/epic songs they had written.

Most of the excess of 1975 and 1977 had been eradicated...besides the Noise Solo.  Gone were the days of a 45 minute Dazed and Confused, and bizarre upbeat jams in the middle of No Quarter.  Gone was Moby Dick!

...

If you haven't listened to this night in Copenhagen, or you've heard that everything after 1973 was terrible (that is certainly a popular opinion), listenarrow-10x10.png listen listen.  It's incredible!

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The press/critic crowd, who are already going to Knebworth wanting to savage Zeppelin, decide to focus their reports on the low points of the set.  Zeppelin lets the coverage get into their heads and deliver a less-than-stellar performance on 11 August.  With a dull thud, whatever plans the band had to continue performing in 1979 are cancelled.

Is that the real reason why the band seemingly went to ground after Knebworth, I've always believed that it was because Percy didn't want to leave his family, and understandably so, and it was only when he felt good and ready again in spring 1980 that they agreed to do the Over Europe tour... am I wrong in that analysis?

I always felt if Percy didn't want to undergo an extensive new tour after Knebworth, at the very least, a tour of Japan in late 1979 would have been a good compromise; about a half-dozen shows, playing to their second largest marketplace, and the whole excursion wouldn't have lasted for more than ten days tops, plus it would have kept them active as both a unit and as individuals... but the ten months of inactivity between the two performances (Knebworth and Over Europe) undoubtedly contributed to both Jimmy Page, John Bonham, and Richard Cole sinking ever deeper into the quagmire of their addictions, and look at how that ended up, they lost everything soon after, a Japanese tour would have focused their minds on something other than getting zonked, alas...

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Is that the real reason why the band seemingly went to ground after Knebworth

I don't know, but it's clear there is a world of difference between the performances on 11 August and 4 August.  Plant even brings up the bad press on the second night, so I don't think it's a stretch to guess that it was the reason why.  It takes courage to play in public again after being away for that long, especially to such a large crowd.  Then the press says you blew it, so back to square one!  Putting yourself through that process again could easily take ten months.

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Give me the July 24 '79 Copenhagen show over either of the Knebworth performances any day of the week, and twice on Sundays!

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Wow. I'll be giving that a listen this weekend. You guys have really built it up! Can't wait!!!!

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I heard the July 24 1979 Copenhagen Warm-ups before I heard anything from the Knebworth Festival, so this was one fan who definitely didn't write off 1979 when it came to Led Zeppelin. It was the summer of 1981 in a record shop in the tiny town of Killeen, Texas where I bought the bootleg "copenhagen warm-ups - the second night" triple-vinyl release by Geiko-Sukui of the July 24th show. Couldn't believe how good the show sounded when I played it that night.

Two months later, at the same record shop I found "Last Lead", a double-vinyl set from the Monomatapa label. Nothing on the packaging outside or inside gave any clue that this was August 4 Knebworth. In fact, the only clue it was a post-1977 concert was the inclusion of "Hot Dog" among the song titles listed on the back...all the other songs listed were older songs pre-1977. Being a double-album, it was not a complete concert, but listening to the record you could tell it was Knebworth, due to the sound and size of the audience. It sounded like a fairly decent show to me, too. 

So, with both those two bootleg records in my collection, I went along on my merry way through the 80s with the belief that 1979 was a good year for the band. It was not until the late 80s, when I first got a hold of the August 11 Knebworth VHS tape and some 1980 Euro tour boots, that I heard the unevenness that had seeped into the band's performances of that period.

Edited by Strider

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I heard the July 24 1979 Copenhagen Warm-ups before I heard anything from the Knebworth Festival, so this was one fan who definitely didn't write off 1979 when it came to Led Zeppelin. It was the summer of 1981 in a record shop in the tiny town of Killeen, Texas where I bought the bootleg "copenhagen warm-ups - the second night" triple-vinyl release by Geiko-Sukui of the July 24th show. Couldn't believe how good the show sounded when I played it that night.

Two months later, at the same record shop I found "Last Lead", a double-vinyl set from the Monomatapa label. Nothing on the packaging outside or inside gave any clue that this was August 4 Knebworth. In fact, the only clue it was a post-1977 concert was the inclusion of "Hot Dog" among the song titles listed on the back...all the other songs listed were older songs pre-1977. Being a double-album, it was not a complete concert, but listening to the record you could tell it was Knebworth, due to the sound and size of the audience. It sounded like a fairly decent show to me, too. 

So, with both those two bootleg records in my collection, I went along on my merry way through the 80s with the belief that 1979 was a good year for the band. It was not until the late 80s, when I first got a hold of the August 11 Knebworth VHS tape and some 1980 Euro tour boots, that I heard the unevenness that had seeped into the band's performances of that period.

strider your experience was similar to mine. That was my first Zep boot the triple album. No longer have it but it had the odd song titles right? Like Cold Dog and White Cat? I wore those records out. 

 

Yes one one of the best shows ever if not the best. Awesome set list and musicianship. 

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strider your experience was similar to mine. That was my first Zep boot the triple album. No longer have it but it had the odd song titles right? Like Cold Dog and White Cat? I wore those records out. 

 

Yes one one of the best shows ever if not the best. Awesome set list and musicianship. 

Hahaha yes, the song titles are classic...

Side 1

1. The Conversation Changes    
2. Commemoration Night    
3. White Cat    
4. Everybody's Flaw But Their Own   

Side 2

1. Under The Mountain And Nearby    
2. Foggy Hill Jump    
3. Since I've Been (Seven Till Eleven)    
Side 3

1. No Dimes    
2. Five Weeks Here    
3. Cold Cat    

Side 4

1. Snow Song    
2. Black Winter/White Hilltop    
3. Cashmere Sweater    

Side 5

1. Crushed Overhead    
2. Afflicted Once More    
3. Ulysses First Fall    

Side 6

1. So Low    
2. In The Morning    
3. Staircase To Above    
4. Whole Lot Of Infatuation

July 24 1979 is in my Baker's Dozen list of top shows that have a combination great performance and great sound. It should be one of the starting points of any Led Zeppelin fan's concert collection.

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top 5 audience recordings. probably top 2 or 3. nothing takes you back in time like a good audience tape. freezers 2/28/75 tape is on the list for example. this is rumored to be from the balcony, or hanging from the balcony, same with 7/23. either way, the two '79 warm-ups are almost official release worthy. a soundboard would be, fo sho.

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from bluecongo at royal orleans .com

best list I've seen in a while, for a single show

quote-

Ah Copenhagen. 7/24/79 is in my all time top 3 shows. Jimmy finds his 73 fluidity for one night only, and it disappeared forever after this show.

To me, definitive versions of the following:

Celebration Day Jimmys solo at end unbelievable
Black Dog Perfectly executed 
NFBM So concise and perfect
OTHAFA That solo gets me every time
MMH Bonzo, just driving it so hard
NQ Seriously almost as good as TSRTS version just wow
TYG Jimmys solo at end has he ever played more beautifully?
WLL Best version of You Need Love so much better than Knebworth

Just on fire. I would give anything for an SB of this show. Still waiting..........

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Copenhagen 79 should be included with any possible future official official releases of any bootleg series of shows...a great one! 

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Listening to the 24/7 Copenhagen show as I type this! Got the Last Stand Copenhagen Warm Ups and the Melancholy Danish Pageboys set too. Playing the Last Stand version-great show, but the recording is very 'toppy' . Great playing though-wish it had a bit more lower register 'oomph' on the sound though.

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Definitely, worthy of an official release, in some form or another. There's 23rd too, for patching any mishaps, but there aren't any to speak of on 24th. Only trouble is, this would show up the Knebworth gigs in a relatively bad light.

Both these shows give the lie to the idea that Jimmy's playing was somehow limited after, say, 1975, either by some sort of physical problem or through lack of practice. How he could play like this after not being on stage for two years is a mystery. They (or at least he) must have done a lot of quiet rehearsing I reckon. He wasn't as good at either Knebworth gig, although both 4th and 11th have their strong moments. I suppose he can be let off that; Knebworth was a huge outdoor gig, so nerves/bad sound probably played a part. But then the band disappears for another year, and by 1980 he's dropped off again.

 

 

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Listening to the 24/7 Copenhagen show as I type this! Got the Last Stand Copenhagen Warm Ups and the Melancholy Danish Pageboys set too. Playing the Last Stand version-great show, but the recording is very 'toppy' . Great playing though-wish it had a bit more lower register 'oomph' on the sound though.

Yeah, it does lack low end a bit, but what is there is very nice sounding. It seems quite quiet too, so playing it loud helps. As always!

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Listening to the 24/7 Copenhagen show as I type this! Got the Last Stand Copenhagen Warm Ups and the Melancholy Danish Pageboys set too. Playing the Last Stand version-great show, but the recording is very 'toppy' . Great playing though-wish it had a bit more lower register 'oomph' on the sound though.

Yeah, it does lack low end a bit, but what is there is very nice sounding. It seems quite quiet too, so playing it loud helps. As always!

Get the vinyl...it has the best sound.

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What is the best version of this show??

I just told you...the Geiko-Sukui vinyl release "copenhagen warm-ups - the second night". More bottom end than any cd release.

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