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elKZacha

The Apparent Ignorance of Later Shows

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9 hours ago, the chase said:

Funny I used to think (when I was a youngster and Bootlegs were very hard to come by) 1977 was by far their greatest tour... and 1975 was their worst..  This was way before Youtube. All I had to go by was For Badgeholders Only 1977 LA Forum, The Cleveland Destroyer 4 album set... and Montreal Forum Feb 1975, which is one of the worst sounding recordings of all time, with the bootleggers talking and clowning around through the whole show, shitty fake stereo effects.. (panning the entire band back and forth)..

I actually love the Montreal show now, heard it recently with fresh ears and enjoyed it.. But limited exposure will get different results.

So I guess it was forced ignorance.. 

Same here, I got a boot of Dallas 75 20 or so years ago, and it was so bad it put me off the whole thing for ages. I appreciate how some bemoan the good old days, but I love the internet... it's really opened things up for people to appreciate. 75 was generally very poorly thought of before all the boards started turning up 10-15 years ago. Montreal is a great show!

 

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23 hours ago, greenman said:

For the band as a whole but especially Page the key to great performances seems to be activity. This was less of an issue in the earlier days of the band as they were so active although I think think you can start to detect a bit more up and down in 72 where the band had longer layoffs either side of the US tour and definitely improved as that tour progressed plus as the euro 72/73 tour progressed. In 75 and 77 though it really does seem to become obvious, not a great start to the first leg of the tour, improvement towards the end of the first leg, bit of a dropoff in the 2nd leg but faster recovery to an even higher peak, another dropoff for the 3rd leg in 77 that we didn't get to see a potential recovery from.

One thing I always disagree with strongly is the idea that the latter tours were damaged by "excessive" epics, ok Bonham's and Page's solo's might often have been a bit excessive although the latter was a response to the removal of the much longer Dazed. The band might have been very good at nailing short tracks earlier in their career but really I think they were always at their best stretching things out but even moreso latter on.  Page's main failing tends to be not nailing riffs and generally playing in tight arrangements like SA, BD, TRS or TYG where as I think his best playing is in extended soloing in the likes of OTHAFA, IMTOD, NQ, TU, DAC and STH.

The 77 set list especially for me doesn't seem well chosen to maximise the bands live potential and I wonder if Plant had a lot more say in it than previously in order to get him back on stage?

The 1977 set needed Jimmy at the very top of his game; imagine how it would have sounded with him at his 75 level of ability. The new live material such as ALS or TYG is just painful for many of the early shows; it just sounds like he hadn't bothered to work out what to do and was trying to wing it.

Let's be fair to the guy though, he had a huge amount to do in 77, and there are times when he's excellent. As you say the last week or so of April is great. Anyone who is dismissive of 27th April 77 , I'd urge to get hold of the Dr Who remaster, it really changed my opinion of that show.

It's just a shame that post 75 he's so unpredictable on stage.

As to Plant, maybe. He clearly loves the acoustic set, which is a highlight of most 77 shows. In the first leg at least he seems to be enjoying himself. I guess it's always going to be bad form to ask him what he thought of that tour, but the vibe seems pretty good on those April shows. The 'epics' are shorter too, and work better for it IMO. As in 75, as the tour goes on, the epics get longer and longer, and clearly try the patience of the crowd on occasion. Again, you could argue that they were lazy in not spotting that the times were changing in terms of what the audience wanted. They did in 1980, but too late then of course.

 

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3 hours ago, Crimson Avenger said:

The 1977 set needed Jimmy at the very top of his game; imagine how it would have sounded with him at his 75 level of ability. The new live material such as ALS or TYG is just painful for many of the early shows; it just sounds like he hadn't bothered to work out what to do and was trying to wing it.

Let's be fair to the guy though, he had a huge amount to do in 77, and there are times when he's excellent. As you say the last week or so of April is great. Anyone who is dismissive of 27th April 77 , I'd urge to get hold of the Dr Who remaster, it really changed my opinion of that show.

It's just a shame that post 75 he's so unpredictable on stage.

As to Plant, maybe. He clearly loves the acoustic set, which is a highlight of most 77 shows. In the first leg at least he seems to be enjoying himself. I guess it's always going to be bad form to ask him what he thought of that tour, but the vibe seems pretty good on those April shows. The 'epics' are shorter too, and work better for it IMO. As in 75, as the tour goes on, the epics get longer and longer, and clearly try the patience of the crowd on occasion. Again, you could argue that they were lazy in not spotting that the times were changing in terms of what the audience wanted. They did in 1980, but too late then of course.

Its true Page had vastly more to do than someone like Richards in the Stones so when he was below his best it was notable. The SB's generally of course tend not to be very forgiving with the thin tone showing up errors far more than the audience would have heard.

I don't think the band badly misjudged what the audience wanted in 77, remember of course the drum and guitar solo's were also visual shows. By 1980 expectations had likely shifted and the band did shift to meet them, that wasn't "too late" either and likely would have gone down well in the US but for Bonhams death, plus of course ITTOD had sold very well indeed.

Edited by greenman

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In my opinion, if you're a true fan of Zeppelin live on stage, warts and all, you will easily appreciate '75, '77, and '77 for the most part. First of all, everybody manages to throw the '77 gigs under the bus, never mentioning the LA run or the NYC run (though I do disagree with a post above saying 6/7/77 is among the best in '77, decent but that is just false, find 5/30 and 5/22, and keep in mind the whole Landover run is available in soundboard and has plenty of highlights). 2nd, I think people just can't get past the noise solos and drum solos which served really as set breaks for the band, and aren't familiar with latter years especially '77. If you can't get past Jimmy's slop and hear Plant finding his new voice like never before, fine. You're just not a fan of Zeppelin live. And that's ok. You're a fan of the first half or so of their live career. I can understand that, I only like the first few years of Sabbath live. The rest sounds like a cover band to me.

But, I never found the love for 1980 gigs, even though I love the hell out of all 4 1979 shows. I think they screwed the set list up and got a little too far from the original recipe there. The original recipe worked like a charm with the TSRTS>CD intro in '79 but '80 just don't like it. Dropping No Quarter...

So let's just enjoy as much Zeppelin as we possibly can, for me that's every year but 1980, with 1977 being my favorite. Well I can't pick a favorite but there is something mystical about it, and the sound the band has is just dark eerie and hits hard. Get the Millard recordings from '77 and all the soundboards, don't expect a solid show from end to end like Royal Albert Hall '70, and I think you'll all find something you want to hang onto.

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I love the 77 Millard Recordings. Between 6/21 & 623/77 I have virtually every non-vinyl source in some form. Winston Tribute Series are the best. The "Listen to This Eddie" Xmas Edition is another favorite. I feel that the LA 77 run tops the 75 LA run.

It's just that pre 75 the band always seems to be "on". Robert's voice was always an issue but  I agree that in 77 he was really finding his "new" voice. The 80s shows are even better. Robert and Jonesy were great , except for Robert's dour attitude. Jimmy and to a lesser degree Bonzo are the reasons for some of the horrible 80's shows.

Jimmy was for the most part awful on the ITTOD material. He never nailed the Hot Dog solo and he ruined some really emotive All My Love's by flubbing his guitar parts. Bonzo was real solid but a shell of the powerhouse of 73. Even with all that the band managed to find it during Zurich Frankfurt and even Rotterdam. Not to mention the WLL from the Berlin show. Easily among some of their best shows.

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On 9/2/2016 at 1:52 AM, Crimson Avenger said:

Hmm, maybe it is that simple! I always get the feeling from watching and listening that he's pretty clean on stage in 79-80, but just wasn't putting in the rehearsal/practice beforehand.

In 1980 he always give a short speech to he audience at the start, before Black Dog. I've long harboured a little theory that he was given this to do in order to ensure he was reasonably well-functioning on the night.

 

 

Yet some of Page's "Black Dog" intro in 1980 are pretty incoherent. Don't kid yerself- Jimmy was well out of it in 1980, and probably wasn't much better in 1979. Watching the Knebworth performances, he looks like he's just stepped out of the shower with his clothes on after about three songs- I'd imagine Page was Jonesing pretty good at those gigs.

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5 hours ago, Nutrocker said:

Yet some of Page's "Black Dog" intro in 1980 are pretty incoherent. Don't kid yerself- Jimmy was well out of it in 1980, and probably wasn't much better in 1979. Watching the Knebworth performances, he looks like he's just stepped out of the shower with his clothes on after about three songs- I'd imagine Page was Jonesing pretty good at those gigs.

I think its less than his physical state was better and more that his mentality changed a bit relative to 77, he moved away from the looser more seat of the pants style towards trying to deliver a slicker performance, the Danish and the first Knedworth show from 79 are probably slicker than any of the 77 shows for me. That doesn't mean "better" of course as I think the "tight but loose" style was always part of the magic of Zep which I don't get nearly as much of from 79-80 even in the better performances.

Earlier Zep for me picked the set list for the performance and tended to focus on tracks that suited their live style, by 73-75 I think you had some tracks like the Rain Song and Kasmir that were more studio pieces attempted but in 77 things stiffed a lot more that way with Achilles and Ten Years Gone as well. This material does I think naturally need a slicker delivery where as I think the looser style page especially was still playing in 77 works much better on the opening salvo of tracks plus No Quarter, In My Time of Dying, Trampled, Underfoot, etc.

Edited by greenman

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On 10/13/2016 at 4:35 PM, Dirty Work said:

 Well I can't pick a favorite but there is something mystical about it, and the sound the band has is just dark eerie and hits hard.

What was mystical and eerie about it?

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22 hours ago, Nutrocker said:

Yet some of Page's "Black Dog" intro in 1980 are pretty incoherent. Don't kid yerself- Jimmy was well out of it in 1980, and probably wasn't much better in 1979. Watching the Knebworth performances, he looks like he's just stepped out of the shower with his clothes on after about three songs- I'd imagine Page was Jonesing pretty good at those gigs.

Well, I did say 'reasonably well-functioning'! My pet theory is that they were worried about his reliability, so got him to speak so he would make some effort to be coherent on the night. I think you are a bit harsh on 1979; three well-played gigs and one dud. Everyone remembers the dud. And he's always been quite a sweaty player :)

 

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17 hours ago, greenman said:

I think its less than his physical state was better and more that his mentality changed a bit relative to 77, he moved away from the looser more seat of the pants style towards trying to deliver a slicker performance, the Danish and the first Knedworth show from 79 are probably slicker than any of the 77 shows for me. That doesn't mean "better" of course as I think the "tight but loose" style was always part of the magic of Zep which I don't get nearly as much of from 79-80 even in the better performances.

Earlier Zep for me picked the set list for the performance and tended to focus on tracks that suited their live style, by 73-75 I think you had some tracks like the Rain Song and Kasmir that were more studio pieces attempted but in 77 things stiffed a lot more that way with Achilles and Ten Years Gone as well. This material does I think naturally need a slicker delivery where as I think the looser style page especially was still playing in 77 works much better on the opening salvo of tracks plus No Quarter, In My Time of Dying, Trampled, Underfoot, etc.

Good point. He's a lot more mannered in his approach, in 80 especially. Too much, you could argue. Some of those later SIBLY's, he seems paralysed by indecision as to what to play.

And his later studio style (ALS etc) certainly translated less well to what you might call his 'natural' live playing style. Yeah, there's a lot in that. I reckon that could account for a fair chunk of his later difficulties on stage.

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