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gibsonfan159

Montreal 2/6/75 Underrated?

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I know people complain about the recording quality, but there are far worse sounding boots. Plant's voice isn't great, but it's as good as the MSG 73 shows. This show stands out to me as one of the few where Page is actually playing on his usual level with few flubs, and quite amazingly compared to most of the shows from 75. He must have ran out of whatever drugs he was taking for this show as his fingers are much more nimble. The "Sloppy" monicker can't be applied here when listening to his blistering Stairway solo. Of course an audience recording masks a lot of mistakes, so a soundboard might put it on a more level playing field. I actually like the string break on Over The Hills, which sends Jones and Bonham into a funk breakdown while Page switches guitars. Sick Again is played fluently without the "Fingers stuck in strings" sound Page usually has on this song. The tape clears up tremendously for Dazed and is played exceptionally.The encores are played with so much energy they almost sound like the show openers from 72/73, with Page again hitting every mark on the Black Dog solo just like his old self. The only thing that bugs me is the frequent panning. Not sure if that was done through the monitors (I've heard it in other shows} or if the tapers were doing it.

I'll take this semi good audience recording over just about any of the soundboards from 75, with the exception of maybe Deus Ex Machina. But honestly, Page conjuring up his old self almost makes this more listenable in my opinion. What do you guys think?

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IpMan   
1 hour ago, gibsonfan159 said:

I know people complain about the recording quality, but there are far worse sounding boots. Plant's voice isn't great, but it's as good as the MSG 73 shows. This show stands out to me as one of the few where Page is actually playing on his usual level with few flubs, and quite amazingly compared to most of the shows from 75. He must have ran out of whatever drugs he was taking for this show as his fingers are much more nimble. The "Sloppy" monicker can't be applied here when listening to his blistering Stairway solo. Of course an audience recording masks a lot of mistakes, so a soundboard might put it on a more level playing field. I actually like the string break on Over The Hills, which sends Jones and Bonham into a funk breakdown while Page switches guitars. Sick Again is played fluently without the "Fingers stuck in strings" sound Page usually has on this song. The tape clears up tremendously for Dazed and is played exceptionally.The encores are played with so much energy they almost sound like the show openers from 72/73, with Page again hitting every mark on the Black Dog solo just like his old self. The only thing that bugs me is the frequent panning. Not sure if that was done through the monitors (I've heard it in other shows} or if the tapers were doing it.

I'll take this semi good audience recording over just about any of the soundboards from 75, with the exception of maybe Deus Ex Machina. But honestly, Page conjuring up his old self almost makes this more listenable in my opinion. What do you guys think?

The likely reason for Page's brilliance is not too far off from your assumption. Canada was the LAST place you would want to be caught with dope in the 70's. This is where Keith Richard's was popped on Feb 27th, 1977 in Toronto for heroin. Richards was facing life in prison for trafficking (he had a whole once of smack) but his legal team pled it down to possession and Richard's got off with probation and a suspended sentence after proving he was clean and had taken the cure.

I figure Page's claim that he never played sober until recently were hyperbole as, unless he was either insane or just did not give a shit about Zeppelin, there is no way in hell they would bring dope or buy dope in Canada. Especially Montreal! If Toronto was tough Montreal would have been 10 x worse due to the politics in Montreal at the time.

So, my money goes on the straight bet...literally. Page was sober as a church mouse for the Montreal performance as was the rest of the band (barring booze of course). Also, I believe Page was just dabbling in smack in 75' and did not go full on addiction until 76' when the band was on medical hiatus, so not using for a few days would have been no big thing at this point. This would also explain why Zeppelin played NO Canadian dates on the 77' tour. Steve Weiss could have likely gotten Page out of just about anything in the states but Canada, no way in hell.

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I like this show a lot, it's definitely overlooked/underappreciated for various reasons.  Great NQ.  It's one of the best shows from the first leg, although probably not quite as good as Philadelphia two nights later (another rare fluid '75 night by Page).  Soundboard or otherwise, it's not as good as the Nassau shows or the West Coast shows from the second leg.  (Re. the audience recording, the moronic commentary by the tapers is endearingly obnoxious and adds to the experience, e.g. the barrage of belches before STH or asking for Hey Hey What Can I Do.)

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blooze   

If we're gonna talk precision playing I think it might be best to asterisk this one because of the tape quality. Listening to Dazed right now, sounds great but I gotta be honest in that I can't hear everything Jimmy's playing perfectly. To compare this to 75 shows with pristine soundboards I don't think is really fair. Didn't people hold Landover in really high regard before that board tape dropped and showed that Jimmy was kind of out of it? Also, by this point wasn't his finger still healing? I think this was only the third show they brought Dazed back for. I must say though, from the recording that we do have, he sounds pretty good. I just want to suspend full judgement because I don't think Jimmy varied from the mean this much though on any other tour.

It's interesting, as I listened to a chunk of the first 75 MSG date a couple months ago and thought similarly that Jimmy was really cooking. Just find it mysterious where we have these sets of audience only dates where Jimmy is fantastic and then we get to soundboard shows and find Jimmy to be well within the mean of the rest of the tour.

2 hours ago, gibsonfan159 said:

I know people complain about the recording quality, but there are far worse sounding boots. Plant's voice isn't great, but it's as good as the MSG 73 shows.

That one I'd have to strongly disagree on. Compare his delivery of Stairway on this night to that of 7/28/73 or 7/29/73. Was really impressive those two nights in particular. Here, he can't even get close to that. Also compare WLL and The Rain Song from TSRTS to this night too. Big difference. This brings me to another point, however, which is that the 73 US tour is really a comeback tour for Plant in my opinion, much like '77. Sure he couldn't nail Immigrant Song still but if you compare his performances from that tour to, say, Europe 73, you'll see how much he improved, much like comparing his 77 voice to his 75 one. I'm gonna guess that the opinion that Robert sounded like crap during the MSG 73 shows probably came from people who watched TSRTS and expected him to sing just like on the albums (in other words, people not familiar with bootlegs that show his gradual decline in vocal range).

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In spite of the decidedly iffy quality of the recording, the taper commentary alone makes the bootleg worthwhile :lol: 

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10 hours ago, blooze said:

If we're gonna talk precision playing I think it might be best to asterisk this one because of the tape quality. Listening to Dazed right now, sounds great but I gotta be honest in that I can't hear everything Jimmy's playing perfectly. To compare this to 75 shows with pristine soundboards I don't think is really fair.

Completely agree. And I think tone plays a big part on the impression the listener gets. Listening to the Montreal audience recording you can hear that Page had a pretty thick overdrive sound. Yet that overdrive signal doesn't really come through on any of the soundboards. Instead, the guitar sounds dry and twangy.

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I've been listening to LZ bootlegs for about 35 yrs now and all I can say is that Page is obviously playing like a motherfucker on this night. You don't need a soundboard to prove that right or wrong. When did a soundboard recording become the only way to tell whether Jimmy Page was playing good or not? Thats really an unfair and unrealistic way to judge a Led Zeppelin concert as that is not that way it was heard by the people who witnessed the performance or ever intended it to be heard. An audience recording will always be a more authentic document of a live show than a sbd can ever be, where LZ is concerned.

That being said...I'd love to hear the sbd from this fantastic show. :)

 

Edited by blindwillie127

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blooze   
19 minutes ago, blindwillie127 said:

I've been listening to LZ bootlegs for about 35 yrs now and all I can say is that Page is obviously playing like a motherfucker on this night. You don't need a soundboard to prove that right or wrong. When did a soundboard recording become the only way to tell whether Jimmy Page was playing good or not? Thats really an unfair and unrealistic way to judge a Led Zeppelin concert as that is not that way it was heard by the people who witnessed the performance or ever intended to be heard. An audience recording will always be a more authentic document of a live show than a sbd can ever be, where LZ is concerned.

That being said...I'd love to hear the sbd from this fantastic show. :)

 

Well the point im trying to make is that it might not be fair to compare this to, say, Landover. An aud recording will def mask mistakes. Shows like Landover dont get that advantage.

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Yes, an audience boot will "mask mistakes", and a sbd will magnify mistakes. Question: if the audience in attendance didn't hear the "mistakes" that are evident on a sbd recording, does that mean that they didn't hear what was 'really' going on? Nope, cause they heard it the way it actually sounded in the venue as it was meant to be...and was. 

Edited by blindwillie127

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blooze   

Sure but was that the point I was making? Jesus. I was talking about comparing some shows to others, not whether the shows were enjoyable in general. What I was saying was that I find it mysterious that we have these sets of aud only dates (like this and first MSG, haven't heard Philly) where Jimmy seems to be 73-esque and then we hear other board tapes just a few days later where he isn't so. I just find it fishy. Only point I'm making is that comparing a show like these to something like 2/12 or 3/19 is that it isn't an even playing field. Jimmy's probably going to sound much better on the audience tapes. 

If you are just saying that these shows are enjoyable as a whole, hell I'd probably agree.

17 hours ago, gibsonfan159 said:

quite amazingly compared to most of the shows from 75.

That was really the comment I was responding to; the comparison issue. I'm not saying they're bad shows, just that we should hold off before definitively saying that it's better than other 75 dates.

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IpMan   

This whole Aud vs. soundboard is silly, after all, no professional band has EVER released an unpolished soundboard officially nor would they want to. The whole point of a soundboard is so the musicians themselves can hear every mistake, every misstep, without most of the effects and ambient sound which will of course make the music sound 100% better. Just imagine what a U2 soundboard would sound like.

I find it strange that Zeppelin, 37 years after their last show is probably the most scrutinized and analyzed live act yet if you listen to just about any soundboard boot from the 70's, unedited the band will not sound anywhere as good as they did on an aud or live. You think Rush sounded that polished on a soundboard of Exit...? Or Bob Segar on Live Bullet? Or even Yes on a soundboard of Yessongs? Hell no. I guarantee you Steve Howe live in 73' was making just as many, if not more mistakes live than Page, after all he makes quite a lot on the released Yessongs so just imagine what a soundboard would reveal.

Don't get me wrong, nothing is wrong with analyzing a soundboard and picking everything apart, but you just cannot make that a benchmark for a good show. This is likely why LTTE is so highly rated. It is the gold standard of live aud recordings yet still captures the live sound as it was experienced. No soundboard can truly present a live experience like an aud can, it is impossible. This is why officially released stuff is not a soundboard recording but a type of matrix between a mobile recording unit and an aud recording to capture the ambience of the hall which is absolutely necessary for a proper live release. Geddy Lee explained all of this on That Metal Show a few years back when he said All the Worlds a Stage was a far superior live recording and that he absolutely hated Exit... as a live statement as it was heavily edited, overdriven, and most of the ambient sound removed. That and they absolutely ruined Xanadu, talk about a plodding, uninspired performance...ugh!

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blooze   

All i argued was that its not fair to argue that Jimmy was definitively better in Montreal was a better show than 2/12, etc. because of the differences in recording. That's regarding technical proficiency. If you want to talk general mood and everything, thats a diff. story because you don't need a pristine source to determine that. I really fail to see whats so controversial about this. Never once did I say that soundboards are more 'true' representations of the band! If you want my honest opinion I PREFER good 75 aud recordings! They give Jimmys tone an edge that just doesnt come through on the sbds. And YES i myself may enjoy this covering a few mistakes to a very limited extent, but I wouldnt take a recording that has distortions on it and compare the performance to, say, Fort Worth. Thats not an even playing field. And the fact that just a few days later he sounds much less fluid leads me to believe that these auds are covering some things up. Thats all! Have fun with the recordings! Hell, I do!

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10 hours ago, blooze said:

All i argued was that its not fair to argue that Jimmy was definitively better in Montreal was a better show than 2/12, etc. because of the differences in recording. 

Jimmy was definitively better in Montreal than NY, no doubt about it. I've been playing guitar far too long to not recognize that. To me, its more than obvious. And yes, Montreal '75 is underrated and overlooked, for sure. 

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Landover was definitely exposed as a major dud with the soundboard release, but the audience recording is rather poor, and it was always pretty evident that Philadelphia was a superior show (similar sound quality).  To my ears at least, the Montreal recording is fairly clear, I would be very surprised if a soundboard revealed any serious flaws like with Landover.

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On ‎8‎/‎31‎/‎2017 at 0:23 AM, Nutrocker said:

In spite of the decidedly iffy quality of the recording, the taper commentary alone makes the bootleg worthwhile :lol: 

The three minutes between Black Dog and Heartbreaker are particularly funny.

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