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Live better than Studio

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5 hours ago, Jimmy's Dragon Suit said:

Page's guitar solo (studio version) is ranked very highly in my book and that is the main reason why I take the Presence cut any day.

And don't forget... Bonzo's magic and touch on "For Your Life" cannot be replicated by his son.

Yeah, totally agree. The solo here I absolutely love. There is a little tickle kind of sequence of notes, near the end, that floors me every time. Just pure genius from the burst into it, to what he does with it. Who esle on earth could have filled that space with anything near what Jimmy produces?

But live, you have the visual, the incredible sound quality, it conveys a lot more power, and toward the end (after the somewhat lacklustre solo), I think Jimmy finds a way to lift it a bit more in heaviness. I love the climax of it.

It's still a draw for me. :P

5 hours ago, Jimmy's Dragon Suit said:

You have to explain yourself here. So many live versions that destroy the studio cut.

My 'bootleg ears' are rubbish. I basically stick to the really, really good quality sound boots. Even Millard's legendary LA shows are to me not good quality (*hides from backlash)

The studio version of Thank You - organ in particular, is so beautiful. To be honest, I have not heard a lot of it live, and would be grateful to be pointed to a live version they did that sleighs that is in really good sound quality. I then will reassess. B)

 

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31 minutes ago, rm2551 said:

Yeah, totally agree. The solo here I absolutely love. There is a little tickle kind of sequence of notes, near the end, that floors me every time. Just pure genius from the burst into it, to what he does with it. Who esle on earth could have filled that space with anything near what Jimmy produces?

But live, you have the visual, the incredible sound quality, it conveys a lot more power, and toward the end (after the somewhat lacklustre solo), I think Jimmy finds a way to lift it a bit more in heaviness. I love the climax of it.

It's still a draw for me. :P

My 'bootleg ears' are rubbish. I basically stick to the really, really good quality sound boots. Even Millard's legendary LA shows are to me not good quality (*hides from backlash)

The studio version of Thank You - organ in particular, is so beautiful. To be honest, I have not heard a lot of it live, and would be grateful to be pointed to a live version they did that sleighs that is in really good sound quality. I then will reassess. B)

 

Try Orlando '71 for a great live Thank You in excellent SQ.

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3 hours ago, johnlennon696 said:

Try Orlando '71 for a great live Thank You in excellent SQ.

Blistering version. One of Jimmys best ever solos 

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9 hours ago, johnlennon696 said:

No Quarter definitely. I'm just that keen on the studio version, think it's mainly the vocals.

The live versions 'save' it all and I think Jimmy really achieved something great and unique the way he made Houses of the holy sound and it's such a fun album, so making Robert sound like Kermit the frog on the only dark number is amusing!

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Some versions of Thank You lack the studio "mood", but there are many versions which are pretty epic and have across

the board  superlative improv and are barn burners. I always thought studio WLL had a focus and primal energy which

the live versions didn't really have., although the Rockabilly and other sections after Jimmy's solo set up a totally party

atmosphere which is great, it really sounds like a celebration. I thought also besides an occasional great solo by Jimmy,

NFBM never really did much more than the studio track. Also, early on versions of BIGLY, Jimmy for some odd reason

was very sloppy on the fingerpicking for this song. The rest of the song was powerful, more than studio, but it was incredibly raw, not much subtlety there. Although at that time Zep's main aim was to blow up anywhere they played.

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2 minutes ago, Mithril46 said:

Some versions of Thank You lack the studio "mood", but there are many versions which are pretty epic and have across

the board  superlative improv and are barn burners. I always thought studio WLL had a focus and primal energy which

the live versions didn't really have., although the Rockabilly and other sections after Jimmy's solo set up a totally party

atmosphere which is great, it really sounds like a celebration. I thought also besides an occasional great solo by Jimmy,

NFBM never really did much more than the studio track. Also, early on versions of BIGLY, Jimmy for some odd reason

was very sloppy on the fingerpicking for this song. The rest of the song was powerful, more than studio, but it was incredibly raw, not much subtlety there. Although at that time Zep's main aim was to blow up anywhere they played.

Yeah the acoustic guitars and solo, organ arrangement and sound and Robert's delivery really make it special and Bonzo is not smashing too much during the verses. Studio Whole lotta love has an amazing guitar sound indeed, hard to replicate and the studio vocal delivery is a very unique version too, Nobody's fault but mine is probably the best version too, apart form the solo, but the 21/6 1977 is not far behind and well BIGLY is a bit sloopy on the finger picking part on the studio track as well, but the rest really builds a special atmosphere, still the Page and Plant versions are amazing and I think Zeppelins early live versions were actually mostly less sloopy than the studio one.

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8 hours ago, johnlennon696 said:

Try Orlando '71 for a great live Thank You in excellent SQ.

I'll keep my eye out for flacs.

Cheers.

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^^^ There are some great ones out there.

Edited by Strider

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ok, getting some flacs now, I'll give this a go.

I have heard a few "Thank You"'s live, I had forgotten to be frank.

I like how Jimmy stretches it with the guitar and keeps that beautiful emotion going deeper and deeper. The front end organ solo is nice. Something different.

I swear with emotional songs, Jimmy can make you want to cry with empathy at just how much intense and detailed emotion he conveys. Not exactly sadness - more profound and deeper. Fuck me it can make you well up if you really get into it enough.

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25 minutes ago, Strider said:

Since my concert experience only encompasses 1972-1977, there are a lot of Led Zeppelin songs I did not get to hear live. Here is my take on Led Zeppelin's catalogue.

The original eight studio albums and b-side.

Good Times Bad Times - Studio

Babe, I'm Gonna Leave You - Studio...the pretty acoustic guitars and the general production aura impresses me more than the live versions I've heard.

You Shook Me - Studio....again, it's the production and especially Jimmy's guitar tone that I love...live versions of this song tended to drag.

Dazed and Confused - Live...the first of the exploratory live epics...few sounds are as eerie and scary as Jimmy's bowed guitar bouncing around the arena.

Your Time Is Gonna Come - Studio

Black Mountainside - Live

Communication Breakdown - Live...heavier and faster than the studio version and the extra "It's Your Thing"-funk section is a bonus treat.

I Can't Quit You Babe - Live

How

Are you still there Sean?

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Since my concert experience only encompasses 1972-1977, there are a lot of Led Zeppelin songs I did not get to hear live. Here is my take on Led Zeppelin's catalogue, choosing either Studio or Live for each song.

The original eight studio albums and b-side:

Good Times Bad Times - Studio

Babe, I'm Gonna Leave You - Studio...the pretty acoustic guitars and the general production aura impresses me more than the live versions I've heard.

You Shook Me - Studio....again, it's the production and especially Jimmy's guitar tone that I love...live versions of this song tended to drag.

Dazed and Confused - Live...the first of the exploratory live epics...few sounds are as eerie and scary as Jimmy's bowed guitar bouncing around the arena.

Your Time Is Gonna Come - Studio

Black Mountainside - Live

Communication Breakdown - Live...heavier and faster than the studio version and the extra "It's Your Thing"-funk section is a bonus treat.

I Can't Quit You Babe - Live

How Many More Times - Live...killer end to the early shows.

Whole Lotta Love - Live...June 25, 1972 LA Forum...the energy that shot thru the crowd when they began playing "Whole Lotta Love" was electric...the theremin was otherworldly...the medleys mindboggling...by 1973 the Plant & Page theremin battles had become outer-space theatre.

What Is and What Should Never Be - Live

Lemon Song - Studio...the middle section with Jones' great bass and Plant's lemon squeezing was never pulled off in concert as convincing as the studio track...I also love hearing Jimmy's three guitar tracks intertwine during the solos...this is his first experiment with the concept of a "guitar army".

Thank You - Live...some of Jimmy's best solos were played on this song in concert. rm2551, besides Orlando '71 there are Thank Yous from March 7, 1970 Montreux and March 21, 1970 Vancouver in soundtrack quality. Also, September 4, 1970 LA Forum is worth a listen. Personally, if you really think Mike Millard's tapes sound poor then I think it may not be a problem of your 'bootleg ears' but shitty quality sources for your versions and/or a shitty stereo sound system.

Heartbreaker - Live

Living Loving Maid - Studio

Ramble On - Studio

Moby Dick - Live

Bring It on Home - Live

Immigrant Song - Live

Friends - Studio

Celebration Day - Live...no contest...in concert this song is a strutting, swaggering monster with a killer outro solo.

Since I've Been Loving You - Live...the studio is killer but live was pure heart-rending drama every night.

Out on the Tiles - Live...even though there are only a few live versions available, they are still my preferred way of listening to this song...the riff sounds much more amazing in concert.

Gallows Pole - Studio

Tangerine - Studio...the 1972 acoustic only versions sound incomplete...the 1975 Earls Court full-band ones are better but not quite up to par with the studio version.

That's the Way - Studio...practically a tie as I love the live versions too...but the Studio (and the alternate dulcimer mix) rank as one of the prettiest songs in the Led Zeppelin canon.

Bron-Yr-Aur Stomp - Live...the vibes are real, man.

Hats Off to Harper - Studio

Hey Hey What Can I Do - Studio

Black Dog - Studio

Rock and Roll - Live...mainly the raucous speed-punk versions of 1971, '72, '77 than the slower heavier ones of 1973-75.

Battle of Evermore - Studio...a no-brainer with Sandy Denny.

Stairway to Heaven - Live...another close one...every night was a journey.

Misty Mountain Hop - Studio...the vocals and guitar solo are more convincing on the studio track.

Four Sticks - Studio...I wish there was more than one live version to judge the song on...May 3, 1971 is one concert I wish I could time-travel back to in person...but the studio version is so perfect in its ethereal weirdness.

Going to California - Live...pure bliss.

When the Levee Breaks - Studio

The Song Remains the Same - Live

The Rain Song - Studio/Live....a virtual tie...I literally cannot choose between them...both are perfect in their way.

Over the Hills and Far Away - Live

The Crunge - Live...always a funky good time in 1975.

Dancing Days - Live

D'yer Mak'er - Studio

No Quarter - Live...just about every song on Houses of the Holy was better in concert than on record.

The Ocean - Live

Custard Pie - Studio

The Rover - Studio...still can't believe they never played this live in 1975 or 1977.

In My Time of Dying - Live...Bonham was so powerful on this...his hi-hat work was mesmerizing.

Houses of the Holy - Studio

Trampled Under Foot - Live...again, Bonzo's innate funkiness and playing around with the beat made the live versions irresistible...One Forum Under a Groove.

Kashmir - Live...if I had only the 1975 concerts to go by, maybe the studio version barely comes out ahead...but by 1977 they had perfected Kashmir into a colossal beast...it shook your foundations...it shook the Forum foundations...it shook Godzilla loose from the depths of his Pacific Ocean tomb.

In the Light - Studio

Bron-Yr-Aur - Studio/Live...another tie.

Down By the Seaside - Studio

Ten Years Gone - Live...another close call but Jimmy's great outro solos tips it in favour of live.

Night Flight - Studio

Wanton Song - Studio

Boogie With Stu - Studio

Black Country Woman - Studio...the live versions are missing Plant's harmonica.

Sick Again - Live

Achilles Last Stand - Studio/Live tie...another too close to call...the ultimate guitar army of the studio version vs. the balls-out rampaging energy of the live versions.

For Your Life - Studio

Royal Orleans - Studio...I bet this song could have been so fun in concert.

Nobody's Fault But Mine - Studio...Jimmy's tone is so snarling.

Candy Store Rock - Studio

Hots On For Nowhere - Studio

Tea For One - Studio...another missed opportunity in concert.

In the Evening - Studio

South Bound Saurez - Studio

Fool In the Rain - Studio

Carouselambra - Studio

All My Love - Live

I'm Gonna Crawl - Studio

Coda album and odds & sodds:

We're Gonna Groove - Live

Poor Tom - Studio

Walter's Walk - Studio

Ozone Baby - Studio

Darlene - Studio

Bonzo's Montreux -Studio

Wearing and Tearing - Studio

Baby Come On Home - Studio

Travelling Riverside Blues - Studio

Something Else - Live

Girl I Love She Got Long Wavy Hair - Studio

Sugar Mama - Studio

Jennings Farm Blues - Studio

Fixing to Die/That's All Right - Studio

Keys to the Highway/Trouble in Mind - Studio

10 Ribs & All/Carrot Pod - Studio

St. Tristan's Sword - Studio

Train Kept a Rolling - Live

White Summer - Live

As Long as I Have You - Live

For Your Love - Live

Edited by Strider

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:goodpost:

Thanks Strider, I was listening to 23 Mar Vancouver as I read your post! LOL. Was just trolling through my collection. I have noted the recommendations and will definitely give them all a go.

Thank You live is exceptional for the guitar Jimmy brings."

"Personally, if you really think Mike Millard's tapes sound poor then I think it may not be a problem of your 'bootleg ears' but shitty quality sources for your versions and/or a shitty stereo sound system. "

FLAC Winston LTTE version. I did listen today through my desk speakers (PC) which are Creative T40 series 2. They are bass heavy, but really great.

I just right now fired it up again with my sennheiser momentum 2.0's on. MUCH better. Night and day. But STILL - I like a REALLY clean soundboard. LTTE is not near what could be considered a studio release - unless I have indeed got shitty flacs. (doubt it)

So yeah, I was a bit 'over the top' if you will, with Eddie comment. :wacko:

 

Edited by rm2551

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4 hours ago, Strider said:

Since my concert experience only encompasses 1972-1977, there are a lot of Led Zeppelin songs I did not get to hear live. Here is my take on Led Zeppelin's catalogue, choosing either Studio or Live for each song.

 

Black Dog - Studio

 

In my mind, it seems you are the resident expert on Zeppelin live so I am always eager to listen to your takes on shows/songs. But there is this lingering curiosity as to why you prefer the studio version of "Black Dog." I'm sure its already obvious to you that the live versions from 71 come at you a little harder and faster than the studio cut... especially the live one from the 9.29.71 Osaka show which is my favorite. The live Black Dog also builds on the strength from Plant still able to hit those high notes with the confidence of a viking conqueror There is also a special treat from Bonzo when he executes those rapid fire bass drum accents during the "Oh baby, pretty baby" section. I can go on to what else Bonzo does but let me put it to you this way, the spotlight is on him during the song. Jonesy keeps things tight and it appears to me at times that Page feeds off of Bonzo which gives an indication on what goods Jimmy is bringing to the table that night with his ferocious riffing and the closing guitar solo. It also gets me every time when Plant does the "I've got a girl that loves me so... love me long sweet jelly roll" line. I don't know, maybe its just me but I can't help but to declare the live "Black Dog" winner over the studio cut.

 

 

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, Jimmy's Dragon Suit said:

In my mind, it seems you are the resident expert on Zeppelin live so I am always eager to listen to your takes on shows/songs. But there is this lingering curiosity as to why you prefer the studio version of "Black Dog." I'm sure its already obvious to you that the live versions from 71 come at you a little harder and faster than the studio cut... especially the live one from the 9.29.71 Osaka show which is my favorite. The live Black Dog also builds on the strength from Plant still able to hit those high notes with the confidence of a viking conqueror There is also a special treat from Bonzo when he executes those rapid fire bass drum accents during the "Oh baby, pretty baby" section. I can go on to what else Bonzo does but let me put it to you this way, the spotlight is on him during the song. Jonesy keeps things tight and it appears to me at times that Page feeds off of Bonzo which gives an indication on what goods Jimmy is bringing to the table that night with his ferocious riffing and the closing guitar solo. It also gets me every time when Plant does the "I've got a girl that loves me so... love me long sweet jelly roll" line. I don't know, maybe its just me but I can't help but to declare the live "Black Dog" winner over the studio cut.

 

 

 

 

 

I have to agree with Strider. For me, Plant's vocals are the star of the song, and for the most part, he always held back a bit. Notice how he'll sing the first half of a line (Hey, hey mama said the way you move) in a high register while singing the second half of the line (gonna make you sweat, gonna make you groove) in a lower register. The only time I've ever heard him sing all the high notes the same way as on the album is the very first live performance of the song: Belfast 1971. This is the only live version that I think can compete with the studio version. It is absolutely ferocious:

 

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8 hours ago, Strider said:

Since my concert experience only encompasses 1972-1977, there are a lot of Led Zeppelin songs I did not get to hear live. Here is my take on Led Zeppelin's catalogue, choosing either Studio or Live for each song.

The original eight studio albums and b-side:

Good Times Bad Times - Studio

Babe, I'm Gonna Leave You - Studio...the pretty acoustic guitars and the general production aura impresses me more than the live versions I've heard.

You Shook Me - Studio....again, it's the production and especially Jimmy's guitar tone that I love...live versions of this song tended to drag.

Dazed and Confused - Live...the first of the exploratory live epics...few sounds are as eerie and scary as Jimmy's bowed guitar bouncing around the arena.

Your Time Is Gonna Come - Studio

Black Mountainside - Live

Communication Breakdown - Live...heavier and faster than the studio version and the extra "It's Your Thing"-funk section is a bonus treat.

I Can't Quit You Babe - Live

How Many More Times - Live...killer end to the early shows.

Whole Lotta Love - Live...June 25, 1972 LA Forum...the energy that shot thru the crowd when they began playing "Whole Lotta Love" was electric...the theremin was otherworldly...the medleys mindboggling...by 1973 the Plant & Page theremin battles had become outer-space theatre.

What Is and What Should Never Be - Live

Lemon Song - Studio...the middle section with Jones' great bass and Plant's lemon squeezing was never pulled off in concert as convincing as the studio track...I also love hearing Jimmy's three guitar tracks intertwine during the solos...this is his first experiment with the concept of a "guitar army".

Thank You - Live...some of Jimmy's best solos were played on this song in concert. rm2551, besides Orlando '71 there are Thank Yous from March 7, 1970 Montreux and March 21, 1970 Vancouver in soundtrack quality. Also, September 4, 1970 LA Forum is worth a listen. Personally, if you really think Mike Millard's tapes sound poor then I think it may not be a problem of your 'bootleg ears' but shitty quality sources for your versions and/or a shitty stereo sound system.

Heartbreaker - Live

Living Loving Maid - Studio

Ramble On - Studio

Moby Dick - Live

Bring It on Home - Live

Immigrant Song - Live

Friends - Studio

Celebration Day - Live...no contest...in concert this song is a strutting, swaggering monster with a killer outro solo.

Since I've Been Loving You - Live...the studio is killer but live was pure heart-rending drama every night.

Out on the Tiles - Live...even though there are only a few live versions available, they are still my preferred way of listening to this song...the riff sounds much more amazing in concert.

Gallows Pole - Studio

Tangerine - Studio...the 1972 acoustic only versions sound incomplete...the 1975 Earls Court full-band ones are better but not quite up to par with the studio version.

That's the Way - Studio...practically a tie as I love the live versions too...but the Studio (and the alternate dulcimer mix) rank as one of the prettiest songs in the Led Zeppelin canon.

Bron-Yr-Aur Stomp - Live...the vibes are real, man.

Hats Off to Harper - Studio

Hey Hey What Can I Do - Studio

Black Dog - Studio

Rock and Roll - Live...mainly the raucous speed-punk versions of 1971, '72, '77 than the slower heavier ones of 1973-75.

Battle of Evermore - Studio...a no-brainer with Sandy Denny.

Stairway to Heaven - Live...another close one...every night was a journey.

Misty Mountain Hop - Studio...the vocals and guitar solo are more convincing on the studio track.

Four Sticks - Studio...I wish there was more than one live version to judge the song on...May 3, 1971 is one concert I wish I could time-travel back to in person...but the studio version is so perfect in its ethereal weirdness.

Going to California - Live...pure bliss.

When the Levee Breaks - Studio

The Song Remains the Same - Live

The Rain Song - Studio/Live....a virtual tie...I literally cannot choose between them...both are perfect in their way.

Over the Hills and Far Away - Live

The Crunge - Live...always a funky good time in 1975.

Dancing Days - Live

D'yer Mak'er - Studio

No Quarter - Live...just about every song on Houses of the Holy was better in concert than on record.

The Ocean - Live

Custard Pie - Studio

The Rover - Studio...still can't believe they never played this live in 1975 or 1977.

In My Time of Dying - Live...Bonham was so powerful on this...his hi-hat work was mesmerizing.

Houses of the Holy - Studio

Trampled Under Foot - Live...again, Bonzo's innate funkiness and playing around with the beat made the live versions irresistible...One Forum Under a Groove.

Kashmir - Live...if I had only the 1975 concerts to go by, maybe the studio version barely comes out ahead...but by 1977 they had perfected Kashmir into a colossal beast...it shook your foundations...it shook the Forum foundations...it shook Godzilla loose from the depths of his Pacific Ocean tomb.

In the Light - Studio

Bron-Yr-Aur - Studio/Live...another tie.

Down By the Seaside - Studio

Ten Years Gone - Live...another close call but Jimmy's great outro solos tips it in favour of live.

Night Flight - Studio

Wanton Song - Studio

Boogie With Stu - Studio

Black Country Woman - Studio...the live versions are missing Plant's harmonica.

Sick Again - Live

Achilles Last Stand - Studio/Live tie...another too close to call...the ultimate guitar army of the studio version vs. the balls-out rampaging energy of the live versions.

For Your Life - Studio

Royal Orleans - Studio...I bet this song could have been so fun in concert.

Nobody's Fault But Mine - Studio...Jimmy's tone is so snarling.

Candy Store Rock - Studio

Hots On For Nowhere - Studio

Tea For One - Studio...another missed opportunity in concert.

In the Evening - Studio

South Bound Saurez - Studio

Fool In the Rain - Studio

Carouselambra - Studio

All My Love - Live

I'm Gonna Crawl - Studio

Coda album and odds & sodds:

We're Gonna Groove - Live

Poor Tom - Studio

Walter's Walk - Studio

Ozone Baby - Studio

Darlene - Studio

Bonzo's Montreux -Studio

Wearing and Tearing - Studio

Baby Come On Home - Studio

Travelling Riverside Blues - Studio

Something Else - Live

Girl I Love She Got Long Wavy Hair - Studio

Sugar Mama - Studio

Jennings Farm Blues - Studio

Fixing to Die/That's All Right - Studio

Keys to the Highway/Trouble in Mind - Studio

10 Ribs & All/Carrot Pod - Studio

St. Tristan's Sword - Studio

Train Kept a Rolling - Live

White Summer - Live

As Long as I Have You - Live

For Your Love - Live

 

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12 hours ago, chillumpuffer said:

Are you still there Sean?

Sorry about that...a wayward thumb at the wrong time caused that snafu. As you can see I came back in full.

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9 hours ago, Jimmy's Dragon Suit said:

In my mind, it seems you are the resident expert on Zeppelin live so I am always eager to listen to your takes on shows/songs. But there is this lingering curiosity as to why you prefer the studio version of "Black Dog." I'm sure its already obvious to you that the live versions from 71 come at you a little harder and faster than the studio cut... especially the live one from the 9.29.71 Osaka show which is my favorite. The live Black Dog also builds on the strength from Plant still able to hit those high notes with the confidence of a viking conqueror There is also a special treat from Bonzo when he executes those rapid fire bass drum accents during the "Oh baby, pretty baby" section. I can go on to what else Bonzo does but let me put it to you this way, the spotlight is on him during the song. Jonesy keeps things tight and it appears to me at times that Page feeds off of Bonzo which gives an indication on what goods Jimmy is bringing to the table that night with his ferocious riffing and the closing guitar solo. It also gets me every time when Plant does the "I've got a girl that loves me so... love me long sweet jelly roll" line. I don't know, maybe its just me but I can't help but to declare the live "Black Dog" winner over the studio cut.

 

I'm uncomfortable being called the "resident expert" on anything. I appreciate that you think that well of me...I know what I know. But I would never say my word is the end all and be all of Led Zeppelin. Everyone has their personal take on the band.

Nutrocker and badgeholder and Cookie and The Rover and Sue Dounim (and plenty others) are all people with a wealth of knowledge about Led Zeppelin live shows. The Rover even saw them as early as 1970-71. 1971 was the last year where all four members were operating at peak health. Nobody was injured or debilitated by booze or drugs or strained vocal cords. They were young and having fun and on the top of their game.

As for "Black Dog", as with most of my feelings about Led Zeppelin, there's a sort of twisted, tortured logic that led me to my decision.

Like most grommets of the '70s, I first heard "Black Dog" via the studio version...whether on the radio or when buying Led Zeppelin IV. The sound of those fuzzed guitars and bass playing that monster riff in a call-and-response with Plant's horny howl, and the herky-jerky rhythm underpinning the song caught my attention immediately. It was a full-on sonic blast that said Led Zeppelin were here to rock your socks (and any other clothing) off.

Beyond the hard rock sexual swagger and roar of the song, I was intrigued by the math of the song. By the way Jimmy and Jones appeared to be playing one time signature and Bonham playing another. Jimmy and Jones were rushing ahead and Bonzo was saying "no no no...hold on fellas". It gave a delicious push-and-pull to the song. And every musician I talked to seemingly had their own idea of what time signature they were playing in.

The first time I heard "Black Dog" in concert at the 1972 Forum and Long Beach Arena shows. I had no complaints...well, except for the silly "Jelly Roll" lyric. It's not a hard song to remember lyrics to...it's no "Desolation Row"...and it always puzzled me how Plant could forget the simplest of lyrics. But not enough to distract from the power of those early performances.

Plant was still in fine shape vocally in 1972 and Jimmy was en fuego. So, to me, the song in concert still sounded close enough to the album version. Same with the bootleg versions I heard from 1971...the April 1 Paris Theatre broadcast and the 9.14 Berkeley vinyl boot.

In 1973, Page, Bonham and Jones were on fire but you could hear Plant wasn't at his peak power. He needed a lot of help from the echoplex to get thru the high notes. "Black Dog" wasn't bad in concert that year, but it did seem sluggish in comparison to 1972. It didn't help that the song was sandwiched in between two of my favourite songs to hear live: "Celebration Day" and "Over the Hills and Far Away". But the call-and-response part with the crowd helped energize the song and Page always ended it with a ripping solo.

It was 1975 that my feelings toward the song really began to change. It didn't thrill me as much...there were other songs I wanted to hear in 1975 over "Black Dog": "Celebration Day", "The Ocean", "The Rover", "Houses of the Holy", "Wanton Song", "When the Levee Breaks", "Four Sticks", "How Many More Times".

It didn't help that Plant's voice was even worse in 1975 than in 1973 and that Page's guitar was a little too clean in tone...not enough fuzz. It was loud, yes, but it lacked that buzz that the riff has on the album. Sometimes Jimmy would nail the solo and other times he would flub it or get lost.

But what really hurt the impact of "Black Dog" in 1975 was its placement in the encore. After the high-energy funk workout of "The Crunge" and Plant duelling with Page's theremin, the lumbering "Black Dog" seemed anticlimactic. Especially since every time they would play that intro riff to "Out On the Tiles", it just made me yearn to hear that song instead of "Black Dog".

In 1977, "Black Dog" was dropped from the set...at least in L.A. And aside from the July 24, 1979 Copenhagen show, none of the 1979-80 "Black Dog"s do anything for me.

So, other than a few 1971 thru 1973 performances, "Black Dog" is not a song that I look forward to when I listen to a live show. 

But, because I don't listen to the studio albums often, Led Zeppelin IV isn't as overplayed to me as it might be to someone else. Therefore, when I do play it, hearing Jimmy warm up the amps at the beginning still thrills me and gives me a sense of anticipation for what's to come. Those guitars still buzz in my head like a swarm of bees.

That is why I chose Studio over Live for "Black Dog".

Edited by Strider

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I guess you mean songs  that the band would stretch out but not lose the integrity of the song -

 

No quarter pre 1977 ( except 79 Copenhagen ); 1977 were way too long 

Sick Again especially 1977 versions in LA 

Heartbreaker  - there were times especially in 1970 Pure Blues boot when Percy just adds some slight rephrasing hesitation and power to his vocals

Rain Song- HOTH can sound sterile in my opinion on vinyl. 

Song Remains The Same - pre 1975 for Planty - 1975 - 79 for Page heavier tone and just overall bottom of the sound live.

The Ocean - 73 versions the best especially on SRTS

Stairway - tricky - everything pre 1977.  The 1975 versions were Jimmy's best probably making up for Plant in poor voice. The solos were lyrical , well paced , and Jonsey had that foot going adding the root chord bottom sound you can hear on the audience recordings ( listen to Montreal ). The 1973 versions , especially in LA Three Days After have Robert in unbelievable high voice ( unless it was pitched post recording ). I thought Jimmy could be sloppy at times in the 1973 American tour getting caught on where he wanted to go in the solo. Sometimes he gets ahead of himself due to nerves or just plain old  carelessness. 

1977 STH was getting tired 

1979- Copenhagen only 

The overall best  versions of the song were without even more conversion - 1971 Tour especially Japan, Orlando and Canadian shows. That's when all cylinders were firing ( as Cameron Crowe would elude to). Robert in full voice , rhythm section hanging tight with Jimmys exploration of the solo. 

All acoustic stuff was better live pre 1977. Plant was very nasal during the acoustic sets American tour.  The 5/24 EC shows were Zep at its warmest most personal during the acoustic sets. 

The best I have ever heard were the 1971 Japan with Bonham abandoning Tangerine. Plant says "fuck You mate !" to him and Page improvises a great acoustic solo. On the audience recording of Tangerine Plant is in the clearest voice you will ever hear on a boot. It's like he's standing next to you. 

My dream song live - Carouselambra. Of course with scaled down keyboards and more Jimmy. 

 

Sorry to carry on on so much....

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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18 hours ago, Strider said:

But, because I don't listen to the studio albums often, Led Zeppelin IV isn't as overplayed to me as it might be to someone else. Therefore, when I do play it, hearing Jimmy warm up the amps at the beginning still thrills me and gives me a sense of anticipation for what's to come. Those guitars still buzz in my head like a swarm of bees.

That is why I chose Studio over Live for "Black Dog".

Yep! That intro is menacing. Also, the epic guitar solo and remarkable tone and execution kills me every damn time. Then there's that slow outro fade where Page doubles back into the opening run of solo as it fades away.... Love the way you can hear Bonzo clicking his sticks together after every one of Plants lines in verses as a cue to launch into BD's tricky odd timing. We also have Plant delivering his most salacious pussy crazed performance at his vocal peak and he just takes it way beyond where any singer had before, or since. They were so fucking good at this point it was sinful. :D 

 

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5 hours ago, blindwillie127 said:

Yep! That intro is menacing. Also, the epic guitar solo and remarkable tone and execution kills me every damn time. Then there's that slow outro fade where Page doubles back into the opening run of solo as it fades away.... Love the way you can hear Bonzo clicking his sticks together after every one of Plants lines in verses as a cue to launch into BD's tricky odd timing. We also have Plant delivering his most salacious pussy crazed performance at his vocal peak and he just takes it way beyond where any singer had before, or since. They were so fucking good at this point it was sinful. :D 

 

Another small part about "Black Dog" that contributes to my preferring the studio version to the concert version is the feedback during the verses. On the album I love how Jimmy lets the guitar feedback carry on through Plant's vocals during the verse. In concert, Jimmy usually silenced his guitar during that part.

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I was driving somewhere just before and the studio version of Whole Lotta Love came on.  I was by myself, so I really jacked the volume up.  I hadn't really listened to the studio version in awhile (even when its on radio, I am so use to hearing it, I paid no mind to it).  I do love most of the live version of the song and the improv that usually accompanies it.  But after hearing the studio version today, I have to go with WLL studio.  With headphones on, the recording is so heavy, so menacing.  It's captured so perfectly.  One of the great things about Zep is that sometimes they do enough different with a live version of a song that it almost feels like another song.  Can't lose either way, but WLL studio, today, is for me.

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