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gibsonfan159

Nitpicking Page (The quest for the best performance of 1975)

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25 minutes ago, gibsonfan159 said:

Nitpicking Page 5/24/1975 (The Earl's Court Tapes Vol IV)

I'm using a remaster of the Watch Tower boot Zephead315 sent me (which sounds great). It has the same time stamps as the EC Tapes boot. 

Rock And Roll- Plant sounding pretty rough. Good energy though. Solo- I think "raunchy" is a good way to describe Page's lead playing that is sloppy in a good way. A little rough on the ending, but still a fairly good solo. "B+".

Sick Again- Good energetic vibe and Plant has warmed up quickly. First solo- Struggling pretty badly. 2:58, Jimmy's barely hanging on here. Outro solo- 4:25 starts a good, articulate run, which is immediately followed by some struggles. 4:55 goes off the track a little. Page brings this down to a "B".

OTHAFA- Cholera, sleeping sickness, Plant always has to cover for Jimmy lol. Perfect intro. 1:32, funny Plant yodel. 1:53, easy Robert. Solo- Phrasing is a little off at the start then finally tightens up some. 4:08, decent run. 4:55, turkey gobbling supreme. Not too bad, but probably the worst solo of the run so far. I really hate how Page always ends the song with that awkward finger slide."B".

IMTOD- Smokin' intro. 3:45, Page disappears. Reappears at 4:11. First solo- Excellent phrasing on this one with smooth transitions. Second solo- A little more basic, but not bad. Jimmy's rhythm work wasn't perfect, but still a great version. "A".

TSRTS- Good, speedy intro. The way it should be. First solo- Starts off good but loses some articulation on the fingerpicked part. A little smoother with a great finish on the pull offs. "B+".

The Rain Song- Everything sounding great on this, with the mello sitting just right in the mix. Rock section- "Now listen!" Very good emotion from Plant. Superb version, "A+".

Kashmir- Great first half. 6:30, flub. Good exit. "A".

No Quarter- 2:20, "The snow fulls hawrd". Nitpicking Jones- A little slow moving, but hauntingly beautiful. Solo- Page gets a good groove going. He's not doing anything mindblowing, but he's playing very solid all the way through. A good jam section from the three. 19:39, Page does an excellent descending run here that is drowned out by Rob's ad libs. An extremely rock solid version, though I wouldn't pit it against 5/18. "A".

Tangerine- Finally some bass coming through. Solo- Nailed it. The best so far. Perfect ending. "A+".

GTC- Audio switches to audience recording. 1:54, Plant tests his limit. Sounds like a 71 version. Very nice. "A".

That's The Way- Mandolin comes through nicely and Plant is lively, telling a story with the lyrics. Excellent mando on the outro with Plant nailing the last note. Plus a jab at Neil Young. "A+".

Bronyaur Stomp- Guitar is low in the mix. "There's no companion for a blue-eyed merle". Deducting points for lyrical flub. Good version overall. "A".

Trampled Underfoot- 2:58, Plant squeak. Solo- Jones is inaudible. Page comes in with some fiery riffs. He's keeping a good flow and not forcing anything. Plant throws in some nice Gallows Pole phrases. Very nice, "A".

Moby Dick- Not quite as dynamic as some others.

Dazed And Confused- First workout- Page doesn't get a great flow going and it sounds a little forced. Woodstock- Some good noodling before going into the main motif. 10:25, these wah riffs sound a little too erratic. Bow section- A little boring. Second workout- Phrasing is pretty straightforward. 20:44, not great articulation. 22:53, unique riff. 26:06, Page has used that descending run at least fifteen times now. Mars- Doesn't have much impact. 26:53, flub.  27:49, Page builds up to the climax then misses it. Page's finale noodling is decent. Not a terrible version, but arguably subpar. Plant sounds lazy and Bonham is half asleep. "B".

Stairway To Heaven- Good first half. Solo- Page starts out more subtly on this one instead of overdoing it. 8:27, nice run. 8:53, hiccup. A few hesitant licks, but a very good solo. 10:20, Plant yodel. A fairly good version, "B+".

WLL- Good energy. Page throws in some good funk riffs. Theremin- Plant comes alive with a good vocal duel as Jones shreds his bass. "Love Light" at the end. I suppose this is "A+" for an experimental track.

Black Dog- The tempo seems to be dragging some, which doesn't sound good for an encore. Solo- Pretty rough articulation though Page is playing with some fire and the phrasing is good. Unique ending with Bonzo being dramatic. "A".

Final assessment- Page's technicality has slowly declined as these shows have went on, but he's still better than most of 75. A perfect Rain Song, Solid Kashmir, haunting No Quarter, lively acoustic section, solid Trampled Underfoot, and textbook Stairway are the highlights. Not a bad show at all. Throw that Dazed out the window though.

Glad to hear you enjoyed my remaster! I tried to make the music sound more lively and have Page's guitar have more "aggressiveness" to it and I think I did a pretty good job...if I do say so myself! :lol:

I mostly agree with your analysis above. Always thought this was the weakest Earls Court show by a fair margin and never understood those who consider it to be the best of the run (or one of the best of '75 for that matter). I'm particularly in agreement with you on No Quarter. Solid, but nothing on that version really blows me away. The 18th version smokes it.

The only real surprise to me was how you didn't like Dazed. This is actually one of the few versions from '75 that, imho at least, doesn't drag at any point. It's pretty tight and focused for the time period. Then again, I may be biased because it was actually the first live version of Dazed I ever saw or heard, even before TSRTS. I caught the footage on Youtube, which was split into four parts, and I was quite mesmerized by it. Page's bow solo was pretty eerie and spooky but in the best way. I don't know, maybe I just have nostalgia for it. You never forget your first love!

What do you plan on doing after the last Earls Court show?

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9 minutes ago, ZepHead315 said:

The only real surprise to me was how you didn't like Dazed. This is actually one of the few versions from '75 that, imho at least, doesn't drag at any point. It's pretty tight and focused for the time period. Then again, I may be biased because it was actually the first live version of Dazed I ever saw or heard, even before TSRTS. I caught the footage on Youtube, which was split into four parts, and I was quite mesmerized by it. Page's bow solo was pretty eerie and spooky but in the best way. I don't know, maybe I just have nostalgia for it. You never forget your first love!

What do you plan on doing after the last Earls Court show?

That Dazed, to me at least, sounded like they were really tired of doing it. Add the fact that Page really wasn't "on" for this one like he was some others, his second solo lacked energy. He was much more fluid on the first two. I guess that's opinion though.

I really wanna do 7/17/77 to see if it's as bad as I remember. I downloaded the SB/Audience matrix.

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6 minutes ago, gibsonfan159 said:

That Dazed, to me at least, sounded like they were really tired of doing it. Add the fact that Page really wasn't "on" for this one like he was some others, his second solo lacked energy. He was much more fluid on the first two. I guess that's opinion though.

I really wanna do 7/17/77 to see if it's as bad as I remember. I downloaded the SB/Audience matrix.

Is that the Slumpymatrix? If so, I'd actually say you'd be better off without it. They did a very sloppy job, and the two sources go out of sync quite a bit. If you're sticking to the soundboard (technically it's a video soundtrack, but it sounds just like a 77 soundboard), I'd recommend Godfather's "Conquering Kingdome". Personally, I prefer the audience recording. It's good enough to hear the instruments clearly, and it preserves the atmosphere and elation of the crowd. I have the JEMS transfer of the "Bill B" source and it sounds pretty good, on the level of the 4/28 Cleveland show. You should be able to find either one on Guitars101. If you can't find them, just PM me.

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3 hours ago, ZepHead315 said:

Glad to hear you enjoyed my remaster! I tried to make the music sound more lively and have Page's guitar have more "aggressiveness" to it and I think I did a pretty good job...if I do say so myself! :lol:

I mostly agree with your analysis above. Always thought this was the weakest Earls Court show by a fair margin and never understood those who consider it to be the best of the run (or one of the best of '75 for that matter). I'm particularly in agreement with you on No Quarter. Solid, but nothing on that version really blows me away. The 18th version smokes it.

The only real surprise to me was how you didn't like Dazed. This is actually one of the few versions from '75 that, imho at least, doesn't drag at any point. It's pretty tight and focused for the time period. Then again, I may be biased because it was actually the first live version of Dazed I ever saw or heard, even before TSRTS. I caught the footage on Youtube, which was split into four parts, and I was quite mesmerized by it. Page's bow solo was pretty eerie and spooky but in the best way. I don't know, maybe I just have nostalgia for it. You never forget your first love!

What do you plan on doing after the last Earls Court show?

I, too, am surprised at his take on Dazed, as it's always been one of my favourite versions.  But, like you, it was my first exposure to live Dazed (and live Zepp, for that matter!), via that four-part YouTube video...God bless the guy who uploaded that--started me down the ol' rabbit's hole!

To me, Bonham certainly sounds half-asleep during the first half of the show, but I never would've said that about Dazed.

Edited by Bonzo_fan

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After I do the last one I'll go through and make a "best of" in which I usually listen to each track again and compare them. That way I'll know if I was mistaken in my judgement or not. Sometimes if I'm not feeling it that day I tend to miss the general presence of a song. But strangely, I really liked the TUF on that one, a song I usually never have a good feel for.

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Interesting review.

 

^TUF from the 24 is my all time favorite performance of it. 

Edited by paplbojo

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Gibsonfan159, how about at the end of a tour review you to publish your "best of" compilation? Also a "B - best of" comprising your No.2 picks.

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14 minutes ago, rm2551 said:

Gibsonfan159, how about at the end of a tour review you to publish your "best of" compilation? Also a "B - best of" comprising your No.2 picks.

Hey now, I'm doing these nitpicks so you can pick your own lol. But honestly, Zephead315 is the go-to for anything live. If you visit the Reddit Zep page /r/ledzeppelin/ he's already done a bunch of "Best of" lists.

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1 hour ago, gibsonfan159 said:

Hey now, I'm doing these nitpicks so you can pick your own lol. But honestly, Zephead315 is the go-to for anything live. If you visit the Reddit Zep page /r/ledzeppelin/ he's already done a bunch of "Best of" lists.

Lol I wouldn't go that far. For one, sometimes it's been a while since I listened to the shows when I do those compilations. For example, I recently put together a "best of Earls Court" compilation, and I had completely forgotten about Page disappearing at the end of Bron-Y-Aur Stomp on the 18th, or the somewhat sloppy Kashmir on the 18th. I'm going based off of memory and sometimes my memory of a show as a whole makes me biased and put in more songs from that performance than they deserve. I certainly haven't gone through them in as much detail as you have! :lol:

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3 hours ago, gibsonfan159 said:

Hey now, I'm doing these nitpicks so you can pick your own lol. But honestly, Zephead315 is the go-to for anything live. If you visit the Reddit Zep page /r/ledzeppelin/ he's already done a bunch of "Best of" lists.

fair enough, and your reviews are a great read.

Cheers.

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