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irondirigible

Are there any songs that you feel just don't work when played live?

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To be completely honest, I feel that Stairway To Heaven always loses something when its live.  Now, many great songs do lose something from the studio when played live, but what's lost is replaced by something novel, great feeling and intensity, etc.  But I find that whenever I hear Stairway live, it loses something and there is nothing there in its place.  No so with Whole Lotta Love, Dazed & Confused, Ten Years Gone, Black Dog, and many more.  But Stairway... not sure why...

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I never felt they quite nailed What Is and What Should Never Be live. They always seemed to play it a little too fast. The song works better with a slower tempo imho.

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Posted (edited)

Good question; usually it's what live song didn't outdo the studio (Sick Again). At any rate, looking over the albums, maybe the live Dazed and Confused was a bit bloated at times, but some good jams, anyway (San Francisco). Maybe The Ocean, but I have not heard enough live ones.

 

TSRTS could never be outdone, although on many nights, those '77 versions had a great snap to 'em. The rest I can think of; OTHAFA, and maybe For Your Life might qualify--I just felt that one live one at O2 arena really didn't match Presence at all. I don't know if something was wrong with the mix, but if you can't hear Jonesy's thump it really lacks something....

Edited by paul carruthers

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agree on both Stairway and What Is and What Should Never Be

however, with Stairway, its because the studio rendition is so immaculate with that guitar solo. Also, Plant could very rarely do the final verse justice after 1973.

For What is, the studio version to me just has a "vibe" none of the live renditions have 

All IMHO

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Dancing days always sounded thin, like it needed a second guitar, and was a disappointment.

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10 hours ago, paul carruthers said:

The rest I can think of; OTHAFA, and maybe For Your Life might qualify--I just felt that one live one at O2 arena really didn't match Presence at all. I don't know if something was wrong with the mix, but if you can't hear Jonesy's thump it really lacks something....

I agree with For Your Life mostly because Page's guitar solo on the studio cut is one of his best(in my opinion) and he could not replicate it live. But I still love the O2 attempt.

I have always loved Over the Hills live and most of the live versions I've heard (3/4/75 my favorite) has always blown away the studio version even if Plant's voice could never reach those high notes ever again which I know turns alot of people off.

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8 hours ago, Boleskinner said:

Dancing days always sounded thin, like it needed a second guitar, and was a disappointment.

Totally agreed! For example just think of Vienna 73, such a rugged, horrible version- guitar slightly out of tune, Robert`s damaged voice didn`t help either- what a desaster!

Given Robert`s weak voice at the time, they should have included No Quarter in the Europe 73 setlist instead.

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Rock and Roll - after 1972.  It slowed down and lost its punch, and of course Plant could no longer sing it.

Battle of Evermore - an obvious choice.  Song does not really work without the incomparable Sandy Denny.  Page and Jones did a good job on the guitar and mandolin, and Jones made an heroic attempt on the vocals, but it could never live up to the original.  The version on UnLedded is great.

I might say Over the Hills after 1972 due to Plant's voice, but the instrumentation kept getting better and better and better in 73 - 75, with some great versions in 1977 as well.   I still love those versions - they are just different without the 1972 Plant.   

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Dancing Days and Misty Mountain were way too repetitive and had no good solo sections to make a good impression live.

Battle Of Evermore. just not the same without Sandy and John's percussion never really fit. Then you have Jones singing.

Gallows Pole. Though the two versions they did were very unstructured, I think if they'd practiced it more live it could've been great.

 

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Agree w/Dancing Days, mainly because it was somewhat pointless, they almost never improvised anything (the 1st London '72 show being an exception), so it was pretty much the same version every night.  At least with MMH on the Euro tour '73, Page would mix things up a bit during the guitar solo (which for some reason he stopped doing on the American tour).

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On ‎5‎/‎16‎/‎2018 at 2:36 AM, irondirigible said:

To be completely honest, I feel that Stairway To Heaven always loses something when its live.  Now, many great songs do lose something from the studio when played live, but what's lost is replaced by something novel, great feeling and intensity, etc.  But I find that whenever I hear Stairway live, it loses something and there is nothing there in its place.  No so with Whole Lotta Love, Dazed & Confused, Ten Years Gone, Black Dog, and many more.  But Stairway... not sure why...

It's the bass.

JPJ's bass playing on the studio version is phenomenal & you can't recreate that with bass pedals.

Having said that, I love the live versions from '71 to '75, not so keen on the later attempts.

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When the Levee Breaks.  I understand why they abandoned playing it in 75 just didn’t work 

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3 hours ago, bluecongo said:

When the Levee Breaks.  I understand why they abandoned playing it in 75 just didn’t work 

Too bad they simply did not try the version of the song on Coda as that could have easily worked live. Plus, what a showcase for Jones! That version has some incredible bass from Jones.

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3 minutes ago, IpMan said:

Too bad they simply did not try the version of the song on Coda 

Am I missing something?

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4 minutes ago, gibsonfan159 said:

Am I missing something?

This

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18 minutes ago, IpMan said:

This

I thought this was on the IV companion? Or maybe that was an alternative mix version. Gotcha.

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4 hours ago, Slowfoot said:

Achilles last stand - needed several more guitars to hit the heights of the studio version.

For me, the faster tempo and overall energy (especially from Bonham if it was a night where he was "on") make up for only having the one guitar.

I agree with those who have said "The Battle Of Evermore". 

I will also nominate "Ten Years Gone".  I love the song, and like a lot about the live versions, but always find myself missing the bass a lot.  I'm not sure if having Jones play an acoustic guitar on it was the most effective thing they could've had him doing for it.

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13 minutes ago, Bonzo_fan said:

 

I will also nominate "Ten Years Gone".  I love the song, and like a lot about the live versions, but always find myself missing the bass a lot.  I'm not sure if having Jones play an acoustic guitar on it was the most effective thing they could've had him doing for it.

Although I do enjoy some live versions more than the studio version, I'll meet you in the middle. Name one live version where Jones'guitar actually accented the song. And why couldn't Page play the damn song without Jones playing acoustic?

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2 minutes ago, gibsonfan159 said:

Although I do enjoy some live versions more than the studio version, I'll meet you in the middle. Name one live version where Jones'guitar actually accented the song. And why couldn't Page play the damn song without Jones playing acoustic?

Exactly!  Although maybe it was for the best--we were spared hearing Jones play the Alembic on it!

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1 minute ago, Bonzo_fan said:

Exactly!  Although maybe it was for the best--we were spared hearing Jones play the Alembic on it!

Now that you mention it- "Uh, Jonesy, we're gonna need to build you a three necked guitar to play this song. It's the only way."

Band- "Phew. Bullet dodged".

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2 minutes ago, gibsonfan159 said:

Now that you mention it- "Uh, Jonesy, we're gonna need to build you a three necked guitar to play this song. It's the only way."

Band- "Phew. Bullet dodged".

😂

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