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EzyEric

1975 Soundboards - The Best Sound?

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Im curious as to why the good number of 1975 soundboards out there have the best sound. The only other soundboards I can think of that sound this good are perhaps Southhampton, but thats borderline official release as I heard that was remastered for potential show before HTWWW was chosen.

FYI, Southampton was a multi-track recording by the band, not a soundboard made by a bootlegger.

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...Wow, I must be one of the few people (if there are any others, lol) who actually prefer the 1975 tour. :(

(After all, Plant's voice doesn't sound anywhere near as...different, to say the least...as anything post-1980...)

Edited by Melcórë

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The 75 SBs are very clean but Im not much of a fan of them. I prefer a good 75 AUD source to a SB which makes me a weirdo. I know I am very much in the minority here but to me, the 75 boards have Plants vocals way too high in the mix which is NOT a good thing and Jimmy's guitar with that weak tone is too high as well. Bonzos drums sound much better in 75 AUD recordings than they do on the SBs. They are heard more clearly on a soundboard source but they really lack the power you feel while listening to him drum on a good audience recording.

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Curious that the only official release of any 75 material is Earls Court

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Curious that the only official release of any 75 material is Earls Court

Those are the only gigs from 1975 that were professionally recorded. And even as good as the US 75 soundboards are, in comparison, they would never fly as official releases. Especially when you consider how much work Page and his engineers put into remastering the EC stuff for the DVD that came out in 2003. And those were from multi-tracks. With the 2-track board tapes we have from the US tour, there is none of the same flexibility in being able to master them.

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Those are the only gigs from 1975 that were professionally recorded. And even as good as the US 75 soundboards are, in comparison, they would never fly as official releases. Especially when you consider how much work Page and his engineers put into remastering the EC stuff for the DVD that came out in 2003. And those were from multi-tracks. With the 2-track board tapes we have from the US tour, there is none of the same flexibility in being able to master them.

I don't mean to be argumentative for argument's sake, but....

Some of those 1975 soundboards sound a lot better than the TSRTS soundtrack, and a LOT better than BBC Sessions. "Days Confused" 3-5-75, for example. They are very worthy of a little touch-up and an eventual release.

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I don't mean to be argumentative for argument's sake, but....

Some of those 1975 soundboards sound a lot better than the TSRTS soundtrack, and a LOT better than BBC Sessions. "Days Confused" 3-5-75, for example. They are very worthy of a little touch-up and an eventual release.

I know what you mean. But consider that the difference between the 73 soundboards and the 75 boards has mainly to do with the fact that the 1975 Showco setup was vastly more sophisticated than the 1973 Showco setup, and obviously the 1969 and 1971 BBC setups as well.

So, running a simple two-track cassette off of the board on a system that nice is going to yield a very nice sounding tape. But remember that the 75 boards sound excellent for what they are, but limited in what one can do with them since you've got a mix that is set in stone, and not changeable save for some drastic EQ re-working. But even then, in comparison to some crazy 5.1 ultra-high fidelity mix off of proper multi-tracks there would be a world of difference.

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Uh, OK. :blink:

Yes, Robert's voice was not stellar during parts of 75. However, parts of 73 were not great either and if that is your criteria then by the Tour Over Europe you must have stopped listening all together. That was the worst for Robert, by far.

I love the 75 shows/soundboards. The sound is fantastic and the vibe at the shows is purely comical. They give some of the best examples of why Zep was always about the original 4 and how they could never continue after Bonzo passed. The humor and comradery on stage, especially between Robert and Bonzo, was tremendous.

In the movie, the comraderie is always between John and John. Plus, Oh how I wish I could hear Dazed and Confused from the soundtrack without the vocals which are overpowering the rest of the band, plus the other 3 parts are extremely in sync.... hopes for a release of such one day.... hint, hint

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...Wow, I must be one of the few people (if there are any others, lol) who actually prefer the 1975 tour. :(

(After all, Plant's voice doesn't sound anywhere near as...different, to say the least...as anything post-1980...)

Im with you on this Melc!!!

75 was jam packed with some of Zeps finest moments imo, and as for Robert, i prefer his singing to the pre 73 shows, much more maturity.

Oh for a soundboard of Cleveland 24.1.75, or at least a better audience recording!

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75 was jam packed with some of Zeps finest moments imo, and as for Robert, i prefer his singing to the pre 73 shows, much more maturity.

Seriously?

Robert singing with less range, less power, a crackling voice, and off key singing is preferred to you than the earlier Plant? That dwindling is called maturity ? :huh:

Wow, to each their own, that's for sure. I still like his later voice, but I believe it's an adjustment to compromise and and far less versatile than his youth, uhh...immaturity.

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I don't mean to be argumentative for argument's sake, but....

Some of those 1975 soundboards sound a lot better than the TSRTS soundtrack, and a LOT better than BBC Sessions. "Days Confused" 3-5-75, for example. They are very worthy of a little touch-up and an eventual release.

That particular show has amazing sound. It happens to be a good show as well.

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The 1975 board tapes do sound amazing, but they are not multitrack tapes (as has been said). They were recorded most likely to 1/4 inch reels at a much higher tape speed than a typical cassette tape deck (as Jimmy used on the 1977 tour - a Nakamichi deck) which will result in superior quality. In addition, it is widely speculated that these board tapes were recorded by Showco employees, possibly without the band's consent!

The Southampton 1973 tape is simply a very crude, and quick 2 track mixdown from the multitrack tapes - it is not a soundboard tape and if mixed properly, would sound as good as an official release.

The Flying Circus show is indeed great sound, but it cannot be mixed. So JPJ bass on Sick Again when it gets a lot louder is not going to change. To prove it's a board tape, listen to the audience recording of that night - you can hear the bass get much louder in the Garden - that's the FOH mixing board moving the fader up on the bass track (which was being recorded in real time to a 1/4 inch reel that we all have now own). Hope this helps.

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Could someone please tell me what exactly is a soundboard.

I love how you trash the tour and then ask what we're even talking about... :blink:

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I was just commenting on your opinion of 75 being their worst tour. Robert wasn't at his peak, quite far from it at times actually.

77 had some great Plant shows, vocally, and 79 he was better, agreed. But 80 was terrible for him, and they were only on tour for less than a month. I don't see how you could say that Robert's voice was better on the 80 tour than 75.

I am just respectfully disagreeing with you that 75 was their worst.

Peace.

I've always felt his voice in 1980 was stronger, in general, than it had been in 1977...huh...

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As far as the 75 performances go there were some poor ones very early in the tour but what turns me off most of the first leg is that they just didnt see very inspired, the playing is reasonabley professional and I'm sure the audience had fun but that spark of energy from earlier years didnt seem to be there much. Things definately changed during the second leg though with tracks like NQ, DAC, TU, WLL etc bringing back more of the "could go anywhere" improvisation and generally the energy levels increasing.

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I agree 1975 isn't Plant's best year, but I feel like he does his best to compensate for his vocal limitations during february by doing his best not to stray away from his current vocal comfort zone. 

I could never call 1975 their worst year though, mostly for three main reasons;

1. Jimmy's Sick Guitar Tone (don't get me wrong his playing is still quite sloppy, but he sounds Amazing on "Sick Again", "Over The Hills and Far Away", "In My Time Of Dying", "Kashmir" and "Trampled Underfoot", and this was before he really got strung out during concerts like the 1977 tour)

2. Bonzo's Drumming (I know a lot of people say 1977 is his better year, but no pun intended, I still have yet to hear him 'miss a beat' and I've listened to half the 1975 soundboards. His rhythm is tight and these are some of the most impressive Moby Dicks I've heard so far (though my favourite version is still Osaka 1971-09-29), though I still have yet to really sink my teeth in to the 'Over The Tops' of 1977, so maybe my opinion will change once I get there)

3. The Long Jams (some people may call them indulgent, but I personally think that they do a great job with these long song extensions, not quite as impressive as the medleys from 1969 - 1973, but they go to some pretty inventive places with these jams)

I do agree that January and February are relatively weak (not bad, just lacking compared to their older concerts due to Robert's vocal limitations and Jimmy's bum finger) but I think March 1975 is Amazing. The first 1975 boot I ever downloaded was "Snow Jobs" and it didn't just exceed my expectations, it blew my mind. 

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29 minutes ago, Bags_Groove said:

I agree 1975 isn't Plant's best year, but I feel like he does his best to compensate for his vocal limitations during february by doing his best not to stray away from his current vocal comfort zone. 

I could never call 1975 their worst year though, mostly for three main reasons;

1. Jimmy's Sick Guitar Tone (don't get me wrong his playing is still quite sloppy, but he sounds Amazing on "Sick Again", "Over The Hills and Far Away", "In My Time Of Dying", "Kashmir" and "Trampled Underfoot", and this was before he really got strung out during concerts like the 1977 tour)

2. Bonzo's Drumming (I know a lot of people say 1977 is his better year, but no pun intended, I still have yet to hear him 'miss a beat' and I've listened to half the 1975 soundboards. His rhythm is tight and these are some of the most impressive Moby Dicks I've heard so far (though my favourite version is still Osaka 1971-09-29), though I still have yet to really sink my teeth in to the 'Over The Tops' of 1977, so maybe my opinion will change once I get there)

3. The Long Jams (some people may call them indulgent, but I personally think that they do a great job with these long song extensions, not quite as impressive as the medleys from 1969 - 1973, but they go to some pretty inventive places with these jams)

I do agree that January and February are relatively weak (not bad, just lacking compared to their older concerts due to Robert's vocal limitations and Jimmy's bum finger) but I think March 1975 is Amazing. The first 1975 boot I ever downloaded was "Snow Jobs" and it didn't just exceed my expectations, it blew my mind. 

Nice post.

Bonzo's playing during the Fort Worth show on 3/3/75 is some of his best, tightest playing.  He was/is the best ever, so this shouldn't surprise me, but every time I listen to this FW show my jaw hits the floor.  Just amazing listening to that guy play.  OTHAFA is the epitome of tight but loose playing.  And his performance on TSRTS is just ridiculous.  Moby Dick isn't as crazy as some of his earlier versions, but the technicality of it is mind blowing.

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I'm going to preface this by saying that I haven't heard a TON of 75 shows, so bear with me.

The problems I have with 1975 shows, at least from what I've heard, is the following:

1. Stale setlists. This was probably the least exciting setlist Zeppelin ever did. If you look at the typical setlist for a 75 show, it's all standard stuff that you would expect them to play for that era. It's barely an upgrade from the 73 American tour. And the pacing is just off, especially for the second half. I mean come on, a 20-30 minute Moby Dick followed by a 40 minute Dazed and Confused? :zzz: IIRC, literally the only thing they'd change would be the encores, at least for the American shows. Maybe add Communication Breakdown, or Heartbreaker. I know it was the same deal with the 73 tour, but that setlist felt tighter and just worked better IMO. Even the 77 tour had more variance (substituting IMTOD for OTHAFA, changing Trampled Under Foot from an encore to a main part of the setlist and even sometimes putting it directly after the acoustic set, sometimes including Black Dog, sometimes including Dancing Days in the acoustic set).

2. Robert's voice, which has been pretty well covered here so I won't say anything else.

3. Jimmy's tone. I really dislike how his guitar sounds on this tour. As others have pointed out, too clean, hardly any "crunch".

4. The band in general, especially Jimmy and Robert, were a shadow of their 1973 selves. A perfect example of this is the versions of Dazed and Confused from this tour. With the exception of 3/21/75, I haven't heard a single version yet that matched up to the versions from 1973 and earlier. On the earlier tours, it was played with a fury and speed that would just blow you away. Even though it got to 30 minutes, it rarely felt like it. By the time the 75 tour rolled around, the song had already evolved to its complete form. The band did not introduce any new sections for the song (save for the outro). As such, there's a feeling of "going through the motions". Which would be fine...if the band still played as well as they did two years earlier. Unfortunately, Jimmy in particular is clearly not as fluid as he was. Often times, the song is played at a slow, lumbering pace, like a huge monster walking through molasses. The only sections of this song that were consistently good on the 75 tour were the San Francisco/Woodstock section (here the slow pace actually helps, and sounds more eerie and hypnotic than in 73) and the outro. Give me an earlier version any day over the 75 versions.

I don't think it's their worst live year ever (I'd vote for 1980. Sorry guys, it just doesn't do anything for me), but it's far from their best IMO. I really think if they dropped Dazed, shortened the drum solo a bit, and added a few more songs (like what happened for the January shows), it would work better. As it stands, I rarely listen to a 75 show. I really have to be in the mood for it. It just feels like a chore with the exception of the truly great shows (3/12 and 3/21 come to mind).

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4 hours ago, ZepHead315 said:

I'm going to preface this by saying that I haven't heard a TON of 75 shows, so bear with me.

The problems I have with 1975 shows, at least from what I've heard, is the following:

1. Stale setlists. This was probably the least exciting setlist Zeppelin ever did. If you look at the typical setlist for a 75 show, it's all standard stuff that you would expect them to play for that era. It's barely an upgrade from the 73 American tour. And the pacing is just off, especially for the second half. I mean come on, a 20-30 minute Moby Dick followed by a 40 minute Dazed and Confused? :zzz: IIRC, literally the only thing they'd change would be the encores, at least for the American shows. Maybe add Communication Breakdown, or Heartbreaker. I know it was the same deal with the 73 tour, but that setlist felt tighter and just worked better IMO. Even the 77 tour had more variance (substituting IMTOD for OTHAFA, changing Trampled Under Foot from an encore to a main part of the setlist and even sometimes putting it directly after the acoustic set, sometimes including Black Dog, sometimes including Dancing Days in the acoustic set).

2. Robert's voice, which has been pretty well covered here so I won't say anything else.

3. Jimmy's tone. I really dislike how his guitar sounds on this tour. As others have pointed out, too clean, hardly any "crunch".

4. The band in general, especially Jimmy and Robert, were a shadow of their 1973 selves. A perfect example of this is the versions of Dazed and Confused from this tour. With the exception of 3/21/75, I haven't heard a single version yet that matched up to the versions from 1973 and earlier. On the earlier tours, it was played with a fury and speed that would just blow you away. Even though it got to 30 minutes, it rarely felt like it. By the time the 75 tour rolled around, the song had already evolved to its complete form. The band did not introduce any new sections for the song (save for the outro). As such, there's a feeling of "going through the motions". Which would be fine...if the band still played as well as they did two years earlier. Unfortunately, Jimmy in particular is clearly not as fluid as he was. Often times, the song is played at a slow, lumbering pace, like a huge monster walking through molasses. The only sections of this song that were consistently good on the 75 tour were the San Francisco/Woodstock section (here the slow pace actually helps, and sounds more eerie and hypnotic than in 73) and the outro. Give me an earlier version any day over the 75 versions.

I don't think it's their worst live year ever (I'd vote for 1980. Sorry guys, it just doesn't do anything for me), but it's far from their best IMO. I really think if they dropped Dazed, shortened the drum solo a bit, and added a few more songs (like what happened for the January shows), it would work better. As it stands, I rarely listen to a 75 show. I really have to be in the mood for it. It just feels like a chore with the exception of the truly great shows (3/12 and 3/21 come to mind).

I think I'd just about agree with all of this. Especially the part about even though they rarely changed up the 73 NA setlist, it didn't feel like it. I think that setlist just works so well. Probably my second favorite behind 72 NA, since the WLL medley into RNR was the PERFECT way for them to close out a show. 

Also agree on Jimmy's guitar tone. Sounds good at times (see the Millard section of 3/12) but a lot of times seems to take the life out of parts of the show unfortunately, specifically Black Dog or DNC during the main riff.

However, I really do appreciate the mood and atmosphere that the 75 gigs create on NQ and parts of Dazed. NQ in particular works (especially in March) because you get the feeling that Jonesy, Jimmy, and Bonzo were all improvising at the same time during the guitar solo section. Just awesome

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On 2008-11-10 at 7:37 PM, Rock Action said:

Seems to me that a lot of the 1975 soundboards were intended to be mixed into something official at a later time. They're just TOO good. Flying Circus, Snow Jobs, Days Confused, St. Louis Blues, Conspiracy Theory...c'mon, those are too good to be anything else but potential releases.

Let's hope they one day become just that: official releases.

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On 5/18/2017 at 1:45 PM, ZepHead315 said:

I'm going to preface this by saying that I haven't heard a TON of 75 shows, so bear with me.

The problems I have with 1975 shows, at least from what I've heard, is the following:

1. Stale setlists. This was probably the least exciting setlist Zeppelin ever did. If you look at the typical setlist for a 75 show, it's all standard stuff that you would expect them to play for that era. It's barely an upgrade from the 73 American tour. And the pacing is just off, especially for the second half. I mean come on, a 20-30 minute Moby Dick followed by a 40 minute Dazed and Confused? :zzz: IIRC, literally the only thing they'd change would be the encores, at least for the American shows. Maybe add Communication Breakdown, or Heartbreaker. I know it was the same deal with the 73 tour, but that setlist felt tighter and just worked better IMO. Even the 77 tour had more variance (substituting IMTOD for OTHAFA, changing Trampled Under Foot from an encore to a main part of the setlist and even sometimes putting it directly after the acoustic set, sometimes including Black Dog, sometimes including Dancing Days in the acoustic set).

2. Robert's voice, which has been pretty well covered here so I won't say anything else.

3. Jimmy's tone. I really dislike how his guitar sounds on this tour. As others have pointed out, too clean, hardly any "crunch".

4. The band in general, especially Jimmy and Robert, were a shadow of their 1973 selves. A perfect example of this is the versions of Dazed and Confused from this tour. With the exception of 3/21/75, I haven't heard a single version yet that matched up to the versions from 1973 and earlier. On the earlier tours, it was played with a fury and speed that would just blow you away. Even though it got to 30 minutes, it rarely felt like it. By the time the 75 tour rolled around, the song had already evolved to its complete form. The band did not introduce any new sections for the song (save for the outro). As such, there's a feeling of "going through the motions". Which would be fine...if the band still played as well as they did two years earlier. Unfortunately, Jimmy in particular is clearly not as fluid as he was. Often times, the song is played at a slow, lumbering pace, like a huge monster walking through molasses. The only sections of this song that were consistently good on the 75 tour were the San Francisco/Woodstock section (here the slow pace actually helps, and sounds more eerie and hypnotic than in 73) and the outro. Give me an earlier version any day over the 75 versions.

I don't think it's their worst live year ever (I'd vote for 1980. Sorry guys, it just doesn't do anything for me), but it's far from their best IMO. I really think if they dropped Dazed, shortened the drum solo a bit, and added a few more songs (like what happened for the January shows), it would work better. As it stands, I rarely listen to a 75 show. I really have to be in the mood for it. It just feels like a chore with the exception of the truly great shows (3/12 and 3/21 come to mind).

Completely agree with all this, great post.

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I like 75 because it was the last time Jonsey used the Fender bass and for the most part Page was still tight and had some of his 68-73 fluency left.

Plus many of the soundboards sound awesome as well, with great depth and balance.

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From someone that saw the band in 73 and 75 and 77, I never had an issue with Plant's vocal range limitations. He delivered the songs as best he could. The 75 tour is the most feel good tour for me. The look and feel and vibe of the the 75 tour, for me, surpassed 73 and 77. Jimmy's solo performance on D&C on March 4th was incendiary. I suppose that was THE Highpoint of my LZ concert-going career...

I've listened to the 3/4/75 CD at very loud levels with headphones on, and that truly reminds me of what it sounded like a few rows back from the stage.

The 77 NQ excess was too much for me. But Kashmir was perfected and delivered best in 77. imo.

 

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