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ZepHead315

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About ZepHead315

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  1. ZepHead315

    The space before the live decline

    Even on Zeppelin's worst ever nights, there was a moment, if just for one song, where a bit of the magic came back. Stairway on 7/20/77, Communication Breakdown on 8/11/79, Whole Lotta Love on 7/7/80. For these songs, the band pulled through and delivered exceptional versions. There's moments like that throughout every Led Zeppelin show, no matter how much of a sloppy self-indulgent mess it was, at least in my opinion. Then of course, there's the bedrock of the band: JPJ and Bonzo. The greatest rhythm section in rock and roll. If Plant's voice was trashed or if Page was smacked out of his mind, those two could always be counted on to remain musically tight, always anchoring the band whenever the others went off on a tangent. Yes, Bonzo had one or two off nights, and his playing for the Tour Over Europe is more laid back and reserved, but even then there are still great moments. For the record, I love most of the groups that you mentioned, but a group like the Ramones never had that kind of rhythm section, nor were they able to go off on tangents like the WLL jams or the NQ blues/jazz sections like Zeppelin could. Neither could other popular groups of the time period like KISS, The Eagles, or Wings. Some could, no doubt, but not many Like I said, it's all subjective and which group is "better" or "worse" is ultimately a futile exercise. Groups like The Ramones, The Clash, Pink Floyd, or The Stones were good at what they did. And Led Zeppelin (even at their worst) were good at what they did. It's just that I prefer Led Zeppelin live over most other groups. Perhaps that's what more what I meant, especially since this is all purely a matter of taste anyway.
  2. ZepHead315

    The space before the live decline

    Fair enough. I guess I was being overly harsh on the Stones. I'll readily admit I haven't listened to as many Stones concerts as I have Zeppelin concerts, but I've always found the Stones live to be a bit dull. Some nice moments here and there, but I've never been all that impressed. With Zeppelin, even on something like the 77 tour where the setlist changed very little, I always find nuggets in each and every show I've listened to, no matter how sloppy or self-indulgent they are. Ultimately though, it's all a matter of taste.
  3. ZepHead315

    The space before the live decline

    Except I never said that other bands couldn't match them. I said that many bands on their best night couldn't match Zeppelin on their worst night. And the truth is that quite a few bands, especially in rock, suck live. The examples that you cited are rarities, and some of them aren't even fair comparisons to make. The Ramones? Stevie Wonder? The Clash? Really? According to what criteria do they "match" Zeppelin? Technical skill? Speed? Volume? Emotion? Songwriting? Those artists have a completely different approach to live music than Zeppelin did. And in any case, it's all subjective so I'm not quite sure why you have such a problem with this. It's not like I said "from an objective standpoint, Led Zeppelin live at Tempe 1977 were the best live band ever and anyone who disagrees with me is an idiot who doesn't know the slightest thing about music". All I'm doing is stating an opinion. Let me further delve into my opinion: Even at their most self-indulgent, Zeppelin were one of those bands that was always experimenting and giving the audience something new and different each time. The jams in songs like No Quarter, Dazed and Confused, How Many More Times, and Whole Lotta Love among other songs were always different. No two versions of those songs are the exact same. That's one of the reasons I love listening to them live. I'll take three hours of Led Zeppelin taking turns soloing and showing off over two hours of the Stones playing the same tired old setlist the same way night after night.
  4. ZepHead315

    The space before the live decline

    I partly agree in the sense that the band definitely started to become more inconsistent starting in the 1973 US tour. Prior to that tour, the band (minus Plant) almost always delivered. Sure, there were occasionally shows that were uninspired or sloppy, but they were few and far between, and even the weakest shows had something to offer. But on that tour, you start to hear Jimmy struggle a bit here and there. There are some shows where both him and Plant are struggling (ex. Chicago 7/6). This inconsistency crops up more in 75, with Jimmy's playing being a noticeable step down and Robert dealing with his flu. 1977 is where Jimmy's playing is even further declined, although Plant is better. One thing I disagree with you on is that Jimmy was never the same live after 1973. The Copenhagen warm ups, the Outrider tour, and the 1998 Page/Plant tour all showed that Jimmy still had some fire in him. The problem was that the drugs were hampering his ability to focus. Copenhagen 7/24/79 is one of my all time favorite shows precisely because it opens a window into what the band could have sounded like in the 80s had Bonzo and Jimmy gotten themselves clean. LA 77 may not have Jimmy on quite that level, but he's still damn good, and there's a noticeable fire and energy in the band that's missing from many of the other 77 gigs. I also don't agree entirely with Jonesy being the one who ruined the 77 setlist with NQ. Yes, the jams were long, but I can listen to the band jamming on that song with no trouble at all. The interplay between the three instrumentalists is always fascinating to me. Sure, Jimmy could sometimes be sloppy, but Bonzo and Jones almost always delivered. Imho, what truly disrupted that setlist was the back to back drum and noise solos. What the hell they were thinking putting those two slots side by side?! Must have been the drugs. Regardless, all the momentum of the setlist is lost by putting them together. If they were gonna have both slots, they should have spaced them out more. All in all, I'd agree that the band was better overall in 68-72 because they were much more consistent and all four of them were at or near the peak of their powers. They were determined to blow the crowd away and weren't concerned with "smoke and mirrors" so to speak. That being said, there IS a charm to the latter era shows for me. Take the 77 tour. I will never argue that it's one of their best tours technically, but it was their biggest and most visually stunning tour, and there's a certain charm to that for sure. Every era of Zeppelin has its charms and, while we can definitely agree that Plant should have taken care of his voice or Page should have laid off the drugs or whatever, I adore all eras for different reasons. At the end of the day, Zeppelin on their worst night were better than many bands on their best night.
  5. ZepHead315

    What show or live song are you listening to now?

    You are very lucky to have been there. I can only imagine how psyched the crowd was to see them. Meanwhile folks like me can only dream!
  6. ZepHead315

    What show or live song are you listening to now?

    Finally got around to listening to this. What a great show!
  7. ZepHead315

    Berkeley (Going to California)

    Haven't heard the Graf Zeppelin version, but Dadgad did an excellent remaster using the original vinyl.
  8. ZepHead315

    1977 SHOWS RANKED INTO 3 CATEGORIES

    I hear you, and I do agree that Plant in 77 was still a shell of his former self. But I'd argue he was definitely better on the whole than he was in 75 or 73. He could at least sing many of the songs, even if his power was diminished. In 75 he was croaking and cracking all over the place and almost all the opening songs from the shows are downright cringeworthy, especially if you're new to live Zeppelin.
  9. ZepHead315

    1977 SHOWS RANKED INTO 3 CATEGORIES

    Plant is not to the level he was in 68-72, but he's still miles better in 77 than in 75 or 73. His range is much improved and he rarely cracks or croaks. Here is Plant on what is considered a "good" night for him in 1975: And here is Plant on a good night in 1977: Are you honestly telling me you hear no difference? He sounds hoarse and low for pretty much all of 1975. In 1977, with a couple of exceptions (Seattle, Tempe) he's got a much better range and sounds strong. Like I said, he's certainly not back to the level he was in his early years. But to say he couldn't sing is false. He's better in 77 than 73 or 75 that's for sure.
  10. ZepHead315

    1977 SHOWS RANKED INTO 3 CATEGORIES

    If you're strictly talking about STH, I think the LA 77 versions equal if not surpass the version from Earls Court. The version on For Badgeholders Only especially is fantastic and one of my all time favorites. I'm no guitar player, but this solo sounds great to my ears.
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