I’m open to feedback on this project of mine. The foundation of it is shown below, however, I still have some work to do on it and nothing is cemented in yet. So I’d like some feedback from the wizards of this site.
What started as a curios “Do I have all of their live songs?”, has turned into a quest to create a best of, massive Led Zeppelin “concert” of each of their live performed songs. For now, I’ve listed my cut of their best live performances in alpha order below.
I’d like to thanks Bonzo_fan (Ranking the 1977 Shows, and 1975 shows, and...), Michael Fry (50th Anniversary Box Set), and also everyone who chimed in on their posts. I’ve dug into a lot of concerts and songs you all have specifically mentions as being good. They’ve influenced this best of compilation.
Ok, I “ramble on” a lot, so feel free to skip these next paragraphs and just go straight to the songs.
I was surprised by a few findings. One, I first appeared to be missing roughly 30 live songs in my CD catalogue, between the official releases and my few boots. Two, most of their latter 3 albums were never performed; oh the humanity!! (sorry for that, but it is a musical tragedy) Three, some songs were only ever done once. And four, a handful of songs were only done for ~5ish gigs (Levee, Wonton, etc) or were only ever partially played (Crunge, Rover, etc).
In the end I was only missing 14 live performances from my collection. We truly are in a great digital era, where nearly every Zep concert is searchable on line. I was quite shocked to be honest. I mean, in 1968, why would someone record a fan based or soundboard based Zeppelin concert? You wouldn’t know these guys were going to pan out. And it’s not like it would have been easy either. Technology was so big and clunky, I mean how did you even do it discretely? Regardless, I’m thankful.
My search also dug up a lot of non-Zep songs they only performed live. I assume they were all covers, but maybe some were Zeppelin revitalized songs, like most of the first album. Who knows? But like any legit fan, I collected those along the way. I’m sure I didn’t get them all, but I picked up over 20 songs, which I intend on including in this “concert”. I think I like the historical accuracy by including them; because it’s something they did do a lot live. Not to mention it makes my “concert” longer. Who doesn’t want an epically long Zeppelin concert? Well, maybe not the fans at Knebworth (who apparently waited outdoors for a very long time to see all the concerts), but definitely the rest of us. They will also increase the song variety, as I couldn’t tear myself away from including multiple versions of some of my fav songs. How does one decide that TSRTS Stairway is much better than Destroyer’s Stairway, or Eddie Listen Stairway? I couldn’t do it, so they’ll all make the cut, as they differ so much. The same will go for various versions of SIBLY, WLL, CB, HMMT, and Heartbreaker for sure. So these ~20 cover tunes will keep the variety going.
Including some of the different versions noted above, this “concert” is going to be big. It’s verging on over 90 songs and will be well over 5 hours long. So I'm going to organize it into three "acts". They won't necessarily be in chronological order, but Act 1 will have more earlier material with Act 3 being a bit later. Each act will sort of start like each of their concerts (if I can) with 1,2,3, punches, have ~2 encores, and be filled with one of the multiple versions (STH, WLL, SIBLY, etc. ) I couldn't bear to cut. And like I said, to prevent them from getting too repetitive, each Act will be filled in with those ~20 cover songs. I'm hoping it’ll result in a great listen with a lot of rockin ups and some bluesy downs!
After reviewing a lot of boots, I appear to be drawn to sound quality first, then the best version. As a result, a lot of the performances below are from the official releases: BBC Sessions, HTWWW, TSRTS, and Celebration Day. Familiarity has skewed me as well, so a lot of performances from 1977s Destroyer have made the cut. I’m not incl practices as they’ve never sounded that great to me, such as Night Flight (which sucks as I was really looking fwd to finding that one live). I really want this full, best of “Concert” to be a charge to listen to, from start to end. (note, proper concert dates are referenced below)
Achilles Last Stand – Destroyer
All My Love – Last Concert
As Long As I Have You (extra) – Fillmore West Apr ‘69. Why did this song not get put to the studio? A serious treat of a find. Not in their top 25 or anything, but a great mid range song
Babe I'm Gonna Leave You – Whisky A Go Go
Black Country Woman – Destroyer
Black Dog – HTWWW CD
Blueberry Hill (extra) – Live On Blueberry Hill
Bring It On Home – HTWWW CD
Bron-Y-Aur Stomp – Destroyer
Bron-Yr-Aur – Live On Blueberry Hill
Celebration Day – TSRTS CD (original)
C’mon Everybody (extra) – 1970, possibly Jan 9. I lost track of the source of some songs
Communication Breakdown – BBC Sessions CD, Live On Blueberry Hill and Earls Court
Dancing Days – HTWWW CD
Dazed and Confused – HTWWW CD and TSRTS CD (original)
For Your Life – O2 Arena
For Your Love (extra) – Fillmore West Jan ‘69
Four Sticks – Copenhagen 1971
Friends – Osaka 1971
Gallows Pole – Copenhagen 1971
Going to California – Destroyer
Good Times Bad Times – O2 Arena, I love the very opening riff more than any other.
Heartbreaker – HTWWW CD, – TSRTS CD (2007), Earls Court and Osaka 1971
Hot Dog – Last Concert
How Many More Times – BBC Sessions CD, Texas Pop Festival
I Can't Quit You Baby – Texas Pop Festival
I Gotta Move (extra) – Stockholm March 14, 1969
Immigrant Song – HTWWW CD
I’m Talking About You (extra) – New York, evening 1970
In My Time of Dying – Snow Job
In the Evening – Last Concert
It’ll Be Me (extra) – Inglewood June 26, 1977
Kashmir – Destroyer, Snow Job
Long Tall Sally (extra) – London Jan 9, 1970
Louie Louie (extra) – HTWWW bootleg LA June 25, 1972
Misty Mountain Hop – TSRTS CD (2007)
Moby Dick – HTWWW CD, TSRTS CD (original)
Mystery Train (extra) – San Diego June 19, 1977
Nobody's Fault but Mine – Destroyer
No Quarter – Earls Court, Destroyer
Organ Solo (extra) – Live On Blueberry Hill
Out on the Tiles – Live On Blueberry Hill
Over the Hills and Far Away – Snow Job
Over The Top (extra) – Destroyer – Starts with Out On The Tiles intro
Pat’s Delight (extra) – Fillmore West Apr ‘69
Please Please Me/From Me To You (extra) – Osaka September 28, 1971
Ramble On – O2 Arena. Did Zep played this in the 70s? Page & Plant in the ‘90s yes, but Zep? Not that I could find.
Rock and Roll – Destroyer
Sick Again – Snow Job
Since I've Been Loving You – Live On Blueberry Hill, TSRTS CD (2007) and their Last Concert
Sitting And Thinking (extra) – Fillmore West Apr ‘69
Something Else (extra..kinda) – BBC Sessions CD
Stairway to Heaven – TSRTS CD (original), Destroyer, Eddie Listen LA June 23, 1977 and Last Concert
Tangerine – Earls Court
Ten Years Gone – Destroyer
Thank You – BBC Sessions CD
That’s Alright Mama (extra) – LA June 26, 1977
That's the Way – HTWWW CD
The Battle of Evermore – Destroyer
The Crunge – No idea where I got this performance. Someone separated this out from a WLL combo. But quite a bit of the song is here, the most I’ve seen, with a lot of vocals too.
The Girl Can’t Help It (extra) – New York, evening 1970
The Girl She Got Long Brown Wavy Hair (extra..kinda) – BBC Sessions CD
The Lemon Song/Killing Floor – Fillmore West Apr ‘69 and Whisky A Go Go
The Ocean – HTWWW CD
The Rain Song – TSRTS CD (original) – The way this version blends right after the actual song TSRTS is like nothing else. If this happened on other concerts, I would consider other versions. But until then, this version is too good they way they work together.
The Song Remains the Same – TSRTS CD (original) – See the Rain Song comments
The Train Kept A Rollin’ (extra) – Texas Pop Festival – One of the more clear recordings I could find. I’ve decided this song always sounds muzzled. I’m convinced no band can make it sound crisp. At Texas Pop, it’s not bad, but otherwise this song (even when sung by Aerosmith) just sucks. Was this ever good in a live concert?..when you would hear it as clear as possible? Who knows.
The Wanton Song – Chicago January 20, 1975.
Trampled Under Foot – Destroyer, Earls Court.
Travelling Riverside Blues (extra..kinda) – BBC Sessions CD
Twenty Flight Rock (extra) – New York, evening 1970
We’re Gonna Groove – 1970, possibly Jan 9
We Shall Over Come (extra) – Osaka September 28, 1971
What Is and What Should Never Be – BBC Sessions CD
When the Levee Breaks – Chicago January 20, 1975
White Summer/Black Mountain Side – Last Concert
Whole Lotta Love – TSRTS CD (original), Live on Blueberry Hill, Last Concert, and Osaka which is the only exception to my quality first rule. Fun version, but the quality stinks. Oddly enough the melodies are in much better quality than the main song itself…I might try dissecting just the melodies and sticking them in somewhere in my “concert” as I have too many WLLs in here as it is.
You Shook Me – Fillmore West Jan ‘69
So that’s my list. I am in the midst of cross referencing these songs vs 1973 Providence and 1977 Listen to this Eddie as they have good sound quality and are great concerts. But if you have any suggestions for better versions, I’m all ears.
Reference Concerts (not incl official releases)
Whisky A Go Go, LA Jan 5, 1969
Fillmore West San Francisco January 10, 1969
Fillmore West San Francisco April 27, 1969
Texas Pop Festival, Dallas August 31, 1969
Live On Blueberry Hill, Inglewood, September 4, 1970
New York, evening show of September 19, 1970
Copenhagen May 3, 1971
Osaka September 29, 1971
Earls Court 1975
Snow Job, Vancouver March 19, 1975
Destroyer, Cleveland April 27, 1977
Last Concert, Berlin July 7, 1980
O2 Arena, December 10, 2007
As best I can tell, these songs were never performed live by Led Zeppelin. I’m kinda hoping someone will show me a rare performance.
Boogie with Stu
Candy Store Rock
Down by the Seaside
Fool in the Rain
Hats Off to (Roy) Harper
Houses of the Holy
Hots On for Nowhere
I'm Gonna Crawl
In the Light
Living Loving Maid
South Bound Saurez
Tea for One
Your Time Is Gonna Come
Songs noted as (extra) are not on any studio albums…kinda. It’s hard to classify some songs. Travelling Riverside Blues? Was it really live? Kinda. Was it on any studio albums? Kinda. Honestly, I nearly cut this one. But I like it, so I included it. I’ve concluded long ago that you cannot really classify Led Zeppelin. They were too creative. They don’t fit into any one box, and a song like Riverside is an example of that.
Got any favorite versions of their live performances? That are also of good quality? I’d love to hear of them.