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ListenToThis

Early Live vs. Latter Live

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To mix things up I try not to listen to two shows in a row from the same year. So by first listening to 29/09/71, and then 17/07/77, I realized....I prefer latter era live Zeppelin.

I struggle with 1969 and Plant's shrieking. I probably don't listen to '70 - '72 as often as I should, although I've heard many shows multiple times over the years. I find 1973 somewhat boring, even Europe.

I believe I dig '75 and later because the band was always on the edge, the brink of a mistake at any second. The dynamics behind the curtain, the pressures and superstardom, and yes the drugs and alcohol, all make the shows very exciting to me. The highest of highs, like 21/06/77, beat the crap out of Blueberry Hill in my opinion. Bonzo's excellent playing in '77, Robert's Plantations, and Jimmy's struggle with a guitar, combined with the cavernous venues make these things hard rock events, not hippy flower happenings.

The all too high price that was paid was not worth it, but latter Zeppelin represents all the carnal lust and chaos that can appeal to us "normals".

I'm not looking to start a "what's your favorite year thread" but rather why you prefer the early days or the later days, if you like...

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Listen To This...I'm usually happy to talk (too much) about my preference for the latter era, especially '77. But I'm on the run, and you said it pretty well, so I'll just cast my vote for now.

I believe I dig '75 and later because the band was always on the edge, the brink of a mistake at any second. The dynamics behind the curtain, the pressures and superstardom, and yes the drugs and alcohol, all make the shows very exciting to me. The highest of highs, like 21/06/77, beat the crap out of Blueberry Hill in my opinion.

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It's not fair to ask that when there are only 3 replies. Just give it time.

Where?

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To mix things up I try not to listen to two shows in a row from the same year. So by first listening to 29/09/71, and then 17/07/77, I realized....I prefer latter era live Zeppelin.

I struggle with 1969 and Plant's shrieking. I probably don't listen to '70 - '72 as often as I should, although I've heard many shows multiple times over the years. I find 1973 somewhat boring, even Europe.

I believe I dig '75 and later because the band was always on the edge, the brink of a mistake at any second. The dynamics behind the curtain, the pressures and superstardom, and yes the drugs and alcohol, all make the shows very exciting to me. The highest of highs, like 21/06/77, beat the crap out of Blueberry Hill in my opinion. Bonzo's excellent playing in '77, Robert's Plantations, and Jimmy's struggle with a guitar, combined with the cavernous venues make these things hard rock events, not hippy flower happenings.

The all too high price that was paid was not worth it, but latter Zeppelin represents all the carnal lust and chaos that can appeal to us "normals".

I'm not looking to start a "what's your favorite year thread" but rather why you prefer the early days or the later days, if you like...

I love 1975 onward (mainly '77) best for the exact reason you mentioned. Much heavier and...well I don't know..emotional(?)(Cant explain it) than their earlier years.

I like how you can hear the drugs working. Lol

Edited by sickagain98

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Maybe it's just me that's going to be doing the '77 bashing...

I like 1969 - 1972, because Plant's voice hadn't completely gone to shit then

That being said, I guess I like the '75 onwards setlists more and the acoustic sets got better and better. That and the removal of Dazed and Confused.

Edited by Sunshine woman

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I am a huge fan of the '77 "version" of Zepp. Jonesy using the Alembic with the Gaillen Krueger amps(I think?) gave the band a noticeably bit more of a 'rude' sound, which I love. Just something about that era.. ListenToThis spoke my mind.

To me, it's kind of like the band was evolving until 75. By then they had just this massive vibe about them. Like, they were so huge it was almost intimidating. Jimmy would play a note while getting ready for a song and the whole stadium would just go nuts.

Something about Jimmy's guitar trip-ups and Robert's breaks that year just appeal to me for some reason. It's almost as if the masters themselves were having a hard time harnessing such incredible power. It was indeed no longer the happy sunny sounding music(which is no bad thing) It was now like sit down, shut up, and listen to this. The bands visual performance had become quite an awesome sight by then also.

I do realize that may sound silly, but those are the mental pictures I get of the '77 shows. Forgive me for the long post.

Edited by JLee93

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I honestly love all of them. However I like the very early Zep a lot just because it was such raw music. Plant's voice Page's guitar, everything is just raw and one huge jam. I really like that, While I would say I have a relatively small bootleg collection compared to many fans on here I really enjoy something like Go West Young Man, if technology was better for recording at the time The Boston Tea party and many others would be great things to have now. Again not sure I can say I prefer them to any other year but I really like the '68-'69 recordings.

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I too like all the eras. However, Plant's voice was in good form for much of the '77 tour. He didn't have his old range of course - but then that's true of 1973 too. But it was only in '75 that his voice was regularly gravely, thin, and full of squeaks and breaks. Many '77 performances show Plant in strong voice - "Ten Years Gone" is a good example in many shows.

As for Jones' alembic, maybe it sounded amazing in the venue, but on soundboard tape I don't love it - lots of detail in the higher bass registers, but seems to lack the low-end punch of his earlier rig.

But of course the real problem with the '77 shows most of the time is Page. Some nights - heck, some songs - he's amazing. But then the next night - or the next song - he's a trainwreck.

As for '69, I agree with the OP that sometimes Plant's shrieking is a bit much. But honestly, so many of those performances are amazing. And Jan 1970 through June 1972, holy crap, it's just amazing. Maybe the best live stretch for any band, ever. Think about it - Royal Albert Hall, Montreux, and the "Blueberry Hill" show in 1970. The August-Sep North American dates, Japan tour, and "return to the clubs" UK run in 1971. The Australia/NZ shows and June U.S. shows in 1972. All this stuff is incredible. And then there's the March European run in 1973, also incredible.

That said, I also enjoy '77 and '79. Great setlists, very heavy as others have said, and generally a different vibe.

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You are very right about the Alembic.

It lacks low end on the recordings. Gets muddled up with Jimmy's guitar, too.

I honestly go back and forth on my preference. I like the massive vibe and the chaos of the later shows, but I also love the raw intensity of the early shows (especially Plant). Anyways, I should just stop, I'm stuck in the middle on this one y'all!

Edited by JLee93

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I have really come to appreciate how much the band changed over the years. I find favorite versions of different songs from different years, and will focus my response mainly on "official" live releases. RAH and BBC performances are just so hard to top Robert's range and power, on the blues numbers.. and I really miss Bring It On Home, I Can't Quit You, You Shook Me, and We're Gonna Groove from the later years. Also, I love the Over The Hills from HTWTW (1972) as it was at his higher range. 1973/TSRTS gave me versions of Celebration Day, TSRTS, Rain Song, SIBLY, and No Quarter which are my favorites. Moving later, I prefer the acoustic set of 1975 to earlier versions... and thought NBFBM from Knebworth was outstanding.

In general, I think the band was at its best in the earlier years, but the growth in material and the ability to play a more diverse mix of songs offset the loss of raw power. Even Celebration Day/02 gave me a version of Kashmir that is hard to top, just because it represented the collective triumph of the group and their efforts to rediscover greatness.

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I agree with MonkeyOnMyBack and tmtomh completely. Man, I could write a dang book on why I like all the different eras of Led Zeppelin.

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I am also a great fan and admirer of all the Led Zeppelin "eras" and tours. With all the live bootlegs I own and the live bootlegs I listen to on YouTube, I really cannot say that I have a favorite year. Of course the only bootleg from 1968 is from Gonzaga University (in Spokane, Washington ) which is available to listen to on YouTube. The last Led Zeppelin concert being from Berlin, Germany on July 7, 1980 (which I have on cd). From the first to the last, I Love them all (those which I have heard) regardless of sound quality or performance and/or precision.

Like I mentioned in another topic, I am a big fan of a 30 minute "Moby Dick", a 30 minute "No Quarter" and even 45 minutes of "Dazed and Confused".

I will say this: I think that the 1972 versions of "Since I've Been Loving You" might be my favorite versions of this song (which is probably my second favorite Led Zeppelin song after "In the Light", followed by "Achilles Last Stand", "the Rover" and "Communication Breakdown").

Edited by kingzoso

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Just to weigh in a bit more, I do love all eras of Zep, and if I had to pick their collective, technical peak (including Plant) I think it would be the US tour of 72. Plant had his vox totally intact, and the band were just unbelievably on top of their game. Plus, that 72 tour comes with the added bonus of being a very happy time for the band, and those good vibes really came out in the shows.

Having said that though, the vibe of the band onstage in the "middle later era" - mainly 77 - just sounded so fucking epic and huge...gods more than humans...and even though I like happy positive vibes as much as the next guy (and I sure need 'em these days) it's more interesting to me to have a little darkness mixed in - "light and shade" like Jimmy used to say - and you got a better mix of that in 75-77 especially. And yeah, people have really hit the nail on the head when they use the word CHAOS, ha, ha. I don't mean musically fucked up...but you can just hear the surreal insanity of their lives come out in the music...people existing on some other plane...and you can hear the insanity of the audience too. Damn, the audiences were fucking OUT OF THEIR MINDS in 77. Anyway...I'll go now and put on my black Swan Song 77 tour t-shirt.

Edited by mielazul

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Hi,

In the past I wasn't a huge fan of the 1977 boots, but over the years I have grown more fond of them. Overall I tend to prefer the 72-75 period, but enjoy almost anything avaiable in whatever format.

kingzoso why just listen to You Tube items why not download them to enjoy when you want?

Andy

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Two more comments on this thread.

1) I wish I could find more bootlegs that are truly top-notch sound quality. I'm probably missing great shows, but sometimes just find myself so frustrated by the less-than-stellar quality of so much that is out there, and keep coming back to the official releases, even if they are less than authentic in a true live recording standpoint.

2) It's ironic how some posters have poked at Robert's vocal gymnastics in the early years. As a true lover of his voice in that range, I will also acknowledge there are moments when I wish he would have held back just a little bit in the very high range. And.. if he had done more of that .. perhaps that range would have lasted longer than 4 years.

Love it all, it's all so different from beginnning to end.

Edited by MonkeyOnMyBack

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^^^ Hey Monkey, there's a thread in this section under a title like "bootlegs with perfect sound and performance," or something similar to that. If you're not totally up on all the recordings that are out there, and are searching for live recordings with good sound, that might give you some ideas. I can't remember if they're mentioned, but the 5/25 and 5/30 Landover 77 soundboards that just came out under the title "Double Shot" are really good.

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I like all the periods of live Zep!

I must say thought, that those latter shows where Plant's voice and Pagey's playing are quite bad, are hardly enjoyable for me, but the best of latter days is fantastic!

In the early days all that sometimes disturbs me is the quality of the tapes!

So I love the blues jams of the early days and the dynamics and movement they brought in with their own unique style and Plant's extreme vocals(Milan 1971 is superhuman, not footbal, Plant ;) ) and the extreme power of the early days, as well as some sort of innocence that the acoustic set had in the earliest days!

But as far as the good latter days shows goes, I addore the huge variety of music and the huge variety of the jams and how diffrently they could jam and solo and complement each other and the great atmosphere of the LA 1977 shows and Plantations! And Plant's voice was still great, but it turned more into a more typicall great singer voice, while in the early days it was beyond any singer, it was surreal actually!

It's all just so great!

Edited by Matjaz1

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I'm more into 1969-1973 actually,because they just did better shows back then.1975 is the worst year for Plant and 1977 is for the most part not very good.The great shows are fucking great and they have a great atmosphere as well as great setlists.But there is something about the earlier shows and i believe it has a lot to do with the band being still very fresh and full of ideas.So,early live but only by a very small margin :)

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Yeah they were full of ideas early on too yeah, both on stage and on records, they just didn't explore all the variety, but they were playing with extreme energy and both Page and Plant still had the full technicall ability!

I still don't want to give my vote, but if I would have to, I would probably give it to the early days!

Edited by Matjaz1

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For me it's from the U.S. '73 tour on, My favorite "era" (if you can call it an era) are the '75 Earl's Court shows. Both "Dazed" and "No Quarter" are gloomy and very atmospheric. Of course I will pop on earlier shows from time to time but lean more towards the indulgent sprawling shows from '75 and '77. Would have been interesting to have heard what they would have sounded like on a '76 tour.

Edited by zoso11782

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Personally, it depends on the day. I like different aspects of each era. The early days were so raw and each of the members were flawless. Robert's voice, especially from 1970 to early 1972, was mind-boggling. The latter days, however, had such an energy about them. The live songs had developed so much and the setlists were more diverse and more entertaining. (The biggest downfall for me for the 1971 shows was the fact that half the show was Zeppelin IV.) Either way, you can't go wrong. My vote would be split between the early days and 1977.

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I guess 69 to 75 was when his voice was amazing,just watched a 69 concert,unreal and I think he still sounded great into 75...do you think he cannot do the high notes because of age or just wore his voice out? In Immigrant song,even his scream was music

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