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Early Live vs. Latter Live


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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

Don't think for a minute it was age. It was everything. If you listen to boots from 1970 you may notice that on the winter and spring tours he still has that fat powerful 1969 tone but you don't hear him going for high Gs and As too often. After this they took a ~2 month break and the new Percy voice made its debut (first available recording is Bath). The ''Valhalla'' tone if you like. Some people seem to believe he just ''changed'' his style. I can tell you - one does not simply change the tone of his voice just like that. It actually became thinner from all that touring they did and this new tone is the voice he is best known for (LZIII and IV). The outstanding Fall 1970 US tour followed where this new voice was showcased and Plant demonstrated amazing consistency. Virtually every show was vocally superb and his voice seemed even louder ,more powerful than ever before. I have only heard 2 times when his voice cracked on this tour.

1971 kicked off with 2 Irish shows and it is immediately clear that Robert's voice not in the same form as 6 months before. It's still powerful as hell on the 1st show (Just listen to Black Dog and SIBLY),a very aggressive performance by the whole band, one of my favourites. However the next gig in Dublin shows that Plant's pushing too hard. It is well known fact that one show on that tour was canceled because Plant contracted laryngitis. BBC concert was postponed for the same reason. Even after a week's rest his voice stil sounds kind of damaged. Of course Plant didn't do much to spare his voice either. I think that this tour produced the damage that manifested itself on the following US tour where he ''lost'' his voice on the 3rd (2nd ?) show of the tour. Sure, he recovered well after the BBC concert but (at least to me) a little bit of power in the tone had gone. And after the famous LA 1971.09.21. gig it was a long way down until Sheffield.

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Interesting and than you for that

Don't think for a minute it was age. It was everything. If you listen to boots from 1970 you may notice that on the winter and spring tours he still has that fat powerful 1969 tone but you don't hear him going for high Gs and As too often. After this they took a ~2 month break and the new Percy voice made its debut (first available recording is Bath). The ''Valhalla'' tone if you like. Some people seem to believe he just ''changed'' his style. I can tell you - one does not simply change the tone of his voice just like that. It actually became thinner from all that touring they did and this new tone is the voice he is best known for (LZIII and IV). The outstanding Fall 1970 US tour followed where this new voice was showcased and Plant demonstrated amazing consistency. Virtually every show was vocally superb and his voice seemed even louder ,more powerful than ever before. I have only heard 2 times when his voice cracked on this tour.

1971 kicked off with 2 Irish shows and it is immediately clear that Robert's voice not in the same form as 6 months before. It's still powerful as hell on the 1st show (Just listen to Black Dog and SIBLY),a very aggressive performance by the whole band, one of my favourites. However the next gig in Dublin shows that Plant's pushing too hard. It is well known fact that one show on that tour was canceled because Plant contracted laryngitis. BBC concert was postponed for the same reason. Even after a week's rest his voice stil sounds kind of damaged. Of course Plant didn't do much to spare his voice either. I think that this tour produced the damage that manifested itself on the following US tour where he ''lost'' his voice on the 3rd (2nd ?) show of the tour. Sure, he recovered well after the BBC concert but (at least to me) a little bit of power in the tone had gone. And after the famous LA 1971.09.21. gig it was a long way down until Sheffield.

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Don't think for a minute it was age. It was everything. If you listen to boots from 1970 you may notice that on the winter and spring tours he still has that fat powerful 1969 tone but you don't hear him going for high Gs and As too often. After this they took a ~2 month break and the new Percy voice made its debut (first available recording is Bath). The ''Valhalla'' tone if you like. Some people seem to believe he just ''changed'' his style. I can tell you - one does not simply change the tone of his voice just like that. It actually became thinner from all that touring they did and this new tone is the voice he is best known for (LZIII and IV). The outstanding Fall 1970 US tour followed where this new voice was showcased and Plant demonstrated amazing consistency. Virtually every show was vocally superb and his voice seemed even louder ,more powerful than ever before. I have only heard 2 times when his voice cracked on this tour.

1971 kicked off with 2 Irish shows and it is immediately clear that Robert's voice not in the same form as 6 months before. It's still powerful as hell on the 1st show (Just listen to Black Dog and SIBLY),a very aggressive performance by the whole band, one of my favourites. However the next gig in Dublin shows that Plant's pushing too hard. It is well known fact that one show on that tour was canceled because Plant contracted laryngitis. BBC concert was postponed for the same reason. Even after a week's rest his voice stil sounds kind of damaged. Of course Plant didn't do much to spare his voice either. I think that this tour produced the damage that manifested itself on the following US tour where he ''lost'' his voice on the 3rd (2nd ?) show of the tour. Sure, he recovered well after the BBC concert but (at least to me) a little bit of power in the tone had gone. And after the famous LA 1971.09.21. gig it was a long way down until Sheffield.

I was at both the Mar 21/70 and Aug 19/71 Vancouver gigs and his voice certainly did change during that year and a half time frame but, it was still a very powerful and enjoyable force opening night of the 71 North American tour. His "Love" wail during WLL that night was amazing. He hit it perfectly and...completely. Actually, he hit everything perfectly that evening. Maybe too much so which could have caused his problems two nights later. On subject though, I'm much more of a fan of the band live during the days between 69 and 72. They had so much energy and Jimmy was hotter than a firecracker. Aside from his stellar playing, he had such an amazing tone that made the hairs on my neck stand up. The whole band just cooked and the audiences were fantastic. I've been to a lot of concerts in my lifetime but nobody, not even them, could match the performances and atmosphere of those two gigs.

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Maybe because I did not find Led Zeppelin unto their latter days, I do enjoy those concerts so I seem to be working backwards....!

Nothing wrong with that Cecil. I'm a firm believer in listening to it all and making ones own mind up. Unfortunately, there isn't a boot out there, from any tour, that can really capture the whole experience. Some are just closer to the mark than others

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I appreciate every tour in one manner or another but nothing compares with 69-Europe 73. The entire entity that was Led Zeppelin was near perfection (even when they weren't.) Once substance abuse began to affect Page's playing, his instrument went from sexual intensity to drug intensity. There are clearly countless moments of greatness from 75-80 and the 73 US Tour has incredible bouts of stamina too. But for me, it's all about that early chemistry they shared: riding a wave of tremendous power that had them all buzzing as much as the audiences they played to.

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I prefer the early concerts to the later ones. I think they reached their zenith as a live act in 1972. Plant could still hit the high notes and Page still had all of his rubber-fingered fluidity on guitar. By 1973, Plant's voice was starting to show wear-and-tear; particularly when he sang in the upper part of his range. By 1975, Page had lost some of his fluidity. At times during the 1975 tour he played as well as he had in 1972 but he wasn't as consistent.

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Don't think for a minute it was age. It was everything. If you listen to boots from 1970 you may notice that on the winter and spring tours he still has that fat powerful 1969 tone but you don't hear him going for high Gs and As too often. After this they took a ~2 month break and the new Percy voice made its debut (first available recording is Bath). The ''Valhalla'' tone if you like. Some people seem to believe he just ''changed'' his style. I can tell you - one does not simply change the tone of his voice just like that. It actually became thinner from all that touring they did and this new tone is the voice he is best known for (LZIII and IV). The outstanding Fall 1970 US tour followed where this new voice was showcased and Plant demonstrated amazing consistency. Virtually every show was vocally superb and his voice seemed even louder ,more powerful than ever before. I have only heard 2 times when his voice cracked on this tour.

1971 kicked off with 2 Irish shows and it is immediately clear that Robert's voice not in the same form as 6 months before. It's still powerful as hell on the 1st show (Just listen to Black Dog and SIBLY),a very aggressive performance by the whole band, one of my favourites. However the next gig in Dublin shows that Plant's pushing too hard. It is well known fact that one show on that tour was canceled because Plant contracted laryngitis. BBC concert was postponed for the same reason. Even after a week's rest his voice stil sounds kind of damaged. Of course Plant didn't do much to spare his voice either. I think that this tour produced the damage that manifested itself on the following US tour where he ''lost'' his voice on the 3rd (2nd ?) show of the tour. Sure, he recovered well after the BBC concert but (at least to me) a little bit of power in the tone had gone. And after the famous LA 1971.09.21. gig it was a long way down until Sheffield.

Very interesting read. Could you please elabourate and make comments about his voice's developement from 71 - 80 as well? And further, if you want to? Would be very interesting to read you opinions about this, as it was above. I mean, his voice, or/ans say, approach was totally different from the 1974 sessions (prolly starting slightly and partyly on the 1973 USA tour) than it had been earlier. Looking forward to it! :-)

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Very interesting read. Could you please elabourate and make comments about his voice's developement from 71 - 80 as well? And further, if you want to? Would be very interesting to read you opinions about this, as it was above. I mean, his voice, or/ans say, approach was totally different from the 1974 sessions (prolly starting slightly and partyly on the 1973 USA tour) than it had been earlier. Looking forward to it! :-)

As I said before - the first LA concert was the real starting point. Of course his voice had it's ups and downs even in 69 - 70 but he always seemed to recover.However after 1971.08.21 that was it. In the early days he would have an Over The Top show followed by one or few more reserved nights before pushing again. In LA his performance wasn't that crazy actually. The unpleasant sound of his voice makes it seem so. During the Fall 1970 tour he put up much more stunning performances with no bad consequences The real problem was that it was only the beginning of the tour. Listen to 1971.08.23. Pretty much the worst shape his voice had ever been up to that point. Fast forward to the end of this tour (Berkeley) it's obvious that he had lost a significant portion of his range. This time it's still temporary because on the first two Japanase shows he sings much better than in Berkeley. Hiroshima and both Osaka shows (29th especially) are pretty weak for Plant by 1971 standarts.

After quite a rest they embarked on a UK tour and Percy's voice appeared to be weaker than before. He had regained some of the lost range but his voice was far from what it was at Montreux 1971 + it's winter again so naturally Plant caught some kind of flu. He mentions it on Manchester show which ironically is his best gig of the tour. The following night however it is clear that the flu has taken it's toll.

During the Australasian tour of 1972 his voice again is a little bit weaker than few months before. During the first 2 concerts Plant does not sound good at all, I guess another flu. He does a pretty good job on 1972.02.25 though.

So what followed was a break of around 3 months. We can only guess what really happened but when they returned to US again it is almost shocking how much power and range had gone. He had that girly tone that is perfectly captured on HTWWW + cracks were much more frequent than ever before.

I guess the Japan 1972 tour (which came more than 3 months after the conclusion of US 1972) is where everyone can notice the obvious strain of his voice. To me the tone sounds about the same and he pulls of some decent high notes but the amount of cracks are at least double compared to 3 months before.

I haven't listened to any of the UK 1972 shows completely but from the bits that I have it seems that the number of cracks was a little lower but so was the range.

SHEFFIELD - he has lost his voice completely and you really have to hear it. It's horrible. Haven't listened to the second part of this tour either save for Stoke 1973.01.15 where Plant seemed to have recovered quite well after Sheffield but now his voice is very weak and raspy.

Moving on to Europe 1973 - it seems that Plant has settled in his new voice and range an generally gets better bit by bit as the tour progresses. I'm not a huge fan of this tour like many people here are though I do appreciate the SBD portions available.

I don't feel qualified enough to talk about the first leg of the tour of US 1973 because I have only heard 4 complete shows from it and Plant seemed to be in a decent voice one very one of them. The best show for him and the rest of the band was definitely 1973.06.03 (Three days after)

The 2nd leg began with 2 shows in Chicago and saw Plant in a bad shape. He got better a few nights after this (Milwaukee, Detroit) and then again worse (Seattle) and finally on 1973.07.21 he entered his peak of the year which lasted until the end of the tour. Give me July 1973 (keep Chicago) over March 1973 any day.

Speaking about the much rumoured surgery - well I think there definitely was one. How else would you explain the drastic change of the tone and range? Starting from 1975 his voice wasn't raspy anymore (well it was in January and February due to the flu, but it wasn't the same kind of raspiness). The sound of the voice was much stronger in the range he was left with (which was very limited). In 1973 he could still hit some really high notes every once in a while but after this throat operation it seems that the last remains of his high range were chopped off. Maybe the operation was partly successful and they could have saved the range a bit (so it was the same as 1973) and only fix the raspiness and weakness. That would have still been okay because then he could sing WLL without straining, The Ocean, end of Stairway. His 1975 voice was simply too low for the old war horses. Of course by March he got better and the second Seattle show is his as well as the rest of the band's best night of the tour. You would think that the bad days were over but no. By the time the Earl's Court shows were happening his voice was again a mess. How does he do that ?

1977 is still sort of an unexplored land for me. So far I've only listened to Eddie,Badgeholders, one of the MSG shows and the second night in Cleveland. All of these shows were better than any of the 1975 ones vocally.

1979 - hmm, only bits and pieces from Knebworth and the second warm-up show. Can't say I like the tone of his voice. Seems like an old man.

1980 - judging by what I've heard from this tour let me say that IMO there's almost no Zep in those shows.

It is a real pity that along with his high range went his normal singing voice which was very good and at least to these ears it seemed that a lot of work had been put into it. I don't think Plant's high range singing was stupid screaming like Tyler's, that singer's from Guns n Roses. I don't even understand how they can be compared.

Sorry, I know close to nothing about either of the surviving members' solo work.

Edited by thelema
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I cant argue about Plant loosing his range and his tone....But it is hard for me to imagine Zeppelin's songwriting "maturing" the way it did, with Robert still singing in his wailing shrieking blues voice, Ten Years Gone or Achilles last stand being done in the early days with a high pitched Robert would just sound too weird to me!

Edited by JesseNoah
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Albert Hall is the best example in my opinion. If we had the multi's from Long Beach and LA Forum from '72, it would be those two shows. Not a mash up of both though, sorry.

Their PRIME starts with the albert hall and ENDS, absolutely, with the end of the summer 1972 US tour. I KNOW there are some great moments after that, maybe even my favorite moments. But I am talking about Led Zeppelin, not the Jones Page Bonham Trio.

Europe '73 gets wayyyyyy too much credit. Roberts voice is no better than any of his latter day voices on a good night vs. good night. Yea, Jimmy was still fast, but thats it. Maybe you just were TOO blown away by the original TSRTS Dazed and Confused, and are biased?

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It's early days for me every time. My favourite period of zep is '69-'73 when they were true musical pioneers - pushing boundaries and breaking rules. The onstage improvisation and jamming was breathtakingly exciting. As for playing songs 9 months before they were officially released (72 tour) - simply fearless and brazen!

Then like a lot of 70s bands the drugs take over and it's a long slippery slope downhill! '75 had it's moments but by '77 the performances were long and bloated by 45 minute versions of No Quarter and 30 minute drum solos and hardly any improvisation. I don't listen much to 79/80 - souless by the number performances and Page is at his drug-addled worst!

Edited by LedZebedee
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  • 4 weeks later...

I'm into the early shows, 1969 mostly, in spite of the shrieking... I also like 73.

75 Dallas is very good, a great recording and they sound so powerful, that must have been awesome to behold indeed. Almost a force of nature in spots.

theres only one 77 concert I really like, sorry, listen to this eddie, which is quite good.

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In my opinion, 1969 to 1972 is the best era of Led Zep in the sense of musicianship and vocal power. Yet, 1973 is their peak for me. 1975 is sort of an in-between year for me. 1977 could be amazing if you caught them on a good night but it could be horrible as well. Knebworth is probably my favorite gig.

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  • 8 months later...

I like the early days better, mainly because the setlists (69-72). I think as far as performances go, both eras had a lot to offer in their own way but personally I like the creativity in the early days. I need to listen to more 77' it would be nice to have official material from then!

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  • 2 months later...

If I were to go back in time and see them it'd be in '73. Excluding Robert's voice (especially through the European tour) they were in complete control of their technical prowess- sounding dynamic, powerful and dramatic without coming across as overly erratic or even tedious.
Having said that, their early shows were unreal- Jimmy's razor-sharp fuzz tone of spring '69 was probably the heaviest he's ever sounded. And their sheer consistency through 70 - 71 is almost super-human.
Their latter days, for me, were marred with inconsistency and poor tone (Jones' synth in 1980 immediately springs to mind...). But overall they were still great. '75 had a few really great shows, Earls Court 18/05/75 is one of my favourite boots ever. And the atmosphere of much of the '77 boots is amazing to hear- there's so much energy bouncing around you feel like you're actually there, even when listening to the driest soundboard.

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Plant's voice is way too shrieky for me in the 69 and 70 dates. But Page is a freakin monster in those early years, just kicking ass and taking names.

I like the latter period, Plant's voice develops some real bass-bottom richness to it, and I can do without the uber-high end stuff. Of course, the fact that in 69 they only have about twenty songs to pick from, and by 77 they have close to 100 does make for a more varied experience, which I think weighs heavily on why I like the latter period.

No doubt though, what some have said: the 77 tour can be real hit or miss. When it hits, it's awesome, and when it misses, you just can't believe how "off" they could be.

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I would say my fav show is 9.04.70 they're having so much fun, from the communication breakdown medley to WLL to Blue Berry Hill IDK it just felt really spontaneous & free. As the years passed their shows became really structured. So much so that that they never really needed a set list.

For me the best shows are between 1969 & 1973.

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