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Royal Albert Hall 1970


the fool
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Is it just me or was the band really "on" for this show? It was probably because of the cameras, but still, I don't believe I've heard any other show was performed so well... It might just be my ears...

All the songs are run through pretty smoothly... Every jam seems to go in the right direction (Dazed & Confused, HMMT, etc.)... I Can't Quit You Baby? Come on. How could that song get any better? Moby Dick is simply incredible... How Many More Times is my absolute most favorite version ever performed/recorded... And how can you not love those Cochran covers? I'm glad we've got the video footage of this show released officially, if nothing else. I wish Heartbreaker was included, however...

And what ever happened to SIBLY? I'm pretty sure it was played that night... Must've been the 2nd or 3rd performance?

I know it's been discussed since 2003 but it's been one of my favorites since all that existed was that muddy ol' soundboard... So what do you guys think of it?

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Is it just me or was the band really "on" for this show? It was probably because of the cameras, but still, I don't believe I've heard any other show was performed so well... It might just be my ears...

All the songs are run through pretty smoothly... Every jam seems to go in the right direction (Dazed & Confused, HMMT, etc.)... I Can't Quit You Baby? Come on. How could that song get any better? Moby Dick is simply incredible... How Many More Times is my absolute most favorite version ever performed/recorded... And how can you not love those Cochran covers? I'm glad we've got the video footage of this show released officially, if nothing else. I wish Heartbreaker was included, however...

And what ever happened to SIBLY? I'm pretty sure it was played that night... Must've been the 2nd or 3rd performance?

I know it's been discussed since 2003 but it's been one of my favorites since all that existed was that muddy ol' soundboard... So what do you guys think of it?

SIBLY was performed, but it was months before they had recorded III. So maybe (to quote the Garden Tapes guy) Jimmy thought it sounded a bit too primitive compared to the MSG one.

And I also wish Heartbreaker was included. Shame they couldn't find the last reel for that.

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Your Time Is Gonna Come was also played.About the show I think it is better than The Song Remains The Same. Its not that I dont like The Song Remains The Same its that at the Royal Albert all JPJ, Jimmy, Robert, and Bonzo all gave 100% for every song but in he ong emains he ame during Rock n Roll, Celebration Day, The Song Remains The Same, and Over the Hills and Far Away Robert just doesnt give it his all.The improvitation for Dazed and Confused was just dumb in TSRTS it had absoloutely no flow like it did in th Royal Albert Hall.

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SIBLY was performed, but it was months before they had recorded III. So maybe (to quote the Garden Tapes guy) Jimmy thought it sounded a bit too primitive compared to the MSG one.

And I also wish Heartbreaker was included. Shame they couldn't find the last reel for that.

I have this show, but SIBLY isnt on it. why?

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I used to hold Jimmy's bday performance up to a high standard (RAH 1-9-70), but Paris 10-12-69 and NYC (late) 9-19-70 bury RAH in terms of performance, if you ask me.

Do you mean 10-12-69 London? Or do you mean 10-10-69 Paris, the new FM source? I heard that (10-10) and I don't think it was as strong a performance as RAH... I mean, you can hear some of the jams they built up to in 1970 but hadn't quite set in stone just yet, like in HMMT... But a lot of it was sloppy... True, it's a fresh source and the guitar solos are crisp, clean and sweet and the band really grooves... But, in my opinion they just don't reach the heights they would the next year... Just my opinion...

However, I do agree with you on 9-19-70... That was another great show...

For me, I think 1970 is my favorite year because they were still knee-deep in the blues and doing it damned well... They hadn't yet crossed into rock territory like they would in 1971 and on... At least that's how I see (hear) it...

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Do you mean 10-12-69 London? Or do you mean 10-10-69 Paris, the new FM source? I heard that (10-10) and I don't think it was as strong a performance as RAH... I mean, you can hear some of the jams they built up to in 1970 but hadn't quite set in stone just yet, like in HMMT... But a lot of it was sloppy... True, it's a fresh source and the guitar solos are crisp, clean and sweet and the band really grooves... But, in my opinion they just don't reach the heights they would the next year... Just my opinion...

However, I do agree with you on 9-19-70... That was another great show...

For me, I think 1970 is my favorite year because they were still knee-deep in the blues and doing it damned well... They hadn't yet crossed into rock territory like they would in 1971 and on... At least that's how I see (hear) it...

Yes, Paris 10-10-69. My bad on the date. And I think that performance buries RAH simply from Plant's voice alone. The playing is ferocious, especially on Heartbreaker. Might not be mic'ed as well as it could have, but it's controled chaos. I like shows that have that kind of energy, whereas they sort of held back for much of the RAH show.

'70 is easily my favorite year by far. And '75 is slowly surpassing some of the other years.

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Germaine Greer recalls a concert at the Albert Hall in 1970 which converted her from cynic into believer.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/arts/main...bmgreer110.xml

I love Led Zep to this day, I don't know how it was that I got to see Led Zeppelin live on stage at the Albert Hall. What I do know is that I wouldn't have bought a ticket. In the circles I moved in, if you weren't invited to a rock concert and didn't have a backstage pass, you didn't go.

I certainly wasn't invited by anyone connected with Led Zeppelin, who were never to be seen hobnobbing with other musos and their molls at the Speakeasy or anywhere else.

As far as the wider rock and roll community was concerned, Led Zeppelin were a commercial operation put together by the most professional session musician in the business, but then they also thought that David Bowie was a useless hanger-on. Somehow I did get to see Led Zeppelin, and that legendary foursome, Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones and John Bonham, did blow my cynical disbelieving mind.

Far from being in the wings or backstage, I was miles away on the very top rung of the Albert Hall, where the backstage staff used to come to catch some of the gig in between chores. So how I got there I'm blest if I can remember, but I shall never forget what I witnessed.

The Albert Hall acoustic is peculiar: the sound came up to me with a force that pummelled me breathless. No other band ever managed to make a sound like that. It was certainly loud, but it was also driving, pushing along with incredible energy.

In the centre was the skinny figure of Jimmy Page, shrouded in a cloud of black hair, working on his guitar like an engineer shovelling coal into this express train of a band. I was used to virtuoso guitar from Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix; Page was different because his sound was thoroughly integrated into the whole sound.

The key was the man who could have been choirmaster at Winchester Cathedral, the bassist John Paul Jones. Jones was even better educated musically than Page so, rather than duelling with his lead guitar, he listened and responded. Page also listened to him, as carefully as violin and cello listen to each other in a classical string quartet.

The result may have been less spontaneous than lead guitar and bass bouncing off each other as usual, but it was far more musical. Incredibly the whole band were in tune, which meant that harmonies and dissonances could build and interact to produce Zeppelin's characteristic depth of sound, even more striking in performance than on record.

Up there above the heaving crowd, I couldn't believe the transcendental noise I was hearing. Robert Plant was certainly screaming the place down, but his was a real tenor yell, right up to the highest notes.

Most of the lead singers I knew had hardly more than a single octave and sang their high notes falsetto, usually out of tune; indeed, one of the most successful British bands had a lead singer who was utterly tone deaf. Most rock and roll vocalists don't sing but shout. Inside the bony cavities of his outsize head Plant created real resonance so he could really sing.

Like most drummers, Bonham is best known for battering solos, and he was allowed his 32 bars, but more importantly he always hit the middle of the beat. He could cross it, bend it, twist it, but he never forgot where it was.

The result was power. All rock and roll bands were after power, but most of them were too disorganised to arrive at it. Led Zeppelin used discipline and concentration to become the Wagner of rock and roll.

What was also obvious was that the Led Zeppelin sound was nourished by the best of urban rhythm and blues. I didn't know enough to recognise all the riffs I heard, but there were quotations from everywhere, some part of the shared musical tradition, from Bo Diddley, Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Chuck Berry, Big Bill Broonzy and all, some from much closer to home.

As Page had worked on two thirds of the pop music recorded in British studios in the mid-'60s, it wasn't surprising that some things sounded familiar; what nobody knows to this day is who was responsible for what. Caught up in that storm of mighty melody, I wasn't about to get mad on behalf of the Small Faces and the Yardbirds. Led Zeppelin had done what they didn't do: they had got it together.

For 10 years, rock and roll had been working towards something that would combine the extraordinary capacities of electronic instruments with the anarchic energy of youth, and there in the Albert Hall on January 9, 1970, I found it. The spring god Dionysus had arisen and was shaking his streaming red-gold mane on stage.

In these four figures spinning in their vortex of sound, male display was transcending itself. There really never was anything quite like it. The Rolling Stones might have been closer to the marrow of rock and roll, but Led Zeppelin were its super-toned muscle.

Edited by The Rover
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Yes, Paris 10-10-69. My bad on the date. And I think that performance buries RAH simply from Plant's voice alone. The playing is ferocious, especially on Heartbreaker. Might not be mic'ed as well as it could have, but it's controled chaos. I like shows that have that kind of energy, whereas they sort of held back for much of the RAH show.

'70 is easily my favorite year by far. And '75 is slowly surpassing some of the other years.

After giving the show another listen (10-10-69), i agree with you... "controlled chaos" is the perfect word for it. Plant's voice is great. I will always hold RAH over any other bootleg though: I've gotten used to it, and I think everything blends so well... And that restraint that you mentioned is a big key in why it's so great to me...

I've always had a "thing" for '75... Especially the Earl's Court run in May (i wonder what's keeping page from releasing at least a mixture of the best of those shows -- perhaps no multitracks, but i doubt that -- that'd make a nice box set) and a bunch of shows earlier in the tour... There's some kind magic about that tour... I've always enjoyed listening to it...

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I'd guess the most likey reason SIBLY wasnt filmed if it was played is that it was unreleased at the time. Remember the reason for capturing the RAH show was originally for a TV speical not a DVD release 30 years down the line.

Personally I'v been hoping Page would release the RAH show on CD since it could potentially add SIBLY, HB, TY and the Long Tall Sally melody plus restore CB and HMMT to there full lenght.

AS for the performance while its certainly very good I'm not sure I'd say it was exceptional for the time, there are many dates from the spring of the same year where they perfected the same kind of show to a higher level IMHO.

Edited by greenman
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In regards to SIBLY, none of the bootlegs have it on them. While it was reportedly played at pretty much every concert from the 8th January at Bristol, the earliest recorded version is from the 28th February 1970, so my guess is that it wasn't played at the RAH show, as none of the boots, aud or sbd, have it on then.

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Your Time Is Gonna Come was also played.About the show I think it is better than The Song Remains The Same. Its not that I dont like The Song Remains The Same its that at the Royal Albert all JPJ, Jimmy, Robert, and Bonzo all gave 100% for every song but in he ong emains he ame during Rock n Roll, Celebration Day, The Song Remains The Same, and Over the Hills and Far Away Robert just doesnt give it his all.The improvitation for Dazed and Confused was just dumb in TSRTS it had absoloutely no flow like it did in th Royal Albert Hall.

YTIGC has never been listed on any setlist I've ever seen from the RAH show. Where did you get t his info?

Also, when comarping TSRTS, OTHAFA was only recently released. And D&C was heavily edited, which likely caused what you felt was poor flow.

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Whoever mentioned YTIGC might be thinking of Thank You, which was definitely played that night... I wonder where that recording is? As far as I know, at least some of it was recorded since there's a little piece of the organ solo intro that loops on one of the sub-menus of the DVD (and it sounds quite promising) with some kind of video clip of Jones at the organ...

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Really? Clapton was there?

Yes, this is a well known point of time for them in their home country. They became big first in the US, but this is the starting of that "bigger than the Beatles" period in the UK. LZ II was number one all over the continent and London was the rock capital on this side of the Atlantic.

Here's my fav. clip from that period:

"The lead what?" :rolleyes:

I think Jeff Beck can even be seen backstage at RAH and reportedly people like EC, John Lennon and such were there to see the show. And it was Jimmy's birthday. So it's not a big surprise the show was good. But it's great that the cameras weren't too much in their way.

The sad thing (if I remember correctly, I talked about this a couple years ago with the director of the DVD, Dick Carruthers) was that it was not released due to all kinds of technical problems, and much later a bootleg copy was circulating, but the sound was out of sync and the picture was not that good (but in those days any moving picture of LZ was a treasure!) B) This was only shot with two 16mm color film cameras, one of them had a shutter problem and wasn't running right, both of them were slowing down due to batteries and the technology of that time, so the film would run faster on a projector towards the end, big gaps in the songs when neither of the two cameras were shooting anything, etc. Dick and his team did a LOT of work that so we all can enjoy this show now at our homes.

BUT to this day, it's the best document of the band in action, IMO.

(picture quality vs. performance vs. sound quality)

And I'm one of those masochists who can listen to the tapes from Spokane 1968 and Bath 1970.

I remember the first tape I heard from Knebworth, it sounded like it was recorded with a small dictation recorder on minitape a mile from the stage! I love that and Earl's Court as well, but RAH is a very special one.

Cheers, Percy

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And I also wish Heartbreaker was included. Shame they couldn't find the last reel for that.

I don't believe there ever was a last reel. From listening to what there is of Heartbreaker....I clearly hear the reel run out of magnetic tape and the leader tape run over the playback heads. It truly is a heartbreaker every time I listen to it. :(

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In regards to SIBLY, none of the bootlegs have it on them. While it was reportedly played at pretty much every concert from the 8th January at Bristol, the earliest recorded version is from the 28th February 1970, so my guess is that it wasn't played at the RAH show, as none of the boots, aud or sbd, have it on then.

The earliest know version of SIBLY is the Bristol show on January 8th. There is a recording of the show. The talk of SIBLY being played comes from the fact that they performed it the night before in Bristol. One is lead to believe since they performed it the night before, then they must pulled it out at the RAH. But of course since there is no known recording of it being played at RAH, the question still remains.

Edited by Mooney1975
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I don't believe there ever was a last reel. From listening to what there is of Heartbreaker....I clearly hear the reel run out of magnetic tape and the leader tape run over the playback heads. It truly is a heartbreaker every time I listen to it. :(

Well, damn. :( It could've been the highlight of the show.

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Their January 9th, 1970 performance is one of my favorite concerts ever and it's definitely my favorite of Zeppelin's. The versions of 'I Can't Quit You Baby' and 'How Many More Times' from this show are my favorites they've ever done. And what there is of 'Heartbreaker' is absolutely great. I can't say enough about this show, I think it is amazing :thumbsup:

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  • 9 years later...

A few thoughts about this recording 

First, to me it is the best live recording/mix of the band.  Perfection.  Everything is clear, strong and perfectly balanced.  

Second, Plant's vocals are captured better than on any other recording I have ever heard.  He is strong in the mix, and he is at the peak of his powers.  He hits the high notes but more importantly he has a very strong low range here too.  He sings with so much power and it is so well captured in this recording.  His high notes don't screech at all and the lows are so strong. 

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