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Offical Boot Releases?


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I know its unlikey given Page's perfectionism and I would preffer to see some more professionally recorded material surface from the vaults but I do think an offical boot release could be worthwhile.

The impresson I get is that more than any other group Zep boots were part of rock culture during the 70's and would IMHO make for an interesting boxset style release. You could include a few of the more famous boots(Blueberry Hill, Going To California, etc) in vinyl style jackets(or maybe as actual vinyl?) and get someone like Simon Pallett to put together a book on the subject(history of concerts, labels, stories etc) and maybe some memrobelia like concert posters/programs etc.

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Its a great idea, the people at the Hendrix estate came up with "Dagger Records," which releases Jimi Hendrix bootlegs officialy which come with a booklet explaining about the gig.

The Zep bootleg of the five nights at Earls Court is 20 discs long though...

Edited by Hand_Of_Omega_91
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Yeah, I've thought about this, like how Pearl Jam releases tons of their concerts as "official boots". But like you said, Page's perfectionism would never allow it. Besides, he would only release multi-track recordings, and there aren't a lot of those...

Its unlikey but I'd say an offical boot release could provide a bit of a getout clause from that by its very nature, as more of a historical archive rather than something that must be worth of the "offical seal".

It wouldnt sell in the same numbers as say HTWWW but if it was done well I think they could charge a fair bit for it which actually seems to be where alot of the money is(Radioheads new album speical edition for example).

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forget packaging.....just offer downloadable flac files like DGM (JPJ's label ) does w/ King Crimson shows. Many bands are doing this nowadays. That way there's no need to produce a product that might or might not sell. For those that want it, it's available at a reasonable cost, for those that don't, there's no overhead on units sitting in bargain bins at record stores. With the flac files, cover art, show history,etc.. could be included.

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forget packaging.....just offer downloadable flac files like DGM (JPJ's label ) does w/ King Crimson shows. Many bands are doing this nowadays. That way there's no need to produce a product that might or might not sell. For those that want it, it's available at a reasonable cost, for those that don't, there's no overhead on units sitting in bargain bins at record stores. With the flac files, cover art, show history,etc.. could be included.

Would be great if that happened but I just don't see Page doing it.

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Would be great if that happened but I just don't see Page doing it.

It's a great idea, and I know in the past that Page has hinted at his wish to take control of these recordings, tidy them up and release them himself.

Unfortunately, I don't see it happening any time soon either!

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I would'nt hold my breath either. ;) Just a means I think is easier for artists to release live material rather than some extravagant cd package. I am thrilled about other bands doing this.

Depends on the band if you ask me, Page certainly isnt in the position where he's having to look for a way to release material as anything with the Zep name on it will sell.

The impression I get is that he likes all Zep releases to have a definate purpose, the DVD provided a chronological look at the band, HTWWW was that "classic" live album they never released(in the publics eyes anyway) and the TSRTS reissues were to prove it was actually a good deal better than its reputation. A boxset of offical boots would be a great look back at an important part of the bands history that would by its nature not be expected to reach the same standards.

Personally as I said I think were starting to see the "big" bands move away from trying to put out cheap products(DL's, budget best of's etc) with low profit margins towards more expensive sets aimed at the hardcore fan with money to spend. The Floyd's new £150 boxset for example might not sell by the million but I'd guess it will bring in a great deal of money.

Edited by greenman
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I actually think that an official bootleg series is almost inevitable. The Grateful Dead and the Allman Brothers Band are two other bands who have had success with official "bootleg" series. The Dead and the ABB are similar to Led Zeppelin in that their performances are highly improvised and no two concerts are alike, and therefore their devoted fans will seek out the tapes even though there are cuts and the sound quality is bad, etc.

Zep fans will always trade tapes for this reason, and some Zep fans will turn those tapes into boots. After a long period of taking a rather laissez faire attitude towards boots, Jimmy is now letting it be known that he doesn't condone them. His testimony in the recent court case is just one example, there are also interviews where he speaks negatively about bootlegging and a band employee takes down any bootleg for sale on eBay. But the only way to really fight a boot is to put it out yourself.

Look at Bob Dylan- since the early days of boot vinyl Royal Albert Hall 1966 has been making the rounds. But when a razor sharp version of that show came out as Guitars Kissing and The Contemporary Fix, within the year Dylan had put out his official version of Royal Albert Hall 1966 , subtitling it Bootleg Series Vol. 4 (Volumes 1-3 are box set that along with the Basement Tapes covers a lot of the same material as the old Great White Wonder boots.) Now you won't find too many bootleg versions of Royal Albert Hall 1966 around. (it was really Manchester 66, if you want to know). Why would you buy a boot of that if you can get it legit in better packaging and better sound? Zappa did the same thing with his "Beat the Boots!" series.

Bottom Line: If Jimmy is serious about fighting the bootleggers, putting the tapes out legitimately is his only recourse. Otherwise he's fighting a War On Drugs type endless war where you can take out a supplier here and there but never the product.

He's often said that the packaging is inaccurate and the consumer is misled into thinking they're buying something with professional sound quality. Why not follow the examples of the "instant live "series- generic packaging, which implies that the release is not of the importance of a full on live album (and therefore allows for lesser quality and imperfections); but with accurate information. The customer isn't fooled, they know exactly what they're getting.

IMHO it's the best result he can hope for. I know he doesn't approve and I feel guilty sometimes . . . but when I saw a three disc set of Osaka 71 with the tour book photo as the CD cover, I didn't hesitate for a second. And until he puts it out legitimately, there will be ALWAYS be people who buy illegitimately.

Here are some examples of Allmans Instant Live Releases. They have a slightly different cover each year, and every concert from that year comes out with that cover:

103-875798N.jpg

allman.jpg

827823006735.jpg

^ This year's version is sweet. B)

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When Rhino released "Beat the Boots" - a collection of Frank Zappa bootlegs, I felt it was pure genius. I remember reading an interview where Zappa admitted that he wasn't happy with the sound quality on most of the recordings, but he felt the release was a way to beat the bootleggers at their own game!

I believe the Zappa box consisted of 10 full length LPs. A box ten times that size could easily be done for Zeppelin, with only the very best recordings. And if it was an official release, I would buy it.

In this day and age of internet trading lists, and lossless FLAC files being swapped, I don't see how the bootleggers can even make money. If they sell ONE CD, it will be ripped, the art scanned, and traded among fans. In fact, some of the material being traded these days was from a tape buried in someones closet for the last 20 years - no moneymaking bootlegger in the mix!

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Yeah, I've thought about this, like how Pearl Jam releases tons of their concerts as "official boots". But like you said, Page's perfectionism would never allow it. Besides, he would only release multi-track recordings, and there aren't a lot of those...

The Top Gear and Tasty Sundae sessions, along with the complete Playhouse Theatre set have been available on bootleg since those broadcasts hit the air in 1969. These recordings were not multitrack. Jimmy did an excellent job mastering them for the official "BBC Sessions."

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Jimmy is now letting it be known that he doesn't condone them. His testimony in the recent court case is just one example, there are also interviews where he speaks negatively about bootlegging and a band employee takes down any bootleg for sale on eBay. But the only way to really fight a boot is to put it out yourself.

I'm not so sure he's interested in stamping out bootlegs as he is what he sees as ripoff's. eBay for example wasnt generally about hardcore fans buying and selling boots it was about a group of ripoff merchants selling cheap CDR's to unknowing(both in terms of sound quality and in how much a CDR copy should be worth, I.E nothing) fans.

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I'm not so sure he's interested in stamping out bootlegs as he is what he sees as ripoff's. eBay for example wasnt generally about hardcore fans buying and selling boots it was about a group of ripoff merchants selling cheap CDR's to unknowing(both in terms of sound quality and in how much a CDR copy should be worth, I.E nothing) fans.

Can't agree. First off, I have an interview with Jimmy where he talks about bootleggers from Japan who charge huge prices, saying they have no overhead and that it is a ripoff and that he doesn't condone it. The dividing line he establishes in that interview is that he doesn't mind tape trading.

Secondly, old TMOQ and TAKRL Zep records also get removed. ANYTHING that remotely resembles a zep boot gets removed. I know, I've bid on a dozen of them, they always get removed, high quality or low.

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Can't agree. First off, I have an interview with Jimmy where he talks about bootleggers from Japan who charge huge prices, saying they have no overhead and that it is a ripoff and that he doesn't condone it. The dividing line he establishes in that interview is that he doesn't mind tape trading.

Secondly, old TMOQ and TAKRL Zep records also get removed. ANYTHING that remotely resembles a zep boot gets removed. I know, I've bid on a dozen of them, they always get removed, high quality or low.

My point isnt so much that he likes or dislikes boots but that he seems to take direct action only when they are sold in a more public domain(and the more public the lower the knowledge of those buying so the more ripoff's). He can't really go after only CDR's on eBay or a large scale dealer like that scottish guy while publically condoning other eBay boots or dealers elsewhere.

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My point isnt so much that he likes or dislikes boots but that he seems to take direct action only when they are sold in a more public domain(and the more public the lower the knowledge of those buying so the more ripoff's). He can't really go after only CDR's on eBay or a large scale dealer like that scottish guy while publically condoning other eBay boots or dealers elsewhere.

True, essentially. But I'll have to post the quote from the interview when I get home. I think he goes a little further than avoiding a public condoning. The way he words it, I think he really was venting his spleen. Tune in later for more . . .

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The Top Gear and Tasty Sundae sessions, along with the complete Playhouse Theatre set have been available on bootleg since those broadcasts hit the air in 1969. These recordings were not multitrack. Jimmy did an excellent job mastering them for the official "BBC Sessions."

I don't know the exact details but I believe those recordings would have been released with or without Page's say, something to do with a time clause in the original contracts(if you remember Cream and Hendrix BBC sets came out around the same time).

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