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First off I'd like to say I am new to the forum and this is my first post, and this question was obviously asked before but,

What is your favorite Led Zeppelin year? And why is it? Whether its album releases or live performances.

- My favorite year is 1972.

Not only Roberts vocals hitting his peak, but Jimmy's live tone was just magnificent. And the recorded audio is very clean.

Their performances had many songs from my favorite album "Houses of the Holy".

And not to mention it had some of Jimmy Page's beard in that year I believe.

 

 

 

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Edited by OnDownTheLine
touch up

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I happen to agree with you that Led Zeppelin live in 1972 was a great year for the band.  A couple of their longest gigs were in 1972.  Seattle, Los Angeles and Baltimore come to mind.  My favorite live versions of "Since I've Been Loving You" are from 1972.

However, in my opinion, the penultimate year of Led Zeppelin was 3 years later.  Led Zeppelin was at their artistic and commercial zenith in 1975.  With Swan Song up and running, the release of Physical Graffiti, and the American tour culminating with three solid performances in Los Angeles to end the 1975 tour. 

Add all that to culmination to the five sold-out gigs at London's Earl's Court in May of 1975 and I believe that this is the ultimate and sadly the last great year that Led Zeppelin enjoyed before tragedy, addiction and many other things were forced upon Led Zeppelin that was definitely beyond anyone's control. 

1975 for Me.  The first half of 1975. 

Edited by kingzoso

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1970 - The medleys in GTBT, WLL & HMMT alone are some of the best performances by any musical group ever! And don't forget the acoustic sets during the year as well!

Edited by The Only Way To Fly
Acoustic Set!

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my favorite year is probably 1969 but I think they peaked in 1972.  1969, 1970 and 1972 were very iconic years for led zeppelin live recordings.

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1973, no question.  The sheer musicianship, versatility and dynamics of the song writing and performances, all maintained while they achieved demi-god status (something which can't be said about 1975, say;  there was definitely some coasting there).  It was a perfect blend of the past and future (e.g. D&C and NQ). 

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I am with Osbourne with 73'. Page in particular at his peak was playing practically Hendrix invention with the best

shows. Bonham as well would meld with Page, creating a brilliant sonic architecture with so many layers that yes they

were playing rock, but every version of many songs had jazz freedom and complexity. I feel some of the other years

mentioned, 69', 70', 72' have tremendous merits and some things 73' didn't have, but many songs simply hadn't

reached full development.

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I saw Led Zep the first time in Stockholm, Sweden 1969 but I think my favorite year is 1973 when I visited the U.S. for the second time and saw Led Zep at Madison Square Garden. I saw Led Zep a dozen of times and the last concert was at the 02 Arena in London 2007.

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I am partial to 1971. Plant's voice was great, the performances were intense, acoustic set, great WLL medleys, plenty of interesting cover songs, the Japanese tour. 1972 is pretty similar, but to my ears Plant's voice isn't quite as strong, and there's not as many interesting cover songs.

I also like the good shows on the 1977 tour, primarily for the sheer variety of songs and the length of the shows.

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1969.The sheer power of the band then and to this day goes unmatched.

1969-01-26 Boston Tea Party Boston,MA

Edited by Ocean73

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It's probably worth pointing out that Physical Graffiti (their masterwork as far as studio albums go) had its genesis in late '73.  Truly a remarkable year.

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8 hours ago, Ocean73 said:

1969.The sheer power of the band then and to this day goes unmatched.

1969-01-26 Boston Tea Party Boston,MA

I happen to be listening to this gig at this moment.  Robert's voice is way down in the mix but it is Jimmy's sheer brutality on guitar that really stands out. 

https://youtu.be/V3cQpwCRC10

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Definitely 1972. Zeppelin were at the point of being World famous and playing big arenas, but it hadn't yet gone to their heads, they were still hungry and full of energy. Studio-wise, they were touring behind the freshly released 'IV' and recording 'Houses of the Holy', so that just about says it all. It's Jimmy Page's favourite year too.

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Though Robert's voice was not at its strongest, overall Led Zeppelin at its peak for songwriting, popularity, addiction not affecting performance, and as a force both musically and business wise-1975

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1970 for me, I really dig the lighter side of Zeppelin with the III album. Plus it was the first time they played Madison Square Garden, one of the first real "they truly made it" signs.

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In 75 though they took it to world music w kashmir and blues rock and what would influence 90s rock w wanton song. Although they did that by zep 4 too...

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I have to go with 1973 on this. Between the release of Houses Of The Holy, the U.K. Tour that continued through late 1972, the European Tour, the U.S. Tour, then they got to work on Physical Graffiti!!! Just look at the famous picture of the band with their plane lol. Plus Southampton 1/22/1973 and Seattle 7/17/1973 are 2 of my favorite shows!! Every year they were active had something very special about it and was great, but when it comes down to it 1973 just has the most great aspects.

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For me, each year is like your kids.

You love each one because they are different personalities and nearly impossible to rank them.

Given that, each year has it's arguments and unlike kids, years can't get their feelings hurt, So I think when they were all 4 firing full bore, I love 77, warts and all.

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It' so hard to argue with 70 71 & 72.

69 was great. The power, the hunger, and the fire. The live shows where really tight too. As great as the shows were the band basically played it safe. Aside from that they had very little studio material (that they wrote) to draw from.

1973 kicked off with the Club Tours . Then they played the legendary (very driven and HEAVY) shows in Germany. In a couple of books, none by Cole, it had been mentioned that jaunt was the first time Jimmy and Bonzo had danced with Mr. Brownstone. I believe it was a period that was actually enhanced by the use of hard drugs.

Houses Of The Holy revealed yet more diversity from a band who's previous release was probably the best of it's genre. The band grew as a live act with lots of improvising on stage.  From 1973 , we got great recordings of Trentham (Stoke) , Oxford, Southampton, Essen,  Offenburgh, Berlin (Germany and Vienna, courtesy of Mr. Winston). Mobile, New Orleans, Fort Worth , LA 5/31, Kezar, Seattle and topped off by historic  Garden Shows.

1975 brought us Physical Graffiti, regardless if a lot of the songs are from previous sessions, it's a masterpiece and incredibly diverse. 1975 also brought us the incredible March 75 run of shows were in the period of one month the band laid waste to the United States Western Sea board (and into British Columbia). On the heels, of the incredible 2/28 LSU show The band hit Texas on 3/3/75 and for a month played some of there live shows (well documented too )  Including but certainly not limited to, 2 brilliant Seattle Shows, same for Vancouver (each one better than the previous) two for the ages at The Forum (3/27 was a little over the top for me), Long Beach again one better than the next (3-11 has a great recording but if Millard captured all of 3/12...wow !!) . If that's not a great run of show in 30 days I don't know what is. Then in May they topped it off with Earl's Court. Many will say those shows are over rated but the popularity of  5/24 and 5/25 is telling.

Depending on what you think or read 1973 marked Ascension In The Wane (great title) or 1975 is when they began to slide. For me , I have a bunch of sub-par recordings from 1973 but not sub-par shows, from 1975 I have some great recordings of some sub-par shows.

And alas, I cannot decide between 73 or 75 as a favorite year.

LOTS and LOTS of love for 77 but by then it was clear they would never be the "Kings Of The Court" again and ascension was clearly in the wane.

And 1980 has some GREAT treasures to behold.

  

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Posted (edited)
On 1/25/2016 at 4:17 AM, kingzoso said:

I happen to agree with you that Led Zeppelin live in 1972 was a great year for the band.  A couple of their longest gigs were in 1972.  Seattle, Los Angeles and Baltimore come to mind.  My favorite live versions of "Since I've Been Loving You" are from 1972.

However, in my opinion, the penultimate year of Led Zeppelin was 3 years later.  Led Zeppelin was at their artistic and commercial zenith in 1975.  With Swan Song up and running, the release of Physical Graffiti, and the American tour culminating with three solid performances in Los Angeles to end the 1975 tour. 

Add all that to culmination to the five sold-out gigs at London's Earl's Court in May of 1975 and I believe that this is the ultimate and sadly the last great year that Led Zeppelin enjoyed before tragedy, addiction and many other things were forced upon Led Zeppelin that was definitely beyond anyone's control. 

1975 for Me.  The first half of 1975. 

 

On 1/25/2016 at 2:32 PM, Stairway is NOT stolen said:

1975 without a doubt.

 

On 1/28/2016 at 6:23 PM, Garden Wanderer said:

Though Robert's voice was not at its strongest, overall Led Zeppelin at its peak for songwriting, popularity, addiction not affecting performance, and as a force both musically and business wise-1975

 

On 3/12/2016 at 11:56 AM, No Quota said:

For me, each year is like your kids.

You love each one because they are different personalities and nearly impossible to rank them.

Given that, each year has it's arguments and unlike kids, years can't get their feelings hurt, So I think when they were all 4 firing full bore, I love 77, warts and all.

At every show in 75 there were magical moments! The first few shows with The Wonton Song, and WTLB and HMMT Jesus these 75 performances are awesome! Jimmy playing with an injured finger and all! Feb 16 was an awesome end to the first leg and March 28th is a fucking amazing show to start the second. March 12th I believe is one of the best if not THE best of 75. Amungts my favorites are  Seattle 21st. LA 25th. (All of them really) Vancouver 20th. Dallas 5th. Baton Rouge 28th. St Louis 16th. Msg 12th msg 10th. Phili 8th. And man those LA shows are extremely experimental is songs like dazed and NQ. Longest dazed ever performed on the 27th. Really cool. Can't ever forget Earls Court! All 5! The AUD tapes The first 3 shows actually sound good! Seattle's dazed has awesome solos and rythm moments like right b4 the San Fran part they hit this new jam for about 10 Seconds. And Robert sang for what its worth and I shot the sherif in place of San fran. Really awesome sound. And long Beach 12th dazed has another awesome part right b4 the bow solo man they go into this funky ass jam for another 10 seconds. Not to mention the playing at that show is just extremely fluid. They were truly in sync that night. 

Anyway I ramble, 75 is my all time fav year! Next comes 73 then 77 then 72.... The rest is random. 

Edited by hunter19877

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