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Underrated/overrated shows


Cosmic_Equilibrium
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3 hours ago, the-ocean87 said:

Overrated: 1980 tour

I never understood why it gets some praise. Well, some performances are ok. However, from a guitar players POV the whole tour is just an awful display of professionalism, even by a R'n'R Band's standard.

Could not disagree more as there are plenty of good shows on that tour. In fact I would put 50% of those shows in the very good range where I would only place 1/3 of the 77' shows in the very good range but, as Paul said, to each their own.

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3 hours ago, IpMan said:

Could not disagree more as there are plenty of good shows on that tour. In fact I would put 50% of those shows in the very good range where I would only place 1/3 of the 77' shows in the very good range but, as Paul said, to each their own.

Well, his solos on the 1980 tour suck. His fingers are so sticky, it hurts me listening as a guitar player myself.

His rhythm work is ok, though.

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I think the OP's list is great and covers a lot of the bases (and yes. 6-22-77 was the first show that popped into my head when I read the thread title). And subsequent posts I mostly agree with too.


For overrated, I'd add Vancouver 3-21-70. Tried and tried but cannot get into it, and esp. compared to other 1970s shows - Royal Albert Hall, Montreux, LA Forum, Madison Square Garden, and of course Bath - it just pales.

For 1980, to each their own, but I don't think anyone can call it overrated, because it's so frequently trashed - you can say it sucks, but you can't call something overrated if it already has a bad reputation.

 

For underrated, I'd throw in Tokyo 9-23-71. It's a well-regarded show, but still criminally overlooked in general because of the legendary 929 show. 929 has a slight edge because the setlist is so very unusual and interesting - but 9-23 is fully its equal performance-wise IMHO.

Oh - and I'll also include the Paris 10-10-69 show in the underrated category. No, it's not April '69 on the US West Coast, but still, I've always loved this show ever since I first heard it many years ago - and since it got released officially as the Zep I companion disc, its reputation seems to have gone from "okay" to "bad," for reasons that IMHO have absolutely nothing to do with the quality of the performance. I think it's great, and also pretty interesting - hilarious stage banter, a fantastic You Shook Me, the only Good Times Bad Times/Communication Breakdown opener that exists in decent sound quality, and the first known live performance of Moby Dick (not to mention the only known live performance of the track before Zep II's release date).

Edited by tmtomh
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6 hours ago, the-ocean87 said:

Well, his solos on the 1980 tour suck. His fingers are so sticky, it hurts me listening as a guitar player myself.

His rhythm work is ok, though.

Have you heard some of the boots from Rotterdam or Frankfurt? No sticky fingers there. The Rotterdam Heartbreaker is one of Page's best versions as just one example. Of course if you don't like it to each their own, I respect your opinion.

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39 minutes ago, IpMan said:

Have you heard some of the boots from Rotterdam or Frankfurt? No sticky fingers there. The Rotterdam Heartbreaker is one of Page's best versions as just one example. Of course if you don't like it to each their own, I respect your opinion.

1980 requires sifting through pretty average and at times just plain bad songs - which is not necessarily limited to Jimmy having sticky fingers as you all say, or Jimmy/Bonzo just being too smashed, but also Bonham is a lot of the time very subdued, hardly contributing anything but the basics, and the tone of the SB's (and I think the AUD tapes are not much better) being the worst of any Zep tour to my ears. So tinny/dry - no bottom end or space at all for the most part. There are a few exceptions, Frankfurt and Zurich for example are better (but still....), but all in all it's not near '73, '75 (especially) or even '77 which was hit and miss as well for how the SB's present.

BUT - if you dig, and give the better gigs a good run through, there are gems that are equal to their best from any year. It is well worth running through 1980 to dig out those gems, put them aside in a compilation, and you just may get a better appreciation for 1980.

And I agree, 1980 can't be overrated because it gets hammered. I don't think it is underrated either as it deserves a lot of the flak. But it is still worth the effort.

RAH is underrated. It is the best thing Led Zeppelin have recorded/filmed by a country mile. Perfectly illustrating what made early Zep such a powerhouse live band. HMMT is the greatest thing I have ever seen. We need a FULL stand alone RAH release. a RAH DVD SDBS release please Jimmy. I'd buy that no matter the price. Whatever "extra's" are included, don't care. Will love it.

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Not to toot my own horn here too much, but if anyone's interested, I did a best of 1980 tour compilation:

In general, after putting this together, my thoughts are somewhere between rm2551's and IpMan's. In terms of full shows, I think only Frankfurt and Zurich are must hears from this tour. Everything else ranges from just decent to flat out embarrassing. But there are plenty of highlights sprinkled from throughout this run. Had Jimmy and Bonzo gotten into rehab, I think the American tour that year could have kicked serious ass! Plant was singing songs like Rock and Roll in their original melody again. But I do agree that Bonzo's lack of energy drags these shows down, even more than Page's sticky fingers. Plus, I think the setlist for that tour was horrible. The Rain Song followed by Hot Dog, followed by All My Love? Terrible pacing. Ultimately, like all latter day Zeppelin tours, it's a mixed bag with plenty of highlights imho.

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On 5/19/2018 at 3:31 AM, IpMan said:

Have you heard some of the boots from Rotterdam or Frankfurt? No sticky fingers there. The Rotterdam Heartbreaker is one of Page's best versions as just one example. Of course if you don't like it to each their own, I respect your opinion.

Maybe I should give it another listen. I listened to both shows a few years ago and remember that I wasn't impressed with Jimmy.

I repect other opinions, of course.

My problem with the 1980 shows beside Page's heroin demons is the sound(s). For example, I don't like Jones' keyboard and bass sound (especially his sound on stariway sucks and doesn't fit the song). Also the drums sound somewhat dry. The whole feeling of these shows is a bit negative IMO.

Edit: I just finished listening to Stairway from the Frankfurt show. I usually use Stairway to judge Jimmy's playing on a given night. Here he sounds REALLY awful. It hurts to listen to this crap, especially when you know all the good versions of that song 😕

Edited by the-ocean87
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  • 8 months later...
3 hours ago, gibsonfan159 said:

Listening to Brisbane 1972 and pretty blown away. This has made it on my soundboard wishlist.

I dream of at least hearing a better quality version of Stairway from that show one of my favorite Stairway's from any year that's for sure.

Edited by wordev1977
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5 minutes ago, Christopher Lees said:

ROH 1970

6-21-77

This belongs in the "Controversial Opinions" thread. But I know what you mean. 6/21 is borderline over-energetic, almost overkill. RAH was a landmark show, but I think Plant was trying too hard and his commentary on HMMT off beat.

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3 hours ago, gibsonfan159 said:

This belongs in the "Controversial Opinions" thread. But I know what you mean. 6/21 is borderline over-energetic, almost overkill. RAH was a landmark show, but I think Plant was trying too hard and his commentary on HMMT off beat.

lol perhaps it does belong in the Controversial Opinions thread. As far as 6-21-77 goes, it's a pretty good show, no doubt, but the amount of hype it receives would lead one to believe they are playing like they did in Europe 73. I just don't think it measures up. Yes, it's a great show for 77, but it's still got 77 written all over it. You're a guitar player, I'm a guitar player - you know what I mean.

And for RAH 1970, I don't know what to say. It's a good show, but it's not "all that" and there are plenty of other shows form 70 that I think are better than this one. I think it's a great show, but there are others from 70 that have the magic that this one, in my opinion, is missing. While we're talking about 1970, one show that seems to get mixed reviews is 3-21-70 Vancouver. When I first heard this show, I thought it was above average. Even now after listening to so many more bootlegs, I still think it's one of the better ones from 1970, but others think it was a kind of lousy show. Some think it's fantastic, others think is mediocre. That's really odd. Not too many other shows "enjoy" this dichotomy. I would have listed it as underrated but I didn't because many people do rate this show highly, so I left it alone.

Edited by Christopher Lees
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20 hours ago, Christopher Lees said:

lol perhaps it does belong in the Controversial Opinions thread. As far as 6-21-77 goes, it's a pretty good show, no doubt, but the amount of hype it receives would lead one to believe they are playing like they did in Europe 73. I just don't think it measures up. Yes, it's a great show for 77, but it's still got 77 written all over it. You're a guitar player, I'm a guitar player - you know what I mean.

And for RAH 1970, I don't know what to say. It's a good show, but it's not "all that" and there are plenty of other shows form 70 that I think are better than this one. I think it's a great show, but there are others from 70 that have the magic that this one, in my opinion, is missing. While we're talking about 1970, one show that seems to get mixed reviews is 3-21-70 Vancouver. When I first heard this show, I thought it was above average. Even now after listening to so many more bootlegs, I still think it's one of the better ones from 1970, but others think it was a kind of lousy show. Some think it's fantastic, others think is mediocre. That's really odd. Not too many other shows "enjoy" this dichotomy. I would have listed it as underrated but I didn't because many people do rate this show highly, so I left it alone.

I actually kind of agree with you on both of these. 6/21 was the first Zeppelin bootleg I ever heard, so it will always hold a special place in my heart. But having listened to more shows since then, I think 6/22 is the superior show from the LA run. 6/21 is an excellent entry point for those new to bootlegs, but 6/22 has more highlights for me.

RAH is a great show, but I agree that there are better shows from that year. I still think HMMT from that show is an all time classic though. I would say Memphis, LA 9/4, Honolulu 9/6, and New York 9/19 (evening) among others have it beat though.

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Overrated: the EC shows. Aside from the inclusion of the acoustic set, these were my least favorite of the '75 shows. I just find them dull.

Underrated: Newcastle 11-11-1971. Maybe not underrated as much as it goes largely unmentioned, but I listen to this one a lot. I think Plant's voice is stronger here than any other show I can remember.

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  • 2 years later...

It's already been mentioned here, but I'd like to second the underrated shows from UK tour 72-73. When they were "on", that was a Zep to be reckoned with. It's also where the "new" Plant voice really defined itself. And Robert sounds much better on this tour some nights than he did in the later European shows.

My go-to shows for the UK 72-73 tour are Manchester and Bradford - both underrated for sure. If anyone knows of any other shows from this tour where Robert sounds great, please let me know!

Also underrated:

11-25-71 Leicester (UK 71 might be the most underrated of all Zep tours)

2-7-75 MSG (not mentioning Montreal or Philly because it's well-established that these are hot Page shows so not really underrated).

3-10-75 San Diego. This one doesn't get mentioned much due to sound quality, but damn they are cookin and Robert sounds as good as I've heard from 75 on some songs.

 

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On 2/4/2019 at 3:52 PM, Christopher Lees said:

Overrated: 3-12-75,

Boston Tea Party

Bonzo's Birthday Party

Kezar Stadium 73

ROH 1970

6-21-77

 

Underrated:

10-10-69 Paris

Hampton VA, 9-9-71

Honolulu 9-9-70

Paris 4-1-73

Feb 14, 1975

Zurich 1980

Zurich 1980 for sure ^^^

Not a fan of '80 shows but played the hell out of the Zurich show back in the 80s. They were really on that night. Listening to Achille's as I write this. Is Page playing like he did in 73? No, of course not. But it still sounds great to my ears. The show has a "quality", and the band is tight.

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7 hours ago, 1975NQ said:

It's already been mentioned here, but I'd like to second the underrated shows from UK tour 72-73. When they were "on", that was a Zep to be reckoned with. It's also where the "new" Plant voice really defined itself. And Robert sounds much better on this tour some nights than he did in the later European shows.

My go-to shows for the UK 72-73 tour are Manchester and Bradford - both underrated for sure. If anyone knows of any other shows from this tour where Robert sounds great, please let me know!

Also underrated:

11-25-71 Leicester (UK 71 might be the most underrated of all Zep tours)

2-7-75 MSG (not mentioning Montreal or Philly because it's well-established that these are hot Page shows so not really underrated).

3-10-75 San Diego. This one doesn't get mentioned much due to sound quality, but damn they are cookin and Robert sounds as good as I've heard from 75 on some songs.

 

Manchester and Glasgow '72 are among my all-time favorites, Dec72 was a great month for the band (and Bradford in Jan73 was damn good).

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For UK 72, both Newcastle and both Glasgow shows are fantastic. Brighton is arguably Plant's best night of the tour, I wish we had the rest of it. Both London nights are hot, the first is much better for P lant but he's fine at the second night and the band is amazing. The only show from the tour I'd call subpar is Brighton, where Plant is plain miserable. Jonesy does play the Rain Song on the organ though, so that's fun. The first night in Manchester as well as new Cardiff auds are grails for me. 

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16 hours ago, JohnOsbourne said:

Manchester and Glasgow '72 are among my all-time favorites, Dec72 was a great month for the band (and Bradford in Jan73 was damn good).

Nice, Manchester and Bradford are def all-time favs for me. I listen to Manchester more due to better sound quality. That D+C/WLL soundboard from Bradford is about as good as it gets for me. I skimmed over both Glasgow shows earlier this year but for some reason didn't give a full listen. I listened to the entire first night (12/3) from Glasgow yesterday while working and .. damn, it's fantastic. How did I end up sleeping on that one? I plan on giving the second night 12/4 a listen this weekend. Totally agree about Dec72 being a great month for the band. That UK tour, along with Fall 71 UK and Back to the Clubs tour, are my favorite periods for the band. 

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7 minutes ago, June72 said:

For UK 72, both Newcastle and both Glasgow shows are fantastic. Brighton is arguably Plant's best night of the tour, I wish we had the rest of it. Both London nights are hot, the first is much better for P lant but he's fine at the second night and the band is amazing. The only show from the tour I'd call subpar is Brighton, where Plant is plain miserable. Jonesy does play the Rain Song on the organ though, so that's fun. The first night in Manchester as well as new Cardiff auds are grails for me. 

Thanks  - I'll def check those Newcastle and Brighton shows out. Like the Glasgow shows, I skimmed them earlier this year but didn't give a close listen.

I have heard the London Ally Pally shows and really like them, especially the first night. That one has a cool vibe to it.  Hearing the polite English crowd quietly chatting to themselves between and during songs is fun, and I love the Thank You at the end. The story about that one on the LZ site is one of my favorite Zep stories. They came out and played to something like 200 fans who stuck around after everyone else left .. so cool. Like something out of an old Christmas special episode from a 70's tv show (they had those a lot back then, especially in England). "A Very Zeppy Christmas". Or something. I only mention it because sometimes i wonder if the culture in England at that time seeped into their heads in some way to even give them the idea of doing something like that - going back to play for whoever was left in the building, just to be in the Xmas spirit.

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7 hours ago, 1975NQ said:

Nice, Manchester and Bradford are def all-time favs for me. I listen to Manchester more due to better sound quality. That D+C/WLL soundboard from Bradford is about as good as it gets for me. I skimmed over both Glasgow shows earlier this year but for some reason didn't give a full listen. I listened to the entire first night (12/3) from Glasgow yesterday while working and .. damn, it's fantastic. How did I end up sleeping on that one? I plan on giving the second night 12/4 a listen this weekend. Totally agree about Dec72 being a great month for the band. That UK tour, along with Fall 71 UK and Back to the Clubs tour, are my favorite periods for the band. 

You probably missed the 12-3 show because it just appeared about two years ago, it's great that these things are still surfacing.  It's a fantastic show, but not quite as good as 12-4.

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On 2/22/2018 at 5:53 AM, Cosmic_Equilibrium said:

Haven't seen this discussion for a while and thought it would be interesting to get it going again.

Underrated:

1) LA Forum 22/06/1977. Several people have mentioned this one as potentially the greatest shows of the 77 tour, and I have to agree with them. The band is just ON here, if anything even more so than the previous night. The main drawback is the sound quality, but it says a lot that in spite of that I keep coming back to this perfomance all the time. Best version of IMTOD ever. One of the two or three best versions of Kashmir ever. Phenomenal energy all the way through and if Millard had been there this show would be in the top 10 of most people's lists.

2) San Francisco 26/04/1969. Most people go to the 24th, which has great sound quality, or the 27th, which seems to be a favourite show of the early days to listen to. Both of those are great performances, but the 26th has the edge on the other nights around it - the band is white hot on here. Again, it's a case of a sub-par recording putting people off somewhat, but with a bit of effort this is a rewarding listen.

3) Knebworth 04/08/1979. I get the feeling a lot of people tend to be too disparaging of this show, either thinking it's a slightly uneven performance, or that the Copenhagen shows massively overshadow it. I honestly don't really get either claim, I think the band are absolutely firing on all cylinders. They do sound a little tense here and there through nerves, but I think this is regarded as one of Zeppelin's classic shows for a reason. Best version of Achilles Last Stand ever - top two or three at least - and also the best versions of ITE and WLL around, plus another superb version of Kashmir. I appreciate that the performances are just as good on Copenhagen, but the better sound quality of Knebworth gives it an edge. I do agree that the following week's show wasn't as good though.

4) Vancouver 19/03/1975. Best show of the 1975 tour. Possibly the best SB recording ever, more bass than usual. Spectacular version of NQ too.

5) Several 1971 shows - take your pick. I could choose Hiroshima (the overlooked show of the Japan tour), or the first night at Berkeley (almost as good as the following evening). The UK winter tour stands out though, with several really nice performances ranging from the relaxed (Newcastle) to the wild and passionate (Manchester), though one has to get past the sound quality on a lot of the recordings. I think generally the live standard of the band in 1971 was so high that nearly every show seems to qualify as either very good or brilliant.

 

Overrated: LA Forum 1975. All three of these shows are fine, but I can't really get into them - the band sound quite tired and worn out, and seem to lack the energy and inspiration of the previous week.

Great picks for both over and under. I'm absolutely with you on your points on 71 - can't go wrong with any shows from that year, but the UK Fall tour is hugely underrated. I need to give 4/26/69 some attention. I listened to it briefly once a while back while multitasking and didn't give it much attention. It's on my "listening list" for this week.

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  • 1 month later...

For anyone interested, adding another underrated show: 8-22-71, second night in LA. I think this show is overshadowed by the previous night where Robert was having an incredible night, the amazing encores, etc. However, on their second night, Jimmy is absolutely on fire and is having, to my ears anyway, one of his best nights of the year. Start to finish, he's just in the zone and sounds magic (The "Black Dog" from this show is insane). Robert actually doesn't sound bad at all, and his voice gets better as the show goes on. Dazed in particular sounds incredible. In the coda, Jimmy is playing some really pretty stuff, almost Dead-like. Robert makes some pretty bad errors in both CD and STH, which is kind of comical because he's telling the crowd to keep quiet for the beginning - and then he sounds like he's actually forgotten the lyrics in a couple spots 😂 Bonzo also sounds kinda tired in some spots with this show but then picks it up by the end. Maybe they both partied too hard the night before and didn't sleep much?

Anyway, I think it's a fun, relaxed performance with a blazing Jimmy all the way through. A really, really fun listen which has been on my rotation all this week. The sound quality is spotty, but when it's good (thankfully it's good on Dazed), it's really good for an audience recording.

Edited by 1975NQ
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18 hours ago, 1975NQ said:

For anyone interested, adding another underrated show: 8-22-71, second night in LA. I think this show is overshadowed by the previous night where Robert was having an incredible night, the amazing encores, etc. However, on their second night, Jimmy is absolutely on fire and is having, to my ears anyway, one of his best nights of the year. Start to finish, he's just in the zone and sounds magic (The "Black Dog" from this show is insane). Robert actually doesn't sound bad at all, and his voice gets better as the show goes on. Dazed in particular sounds incredible. In the coda, Jimmy is playing some really pretty stuff, almost Dead-like. Robert makes some pretty bad errors in both CD and STH, which is kind of comical because he's telling the crowd to keep quiet for the beginning - and then he sounds like he's actually forgotten the lyrics in a couple spots 😂 Bonzo also sounds kinda tired in some spots with this show but then picks it up by the end. Maybe they both partied too hard the night before and didn't sleep much?

Anyway, I think it's a fun, relaxed performance with a blazing Jimmy all the way through. A really, really fun listen which has been on my rotation all this week. The sound quality is spotty, but when it's good (thankfully it's good on Dazed), it's really good for an audience recording.

I love the NA '71 tour, it's in my top 3 tours, but I've never really thought the LA shows stand out (there's a lot of support for them here).  I'll have to give them a second listen.  

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