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Why the huge difference in celebration day (song)


Night_flight3030
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As a old time studio album fan of Led Zeppelin I have always dreamed of seeing these guys live, knowing full well I was 9 years to late. Having heard some boots back in the day for instance Dallas 75’, Destroyer 77’, Berlin 80’. Or whatever MTV played during Zeppelin Box set release back in the 1990s. Having bought 3 or four different copies, upgrades, remasters, an such of Song Remains The Same, I’ve been pretty shallow on  unofficial recordings of the band (Thank you YouTube) that has changed, some recordings should be left in a box and others are spectacular but lack good professional recording though still worth repeat listens such as “listen to this Eddie, or Texas 77,” my question is this.
Can someone please explain to me why there was such a big difference in the song celebration day how they played it live from 1971 to 1973 song remain the same version? The 1971 version is Bonzo attacking the drums with Joney going nuts? And the song remains the same version in NYC 73’ is was tamer (killer love it) but the 1971 is Holy Jesus these guys R on fire!

I did search this forum for this question it and I’m sorry if I missed it or if it’s been asked before. 

 

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1971 Celebration Days are a primary reason why I love getting any 1971 show I can get my hands on.

1971: The band was on fire, firing on all cylinders and Plant was still in full voice. Page played CD on the 12-string, which gave it a nice ringing tone and foreshadowed "The Song Remains the Same" (the song not the movie) a bit.

1973: Page switched to the Les Paul for the song. Plant's voice was not tip-top and it seems like the band dropped the key and the tempo to compensate for Plant's vocal shortcomings (they did the same thing with "Rock and Roll"...slower and lower). Also, the 1973 tour found the band going for a heavier vibe overall.

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8 hours ago, Strider said:

1971 Celebration Days are a primary reason why I love getting any 1971 show I can get my hands on.

1971: The band was on fire, firing on all cylinders and Plant was still in full voice. Page played CD on the 12-string, which gave it a nice ringing tone and foreshadowed "The Song Remains the Same" (the song not the movie) a bit.

1973: Page switched to the Les Paul for the song. Plant's voice was not tip-top and it seems like the band dropped the key and the tempo to compensate for Plant's vocal shortcomings (they did the same thing with "Rock and Roll"...slower and lower). Also, the 1973 tour found the band going for a heavier vibe overall.

I would definitely have to agree with your point. Robert Plant in those early touring days from 1969-71 are unreal, the Bonham Jones combo during the 71 tour blew away anything I’ve heard The Who do live or Deep purple, Pink Floyd, Uriah heap, Tool, Sound Garden name it no one could touch that power. 

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14 hours ago, Night_flight3030 said:

Can someone please explain to me why there was such a big difference in the song celebration day how they played it live from 1971 to 1973 song remain the same version?

It is the magic of Zeppelin.  Both versions are amazing, yet very different.  I heard the 1973 version first in  1976 when the movie and live album came out and that to me was the gold standard of excellence.  Then I first heard some 1971 versions and I was completely blown away.  It was so different - not just the speed. but Page's ending solos in 1971 are completely different than the 1973 versions, and there is so much variety in the ending solo within each year - night to night.    Another one of the many wonders of Led Zeppelin.

My favorites from 1971 are Toronto and Osaka 9/29.

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To me, the early versions from 71 are a more straight ahead , driving rock vibe with the 12 string twanging , Jones relentlessly pile driving the beat, sometimes playing straight 16th notes, and Bonzo thrashing with open hihats...faster tempo. NY 71 is a killer example .

By 73 the vibe is more funk, slower tempo, Page on his Les Paul , Jones and Bonham locked in to a much more funk/soul type groove.  I love both concepts for the tune. 

Edited by porgie66
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The 1971 versions especially the Japan versions do this start-stop thing in the solo during the middle that is phenomenal.   Osaka 9/28 is super cool during that part.  Wish we had a better recording of that one!!

OMG...Communication from 9/28/71 Osaka is 🔥.   During the solo they do a similar jam that was done during Bring It On Home at Copenhagen 1970.  Unreal....

Edited by Sticks of Fire
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  • 4 weeks later...
15 minutes ago, mhotter74 said:

I always loved the Version of Celebration Day on the original TSRTS soundtrack - but subsequent reissues and remasters seem to all be different variants, still hard to find that original version I like the best!

It's not that hard. There are plenty of original used vinyl and original cd issues in the record shops.

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The huge difference in the song is Bonham. The live recordings in Japan and Canada in 1971 compared with 1973 are staggering,  in my opinion. Bonham and Jones are locked in sync while Jimmy goes off. JB then changed and started playing with Jimmy more and using his foot a lot less and open high and toms more. 
In the Osaka recordings when Bonham was fighting with Plant and annoying the band , I believe JB left his high hat open deliberately to annoy the band and drown out Plant. You can also pick up while Jimmy is soloing 2nd time around , John just drops  the beat I assume to try to piss him off. I could just see Page looking at these two young un schooled Midlands musicians and saying “ would you just get on with it John “!.
I hate to say this but the 1971 live versions are far superior since I believe Jimmy was playing much better and kinda left alone while JPJ and JB locked in. Only when Jimmys altered his tone and his soloing began to decline a bit,  did Bonham start playing more with him than Jones.  
I know I’m risking the next statement ( I am a a risk taker ) but I just feel that Bonham over plays a tad to mask some of Jimmys slurred sticky soloing , at times ( anything live circa 1977 ) , especially during the 1973 live versions of this song.  The original on SRTS I do enjoy especially the 2nd solo but the remastered I rarely listen to. It lacks a heavy bottom sound and rhythm tightness than 1971 by far. 
Nothing compares to Toronto 1971. It’s probably the best I have ever heard the band play. 

 

Edited by Blaize86
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