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Ranking The 1975 Shows


Bonzo_fan
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On 5/9/2021 at 9:16 PM, Strider said:

This is a question some of the Brits will be better qualified to answer than the rest of us, but I have always wondered if the 1975 Earls Court gigs would be better remembered and ranked higher by Zeppelin fans if they had played those shows at the Rainbow Theatre, Empire Pool, Hammersmith Odeon, or Royal Albert Hall instead? In other words, did the dull, dark, dead acoustical atmosphere of Earls Court as a venue contribute to the overall leaden feeling of the gigs themselves?

Could it be the case that the Earls Court shows are not as well regarded by some because the recordings of them are generally not top notch? While desk recordings exist of the final two nights, the audience tapes that are available are, while enjoyable, not a patch on some of the American shows from that or other years.

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I think the EC shows suffered from the same problem the North American shows did:  a general lack of inspiration.  There were definitely exceptions, and almost all of the '75 shows are enjoyable, but they definitely lacked the spontaneity of previous years (certainly from the perspective of an entire show vs. individual parts).  I don't think changing the venue in London really would have affected that much.  (In fact, DC from the 24th is probably the 2nd best version of the year.)

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Posted (edited)

I have a soft spot for the EC shows because of the acoustic sets and because for whatever reason I hold a higher opinion of them than what seems to be the consensus among the hardcore Zep community.

Putting that aside, for the U.S. 1975 tour I of course agree with the consensus of all the comments above. I really, really like the 2-12 MSG Flying Circus show, and it would definitely be Top 3 of the tour for me if Plant's voice were in better shape. As it is, it's still Top 5 - something about it just gets me, and the sound is phenomenal.

Objectively I guess I would have to put Seattle 3/21 at the top, although my admiration for its marathon length is not always matched by a desire to listen to it. Vancouver 3/19 is probably my personal favorite, as it balances performance quality, condition of Plant's voice, sound quality of sbd, and overall vibe quite nicely. I don't know what it is about 3/20 - maybe the horribly compressed and clipped sbd source - but I've always prefered 3/19 to it.

For me the biggest problem with '75 is what others have noted - the lack of consistency in both performance quality and energy. I think a Best of 1975 compilation would be rip-roaring and just as good as a Top 10 or perhaps Top 5 1973 show. But you'd have to assemble such a composite from a good number of '75 dates, because the truly transcendent, exceptional performances are a bit scattered about.

Edited by tmtomh
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2 hours ago, tmtomh said:

I have a soft spot for the EC shows because of the acoustic sets and because for whatever reason I hold a higher opinion of them than what seems to be the consensus among the hardcore Zep community.

Putting that aside, for the U.S. 1975 tour I of course agree with the consensus of all the comments above. I really, really like the 2-12 MSG Flying Circus show, and it would definitely be Top 3 of the tour for me if Plant's voice were in better shape. As it is, it's still Top 5 - something about it just gets me, and the sound is phenomenal.

Objectively I guess I would have to put Seattle 3/21 at the top, although my admiration for its marathon length is not always matched by a desire to listen to it. Vancouver 3/19 is probably my personal favorite, as it balances performance quality, condition of Plant's voice, sound quality of sbd, and overall vibe quite nicely. I don't know what it is about 3/20 - maybe the horribly compressed and clipped sbd source - but I've always prefered 3/19 to it.

For me the biggest problem with '75 is what others have noted - the lack of consistency in both performance quality and energy. I think a Best of 1975 compilation would be rip-roaring and just as good as a Top 10 or perhaps Top 5 1973 show. But you'd have to assemble such a composite from a good number of '75 dates, because the truly transcendent, exceptional performances are a bit scattered about.

Completely agree. I listen to 5/24 & 5/25, because of the acoustic set, more than other shows from ‘75. Love the laid back vibe. Plus Trampled Under Foot was more intense as well. 

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Posted (edited)
On 5/13/2021 at 11:34 AM, JohnOsbourne said:

In fact, DC from the 24th is probably the 2nd best version of the year.)

Thought you meant 3/24 for a second 😆

Edited by gibsonfan159
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Someone more knowledgeable than myself can maybe respond to this comment, but I'll never understand why Zeppelin didn't postpone the start of their 1975 US tour until March and then had it lead right into the Earls Court shows at the end of May.  I mean, 'Physical Graffiti' wasn't released until February and had they started in March, Plant's voice would have been in better shape and more healed up, with more consistency.  It would have also been better for the fans in the Midwest and East Coast of the States, weather-wise.  I realize that a follow-up US tour was scheduled for the summer that unfortunately got cancelled because of Plant's car-crash injuries, but even originally planning for the US shows to start right after the New Year seemed strange.  Especially since the album hadn't been released yet and the fans hadn't had time to become more familiar with its contents.

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1 hour ago, Bob B said:

Someone more knowledgeable than myself can maybe respond to this comment, but I'll never understand why Zeppelin didn't postpone the start of their 1975 US tour until March and then had it lead right into the Earls Court shows at the end of May.  I mean, 'Physical Graffiti' wasn't released until February and had they started in March, Plant's voice would have been in better shape and more healed up, with more consistency.  It would have also been better for the fans in the Midwest and East Coast of the States, weather-wise.  I realize that a follow-up US tour was scheduled for the summer that unfortunately got cancelled because of Plant's car-crash injuries, but even originally planning for the US shows to start right after the New Year seemed strange.  Especially since the album hadn't been released yet and the fans hadn't had time to become more familiar with its contents.

Physical Graffiti was supposed to coincide with the very start of the tour but was delayed, and Plant didn’t come down with the flu until the tour started. Zeppelin wasn’t very smart when it came to Plant’s voice (only rescheduling much of their 1977 tour when he came down with laryngitis) so in typical fashion they kept on with the tour, only rescheduling St. Louis from Jan. 27 to Feb. 16. 

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Just wanted to mention one of my new favorites, this show & the only flaw I can point out or maybe other fans point to is Robert's voice; but it doesn't detract from the overall quality of the show (for me, anyway)...

 

 

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