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Led Zeppelin 1977-04-25 Freedom Hall, Louisville, KY (Source 2 first gen Tapes via JEMS)

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Led Zeppelin
Freedom Hall
Louisville, KY
April 25, 1977
Rick Coate Master Tapes via JEMS

recording gear: unknown

JEMS 2020 Transfer: Scotch C-120 normal bias cassettes > Nakamichi RX-505 (azimuth adjustment) > Sound Devices USBPre 2 > Audacity 2.0 24/96 capture > wav@24/96 > Adobe Audition (tracking, downsampling, deleting blank tape) > wav@16/44 > TLH > flac@16/44

01 Intro
02 The Song Remains The Same
03 The Rover > Sick Again
04 Nobody's Fault But Mine
05 In My Time of Dying
06 Since I've Been Loving You
07 No Quarter
08 Ten Years Gone
09 The Battle Of Evermore
10 Going To California
11 Black Country Woman/Bron-Y-Aur Stomp
12 Kashmir
13 Out On The Tiles > Moby Dick
14 Noise Solo
15 Achilles Last Stand
16 Stairway to Heaven 
17 Rock and Roll

Known Faults:
-The Song Remains The Same: numerous cuts
-Sick Again: numerous cuts
-No Quarter: cuts off
-The Battle of Evermore: cuts off
-Going To California: cuts in
-Bron-Y-Aur Stomp: cuts off
-White Summer/Black Mountain Side: missing
-Kashmir: cuts in
-Over The Top: cut inside

JEMS Notes: JEMS was honored to be asked to transfer this newly discovered second source for Led Zeppelin's April 25, 1977 concert in Louisville, KY.

The 1977 tour seems to be the one where inexperienced tapers made one-off attempts to record shows. This new Louisville source fits the profile: low quality, 120-minute tape; recording a lot of the pre-show; audience chatter; many cut songs and issues throughout; distortion and signal overload due to low-end recorders.

The Louisville taper hit a lot of snags, specifically calling out "The Song Remains The Same" and "Sick Again" as having "technical problems during recording" in the handwritten notes in the cassette j-card. Unfortunately, the issues are more wide ranging, with several missing chunks and dropouts, along with heavy distortion on louder material.

That being said the acoustic set sounds especially good and close, and the distortion can be tuned out on some of the mid-volume material. The louder songs are more challenging. Still, a new Led Zeppelin tape is a new Led Zeppelin tape.

I have never played a tape that needed such a radical adjustment in playback azimuth, which further supports the assumption that the taper was using a low-end portable deck and was likely experiencing tape alignment issues on the night. The azimuth correction moved the recording from useless to listenable despite the aforementioned issues.

I did spend some time seeing if any restoration tools could help tame the distortion, but the results were never good enough to warrant the effort. Maybe someone else can attempt that.

Given the level of detail in the handwritten notes and the fact that these are 120 minute tapes (which almost no one would use to copy a show onto), these are very likely the master tapes. The hand-labeling dates sometime after Bonham's death, as the notes dedicate the recording to the late drummer.

Thanks to Glyn, June72/Vinnie, Ed, ledzepfilm, TAFCIA, Bert13, and Sticks of Fire from The Dogs of Doom for funding the liberation of this tape!


New tape everyone. direct link can't be posted here, but it's up on dime and RO. Enjoy :)

Edit: the tape isn't sourced from the master, but a first gen cassette.

Edited by June72
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If I remember from my listen to the other source earlier this year, this Louisville show has a lively atmosphere…crazy energetic crowd, etc. Always curious to hear other sources so hope to get a chance to listen to this one soon.

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The main issues with this second Louisville source are how the recording levels are set too high- major distortion on the drums and low end. If the taper actually knew what the fuck they were doing this tape would sound damned good. The quieter bits and the acoustic set sound alright. A fair bit of cuts are evident as well- for example "No Quarter" is about the first six minutes of the piece, it cuts off at the beginning of JPJ's piano solo (D'OH!). Safe to say if the first source didn't exist we'd all be pretty chuffed right now but as it is this second source pales in comparison to Louisville source one, which actually sounds pretty decent. IMO this second source doesn't really hold up for repeated listens, as an alternate it's alright, but other than that...

Best thing about this second Louisville '77 source appearing it that it just goes to show hitherto uncirculated tapes are still out there...we may still get one or two of the Missing Seven '77 shows yet.


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20 hours ago, tglynn said:

What I do like about this source is that it gives a better representation of Jones’ alembic bass - either that or it’s just the low-fi nature of the recording that is heightening bassy noise!

I'll tell ya what, though, JPJ's 8 string Alembic comes across a helluva lot better on the audience tapes than Greg Lake's does on the '77/'78 ELP shows...twangety twang twang twang...😄 At least with Jones you can hear actual notes being played and not just a bunch of metallic sounding clicks that are supposed to be a bass line...

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20 minutes ago, Sticks of Fire said:

Good or bad recordings, it’s nice to see the younger generation of Led Zeppelin live fans finding old tapes and giving them away for free rather than how a bunch of old white guys just keep things to themselves for their own pleasure like Gollum and his “precious.”

What have you got against old white guys?  And are you saying that the person who released this tape is a COC (Collector of Color)?  Or simply a young white guy?  Do tell.

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2 minutes ago, JohnOsbourne said:

What have you got against old white guys?  And are you saying that the person who released this tape is a COC (Collector of Color)?  Or simply a young white guy?  Do tell.

I’m an old white guy myself.  Lol doesn’t anyone get humor?  Sheesh.


Edited by Sticks of Fire
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