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2 hours ago, therocker68 said:

Bloomington 18.1.1975 is about to see the light of day.(Audience)

Surfaced yesterday afternoon. Here's the link (if allowed here?):  https://www.dropbox.c

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Considering this is just a quick-and-dirty warm-up show, it's surprisingly good.  NQ and STH in particular are fantastic.  Shows that even with an 18-month layoff, health problems, and a cold Midwestern night, they were still the greatest.

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21 hours ago, JohnOsbourne said:

I'm also impressed w/how well WTLB came out, although it doesn't really fit w/the '75 vibe.

Maybe the best WTLB so far. I don't think they ever got it right live though. Maybe in '71 could have worked.

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23 hours ago, ZepHead315 said:

I'll be premiering the recording on my YouTube channel at 5pm EDT if anyone's interested. ;)

 

Awesome, as always, ZepHead315.

 

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7 hours ago, zeplz71 said:

Maybe the best WTLB so far. I don't think they ever got it right live though. Maybe in '71 could have worked.

They made the right call to swap it out w/IMTOD.  And they should have kept Wanton Song in the set list.  I kinda like how NQ came a bit later in the set here.

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1 hour ago, JohnOsbourne said:

They made the right call to swap it out w/IMTOD.  And they should have kept Wanton Song in the set list.  I kinda like how NQ came a bit later in the set here.

I watched a breakdown of WTLB with Rick Beato and damn was I surprised. I never knew there was so much going on, how methodically intricate and detailed Jimmy crafted this song, it makes Steely Dan's Goucho sound thrown together. He plays a 12 string in parts with two sympathy strings missing to give this unique sound. The one guitar is in normal speed while another is slightly slowed down.  Playing essentially made up chords in places for this hidden discord and on, and on, and on. Check out Rick's video on YouTube regarding WTLB. Bottom line there was no way they could recreate the song anywhere near the album arrangement live, not just four guys. They would need at least six just to get close. 

I always thought the acoustic, bass heavy version from the deluxe set would have been great as part of the acoustic set. It sure worked damn well in 95'.

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7 hours ago, BobDobbs said:

I watched a breakdown of WTLB with Rick Beato and damn was I surprised. I never knew there was so much going on, how methodically intricate and detailed Jimmy crafted this song, it makes Steely Dan's Goucho sound thrown together. He plays a 12 string in parts with two sympathy strings missing to give this unique sound. The one guitar is in normal speed while another is slightly slowed down.  Playing essentially made up chords in places for this hidden discord and on, and on, and on. Check out Rick's video on YouTube regarding WTLB. Bottom line there was no way they could recreate the song anywhere near the album arrangement live, not just four guys. They would need at least six just to get close. 

I always thought the acoustic, bass heavy version from the deluxe set would have been great as part of the acoustic set. It sure worked damn well in 95'.

It definitely comes out better on the audience tape here.  From the soundboard fragment last summer, the guitar sounded good but there was something hollow about the drums (which of course is a critical part of the song).

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The short SB snippet of Wanton Song already was a veritable bouncy bass guitar feast...but after listening to the complete version on the AUD tape, I'm completely flabbergasted by Jonesy's superb fretwork. Wow🤩  

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I have given the show two complete listens so far. Once through the stereo speakers and once through my headphones. 

I'll leave the nitpicking to gibsonfan159 and just give my initial impressions.

1. Once you adjust your ears, it is a very easy audience tape to listen to without suffering ear-fatigue. Because of the nice preponderance of bass, the overall sound is warm, lacking the shrillness that mars so many audience tapes and wears on the listener's ears.

2. After two warm-up gigs in Brussels and Rotterdam, January 18 is the official start of the 1975 North American tour. But aside from the opening "Rock and Roll"/ "Sick Again", there are not as many signs of rustiness as I expected. I still maintain "The Wanton Song" or "Custard Pie" would have been a better opener in 1975. "Rock and Roll" sounds tired and ponderous.

3. "Over the Hills and Far Away". This has to be one of the only times Jimmy Page played the framing riff to the guitar solo at the beginning and the end just like on the album version. More of a 1973 version than the 1975 version that would develop as the tour went on...and far from the stratospheric 1977 versions.

4. "When the Levee Breaks". One of the reasons this show has long been anticipated by Led Zeppelin fans...a chance to hear one of the few "Levee" performances. I am convinced that the song sounded better in the venue than it will ever sound on tape...either audience or soundboard. I am also of the firm opinion that the band should have kept it in the setlist. By 1975 "When the Levee Breaks" was a favourite of most Led Zeppelin fans and it was frequently played on FM rock radio stations. Maybe not as much as "Stairway to Heaven", "Dazed and Confused", "Whole Lotta Love" and "Kashmir"....but in the top 10 for sure. Just listen to the crowd response when the song begins. It gives juice and life to what had become a predictable setlist. My only question is why didn't Jimmy think to use delay reverb on his guitar to help add oomph to the sound. Brian May was already using pedals and stuff to help make his one guitar sound like an army...Jimmy should have been hip to this technique, too. Besides, even if the song couldn't be reproduced exactly the way it was in the studio, Bonham's drum beat and Plant's wailing harmonica was more than enough to carry the song in a live setting. They blew it abandoning "Levee" so quickly. A golden opportunity was lost. If they had played it at the Forum or Long Beach Arena, people would have been going crazy, I guarantee it.

5. TSRTS/Rain Song. Standard operating procedure as on all 1973-75 dates. Always a great tandem to hear together. Nothing earth-shattering here, but nothing embarrassing, either. You also get the pleasure of hearing Jonesey's bass the way it should sound during TSRTS. Not like those alien fart noises that pop up in 1977 and 1979. Jones's bass rig was perfect in 1975. The best his bass ever sounded.

6. "Kashmir". This song became an instant concert classic and this is a pretty good version on the opening night of the tour. Plant's voice is warmed up and no scratchiness that showed up after he got the flu. The audience sounds suitably wowed at the end.

7. "The Wanton Song". Fucking A Right! This song smokes and it was a crime they dropped it from the setlist. There were too many interminable 10-minute plus songs with self-indulgent solos on the 1975 tour. A few short and snappy high energy songs such as "Wanton Song", "Dancing Days", "The Ocean", and "Communication Breakdown" were needed in the setlist to speed up the pacing. Listen to Plant's intensity on the vocals. You can tell he doesn't have the flu yet. That's the only excuse I can see for them dropping the song from the set.

8. "No Quarter". A very enjoyable version that follows the band's tendency to have the jams on the beginning of a tour resemble the end of the preceding tour and then stretch out as the tour progresses. Therefore, this "No Quarter" has more in common with the 1973 "No Quarter"s than the March and May 1975 "No Quarter"s. A nice concise and focused one all around.

9. "Trampled Under Foot". Nothing great. Jimmy hasn't quite worked out his plans for the solo yet, so the song doesn't achieve the maniacal driven energy it would later in the tour. But the beat still packs a wallop.

10. "Moby Dick". The drum solo. By this point I was sick of them and so was a high percentage of the audience. At least this didn't drag on for over 20 minutes. But Jimmy and Jones fuck up the grand finale by not getting on stage in time to hit their cue and Bonham has to kill more time waiting for his bandmates.

11. For some reason the taper did not record "In My Time of Dying" or "How Many More Times". This tape runs 1 hour 44 minutes long. An odd time whether you are using C-90s or C-60s. If he had stopped the tape when "Moby Dick" started he could have saved valuable tape for the finish. Oh well...it's weird that the taper kept this tape hidden all of this time. Did he forget he had the tape? Or misplace it?

 12. "Stairway to Heaven". Not bad. Not great. Just a standard solid 1975 vetrsion, although Jimmy keeps it fairly fluid and moving during the solo, with very little of the stops and starts that would mar the flow of later "Stairway"s. The tape quality succumbs to overloading and Bonham's drums have a weird echo or muffled sound on the climactic verses.

13. We don't get to hear the encores which means we cannot ascertain whether the reviewer for this show in the Minneapolis paper was correct in saying "The Crunge" was played. Having listened to all of the 1975 bootlegs, at the beginning of the tour the band played a few bars of "Whole Lotta Love" and then went into the "Out on the Tiles" intro into "Black Dog". Then, in Nassau County in February they added the theramin freak-out part to "Whole Lotta Love". "The Crunge" did not make its appearance as part of the "WLL"-funk fest-theramin freak out jam until the second leg in March.

Overall, I give this show a solid B...if it had been more complete, perhaps a B+. Now to wait for the complete soundboard.

 

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1 hour ago, Strider said:

I have given the show two complete listens so far. Once through the stereo speakers and once through my headphones. 

11. For some reason the taper did not record "In My Time of Dying" or "How Many More Times". This tape runs 1 hour 44 minutes long. An odd time whether you are using C-90s or C-60s. If he had stopped the tape when "Moby Dick" started he could have saved valuable tape for the finish. Oh well...it's weird that the taper kept this tape hidden all of this time. Did he forget he had the tape? Or misplace it?

 

 

No "How Many More Times" in Bloomington (they didn't start playing HMMT until 1/21/75 Chicago), but IMTOD (and the encores, presumably "Whole Lotta Love/Black Dog" and "Communication Breakdown") is cut out on the audience tape for whatever reason...

I did a bit of messing around trying to clean up the sound on the Bloomington AUD this weekend, it seemed to have worked, it sounds like about seventeen layers of dust have been removed from the recording. PM for more details...

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Wanton Song is a damn Monster! Plant sings his ass off, sounds just like the album but even more intense. The band are spot on, laser focused as well nailing all the stop starts. Except for the one bar where it sounds like both Jones & Page flubbed the exact same spot, which would be psychic indeed. Possibly a problem with the tape and not the playing here. Otherwise, this is my favorite live version of the song, even better than the 98' versions simply because of Plant's voice and Bonzo's drumming. Jimmy played it tighter and better overall in 98' but Plant, Jones, and Bonzo 75' were better than Plant, Charlie Jones, and Michael Lee in 98'.

No Quarter, is it just me or is Jones playing this jazzier, in a more major key vs. minor key during his elec piano riff? This version is not ominous sounding at all until it starts winding down. It sounds to me like an excellent jazz workout, including Page playing extremely well and very jazzy in spots. Almost sounds like he is throwing some Frank Zappa & Tommy Bolin phrasings in there, really interesting stuff. This is, IMO a really great version of the song.

My overall assessment here is for the start of the tour they are in damn fine form after R&R and Robert begins to warm up. I am pondering if Page was not in much pain in his finger as he had not been gigging nightly after he broke it so it did not really affect his playing at this show, but then you start to hear Page have some issues starting with Chicago.

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48 minutes ago, BobDobbs said:

Wanton Song is a damn Monster! Plant sings his ass off, sounds just like the album but even more intense. The band are spot on, laser focused as well nailing all the stop starts. Except for the one bar where it sounds like both Jones & Page flubbed the exact same spot, which would be psychic indeed. Possibly a problem with the tape and not the playing here. Otherwise, this is my favorite live version of the song, even better than the 98' versions simply because of Plant's voice and Bonzo's drumming. Jimmy played it tighter and better overall in 98' but Plant, Jones, and Bonzo 75' were better than Plant, Charlie Jones, and Michael Lee in 98'.

No Quarter, is it just me or is Jones playing this jazzier, in a more major key vs. minor key during his elec piano riff? This version is not ominous sounding at all until it starts winding down. It sounds to me like an excellent jazz workout, including Page playing extremely well and very jazzy in spots. Almost sounds like he is throwing some Frank Zappa & Tommy Bolin phrasings in there, really interesting stuff. This is, IMO a really great version of the song.

My overall assessment here is for the start of the tour they are in damn fine form after R&R and Robert begins to warm up. I am pondering if Page was not in much pain in his finger as he had not been gigging nightly after he broke it so it did not really affect his playing at this show, but then you start to hear Page have some issues starting with Chicago.

Yeah, this show adds to the mystery, it's not on par with any of the West Coast shows in March, and the soundboard does reveal some flaws (mainly in TSRTS), but overall this show is a lot more enjoyable than I would have expected (NQ is truly excellent, and STH and OTHAFA are great), and it makes me wonder why the subsequent shows in January were so subpar (Plant's voice was not the only problem).

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1 hour ago, BobDobbs said:

I am pondering if Page was not in much pain in his finger as he had not been gigging nightly after he broke it so it did not really affect his playing at this show, but then you start to hear Page have some issues starting with Chicago.

I think the issue might've come with the treatment for pain.

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16 hours ago, JohnOsbourne said:

Yeah, this show adds to the mystery, it's not on par with any of the West Coast shows in March, and the soundboard does reveal some flaws (mainly in TSRTS), but overall this show is a lot more enjoyable than I would have expected (NQ is truly excellent, and STH and OTHAFA are great), and it makes me wonder why the subsequent shows in January were so subpar (Plant's voice was not the only problem).

The show is arguably better than at least their appearance in San Diego 3/14 and probably the entire LA run. The band is a hair rustier at Bloomington but when warmed up sound a lot tighter here than those gigs that linger on (often due to some indulging on the end of Jimmy Page). Plus, I love the short and sweet setlist of these early January shows compared to the 35+ minute performances of Moby Dick and Dazed and Confused that seriously drag those March shows down.

The only west coast March shows I'd say for sure are better than Bloomington are San Diego 3/10, Long Beach 3/12, Vancouver 3/19 and 3/20, and Seattle 3/21. Seattle 3/17 and Long Beach 3/11 perhaps, but I'd need to give them a full revisit.

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4 hours ago, ledzepfilm said:

The show is arguably better than at least their appearance in San Diego 3/14 and probably the entire LA run.

Well, you lost me there as IMO the LA shows were much better on the whole (well, not the 24th, blech), unless your main point of contention is the dragging out of songs into Grateful Dead / Phish territory. If that's the case I cannot argue there as some were really good while others just meandered on, boring. The band as a whole though were more energetic and pretty tight during the majority of the March run. Plus Plant's vocals in LA were good for 75'. Funny as my favorite gig's from 75' are Montreal 2/6, NY 2/13 & 2/14, BR 2/28, LA 3/12 (my favorite show), the whole run from the 17th to the 21st, and LA 3/25. 

Though this Bloomington show is really a good one. What really stands out is how tight the band is this early on, no real slop. Jones is amazing, Bonzo and Page are doing stuff I never heard them do before, especially Page who is almost in jazz-fusion mode in some songs. So far this is my favorite of the January shows, and better than most Feb shows, while holding its own with some of the March shows and even exceeding some.

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