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They are all interesting. 1975 I think has the most variety in terms of the set-list, while still maintaining a standard of performance. I think after the events of 1975 with Robert & Maureen, something changed, a change in spirit. The joyfulness changed into a more serious tone, in terms of songs and just the vibe of the 77 tour, which was again disrupted by tragedy.

1973 is a great year with the band truly becoming huge and absolutely confidence.

1969/1970 was great too, more youthful...

The joy of collecting boots is to discover all the different phases of the band, and to listen to the songs develop etc.

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1975 for me. Just listen to the solos on Stairway during that tour. This was the quintessential Zeppelin, a band that had completely found its voice and knew each other's tendancies inside and out. No tragedies yet - they hadn't been knocked backwards by anything and were sitting on top of the world. That fifth element Page always talks about was stronger than at any time before or after.

It's possible that each member had different highs at different times, (I threw in HTWWW the other day and was fucking amazed at how superior Bonzo's drumming was, even to his own playing on other tours) but to me 75 contained the complete package and was an absolute powerhouse rampaging through the world of rock and roll! Yeah baby!!

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I think they peaked in 1973. They still played pretty well in '75, but they were a machine in '73. That was their apex, which Jimmy was incredible and their improvisation in Dazed & Confused was amazing. That's the barometer I've always used to determine how well they played on any given tour, or even any given night. If Dazed was hot, they were playing well. Their absolute live peak was March 1973 in Germany, those shows were amazing. They did things instrumentally in those concerts that they never did before or after.

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I'll opt for 70 up to and including the 72 North American tour. There was such a vibe about them at that time. Full of energy and inspired playing. They really were a joy to behold

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Early 1973 because Robert had vocal issues after that. Really his vocal issues started as early as 1971 but you could really tell by late 73 and 75. He got better in late 75 and late 77. The rest of the band was still pretty awesome in 75. 77 Page was very inconsistent with his substance abuses and so was Bonham.

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I'd say 1969 was my favourite year of their live performances.

They just got so much satisfaction in wowing audiences around the States and out-performing main acts.

Plus I loved that youthful, bluesy era of their career when they were still an up and coming band who were really energetic on stage.

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Well I saw them in 69,73,75,77,79,80,85 and I believe thier peak will be 2009

You might just be right AL. Let's hope we get to find out :)

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The band as a whole was nothing short of amazing from 69-72. You could make a good argument for any of those years as their peak.

Instrumentally I really enjoy the 73 Europe shows. Plant is not at his 69, 70 ferociousness, but the band is playing great. As previously mentioned, Dazed and Confused was killer on that tour. Strangely you don't see as many of these shows mentioned the way RAH, any LA show, MSG shows, Earl's Court, and Knebworth shows get praised.

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The band as a whole was nothing short of amazing from 69-72. You could make a good argument for any of those years as their peak.

Instrumentally I really enjoy the 73 Europe shows. Plant is not at his 69, 70 ferociousness, but the band is playing great. As previously mentioned, Dazed and Confused was killer on that tour. Strangely you don't see as many of these shows mentioned the way RAH, any LA show, MSG shows, Earl's Court, and Knebworth shows get praised.

I gotta admit that I've only recently heard more recordings from the 73 European Tour and have upgraded my opinion of 73 because of it.

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I'll opt for 70 up to and including the 72 North American tour. There was such a vibe about them at that time. Full of energy and inspired playing. They really were a joy to behold

I saw Zep live '71-'75. Based upon my own experiences, I agree with you about '71-'72. I loved those concerts. The vibe was incredible during those years. Energetic and inspired indeed. :D

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1975 for me.That fifth element Page always talks about was stronger than at any time before or after.

I agree- what's that term Jimmy uses over and over- telekenetic, synthesis, reading of the minds- some metaphysical lingo for the 5th element when Zeppelin peaked between '72 and '75, and troughed hard in '77. 1975 was a very good year...

ps- nice avatar!

Edited by zeptangerine
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After a rough start they were really good by about Febuary or March of 1975. In 77 they sounded really bad. But they weren't that bad in 79 and 80 really outside of a few shows. I would probably say the best live Zeppelin year is 1969 or 1970.

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Based on official live releases, live bootlegs, and concerts attended, in what year do you believe Zeppelin peaked on stage?

I never saw them live, but based on recordings I like 1972 the best. Any thoughts?

Well I did see them in 1970 and to be honest, it was musically superior, but the show was rather lethargic. Must have been towards the end of a tour or something. My friend went and saw them in 1973 at Cobo in Detroit and said it was the best show he ever saw, even better than Pink Floyd's DSOTM show. So based on that and TSRTS movie, i'd say 73 too.

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I'd have to say 1973 as well. There is something great in every year they toured but when I see The Song Remains the Same I just think they were so complete and flawless and magical and considering the vocal troubles Robert had later etc I think 1973 was the peak even though kashmir was yet to come.....

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I gotta go with '75. There's a burning confidence and swagger that perhaps '73 doesn't have because of the hectic pace.

Part of it may be the quality of soundboards available from this tour. Another big part has to do with setlist preferences. I don't really go for extended medleys in WLL, for example.

In contrast, I am fanatical about the '75 versions of "No Quarter." Darker than the '73 versions and more contained than the '77 versions. "Over the Hills" also came into its own, and "Dazed" feels a little more...something. Polished maybe. It's just too bad "SIBLY" was only played a few times on the '75 tour.

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After all of the 75 replies I had to watch the 75 portion of the Led Zeppelin DVD. I can definitely see why many point to 1975 as their favorite year. It looks like I need to hunt down some recordings from this period. Wasn't there a rumor that a 1975 show (Earl's Court) was going to be an official live release?

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Based on official live releases, live bootlegs, and concerts attended, in what year do you believe Zeppelin peaked on stage?

I never saw them live, but based on recordings I like 1972 the best. Any thoughts?

Wow, it's a matter or perspective I think. For different reasons you could make an argument for any of the tours.

1969-1970 they were young and hungry so there was an incredible amount of youth and energy.

1972 They were at their peak skill-wise. Pages guitar runs were as clear and precise as they would ever get (perhaps 1973 was a touch better for him but it's debateable), Plants voice still had his youthful power that he would eventually lose in 1973 (obviously became rather raspy).

1973 They had acheived their complete confidence and seemed to be enjoying the moment so the concerts became FUN, not just a clinic, but an almost spiritual gathering.

1975 The playing was still strong and the catalog was growing, with better songs to choose from the concerts were a bit more diverse and dramatic.

1977 was the height of hype, great catalog, but the playing was beginning to suffer miserably from night to night. Plant sounded like a completely different person from just 5 years prior.

Overall I think I'd have to say that 1972 was the best in terms of skill. But I would have rather seen 1979 based on the songs they had to choose from. Sheesh, I guess I could have saved you all some time and just said that in the first place........

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