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mightyzep247

Most Consistent year

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What was Zeppelin's most consistent year as far as live shows go? Which year did they perform the best overall?

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What was Zeppelin's most consistent year as far as live shows go? Which year did they perform the best overall?

Most consistant tours for me were North America and Japan 71. I wouldn't argue with the 72 North American tour either. The whole band was on fire

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Most consistant tours for me were North America and Japan 71. I wouldn't argue with the 72 North American tour either. The whole band was on fire

1972 definitely. HUGE shows, spectacularly played.

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Most consistant tours for me were North America and Japan 71. I wouldn't argue with the 72 North American tour either. The whole band was on fire

Agreed, definitely! Anything from 1970 is pretty spectacular as well.

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By the end of 72 you could hear some of Robert's voice falling apart. I would have to go with any year from 69-71. 75 would be perfect if Robert's voice wasn't recovering early in the year. 73 was a really solid year also but Robert's voice was terrible at times, great at others. 77 and on were good for Robert and bad for the rest of the band at times.

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'75 is great. But so is early on in their careers. It just depends on what you like.

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1972 definitely. HUGE shows, spectacularly played.

Yeah, 1972 and I'd even say 1973 as well.

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Going from the bootlegs, I'd agree that 1972 was their best year. Some of their best performances were in 1973, especially on the European tour (Hamburg is pretty amazing), but by then Robert was having frequent trouble with his voice. By 1972 the band had toured very intensively for more than three years, and they were all on top form - Jimmy, for example, is fast approaching his peak as a live performer. Interestingly, I think both he and the band peaked a bit later as studio musicians.

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Its all subjective. Everything was just about perfect until 73 when robert couldn't sing as well. But the rest of the band during 73 was on fire. after 73, jimmy's guitar playing started going downhill.

Most consistent? Well, '80 was pretty consistently bad. haha.

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What was Zeppelin's most consistent year as far as live shows go? Which year did they perform the best overall?

Ah, but you're asking two different questions.

Most Consistent: 1969, 1970

Best*: 1975

* when typing this at first I accidentally typed "beast", which is probably more accurate.

Edited by kashmiran

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Anything from 1968-1980.

Haha, for sure. But 1972 was the best mix of the jamming and the long acoustic set, the last tour where Robert had his high-flying shrieking voice and could sing songs like Black Dog, Stairway, and Over the Hills like on the albums...

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From about March to May of 75 that is as good as Zeppelin got live. The band was amazing together, Robert's voice wasn't as good as it was in 69 or 70 or 71 but it was still really solid. Every boot from those 2 months is just amazing.

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Alright, first post but I'm not a n00b to bootlegs, so here's my throughout analysis of Led Zeppelin's carrer, year by year.

Led Zeppelin Live

1968: We only have one show from this year, and it being really late in the year, however more tapes from this year Do Likely Exist I won't get into the details but the only live performance we have of this year is really great, an under-appreciated gem but it shows the power that they had and also proves that even early on their careers they where already stretching songs. Interesting indeed.

1969: The year that as I like to call it "set them up", the best way to describe this year is mighty rise, starting with the conclusion of the first tour we're already seeing superb performances, assuring that not only knocking the headlining acts in popularity but ensuring that those clubs will be again filled next time they came, the standout show in my opinion is January 26th at the Boston Tea Party, superb on all aspects and Page reaches the best playing I've ever heard him do. They then retreated back to europe to play a few shows, including their first BBC session, nothing too special, their return to the States that summer sees the band rising, with increasing sales of their first album, the clubs are filled and they play some bona-fide shows, their run in San Francisco from April 24th to April 27th is the first major, important and triumphant run of concerts they ever did all nights have standout power, and the 2 final concerts (26th and 27th) are incredible, I mainly recommend you seek out the versions of As Long As I have You and How Many more times from this run, this is indeed why they loved San Francisco so much. Later from this tour we have a few shows from May which isn't too special. They went back to the UK, had some nice shows (also including some stuff featured on BBC sessions) and then, the glorious 69 US summer tour, their most ambitious tour yet, this assured the rise of The Zeppelin, playing a bunch of festivals, this performances are some of the most important they ever had, not having to prove themselves to 200 fans in a club that they where better than the main group, but instead having to prove themselves to 100.000+ fans and being better than over 30 bands across a 3 day show, that was truly important, no wonder that the "few" performances we have of this period show the band incredible on stage, when they where not on festivals they where headlining shows at clubs and to show how big they where less than in their first year, they where already playing (and headlining at large venues), like the San Diego sports coliseum or that place in San Benardino. Truly spectacular tour. Taking a break, they returned to the stage in Fall 1969 to play some european dates, and debut some material from the second album, also these performances are really solid and strong. Warmed up, the band returned to the states to close 1969, the performances here (we have only few of them sadly) sees the band in not their best state and playing their final US club gigs, Kansas City is a disastrous performance, and their final Winterland-Fillmore shows are rather underwhelming, but still strong, the band closes 69' in a rather low key.

1970: This is in my opinion their most important live year, it all starts in an early january short tour of Britain, which actually sees the first performances of some tracks from their third album, starting with them playing at medium capacity halls, their officially released live performance at the Royal Albert Hall, is one of those Zenith reaching moments they ever had. Unbeliveable. This tour is followed by their short but right down powerful European March 1970 tour, the highlight here is their show in Montreux, preparing for their Spring US tour, this US tour in particular is quite important, seeing the band do their first ever Arena tour, playing riot-inducing crazed marathons of sheer power and heaviness, crazy times indeed, but the performances are brilliant and inspired in this landmark period, and playing their first show of their multiple legendary outings at the LA Forum. The Memphis show is incredible also, even Grant was held at a gunpoint during "How Many More Times". After going back to Britain, rethinking their musical direction at the Bron-Yr-Aur cottage and growing breads, the band return to the stage to play in their awe-inspiring european tour, the show at the Bath Festival, arguably the most important in their career (and probably their best ever performance overall) is incredible, it not only sees the debut of Immigrant Song but also their first ever acoustic set!!, and with this gig, their rather low key reception and popularity they had in Britain multiplies, putting them at the top of their game, this is the show on which Led Zeppelin's heyday and Glorious years begin, the beginning of an era. To end the year they embark on their second US tour of 1970, playing at even Bigger arenas than before this is when Zeppelin's US stage reputation and show soared like never before, with a rich new set-list, this tour takes them throughout a string of consistently great shows, but the real legendary shows are their second ever at the LA Forum, immortalized on the classic bootleg Live on Blueberry Hill, and their first outing at New York's Madison Square Garden, playing to over 45.000 fans in two shows on the same day, the second show is easily among their best ever performances. Closing the year in incredible fashion. Heard the legendary huge Dazed And Confused? the incredible Whole Lotta Love medley? well on this year it all began.

1971: Hands down, their most consistent year begins with two incredible shows of their British Back to the Clubs tour, plant is on a shape never before seeing, best vocal range he ever had, they debut material from their fourth album and the band is on fire starting this year, a few incredible european performances follow really showing how "On" the band was at this point, the show on Copenhagen unique for the band as they nearly played the entire fourth album that nigh, also featuring Gallows Pole!. Afterward, they warm up in Montreux after that Italian disaster and kickoff their 71' North American tour, playing intensely, every performance was a great one and it was vital to promote sales of their fourth album, such a heavy tour.... then comes nothing else than the Incredible, unbelievable and amazing 1971 Japan tour, every performance is unique and powerful, and the band reaches their overall peak right here, on this tour. The first night features and incredible concert, with the shining star being the excellent-Longest ever Whole Lotta Love medley, a show of such high caliber that even on a starting show for the tour, they're peaking. This is followed by their second night in tokyo, an incredibly loose but equally excellent gig that sees the real extent of their musicianship, the next gig in Hiroshima is the shortest and lesser quality of all of them but still an incredible performance and one of their few if not their only charity gig, and finally the two Osaka shows, the first one is excellent and they blow it out playing lots of covers including short renditions of Pleas Please Me, From Me to you, Down By the Riverside, High Heeled Sneakers and C'mon Everybody. the final night in Osaka is arguably the best from the tour and the ultimate 1971 show, everything is in there, the thunderous opening numbers, incredible finger acrobatics in Dazed and Confused, long and unique acoustic sets (featuring Friends)!!!, unique Whole Lotta Love Medley featuring a one off cover of Twist & Shout, the fun plantations and finally the great streak of encores. Then they returned to do an excellent tour of the UK to end one heck of a year.

1972: It all begins with the thunderous australian shows, open air, the band is a bit rusty at times but essentially in good shape, a nice tour indeed, followed by some warm up gigs heading into the legendary 1972 North american tour, which from beginning to end is one heck of a ride, the real standouts from this tour are the epic marathonic shows, like in Seattle where on just one night they debuted a bunch of songs from the yet unreleased Houses of The Holy, also the legendary LA Forum show on which they played 7 encores!, every show on this tour is unbelievable in their own unique way, the final performance in Tuscon, Arizona is arguably the end of the era. Afterwards, with anew set-list that would virtually stay throughout 73, they tour Japan for the second time, and even though there are great performances Plant's voice begins to crack constantly, but still the band hammers for their last time in Japan, after a strong tour of the UK, though with plant in a rapidly decreasing voice they finish 72 on a high note.

1973: Year starts bad, real bad, on barely the first show, Plant loses his original signature high range and Pagey's playing begins to suffer, yet the shows remains inspired in this second leg of the British tour, after the ending of this tour, times of change and Plant's new voice force the band to play with renewed vigor to compensate Plant's poor vocal range, and it shows, in Europe the band is on fire, especially Page who is consistently giving unbelievable performances, and Bonzo too, thrashing his drums with incredible speed and force, the fiery band shreds throughout Europe, especially Germany. With the release of their new album, Houses of The Holy, the band's popularity reaches a point they never had, and with a new album under their sleeve they decide to do their biggest tour of America yet, and this is the band's arguably most significant tour, not only in terms of the colossal crowds they where playing too, but all those legendary off stage stories, and the legacy of this tour lives on as a tour that changed live rock music, for the first time they had sophisticated special effects, and performances where of high demand with sold-out record breaking crowds nigh after night, this was a re-definition of Live music. Starting in Atlanta, breaking a venue attendance record set by no other than The Beatles. Next night in Tampa, they broke yet another attendance record, giving arguably the biggest stadium Rock concert ever up to that point. After 2 months of extensive touring it ended with a three night stand in New York's Madison Square Garden, filmed, recorded professionally and later released. Performance-Wise, this tour was extremely solid, arguably the performances peaked with the 3 concert run of california (LA-San Francisco-LA), but outside of that there are great performances to be found, particularly noteworthy is their concert in Mobile, Alabama. Also the off-stage legends took real life in this tour, Bonzo's legendary Birthday party and so much more....

1975: A rough year, starting with an un-exited warm up to their tour it doesn't kickoff too well, going into the January shows of 1975 Plant is severely sick with an absolutely horrid voice, and Pagey, with a broken finger really plays sloppy.... As february settles in we're treated with an amazing performance on February 12th, and from then on until February 14th amazing shows!! the tour remains strong, until March 11 at the Long Beach arena, a great performance!!! next night's show is even better, Pagey extremely fluid, and from then on, with Plant's voice quite healed the band's show just become solid until the Climax is reached in Seattle march 21st 1975. Marathonic and epic performance all around, this is followed by a great 3 night stand in LA. Afterwards, on their return to england the band plays 5 shows at Earl's Court, they're all quite good but certainly over-rated in some way, still the Band's longest ever recorded show, the final night at the court is mind blowing and incredible.

1977: After Plant's accident, the band plans to make the ultimate statement, with their most ambitious tour, that surpasses even the sheer size of the US 73 tour, but performance wise it's not THAT good, the most popular performances are The LA ones, which are of course excellent, as many other rarer shows like Landover Maryland in may 30th, April 30th at the Silverdome, April 28th one night after the destroyer and Chicago 10th of april, not their most consistent year.

1979: The warmups are really spectacular, Page in particular is playing his best since 1973, the actual Knebworth show from the 4th is great, but they really come off quite bad in the second night.

1980: The last tour kick off rather lazily but there is quite a lot of enthusiasm, Frankfurt is the show where they regain their old spirits, and most shows are really good.

Sorry for being short on the last few tours, I am getting tired....

2076.jpg

Cheers!!

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