Saturday, July 14, 2018

Dirigible Planets: Led Zeppelin 50

Greetings, weekenders, and welcome to a quick instapost I had no inkling of doing until I peeped my Facebook feed and saw that there's a birthday worth mentioning.
I'll step aside and let my friend John Anthony -- record producer of legend and OG Swinging London DJ -- fill in the details.
JA: 50 years ago today, a Sunday, I had been asked by the owners of The Pheasantry where I was the DJ to do a special show at another of their clubs, Blaises in South Kensington. It was an extra gig on the UK tour of Tim Rose.
Tim played his set and "Morning Dew" of course but I was much more taken by the huge sound emanating from the drum kit. I had never heard such a relentless and prodigious 'back beat' coupled with deftness and swing.
After the set Jimmy Page came up to the DJ booth with John Paul Jones and asked 'is it ok if we have a jam?' Together with Tim Rose's drummer (it was John 'Bonzo' Bonham) and a tall blonde bloke (it was Robert 'Percy' Plant) they shook me and the place apart. What a night!
So yeah... these cats first played together 50 years ago tonight, and I'm sure you're all aware of the history of the rest of their 12 years together, which ended when the (beastly, #1 on the Best Ever list in many publications) drummer unfortunately died of drink in 1980.
To celebrate this birth-of-a-band half-centennial, we have today possibly the greatest unissued Led Zeppelin concert ever taped, in this case in a mobile truck outside the venue by the legendary Eddie Kramer and brought to you here in what must be the definitive edition, remastered by two of the heavyweights in the fan-remaster galaxy.
Led Zeppelin
Old Refectory 
Southampton University
Southampton, England

01 Rock and Roll
02 Over the Hills and Far Away
03 Black Dog
04 Misty Mountain Hop
05 Since I've Been Loving You
06 Dancing Days
07 The Song Remains the Same
08 The Rain Song
09 Dazed and Confused

01 Stairway to Heaven
02 Whole Lotta Love medley
03 Heartbreaker
04 organ solo
05 Thank You
06 How Many More Times
07 Communication Breakdown

Total time: 2:32:09

Jimmy Page - guitars
John Bonham - drums & percussion
John Paul Jones - bass, Mellotron, keyboards, vocals
Robert Plant - vocals & percussion

CMI/Tom Phillips remaster of a Kevin Shirley rough mix of a multitrack mobile recording 
engineered by Eddie Kramer
This is one of those boots that isn't remotely of bootleg sonic profile... it's way more than just a toss-off and was likely shelved only because these guys put out a live record of their NYC shows that July of 1973, which we all know as the film score to The Song Remains the Same.
This (complete) performance blows that LP off the turntable, I'm afraid, and features none of the post-production overdub cooking of the official document.
I'll be back in a jiffy with yet more spliffy, but for now if you dig these cats at all and don't have this version of this wild, 2 1/2 hour set, I gotta tell you you better pull it down and turn the MFer up loud.
How can you not? They are 50 today and still ready to blow the roof off your Saturday.--J.

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