Classic Rock Review

The home of old record and bootleg reviews…

Led Zeppelin Standing In The Shadow

From collectorsmusicreviews.com

Disc 1 (56:42): Introduction, Rock And Roll, Sick Again, Over The Hills And Far Away, In My Time Of Dying, The Song Remains The Same, The Song Remains The Same, The Rain Song, Kashmir

Disc 2 (46:58): No Quarter, Trampled Underfoot, Moby Dick

Disc 3 (70:54): Dazed And Confused, Stairway To Heaven, Whole Lotta Love, medley, Black Dog, Heartbreaker

More praise is given to the second night in Long Beach, often called the most “visceral”performance of the entire tour. Millard, who recorded the March 11th show, was said to be in an automobile accident on his way to the venue and was able to record only the last half hour of the show. The other source is much more complete but is slightly distant with a heavy bass on the point of serious distraction. This tape was issued on vinyl on Live In Long Beach 1975 (no label) and on compact disc on Trampled Under Jimmy’s Foot (Silver Rarities SIRA 168/169/170) and Standing In The Shadows (The Diagrams Of Led Zeppelin). The Millard fragment was first issued on Long Beach Arena Fragment (Holy SH002) in the nineties and several years ago Badgeholders issued Taking No Prisoners Tonight (Badgeholders BH-004-1/2/3), an edit of the two.

Bootleg License follows the same path by using the inferior sounding complete source for most of the show and then editing in the excellent source three and a half minutes into “Stairway To Heaven.” The main source has several small cuts in “The Song Remains The Same,” at the beginning of “The Rain Song,” at 19:06 and 19:59 in ”No Quarter” eliminating the end, and in “Moby Dick.” The Millard source is complete with no cuts except for the crowd noise between the final song and the encores.

The show itself get off to an incendiary start with “Rock And Roll” segueing into a heavy “Sick Again.” Plant greets the audience in Arabic saying “Malacum salaam. Sorry about the delay but the treacherous conditions on the roads. There’s snowstorms back in Hollywood.” He follows with the usual spiel about the setlist being a cross section of six and a half years before an existential version of “Over The Hills And Far Away” followed by “In My Time Of Dying.” Plant speaks about Bob Dylan a bit afterwards when he says, ”That was an old work song actually. A long time before Mr. Zimmerman listened to it down in the village back in the 1960s.”

“The Song Remains The Same,” a source for troubles in the previous evening suffers a complete breakdown about a minute in when Page’s guitar disappears from the mix. “Just a minute, just a minute. Thank you very much. That’s it. See you again Long Beach! Goodnight! They didn’t tell you it was like this in Valhalla. It happened for the first time in six and a half years. Does anyone remember laughter?…We never seem to be able to get things together in Los Angeles on a very firm basis, but like I was saying the song remains nevertheless continuously the same.” The song picks up again and there are still problems with the guitar and Plant misses a cue, but it is still an improvement compared to the previous evening.

“No Quarter” begins with an unique, hazing sounding organ figure before leading into the familiar melody. Jones’ grand piano improvisations are more cohesive, boarding on jazz in parts before Page comes in and plays one of the most intense solos of the tour. Plant acknowledges the intensity afterwards, saying, “Well that was thoroughly enjoyable. Better than a good chick…almost.” The new song “Trampled Under Foot” is introduced as “Trampled Under Jimmy’s Foot” and is a fun track.

“Dazed And Confused” is about a half hour long. “Woodstock” is again included and the section with the violin bow causes considerable excitement as does the fiery solo in the middle. Afterwards Plant sings a bit of The Rolling Stones’ “Have You Seen Your Mother” and praises the “vibes” saying they are “a bit better than last night, too many reds. By the time we get to the Forum we should be sky high!”

The Millard fragment cuts in during “Stairway To Heaven” and makes the listener really with the entire show were captured in that wonderful sound quality. Plant dedicates the encores to Steven Weiss, Led Zeppelin’s lawyer in New York. The “medley” includes “The Crunge,” “Cold Sweat,” “Licking Stick” and a glimpse of the future “Darlene” at its most intense moments before the transition into “Black Dog.” “Heartbreaker” is the second encore, something they did on special nights and during the long solo the get into “I’m A Man.” The inclusion of a blues classic cover was tested on several nights on the tour including also St. Louis when they get into Jimmy Reed’s “Shame Shame Shame” or in New York when they play a bit of “That’s Alright.”

One final point to discuss regarding Bootleg License concerns a paragraph sent out by the Hidden Grok website just before this title’s release. It states: “Tarantura to Release New Box Set of Long Beach 75 Customers Alert: Tarantura is about to release a huge box set of the Long Beach concert without giving any information as to the content and source of the shows. Please note that there is a new Long Beach tape soon to surface of far superior quality to what is out there now. So be careful that you don’t spend a fortune on a re-hash of material just before the new source comes out so they can sell it to you again. PS – The real Tarantura label (not the one hijacked by you know who in Japan) would never even consider doing this marketing scam.”

There are many inconsistencies in this blurb. It mentions “a new Long Beach tape soon to surface of far superior quality to what is out there now.” Since there are two Long Beach shows the Hidden Grok claim is very vague. Which show is it referring too? Furthermore, saying that it is ”soon to surface” means it is not out yet and nobody has it. Since not a month goes by without a rumor concerning a “new Led Zeppelin tape about to surface” all such speculation should be taken with a fair amount of scepticism. Bootleg License has been in production for a while now and the suggestion that it was hastily constructed to rip people off, which is the impression one gets when reading this, is absurd. And finally nobody seems to know who the “you know who” is referred to in the final sentence. The motivation behind this warning is unclear and the lapses in logic are all too apparent and can be ignored. The bottom line is that Bootleg License is a solid release in great packaging worth having.

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July 27, 2010 Posted by | Led Zeppelin Standing In The Shadow | | Leave a comment

Bob Dylan Electric Black Nite Crash (1965)

From allmusic.com

Roughly six weeks after the landmark 1965 Newport Folk Festival appearance that transformed him from luminary to lightning rod, Bob Dylan descended upon Los Angeles’ Hollywood Bowl with his new backing band in tow.

After first abandoning the protest themes of his classic early anthems to focus on more poetic, personal subjects, Dylan was now forsaking the rigid traditions of roots music to go electric, drawing on the spirit of rock & roll to forge a revolutionary and controversial sound all his own. Just his second full-length show post-Newport, the September 3, 1965, Hollywood Bowl gig remains a fascinating portrait of Dylan in transition: foreshadowing the structure he would employ on the epochal U.K. tour of the following year, he divides the performance into two halves, opening with a solo acoustic set and closing with an electric performance backed by guitarist Robbie Robertson, organist Al Kooper, bassist Harvey Brooks, and drummer Levon Helm.

But while the acoustic portion is sublime, highlighted by luminous readings of “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue” and “To Ramona,” the electric set proves wanting — while more confident and robust than the Newport performances, the arrangements are still somewhat tentative, conjuring little of the visceral roar that would define the 1966 trek.

The historical value of these long-lost and much-bootlegged tapes cannot be overstated, however. Junkyard Angel’s Electric Black Nite Crash boasts the same source limitations as rival releases and features the show in its entirety (minus the finale of “Mr. Tambourine,” missing from all known recordings), making it an essential addition to any serious Dylan enthusiast’s collection.

July 27, 2010 Posted by | Bob Dylan Electric Black Nite Crash | , | Leave a comment

Jimi Hendrix :Woodstock (1994)

From allmusic.com

Like most products issued from the Jimi Hendrix archive in the ’90s, several separate releases featuring identical recordings of this one performance have been issued.

1994’s Jimi Hendrix: Woodstock on MCA is the first formal packaging of this most famous of rock shows. Other, more collectable discs followed, often with much more extensive track lists. The Woodstock show that these discs commemorate was supposed to be a headline performance for Hendrix and his band, but after many delays and a fan exodus, the guitarist ended up playing to only a fraction of listeners a full day after the event was scheduled to end.

The first performance with new backing outfit Hendrix’s Gypsy Sun & Rainbows, this expanded outfit is often difficult to hear over Hendrix and his guitar on this recording. Although very significant, this isn’t one of Hendrix’s best recorded performances. Relatively pedestrian versions of hits like “Purple Haze” and “Fire” are included. The redefinition of “The Star Spangled Banner” is still considered one of the most chilling rock performances ever, and funky jams like “Hear My Train a Comin'” are also very impressive.

Fans might want to consider later releases of this performance that include more material, but one way or another, all devoted scholars of the greatest musician to ever plug in a Stratocaster should own at least one packaging of this performance.

July 27, 2010 Posted by | Jimi Hendrix :Woodstock | | Leave a comment

Amazing Journey: The Story Of The Who DVD (2007)

From amazon

First, the misses – I wish they would have included full concerts, or at least four or five full songs from the 1970s shows (the way McCartney’s new DVD allegedly will). That would have made this perfect.

However, what is here is great. More footage of the Kilburn 1977 show than I thought I’d ever see, to hear how the band supposedly hated the gig/Jeff Stein’s footage of that show. We see part of a great, pre-album (almost by a year) version of “Who Are You” live at Kilburn, with Moon and Entwistle jamming underneath Pete’s guitar. Pete sings the chorus by himself (!), even the “Who the f ….” part, and Daltrey later joins in.

It’s wonderful to see Moon playing drums on a live version (other than the live-in-the-studio take in “The Kids Are Alright.” The Who, from the clips seen in this DVD, sounded pretty stinking good at Kilburn. Moon actually looks like he was in better shape and less tired than the 1978 Shepperton footage in “TKAA.” Don’t get me wrong, I love the two Shepperton clips in “TKAA,” but Moon seems more firey and hits the drums and cymbals faster (and with less effort) on the Kilburn clips. Good footage of Entwistle’s crazy fingers on the bass at Kilburn, although a couple segments don’t quite match up with his fingers, but nonetheless, it’s great to see 1970s footage of the Ox cuttlng loose on the bass. This happens at the end of “Dreaming from the Waist” at Kilburn. Unfortunately, we only see the end of the song, but it’s great to see John wailing on four strings.

It’s also great to see The Who clowning around in the studio while trying to do the backing vocals to “Pictures of Lily,” and there’s a quick segment of Pete laying down the electric guitar for the track. Clips of the “Quadrophenia” and “Who By Numbers” tours are awesome, allthough short like the Kilburn gig. We see Pete holding up Keith Moon (or restraining him?) at Pete’s mic stand, then Pete and Roger carrying Moon to his drum kit, and then Moonie collapsing.

Interesting interviews with Pete and Roger, although much of Pete’s is lifted from “An Ox’s Tale” DVD and the 2004 interview Murray Lerner did for “The Who Live at the Isle of Wight” limited theatrical release and special edition DVD version in 2004. The quick segment of Hyde Park in 1994 (or 1996?) was interesting, although no site of David Gilmour. I’m glad they talked to Kenney Jones, who is pretty much bitter-free, at least in the interviews. He really carries the weight of Daltrey’s fueding back then, the world’s criticisms of him not being Keith Moon, and the 1979 Cincinatti trajedy where 11 Who fans were trampled to death in a stampede for festival (general admsision) seats.

Maybe they will eventually put out all of these shows in full, someday soon on DVD. Take a note from Deep Purple and Kiss, please, Roger and Pete, and dump all the archive stuff on us. We are waiting.

P.S. The talking heads segments aren’t that bad. They’re limited (only Noel Gallagher gets on my nerves, acting as if he’s bothered to play with The Who at the Royal Albert Hall in 2000 – what the heck? I’ll play fourth banana to The Who anyday!), as if the filmmakers started to include them in the beginning, and then kind of abandoned the idea in favor of interviews with Pete, Roger and file interviews of Entwislte, as well as their siblings and parents. First time I think I’ve heard Simon Townshend speak (not counting his background vocals live – and lead vocals on the 1996 Quadrophenia DVD)

July 27, 2010 Posted by | The Who Amazing Journey: The Story Of The Who | , | Leave a comment