Classic Rock Review

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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 |

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