Classic Rock Review

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Led Zeppelin Going Down Slow (Munich, May 1973)

zep_goingslow160From collectorsmusicreviews.com

Olympiahalle, Munich, Germany – March 17th, 1973

Disc 1 (57:18): Introduction, Rock And Roll, Over The Hills And Far Away, Black Dog, Misty Mountain Hop, Since I’ve Been Loving You, Dancing Days, Bron-Yr-Aur Stomp, The Song Remains The Same, The Rain Song

Disc 2 (75:05): Dazed And Confused, Stairway To Heaven, Whole Lotta Love, Heartbreaker

Led Zeppelin’s Munich show on their 1973 tour was never pressed on vinyl but received circulation in the mid nineties on titles such as Lunatics In Munich (Holy Grail HGCD 102/3) and Olympiahalle 1973 (Immigrant IM-022~23). The last two titles to feature this tape were released several weeks apart in late 1999, Pure Percy (Flagge) and Storm Und Drang (LedNote LCD-1503A/B). Both of these were upgrades over the older titles.

Tarantura is the first silver release of this show since and is a slight upgrade over LedNote. The sound quality is very clear but slightly distant with the emphasis upon the high frequencies with a very thin bass and no hiss. Tarantura increased the volume slightly compared to LedNote making the tape slightly more clear and enjoyable. There are small cuts in the introduction, after “Bron-Yr-Aur Stomp,” “Dazed And Confused” and at 5:58 in “Heartbreaker” with very little music lost.

The European shows are notable for a uniformity in sound which is different from other eras of their live history. Jimmy Page’s guitar tone is much dirtier than before and the drums, which are normally very loud and boomy, sound much flatter.

Bonham spends a lot of time throwing wild fills at every opportunity and it is probably his attempt to assert himself in the mix to make some sort of impression. Playing in the Olympia Halle, which was built for the previous year’s Olympic games, they were one of the first rock acts to play the venue and before one of the biggest audiences of the tour. The tape begins with the house announcer listing all of the upcoming acts to play in Munich including Emerson, Lake & Palmer, who receive a loud cheer.

The opening “Rock And Roll” and “Over The Hills And Far Away” are played briskly before Plant addresses the audience inter German, “Danke Schöne.” He makes rather cryptic remarks, saying, ”We’re gonna endeavour to have a good time here. Last time I saw this place there was a lady from Russia doing some very good things, remember?” Their previous appearance in Munich was at the Circus Krone Bau on March 8th, 1970 but what exactly he is referring to isn’t clear. “Black Dog” is about a ”creature who couldn’t stop boogieing” but there is a short delay before he lets out a shout and the band kick into the song.

After “Since I’ve Been Loving You” Plant says, ”Here is a song off the fifth LP, from an album called Houses of the Holy, which I suppose this is one of them. There’s at least four of us anyway. It’s about our affection for young girls. It’s called ‘Dancing Days.’”

After a chaotic version of the new song Plant thanks the “happy people” and speaks about the next song as “a son about another dog. This dog’s got a little bit more life left in him.” The band almost get lost in the middle of this song. Many collectors praise the “technical proficiency” of the band, and Page in particular, as a strength on this tour but it isn’t exactly the case. Page botches his solo in “Dancing Days” and the band almost get lost in “Bron-Yr-Aur Stomp.’”

After a cut the tape fades back in with Plant saying, “…this requires your attention, as opposed to the noise. It’s a number by Bobby V. It’s called ‘The Song Remains the Same.’” They deliver a tentative but effective version of the complicated song and things get much better with a tight and gorgeous version of “The Rain Song” captured beautifully in this recording.

“Dazed & Confused” is one of the main points of interest in these shows. The beginning is very soft but as they hit the first fast section Plant lets out some elongated groans. The ”San Francisco” section comes in quite early. Bonham wants to play “The Crunge” but Page and Jones don’t go along. It doesn’t matter to Bonzo though as he just keeps playing “The Crunge.” Then Page plays a delicate melody as Jones and Bonham play a smooth jazz rhythm.

“Whole Lotta Love” is close to a half hour long. After the theremin battle they play “Everybody Needs Somebody To Love” as an introduction to “Boogie Chillun’.” Plant comes in too early for “(You’re So Square) I Don’t Care” and sings over Page’s boogie.

“I Can’t Quit You” is the slow blues number played towards the end and they included “Going Down Slow.” They play the Howlin’ Wolf arrangement from 1962 with Plant beginning with the Willie Dixon spoken portion: “Now looka here… / I did not say I was a millionaire… / But I said I have spent more money than a millionaire! / Cause if I had’ve kept all my money that I’d already spent, / I would’ve been a millionaire a looong time ago…”

This was a regularly played as the final song of the medley in 1972, rarely on the UK tour in 1973, and only once in Europe. Munich represents the final recorded time they played this song. The only encore of the night is “Heartbreaker.”

Going Down Slow is packaged in a cardboard gatefold sleeve with several rare amateur photographs from this how decorating the artwork.

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March 21, 2013 - Posted by | Led Zeppelin Going Down Slow | ,

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