Classic Rock Review

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Led Zeppelin – Willie And The Hand Jive (Uniondale, June 1972)


Disc 1 (60:04): NY drone, Immigrant Song, Heartbreaker, Black Dog, Since I’ve Been Loving You, Stairway To Heaven, Going To California, That’s The Way, Tangerine, Bron-Y-Aur Stomp

Disc 2 (58:35): Dazed & Confused, What Is And What Should Never Be, Moby Dick, Whole Lotta Love (includes Everybody Needs Somebody To Love, Boogie Chillun’, Willie And The Hand Jive, Hello Mary Lou, Money Honey, Heartbreak Hotel, Cumberland Gap, Going Down Slow)

June 15th is the better sounding of the two tapes. It is very clear with very nice atmosphere, even with the taper and his friends shooting off their big mouths throughout the show. These are the same guys who recorded shows in 1971 and 1975. The earliest releases of this tape can be found on Tangerine (Mud Dogs-020/021), Welcome Back Led Zeppelin (Tarantura NCNY-001,2), Long Island Line (IQ-049/50), and the aforementioned Whole Lotta Led (Badgeholders BH-007-01-02-03-04) with the previous night’s show.

The show is complete except small cuts in “Tangerine” and ”Bron-Y-Aur Stomp.” Most of “Moby Dick” is cut (only three minutes remains) and it cuts out at the very end of “Whole Lotta Love” missing the very end and the encores. The sound is a bit louder than the previous releases which may not be too some collector’s tastes. But it still is very clear and enjoyable.

June 15th starts off with the drone pumped through the PA. Tonight is the first time it was used and will continue for the remainder of the tour. It’s origin and purpose were a mystery, but it is a simple but effective method to gain listener’s attention before the opening song. Both Page and Plant were fascinated by the use of drones in music, evidenced by many songs they wrote in Led Zeppelin, Page & Plant and solo. It lends an exotic, other-worldly timbre.

The show reaches the intensity of the previous night at certain points, and certainly in the first two songs. ”Was anybody here last night?” Plant asks after “Heartbreaker.” The opening hour is highlighted by a powerful “Stairway To Heaven.” Plant gushes about the song prior, saying: ”I think amazed us really. It’s a real gas to be able to do it every night. It’s one of those things you could never get fed up singing.” (It’s funny hearing him say that, knowing in several years he would hate singing it).

The acoustic set provides a quiet moment in the middle of the din and Plant keeps the jokes flowing. Nice versions of “Going To California” and “That’s The Way” are highlights. “Dazed And Confused” reaches a half hour in length. Page takes his time getting into “The Crunge,” prolonging the slow funk riffs until setting into the other track.

“Whole Lotta Love” contains the normal tunes in the medley like “Boogie Chillun’” and “Let’s Have A Party.” But it has the only known live reference to “Willie And The Hand Jive” by Johnny Otis, played in a heavy funk groove during the boogie instrumental before they hit “Hello Mary Lou.” The tape unfortunately runs out at the end of the song and unlike Tarantura’s earlier release of this show, they didn’t edit in the beginning for continuity.

Overall the two New York shows are as strong and powerful as the California shows. The only think New York lacks are the Houses Of The Holy numbers. But the intensity is present and proves these are classic Led Zeppelin shows. The Ultimate Power Blues is packaged in a tri-fold gatefold sleeve and Willie And The Hand Jive in a gatefold sleeve, and both fit into a custom box. Tarantura utilized extremely rare pictures from the tour. It’s limited to 150 numbered copies and stands as an excellent collection for these two shows.

June 10, 2010 Posted by | Led Zeppelin Willie And The Hand Jive | , | Leave a comment