Here it is. What is arguably the best performance of Dazed and Confused ever. The Europe 1973 Led Zeppelin tour was indisputably the musical high point of the band’s career. They were operating at peak efficiency, intensity, and ability. Except for Robert whose voice had lost the amazing range and volume of the early days.
Any show from this tour is a gem, and any Dazed and Confused from this tour is a contender for best. I chose this one based on feedback from fans on Twitter. It’s a great recording (Winston Remastered) and it’s fiercely intense.
Jimmy’s playing is the best it’s ever been. It’s like he’s in 4K HD (or IMAX) rather than 1080p. There are layers upon layers of genius. He sticks the landing on everything he attempts, and Bonzo is borderline thrash metal drumming in parts.
Hola! I had more from this show that I wanted you to hear, so I did a part two. Also, I added a treat from 2/13/75 (the night before) which is Ronnie Wood joining Led Zeppelin for a sizzling Communication Breakdown.
I talk about the Led Zeppelin concert from February 14, 1975 Uniondale NY, about the release of Physical Graffiti, and play 3 songs from the excellent soundboard recording of this show. Graeme’s remaster specifically. I play Trampled Underfoot, Over The Hills And Far Away, and The Rain Song (my favorite version). I talk a lot too, some funny stuff.
This is a great fucking show. Excellent mono soundboard recording. Would you like the whole show? Too bad. You are unworthy. Hang your head in shame.
On August 20, 1990 Aerosmith played a gig at the legendary Marquee Club, two days after headlining the Castle Donnington Festival. This intimate performance, in a small club in front of hundreds of people, features Jimmy Page jamming with the band. Good Stuff.
We listen to three songs from this performance, I Ain’t Got You (blues jam), Think About It (Jimmy era Yardbirds tune), and Immigrant Song, in excellent soundboard stereo. Fun fact: Steven Tyler did not know the words to Immigrant Song.
There’s a a nice video of this gig featuring most (there are cuts) of the show (with Jimmy Page), as well as a nice video of the rehearsal too. Behold!
Holy shit is this a great performance. 1970 was Led Zeppelin hitting peak swagger wherein the walk was walked, along with talking the talk. They sound completely at ease, and effortlessly soar in that rarefied air reserved for the best. That place where they make it look easy. Ali, Miles Davis, Michael Jordan… they were the high water mark for their genre, as is Led Zeppelin, and this is why.
I got this show in excellent audience and soundboard quality (great stereo too) from Guitars101, so if you want the show for yourself, head on over and grab it. It’s a JRK remaster of the existing audience and soundboards called Intimidating Divinity. It’s peak Zeppelin before Stairway made them gods.
The connection with the audience is palpable, and the band plays like their cruising in the back of a sweet convertible on a sunny afternoon. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
Led Zeppelin’s Final Tour: The 1980 Tour Over Europe
As a young fan I was always deeply curious about the last days of the mighty Zep. The 1980 tour was (back in the mid 1980’s) not well known (it was a brief tour of Europe. The big US tour was scheduled for later in 1980.), and before the internet, and downloads, there wasn’t much in the way of data.
Well, there is now! I explore the last days of Led Zeppelin, their final tour, and play some really cool songs. Give a listen.
I have been revisiting Led Zeppelin’s 1980 tour, and I had never listened to their July 5, 1980 show, in Munich. This is one of the only (maybe the only) show from this tour that doesn’t have a soundboard out there. That late 1980’s glut of dry soundboards did this tour no favors. Jimmy’s tone is brittle and highlights every flubbed note wayyyyy more than a good audience tape.
Munich is a very good audience tape, maybe even excellent. There’s good stereo separation, good ambience, and you can hear Jimmy’s guitar the way you would have heard it in the hall. On top of that it was a fun show.
At the conclusion of the show, a second drum kit was set up, next to Bonzo’s drums. Not even Keith Moon got his drum kit when he played with Zep in ’77. This is a one time thing.
After a brief break, Led Zeppelin comes back with the drummer from Bad Company, Simon Kirke. Bad Company was the biggest act (aside from Zeppelin themselves) on their Swan Song label, as well as friends with the band, so they had special access. Jimmy and Robert even jammed with Bad Company a couple of times, but that’s the subject of another blog post.
So here is a very cool, very funny, version of Whole Lotta Love, with two drummers. This is also the second to the last time the band would play this song, before Bonzo’s untimely death. It’s a fun one. Jimmy goes into the fun blues things, and even brings the drummers back into line, when they get lost. This recording really changed my mind about this tour, and tipped the scales in deciding to make this tour the topic of my next podcast.
This is a smoking hot jam from July 1, 1980, in which Jimmy Page jams with Santana in Frankfurt. Led Zeppelin had just played one of their best shows of their 1980 Tour Over Europe, the night before. Santana (the band) breaks out the old chestnut Shake Your Moneymaker, and Jimmy Page joins in. It’s pretty great.
You don’t get much jamming from Jimmy during the last years of Zep. He had his demons but not this night. The soundboard recording is very hot (oooh hot mic), and a bit shrill to these old ears, but it’s still awesome. Jimmy is at home sparring with the amazing Carlos Santana. It’s got the bounce and enthusiasm of the version, 20 years later done by Jimmy and the Black Crowes.
I’ve been revisiting the 1980 tour and I believe I’m changing my mind about it. For the last 30 years (Jesus, that’s sobering) I’ve thought of the ’80 tour as essential a shell of Zeppelin. This is based on the dry soulless soundboard recordings which abound.
The soundboard boots were everywhere when I was a youth, and even not there are only a relative handful of good audience recordings from this tour. Munich is an exception. It’s audience tape is excellent and it makes the show SO MUCH BETTER. You get the sound with reverb and space, as opposed to the flat line input sound. The soundboards highlight Jimmy’s shaky playing and is the aural equivalent to the fluorescent lighting in a gas station bathroom. It does the subject no favors.
Anyhoo give this a listen and you’ll hear Jimmy giving it his all and playing the fuck out of his Les Paul. Enjoy.
I think the 1980 tour will be the topic of my next podcast. #foreshadowing
My first, in fact THE first Led Zeppelin CD bootleg was Zurich, June 29, 1980. It was a dry soundboard recording, like almost all of the 1980 tapes, and it showed precisely how not on their game Jimmy Page and (tragically) John Bonham were at this time. They were both deep in their addictions, and it showed. I’ve compared Zeppelin live in 1980 to Aerosmith, in that it’s not the shows were horrible (although almost all the shows had an awful component… usually White Summer/Black Mountainside or Hot Dog), but they weren’t inspired. Bonzo would sometimes sound tired or like he was just phoning it in. They had to stop a show in Nuremberg (just before this show in Zurich) because Bonzo collapsed and couldn’t play. That stuff hadn’t happened before.
That being said, Achilles Last Stand was great on this tour (Frankfurt is arguably the best live performance ever), as was Kashmir, and the truncated Nobody’s Fault But Mine is bad ass.
This Trampled Underfoot is hands down my favorite. I don’t know if it’s the best, but it is to me. I hope you enjoy it. Jimmy does some hot wah wah work, Bonzo is on it, Robert’s voice is strong as hell (as it was for this whole tour), and fuck… it’s a great song to begin with.
Let me know what you think. I am kind of leaning toward doing an episode on the 1980 Tour Over Europe, since there are some really good performances, some great jams, and it’s the last tour with Bonzo, so it’s special.
Given the condition of half the band I’m glad they never toured the States in 1980, because I think it would have very likely tarnished their reputation. I don’t think they would have pulled off a good tour. In another reality John Bonham and Jimmy Page got clean and sober in the 1970’s, and Zeppelin kept chugging along for years, and years. Alas, that’s not the timeline in which we live.