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Getting Better With Nine Lives and Re Living A Night Of Electric Magic

26 November 2006 1,946 views No Comment

A week of recuperation while this virus hopefully takes leave, has afforded me the rare luxury of some concentrated listening as opposed to the usual grabbed soundbites via the iPod etc.

Last Monday I spent over eight hours wading through the entire Nine Lives box set – a virtual life in a day with Robert Plant. It was an uplifting experience that prompted a rush to get down 2,000 words of reflections, the fruits of which will be gracing the next Tight But Loose. Suffice to say for anyone who has even only vaguely got caught up in his solo career, it’s a worthy overview and if like me you’ve lived with it all through the years, then this is one Christmas present that couldn’t have come sooner.

Tuesday was an anniversary day (yes another!) but in this household a real milestone. For it was 35 years ago on November 21 1971 that the bruv John and myself first succumbed to a night of Electric Magic in the company of Led Zeppelin. Such an occasion warranted the digging out of the Phillips low noise compact cassettes (does anybody remember cassettes?) of the November 20 gig marked for posterity in my cassette filling system of the time as LZC011/12. The eleventh and twelfth cassette of a series that I finally ran out of time sequencing around LZC411(there’s boxes of these in my loft ). I’ve had these particular cassettes since 1972 and they still faithfully replay the sound of a band on top of their game. Whoever recorded it was in exactly the right place to capture all the echo and resonance prevalent on that special weekend albeit from some way back. So much so I can almost feel the coldness of the dank ageing North London former ice rink. ” Are yer cold” says Plant at the beginning. ”We’ll keep warming you”. They certainly did that.


There have been a fair few life affirming nights in their company, but that first entry into the live Led Zeppelin experience has to be the one that had most effect on me … and the effect has been a lasting one.

Just podded some stuff to accompany me on my travels back to retail frenzy – selections from Nine Lives: Fat Lip, Far Post, Big Log, I Got A Woman, Sixes And Sevens, Billy’s Revenge (live), I Cried, The Greatest Gift, Dirt in A Hole, All The Money In The World and Freedom Fries being just a few of the tracks that have been thrown back to prominence via the box set. While on the Zep front, it’ll be tracks from the old vinyl boot Going To California that will soundtrack my Going To Milton Keynes as it were. All as captured live on stage at the Berkeley Community Theatre in the year of our Lord 1971. Now that was a very good year …

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