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22 February 2024 816 views 3 Comments

Physical Graffiti it was 49 years ago…

It’s been a week of here of celebrating the 49th anniversary of  Physical Graffiti  and I’ve been playing various versions of the album and rounded up the reviews and wallowed in the sheer nostalgia of such a great period so here’s various snapshots of what I have felt and still feel about my favourite album of all time – and maybe yours too…

First to back track to the 2015 reissue…

So some DL thoughts:

To backtrack 49 years: My Physical Graffiti:

Physical Graffiti. The very title indicated something mysterious and special when I first saw it announced in the NME in late ’74. Then there was the waiting. Ah yes the waiting. Initially it was set for November 29th 1974. That date passed and nothing. Then it was going to be January 10th 1975 and so it went on until finally on a grey February morning, I took receipt of the record boxes delivered that day at WH Smith where I worked. And there in a parcel marked WEA/CBS Distribution was a box full of that beautiful double album. Had it out of the box immediately –took it down the pub lunchtime to show Dec, oh yes this was the big one – a massive outpouring of new Zeppelin music.

It ushered in a memorable year that would peak with those five glorious days in May. Since then Physical Graffiti has been a constant in my life. Not long after its release, the WEA rep kindly gave me the original sleeve artwork mock up which still takes pride of place in my collection. On holiday in Spain that year I could not resist handing over a pocket full of pesetas for the Spanish pressing. I have it on cassette and 8 track cartridge. When I first got a CD player in 1988 it was the first CD I purchased.  The emergence of the Tangible Vandalism rehearsals bootleg in the early 80’s was a shot in the arm in a less than vibrant Zep period, and the first time I heard the 33 minutes of outtakes that surfaced in 1997 remains one of my most memorable listening experiences.

Then there have been the numerous live Graffiti moments -selections from Physical Graffiti played live over the years have also provided some of my all time fave gig going moments.

Ten Years Gone and Sick Again at Knebworth, Trampled Underfoot at Leicester University in ’88, Kashmir at MTV Unledded, The Wanton Song at Later With Jools, Night Flight at the ULU in ’98 , In My Time of Dying at the 02 Reunion.

On Saturday February 22nd 1975  Alan Freeman previewed five tracks from the album. The previous night I’d had the Old Grey Whistle Test taped on a cassette to hear the previews of Houses Of The Holy and Trampled Underfoot. I was out at the Rainbow grooving to Black Oak Arkansas at the time.

On that Saturday Alan aired Custard Pie, Night Flight, The Wanton Song, Down By The Seaside and Sick Again in that sequence with no break. As Robert uttered the opening line ‘’I received a message from my brother across the water he sat laughin’ as he wrote the ends in sight’’ I remember exclaiming ‘’Oh that voice!’’ in excited wonderment.

In today’s internet driven world of instantly accessible everything, it’s easy to forget the impact a mere record could have.

A mere record? Physical Graffiti was and could never be a mere anything.

It’s a living breathing masterpiece.

So happy 49th birthday Custard Pie, The Rover, In My Time Of Dying, Houses Of The Holy, Trampled  Underfoot, Kashmir, In The Light, Bron Yr Aur, Down By The Seaside, Ten Years Gone, Night Flight, The Wanton Song, Boogie With Stu, Black Country Woman and Sick Again.

These 15 performances continue to enrich my life and thousands of others across the globe.

To backtrack 49 years: Their Physical Graffiti:

FEB 26 FIVE

In the scheme of things the timing on the recording of this album was just so right.

There was nothing like the pressure they had in following Zep IV with Houses Of The Holy. The lukewarm press reaction to Houses would only spur the four  to greater on stage heights. The touring period from March in Europe through to the lengthy US jaunt in the summer of ’73 saw Led Zeppelin perform to overflowing audiences with increasing confidence.

There may have been a period of burn out following the US tour – the initial sixth album sessions were scrapped due to John Paul Jones illness/reticence – but it can be clear that the vigour and vitality they displayed during that US tour was more than in evidence when they came to park Ronnie Lane’s mobile studio outside Headley Grange in early 1974.

The decision to work at their own space with no pressure of a tour to prepare was a crucial one. Jimmy’s wry comment that ‘’1974 didn’t really happen’’ was a something of a smokescreen – as creatively it very much did happen and it would set the seal on a six month period in 1975 that would see them conquer America yet again and present five shows at London’s Earls Court that really did capture them at the peak of their powers.

All this and Physical Graffiti too. A double album idea that Page had been eying for some time  as he commented recently:‘’ I hoped it was going to be a double album because other people had put out double albums and I thought it would be good to do that. I knew that we already had material left over the material was coming out and it was clear that we were working towards a double. I did want to do a double album that would really show a working band at a really creative process”.

The eight recordings honed at Headley Grange were merged within seven older tracks held over from previous albums. We now know that had been the clear intention with Houses Of The Holy as Page recently revealed ‘’ It was left off the Houses Of The Holy album on purpose. It was saved for whatever the next album was going to be which turned out to be Physical Graffiti’’. The rest…they were never mere leftovers as such a thing did not exist. These were quality ideas ready to be unleashed

All that was required was a final mix and a song selection and sequencing. This is where Physical Graffiti really triumphs

You could just never envisage Physical Graffiti not being played in the sequence that Jimmy Page prepared back in 1974. .

It’s akin to a whole symphony greater than the sum of its parts – take any song away and it loses its thread.

So let’s be under no illusion, the arrival of this new remastered reissue is principally all about those 15 tracks – the Companion Disc is of course a very  welcomed dessert but the main course kicks right off with track one side with a chew of the Custard Pie and closes with the brutal last gasp salute of Sick Again.

And that my friends, is the way to listen to Physical Graffiti – there’s no cherry picking required. It’s the whole first course in one sitting and no messing. That is the way it should be.

This is no mere nostalgia trip. Physical Graffiti could be no mere anything. It’s a living breathing beautiful sounding testament to the sheer greatness of Led Zeppelin.

Every facet of the spectrum beautifully detailed – every moment wonderfully sequenced.

Moments to marvel at ….

Custard Pie

Just so much raunch to the riff and John Bonham’s jigging hi hat driving it all the way through… and the solo cuts in across the speakers with so much verve and swagger.

The Rover

Utterly fucking sensational. The drum sound – on first play it took my breath away simple as that.

In My Time Of Dying

The forcefulness of that opening drum part…it has to be heard to be believed. The clarity of the bottleneck parts – we are right there in that hall in Headley. The echo on the first solo…glorious.

Houses Of The Holy

So much brightness and colour in the lyrics and performance.

Trampled Under Foot

Jones’s clavinet all the way through – pure musical arranging brilliance.

Kashmir

The moment they come out of the middle sequence and that elongated Plant howl…oh yes!

In The Light

We now know how much work went itto n this with varying tempo changes. The closing two minutes with Page’s multi overdubbing cascading around Bonzo’s drumming might be the best two minutes of their recorded career – here it sounds utterly sensational. As does the opening drone.

Bron Yr Aur

Acoustic perfection…

Down By The Seaside

Love the keyboard sound from JPJ, now even more accented.

Ten Years Gone

The intro – totally stunning…

Night Flight

”Oh mama well it must be time….”  what a vocal.

The Wanton Song

The way they come back from the Leslied guitar effect solo back into the riff.. masterful.

Boogie With Stu

The percussion at the beginning now more powerful than ever.

Black Country Woman

The mandolin so precise.

Sick Again

The final onslaught from John Bonham ..oh yes!

The Companion Audio Disc:  

FEB 26 FOUR

Brandy & Coke (Trampled Under Foot – Initial Rough Mix) 5.39:

To me this has the feel of of a radio friendly single mix – and hearing Brandy & Coke aka Trampled Underfoot in this way makes  Zep sound like the greatest singles band ever. Imperious funk meets revved up riffing with refreshing clarity…

Sick Again (Early Version) 2.22:

There’s a also a delightful ‘’wooshing’’ effect on the riff at 0.55. Overall this flexing of the riff foundation brings out the melodic tendencies of Page’s plangent riffing. You really want this to go on for another ten minues. Wonderful work in progress riff exercise for a sometimes underrated part of the Graffiti wall..not anymore..

In My Time Of Dying (Initial Rough Mix) 10.48:

A cleaner intro – the vocal coming in with added clarity to the version we know. Double tracked at times. The delicacy of the bottleneck parts are more evident. Jonesy’s bass accentuated behind the bottleneck riff parts is also high in the mix. As it moves into it’s stride, Robert’s vocal are striking clear and crisper providing a real live in the studio atmosphere. Mesmerisingly spacey mix of a towering performance…

Houses Of The Holy (Rough Mix With Overdubs) 3.51:

What we have here is a rough mix with overdubs and it’s a fascinating listen – Robert’s initial vocals have less echo and are pleasingly upfront and clear. Bonzo’s cowbell is much more pronounced in this mix.  The backing vocal ”oooh oooh” is also higher in the mix and you can clearly hear a tambourine as additional percussion towards the close. Jimmy had yet to layer on his solo and it fades at 3.51. Bright and breezy mix of one of their most commercial outings…

Everybody Makes It Through (In The Light Early Version/In Transit) 6.29:

The complete alternate version that was previously bootlegged on the Physical Graffiti outtakes that surfaced in 1997.

A totally different work in progress arrangement with John Paul Jones’ Elizabethan harpsichord keyboard sequence being later replaced by the drone links.  The closing moments from 5.42 to 6.29  with John Bonham’s relentless drum fills are some of the very best applied to any Led Zeppelin track. Those that have heard it before already will know this is a phenomenal piece – those that haven’t… well the pleasure will be all yours -it’s just sensational. An unabashed joy from start to finish – this pleasingly inventive initial arrangement adds new colour to the canvas of one of their finest achievements …

Boogie With Stu (Sunset Sound Mix) 3.39:

The mandolin is well to the fore in this mix – you can hear the precise plucking right from the off while the piano and vocals are both further back in the mix. A barrelhouse of mandolin and piano led fun…

Driving Through Kashmir (Kashmir Rough Orchestra Mix) 8.41:

That intro is immediately grandiose -the vocal remains in the centre of the mix while in the riff parts and the  strings are more prominent. From 4.06 to .25 it sounds altogether crisper and chunkier and all beautifully dramatic and the closing orchestral overdubs are clearer going into the fade. Progressive rock in the true sense of the word and this mix is further confirmation of the fact that this composition remains the pride of Led Zeppelin…

Summary:

Put simply – the paintwork on this particular piece of graffiti remains as fresh as ever… 49years on it sounds magnificent…

Dave Lewis -February 2015

Physical Graffiti Week – my Facebook posts:

Wednesday February 21:

Kicking off a week here of celebrating the 49th anniversary of the release of Led Zeppelin’s Physical Graffiti – my all time favourite album.

So on the player the Tangible Vandalism double album bootleg which has various rehearsals from the recording sessions at Headley Grange in early 1974.

When I first got this in the early 1980s it opened up a new level of appreciation for Physical Graffiti. You can clearly hear the seeds of greatness being planted…what a creative Zep period it was….more celebrations of Physical Graffiti to follow…

Thursday February 22:

DL/TBL Physical Graffiti throwback…celebrating the release of Led Zeppelin’s Physical Graffiti 49 years ago this week…

On the player – Mojo proudly presents Physical Graffiti Redrawn…

The excellent various artists album made available to mark the 40th anniversary and reissue of Physical Graffiti in the April 2015 issue of Mojo as a cover mount CD or mail order 2 LP set – the vinyl version is superbly packaged and includes a repro Zep Earls Court 1975 poster.

The entire double album is re- presented in full with performances from White Denim, Blackberry Smoke, The Temperance Movement and Laura Marling and more …all adding to the celebration of my favourite album of all time…

Thursday February 22:

DL/TBL Physical Graffiti throwback…celebrating the release of Led Zeppelin’s Physical Graffiti 49 years ago this week… retro advert – ‘’Zeppelin Crazy’’ – what a headline – I vividly remember buying this issue of Melody Maker – the anticipation was building….

DL/TBL Physical Graffiti throwback…celebrating the release of Led Zeppelin’s Physical Graffiti 49 years ago this week…

Friday February 23:

 

DL/TBL Physical Graffiti throwback…celebrating the release of Led Zeppelin’s Physical Graffiti 49 years ago this week…

On the player –the brilliant Companion Audio LP from the Led Zeppelin Physical Graffiti 40th anniversary super deluxe box set. This includes Everybody Makes It Through the fantastic early version of In The Light…

Friday February 23:

DL/TBL Physical Graffiti throwback…celebrating the release of Led Zeppelin’s Physical Graffiti 49 years ago this week…

It was nine years ago today – the release of the fantastic Physical Graffiti 40th anniversary reissue on Monday February 23 ,2015 and I spent the day in London reveling in it all…

Here’s the scene in HMV in Oxford Street with my very good friend Dec.

It was fitting he should be there on the day of this reissue appearing as 40 years back in 1975 almost to the day, I was with Dec when the Physical Graffiti album was released.

It was also our last meet in London before Dec moved to Ireland…a day of high emotion all round…

 

Friday February 23:

TBL Physical Graffiti throwback…celebrating the release of Led Zeppelin’s Physical Graffiti 49 years ago this week… it was eight years ago today – the release of the fantastic Physical Graffiti 40th anniversary reissue Monday February 23 2015.

Part of the record company promotion for the reissues was to create strategic stencils advertising the albums on random pavements around central London.

Seven years ago today it took a fair bit of walking before I came across the Physical Graffiti stencil just off Wardour Street – fittingly really as it was not far from the old Marquee club where Zep played some of their earliest gigs in 1968…

Friday February 23:

DL/TBL Physical Graffiti throwback…celebrating the release of Led Zeppelin’s Physical Graffiti 49 years ago this week…

It was nine years ago today – the release of the fantastic Physical Graffiti 40th anniversary reissue Monday February 23, 2015.

I spent the day in London reveling in it – I decided to take in a couple of Zep London landmarks – this is in Gerrard Street where the four members who would become Led Zeppelin convened at number 39 in August 1968 to conduct their first rehearsal…

Friday February 23:

DL/TBL Physical Graffiti throwback…celebrating the release of Led Zeppelin’s Physical Graffiti 49 years ago this week…

It was nine years ago today – the release of the fantastic Physical Graffiti 40th anniversary reissue Monday February 23 2015.

I spent the day in London reveling in it all and I decided to take in a couple of Zep London landmarks.

This is in Windmill Street off Tottenham Court Road where in early December 1968, the four members of Led Zeppelin convened for a photo session at the offices of the Impact Agency.

The photographer Dick Barnatt also took a photo of them leaning against a Jaguar car. When I interviewed Dick for the TBL mag in 2013, he thought the car may have belonged to John Bonham but he wasn’t sure.

It’s an iconic group photo and it was great to be in such an historic Zep landmark on the day of the 40th anniversary reissue of Physical Graffiti nine years ago today…

Saturday February 24:

On the player loud and proud ..what else…Led Zeppelin Physical Graffiti as released 49 years ago today. I purchased it from WH Smith’s where I worked on the record department – and got to keep the press release we had sent to the shop as well

This is the original copy I purchased back in 1975 and It still sounds amazing – as it would – it’s my favourite album of all time. A few pops and crackles only adding to its authenticity

Over the 15 tracks this double album contains every aspect that made Led Zeppelin so special…then, when I was 18 years old and now  I am 67… for me they are, were and always will be the best…

 

Saturday February 24:

DL/TBL Physical Graffiti throwback…celebrating the release of Led Zeppelin’s Physical Graffiti 49 years ago this week…

Loading up the 2 CD edition of Physical Graffiti in the double jewel box. This was one of the first Zep CD transfers by Barry Diament at Atlantic Studios.

I have a bit of an affinity for this version as it was one of the first CDs I ever purchased after I got a CD player in 1988.

Back then I was very excited to be playing my fave album of all time on this new compact disc format.

However, it was not the greatest quality transfer and I was a bit disappointed to say the least to find the studio dialogue segment after In My Time of Dying (‘’Cough’’) completely omitted – it’s been reported that Diament has claimed he was not responsible for the edit and worked from the tapes Atlantic supplied at the time.

These early transfers were done without any band involvement and Jimmy would take control again in May 1990 when he began a remastering project at Sterling Sound with George Marino engineering – the initial results being the Remasters and 54 track box set issued in October of that year.

I did a feature on the Led Zeppelin catalogue on CD published in July of that year for Record Collector, unbeknown that Jimmy was working on the remastering – my review of Physical Graffiti was quite kind to the 1987 version awarding an eight rating for CD sound quality.

There would be better versions on CD ahead but back in 1988 it was a thrilling novelty to hear Physical Graffiti on the new digital format…

Saturday February 24:

DL/TBL Physical Graffiti throwback…celebrating the release of Led Zeppelin’s Physical Graffiti 49 years ago today…

You can never have too many copies of Led Zeppelin’s Physical Graffiti …and I have a few…

 

 

 

 


Stop Press: Jimmy Page in Gibson Guitar link up and attends new London shop opening:
This via Louder/Classic Rock website…
Promo YouTube clip here…
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LZ News;
Here’s the latest round up from LZ News:

Led Zeppelin News Update:

Led Zeppelin

Expanded and upgraded Amsterdam 1972 footage was posted online

An expanded and upgraded video of Led Zeppelin performing in Amsterdam, The Netherlands on May 27, 1972 was posted online this week by Ikhnaton.

Regular readers of LedZepNews will remember Ikhnaton from his excellent article we published in August that revealed new details (and a previously unseen photo) of the filming of Led Zeppelin at Shepperton in 1974 for “The Song Remains The Same”.

Jimmy Page

Jimmy Page is featured on a Yardbirds Record Store Day release

The Yardbirds album Psycho Daisies that will be released on Record Store Day 2024 (Record Store Day UK)

A collection of B-sides by The Yardbirds, featuring Jimmy Page on five tracks, will be released on vinyl for Record Store Day on April 20.

This week, Record Store Day announced its 2024 list and it includes a Yardbirds album titled Psycho Daisies that gathers together B-sides from the band. The release will be made available in record stores from April 20 and will be limited to 3,000 copies.

Robert Plant

Robert Plant confirmed his 2024 US and Canada tour with Alison Krauss

A cropped version of the official tour announcement for Robert Plant and Alison Krauss’ 2024 US and Canada tour (Facebook/Robert Plant)

Robert Plant’s 2024 US and Canada tour with Alison Krauss was finally announced on Tuesday.

The pair will begin their tour on June 2 as expected and tour the US throughout June. Then, Plant will fly back to the UK to perform with Saving Grace in July before heading back over to perform with Krauss in the US and Canada in August. The tour will end on September 1.

The extensive tour schedule means Plant currently has 57 performances upcoming in 2024 including shows with Krauss as well as Saving Grace. If all these shows go ahead as planned, this will be Plant’s busiest year since he played 63 shows in 2018.

Plant and Krauss were interviewed by Rolling Stone in conjunction with the tour announcement. During the interview, Plant seemed to reference his work on an expanded Honeydrippers album and the second Band of Joy album.

“I’ve also been going through all that stuff that I never released and never quite got finished,” he said. “And getting excited about it. Going, ‘Wow. What am I going to do with that?’”

Elsewhere in the interview, Plant said his October 21 performance of “Stairway To Heaven” during a charity concert was “probably” his last time performing that song live.

You can also hear that interview with Plant and Krauss on the Rolling Stone Music Now podcast

Last week, we predicted that the official tour announcement would take place any day between Monday and Wednesday this week. Thankfully our prediction was proved correct!

Robert Plant endorsed a book on painting birds

Robert Plant has endorsed a new book titled “Painting Birds”, The Shuttle reported this week. The book is by artist Sarah Stokes who created the buffalo design used by Plant’s band Saving Grace. According to Stokes, Plant has taken some art lessons from her.

sarahstokesartist

A post shared by @sarahstokesartist

“Inspirational and encouraging,” Plant said of the book, according to Stokes’ website. “With ease and eloquence Sarah moved me through a kaleidoscope of revelations. Introducing her style and technique punctuated with experiment and abandon. The detail, clarity and explanation make this a very exciting and special experience…encouraging and most impressive.”

Robert Plant paid tribute to radio presenter Steve Wright

Robert Plant paid tribute to BBC radio presenter Steve Wright on February 13 following the announcement of his death aged 69.

“A sad day for UK radio..and..the spirit and fun we enjoyed from the great Steve Wright..he will be greatly missed,” Plant wrote.

Plant appeared on Wright’s BBC Radio 2 show on August 13, 2021 to discuss his Raise The Roof album with Alison Krauss.

Upcoming events:

  • February– A deluxe, limited edition version of “The Beach Boys” by The Beach Boys, including a contribution by Jimmy Page, will be published.
  • February 29– The prize draw to meet Robert Plant and Andy Taylor and win a Banksy print will end.
  • March 1– The winner of the prize draw to meet Robert Plant and Andy Taylor and win a Banksy print will be announced.
  • March 13– Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Bristol, UK.
  • March 14– Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Ipswich, UK.
  • March 17– Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in London, UK.
  • March 18– Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Tunbridge Wells, UK.
  • March 20– Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Peterborough, UK.
  • March 21– Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Nottingham, UK.
  • March 22– John Paul Jones will perform at the Big Ears music festival in Knoxville, Tennessee.
  • March 23– John Paul Jones will perform at the Big Ears music festival in Knoxville, Tennessee as part of Sons Of Chipotle and Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Hastings, UK.
  • March 24– Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace at the Teenage Cancer Trust “Ovation” event in London, UK.
  • March 26– Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Liverpool, UK.
  • March 27– Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Sheffield, UK.
  • March 29– Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Blackburn, UK.
  • April 2– “The Beach Boys” by The Beach Boys, including a contribution by Jimmy Page, will be published.
  • April 5– “Led Zeppelin: A Visual Biography” by Martin Popoff will be published.
  • April 6– The exhibition “The Wiltshire Thatcher – a Photographic Journey through Victorian Wessex” featuring the original photograph from the cover of Led Zeppelin’s fourth album will open at Wiltshire Museum.
  • April 20– Jimmy Page is featured on the Yardbirds album Psycho Daisies that will be released on Record Store Day.
  • April 30– Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Harrogate, UK.
  • May 1– Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Stockton, UK.
  • May 3– Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Coventry, UK.
  • May 4– Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace at Cheltenham Jazz Festival in Cheltenham, UK.
  • June 2– Robert Plant will perform with Alison Krauss in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
  • June 4– Robert Plant will perform with Alison Krauss in Camdenton, Missouri.
  • June 5– Robert Plant will perform with Alison Krauss in Lincoln, Nebraska.
  • June 7– Robert Plant will perform with Alison Krauss in Prior Lake, Minnesota.
  • June 8– Robert Plant will perform with Alison Krauss in Madison, Wisconsin.
  • June 11– Robert Plant will perform with Alison Krauss in Des Moines, Iowa.
  • June 12– Robert Plant will perform with Alison Krauss in Highland Park, Illinois.
  • June 14– Robert Plant will perform with Alison Krauss in Toledo, Ohio.
  • June 15– Robert Plant will perform with Alison Krauss in Burgettstown, Pennsylvania.
  • June 18– Robert Plant will perform with Alison Krauss in Vienna, Virginia.
  • June 19– Robert Plant will perform with Alison Krauss in Vienna, Virginia.
  • July 23– Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Southend, UK.
  • July 24– Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Woking, UK.
  • July 25-28– Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace at the Cambridge Folk Festival in Cambridge, UK.
  • August 8– Robert Plant will perform with Alison Krauss in Missoula, Montana.
  • August 9– Robert Plant will perform with Alison Krauss in Missoula, Montana.
  • August 11– Robert Plant will perform with Alison Krauss in Edmonton, Alberta.
  • August 13– Robert Plant will perform with Alison Krauss in Vancouver, British Columbia.
  • August 14– Robert Plant will perform with Alison Krauss in Vancouver, British Columbia.
  • August 16– Robert Plant will perform with Alison Krauss in Seattle, Washington State.
  • August 17– Robert Plant will perform with Alison Krauss in Seattle, Washington State.
  • August 19– Robert Plant will perform with Alison Krauss in Eugene, Oregon.
  • August 21– Robert Plant will perform with Alison Krauss in Murphy’s, California.
  • August 22– Robert Plant will perform with Alison Krauss in Stanford, California.
  • August 24– Robert Plant will perform with Alison Krauss in Paso Robles, California.
  • August 25– Robert Plant will perform with Alison Krauss in Highland, California.
  • August 26– Robert Plant will perform with Alison Krauss in Flagstaff, Arizona.
  • August 28– Robert Plant will perform with Alison Krauss in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
  • August 29– Robert Plant will perform with Alison Krauss in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
  • August 31– Robert Plant will perform with Alison Krauss in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
  • September 1– Robert Plant will perform with Alison Krauss in Vail, Colorado.
  • September 15– The exhibition “The Wiltshire Thatcher – a Photographic Journey through Victorian Wessex” featuring the original photograph from the cover of Led Zeppelin’s fourth album will close at Wiltshire Museum.
  • October 8– Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Bari, Italy.
  • October 9– Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Naples, Italy.
  • October 11– Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Rome, Italy.
  • October 12– Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Florence, Italy.
  • October 14– Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Bologna, Italy.
  • October 15– Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Turin, Italy.
  • October 17– Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Como, Italy.
  • October 18– Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Bolzano, Italy.
  • October 20– Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Padua, Italy.
  • October 21– Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Trieste, Italy.
  • October 23– Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Brescia, Italy.

 

Many thanks to James Cook

For all the latest Zep and related news check out the Led Zeppelin news website at:

http://ledzepnews.com/

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TBL Led Zep ’75 Snapshot: 

Led Zep Houston 1975 by Mark Bowman Images Edit 2

THURSDAY FEBRUARY 27 ,1975

HOUSTON, TEXAS

SAM HOUSTON COLISEUM

Set: Rock And Roll/Sick Again/Over The Hills And Far Away/In My Time Of Dying/The Song Remains The Same/The Rain Song/Kashmir/No Quarter/Trampled Underfoot/Moby Dick/Dazed And Confused (inc. Woodstock)/Stairway To Heaven/Whole Lotta Love – The Crunge – Black Dog.

This one from our TBL friend and associate Mark Bowman – he also took the pics here from that night.

Background Details; After Robert and Jimmy spent a holiday in Dominica for 10 days, while Jonesy and Bonzo flew home to their families, a well rested Led Zeppelin, Peter Grant and the crew reconvened in Houston, Texas to start the second leg of the 1975 USA tour on February 27th, 1975.

This night was special as it was the first live show after the US release of the eagerly anticipated double LP, Physical Graffiti.  By all accounts, they played a ferocious show that night that clocked in at nearly 3 hours and 45 minutes.  Reporters mentioned in the newspaper the next day that the “kids went crazy”, and the crowd definitely spurred the band to greater heights that night…   One concertgoer mentioned – “This was the FIRST concert I have ever been to where the live sound in the arena was equal to greater than the sound on the Led Zeppelin studio recordings that were recorded so well…”

Robert mentioned to the crowd that “we were off for a few days, but we’re back, well rested and in our glory.!”  Very prophetic, looking back 40 years later….  Unfortunately, no bootleg recordings have ever surfaced of this particular show to document the power they were playing with that night, so it just will remain a very special evening for the ones who were there….

First Hand View from Mark Bowman:

JP and JPJ Houston 1975 by Mark Bowman

The beauty of this show – there was none of the violence and aggression from the fans that had marred some of the earlier dates in the Eastern US gigs on the 1st leg.  Robert specifically commented about how the crowd had a “very happy and a good feeling vibe” that night for the band, which kept them focused on the task at hand….which was to rip the roof off the arena that evening.  I only had a little Kodak 110 Instamatic camera with me at the time, so all my photos are grainy and low resolution.  You still get the general idea by looking at them – but what I would have given to have my 35mm with me that night to truly capture this incredible evening.  It turns out to be the only time I ever saw the mighty Led Zeppelin perform live…  As fantastic as it was to attend the reunion O2 show in London in 2007, this gig was the COMPLETE package….  It is burned into my memory banks for life. Mark Bowman

 


Mark McFall’s ZepFan Podcast latest edition:

The latest guest on Mark McFall’s excellent ZepFan podcast is the brilliant Zep archivist and co-author of the Evenings With Led Zeppelin book Mike Tremaglio –pic here with me at the Evenings With Led Zeppelin book launch in 208.

Mike explains his passion for Zep research and how the book evolved – it’s a great listen …

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/zepfan-all-things-led-zeppelin/id1648761885?i=1000645333220

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My thoughts on…

Paul McCartney and Wings – Band On The Run 50th Anniversary Edition (2 CD edition)

I purchased the Band On The Run album the week of its release in early December 1973.

I was (still am) a massive Wings fan and back then I had bought all the records they had released since late 1971.

This third Wings album was the flowering of a great unit – stripped back to a threesome for this Lagos recorded album but soon to be a full five piece band again and set to fill arenas and stadiums across the world.

Band On The Run was the catalyst for this acclaim – selling in Beatle like quantities and dominating the charts for over a year. A brilliant album then and a brilliant album now.

There has been a fair few reissues of this set already notably a 1999 25th anniversary package and a 2010 box set. To mark the 50th anniversary here comes a 2LP and 2 CD reconfiguration.

First things first: The original album presented here in the US version which adds the late 1973 stand alone single Helen Wheels sounds as fresh and invigorating as it did half a century ago.

Everything about this set is pure Macca perfection.

Wings had a melodic total sound of their own – the chiming guitars, the close knit sweet harmonies, and over their history the changing line ups  featured some very talented musicians not least Henry McCullough and Jimmy McCulloch  – and of course the mainstay of the group the recently departed Denny Laine.

Wings were very much a product of the time – and as much a part of the 70s as Glam Rock or any other musical development. Their cheery optimism offered a respite from the grimness of a Britain under the threat of the IRA and the oil crises that led to a temporary three day working week.

So to the additional record or CD -the main attraction for collectors.

Under the description ‘Underdubbed Mixes’ these are the rough mixes of the Band On The Run recordings as they were presented to engineer Geoff Emerick upon their return to the UK in the autumn of 1973.

Booking studio time at George Martin’s Air Studios the the McCartney’s and Denny Laine set to work on adding the sheen to the tracks cut in Lagos. Crucially, they turned to the revered Tony Visconti to add the stirring string arrangements. An old Liverpool Mersey Beat foil Howard Casey came along to add some sprightly saxophone work.

Presented in a slightly different track listing order, the basic songs are all present and correct sans the various overdubs that would embellish these tracks manifold. The exception is Nineteen Hundred And Eighty Five which is just a backing track with no main vocals.

These are not what could be termed outtakes or alternate versions and have few variants in terms of their structure. That said it’s facinating to hear them in this raw state. It really highlight the clarity of McCartney’s superb vocals, Linda’s underrated precise synth work and Denny’s input on guitar and harmonies. One song that really stands out is the short and sweet No Words – a McCartney/Laine composition high on melody and low on frills – simple but effective.

Stripped back, the other underlying fact that emerges is just how good these songs were and how their foundations warranted building on. The subsequent additional studio sessions at Air bringing the potential of the album to full fruition.

For this new edition I went for the 2 CD package rather than the 2 LP vinyl which at over £50 is not cheap. I also have little room for LPs!

There has already been a bells and whistles deluxe edition of Band On The Run that appeared in 2010. This box set package offered up sleeve notes by Paul Gambacinni and a DVD of promo videos’ and the 1974 One Hand Clapping film documentary.

Perhaps this time around they could have added Zoo Gang and Oriental Nightfish which were also recorded at the time of the Air sessions in late 1973 – plus the Helen Wheels B side Country Dreamer. Or added a 1975 live recording from their UK tour of that year. Maybe that’s being saved for the inevitable Venus And Mars revamp

Disappointingly, the CD version  has no sleeve liner notes whatsoever. Not even a cursory few words from McCartney himself which has been the norm on the extended Beatles reissues.

Ten years ago upon its 40th anniversary I wrote a lengthy feature for Record Collector on the making of Band On The Run – hey Paul you only had to ask and I’d happily have allowed you access to my scribing’s back then for this new edition!

My Band On The Run feature was the cover story of Record Collector issue published in December 2013. At the time it was great to delve into a non Zep subject and I had some great input to my fellow expert Beatles/Wings collecting comrade Paul Humbley.

The only bonus paper item on this 2024 issue is a replica of the fold out poster of Linda’s polaroid snaps of their time in Lagos. This proves ineffective in a CD sized format as they are all small pics.

The front cover art work has been tastefully re-designed to feature the three portraits of Paul, Linda and Denny. CD One is packaged in the famous prison escapees cover and how sad it is that of the nine celebrities’ in the original photo, only Paul and former boxing champion John Conteh are still alive.

Summary:

Any release of  this seminal Macca opus is welcome in my book. Revisiting the likes of the title track, Jet, Mamunia, Mr’s Vandebilt, Let Me Roll It, Bluebird, No Words and more has been a real tonic this past week and this roller coaster ride of Wings in their prime has made spring feel just that little bit nearer.

Dave Lewis – February 15 2024


Bedford VIP Record Fair:

VIP Record Fair at the Harpur Suite Bedford this Saturday February 24:

The always excellent VIP Record Fair is back in Bedford and I am aiming top pop in and see what delights are in the racks…here’s all the info:

VIP RECORD FAIR RETURNS TO BEDFORD SAT 24 FEBRUARY!

BIG RECORD SHOPPING BACK IN BEDFORD ON SATURDAY!

VIP Record Fair. Harpur Suite. MK40 1LE 24.2.24

The UK’s biggest Record Fairs return to this superb venue. Fantastic selection of sellers old and new – all with fresh vinyl!

1960s to 2020s – all genres. Bargains, rarities, deletions.

See you there!

Full info
http://www.vip-24.com/venues/bedford.htm

Doors 10am. For fast track tickets and full info –
http://www.vip-24.com/venues/bedford.htm

More info:

https://www.facebook.com/events/630761895143963

Admission – £3.00 Doors open 10.00am – 3.30pm.

Early Entry Special. £6 – 9am. Grab a bargain and beat the crowds!

FREE ENTRY 1PM

Fast Track advance tickets –

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/406096213707

 

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DL Diary Blog Update:

Thursday February 15:

It was 54 years ago today…
Loading up the brilliant 2 CD set The Who Live at Hull 1970
This was recorded at Hull University on February 15 1970. The night before they had recorded the Leeds show – both were attempts to record a live album – of the two nights, Leeds was deemed the best as the Hull recording failed to capture John Entwhistle’s bass for the first six songs
As as we all know, The Who Live at Leeds was duly issued and remains one of the all-time great live albums.
However, in 2012 long time Who soundman revisited the Hull tapes. The crowd were a bit more subdued than the Leeds show but the performance itself was also outstanding.
Bill also fixed the problem of the loss of bass on the first few numbers at Hull by flying in the bass from the Leeds show.
It worked seamlessly – thus there were now two nights from a period where The Who were right on top of their game.
A highlight of both these gigs is Keith Moon’s drumming which is just phenomenal.
All in all, The Who in 1970 were simply flying and both the Hull and Leeds live sets are outstanding examples…

Saturday February 17:

Saturday is platterday – inspired by the recent Band On The Run reissue and the Record Collector Paul McCartney special (expertly edited by Daryl Eastlea) on the player his 1970 debut solo album McCartney -this one the 2019 half speed mastering edition – always loved the simplicity of this album…

Saturday February 17:

Saturday is platterday – on the player more McCartney, the underrated 1979 Wings Back To The Egg album… s

Saturday February 17:

The new issue of Mojo is in the house – Liam and John Squire the cover feature plus Steely Dan, The Rolling Stones, Marvin Gaye Lenny Kravitz, Butthole Surfers and Manchester Anthems cover mount CD – plenty of good stuff there…

 

Sunday February 18:

It’s a Happy 91st Birthday to the great Yoko Ono…
On September19, 1988 I was lucky enough to meet and interview Yoko when she attended the press launch of the John Lennon Imagine Exhibition at the Business Design Centre in Islington London.
I was there reporting it for the weekly pop column I wrote at the time for The Bedfordshire Times.
Yoko was very gracious and to be talking to the wife of John Lennon was an incredible thrill …it will all be in the DL memoirs…

Sunday February 18:

Sunday sounds on CD – loading up the brilliant The Police 30 Tracks double CD collection featuring the incredible drumming of Stewart Copeland –  and getting in the mood to attend  this afternoons Sunday Sessions at the excellent  Esquires Club which features the superb Vinyl Frontier. This is a belated Birthday meet up for our very good friend Steve Livesley.

Vinyl Frontier play a selection of hits from the late 70s and early 80s including The Police Blondie, The Jam, Cure,  Squeeze,  Elvis Costello, Ian Dury, Clash, U2, Adam & The Ants, XTC, Duran Duran, Big Country, Smiths, Specials, Madness, Aztec Camera, Housemartins and more. Hey count us in…

Sunday February 18:

Great night at the always excellent Esquires venue watching the brilliants Vinyl Frontier – every song a winner! Also a belated Birthday celebration for Steve Livesley – top night all round!

Tuesday February 20:

In London with the good lady Janet to meet with our Sam – and while the ladies shop – time to visit the TBL office also known as The Spice of Life for the first time this year…

Tuesday February 20:

The good lady Janet has returned to The TBL office also known as The Spice of Life – and pleased to see no LP bags – I did by some singles !

Update here:

School half term has been much welcomed here and it’s been good to get out and about a bit within all the health issues. Our trip to Lonon to meet up with our Sam was a real tonic.

Plenty going on elsewhere – chipping away at the DL memoires and a few other things. Latest inspiring playlist as follows:

Led Zeppelin – Physical Graffiti – 2LP  and various versions

Roxy Music – The Best Of – CD

The Police – 30 Tracks – 2CD

The Who – Live at Hull – 2CD

The Rolling Stones – Sticky Fingers – 2CD bonus disc

Rosie Vela – Zazu – LP

Stephen Stills Manassas – Down the Road – LP

Beyond The Pale Horizon – The British Progressive Pop Sounds of 1972 – Various Artists – 3CD

Nina Simone – A Very Rare Evening – LP

Thanks for listening

Until next time…

Dave  Lewis –  February 22  2024 

TBL website updates written and compiled by Dave Lewis

Follow TBL/DL on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/tightbutloose.loose

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3 Comments »

  • VHP said:

    Hi Dave,

    Nearly 2 years ago Jimmy said he was working on 3 new projects, something like “ways of presenting himsel’ I believe was the phrase he used.

    Now, like me I am sure that many hoped that it would include some new music, something that he has been promising us for nearly 15 years.

    But now I do wonder with his recent addition of a new collection of limited edition prints, plus his new range of t-shirts and hoodies on his web site, and now his recently announced hook up with Gibson for a range of guitars – was that his 3 projects and sadly no new music?

    Who knows – except Jimmy?

  • Gary Davies said:

    link to 6 min version of plant interview with Steve wright: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1mrxnX6R2r5rqiz6ik63GhgNhVbeKTe7j/view?usp=drivesdk

  • Brian Ross said:

    Great write up Dave. Love your passion for PG

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