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ROBERT PLANT SAVING GRACE UK TOUR FIRST NIGHT REVIEW/DEBORAH BONHAM NEWS/LZ NEWS/REMASTERS – IT WAS 33 YEARS AGO /PRIORY OF BRION1999/BEATLES AT STOWE & NOW AND THEN /DL DIARY BLOG UPDATE

2 November 2023 3,092 views 3 Comments

 

Robert Plant presents Saving Grace featuring Suzi Dian…UK tour opening night 

Review and pic via Stewart Gunn

Brighton Dome – November 1st 2023

Setlist:

Gospel Plow, The Cuckoo, Let The Four Winds Blow, Friends, Unknown gospely song, featuring the hall filling voice of Matt Worley to great effect Too far from you. Suzi on lead vocal Dimming of my light? A new original? After Robert sang the line “The dimming of my light” in the coda, several in the crowd shouted . “ Never”. Everybody’s Song, It’s A Beautiful Da, The Rain Song, As I Roved Out Unknown ? original? Robert on bass, describing himself as “on harmonica and occasional bass” Four Sticks. Soaring vocals from Suzi, Angel Dance

Encores House of Cards, Gallow’s Pole, Goodnight.

After having enjoyed seeing Saving Grace in balmy conditions in a Palladian square in Italy last September, stormy conditions greeted us in Brighton, making several of the song titles particularly apposite.

All was warm & still inside the Dome, however, and we were well rewarded for our efforts in getting there. I managed a word with the ever-genial sound maestro Mark Kennedy during the interval, who told me that they were using a brand new sound rig on this tour, but there were no first night gremlins audible in the circle. Indeed, the sound was crystal clear, probably the best live mix I’ve heard, allowing the intricate arrangements to be heard in all their glories.

A couple of Zeppelin tunes received their UK debut, and the contribution Suzi’s accordion makes Friends and The Rain Song is breathtaking. Robert’s voice was as good as I’ve heard, and there were moments where that soaring sound of the seventies returned, producing the biggest goose bumps of the night on The Rain Song.

That will be our only sighting of SG on this tour, regrettably, but they are performing a couple of songs at the Bert Jansch Birthday Concert at the Festival Hall on 4th November, along with a host of other luminaries, and we are looking forward to that.

“No music, no website, no merch”, said Robert as he left the stage. But what memories.

Stewart Gunn

Many thanks to Stewart for that opening night review -I am aiming to be at the Birmingham Symphony Hall gig on Sunday and very much looking forward to it…

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Deborah Bonham Band Winter Tour and Album News
“The Powerful vocals of Deborah Bonham gracefully shook the walls of Abbey Road Studios when she came in to lay down a few tracks. Peter Bullick added to the mix displaying his guitar finesse with great ease”
– Pete Brown ‘Heavenly Cream’ set for release Nov 2023
Hi everyone,
Looking forward to this November’s run of concerts that will see us playing England, Scotland, Wales, followed by January and February Winter Blues Festivals in Emsworth and Blackpool.
Thanks so much for your support throughout 2023 that included amazing ‘Turn Outs’ and ‘Sell-Out’ shows and Festivals in UK, Belgium, France and Germany. Please book your tickets early to avoid disappointment.
We have a new tour T Shirt available on the web shop and a new album ‘Heavenly Cream’ an acoustic Tribute to Cream due for release Nov 3rd on Quarto Valley Records. Featuring Ginger Baker, Deborah Bonham, Paul Rodgers, Maggie Bell, Joe Bonamassa, Bobby Rush, Bernie Marsden, Nathan James, Pete Bullick and Cream lyricist Pete Brown.
Look forward to seeing some of you at the shows.
Click here for the new Tour T Shirt and signed dedicated CDs
(Please email your ‘dedicated to’ name)
November 2023: Deborah Bonham Band Tour Dates

3 Nov HUNGERFORD Music & Arts at The Croft Hall

4 Nov WIMBORNE Tivoli Theatre, Dorset UK
10 Nov BEWDLEY St Georges Hall SOLD OUT
11 Nov NEWPORT The Patriot, Crumlin UK
15 Nov NEWCASTLE Trillians UK
18 Nov KINROSS At The Green Scotland UK
19 Nov BARNOLDSWICK Music & Arts, Pendle Lancs END OF TOUR PARTY
https://www.barnoldswickmusicandartscentre.com/bonham-bullick-deborah-bonham-band
27 Nov LONDON 229 Club – As Guests at the Memorial for Mo Foster
https://dice.fm/partner/229/event/vynvl-a-memorial-concert-for-mo-foster

2024 Deborah Bonham Band Tour Dates
12 Jan EMSWORTH Blues Festival, Hampshire UK
https://www.wegottickets.com/event/597348/
2 Feb BLACKPOOL Blues Festival UK
http://www.solidentertainments.com/blues/uk/index.html
16 June DURHAM Northern Kin Festival UK
https://www.northernkinfestival.co.uk/

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LZ News:

Here’s the latest Led ZepNews Update:

Jimmy Page

Rumour watch: The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, November 3

Is Jimmy Page somehow going to be involved in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on November 3? A rumour shared in a Led Zeppelin email discussion group this week seemed to suggest just that.

LedZepNews attempted to verify the rumour but had radio silence back from sources close to Page. So we can’t vouch for the authenticity of the rumour.

The ceremony will take place on November 3 and will be broadcast live on Disney+. None of the performers at this year’s event have strong links to Page. Acts announced as performing this year are: Sheryl Crow, Missy Elliott, Chaka Khan, Willie Nelson, Stevie Nicks, Elton John, LL Cool J, Carrie Underwood, Brandi Carlile, Dave Matthews, H.E.R., Ice-T, Adam Levine, Chris Stapleton, St. Vincent, New Edition, Queen Latifah, Common and Sia.

But possible Page connections can be found in this year’s honourees: Kate Bush, Sheryl Crow, Missy Elliott, George Michael, Willie Nelson, Rage Against the Machine , The Spinners, DJ Kool Herc, Link Wray, Chaka Khan, Al Kooper, Bernie Taupin and Don Cornelius.

There’s a slight Page link to Kate Bush. He attended her September 2, 2014 London performance and later honoured her in an “On This Day” post on his website, writing: “Each and every one of us was truly moved by her concert both visually and musically.”

But there’s a firmer connection to Link Wray, the American guitarist whose instrumental song “Rumble” was an influence on Page. Page discussed the song in the film “It Might Get Loud” and Led Zeppelin is listed as one of his “legacies” on the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame website.

Robert Plant

Why Robert Plant performed ‘Stairway To Heaven’ solo for the first time

Last weekend, on October 21, Robert Plant performed “Stairway To Heaven” solo for the first time at a charity performance, the first time he has played the song since Led Zeppelin’s December 10, 2007 reunion show.

Days after that performance, we spoke over the phone with Kenwyn House, the lead guitarist for the night, who told us the full backstory to the show and the reason why Plant agreed to perform “Stairway To Heaven”.

It turns out that there was a six-figure charity donation on the table, but only if Plant performed that specific song during the show.

Robert Plant’s full Led Zeppelin speech

An overlooked part of the charity event on October 21 came later in the evening when Plant gave a short speech to introduce an award for Led Zeppelin’s fourth album selling more than 23 million copies which he signed and donated to the charity auction.

We’ve transcribed the full speech below, which is a rare example of Plant discussing his time in Led Zeppelin:

“Back in 1971, 1972, I was a member of a remarkable group which was a reformation and a resuscitation of a British psychedelic pop group called The Yardbirds.

Times were desperate in 1968 and I was fished out of obscurity by the spectacular Jimmy Page who came to see me playing in a group in the middle of nowhere doing very little at all about anything but trying to make a name. I was brought forward and encouraged by the people that I worked with, the musicians.

John Bonham and I came from the same area in England and we were very fortunate to team up with Jimmy and John Paul Jones and to write several different combinations of songs which each to their own were incredibly different. We were always trying to mix it up and we didn’t like anybody else who played in the music business because we liked ourselves so much.

We kept writing more and more different music and deviating quite a lot and we got to a point after what Marcus Mumford said to me once when they were writing their third album, I said ‘How are you getting on?’ He said ‘I’m in the middle of the difficult third album.’

This record here, this disc, is actually the not very difficult fourth album. We’d found our feet and we’d started writing with some sort of combination of maturity and love of life and so Led Zeppelin, the four symbols, has become quite a sort of special time for us as musicians and for the song content, if you like, the beauty of the whole thing.

I’m very pleased to say that I was given this award to commemorate the sale of 28 million copies of this record. I was tarmac laying in the Black Country, I trained to be an accountant, and then all these years later it keeps coming back and tapping me on the shoulder and reminding me just what a beautiful time it was and how prolific our playing and writing and combination of spirits was all that time ago.

I’m very happy to put this forward in a way to help bring my little contribution to this thing tonight to you guys. So there it is, I’ve written some stuff on the back, I can’t remember what it was … I love this music and I still love it now very much although I get a bit coy and shy when I have to go near it because it was such a long time ago.”

Upcoming events:

  • November 1– Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Brighton, UK.
  • November 2– Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Guildford, UK.
  • November 4– Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace at the Bert Jansch 80th birthday tribute concert in London, UK.
  • November 5– Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Birmingham, UK.
  • November 7– Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Bournemouth, UK.
  • November 8– Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Southampton, UK.
  • November 11– Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Salford, UK.
  • November 13– Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Oxford, UK.
  • November 15– Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Cardiff, UK.
  • November 16– Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Basingstoke, UK.
  • November 17– Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Cambridge, UK.
  • November 19– Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Grimsby, UK.
  • November 20– Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Gateshead, UK.
  • November 22– Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Bradford, UK.
  • November 23– Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Stoke-on-Trent, UK.
  • November 25– Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Wolverhampton, UK.
  • 2024– Robert Plant will tour with Alison Krauss.
  • March 21-24– John Paul Jones will perform at the Big Ears music festival in Knoxville, Tennessee both as a solo act and as part of Sons Of Chipotle.
  • Summer 2024– Robert Plant and Alison Krauss will perform in Vienna, Virginia.

Many thanks to James Cook 

The complete Led ZepNews email goes out periodically. To receive it sign up here:http://tinyletter.com/LedZepNews

Led ZepNews Website: Check out the Led Zeppelin news website at

http://ledzepnews.com/

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Led Zeppelin Remasters : 33 Years Gone…

Another anniversary the Remasters releases all of 33 years old this week. I absolutely loved that period – it was so incredible to see the resurgence of interest that surrounded them – here’s some 33rd anniversary thoughts…

Led Zeppelin Remastered…it was 33 years ago… 

It’s amazing to think that there was a time back in the day, that the only way of hearing Led Zeppelin’s music was via the ten original albums – ie the eight original studio albums, The Song Remains The Same soundtrack and the posthumous collection Coda.

There were no greatest hits albums, no BBC sessions, no 1972 live albums and certainly no i-tunes, Spotify HD downloads and streaming.

True the Led Zeppelin catalogue had been released on CD – though  not from the original masters and transferred via analogue tapes. The results were mixed. I did a feature in Record Collector in early 1990 reviewing the original CD’s (I’ll need to dig that one out) ,blissfully unaware that Jimmy was about to overhaul the entire catalogue for CD.

Thus the arrival in October of 1990 of the five LP CD box set and double Remasters compilations was a very big deal indeed.

I wasn’t the only one I am sure, who had not paid much attention to the studio albums in recent years. My Zep listening time was taken up analysing the many Zep shows that were appearing on CD sets and the fresh outtakes that had surfaced.

The arrival of the Remasters was a revelation. Suddenly we all realised just exactly what it was that had made this band so special.

Lapsed fans got back on the wagon –a whole new generation of younger enthusiasts also jumped aboard. Overnight Led Zep’s stock shot up…and it never looked back.

The Remasters releases were absolute game changers in the way Led Zeppelin were viewed and appreciated.

I have very fond memories of this period  – it was the point where I realised their legacy was intact. It was fantastic to follow all the media buzz that went with it including Jimmy’s appearances on MTV and the promo videos for Travellin Riverside Blues and Over The Hills And Far Away.

Op LZ

In the Our Price record store I managed Bedford we really went to town – with pre release build up and in store displays. This activity resulted in the store racking up £10,000 worth of business on the box sets and double albums. I was later awarded a triple gold disc award by Warners in the UK. Here’s a pic of the shop window in November 1990.

Like I say, I was about to produce a book that emphatically chronicled the band’s music. The book Led Zeppelin – A Celebration published the next summer was very well received…and it set me on a mission to totally commit myself to chronicling the world of Led Zeppelin that has not let up for the past quarter of a century.

This is something I wrote at the time for Record Collector. I remember putting this together – the words came tumbling out such was my enthusiasm for it all – and it remains one of my favourite pieces of writing on the band.

I’ll be bringing out the Remasters box set vinyl and CDs to enjoy over this weekend  reveling in Jimmy’s vision of – as he put it ”The same picture with a different frame”

And what pictures they are….

DL

Here’s my feature that ran in Record Collector in December 1990…

LED ZEPPELIN REMASTERED…

DAVE LEWIS REVIEWS JIMMY PAGE’S DEFINITIVE COMPILATIONS OF ZEPP’S BACK CATALOGUE

Earlier this year, I summed up my feature in Record Collector on Led Zeppelin On CD by offering Atlantic Records the following advice: “In the light of the shortcomings of the Led Zeppelin CDs, it would be good to see Atlantic embark on a re-mastering job to eliminate some of the errors that have occurred. An even better idea would be for Jimmy Page himself to oversee such a project which could easily take the format of a special box set release. Atlantic Records take note!”

At that time, I was unaware of Atlantic’s plans to produce just such a set, so it came as a pleasant surprise to learn that my request was about to become a reality. The project began to take shape when Jimmy Page was approached by the label to remaster the original Zeppelin catalogue for a compilation release. Dissatisfied with the general reproduction of the available CDs, Page jumped at the opportunity to restore his old masters to the standard he envisaged. Studio time was booked at New York’s Stirling Studio in May, where Jimmy spent a week with engineer George Marino digitally transferring the material from, in most cases, the original two-track master tapes.

The project in mind was a multi-track box set release for which Page drew up possible track listings for the other two ex-members to sanction. “I really wanted to improve the release”, Page is quoted as saying on the officially press release; “basically it’s the same picture with a different frame”. John Paul Jones added: “The songs sound as fresh now as when they were first recorded, and the new positions in the running order seem to put them in a totally different light.”

The original concept was to package 54 remastered tracks in a deluxe box package with a 36-page book of photos and essays. Atlantic’s European distributors East West were supremely keen to also issue an edited version aimed at the mainstream market. And so a condensed version with 24 tracks on a triple album and 26 on a double cassette and CD was also prepared — for Europe only.

remasters music week

This release, under the title “Remasters”, formed the major spearhead of WEA/East West’s Christmas market campaign. After all the years of avoiding the greatest hits treatment, the Zepp catalogue received the full commercial push as East West undertook a massive marketing campaign to back to October 15 release of “Remasters”. Window displays were installed, including inflatable blimps which are sure to join earlier models as collectable Zep items. Mysterious teaser adverts appeared in the music press depicting the shadow of the Zepp airship looming over several international locations, recalling the similar obscure ads placed as a trailer for the band’s fourth album. Even a TV advertisement was prepared, set to appear on screens across the country in the run-in to Christmas.

COMMERCIALISE:

But East West did fail in the final quest to fully commercialise this “Remasters” package: they did not receive the blessing of Page, Plant and Jones to issue a U.K. single. The plan was to issue “Stairway To Heaven” on December 2 as a four-track CD single and 12″ picture disc, with “Whole Lotta Love”, “Immigrant Song” and “Good Times Bad Times”. Although the classic Zep anthem would have been a strong contender for the Christmas No. 1 spot, the no-U.K.-singles rule prevailed. This collection of tracks subsequently surfaced in two already well-in-demand U.K. promo items. The first is a four-track 10″ pressing (Atlantic LZ 2), housed in a black sleeve depicting the specially commissioned Mission Control-designed colour illustrations that mirror the images of the band’s famous four symbols. There is also a four-track promo CD single (Atlantic CD LZ 1), packaged in a cardboard oblong box. Both items are definitely prime additions to any Led Zeppelin rarities collection.

The condensed “Remasters” set duly surfaced on schedule, and entered the U.K. album chart at No. 10. As a layman’s introduction to the group, its track listing does include the majority of Zepp classics, though I was surprised to find that “When The Levee Breaks” and “The Ocean” — two tracks which have been heavily sampled by other artists, and have this found their way to the forefront of the Zepp canon over the last decade — had both been omitted. I personally would have viewed these tracks as more historically representative than lesser stepping stones such as “Celebration Day” and “Houses Of The Holy”

While there can be little complaint about the overall musical content of “Remasters”, or the typically offbeat sleeve design concept of the Zepp shadow looming over a mysteriously carved cornfield, the lack of any track details on the sleeve is a disappointment. Despite the fact that Atlantic’s press release for the condensed set promised “extensive sleeve notes” on the vinyl edition, purchasers of “Remasters” are afforded none of the intensive recording data to be found in the box set booklet. There is not even any indication as to which album each track came from. As the set is obviously aimed at the less committed fan, surely this would have been a simple device to draw attention to the entire Zep catalogue.

Unfortunately, omissions such as these present “Remasters” as something of a cold marketing ploy issued to cash in on the peak consumer period. Compared to the deluxe box set package, it certainly pales considerably. At nigh on £20 a throw, “Remasters” should have been presented with far more information, and some additional alternate photos. That’s particularly the case, given the fact that completist collectors will need this set as well as the extended box, as it strangely contains one remastered track not to be found anywhere on the box set — namely the first album opener, “Good Times Bad Times”. The fact that all the different formats of “Remasters” are scheduled to be deleted on March 31 1991 will also add to its desirability to the keen Zep enthusiast.

And now to the box set itself, simply titled “Led Zeppelin”. This is beautifully packaged in a strong 12″ box with a slightly different view of the ‘Zepp over cornfields’ scene. The accompanying 36-page book is also of superb quality and contains some wonderful photos. The three essays by noted American critics Robert Palmer (who coincidentally also wrote notes for the Rod Stewart “Storyteller” set), Kurt Loder and Cameron Crowe are admirable summaries of the band’s career. However, for all his “front row seats to the Zepp experience”, Crowe manages in the space of eight pages to document wrongly the date of the release of “Houses Of The Holy” (March ’73, not May), the date and location of their meeting with Elvis (L.A. in May ’74, not Las Vegas in 1972), the date they flew to Stockholm to begin recording “In Through The Out Door” (November ’78 not January), and the date of Live Aid (July ’85, not ’87).

While it’s great to see a full track rundown of when and where each track was recorded, some errors again creep in. Two of them can be put down to the confusion some researcher had about the different way dates are printed in the U.K. and U.S. — the recording date of the Albert Hall rehearsal take of “I Can’t Quit You Baby” was actually January 9 1970 (9/1/70 in U.K. usage) and not September 1 1970 (9/1/70 in American eyes). Similarly, the recording date of “Bonzo’s Montreux” becomes December 9 1976 instead of September 12. Elsewhere, printing gremlins creep in on the “Gallows Pole” entry which has it being recorded in 1972 and released on “Led Zeppelin 3” in 1970. I would also question the actual release dates^ of some of the albums in the U.S. discography — the soundtrack album, for instance, being a month out. This may seem like nitpicking, but I cannot be alone in finding such errors annoying, particularly as “Led Zeppelin” was designed as a definitive retrospective.

And the music? In compiling 54 tracks, Page was faced with the difficult task of knowing what to leave out. Obviously everyone has different favourites and a set list like this is always going to be disappointing. For me, the biggest letdown is the lack of tracks from “Physical Graffiti”, by their own admission Led Zeppelin’s premier achievement on record.

But what is included is a truly wondrous cross section of the musical diversity that coloured the Zeppelin catalogue during their 12-year reign. In remastering the tracks, Page has added a punch and clarity that the original CDs sorely lacked — without tampering with the original tapes, so there is no remixing here aside from the new Bonzo creation, which I’ll come to in a moment. The cleaning-up of the analog tapes also greatly helps the light and shade of tracks like “The Battle Of Evermore” and “Ten Years Gone”, while Page has restored the correct studio banter to the ending of “In My Time Of Dying”.

SURPRISES:

Some of the anomalies and surprises to be found in this mammoth collection include the fact that the timings of many tracks here are vastly different to the claims on the original albums. For instance, “Kashmir” (previously listed as 9’41”) now appears as a correct 8’31”, though the tracks are absolutely identical. The only piece amongst the 54 which I have noticed being different to the original is “Nobody’s Fault But Mine”. The “Remasters” take is 12 seconds longer than the “Presence” original due to the inclusion of an extra guitar riff chorus on the intro. Elsewhere, the three-second white noise count-in on “Immigrant Song” is deleted here, as is the eight-second intro to “Tangerine”. But the warming up of guitars on “Black Dog” is present, and sounds much more pronounced than before.

It’s interesting to hear familiar classics placed in a different light — “Heartbreaker” now segues instantly into “Communication Breakdown”, for example, rather than “Livin’ Lovin’ Maid”, while “The Song Remains The Same” drifts into “Ten Years Gone”. The sequencing of the tracks does, as John Paul Jones noted, put them in a new context.

Finally, some new delights. In merging John Bonham’s “Moby Dick” with his later “Bonzo’s Montreux”, Page has produced an affectionate tribute to the late drummer, achieved with Synclavier programming at Atlantic’s studios in New York earlier this year. Some might question whether he should have tampered with the originals, but the finished track mixes elements of Bonham’s developing technique over seven years. It’s also a joy to hear the “Zepp 3” leftover “Hey Hey What Can I Do” — a warm semi-acoustic groove previously only available on the B-side of the U.S./European “Immigrant Song” single, and on the long-deleted “New-Age Of Atlantic” sampler LP.

rem 1

Also included are two much-bootlegged BBC recordings, which sound superb. “Travelling Riverside Blues”, a Page/Plant arrangement of the old Robert Johnson blues classic, is a prime mid-’69 remnant with a spiralling Page slide guitar riff and some dominant Bonzo bass drum patterns — all now heard to their full effect for the first time. “White Summer/Black Mountain Side” comes from the live Playhouse Theatre show recorded on June 27th 1969, and brings back many nostalgic Zep memories.

Of course, there will be a school of thought that Page should have used this box set project to issue more unreleased gems — many of which have turned up on top quality bootleg CDs over the past year. There was also scope here for the much vaunted chronological live album idea which Page often hinted at in the latter Zepp era. Though there may be few fully-fledged studio tracks with finished vocals in the vaults, recent bootlegs have proved that there are some tantalising alternate takes which would have added spice to the set. “Led Zeppelin” is superb in its own right, but many enthusiasts will view it as a missed opportunity to hear more enlightening live and studio cuts. Certainly one CD of rare material would have made the whole thing much more worthwhile.

My personal choice of a bonus rare CD of material which is known to exist would have lined up like this: “Communication Breakdown” (live Royal Albert Hall, 1970); “Jenning’s Farm Blues” (electric studio rehearsal of “Bron Y Aur Stomp”, 1969); “Blues Medley” from the “Hats Off To Harper” session (1970); “No Quarter” (instrumental studio out-take, 1972); “Over The Hills And Far Away” (live in Dallas, 1975 U.S. tour); “Tangerine” (live, Earls Court 1975); “Trampled Underfoot” (live, Earls Court 1975); “The Song Remains The Same/Sick Again” (live, New York 1977); “Ten Years Gone” (live, New York 1977); “Train Kept A-Rollin’ ” (live, Zurich 1980); “All My Love” (alternate extended version, 1978). But maybe Jimmy is saving that lot for the “Re-Remasters”!

Overall, despite the misgivings about the track listing, some irritating errors in the booklet and the difficulty of pleasing collectors old and new, the “Led Zeppelin” box set is a worthy investment, and compares well with similar packages by other artists. Certainly, in restoring the Zeppelin catalogue to CD with the sound quality it deserves, Page has done a superb job. With the incredible resurgence of interest in the band in recent times — they must surely be the most popular defunct band outside of the Beatles — the set is sure to be in huge demand.

This collection will stand as a lasting testament to the sheer diversity of Zeppelin’s recorded work. It should also prompt re-examination of epic works such as “Achilles’ Last Stand” and “In The Light”. The latter track’s final few minutes, capturing Jimmy’s overdubbed guitar parts rippling across Robert’s chorus, the Jones drone and Bonzo’s timely hammering, is perhaps the most impressive section of the entire 54-track set. And it sounds glorious.

Will they reform? Will there be a live chronological video to supplement this release sometime next year? The remastered “Led Zeppelin” set should keep all Zepp fans riveted to their turntables as we await the next chapter in a story that is far from over.

Dave Lewis – October 1990

Dave Lewis is the author of a forthcoming book on Led Zeppelin titled “Led Zeppelin — A Celebration” (to be published by Omnibus Press, spring 1991).

First published in Record Collector December 1990

More Remasters memories:

It was 33 years ago…

The scene in the Our Price record shop in Bedford that I managed on this day 29 years ago – for on October 15, 1990 the first ever Led Zeppelin compilation set was released – the double album Remasters,.to be followed two weeks later by the 4LP/CD box set. It opened up Zep to a whole new market..and boy did we sell some Zep product as Colin Stonebridge, Justin Cromie and Jason Foster will remember…great music retail days they were…

It was 33 years ago 2:

The scene in the Our Price record shop window in Bedford on this day 29 years ago – for on October 15, 1990 the first ever Led Zeppelin compilation set was released – the double album Remasters..to be followed two weeks later by the 4LP/CD box set.

As I had a vested interest (I was writing the Led Zeppelin A Celebration book a the time) I made sure we racked up the sales – much of the window came from my collection – including that rather splendid Japanese poster of Jimmy Page on the right…all this contributed to me being awarded a triple gold disc by Warners for my efforts to ensure Led Zeppelin were right back at the forefront of record, CD and tape buyers…where they have remained ever since

It was 32 years ago 3:

Remasters Led Zeppelin Exclusive Our Price Bedford Memorabilia Pack:

To create something of an exclusive for buyers of the Led Zeppelin box set  at the Our Price  record shop I managed in Bedford we created a special Led Zeppelin memorabilia pack to give out to buyers of the set -100 only all individually numbered.

Under the title ‘Our Price Remembers Led Zeppelin’ the pack contained a number of facsimile reproduction Led Zep ads and cutting. These were drawn from my collection and I took them to the local photo copy shop Jaycopy (who had produced the early TBL magazines). It took hours of cuttings out to produce the 100 sets. I also wrote a three page 54 FACTS BEHIND THE TRACKS guide drawn from material in my then in progress Led Zeppelin A Celebration book the book – this was photocopied off my word processor. The outer envelope was designed by the then assistant manager at the shop Colin Stonebridge. This all went down very well with local buyers as we sold over 100 sets in the first week at £54 a throw.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The triple gold disc I was awarded by Warner Music in the UK for my contribution to the sales of the Remasters releases –notably the £54 priced 4CD/LP box set –in the Our Price Store I managed in Bedford we generated over £10,000 sales during the opening weeks of release… not bad for a store of just 980 square feet. Great retail days they were…

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Priory Of Brion in a tent – It was 24 years Ago:

24 years ago on the afternoon of Sunday October 31st 1999, I found myself travelling in a taxi across the Leicestershire countryside seemingly lost. This was not a good situation as the prospect of seeing Robert Plant, who was performing in a tent in the vicinity in the next half hour was fast disappearing.

ashbyfolk

Earlier I had met the enigmatic and legendary Leicester based musician Kevin Hewick who was leading me with all good intentions on this wild goose chase(Hi Kevin!). He had heard that Robert and The Priory Of Brion were booked for an appearance at the Ashby Del La Zouch Folk Festival in a tent in Moira near Leicester. It sounded the perfect way to spend a Halloween afternoon.

This was an era when if Robert Plant was playing a gig, I would move heaven and earth to be there.

However our taxi driver host was finding said location very hard to locate. Where were sat navs when we needed them, or for that matter mobile phones?!

Anyway, thankfully it all came good – we found the venue and the tent with about fifteen minutes to spare…and on a pleasant Sunday afternoon Robert duly delivered one of the most captivating gigs I’ve ever seen. Witty, relaxed, reflective and singing with passion and verve the songs that as he put it, he’d had stored in his back pocket. It was an absolute joyous occasion. – pic below by Krys Jantzen.

Robert Plant in a tent on a Sunday afternoon….whatever next? How about Robert Plant on a Saturday night in a pub lounge bar because bizarrely that’s what was in store two weeks later when we saw him play at the Red Lion in Birmingham.

The Ashby Del la Zouch and Red Lion shows remain right up there in my all time best gig going experiences – something I re iterated to Kevin when I spoke to him on the phone a few weeks back. I’d also like to mention that back then the wonderful much missed Hayley was looking after the Our Price shop in Bedford that day enabling me to go on this mad escapade -one of many days that she did that for me . These memories would not have been possible without her loyalty and kindness.

Dave Lewis, October 31 ,2023

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Rare Led Zeppelin IV pressing..

David Sands has been in touch regarding a rare Led Zeppelin IV pressing he has for sale

For further details contact David Sands  on this email – woodford.sands96@googlemail.com

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Latest DL vinyl record acquisition…

My thoughts on… 

The Beatles at Stowe School (Parlognome 4 LP coloured vinyl Limited Edition)

This is a four LP bootleg set capturing the recently surfaced recording of The Beatles’ appearance at Stowe School on April 4, 1963.

The vintage 1963 recording was first brought to light on the BBC Front Row programme by journalist Samira Ahmed.

Samira talked about this find when she was a guest on the Saturday afternoon performance of Mark Lewishon’s excellent Evolver ‘63 presentation in June which I attended at the Bloomsbury theatre.

This Stowe School performance was one of the The Beatles’ most unusual live engagements.

As the informative back cover sleeve notes reveal, Stowe School was a prestigious all-boys public school. In the spring of 1963 one of the pupils, David Moores from Liverpool, contacted Brian Epstein with a view to them performing at the school. Surprisingly he went with it. Not least because the Beatles’ had an additional engagement that day – a BBC session at the Paris Studio London that ran from 11am to 2pm. They then made it to Stowe for the late afternoon concert.

The performance in the school’s Roxburgh Hall was also unique unusual for another reason: It was an all-boys attendance and all seated. Unlike a lot of their performance of the time there was not a scream to be heard.  David Magnus, an assistant to the photographer Dezo Hoffman, took a number of photos of the event.

A clip of this amateur recording was aired on the BBC documentary. The tape was then handed over to the British Library where it can be heard on headphones in their listening rooms.

Like all Beatles fans I was  very intrigued by these findings. It wasn’t too long before these recordings began appearing on YouTube and now it’s arrived as a box set bootleg package which I was pleased to invest in recently. A limited run of 300 of which I have number 35.

So here’s what’s been collated and how it sounds to these ears.

Unsurprisingly, given its vintage this recording is firmly in the lo-fi category.

Being a seasoned collector of live recordings both bootleg and official, I am well experienced to listening to with lo –fi recordings and the like.

When it comes to The Beatles, I’ve endured recordings such as the Live at the Star Club set and the Live at the Hollywood Bowl both issued in 1977. These albums are both difficult listens for different reasons – the former being set in a noisy Hamburg club, the latter played out to an extremely excited screaming audience.

As mentioned, this Stowe recording has no screaming but does have a lot of shouting between numbers.

The first two LPs capture the original tape. The vocals are quite distant set against the ensemble playing of drums and guitars.  One thing that is apparent throughout is the superb interplay between the four. Constant touring had honed them into a great live band – something that was not always apparent in the scream infested Beatlemania era.

The Beatles set is a lengthy one of over an hour – the standard performance of their one nighters. A mix of self-penned material from their first album and rhythm and blues covers. This was in stark contrast to the half hour set of their package tour apperances.

So what we have here is perhaps the last remnants of The Beatles as an inventive hot live in person unit. There’s plenty of typical fab four banter between songs – this is faithfully chronicled in the accompanying booklet.

The full set list is as follows:

I Saw Her Standing There/Too Much Monkey Business(Chuck Berry cover)/Love Me Do/Some Other Guy(Richard Barrett cover)/Misery/I Just Don’t Understand (Ann‐Margret cover)/A Shot of Rhythm and Blues (Arthur Alexander cover)/Boys(The Shirelles cover)/Matchbox (Carl Perkins cover)/From Me to You/Thank You Girl/Memphis, Tennessee(Chuck Berry cover)/A Taste of Honey (Bobby Scott cover)/Twist and Shout (The Top Note& isleys s cover)/Anna (Go to Him)(Arthur Alexander cover)/Please Please Me/The Hippy Hippy Shake(Chan Romero cover)/I’m Talking About You/(Chuck Berry cover)/Ask Me Why/Till There Was You (Meredith Willson cover)/Money (That’s What I Want)(Barrett Strong cover)/I Saw Her Standing There(Reprise).

Sides five, six, seven and eight offer a remixed and speed corrected version and some additional mixes. There’s not a great deal of differences between the side one and two version and it would have been better and more cost effective to present this as a two record set rather than four.

Finally, there’s some bonus material –From Me To You and Please Please Me from a performance the next day after the Stowe show at the EMI Records HQ in Manchester Square London. This was an appearance for record executives during a presentation ceremony to celebrate the award of their first silver disc for the Please Please me single. In keeping with their relentless schedule they then played an evening show at the Swimming Baths venue in Leyton.

Summary:

This Live at Stowe School set will not be everyone as it’s a strictly lo- fi affair. However, as an historical artefact – being the earliest live UK recording of The  Beatles, it’s a very important find and this bootleg box set package is excellent – a sturdy box with informative notes on the back cover and a front cover that pleasingly parodies the Parlophone label and script – with a great black and white shot from the Stowe appearance. Ringo with the pre Ludwig kit and early Beatles inscribed bass drum head. The inner booklet has a detailed breakdown of the set and dialogue. Although it’s something of a luxury purchase, I am delighted to add it to my Beatles collection.

For me, this recording as hard a listen as it is, provides a genuine perspective of where The Beatles were at during that tumultuous year – a 12 month period that would cement their success for all time.

It’s a fascinating period that I often overlook, especially with my Fab Four preference for the 67 – 70 latter era. Playing it is leading me right back to the Live at the BBC sets and those first two seminal albums Please Please Me and With The Beatles.

At Stowe School on that April afternoon all of 60 years ago, the exuberance that would carry John, Paul, George and Ringo on a crest of an unparalleled wave was well in evidence.

In a week where The Beatles last ever single will be revealed, this enlightening box set captures the ’Then’ part of the story – a story that is always in the present tense…

Dave Lewis – October 31 2023

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The Beatles Now And Then… 
The Beatles final song – Now And Then
Initial thoughts..
Simple 1 -2 count in..
Plaintive John Lennon – crystal clear and stunning – shades of Across the Universe…
Wonderful Ringo drumming
Classic Beatles close harmony
Slide guitar in George’s style –uplifting and mixed with strings…
Summary..,
What a sentiment
‘’Now and Then I Miss you…
If I make it through it’s all because of you…
What a final statement ….the act we’ve known for all these years…
John, Paul, George and Ringo – The Beatles
And in the end still making the love – and taking the love…
Dave Lewis November 2 2023
DL Diary Blog Update:
Friday October 27:
Friday treat at the always excellent Slide Record Shop in Bedford…
Very pleased to pick up this beauty released today…
As part of Atlantic Records 75th Anniversary releases, this is the Led Zeppelin IV album re issued on 180G crystal clear vinyl – the 2014 remaster produced by Jimmy Page.
You really cannot have too many copies of this gem…
Thanks Nerys and Warren!
Saturday October 28:
Saturday is platterday – marking the Led Zeppelin Remasters box set release all of 33 years ago tomorrow today – on the player the 3 LP Remasters compilation…
These releases in October 1990 were such a game changer back then, bringing the Zep legacy firmly into focus where it’s stayed ever since…
Saturday October 28:
Saturday is platterday – plenty here at the Bedford VIP record fair…
Saturday October 28:
Top result at the Bedford VIP Record Fair – Led Zeppelin Il Argentinian pressing – single sleeve – gotta have it – £40 I’ll take it !
Saturday October 28:
Great to see my fellow record collecting comrades Phil Harris and Ian Avey at the excellent Bedford VIP Record Fair today…
Wednesday November 1:
In The Rolling Stones shop in Carnaby street earlier…only 39 formats to go!
Wednesday November 1:
Great see my very good friend Robert Titley today in the TBL office also known as the Spice of Life – Rob and I worked together at WH Smith in the early 1980s – this is the first time we had met for four years – we had a lot to catch up on !
Update here… 
Another busy week – and again sound tracked by the 60s and 70s and pleasingly so – The Beatles final single Then And Now is yet another throwback to our heritage  and much welcomed.
The Robert Plant Presents Saving Grace featuring Suzi Dian UK tour is underway and I am very much looking forward to catching it up along the rocky road…
Thanks for listening 

Until next time…

Dave  Lewis – November 2 2023

TBL website updates written and compiled by Dave Lewis

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3 Comments »

  • VHP said:

    Dave,

    Firstly I love the ‘new’ Beatles song ‘Now and Then’ I am so pleased that they were finally able to finish it after abandoning it nearly 30 years ago. John’s voice just sounds amazing, so a big thanks to Peter Jackson and his team for that.

    I found it quite moving listening to it, and then also when watching the video a couple of days later on You Tube. Peter Jackson did an amazing job on it. This truly has been a labour of love for Paul to finish this song. His quote saying something like how lucky he was to be in a band with those guys was also very moving too. What a band they were and will inspire people for generations to come with their timeless music.

    Just watched Jimmy on You Tube with his tribute to Link Wray. Its good to see him back on stage after nearly a decade – if only for 3 minutes! But to me, it does seem somewhat odd that he flys to America to do this – but didn’t play at either of the 2 concerts for Jeff Beck? I would be amazed if he wasn’t asked to play at either of those gigs?

    Anyway, its good to see that he still has the double neck and its not lost – like I believe one of his Les Pauls was in the very early 80’s. (They did fine it – but I believe it wasn’t in its case when they opened it.)

    With the new Rolling Stones record out and selling amazingly well, its good that the Beatles and the Stones can still show these younger artists how it should be done.

    Thanks for the great website as ever Dave. Enjoy Robert in Birmingham tonight.

  • Lee Clarke said:

    Hi Dave–have you seen the video of Jimmy Page playing tribute to Link Wray? It is fabulous!! He looks and sounds great, and the audience is thrilled to see him. Everyone is on their feet. Such good vibes at the ceremony. The master showing his art and skills, as always. Jimmy, Rock On!!!!

  • Bill Cromwell said:

    Good to finally hear Robert with full-throated praise for the band and Jimmy in particular. It’s about time.

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