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8 March 2017 1,900 views 7 Comments


Following on from the Bad Company and Straight Shooter expanded reissues, here’s very welcomed news of another pair of Bad Company reissues:


Double-Disc Versions Of Run With The Pack and Burnin’ Sky Feature The Original Album Remastered And Expanded With Rare And Unreleased Recordings/ 

Available From Rhino/Swan Song On May 26

 LOS ANGELES – Bad Company recorded four classic albums in as many years, giving rise to some of the most recognizable rock songs of the Seventies, including “Rock Steady,” “Run With The Pack” and the Grammy-nominated, “Feel Like Makin’ Love.” After releasing remastered and expanded versions of their first two albums in 2015, the band will return this spring with deluxe editions of their next two albums from that incredible run.

 Run With The Pack (1976) and Burnin’ Sky (1977) have been newly remastered from the original production tapes. Each has been expanded with rare and unreleased recordings taken from the original album sessions. The CD versions of these Deluxe Editions include all of the new bonus tracks, while their 180-gram vinyl counterparts offer a selection of the bonus material.

The Deluxe Editions of RUN WITH THE PACK and BURNIN’ SKY will be available on May 26 for $19.98 (2CD) and $38.98 (2LP). The music will also be released digitally and available through various streaming outlets.

During a rare break from touring, Paul Rodgers, Mick Ralphs, Simon Kirke and Boz Burrell got together in France to record new songs using the Rolling Stones’ mobile recording studio. Those sessions produced Run With The Pack, a 10-song album that came out in early 1976 and rose to #4 in England and #5 in America, where it sold three million copies alone. Radio stations embraced the title track along with a cover of The Coasters’ “Young Blood,” while “Silver, Blue & Gold” became one of the band’s signature tracks, even though it was never officially released as a single.

The bonus disc that accompanies RUN WITH THE PACK: DELUXE EDITION includes unreleased early mixes for “Honey Child” and “Simple Man,” as well as an extended version of the title track. There’s also the previously unreleased “Let There Be Love,” an outtake from the recording sessions. In fact, the acoustic version of “Do Right By Your Woman,” previously only available as the B-Side of the single release of “Run With The Pack,” is the only song on the bonus disc that has ever been previously released.

 During the summer of 1976, the band returned to France yet again to record 12 songs for what would become Burnin’ Sky. They chose Château d’Hérouville as the studio, which is where David Bowie would record Low later that same year. Burnin’ Sky was released in March 1977, and broke into the Top 20 in both the U.K. and U.S.

The BURNIN’ SKY: DELUXE EDITION bonus disc features unreleased versions of nearly every song on the album, including alternative takes and mixes of “Man Needs A Woman” and “Morning Sun,” plus the full version of “Too Bad.” The session tapes also unearthed “Unfinished Story,” a song that was completed, but never released.

 Run With The Pack: Deluxe Edition

CD Track Listing:

Disc One: Original Album Remastered

1.      “Live For The Music”

2.      “Simple Man”

3.      “Honey Child”

4.      “Love Me Somebody”

5.      “Run With The Pack”

6.      “Silver, Blue & Gold”

7.      “Young Blood”

8.      “Do Right By Your Women”

9.      “Sweet Lil’ Sister”

10.  “Fade Away”

Disc Two: Bonus Tracks

1.      “Live For The Music” – Alternative Vocal & Guitar

2.      “Simple Man” – Early Mix

3.      “Honey Child” – Early Mix, Alternative Guitar Solo

4.      “Run With The Pack” – Extended Version, Alternative Vocal

5.      “Let There Be Love” – Previously Unreleased

6.      “Silver, Blue & Gold” – Early Mix

7.      “Young Blood” – Alternative Vocal

8.      “Do Right By Your Woman” – Alternative Vocal

9.      “Sweet Lil’ Sister” – Live Backing Track

10.  “Fade Away” – Early Mix, Alternative Guitar Solo

11.  “Do Right By Your Woman” – Acoustic Version*

12.  “(I Know) I’m Losing You” – Studio Jam

13.  “Young Blood” – Alternative Version 2

14.  “Fade Away” – Island Studios demo

* All disc two tracks unreleased except

Burnin’ Sky: Deluxe Edition

CD Track Listing

Disc One: Original Album Remastered

1.      “Burnin’ Sky”

2.      “Morning Sun”

3.      “Leaving You”

4.      “Like Water”

5.      “Knapsack (The Happy Wanderer)”

6.      “Everything I Need”

7.      “Heartbeat”

8.      “Peace Of Mind”

9.      “Passing Time”

10.  “Too Bad”

11.  “Man Needs Woman”

12.  “Master Of Ceremony”

Disc Two: Bonus Tracks*

1.      “Burnin’ Sky” – Alternative Vocal & Guitar

2.      “Morning Sun” – Early Version

3.      “Leaving You” – Alternative Vocal

4.      “Like Water” – Rough Mix

5.      “Knapsack (The Happy Wanderer)” – Early Run Through

6.      “Everything I Need” – Rough Mix

7.      “Peace Of Mind” – Alternative Version

8.      “Passing Time” – Alternative Vocal

9.      “Too Bad” – Full Version

10.  “Man Needs Woman” – Alternative Vocal & Guitar

11.  “Too Bad” – Early Version, Mick Ralphs Vocal

12.  “Man Needs Woman” – Early Version, Mick Ralphs Vocal

13.  “Burnin’ Sky” – Alternative Vocal

14.  “Unfinished Story” – Previously Unreleased

* All tracks previously unreleased

Run With The Pack: Deluxe Edition

LP Track Listing

Side One

1.      “Live For The Music”

2.      “Simple Man”

3.      “Honey Child”

4.      “Love Me Somebody”

5.      “Run With The Pack”


Side Two

1.      “Silver, Blue & Gold”

2.      “Young Blood”

3.      “Do Right By Your Women”

4.      “Sweet Lil’ Sister”

5.      “Fade Away”

Side Three

1.      “Live For The Music” – Alternative Vocal & Guitar

2.      “Simple Man” – Early Mix

3.      “Honey Child” – Early Mix, Alternative Guitar Solo

4.      “Run With The Pack” – Extended Version, Alternative Vocal

5.      “Let There Be Love” – Previously Unreleased

Side Four

1.      “Silver, Blue & Gold” – Early Mix

2.      “Young Blood” – Alternative Vocal

3.      “Do Right By Your Woman” – Alternative Vocal

4.      “Sweet Lil’ Sister” – Live Backing Track

5.      “Fade Away” – Early Mix, Alternative Guitar Solo

6.      “Do Right By Your Woman” – Acoustic Version

Burnin’ Sky: Deluxe Edition

LP Track Listing

Side One

1.      “Burnin’ Sky”

2.      “Morning Sun”

3.      “Leaving You”

4.      “Like Water”

5.      “Knapsack (The Happy Wanderer)”

6.      “Everything I Need”

Side Two

1.      “Heartbeat”

2.      “Peace Of Mind”

3.      “Passing Time”

4.      “Too Bad”

5.      “Man Needs Woman”

6.      “Master Of Ceremony”

Side Three

1.      “Burnin’ Sky” – Alternative Vocal & Guitar

2.      “Morning Sun” – Acoustic Version

3.      “Leaving You” – Alternative Vocal

4.      “Like Water” – Rough Mix

5.      “Knapsack (The Happy Wanderer)” – Early Run Through

6.      “Everything I Need” – Rough Mix

Side Four

1.      “Peace Of Mind” – Alternative Version

2.      “Passing Time” – Alternative Vocal

3.      “Man Needs Woman” – Alternative Vocal & Guitar

4.      “Too Bad” – Full Version

5.      “Man Needs Woman” – Early Version, Mick Ralphs Vocal

6.      “Unfinished Story” – Previously Unreleased



Here’s my thoughts on the recently released on vinyl Berkeley Daze 2nd Night double album… 

Berkeley Daze – 2nd night: Yet Another Very Stoney 1971 evening… 

Dave Lewis welcomes a vinyl reissue of an old bootleg favourite…

I’ve been collecting bootleg recordings of Led Zeppelin since I was 15. It remains a great passion.

In recent years, the market has been somewhat saturated  with upgrades and reissues. I try to keep on top of the CD releases though I have long since dropped out of buying the really high end expensive packages that emerge – however, if it’s something previously unheard, I obviously check that out.

As many of you reading this will be aware, my overall collecting focus has switched to vinyl in recent years, I am therefore very interested in any Zep vinyl bootleg package. However, they have not been too well served in the modern area. Zep Vinyl packages have been fairly random – both in terms of track listing and packaging. It probably does not help that to capture a whole Zep show – the CD format has clear benefits over vinyl.

There have been some worthwhile releases – such as the admirable box sets from Virgin Vinyl stable presenting the Royal Albert Hall 1970 show and the Seattle March 17 1975 show. Also of note is the Fab Four Liverpool January 14 1973 box set, the Southampton ‘73 soundboard across a double set and the ‘Bob Presents’ white vinyl pressing of the Fillmore West January 9 1069 recording. Too often though, the song choices are randomly presented on a single disc such as Touch And Go which mixes performances from Toronto September 4 1971 BBC ’69 and Brussels ’75 and Teddy Bears Picnic, which has highlights of the Newcastle November 11, 1971 show.

When I heard that Led Zeppelin – Berkeley Daze 2nd Night – a new double vinyl presentation of the famous, nay brilliant, September 14 1971 Berkeley Community Theatre show was on the way, my hopes were definitely raised.

This is of course the recording immortalised way back as the seminal legendary Going To California TMQ bootleg. That particular double album on coloured vinyl first came into my life on Friday January 19, 1973 – these dates were important ones and all logged in the dairy so I know these things!

Following on from Live On Blueberry Hill which I had got in late ‘72, it was another revelation and upped my own enthusiasm for Zep bootlegs manifold.

Fast forward 43 years, on a similar cold Friday (February 10) and I took receipt of a new pressing of this fabled September 14 1971 show on the Casino Records Entertainment label in a limited edition of 400.

Boy, was I keen to get intimate again with a live recording that has been part of my Zep DNA for four decades.

So what we have here is a vinyl edition repackage onto vinyl of the CD set that came out via Godfather Records.

The first indication that this label means business is the packaging. An impressive heavyweight cardboard double fold out sleeve with full colour inners.

There’s accompanying explanatory sleeve notes about the recording of the show by one Paul De Luxe. The photos deployed on the inner sleeves are mostly 1971 period shots from the US tour and Empire Pool Wembley gig. There are two pleasing group shots from the autumn 1971 photo session that has them holding drinks and smoking – Page in the Zoso jumper.

Unfortunately, the 1971 mood is spoiled slightly by the dropping in of a colour shot of John Bonham from the 1977 US tour.

Overall though, a sturdy well thought out sleeve package and the records themselves are on 180 gram coloured yellow vinyl – individually numbered in a run of just 400. All very pleasing to look at.

In the very informative sleeve notes Paul reveals the story that the original tapes of this show were disposed of  – as he explains ”Having been lost in a fire, or even thown in the pacific ocean out of paranoia by the person who ran a bootleg label and was scared of an FBI raid’’. The bootleg release was overseen by the famous Dub of TMOQ. It’s likely he got the tapes from the original taper and then released them in early 1973. The fact they came out some two years after the show took place, hints that Dub did not tape them himself – his policy was to release any show he had taped as soon after the gig as he could manage.

It’s well worth noting that TMOQ also presented another bootleg from the same time and venue era – and very likely taped by the same guy that did the Zep show. This was a performance by David Crosby and Graham Nash at the Berkeley Community Theatre a month after the Zep visit on October 15 1971. It’s reported to have the same sound resonance and similar slight cuts as the Zep recording.

Before we go on – a request: If anyone has access to that TMOQ Crosby & Nash bootleg recording I’d be well pleased to hear from them.

The Crosby & Nash bootleg album came out on the Trade Mark of Quality label under the title A Very Stoney Evening. It was issued in February 1973 – with a catalogue number of TMQ 72005 – the next inline after Going To California which is TMQ 72004.


I recently searched out the original mail order listing I received in late 1972 – the very listing I used to order Going To California – and sure enough under ‘New Discs’, it lists both the Zep and Crosby & Nash titles. Looking back I dearly wish I had ordered both as the Crosby & Nash album has gone on to be a celebrated notable bootleg release.

In fact due recognition was paid to it when in 1997 the Grateful Dead label officially issued an excellent multi track soundboard Crosby & Nash concert recorded at The Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles, on October 10 ,1971, a mere five days before the bootlegged Berkeley show.

This official release (which I purchased when it came out on CD in 1997 – and I’ve recently acquired the superb double vinyl pressing)) went out under the title Another Stoney Evening – and as the sleeve notes explained ‘’The title of this release is producer Stephen Barncard tip of the hat to A Very Stoney Evening the celebrated bootleg of another inspired date on the tour released on the legendary Trade Mark Of Quality label.’’

Back to Led Zeppelin Berkeley Daze the 2nd Night and the music contained therein:

Well, put simply, what’s not to like?

For a start, this is one of those audience recordings that simply crackles with excitement. Slightly toppy but completely authentic – if a soundboard was to emerge of this night though much welcomed, it would be hard pushed to capture the sheer electricity of what was picked up by the enterprising fan who recorded this amazing show.

And amazing it is, right from the moment they kick in with Immigrant Song. One thing is for sure – Robert Plant’s vocal are at something of a career high – so flexible so confident so utterly self assured – he is literally inventing the rock god model with every song. The echo on his voice is also a sheer delight – none more so effective than on Heartbreaker.

On this track there’s that sudden shift of the sound to stereo just as they hit the line ‘’Amy’s back in town’’ and then Thwack!

Now we really are on a winner. Jimmy is captured right up front just ahead of JPJ’s bass – as for John Bonham, rarely has that Ludwig kit been so well captured from the audience. His snare drum resonates so decisively –it drives the whole thing on at a frantic pace. The entire set showcases the often wild but perfectly honed interplay between Bonzo, JPJ and Jimmy. The solo on Heartbreaker has that delightful run through 59th Street Bridge Song and Bouree – an amazingly fluid piece of guitar mastery.

‘’You should have come last night – last night there were several bowler hatted beatniks’’ . I’m not the only one I’m sure who can recite Plant’s inter song patter on this double set at will…

Since I’ve Been Loving You does have a cut at the intro but no matter as it soon flows with an assured authority and when Jimmy hits the strings for the solo..phew …we are talking Electric Magic here big time.

Black Dog has that Out On The Tiles intro, back in January 1973 that was still fresh in my memory having seen it played live just four weeks previous on stage at Ally Pally. John Bonham is a powerhouse of immense percussive skill throughout this fantastic delivery.

‘’There was a pollution alert today and I lost my voice. Here’s one from millions of years ago.’’

Incredibly it was only two years ago that they were romping through a mere seven minutes of the early anthem that is Dazed And Confused. By 1971 it had extended manifold and this twenty minute onslaught is a perfect example of how well crafted this number had become. There’s a great moment when Plant comes in with those ‘’Im so glad I’m living in the USA’’ lines.

Side three presents the more acoustic side of Led Zep commencing with a slightly tentative rendering of Stairway To Heaven – tentative but sensitive and warmly received by the audience. There’s also another evocative Plant ad lib witness – ‘’You are the home of the children of the sun.’’

That’s The Way follows, the clarity of the audience tape captures JPJ’s mandolin sound perfectly and it supplements Jimmy’s acoustic picking. Robert is again totally immersed in the song living the lines ‘’why doesn’t everybody cry?’’

The tuning up prior to them easing into Going To California (”a sitting down song”) is another off the cuff highlight

Over on side four, the amps are back up to ten for a bruising compelling Whole Lotta Love. Jimmy teases the riff and you can clearly hear him on backing vocals on the chorus. Then it’s all manner of delightful medley fun: Let That Boy Boogie, the double early 60s throwback wammy of Rick Nelson’s Hello Mary Lou and Elvis’ Mess of Blues and on into a complete rendition of You Shook Me and back to the finale.

‘’Goodnight – thank you!’’

Goodnight – thank them…

Now it’s no secret that I am something of a 1975 man when it comes to loving Zep live, however my second favourite era is 1971. This double album is a prime example of the sheer exuberance of the band at that time.  Jimmy remarked that the audiences on these Berkeley nights were quiet sedate – though you would never really know it.

Some afterthoughts:

Being at the helm of all things TBL, the world of Led Zeppelin revolves for pretty much most of my waking hours. Keeping on top of all the social media demands, answering emails, regularly updating the TBL website, receiving packing and distributing orders (on my bike!) Writing TBL content, working on book projects, etc. – it really is never a dull moment…

Within all that, it would be easy to lose sight of what attracted me to this thing in the first place – which is of course the music. I always make a dedicated effort to not let that happen by frequently spinning fave LP’s and CDs. When something new comes around – particular on vinyl, I still have the hunger and passion to get immersed in it all again.

The arrival of this new double album has more than justified that belief. It’s been a wonderful reminder of the initial ingredients that sparked my insatiable appetite for this remarkable music.

The studio albums, brilliant as they are, were just the starting point.

Unconstrained by the limitations of a mere two sides of vinyl playing time, on stage night after night is where they really came into their own. Their creative juices were ever overflowing. Those evenings with Led Zeppelin were special…and no more so than this September night back in 1971.

It’s been the perfect inspiration as I get down to some intensive work with designer Mick Lowe on the book I am co- authoring with Mike Tremaglio which will chronicle the heritage of those 500+ evenings with Led Zeppelin

On Berkeley daze and many other nights, Led Zeppelin really were something special.

This double album is more conclusive proof.

I love both the Soundtrack to The Song Remains The Same and How The West Was Won, but in my opinion ( and many others), some of their best live albums remain unofficial – and Berkeley Daze 2nd Night is truly one of the best….

400 lucky recipients of this double album are in for yet another very stoney 1971 evening…

Dave Lewis, February 27, 2017.


LZ News:

Led Zeppelin News Update:
In conjunction with the Led Zep news site, each week I will be re- producing highlights from their weekly email update news summary. This goes out every Sunday. Sign up details are below. Many thanks to James Cook.

Led Zeppelin

  • “Deus Ex Machina,” the new Led Zeppelin bootleg release from Empress Valley, is a soundboard recording of Led Zeppelin’s March 21, 1975 Seattle performance, it has been announced. The March 21, 1975 show has long been considered a particularly strong Led Zeppelin show, with Ronnie Fritz labelling it a “must hear” show in his Year of Led Zeppelin project. The full recording is still expected to be released in May, but a sample track (“Heartbreaker”) is expected to be present on the new Empress Valley promo disc “Viva La Revolution.”
  • Alter Bridge singer Myles Kennedy has spoken in a new interview with The Aquarian about his 2008 rehearsals with Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones, and Jason Bonham. “There was nothing officially recorded with that. So, there will never be something officially released. They were more jams than anything,” Kennedy said. “We got together and spent time in the room together jamming their back catalog and there were two songs that they had or riff ideas that I sang on top of, but that was about it. Nothing was officially recorded.”

Jimmy Page

  • Could former Van Halen singer Sammy Hagar be the man to get Jimmy Page performing live again? Well, he said in a new interview with Parade that it’s his “big quest.” “Right now, I am on this big quest to get Jimmy Page to Cabos San Lucas and jam some Led Zeppelin with Jason Bonham on drums,” Hagar said. “Jason’s in my new band The Circle. And I just got to get Jimmy to do that. That is my quest.”
  • A handwritten note from Jimmy Page is part of Lou Reed’s archive, which has been acquired by the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center. One of the items in the collection is a note written by Page to Reed which reads “Lou, thought you might enjoy a little more Coltrane!! Jimmy Page.” The note accompanied a gift of a reissue of the 7″ single release of The Byrds’ 1966 single “Eight Miles High.” See a photo of the note and find out more about the archive here.

Robert Plant

Robert Plant performing at the Festival of Disruption in Los Angeles on October 8. The performance will be broadcast on AXS TV tonight (AXS TV)

Upcoming events:

March 5 – Robert Plant’s October 8 Festival of Disruption performance will be shown on AXS TV.
March 10 – “Song To Song,” the Terrence Malick film which may feature Robert Plant, will have its world premiere at SXSW in Austin, Texas. Also, the new Fairport Convention album 50:50@50, which features a 2014 performance by Robert Plant, is released.
March 14 – Robert Plant will perform with violinist Nigel Kennedy at the Royal Albert Hall in London.
March 17 – “Song To Song,” the Terrence Malick film which may feature Robert Plant, is scheduled to be released in the US.
April 5 – John Paul Jones’ band Tres Coyotes will have their debut performance in Helsinki, Finland.
April 16 – John Paul Jones will perform at the PRÉSENCES électronique music festival in Paris as one half of the band Minibus Pimps.
May – The March 21,1975 Seattle soundboard bootleg “Deus Ex Machina” is rumoured to be released this month.
May 27 – Unrestored footage of Led Zeppelin performing at the Royal Albert Hall in 1970 will be screened there as part of an event about the director Peter Whitehead.
June 23 – John Paul Jones will perform at the Sun Station Vadsø festival in Norway.
June 24 – John Paul Jones will perform at the Sun Station Vadsø festival in Norway.

Many thanks to James Cook.

The complete Led Zeppelin News email goes out every weekend. To receive it each week sign up here:


TBL Archive Special

Remembering the Ulster Hall Belfast March 5, 1971 and March 5, 2001:

46 years ago last Sunday, Jimmy Page strapped on a newly acquired Gibson double neck guitar and played the first chords of a new lengthy composition in front of an audience for the first time.

The occasion was Led Zeppelin’s opening date on their UK tour at the Ulster Hall Belfast.

The song was Stairway To Heaven

Here is a celebration of this anniversary of a special song.

This TBL Archive feature looks back to the events that took place on the 30th anniversary of that first airing of Stairway To Heaven and the Led Zeppelin performance back in 1971…

16n years ago popular tribute band Simply Led came up with a very clever idea – they decided to book the Ulster Hall in Belfast to perform a special anniversary concert 30 years ago to the very day Led Zeppelin had staged that opening night of their UK tour when Stairway To Heaven was first played – and in the very hall that first echoed to the sounds of what would become such an iconic composition.

I was invited to go over to cover the event for TBL – it was a fantastic success. There was a genuine sense of history in being in the vicinity where Led Zeppelin had performed all those years ago. Simply Led played superbly and the people of the city were incredibly friendly and receptive. The comment from one fan afterwards  ‘’Thanks for bringing Led Zeppelin’s music back to Belfast’’ said it all.

There’s a poignancy about reflecting on this occasion as sadly, Simply Led’s drummer Paul Kelvie passed away in 2006.

So this piece is dedicated to Paul who 16 years ago, along with Eddie Edwards, Keith Lambert and Phil Elridge reunited the Led Zeppelin fans of Belfast in fitting style –all in the very place where Stairway To Heaven was first performed live.

Remembering Led Zeppelin at the Ulster Hall

Belfast Re-unites Under Simply Led

March 5th 2001: Another cold Monday. Another journey. Today I’m bound for Belfast to celebrate a very special Zeppelin related anniversary. For 30 years ago on this very day Led Zeppelin took a Trident Hovercraft across the Irish sea to perform what would be their only concerts in the Emerald Isle. On the evening of Friday March 5TH 1971 they performed their opening show of the so called “Back to the clubs tour” at the Ulster Hall, Belfast. During their set that night they unveiled a new composition due to appear on their forthcoming fourth album. It was called Stairway To Heaven. Five million radio plays later…

30 years on the London-based tribute band Simply Led have hit upon a very novel and ambitious idea. Tonight they will perform a special anniversary tribute concert at the Ulster Hall – scene of that history making evening for Led Zeppelin back in 1971. Particularly ambitious when you consider this is only their second gig together.

Tribute bands of course are now an accepted part of the live gig scene. Any half renowned or much missed ex-mega group has anything up to half dozen would be copyists trouping up and down the pub circuit. Zeppelin are well served and I have immense respect for the likes of Fred Zeppelin, Whole Lotta Led, Stairway to Zeppelin, Let’s Zep who pack ’em in week in week out.

Simply Led’s Belfast plan, as I said, is massively ambitious, and they have done their homework. Singer Keith Lambert had come over a month back to launch the idea at a press conference which garnered much local coverage. Ticket sales have been brisk with already 600 sold. Bass and keyboardist Eddie Edwards assures me they have rehearsed intensely to do the real thing justice on the night. For my part it’s an opportunity to support Eddie, a long-term TBL associate (notably his Song Remains dissection in TBL 13) and spread the TBL word in a new territory. Despite the foot and mouth scare and the freezing weather, the flight out of Luton goes to plan and I meet up with the band around mid day. Andy Adams is in tow to lend them a hand and we walk down with Eddie to view the Ulster Hall in the afternoon. Morale is well high by this time – ticket sales have exceeded all expectations with a good chance of over 1,000 likely to witness the show.

As we walk around the balcony of the grand hall it begins to get exciting. There is a genuine sense of history about the place which is smaller than I expected and one of the most impressive venues I’ve ever seen. The vantage point over the stage up on the balcony is superb and you can’t help thinking how incredible it must have been to have viewed the original 1971 show from up here.

Eddie and his boys are understandably more than nervous as they arrive for the soundcheck and run down extremely competent versions of Heartbreaker and The Wanton Song amongst others.

Andy and I set up a display and stall in the foyer and head over to the pub for some pre -gig banter with the local Irish contingent already in. Everyone is really friendly and so keen to witness tonight’s celebration. Over at the Ulster Hall a couple of hundred fans are snaking their way around the hall eager for the doors to open.

DL inside the historic Ulster Hall Belfast – March 5th 2001

There’s aready  a great sense of occasion in the air. Original 1971 promoter Jim Aiken comes over to view the scene. “This is so special to be witnessing this again,” he tells me. “I can remember how excited we all were to get them here at the time. Nobody apart from Rory of course and a few others bothered to play Belfast. We still talk about the night Zeppelin came…”

It’s a wonderful cross section of fans who mill around the foyer. The elders who remember that momentous night 30 years ago, some bringing their off-spring’s to hear the songs that made such a troubled place at one with itself all those years back. There’s also lots of younger fans in attendance not even born when Zeppelin played their final gig in 1980. It makes for a very boisterous atmosphere and from the moment Simply Led take the stage and chug into the Immigrant Song/ Heartbreaker double whammy that was a staple part of the ’71 Zep set, well that sense of occasion is duly shared by band and audience alike.

I must say that in the weeks leading up to the gig 1 had my doubts that they could pull this off convincingly. It’s a pleasure to be proved so wrong. A combination of this being the right anniversary at the right time in exactly the right place makes the next couple of hours an absolute joy.

This is no mere tribute concert. This is an event and Simply Led rise to the occasion.

Highlights: Guitarist Phil Elridge’s fluid Gibson work during Over The Hills, Keith Lambert’s pleasing ad-libs (“Acapulco gold”) and pre-’73 high vocal register, Paul Kelvie’s drumming superb throughout the show – as good a Bonham-inspired performance you will see this side of Michael Lee. Eddie Edwards strong feel for Jonesy’s musicianship evident in a compact No Quarter and an ambitious and suitably emotional Stairway. Finally a rousing Whole Lotta Love and Rock And Roll brings to a close a striking performance. Throughout it all I couldn’t help thinking that right here in this very hall exactly 30 years to the, moment Led Zeppelin were making history. I’m sure it was an emotion shared by many in attendance. The atmosphere as the crowd spill into the foyer is a joy to be part of. It’s more than evident that Simply Led have captured the spirit of Zeppelin very well indeed.

Back stage the band themselves are justifiably triumphant. “They’ll never believe this back home,” says Eddie. And I guess unless I’d witnessed it myself I’d probably have been of the same opinion.

As I mentioned earlier the fundamental reason this all came together was the location and timing. Coupled of course with Simply Led’s enthusiasm, musical prowess and sheer determination to pull it off.

Belfast was a very special gig for any band back in those troubled times of ’71. For a band of Led Zeppelin’s stature to come and perform here was a real event. On tonight’s turnout that gesture way back in ’71 has obviously not been forgotten by the people of Belfast.

The whole evening is wonderfully summed up by the excited comment of one of the elder generation of Zep fans here tonight.

“Thanks for bringing Led Zeppelin’s music back to Belfast,” he tells Andy on the way out. It’s an accolade echoing throughout this historic venue. And that’s some accolade for a tribute band playing only their second gig,

Simply Led have every reason to feel very proud of themselves because tonight in Belfast they paid homage to a very special concert in Led Zeppelin’s history.

And in doing so they reunited the people of Belfast just as the real thing had done on a similar cold Irish night 30 years ago. It was simply remarkable.  

Dave Lewis, March 6th 2001

Simply Led  Belfast March 5th 2001 -Paul Kelvie, Eddie Edwards, Keith Lambert, Phil Elridge

Remembering Led Zeppelin at  the Ulster Hall 1971: Recalled in 2001 by those that were there…

“The concert was absolutely unbelievable, I was 15 years old and so close to my idols. I was in the seats behind the stage. It is just a moment of great posterity for me in terms of the age I was and seeing the band I loved. I also saw Zeppelin at Earl’s Court but it could never match the intimacy of that night in the Ulster Hall.” Noel Thompson, now a BBC Newsnight reporter.

“It was brilliant. In those days nobody played Belfast unless they were Irish like Taste or Thin Lizzy. To see Led Zeppelin was so enjoyable. It put Belfast-on the map. Stairway To Heaven did not stand out on the night, but I later saw them perform it to 100,000 fans at Knebworth. A lot different to the 1,500 who saw it in 1971.” Mervyn Jones, now a Belfast Councillor.

“When I heard Stairway performed that night I knew it was something special. We were in the front row of the balcony. Whenever I hear that song the memories of that night in Belfast come flooding back to me.” Trevor Haslett, Killinchy

TBL Archive Special part 2:

Here’s a review from TBL 15 of the then newly surfaced Belfast March 5th 1971 tape:

March 5th tape ensures this historic night will never be forgotten

Led Zeppelin on stage at the Ulster Hall Belfast, March 5th 1971. Photo G. Irwin.

Led Zeppelin’s decision to visit Belfast as part of their spring 1971 UK tour was heralded as a very brave move back in 1971. Few rock artists included it on their intinery due to the escalating political situation and threat of rioting. Earlier in the year T.Rex had pulled out of a planned appearance in Belfast. The Zeppelin concert itself was played out to the background of far off Friday night disturbances in the troubled parts of the city.

Until recently the only recorded remnant of that Irish visit was their March 6th date at Dublin’s Boxing Stadium. Now in a perfect piece of timing, a very rare recording has emerged of the Belfast Ulster Hall show. It was captured by one Norman Hanna – 20 years old at the time. He smuggled-in a newly purchased Phillips cassette recorder and taped the show some two thirds of the way back with the cassette machine positioned on the floor.

Unsurprisingly this newly discovered tape has been negotiated into the hands of the ever enterprising Japanese label Empress Valley and will probably have emerged by the time you are reading this as a deluxe four CD set containing the Belfast and Dublin shows.

The set will include a fourteen page booklet with photos and press cuttings from their Irish shows. This includes reproduction extracts from the review of the show featured in the Northern Ireland newspaper City Week.

Of the fifteen UK dates that comprised the Spring ’71 Back to the clubs tour only the aforementioned Dublin show and the officially released April 1 BBC In Concert recordings have emerged until now. This Belfast recording is therefore most welcome.

The tape recording quality is fair to good for the time – a little distorted and with occasional interference but mostly very listenable.

The most striking aspect of hearing it is the sheer force and determination in their playing. This opening night of their ’71 campaign was their first gig in over five months -the longest lay off so far in their career. It followed an eight week period of intensive recording sessions for their fourth album conducted at Island Studios and on location at Headley Grange.

It’s evident they were itching to air the newly recorded material in a live setting. Before those historic premieres we hear them storm through the then customary Immigrant Song/Heartbreaker opening.

Witnessing this in the Ulster Hall must have been extraordinary. Plant extends the vocal shrieks and the Page solo is just completely out there. Off mic you can occasionally hear the excited babble of Irish accents from the crowd. Then it’s a relaxed run through of Since I’ve Been Loving You. Plant on absolute peak form attaining the high pitched notes with ease. Black Dog is the first of the new songs employing the opening riff of Out On The Tiles. It’s back to the greatest hits for a no-nonsense, compact, Dazed And Confused,

More history making follows: Stairway To Heaven live performance number one. A straight rendering slightly tentative with Page playing the unfamiliar, but soon to become more than familiar, tune on the newly acquired Gibson double neck guitar. It suffers slightly here due to cuts and a high pitched sound from the original recording.

Evidence that the softer side of their playing as deployed on Zep 3 would still be present on their forthcoming album was duly demonstrated by the performance of the new Page/ Plant composition Going To California.

The more familiar Zep 2 standards What Is And What Should Never Be and a powerful Moby Dick take us into the finale – the now expected Whole Lotta Love medley including Let That Boy Boogie, Honey Bee and The Lemon Song.

The encores are just plain shattering. A thrashing Communication Breakdown followed by the debut live performance of Rock And Roll – then known as It’s Been A Long Time. A final welcomed bonus brings this historic recording to an end. There’s quite a delay before they get around to performing and it’s evident they are trying to work out what to play. They opt for a rarely played post 1970 version of Bring It On Home performed in a unique delivery sans vocals and harp in the final section.

“If everybody was like this to each other every day there would be no problems,” Plant can be heard to inform the audience just before the second encore. A nostalgic and relevant comment of the times.

Which is exactly what this Belfast discovery represents. It’s a true document of the band at a crucial moment.

Flushed with the massive success of the past, fresh from a welcomed lay off and enthused by the studio sessions that provided yet more new on stage impetus, this is prime 1971 Led Zeppelin.

In short, this tape is a brilliant reminder of how good they were at that stage of their career. Freeze-framing a period when they were receiving deserved mass popularity and acclaim at a time when they were also producing some of their most powerful and vital work.

Incredibly it all happened thirty years ago. The Belfast people haven’t forgotten. Thankfully, the emergence of this tape will make sure they never do.  

Dave Lewis –  March 23rd 2001

And finally….

The way we were…March 1971

Here are some of the events that were happening 40 years ago as Led Zeppelin toured arund the UK….











With thank to Eddie Edwards and Keith Lambert

Dedicated to Paul Kelvie 1961 – 2006

The above text all first published in Tight But Loose issue 15, 2001.

Check out  Eddie Edward’s superb dissection of various Led Zeppelin releases at


A very nice piece here from the Guardian as featured in their weekly Playlist column:

Playlist: Tears, laughter ,life and death in one song:

This song has been with me for most of my life. I first heard it as a bookish 14-year-old, already immersed in rock of the heavy-ish variety, but discomfited by the macho, aggressive nature of much of the music.

Led Zeppelin were different. They could create sensitive songs, with Robert Plant’s voice oozing genuine emotion, at times sounding almost feminine in its upper registers. The Rain Song seems to glow from within, lit by a tender, luminous beauty, with layers of softly strummed guitars, piano and ersatz strings. When John Bonham’s drums kick in, it becomes joyous, celebratory; and when Plant sings, “It is to you I give this tune,” it feels like a personal, almost intimate offering.

The Rain Song has seen me through teenage heartaches and family tragedies, including the dark days of my father’s dementia – but then I also played it soon after my daughter’s birth 20 years ago, when it felt joyful, optimistic and life-affirming. I have laughed and cried to this song. It’s a private, personal thing, an emotional safe space I can go to when I’m feeling fragile or disconnected from the world.

Even today, more than 35 years after I first heard it, it can still catch me unawares. It can bring a tear to my eye and a lump to my throat; it can elicit a tingle of sheer sensory pleasure.

For me, it’s a song for all seasons, evoking bittersweet memories and strong emotions. It connects me to my past. I never tire of it.

Neil Hussey


Why I love records: Abbey Road Revisited:

The act we’ve known for all these years – still sounding brilliant on Abbey Road…

I’ve been listening to The Beatles album Abbey Road since it was issued in September 1969 when I was aged 13. I have a UK LP pressing I purchased in the early 70s, the first CD version issued in the 80s plus the CD remaster issued on 09/09/09. I have a bootleg album Return to Abbey Road which has outtakes and alternate versions, not to mention an alternate cover of the fab four walking the other way across the zebra crossing. I also have a bootleg album of Abbey Road mixes made for the Rockband game (very good they are too).

This morning, I went bright and early to WH Smiths and purchased the latest package of this ionic album. The first instalment of the high profile Beatle Vinyl Collection series produced by Deagostini – a lavish fold out package and an absolute bargain price at just £9.99 (Subsequent albums will be £16.99 and doubles £27 approx – still excellent value). The album itself is the 2009 remaster on 180 gm vinyl and to these ears in the past 40 minues – it sounds most impressive.

I’d forgotten what a superbly crafted record Abbey Road is with just so many highlights:

The captivating bass line on Come Together, the sheer beauty of Something (Frank Sinatra called it the greatest love song ever written), Macca all whimsical on Maxwell’s Silver Hammer and bluesy and raw on Oh Darling. John equally bluesy and right out there on I Want You (She’s so heavy). Ringo being Ringo on the delightful Octopus’s Garden (great guitar solo and dig those underwater effects).

Marvel too, at the subtle use of the then pioneering moog synthesiser throughout the album.

Over on Side Two, there’s George’s gorgeous Here Comes The Sun, the simply beautiful harmonies on Because. Then there’s the marathon medley – all superbly interwoven with tales of never giving the money, only funny papers and coming through the bathroom window .Along the way, we meet colourful characters such as The Sun King, Mean Mr Mustard and Polythene Pam.

Golden Slumbers that carry that weight…and then Ringo paves the way for the finale with a drum sequence of percussive brilliance as the others take a guitar solo each to great effect.

Finally in The End, the love they make is equal to the love they take….oh and don’t forget Her Majesty…

It’s the act we’ve known for all these years, superbly packaged and sounding as fresh as ever.

This is only the beginning of the journey – next issue March 15, next stop 1967 and Sgt Pepper.

This is why I love records…

Dave Lewis – March 3, 2017.

More details of The Beatles Vinyl Collection at…/coll…/beatles-vinyl-collection/


DL Diary Blog Update:

Alongside the early morning purchase of The Beatles Abbey Road vinyl collection at WH Smith, there were the usual Friday vinyl treats at a rather rainy Vinyl Barn last week – including The Peddlers album Three In A Cell on CBS (great 1960s harmony group), Backtrack 5 compilation on the Track label featuring The Who and Jimi Hendrix Experience and a very nice US pressing of Bad Company’s Rough Diamonds album on the magnificent Swan Song label. That’s the weekend listening sorted – thanks Darren Harte !

On Saturday we went to the very fine city of St Albans and while the good lady Janet shopped, I visited the always excellent Empire Records where singles on the brilliant Vertigo swirl label by Beggars Opera( Sarabande) Juicy Lucy (Who Do You Love) and Rod Stewart It’s All Over Now written by Bobby and Shirley Womack and a hit for The Rolling Stones in 1964) ) were snapped up – you gotta love the Vertigo label!

In between all that – more work on the Evenings With book project -and some tricky stuff to navigate through their 1969 touring period. Once again Mike Tremaglio has been the guiding light as Mick Lowe and I oversee more pages of design.

This pic was taken today as Mick and I waded through the July 1969 US tour dates and got though it pretty well – it’s a fascinating period for sure – on we go into August…

I am aiming to be at the Nigel Kennedy Love Classical Royal Albert Hall event next Tuesday – it’s been over two years since I last saw Robert Plant on stage – far too long and it’s time to put that right – full report next week.

Dave Lewis – March 8,  2017

Until next time – have a great weekend…

TBL Website updates compiled by Dave Lewis

with thanks to Gary Foy and James Cook

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And finally…

YouTube clips:

Led Zeppelin/Simply Led Belfast Ulster Hall 30th anniversary news story:

As mentioned above, Stairway To Heaven was played live for the first time 46 years ago on March 5 …of all the countless versions I’ve heard throughout those years …this remains my all time favourite version as performed at Earls Court in May 1975… and what a performance this is..Led Zeppelin at the top of their game… just glorious ..



1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (2 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)


  • Ian in NZ said:

    Just look at that March 71 album chart. Peak rock’n’pop! It’s been all downhill since.

  • Dave Lewis (author) said:

    Thanks for all your great comments and feedback Larry!

  • Dave Lewis (author) said:

    Thanks ED!

  • Ed-Washington DC said:

    Good news indeed over the impending release of the BadCo re-issues. What a trove of extras! Run with the Pack remains a personal favorite of mine, as that particular time in my life coincided with so much else. The surprise release of Presence, but to name one. I was hopeful that Paul and Mick would pull something like this together as I very much enjoyed the earlier re-issues. Such fine material.

    Just an aside on Dave Mustaine from Megadeth (I’m not particularly a fan) but for him to suggest that the only way he may’ve noticed Jeff Beck was because Jimmy Page paid such homage is a rather ridiculous comment from a man that ostensibly plays electric guitar for a living. Jeff Beck’s playing and technique has always spoken for itself, sterling endorsements notwithstanding.

  • Larry said:

    Good grief, Dave! This entry is a mini-issue of TBL! Loved it!

    Your recent comments about the new Going To California LP made me grab one off ebay before I had read your review, so thanks for the preview of coming attractions! Anyone taking the time to read this site will likely already know this recording very well, but perhaps there’s a few new fans in the game reading about it for the first time…if so, they should definitely seek this out…without question one of the very best bootlegs, blessed with a warm and clear recording.

    This was my very first Zep boot LP back in the 70s and for me personally it was a very important moment as it opened my ears and eyes to the world of bootlegs, and they’ve simply been a vital part of my enjoyment of the world of Led Zeppelin ever since.

    Excellent point about a soundboard being hard-pressed to equal this recording. imo that’s the case more often than not. The audience tape puts you right there in the moment. Page is thrilling on Immigrant Song. This is for my money the greatest ever live Heartbreaker. Simply ferocious. The intensity is mind-boggling. SIBLY, Black Dog, just superb. You left out one part of Plant’s intro to Dazed after “millions of years ago”. Then he says, “Just when a good thing started…checkin’ itself out.” Amen to that!

    Stairway is a beauty, the total light and shade that the band intended. The acoustic set is simply magical, and Whole Lotta Love and the medley is scorching. Loved your background on the recording and how it came to be. We’re so lucky as fans to have this incredible tape to enjoy time and again.

    The upcoming Seattle 75 board is another monumental moment. This gig is my personal fave from 1975. Even the most jaded collectors among us should be stoked for this one!

    Sammy Hagar…go Sammy, make it happen brother!

    I saw the Plant LA concert on TV here the other night and enjoyed it. I’m well over his re-workings of the Zep songs, but his band is excellent and inventive. I’d really love to see him play sets comprised entirely of material from his solo albums, that would be far more interesting imo, but of course most of the people in attendance would probably be mad that he didn’t do any Zep. More power to him in the end, still out there practicing his craft.

    Thanks also to the look back at the Simply Led gig. I have a CD of one of their shows from some years back and it’s absolutely terrific. And of course Eddie Edwards’ site is simply one of the essential Zep resources.

    And the Ireland concerts from 71 are treasures as well. The recordings aren’t crystal clear, but it doesn’t matter because the communications from the band come thru loud and proud! Those two shows feature some searing, thrilling playing. For my money, 1971 was probably the peak of live Zeppelin. Everyone was at the top of their game, and the shows are routinely brilliant. I love those Irish shows.

    Abbey Road, perfect, enough said. Looking forward to your commentary about Sgt. Pepper, that was a life-changing moment for me…that’s the first time I ever looked past a “song” and started considering the MUSIC.

    Thanks as always for the great work Dave!

  • Dave Lewis (author) said:

    Great to hear from you Keith – great memories indeed!

  • Keith Lambert said:

    Morning Dave,

    Thanks for bringing back those Ulster Hall memories. It was indeed a special night and the audience were fantastic. I remember walking through the assembled crowd just before the gig and mumbling “oh ****, what have we gone and done!”. There was a real buzz of expectation in the air and failure was clearly not an option! We were provided with an amazing PA by the Ulster Hall and I clearly remember the absolute joy of singing through that for the first time during our first soundcheck. Ironically, I cocked up and reversed two of the verses in ‘Stairway’, the focal point of the whole thing! I don’t think anyone really noticed though. Pat, the manager of the Ulster Hall, told me afterwards that he hadn’t seen an audience go crazy like that since Rory Gallagher had last played there. That’ll do for me, I thought.

    I found a soundboard recording of our set in my Mini-Disc library a few weeks ago; I didn’t even recall having it so it was quite a thrill to hear it 16 years on.

    Hats off to P.K.

    All The Best,


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