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JIMMY PAGE LONDON BOOK SIGNING /ROBERT PLANT AND SSS WOLVES AND BLACKPOOL REVIEWS/TBL PRODUCTS FOR CHRISTMAS /LED ZEP IV REISSUE FEEDBACK/DL DIARY UPDATE

28 November 2014 9,820 views 4 Comments

Genesis second book

Jimmy Page London Book Signing Details:

Jimmy Page is appearing at Waterstones, Piccadilly on Tuesday December 2nd. He will be hand-stamping copies of his photographic autobiography with a personalised ‘Zoso’ stamp, unique to this location.

Here’s the info via Waterstones:

WATERSTONE’S PICCADILLY
Tuesday, 2 December 2014, 1:00PM

We’re delighted to host one of the world’s most iconic guitar players, who will be hand stamping his book ‘Jimmy Page’ with a stamp unique to this event. Access to the queue will be on a first come first served basis. Please arrive early to avoid disappointment. The queue will be restricted to a maximum of 250 people. Jimmy Page will hand stamp one copy per person. There will be no opportunity for photography at this event. No merchandise or memorabilia will be signed at this event.

The event starts at 1pm and access is on a first come, first served basis. For more information see link at:

http://www.waterstones.com/waterstonesweb/displayDetailEvent.do?searchType=1&author=Jimmy%7CPage

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Robert Plant and The Sensational Space Shifters – UK Tour Reviews:

Here are some on the spot tour reports from the Wolverhampton and Blackpool dates commencing with the views of a rather impressed TBL editor….

Embrace another special night…

Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters – Wolverhampton Civic Hall November 21st, 2014:

Setlist; Friends/Spoonful/Turn It Up/Rainbow/Going To California/Let The Four Winds Blow/What Is And What Should Never Be/No Place To Go/Babe I’m Gonna Leave You/Little Maggie/Fixin’ To Die/– I Just Want To Make Love To You-Whole Lotta Love-Mona -Who Do You Love

Encores; Embrace Another Fall /Rock And Roll

To Wolverhampton with Tom and Cliff on a very wet rainy Friday afternoon. In the early evening, a TBL pre gig meet at Yates bar where it was good to catch up with Richard Grubb (contributor of the brilliant Led Zep Remastered feature in TBL 38),Martin, Elma and others – over at the Civic Hall the venue was already filling up fast. This is always a special one – being his homecoming gig.
So let’s cut to the chase. The really great gigs are built on the circumstances all coming together to make it a real occasion. Tonight it all came right for me. The home coming Friday night atmosphere was tangible throughout the hall, and it was a pleasure to watch the gig to the left of the balcony with Pete Gozzard, a long time supporter of all things TBL and his friend Neil.

As for the performance – what can I tell you, it just all gelled tonight..and at the helm of course was Robert Plant –and given the location there was lots of humorous comments throughout the evening – it really felt like we were in on some big family party. There was no finer example of that than when the singer paused to note a very special birthday, that of his ex-wife Maureen who was sat in the front of the balcony – a band chorus of Happy Birthday was a lovely touch (and prompted memories of a similar chorus on the Bonzo’s Birthday Party bootleg).

Set list wise, it was similar to the previous night in Cambridge with Let The Four Winds Blow sounding particularly fine, Going To California engaging the audience totally and most impressively of all for me tonight the startling No Place To Go jam. From my vantage point overlooking the stage it was plain to see how striking the dynamism of this piece really is and the interplay within the musicians notably Juldeh – and while we are on the subject, his contributions have been a real eye opener during this tour. What might have been viewed as a novelty factor early on in the Space Shifters evolution, has now blossomed into an integral part of the well-oiled machine.

Further evidence came via the intricate strut of Little Maggie (‘’bluegrass with a bit of rust’’) and the first encore of Embrace Another Fall – again the sheer drama and movement of the piece bringing out the best in the players.
As mentioned, there were various Plant quips throughout the set notably a story about Tom Jones complete with Welsh accent –‘’I asked Tom if he wanted a drink’’ ‘I’ve given up boyo’ I said what’s the point of anything then!’’

There was also a humorous comment during a slight tech delay ‘’When I was in a group in the 70s I had to do harmonica solo if a string broke’’
The Whole Lotta love hybrid had a neat switch into Bo Diddley’s Mona and the folk song that is Rock And Roll brought proceedings to a celebratory close.
‘’Be happy’’ was his sound parting advice.

Looking around the exiting crowd you could sense that warm afterglow of a performance that had truly fulfilled expectations and more…
All this of course on the very night all of 43 years ago that I first saw Robert perform live with Led Zeppelin at the Empire Pool Wembley back in 1971…
This was something I mentioned to Robert afterwards and we reminisced about the performing pigs that didn’t perform – this prompted Robert to call Maureen over to mention this anniversary as that would have been the night of her birthday back then. ”We were 23 years old!” he laughed.

On the journey home, Tom, Cliff and I reflected on this current tour, all agreeing that it finds the singer and his band in a wonderful place – a playback earlier in the car also re affirmed that the Lullaby and the Ceaseless Roar album is his finest in years. The tour moves into a final week with dates in Belfast, Dublin, Blackpool and Llandudno – but this is it for us –three very memorable nights in London, Cambridge and now Wolverhampton, each with their own set of memories…

Summary: If a psychic had turned to me in the confines of the Empire Pool Wembley on that night back in 1971 and told me that 43 years hence, with the singer in his mid-60s and me in my late 50s, that I’d be attending a Robert Plant concert on the same date in 2014 – and that he would still be inspiring and re-inventing and that I would be as immersed and impressed by his talent as I was as a 15 year old on that first night of nights…well I would have probably very much doubted that such a thing would come to pass.

Well, incredibly and astonishingly,that’s the way it is and the way it was on another night of nights. All in all, seeing Robert Plant and The Sensational Space Shifters at the Civic Hall Wolverhampton was a very special experience – right up there with the best gigs I’ve attended and pretty life affirming in my scheme of things…

43 years on, Robert Plant still holds the (electric and acoustic) magic…and his music still has a deep profound effect on me…and countless others across the globe.
Long may he ceaselessly roar…

Dave Lewis
November 24th, 2014.

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wolves eleven

 Robert Plant and The Sensational Space Shifters – Wolverhampton Civic Hall – Friday  November 21st, 2014.

What a way to start the weekend!  The stars aligned on a wet and gloomy Friday night in the Midlands as Robert and the Sensational Space Shifters delivered a night of thrilling entertainment to the sold out, appreciative, crowd.

Earlier niggles from previous dates on this tour about a slightly ‘off’ sound and a disjointed setlist (to my mind at least) were banished and the result was one of the truly epic performances, not just from this phase of Robert’s career, but one that sits very near the top ranking of the 33 previous occasions that I’ve been lucky enough to have been in his company.

Highlights are too many to mention, but we must pay tribute to that voice!  It was fragile and vulnerable when needed and the strength of a lion when the song required.  Truly, it was the lullaby and the ceaseless roar…

I particularly enjoyed hearing Let The Four Winds Blow return to the live arena.  I hope that more Strange Sensation tracks find their way back into the set in future.  It was Mighty Rearranger that kickstarted this golden period that we’ve enjoyed for nearly a decade, and the songs from it deserve to take their place with the very best of Robert’s canon.  They need to be heard.

The Zeppelin songs were obvious crowd pleasers, but it was great to note that the audience were equally appreciative of the new songs, Turn It Up and Little Maggie were particularly well received.

Plantations were many and varied – we got to sing Happy Birthday to Maureen, and learnt that Tom Jones is tee-total these days – a fact which Robert wisely questioned: “well, what’s the point of anything then Tom?”  He has a point.

The whole band were in fine form, but special mention for Dave Smith and Billy Fuller who locked in superbly, underpinning the fireworks being created by Justin, Skin and Juldeh over the top of their rock solid foundations.

There’s been some speculation that ‘lullaby…’ might be a last hurrah (and if it is, then no-one can complain that things concluded with a whimper rather than a bang), but on the evidence of this outstanding performance, there’s no sign of the singer or his crack team of trusted lieutenants being ready to wind down.  The drive and commitment is as strong as ever.  Superb stuff.

Mind. Blown.

Richard Grubb

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Robert Plant and The Sensational Space Shifters – Blackpool  Tower Ballroom – Wednesday November 26th, 2014.

Setlist; Friends/Spoonful/Turn It Up/Nobody’s Fault But Mine/Going To California/Embrace Another Fall/Rainbow/No Place To Go/What Is And What Should Never Be/Little Maggie/Fixin’ To Die/Crawling King Snake-I Just Want To Make Love To You-Whole Lotta Love-Mona
Encore; Babe I’m Gonna Leave You/Rock And Roll

In his previous comment, Bob Flux said, “Here’s hoping that they go from strength to strength.” They do. Wolverhampton, Manchester, Osaka…and Blackpool now. The gig only gets better each time I attend.

I think lullaby and…The Ceaseless Roar is Robert’s best solo work to date, and it has reached an impressive high, the ultimate goal he has been trying to achieve as a musician for years. If — if — Led Zeppelin reunite one more time with Jason or whoever else as a drummer, and make another studio album, I highly doubt the product would be as good as this in terms of musical depth and diversity. It’s not Led Zeppelin? No. It’s Robert Plant and The Sensational Space Shifters and they are brilliant.
The performance last night reflected his newly acquired confidence as such, and it showed in every moment — in his singing, moving and chatting to the audience as well as the band members.

My only gripe is that the selection from the new album are rather limited — only four to be performed. I would have loved to hear Poor Howard and A Stolen Kiss.

Last but not least; The Last Internationale, the support band from New York, did one intense performance and an admirable job, they are definitely worth watching. Suffice to say that they are the best support act I have ever encountered in my forty years of concert going…

Hiroshi

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Robert Plant and The Sensational Space Shifters – Blackpool  Tower Ballroom – Wednesday November 26th, 2014.

 black pool tower

Following the quite stunning gig at Newcastle the previous week I just had to take in one more show before the tour ended…….just to make sure – almost a 6 hour round trip on a school night but so worth it So it was the palatial surroundings of The Tower Ballroom at Blackpool provided the canvas for the evenings gig – steeped in tradition but not normally for gigs I guess By way of comparison there wasn’t a massive difference between the two shows.

The sound was better and the audience slightly more animated than the Newcastle gig but apart from that there was little to split them apart. Im not being blasé about the gigs, the similarity was more to do with consistency or should I say sheer brilliance than anything else…..the bar is/was set that high………and maintained. The set was one song different from the previous week…once again Friends/Spoonful was the chosen opening salvo, Nobodys Fault But Mine put in an appearance mid-set and BIGLY became the first of two encores with Rock & Roll ending proceedings – Once again Robert’s onstage banter was just great At the risk of repeating myself I think “Going To California” remains the stand out moment, an act of beauty that could’ve been no more poignant or well played had Robert been accompanied by his two wingmen from yore If I was to be picky…

I personally would have preferred it if Robert had featured more of his current material, Id love to have heard “A Solen Kiss”…maybe “Somebody There” but above all else “House Of Love”…. That said, and in an absolute nutshell, SSS have found a blend of material that suits everyone Overall though these two gigs have been fantastic – just great experiences, a testimony that confirms the TBL mantra “Not just a band – More a way of life” is exactly where its at Robert carries the torch for our legacy more than any other…. and for that I remain extremely grateful.

Michael Scullion – November 27th 2015

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Robert Plant Interview on Radio Two Dermot O’Leary show  –

Excellent chat here

 http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02cn8j3

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Robert and SSS Mexico date:

This via Robert’s official website:

Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters are excited to join this year’s lineup at Mexico’s landmark VIVELATINO festival.

The festival takes place March 13, 14 & 15 .

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TBL products – The ideal Christmas Gifts:  

GIVE THE GIFT OF TBL THIS CHRISTMAS/ TBL GIFT IDEAS FOR CHRISTMAS:

black frday

It’s that time of year again and if you are fed up with receiving the same old tired gifts for Christmas each year, why not give your loved ones a nudge in the direction of the TBL ordering page and get them to invest on your behalf –let them really know what you want for Christmas or you may well end up with novelty socks and boxers yet again. Alternatively of course you can just treat yourself!

Here is a round up of prime TBL Product on offer this Christmas –all orders will be processed and dispatched as received:

TBL BOOK BUNDLE OFFER;;

FEATHER IN THE WIND –LED ZEPPELIN OVER EUROPE 1980 PLUS LED THEN AS IT WAS LED ZEPPELIN AT KNEBWORTH 1979

BOTH BOOKS FOR JUST £20 PLUS POSTAGE!

Receive both books at a bargain price of just £20 plus postage – order at this link:

http://www.tightbutloose.co.uk/then-as-it-was-at-knebworth-1979-and-feather-in-the-wind-over-europe-1980-book-bundle-offer-buy-both-books-for-just-20-plus-postage/

LED ZEPPELIN FROM A WHISPER TO A SCREAM

For fans old and new, this is the definitive compact companion to their music. Order at this link:

Order from this link:

http://www.tightbutloose.co.uk/books-t-shirts/from-a-whisper-to-a-scream-the-complete-guide-to-the-music-of-led-zeppelin-by-dave-lewis/

All books personally signed by the author!

If you would like a specific personal dedication please state what you require – (use special instructions section of pay pal if paying by pay pal)

TBL 2014/15 SUBSCRIPTION:

A TBL 201/5 Subscription – the perfect Christmas gift which ensures you keep up to date with every issue.

The current TBL subscription has just commenced with issue 38 out now with issues 39 and 40 to follow in 2015. All subscribers receive an exclusive 10 x 8 colour print perfect for framing!

To order the TBL 2014/15 Subscription go to the TBL 2014/15 Subscription link here

http://www.tightbutloose.co.uk/subscribe-now-to-the-tbl-201415-magazines-and-receive-a-free-10-x-8-led-zep-art-print/

So there are some gift ideas for Christmas – all orders processed as received for speedy delivery as possible.

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TBL 38:

Many thanks for the very positive comments regarding this new issue. I have to say re subscription uptake still has a way to -and it will be a big disappointment if one of the key issues in the magazine’s history fails to meet previous sales.

Here’s a review via TBL contributor Ian Dixon – if you have yet to order – well don’t just take my word for it – this magazine is the perfect written companion to this amazing time to be a Led Zeppelin fan… go on treat yourself!

TBL issue 38 reflects a passion for the music and the musicians who made it…

Re make – re model. Tight But Loose (TBL) the Led Zeppelin  magazine, now comes with a smart new square masthead, still incorporating the classic logo, and on my copy a front cover of Jimmy Page looking oh, so dapper.

Inside the magazine is text heavy, but laid out so as not to daunt the eye and full of opinion and history. For a publication whose lifespan is now around 3 times as long as the band it celebrates there is a lot going on. The continued adventures of Robert, Jimmy and JPJ; excitement around the new batch of releases and years of history and anniversaries to delve into.

Highlights for me are two sets of live performance reviews, Robert and The Sensational Space Shifters in Summer 2014, neatly contrasted by the pomp and majesty of  Zeppelin Spring ’75. With the likes of Gary Foy and Andy Crofts at the keyboard, opinions are respectfully delivered and there is as much light and shade in the writing as within the music that inspired it.  But top of the shop is Dave Lewis’ exclusive one on one1 interview with James Patrick; sensible questions from the heart, candid responses and we discover a hobby shared between Rock God and TBL editor.

The reason why everything hangs together is simple, a passion for the music and genuine affection for the musicians who made it. It shines through every page, making TBL mag as relevant to one who wants to better understand Zeppelin within the context of the whole music scene, as the person on a mission to track down every recording of Moby Dick in existence.

But the real secret of TBL mag is within itself.  It is a physical magazine, that lures you in, demands time and concentration and rewards you with glossy paper and the tactile privilege of page turning. It’s easy, too easy sometimes, to hurriedly scroll through an article posted on the net, but you can’t feel the texture or smell the man-hour investment on a computer screen.

The TBL mag and its sister books come from a linage where “cut and paste” was a literal job for any fanzine creator. While the opportunities of on-line availability and instant feedback are to be embraced; blogs and mags have the same distinctions as between a download and CD or vinyl.

With Dave Lewis’ dedication, commitment, personal honesty and bravery to continue to share his writings and feelings from all periods of his life at the helm , Led Zep fans will not go far wrong with the TBL mag. Highly recommended…if  you need some Zep coolin’, you need the TBL mag…

Ian Dixon

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haynes wll

Whole Lotta Led at Haynes International Arena (aka Village Hall)  

The always excellent Whole Lotta Led are playing down the road here at the Haynes International Arena (aka Village Hall!) on Saturday November 29th – I am aiming to be there with TBL products on offer – look forward to seeing all that can make it along …

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Led Zeppelin IV  Reissues Feedback:

Here is an intensive feedback report on the Led Zep IV  reissues by Ken Winovich:

In Depth’ review of the new Led Zeppelin ‘IV’ Deluxe Box Set by Ken Winovich Novemebr 13th

This is it. The one I have been waiting for the most! This is the one. The gem. It’s a rock and roll history book. An absolute MASTERPIECE spelled in capital letters. It doesn’t get any better than this. The arrangement of the songs is absolute perfection. The overall vibe is something never-before heard. It’s got this vibe like it’s out of place by three centuries. Like it belongs in Medevil times. I just don’t know how to explain it. Did the inside foldout artwork have something to do with that? I don’t know but the vibe on this disc is so striking that it’s in a class all it’s own. On this disc, you have sex dripping off the opening track. This song had to horrify parents and we kids just absolutely loved it. It was as daring as you could ever get. This album’s got thunder. It’s got a storm. It’s got peace and serenity. It’s got bombastic drumming and even a couple minstrel-like pied piper offerings. And it further kicked rock in the behind by defying normal music construction rules. You don’t start a song out slow and keep building it up into a final crescendo.

You don’t unless you are Led Zeppelin. And from the first album on, Led Zeppelin let you know they don’t follow any rules. They only set them. This one had me running to my Beatles collection to see if any one single Beatles album ever left me saying “There’s not a single weak or bad track on here” and I honestly could not say that about any Beatles album. One of the reasons Led Zeppelin de-throned them. In defense of the Beatles is the fact that songs were kept shorter in the early to mid sixties. This is also the period when I got into Led Zeppelin with my evaluation to search for my favorite band. I can remember when this album came out. Our local radio station KQV here in Pittsburgh (it’s sister station spin-off would become WDVE) used to have a weekly little wallet sized fold-card showing the top 25 singles and albums which we would get at our local music store.

I remember seeing the four symbols in the list and thinking wow, what’s this all about? I think the first week or two had “Led Zeppelin IV” and then it switched over. Anyhoo, my neighbor two doors away used to hold an album listening session once a week. It might be friday night just after dinner before we would all head out for an evenings mischief. Or early evenings on Saturday or Sunday. I remember Pink Floyd, Black Sabbath, Yes, Jimi Hendrix and I especially remember Zep IV. I looked at Donny’s album and that’s when I discovered that Led Zeppelin were only four members. I realized I concluded wrong thinking the Zep II album cover was all the band members! First thing I wanted to know was who was the singer and guitar player. Period. After I got that, then I wanted to know who played that mean bass on “The Lemon Song” and definitely who was behind the baddest drums I ever heard in my life, then or since on “When The Levee Breaks”. I asked my friend Donny to play that album again and that sealed it for me. Led Zeppelin would be my #1 band.

I tried to see them in 1971. But no luck. They didn’t come here to Pittsburgh. In 1972, I remember very well that WDVE (that station was up and running by then) told us all over the air that Zeppelin were not coming to Pittsburgh but that their U S tour was under way and WDVE played three hours worth of cuts from albums one through four and I taped it all and that’s when I heard just about EVERY SONG. I was blown away! I played those tapes on a portable cassette recorder. When Houses Of The Holy came out in March 1973, that’s when I bought all five albums all within a week and a half! Talk about spoiled! Zep IV starts off with the sex-dripping “Black Dog”. It just doesn’t drip any quicker or wetter than this one. From the opening lyric “Hey hey mama! Said the way you move! Gonna make you sweat! Gonna make you groove”! You immediately know you are in store for a power punch. When the band comes in, they move along with a fine strut that hasn’t been duplicated in rock since. How fitting to hear words like “sweat”, “groove”, “burn” and “sting”. And you are getting all of them! No other band or vocalist delivers it finer. When the riff changes course and leads into the “Ah yeah, ah yeah, ah….ha…..ha.”, you know you’ve got a smash rock song here yet you’re scratching your head as it’s only the first verse! So much so, you can’t even get your bearing until the song starts to close out. And watch out for Bonham’s drum lick at just before “Hey baby, pretty baby, oh baby….” You’re stunned. Was that the finest, sexiest, wettest rock cut you’ve ever heard? And as a young teen in puberty, Robert Plant’s lyrics of knees shaking, love, and lemons had a huge effect on me as I grew attracted to some of the girls from school in and around my neighborhood. And it only got better.

What a fine start to “Rock And Roll” with Bonham’s cymbals. As it speeds up, you’re like “What’s gonna happen next?” It’s the finest rock and roll you’ve ever heard as it is an anthem of rock. “Rock And Roll” is appropriately named as it’s title is…..the very essence of what this song is about from every angle over, under, or sideways or down. Pure, simple, un-adultered rock and roll. And it puts a smile on your face. If you’re not tapping your feet to this monster, you need to see your doctor immediately. Something’s wrong with your senses. It’s Little Richard meets Jerry Lee Lewis with Chuck Berry on board and all delivered in remastered Led Zeppelin style! And “yeah eah….hey! Yeah-eah…hey!” We like it! Give me more! Give me more! But not yet. Time to slow things down and throw you a curve. Remember those acoustic tracks on the last album’s b-side? Well, we’re gonna do one for you now. “Oh no”, you say. But this ones different. From the opening fade in, you can hear that “The Battle Of Evermore” is a trance-like song.

It’s chimey mandolin-opening hook sucks you in and you never escape. Sandy Denny is absolutely brilliant and when her and Plant team up at the end, that’ll fix you for ever doubting Zeppelin’s ability to construct good acoustic tracks! You spend the whole song trying to decide who’s vocals you like better and you can’t. They both compliment each other so well. And it’s the fade-out ending that’s important here because it sets the mood for the greatest song ever made. I don’t care what anybody says. “Stairway To Heaven” is the greatest song ever recorded. It’s a story. It’s an anthem. It’s got the coolest lyrics ever. It’s got the greatest guitar solo ever. It defies. It changes tempo every verse. It’s sung very high at the end. And simply put….it’s a masterpiece. And people living in the 20th and 21st century certainly agree as it still is the most requested song of all time. And it’s even got a mystery if you listen very hard as the truth will come to you at last. This is superb music. Nothing tops it. Were Beethoven, Bach or Mozart alive today, they would agree and quite possibly may have thrown in the towel like Clapton, Beck, Townshend and other guitar “greats” were gonna do once they all saw Jimi Hendrix for the first time.

The closest Zep would ever come to topping this song was “Kashmir”. It just can’t be beat by any other offering from the band who created it’s catalog nor anyone else for that matter. It is an anthem and anthems have a solid-steel construction that just can’t be broken. It’s on this song that all the acoustic side-tracks off the heavy hitters in Zep’s catalog have made it all worth it because had they not occurred, we would never have had this masterpiece. The song reaches it’s climax and Jimmy Page cuts in with the best guitar solo ever recorded. You can hear him crying out to God. And Robert Plant closes out side one with almost a whisper. Wow. The best album side in rock and roll music ever. There’s not a single dull moment. Unheard of. Unreal. And this song set a precedent. All the heavy metal bands that followed would actually feel an obligation, despite being in heavy metal bands, from this moment forward, to have to play an acoustic song. Because of Zeppelin. Led Zeppelin set the precedent of showing the rock music world “yes we do play ‘heavy’ rock but we also can play acoustic. And well.” And I hate to say it but some hard rock and heavy bands don’t cut it acoustically.

“Misty Mountain Hop” kicks off side two with a nice keyboard hook and guitar riff and it just stomps right along. The album still has this aura about it and this track continues that vibe. The “Woooo…..ooooo….ooooo…..ew’s” do it as does the chorus and “W’over the hills and tha mistee mountins”. No wonder you get this aura of medevil era out-of-place music. It’s the sounds, the lyrics, the calligraphy and the illustration on the inside of the album foldout. It’s somewhere “over the hills where the spirits fly”. Wow. You’re feeling so good at this point that you wonder if it could possibly go south but it never does. Up next is a fine example of the ‘fifth element’ of Zeppelin. “Four Sticks” is another one of my favorite Zeppelin masterpieces. And I am very disappointed I never got to hear it live during their career. Right off the bat it’s out of the gate and running like Secretariet about to win the Triple Crown! When the harp-like chords come in at “I hear the owls crying in the night” you really discover that there’s no limit to Zeppelin’s music.

This song is just so wonderful that it’s perfect up to the midway point and then John Paul Jones comes in with a fine delivery of a synth solo piece and you discover just how important he is in this band. And Bonham’s actually playing the song with four sticks with two in each hand shaped like a “V”. What separates John Paul Jones from any other composer is how clever he winds the synth solo down by shutting the unit off and the last note descends and fades down the music scale as the synth loses it’s power!!! Utter genius and effective! This album is just unreal. The ultimate treat for anyone’s ears! In case you missed it, Led Zep would like to take you back to the third album again. “Be careful” you say? “Don’t ‘f’ it up?” Really? Well here’s a nice campfire song for you since you didn’t quite appreciate the Zep III ones and it is as fine a campfire song as you’re ever gonna get. And while you’re relaxing, why don’t you get a smoke of whatever you smoke and some wine and get to feelin fine! You hear of travels, California, foot steps of dawn. It’s the ultimate travel song and yet it’s done on an acoustic! Who could pull this off? It just has you feeling so fine at this point in the album. And when Plant comes in to close it out with the “Ah…a….ah….oooo….ah’s”, it’s just another fine Zeppelin album experience. At this stage, you know you’re close to the end. You may have briefly looked at the song titles or actually counted them.

I can remember back to 1973, counting the songs as I blew through all of the first five Zep albums in a week and a half and going “Where’s that one that opens with that vocal yell! I’ve just got to hear it! I can’t remember the name but I want to hear it and I want to hear it now (it was ‘Immigrant Song’). But here’s the end and there’s no better way to close out a Zeppelin album any finer than this. The closest album closer to “When The Levee Breaks” would be “The Ocean”. It’s the ultimate Zeppelin album closer ever in “When The Levee Breaks”. The opening drum riff is so heavy, you may have had to double check that you weren’t knocked down towards the center of the earth. Nobody plays the drums like John Bonham. Keith Moon may have blazed away on his kit and destroyed it but nobody can top Bonhams performance here and upon hearing this year that Neil Peart was the newly crowned drummer in rock, they must have forgotten this masterpiece. And I am a very big Rush fan as well. Neil Peart’s gonna have to figure out a way to top “When The Levee Breaks” or I’m afraid he’s out before he’s even ever gonna be considered “in” and he’s my #2 drummer.

If you base it on studio albums alone and Peart can come up with a sonic song like “Levee” he’s in the running but live, Bonham is just too far up there. And I base that on the fact that I have every live Zep tape/bootleg and just about every Rush tape/bootleg. Peart and Rush play their songs live just as they were recorded in the studio. Led Zeppelin improvised live which meant that if you caught Bonham on a day when he was on fire, there’s no telling what you might hear but one things for sure, it was gonna be Earth shattering! The swirling of this song, the backwards harmonica, the slide guitar….it just doesn’t get any better at the end of a Zeppelin masterpiece. What a way to close out the finest album in rock. And it’s only 1971! We are in for some treats in the years ahead! Not a single weak track. Just pure, gold and double platinum songs of the finest lustre! This is the music of Led Zeppelin! Play this fourth offering and Physical Graffiti and you have the essence or ‘the end result’ of what you get when putting four outstanding musicians in Led Zeppelin into a blender and flick the switch!

The Deluxe box is a lovely light gray. Clean. Unblemished. But I caution you. Slide this across the table to a friend on the other end and she’s totalled! They barely coated this with just enough ink. In fact, the more you open and close the lids on these things, the more white that starts to appear. This set was in the best shape of all five so far. You could see they bumped the top edges. And there was some kind of trauma scratches to the right of the companion CD but they are all barely noticeable. The crooked proof-of-purchase stickers irk me much more. A black sticker adorns the upper left-hand corner with the product code of R2-536185. I slice the bottom of the wrapper, cutting a perfect rectangle out so I can slide off the cover and place it back on after I’ve gone through all the goodies inside.

fourth iv

The 80-page booklet is the first to greet me. I slice the cellophane wrapper off carefully in case I ever need to use it as a cover again. But I place the book into a thick vinyl album sleeve. It just fits. The book is one of the gems for me out of these box sets. Before this release, I scoured through every photo of Zep and made my own ‘book’. “These are the pix that MUST be in here” and I compared mine with Zeps and see there are a few shortfalls. The Led Zeppelin IV original album is second to greet me. Here it is in all it’s glory. Made of nice thick cardboard and the album is sturdier on 180-gram vinyl which is making me get back into albums and turntables. But I must get a new turntable that has valves in it or it’s pointless for me. It’s all about Guitar tone. Up next, my serial numbered print of the Led Zeppelin IV album cover. Mine is 09906/30000. I was wondering if any of the Zep fans out there would like to start up a ‘list’ or ‘website’ that lists every single Led-head who owns one of the 30,000 serial numbered print copies and to get us into that database. Maybe they could call it ‘The Houses Of The Holy” or whatever and list all the hard core fans who let nothing get in their way of owning this number! The best! Name+Country+City+serial numbers.

Up next is the Companion album and I love the color. Reminds me of the Zep III Companion disc. Again, I do not like the cheesy back cover. Almost like it’s just a cheap bootleg. Next was the HD Download card. I study my code, looking at the uniqueness of it. This is the one I ended up with! But I have to wait to get these as the codes don’t work since the downloads aren’t available yet. The CD’s were next and once again, they were tossed about, out of their recessed cutouts. So in conclusion regarding the Deluxe Box contents, I have the usual gripes. No back cover photo on the back of the box. The cheesy companion disc back covers. A couple more typo errors like page 75 with “alteranate” (alternate) and 11-17-71 “Bimingham” instead of Plant’s home town of Birmingham. My page 16 looks like it was nicked with a ball point pen on final check. So now it’s on to the remastered music:

Black Dog – Nice space and separation. Cymbal crashes of 5 to 6 seconds. You can hear Bonham putting the sticks together as ‘clicks’ and then separating them when ready to play again after a brief rest. Nice buzz on the guitar. You can finally hear the guitar solo and it’s not washed out. Nice fuzzy string scrapes, the buzz of the guitar, Bonham stick taps, 6 seconds of cymbals ring out! At “Big legged woman ain’t got no soul” – you can hear Page’s guitar turned up in your Right ear and you can hear every overdub clearly.

Rock And Roll – This track sounds just awesome! What a burst into action! You can hear all the gear come to a grinding halt as Plant sings the last verse! You can hear tambourine very well at the end of the song. Fantastic! Bonham’s ‘ching-ring’ really stands out. Jimmy deserves credit for backing off on the guitar riff letting the bass and drums drive the song. Fine touch! The Rolling Stones’s ‘Stu’ pounds the piano a la Jerry Lee Lewis. He’s one of the finest up there with Jerry Lee and Little Richard. Another classic Bonham moment track!

The Battle Of Evermore – I’ve never heard a mandolin this clear before! For the first time, I can hear the acoustic guitar crystal clear in the right channel and it’s not washed out. There’s a little blow-out in the left channel as Robert fades with “Bring it….bring..it….Bring itttttt!”

Stairway To Heaven – Guitars are on the far right. John Paul Jones’s recorder is on the far left and when Robert comes in with the first verse and he’s in the Left middle, it brings a smile on my face! Jimmy’s last high note pattern he plays to end his guitar solo sounds awesome as the band start the outtro with – “And as we wind on down the road.” This ones special. And so, it will be listened to in the wee hours of the morning with no distractions. And it is just superb! Crystal spanking clear as if it was recorded with brand spanking new equipment! What a treat! On the new remasters, you can hear Jones touching buttons and levers on the recorder. This leads me to conclude that this is as clean a sound as will ever be possible or they’ll be picking up even more noises. Another fine Bonham moment off this album at 04:19 as he comes in at “…but in the long run”.

Misty Mountain Hop – Another fine Bonham moment. His powerful drumming on this song is a classic example of that Bonham stomp. Bonzo and Jimmy really drive this song. 03:59 never sounded better!

Four Sticks – This one is that track that sends you off into a time and place one rarely goes to. The whole feel of this track and the mid-section, I’m just speechless! Again, you hear many clicks which are probably Bonham’s sticks like at 03:05. What a treat at 03:29 as John Paul Jones shuts his synth off to achieve a descending note!

Going To California – Plant sounds like Dean Martin on this new remaster. I like the way he sings the words like ‘cheeldrin’ (children)

When The Levee Breaks – When the first three Led Zeppelin albums were released in this remastered format five months ago, I can remember being so blown away and I
thought to myself “Imagine….just imagine what ‘When The Levee Breaks’ is going to sound like when ‘IV’ arrives! ! ! Well, that day has finally arrived and I can
tell you this….this package will be played so much I already know I will be buying it again. Sonically, it’s ‘hammer-of-the-gods’! I tip my hat off to Jimmy Page
and the engineers at this album session as they succeeded in capturing the greatest rock and roll drummer ever.

Unlike with the first three remasters where the remastered music was so outstanding that I was playing it more than the companion discs, I find myself scouring over the companion discs here trying in vain to find perhaps something I missed but it was hard. And barely seeing the differences from the originals, I decided to really get knee deep in them and so ‘CSI Zeppelin’ was born for lack of a better word by comparing the companion tracks with the originals under a microscope (Pro Tools) and I hope I’ll find some gold in there somewhere and the truth will come to me at last but it looks like the real gems in this box are the downloads, the original remasters and the book.

This one will be getting a ton of play and that includes every single scrap inside. As I stated in my ‘first impressions’ review, I am disappointed with the companion disc. But overall, the 80-page booklet saved the day as did the fine remastering of this Led Zeppelin masterpiece by Jimmy Page. He really takes the time to give you his and his bands best and that helps push my final ratings up as high as I can get them. Not bad for a score out of 5.0! Absolutely superb! The quality is just unreal. You can hear every single instrument and every single overdub. What’s a real treat is how Roberts 2nd and 3rd vocal tracks are blended in to form a chorus of backup vocals. We probably all thought that was the other band members singing backup on some of the songs but as it turns out it’s Plant. I’m in for years of listening pleasure with these remasters and this one in particular. I held off finishing my review until the HD Downloads were available as I wanted the absolute best. What a masterpiece!

Scale of 1 to 5 with 5 the best:

Product 4.7
Satisfaction 4.5
Audio 5.0

Ken Winovich

…………………………..

DL Diary Update:

electric magic 1

It’s been fantastic to wallow in the afterglow of  the Robert Plant and The Sensational Space Shifters inspiring performances of last Thursday and Friday. As you will have read above, the Wolverhampton Civic  show in particular was just right up there for me – in fact that night can take up a pole position (alongside Leicester University 1988,The Red Lion Kins Heath and a few select others)  as one of the very best Robert Plant solo shows I’ve been lucky enough to attend.  Everything about it came absolutely right…and after 43 years that is a very gratifying fact. This current UK tour has seen him out on the boards on another career high – as can be viewed by the other feedback reports from the tour. it really has seen Robert Plant and The Sensational Space Shifters right on top of their game…

On the playlist, unsurprisingly  lullaby and The Ceaseless  Roar  – just sounding better and better – I love the groove of House Of Love the new single now airing on Radio Two. On stage and on record he really is still the man…

There’s also been plenty of late 1971 live Zep on, reflecting the events of 43 years ago wiuth Osaka, Empire Pool and Ipswich gigs providing the soundtrack to many a memory. On vinyl, some recent acquisitions including The Faces First Step (US copy billing them as Small Faces), Duane Allman Anthology Volume 2, Pink Floyd Wish You Were Here Sessions bootleg -and talking of which, it’s great to read that inspired by the likes of the new Pink Floyd album and the Led Zep reissues, vinyl sales in the UK have topped one million for the first time since 1996.

Ahead, I am looking forward to pitching up at the Haynes Village Hall to see Whole Lotta Led this weekend – and there’s some intensive planning going on here right now to map out the TBL projects schedule for 2015 -more on all that as it unfolds.

DL – November 28th, 2014.

…………

You Tube Clips –

Jimmy Page interview on Ellen US TV show:

 Robert Plant and The Sensational Space Shifters Wolverhampton Civic Hall:

Going To California

Whole Lotta Love


Embrace Another Fall  

Until next time…

Keep listening, keep reading…

Have a great weekend

Dave Lewis/Gary Foy – November 28th , 2014.

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4 Comments »

  • Ed-Washington DC said:

    Ellen DeGeneres is clearly a Zeppelin fan who gets the enormity of sitting opposite Jimmy Page, but I thought she lost him a bit over the reunion tripe. Page assumes an almost weary look about him. But she is right about his appearance overall. Jimmy Page has never looked healthier or more at ease than at any time in his career than he has over this past fortnight of promotional rounds to support his music and literary releases/retrospectives.

  • Walter Cooney said:

    I attended the gig in Blackpool,trully amazing the setlist was a good mix of old and new,the band are incredible and the guitar solo from Justin Adams during Fix in to die,is a stand out.Robert can still rock and roll and had the audience appreciated the great show,the band put on.
    The best Plant gig I have seen to date.

  • Stephen said:

    I never cared much for the Firm. But there’s an excellent rehearsal recordings of Closer on Jimmy’s website today. It’s really raw and full of energy. I liked his twangy, echoey early 80s Fender-bender sound. Sounded almost new wave.

  • Larry said:

    Thanks as always for the poignant comments Dave. 43 years gone indeed! Wolverhampton sounds like a very special evening. Agreed that the new album is his finest in some time. I might still be partial to Mighty Rearranger from this century and in my mind he likely won’t ever top Fate Of Nations and its “bonus disc” worth of great b-sides. But lullaby is a treasure. Haven’t seen the man in person since 2010, so here’s hoping he will return to the States on this tour.

    And Ken Winovich…talk about a masterpiece! Great, enthusiastic review of LZ IV reissue! I agree with him on Stairway To Heaven. Certainly Kashmir is right up there, and I know it’s become fashionable to “reconsider” Stairway, but really it is their finest moment. All one need do is watch the BBC clip of Jimmy playing the song thru and speaking over it in spots, and then witness him looking into the camera and the smile on his face as the song ends. That says it all.

    Love Ken’s observation about Jones cutting power to the synth and letting the sound fade off on Four Sticks…I never realized that, and that will have me running back to that song this evening!

    I’m a Rush fan as well, and imo Neil Peart is the second greatest rock drummer of all time. And no, he’s never recorded anything as iconic as Levee (nor did Keith Moon). Peart and Rush are great, but maybe a little too polished live in comparison to Zep. As Jimmy noted in (I believe) 1977 “It’s like dancing on the edge of a precipice”. Certainly Zeppelin was that in more ways than one, and Bonzo’s drumming live was always daring and thrilling. His spontaniety in concert is peerless. His work on the albums echoes thru the ages.

    As for “Zep vs Beatles”, Zep are clearly my No. 1, but I think Revolver, Sgt. Pepper, the White Album and Abbey Road by the Fabs can hold their own against any slabs of vinyl produced in the “annals of rock history” (Jimmy again, introing Black Dog in 1980).

    Thanks again!

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