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27 February 2020 2,041 views 4 Comments

Robert Plant Uncut magazine front cover feature:

There’s an excellent extensive 13 page Robert Plant cover feature in the new issue of Uncut – timed to tie in with this Friday’s release of the Digging Deep singles box set. Alongside new interview quotes from Robert, there’s additional input from among others, former band members Jezz Woodroffe and Phil Johnstone plus producer Tim Palmer.

This all helps to flesh out what is essentially an overview of Robert’s post Zep career. Talking about his past work he says ‘’I’ve always spent so much time going forward, going from a present tense to a future tense  – I’d completely forgotten about the structure and various aspects of those early songs.’’ Robert also hinted at the unrest he felt in the latter Zep era: ‘’Being in a band like Led Zeppelin was magnificent but also quite frustrating. Because you were in it and it was a democracy. It worked when it worked and it didn’t work when it didn’t work. But to be suddenly free to fail? That was a totally different mind-set altogether. And magnificent because of it’’

There are additional side bars focusing on The Honeydrippers saga, the Digging Deep podcast and his current touring project Saving Grace.

As for plans ahead Robert states ‘’I’ve had great conversations recently with the Space Shifters, with Alison Krauss, with Buddy Miller.  There’s loads of songs locked up inside us all. I come and go in the game I play. I have the audacious expectations to be invisible most of the time by really I just like to sing’’

The Digging Deep box set is released via Rhino on February 28.  Robert Plant is in conversation with Matt Everitt at a special event to mark the release of the Digging Deep box set at Rough Trade East record shop on Friday, February 28. 




Just for fun…

Digging Deeper: The Other Side’s 1982 -2005…

The just about to be released Digging Deep box set of eight Robert Plant singles is an admirable overview of his career – all superbly packaged. The sixteen couplings on eight seven inch singles represents all the big hitters across his first eight solo albums from 1982’s Pictures At Eleven through to the 2005 release of Mighty ReArranger. It’s a luxury way to enjoy some of Robert’s finest work and I for one will be eagerly looking forward to wading through it. More on all this to follow.

However, this release got me thinking that there is vast scope to produce an alternate set of singles that represent the lesser known parts of the Plant catalogue. So I got to work in investigating these lost bits and pieces again spanning the years 1982 to 2005. As can be seen, I have a fair bit of resource to check out in my collection.

What I have come up with is eight potential seven inch couplings that each mirror the officially released versions – each single represents each album as it does on the official release – though I have not duplicated any of the tracks from Digging Deep in any way. I’ve deployed obscure outtakes, various odd B sides, bonus tracks and occasional live performances – most of which are readily available across the 66 To Timbuktu 2003 compilation and the Nine Lives box set issued three years later in 2006. Given such a release, the majority of these performances would be appearing on vinyl for the first time.

So here purely for fun (although it would be easy to playlist these performances for your own listening delight) is an alternate version of the officially released eight single box set. This is Digging Deeper – The Other Sides…

Vinyl 1:

Side A: Far Post

Side B: Pledge Pin (live)

Far Post originally on the Burning Down One Side 12 inch single in 1982.

Pledge Pin recorded live in Dallas in 1983 – originally released as the B side of the In The Mood single in 1983.

Vinyl 2:

Side A: Turnaround

Side B: Thru With The Two Step (live)

Turnaround recorded at the Principle Of Moments sessions in 1983. Originally released on the Nine Lives box set in 2006.

Thru With The Two Step recorded live at The summit, Houston on September 20,1983. Originally released on the Nine Lives box set in 2006.

Vinyl 3:

Side A: Road To The Sun

Side B: Easily Led (live)

Road To The Sun recorded at the Principle of Moments sessions in 1983. Originally released on the 66 To Timbuktu compilation in 2003.

Easily Led recorded live in Dallas June 25 ,1985 – originally released as part of the Little By Little remix double pack single and 12 inch in 1985.

Vinyl 4:

Side A: Upside Down

Side B: Walking Towards Paradise

Upside down recorded in 1988 – originally released on the 66 To Timbuktu compilation in 2003.

Walking Towards Paradise originally released as the B side to the Heaven Knows single in 1988

Vinyl 5:

Side A: Don’t Look Back

Side B: One Love

Both tracks originally released as extra tracks on the Hurting Kind (I’ve Got My Eyes On You) 12 inch single in 1990.

Vinyl 6:

Side A: Rollercoaster (demo)

Side B: Hey Jayne

Rollercoaster demo recorded at the Fate Of Nations sessions in 1993. Originally released on the Nine Lives box set in 2006.

Hey Jayne originally released as the B side to the I Believe single in 1993.

Vinyl 7:

Side A: Dirt In A Hole

Side B: Last Time I Saw Her (remix)

Dirt In A Hole originally released on the UK ,Australian and Japanese pressings of the Dreamland album in 2002

Last Time I Saw Her (remix) originally released on a CD single in 2003

Vinyl 8:

Side A: All The Money In The World

Side B: Red White And Blue

All The Money In The World originally released as the B side to the Shine It All Around single in 2005

Red White And Blue originally released as a bonus track on the French and Japanese pressings of the Mighty ReArranger album in 2005

Compiled by Dave Lewis – February 27, 2020.


Physical Graffiti Covers City! New Led Zeppelin album released!

Physical Graffiti 45th Anniversary…

 TBL ’75 Snapshot Retro Review:

Jaan Uhelszki, Creem, 1975

ROCK’S BIGGEST bruisers, Led Zeppelin, have got another album. In rock chronology this is an Event, since the defending champions of the world’s biggest rock ‘n’ roll draw have released only six albums in the past seven years. In fact, we’ve spent eighteen excruciating months between products, pacifying ourselves with heavy rock’s second prizes – Deep Purple, Blue Oyster Cult, and BTO. And these heavy metal hitmen couldn’t begin to plug up the leaks Led Zep left when they took on an extended, self-imposed exile to some musicians’ netherworld.

Now, just as cold turkey has begun to lose its chill. Zep are back with a package deal: a double album and an American tour. The announcement provoked unchecked carnage in the under-eighteen age group, primarily directed at long black limousines, uniformed adults, and popcorn sellers. Throngs of potential ticket-buyers foamed with anticipation, their palms growing sweaty, their eyes glassy.

Days passed without the appearance of Physical Graffiti. Then the first shipment arrived late one Thursday. The fans descended on Marty’s Records downstairs from CREEM like dragonflies, clustered around the cash register, furtively clutching the album to their heaving bosoms, slobbering and drooling down the shrinkwrap. Worried parents contemplated a vaccine, but once Physical Graffiti touched the turntables the mysterious malady subsided. The stricken nodules were lulled into a state of tympanic euphoria.

Physical Graffiti can stand on its own historically without the support of Zep’s five other million sellers, but inevitably the cuts on this album will be scrutinized with Nancy Drew-like precision in search of a successor to ‘Stairway’ or an equal to ‘Rock and Roll.’ Graffiti is, in fact, a better album than the other five offerings, the band being more confident, more arrogant in fact, and more consistent. The choice of material is varied, giving the audience a chance to see all sides of the band. Equal time is given to the cosmic and the terrestrial, the subtle and the passionate.

The exotic and musky ‘Kashmir’ is intriguing in its otherworldliness. Jimmy Page’s grinding, staccato guitar work sounds like a cosmic travelog to spiritual regeneration, swelling around the lyrics, which are heavily laden with mystical allusions and Hessean imagery. Although ‘Kashmir’ is certainly the best cut on the album, it could be trimmed without losing any of its mesmeric effect, because at some point the incense grows a little murky, and the slow burning guitar degenerates into opulent cliches, causing the instrumental interludes to echo an Exodus soundtrack.

Not all of the cuts are exercises in advanced audial basketweaving, but trace a musical cycle running from Page’s grandiose productions to basic drunken boogie. ‘Trampled Underfoot’ is seemingly effortless funk that is rescued from mediocrity by the elaborate punctuation of Page’s guitar. His fingers traverse the neck of his instrument with a velocity so violent that only a machine could improve upon it. Each batch of notes he pulls from his guitar is uniquely his own, personal as a thumbprint. Just as unique are Plant’s laments and his sexual heaves and sighs that turn the lyrics of a simplistic rocker like ‘Wanton Song’ into an introspective, personal statement. ‘Custard Pie’ and ‘Boogie With Stu’ are macho masterpieces in the tradition of the strutting, swaggering English flash blues formula pioneered on Zeppelin’s early albums. ‘Night Flight’, ‘Sick Again’ and ‘Ten Years Gone’ smack of pop picaresque, much in the manner of Rod Stewart’s ‘Every Picture Tells a Story’ – vignettes and transient insights, slices of a popstar’s life.

Led Zeppelin moves in strange ways. Sure they’re gutsy, ballsy, and flamboyantly aggressive, always spiked with a lot of eroticism, but they’re also cerebral…by way of the glands. They have this unique ability to wind you up and prime you for a full-throttled tilt. You rocked, you rolled, and oh mama those juices flowed – but you also listened to the words.

Surprisingly, in an era where disposable bands and itinerant musicians constantly play a game of musical chairs, Led Zeppelin is a unit – the same four members for the past seven years. Their longevity is due to a kind of magnetism, magic if you will. That rare chemistry was evident even at their first rehearsal, where they fit together like jigsaw pieces, transcending their common R&B backgrounds to achieve a gut-wrenching new synthesis. Lisa Robinson describes it as a case in which “the Beatles battled the Stones in a parking lot and Led Zeppelin won.” Zeppelin make more noise, has more guitar gimmickry, more sexuality, more flash, and generates more violence than any of their competitors, so that they are more than mere musicians, simple superstars. They have become the longest-lasting model for those culturally bankrupt ‘trendies’ to follow. Underage masses walk, talk, dress and dope like Zep. They have become a necessary trapping for the terminally hip, as well as providing the audial backdrop for any social gathering.

A Led Zeppelin album is like a select invitation to a key club of rock ‘n’ roll, where the kohl eyed gypsy Jimmy Page is finally accessible through his smoky guitar solos. Robert Plant preens and moans, lusts and longs for lost memories…and takes you along. Like a sonic vortex, Zeppelin draws you into their private caprice, spiraling, coaxing your willing psyche into a suprasensory haven where you can taste and savor this dream stuff that superstars thrive on. This is not pop music, but a harder stuff, more heady and potent, like a round of whiskeys and coke. Zeppelin are avatars in a cultural vacuum.

© Jaan Uhelszki, 1975


Led Zeppelin – Physical Graffiti 45th Anniversary  – my Facebook posts:

On the player what else…Led Zeppelin Physical Graffiti as released 45 years ago today. I of course purchased it on the day from WH Smith’s where I worked – the best £4.49 I ever spent on a record (or two in this case)

This one on the player is one of my favourite pressings. A Spanish pressing on the Hipsavox/Swan Song label. I purchased this copy in early June 1975 at Venus Disks when on holiday in Lloret De Mar with Phil Harris, Dec Hickey Dave Bunting and Tom,Sid and the late Andy Filby. A mere week after I attended all five of the Led Zeppelin concerts at Earls Court. Such glorious days…

It still sounds amazing – as it would – it’s my favourite album of all time.

Over the 15 tracks this double album contains every aspect that made Led Zeppelin so special…then, when I was 18 years old and now when I am 63……

Dave Lewis February 24,2020.

Also on the player: Physical Graffiti Redrawn – the excellent album Mojo magazine assembled on the 40th anniversary in 2015 with 15 artists including The Temperance Movement, Laura Marling and Blackberry Smoke re interpreting the songs in sequence. A wonderful alternate listen to the original and superbly packaged.

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







TBL Led Zep ’75 Snapshot: 

Led Zep Houston 1975 by Mark Bowman Images Edit 2




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

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

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

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

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

First Hand View from Mark Bowman:

JP and JPJ Houston 1975 by Mark Bowman

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





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

Background Details:

Plant comments that Physical Graffiti has finally been released: “The egg has been laid… or is it the guy who got laid?’

There are a few unusual dedications. A heavy and dramatic version of ‘Kashmir’ is dedicated to “Mr Royston and Mr Harold who are travelling with us” and ‘Trampled Underfoot’ is dedicated to “Sam Martel – a wild cat.” John Bonham is introduced as “The man with a bicycle clip caught in his sock… the greatest percussionist since Big Ben!”

‘Dazed And Confused’ clocks in at 33 minutes and just keeps getting better and better. The ‘San Francisco’ section has now been dropped and instead Joni Mitchell’s ‘Woodstock’ is performed. ‘Whole Lotta Love’ now includes a Theremin/’Crunge’ section prior to the link with ‘Black Dog’.

Plant: “Baton Rouge – a really good audience… and Led Zeppelin, just a fun-lovin’ bunch of boys. It’s been more than our pleasure.”

Snapshots Listen: How it sounded today:

I have this on the Rampaging Cajun CD set – another steller soundboard from 1975.  The undoubted highlight is the 18 minute version of No Quarter – Jonesy is awesome on this -it swings into the grand piano solo with such ease building the template for the majestic Earl’s Court versions. Jimmy is also just exquisite. The whole show is another favourite 1975 night of mine.


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.

Many thanks to James Cook.

Led Zeppelin

  • Two snippets from a previously unreleased soundboard recording of Led Zeppelin’s January 18, 1975 performance in Minneapolis emerged online earlier this week. Read about the recordings here.

Jimmy Page

  • Jimmy Page explained during an event in London on February 11 why he didn’t play guitar on his girlfriend Scarlett Sabet’s new album. Read his comments here.

Robert Plant

  • Two new Saving Grace shows, which feature Robert Plant, have been announced. The band will perform at the Cheltenham Jazz Festival on May 8 and at the HebCelt festival in Stornoway on July 15-18.

John Paul Jones

Upcoming events:

February-March – Jimmy Page’s new book, “Jimmy Page: The Anthology,” will be released.
February 28 – Robert Plant’s vinyl singles box set “Digging Deep” will be released and he will be interviewed in London to celebrate its release.
March – The standard edition of Jimmy Page’s Sundragon amps will be released.
March 6 – Danny Barnes’ new album “Man On Fire,” which features John Paul Jones, will be released.
March 9 – Jimmy Page and Scarlett Sabet will be interviewed at the Groucho Club in London.
March 26-29 – John Paul Jones will perform a solo set as well as a second set as part of Sons Of Chipotle at the Big Ears music festival in Knoxville, Tennessee.
May 8 – Robert Plant will perform as part of Saving Grace at the Cheltenham Jazz Festival and Mark Lanegan’s new album “Straight Songs Of Sorrow,” which features John Paul Jones, will be released.
June 19-21 – Robert Plant will perform as part of Saving Grace at the Black Deer festival in Kent.
July 15-18 – Robert Plant will perform as part of Saving Grace at the HebCelt festival in Stornoway.
September 25-26 – The next John Bonham celebration event will be held in Redditch, UK.

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

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

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

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


Osaka 1971:

The newly surfaced Led Zeppelin Osaka,Japan September 28, 1971 soundboard is up on YouTube and it’s pretty amazing…


Jorgen Angel – Special offers and auctions:

Jorgen has been in touch to inform of his latest print offer as follows:

50th anniversary Limited Edition prints.
Celebrating 50 years of The Whoosh Picture with a very special offer. The edition is only 150 prints plus 15 Artist Proof prints. Each print is numbered and signed. The special high quality print is 50×50 cm / 20×20 inch with a white border around the actual image.
The price is only US$120 including shipping and handling anywhere in the world. To order, please write me at and I will send you payment instructions. More details at the link below:

DL Diary Blog Update:

At the always excellent Vinyl Barn last Friday I was well pleased to find that Darren had sourced a batch of mint condition jazz classics. I therefore invested in a trio of Miles Davis beauties – namely Friday Night Miles Davis In Person at the Blackhawk San Francisco Volume 1 and 2 – US Columbia pressings plus the CBS Jazz Masterpiece 1982 pressing of Kind Of Blue – and let’s face it, you can never have too many copies of that classic in the house…thanks Darren.

I am thoroughly enjoying the Mojo Collection Series – each is a double issue focusing on a featured artist.. The Paul Weller edition is superb. Part One tracks the years 1958 to 1990 taking in The Jam and Style Council years. Part Two focuses on the Modfathers solo career from 1991 to 2019. Great writing and interviews – Weller is always a captivating interviewee. This all had me searching out the likes of The Jam’s The Gift, The Style Council’s Our Favourite Shop and Weller’s Stanley Road. Top reading guaranteed to take you back to the music…


A week of ups and downs here – my counselling session was a tough one and we had some challenging medical things to soak up with Janet’s situation. We continue to be patient and hope and prey the healing process is taking it’s course. It’s now nearly 12 weeks up now since Janet’s accident and the long journey continues for us here. March is on the way and we will aim to keep positive…thanks for all your kind words and support.

Dave Lewis – February 27,2020 

Until next time, have a great weekend

Website updates written and compiled by Dave Lewis

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The TBL/DL Facebook page has regular updates and photos – be sure to check it out

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  • Kurt said:

    Greetings Dave, just seeing you are having some issues….Just wanted to send a quick All the Best to you, and sending all positive energy and thoughts to you from Alaska. Cheers!

  • Hiroshi said:

    The recent bootleg CD release of the partial soundboard recording of Osaka 1971 first night is a truly sensational event. I have said this before and I say it again — the majority of the journalists who followed the band from Tokyo through Hiroshima to Osaka back then shared the overall consensus that the best show of the tour was the Osaka first night. Eclipsed by the longer, more famous second night for over the years thanks to the availability of multiple recording sources both audience and soundboard, this latest outing helps the somewhat overlooked show among the respected 1971 Japanese performances to reclaim its valid estimation it deserves, and rightfully so.

    A very good remaster of the upgrade version (soundboard portion only) done by a fan is available:

  • Rick Willis said:

    Hi Dave.

    I managed to get tickets for the Saving Grace at Whitley Bay Playhouse. This is part of the Mouth of the Tyne festival. The tickets were gone within an hour. Looking forward to that

  • andrew R said:

    Dave you are sounding more like your old self
    it comes through in your writing clear as a ringing bell.
    The corner is going to be turned soon
    Keep on keeping on my friend
    Ps that is a lot of physical graffiti !!!

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