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6 January 2017 1,654 views 7 Comments

TBL issue 42 is the house…

I took receipt of the standard issue and the 300 limited collectors Jimmy Page cover edition yesterday.

I am now in the process of fulfilling all the standard issue subscription orders and pre orders for the limited cover. I had forgotten quite what a task this is and I’ve spent the past few days preparing envelopes, sticking on labels and stamps and now matching the magazines into envelopes for the grand mail out to over 30 counties across the globe – some 800 copies will be leaving here in the next few days.

I aim to have all copies in transit by the end of next week – it’s coming your way soon…

It’s another packed edition with some 40,000 words of news, views and features. All subscribers will receive the standard edition with a great Robert Plant photo by Robert Ellis from the Led Zeppelin Royal Albert Hall performance on June 29, 1969.

I am also making available a special collectors limited edition featuring a superb photo of Jimmy Page again by Robert Ellis from the 1969 Royal Albert Hall gig. This is being produced in a run of just 300 individually numbered copies.

This can be pre ordered now at the link below. Pre orders will be allocated the lowest numbers as received. Note the content is the same as the standard issue – the collectability is in the unique cover – and when it’s gone, it’s gone! Keen collectors I am sure will want to own both editions!


Both TBL 42 cover images are in keeping with the monochrome style of The Complete BBC Sessions cover design and indeed feature photos from a concert staged one day after the Playhouse Theatre One Night Stand BBC recording.

Pre-order your copy to kick start the year with some essential Zep reading!

TBL 42 –with two vintage cover images:

The Limited Edition: order from the link below:

The TBL 42 Robert Plant standard edition single issue can be ordered at this link:

TBL Subscriptions:

You can also subscribe to the TBL magazine to receive issues TBL 41 (which will be sent immediately) TBL 42 and 43 ahead.

All subscribers receive a 10 x 8 John Paul Jones photo perfect for framing.


TBL 42 Preview:

The Complete BBC Sessions – An Audio Appreciation

TBL’s resident audio expert  Richard Grubb dissects the remastered Complete BBC Sessions set… 


I need to confess something: I’m too young to have bought any Led Zeppelin albums released during the band’s lifetime. As a child of the 80s and a relative newcomer to the world of Zep, I’d devoured all the official output but for most of my formative years I only knew the band as a retired unit, as a closed chapter from the past. I never expected any more releases in my lifetime, so 1990’s announcement of a four disc box featuring many of the band’s key tracks along with UNRELEASED MATERIAL set my pulse racing. It made me realise the group were still capable of surprising me, even after they’d disbanded and the tantalising prospect of experiencing NEW MUSIC such as Travelling Riverside Blues and White Summer was something to look forward to with relish… Even with my expectations at levels that were nigh on impossible to satisfy, those tracks didn’t disappoint. How on earth could they have been kept hidden for so long wondered my nineteen year old self, and, more intriguingly, if these two tracks were now released, what other treasures could lay in those BBC archives? Fast forward 26 years, via a stop off in 1997, and we arrive at the 2016 release of the remastered, expanded, and now (virtually) Complete BBC Sessions. Finally the BBC’s secrets are revealed…officially.

Before we begin, let’s wind things back a few notches…

I’m not a big bootleg collector. I have the obvious ones such as Blueberry Hill, Destroyer, a full set of Earls Court, and some notable others, but without doubt it’s the official catalogue that has been my principal roadmap to the work of Led Zeppelin.

This meant that, for a considerable time, live Zep was an unknown quantity to me. There was The Song Remains The Same double LP of course, which gave suggestion as to how adventurous the band could be in extending and developing their compositions into entirely new aural adventures, but that was it. There was always something huge about that 1976 release, a double gatefold sleeve, the expansive sound, the extended workouts. It felt fit for the arenas and stadiums the band had graduated to by this stage of their career, and that’s how I assumed Led Zeppelin live sounded on every occasion: huge, swaggering, a beast of a thing, bigger and grander than everyone else.

When BBC Sessions was released in November 1997, it came as something of a revelation. The performances were lean, compact, and aggressive. For sure they lacked the strut and majesty demonstrated on The Song Remains The Same, but in their place they offered no frills, an intent to get in, explode with an untamed ferocity, and move on to the next unsuspecting target in their quest for global domination, leaving the audience (quite literally) dazed and confused by what they’d just heard and witnessed. A real case of hit and run… Before jets, entourages and bloat, this was fierce, purposeful and exciting. I was thrilled.

The difference between The Song Remains The Same and the BBC Sessions couldn’t be more apparent. Many songs were familiar, but those showcase events for Auntie Beeb sounded like a completely different band, one stripped of swagger but possessed of a hunger and ragged ambition to build a following, one explosive show at a time. It’s the sound of a band evolving, stretching out, experimenting, and learning about – and from – one another. That these sessions took place over such a short time span is extraordinary. Even in the limited time between the first and final 1969 sessions (all superbly catalogued for the liner notes of this release by our host Dave Lewis), the group’s development is exponential. I loved the BBC Sessions from the moment it hit me almost twenty years ago and in the intervening years it’s become one of my favourite releases. The 2016 announcement of a revamped version to include even more lost gems triggered all those feelings of hearing NEW MUSIC once again.

With the riches afforded by the 2014/15 reissues and their associated companion discs, you’d be forgiven for thinking that purchasing new Led Zeppelin music has become a little too routine (a feeling of entitlement even) but there’s nothing of the sort with this one. Firstly, the announcement for The Complete BBC Sessions was unexpected, which injected an element of surprise, and the added bonus of unreleased tracks salvaged from the airwaves, resulted in a resurgence of the anticipation that swept over me in 1990 for the Remasters boxset. After Coda’s triumphant release, many (including me), thought the reissue programme was complete, so the chance to ride on the Zeppelin Express one more time with a release as crucial as this one is one of the highlights of the past few years. As well as the welcome addition – officially at last – of those lost tracks, John Davis and Jimmy Page are reunited once again to sprinkle their magic dust over the audio of this release. Having lived with it for a few months, I can categorically say it has never sounded better. Let’s explore that in more detail…

The Complete BBC Sessions An Audio Appreciation by Richard Grubb is one of the many highlights in  TBL issue 42 out now!

TBL issue 42 – what’s in store…

News round up:

Jimmy at Classic Rock Awards/Stairway Court case wrap/JPJ latest/ Detective Reissues

Robert Plant at Bill Wyman’s 80th Birthday gig:

On the spot report by Kryz Jantzen

Robert Plant Lampedusa Tour – Boston Show:

On the spot report by Stephen Humphries

TBL Photo Special: Lost & Found – Led Zeppelin Sound checking at the Subiaco Oval, Perth 1972:

Nick Shaw recounts the story of how he came to shoot some remarkable photos of Led Zeppelin sound checking for their appearance at the Subiaco oval Perth

Call & Response: The writing of  The Complete BBC Session Liner Notes:

From a small café in west London, to the grand launch south of the river at Olympic Studios, Dave Lewis chronicles another remarkable journey

Reeling In the year – Capturing the sounds of Led Zeppelin on a Sunday night in April 1971:

Recording the 1971 broadcast – one fans story.

The Complete BBC Sessions – An Audio Appreciation:

TBL’s resident audio expert Richard Grubb dissects the remastered Complete BBC Sessions

Under the bedclothes illict blues orientated power rock:

The views on The Complete BBC Sessions set from Ian Dixon, a fairly recent convert to the Zep catalogue

TBL History 1: The comeback:

Dave Lewis recounts the story of the comeback of the TBL magazine in 1992

TBL History 2: TBL goes into cyberspace:

Dave Linwood looks back at the pioneering days of the TBL website he created in 1995 – this is the story of the TBL website  the first ten years 1995 – 2005

TBL Collector Focus on collecting Jimmy Page Session singles:

Cliff Hilliard rounds up 10 examples of the artistry to be found on collecting Jimmy Pages 1960s session work

The Top 100 Most Valuable Led Zeppelin Albums Listing:

A fascinating list of the rarest 100 pressings compiled by Nick Anderson

Nick Andersons Collectors Column:

The Soundtrack From the Film The Song Remains the same 40th Anniversary Special – The rare and interesting pressings

Led Zeppelin eBay o meter:

Nick’s regular report on the highest value recent eBay results for Led Zeppelin

Led Zeppelin & The Trarantura Bootleg CD Label by Paul Sheppard – Part 2 Glorious Daze:

Paul Sheppard sheds further light on the rare bootleg CD releases from the Tarantura label.

Book Update 1 – No Quarter, No Scandal, Plenty of Reverence:

Dave Lewis wades through the expansive new Jimmy Page biography plus…

An Interview with the author Martin Power

Book Update 2 – On the Road and in the studio – Led Zeppelin Day By Day:

The latest addition to the Zep book shelf plus…

An Interview with the author Marc Roberty

From The Underground Reviewed & Rated:

Scott Heck focuses on new releases from the Empress Valley and Trarantura labels


Looking over the contents – I am well pleased with it – designer Mick Lowe has done another great job in bringing it all alive from StudioMix Bedford – many thanks to Gary Foy for co-ordinating all the labels and admin, Mike Tremaglio for overseeing the text and to Nick Anderson, Richard Grubb, Ian Dixon, Paul Sheppard, Krys Jantzen, Dave Linwood, Stephen Humphries, Cliff Hilliard and Scott Heck for their contributions.

TBL 42…it’s coming your way soon – let me know what you think of it…

DL January 5, 2017.  


Robert Plant on stage in Stourport

Robert Plant made a couple of unannounced appearances at The Swan pub in Stourport. This from the Express & star local newspaper.  

Robert Plant joins band on stage at Stourport pub

There was a Whole Lotta Love for a surprise guest at a pub in Stourport.

Led Zeppelin legend Robert Plant, who lives near Kidderminster, swapped the big stage for the more subdued surroundings of the Swan pub on Thursday evening to perform with Rob Tennant, from Seisdon, and his band.

The band, Kick The Fridge, were performing at the pub when Plant, who stopped off for a pint, was invited to join the band onstage.

Rob said: “He really liked us and we were over the moon.

See more at:

Roberet was back in the pub for a guest appearance on New Years Eve. Pic by AlDawkins with thanks to Steve Lefevre.


TBL Retro January:

Here’s a couple of TBL Retro January images – a news story from the NME 1969 and the UK album chart January 1970…the way we were…








DL Diary Blog Update:

On New  Years Eve we ventured out to the local Fox And Hounds pub – it was an excellent night. Here’s  a pic of the good lady Janet and I in the pub on New Years Eve saying goodbye to 2016 – pic taken by ace photographer George (age 87!)

I have to say we had a difficult start to the year. We saw Sam off on Monday as she got the Heathrow Express from Paddington to get her flight to Sydney. It was heartbreakingly tough saying goodbye to her.  Sam arrived safely and begins her six month move with her job. Boy are we going to miss her…

On the same day ,we also heard the news that my very good friend Tom’s Dad had passed away. Our thoughts are with him at this sad time.

On a brighter note, as mentioned above, the past few days have been taken up with the not inconsequently task of preparing the distribution of TBL 42…and that is some task. I’m pleased to say that good progress has been made and with magazines now taking up space in the house, Janet wants them on their way pronto!

And on that note, I had better get back to packing magazines for the big mail out…it’s coming your way soon…

Dave Lewis, January 6,2017 

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

And follow TBL/DL on Twitter.




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  • russell.ritchin said:

    apologies for typo i meant to say articles by paul and cliff.

    (thats why im not a editor)

    ps: just my opinion i have no trouble with layout or font size.

  • Dave Lewis (author) said:

    Many thanks for your comments – noted re font size but to pack it all in sometimes that has to be the way – free TBL spectacles with next issue maybe!

  • Dave Lewis (author) said:

    Many thanks Russell!

  • russell.ritchin said:


    just returned from being away over xmas+new year (great rockin new year to all zep people) what a great way to start the new year with new edition of TBL i do
    not know how you guys never fail to come up with the goods & am looking forward
    to your usual quality writing & insight dave & with articles by cliff & phil whats’ not too like.

  • Hiroshi said:

    Got TBL 42. Dave’s enthusiasm about all things Zep always impresses me, and this issue is no exception. How can he keep the motivation through all these years is beyond me.
    Browsed from cover to cover, finished some articles — The Perth soundcheck photos, TBL History 1 & 2, Book Update 1 & 2 coupled with author interviews among them. All excellent and informative. The BBC Sessions features? Too much quantity to tackle them in one go…
    In fact, the biggest problem about the magazine for me is the layout — the font size, the space between lines etc. It has been increasingly becoming a serious burden on my ageing eyes nowadays…

    One miner disappointment is From The Underground bootleg review — there is no mention of 928 (LH label).
    I remember one episode about the night. According to the article published in the Music Life magazine, November 1971 issue, it was reported that, after the show, the members were so satisfied, and excited as well, with the way it went down, that they drank and chatted in good spirits at a bar until near dawn. One can assume that the all night inebriation adversely affected Robert for the concert the following day, the 29th — his vocal performance was not top-notch during the initial part of the show, although, as everybody knows, the evening eventually turned out to be one of their all-time greats.

    Fans talk like Osaka 1971 is all about the second night, September 29. The first night is not less impressive than the second.

  • Dave Lewis (author) said:

    Hiroshi many thanks for that link!

  • Hiroshi said:

    Looking forward to the arrival of TBL 42. The show on the cover photo, the Royal Albert Hall, June 29, 1969, is one I am dying to hear and have been waiting for a tape source to be unearthed for ages. Maybe someday…

    To me, the biggest, albeit under-appreciated, thing that has happened in the world of the Zep underground recordings last year is the long-awaited release of the complete Whole Lotta Love medley from Osaka, September 28, 1971 (I commented on it on TBL post, entry date 6 October). The entire length hits over 36 minutes, another of the longest-ever on par with the legendary one from Tokyo first night, September 23. The final piece of the jigsaw that had been missing from the whole picture that was Japan 1971, this latest find only cemented the reputation of the tour among the finest in their career. Pity it is somewhat overlooked among the fan circle, on the internet forums etc.

    For casual listening, the entire WLL medley is up on the website below (click the speaker symbol on 1971/09/28 928):

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