Email This Post Email This Post
Home » Dave Lewis Diary, Featured, TBL News

YARDBIRDS ’68 RELEASE/ TBL ARCHIVE SPECIAL – MTV UNLEDDED 23 YEARS GONE PART 2/LZ NEWS/DL DIARY BLOG UPDATE

29 August 2017 1,304 views 4 Comments

Yardbirds ’68 Forthcoming Release Details:

The official Jimmy Page website has now officially announced the forthcoming release of Yardbirds ’68.

Available now for the very first time, Yardbirds ’68 presents an 18-track double album produced by legendary guitarist and producer Jimmy Page.

This special album features re-mixed live recordings from the Anderson Theater in March 1968 alongside Studio Sketches recorded in the same era and the album features music from The Yardbirds members Jim McCarty, Chris Dreja, Jimmy Page and Keith Relf.

“We thought this might be lost forever, but we’ve rediscovered it, re-mixed it. It’s of great historical importance. We’re delighted to see the release.”

Yardbirds ’68 is now available for pre-order in advance of its November 5th release date. The release is available in three editions: CD, Vinyl and Deluxe.

SIGNED DELUXE EDITION
The Deluxe boxset edition is available with the sleeve hand-signed by Chris Dreja, Jim McCarty and Jimmy Page in a limited edition release bringing the signatures of three music legends together for the very first time.

TRACKLISTING
LIVE AT ANDERSON THEATER
Train Kept A Rollin’
Mr, You’re A Better Man Than I
Heart Full of Soul
Dazed And Confused
My Baby
Over Under Sideways Down
Drinking Muddy Water
Shapes of Things
White Summer
I’m A Man (contains Moanin’ And Sobbin’)

STUDIO SKETCHES
Avron Knows
Spanish Blood
Knowing That I’m Losing You (Tangerine)
Taking A Hold On Me
Drinking Muddy Water (Version Two)
My Baby
Avron’s Eyes
Spanish Blood (Instr.)

This is a very welcome release indeed – it will be at last an opportunity to hear  the Anderson Theatre recording free of the fake crowd noises. Regardless of it’s flaws,I’ve always enjoyed this recording. I initially first heard it on the vinyl Yardbirds bootleg Last Hurrah in the Big Apple. I was them lucky enough to pick up a copy of the withdrawn Live Yardbirds with Jimmy Page release on Epic. I reviewed that particular release in TBL issue 2 back in 1979. With the addition of the 1968 outtakes, it will at last provide an official outlet for a key piece of The Yardbirds/Zep transitionary jigsaw (DL)

……………………………..

Jimmy Page & Robert Plant MTV Unledded – 23 years gone….TBL Archive Special:

23 years ago this week, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant reunited for two performances filmed by MTV at the London TV Studios for their Unplugged series. Appropriately dubbed Unledded, this saw the pair roll back the years with an inspiring re-evaluation of the Led Zeppelin catalogue. In its way this was every bit as significant as the 2007 O2 reunion as they sort to put into perspective their past achievements. The omission of John Paul Jones was in hindsight, a poor misjudgement but at the time, we were more than grateful for this reuniting of the pair. I was lucky enough to attend both days filming – indeed I was involved in supplying the TBL database for the ballot of ticket distribution. Looking back It was an incredibly exciting period that would lead on into more memorable nights in the company on the ensuing 1995/96 world tour.

This TBL archive special reproduces the passionate review of those two MTV Unledded performances I wrote for TBL issue 10 – it’s incredible to think that it’s all of 20 years ago as once agin it seems like a second ago –but a lifetime. It was another of those truly fantastic times to be a Led Zeppelin fan again…..so let’s travel back to the late summer of 1994 and two very special August days.

DATELINE: FRIDAY AUGUST 26
“I Want My MTV”.

Twelve hours later I’m sitting in the Dog And Trumpet pub off Carnaby Street as the appropriate soundtrack of Sting’s voice cuts across the smokey bar from the Dire Straits juke box choice.

I want my MTV? You bet I do. Last night had been truly remarkable. I can hardly believe it has actually taken place. I mean I’ve dreamed it often enough. Sharing our fresh memories around the Royal National Hotel (which seems to have become something of a Zepp stop off landmark since the Conventions) in the afternoon with TBL staffers Gary and Kam, Grant from Canada, Billy Fletcher from Scotland and Liz and co., well it certainly did happen – and despite a period of daytime fatigue which reduced me to drinking water(!) I was now ready to gird my collective loins for another memorable evening.

Festival Pier 5 p.m.:
Here we go again. The waiting this time out takes place in an orderly queue along the Thames. It’s a markedly more relaxed atmosphere amongst us – many are here for the second night and we know what to expect. The prospect is mouth-watering and aids the good natured banter amongst the faithful. It’s good to see so many familiar faces again – fans I’ve been in touch with for years – Howard Mylett, Luis Rey, Tim Ellock, Andy Adams – this gathering is a mini convention in itself.

Over at the London Studios the demand for entry seems to have heightened considerably with many more red ticketed guests in line. Lining up towards the door is a tense time with more than a little confusion of who is eligible to go in and who is not. Once inside studio 2 it’s evident there is far more in attendance tonight with many standing around the doorways at each corner of the studio. The warm up music is one of Robert’s Indian choices. Once the big door is shut with a boom and the red light goes on, it’s also evident that those assembled are a lot more relaxed tonight and in the mood to enjoy every moment of this last night of filming.

This state of mind transcends to the players involved and, after a polite intro, Jimmy and Robert stride up and take the stand. Looking well at ease, Robert throws a nutmeg to the intended set list by switching into What Is And What Should Never Be and then Thank You. The opening number is marred slightly by some feedback but Thank You is spot and inspires the first spontaneous cheer of the evening when Jimmy turns his back towards Michael and spits out a fluid Gibson solo. As Luis Rey might put it – tonight Jimmy Page is definitely on!
The set list for the rest of the proceedings is similar to last night. The Battle Of Evermore is perfection – a modern day mantra that puts any previous precarious incarnations well in the shade. During a break following a false start for Gallows Pole, Robert sings the opening line to When The Levee Breaks explaining that “this was one we did to eight people including two sheep in Wales last week”. Gallows duly follows and is again heightened by some intensive Plant scat singing at the close.

The end of part one break allows again for some exchange of views amongst the crowd. The consensus of opinion is that the latter two takes will surely end up in the finished article.
Back on stage with the orchestra. Rain Song is performed with much subtlety if not just slightly more hesitantly than the previous night. “This is one of everybody’s favourites ‘ is the signal for them to take it up a gear for another startling delivery of Since I’ve Been Loving You the solo of which inspires another spontaneous burst of applause from the appreciative audience.

Another considerably enjoyable factor tonight is he relaxed on stage banter between Robert and the audience. The intimacy of the studio allows for a clear rapport – inspiring heckles from the likes of Mr Gary Foy – “Tell us a joke, Jimmy” – “He doesn’t know any” replies Robert – “I know you’re here David . . . although I can think of one . . . Dear David . . what would we do without our Dave .. .

Another sketch revolves around Robert’s comment on his in-between song rap on the various bootlegs – “Have you heard some of the talking on the bootlegs – crap isn’t it?” – “Especially last night” shouts out some wag – “Oh wait till I tell Jimmy that!” says Robert, moving over to where Jimmy is tuning up.
The Moroccan roll of Four Sticks and Friends bursts forth with the latter infinitely better than Thursday’s version. I am sitting next to the wife of one of the string players and her enthusiastic whoops and hollers confirm the fact. During another change over of gear Robert muses on a call from the audience on what it’s all about. .. “What’s it all about? Well . . . it’s a way to spend a life.”

unledded six

 

Indeed, and for the next fourteen minutes, my life is considerably enhanced, spent in the company of messes Plant and Page as they deliver a new revamped version of Kashmir. This really is awesome. A mesmerising performance complete with retro “Woman talkin’ to ya!” adlib from Plant during the drawn out section and an Improvised last five minutes which really does reincarnate the spirit of Led Zeppelin with dazzling accuracy as they Improvise dangerously around the speeded up finale. Page In particular Is so spot on, laughingly aping the dance steps of Mr Finger Cymbals – and then tearing nonchalantly Into a battering blistering clatter of notes against the similar battalion ot Michael Lee. It brings to mind the crazed unpredictability of middle period Zepp live epics such as Dazed and No Quarter – and all the while Plant undercuts It with the pleading charm of the lyric and the Egyptian section bring It on home, quite literally. It’s a devastating statement that had me hugging and shaking hands with fellow devotees at the finish In glazed triumphant abandon. Truly, this Is the pride of Plant and Page.

A standing ovation Is nothing less that they deserve. Back they stride for the new look That’s The Way . . . and off they go again as the lights go up. Some people think it’s all over… but a welcome announcement to return to our seats signals the arrival of Jimmy and Robert who group seated at the front of the stage. Jimmy dons the Ovation double neck. A tape loop recreating the absent Moroccan musician due to play on this number revolves around the studio. This Is the starting point of the premier of the new Plant/Page composition Wonderful One. The loop has a repetitive percussive feel similar to the opening of Come Into My Life from Fate Of Nations. The song itself develops mournfully as Jimmy drifts over the strings. Plant sings, poeting couplings In the All My Love vein as the gentle love song washes over. It’s shivers down the spine time yet again for me.
Intact the exercise Is repeated when they decide to run through that number again for the benefit of the camera angles as Plant baits the technical crew – “Mike we need the loop now but not that loud.”

Wonderful One Is the first newly premiered live Plant Page composition since they ushered In Hot Dog and In The Evening in Copenhagen and Knebworth. I feel the same Instant affinity for Its as I did for the latter epic. If this Is where the future lies then let them take you there,.,

Exit stage left and again It seems all over, ., until an MTV official consults with the outside Manor Mobile Studio and realises there need to be more , and back they stride again, “We’re going to do one number again and then one we didn’t think we were going to do. So here goes” I for one have no objection for them doing another take of That’s The Way with Jimmy weaving some beautiful descant chording around those familiar lyrics. Finally, and this time it really is finally, with help from Paul on guitar and the hurdy-gurdy man, Robert leads them through a welcomed Nobody’s Fault But Mine (“Another one we did in Wales to eight people Including two sheep”). However this is not the heavyweight blues stomping Presence arrangement but a swinging rootsy semi-acoustic run through with Jimmy on the Ovation double neck, In fact this arrangement has far more In common with the Blind Willie Johnson original than any other version I’ve heard them attempt and It all flows to a satisfying climax, “We’ll see you again soon.” There’s a great moment for the cameras as they make their way from the stage – Jimmy and Robert cuddle together both smiling gleefully. It’s a moment that crystallises the spirit of the whole event.

The lights go up, revealing so many similarly smiling happy faces. As the technical crew move In, talk goes around that Jimmy and Robert will reappear once the crowd has dispersed to re-shoot Gallows Pole minus the audience as some of the camera angles didn’t quite come off. In the end they decide against it – staying In the studio canteen to meet and greet the well-wishers before exiting the building after twelve, For Robert, It’s back to the Midlands to follow the latest fortunes of Wolverhampton Wanderers, A relaxed looking James Patrick emerges with chauffeur, happy to pose and sign autographs.

For me It’s all too much – along with several fellow shell shocked members of the Zepp fraternity it’s down to the pub to celebrate and dissect Just what It’s all meant, “Dancing Days are here again” Is the repeated chorus. And really I guess that’s how It’s been.

It’s a strange feeling that prevails In the 48 hours that follow me back to Bedford and relative normality. “Daddy, how did you get on in London?” asks Sam – one day I hope she will grasp the enormity of It all. But, like all key Zepp related events, It’s virtually Impossible to explain the feeling that has been evident throughout these remarkable days. But it did happen and that Is happened with the utmost Integrity for the legacy of Led Zeppelin makes me feel so good.

UNLEDDED ONE

AFTERMATH
Just twelve months ago, such events of course would have been beyond the wildest expectations. With Jimmy seemingly set to hit the road with Coverdale and Robert committed to the Fate Of Nations World Tour – that was until fate took a hand Itself with that meeting In Boston last November. And then came the Initial rehearsals, the Buxton appearance and now this.
What was most striking about the MTV filming was the sheer integrity with which they approached the whole affair. Without all the hyperbole of a fully-fledged Led Zeppelin reunion, Jimmy and Robert have managed to recreate the key ingredients of the Zepp ethic by cleverly reinventing the catalogue. In recycling those original songs for ’90s consumption, the pair have brought a respect to this project that has been sorely lacking in the mega tour reunions of their ’70s peers. It also goes to prove what dividends a lengthy period of rehearsal can provide. The chemistry of this re-alliance was more than plain to see and perhaps it put into perspective once and for all the shortcomings of the ill-prepared Atlantic 1988 reunion. You can’t expect it all to come flowing back within days – but given a responsible period of preparation and the affinity these long term musicians and friends have for each other becomes very evident.

Finally in employing the extra trappings of the orchestra and Egyptian players, this MTV project has definitely proved to be a case of them completing the painting of a previously unfinished picture. The experimenting with those numbers is something that maybe would have emerged had there been a 1980s tour Part One. This was always the beauty of Led Zeppelin – never a vehicle for mere rock music. Time and again they transcended the genre. Now 14 years on in the hands of two of the main components, the group’s legacy has been reborn. And they have ultimately proved that they really were the very best. Page and Plant. . . Plant and Page . . . whichever way it lines up, the chemistry remains.

It’s been an undoubted privilege to witness this artistic rebirth at first hand. And when I recall the intensity of performances such as the reworked Kashmir and the newly created Wonderful One, I’m filled with the hope and pure joy that this really is a new beginning and that very soon both on screen and on tour, every one of their followers worldwide will get the opportunity to bask in their glory.

For never before in the post 1980 years, has the spirit of Led Zeppelin shone so vividly than when Robert Plant and Jimmy Page recreated the magic within the intimate surroundings of Studio 2 in the London TV Centre over August 25/26 1994.
And when it’s subsequently aired on MTV, I’m sure seeing will be believing.

Dave Lewis  September 7th, 1994

…………………………

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.

Hello! Welcome to the 103rd Led Zeppelin News email. We email out a summary of the week’s news every weekend so that you don’t miss anything.

Led Zeppelin

Jimmy Page

A promotional graphic for “Yardbirds ’68” (Facebook/Jimmy Page)

  • Jimmy Page’s remaster of The Yardbirds live at the Anderson Theater in 1968 is now available to purchase through his website. The album will be released on November 5 and includes studio tracks. Page is selling the album in three formats: CD, vinyl, and a £400 box set signed by Page, Jim McCarty, and Chris Dreja.

Robert Plant

Upcoming events:

September 9 – The online charity auction for three items signed by Jimmy Page ends.
September 22 – The new Black Country Communion album, which will feature Jason Bonham, is due to be released.
Early Autumn – The next issue of Led Zeppelin magazine Tight But Loose, issue #43, is scheduled to be released.
October 13 – Robert Plant’s new solo album “Carry Fire” will be released.
November 5 – “Yardbirds ’68” by The Yardbirds will be released.
November 16 – Robert Plant will perform in Plymouth.
November 17 – Robert Plant will perform in Bristol.
November 20 – Robert Plant will perform in Wolverhampton.
November 22 – Robert Plant will perform in Llandudno.
November 24 – Robert Plant will perform in Newcastle.
November 25 – Robert Plant will perform in Liverpool.
November 27 – Robert Plant will perform in Glasgow.
November 28 – Robert Plant will perform in Perth.
November 30 – Robert Plant will perform in Manchester.
December 2 – Robert Plant will perform in Belfast.
December 3 — Robert Plant will perform in Dublin.
December 6 – Robert Plant will perform in Sheffield.
December 8 – Robert Plant will perform in London.
December 11 – Robert Plant will perform in Portsmouth.
December 12 — Robert Plant will perform in Birmingham.

Many thanks to James Cook.

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

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

http://ledzepnews.com/

………………………..

DL Diary Blog Update:

Friday treats at the Vinyl Barn – at the always excellent Vinyl Barn last Friday I very pleased to pick up this original UK pressing of the John Lennon Imagine album with inner sleeve and the poster – the poster adorned my bedroom wall back in the day when I first had the album in 1973 – so it’s great to have it all back – top result! thanks Darren Harte.

Last Saturday, we visited the very fine city of St Albans with our good friends Max and Julie. At the always excellent Empire Records it was good to hear they had sold one of Knebworth books that very morning (the pic shows me celebrating by the TBL display!) whilst in the shop, It was great to bump into Any Neil -the noted rock researcher  and author of books on The Who and The Faces. Andy beat me to an original copy of Elmer Gentry’s Velvet Opera psych classic Flames – but I did pick up some very nice singles including Uriah Heep’s Gypsy with pic sleeve on Vertigo and Spooky Tooth’s I’ve Got Enough Heartache/Son Of Your Father (the latter written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin on the Island label).

It’s the good lady Janet’s birthday on Thursday and we will be out and about celebrating that one of course.

Next up is my 61st next Tuesday September 5 (blimey how did that happen!). Max and I will be venturing out on the annual pre birthday pub crawl on our bikes across a few of Bedford’s pubs on Saturday. A quiet birthday here on Tuesday will be followed by a post birthday meet up at the Victoria Fair on Saturday September 9.

In between all that, there’s ongoing work on the Evenings With LZ book project and the forthcoming TBL mag issue 43. This is really coming together now and I am aiming at late October for publication. It’s a bit of an epic emerging…..

Dave Lewis  – August 29, 2017

Until next time –  have a great weekend…

TBL Website updates compiled by Dave Lewis

with thanks to Gary Foy and James Cook

Follow TBL/DL on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/tightbutloose.loose

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

And follow TBL/DL on Twitter

YouTube clips:

The Yardbirds – Shapes Of Things:

 

Jimmy Page and Robert Plant – The Rain Song -MTV Unledded:

 

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

4 Comments »

  • Mark Williams said:

    Hi there. Have to concur with Cragkeeper I’m afraid,just sounds like more of the same…However Robert is still God and well done on selling out all UK tour dates.Just hope he delves into the great back catalogue – too much great music to pass over in favour of low-end harmonic metronome.Bring it back, pink & black rock and roll !

  • Cragkeeper said:

    Oh man, Oh Man. You wait and wait for a new Robert Plant solo record. Then you hear the first two sample songs. And it just seems like the song remains the same since this fan can remember. No offense to Robert intended. But Man… Oh man…. please give us something a little less “World Music” or whatever it is that seems like the same stuff since Mighty Rearranger……. Holding out hope that the title track Carry Fire or at least one… just one track has something other than this constant vibe of everybody playing a hand drum/tambourine with a loop holding things together like a predictable metronome . Please.
    For the love of Rock and Roll. Give us something worthy of 30 replays in a row, like Calling To You from ’93. Surely it can’t be that difficult. Let loose Robert. I mean…. thanks for the desire of making new music and not quitting. But my God, please, change it up a bit!

  • Dave Lewis (author) said:

    Great feedback as ever Larry!

  • Larry said:

    Looking forward to the Yardbirds 68 release…I’ve always loved the old album, it features some spectacular playing by Page, and along the way you hear bits and pieces that would later show up in Zep’s live shows. It would seem that a remix of the album will produce some very nice results.

    Enjoyed the walk down Unledded memory lane. I didn’t see it until it aired on MTV, and the excitement as it came on was palpable. No Quarter was interesting, but naming the album same was not. The JPJ exclusion still baffles to this day.

    City Don’t Cry was nice, Wah Wah didn’t do it for me. Yallah was awesome, and the footage of them performing it in the middle of the town square was impressive. It also later sounded great live when backed up by the orchestra.

    The live material was terrific. Wonderful One was my favorite moment. The Rain Song and Kashmir were amazing indeed. I didn’t think Kashmir wore as well later on in the live shows…too long and it was basically the same thing every night (I saw several shows on the US tour). Battle of Evermore with Najma Akhtar was inspired.

    Four Sticks was absolutely thrilling, and what a job the late Michael Lee did on the drums! He really helped this project go, it wouldn’t have been the same with a lesser drummer. Gallows Pole was equally mind-blowing, and his tasteful drum part on That’s The Way was also excellent and added another dimension to the song.

    It was great to see them together again, and they were thunderously received by the audiences at every show. That said I much preferred the more rocking 1998 tour, although I was lukewarm on the Clarksdale album overall (the muddy production really hurt it in my opinion).

    50 Years on the horizon…will be interesting to see if they do something to mark the occasion…

Leave your response!

Add your comment below, or trackback from your own site. You can also subscribe to these comments via RSS.

Be nice. Keep it clean. Stay on topic. No spam.

This is a Gravatar-enabled weblog. To get your own globally-recognized-avatar, please register at Gravatar.