TBL 36 ON THE WAY SOON/ ROBERT PLANT SSS ROYAL ALBERT HALL TBL PRE GIG MEET DETAILS/TELEGRAPH INTERVIEW/DL DIARY UPDATE/THE SONG REMAINS SOUNDTRACK AT 37 -TBL ARCHIVE SPECIAL
TBL issue 36 is in the final stages of completion – there’s about another week of design and final checking and then it should be ready to go to the printers. It’s another packed edition and here is what is in store this time around…
Led Zeppelin 1973 - Jubilant in July:
Mike Tremaglio tracks gig by gig, the highly acclaimed second leg of the massively successful US tour of spring 1973. This is the moment Led Zeppelin ceased to be a mere rock band and ascended into a global phenomenon. The set lists, the reviews, the ads, the whole story.
Led Zeppelin early 1975:
In a new TBL series analysis, Andy Crofts listens intensely to the tapes and argues the case that in early 1975, Led Zeppelin were not so sick again…
Robert Plant: Space Shifting in the US and UK:
Robert Plant presents Sensational Space Shifters –round up plus on the spot reports from appearances at Santa Barbara, Bristol and Wolverhampton plus…
Plus exclusive interview with SSS bassist Billy Fuller:
From Sensation to Sensational – Billy Fuller on playing in the band
Charles Shaar Murray: The TBL Interview:
Dave Lewis meets with the legendary rock writer who was twice advised by Robert Plant to keep taking the pills…and listens in to a vast outpouring of wit and wisdom on the subject of Led Zep and a whole lot more…
Knebworth book preview: Then as it really was…revised edition preview
Dave Lewis unfolds the story of the making of the new and revised updated book about the events of and English summer in 1979…
Paul Rees on writing the new Robert Plant biography:
The former Q and Kerrang editor talks about the writing of his new Robert Plant biography A Life
Nick Anderson Collector’s Column:
Resident TBL Zep collector expert Nick Anderson looks at the latest rarities and curios plus a round up of the latest eBay in demand auction items.
Jeff Strawman Instrument Watch:
The renowned Zep gear expert provides the low down on the eight string basses used by John Paul Jones
Plus: Led Zep Re-issue latest/Jimmy Page & John Paul Jones news, The Song Remains The Same US premiere remembered, CD reviews and more
All 2013 TBL subscribers will receive this issue automatically as part of their three issue subscription.
If you have yet to subscribe, you can do so at the following link – issue 35 will be despatched immediately along with the bonus 10 x 8 art print that comes with all TBL subscriptions -with issue 36 to follow upon publication.
If you love Led Zeppelin and the chances are that if your reading this you do …you will love this magazine. – why not indulge in some physical reading – treat yourself to the thrill of the expectancy of a package actually coming through your door – because in an era of here today and gone tomorrow instantly digested info, the TBL magazine remains a true tangible collectable. Websites are for browsing …the TBL magazine is for reading time and time again….
You can subscribe for the three 2013 TBL issues at this is link:
You can pre-order the single issue TBL 36 at this link :
Once again there’s been some fantastic support in bringing this issue to fruition and many thanks to Mick Lowe, Mike Tremaglio , Gary Foy and Dec Hickey for all their input – and to Mike, Christer Fahlstrom, Nick Anderson and Andy Crofts for all their contributions
I aiming for distribution to commence in mid November – more on all this as it unfolds….
THE TBL GIFT PACK:
For a limited period we are offering an exclusive bargain TBL Gift Pack.
The pack includes the following:
TBL Not just a band T –shirt
TBL issues 33 and 34
plus the exclusive 10 x 8 art print of the superb Don Cuny on stage at Kezar Stadium image.
All for just £12.99 plus postage and packing!
This a great introductory pack to the world of TBL and makes for a great Christmas gift item.
If you are new to TBL, this is a bargain priced way of getting on board – if you are already signed up - why not offer this bargain pack to a fellow Zep fan to embrace the TBL experience this Christmas.
You can order at this link:
Led Zeppelin The As It Was – At Knebworth 1979 – VIP Olympia Fair Book Launch November 16th & 17th:
The Knebworth book is now at the printers with expected publication and distribution planned for late November . As previously mentioned, I am planning to launch the book by being in attendance to sign books from the TBL stall at the two day VIP London Record Fair at Olympia Kensington London on Saturday November 16th and Sunday November 17th. More details on this to follow soon.
Robert Plant Presents Sensational Space Shifters: UK Dates next week:
Above pic by Gary Foy for TBL
As previously mentioned with the current workload as it is, I am unable to make the Manchester Apollo gig myself - I’d therefore welcome any pics/set list details reviews for the TBL website/Facebook – email or post to the usual and many thanks in advance on that one.
Bluesfest Royal Albert Hall London TBL pre gig meet Thursday October 31st 2013
I am aiming to be at this one with the TBL crew –and the venue for the TBL pre gig meet is as follows:
The Queens Arms
30 Queens Gate Mews,
From The Albert Hall: Walk past the Albert Hall towards Kensington, turn right into Queens Gate, and take the next right onto Queens Gate Terrace the first right into Queens Gate Mews. The pub is in front of you.
From Gloucester Road Tube Station: Turn left, cross over Cromwell Road then take the 4th turning on the right (Queens Gate Terrace) approximately 150 yards on the left is Queens Gate Mews. The pub is in front of you.
Here’s more info:
We look forward to all that can make it along – we aim to be there around 7.30
Robert Plant interview in The Telegraph:
A new interview with Robert appeared in the Telegraph on Thursday – he reveals that he is about to start his own independent record label YamYam345 and has contributed to a new Buddy Guy album.
See link at:
Robert Plant Recommends:
There’s a great new feature on Robert’s official website launched today.
Here’s the info:
This week marks the launch of a new initiative on robertplant.com – Robert Recommends.
The new ongoing feature will see Robert hand pick some of his favourite tracks of the moment, sharing them with his wider audience to enjoy. Hosted in the music section of the site, fans can enjoy a hand-curated playlist, or listen using the pop out jukebox in the bottom corner of the site.
The first installment features music from PJ Harvey, Calexico, John Lee Hooker and more.
Here’s the link to the first listing – great to see Fairport Convention and Charlie Rich selections in there too
Robert Plant BBC 6 Music interview comments on hidden gems…
The reaction to Robert’s off the cuff comments about the discovery of hidden gems in the studio vaults has been quite astonishing - the story being devoured by the rock and mainstream media. In the UK the Guardian went with a piece and even the good old Sun got in on the act with a story on Wednesday that carried the headline ”Led Zep Lost Songs Found”.
Quite what has been found only time will tell, but the media frenzy with this one is a stark reminder of the fasciation this band still holds. As for the John Paul Jones vocal outtakes – I do recall a rumour that went around that there exists a Jones vocal performance on a leftover from the Physical Graffiti late 73/early 74 Headley Grange sessions titled Lost in Space. There may (or may not) be some irony ahead for that title….
John Paul Jones at Festival International Mandolines de Lunel 2013:
As previously reported, John Paul Jones will present the tenth anniversary of the Mandolines de Lunel festival in France commencing on October 29, 2013. He will perform a live set on November 2, 2013.
If anyone is attending this event we would welcome pics, setlists and reviews for the TBL website and Facebook. Many thanks again in advance.
DL Diary Update:
There have been some very early morning starts and late night stints to keep up with the current workload here. The past few days has seen intensive work on TBL 36 to bring this issue into the home straight. There’s some great stuff emerging with Mike T’s July 1973 tour log and Andy Croft’s re appraisal of the Zep early 1975 performances sure to have readers keen to seek out the relevant tapes and go back to the music with fresh perspective. The Charles Shaar Murray interview has turned out to be quite an epic –easily the longest interview I’ve produced for the magazine in some years.
November is going to be another intensive month with both the TBL 36 magazine and the Knebworth book due for distribution. A few other TBL initiatives are also bubbling around. Such is the current state of play her, I’ve had to miss out on the Robert Plant SSS Manchester gig but I am eagerly looking forward the Bluesfest appearance at the Royal Albert Hall next Thursday.
Word reached me this week that Simon Wicker the drummer with tribute band Hats Off To Led Zeppelin has decided to leave the band. Simon has to be one of the best replicators of the Bonham technique I’ve had the privilege to watch. We all wish him well. he will be a hard act to follow and I wish his successor well too.
Playlist wise, it’s been plenty of MSG 1973 in all its formats, as the anniversary of that much maligned soundtrack album rolls around…watching the trailer of the upcoming Muscle Shoals movie which tells the story of the legendary recording studios, had me searching out the superb Duane Allman Anthology compilation double LP. This has the late great Duane’s sensational contribution to the close of Wilson Pickett’s version of Hey Jude as recorded at the Fame studios Muscle Shoals in November 1968.
Then there’s been a bit of The Who on ….
Nearly 40 years ago on Saturday November 3rd 1973, I went into Harlequin Records in Bedford and purchased the just released double album by The Who titled Quadrophenia.
Getting it home and glancing through the bleak sleeve booklet with it’s stark black and white images depicting the life of Jimmy the Mod, I knew this was no ordinary record. The music throughout the four sides captured The Who with power, compassion and intensity. Back then the Quadrophenia themes of adolescent isolation, despair and redemption resonated deep with me as a 17 year old holed up in my bedroom.
Tonight BBC 4 are having a bit of a Who night and the excellent and compelling documentary about the making of the original Quadrophenia album (first aired last year) is being shown at 11.50 pm.
Before that at 9pm there’s a new documentary profiling The Story of Tommy. I’ll be certainly checking that one too. Ken Russell’s flamboyant movie of Tommy follows at 10pm. The original Tommy album is being re issued soon in a new version with extra demo’s etc. One for my Christmas list.
THE SONG REMAINS THE SAME SOUNDTRACK AT 37 – TBL ARCHIVE SPECIAL:
On the afternoon of Thursday October 21 1976, I anxiously tore open the box marked Warner/ Elektra/ Atlantic Records at the WH Smith record shop where I worked to reveal for the first time the gatefold sleeve of, as the label spine gloriously put it ‘’The Soundtrack To The Film The Song Remains The Same‘’. Yes the only official live album released during the band’s life time is 37 years old.
I have much affection for that original double live album – it captures a certain era of innocence when we knew a lot less about the actual construction of such things and just enjoyed it for what it as – four sides of live Zep to accompany the release of their long awaited film The Song Remains The Same. Whilst the on stage experimentation of their 1972 US tour had levelled out, these New York ‘73 concerts a year later capture all the swagger and verve of a band in the throes of conquering the world.
In those innocent days I was completely immune to any criticism of the boy’s work. I was therefore absolutely incensed with Nick Kent’s less than complimentary review of the film in the NME. So much so that I wrote a letter to the paper the next week pointing out an inaccuracy on his part. This was duly printed – I used the pseudonym ‘Ace Wallbanger’, a reference to the soccer team I played in, the infamous and much feared in a keystone cops sort of way (well at least in the inner Bedfordshire area!) Wallbangers FC.
Above: Angry Ace Wallbanger of Bedford has the right of reply…
Thanks to the esteemed Eddie Edwards we now know a whole lot more of how the live set was assembled via Eddie’s amazing Garden Tapes analysis.
See link at
I know Eddie was far from happy with the revised version of the album that was issued in 2007. It cooked up a lot healthy debate at the time –have a look at the interview I conducted with Eddie in 2007 at the end of this post.
I was actually ok with Kevin Shirley’s mix. He cleverly kept the excitable crowd reaction high in the mix which adds a real ‘right there’ front row authenticity heard to great effect on the opening blast of Rock And Roll, Celebration Day and Black Dog. In extending the original double album, the six previously unreleased performances included a very fluent Over The Hills And Far Away, the riotous The Ocean and of course finally gave a home to the brilliantly sublime recording of Since I’ve Been Loving You –always a stand out performance in the film and one of their best ever live moments.
I’ve played through both versions of the album in the past few days –and there is much to admire – pull them out yourselves for a nostalgic blast of prime era Zep on this 37th anniversary
Here is the interview feature I conducted with Eddie Edwards back in 2007 about the merits or not of the revamped Song Remains The Same CD set. I admire Eddie for his forthright and very opinionated view of all this and his knowledge and attention to detail on the different cuts and edits is just amazing. This is real in depth stuff and I find Eddie’s observations fascinating.
Have a read and see what you think. This is sure to have you assessing for yourself once again the album with the title ‘’Soundtrack To the Film The Song Remains The Same’’ 37 years on…
THE SONG REMAINS THE SAME……
… OR DOES IT?
It was evident soon after the release last November of the reworked Song Remains The Same CD set, that some fans were not happy with the cuts and edits deployed on the new version. None more so than resident TBL Zep analyst and compiler of The Garden Tapes log Eddie Edwards.
I myself was overall very impressed with the sound upgrade and presentation of the set but to find out more about the negative feedback that was coming through, I quizzed Eddie about the construction of the reworked tapes – here is his personal perspective on what has been a hot topic of Zep conversation in recent months.
DL: Firstly you obviously have great affinity for the original soundtrack album – am I right in saying it’s your favourite Zep album?
EE: I don’t like picking a favourite Zep album but in The Garden Tapes I refer to the original Song Remains The Same as my favourite album of all time, so I guess that also makes it my favourite Zep album!
DL: For what reason?
EE: Back in the 70s when I was spending every spare moment listening to Zep, nothing quite matched the excitement of The Song Remains The Same. There are more official live albums available now, of course, and it could certainly be argued that How The West Was Won is a better album musically. But The Song Remains The Same got into my head when I was a teenager and I have so many amazing memories and emotions associated with it.
DL: When you did your first analysis of the original album were you surprised by the amount of cuts and edits made by Jimmy?
EE: I think most fans who knew the album and saw the film a few times would have formed the opinion that the film was cut about all over the place but the album featured performances that were near enough complete and uncut. That was certainly what I believed for a long time. But by the time I got round to doing any proper analysis, I had listened to the unedited performances on bootlegs quite a lot and I had realized that there was a fair bit of editing on the album versions.
DL: So the new version – before it appeared what were your expectations?
EE: It was announced quite early on that, for legal reasons, the film visuals couldn’t be changed in any way, so clearly that would be a major restriction on what could be done with the music on the new DVD. Obviously the major cuts and edits would still be there, but they could presumably be tidied up a bit. As for the new album, I expected that it would be treated as a separate project as the original album had been. There seemed to be two options – use exactly the same musical content as on the original album but remaster the sound, or start from scratch with the three original concert recordings and reassess which bits should be used. And of course, previously unreleased songs could be included with either of these options. Pretty exciting either way.
DL: Obviously you are disappointed with the end result – what are the problems?
EE: The root of the problems is that the album was not, this time, treated as a separate project. A remastered soundtrack was created for the new DVD and clearly a lot of work went into that, not only remastering the sound but using a few different extracts from the original recordings and tidying up the cuts and edits. But the crucial point is that the cuts and edits were still there, because this soundtrack had to fit the original, unaltered visuals. As far as the new DVD goes, I have no complaints about this, because it was unavoidable.
But I was amazed and horrified to discover that this soundtrack, with just a couple of minor alterations, was used on the new CD. This means that several brilliant passages of music that were on the original album are now missing. Not only that, but some of the cuts simply sound terrible in the audio-only context of the CD. Two great things about the original album were that all the best bits of music were included and that the editing was immaculate. Neither of those statements can be applied to the new CD.
DL: Can you elaborate on the worst cuts and omissions?
EE: As far as lost treasure goes, there are two passages that stand out. The first is at 05:15 in the middle of the No Quarter instrumental, where there’s about a minute-and-a-half of perfection missing. You can hear this section, full of masterful tension-building and including the vital moments where the guitar emerges from the background to become the dominant force, on the original CD from 05:21 to 06:55. The second is in Whole Lotta Love, which has lost the funky, Crunge-based bridge between the opening verses and the Theremin section. This is all present and correct on the original CD between 01:32 and 03:02, but it’s replaced on the new CD between 01:25 and 01:40 by a heavily edited section that did a reasonable job on the new DVD, accompanying the butchered visuals, but should never have been allowed anywhere near the CD.
Another notable difference is in Celebration Day, where the outstandingly brilliant guitar solo from the third night (02:24-03:31 on the original CD) has been ditched in favour of the less inspired offering from the second night (02:33-03:34 on the new CD). And as if No Quarter hasn’t suffered enough from the abovementioned cut, it also loses the superbly original section from the first night at the end of the guitar solo (08:56-09:51 on the original CD), as the new CD features instead (between 07:16 and 08:04) a section from the second night where the band meanders much less incisively towards the second verse.
The situation with Black Dog is slightly different as it wasn’t on the original album so there’s no direct comparison – this song was always incomplete in the film and obviously had to remain so on the new DVD, but it’s almost unbelievable that a complete version wasn’t put on the new CD.
The loss of great music is bad enough, but the rough editing compounds the problem. We can put up with it on the DVD, because it’s no worse than in the original film and we know that there are mitigating circumstances, but on the CD it’s unforgivable. The cut in Whole Lotta Love is probably the most obvious example – I’ve had emails from several Zep fans who thought their CD had a fault at that point until they read The Garden Tapes – but there are other dodgy, off-time edits, the like of which I would not expect to find on any official release by any artist, let alone the greatest band in history. One of the worst examples of this is in the drum segue between Heartbreaker and Whole Lotta Love, where half a beat has been lost from the first bar, destroying the rhythm and causing the entry of the Whole Lotta Love riff to sound completely wrong.
DL: Do any of the various bootleg versions offer a better alternative?
EE: I wouldn’t put it like that. The bootlegs offer something different altogether, i.e., the chance to hear the original shows exactly as they were played. It’s great to be able to do that, but I wouldn’t say that it’s more enjoyable than listening to an official compilation of the best bits from the three shows. The bootlegs have their place, and the official releases have theirs. Zep were not a band who went up on stage and reproduced everything perfectly every night, and bootleg recordings of the band usually reveal many imperfections and mistakes alongside the awesome brilliance. This is all part of the Zep magic, but for an official release, the idea of stitching together the best bits from three shows is perfectly acceptable and understandable. I think it’s fair enough to compare the original official release with the remastered version and to point out that the task was carried out impeccably for the former and less so for the latter, but it doesn’t make much sense to compare either version with bootlegs. And although some of the bootlegs feature pretty decent soundboard recordings, they can’t compete with the official releases in the sound quality department.
DL: Is the new version a radical upgrade in the sound mix?
EE: I’ve always loved the tight, crunchy sound of the original Song Remains The Same album, and the sound of the new version took a bit of getting used to, but yes, on the whole I’d say that the remastered sound is clearly better. There’s more clarity and detail and better separation of instruments. However, much of the remastered audio has been treated with effects such as delay, phase, chorus and so on, and this has proved far from universally popular with fans, many of who seem to feel that this has been overdone. Once again, I think you have to look at the fact that the aim was to create a soundtrack for the DVD. In a 5.1 audio mix with accompanying visuals, these effects sound great and add an extra dimension to the experience of watching the DVD, but in the stereo mixdown on the CD the effects can sound tasteless and unnecessary. Yet another reason why the DVD audio should not have been re-used on the CD.
DL: There must be some redeeming factors to the set?
EE: Maybe we need to take a step back here for a sense of perspective. The new CD is not quite so terrible that you need to scratch around for redeeming factors! The overall sound is great and we have two hours plus of live Led Zeppelin including some previously unreleased tracks. There’s much to enjoy, certainly. But a few serious faults result in the product being not as good as it could and should be, and that’s a very surprising thing to be saying about a Led Zeppelin album.
DL: So if it had been your decision – how would you have presented the new version yourself?
EE: Led Zeppelin weren’t the best band in the world by accident – one of the many things that made them as good as they were was their ability to make excellent musical decisions. I happen to think that the decisions they made when choosing the material for the original album were, like pretty much everything they did, absolutely brilliant, and I wouldn’t have seen any need to go through that process again. I would have presented the nine songs that were on the original album unchanged except for remastered sound quality, with the bonus tracks slotted in. Black Dog should have been as it was in the original film, but with the missing part reinstated. Since I’ve Been Loving You should have used the same musical extracts as were used in the original film, but with some serious tidying up of the editing (this was very nearly what we got, but top marks were narrowly missed due to one of those pesky timing errors). Excellent jobs were done on Over The Hills, Misty Mountain Hop, Heartbreaker and The Ocean – no complaints about any of them. And the sound mix for the CD, as well as its content, should have been a project in its own right, rather than just a by-product of the DVD soundtrack.
DL: Do you think they have done a good job with the remastered DVD?
EE: Yes, very much so. Keeping the visuals unaltered may have been a decision that was forced upon them, but I think it was for the best. Some fans might have preferred to see the fantasy sequences consigned to the history books and replaced with additional concert footage, but that would have altered the character of the film drastically. The new DVD soundtrack features mostly the same music as was used in the original film, but with greatly improved sound quality, a 5.1 mix and improved editing. Some of the edits are still not perfect but, given the restriction of having to fit the new soundtrack to the existing visuals, I think the job was done very well. The bonus tracks in the special features are superb, and should appease those who wanted more concert footage. And there are some nice touches in the menus, making use of musical fragments that are not heard in the main feature.
DL: Fans can still get hold of the original soundtrack if they search it out– would you advise they avoid the new version?
EE: I wouldn’t say avoid it. The new version is well worth having for the bonus tracks, if nothing else. Any serious fan should have both versions in their collection, but for the more casual fan who only wants one version, I’d recommend the original without a doubt. You miss out on the bonus tracks, but the songs that you do get are as good as they can be. You get the slightly dated sound quality, but superior presentation without any distractions caused by editing imperfections.
It’s just a shame that in my view the new The Song Remains The Same package does not live up to the glory of its predecessor.
First published in TBL Issue 21
Until next time…Keep listening, keep reading…
Have a great weekend
Dave Lewis/Gary Foy – October 25th, 2013.
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