Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Led Zeppelin - 1972-06-19 - Seattle, WA (Lets Do It Again / Badgeholders)

Led Zeppelin
June 19, 1972
Seattle Coliseum
Seattle, WA

101. Immigrant song
102. Heartbreaker
103. Black Dog
104. The Ocean
105. Since ive been loving you
106. Stairway to heaven
107. Going to California
108. Black country woman
109. That's the way
110. Tangerine
111. Bron-yr-aur-stomp

201. Dazed and confused
202. What is and what should never be
203. Dancing days
204. Moby Dick

301. Whole lotta love
302. Rock and Roll
303. Organ solo
304. Louie Louie
305. Thank You
306. How Many More Times
307. Over the hills and far away
308. Dancing days

Everything you have heard about this concert is absolutely true.  This show may rank number one, or at least in the top three.  They play with ferocity, professionalism and looseness that is rare even for them.  This show is so good that Robert Plant was still talking about it five years later at their stop in Seattle on the 1977 tour.

Unfortunately this classic show is cursed with one of the worst sounding tapes available.  Some have said it is THE worst.  I wouldn’t go that far.  Even though it is plagued with a loud audience and numerous cuts, it is listenable and enjoyable once you give it a chance.  It is almost impossible over the three hours to not be swept up in the party atmosphere.  The surprises begin after the third number with the premier of “The Ocean” and the fun never stops.

“Black Country Woman” from Physical Graffiti is premiered in the acoustic set, and ironically is the longest live version played by the band.  “Whole Lotta Love” includes the Roy Orison classic “Only The Lonely”, and the encores include more previews from Houses Of The Holy with “Over The Hills” (the beginning is unfortunately cut), and the second version of “Dancing Days” this evening.

What makes this show legendary isn’t necessarily all of the previews (“The Ocean”, “Over The Hills And Far Away”, “Black Country Woman” and “Dancing Days” played two times), but is the loose attitude of the band that enables them to do so.  They play as if they are all alone in a room with no distractions and no pressure.  There isn’t a hint of self-consciousness in the entire performance and the light and shade ethos really shines.  Despite the poor sound quality this is an essential show to own.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Roger Waters - 1984-07-26 - Rosemont Horizon, Rosemont, IL

Roger Waters 
July 26, 1984
Rosemont Horizon
Rosemont, IL

Lunatic Rave
Mid Valley 732/733

Soundboard Recording

01. Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun
02. Money
03. If
04. Welcome To The Machine
05. Have A Cigar
06. Wish You Were Here
07. Pigs On The Wing
08. In The Flesh
09. Nobody Home
10. Hey You
11. The Gunnerís Dream
12. 4:30AM (Apparently They Were Traveling Abroad)
13. 4:33AM (Running Shoes)
14. 4:37AM (Arabs With Knives And West German Skies)
15. 4:39AM (For The First Time Today ñ Part 2)
16. 4:41AM (Sexual Revolution)
17. 4:47AM (The Remains Of Our Love)
18. 4:50AM (Go Fishing)
19. 4:56AM (For The First Time Today Part 1)
20. 4:58AM (Dunroamin Duncarin Dunlivin)
21. 5:01AM (The Pros And Cons Of Hitch-Hiking)
22. 5:06AM (Every Strangers Eyes)
23. 5:11AM (The Moment Of Clarity)
24. Brain Damage
25. Eclipse

Eric Clapton - guitar
Roger Waters - bass / guitar / vocals
Tim Renwick - guitar / bass
Chris Stainton - bass / keyboards
Andy Newmark - drums
Michael Kamen - keyboards
Mel Collins - saxophones
Doreen Chanter - backing vocals
Katie Kissoon - backing vocals

Pink Floyd - 1970-04-29 - San Francisco (Definitive Westworld)

Pink Floyd
April 29, 1970
Fillmore West
San Francisco, CA

Definitive Westworld

101. Grantchester Meadows
102. Astronomy Domine
103. Cymbaline
104. Atom Heart Mother
105. The Embryo

201. Intro
202. Green Is The Colour
203. Careful With That Axe, Eugene
204. Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun
205. A Saucerful Of Secrets
206. Interstellar Overdrive

Live at Fillmore West, San Francisco, CA. USA 29th April 1970.
Stereo soundboard recording

David Gilmour
Rick Wright
Nick Mason
Roger Waters

Atom Heart Mother on KQED the next day

Pink Floyd’s concert at San Francisco’s famed Fillmore West is one that most collectors, even causal fans, have in their collections. The quality is excellent and the performance is its equal, the Floyd certainly shared a common vision with the psychedelic West Coast music community that inhabited the Bay Area. By spring 1970 the band had settled nicely into a group of songs that would, for the most part, form the basis of their live sets for throughout 1971. Like many I love these years, the Space Rock themed explorations enhanced with subtle mood nuances powered by incredible musicianship from all four Floyd’s make for some of the most invigorating listening one can find. Needless to say, material from these years takes up a bit of space on my shelves and is steadily taking over!

Back to the Fillmore show on April 29, 1970, the subject of this new release from the folks at Sigma where they revisit one of their earliest titles, Westworld (Sigma 4). The concert has been released many times, the first title I bought was Black Glass (Eclipsed NK-008), much to my disappointment the sound was hidden under a deep layer of hiss but thankfully I was able to upgrade to Live At Winterland (The Swingin’ Pig TSP-CD-170-2) and later Interstellar Encore (Pigs On The Wing OMS002/3) a title I ditched as it was CD-R that was thankfully copied as Pink Pigs Over Fillmore West (Euro Boots EB-30), and finally Westworld (Sigma 4). What I have always found frustrating about this concert is the lack of real information about the tapes themselves. What is known is that the circulating bootlegs are two source mixes, the soundboard portion many to believe is an Open Air Mic recording, the audience portion being just that, an excellent audience source. Why was the soundboard recorded? Possible radio broadcast? Bill Graham’s people? Who knows, the recording is excellent mono yet sadly incomplete. The audience recording is even more frustrating, first off, is what circulates complete or is the entire concert sitting in someone’s attic, some even believe that the same person is responsible for both, while others believe one got a hold of the other and made the mix of both. I for one would love to hear this concert in the quality captured by the audience tape, certainly the work of someone with really good equipment. The last item with this concert is the channel chirp that plagued latter releases, most attribute it to a faulty reel in its earlier analog days.

Is this title an improvement over the original Westworld? Well the title says this is the Definitive Westworld. The sound for one is only a very slight improvement, to my ears it sounds very slightly cleaner, they have not boosted the sound as much either especially between songs and the sound is more open for lack of better word. The reel chirp is a bit confusing, the label boasts they did significant work to eliminate it. I pulled out my old Pink Pigs Over Fillmore West and based upon several listens of this new title, used Cymbaline as a base-point. On the old Euro Boots title it’s there, can’t miss it and noticeable. Same song on Sigma 4, you don’t hear it. Again back to Sigma 209 and you can faintly hear the remnants of the chirp, barely. This is my theory, I read about, did not download, a remastered version of this tape where they took the original mono source where left and right channels are the same and used only the channel that did not have the chirp and mirrored it thus creating a version with no chirp, this could explain the very slight difference in sound from Sigma 4 to Sigma 209, the former used this remaster, the latter did not.

What is soundboard and what is audience? Well certainly the whole first set is the soundboard / open air mic recording. Its clarity of instruments, vocals complete mix is superior. It sounds like there is a patch in Atom Heart Mother, about 10-10:45 where it sounds like an audience source, the drums are way lower in the mix and it almost sounds like you can hear the sound moving thanks to the Azimuth Coordinator. The audience source is used for Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun, A Saucerful Of Secrets, and Interstellar Overdrive. Curious is the first three minutes of Set The Controls, it is either a third source or a different generation of the audience source.

For those who are not interested in any of the previous two paragraphs worth of babble, this new release sounds a tiny bit better than the original Westworld. Make no mistake we are dealing with the same sources so better transfer, better mastering techniques and software and those we should thank. That being said the Fillmore East show is an excellent concert, in fact that entire Spring 1970 American tour is, Stonybrook, Port Chester, KQED, and Santa Monica are the other circulating boots from this tour. The set-lists are superb, hell just the inclusion of Grantchester Meadows is worth the price alone (save for Stonybrook as its not on that recording). The West Coast dates feature a band playing to the same like minded counterparts as Europe, before the hoopla would creep in.

The packaging is what we come to expect from Sigma, full color inserts wonderfully adorned with live shots of the group in the intimate theater setting. The gig poster is recreated on the front cover, always liked that one with the Ummagumma pic with the band and all their instrumentation. Oh crap let’s not forget…a sticker! Definitive Westworld is certainly a decent upgrade to the original, better sonic quality for sure but to me, I hear nothing to make the claim as Definitive as we all know, the title is only as good as the next release or a better generation of the tapes appear.

Pink Floyd - 1977-02-01 - Vienna (Revised)

Pink Floyd
February 1, 1977

101. Sheep
102. Pigs On The Wing (Part 1)
103. Dogs
104. Pigs On The Wings (Part 2)
105. Pigs (Three Different Ones)

201. Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Parts 1-5)
202. Welcome To The Machine
203. Have A Cigar
204. Wish You Were Here
205. Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Parts 6-9)
206. Money
207. Us And Them

Original Silvers: Welcome To Vienna (Golden Eggs), phase corrected

As it seems the all releases for this show are out of phase, it was noticed by one of our sites members , and as proof that there are still super cool people in this world Davidestrada gracefully fixed them for all of us to enjoy... So all thanks go to him
Here is his explanation (I am technically challenged, so I have no clue what it means... but my ears say: WOW!!!):
"The main source on that show is inverted, That means the waves are facing each other. That cancels out the punch and gives it a thin pingy sound. The patch before Money and After Money is good but all the main source is not. I checked out 2 other releases I have from then and they are the same as this new one. Download the link I sent and you will hear the upgrade difference. No EQ just flipped one side and got it in Phase (Moved one side 8 micro dots to line up)"

Saturday, June 09, 2018

Pink Floyd - 1977-02-01 - Vienna (Welcome To Vienna / Golden Eggs)

Pink Floyd
February 1, 1977

Welcome To Vienna
Golden Eggs 29/30

101. Sheep
102. Pigs On The Wing (Part 1)
103. Dogs
104. Pigs On The Wings (Part 2)
105. Pigs (Three Different Ones)

201. Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Parts 1-5)
202. Welcome To The Machine
203. Have A Cigar
204. Wish You Were Here
205. Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Parts 6-9)
206. Money
207. Us And Them

New master tape transfer, excellect audience recording

1977 was probably the last year of Pink Floyd as a unitary group, in fact all the tensions deriving from the creative process that would go in to creating of "Animals" led to the exclusion of Richard Wright as a member of the band, even thou it was not officially credited until the band toured "The Wall" at which point he was presented as a sidelining musician.
After the long running tours of 1974 and 1975, where the band played brand new songs that would eventually find their place on "Animals" (although presented still by their working titles, "Raving and Drooling" becoming "Sheep" and "Gotta Be Crazy" became "Dogs"). The Floyd decided not to tour the whole of 1976 to develop the record that, according to Roger Waters, was scheduled again to be a concept album, holding a microscope to the social and political situation in Great Britain at the time, which were grand protests, held both for economic and racial reasons (The punk phenomenon had exploded in a big way and the shirt worn by Sex Pistols' Johnny Rotten with the claim "I Hate Pink Floyd" is still famous today).
The Arrangement and sound of the songs were tightened to make the dramatic lyrics more effective, causing both Gilmour and Waters to quarrel countless times(The continuous reworking of the solos by Gilmour were also rancorous to the group) Famous in Floyd circles is the moment in which Snowy White, hired as guitarist/bassist to assist them both on the album and on tour, arrived at the recording studio right between a dispute between Gilmour and Waters about a guitar solo being erased by mistake.
After dozens of recording sessions,the album was released in January 1977 in the UK with a well remembered stunt, Waters had the ingenious idea of having a giant pig inflated with Helium and let fly over London during the photo-shoot for the cover.
After the release of the album and the subsequent rehearsals for the tour (Which took place at the Olympia Exhibition Hall in London), the group with Snowy White and sax player Dick Parry, planned to play the "Animals" album in full but with the order of the songs altered and then they would move to "Wish You Were Here" in it's entirety with the encores "Money" and "Us and Them" from "Dark Side of the Moon".
The Hipgnosis Studios also created the stage setting for the shows, like the Flying Pig but also the cannon shooting sheep made of perforated tea-bag paper. The other novelties included more inflatables which did not appear at every concert but very sporadically, since the group had chosen to vary venue sizes, moving from warehouses to large stadiums. Another important novelty were the videos created by Gerald Scarfe, which took six months of dedicated work to create (Scarfe remembers that Waters was relentless on the work schedule that he forced upon him, also Waters never submitted any of his work to any of the other band members to get their opinions on it).
The footage greatly enhanced the music, becoming indispensable at future performances; even today, Waters, on his current 2018 tour utilities the films prepared by Scarfe in 1977. Each novelty was conceived and presented to the public regardless of cost, the group performing a total of fifty-five concerts divided into a 29 date European Tour (9 of which in the UK) continued with a 25 date tour through North America, one leg in the spring and another later in the summer, culminating with the infamous July 6 show in Montreal.
The tour was not very long but it was a nerve wrecking affair for the band, finally destroying the already precarious balance between the band members.
But the tour continued with every date sold out, little by little the band got more lost behind their collective egos, unresolved conflicts and the lack of common vision about their musical future, despite everything one more masterpiece was still in the making, but that is a totally different story...

Friday, June 08, 2018

Pink Floyd - 1972-12-07 - Lille (French Side Of The Moon)

Pink Floyd
December 7, 1972
Palais Des Sports

The French Side Of The Moon
Golden Eggs 7/8

101. Intro / Speak To Me
102. Breathe
103. On The Run
104. Time
105. Breathe (Reprise)
106. The Great Gig In The Sky
107. Money
108. Us And Them
109. Any Colour You Like
110. Brain Damage
111. Eclipse

201. One Of These Days
202. Careful With That Axe Eugene
203. Echoes

Monday, June 04, 2018

Iron Maiden - 2018-06-01 - Stockholm

Iron Maiden
June 1, 2018
Tele2 Arena

01. Pre-intro: Doctor Doctor (UFO)
02. Intro: Churchill's Speech
03. Aces High
04. Where Eagles Dare
05. 2 Minutes to Midnight
06. The Clansman
07. The Trooper
08. Revelations
09. For the Greater Good of God
10. The Wicker Man
11. Sign of the Cross
12. Flight of Icarus
13. Fear of the Dark
14. The Number of the Beast
15. Iron Maiden
16. The Evil That Men Do
17. Hallowed Be Thy Name
18. Run to the Hills
19. Outro: Always Look on the Bright Side of Life (Monty Python)

Bruce Dickinson - Vocals
Dave Murray - Guitar
Adrian Smith - Guitar
Janick Gers - Guitar
Steve Harris - Bass
Nicko McBrain - Drums

Saturday, June 02, 2018

Led Zeppelin - 1973-06-02 - San Francisco

Led Zeppelin
June 2, 1973
Kezar Stadium
San Francisco, CA

A Celebration For Being Who You Are
The Godfatherecords / G.R. 636/637/638

101. Opening Announcements
102. Rock And Roll
103. Celebration Day
104. Black Dog
105. Over The Hills And Far Away
106. Misty Mountain Hop
107. Since I've Been Loving You
108. No Quarter
109. The Song Remains The Same
110. The Rain Song
201. Dazed And Confused
202. Stairway To Heaven
203. Moby Dick
301. Heartbreaker
302. Whole Lotta Love
303. Communication Breakdown
304. The Ocean
305. Bill Graham Outroduction

Forty five years ago today people... forty five years! Let that sink in for a minute. Time flies, once young demigods, we now sit here remembering the days of glory... but thanks to the tapers that risked to incur in the wrath of Peter Grant, and modern technology we can now relive those days a wee bit.
I just love The Hammer Of The Gods!

This massive outdoor show, played in front of 50,000 people, was intended to be the final concert of the first part of Led Zeppelin’s 1973 American Tour, leading onto a break of just over a month before the itinerary resumed in Chicago on 6 July. It was supposed to follow two shows at the Inglewood Forum on 30 and 31 May (the latter, of course, oft-bootlegged as Bonzo’s Birthday Party) , though the first of these shows was rescheduled for the day after the Kezar Stadium event due to Jimmy Page injuring a finger. The Kezar concert was a daytime show and Led Zeppelin were supported by Roy Harper, The Tubes and Lee Michaels.

The show appeared on LP as Persistence (Roon Dog) and there has since been a plethora of CD releases. Four songs from the show (Heartbreaker, Whole Lotta Love, Communication Breakdown and The Ocean) appear on Led Zeppelin: The Butterqueen (Unbelievable) and the complete show features on Vibes Are Real (Continental Sounds), Takka Takka (Tarantura), Persistence Kezar (Holy), Persistence (Cobla), Two Days After (Immigrant), Best Vibes In Frisco (Jelly Roll), Who’s Next? (TDOLZ), and The Grateful Lead (Tarantura). The tape does have small cuts in No Quarter, Dazed And Confused and a far more substantial one in Moby Dick, which excises the majority of the number. In 2001 a soundboard fragment lasting a little under half-an-hour and including approximately fifteen minutes of the drum solo, appeared on Imperial Kezar (Electric Magic), edited with the audience recording. The following year a further half-hour surfaced, giving us the complete performance of Moby Dick and running to the conclusion of the show. The soundboard tape was released on Led Five (Empress Valley) and Vibes Are Real (Watch Tower). Wendy’s issue, Mary Kezar, a three-CD set featuring the complete audience recording supplemented by the hour-long soundboard excerpt, was reviewed by gsparaco in April 2010. Wendy has recently reissued Mary Kezar in new packaging, featuring the same photograph as the new Godfather release on the front cover.

Led Zeppelin arrived extremely late for their performance and hurried on to the stage, only to find the start of the show held up by an equipment malfunction, so we hear Robert Plant talking to the audience for a while, before deciding to leave the stage. “Well, thank you very much for a great show,” he jokes, “we’ll see you in five minutes.” “‘Rock and Roll’ finally commenced the proceedings,” writes Dave Lewis in Led Zeppelin: The Concert File, “The band were a bit sluggish to start with, but didn’t take long to warm up.” The start of the show made a greater impression on attendee Gary Hodges, contributor to the website Brit Rock By the Bay, who remembers, “suddenly Led Zeppelin stormed on, opening with ‘Rock and Roll.’ The sound was huge and crisp – it almost felt warm.” Keith Shadwick, author of Led Zeppelin: A Band And Their Music 1968-2000, also detects no sign of sluggishness, calling it “a barnstorming version,” and it sounds suitably frenzied to my ears.

The tremendous momentum is maintained with a crunching Celebration Day and a thunderous Black Dog which here, as elsewhere on the tour, gains a few bars of Bring It On Home as an introduction. After all this mayhem, things calm down temporarily with the relatively subdued start of Over The Hills And Far Away, which Plant states, is “about the passage of man up and down the track.” During the heavier, almost brutal, latter part of the song, Plant makes his customary reference to ”Acapulco gold,” and prior to Misty Mountain Hop he goes on to comment on the smell of marijuana drifting up on to the stage, saying “smells good up here, it’s all going in the right direction.” At this point an enormous joint was thrown on to the stage, and we hear Plant stating that he will save for later.

Since I’ve Been Loving You is a very effective performance with an excellent vocal turn by Plant and atmospheric keyboards from John Paul Jones. As well as being an excellent performance in its own right, the song acts as an effective prelude to a ten-minute No Quarter, which, as Lewis puts it, “was developing into a showpiece all of its own.” With Jones, as Hodges puts it, “playing moody electric piano,” the song comes across as splendidly mysterious and dramatic in this performance. Dave Anderson, on the Underground Uprising website regards it as a “killer version,” and Argenteum Astrum, both on his Led Zeppelin Database website and on the band’s official site, argues that it is “one of the best 1973 versions” of this number.

Then we hear the two numbers which open Houses Of the Holy, then the band’s latest album. As I stated in my review of Godfather’s The American Return, the two songs complement each other effectively, for, as Jimmy Page stated in an interview with Guitar World in 1993, The Song Remains The Same ”was originally going to be an instrumental – an overture that led into ‘The Rain Song.’” Before The Song Remains The Same Plant makes scathing references to the press, referencing “a paper that’s published on the west coast that always seems to criticize poor old English groups,” and ironically dedicating the song, “to the musical papers that think we should remain a blues band.” The Rain Song is beautifully executed here, and it constitutes a splendid conclusion to the first disc, marred only by what seems to be an equipment problem which results in a few seconds of loud and horrible noise near the end. “I’m sorry about that strange, er, whatever it was,” says Plant.

A repeat of that sentence opens disc two, though now we hear Plant go on to say, “it really blew it, it really blew it. It could have been a lot nicer without it.” Returning to the subject of the press he then says, “Right, anyway, that was one of those things that we keep getting criticized for doing [laughs]. After five years of evolving, I think we can do a few things like that now and again.” Dazed And Confused is then introduced as, “an oldie but gooie that you might remember.” It is played in a superb version, stretching to half-an-hour, which brilliantly highlights the interplay of the musicians. As Argenteum Astrum comments both on his Led Zeppelin Database and on Zeppelin’s website, “Dazed And Confused is one of the best versions ever with Bonham and Jones going crazy at the end with the complex rhythms.” “Everything is played with extreme confidence,” asserts Anderson, “especially Dazed, with the rhythm section playing guessing games with Page.” I suspect that he tortured, menacing sounds Page wrings from his guitar with the violin bow are the source of Hodges’ description of this renditon as, “very psychedelic.” Tony Gassett, on Underground Uprising, rightly contends that Page is “on top form” here. Before this, an instrumental section that would later resurface on Achilles’ Last Stand leads into Plant singing a snippet of Scott MacKenzie’s 1967 hit San Francisco.

Stairway To Heaven follows, providing another indisputable highlight of the show. Hodges states that, “Jimmy Page played his red Gibson EDS-1275 Double Neck guitar during a monumental version of ‘Stairway to Heaven.’” This is another song on which Gassett maintains that Page is “on top form,” and another of Anderson’s “killer versions.” Disc two then concludes with what gsparaco rates as a “very exciting” rendition of Moby Dick, with John Bonham demonstrating his astounding virtuosity on the drums for in excess of twenty-seven minutes.

A storming version of Heartbreaker, complete with lengthy guitar work from Page, opens the third disc and this is followed by an equally exciting Whole Lotta Love. The latter song was pruned back after the European dates earlier in the year, the band largely dispensing with the lengthy medleys and including just The Crunge and John Lee Hooker’s Boogie Chillen’ during most shows of the American Tour. The first encore is a blistering Communication Breakdown and then the show closes with The Ocean, the third song from the show to feature among Anderson’s “killer versions.” The event, and disc three, conclude with an “outroduction” from promoter Bill Graham.

This is a tremendous show, which as gsparaco contends, “is a great performance all around by the band…They play one of the most laid back yet slick concerts that summer.” Other commentaters are overwhelmingly enthusiastic. Lewis states that, “the band turned in a superb performance, one of the most memorable outdoor appearances of their career.” Gassett calls it a “generally superb show,” and Anderson rates it, “one of the best from this period.” Hodges states that, “they were at the peak of their career – relaxed and confident, solid and tight, yet also taking chances.” David Miller, Assistant Editor/Photo Editor of Brit Rock By The Bay, writes, “musically, it was a great concert. Led Zeppelin were at their best.” Dan Cuny, a contributor to that site, adds that, “throughout their set, I was mesmerized by the showmanship of the band. It was truly one of the best performances I have ever seen.” Tee, posting on the official Led Zeppelin website, argues that, “it was excellent…the show itself was just spectacular in every respect.” Pete MacDonald adds that, “to this day this concert ranks, by far, as the most amazing performance by musicians I’ve ever seen,” and Matt Roberts calls it a “seminal show.” Also on the band’s site, in addition to his own, Argenteum Astrum enthuses, “a really big outdoor festival show and one of the greatest concerts ever! The sound is amazing and Robert’s voice is very powerful…he screams and gets right up there for perhaps the last time in his career…his range would be lessened on the following tours…The entire band shines on this show…and the entire show is excellent!”

The press did not necessarily agree. Philip Elwood, writing in the San Francisco Examiner & Chronicle, argues that, “the quartet’s performance lacked the dynamic spark of earlier local presentations. Plant’s vocals and bodily gyrations seemed tired and routine, and drummer John Bonham and bassist John Paul Jones had trouble solidifying their back-up sounds in in the early going.” Such a lacklustre performance might have resulted, if Rolling Stone is to be believed, from the band’s financial motives in playing to such a large audience; the magazine states that, “Zeppelin are back doing what they do best – converting heavy metal into dollars.” Comments such as these are perhaps unsurprising, given the negative attitude shown towards the band by large section of the press at the time, particularly in the USA. As Danny Goldberg, the band’s press agent at the time, points out, “the rock critics were brutal to Led Zeppelin.” One who was most certainly not was Charles Shaar Murray, who wrote in the UK music paper New Musical Express that, “Led Zeppelin and 50,000 San Francisco people got together to provide one of the finest musical events I’ve ever had the privilege to attend…altogether a magical concert…a revelation.”

For a tape recorded in an open-air venue amidst an audience of fifty thousand people in 1973, the sound quality is very impressive. As gsparaco (who considers the sound quality “excellent”) points out in his review of the Wendy release, “the taper was very close to the stage and is able to capture every little detail emanating from the stage that afternoon.” All audience-sourced releases derive from the same tape; most are broadly similar and are rated as “excellent” by Argenteum Astrum on Led Zeppelin Database. However, Persistence Kezar (Holy) is clearly inferior in terms of sound. It is rated as merely “good to very good” by Argenteum Astrum, who states, “this is the worst sounding of all June 2, 1973 releases.” Susumu Omi, on Underground Uprising, is even blunter, stating, “HORRIBLE!..sound quality is much more inferior to both ‘Persistence’ [LP] and ‘Vibes are Real.’” The latter release also has its problems. As Ingham points out, Continental Sounds ”used fairly high generation tapes that ran 3% too slow” and also failed to present the songs in the correct running order. (For further detailed and specific comparison of the various releases, see the Title Comparisons section of the BootLedZ website.)

Of the Wendy release, gsparaco goes on to point out that, “the audience tape sounds as good as the other releases…Wendy did slow the tape down a bit to be closer to the actual pitch. Likewise the soundboard recording does not sound harsh as the previous two titles.” Godfather’s A Celebration For Being Who You Are presents the audience tape with the soundboard only being utilized to fill gaps where appropriate, including the Bill Graham outroduction, which the taper did not capture. This decision emanated from the label’s desire to maintain “the same atmosphere” throughout the show. When details of the Godfather appeared on the Recent Updates page of his Led Zeppelin Database website, Argenteum Astrum stated, “the title presents a mix of audience and soundboard sources and is reported as a truly definitive and speed/pitch corrected version of this excellent show.” Posting a comment on the News & New Releases section of CMR Argenteum Astrum goes on to say that, “this is a huge…improvement over few past titles, such as ‘Mary Kezar’ (Wendy) or ‘Imperial Kezar’ (Electric Magic). The sound isn’t amplified, the speed/pitch seems to be corrected and splice between audience and soundboard are done in a truly perfect way, not missing any note from actual show!” Godfather states that work has been done on the tape to eliminate fluctuations in sound and to reduce wind problems, an obvious potential hazard with an outdoor concert. The cut/edit a little before twenty-two minutes in Dazed And Confused (which seems to excise no actual music) is still noticeable but a little less jarring. The overall result is a full, clear and dynamic sound which results in a satisfying listening experience. version of the soundboard segment.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Rainbow - 1976-12-16 - Budokan, Tokyo (Definitive On Stage - Rising Arrow-063)


Definitive On Stage 
Rising Arrow-063

101. Over The Rainbow
102. Kill The King
103. Mistreated
104. Sixteenth Century Greensleeves
105. Catch The Rainbow
106. Man On The Silver Mountain / Blues / Starstruck / Man On The Silver Mountain

201. Keyboard Intro
202. Stargazer
203. Still I’m Sad incl. Keyboard Solo
204. Drum Solo incl. 1812 Overture
205. Still I’m Sad (reprise)
206. Do You Close Your Eyes
207. Over The Rainbow

Amazing soundboard of the evening show...

Monday, April 30, 2018

Led Zeppelin - 1977-04-30 - Pontiac, MI

Led Zeppelin 
Pontiac Silverdome 
Pontiac, MI 

101. The Song Remains The Same
102. Sick Again
103. Nobody's Fault But Mine
104. In My Time Of Dying
105. Since I've Been Loving You
106. No Quarter

201. Ten Years Gone
202. The Battle Of Evermore
203. Going To California
204. Black Country Woman
205. Bron-Y-Aur Stomp
206. White Summer / Black Mountain Side
207. Kashmir
208. Out On The Tiles / Moby Dick

301. Guitar Solo
302. Achilles Last Stand
303. Stairway To Heaven
304. Rock And Roll
305. Trampled Underfoot

Friday, April 20, 2018

Led Zeppelin - 1975-03-21 - Seattle (Winston Remaster)

Led Zeppelin
March 21, 1975
Seattle Center Coliseum
Seattle, WA

One Extreme to the Other
Winston Remaster

221 minutes 23 seconds

101. Intro
102. Rock and Roll
103. Sick Again
104. Over the Hills and Far Away
105. In My Time of Dying
106. Song Remains the Same
107. Rain Song
108. Kashmir

201. No Quarter
202. Since I've Been Loving You
203. Trampled Underfoot

301. Moby Dick
302. Dazed and Confused

401. Stairway to Heaven
402. Whole Lotta Love
403. Black Dog
404. Communication Breakdown
405. Heartbreaker

Get it Here

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Judas Priest - 2018-03-15 - Youngstown

Judas Priest
March 15, 2018
Covelli Centre
Youngstown, OH

01. Intro tape: War Pigs / Guradians
02. Firepower
03. Running Wild
04. Grinder
05. Sinner
06. The Ripper
07. Lightning Strike
08. Bloodstone
09. Saints in Hell
10. Turbo Lover
11. Angel
12. Evil Never Dies
13. Some Heads are Gonna Roll
14. Breaking the Law
15. Hell Bent for Leather
16. Painkiller
17. The Hellion
18. Electric Eye
19. Metal Gods
20. You've Got Another Thing Comin'
21. Living After Midnight

Tapers Notes:
Somehow Rob Halford manages to not sound like a screechy old man this tour, hitting all the high notes you'd expect clean and strong.  This was taped by my son, who went to the show in his full length leather jacket with the fringe and studs that he wears when performing with Call for the Priest.  Security and the merch guys loved the jacket.

Thursday, March 08, 2018

Rainbow - 1978-07-02 - Chicago

July 2, 1978
International Amphitheater
Chicago, IL

Definitive Chicago 1978
Rising Arrow (Rising Arrow-059)

01. Over The Rainbow
02. Kill The King
03. Mistreated
04. Long Live Rock 'n' Roll
05. Man On The Silver Mountain
06. Blues
07. Night People
08. Man On The Silver Mountain (Reprise)
09. Still I'm Sad
10. Beethoven 9th
11. David Stone Solo
12. Cozy Powell Solo - 1812 Overture
13. Still I'm Sad (Reprise) - Guitar Crash
14. Over The Rainbow

Deep Purple - 1972-07-14 - West Palm Beach

Deep Purple
July 14, 1972
Spring Auditorium
West Palm Beach, Florida

Made In Florida
Darker Than Blue (DTB 226)

01 Highway Star
02 Smoke On The Water
03 Strange Kind Of Woman
04 The Mule
05 Lazy
06 Space Truckin'

1972 would be a year on the road for Deep Purple, their most recent record Machine Head, released in March of that year, was a hit making them a hot item on the live circuit. For this new release Darker Than Blue documents the band’s stop in the summer of 72 in West Palm Beach Florida. The recording is an incomplete audience source that falls into the poor to fair range, it is distant and suffers from distortion, Blackmore’s guitar is in the forefront, the bass and drums are virtually completely buried with vocals and keyboards heard but lower in the mix, there is a bit of crowd chatter also but this adds to the atmosphere of the event. The recording is also incomplete, there are cuts between every song and one can assume that Child In Time and an encore were either not recorded or not played possibly due to being a support act. I did some digging on the Internet and could not find a billing for the evening.

The beginning of the tape starts a few seconds into Highway Star, the recording is certainly at its poorest but does clear a minute in and from there plateau’s off. The sound sounds almost a bit fast to my ear also, but once your ears adjust to the sound you find that the band is playing very well, Blackmore is playing well and his fingers are nimble, he delivers a furious solo. Smoke On The Water sounds repetitive, since Blackmore is high in the mix the first thing you hear is the simple riff over and over and over, the always brilliant Strange Kind Of Woman features the obligatory call and response between Gillan and Ritchie that is always nice.

We finally get to hear Ian Paice proper during The Mule, he delivers an amazing drum solo and pounds the audience into mush, he gets a nice ovation that is abruptly cut. Jon Lord gets a bit of spotlight time at the organ jam that leads into a great band jam that will eventually get into Lazy and once the band gets into the song proper Blackmore leads the band through a game of catch me if you can, Lord proves he is up to the task. The audience is in a fever pitch as the band plays a shuffle that leads into Space Truckin’ they clap joyously along with the beginning of the song, there is a cut at 3:10 as the band almost sound like they are playing a variation of The Kinks’ You Really Got Me riff. The song eventually gets into the middle section of Mandrake Root that steamrolls the audience and ends in a feedback storm, the recording stops as the last notes of Lord’s organ fade. Great performance and I really love early 70’s live Purple, too bad so many recordings have crap sound.

The packaging is typical for Darker Than Blue, full color inserts made to look like the official Made In Japan release, some really nice live shots on the rear and inside. You get a collectable sticker and picture CD to boot. While it is nice to see a show that I don’t believe has been out on CD before, the poor sound will make this release for the Purple completers, casual buyer steer clear.

Deep Purple - 1970-12-01 - Hannover

Deep Purple
December 1, 1970
Hannover, Germany

Hannover 1970
Darker Than Blue (DTB 156)

01 Speed King
02 Wring That Neck
03 Mandrake Root
04 Black Night

Deep Purples gig in Hannover Germany in December 1971 has been captured, in part, in a fair to good sounding mono audience recording. There are signs of distortion when the band is going full force and the drums are slightly buried in the mix but overall has a relatively clear and enjoyable sound. The performance is par for the time, Deep Purple where on fire and giving incredibly brutal performances. It is fair to say that at least two songs are missing, Into The Fire and Child In Time

“Two words…a thing called Speed King” is Ian Gillan’s introduction as the band takes the stage and begins the opening jams that leads into the song. Fast and aggressive, Ian is in fine voice and wails away in fine fashion. I like when Ian asks “do you know what a speed King is ?” and his answer comes via a response from Ritchie guitar and it leads into a nice blues duel for Blackmore and Jon Lord to loosen their fingers on.

Blackmore climbs out of the blues via his fret board and starts ripping into leads to leads the group back into the main theme.

The tape is cut at the songs conclusion and picks up again with the opening stains of Wring That Neck, the sound quality goes down a bit and sounds a bit more muffled. Lord and Blackmore trade solos back in forth in the usual way and Roger Glover even gets into the mix and the whole thing leads into the middle section. Lord takes center stage first and goes through some classic parts and proceeds to conjure up some incredible sounds from his organ, as if opening and inter dimensional gateway, if you did not know better you would think the Pink Floyd where playing. Blackmore goes into his solo spot and hits the boards running but soon slows down and plays a slow melancholy piece sounding somewhat like a cross between Paint It Black and Still I’m Sad. He soon goes into some medieval themes and even a hint Jingle Bells for good measure before leading the band back to Neck and its finale.

Mandrake Root follows and it sounds as if someone was fiddling with a loose cord as a couple of bumps are notable. After the main theme the band goes into the fast riff section, Blackmore leads the band through the chain saw like rhythm and Lord takes the opportunity to solo over the top. Blackmore comes in and its his turn to head to the stratosphere and walks the line between nimble notes and boisterous feedback to great effect. Farther one in the piece Blackmore takes a stab skyward and again the piece takes on a very outer space kind of feel to great effect, of course this is no smooth ride with Ritchie piloting ! They song is another excellent example of the key to early Deep Purple, the musical interaction between Blackmore and Lord that provides the catalyst for the onstage magic the band created.

Black Night is the final song on the tape, it is incomplete and starts in process with the second verse, the sound is a little louder and slightly more distorted giving a great nasty sound to the song. A great aggressive version of the song, Blackmore is literally all over the place. At the concerts conclusion one can only surmise on the other songs absent from the concert as the fragments we have a superbly played concert.

Packaging is simple black and white photos that looks live there were taken at the actual show and a picture of the poster for the concert itself. Again if one can turn on their bootleg ears and get beyond the marginal sound quality there is some incredible music found within these gems. Certainly not one for the casual collector but I have been on a Purple tare of late and these early shows have been more than satisfying my hunger.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Deep Purple - 1973-01-21 - Munich

Deep Purple
The Olympia Hall
Munich, Germany

Who Do You Think You Are!
Tarantura (TCDDP-14,12)

101 Opening
102 Highway Star
103 Smoke On THe Water
104 Strange Kind Of Woman
105 Mary Long
106 Keyboard Solo
107 Lazy
108 Drum Solo
109 The Mule
110 Lazy

201 Space Truckin'
202 Band Introduction
203 Black Night

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Led Zeppelin - 1975-03-19 - Vancouver, BC (Moonchild MC091)

Led Zeppelin 
March 19, 1975 
PNE Coliseum 
Vancouver, British Columbia 

MOONCHILD RECORDS / MC-091 / Soundboard

101. Rock and Roll
102. Sick Again
103. Over the Hills and Far Away
104. In My Time of Dying
105. The Song Remains the Same
106. The Rain Song
107. Kashmir

201. No Quarter
202 Trampled Underfoot
203. Moby Dick

301. Dazed and Confused
302. Stairway to Heaven
303. Whole Lotta Love
304. Black Dog

Led Zeppelin - 1975-03-11 - Long Beach, CA (Moonchild MC090)

Led Zeppelin 
March 11, 1975
Long Beach Civic Arena 
Long Beach CA 

MOONCHILD RECORDS / MC-090 / Soundboard

101. Band Announcement
102. Rock and Roll
103. Sick Again
104. Over the Hills and Far Away
105. In My Time of Dying
106. The Song Remains the Same
107. The Rain Song
108. Kashmir

201 No Quarter
202. Trampled Underfoot
203. Moby Dick

301. Dazed and Confused
302. Stairway to Heaven
303. Whole Lotta Love
304. Black Dog

Led Zeppelin - 1975-02-16 - St. Louis, MO (Moonchild MC089)

Led Zeppelin 
February 16, 1975 
Missouri Arena 
St. Louis, MO 

MOONCHILD RECORDS / MC-089 / Soundboard

101. Rock and Roll
102. Sick Again
103. Over the Hills and Far Away
104. In My Time of Dying
105. The Song Remains the Same
106. The Rain Song
107. Kashmir

201. No Quarter
202. Trampled Underfoot
203. Moby Dick

301. Dazed and Confused
302. Stairway to Heaven
303. Whole Lotta Love
304. Black Dog
305. Heartbreaker

Led Zeppelin - 1975-02-14 - Uniondale, NY (Moonchild MC088)

Led Zeppelin
February 14, 1975
Nassau Memorial Coliseum
Uniondale, NY

MOONCHILD RECORDS / MC-088 / Soundboard

101. Band Announcement
102. Rock and Roll
103. Sick Again
104. Over the Hills and Far Away
105. In My Time of Dying
106. The Song Remains the Same
107. The Rain Song
108. Kashmir

201 No Quarter
202. Trampled Underfoot
203. Moby Dick

301. Dazed and Confused
302. Stairway to Heaven
303. Whole Lotta Love
304. Black Dog
305. Heartbreaker

Led Zeppelin - 1975-02-13 - Uniondale, NY (Moonchild MC087)

Led Zeppelin
February 13, 1975
Nassau Memorial Coliseum
Uniondale, NY

MOONCHILD RECORDS / MC-087 / Soundboard

101. Band Announcement
102. Rock and Roll
103. Sick Again
104. Over the Hills and Far Away
105. In My Time of Dying
106. The Song Remains the Same
107. The Rain Song
108. Kashmir
109. No Quarter

201. Trampled Underfoot
202. Moby Dick
203. Dazed and Confused

301. Stairway to Heaven
302. Whole Lotta Love
303. Black Dog
304. Communication Breakdown

Led Zeppelin - 1975-02-12 - New York City, NY (Moonchild MC086)

Led Zeppelin 
February 12, 1975 
Madison Square Garden 
New York City, NY 

MOONCHILD RECORDS / MC - 086 / Soundboard

101. Rock and Roll
102. Sick Again
103. Over the Hills and Far Away
104. In My Time of Dying
105. The Song Remains the Same
106. The Rain Song
107. Kashmir

201. No Quarter
202 Trampled Underfoot
203. Moby Dick

301. Dazed and Confused
302. Stairway to Heaven
303. Whole Lotta Love
304. Black Dog
305. Heartbreaker

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Led Zeppelin - 1971-09-29 - Osaka (SBD Sample)

Led Zeppelin 
September 29,1971
Festival Hall

Live In Japan 1971 / EVSD

01 immigrant song

Release is one song only

Thursday, February 08, 2018

Deep Purple - 1976-02-08 - Miami, FL (G.R. 620-621)

Deep Purple 
Jai Alai Sports Auditorium 
Miami, FL 

G.R. 620-621

101. Burn
102. Lady Luck
103. Getting Tighter
104. Love Child
105. Smoke On The Water
106. Jon Lord Solo / Lazy / Ian Paice Solo
107. Homeward Strut

201. This Time Around
202. Owed To G
203. Tommy Bolin Solo
204. Dealer
205. Stormbringer
206. I Am Going Down
207. Highway Star

42 years ago Deep Purple absolutely killed it in Miami... One of the greatest shows of this line up and a favorite of mine.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Aerosmith - 2017 - The Boys From Boston

The Boys From Boston
(The Early Years 1973-1976)

The Boys From Boston – The Early Years 1973-1976 (Magic Bus MB-07)

Paul's Mall, Boston, Massachusetts, April 23, 1973

101. Announcements / Make It
102. One Way Street
103. Somebody
104. Write Me A Letter
105. I Ain't Got You
106. Mother Popcorn
107. Movin' Out
108. Walkin' The Dog
109. The Train Kept A Rollin'
110. Mama Kin

Counterpart Studios, Cincinnati, Ohio, September 26, 1973

201. Announcements
202. Make It
203. Somebody
204. Write Me A Letter
205. Introduction & Sound Adjustment
206. Dream On
207. One Way Street
208. Walkin' The Dog
209. Announcer Talk
210. Pandora's Box
211. Rattlesnake Shake
212. Announcer Talk
213. The Train Kept A Rollin'
214. Mama Kin
215. Closing Credits

Michigan Palace, Detroit, Michigan, April 7, 1974

301. Announcements
302. Write Me A Letter
303. Mama Kin
304. Lord Of The Thighs
305. Woman Of The World
306. Dream On
307. Pandora's Box
308. Same Old Song And Dance
309. One Way Street
310. Somebody
311. The Train Kept A Rollin'
312. Encore Break 1
313. Walkin' The Dog
314. Encore Break 2
315. Milk Cow Blues

My .Father's Place, Roslyn, New York, July 2, 1974

401. Write Me A Letter
402. S.O.S. (Too Bad)
403. Lord Of The Thighs
404. Dream On
405. Same Old Song And Dance
406. Woman Of The World
407. The Train Kept A Rollin'
408. Encore Break
409. Walkin' The Dog

Schaeffer Music Festival, Wollman Skating Rink, Central Park, New York City, August 29, 1975

501. Announcements
502. Walkin' The Dog
503. S.O.S. (Too Bad)
504. Somebody
505. Big Ten Inch
506. Sweet Emotion
507. Dream On
508. Write Me A Letter
509. Walk This Way
510. No More No More
511. Same Old Song And Dance
512. The Train Kept A Rollin'
513. Encore Break
514. Toys In The Attic

Kiel Auditorium, St. Louis, Missouri, September 18, 1975

601. Walkin' The Dog
602. S.O.S. (Too Bad)
603. Somebody
604. Big Ten Inch
605. Sweet Emotion
606. Dream On
607. Write Me A Letter
608. Walk This Way
609. No More No More
610. Same Old Song And Dance
611. The Train Kept A Rollin'

”Rocks” Sessions Wherehouse, Waltham, Massachusetts, February/March 1976

701. Nobody's Fault
702. Rats In The Cellar
703. Home Tonight
704. Last Child
705. Back In The Saddle
706. Combination
707. Get The Lead Out
708. Lick And A Promise

Civic Center, Peoria, Illinois, July 15, 1976

709. Introduction & Announcements
710. Mama Kin
711. Write Me A Letter
712. S.O.S. (Too Bad)
713. Lick And A Promise
714. Big Ten Inch
715. Sweet Emotion
716. Rats In The Cellar
717. Dream On
718. Lord Of The Thighs

Stadthalle, Offenbach, Germany, October 26, 1976

801. Introduction & Announcements
802. Mama Kin
803. Write Me A Letter
804. S.O.S. (Too Bad)
805. Lick And A Promise
806. Big Ten Inch
807. Sweet Emotion
808. Rats In The Cellar
809. Dream On
810. Lord Of The Thighs
811. Last Child
812. Walk This Way
813. Sick As A Dog
814. Same Old Song And Dance
815. The Train Kept A Rollin'
816. Toys In The Attic

The new (well it’s been out for a while but it’s been a busy summer) box set from the folks at the Magic Bus label is something that has been rumored for some time and had many collectors, myself included, salivating at the mere thought. Yes, hard rock fans, the first unofficial box set of Aerosmith material. For me as a young rock fan, I was always drawn to live albums, KISS Alive!, Rush All The World’s A Stage, Nugent’s Double Live Gonzo, AC/DC’s If You Want Blood, and perhaps my favorite, UFO’s Strangers In The Night were all “gateway drugs” if you will. If the band passed the mustard, the studio records would follow. Eventually my love for all things hard rock brought me to Aerosmith’s Live Bootleg and for whatever reason it just never clicked although it remained in my collection on cassette for sometime. After having seen a few Aerosmith concerts, I knew they were a hell of a live band but Live Bootleg never did it for me, nor did the Classics Live volumes. I knew there had to be better out there, several of these live shows were where I found out that the legend was true. My Aerosmith collection is quite modest, this box set is just what I needed to flesh it out, so to speak.

Let’s take a look at what this set offers, first off we have 8 discs covering a four year period, two discs for each year. One can hear the evolution of a band that was a great live band working to translate their talent and vision to larger and larger audiences. Secondly the label elected to go with excellent source material, either radio broadcasts, soundboard recordings or great audience sources, what better way to hear Aerosmith than loud, in fact their music demands it! Lastly is the superior presentation we have come to expect from Magic Bus. From the pictures used for the covers, the comic book art style CD pictures to the lavish 28 page booklet with detailed liner notes, track listing and personnel all housed in their trademark long box style. Visual presentation is only part of it, this box set delivers a wealth of material with audio quality that at the least rivals the best versions available, in most cases exceeds it and delivers definitive sound in one volume.

The Boys From Boston 1973 (Magic Bus MB-07)

Paul’s Mall, Boston, Massachusetts – April 23, 1973

Disc 1 (49:44) Announcements / Make It, One Way Street, Somebody, Write Me A Letter, I Ain’t Got You, Mother Popcorn, Movin’ Out, Walkin’ The Dog, The Train Kept A Rollin’, Mama Kin

One of the earliest, if not the earliest live documents of Aerosmith is from a broadcast of their performance at Boston’s Paul’s Mall club. Like many of their contemporaries, broadcasting live performances was a way to get the word out on the street, and this performance was originally sent out on WBCN-FM and various versions of the tape would be released as Hot Popcorn (Mongoose MONGCD015), Boston 1973 (Darkside Productions DP-00-11), and Club Gigs 1973-1974 (Zodiac 008). Some enterprising fan hunted down a broadcast version of the concert and found it contained the opening song, Make It and made a composite of the best sounding versions of both tapes to provide a complete show, this was eventually released as Boston 1973 (Zodiac 236). Perhaps the greatest testament to this recording is the fact that the band used I Ain’t Got You and Mother Popcorn on their own Live Bootleg record.

The sound, save for Make It, is excellent and has a near perfect balance as one would expect, Joe seems a little low in the mix. Make It is in the very good range, it is clear yet sounds like it was from a very old tape as there is some phasing at the beginning and is from a different broadcast. When compared to the Zodiac title Club Gigs 1973-1974, I find that the sound levels are not as loud and are less shrill when played loud. The performance is very good, the band plays the entire debut record, save Dream On, and two songs usually not in their live sets, Calvin Carter’s I Ain’t Got You done Yardbirds style and James Brown’s Mother Popcorn (featuring Steven Tyler’s incredible white James Brown vocal!). I like the early version of Train Kept A Rollin, not as flushed out as the 74 versions, but still quite effective as the band were taking their British hard rock and blues influences and making them American.

Counterparts Studios, Cincinnati, Ohio – September 26, 1973

Disc 2 (63:21) Announcements, Make It, Somebody, Write Me A Letter, Band Introduction & Sound Adjustment, Dream On, One Way Street, Walkin’ The Dog, Announcer Talk, Pandora’s Box, Rattlesnake Shake, Announcer Talk, The Train Kept A Rollin’, Mama Kin, Closing Credits

Where the first disc was recorded in a club setting, this concert was done live in the studio in front of a small audience then broadcast on the radio. Counterparts Studio was a single room studio in a remodeled 1930’s home that featured a 16 track board and primarily catered to more local musicians with Aerosmith and Todd Rundgren’s Utopia being the most famous people to do the live broadcast thing. This recording has circulated for some time dating back to vinyl as Rattlesnake Shake (AS 1974) and its reissue Rattlesnake Shake (LXXIV Series 18), on compact disc it has only one title, Counterpart Studios 1973 (Shades 461).

The sound is excellent, the balance is better than the Paul’s Mall tape, all the instruments are well balanced and Joe is nicely in the mix making for a more effective listening experience. When compared to the Shades title, I find the sound to be most similar with both sounding really good when turned up, and as stated in Classicrawker’s excellent review of the Shades title, you get to hear the between commercial banter like Steven Tyler telling the engineer about the mix. Again the focus is on tracks from the first album, playing most of it save for Movin’ Out plus a take on Fleetwood Mac’s Rattlesnake Shake and an early version of Pandora’s Box. What really impresses me about these early tapes is that while the band is playing very basic rock and gelling as a live unit, honing their skills as a live band, singer Steven Tyler’s command of his voice and place as front man who can sing rock, blues, and funk without skipping a beat shows he already has the chops needed.

Michigan Palace, Detroit, Michigan – April 7, 1974

Disc 3 (79:36) Announcements, Write Me A Letter, Mama Kin, Lord Of The Thighs, Woman Of The World, Dream On, Pandora’s Box, Same Old Song And Dance, One Way Street, Somebody, The Train Kept A Rollin’, Encore Break # 1, Walkin’ The Dog, Encore Break # 2, Milk Cow Blues

The recording from the Michigan Palace in April of 1974 is one of the more widely circulated Aerosmith recordings in the unofficial cannon. The source is another live radio broadcast, it has seen numerous releases, Aerosmith Live (AMCOS SW48), Erotic Dreams (Swingin Pig Records), Laid Back? Fuck Off Baby!! (Polar Bear PB-101), Live (D.V.More Records CD DV 5863), One Way Street (Alegra CD 9048), and One Way Street (Great Dane Records GDR 9025), then as part of compilations sets Sweet Emotions (Viva CCD 7520) and With Or Without Plugs (Bang 001).

The recording is excellent but since it’s a broadcast it is not as clean as the shows on the 1973 set, all instruments are clearly heard and well balanced yet the recording is just a touch fuzzy as one would expect. I was surprised at how well the old Great Dane title holds up, that being said this Magic Bus version is clearly superior with much improved frequencies and clarity. The GD is a bit shrill while this is warm and inviting and sounds much better the louder it goes. This is a famous concert in the history of Detroit Rock concerts, the bill was staggering, Bob Seger, Ted Nugent and KISS were the opening acts, the KISS set from that night circulates as well and like this Aerosmith recording, is essential listening. This was the second time KISS opened for Aerosmith and there was a bit more than friendly rivalry between the two bands, the tension was high backstage and an altercation between the two bands road crews escalated to a fever pitch with weapons drawn! When you have two up and coming bands on the same bill, both that are extremely competitive, the audiences are the winners as both bands hold back nothing.

The concert finds the band integrating music from the second record, Get Your Wings, into the set list. Lord Of The Thighs is devastating, the band are very tight and the difference one year made in their live sound is astonishing, a great raunchy sound on the guitars and playing with a swagger not found on the 1973 recordings. Tyler asks the crowd if their butts hurt from sitting around waiting for them, funny comment since the opening bands certainly got the crowd out of their seat! The band has trouble keeping their guitars in tune, long pauses between songs find the band having to explain, Joe Perry tells them they do not want to hurt their ears with wrong notes, the band does gain some serious momentum starting with a long jam on One Way Street complete with talk box section, a satisfying finish to the concert.

My Father’s Place, Roslyn, New York – July 2, 1974

Disc 4 (45:55) Write Me A Letter, S.O.S. (Too Bad), Lord Of The Thighs, Dream On, Same Old Song And Dance, Woman Of The World, The Train Kept A Rollin’, Encore Break, Walkin’ The Dog

The second disc of the 1974 set is the recording from My Father’s Place, the famous Long Island rock club that would feature many of the bands’ performances at the venue on radio station WLIR FM. The quality of the recording is excellent, so needless to say there have been many titles featuring this material, first on vinyl as Live Bootleg Vol. 2 (Ironic Records AC 010399), Live Bootleg Vol. 2 (Aaron Records AC018399) and on CD as Live Bootleg Vol. 2 (Ironic Records IRONIC 005), My Fathers Place (Mongoose Records MONG CD003), Live In Concert (Star Box MT CD 110 4039), Live In Concert (Top Sound TS-CD 010), Tracks From The Attic (SL-CD 006) and most recently on Club Gigs 1973-1974 (Zodiac 008).

I compared this to the Zodiac title, the sound has a fuller range of frequencies, the top end does not distort as bad as Zodiac and is less harsh sounding and is a nice improvement over that titles sound. This performance is excellent, the band blazes through their set and bring the house down, no guitars going out of tune here. To me this concert makes the Detroit 74 show sound lethargic at times, obviously the band hits their stride very early on. Not much needs to be said about this recording, put it on your player, turn it up and get ready to rock your @$$ off, it’s that good.

The Boys From Boston 1975 (Magic Bus MB-07 E/F)

Schaeffer Music Festival, Wollman Skating Rink, Central Park, New York City – August 29, 1975

Disc 5 (63:51) Announcements, Walkin’ The Dog, S.O.S. (Too Bad), Somebody, Big Ten Inch Record, Sweet Emotion, Dream On, Write Me A Letter, Walk This Way, No More No More, Same Old Song And Dance, The Train Kept A Rollin’, Encore Break, Toys In The Attic

The 1975 gig in Central Park is a famous one, for good reason, first and foremost is the recording. The concert was recorded by the King Biscuit Flower Hour (KBFH) so the quality is excellent, if anything the audience is a bit low in the mix, otherwise the balance is near perfection. Secondly the band is at the height of the 70’s power as a live act, their records and live playing is superb and for me, it gets no better than this (although the My Father’s Place gig is right there as well).

Needless to say there has been a plethora of releases from this show, on vinyl as Rock This Way (TKRWM 1812) and Look Homeward Angel (ZAP 7868), on CD as The Increasingly Killer Show (Oh Boy 1-9101), Boston Stranglers (Beech Martin 021/2), Mad, Bad And Dangerous (Lobster Records CD027), From The Attic of ’75 (Polar Bear PB-073), Live In The USA Vol. 3 (Imtrat IMM 40.90177), S.O.S. NY (Flying Cat FLC001), Young Lust (Living Legend LLRCD 084), Live Emotions (Main Event Records ME-020), and Central Park ’75 Master (No Label).

For this review I am using the Central Park ’75 Master No Label release for comparison, both are excellent with this new version getting the nod, it has better bass, is a touch louder without being compressed and just sounds better in my car and home. Aerosmith puts on an incredible performance, the band is very tight and the synchronicity is perfect, even the piano of Scott Kushi sounds ok, thankfully his contributions are minimal. The set list is as good as it gets, a great mix of music from their first three records, there is not a dud in the set. The title of this box set comes from the announcer who introduces the band “Good evening New York City…Are you ready to Rock?…Alright let’s all get together and give a warm welcome to The Boys From Boston…Ladies and Gentlemen Aerosmith”. Highlights, there is 64 minutes of them.

Kiel Auditorium, St. Louis, Missouri – September 18, 1975

Disc 6 (58:09) Walkin’ The Dog, S.O.S. (Too Bad), Somebody, Big Ten Inch Record, Sweet Emotion, Dream On, Write Me A Letter, Walk This Way, No More No More, Same Old Song And Dance, The Train Kept A Rollin’

Just a few short weeks after the Central Park triumph, the band are playing in St Louis and there exists a soundboard recording of the majority of the concert, if you base the set list of that show only the encore(s) is missing. There has only been one complete version of this recording, 1974 (Mistral Records MM9109), and a couple songs were filler on From The Attic of ’75 (Polar Bear PB-073). The recording is a soundboard and while being excellent, has balance issues, the guitars and bass are lower in the mix and depending on who is playing lead may get louder or not. The drums are loud at the beginning and Steven’s vocals are dominant in the mix, once you turn this up, your ears adjust, mine did.

I used the 1974 title for comparison, and again both are very similar in sound, the Mistral title is a bit louder, this new title has lower sound, fuller frequencies and also has proper song cues where the older title has several songs as one track. Where the Central Park performance features the band in The Big Apple with its musical press and recording for radio and playing very tight and professional, this gig in St Louis finds the band free from those constraints and really having fun. The playing is a bit looser but not sloppy by any means. This is Aerosmith at a peak as far as being a touring unit in the 70’s, you can hear the enjoyment in the playing, from the lead trading by Whitford and Perry to Steven’s flubbing a few lines here and changing some of the lyrics there, and like the Central Park gig just a great performance.

The Rocks sessions showed up on the collectors market close to two years ago thanks to the folks from Zodiac, whose title Rocks Sessions (Zodiac 079) was released in autumn 2014. Credited to the Aerosmith Wherehouse in Waltham, Massachusetts (I have seen it credited to the Record Plant in NYC), the band’s home base where much of the music was written and rehearsed. The vibes were so good they decided to, in the words of Brad Whitford “back the Record Plant’s mobile unit into our Wherehouse and just let it fly”. So good were the perfect combination of drugs, energy, and musical synergy that the magical creative juices poured from the five musicians.

The recording is a soundboard source, it is excellent but a bit flat, certainly not from a master tape but perhaps a cassette that one of the band members used to hear how it sounded at home or in a car, or to possibly even begin working on lyrics…who knows. The recording features 8 of the 9 songs, only Sick As A Dog is not represented and what is here are the songs in varying degrees of completion, none of them have vocals so they are all instrumental and some would even get more overdubs, but they sound close to the final thing. When compared to the Zodiac title, the Zodiac does sound louder but that is the only real difference, what that means for me is I can turn my stereo up louder with not as much distortion, to my ear the frequencies sound very similar.

The filler on the disc is a fragment of a concert from Peoria, Illinois midway through the American leg of the ROCKS tour. The fragment has only been booted before on an old and very rare vinyl title Stamp (no company or matrix), supposedly there were only 25 copies pressed. The 43 minute fragment is a good to very good audience source, it’s a bit distant but clear with the instruments and vocals discernable with the expected bit of distortion but that only accentuates the sound, it captures the atmosphere inside the Civic Center quite well. The performance is really good, the set list relys on material from the first three records with just two songs from ROCKS. Its really interesting to here basic riff songs like Mama Kin and Write Me A Letter three years after their release on the debut, they are played with swagger and sound so full, as if they were on their newest record.

Stadthalle, Offenbach, Germany – October 26, 1976

The last disc on the set is a recording from Aerosmith’s first European tour in support of Rocks. The tour was less than a month long beginning October 13 in Liverpool and ending November 1 in Paris, France. Like KISS who earlier in 1976 had done their first European tour, Aerosmith found that while they were the “It” band in America, that did not translate to credibility with European rock fans. Like KISS, Aerosmith had been bread on the classic British hard rock legends like Clapton, The Who and Led Zeppelin, but their sound was purely American. It did not help that the tour took place in a rainy season and some of their outdoor gigs were quite muddy, and save for a handful of dates in Germany and Switzerland in 1977, the band would not return for well over a decade.

The recording featured here is the third of four concerts played in Germany and is a very good audience recording, clear and well balanced all instruments and vocals are clearly heard and for better or worse the atmosphere is captured. The recording has one previous release, Offenbach Rocks (Shout To The Top STTP 121) and when compared to that title this Magic Bus title has not been amplified as much, a trademark of the STTP label, and is clearer and less distorted sounding, albeit warmer sounding as well and another nice upgrade. The recording has several cuts, the end of Lick And A Promise is cut off and Lord Of The Thighs fades near the end. Last Child cuts out near the end and the encore cheering and lead in to Toys is missing, Magic Bus did an excellent job with the cuts and fades, all are smooth and well handled.

The performance itself is great, the band plow through their set with abandon, the audience is stiff and pretty subdued throughout making for a not very lively atmosphere, but makes for a clear recording. It does sound that the audience is not completely dead, you can hear some faint clapping during Same Old Song And Dance, the relentless rock and roll seems to have awaked them as the band deliver a blistering version of Train Kept A Rollin’, the audience even sings the “all night long” parts. Joey Kramer, love you man but I do not miss the drum solo during Train, it seem to stop the momentum, this drum solo-less version is really good, Joe P wrings the hell out of that Fender! What is most interesting in listening to this concert several times is that the band start off playing well and build momentum with every song, even when the punters are quiet, the band seem to be really enjoying themselves. Damn, two weeks of non stop listening and there is only one question left, is this set worth the investment? The answer is a resounding yes, this box delivers on all fronts, retire your old copies of these shows, this box set is the definitive word on 70’s Aerosmith.