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Led Zeppelin 2014 The Paris gig.......
on 9 June 2014
OK, so all of the previous owners are familiar with the material here, best described by someone elsewhere in the reviews here as a collection of thinly disguised blues covers, to pad things out, along with a couple of new songs that Jimmy had been working on with the Yardbirds. I can't argue with that, but what I can say is that Zep took that stuff and made it their own. They completely adrenalised it and took the material places that it had never been before. It was a stunning debut album by any standards. Jeff Beck had his version of similar material, which is great in it's own way, but not the aural trouncing that Zep gave it.
This new remastering really lets the whole thing breath a bit more openly, Pages acoustic guitar work and JPJ's pipe organ work being the main benefactors. There does appear to have been some sort of dynamic noise filtering used, perhaps even certain tracks have had noise limiting whereas others have not. Something strange is definitely afoot in the mix. The top end that gets pulled out with the usual noise reduction appears to have been sorted out by re-equing what was left.......or something along those lines. Everything still ends up as clear as the proverbial. Having said this, it works for me. It certainly has not sucked the life out of it the way Cedar noise reduction did when it came out. Crank up the amp and it is all there, ready to work your ears.
The bonus cd has a gig from Paris on it and this appears to be a source of some distress to some listeners. I am not one of those listeners. Sure I have heard better sound quality recordings, but rarely have I felt that the atmosphere of the gig was floating right out of the speakers. This gig is wild!! It is like the rock and roll equivalent of lighting a stick of dynamite and dancing through pools of petrol outside a nitro glycerine factory. I have heard dozens of Led Zep bootlegs and would have to say that this one is as good as any I have heard for getting close to what the gig must have been like. Yes, there are sound balancing issues, yes, levels get shifted, but the adrenaline flow is constant.
Six minutes into the last track, How Many More TImes, Page cranks out "that riff" during an improv section. He then plays "that riff" a couple more times......... Is this the birth of Whole Lotta Love? Worth hearing just for this alone.
Horses for courses...you might love or loath the sound quality(which was significantly better than I had expected going by some of the existing reviews) this gig has atmosphere and a quality that make it worth hearing at least once, if not a dozen times.