Led Zeppelin History – Sept 13

Today in 1971 Zeppelin played at the Berkeley Community Theatre in CA.

Jimmy Page:
“The seated, uni-like audience seemed pretty non-plussed. It wasn’t a very good communion that night. Maybe that evening they: a) were contaminated by the negative press we had continually received from the locally-based Rolling Stone; b) were sitting in the remnants of the vibrant San Francisco music scene they had witnessed over the last 5 years; c) weren’t receptive to new music we played – material from the unreleased Led Zeppelin IV; d) were heavily stoned, or; e) were all of the above.”

Setlist:
Immigrant Song, Heartbreaker, Since I’ve Been Loving You, Black Dog, Dazed and Confused, Stairway to Heaven, Celebration Day, That’s the Way, Going to California, What Is and What Should Never Be, Moby Dick, Whole Lotta Love (medley incl. Let That Boy Boogie, Hello Mary Lou, Mess of Blues, You Shook Me), Communication Breakdown (incl. Gallows Pole), Rock and Roll (aka “Been a Long Time”).

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Led Zeppelin History – Sept 9

Yesterday in 1997 Led Zeppelin released a “Whole Lotta Love” 3-track EP in the UK, 28 years after the release of the album containing the song. The other two tracks on the EP are “Baby Come on Home” and “Travelling Riverside Blues”. This was the first-ever official UK release of “Whole Lotta Love”, as Zeppelin had prohibited Atlantic Records from releasing any singles in their home country. This one was issued to promote their recently reissued back catalog.

In that same vein, today I thought I’d provide some information on Led Zeppelin singles.

Zeppelin weren’t opposed to issuing singles in the UK specifically, they were opposed to issuing singles of their music in general. They and manager Peter Grant felt that singles were meant for the pop audience, that they would not be an accurate representation of their sound, and that they also took away from the band’s mystique. As a result, they made sure no stock singles were ever released in the UK (although there were several promo and jukebox singles released later). It also turned out to be a good business decision, because it forced fans who wanted just one or two songs to have to buy the entire album.

While Zeppelin were pretty successful in keeping the UK division of Atlantic Records from releasing singles there, they couldn’t keep the divisions in other countries (most notably the U.S., France, Germany and Japan) from releasing them. Atlantic tried several times throughout Zeppelin’s career to release singles in the UK anyway, and on a few of those occasions they actually pressed some. But Peter Grant always made Atlantic withdraw them before release for public sale.

Much to the band’s chagrin however, their label, Atlantic Records, issued 10 singles from their studio albums in the US. They are, in order of release:

Good Times Bad Times / Communication Breakdown Released Mar. 10, 1969

Whole Lotta Love / Living Loving Maid (She’s Just A Woman) Released Nov. 7, 1969

Immigrant Song / Hey Hey What Can I Do Released Nov. 5, 1970

Black Dog / Misty Mountain Hop Released Dec. 2, 1971

Rock And Roll / Four Sticks Released Feb. 21, 1972

Over The Hills And Far Away / Dancing Days Released May 24, 1973

D’yer Mak’er / The Crunge Released Sep. 17, 1973

Trampled Underfoot / Black Country Woman Released Apr. 2, 1975

Candy Store Rock / Royal Orleans Released Jun. 18, 1976

Fool In The Rain / Hot Dog Released Dec. 7, 1979

FACT: The rarest official Led Zeppelin single is the original Japanese Atlantic/Polydor pressing of “Immigrant Song” backed with “Out On The Tiles.” The only official single to feature both songs, this disc is valued at around $2,000 by collectors.

Led Zeppelin History – Sept 5

This is post-Led Zeppelin info.

Today in 2008 the world premiere of the electric-guitar documentary It Might Get Loud took place at the Toronto International Film Festival. The documentary stars Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin), The Edge (U2) and Jack White, and all three were all in attendance. The documentary was released commercially in the US on August 14, 29009. Link to trailer and press kit: http://sonyclassics.com/itmightgetloud/main.html

Led Zeppelin History – Sept 1

Today in 1971, Epic Records withdrew a live Yardbirds album that it had released only a week prior. Epic had recorded the performance at the Anderson Theater in New York on March 30, 1968, for possible release as a live album. The band however, which included Jimmy Page at the time, wasn’t happy with the recording and decided not to release it. But in 1971, in an apparent effort to capitalize on the success of Page’s current band, Led Zeppelin, Epic released the album anyway under the title Live Yardbirds: Featuring Jimmy Page.

Page promptly threatened to sue, and Epic quickly withdrew the album from the market. In 1976, Epic’s parent label Columbia again released the album, with the same result. This has made the album rather rare, and both versions of it have been counterfeited. The most common counterfeit is of the Epic pressing. That version has a black and white cover instead of a color one and a white label instead of the standard Epic yellow one. The counterfeits are often sold as “white label promotional” copies, though there were no official white label promotional issues of that album; all promotional copies had yellow stock labels with a timing strip attached to the front cover.

Ironically, the album is a winner with most critics. AllMusic.com gave it 4-1/2 stars:
“Arguably the most famous lost live album in history, Live Yardbirds Featuring Jimmy Page, cut at the Anderson Theater in New York on March 30, 1968, has been issued twice on vinyl legitimately (only to be suppressed by legal action) and innumerable times since as a bootleg. Page’s guitar (which goes out of tune several times) is the dominant instrument, alternately crunchy and lyrical, but always loud and dexterous; the roughness of Keith Relf’s singing is also more apparent, but his shortcomings don’t really hurt the music. The performance also reveals just how far out in front of the psychedelic pack the Yardbirds were by the spring of 1968; Page had pushed the envelope about as far as he could, in terms of high-velocity guitar pyrotechnics.”

Led Zeppelin History – Aug 31

Today in 1969, Zeppelin appeared at the Texas International Pop Festival (stage-announced as “The Led Zeppelin”) in Lewisville. By late 1969 multi-artist music festivals were becoming well established in the US, and the 3-day Texas festival offered a substantial bill of performing artists, including B.B. King, Sam & Dave, Johnny Winter, Grand Funk Railroad, Nazz, Santana, Canned Heat, Freddie King, Spirit, Chicago, Ten Years After, The Incredible String Band, and Janis Joplin. Jimmy Page: “I watched Sam & Dave perform and hung out with Janis Joplin, whom I had hung out with at Steve Paul’s Scene Club in New York in my Yardbird days.”

Setlist: Train Kept a Rollin’, I Can’t Quit You Baby, Dazed and Confused, You Shook Me, How Many More Times (medley incl. Suzie Q, Eyesight To The Blind, Lemon Song, Bye Bye Baby, Communication Breakdown.

Link to footage of “You Shook Me”:  https://youtu.be/EVeFm_Ns3nk