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Led Zeppelin – Cold Sweat (Tarantura TCD-43-1~3)

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Cold Sweat (Tarantura TCD-43-1~3)

Grugahalle, Essen, Germany – March 22nd, 1973

Disc 1 (59:06):  Rock And Roll, Over The Hills And Far Away, Black Dog, Misty Mountain Hop, Since I’ve Been Loving You, Dancing Days, Bron-Yr-Aur Stomp, The Song Remains The Same, The Rain Song

Disc 2 (43:48):  Dazed And Confused, Stairway To Heaven

Disc 3 (42:17):  Whole Lotta Love (includes:  Everybody Needs Somebody To Love, Turn On Your Lovelight, Boogie Chillun’, Baby I Don’t Care, Let’s Have A Party, I Can’t Quit You, The Lemon Song), Heartbreaker

There are a total of three different sources for Zeppelin’s show in Essen, two audiences and a soundboard fragment with most of “Dazed & Confused” and “Whole Lotta Love”.  The first audience source, spanning the beginning of the show through part of “Stairway To Heaven”, was first released as Essen 1973 (SBM-73-1/2) on Savege Beast Music.  The soundboard fragment was released, along with many other soundboards, on Essential Led (CD 6 – 807) released in 1991 on Flying Disc. 

Several years ago the second audience source surfaced running from “Stairway To Heaven” to the encore “Heartbreaker”.  An edition utilizing all three sources was released on Winston remaster and on silver disc on Essentially Led Complete on the short lived Live Remains label (LR-04011/2/3) and Gracias! on Empress Valley (EVSD-300/301/302). Cold Sweat on Tarantura is another edition that is similar to the latest two releases in using the three different sources. 

Live Remains and Empress Valley both chose to use all of the available soundboard as a base and fill in the audience sources around it.  Tarantura’s edition is different in they want to minimize use of the soundboard recording as much as possible.  The first audience source is used from ”Rock And Roll” through “Dazed & Confused”. 

The second source picks up with “Stairway To Heaven” and goes to the end except for a twenty second segment at the beginning of “I Can’t Quit You” in the “Whole Lotta Love” medley where the soundboard recording is used.  So while technically this is a three source mix, for practical purposes this is really a mix of the two audience tapes.  In my review for Empress Valley’s Gracias! I wrote:  “I wish EV would have left it as a two source audience mix…I’d wait for a proper two audience mix to come along and pass on this.”  I would like to think Tarantura took my advice with this release.

The first source is very loud and powerful with some distance from the stage with a bit of echo surrounding the music.  It captures the atmosphere of the show perfectly and contains a tape flip eliminating the first verse of “The Song Remains The Same”.  The second source isn’t as good as the first, sounding muddy and distorted but on the whole listenable and enjoyable.  The editing between the two sources is rather abrupt right at the beginning of “Stairway To Heaven” with no attempt to use a smooth fade between the two.  The audience sources are very good at picking up the atmosphere of the event and the violent devastation especially of Bonham, who sounds like he’s about the level the venue with his drums.

Essen is another Zeppelin masterpiece from Europe 1973.  The band are fighting faulty equipment in the first third of the show.  “We must ask you to cool everything for about three minutes because James’ guitar is a bit fucked” Plant says before ”Black Dog”.  ”Misty Mountain Hop” also gets off to a rough start because of the guitar and Bonham is inaudible during the beginning of ”Bron-Yr-Aur Stomp” (and his vocal contributions to that trace are VERY important). 

But the show hits its stride with “Dazed & Confused” and this is among the very best versions.  They get into a bit of “Walter’s Walk” in the middle.  Plant sings a bit of Shirley Bassey’s “Big Spender” (a song that figured predominantly in Queen’s rock and roll medley at this time) as a prelude to “Whole Lotta Love” that has the usual medley but delivered very intensely.  Tarantura should be commended for not relying upon the soundboard (much).  That tape is fantastic but extremely fragmentary and is great to listen to by itself.

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Led Zeppelin - Cold Sweat (Tarantura TCD-43-1~3), 2.5 out of 5 based on 1 rating

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