Four Blocks In The Snow (The Chronicles Of Led Zeppelin 015/016/017/018/019/020)
Madison Squrare Garden, New York, NY – February 12th, 1975
Disc 1 (75:42): Introduction, Rock And Roll, Sick Again, Over The Hills And Far Away, In My Time Of Dying, The Song Remains The Same, The Rain Song, Kashmir, No Quarter
Disc 2 (63:49): Trampled Underfoot, Moby Dick, Dazed And Confused
Disc 3 (37:54): Stairway To Heaven, Whole Lotta Love, Black Dog, Heartbreaker
Disc 4 (58:36): Introduction, Rock And Roll, Sick Again, Over The Hills And Far Away, In My Time Of Dying, The Song Remains The Same, The Rain Song, Kashmir
Disc 5 (45:45): No Quarter, Trampled Underfoot, Moby Dick
Disc 6 (72:02): Dazed And Confused, Stairway To Heaven, Whole Lotta Love, Black Dog, Heartbreaker
Led Zeppelin’s final gig in Madison Square Garden in 1975 is among the best recorded and most popular, considered by many to be part of the core for any collection. Three unique sources exist for the show and has been in almost constant circulation for thirty years. Two audience and an excellent soundboard all exists and have been pressed many times. Four Blocks In The Snow collects together the two audience recordings in one six disc package for the first time. Discs one through three has the first audience source that is one of the most clear and vivid of their entire live career. It first saw release on vinyl on In Concert (Rock Solid Records RSR 206) and In Person(Rock Solid Records RSR 205) and both included in The Final Option boxset. Other vinyl titles include Live At Madison Square Garden 1975(Zep Toepper LZ500) with “Rock And Roll,” “Sick Again,” “No Quarter,” “Moby Dick” and “In My Time Of Dying,” Madison Square Garden (The Swingin’ Pig Records TSP 300-6) and Madison Square garden 1975 (The Swingin’ Pig Records TSP 500-5/3).
Compact disc releases include Heartbreaker’s Back In Town Vol. 1 (TNT Studio 92 0120) and Heartbreaker’s Back In Town Vol. 2 (TNT Studio 92 0121), The Jumpleg (Tarantura T3CD-7) and its European copy 10th US Tour (Whole Lotta Live WLL001/2/3). Last Stand Disc issued the tape twice. The first is MSG 1975 (LSD-12/13/14) and an improved copy on MSG 1975 (LSD-79/80/81). The Diagrams Of Led Zeppelin also issued the show twice on Can’t Take Your Evil Ways(TDOLZ Vol. 19) with a limited edition boxed set and a normal cardboard gatefold sleeve release. Other versions include Ladies and Gents (Tarantura TCD-7) and Madison Square Graffiti (Red Devil RDO15-1,2,3). There are cuts after “The Rain Song” and “Moby Dick” and, despite claims by both TDOLZ and TCOLZ, a cut at 9:45 in “Moby Dick.”
Discs four through six contain the second audience recording that was pressed several years ago on That’s All Right New York (Electric Magic EMC-011 A/B/C). That release was highly processed and sounded horrible as most of their latter day releases were. The sound quality is good but highly distorted in the higher frequencies and if it weren’t for that problem this would be a really nice alternative to the first audience recording. TCOLZ didn’t try to fix the issue but rather left it along making the first pressed edition worth listening to. This version is also pitched corrected. There are cuts at “Sick Again” at 0:35, “The Rain Song” at 6:59, “Moby Dick” at 1:15 and 3:18, and in “Dazed And Confused” at 24:32.
The opening introduction is much longer in the second recording, capturing the mc asking people to not stand up and pointing out the seats behind the stage are good. The band start the concert with noticeable intensity before Plant speaks to the audience, saying, “We came four blocks in the snow to get here, you realize that? Well let me tell you something. People were calling me up on the telephone today saying is it gonna be on, is it gonna be on. For a minute I wondered about my anatomy, then I realized there was some discrepancy about the weather. Isn’t it good when it snows? Doesn’t it change the vibe of the city? I think it’s great. Anyway, so we’ll dedicate this to the keeper of the seasons. The man who gives us snow when we need it whoever he is, wherever he is.”
Natural disasters have a tendency to draw the community closer together and that effect works for this show as well. This isn’t any longer or shorter than others, but everything is delivered as such a quick pace and nothing drags. This being the final night at the Garden also has much to do what that as Plant says, “Thank you. This is what we consider to be the last of the New York concerts. We’ve got the Nassau county ones, but we’ve always really dig playing in the Garden, and so tonight we’re gonna have a really ecstatic one, right? This is codependent on two things, us and you.”
“The Song Remains The Same” continues the theme of travel and Plant introduces the song by saying, “this is a song that came to us along with a lot of very good experiences as we travelled the world. We ended up in Rodney Dangerfield’s would you believe?” (Dangerfield’s was the comedy club Rodney Dangerfield opened in 1969.)
“Now Qurter” is played by “the impeccably clean fingernails of John Paul Jones. The man who made Monty Python’s Flying Circus a flop in New York.” John Paul Jones takes his time in the solo, trying to develop an ominous theme but really doodles until Bonham picks up the pace. Page delivers a confident counter to the organ. The smoke machine didn’t work during the song, which Plant points out afterwards. The mood is lightned more with “Trampled Underfoot” which is about “the embellishments of the motor car, and it has connotations to physical contact.”
After “Moby Dick” Plant calls Bonzo “the Johnny Weissmuller of the Plazza hotel.” The following song “Dazed And Confused” hits the half hour mark for the first time on the tour. Page brings the band into “Walter’s Walk,” a common theme from older tours but rare in 1975 and his solo in “Stairway To Heaven” is classic. “Heartbreaker” is played as the second encore and during the guitar solo they get into a bit of Elvis’ “That’s Alright” taken at a much slower and heavier tempo. “Ladies and gentlemen of New York. You’re too much, and we ain’t so bad ourselves” are Plant’s parting words. TCOLZ utilize a six disc fatboy jewel case to store the six discs. The artwork is again the plain brown paper bag motif used for all of their releases so far with a two sided insert with various tour photos and a photo of the ticket stub in the middle. This is one of the new labels much more interesting productions thus far and is worth having.If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)