Not Warm, It’s Hot (The Diagrams Of Led Zeppelin TDOLZ Vol. 97)
Ortenauhalle, Offenburg, Germany – March 24th, 1973
Disc 1 (51:27): Intro, Rock And Roll, Over The Hills And Far Away, Black Dog, Misty Mountain Hop, Since I’ve Been Loving You, Bron-Y-Aur Stomp, The Song Remains the Same, The Rain Song
Disc 2 (40:.35): Dazed And Confused, Stairway To Heaven
Disc 3 (39:22): Whole Lotta Love, Heartbreaker
Led Zeppelin’s final show in Germany on their 1973 European tour is arguably the best recorded and hottest performance of this consistently strong tour. An excellent sounding stereo audience recording was used for the famous vinyl release Custard Pie (Rock Solid Records / International RSR 3224) which was also included in The Final Option and Led Zeppelin Film Can sets. It also appears on No Page Unturned (Nova 102A-B) with material from the April 27th, 1969 show and its clone No Page Unturned (Wendheath Records 102).
On compact disc it can be found on Custard Pie (Cobra Standard Series COBRA 001) and on Cold Sweat (Live Remains LR-04031/2) which was released several years after the TDOLZ. There are several issues with this source since it cuts in at the first verse of “Rock And Roll,” has several cuts between songs, and serious channel fluctuations during “Stairway To Heaven.”
TDOLZ attempted twice to assemble a definitive version of the show by editing this tape with a lesser quality but complete audience tape. Sweet At Night (TDOLZ Vol. 40) makes the edit for “Stairway To Heaven” only. Several years later they produced Not Warm, It’s Hot which make more extensive use of the second source. It is used for the venue announcements and beginning of “Rock And Roll” until the first verse.
Is is used further after “Since I’ve Been Loving You,” “Bron-Y-Aur Stomp,” for the opening notes for “Dazed & Confused” and to fill a cut between 18:15 and 19:34, for the beginning of “Stairway To Heaven” and beginning of “Heartbreaker.” By this time TDOLZ perfected the art of editing two tape sources together and are seamless and natural sounding. This is as close to the definitive version of the show as currently available on silver.
Judging by Plant’s comments throughout the show they were playing in a sweat-box that night. After “Black Dog” he complains “It’s a bit warm, yes? A little bit warm” and before “The Song Remains The Same” he says, “it gets warmer and warmer.” But the performance itself is very interest not least for the tightness of the band.
Houses Of The Holy would be released in several days. Upon its release some reviewers compared the music in general, and “The Song Remains The Same” in particular, to Yes with its complex rhythms and time signatures. It is apparent with progressive rock reaching a peak in 1972 this is Zeppelin’s heaviest flirtation with the genera. Each song is approached with new ideas and various interpretations which lend credence to many collector’s claim that this is their absolute peak.
The set list was established the previous October in Japan with little or no variation, but this show is notable for the lack of “Dancing Days,” normally played after “Since I’ve Been Loving You.” Since there is a cut in the tape at this point on the first tape source many speculated it was simply not recorded, but there is no cut on the second tape source and after the long blues Plant says, “Mr. Bonham takes off his shirt! This is a happy song and (as the audience begin to clap in rhythm) I think you’ve got the idea.”
In “Dazed And Confused” Page plays a melancholy melody right before “San Francisco” and Jones and Bonham get into Hendrix’ “Machine Gun” entering the violin bow episode.
The guitar solo in “Stairway To Heaven” is notable for Page reaching and sustaining several high notes to cut through the track and before “Whole Lotta Love” Plant says, “Danke schöne. Here is a song that everywhere around the world seems to inspire a bit of good times….and we’d like you to have a good time.”
The medley is pretty well established with Plant screaming “cold sweat” before “Everybody Needs Somebody To Love.” Jones and Bonham lock onto some jazzy rhythms threatening to turn the song into a fusion piece. The only encore is “Heartbreaker” which includes Bach’s Bouree in the solo.
Not Warm, It’s Hot is packaged in a fatboy jewel case with several live photos not from the tour. It could have fit on two CDs.If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)