Smoke Get In Your Eyes (Scorpio LZ-08025)
Festival Hall, Osaka, Japan – September 29th, 1971
Disc 1 (66:06): Intro, Immigrant Song, Heartbreaker, Since I’ve Been Loving You, Black Dog, Dazed And Confused
Disc 2 (72:36): Stairway To Heaven, Celebration Day, That’s The Way, Going To California, Tangerine, Friends, Smoke Gets In Your Eyes, What Is And What Should Never Be, Moby Dick
Disc 3 (64:41): Whole Lotta Love, Communication Breakdown, Organ Solo, Thank You, Rock And Roll
Smoke Get In Your Eyes is the second Scorpio title documenting Led Zeppelin’s first tour of Japan in September 1971. The second night in Osaka, and the final night of the tour, is one of the most frequently released shows dating back to vinyl. Instead of using the well known soundboard recording, Scorpio do a very careful edit between two audience recordings. They use as a basis the tape that first surfaced a decade ago on 929 on The Diagrams Of Led Zeppelin and utilize the tape used on 929 (H-Bomb).
They are both good to very good audience recordings taped a distance away from the stage. Neither of the two are as clear as the soundboard recording, but this offers a different perspective on the show. The other tape gives a vivid recording of the band on stage, but this one gives the perspective of being in the audience.
There is four minutes of crowd noise before the band come onstage with “Immigrant Song.” It is an aggressive version and Jimmy Page liberally uses the wah-wah pedal during the solo. And that will be something he does constantly throughout the set. “Heartbreaker” contains references to both “59th Street Bridge Song” and Bach’s Bouree, both of which are recognized by the audience and are applauded.
Before “Dazed And Confused” Plant makes the strange comment about “common complaint in Osaka, rice in hair. You think I’m joking, right?” He then thanks Japan for their hospitality on their first visit, praising “wonderful glorious Japan, which has been incredible. Great hotels, great bars, great people, and without giving you any…it’s not bullshit really because this is our last night in Japan…and we’re gonna have a good time and I think you will too.”
“Dazed And Confused” reaches the half hour mark in this show. The violin bow interlude produces very intimidating airline crashing noises to bounce off the walls of the Festival Hall. The long improvisation includes a strange reference to the 1930’s jazz standard “Pennies From Heaven.” It has a spaced out coda which is a standard for the song in this year. Plant complains a bit about how quiet the crowd is afterwards, telling them they are “much too quiet, much too slow, too silly, and fast asleep.”
The acoustic set begins after “Celebration Day.” At this point Bonham disappeared from the stage with no word on when he would return Before “That’s The Way” Plant asks, “where’s Mr. Bonham? Jimmy’s here, he can’t go any further than here. He can’t go over there cause there’s a big hole there.” The first two songs, “That’s The Way” and “Going To California” are expanded to kill time until he retuns. “Going To California” reaches ten minutes!
Plant complains more afterwards, “Where’s Bonzo? Bonzo, Mr. Bonham, Mr. Bonham. Listen, after three everybody say Mr. Bonham. 1,2,3 Mr Bonham. For fuck’s sake, Mr Bonham, what can you say? Mr Bonham went for bath with Geisha, yeah, right on. I’m afraid Mr., where is he? Where’s Bonham? He refuses to come. Fuck you mate. Where’d he go?” They proceed to play “Tangerine” and Bonham returns in time for the anticipated performance of the night “Friends” from Led Zeppelin III. This is their first and only live performance of the piece. Plant begins the first verse too early but otherwise it’s an effective stage piece and it makes one wish they kept it in the acoustic set.
Each of the Japan shows has a unique and wired “Whole Lotta Love” medley. The final night in Osaka reaches closes to forty minutes and contains a complete cover of the Elvis classic “I Gotta Know,” performed by Led Zeppelin for the only time. This leads into a cover of “Twist And Shout” which is also played for the only time live by Zeppelin. The medley reaches its climax with “Good Times Bad Times” and “You Shook Me” from the first album with very long instrumental passages in between.
The encores begin with “Communication Breakdown” which also is expanded with a very long instrumental passage in the middle, pushing what is a three minute track into seven. A four minute organ solo is a prelude to “Thank You” and the show, and the tour, ends with “Rock And Roll” from the as yet unreleased fourth album played for the only time on this short tour. Smoke Get In Your Eyes is packaged in a fatboy jewel case with the concert poster as artwork and with vacation photos of Page and Plant on the interior. This certainly is not an essential title to own but it does provide a good edition of the other audience tapes available for this show.If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)