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New Empress Valley

Empress Valley are set to release a new Led Zeppelin 1975 soundboard.  It is called Long Beach Californication and will be available in three editions:  Type A will be a “mega deluxe set with special T-shirt,” Type B deluxe version in digipack, and Type C in the “standard edition” (whatever that is). 

This is a soundboard of Zeppelin’s March 11th, 1975 show at the Long Beach Arena.  This show has been released in the past many times before in one of the most amazing audience recordings available.  It’s  nice to have a new Zep soundboard, but since this already has a great sounding tape it’s questionable what exactly will be its worth.   

If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)

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  1. With any luck, we won’t have to wait too long for the Eelgrass version!!

  2. Both astroidbelt and classicrawker make a valid point. It is about the music. And the sentiment expressed by Hager and others is that “Wilbur” and Empress Valley have forgotten that themselves. Recycling the same artwork is one thing, but charging close to $200 is quite another. If EV were to have released this as a $50 budget title (something they have done in the past), then questions about the artwork would be moot.

  3. You hit the nail on the head Astroid…They are the only Led Zep label putting out these sound boards and as far as rcycling old stuff it is not like they are the only label doing this. Tarantura, TCOLZ and the others are basically doing the same thing..I am not a EV apologist by any means and only buy selective titles but to say they struck out because the artwork is recycled seems a little extreme to me. After all it is still about the music and not fancy packaging …isn’t it?

  4. When I first saw the new artwork, and saw the duplication of the St Valentine’s Massacre cover, the first thing that popped into my head was “they’re obviously looking to get more profit”. So, they aren’t spending any more time on the artwork than they have to. Maybe that suggests that they are buying (or being given) these tapes one by one, and trying to turn them around as quick as possible, so as to get as much profit as possible, perhaps? So, the artwork becomes a complete after thought. For instance, the bonus t-shirt wasn’t even ready when the Type A edition went on sale. What’s up with that? They couldn’t print up a shirt, yet they could press up hundreds of copies of cds?

    All of that aside, I still think that Empress Valley is the only true successor to the Tarantura label from the 90’s. Every label has misses, but no one has had nearly as many hits as they have. Tarantura 2000 may have the best artwork of any label right now, but Empress Valley is the only one putting out these soundboards, keeping this addiction going. The Long Beach board sounds awesome. As the other poster mentioned, it will be hard to ever need to listen to that amazing Millard recording again, it sounds so good.

  5. I find this all fascinating.

  6. Empress Valley have been occupied with repackaging their catalogue of past releases. They’ve been doing this since the release of the last soundboard in December 2008 beginning with Deep Throat. Since collectors already have these shows, I’m not sure exactly who EV are doing it for except for the collectors who have to have everything.

    Mid Valley have continued producing desirable titles, but they are so hard to find that most don’t even notice. Remember, Empress Valley are aimed SOLELY for the Japanese market. Us gaijin don’t count one bit to them. So if you are a collector, you either try you best to find them or just ignore the label completely, something which is becoming easier to do.

  7. I’m not sure what it is, but it seems like over the past several months the once prestigious Empress Valley label has taken a major turn for the worse. Not sure who is at the controls there anymore but to recycle previously used artwork for such an important new release is like a slap in the face to collectors. It’s not like there was a big rush to get it out the door…nobody else had it so they could have taken the time to do it up right! EVSD really had a chance to hit a homerun with this release but I’m afraid it looks like they’ve struck out.

    Ok, I’m going to go sit in the corner now and wait for the 6th incarnation of Tokyo Tapes. :-(

  8. It is a crying shame that Empress Valley has apparent exclusive access to these wonderful unreleased soundboard recordings. Now that I’ve had the opportunity to absorb this recording as compared to the Millard recording I’ve loved for all of these years, it’s not likely I’ll listen to the Millard version nearly as much as I will listen to the great sounboard recording. The shame is that a label that cares about collectors doesn’t have apparent access to these uncirculated recordings, such as Tarantura, Godfather, or TCOLZ, just to name a few. Empress Valley’s indifference to collectors, putting aside their patent fraud in the “MSG Working Tapes” released around the time of the TSRTS remasters, is blatantly displayed in the artwork for the Long Beach Californication title. The same image used on EVSD’s Fall, 2008 release of the 1975 Nassau Colisseum soundboard is recycled for the “Type B” version of this Long Beach title. I seriously doubt that another label proudly marketing this recording would’ve put no effort into the overall packaging like EVSD has obviously done. And packaging is a big attraction for a lot of collectors. Still, the Type A version of this most recent title sold out instantly, its scarcity demonstrated by Air Raid only showing Types B and C on its site. The banal artwork used on those 2 “types” shows, quite clearly to this collector, how little EVSD regards the interests of the Zep collecting community. This can be traced back to EVSD’s “Flying Circus” release, a magnificent recording accompanied by marginal packaging, at best. TCOLZ wisely improved its artwork after the first few brown bag releases. EVSD may garner greater collector praise if it puts more thought into how its product is presented and marketed. There should not be such disdain for such a special thing.

  9. Since this one came back up, I’ll pass on to wilber a story. It recently dawned on me that when I was in my early teens, I believe I used to buy vinyl boots directly from whoever used to make them on Long Island. By that i mean all these great Zeppelin, and Floyd releases out there from Uniondale. He was in an indoor swamp meet, across from the Massapequa Mall, for those who know, and one day I saw his booth, had this feeling, and started looking through his boxes. ( Actually I was 16.) Found an albumn for The Who at Shea Stadium, on the night I was there, got all excited, I knew what it was but had to ask, and I did so real loud, “what is this”. The guy moved back, looked around and gritted his teeth, “It’s a bootleg”. I clearly remember seeing a boot for the Floyd Wall show in there also. I also picked a couple up for the Police that were taped on Long Island also. Excellent quality too!

  10. “Hmmm. Now that you mention it, it is a bit strange that you have never bothered reviewing Flying Circus and yet you have managed to write reviews of every other release that copied the original Empress source. I guess you must have just overlooked it or maybe you’re waiting for a free copy in the mail??”

    And this is why Eric “Wilbur” Sachs is pretty much hated by all the collectors I know. If you have a problem with my opinions then don’t bother reading site.

    Regarding a lack of reviews for the EV Flying Circus. Because EV don’t support this site, and thus don’t care about collectors, I would have had to buy. And when we get to the issue of my money, only I decide what to spend it on and what not to spend it on. I didn’t think Flying Circus was worth the price. I wasn’t going to shell out $200 for it. That is an obscene price for a show I already have.

    Many collectors support this site by donating funds and product to review. They keep the site going and they do so with the understanding that we will give a fair review, not favor it with praise just because it’s donated. Reading the reviews on this site is proof enough of our policy.

    The reality is that Empress Valley / Mid Valley are afraid to fall under our scrutiny. And that is their choice. However I will not let Empress Valley’s international dealer tell me what to buy and what not to.

    All further comments to this thread will be deleted.

  11. Well that’s very interesting. Thanks for sharing.

  12. Not today, but I *did*, back 20-odd years ago. When I was in the Army, a fella I knew (whose name won’t be mentioned) was a U.S. Army civilian employee living near Mannheim, West Germany had been a sound man at the Fillmore back in 69-71, his name was listed as part of the Fillmore Family on the Final Fillmore LP. He had about a thousand stories and a closet full of reel-to-reel soundboards, mostly of Frisco hippy bands that I didn’t really care a lot about at the time, like “It’s A Beautiful Day”, but he had shit like some 69 Zeppelin soundboards that nobody else had at the time; he claimed that the sound guys recorded every show, and swapped tapes with each other and the sound guys at other houses and ballrooms; if memory serves, those Zeppelin shows have all surfaced now on the Legendary Fillmore Series and other releases, but I remember when he had them and nobody else did; really nice fellow too. Happy to play them for you any time you wanted to stop by and visit…

  13. If you don’t have it, then I would say it’s a great release. If you have a previous excellent version, then it’s understandable to not want another. I believe there is a simultaneous discussion about the demise of the silver cd. Well, I don’t think this could be considered a re-hash, being a soundboard. I wonder just how many real quality recordings are actually out there. Rumors spread like wildfire. Tell one person a story, and by the time it gets to the tenth, it’s completely different. And once something gets on the internet, fuggetaboutit. I compare that to all of the talk about hoarders keeping tapes to themselves. Does anybody really know someone with a box full of excellent recordings?

  14. Uh… *what* 1968 soundboards? Gonzaga?
    The Legendary New Yardbirds Scandinavian Tour? Led Zeppelin were *nobody* in 1968.

    I dunno about ’69 soundboards. I doubt though if it’s EV that’s “sitting on them.” Tapes in their vault that they don’t release don’t make them money. Seems simple to me. Likewise “all the outtakes.” If they can do Scorpion one better than “Brutal Artistry” (for example), *not* whipping them out hurts their bottom line. The EV “Lost Sessions” and “Lost Mixes” series had a good bit of duplication in it from the 11 CD studio session box set (now 12 CDs from Scorpio in an upgraded edition). If they have it, it doesn’t figure they wouldn’t release it; if it gets leaked to a bit-torrent site they’ll lose a lot of sales.

  15. npollack makes a good point. When is EV going to release all the 1968 and 1969 soundboards they’re sitting on? And what about the live “In The Light” from 1975 and all the outtakes they have? Come on Empress Valley, let’s have it…

  16. After reading all the other comments it seems stupid to write mine but I must. I appreciate any LZ soundboard I can get my hands on but do the majority have to always be from the year 75? Let’s go back in time a little and feature something between 69 & 73 for a change, since this show has be released already with a excellent audience recording.

  17. brianvy writ: “I do think that if a brand new 1975 PF or RS sbd had been unearthed, folks might be slightly more excited…”

    Exactly! You know how few vintage RS SBs have come to light in the past decade as compared with LZ? LZ aficiados are so lucky to have a label like EV these days. You could have the constant rehash of DAC, SODD, IMP, the “new” VGP instead.

  18. Ok guys, enough with the “aggresive and insulting” comments ( though you have to agree they are kind of fun!).
    Just like it has been agreed since the first caveman banged on a dry animal skin with a bone : IT’S THE MUSIC STUPID!!!
    On an excellent aud recording or on a warm sb disk the bottom line is always the music/the performance itself.
    I only have the aud cd and i find it to be a good performance. Luis Rey despises the performance. Lewis/Pallet mention that the show got off to a slow start. Relayer 67 says it’s a well played show from start to finish. There are some equipment problems, the guitar is out of tune on TSRTS and Plant does make some comments that I find funny but I guess some people might find annoying.
    So, what’s your opinion on the show, the concert, the music. Highlites and “lowlights”???
    Remember, and I’ll say it in Spanish so you guys can get it in your head: ES LA MUSICA, ESTUPIDO!!!

  19. I’m glad to know that we will be able to hear another soundboard . It will be interesting to compare this to Millard’s audience source. I can only speculate what the label paid for this and would like to think this is part of the costs collectors have to pay to obtain the original. I also find it interesting that EVSD is once again offering T shirts with special releases.

  20. I do think that if a brand new 1975 PF or RS sbd had been unearthed, folks might be slightly more excited… just the nature of the beast I suppose. LZ fans are a bit spoiled with the breadth of amazing sources available. myself included… (as in VGP-175) ain’t it good to be alive? !!!! (as in Dylan) Yippee! I’m a poet, and I know it. Hope I don’t blow it.

  21. Now I feel lucky that I don’t already have a copy of this show. This will be the third Zepp show I buy this year.

  22. No worries Wilbur I don’t take your comments personally but I am always amazed as to how people interpret the written word as you obviously did not understand what I was trying to get across so I thought I would explain my intentions…

    When I said “but if it has the nice warm sound of the other 75 SB’s EV has released it should be a great listen and a nice addition to the collection.” I was trying to convey how I was looking forward to hearing this new SB and that a new SB is always welcome even if an excellent aud recording already exists.

    When I said “Love them or hate them you have to give EV credit for poneying up the $$$ for these unreleased tapes.:” I was applauding EV for being one of the few labels which releases incredible new unreleased Zep material.

    When I said “not trying to be greedy but where is the 75 Seattle SB they are rumoured to have? Come on EV lets have it!!! :)))))” I meant: I did not want to sound ungrateful, and I am really looking forward to the new SB, and already asked to have a copy reserved for me, but if EV did have the Seattle SB, as has been rumoured by sources I respect, I would love to see this released as it is one of the best shows of the 75 tour. Not sure how you got that I wanted another show instead of the LB SB out of my original post??.

    So if this makes me on of those Zep fans who are “cynical, arrogant and annoying” I am o.k with that as I was only expressing a wish and you are entitled to your opinion my friend….

    Hope this helps you understand the intentions of my original post.

    BTW, while others might be offended by your comments or take them personally I actually do enjoy your condescending, angry, bitter sense of humour as it adds some spice to the list so keep your comments coming!! peace, Classicrawker (aka Pharaoh)

  23. I have to agree with some of GS points, the high price that EV has been charging and the completeness of some of the tapes (2/14/75 missing the tangerine interlude) and the fact that the show exists in excellent quality audience recording did not make me jump up and down as would a previously unreleased show would. I am a huge fan of the 75 tour and will definitly get a copy but am hopefull that someday we will see a SB of one of the Chicago dates, Cleveland, Indianapolis, Pittsburgh ect would show up. I love the 2/12/75 and finally got a copy of Flying Circus after it appeared on the budget reprint. I also disagree on the fact that the performace is poor, it is a well played show from start to finish.

  24. I think you guys, as groovy as you all are , are missing the boat in one simple point: THIS IS NOT A GREAT SHOW!!!
    Compare it with the shows that would come after ( next night, Seattle, Vancouver, LA) and it is clear it was not a great night.
    However it is a good show and nowhere near as bad as Luis Rey describes it. The aud tape ( A Millard one) is excellent and if you already have a good edition of it it should be enough, although if you have a few extra bucks laying around go ahead and get the sb. I wish I could.

  25. Well, I have reviewed many Empress Valley releases including most of the soundboard revolution releases like Conspiracy Theory and St. Louis Blues. I never picked up the Empress Valley Flying Circus for the reason I stated earlier. I am more than happy with the audience tape and felt spending hundreds on a soundboard would be redundant.

    I’m also certainly not devaluing the other EV soundboards, and still feel some are worth the money. In my opinion this new one, while it may sound great, personally speaking, isn’t worth it. I’m sure there will be copies made and they will be sent for review. But again, this is a personal opinion and everyone is entitled to their opinion.

    Regarding the use of the word “annoying,” Wilbur wrote: “I don’t want to come off as personally attaking you Pharoh or anyone else on this board but no wonder people think Zepp fans and collectors are cynical, arrogant and annoying.” Hence, my use of the term in my post.

  26. I have to agree with Wilbur on this one, however, is it not possible to both enjoy this new Long Beach soundboard AND wish for others such as Seattle as Pharoh said, or, Pittsburgh/Houston as gsparaco said?? Personally I’d love to see those as well, in addition to a soundboard from lets say January of 1975. However, wanting those will not stop me one little bit from enjoying this new Long Beach release to the fullest provided it is not priced out of the ballpark.

  27. Hmmm. Now that you mention it, it is a bit strange that you have never bothered reviewing Flying Circus and yet you have managed to write reviews of every other release that copied the original Empress source. I guess you must have just overlooked it or maybe you’re waiting for a free copy in the mail??

    Boy, it sure is fun to wish for stuff, isn’t it? Personally, I wish for a complete five hour pro shot Zepp DVD from my 8th birthday where they played nothing but my favorite polka songs and the whole crowd sang Happy Birthday to me even tho’ I wasn’t actually there. :):):)

    See, the problem with wishes is that people simply can’t be happy with what they get. Soundboards from shows that previously only had poor audience sources (St Louis & Vancouver 75, etc) HAVE been released. Shows with not only no Audience source but practically unknown on the itinerary (Conspiracy Theory) have been released too!

    But, those clearly aren’t good enough in your “annoying” opinion (your words, not mine). It starts to feel like nothing that Empress (specifically) or other labels (in general) releases is good enough and you always want something more or better or rarer. My opinion is we should be happy with anything that is released and stop the bullcrap about when’s something better coming?!

    I’m sorry to hear we won’t be getting a review of this great release on this site since you have already decided that it’s out of your budget.

  28. I’m sure we’ll all be able to afford this title once Eelgrass clones EV’s release or it shows up for free online. And although Californication will be somewhat expensive, I’ll support Empress Valley and hope for more of these SB’s to be leaked in the future. As a pretty well stocked Zep collector, my LZ purchases have diminished greatly in the past few years, so buying 1-2 overpriced Zep SB titles per year is OK for me.

  29. My website wasn’t around when Flying Circus came out, so my opinion wasn’t heard. I think this new soundboard is nice, but I wish a ’75 soundboard would surface for a show that either doesn’t circulate at all (like Pittsburgh or Houston) or exists only in a poor to fair audience recording. I’m sure Californication will be a great release. I won’t be able to pick it up and review though since I’m sure it will be priced out of my budget.

    I guess having an opinion is “annoying.”

  30. I’m really confused by your comment about the worth of this release? An excellent audience source of 2/12/75 NY was circulating for decades before Empress released Flying Circus and I don’t recall any complaints that we already had an audience source for this show. I’m not a betting guy but I’d be willing to wager no one would be willing to give up the board in exchange for the aud source.

    Pharoh, I DO see the smiling marks you included in your reply but can’t we just be excited about a new board being released without mentioning how you’d rather have a different show instead? Where did this rumor about Seattle come from anyway and why do you and others continue to spout it with absolutely no proof??
    I don’t want to come off as personally attaking you Pharoh or anyone else on this board but no wonder people think Zepp fans and collectors are cynical, arrogant and annoying.

  31. I agree the audience recording is excellent but if it has the nice warm sound of the other 75 SB’s EV has released it should be a great listen and a nice addition to the collection. Love them or hate them you have to give EV credit for poneying up the $$$ for these unreleased tapes. Not trying to be greedy but where is the 75 Seattle SB they are rumoured to have? Come on EV lets have it!!! :)))))

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