Listen! Listen! Listen To Me! (Empress Valley EVSD-467 ~ 468)
Boston Garden, Boston, MA – September 6th 1971
Disc 1 (71:10): Immigrant Song, Heartbreaker, Since I’ve Been Loving You, Black Dog, Dazed And Confused, Stairway To Heaven, Celebration Day, That’s The Way, Going To California, What Is And What Should Never Be
Disc 2 (38:31): Moby Dick, Whole Lotta Love, Communication Breakdown, Organ Solo – Thank You, Rock And Roll
Two separate tape fragments exist for Led Zeppelin’s September 6th, 1971 show in Boston. The first was released by Tarantura in the mid-nineties on Listen To Me (Tarantura BOS-1,2) and it was later released on Boston Garden Party (Magnificent Disc MD-7101A/B).
This tape runs from “Immigrant Song” to “Stairway To Heaven,” and from the very end of the “Whole Lotta Love” medley through the three encores. This is very good sounding with nice dynamics which captures the atmosphere of the show perfectly.
The second fragment surfaced several years ago and is merely fair to good sounding but contains a section on the show not covered by the first, running from “Celebration Day” through the first three minutes of “Moby Dick.”
The only silver title to feature this source is Wreckage In Boston, a box set also containing Led Zeppelin’s 1970 and 1973 Boston appearances. Unfortunately Tarantura utilized only the second tape source and didn’t edit it with the first for a more complete show making the 1971 show the weak link in an otherwise solid set.
Listen! Listen! Listen To Me on Empress Valley is a good edit of the two sources for the first time and presents the most complete document of the show.
The concert begins with the second tape source for the opening introduction by the mc who says, “This Saturday night Laurence Welk will be here. Give a Boston welcome to Led Zeppelin!” The first tape source fades in before”Immigrant Song” in a flawless edit.
After a wild “Heartbreaker” and one of the heaviest “Since I’ve Been Loving You” from the seventh tour, Plant greets the audience, saying “Where have you been for a year? We’re gonna finally after pissing out get out next album out.” Plant complains about Atlantic records before introducing the first new song in the set “Black Dog” in which Plage get almost carried away in the solo.
“Remember the Tea Party” Plant says as the band is playing the opening note of “Dazed & Confused.” The song is cut at 18:42 right when Page is getting into the “Mars, Bringer Of War” section, at 18:59 and a minute later at 19:58.
Before playing “Stairway To Heaven” Plant has to say, “Listen, we got to get one thing straight. We had a bit of trouble in New York the other day when so many people got on the stage it fell apart.” A fire cracker explosion in the opening minutes seems to un-nerve Plant and he forgets a verse and the tape unfortunately cuts out in the middle of the guitar solo.
The second tape source picks up with a forty second fragment of “Celebration Day” containing the guitar solo and part of the third verse. After another cut Plant is talking about doing an acoustic set and about thirty seconds of “That’s The Way” is present.
After another cut Plant is hushing the crowd for “Going To California.” It picks up in the second verse (“Took my chances on a big jet plane / never let them tell you they’re all the same.”) and is cut at 1:33, but at two and a half minutes total is more complete than the preceding two songs. “What Is And What Should Never Be” is almost complete.
Only a fragment of “Moby Dick” remains, the first four and a half minutes and the final theme. “Whole Lotta Love” is cut massively. The opening verse, theremin solo and most of the medley is missing. The tape picks up at the final song, “Killing Floor.”
This song appears in various medleys since the first tour, but his is perhaps the most well developed version. Thankfully the encores are complete and Zeppelin reward Boston with three including an organ solo that sounds like Garth Hudson of The Band.
This title is packaged in a thick cardcoard sleeve by Empress Valley, and even though the tapes are fragmentary this is a good release and the most complete of this great show.