Led Zeppelin – The 1975 World Tour (Empress Valley EVSD-431/432/433)

The 1975 World Tour (Empress Valley EVSD-431/432/433)

The Forum, Montreal, Quebec, Canada – February 6th, 1975

Disc 1:  Rock & Roll, Sick Again, Over The Hills And Far Away, In My Time Of Dying, The Song Remains The Same, The Rain Song, Kashmir

Disc 2:  No Quarter, Trampled Underfoot, Moby Dick

Disc 3:  Dazed & Confused (incl. San Francisco), Stairway To Heaven, Whole Lotta Love, Black Dog, Heartbreaker

Led Zeppelin’s February 6th concert in Montreal surfaced first on vinyl with at least three different releases.  The first was The 1975 World Tour on the Kornyophone label (TAKRL 2960) followed by Montreal 75 (Phoenix) and by Legerdomain (Kornyphone).  On compact disc it has appeared on When The Levee Breaks World Tour 1975 on TNT (TNT-920122~24) along with “When The Levee Breaks”, “The Wanton Song’, and “How Many More Times” from the January 20th, Chicago tape, The 1975 World Tour by Cobra Standard Series (020) packaged in a mini LP replica of the TAKRL release, and Canadian Graffiti on Black Rose (BR-001-2). 

Empress Valley’s The 1975 World Tour is the first commercial release of this show in more than a decade.  They use the common tape used on all other previous releases with the addition of cheering before “Rock And Roll” which sounds to be authentic.  Much has been said about the fake stereo panning effect plaguing this tape since its first incarnation on vinyl and it is here too. 

It was produced during the actual recording of the show and there is no way to avoid the annoyance but on the whole the tape is good to very good and clear.  Luckily the taper used it sparingly during the more “exciting” moments of the show and during long stretches it is absent to allow us to enjoy the music.  The tapers talk throughout the show and are just as annoying and make the same kind of moronic comments as the people who taped the New York shows. 

Most of their comments are requests (“White Summer”, etc).  During the long mellotron tune up for “Stairway To Heaven” this witty exchange is heard:  Guy #1:  “Gordon Haskell!”  Guy #2:  “Who is Gordon Haskell anyway?”  Guy #1:  “Who knows.”  Guy #3:  “That faggot on [King Crimson’s] Lizard.”  Guy #2  “[singing the Yes song] ‘To Be Over’…**belch**.”  By their comments early on it sounds as if they were recording this specifically for a bootleg release! 

But perhaps the biggest concern with this is the show itself is sub par.  Plant’s voice is extremely hoarse and the band just sounds sluggish in the opening numbers.  During “Over The Hills And Far Away” Page has a malfunction right when he begins his guitar solo.  John Paul Jones plays a funky bass under Plant’s “ooo yeahs” until Page can come to complete the solo.  “Kashmir” sounds very muted and lacking in excitement.  “No Quarter” really works though as does “Trampled Underfoot”. 

“Dazed & Confused” is erratic with John Bonham getting lost in the middle, beginning the “Mars” section at the call-and-response part.  The show ends strongly with a great “Stairway To Heaven” and encore section complete with explosions and an air raid siren going off after “Black Dog”.  Empress Valley use their big cardboard packaging case with a great cover photo and overall did a good job with The 1975 World Tour and this is recommended to those who want to hear the early weeks of this tour.

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