Empress Valley Supreme Disc 2004 EVSD-307
Celebration Day (pre-vocal mix), Hey Hey What Can I Do (pre-vocal mix), Out On The Tiles (pre-vocal mix), Four Sticks (pre-vocal mix), When The Levee Breaks (outtake).
This is another interesting release in Empress Valley’s outtake collection. This surfaced earlier in 2004 and nobody can make much out of it. It has three songs from the Led Zeppelin III era and two from the untitled fourth album era. The claim is they are “pre-vocal” mixes but it’s hard to understand what that means exactly. They are the identical takes and mixes found on the official releases sans vocals. The variations are very minor like the lack of the fade for “Out On The Tiles”. Listening to this tapes makes me want to sing along to them and I sometimes think it is simply a karaoke tape.
The final track on this release, “When The Levee Breakes” does sound legitimate. The sound isn’t as heavy and deep as the official release which makes me think it’s from the tapes before Page went Sunset Studio in Los Angeles. The vocals are more clear and lyrics are much more understandable giving a different perspective on this Zeppelin classic. I would recommend this despite the shortness of the tape. Let’s hope that Empress Valley in the future will give a very comprehensive collection of the Bron-Yr-Aur tapes that have been circulating into one package. That would be a fantastic release. (GS)