L’Olympia (Godfather G.R.248)
L’Olympia, Paris, France – October 10, 1969
Good Times Bad Times/Communication Breakdown, I Can’t Quit You Baby, Heartbreaker, Dazed And Confused, White Summer/Black Mountain Side, You Shook Me, How Many More Times
L’Olympia from Godfather is the latest in the string of releases featuring the recent rebroadcast of Led Zeppelin’s Paris show from October 10, 1969. A no-label version titled Olympia 1969 was released at about the same time as Wendy’s Paris Olympia 1969, and followed quickly by Ain’t No Fool on Black Dog Records (an offshoot of Tarantura) and Paris Par Excellence on Empress Valley, not to mention a few CDR titles. Ain’t No Fool was the first title to have the DJ commentary that is scattered about in places removed. Godfather Records also attempt removing the French comments without disturbing the flow of the music and were very successful. Most of the edits go by unnoticed unless you are paying very close attention and even then they are so smooth there is literally no interruption in the music.
1969 was a time in Zeppelin’s career where every show was full of highlights and worthy of collecting and this show is certainly no exception. The sound quality is superb. “Communication Breakdown” contains the same jam as the 6/27/69 BBC recording but without the “It’s Your Thing” reference. “I Can’t Quit You Baby” has a few seconds of Jimmy’s solo removed to avoid the announcer and was nicely done. This is the earliest known version of “Heartbreaker” and Page launches right into the solo without hesitation. “White Summer” is an excellent inspired version by Page and the recording captures Bonham’s percussion nicely. “How Many More Times” has great moments in the jam section where you can tell the band is truly winging it. Overall, the band is really loose and gives a very powerful performance. Compared to the no-label version Godfather is louder and livelier sounding.
Having a DJ talk over parts of the music can be rather annoying and Godfathers choice to offer an edited version was a good one even if a few seconds of music are lost. If you are looking for a version without the French DJ than this title comes highly recommended and will be much easier to find and much less expensive than the extremely limited Ain’t No Fool which is already sold out. Tarantura is set to release another version from the unedited source but with so many other titles already out there, I really don’t see the point. Godfather packaged L’Olympia in a black and white (and gold) tri-fold paper case with early live shots of the band and is a beautiful title to own.