The Forum, Inglewood, CA, USA – September 4, 1970
Disc 1 (71:47) Band Introduction, Immigrant Song, Heartbreaker, Dazed And Confused, Bring It On Home, That’s The Way, Bron-Y-Aur, Since I’ve Been Loving You, Organ Solo, Thank You
Disc 2 (61:25) What Is And What Should Never Be, Moby Dick, Whole Lotta Love, MC Speech, Communication Breakdown, MC Speech, Out On The tiles, Blueberry Hill, After The Show
Live On Blueberry Hill is the cornerstone of Led Zeppelin’s bootleg discography. The original bootleg was released soon after the show and has been in “print” in one form or another for the past 49 years. What is even more amazing is the number of recordings from that famous night in September 1970 at the LA Forum, a total of six audience recordings are in existence, a staggering number, but goes to show the popularity of the band as well as their reputation as a live act.
The most recent release of this concert comes from the Golden Eggs label who have presented this new title dubbed A Sweeter Blueberry. Like the majority of releases of this concert, Golden Eggs uses one main source and fills the gaps with other recordings to present the complete concert. The main recording is source 4, an excellent audience source that easy rivals the original Blimp / TMOQ, perhaps not as bright as that source but certainly better balanced. The label uses sources 3 and 5 for the introduction and to fill the small gaps in Bron-Y-Aur and Whole Lotta Love, the splices are seamless and well handled, the alternate sources blend well making for a nice listening experience.
There have been several previous mixes using source 4 as a foundation, Live On Blueberry Hill (Cobra Standard Series 005), Live On Blueberry Hill (Cobra Premium Series CPS-001-A/B), disc 6 & 7 of the 9 disc box set Live On Blueberry Hill (Tarantura2000 TCD-30-34), discs 5 & 6 of EV’s 9 disc box set Live On Blueberry Hill (Empress Valley Supreme Disc EVSD 389/390), Live On Blueberry Hill (Wendy WECD-279-287) Disc 5 & 6, Live On Blueberry Hill (No Label 2017), and Blueberry Hill (Moonchild Blueberry D1/2). For comparison I pulled out the much maligned Empress Valley Blueberry Hill box set. The Golden Eggs title is not as loud and thus the tape hiss is less, the edits are definitely much better, the EV patches are jarring and while it may be easier to detect the exact time of the edit, makes for a more difficult listening experience. I prefer the volume level of the Eggs to the EV, it sounds more natural and when I do turn it up, sounds clearer and less distorted.
The Sixth American tour in late summer 1970 is an easy favorite for those who listen to the audience sources. The performances on a whole are staggering, thrilling to the masses with visceral performances and like many, this concert was my first 1970 live tape and I wore it out. Typical for many of Led Zeppelin’s tours, the band gave standout performances in LA, Oakland (San Francisco Bay Area), and New York City where they played rare songs like Out On The tiles, Train Kept A Rollin’ and the Fats Domino classic Blueberry Hill. Many reviews of this famous concert have been written, describing the action and level of performance so you already know this is a superb concert and extremely well recorded. Golden Eggs mix of the tapes to provide the full concert is well done and after several listens, I could not find a blemish and have presented a really nice version of this concert.
The packaging is the tri gate-fold sleeve that is the norm for the Golden Eggs label. The cover features the classic Blimp artwork. The interior features live shots from the actual concert and their previous appearance at the Forum on March 27, 1970. Blueberry Hill releases are plentiful and while this is a great sounding version of source 4 and a very well done title, I would gather most who read this forum have several versions of this concert on their shelves, and it comes down to “do I need another?”