Led Zeppelin – Alts & Takes LZ III (Boogie Mama)

Alts & Takes LZ III (Boogie Mama)

(77:03):  Celebration Day (instrumental), Hey Hey What Can I Do? (instrumental), Out On The Tiles (instrumental) (Olympic Studio, London, England – May to June, 1970), Jennings Farm Blues (takes 1 – 12) Olympic Studio, London, England – November 1969), Feel So Bad (Fixin’ To Die), Since I’ve Been Loving You (vocals only) (Olympic Studio, London, England – May to June, 1970), Poor Tom (instrumental) (Morgan Studio, Willeston, London, England – May 6th, 1970), Friends (Bombay rehearsals), Friends (Bombay vocal take 1), Friends (Bombay vocal take 2) (EMI Studios, Bombay, India – March 1972), Sugar Mama (Morgan Studio, Willeston, London, England – June 1969), Immigrant Song (rehearsals), Out On The Tiles (rehearsals), Bron-Y-Aur (rehearsals), Hey Hey What Can I Do? (rehearsals) (Headley Grange, Hampshire, England – May – June 1970)

Alts & Takes LZ III on Boogie Mama, the second of a three volume anthology of Led Zeppelin outtakes, focuses almost exclusively upon the third album.  The band spent more time on this LP than the first two and more studio leftovers are in circulation as a result.  The first three tracks are perfect studio instrumental recordings of “Celebration Day,” “Hey Hey What Can I Do?” and “Out On The Tiles.”  Excpet for the lack of vocals, they are identical to the commercial recordings.  

Following these three are the full twenty-five minute “Jennings Farm Blues” recordings.  An electric guitar orchestra recorded in November 1969, this was scrapped and resurrected the following year as “Bron-Y-Aur Stomp.”  The sound quality is perfect and it’s fascinating hearing Page develop the piece until it goes nowhere.     

Following “Jennings Farm Blues” is “Feel So Bad,” a medley of blues hits played by Page on a nervous sounding slide guitar and is part of the sessions for “Hats Off For (Roy) Harper” which closes the album and was recorded at Olympic studio.  This is followed by the three minute vocal take of “Since I’ve Been Loving You” of which many collectors question its authenticity.

After the instrumental “Poor Tom,” Boogie Mama include the “Friends” sessions from Bombay in March 1972 and the Led Zeppelin II era outtake “Sugar Mama,” recorded in the summer 1969.  

The final tracks are amateur demos from 1970.  “Immigrant Song” and “Out On The Tiles” are full band rehearsals and bootlegs have always attributed them to the third album rehearsals in Headley Grange. However the sequence of events after the cottage is first a rehearsal session at Plant’s farm in Worcestershire. Afterwards they convened in Olympic Studio to record “Friends” and “Poor Tom” and afterwards continued rehearsals in Headley Grange. It is difficult to determine which set of rehearsals those two tracks date from, but if indeed all six tracks come from the same rehearsal then they were recorded at Plant’s farm.

The two full band electric rehearsals are fascinating to hear as the band work on them. ”Immigrant Song” contains the famous screeching and inaudible lyrics different from the viking saga the song developed into. The final studio version doesn’t have a guitar solo, but the rehearsal has one that is short and primitive.

“Out On The Tiles”, John Bonham’s song, has the basic melody and only the chorus present (“all I need from you / is all your love”). The final track on disc two is “Poor Tom”, Led Zeppelin’s interpretation of Robert Wilkins’ “Prodigal Son.” This was recorded on May 5th, 1970 and the version here is the same as what appears on Coda but in much worse quality and without lyrics.

The sound quality for all of the tracks is as good as possible.  And although there is nothing new, it is a nice assembly of material in very nice packaging.

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