Anybody Got A Les Paul? (Equinox EX 00 020-0)
I Can’t Quit You, Dazed & Confused, You Shook Me, How Many More Times (incl. How Many More Years?, Smokestack Lightning, cut), Communication Breakdown
This title by Equinox presents four documents from various sources through the first couple months of 1969. The first five tracks on this single disc are a soundboard recording of the first set from January 11, 1969 show at the Fillmore West on their first US tour. This fragment had previously been released on Birth Of The Gods (Balboa), Psycho A GoGo (Led Note), and Hampton Kicks (Elrond) and has since been released on the Akashic label and Pb+ on Wild Card. This title presents a longer source of the soundboard, with a substantial section from How Many More Times and the encore of Communication Breakdown (proceeded by an angry shout from Robert). The quality of this recording is excellent with a minor amount of hiss present. The performance itself is excellent, especially the drums of Bonzo. Dazed & Confused has alternate lyrics, and there is a high standard throughout.
Alexis Korner Introduction, What Is and What Should Never Be, I Can’t Quit You, You Shook Me (ending cut), Sunshine Woman
This is from the March 19, 1969 “missing” BBC session from the Maida Vale Studio on the Alexis Korner show on the BBC. This document had previously been released as Sunshine Woman (Flagge), and Ottawa Sunshine (Elrond). Equinox also includes What Is And What Should Never Be, as did Flagge, which is not from this session but from June 16, 1969. The quality of the recording is a very good to excellent tape right off of the medium wave broadcast of the show. The master tapes have been erased. This title is equal to the Elrond release in sound quality, and a bit more complete since it contains Korner’s intros. It does contain Korner’s intros to the different songs, whereas the Elrond release does not. It seems the intros are out of order (Korner gives his closing remarks before I Can’t Quit You). At interest on this tape is the song Sunshine Woman. This is yet another “BBC exclusive” (along with Traveling Riverside Blues and The Girl I Love). Sunshine Woman shares the “I’ve got a mortgage on my body/I’ve got a lean on my soul” and “When she walks/she walks just like a willow tree” lyrics with the other two BBC songs. It is an interesting coincidence Plant recycles those lyrics since Rod Stewart was using them in the Jeff Beck Group at the same time. This title by Equinox is a good way to get this session in good quality.
Whole Lotta Love
This is the encore from the May 25, 1969 show at the Merriweather Post Pavilion in Maryland when Zeppelin played a double bill with The Who, this is also the second known performance of Whole Lotta Love. It is similar in structure to the April 26, 1969 San Francisco performance, but the guitar solo is much more frantic and the results are overall better. The interaction between Page, Plant and Bonham are more akin to the middle section of Bring It On Home than any future version of Whole Lotta Love. Fascinating to see a work in progress. The tape is distance but clear. The only letdown is evidence of digital enhancements, very similar to the recent releases by the Celebration label. However, this is a very good way to get this document.
Train Kept A Rollin’
This is the opening number from the August 17, 1969 show in Wallingford, Connecticut. The sound is poor, albeit listenable. This title is missing I Can’t Quit You, which is present on previous releases of this fragment (Red Snapper Deluxe on Balboa and Tales of ’69 on Tarantura). However this is only for the curious and there is no big loss.