Cologne 1980 (The Diagrams Of Led Zeppelin TDOLZ Vol. 061)
Sporthalle, Cologne, Germany – June 18th, 1980
Disc 1 (55:15): Train Kept A Rollin’, Nobody’s Fault But Mine, Black Dog, In The Evening, The Rain Song, Hot Dog, All My Love, Trampled Underfoot, Since I’ve Been Loving You
Disc 2 (47:50): Achillies Last Stand, White Summer, Black Mountain Side, Kashmir, Stairway To Heaven, Rock And Roll, Communication Breakdown
The Cologne soundboard first surfaced in 1991 on Close Shave Part 1 (Flying Disc CD 6-801) and Close Shave Part 2 (Flying Disc CD 6-802) and Pure Nostulgia (NEP-005/6) on Neptune followed. Like almost all of the soundboards released in the late eighties and early nineties the speed was too fast. Tarantura included the encores on Blitzkrieg Over Europe(T3CD-5) released in 1994 which also includes Frankfurt, Nurnberg and fragments from Mannheim.
The Diagrams Of Led Zeppelin released Cologne 1980 (TDOLZ Vol. 61), with the speed corrected and using the audience source to fix the gaps in “The Rain Song” from 6:14 to 7:17, in 4:24 to 6:13 in “Achillies Last Stand” and 9:20 “Stairway To Heaven” and runs for four minutes until they come back onstage for the encores. The editing job between the two sources is rather sloppy and abrupt.
This tour has its critics who focus upon some of the sloppiness and stale playing. The only glaring mistakes are found in “Achillies Last Stand” where Bonham misses some cues, but there are more reasons to investigate this era than to ignore it. These are the few shows where In Through The Outdoor material was played live, especially “All My Love” (which I don’t think has ever surfaced again in either Page/ Plant or Plant’s solo outings).
But it is their reinterpretation of their material for the “new wave” era that is fascinating. John Paul Jones’ synthesizers replaced the mellotron and other various keyboards from previous years adds a more “contemporary” feel. Some of it doesn’t really work like in “Since I’ve Been Loving You”. But for “In The Evening” and “Kashmir” it works beautifully. “Trampled Underfoot” was also used for on stage experimentation with Page exploring different timbres in the solo.
It seems this track would have been one of their big new wave numbers had the band survived. They are careful in this show with only two simple encores, “Rock And Roll” and “Communication Breakdown”, but further shows will have some expanded, more experimental versions of “Whole Lotta Love” in the encore.
TDOLZ package Cologne 1980 in a single pocket cardboard sleeve utilizing the artwork from the old and very rare Japanese vinyl release Cologne (XL 1538/39/40). It is a good performance even though it’s only the second stop of the tour. This show is very enjoyable and the editing job might not be to everyone’s taste but is very well handled and makes this a title worth investigating.