Dinosaurs In The Park (The Diagrams Of Led Zeppelin TDOLZ Vol.059)
Knebworth Festival – Stevenage U.K. August 11, 1979
DISC ONE: The Song Remains The Same, Celebration Day, Black Dog, Nobody’s Fault But Mine, Over The Hills And Far Away, Misty Mountain Hop, Since I’ve Been Loving You, No Quarter, Hot Dog, The RainSong.
DISC TWO: White Summer/Black Mountain Side/Kashmir, Trampled Underfoot, Sick Again, Achilles Last Stand, Guitar Solo – In The Evening, Stairway To Heaven.
DISC THREE: Rock and Roll, Whole Lotta Love, Communication Breakdown, White Summer/Black Mountain Side (8/4/79), Ten Years Gone (8/4/79), Heartbreaker (8/4/79).
After taking it on the chin from the British press during the entire week following the August 4th performance, the group bravely ascend the Knebworth stage once more for what turned out to be their last ever performance in the U. K. Being whipping boys of the press was nothing new to Led Zeppelin and Robert in his sharp-tongued, customary way never misses the opportunity to give it right back to them!
The Diagrams Of Led Zeppelin label have documented this historic performance from what Bootledz cites as a poor generation of the video soundtrack. The amount of tape hiss present here as compared to other releases of this show that I have heard would lead me to believe that this is a correct assessment.
The musical performances themselves range from general apathy to outstanding and everything in between. “Kashmir” has always been a bit of a hit or miss proposition when performed live, often plagued by out of tune instruments, timing issues, etc. However tonight I consider this song to be one of the highlights of the show. When Led Zeppelin nails this number it’s majesty and power never fails to overwhelm me, and tonight they nailed it! “Sick Again” is another highlight of the night for me. At the other end of the musical spectrum, even though Robert dedicated “Stairway To Heaven” to “everyone who’s come from everywhere….”, you could tell his heart was just not into it. In fact the word is that Robert had petitioned to drop the song from the two Knebworth shows. In hindsight that might have been a good idea.
Apart from the aforementioned tape hiss there are relatively few technical issues on this release.
– Problems with the PA system throughout “Over The Hills And Far Away”
– “In The Evening” cut near the end
– “White Summer/Black Mountain Side”, “Ten Years Gone” and “Heartbreaker” on disc 3 come from the 8/4/79 show from the previous week.
I believe this concert has been unfairly critiqued over the years. True enough, it certainly was not Led Zeppelin at their all-time best, however there were the usual flashes of brilliance. But more important this show is a monster historically. It was the end of an era. The Dinosaur was about to morph, abandoning the marathon and often self indulgent set lists in favor of a more slimmed down, back to basics approach that they would debut across Europe in 1980. Coupled with the fact that this was to become the last ever U.K. performance and you have a release of significant importance. One can only imagine what could have been when listening to Robert Plant address the crowd after “Stairway” when he says, “We’ll see you again real soon…”. If he only knew…
TDOLZ has packaged this release in their simplistic, yet elegant way, utilizing a cardboard gatefold sleeve. Two discs slide into one half and the third disc slides into the other half. Beautiful photos adorn the front and inside of the package while the set list is presented on the back.
Collectors have many releases of this historic show to choose from, some of which are of better sound quality than this release. That said, the sound quality of this TDOLZ release is still very good and quite enjoyable. So if you are looking for an affordable, attractive option then you can’t go wrong seeking this one out.