Earls Court 1975 (May 24th): Definitive Edition (Boogie Mama)
Earls Court, London, England – May 24th, 1975
Rock And Roll, Sick Again, Over The Hills And Far Away, In My Time Of Dying, The Song Remains The Same, The Rain Song, Kashmir, No Quarter, Tangerine, Going To California, That’s The Way, Bron-Yr-Aur Stomp, Trampled Underfoot, Moby Dick, Dazed And Confused, Stairway To Heaven, Whole Lotta Love, Black Dog
Boogie Mama have pressed onto one DVD the professional shot Earls Court footage. The fourth of five shows in London that May, this first received widespread circulation about the time of the official DVD. Previous releases include Heavy Metal Kids (Empress Valley EVSDVDV005-007) which also includes a fragment of the May 25th show, Earl’s Court 1975 Definitive Edition (Celebration CDVD-005AB) and Earl’s Court 75 (Cashmere CS-03-001/002) on 2DVD, and the most noted edition Earls Court May 24, 1975 (Cosmic Energy CE-013) on DVDR.
The video and soundtrack are complete except for “Going To California.” The audience recording of this show is edited in accompanied by slow motion replays of the action on stage. Early releases were also missing “Moby Dick” but is present here in its twenty-eight minute glory. In line with their other DVD release, they utilize DVD9 technology to fit the entire three hour plus show onto one disc. It is pressed in NTSC region 0 with 5.1 surround sound. The video looks great and the soundtrack even better.
Watching the video is valuable because, although the aural experience is key for music, watching the musicians embody the music also enhances the overall effect. The video is a competent combination of close ups and wideshots showing both their facial expressions in reaction to the music and their interaction with one another. As such it is good theater: meaningful watching that holds ones interest. At this point in their live career Led Zeppelin were a compelling live act producing such massive music in a shroud of mystery.
Robert Plant said many times that their best songs convey a sense of journey and movement. “The Song Remains The Same,” “Kashmir,” “No Quarter” and “Stairway To Heaven” all bring the participant into a liminal state which is exciting. But this sense is embodied in kinetic movement and grand gestures onstage recalling archetypes of strength and power. It is this aspect of Led Zeppelin, almost completely lost on audio recordings, which is captured very well on video recordings such as these and make this an essential piece for the collection. Boogie Mama utilize a cardboard digipack sleeve with photos from the Earls Court concerts and the poster of the event on the front cover. It is basic and used by many different labels, but the point is made that the contents contain the May 24th Earls Court show, one of the best of their career available in an excellent, almost complete video document.