Led Zeppelin – Everybody Feel Alright? (Graf Zeppelin LZSC-32770A/B)

Everybody Feel Alright? (Graf Zeppelin LZSC-32770A/B)

The Forum, Inglewood, California, USA – March 27, 1970

Disc 1 (69:48) Intro, We’re Gonna Groove, Dazed And Confused, Heartbreaker, Bring It On Home, White Summer incl. Black Mountain Side, Since I’ve Been Loving You, Organ Solo, Thank You

Disc 2 (77:18) Tuning, MC, What Is And What Should Never Be, Moby Dick, How Many More Times, Whole Lotta Love, Communication Breakdown, Outro

There are two known sources for Led Zeppelin’s inaugural concert at the world famous Forum in Inglewood, California, a suburb of Los Angeles. Their fondness for this venue cannot be understated, the performances performed within those walls are among the very best they would ever perform. California took to Led Zeppelin almost immediately, the Children Of The Sun would prove to be their most beloved oceans, something evident in this very first performance. Source 1 is a nearly complete audience recording that is a distant and rather flat recording that falls merely in the good category. It is clear enough that the instruments can be heard, the vocals, guitar, and bass are clean in the mix, the drums are obscured at times. The first source was released as D’Ya Feel Alright? (Mad Dogs-029/30) and decades later on the excellent First Time At The Forum (The Chronicles Of Led Zeppelin TCOLZ).

Source 2 is much better, recorded closer to the stage and with much better equipment it features clean and detailed sound with decent frequency range. This very good audience recording is a great listen, its main flaw is it’s missing Bring It On Home, White Summer and Since I’ve Been Loving You. The taping team can be chatty at times, most of it does not interfere, in fact it gives insight to the excitement in the building. First Time At The Forum (The Chronicles Of Led Zeppelin TCOLZ) is the only title to feature Source 2 as a stand alone. There have been a few other noteworthy releases of the famous gig, all these titles are two source mixes featuring Source 2 as a foundation and gaps filled with Source 1, these include LA Jive And Rambling Mind (Holy Grail HGCD 106/7), Everybody Feel Alright? (Empress Valley Supreme Disc EVSD 463/464), and For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite (Tarantura TCD-155). For this release, Graf Zeppelin throw their hat into the ring taking the familiar route of using source 2 with gaps filled with source 1.

There are two reviews of this performance by the excellent gsparaco, his detailed review of the excellent First Time At The Forum (The Chronicles Of Led Zeppelin TCOLZ) and Everybody Feel Alright? (Empress Valley Supreme Disc EVSD 463/464) titles are found on this site, please follow the links and read up. For this review I’ll be focusing on sound quality and packaging. First let’s start with source 2, the Graf Zeppelin is slightly louder with a better range of frequencies, the lower end is rich and full, the highs are nice yet not over done. Overall a slight upgrade, nothing Earth shattering. Source 1 is also a nice, yet not Earth shattering, upgrade. The sound is smoother and fuller, I also hear more detail in the instrument separation. Graf Zeppelin have mastered it so the transition of sound is not different, this means raising the volume just slightly, this also adds a bit more tape hiss, none of which hamper ones listening experience. Graf Zeppelin continue their tradition of excellent mastering, bringing out the best of the source recordings without heavy handed results.

The packaging is typical Graf Zeppelin, the label uses photos of the actual event for the inserts, CD’s, and sticker, the layout is simple but effective. This is a very nice title to have for the sound quality alone, it is the best so far of this concert. This title by no means takes the place of the excellent First Time At The Forum (The Chronicles Of Led Zeppelin TCOLZ) in terms of packaging and sound. The TCOLZ title trumps this Graf set for packaging, more photos and ticket stub made for a great package, and still stands as the definitive collection of both sources for this concert. I look at this Graf Zeppelin title as more like a companion piece, the mastering and sound is up to their high standard, the editing of the two sources is flawless.  

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