Good Bad Or Indifferent (Tarantura TCD-39-1, 2)
Newcastle City Hall, New Castle, England – November 11th, 1971
Disc 1: Immigrant Song, Heartbreaker, Black Dog, Since I’ve Been Loving You, Rock & Roll, Stairway To Heaven, That’s The Way, Going To California, Tangerine
Disc 2: Dazed & Confused, What Is And What Should Never Be, Celebration Day, Communication Breakdown
Good Bad Or Indifferent is a very good sounding document of Led Zeppelin’s first show on the short winter tour of the U.K and is one of the latest releases on the Tarantura label. A fragment of this tape (from “Immigrant Song” to “Tangerine”) was released about 1997 under the title Teddy Bear’s Picnic (the name is taken from Plant’s opening salutations).
Since then more fragments have been found by the taper and were released in 2001. Electric Magic came out with the impressively packaged Transitional Magic (EMC-007A/B). That was a rush job which contained some mastering faults and captured only fifty-nine seconds of “Celebration Day”.
Empress Valley followed soon after with the excellent Newcastle Brown Ale (EVSD-59/60) which has the complete “Dazed & Confused”, “What Is And What Should Never Be” and “Celebration Day”. EV complete the show by including “Whole Lotta Love” and “Communication Breakdown” from the May, 1971 Copenhagen show. Good Bad Or Indifferent is more complete by including the recently surfaced encore “Communication Breakdown”. As the taper explains:
“It’s hard for me to believe that it’s almost 34 years since I taped this Led Zeppelin show but, a long time ago in a galaxy far far away, I sat in the City Hall Newcastle with my ITT-KB cassette recorder on my lap with the shittiest little microphone taped to the arm rest. The three original cassettes that I used to record the show (a Philips C90 and two generic C60s) lay at home for years and years gathering dust but, a few years ago, I found the C90 and the recording was made available again through the Led Zeppelin traders networks. A few trusted traders were involved in sending out hundreds of CDR copies on the same day to prevent anyone getting a jump on anyone else.
“The two remaining cassettes (one holding a 20 minute version of Whole Lotta Love and one with Communication Breakdown) were officially noted as being Missing In Action and, presumably. Lost For All Time. A couple of days ago, however, while sorting through a box of miscellaneous stuff upstairs in the attic; I found the tape containing Communication Breakdown. So, for the first time ever, this song from this concert is available now…. Who knows what might happen next? The cassette with Whole Lotta Love might show up one day. If it does, you guys will be the first to know! Incidentally, Whole Lotta Love was played between Celebration Day and Communication Breakdown.”
Where it shares the tape in common with Empress Valley this new release by Tarantura sounds identical. It is somewhat distant, dull and hissy sounding but clear enough to understand what is going on and is enjoyable. The encore “Communication Breakdown” is another matter entirely. It is much louder, more clear and is perhaps the very best document from this tour. It really makes one wish the entire show were in this quality and hope the “Whole Lotta Love” medley is eventually found and released. In the meantime this is a worthy upgrade for this great show and worth seeking out.