How Many Years Gone With The Wind (TCOLZ 001/002/003)
The Omni, Atlanta, GA – April 23rd, 1977
Disc 1: The Song Remains The Same, The Rover Intro/Sick Again, Nobody’s Fault But Mine, In My Time Of Dying, Since I’ve Been Loving You, No Quarter
Disc 2: Ten Years Gone, Battle Of Evermore, Going To California, Black Country Woman, Bron-Y-Aur Stomp, White Summer/Black Mountain Side, Kashmir, Out On The Tiles Intro/Moby Dick
Disc 3: Guitar Solo, Achilles Last Stand, Stairway To Heaven, Rock And Roll, Trampled Underfoot
Many Led Zeppelin labels from Japan made a name for themselves in the 1990’s. The most prolific label was The Diagrams Of Led Zeppelin who, when they began producing titles in 1996, set themselves the goal of releasing every tape in circulation in attractive silver editions. For many and various reasons, after producing several limited edition box sets in the autumn of 1999, they stopped production roughly halfway through their project. Some of their releases were of sterling sound quality, but others were a rough listen and of dubious aesthetic merit. However they took seriously Robert Walker’s statement in Hotwacks, “When we start putting the sound quality of recordings ahead of historic importance we are buying bootlegs for the wrong reasons.”
In the intervening decade since TDOLZ stopped production there has been a need for a normally priced Led Zeppelin dedicated label producing silver editions using low generation tapes free from excessive remastering and editing. It is the goal of the new The Chronicles Of Led Zeppelin project to pick up where TDOLZ left off, and their first release is of the April 23rd, 1977 Atlanta show. It surfaced about ten years ago and was released on several commercial cdr titles, but now finally makes its silver pressed debut. Distant and distorted, overall this is a rough listen. There are fleeting moments when the sound clears up a bit, but it remains fair at best and poor at worst. But for Led Zeppelin collectors it is at least listenable once the ears adjust. There are cuts in “In My Time Of Dying” omitting the final minute, at 20:35 in “No Quarter,” after “Going To California,” “Kashmir,” “Achilles Last Stand” and at 6:57 in “Moby Dick.”
Atlanta occurs in the final week of the first leg of the US tour and is a hot performance in line with Louisville, Cleveland, and Pontiac. Each song is attacked with tight intensity with none of the sloppiness that can often characterize a Led Zeppelin concert. Because of the cancellation of the scheduled August 31st, 1975 show at Fulton Country Stadium, this is their first appearance in Atlanta since the opening show of the 1973 tour and the audience are loud as the band hit the stage with “The Song Remains The Same.” Plant greets the audience after “Sick Again” saying, “Atlanta, good evening. Very nice to be here. Sorry for the delay….We’re gonna do not too much talking but plenty of playing.”
“Nobody’s Fault But Mine” begins a sequence of three great blues based epics and the second, “In My Time Of Dying,” is particularly dramatic in this recording. “No Quarter,” despite the cut, is still twenty-five minutes in length and features Page’s expressionistic, abstract solo in the middle. Plant gives a long explanation about the acoustic set, saying, “Now in about 1970 or 1971 we used to come here regularly and used to do an acoustic set. So we thought we’d do some acoustic. And this brings John Bonham to the front of the stage, a sight you rarely see. John Henry Bonham. This is a song I guess, about the fact that we live in a land that is pretty steeped in history. This is a song about what might have happened seven hundred years ago this evening on the Welsh borders.”
Since Led Zeppelin’s only other appearance in this city before the ninth tour was in the summer of 1969, this is their first glimpse of a Zeppelin acoustic set live. Plant changes the words a bit in “Going To California” singing, “I’m going to Atlanta with an aching / in my heart.” “White Summer” sounds massive in this recording leading up to one of the more intense versions of “Kashmir.” So much so that Plant continues singing it after the song is over, saying, “Good evening! Let me take you there. I think things are beginning to hot up now!” He continues with the introduction of the drum solo by saying, “At this point in the show we bring to your attention the focal point of one of the greatest drummers that England’s ever had and ever will have. The finest man who ever sat on a drum stool, my good brother, John Bonham ‘Over The Top’!!”
It is hard to say how much of the drum solo is missing from the tape since it clocks in at about fifteen minutes. One of the taper’s friends complains about this and the taper tries to get him to watch telling him, “you’re gonna regret this for the rest of your life. You better watch this….Look at him, it’s even better.” Jimmy Page follows with his guitar solo which includes snatches of “Dixie” and “The Star Spangled Banner” before seguing into “Achillies Last Stand.” Afterward Plant makes some criptic remarks by saying, “well it seems to have stopped raining here on stage….We’ve had a nice time here tonight. The other place was a bit big, wasn’t it?” “Stairway To Heaven” is excellent and Plant begins the encores by saying, “we do the Quaalude stagger. We’d like to thank you for being so nice warm. In two years of absence of concerts you begin to forget what it’s all about. I think we remember now.”
How Many Years Gone With The Wind is packaged in a fatboy jewel case with very simple, brown paper bag artwork reminscent of In Through The Outdoor. The title is a combination of “How Many More Times” and the book Gone With The Wind which is strange since they don’t play that song in this show. This title was given to this tape on one of the old cdr releases many years ago and is a bit clunky. The manufacturers limit production of this title to only one hundred unnumbered copies which is unfortunate because the intent was to make these tapes commonly available to all collectors. Hopefully in the future they will press more copies since it seems to be selling out rather quickly. In any event, for the hardcore Led Zeppelin collector it is good to see a new show surface on silver instead of the procession of re-releases that have been coming out of late. This isn’t a title that one will play many times, but it is now available to provide a glimpse into this part of the tour.
Definitely agreed with you, LedMan. I too bought both TCOLZ titles and both are really good. Finally the Japanese realize that equalizing music is a bunch of shit. I was much surprised by the artwork – it reminds me of my college days when I searched local stores for vinyl boots: Blueberry Hill, Bonzo’s Birthday Party, Mudslide. I still have’em all and TCOLZ is a nice supplement. I am waiting for their next title. Anyone has idea what it will be?
I just finished listening to this release and although it’s not the best sound quality, I have heard and own worse titles. I found that listening with a EQ helps and using this method I hear Plant and Page and came to the realization that Plant’s performance was outstanding throughout the show. I’m glad this source was finally pressed to silver and that now I can fill another missing date in my collection.