Led Zeppelin – Live At The Big Hall Budokan Oct 2 1972 (The Diagrams Of Led Zeppelin TDOLZ Vol. 72)

Live At The Big Hall Budokan Oct 2 1972 (The Diagrams Of Led Zeppelin TDOLZ Vol. 72)

Budokan Hall, Tokyo, Japan – October 2nd, 1972

Disc 1 (52:22):  Rock And Roll, Over The Hills And Far Away, Black Dog, M

isty Mountain Hop, Since I’ve Been Loving You, Dancing Days, Bron-Yr-Aur Stomp, The Song Remains The Same, The Rain Song

Disc 2 (71:16):  Dazed & Confused, Stairway To Heaven, Whole Lotta Love, Heartbreaker, Immigrant Song, Communication Breakdown

Over the years five unique tape sources have surfaced for Led Zeppelin’s first show in Japan on their short 1972 tour.  The first, and probably still best sounding, is found on such titles as Presentation 1972 (Patriot 002), No Use Greco (Tarantura GRECO-1) and most recently on Led Zeppelin Is My Brother (Empress Valley EVSD 319/320).  The second source is poor sounding and is found only as bonus discs in the tour collections The Campaign (Tarantura) and Complete Live In Japan (Last Stand Disc).  

Live At The Big Hall Budokan Oct 2 1972 was released in 1998 by The Diagrams Of Led Zeppelin and is the debut of a third unique tape source.  It’s a bit distant from the stage but still very clear and enjoyable and except for a few minor cuts between songs is complete. 

Gone is the devastating set opener of “Immigrant Song/Heartbreaker,” that served them well since the Bath Festival, and in is “Rock And Roll” and any number of tunes segued right behind it. In this show “Over The Hills And Far Away” serves as the second number although “Black Dog” would also serve in that capacity.

The most interesting part of this concert is the stage debut of “The Song Remains The Same” and “The Rain Song” played back to back as on the official release Houses Of The Holy. It’s very apparent on this excellent audience recording the band’s apprehension in approaching and playing the songs, and this is perhaps the only time one can hear arrangements almost identical to the studio release.

They would drop some of the melodic augmentation in future performances for a more solid attack. But it’s interesting to hear and the entire tour would reveal further experiments with the songs. Another introduction is the bizarre “Misty Mountain Hop/Since I’ve Been Loving You” medley which will be played until the summer tour in 1973.

The energy and confidence picks up in more well known numbers like “Dazed & Confused” and the “Whole Lotta Love” medley. It’s interesting to note that “My Baby Left Me” was one of Jimmy Page’s earliest sessions back in the sixties and he duplicates the famous solo very well.  Also a standout in the medley is “The Lemon Song.”  Plant flirts with “Killing Floor” and at first strum along, but as he continues singing they come in full force with the Led Zeppelin II arrangement. 

And the band includes “Immigrant Song”, one of their most popular songs in Japan, in the encores. Overall this is a milestone performance by the band which is at times devastating but also is very nervous.  Normally the song segues into “Heartbreaker,” but instead Page doodles a bit before hitting the “Communication Breakdown” riff. 

Live At The Big Hall Budokan Oct 2 1972 is packaged in a thinner cardboard gatefold sleeve than is usually used by TDOLZ.  The cover makes good use of the concert poster for the event. 

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