Led Zeppelin – Long Beach 1975 2nd Night (Graf Zeppelin LZSC-312A/B/C/D)

Long Beach 1975 2nd Night (Graf Zeppelin LZSC-312A/B/C/D) 

Long Beach Arena, Long Beach, California, USA – March 12, 1975 

Disc 1 (57:32) Introduction, Rock And Roll, Sick Again, Over The Hills And Far Away, In My Time Of Dying, The Song Remains The Same (stop), The Song Remains The Same, The Rain Song, Kashmir 

Disc 2 (51:53) MC, No Quarter, Trampled Under Foot, Moby Dick 

Disc 3 (79:45) MC, Dazed And Confused, Stairway To Heaven, Happy Birthday To You, Whole Lotta Love, The Crunge, Black Dog, Heartbreaker 

Disc 4 (79:49) MC, Dazed And Confused, Stairway To Heaven, Happy Birthday To You, Whole Lotta Love, The Crunge, Black Dog, Heartbreaker 

By the time that Led Zeppelin got to the West Coast dates of their 1975 North American tour they had shaken off Jimmy’s injured finger and Robert’s vocals were in much better shape, the band began a series of long, heavy performances for the “Children of the Sun”. After the first date in California in San Diego, Led Zeppelin played a two night stand in Long Beach, California. There are excellent recordings for both concerts, the second Long Beach concert is the better of the two and definitely one of the best concerts from the entire 1975 tour. There are three known recordings from this concert, the first is a 175 minute very good audience source that was certainly done close to the stage yet the bass distorts the sound making it for a somewhat challenge to listen to. This recording has been released as Standing In The Shadows (The Diagrams of Led Zeppelin TDOLZ-037), Trampled Under Jimmy’s Foot (Silver Rarities SIRA-168/169/170), Dedicated To Anyone Who Got Divorced Today (The Chronicles Of Led Zeppelin TCOLZ-036/037/038/039/040/041), and Long Beach Continuous Performances (WECD-132/133/134). 

The second recording is a half hour fragment of excellent quality recorded by Mike Millard, the reason it’s incomplete is that he entrusted another person to sneak his gear in to the concert, they were late getting to the concert. This person was in a wheel chair and made use of its bulky nature to get the gear in, after this Mike would get his own wheel chair and a legend was born. This short snippet has seen a few releases, Long Beach Arena Fragment (Holy SH002-A), Dedicated To Anyone Who Got Divorced Today (The Chronicles Of Led Zeppelin TCOLZ-036/037/038/039/040/041), and Long Beach Continuous Performances (WECD-132/133/134). The third recording clocks in at 153 minutes and also falls in the very good to near excellent range, it’s only been released on Dedicated To Anyone Who Got Divorced Today (The Chronicles Of Led Zeppelin TCOLZ-036/037/038/039/040/041). 

In 2008 Tarantura released Bootleg License (Tarantura TCD-77/78), a deluxe six CD set featuring the best known audience sources of both Long Beach shows, the second show in particular was a mix of the three known recordings using source 3 as its basis, the Millard tape for the end of the concert with a bit of source 1 to fill in the gaps. This format was used for their updated version of the same title, Bootleg License (Tarantura TCD 211/212) early in 2021, again in deluxe packaging and excellent sound for both concerts, with a major improvement for the second night. This new release from Graf Zeppelin takes the same approach as the 2021 Bootleg License, using source 3 as its basis followed by source 2, the excellent Millard recording with the rest of the gaps being filled with source 1. Right after Graf releases this set, a DAT clone of Millard’s master tape appeared on the internet, the label released a bonus CD fourth disc with this version. 

I was very happy with the sound on the Tarantura 2021 Bootleg License, the mastering by Enigma was excellent and really brought out the best in the three tape sources. Let’s start with the bulk of the set source 3, this new Graf Zeppelin and the Tarantura volume is very similar, the most significant improvement on the Graf Zeppelin version is that the clarity is slightly better, like Tarantura they have managed to bring the bass levels down just slightly making the distortion less prominent and allowing for the instruments to shine individually. The Graf Zeppelin also has just a bit more tape hiss but it’s upper frequencies are just a little crisper, to my ears I prefer the Graf Zeppelin mastering but really it is just preference and I am really just splitting hairs. The easiest place to compare source 1 is during the last five minutes of Dazed And Confused, again both are very close, the Graf is a bit clearer with less distortion but also thinner, trading the lower frequencies for clarity, I prefer the Tarantura sound for source 1. The sound comparison of Source 2, the sadly incomplete Millard recording, is nearly identical, no major differences noted, both are excellent. There is a noticeable difference on the bonus Disc 4, this version of the Millard recording is taken from the aforementioned recent upload of a DAT clone of Mike’s master with mastering by dadgad. This is brighter and crisper with less tape hiss, I detect just a bit of top end distortion that I do not hear on the older version. Like the Tarantura title, the Graf Zeppelin’s patches are seamless and very well done making an easy transition from source to source. 

The packaging is standard Graf Zeppelin, the inserts are in line with the Long Beach 1975 1st Night (Graf Zeppelin LZSC-211A/B/C/D/E) set. The pictures on the CD’s are all the cover shot of Jimmy, the interior tray has live shots on the front and a take on the old TDOLZ Standing In The Shadows title, instead of TDOLZ it is TFIRCGZ, aka “The Finest In Rock Chronicles Graf Zeppelin”. The Tarantura Bootleg License has been sold out for months, this new title is its equal in terms of sound quality and when combined with the Graf Zeppelin Long Beach 1st Night title, is the best way to get the audience versions of these excellent concerts. 

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