Led Zeppelin – MSG (Cannonball CA-2004019/20/21)

MSG (Cannonball CA-2004019/20/21)

Madison Square Garden, New York, NY – July 28, 1973

Disc 1 (50:26):  Intro, Rock And Roll, Celebration Day, Black Dog, Over The Hills And Far Away, Misty Mountain Hop, Since I’ve Been Loving You, No Quarter

Disc 2 (57:40):  The Song Remains The Same, The Rain Song, Dazed and Confused, Stairway To Heaven

Disc 3 (59:28):  Moby Dick, Heartbreaker, Whole Lotta Love, The Ocean

This summer we are treated to no less than three different versions of the July 28th, 1973 soundboard.  Empress Valley is releasing The Effect Is Shattering and Wendy Complete Madison Square Garden.  Cannonball is a new budget label who have already released several Pink Floyd and Rolling Stones titles, and are releasing MSG and Hampton 1971 at the same time. 

This is the longest soundboard to surface from Zeppelin’s three nights at the Garden which was the basis for the film and soundtrack The Song Remains The Same.  The July 27th show has only the latter third of the show in an unbalanced recording and the final night on July 29th became more complete two years ago with the release of Grand Finale on Empress Valley, but that show is still missing “Stairway To Heaven”. This surfaced with the other 1973 soundboards in the early nineties. 

The first release was Another Magic Vol. 1 (DS98M023) and Another Magic Vol. 2 (DS92M024) which featured the show minus “Dazed & Confused” and “The Ocean”.  Electric Magic on Scorpio came out about the same time that three releases from Australia came out, Madison Square Garden (TR-09) on Turtle, Wizardry (JOK-008-A) on Joker, and Live Vol. 1 on Joker (with the same catalogue number as Wizardry). 

It can also be found on Live At Madison Square Garden on Private Master (PM-712) limited to 500 copies, Tour-De-Force (TCD-MSG-1,2,3) on Tarantura and its European twin The 9th US Tour on Whole Lotta Live (WLL004/005/006).  Tarantura also included three songs, “Moby Dick”, “Heartbreaker”, and “Whole Lotta Love” on the Discover America (T3CD-010) compilation. 

One More Magic (IM-019~21) on Immigrant was a great release as was its inclusion in The Final Statements, the nine disc box set released by Antrabata.  The last release before these three was Out From The Movie (FSS 99-003) on the budget label Forever Standard Series.

The sound quality of the Cannonball release is uniformly excellent.  It is a bit hissy, but the label chose not to use much if any mastering and chose not to address the faults like the small cut in “The Rain Song” and the tape wrinkle in “Whole Lotta Love”.  “The Ocean” has always sounded a little different than the rest of the tape on all the releases and is the same here too. 

This tape has always stood out from the others in not being too flat or dry but being having quite some depth to it and is presented as is.   This makes it fun to hear tracks from the film in their unedited form.  Much of “Celebration Day”, “The Song Remains The Same/The Rain Song” and “No Quarter” from this show formed the basis for the film and soundtrack.  Because I spent so much time listening to that LP growing up these are the “definitive” live performances for these particular tracks. 

This is overall a great show, one of the best and I don’t understand why Page says these three shows are mediocre (“not magic, but not tragic either” is how he put it back then).  Cannonball packaged this is a fatboy jewel case with many pictures lifted from the movie.  MSG is an excellent and affordable way to own this show.

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