Mudslide (The Diagrams Of Led Zeppelin Vol. 044)
Pacific Coliseum, Vancouver, BC, Canada – March 21st, 1970
(37:55): Heartbreaker, organ solo/Thank You, What Is and What Should Never Be, Communication Breakdown (include. Ramble On), We’re Gonna Groove, Since I’ve Been Loving You, Whole Lotta Love (middle cut)
Perhaps the earliest Led Zeppelin bootleg to be produced was the forty minute soundboard fragment from the first show of their fifth tour of north America. The soundboard recording for the March 21st, 1970 show in Vancouver is clear and powerful with the vocals and drums up front and the guitar pushed deeper into the mix.
TDOLZ have packaged Mudslide by utilizing a cardboard LP sleeve and using the TMQ cover, making this a celebration of the original vinyl release.
The taper captured only several songs from the show. What makes the tape strange is that the songs do not represent a sizable, consecutive sequence of the concert but are rather scattered throughout the set.
It starts with the opening song, and then drops two songs before “Heartbreaker,” “Since I’ve Been Loving You,” “Thank You” and “What Is And What Should Never Be” are present in sequence but with Plant’s introductions cut out. “Moby Dick” and “How Many More Times” which follow are missing but the encores, “Whole Lotta Love” (with the middle section edited out) and “Communication Breakdown” are present. The nature of the tape strongly suggests it was edited for the initial vinyl release to fit onto one disc and raises the question about the rest of the soundboard. Since it has been almost forty years the rest is probably lost.
Opinions are split regarding the actual performance. Some claim this is a demonic display of Led Zeppelin’s talent while others claim this isn’t the best show. It is apparent they are basking in the success of Led Zeppelin II and everything is given the same sense of urgency inherent on that material.
“Heartbreaker” has a unique introduction which sounds like “C’Mon Everybody” audible only in the audience recording and the band are loose enough to quote Neil Young’s “Cowgirl In The Sand” and their own “Ramble On” in a very long “Communication Breakdown.”
A more complete version, which edits this tape with an audience recording, can be found on Pure Blues on Boogie Mama and is the definitive release for this show. But TDOLZ is a good way to have the original soundboard recording.
I respectfully disagree that Boogie Mama’s release is definitive. The packaging is very nice and they utilize the recent audience fragment nicely but it sounds like they used Flying Disc’s Mudslide without doing anything to improve the quality of sound or correct the speed issue. The original Pb LP runs at correct speed and has clearer, more dynamic sound than the subsequent re-pressings of Mudslide. I’m not sure if any other labels (Tarantura) used a copy of Pb for their releases. I read that Genuine Master’s used a vinyl rip of Pb. I ripped my vinyl and cleaned up the surface noise and it blows away all other versions I’ve heard of this show.
Some have said it was a radio broadcast, but no record exists. The story is that the taper arrived at the venue and was able, thanks to a generous sound engineer, to plug his cassette recorder into the PA to capture the show.
I was always under the impression that this came from a radio broadcast and was the reason that it was so heavily edited.