Nuremberg 1973 (The Diagrams Of Led Zeppelin TDOLZ Vol. 99)
Messe-Zentrum Halle, Nuremberg, Germany – March 14th, 1973
Disc 1 (53:27): Rock And Roll, Over The Hills And Far Away, Black Dog, Misty Mountain Hop, Since I’ve Been Loving You, Dancing Days, Bron-Y-Aur Stomp, The Song Remains The Same, The Rain Song
Disc 2 (73:40): Dazed And Confused, Ramble On, Stairway To Heaven, Whole Lotta Love, Heartbreaker
The final title released by the important The Diagrams Of Led Zeppelin label remains the only compact disc release to date of the March 14th, 1973 show at the Messe-Zentrum Halle in Nuremberg. The extremely rare Japanese acetate Live In Nuremburg 1973 (Private Collection PC 016 A-B) has “Dazed & Confused” and “Whole Lotta Love,” but TDOLZ released the entire tape on two discs. It is a fair to good and very listenable audience recording taped a fair distance from the stage and whose biggest drawback is a rumbling bass throughout the show. There is a small cut after “Since I’ve Been Loving You,” two in “The Song Remains The Same” at 3:34 and 4:31 (which eliminates the very end of the song), one after “Dazed And Confused,”at 5:25 in “Stairway To Heaven” cutting out the beginning of the guitar solo, and on at 26:19 in “Whole Lotta Love.”
The set begins with the paring of “Rock And Roll” and “Over The Hills And Far Away.” Like many bands, Zeppelin liked to build energy at the very beginning of the show by segueing together some of their more energetic numbers. Playing “Over The Hills” in the second slot was a strange choice since it stopped any momentum built with “Rock And Roll.” This arrangement would be dropped at the end of this tour and the US would see three appropriate songs played in a row. “Good evening, and despite the fact we can’t hear anything at all. This is something off the last album. It’s about a very groovy dog. It’s about a Black Dog” Plant says afterwards as the get into the fourth album track.
“Misty Mountain Hop” is dedicated “to the police in Manchester in England” and Page seems to favor playing notes higher than on the studio album during the short solo in the middle. “Since I’ve Been Loving You” is very dramatic in this recording and is one of the best numbers of the night. Plant says “Dancing Days” is “about our desire or feelings towards little school girls and dirty overcoats” sounding like a letch as he says it. Jimmy Page’s guitar sounds out of tune during this track and they deliver one of the more limp versions on record.
“Bron-Y-Aur Stomp” is introduced as “a song from the third LP which was conceived on the side of a mountain in the country. The grand, the grand country of Wales. This is also a number where we get a certain amount of feedback due to our studio technicians, and their expense sheets. Happy days are on. It’s about a dog with blue eyes. We’re gonna take our time. We got to tune up.” Page plays a riff from “That’s The Way” during the solo. Right after Plant introduces “The Song Remains The Same” Page plays the opening riff of Eric Clapton’s “Layla” on the double neck guitar. It’s a curious little doodle and the only time they referred to Clapton’s classic onstage. John Paul Jones fights with an out of tune mellotron during “The Rain Song.” It sounds as if the tapes inside the instrument are melting and he spends time afterwards trying to fix the problem.
Every “Dazed & Confused” on this tour is notable. John Bonham plays the drums as a lead instrument, improvising at will and even tries to get the band into “The Crunge” while Page attacks the sections of the piece with ferocity. Afterwards they plays a little bit of “Ramble On” as an introduction to “Stairway To Heaven.” Page plays the Tarantella as an introduction to “Whole Lotta Love.” Jones and Bonham play a mid-tempo rhythm under Page’s theremin solo before they get into “Everybody Needs Somebody To Love” and John Lee Hooker’s “Boogie Chillun’.” They continue with two Elvis songs “(Baby You’re So Square) I Don’t Care” and the popular “Let’s Have A Party.” A heavy, drawn out version of “I Can’t Quit You” closes the half hour long medley. “Heartbreaker” is the only encore present on the tape.
Many claim that Zeppelin’s tour in Germany 1973 is one of the highlights of their touring career. It sounds as if they were getting used to the new set list and were testing the boundaries of their improvising talent. Every tape is precious and worth having including this one from Nuremberg. It isn’t the best sounding tape, but it is good enough to be enjoyable and it captures a fantastic show. Reviews at the time of its release claim this runs too fast but that isn’t the case. This runs at the correct speed. TDOLZ used double sided inserts with various pictures from the US tour in 1973 including the conspicuous Plant photo on the front cover from Kezar. The insert opens up to reveal a collage of the final twelve TDOLZ releases in their catalogue. Overall this is a good production worth having.