Led Zeppelin – Over The Top (Bad Wizard)

Over The Top (Bad Wizard)

Kingdome, Seattle, WA – July 17th, 1977

The Song Remains The Same, Sick Again, Nobody’s Fault But Mine, Over The Hills And Far Away, Since I’ve Been Loving You, No Quarter, Ten Years Gone, The Battle Of Evermore, Going To California, Black Country Woman, Bron-Y-Aur Stomp, White Summer/Black Mountain Side, Kashmir, Moby Dick, Guitar solo, Achilles Last Stand, Stairway To Heaven, Whole Lotta Love, Rock And Roll

Ever since the complete video of Zeppelin’s show in Seattle surfaced several years ago there have been many and various permutations of both the audio and video. The video tape has been released as Heavy Metal, Rock Show / Cameras Roll on Akashic Records, Kingdome Come on Watch Tower, on dvdr as Seattle 1977 on Cosmic Energy which was copied onto silver dvds as Kingdome Seattle Washington on New Depression Music, An Evening With Led Zeppelin (Cashmere), Kingdome Seattle 1977 (Hercules) 3 DVD, and the latest version Supersonic Seattle (Genuine Masters GM-LZ-17.07.1977-DVD-04).

Over The Top is produced by the Scorpio people and released on their Bad Wizard label as a dual layer DVD-9. It isn’t any closer to the master than any other release and suffers from pixilation issues in the more dark scenes with heavy blues and reds. It is good to have it on one disc and the images do look very clear and enjoyable for the most part.

Since it was the in-house feed for a closed circuit broadcast the emphasis is upon close ups on Plant and Page especially, but also nice images of Bonham and Jones as well. Some of the camera angles are questionable but in general are very well thought out. I do wonder why the camera focuses upon Bonham during “Bron-Y-Aur Stomp” when Page’s guitar needs repair. Some have asked who is playing drums on the stand up bass and we’ll never know (although I thought I read it was Page).

During Page’s noise solo there are some very effective and powerful images like his posturing in front of the theremin, the laser show at the end and watching him play “Won’t Get Fooled Again” on the knobs of the Les Paul. “No Quarter” is also very enjoyable watching Jones play the piano, talk to a stage hand and even stand up at one point before the camera focuses upon Page playing the solo with Bonham behind him. It’s a shame there are no wide shots to get an idea of the audience and venue because they look very isolated without any other visual information to place it in context.

The sound is very clean and synced properly but also betrays the weakness of raw soundboards. Comments have been made about the weakness of the performance at the end with “Kashmir”, “Achillies Last Stand”, “Stairway To Heaven” and the encores. Agreed there are better versions from the 1977 tour out there, but I’d recommend listening to the very good audience source of this show on In A Delirious Daze on Equinox to get another view which sounds much more exciting. Since this is the only complete professionally shot video from their eleventh tour and for that this is an essential purchase.

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