Led Zeppelin – Praise Ye The Lord (Tarantura TCD-123)

Praise Ye The Lord (Tarantura TCD-123)

Boston Tea Party, Boston, MA – May 28th, 1969

Disc 1 (45:02):  Introduction, As Long As I Have You (Fresh Garbage, Bag’s Groove, Mockingbird), I Can’t Quit You Baby, Dazed And Confused (Move On Down The Line), You Shook Me

Disc 2 (46:06):  Pat’s Delight, Babe I’m Gonna Leave You, Band Introduction, How Many More Times (For Your Love, The Hunter), Communication Breakdown

In the final week of their second US tour in 1969 Led Zeppelin played three nights in the Boston Tea Party, scene to some of their already legendary gigs in January.  The only surviving document of thiese Boston shows is a fair to good recording of the middle gig on May 28th.

The earliest pressings of this tape can be found on Complete Boston Tea Party (ARMS 07/08PR), mixed with songs from the January 23rd Tea Party tape, Masters of Excess (The Symbols YU-15/16) where the first half is horribly unbalanced, and Pat’s Delight (Tecumseh TRC-001) on which it is mixed with tracks from the October 1969 Buffalo tape.  Empress Valley also released the show on The Legendary Boston Tea Party Tapes Vol. 1 (Empress Valley EVSD-498/499).  

Praise Ye The Lord is the latest version to be pressed.  The sound is well balanced and is more clear and powerful than the others.  There is evidence of mastering on the tape, helping more than it hurts.

Zeppelin begin with “As Long As I Have You.”  The fourteen minute long medley contains the expected references such as “Fresh Garbage,” “Bag’s Groove” and “Mockingbird,” but sounds less tight and tired compared to the more well known versions from earlier in the year.  The piece served the band well since they started the previous autumn, but this would be the final recording of the piece and one of the final times it was played.

A thirteen minute performance of “Dazed & Confused” contains a bizarre reference to “Move On Down The Line” by Roy Orbison.  Plant seems to sneak the lyrics in during the improvisation section as if he’s trying to coax the band to play an oldies medley.  This is the first of three known times they referenced the song (the others are at the Royal Albert Hall on January 9th during “How Many More Times” and in New Haven on August 15th, 1970 during the “Whole Lotta Love” medley). 

“Pat’s Delight” sounds sloppy and uninspired.  This is one of the final times it was played live before “Moby Dick” took the place of Bonzo’s drum solo.  They follow with “Babe I’m Gonna Leave You” which Plant introduces as “a thing originally from Joan Baez.”

The set ends with a long and wild performance of “How Many More Times.”  The show was good but rather reserved up to this point, but they relax a bit and play a twenty-one minute epic.  During the piece, they make a rare reference to The Yardbirds’ “For Your Love” in addition to “The Hunter” and Ravel’s “Bolero.”  And Plant is in a Chuck Berry mood, throwing in references to “Little Queenie” (the only time Zeppelin was known to reference it on stage) and “I’m Talking About You.”   

The only encore is “Communication Breakdown.”  Page’s guitar has a broken string delaying the show.  Plant, Jones and Bonham play a short impromptu blues before Page returns for an energetic version of the song.

Praise Ye The Lord is packaged in a gatefold cardboard sleeve with several photographs from the night and other memorabilia like posters and tickets.  Tarantura also include a four page booklet with even more photos from the show including one with the legend “praise ye the Lord” behind Page and Plant onstage (The Boston Tea Party was a converted synagogue).   It is pleasantly surprising how good the sound quality is on this release and is worth having.     

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