Rave On (The Diagrams Of Led Zeppelin TDOLZ Vol. 029)
Free Trade Hall, Manchester, England – November 24th, 1971
Disc 1 (61:01): Immigrant Song, Heartbreaker, Black Dog, Since I’ve Been Loving You, Celebration Day, Stairway To Heaven, Going To California, That’s The Way, Tangerine, Bron-Y-Aur Stomp
Disc 2 (45:50): Dazed And Confused, What Is And What Should Never Be, Rock And Roll, Whole Lotta Love, Thank You
After their triumphant tour of Japan in September and right after the release of the often delayed fourth album, Led Zeppelin did a sixteen date tour of the UK in November and December to end a year of almost constant touring. Only seven tapes exist from this tour and many, like Dundee and London, are of poor to fair sound quality. The Manchester tape featured on Rave On is merely fair in sound quality, just good enough to gain an appreciation of the band’s effort this night. The “Whole Lotta Love” medley cuts out after eleven and a half minutes and only ninety seconds of the encore “Thank You” was preserved. There are cuts during the tune up to “Going To California,” before “That’s The Way” and a cut by the end eliminates the last few seconds, at 20:45 in “Dazed And Confused” and between each song in the latter part of the show since the taper paused the recorder to conserve his tape.
The tape begins with Robert Plant giving a word of explanation, saying, “we’re sorry about the delay but there was some ice on the motor way, and John Paul Jones wanted two helpings of apple pie.” Jimmy Page plays a riff that sounds like the soon to be written “The Rover” as a tune up before starting “Immigrant Song.” “Heartbreaker,” the second song of the evening, contains bits of Bach’s Bouree and “Feelin’ Groovy (59th Street Bridge Song)” in the long solo.
After “Black Dog” Plant tells the audience, “I think I got that flu that’s going about.” It seems whenever they toured in the winter months he complains about a flu. There is a bit of a delay, ” just a technical fit. If you could talk amongst yourselves for a bit.” Page tries several variations on the “Since I’ve Been Loving You” melody. “Celebration Day” follows having been moved up from later in the set. Plant gives the routine discussion about the song’s origin, stating, “somewhere a little bit to the west of here there’s the United States, and just before you get to the United States, there’s a statue that sticks up, and that’s the place called New York and this is a thing dedicated to New York.” The final guitar solo played in a clanging tone is extended ad infinitum.
After a four song acoustic set they get into a twenty-five minute version of “Dazed And Confused.” Around this time Page like to emphasized high pitched, creepy sounding drones while playing the guitar with the violin bow. He makes it sound as if there are jet liners flying into the venue. During the improvisation the gets into the theme from Shaft as he does during this short tour. In the “Whole Lotta Love” medley they get into a funk arrangement of “That’s Alright Mama” before “Boogie Chillun’.” Buddy Holly’s “Rave On” is played for the second known time before leading into “Hello Mary Lou,” although only the first few notes are present. The taper pauses the recorder a couple of times and captures the final notes of “Whole Lotta Love.” It is a shame the tape doesn’t have better sound quality and become so fragmented by the end because it is a great show to have. Rave On is an early release on TDOLZ packaged in a gatefold cardboard sleeve. This is the only release of the tape and probably will remain so unless a better tape surfaces.