Led Zeppelin – Rock And Roll Bonanza (Electric Magic EMC-027 A/B SS)

Rock And Roll Bonanza (Electric Magic EMC-027 A/B SS)

Milwaukee Arena, Milwaukee, WI – July 10th, 1973

Disc 1 (62:35):   Rock and Roll, Celebration Day, Bring It On Home intro / Black Dog, Over the Hills and Far Away, Misty Mountain Hop, Since I’ve Been Loving You, No Quarter, The Song Remains the Same, Rain Song

Disc 2 (50:17):   Dazed and Confused, Stairway to Heaven, Moby Dick

The July 10th, 1973 Milwaukee tape is a distant, somewhat distorted but listenable tape of about three quarters of the entire show.  Missing is the ending of the drum solo, “Heartbreaker,” “Whole Lotta Love” and whatever was played as an encore.  The tape first surfaced in the mid-nineties and was pressed on One More For The Road (Red Hot RH-012/013).  Rock And Roll Bonanza came out almost a decade later.  Electric Magic boosted the gain and corrected the speed to run closer to pitch.  

Electric Magic is a label known to have ruined several of their releases with over zealous mastering and producing a nasty metallic whine over the music.  Thankfully they didn’t do that with Milwaukee and this release actually sounds quite nice and enjoyable.  There are cuts after “No Quarter” and one in “The Rain Song” at 3:35.

The press review was very positive.  The  most famous review comes from “Zeppelin Flying High” by D. Jaques and published in the Milwaukee Journal.  He writes:  “The Led Zeppelin soared high over Milwaukee Tuesday night. One of the granddaddies of hard rock groups, the Zep thoroughly entertained about 11,000 at the Arena.  It had been three years since the group was in Milwaukee and rock music has taken some strange twists and turns since then. Some very good rock groups have compromised their musical integrity by selling their souls to gimmicks, gadgets and the foibles of a few loud and abusive fans.  But Zeppelin was as true to its music as it was the last time around. The group had stage smoke drifting out over the audience, apparently a necessity for all rock bands that consider themselves superstars.”

It’s well known how much of a slow start the second half of the tour was with mediocre performances in Chicago on July 7th and July 8th.  Minneapolis was very good and Milwaukee continues the trend by being a very adventurous show.  After the opening Plant greets the audience, saying, “very nice to be back and…when did we come here last?  1969 was it?  Remember that festival where it rained all day.  Well things have changed since then.”  Although their previous visit to Milwaukee was in late 1970.

There are some firecrackers early on and Plant tells the audience “methinks we’re gonna have a good night.  On one condition.  No more firecrackers, alright?”  He continues to introduces “Misty Mountain Hop” as a song “not about firecrackers except the ones you put into cigarette papers.”  Also like the previous show in Minneapolis, “No Quarter” is extremely heavy and is showing progress in its on-stage improvisation in the middle.  So good is it that afterwards Plant says, “Nice solo there from Jimmy and John.  John Paul Jones synthesized piano.  Mr. Bonham would like to be mentioned for his drumming too.”

“Dazed And Confused” also is showing more development with Page experimenting with a bizarre, majestic riff about six minutes in.  It is unfortunate the tape cuts out during “Moby Dick” because it would have been interesting to hear what kind of improvisations would have occurred in “Whole Lotta Love.”  Be that as it may, there are better sounding documents from this tour for the casual collector.  But for the Zeppelin collector this is a good title to have and a nice job by Electric Magic.   

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