Swastika (Tarantura TCD67-1,2)
Old Refectory, Southampton University, Southampton, England – January 22nd, 1973
Disc 1: Rock And Roll, Over The Hills And Far Away, Black Dog, Misty Mountain Hop, Since I’ve Been Loving You, Dancing Days, The Song Remains The Same, The Rain Song, Dazed & Confused
Disc 2: Stairway To Heaven, Whole Lotta Love (incl. Everybody Needs Somebody To Love, Boogie Chillun’, (You’re So Square) I Don’t Care, Let’s Have A Party, I Can’t Quit You), Heartbreaker, Thank You, How Many More Times, Communication Breakdown
After Nasty Music, Empress Valley and several fan remaster releases hit the street, Tarantura2000 now offers up their version of this show. Nothing more needs to be added to what has already been said about the sonic quality of this show. The multi-track mix down….even though a few digital artifacts are present….is outstanding! The show itself is rather laid back throughout but is a great performance nonetheless. Add the fact that we have a small, intimate venue and the result is magical!
As compared to the EV release, Tarantura2000 have significantly turned up the volume on this one, as well as giving it a minor EQ’ing to the benefit of the mid to high frequencies. The digital errors which plague the Empress Valley release are significantly less obvious on this offering. While I suppose it is possible that Tarantura2000 could have had a alternate source to work with, I lean to the opinion that it is probably the same source with the problem spots “fixed” as best they could, and if that is the case they did an admirable job indeed. I believe this release will appeal more to those who prefer a more “in your face” sound while the EV release will appeal to those looking for a warmer sound. Either way, in my opinion, sonically you can’t go wrong with either release.
Now to the artwork. The title is strictly limited to 200 numbered copies and comes in a foldout cardboard case. Each disc is housed on its own spindle and “pops up” (like a children’s pop up book) when the case is opened. I am on record as being a huge fan of T2K’s packaging. This one seems to have caused bit of a stir with its title and Nazi-like depictions. I’m personally not offended however I can certainly see how some might be. I take it for what it is….”artwork”….nothing more. Lest we forget this is NOT the first bootleg release to cast the band in this light and I have no idea of the connection, if any. I seriously doubt Tarantura intended any harm. I think, like me they see it as art, end of story. Arguably Led Zeppelin had reached the top of their game by 1973 and to have a recording of this sound quality from that period we are very lucky indeed. Ten Zeppelins out of ten from me!!