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Led Zeppelin – Texas Blues (Godfather Records GR400)

 Texas Blues (Godfather Records GR400)

International Speedway, Lewisville, TX – August 31st, 1969

(65:04):  Opening announcements, Train Kept a Rollin’, I Can’t Quit You, Dazed And Confused, You Shook Me, How Many More Times, Communication Breakdown

Led Zeppelin’s hour long set at the Texas International Pop Festeival routinely makes collectors’ top five lists for all time best Led Zeppelin concerts.  Before an estimated 120,000 they deliver their standard festival set (minus “White Summer”).  The common tape in circulation has been called a soundboard recording because of its clarity, but this is really an excellent quality audience recording taped on the stage.  The second common tape is another great sounding audience tape that first appeared as Plays Pure Bob.

Empress Valley released several years ago Texas International Pop Festival(Empress Valley EVSDVD-A 004 & EVSD-439) which is an edit of those two tapes for a complete show.  Godfather follow a similar tactic in editing together the two tapes.  The disc begins with the second tape before the first tape cuts in.  The second tape is also used to plug a hole in “Dazed And Confused” from 11:05 to 11:51.  Compared to the Empress Valley, Godfather reduced the hiss and made the tape sound much more clear and powerful.  Also the stero panning has been centered nicely.  The only problem with this release, and what prevents Texas Blues to attaining definitive status, is the presence of diginoise beginning at 11:36 in “How Many More Times,” lasting through the song’s duration and also being present in “Communication Breakdown.”

The flaw is unfortunate because this comes so very close to being definitive.  The disc begins with the audience recording picking up the band getting ready.   The soundboard picks up with the announcer introducing the band, “Please welcome, the Led Zeppelin”.  The “Train Kept A-Rollin” and “I Can’t Get You” are employed for the final time as the set opener. 

Plant mentions problems the last time they visited Texas, saying:  “It’s very nice to be back in Texas. Last time we were here it was a near disaster when we said we weren’t doing the festival and everything. We’d like to , this is the last date before we go back to England. So we really want it to be, have a nice time. So you can help us as well, right?”  “Dazed & Confused” reaches some intense creepiness and a peculiarity about this version is the inclusion, between 9:25 and 9:40 of the heavy majestic riff usually found as an introduction to “How Many More Times” (most notably on the Royal Albert Hall version found on the DVD). 

“How Many More Times” reaches more than twenty minutes and contains some interaction between Plant and the audience after someone throws something at him (what exactly was thrown isn’t clear).  The lyrics to “Eyesight To The Blind” are sung in the “Boogie Chillun'” style.  Before their encore Plant says:  “we’re going home tomorrow, and we got about two hours sleep, and we, despite, we’d like to say thanks for being a great audience, and we’d like to do one more. But, yeah I know, but we know what we’re gonna do.”  “Communication Breakdown,” with a short bass, solo closes the event. 

Texas Bluesis packaged in a tri fold gatefold sleeve with several pictures from the era on the artwork.  There are many versions of this show to choose from and Godfather, while having some problems, isn’t bad either and would be worth picking up if you don’t already own this show in some form. 

If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)

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  1. After reading the review above, I was a bit hesitant to order this title. Previously I had only a CD-R copy of the Oh Boy release that I don’t like that much. About a month ago a friend of mine e-mailed me offering his spare (and unplayed) copy for only $10. Yes, only $10 bucks and I decided to take my chances. All I can say is that I’m really impressed and pleased. Even with the diginoising, which I don’t find intrusive, this title is awesome. the sound is clear and vivid. Highly recommended!!

  2. Does anyone know whether Godfather plans to fix the clicks by re-releasing it?

  3. I have the EV DVD-A release of this show. Is this release worth the upgrade?

  4. After listening I can say that these clicks are not so annoying so I recommended highly this release over past editions of this remarkable show.

  5. Thanks for the review. I was on the brink of ordering this disc until I read about the digital noise problems. Such a shame – I REALLY hope this gets corrected in the same way that Pink Floyd’s “Echoes, Wishes and Desires” did.

  6. Uh, I can see how people are still up in the air about the 1971 Osaka tape being a soundboard or audience recording, but this 69 Texas recording has always been known as being a soundboard, hasn’t it?

    I mean, how much more “soundboard” can it get? So, I’m just curious as to how one could possibly think was an audience recording.

    Otherwise, thanks for the review!

  7. I like this one more then oh boy.

  8. I also agree this is clearer and personally like the edits between the two sources used. Maybe Godfather will see these comments and consider another try at this.

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