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Led Zeppelin – Texas International Pop Festival: Definitive Edition (TCOLZ 053/054/055/056)

Texas International Pop Festival:  Definitive Edition (TCOLZ 053/054/055/056)

Texas International Pop Festival, Lewisville, TX – August 31st, 1969

Disc 1 (64:25):  Introduction, Train Kept A-Rollin’, I Can’t Quit You, Dazed And Confused, You Shook Me, How Many More Times, Communication Breakdown

Disc 2 (62:13):  Train Kept A-Rollin’, I Can’t Quit You, Dazed And Confused, You Shook Me, How Many More Times, Communication Breakdown

Disc 3 (44:27): Train Kept A-Rollin’, I Can’t Quit You, Dazed And Confused, You Shook Me, How Many More Times

Disc 4 (62:46):  Train Kept A-Rollin’, I Can’t Quit You, Dazed And Confused, You Shook Me, How Many More Times, Communication Breakdown

Led Zeppelin’s set at the Texas International Pop Festival on August 31st remains one of the most popular Zeppelin shows in circulation.  Already this year there have been two releases and Texas International Pop Festival:  Definitive Edition on The Chronicles Of Led Zeppelin is the latest incarnation.  The goal of the label is to present tapes with their natural sound quality without excessive remastering and tinkering with the sound.  Some may debate the merits of this approach, but it has lead to some excellent release that have never before been pressed onto silver.  Since Zeppelin’s set was just over an hour, the entire show can fit onto one disc.

Disc one is the source used on Plays Pure Bob (Tarantura Bob-001) released in 1995 in its entirety.  It was also used to fill in the gaps in the “soundboard” recording on The Only Way To Fly (Empress Valley Supreme Disc) and Texas Blues (Godfather Records).  The recording is very clear but emphasizes the bass, has noticeable hiss, mic handling noise and the ocassional audience comment.  The second disc is the “Reggie The Bullet” tape.  It is a fair audience recording which is difficult to enjoy because of the crowd noise and distortion.  It was released earlier this year on  Eyes Big Crowd (Tarantura TCD-88) and only a phenomenal mastering job by Tarantura is able to save it.

The third disc is a higher generation of the same tape found on disc two.  It is more muffled and is missing the first thirteen minutes of “How Many More Times” and the encore “Communication Breakdown” totaling eighteen minutes.  There is also a cut and repeat in “Dazed And Confused” from 11:19 to 11:27.  In dealing with lo fi tapes such as this, the best way to figure out is to listen to the audience comments as a point of reference.  The comments made by Reggie at the beginning of “Dazed And Confused” and during “You Shook Me” are all present and identical between the Tarantura, disc two and disc three.  

The fourth disc presents the complete “soundboard” recording.  This is the most commonly used tape and has been featured on many different releases on both vinyl and compact disc.  Texas International Pop Festival:  Definitive Edition isn’t as definitive as advertised.  It has all three known sources in very good quality.  It is disappointing that a new tape source wasn’t discovered and making its debut on this release.  And since it’s likely that a majority of collectors have the “soundboard” tape in their collections, the only true merit for this TCOLZ is the pressing of the Play Pure Bob source on disc one.  It’s been a long time since the whole tape has been made available.   

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. You might be interested to know that the LZ set has turned up once again on a 5CD release from Neverland Records (not heard of them before, but I think they’re an offshoot of Wendy) called the Texas Int’l Pop Festival that also includes the sets by Canned Heat, Janis Joplin, Sly Stone, TYA, ISB, Santana and Delaney & Bonnie though I don’t know if EC was with them on this particular gig. The LZ set is the familiar one used by Oh Boy in their box set release of many years ago.

  2. It has been confirmed already. Disc three is the same source as disc two.

  3. Weedwacker reported that there’s 3rd aud recording that clocks at 45 mins. around so either it must be a high gen of Reggie the Bullet or a new one. Confirmation is needed to clarify this case as well!

  4. Disc #3 is a higher gen incomplete version of the “Reggie The Bullet” source. I was told this was not done on purpose to deceit collectors. There’s some other issues with this release that I believe will be mentioned soon. If the vinyl LP “Never Healed” is indeed from this show, I know many of us would like a confirmation from someone who has heard this rare album.

  5. I never heard that LP but from what i assume the acetate was made from poor sounding source and track listing can be wrong or just not including detailed info. Many old vinyl boots have at least incomplete/incorrect track listing, sometimes mispelled also. We need much more assistance from our friends to complete database.

  6. I wondered if disc three is the vinyl source for Never Healed. I’ve never heard the vinyl, but the timing would fit an LP (about forty minutes). However, the track listing doesn’t match. According to the excellent Led Zeppelin Database, the tracklisting is:
    Side 1: The Train Kept A Rollin’/Dazed And Confused
    Side 2: How Many More Times medley incl. Suzie Q, The Hunter, The Lemon Song, All Shook Up/Communication Breakdown

    Side two has a complete “How Many More Times” and “Communication Breakdown,” while disc three of TCOLZ has only half of “How Many More Times” and no “Communication Breakdown.” Thus disc three couldn’t be a transfer of the LP (unless I’m missing something).

  7. I cannot agree with above comments in full. First, although this newest title from TCOLZ label issued one source twice, the poorer sounding transfer is very interesing because of the fact it was used on ultra rare Japanese LP acetate, “Never Healed” many years ago and its value is unquestionable for some of completists. Also the final word that this set is not definitive is not true – in fact, so called unreleased source not yet liberated anywhere is very, very possible a higher gen copy of Reggie the Bullet tape already released in their two versions on this newest release. If any new source really exists for years, it could be released almost for sure in the past and the lack of it seems to proove my own theory of being a mistake. Finally, the soundboard tape used here is an excellent and pure transfer released in the same way as Oh Boy title, recognized by many as the best sounding version of this show and so far unavailable anywhere except online auctions and private trades. All in all, I have to admit that, since maybe this not TCOLZ’s most spectacular release, it is still worth having, at least just for the fact gathering all known sources in one package and without any worries you paid for something that is worse than any of previous titles.

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