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.