The Fourth Night In The Garden (Scorpio LZ-09033)
Madison Square Garden New York, NY – June 11th, 1977
Disc 1 (77:19): Intro, The Song Remains The Same, Sick Again, Nobody’s Fault But Mine, In My Time Of Dying, Since I’ve Been Loving You, No Quarter
Disc 2 (50:47): Ten Years Gone, The Battle Of Evermore, Going To California, Black Country Woman, Bron-Y-Aur Stomp, White Summer/Black Mountain Side, Kashmir
Disc 3 (53:08): Moby Dick, Guitar Solo, Achilles Last Stand, Stairway To Heaven, Heartbreaker
Disc 4 (46:21) Soundboard: No Quarter, Ten Years Gone, The Battle Of Evermore
Led Zeppelin’s six night run at Madison Square Garden is one of the high points of their eleventh US tour.
Appreciation has been sabotaged, however, by lack of excellent recordings and inconsistent silver documentation. The past several years have seen some progress with the release of the soundboard for the opening night on June 7th and the first silver pressing of the first two thirds of the final show on June 14th.
The Fourth Night In The Garden offers the complete June 11th show on silver disc for the very first time. A three song fragment from the soundboard with “No Quarter,” “Ten Years Gone” and “The Battle Of Evermore” has been in circulation for many years and has been pressed many times and is included on the forth disc as a nice bonus.
But this is the first time any of the audience tapes have been used. The first two-thirds of the show, from the beginning to “Kashmir,” are sourced from the excellent audience tape that surfaced about twelve years ago. It was circulated on a fan-produced CDR complete with the taper’s story of his journey from Philadelphia to New York and his excitement attending the show.
Scorpio use and edit of two tapes for the rest of the show. The better of the two, used for a majority of the final hour, is a good but boomy audience tape, and the third is distant and hard to hear. It is a skillful edit of the three tapes to present the full show in the best possible sound quality.
The tape begins with the opening drum beats and guitar chime, played in the darkness to build suspense, before they start off with an aggressive “The Song Remains The Same.” Robert Plant’s vocals are a bit distant probably due to the sound engineer still adjusting the levels. The segue into “Sick Again” through “The Rover” riff is really exciting.
Afterwards, as the audience are going nuts, Plant playfully shouts “Crazy Eddie can’t be beat,” referring to the New York metropolitan appliance chain Crazy Eddie, mimicking their infamous and ubiquitous television commercials. He further speaks about the upcoming New York Cosmos soccer game and about their lateness, welcoming everyone to “the midnight movie” before they rip into “Nobody’s Fault But Mine.”
“Over The Hills And Far Away” was played the previous night as the fourth song, but “In My Time Of Dying” returns. Plant refers to it as one that “goes back a little bit before …but it’s in the same mold as a blues that owes a little bit more to your country than ours.” While Page tunes his danelectro guitar some guys by the recorder speculate he’s going to play “White Summer” (since that’s the guitar he uses for that song). But, when they realize the rest of the band aren’t leaving the stage they figure out that he’s going to play something else.
“In My Time Of Dying” sounds extremely heavy in this recording, even Plant’s vocals carry significant amount of weight. They get into “You Shook Me” at the end and, when they finish, Plant even continues to quote the song, saying “You know it feels pretty hot up here.” He also hopes there is no “connotations” in his towel smelling of vinegar and calls “Since I’ve Been Loving You” a “more English rooted song.”
“No Quarter” is stretched to thirty minutes. It’s good to hear the audience recording after hearing the rather dry soundboard for so many years. The improvisation begins slowly, as if Jones were trying to figure out what direction he wanted to take the journey. Page coaxes him in one direction with subtle little notes until it picks up steam. Things work out much better during the solo’s second half, when Bonham comes in and Page can play a more appropriate mood.
Afterwards, as they’re setting up for the next song, Plant makes a big deal about Jones’ new instrument. Speaking about “Ten Years Gone,” he refers to it as “a piece that came after an amount of contemplation when we were rehearsing. It employs Jonesy using a three necked instrument which saves him getting up and having too many Heinekens behind the equipment, you see? It’s a song about a love that could have been good, but went by the wayside.” Always on the verge of disaster, they manage to play a compelling version until they go out of tune at the very end.
“The Battle Of Evermore” is the other never-before-performed-live song in the set. Bonham, “who’s enjoying a Heinekan” and who is “gonna record his heartbeat,” adds tambourine to the song. Someone talks to the taper during the song, asking about bootlegs and telling him to be careful recording the show.
Both “Moby Dick” and the noise guitar solo are both mercifully short. “Achilles Last Stand” is almost ruined by an out-of-tune string on Page’s guitar. He solders on as best he can, but there are some very painful bum notes and the closing chimes sound sour. Thankfully “Stairway To Heaven” is very powerful and extremely tight, one of the best of the New York shows. “Heartbreaker” is chosen for the encore instead of “Rock And Roll.” Extremely wild, it unfortunately cuts out in the guitar solo.
The Fourth Night In The Garden is a very welcomed release. It’s great to finally have the complete show pressed onto silver discs. Scorpio use a quad jewel case to house the four discs and utilize a very dramatic photograph for the front cover. This is a great title worth having.