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Led Zeppelin – The Fuckin’ Spirit (Melvin Records MM23)

The Fuckin’ Spirit (Melvin Records MM23) 

Atlanta International Speedway, Hampton, Georgia, USA – July 5, 1975 

(42:06) The Train Kept A Rollin’, I Can’t Quit You Baby, Dazed And Confused, White Summer / Black Mountain Side, You Shook Me 

The Tarantura label recently released two titles under the guise of Melvin Records. The two titles are The Beatles Rumi Tape and More, a collection of obscure outtakes, and Led Zeppelin The Fuckin’ Spirit featuring the newly unearthed 1969 Atlanta Pop recording. I was curious about Melvin Records and an internet search provided the information I was looking for, a short lived label that released several Beatles related titles in the late 70’s. There was a curious story about the founder of the label, for those interested in such things, here is an interesting link documenting the life of Fred Arnold. 

The 1969 Atlanta Pop recording surfaced in early 2021 thanks to the collective known as The Dogs Of Doom and released freely to fans worldwide via various torrent sites. Soon after the collectors had a few titles of this materiel to choose from, Atlanta Pop Festival 1969 (No Label), Rocks In Atlanta (Empress Valley Supreme Disc EVSD), and Atlanta International Pop Festival 1969 (Graf Zeppelin LZSC-705). As noted on the excellent Bootledz site, Empress Valley features the entire tape while the No Label and Graf Zeppelin removed a few short tape stretches with all three titles sharing the same musical content. This new title by Melvin Records features the complete tape and when I compare this side by side with the Graf Zeppelin I am extremely pleased. This new Melvin version trumps the Graf Zeppelin title, what they have done with this recording is astounding. It is slightly louder, clearer and with a much better frequency range than the Graf Zeppelin. You still detect just a trace of tape hiss but what is very nice is that one does not get the feeling of heavy mastering, the sound retains a very natural feel to it, even when I crank it up, an easy thing to do with Summer 69 Zeppelin. 

The packaging is a simple cardboard sleeve with the front cover featuring a picture from the actual event, the rear and CD feature the cartoon artwork that adorned the LP Label of the original Melvin vinyl records. The CD has its own paper sleeve emblazoned with a stamp that reads I Survived The Pit-O-Rubber at Rubber Baby, certainly all part of the homage to Melvin Records as well. I am more than pleased with this title, like most of Tarantura’s Zeppelin titles, this one won’t be around forever. 

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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