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Communication Breakdown -CJ1JrOZtScc

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  • Description: This, being the last show of Zeppelin's festival packed summer, shows the band playing a tight and extremely powerful set. The improves are longer, and the playing is fresh and raw. Each member of the band is at top form, and the playing reflects it. Check out Page's solos in every song! Inventive and intense. Plant's singing is sweet, bluesy, and raw. One of his most satisfying and consistent 69 performances. The adlibs work and the HMMT medley is perfect. Bonham throws in some cowbell play during his intro in HMMT and Jones plays nice and laid back throughout. Although they are forced to keep their set short, they still manage to give an hour of pure energy, creating a wonderful rapport with the Dallas crowd. They love every minute of the show, and you will too

    This is an excellent package from EVSD in their customary long-box with card slip cover containing the CDs in paper sleeves. The title appears to have come from an advert in the UK weekly music paper New Musical Express in March 1969. The CDs are gold discs and the package is finished with the now usual liner notes from Aquarius11! The audience source on disc 1 is taken from the same tape source as "Plays Pure Bob" on the Tarantura label and uses the original reel to reel tape as recorded from the photographer's pit. However, there is a damatic increase in the sound level and it is therefore much more powerful with JPJ's bass very prominent. The cuts in the prior release have been edited out using an alternative tape source. Disc 2, unlike previous releases, starts with the Audience source intro warm-up and tape warble from disc 1. However, there the similarity ends. This is complete stunning quality taken from the original mixing desk recording. I was rather dubious if some of the previous releases could be improved. I was wrong. There is absolutely no tape hiss and this show is undeniably super excellent SBD quality. The power and loudness is amazing and everything is perfectly balanced. The cuts in D & C and HMMT have been skillfully edited in from another source and I personally could not distinguish any difference in output. These details are all provided in the liner notes anyway so it's not as though EVSD are trying to hide anything. An interesting note is that it does mention the D&C cuts present on the tapes are not on the film, which is complete!!!!!! Anyone know where it is? Every track is outstanding with Communication Breakdown finished off "old style" which I thought was always better than later renditions which were too bland. My personal favourite Zep show of all time, short but a technically brilliant performance. (The VLH Dec 02)

    The soundboard recording of this concert has long been available to fans in a number of superb presentations. The best, both in terms of sound and packaging, was by Oh Boy way back in 1991. Initially released as Don't Mess With texas, it was subsequently released as Texas International Pop Festival, the first of a series of soundboard recordings of many of the artists that appeared at this three day festival. The festival programme is reproduced in full as the jewel case front insert. I seem to remember seeing a large 12" x 12" box set with all the individual CDs inside it, and still kick myself to this day that I did not buy it. I have the Ten Years After CD from this series, another superb release. So along come Empress Valley and put this show out as a two CD release, one disc the audience recording and the second the soundboard. The discs are in card covers, housed in a long thick card sleeve, over which a card slipcase is fitted. This label has released a number of shows this way, and I personally find this packaging rather naff. The first disc is the audience recording, claimed to be from the original master reel to reel tape. Empress Valley have made a mess of this, the sound is dull and very bottom endy. This source was originally released by Tarantura as Plays Pure Bob, and whilst this release does not have a great deal of bottom end, the top end is there and it sounds much clearer and crisper. It remains the best version. Also Empress Valley have filled the small gaps in the audience recording from the soundboard, and vice versa with the soundboard disc. The second disc is the soundboard recording, and this sounds a bit louder than the original Oh Boy release from 1991, but this is merely achieved by cranking up the EQ, a great favourite of this and many other labels. The Oh Boy release (also available on the Whoopy Cat label) still stands the test of time and remains a superb and definitive release. Therefore this latest release achieves nothing, and is yet another pointless regurgitation of material that we already have in better quality. One to avoid. (Jules McTrainspotter Jan 03) -CJ1JrOZtScc
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