Friday 10 August 2018

#115 LED ZEPPELIN - MSG, NYC. 12 FEB 1975 (Flac)

February 12, 1975
Madison Square Garden
New York City, NY

Flying Circus - 40th Anniversary Edition (from the 9CD Box)
EVSD - Audience and Soundboard Matrix
Lineage: My Silvers > Flac level 8

Disc 1
01. Rock And Roll
02. Sick Again
03. Over The Hills And Far Away
04. In My Time Of Dying
05. The Song Remains The Same
06. The Rain Song
07. Kashmir

Disc 2
01. No Quarter
02. Trampled Under Foot
03. Moby Dick

Disc 3
01. Dazed And Confused
02. Stairway To Heaven
03. Whole Lotta Love 
04. Black Dog
05. Heartbreaker


Numerous soundboard & matrix versions of this show exist:

Physical Riffiti [A Group/Personal Project] (SBD)
Four Blocks in the Snow V.2 A [Bluecongo Production] (SBD/AUD Matrix)
That's Alright New York [Godfatherecords] (SBD)
SBD - 96khz/24 bit 5.1 Dolby Surround
Keeper Of The Seasons [Liquid Led] (SBD)
Flying Circus [EVSD] (SBD)
Definitive Flying Circus [EVSD] (soundboard with audience)
Flying Circus 40th Anniversary Edition [EVSD] Audience and Soundboard Matrix

From Empress Valley we have graduated from the soundboard in 2002, to the Definitive Version! and finally (at the moment) the 40th anniversary edition in 2015. It was difficult to discern any major difference in sound quality between the Bluecongo production 'Four Blocks In The Snow' and this. With so many versions available I can recommend this release by Empress Valley.

A review on Redditt gives the show some context as follows:
"This was the third and final night at Madison Square Garden. It took place during a blinding snowstorm in New York City, which Plant mentions during the show. This concert is from the middle of the band's 1975 American tour, Plant has the flu and it shows. He mostly sings in a hoarse voice, and is clearly congested with a sore throat. Fortunately, the rest of the band makes up for it. Jimmy is still recovering from his broken finger injury that he suffered about a month beforehand, but he's fine form here, full of energy and enthusiasm in his soloing. Jones and Bonham are tight as ever, playing as one solid unit throughout.

The band moves as one as they pummel the crowd with their thunderous attack. An amazing performance. The tape is a phenomenal matrix of an outstanding soundboard recording and an excellent audience recording (reportedly done by a regular Grateful Dead taper). The clarity of the recording is jaw-dropping. Both the music and atmosphere are left perfectly intact. Honestly, in terms of pure sound quality, this could easily pass for an official release. If you're a sucker for good sound quality, this is quite possibly the best Led Zeppelin bootleg. I even personally put it above The Song Remains the Same in terms of sound. It is that good.

The best version of this show is easily Bluecongo's "Four Blocks in the Snow". It's a perfect example of a matrix done right. Neither recording ever goes out of sync, leaving us with the best sounding Led Zeppelin bootleg yet (and yes, I'm including Southampton)."

theyearofledzeppelin blog describes 'Kashmir' as sounding 
"like an army marching into battle." The final verdict "An unbelievable performance. An outstanding matrix of audience and soundboard recordings."

and from Underground Uprising:
"In my previous review of "Led Zeppelin's Flying Circus" I wrote that the soundboard, while of incredible quality, exposed Robert Plant's flu-ridden voice mercilessly. The result was so difficult to listen to that I recommended the audience tape over the soundboard. Why was this? The original house mix wisely buried Plant, while placing Jimmy's guitar up front. And Jimmy was having a very hot night....I originally approached this release with a fair bit of skepticism, but was quickly impressed with the great improvement.

"Now that I've lived with the recording for a while I wholeheartedly endorse this as the definitive release of this show. The quality of a matrix recording depends on the sources used; and on this release, the frequencies of the audience and soundboard recording complement each other very well. From "Heartbreakers Back In Town" we get the rich, full frequency response and clarity of the soundboard. From "Can't Take Your Evil Ways" we get the excitement and vibe of the audience recording. So far, par for the course. But what really makes this release outstanding is the way that the matrix seems to bury the lower frequencies of Plant's voice (where all the flu-created roughness lies) while maintaining clarity. Furthermore the audience recording really adds "balls" to Pagey's guitar sound - something that was sadly lacking from the soundboard mix. Without a doubt, "Four Blocks…" could be an official release – it's that good.

"Finally, while the release may be criticised for missing time, it's important to note that these are cuts to clapping and audience noise; not music. While I agree that shows should be as complete as possible, in my opinion the cuts in no way lessen the listening pleasure for either the casual listener or the serious Zeppelin fan alike. Given the outstanding sound quality, the amazing performance, and the incredible "vibe" of this recording, not only do I consider "Four Blocks…" to be the definitive release of this performance, but also one of the best Zeppelin bootlegs ever."

Bootleg bible Hot Wacks declared:
"Led Zeppelin had a very rough start to the '75 tour. Plant's vocals were in bad shape due to the flu and Page had broken a finger. The American tour started on January 18th so this show is about three and a half weeks in. By this time Jimmy's finger had healed and Robert was improving, although not completely up to par but was gaining more control over his vocal. This is an interesting show played during a snow storm and the title comes from Plant's comments "We came four blocks in the snow to get here..."
For "No Quarter", John Paul Jones hadn't yet incorporated the change to acoustic piano and he goes a little over the top at the end of Page's solo where Jimmy has to reel him back in for the final verse. "Dazed And Confused" is the longest version so far from the tour and contains a piece from "Walter's Walk" starting at 22:44 lasting less than a minute.
"Whole Lotta Love" is the first encore featuring an abbreviated version that runs nonstop with "Black Dog" and the second encore, "Heartbreaker" contains a jam on "That's Alright, Mama" during the break in the middle."

Empress Valley have issued soundboard recordings of the following dates on the 1975 tour:
Ultra Violent Killer Droog (Hellfire Club)        2/10/1975                Landover        2016
Flying Circus                                                     2/12/1975                NYC                2002
King's of the Stone Age                                     2/13/1975               Uniondale        2013
St. Valentine's Day Massacre                             2/14/1975               Uniondale        2008
St. Louis Blues                                                   2/16/1975               St. Louis          2004
Rampaging Cajun                                               2/28/1975               Baton Rouge    2009

Rock Super Stars                                                3/3/1975                Fort Worth         2015
Chasing the Dragon                                            3/4/1975                Dallas                2003
Days Confused                                                    3/5/1975               Dallas                2007
Long Beach Californication                                3/11/1975             Long Beach       2009
Conspiracy Theory                                              3/14/1975             San Diego          2004
Haven't We Met Somewhere Before?                 3/17/1975              Seattle               2011
Snow Jobs                                                           3/19/1975              Vancouver         2006
Snowblind                                                           3/20/1975              Vancouver         2012
Deus Ex Machina (deluxe)                                 3/21/1975               Dallas               2017

He Must Be Dazed and Confused!                     5/24/1975               Earls Court       2002
Zeppelin Express Physical Rocket                     5/25/1975               Earls Court       2002


  1. This looks glorious, I cant wait to get home and listen to it. Bravo sir!
    If you're ever downunder the first beer is on me!!

    1. Cheers, an ice cold pint of Fosters in the Australian sun sounds perfect. Enjoy the Zep.