Sunday, December 20, 2015

Led Zeppelin: 1980-06-17 Dortmund, Germany (FLAC_SB 1st Gen & AUD 1st Gen Mix & Remaster_2 CD)

This is the excellent sounding Winston Remasters copy of the first Led Zeppelin show on their final 1980 tour.  This was the band's first tour since their tour that was cut short by the illness and then death or Robert Plant's son in 1977 as the band played in North America.

This is an excellent sounding recording (and remaster by Winston Remasters) that uses the first generation soundboard as the primary audio source with a first generation audience recording as the patch source in the audio.  Winston Remasters has started back lately on some new releases of the Live Omega # series shows for the 1980 Led Zeppelin concert recordings he has worked on.  There have been some other Live Omega # shows he has put out in the past and I likely have uploaded at least one or two of these other dates/shows in the past.

(1) SB source: 1st Gen > (DAT (1) > 2 CD-R (1) > remaster
(2) AUD Source: 1st Gen cassette > DAT > unknown > remaster

(3) Sources digitally enhanced with Samplitude, EQ'ed, dynamics, reverb, and stereo phase used to achieve tonal balance and clarity >
(4) me > TLH > WAV (to test for lossiness *) > Audacity (to view waveform, embed metadata/track titles & info, and then to re-encode) > FLAC 8 > TLH (to check for SBE's and create and verify new ffp & md5 files) > you

* TLH CDDA/MPEG test wrongly indicates audio could be lossy but the FA (frequency analysis) and an independent check by my friend "techtuts' prove it is in fact lossless audio indeed!  Not only those details but this was an upload by Winston Remasters himself and he would not be sharing lossy audio we all know.

Artist: Led Zeppelin
Date: June 17th, 1980
Location: Dortmund, Germany
Venue: Westfalenhalle

Title: Live Omega # 1

Label: Winston Remasters
Source: SB 1st Gen/AUD 1st Gen (Mix & Remaster)
Format: FLAC
CD's: 2
Artwork: Yes
Size: 517 MB
Length: 104:13:66

CD 1:

101. Train Kept A Rollin'
102. Nobody's Fault But Mine
103. Black Dog
104. In The Evening
105. The Rain Song
106. Hot Dog
107. All My Love
108. Trampled Underfoot
109. Since I've Been Loving You

CD 2:
201. Achilles Last Stand
202. White Summer
203. Black Mountain Side
204. Kashmir
205. Stairway To Heaven
206. Rock And Roll
207. Whole Lotta Love

(1) 1980-06-17 Dortmund, Germany (SB/AUD 1st Gen/Winston Remasters)

This show starts off a little rough and then the sound quickly is readjusted by the sound engineers on the soundboard from ShowCo.  But the band is also a little out of whack too in this first show.  Robert Plant is not remembering the song lyrics right or singing the right verses at the right time and Jimmy Page is not playing in the right spots or timing at different times.  It sounds like the whole band is off when it comes to timing really.  They get it all together before the show ends, but it does take a little time.

Since this is the band's first show since 1979-08-11 (10 months earlier) and this was their first tour in three years (last one ending early on 1977-07-24), I have a feeling they just were a little rusty.  A lot had happen in the three years since Led Zeppelin had cancelled the rest of their 1977 tour when the news that Robert Plant's son, Karac Plant, had become ill and died before Robert Plant was able to get back home from the North American tour.

In 1979, Led Zeppelin played four concerts preparing for their 1980 come back.  They played two shows in Copenhagen, Denmark (July 23rd and July 24th, 1979) referred to as the "Copenhagen Warmups" and then they played the two Knebworth Festival shows on August 4th and August 11th, 1979.  It was close to a year later when they played this first show in Dortmund.

As the story goes, the only two band members that really were preparing and practicing and really responsible for the band's 1979 LP Presence were Robert Plant and John Paul Jones.  They responsibly were in the studio and making the music for the album as band members Jimmy Page and John Bonham were running wild with their addictions playing a large part in controlling their life.  There is no doubt that Page had become addicted to heroin at this stage, and it does show in his performances in 1980 as well as later performances in the following years such as the 1983 ARMS performances when he returned for performances for the Ronnie Lane benefit concerts.  Thankfully sometime after this Page was able to get clean.  As for Bonham, he never broke free of his alcohol addiction and he died not long after this 1980 European tour concluded as the band was preparing for their North American tour.  He died from asphyxiation as he passed out drunk and choked to death in his own vomit after a failed practice attempt over at Jimmy Page's home on 1980-09-25 and this officially was the end of Led Zeppelin.  These problems that were ongoing are noticeable in this first Dortmund show I think.  The band still sounds good but they sound far inferior to their normal capabilities too.  The end was drawing closer than they realized.

It is sad to listen to the band's lackluster performances in many of the 1980 European shows we have.  They still sounded great, but they were nowhere near their earlier capacity in the way they played and they had cut their shows way, way back to about 100 - 110 minute shows.  And this was short for a Led Zeppelin performance on average.  It was easy to tell they were not performing at their best here in 1980 I believe.

We've got a lot of shows from the band's two months of touring during June and July of 1980 to compare performances to.  They were getting better as they warmed back up but they were not anywhere near their best as they dealt with problems they all had going on in their personal and semi-private lives as well as their public lives too.

But even after the downfall and end of the great Led Zeppelin occurred, it was just a matter of time before the individual band members would resurface with a fresh and new history to continue on with.  Just very little of the continuation would be comprised of Led Zeppelin reunions.  But thankfully; and due to benefits, awards, and finally in December of 2007 just because they wanted to; there would be a few Led Zeppelin reunions with the remaining band members and with John Bonham's song, Jason Bonham, playing on most of them in place of his late dad.

Overall, I look at the 1980 Led Zeppelin shows as the documented end of one of the greatest bands ever to exist.  It is an excellent documentation of where they were at, both good and bad, at this point and time and I really feel that musically you can hear, both good and bad, where the band was too.

One of the most compelling and greatest sounding pieces of music I feel in the ending shows in the band's documentary of audio is in the song "Stairway To Heaven".  I think that the band plays this song ever so beautifully in most shows.  Since this is the one staple song that everyone has heard of whether they know anything about Led Zeppelin or not, whether they have heard of the band or not, it is fitting that this would be the song that tells the story audibly in their ending.  It sounds like Jimmy Page's solo in this song cries out that they knew the end was coming but not in a bad way.  It has a  tone and just and overall sound to me that is singing out "it has been a great ride" and "thank you, goodbye, and we've enjoyed the ride" I feel.  If this sounds a little nutty to you, just listen to the song and have this thought in mind.  You might change your mind.

On this specific night in Dortmund, Page messes "Stairway To Heaven" up and almost doesn't come in with the solo when he should.  Again, this is a good example of where they were at and the problems they were having.  But on a night such as the 1980-06-29 Zurich show, the song and solo are flawless showing the emotion and fine points the band still had in them.

As I upload a variety of the 1980 concerts (I have not uploaded too many over the years) concerts as I plan to do in the upcoming months, pay attention to "Stairway To Heaven" and see if you cannot understand better what I am saying about the song, the way the band plays it, and it being a perfect staple and story itself in the 1980 ending of rock and roll's number one iconic classic rock story.  1980 was the turning point not only in Led Zeppelin's history but music history all together.  And music would never be the same again after 1980 in so, so many ways.

I hope you enjoy the show...





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