Led Zeppelin

Live at Knebworth 1979, Pt. 1

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AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson

This bootleg is the first of two double-LP sets that, in 1979, focused primarily on Led Zeppelin's August 4, 1979, appearance at Knebworth Fair in England. While the Phoenix label's two-LP bootleg Knebworth 1979 only offered part of that concert, collectors who acquired Live at Knebworth 1979, Part 1 and Live at Knebworth 1979, Part 2 (both on Raven) could hear the show in its entirety. Now here's the catch: Phoenix's Knebworth 1979 offers slightly better sound quality than either of Raven's two-LP sets. Not that this double-LP isn't listenable; the sound isn't great, but it isn't terrible either. The collectors who acquired the Raven sets back in 1979 would have preferred a clean soundboard recording, but they were willing to put up with mediocre sound in order to hear everything that Zep performed at Knebworth on August 4 (when the band gave what turned out to be its next-to-last U.K. concert). They were also willing to forgive Zep's excesses; even though some of the material drags on too long (especially "No Quarter"), the passion and creativity that the band brings to Knebworth makes the concert rewarding more often that not. Nonetheless, Live at Knebworth 1979, Part 1 is far from essential, and because the sound is mediocre, it's a bootleg that only completists and historians would need to own.

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