Led Zeppelin

Live on Blueberry Hill [Trademark of Quality]

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Los Angeles, 1970: Led Zeppelin perform a powerful set of songs (prior to recording Zeppelin III) comprised of heavy blues numbers and a dense onslaught of rock & roll. While the sound clarity is adequate at times, at other moments the sound is faint and simply flat -- common flaws in bootleg recordings from this era. Still, the music on Blueberry Hill packs a punch. The set is dominated by three outstanding folk/blues rock medleys: "From the Midnight Sun" (later titled "Immigrant Song") and "Heartbreaker"; "Communication Breakdown," "Good Times Bad Times," "For What It's Worth" and (not listed) "I Saw Her Standing There," and Zeppelin's signature blues rock medley comprised of "Whole Lotta Love," "Let that Boy Boogie Woogie," "I'm Movin' On," "Think It Over," and "Lemon Song." The bass and guitar transitions between the tunes on "Communication Breakdown" medley are funky, and the explosive renditions of Stephen Stills' "For What It's Worth" and Lennon/McCartney's "I Saw Her Standing There" are priceless in their inventive approach.

Live on Blueberry Hill also features fresh performances of "What Is and What Should Never Be" (with a pleasantly coarse Page guitar), an exhilarating, ultimately exhausting "Moby Dick," and John Paul Jones' freaky "Organ Improvisation." "Since I've Been Loving You" is the peak performance of the evening. In the course of eight minutes, Plant's wails and screams, Page's raw electric guitar, and Bonham's deep, thundering drums generate music that could accompany the damned to hell. The piece is representative of the evening, as their repertoire is comprised of music that's consistently dense, forceful, and epic in length. It's impressive and appealing.

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