Low Gens

      Live music collecting has always been something that requires a lot of time and/or resources. Obtaining live performances isn't as easy as going down to your local discount center. Obtaining shows has always involved networking with other people. This is often a positive experience but problems exist.

      In the days of vinyl bootlegs (when only a small part of Led Zeppelin's live catalogue was covered) the only way to purchase a concert was to get a copy of the show from the master tape. That caused many generations of the same recording but due to amateur, poor techniques of copying the quality of most copies was far away worse than original one and the copies also very often occurred by tape noise, cuts and distortions. Only a very small amount of the original master tapes are survived. Most of them have been lost or destroyed accidentally and high generation copies are the only remainders of those glory days.

      No doubt in the tape trading days every copy meant some sound quality loss. The digital cloned copies of modern times are far removed from the hissy cassette days. The tape trading days involved a smaller group of die hard collectors. Need to say that the people were of a higher standard in the collecting circles, but that is a different subject.

      The CD-R trading days have been one of great highs and great lows. CD-R burner's have meant that it's possible to obtain a CD-R that can sound as good ten copies later as the original sounded. Unfortunately too many people had no idea how to copy discs correctly and that often introduced copies with a lot of digital errors such as gaps, dropouts, static, pops, etc. This problem seems to disappear completely when we talk about free sharing of audio and video recordings through dedicated servers as well as through private trade. Even with little advancement in current technology, collectors now have a unique opportunity to obtain and share recordings through free torrents, which require absolutely minimal knowledge and are by definition free from errors that were the nightmare of trade times by physical media.

      Below this is my own attempt to present a list of "low" and "high" generation tapes in a chronological order. In fact, this is only a very spontaneous collection of information taken from many sources (such as other Internet sites and private collections). When I listed the tape, I based it on its generation and original length. The things such as distortions, cuts etc. are mostly removed from my list because it's too hard to detect if the tape listed is exactly occured by one of these problems or not. Many transfers vary between themselves being the same generation. It also must be remembered that the trading society is still treated by many ego trips so sometimes it's very hard to verify the exact generation. The length of each tape may also vary a bit.

      Click the year that you are interested in and try to choose the tape you are looking for or just browse each section to find the one you are interested:

      One or more categories used on this list may include the following symbols:

1st 2nd 3rd ...
the number of generation
audience recording
soundboard recording
amateur video shot
professional video shot
radio broadcast
television broadcast
submitted by a reader or just unidentifying generation, date, source, venue, time or commentary