Just click one of below categories to explore the task you want to fix
and ready to navigate the database:
How to use this database?
It's very simple. The
database is concentrating especially on low gens tapes as well as original
vinyl and silver discs with the exception of some of CD-R and DVD-R
releases. MIDI's, MP3's and all other unprofessional formats were omitted
here. I listed most of low gens and professionally released bootlegs
available in the underground music market for now but I omitted many
of compilation bootleg albums as well as few reissues of bootleg albums
released by more professional labels. Some setlists are marked with
one of the following:
>> - this track fades
into the next track
<< - the first track includes the second track
The dates are in the month-day-year format. The place of each performance
and the day it was played on are in the same line. Any additional informations
such as support acts etc. were also added below.
Information about setlists is not always complete, because it is based
on original recordings' remainders. It is listed only when confirmed
by a tape source or other database, with the exception of very few,
which were confirmed by other trustworth sources. Also because of the
common practice of misdating many commercially pressed items or tapes
so there's still a chance of error on my part.
All of tapes's characteristics and technical details are allegedly based
on low gens recordings, not commercially pressed bootlegs. Most of them
much often runs at incorrect speed and suffers from other issues, therefore
these pages shows only approximate length of tapes listed and do not
indicate detailed descriptions. Unless any of these recording won't
be released officially, there's a large margin of error on my side.
Commercially pressed albums are much more often prepared by the bootleggers/producers
to give more luxurious audio or visual aspect and many of the original
distortions/issues are industriously obscured or removed from the media
so it means that commercially pressed recording can be - for example
- shorter or much more equalized than the original tape because of adaptation
of ultra-modern digital mastering equipment. Knowing the differences
comparing same show tapes is very important. My two determining factors
for an upgrade are the completeness of the tape and it's sound quality.
My comparisons of differences will mostly be brief summaries or outlines
of my more extensive notes, since many differences are considered trivial
to normal CD collectors. I will present facts about the audio's continuum/completeness
and sound. Since sound is an extremely subjective topic, I will not
simply say which source is better than... I will mention the facts of
why the sounds are different, to the extent it can be determined.
Presentation of concrete, provable information learned from listening
to these titles is the only way I can help to collectors. Premium packaging
and pricing never affect the quality of the audio contained therein.
It has no relevance. Music is the objective and always comes first.
While listening to two or more different tapes of the same show, I listen
for and compare:
- all cuts I can detect,
- time before the first song,
between songs, and after the last song,
- audience talk/noises to
determine if different source is used,
- tape length and speed,
- overall completeness.
Upgrades can sound better due to two primary reasons. It can be a different
tape entirely or it can be a lower generation of the same tape. The
secondary reasons would be that the tape had less of some of the controllable
variables listed below*. Cuts, gaps, dropouts and stretches during or
between songs can be explained by the following:
- taper turning off recorder
between songs to conserve tape,
- taper error,
- recording device malfunction,
- damaged tape due to natural
deterioration or mistreatment (this explains many stretched tape sections),
- time missed while one tape
ended and the next tape got loaded into the recorder,
- taper or trader "marking"
the tape so he can identify it later (sometimes a trade is made only
if the receiver agrees not to trade it. If this "marked"
tape is found outside of these special relationships, the taper will
know of the deception; others may mark a tape just to see where it
will show up in the future),
- taper doesn't release his
full tape (sometimes he will only release incomplete songs ranging
from slightly cut to only small fragments; the rest of the tape is
*Copy of tape used was placed
across multiple cassette tapes, creating more cuts.
*Tape is not a low generation tape, thereby containing various errors
that occurred along with making successive copies over the years.
*Unfortunately, some traders simply aren't or haven't been concerned
with maintaining the integrity of the original bootleg tape and don't
mind unnecessary errors.
What is the meaning
of bootleg and underground tape?
Underground tape is nothing more than pure, master source from which
all the bootlegs are made. Speaking very simply it can be done during
the concert by any member of the audience, during the concert as a soundboard
and in the studio during recording session. The most common underground
tapes are audience recordings made by audience members that have had
the chance witnessed and recorded the band. For many cases audience
tapes are rather poor sounding and less or more incomplete remainders
of the concert but in some special cases the sound is superb (like all
of Mike Millard tapes). This caused when the taper operated on a high
tech equipment and have the chance to get the best position on the arena
(dead center or near the speakers). In the opposite to the audience
recordings soundboards are always professionally recorded multi-track
tapes that were prepared for group's own needs, often for future live
projects. These tapes in most cases are excellent to superb sounding
complete recordings with all the instruments well balanced made by professional
sound engineers. The last category of underground tapes are studio tapes.
This category of underground tape is always superb sounding professional
recordings made during album or both radio and TV sessions (with the
exception of cassette demos, which were made during rehearsals). Need
to say that all underground tapes were dubbed several times by the persons
involved in the recording process or just by the fans and/or professional
bootleggers so several generations of each tape are available. The definition
of "low" and "high" gen can be found -> here.
A "bootleg" is defined as an illegally manufactured disc or
tape that includes previously unreleased live or studio recordings.
Beside bootleg another two category of illegal albums are exists: a
"pirate" album considered as a copy of a commercially available
recording that has been repackaged in its own unique packaging and a
"counterfeit" album, which is a copy of a commercially available
recording that duplicates all aspects of the original official copy,
including the packaging. (For more informations about bootlegs please
category of this site.)
What is the sound
rating and how it works?
The sound rating system is nothing more than the scale made to describe
the quality of recording. The rating used here is based on the sound
quality of bootlegs not legitimate (official) albums. To give you an
idea of the quality, I've given numbers from 12 to 1 (that are equivalents
of terms Superb to Poor) beside each of the following ratings:
reserved for "official release quality" material only
no noise/distortion at all (+/- indicate slight variations)
good but not professional quality, possible very slight noise/distortion
(+/- indicate slight variations)
audible with excessive hiss, some compressed sound or distortion
(+/- indicate slight variations) or fair instruments balance and
sound quality below average
at least one instrument inaudible, bad distortion
instrument clearly audible, very distorted with bad hall ambience
or virtually inaudible
Other categories used on this site's rating system that can be helfpul
in using this database are:
of recording (song) is edited or missing
middle or the end of the recording (song) is missing
mostly video source
recording, both of audio and video
recording, both of audio and video
of one or (most often) more songs is played within another song
of medleys and returning to the basic song/theme
by a reader or just unidentifying sound rating, date or venue of
What is the audience
and soundboard recording and how is the difference between them?
There is some confusion among collectors concerning the different types
of recordings available, with "soundboard" and "audience"
being the most common definitions. While accurate, the terms audience
and soundboard don't adequately cover all of the different ranges within
The quality of an audience tape depends on the equipment used by the
taper as well as the position of the taper in the arena. There are some
excellent tapes available from several small tours simply because Led
Zeppelin played smaller venues then and it was easier to capture the
sound when the band was only a short distance away. As the tours grew
larger and the band began to play arenas and stadiums, the position
of the taper became more important, and many of the audience tapes from
the later tours pale in comparison to the earlier ones because the taper
was unable to record from a good location. No doubt the exception are
all of Mike Millard tapes. Millard used a wheelchair as a prop to secure
the best position at shows. His taping equipment comprised a Nakamichi
stereo cassette deck and AKG microphones. Their possibly most known
recording is an almost complete stunning performance from Los Angeles
Forum on June 21st, 1977, commonly called "Listen To This, Eddie".
The other good exceptions are include legendary "Blueberry Hill"
TMQ/Blimp source of September 4th, 1970 show, some of 1971 and 1972
Japanese shows, New York February 12th, 1975 gig and Copenhagen and
Knebworth July and August 1979 dates.
Unlike many soundboard tapes, audience tapes typically feature varying
amounts of audience noise. While sometimes annoying, a active audience
around the taper produces an effect similar to a professionally mixed
live album, which will typically have a small amount of audience noise
added to the mix to enhance the feeling of "being there".
If the taper was able to elevate his microphones, the audience noise
is greatly reduced but many audience tapes were recorded right from
the taper's seat and sometimes have an overwhelming amount of talking,
cheering, and fighting, which can destroy the recording. That also caused
of incompleteness of many of the audience tapes as well as distortions
in such of a bumps and other unanticipated errors.
Most PA (Public Address) systems consist of two soundboards; the FOH,
or "Front of House" mix, and the "monitor" mix.
The FOH is the source that is heard by the audience while the musicians
on stage typically will each have a specialized monitor mix that allows
each musician to balance elements of the groups sound that are inaudible
or overwhelming on the stage. The "monitor" mixes also lack
reverb and room sound, the lack of which can produce a dry or lifeless
Except for the 1969 radio broadcasts, which could be considered a form
of "FOH" mix, most available Led Zeppelin soundboard tapes
are monitor mixes and the quality of the sound is dependent on which
musician's mix was used for the tape. Typically, it's a two track recording,
either mono or stereo, left and right channels from the board (what
the audience hears). Much often, at least one instrument dominate the
mix as they are the elements that can't be heard so clearly on stage
over the rest during the show. Good examples of an unbalanced mix are
numerous soundboard tapes available from the 1973 tour, all of which
feature varying musicians in the front of the mix while the others are
in the background. Most
soundboard tapes will have little or no audience noise, generally only
what was picked up by the stage microphones.
A multitrack recording records each instrument onto a separate track
in order to allow for a better and more cohesive sound. Live albums
almost exclusively use multitrack recordings, as the sound levels of
individual instruments can be adjusted and balanced to give the best
sound presentation. A good example of this would be Led Zeppelins
"The Song Remains The Same" and How The West Was Won
live albums. Both were later mixed and produced in the studio, where
all separate tracks have been carefully adjusted and balanced to give
a proper balance. Unfortunately, precious few multitrack recordings
of Zeppelin are known to exist.
What is the "low"
and "high" gen tape?
The "low" gen tape is a tape that stands very close to the
master tape while "high" gen tape means the tape stands far
away from the master and was dubbed several times. For most cases all
the soundboard masters are in the hands of the group. With the exception
of very few multi-track recordings, almost all of the soundboards are
1st or so gen copys. The audience tapes almost always comes from less
or more "high" gen copy and only small amount of them were
sourced directly from the original masters, which for the most cases
have been lost or destroyed/wiped accidentally.
How to start my own
bootleg collection and/or where to buy bootlegs?
As stated everywhere on this site, the author of this site have absolutely
no information as to where buy them or where they may be found although
there are many on-line auctions and stores on the Internet that offering
the possibility of buying the bootlegs. But a big care must be taken
after as many collectors received a sad trend in this hobby of selling
homemade CD-R copies of original silver CDs for high dollar on the Internet
auction sites. These auctions sometimes give not only any indication
that it is a copy and for the prices they charge you would expect it
is an original but also offers stuff that is unavailable and the only
thing you have is a waste of a large amount of money.
If you are interested to start your own collection please try several
links I posted on resources
section. The authors of most of these sites are long-time well-known
collectors and they providing their own collector guides.
At last there are many traders around the globe and start corresponding
with anyone of them. Some of them are opened for B&P and even if
not, they offered a 1/1 rate trade (as I do).
How can I help to
The rules are simple. If you have any information that is not included
here or if you have any confirmed information about any undiscovered
tape/show/bootleg or related stuff, just contact
me today. You can also try to browse each tour date and then - if you
have new information or would you like to send any correction - use
email update quick link posted below each date that is supplied with
setlist or related reference. This site is dedicated to the Led Zeppelin
Community and every new addition will be very appreciated not only by
me but also by the thousands of fans. Enjoy!