Budokan Hall, Tokyo, Japan
Oct. 02, 1972
Led Zeppelin Is My Brother – Empress Valley EVSD 319/320
CD1 (75.11): Introduction by Goro Itoi, Rock and Roll, Over The Hills And Far Away, Black Dog, Misty Mountain Hop, Since I’ve Been Loving You, Dancing Days, Bron-yr-Aur Stomp, The Song Remains The Same, The Rain Song.
CD2 (52.22): Dazed And Confused, Stairway To Heaven, Hole Lotta Love (includes Everybody Needs Somebody to Love, Boogie Woogie, My Baby Left Me, Killing Floor, I Can’t Quit You), Heartbreaker, Immigrant Song, Communication Breakdown.
The first release by Empress Valley for a Japan 1972 Tour concert. They have used the really excellent stereo audience recording, on reel to reel tapes, that was originally released by the Patriot label many years ago as the 2CD Budokan Oct 2, 1972. Subsequently released by Tarantura as No Use Greco, and also by other labels. Described by Patriot as: “Complete show from true open-reel master. No cut and final sound quality”. The sound was excellent, and untampered with. Empress Valley have done a very good job remastering the original reel to reel tapes (illustrated on the back of the most attractive glossy colour slipcase), and have filled the very few gaps in the main source with another audience recording from this concert. If you want a sound closer to the master then the Patriot release will be to your liking, but if you like a more powerful and punchy sound then this release will be right up your street. There are useful liner notes from Aquarius 11, and a facsimile of the original concert ticket, both front and back, a nice touch. This release is very well packaged and presented, which adds up to a most desirable release for this concert. A pity they screwed up the track listings for each CD on the back cover, Dazed And Confused is on disc 1, not 2. The Japan 1972 Tour concerts are often regarded disparagingly by armchair critics and pundits, but yet again the lucky Japanese audiences were treated to a complete change of set list, and brand new songs being premiered. The playing was generally of a very high standard, and the concerts were not burdened with overindulgent solos. So full marks to Empress Valley for a great sound and really nice packaging.
(Jules McTrainspotter May 05)