A Garden Tapes special feature
by Eddie Edwards
The Garden Tapes » Led Zeppelin DVD » Earls Court 1975 » Trampled Underfoot
Back to the 25th for this one. It's the complete version but the vocal patching starts early, with a replacement "trim", which could have come from the 23rd or the 24th, in the very first line.
"Trouble free transmission, hot your oils flow," croons Robert, and there's a modification in this second verse that defies all logic. A slight crack on "transmission" has been allowed to remain, but "flow", which was sung flawlessly, has been replaced by the equivalent word from the 23rd, recognisable by its slightly different intonation.
Next on the list is the first "love" in the second verse's "Talk about love" refrain, at NTSC 0:29:12, PAL 0:29:14. Jimmy was spoilt for choice in finding a replacement for this one!
In a couple of these refrains (in the 3rd and 9th verses) Robert gets a little lazy and just sings "Love" instead of "Talk about love". Jimmy has kindly filled in the blanks for him.
"On" from "Groovin' on the freeway" at NTSC 0:29:41, PAL 0:29:43 and "gasoline" from the same verse have been replaced using the 23rd (not the 24th as those words were a bit croaky then too!).
Robert gets a nice long rest during the clavinet and guitar solos but it's just not his night on this song as the patches continue unabated. The long "Wooh, yeah" around 0:34:40 as the instrumental section ends has been replaced using the 24th, then in the ensuing verse and chorus there are substitutions on "service", which could have come from the 23rd or 24th, and the "about" at NTSC 0:34:51, PAL 0:34:54, which is probably just a duplication from within the 25th itself.
Robert holds it together for the remaining verses but in the "Gallows Pole" ad-libs near the end he doesn't quite pull off the "ah-ha-ha" so it's been dropped in favour of an extra "push" or two from somewhere or other.
It gave me no pleasure at all to compile this list of vocal fixes as it certainly exaggerates the mostly very trivial faults in Robert's performance in this song on that particular night. When listening to the song as a whole, the unedited soundboard recording doesn't give the impression that Robert had any serious problems but I suppose it's understandable that Jimmy should take the opportunity to make marginal improvements to the overall effect by taking a few syllables from other nights.
I wonder, though, whether it occurred to him to address a slightly different issue and try to assemble a version of this song with a complete set of lyrics. I've never heard a Led Zeppelin live version of Trampled Underfoot in which Robert sang all nine different verses - he always sang at least one verse twice, or even three times! In this DVD version from the last night at Earls Court, we get repeats of the "Groovin' on the freeway" and "Konis couldn't hold" verses, with minor alterations, at the expense of the "Factory air-conditioned" and "Fully automatic" stanzas. So, what about a mix and match job to rectify the situation? Not possible, I'm afraid. The recording from the 24th could have provided the "Fully automatic" verse, but the "Factory air-conditioned" verse didn't see active service throughout the whole five night Earls Court stint.
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