Led Zeppelin DVD

A Garden Tapes special feature
by Eddie Edwards

The Garden Tapes » Led Zeppelin DVD » Knebworth 1979 » Whole Lotta Love

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Knebworth 1979
Whole Lotta Love

From, you guessed it, the 4th. But this is not quite a third successive unadulterated song as there are four small fixes.

The first is at NTSC 0:42:51, PAL 0:42:54 in the familiar guitar solo that consists of a series of fanfare bursts, each introduced by two booming beats from Bonzo and Jonesey. On the sixth burst, there's a little ascending note sequence from G, to A, to A sharp, another A sharp, and there the climb is prematurely concluded by imprecise fingerwork. The tension is only fleeting as the next pair of bass drum strikes wipes it clean away, and the overall effect is not at all displeasing, but a patch was deemed necessary in the shape of a B note to complete the ascent followed rapidly by a falling fifth to E. The B is taken from the fourth solo burst, played 5 seconds previously, and the E from the fifth burst played just 2 seconds before. There was an option to lift both notes from the fourth burst but the E note there rings for a little longer and its more abrubtly muted counterpart was given the nod. The end result of this resourceful rewriting of a not especially pivotal moment of history is a perfectly reasonable proposition for how that phrase might have been resolved, but it sounds somewhat sanitised and predictable. Less would have been more.

The second fix is at NTSC 0:42:59, PAL 0:43:02. After Bonzo had led them out of the guitar solo, the band jammed for four bars in a slightly scrappy fashion before going into the newly devised "You Need Love" middle section. The first two of these four bars have been removed to tidy things up a bit.

The third is at NTSC 0:47:21, PAL 0:47:24 where the drums lead the band back in for the closing part of the song after Robert and his couple of hundred thousand friends have been "Way down inside". Somehow Bonzo missed his own cue and crashed in a beat late, just behind the riff, but everything has been nicely realigned on the DVD soundtrack.

The final fix, inevitably, is a vocal patch. A very minor one - the "coolin'" in the first "Keep a coolin' baby" at NTSC 0:47:46, PAL 0:47:49 has been replaced by copying the one that was sung just a couple of seconds later.

So, as far as the soundtrack is concerned, the only contributions from the 11th August to the entire Knebworth feature are a couple of tiny vocal fragments. Armed with this information, it's not too difficult to form an idea of which week saw the better performance and it's worth reflecting on the fact that it's not the one that was unofficially available on video for many years before the release of Led Zeppelin DVD.

The Knebworth visuals, of course, are another matter. The band may not have played as well the second week but they didn't look any less beautiful. And even Jonesy wore the same clothes! The opportunity to mix and match the footage was not missed by Pagey and his assistants but when it comes to sorting out those particular details all you'll get from The Garden Tapes is a shrug and a "Sorry, guv, not in my job description."

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