Israeli cover of Led Zep’s In Through The Out Door.

In August, 1979, in the midst of the punk revolution in the UK and after two years off the road (four since they’d last played in the UK), Led Zeppelin staged two huge shows in at Knebworth over two weekends in August, performing for about 400,000 people. These shows included the first live performances of Hot Dog and In The Evening from the forthcoming album In Through The Out Door. The album should already have been released, but there were production issues and it wasn’t released until the week after the second show.
The following year, the band toured Europe, but on the eve of the American tour the following year, drink finally did in drummer John Bonham. Given that lead singer Robert Plant’s son had died during the American leg of the 1977 tour (thereby putting the kibosh on the European tour for Presence), this was pretty much the last straw for the band and they called it a day.
In Through The Out Door is a curious affair. In terms of production, it’s cleaner than 1977’s Presence, but as a whole, it’s a less focused affair. I may feel this way only because my sister and I bought it the week it was released and played the hell out of it. I don’t think I owned a copy of Presence until I bought one of those dreadful tinny CDs in the mid-90s. (The mastering of the whole catalogue for CD in the late 80s was horrible. The range was shrunk, the warmth pulled into some kind of musical black hole, and even to someone who listens to most music on relatively cheap earbuds, the overall sound was painful.)
Of ITTOD‘s seven tracks, one is a straight-up country tune (Hot Dog), one could be boogie-woogie without too much effort (South Bound Suarez) and others sprawl into disco territory (Carouselambra, In The Evening). But from the faded in digeridoo of In The Evening to the slow blues of I’m Gonna Crawl, I find it their most interesting album – at least the most interesting that was recorded in one go. (Physical Graffiti reaches farther and has greater heights, but pulls on music the band had created over the course of the three previous albums.)
After 36 years, the new reissue is as pleasing as any vinyl I’ve ever owned. It’s the only one of the new reissues I’ve purchased so far (tempted by Physical Graffiti, to be sure, primarily for Night Flight and to listen to Boogie With Stu sped up to 45 the way my sister and did way back when).