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Don’t Forget the Songs-365: Mach Tres: Day 220
Mon. Sept. 23, 2013

“Since I’ve Been Loving You (Live at Long Beach Arena, June 27, 1972)”
Led Zeppelin

1972

“♫ Whoa/
my tears
they fell
like rain
♫”

According to Jimmy Page, in Barney Hoskyns most excellent biography, Led Zeppelin: The Oral History of the World’s Greatest Rock Band, Page talked about how one of the best songs from Led Zeppelin III came to life when he said,“Since I’ve Been Loving You” was already written Because there was a version of it at the Royal Albert Hall. The only unfortunate thing was that the keyboard wasn’t recorded: otherwise it would have been really interesting.” Led Zeppelin’s lead guitarist was being modest because in concert is where Page’s love sick blues lament “Since I’ve Been Loving You” comes alive on stage. Although, Led Zeppelin created “Since” at the Royal Albert Hall, my favorite version has to be from June 27, 1972 Long Beach Arena, captured on 2003 essential concert masterpiece How The West Was Won.

In Hoskyns book, Island Records Tape Operator/Engineer for Led Zeppelin III, Digby Smith described Robert Plant’s one take vocal for “Loving You,” as “electrifying.” If the album version is electrifying that would make the Long Beach 1972 version transcendental. Plant recalls his memory of recording of “Since” in Led Zeppelin: The Oral History of the World’s Greatest Rock Band, when he explained, “The musical progression at the end of each verse is not a natural place to go. It makes it a bit more classy than a 12-bar, and it’s that lift up there that’s so regal and so emotional. I don’t know who did it or how it was born, but I know that when we reach that point in each verse, musically and emotively, the projection of it gave it class and something to be proud of. You get a lump in your throat just from being in the middle of it.”

It’s amazing how a rock song can conjure up the ghosts of former lover’s from your past. You feel it within the vocals and riffs from the explosive crescendo on “Since” from How The West Was Won. I can’t tell you how many times “Loving You,” captured live at the Long Beach Arena in 1972, has detonated the most evocative ripples inside my corazon. “Since I’ve Been Loving You” is a now legendary song that brings out an emotional intensity that you once buried that lives within the duration of this timeless Led Zeppelin classic.

I love the way in the How The West Was Won’s rendition that Plant and Page have this unspoken connection that reaches its pinnacle on “Loving You” just listen to the mystical rhythmic conversation of love and loss between Robert’s vocalized agony and Jimmy’s bluesy guitar riffs. This song séance that is “Since I’ve Been Loving You” from 1972 is even more electric and emotionally intense on stage in Long Beach.

In the book Light & Shade: Conversations with Jimmy Page, Led Zep’s leader and guitarist told author Brad Tolinski about his creative intentions for this vintage blues anthem when Page said, “[…] with “Since I’ve Been Loving You” we were setting the scene for something that was yet to come. It was meant to push the envelope. We were playing in the spirit of blues, but trying to take it into new dimensions dictated by the mass consciousness of the four players involved.” You can feel the way Page, Plant, Jones and Bonham all come together as one on stage on the dramatic 1972 rendition recorded live at Long Beach Arena. More than playing the spirit, this live performance is the quintessential version of “Since I’ve Been Loving You.” For all you blues enthusiasts and love sick rockers, bring out your cigarette lights and wipe those tears away by letting Led Zeppelin set your heartstrings a blaze with this classic rendition of “Since I’ve Been Loving You.”

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