A Garden Tapes special feature
by Eddie Edwards
The Garden Tapes » Led Zeppelin DVD » Madison Square Garden 1973 » The Ocean
One might be forgiven for thinking that this uncomplicated and light-hearted song would be relatively free of tampering. No such luck.
Bonzo's intro and the first part of the song are from the 27th but there's a fair amount of patching on the vocals, sometimes to hide cracks and other times to make use of a line that Robert sang in a higher, more powerful tone on one of the other nights. "Got no time to pack my bag" (0:19:19), the word "be" in "I can't be late" (0:19:24) and "Now I'm singing all my songs" (0:19:58) are from the 29th. "Carmen's only..." has been replaced by "Now she's only..." from the 28th at 0:20:03.
At 0:20:07 the version from the 29th takes over for the guitar solo, but then hands back to the 27th at 0:20:47 for the "Na-na-na" interlude and the third verse.
At 0:21:48, as we hit the coda, it's back to the 29th one more time. At 0:21:52, the extended "oh-oh-oh" after the first "I don't know" is from the 28th, as is the last "I don't know" at 0:22:00. At 0:22:07, a couple of guitar chords have been borrowed from elsewhere to cover up a slight fumble. But there was certainly no need for any enhancement to the self-descriptive "so good" at the very end of the song. These were the final words of an encore at the end of a three hour concert on the last night of the tour, but that doesn't stop Robert from producing something as tremendously powerful and inspired as anything heard from him during the whole of 1973!
The Ocean quickly staked a claim as one of the most enjoyable numbers on DVD, with many fans wondering why on earth it wasn't included in good old The Song Remains The Same. Running time would undoubtedly have been a factor, as would artistic decisions regarding whether the song fitted in with the mood of the film and album. It may also have been the case, though, that Jimmy was not happy with any of the individual versions and, at the time, was not able to produce a satisfactory combination or felt that it would have taken too much time and effort to do so. For DVD, with the assistance of nearly three decades' worth of technological advances, he's been able to tackle it and for that we can all be thankful.
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