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Led Zeppelin - The Soundtrack From The Film The Song Remains The Same CD (album) cover

THE SOUNDTRACK FROM THE FILM THE SONG REMAINS THE SAME

Led Zeppelin

 

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3.80 | 305 ratings

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ZowieZiggy
Prog Reviewer
4 stars THE SOUNDTRACK ONE

Till 1997, this double album will be the only available live official source. Led zep played three sold out concerts at the Madison Square Garden (New York) on the eve of June 27, 28 and 29th (1973). Since there was little information as of from when each track was coming, I did a bit of research. And I found the answers.

Actually, this album is a huge cut and paste effort by Jimmy Page. Thanks to the work of Eddie Edwards whom patiently listened and listened again to four available sources (the official one and the complete recording from other sources). No wonder it took so long to "arrange". It has even been said that Jimmy did use material from other concerts but that's not been confirmed.

The sound (as well as the images) has been edited for the movie but not to such extent as on the record. There were no talks in those early ages of video and DVD so less attention was put into the movie. Some tracks are almost similar, and some of them differ (either in length, or in cuts).

"Rock'n'Roll is a mix of two dates with a total of four edits of which the last during only. twelve seconds (was it really necessary to get the final drum solo from another day at he end) ? This number is a great opener of course, and Led Zep had decided to attack these concerts with a trio of very powerful, hard songs. On the album, "Celebration Day" is featured while the film involves "Black Dog". So back to the sound converter to get this one in the audio format (like "Since" and partially "Heartbreaker").

As it was the supporting tour of "Houses Of The Holy" we'll get two tracks for this album. While "The Song ." is definitely better in the studio version, "The Rain Song" which is not really my cup of tea is really stronger here.

Dazed And Confused. No mixing dates for the album version. It has TEN editions and is shortened by ninety-seconds. This mythical song was one of the core of their concerts (first era, which in my words mean till 1975). It features a long guitar solo, which is never boring (at least to my ears). As a Lep Zep maniac, I understand though that as an average listener it is very difficult to have the same feeling.

But that is what a Led Zep in concert is all about. From 1970 onwards, their shows will last for an incredible long time (about three hours) and will feature inevitably three long pieces of music : "Dazed", "Moby Dick" and "Whole Lotta Love"; These three songs will last for almost half of the concerts. The longest version of "Dazed" that I know will be played at the MSG as well, but during their 1975 tour (February 12) : it clocks at 34'38".

The next song, "No Quarter" will replace "Dazed" in their 1977 tours in terms of length..; It will be the occasion for Jones to have his highlight moments on stage. It will be extended to anything between fifteen and forty minutes. IMO it will never reach the strength of "Dazed". In 1973, the song is still played in a decent format : closer to the original and therefore more appealing.

Plant's presentation of "Stairway" has been edited to leave one phrase only : "This is a song of hope". The whole intro, which is rather harsh sounded as : ""Well ! So things are beginning to vibe up a bit. Now listen, we've got to get one thing straight, stop acting like kids there, right ? Just cool it a little bit. I think this is a song of, uh sssssh - I think this is a song of hope. And it is a very quiet song, so shut up". This version was almost perfect enough for Page who will only mix two parts. This version is probably the best live one you can get (thanks to the mixing).

"Moby Dick" live was quite a sensation. I really have listened to many versions over the years and I'm not annoyed with John's fabulous drumming performance. Because it is really a performance. If you like drum solo : no doubt, you'll get amazed by this one. If not, I can only tell you that this version has been almost cut by half in comparison to the one playing effectively on the 28th. So, do not complain.

This double album ends with "Whole Lotta Love" (only forteen minutes.). The psychedelic middle part will very shortly make place to a boogie / rock and roll / blues medley depending on the mood of the day. This one is not really my fave. They will incorporate an incredible amount of songs (part of songs actually) throughout their career.

The last two of the three concerts will be very similar. Here is the tracklist : Rock and Roll / Celebration Day / Bring It On Home - Black Dog / Over The Hills And Far Away / Misty Mountain Hop / Since I've Been Loving You / No Quarter / The Song Remains The Same / The Rain Song / Dazed And Confused / Stairway To Heaven / Moby Dick / Heartbreaker / Whole Lotta Love / The Ocean. On June 29th, Led Zep will add an organ improv which will introduce "Thank You".

It is more difficult to know for the initial concert since no reliable material exists for the whole concert (not even boots). Still, one can guess that the same tracks were played than on the 28th. In the same sequence.

All in all, this album is quite representative of a Led Zep live performance. Adulated by the fans, abhorred by others. Since I'm a fan I will rate this album four stars. I just wonder why Page put so many efforts in mixing numbers. As far as I know, the mythical live albums (In Japan, Rock'n'Roll Animal, Live At Leeds, Uriah Heep Live and Slade Alive!) didn't need such artifice.

If you are interested in getting more information about the editing work I will be more than happy to provide you with the source that I used when I referred to the cut and paste "work". I really pay tribute to the fabulous work of Eddie Edwards here. Do not hesitate to post an e-mail if you want to get his website address.

ZowieZiggy | 4/5 |

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