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Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin (Box set) CD (album) cover

LED ZEPPELIN (BOX SET)

Led Zeppelin

 

Prog Related

3.89 | 36 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars I can hear clearly now

The poor quality sound of the early Led Zeppelin albums has been brought up on many occasions. The LPs simply did not do the appropriate justice to the rock landmarks the band recorded. In 1990, Jimmy Page decided it was time to rectify the situation, and set about remastering the entire catalogue with the help of George Marino. This 4 CD box set is the result of that labour. In terms of the sound, the improvement is nothing short of remarkable. The tracks from "Led Zeppelin 2" in particular are transformed.

While the box does not contain the entire studio works of Led Zeppelin (Boxed set 2 gathers in those which were omitted) it does contain the bulk of their work. The tracks are not arranged in the same order as they originally appeared, but they do flow approximately from oldest to newest. For example, disc one opens with "Whole lotta love", then takes in tracks from the first two albums before moving on to Led Zeppelin 3. The variances in the order have clearly been done in order to improve the way the tracks sit together here, and also to balance the LP side lengths. While Led Zeppelin tracks are always complete pieces in themselves, it can be disconcerting to here some out of sequence. For example, the sudden end to "Heartbreaker" just does not sound right without the instant start to "Livin' lovin' maid" (the latter is relegated to "Boxed set 2".)

There is little in the way of bonus material, with the excellent B side "Hey hey what can I do" being the only studio addition. There are also a couple of BBC recordings and a composite version of "Moby Dick" and "Bonzo's Montreux". While most albums lose several tracks to the second box, "Led Zeppelin 4" appears in its entirely with the exception of "Four sticks".

Fans of the band will inevitably prefer to have the now remastered individual CDs of the albums, but this box offers a wonderful opportunity to obtain the bulk of their catalogue in a lavishly presented format. While the "Boxed set 2" compilation is inevitably the weaker, it is essential in order to complete the picture.

Initial batches of this release came in an LP sized box with a plastic insert to hold the individual CD boxes and a separate LP sized booklet. Later versions are in the oblong style book type box which holds the CDs themselves and a smaller sized booklet. The booklet contains several essays about the band, a foldout picture section, and a complete illustrated discography listing. The set was also available as 4 cassettes or 6 LPs.

Easy Livin | 4/5 |

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