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LED ZEPPELIN

Led Zeppelin

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erik neuteboom
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars First thanks to fellow Dutchman Tuxon for his efforts to add this amazing band to the site, justice done! Let's now concentrate on this 2-DVD, in my opinion a musical document. Playing live was the real jewel in our existence" says Robert Plant in the booklet. Well, this double DVD with only previously unreleased live footage from Led Zeppelin in the Seventies (and extra's in '69 and '90) shows their captivating development: they started as a powerhouse bluesrock group (DVD 1) but gradually Led Zeppelin turned into an eclectic rockband (DVD 2) with some mindblowing rock compositions that can compete with the best 'epic' progrock songs. And keep this in mind: PLANT IS SEX ("I'll give you every inch of my love"), PAGE IS GOD (and the best Yardbird) and LED ZEPPELIN IS THE ULTIMATE ROCKBAND, suddenly the Rolling Stones, The Who and Beatles seem to sound like overexcited schoolbands!

The first DVD contains 12 tracks from a concert at the Royal Albert Hall in 1970 (at that moment Led Zep's second album was number 1 in the USA and UK!): "We're gonna groove", "I can't quit you babe" (great interplay between Plant's vocals and Page's guitar, years before Gillan and Blackmore), "Dazed and confused" (spectacular, legandary act from Page by playing bow on his guitar), "White summer", "What is and what should never be" (fine bottle neck solo)," "How many more times" (20 minutes with an excellent Page with lots of solos), "Moby Dick" (the famous drum solo with Bonham playing a few minutes with his bare hands, dynamically filmed from different angles), "Whole lotta love" ('classic' guitar riff and solos on bongos and guitar), "Communication breakdown" and the pure R&R songs "C'mon everybody", "Something else" and "Bring it on home" (with Plant on harmonica). The extra's on DVD 1 contain all tracks from '69 (Page with a beautifully painted Fender Telecaster): "Communication breakdown promo" (playback version in b/w), "Danmark radio" ("Communication breakdown" with wah-wah solo/"Dazed and confused"/"Babe I'm gonna leave you", a raw version of one of my favorite Led Zep songs/ "How many more times", all in b/w), "Supershow" ("Dazed and confused", spectacular shots) from British TV and "Tous en scene" ("Communication breakdown"/"Dazed and confused") from Paris TV.

The second DVD starts with "Immigrant Song" (blistering and howling guitar solo) from 1972, followed by three concerts: Madison Squarden Garden from 1973 with "Black dog", "Misty mountain hop" (JP Jones on the Fender electric piano), "Since I've been loving you" (expressive shots from Plant and Page in this blues classic) and "The ocean", Earls Court from 1975 with three 'unplugged' songs titled "Going to California" (JP Jones on a mandolin), "That's the way", "Bron yr aur stomp", followed by "In my time of dying", "Trampled underfoot" (JP Jones 's clavinet gives it a funky climate) and "Stairway to heaven" and Knebworth from 1979 with "Rock and roll", "Nobody's fault but mine", "Sick again", "Achilles last stand", "In the evening", "Kashimir" and "Whole lotta love". The extra's include "NYC press conference" from 1970, "Down Under" from 1972 ("Rock and roll/interviews with the band), "The old grey whistle test" from 1975 (Robert Plant interview) and "Promos" from 1990 ("Over the hill and far away"/"Travelling riverside blues"). My personal highlights on this overwhelming 2-DVD set are "White summer" (12-minutes solo on the impressive Danelectro guitar by Page), "Bron yr aur stomp" (great vocals and splendid play by Page on his acoustic Martin: twanging, rhythm and solos), "In my time of dying" (captivating and dynamic song with Page using a bottle-neck on the Danelectro guitar), "Stairway to heaven" ('killer version': intro with blue light on JP Jones his Mellotron and Page his Gibson twin-neck guitar and halfway an extended, very compelling guitar solo) and "Kashmir" (wonderful Eastern-oriented atmosphere with JP Jones on the Yamaha GX-1 'super synthesizer'). This historical document has turned out to be one of my favorite DVD's and during the 3 years after the release, it has topped the charts in many countries, including the USA and my home country Holland.

My conclusion: splendid and timeless music, wonderful packaging and superb sound and images (read the booklet about the unorthodox restoration), this 2-DVD is a triple must!

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Send comments to erik neuteboom (BETA) | Report this review (#99929)
Posted Wednesday, November 22, 2006 | Review Permalink
richardh
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars OK so this DVD has some great moments.The great proggy moments are Achilles Last Stand and Kashmir (although the keyboards are mixed far too low).There is also the wonderfull funky work out Trampled Underfoot...my favourite Zep track.Other highlights include Dazed and Confused ,Immigrant Song and Communication Breakdown.However for prog fans there is little else to get excited about.Led Zep are a great heavy rock come blues band with some incredible songs.This DVD though generally sits on my shelf gathering dust even if it did raise the benchmark for future music DVD releases.No better than a 3 in prog terms though.

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Send comments to richardh (BETA) | Report this review (#99937)
Posted Wednesday, November 22, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Wow, this is the dvd in which all dvds can't measure up to. Fantastic video on the second disc. Incredibly recaptues the energy in the live performances, although im wondering why are some songs differant soundtracks then the video track? For instance, Since I Been Loving you has very differant guitar parts then what Jimmy is playing. This is absolutely amazing and essential for any Zeppelin fan, good special features and menus also. Even if you arent a huge Led fan, this would prove very interesting, I was amazed at how good it was when I popped it in the player. Get it!

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Send comments to endlessepic (BETA) | Report this review (#99985)
Posted Thursday, November 23, 2006 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Folk
3 stars I am not one of those that appreciate this DVD like the other fans, but I will recognize its utility. Unlike their movie The Song Remains The Same, which I thought built a myth; this DVD (what a stooopid name too) is deconstructing the myth. I will spend a good deal of this review comparing the merits of both, but I will always prefer the historical piece to the (however great it may be) archives drawer.

A lot of people complained about the original movie (which I probably saw in second-run theatres around 20 times) and its soundtrack. Among the critics, the fantasies, the muddy sound and the obscure presentation along with the double wax soundtrack not presenting all of the songs on the movie. A good deal of those critics were justified, but TSRTS had the merit to exist and served as the only live testimony officially available for over 20 years (first the BBC sessions than the HTWWW Cds) for the fans. And I was always a bit ambiguous with those filmed fantasies as they were driving the movie forward but also were giving them a cartoon-like cult-hero aura, which I felt uncomfortable with. But overall, TSRTS was building something, a myth, a fantasy world, even if the inter-song footage could be brutal.

On with this DVD. Filled with superb archives material from all eras of their career, from their obscure and early TV showings (Swedish and French TVs if memory serves >> I am winging this review as with all my Zep reviews) and the many different partial concert film footages showing the band often more inspired and less subdued than on TSRTS, but somehow as good as this release is, it somehow destroys what that movie tried to do. It seems to be talking away the foursome's demi-god status and bring them all back down to earth. Which is of course a good thing, since I generally do not appreciate the overdone or recycled stories gradually transformed into myths. But this mythic group became so in 71 with their fourth album, so that very notion of myth did seem deserved for them.

So myth or no myth? I think the decision is yours and it is of course not forbidden to have both of them. But I think the movie is more essential.

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Send comments to Sean Trane (BETA) | Report this review (#99998)
Posted Thursday, November 23, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is an exelent 2DVD set. 5 hours of never seen before live performances.

DVD 1: The concert was professionally recorded but the minus is that there was only two video camera to record this. Set list is good with an exelent performance of Dazed & Confused (even if it is not as long as the The Song Remains The Same one) and Bring It On Home. The big minus of this DVD is the the useless bonus. The two song played in the bonus section were played in the main concert and quality is not even as good as the main feature.

DVD 2: Three great recordings of exelent performances plus an Immigrant Song performance that can be skipped. The 1973 Madison Square Garden is good, but the set could be a bit better. Highlight is Black Dog. The 1975 Earls Court includes an exelent performance, but it was recorded on close-up so like it's said in the booklet: ''It looks like they are playing in a room instead of in front of an audience''. Highlight is Stairway to Heaven. and The 1979 Knebworth performance is exelent and the video quality if really good. Highlights are Rock N' Roll and Nobody's Fault But Mine. This is my favorite part of the DVD. Once again, don't bother with the bonus.

This 2DVD set is exelent but not for a progressive fan.

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Send comments to proglil49 (BETA) | Report this review (#100955)
Posted Wednesday, November 29, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars The Ultimate Led Zeppelin story told through a series of concert registrations.

Disc I features a concert registration at the Royal albert hall on januari 9th 1970, featuring their best loved songs, played with great energie those are fabulous versions of well known songs. also other versions of Dazed and Confused and Commuication Breakdown are present, from french and Danish TV specials. A great look into early Zeppelin.

Disc II is a series of different concerts, starting with a Sydney Showground februari 27 1972 version of Immigrant Song, followed with a concert registration at Madison Square garden dated 27 till 29 juli 1973 (same concerts as the footage from the film and album "The Song remains the Same" but now including the songs that didn't make the album).

The Earl's Court footage from May 25 1975 starts with their accoustic set, and ends with heavy electrics and a great version of In My Time Of Dying and of course Stairway to heaven. The Knebworth concert of august 4 1979 is my favourite piece of music from this DVD, it appeared to be their last live date as Led Zeppelin, and it features brilliant versions of Kashmir, Achilles Last Stand and Sick Again, noit mentioning the other songs, but those versions are awsome aswell.

As I mentioned in the opening line of this review, this is the ultimate Led Zeppelin story. This is a must have DVD for all who like Led Zeppelin, one of the best music DVD's I know, well not entirely true, since this is the best music DVD I know. Unsurpassable and an excample how such a document should be made and presented.

Essential for Led Zeppelin, and Hard Rock fans.

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Send comments to tuxon (BETA) | Report this review (#101350)
Posted Friday, December 01, 2006 | Review Permalink
1800iareyay
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars I'm not big on collecting music DVD's as my TV has only one audio input jack so I only get half the audio. However, lately I've been expanding my DVD and I couldn't resist nabbing this. The Led Zeppelin DVD contains previously unreleased footage culled from four concerts. The footage was painstakingly repaired and remastered to ensure the the Zeppelin live legacy remained unblemished. The result is some of the greatest footage I've seen from 70s concert videos, and this blowout could stand next to my copy of Dream Theater's Score anyday.

Disc 1 contains LZ's 1970 performance at the Royal Albert Hall and contains such gems as Dazed and Confused in all its glory. You also get to see footage of Bonham's centerpiece Moby Dick. I never really cared for the bloated live versions of this drum solo until I saw him beating the skins and cymbals with his bare hands. That is truly awe-inspiring and God knows how much that had to hurt.

Disc 2 contains the other three concerts from different points in Zep's career. Knebworth is the most interesting to me becauses it showcases how strong the band was right up to the end. I've come to appreciate more of their later material because of the superb renditions of Achilles Last Stand, Sick Again, and Nobody's Fault But Mine.

The extras are nothing to brag about but, like any film, the meat lies within the actaul product. This, coupled with the CD releases BBC Sessions and How the West Was Won have salvaged Zep's live reputaion for younger fans like myself who never gotr to see them and had only the muddy Song Remains the Same to satiate us.

This is an essential concert DVD, but the lack of progginess until the last concert bars it from five stars on this site. Still, you would do well to own this slice of heaven.

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Send comments to 1800iareyay (BETA) | Report this review (#102475)
Posted Sunday, December 10, 2006 | Review Permalink
Guillermo
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars This is a very good DVD which has very good quality in images and in sound. A very good document in the development of the band, with very good live performances of the songs. I prefer the second DVD of this package which has songs from their "Physical Graffiti", "Presence" and "In Through the Out Door" albums. Particularly, the performances of "Kashmir" and "Achilles Last Stand" are very good.

This DVD is much more interesting that their "The Song Remains the Same" film. I think that it is the best release that the band has done, because it shows very good how good this band was.

A very good example of this band`s style and history, very good for the "new" fans (and for the "old" fans too).

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Send comments to Guillermo (BETA) | Report this review (#103399)
Posted Sunday, December 17, 2006 | Review Permalink
ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars The least we can say is that Led Zeppelin although one of the most praised rock band in the history (selling anything between two and three hundred MILLION albums) has not intended to relieve their fans of their money too much (unlike Yes or the Purple). Therefore, one can only be thankful to them. The problem being that in this case, it is really too much. One movie in 1976 (of some 1973 concerts) and that's it ! One can only applause to this effort which will browse almost their entire career at some crucial period of their development / establishment.

This review will be quite extended I'm afraid. So, I will summarize my feeling about it in a few lines. For those of you who are willing to know a bit more, the full review might be of interest.

From the hesitant Albert Hall concert of January 1970 to a 200,000 Knebworth crowd in 1979, one will travel to the live side of the band which will be highly controversial. We'll go through all the excesses of their long improvisations : "Moby Dick", "How Many More Times", "Dazed" and their medley one "Whole Lotta Love". Each clocking well over twenty minutes. A source of great emotion for die-hard fans and exasperation for others. If you belong to latter one, go straight to the second DVD of this wonderful set. You won't be able to digest the first one which features everything you will abhor. If, like myself, you are a Led Zep nuts; this double DVD will fill out the shortage of Led Zep images available.

It is the most selling musical DVD in the history so far. Selling 520,000 pieces in its year of release (just over eight months). I was in London in May 2003. In one of the biggest record store there (you know the airline one on Oxford Street). I could not find it so I asked an employee for it. He just told me : "We have sold them all out" !

The success was HUGE. Unprecedented. For a band who ceased to exist in 1980. So, yes : this DVD set is a masterpiece of hard-rock history (you'll see further on how much prog-related it is). Five stars.

DVD one starts with their legendary concert at the RAH. January 9, 1970. The camera follows the band from the catacomb of the Hall and we get a wild opening : "We're Gonna Grove". It is rather impressive to see how Plant, alone, is holding the packed Albert Hall by his so great vocal work. Remember, he is only 21 and has already such a power. INCREDIBLE HE IS. He will explode in blues rendition which will be their trademark in the early days. Even if a track like "I Can't Quit You Baby" was not at all my cup of tea in the studio version, it appears here truly PHENOMENAL. One also gets a first sign of Bonham's virtuosity on the drums. More to come.

Plant will introduce the next song as follows : "Here is another "thing" form our first album". And here we go for "Dazed". Not the copy of the studio version which they will already play as soon as September 12, 1968 in Stockholm. No : here, we'll get the extended one. Some will "appreciate" the long middle part (actually the longest part by far) during which Page will "violonize" his guitar, playing with a bow (he started doing so in 1966 already).

You really need to be in Led Zep to swallow such a track. I have to say that I can understand that people has problem with this approach. My answer is pretty simple : press next. I am quite fascinated by this track (even if they "borrowed" it). The furious jam after the bow solo is extremely wild. We'll get then an incredible "call & response" session between Page and Plant. You do not need to look further to know where Blackmore and Gillan got their inspiration while performing "Strange Kind Of Woman" in its "Made In Japan" format. Their complicity is enormous : not only musically but physically as well. As if the energy coming out of their body was leading the other to higher levels. A great piece of "music".

Half of the band will take a break during "White Summer" : Page will be seated while performing his guitar solo. Bonzo will join after a while, probably to do some warming up for "Moby Dick". Page demonstrates his skills brilliantly and the Jimi (Hendrix) influence is evident. Page is almost shy on stage although the most experienced of the band. The "presence" of Plant shadowing both Page and Jones.

Then starts "How Many More Times" : a blues medley with a psyche middle part from Led Zep I. Another classic of these early concerts (although Page/Plant will play it again during their reunion tour in 1998/1999 to which I was lucky to attend (in Ghent). Jones and Page having real fun while playing together. Plant will say in his intro "We'd like you to grove". And the audience will. During the middle part, there will be an attempt to "Whole Lotta Love". But it won't be included here. Another great call & response section during which Plant is almost bewitched is again a great moment of this DVD. This song was also a pretext to integrate a blues medley. They will also do this with "Whole ." but with a rock'n'roll medley instead.

Would you like to get some rest with the next song ? No way, we will be hammered by Bonham and his incredible drum solo. Yes, it is now time for "Moby Dick". This track will also be featured as soon as September 1968 in their show. Under its embryonic form called "Pat's Delight". This is a great drumming experience. I have mentioned it already in my review for "The Song Remains The Same" (the movie). IMO, Bonzo is one of the greatest drummer in the world. Amongst all the drummers I have seen on stage, he will leave his indelible mark on me. The way he uses his drum kit is hardly comparable. The moment he plays the drums with his hand is truly remarkable. One might argue the need for this like Hendrix playing guitar with his teeth but, hell ! Have a look and appreciate! This footage is a fantastic tribute to this extraordinary musician. RIP John.

No rest for the audience. Follow-up is . "Whole Lotta Love". Standard format : only six wild minutes. So wild that the images are rather shaky. During the "middle part" , Plant will simulate the love act and the orgasm shouts need to be put into perspective : it is a 1970 recording .

This extremely violent set (no prog relation my friend) goes on with the super-fast and LOUD "Communication Breakdown". Page who has been rather faded so far finally wakes up and participates actively in the show (marking more his presence I mean). Problems with live footage still remains since still images illustrate almost half of the song.

Then the the rock'n'roll classic "C'Mon Everybody" rocking like hell of course. After this, the crazy "Something Else". Finally, a great jam for "Bring It On Home" featuring Plant on harmonica. Since the last reel was missing, we'll get again some still pictures. The astounding finale is a knock out for the audience. At the end of the day, this was just a "normal" Led Zep concert.

For unknown reasons (to me) the track list of this concert has been completely shaken up on this DVD. I'm sure you can not wait longer for the original set list, so here we go : C'mon Everybody, Whole Lotta Love (short version), Communication Breakdown, Something Else, Bring It On Home, How Many More Times, We're Gonna Groove, I Can't Quit You Baby, White Summer/Black Mountain Side and finally Whole Lotta Love again as an encore (not featured on the DVD including Long Tall Sally, Great Balls Of Fire, Move On Down The Line, Whole Lotta Shackin').

This first DVD is absolutely not meant for the casual fan (but if you have gone so far in your reading, you're not). No way to bear all of these long jams if you are not a die- hard fan. These will be an inherent part of their live performances. In those ancient times there were not a single moment of even prog-related music in their concerts of course.

When you have achieved this piece of music, you can "relax" with the Clips section (or extras). The background music is "Heartbreaker" from the RAH concert.

The first one, is the promo version for "Communication Breakdown". Lots of close-up shots for this black and white play-back footage. It is very funny to see how Plant completely misses some portion of the song. It is in their favor to have it featured here with all these imperfections.

The Denmark show (incorrectly written Danmark on the inner side) will remind me of the same kind of audience than the one featured in the Deep Purple footage "Live In Scandinavia" (in Sweden). A bunch of very young teenagers whom we see entering the studio and being seated in front of the band. The set is very good. The audience very attentive.

In those early days, epic songs like "Dazed" and "How Many More Times" are being played in their original "short" format. Less "performance" oriented. These "short" versions are probably better and definitely more accessible even if the die-hard fan was always "living" these long improvisations with lots of enthusiasm. Jones's work is to be noticed here, while Plant is truly deeply living "Dazed" even during the instrumental part. Nothing like getting a rest backstage while his colleague are on-stage.

During "How Many More Times" Bonham is hitting his drum kit like a savage. After the intro, Jimmy enters into a great solo performance. During the "trip", he will use his bow of course. This section will lead to the great "call & response" part often used by Page / Plant during these improvisations. Jones said : "Other big names released singles, therefore they did a lot of television, but we didn't. In Denmark, the radio wasn't very good and that TV show was about the only outlet they had. It was probably the one TV show we ever did that we really enjoyed". The very quiet audience will even nod the head (gosh). The song will be somewhat cut at the end featuring some still of their first album cover (some original shooting problem I guess).

Next comes a colour rendition of "Dazed" (standard format). It was shot in 1969 for a British TV show. Led Zep will feel that the poor equipped studio was not good enough for them to perform on a TV show. So, from then on : no more TV show. Period. If one wants to see Led Zep, there was only one choice left : go to their legendary concerts.

The last performance featured on this first DVD comes from another TV show. This time coming out of France : "Tous Ensemble" (all together). When one sees how the shooting was done (poor backstage shots) one can only agree with the band's choice not to perform such "shows" any longer. Page will say : "people thought that we had a lot of different stuff to choose from to release this DVD, but we did not". I guess that if they showed this one, it is definitely because not a lot of different images were available.

This first CD will of course be appealing to the faithful Led Zep fan. It is also a unique moment of ROCK history. So, if you are ready to embark on DVD two, here we go !

It starts with a version of "Immigrant Song". Some editing for this one since the footage comes from a show performed in Sydney (February 1972) while the music was recorded in the Long Beach Arena show (1972 as well). The takes are really poor. Moving quickly from close up to slow motion and then to panoramic views. It is better to listen to it than to look at it. Really.

With no transition we'll go to the MSG (their mythical concert hall). The difference with their Albert Hall performance and this one is amazing : they are at the end of their NINTH US tour (in just over four years.). Having played in such place as the Whiskey (A Go Go) Bar (you know the "Doors" one) through the MSG (six times already before this 1973 tour) and lots of packed outdoors concerts with "oceans" of fans converging. Page will say :"Originally, we saw the whole essence of our live performance as something that the audience listened to very carefully, picking up on what was going on, on the spontaneity and musicianship. "By the time of this New York concert, though, we're so full of confidence now that the showmanship has started to come through and we're working together with almost a telepathy between us".

"Black Dog" is an extraordinary moment. The communion between the band and the audience is incredible. It's one of the all-time favorite for Led Zep fans and this live rendition is just superb. It is followed by "Misty Mountain Hop" featuring Jones on the keyboards. The sound is much rawer than the studio one, Page being wiiiiiiild. One get the real power of this band. Hard to heavy-rock : no subtlety here.

The band will switch with no transition to "Since I've Been Loving You". The legendary guitar solo is absolutely marvelous. I can listen to this song five times in a row without being bored and this lasts since I've been loving this song. To achieve this result, Page will again use the cut and paste extensively (six times) : taking bit and bites of the three MSG concerts like he did already for the "The Song Remains The Same" (soundtrack and movie). In October 1971. The last song taken form this set is "The Ocean" dedicated to the hordes of fans attending their concerts. It was one of the poorest numbers on HOTH, but while played live, it cached another dimension : waaaaaay better. It almost sounds as a good song.

No transition again to go to Earl's Court 1975. In eight days, they will play FIVE times there (total audience : 85,000). Only three concerts will be used for this DVD (well, actually only two can really be taken into account : ..). It starts right in the middle of the concert. Nine songs have already been performed while they start with their legendary acoustic set (not prog). They'll switch from the heavy "No Quarter" to the lightest songs of their repertoire. For an unknown reason, the first song will be skipped : no trace of "Tangerine". At this time of the concert, the trio (Jones, Page, Plant) sits very close to the edge (I've heard this one before) to "communicate" more with the audience. Even if these songs are not part of my preferred ones (except "Bron Y'r Our Stomp" which I have always appreciated very much, but it is a rocking acoustic one with some audience involvement like during "Gallows Pole" for instance. Plant's performance is truly majestic. Subtle, high- pitched, apparently so easy. The whole band is really enjoying these moments.

Since this was the supporting tour for "Physical Graffiti" (to which I attended in Brussels), next two songs come from there. "In My Time Of Dying" has never been my cup of tea. It is better while played live. Jimmy will perform a great guitar solo at the end which is not to be compared with the sloppy finale of the studio work. During this live set, it will become a Page's highlight. The track here is powerful and dynamic. The second one is "Trampled Underfoot" which was one of the very few very good songs of this album (IMO their weakest by far). It is extremely wild and accelerated. The beat is PHENOMENAL.

Filming is not great though. Jimi (Hendrix of course) is not far away. But it is not the first time it is to be noticed (one could already see this influence during the Albert Hall performance). But who can blame it ? I consider this as a tribute to one of the greatest guitar player of the music history.

And THE magical moment : "Stairway To Heaven". Led Zep will play it during each concert since at least August 1971 (with only a few exceptions in August/September of that year). Usually it will be performed in the middle of the set. In their 1975 tour, it will be the last one of the concert, leaving the audience in a state of ecstasy (I am so lucky to have been able to live this experience). I am always looking to live versions of Led Zep (official as well as non-official ones). Even the band has used some bootleg footage for the 1973 MSG as well as Knebworth concerts because they felt it was important not to limit themselves in official images.

So, I was thrilled when I saw that the recording (from the soundboard so the quality is perfect) of their 25th May concert featured a version of almost TWENTY-ONE minutes. I was extremely curious to hear what they would add to this masterpiece. So, listened to it religiously. The intro : identical, the acoustic part : identical. The hard-rock part with the fantastic guitar solo : identical, the closing section : identical. Then applauses. Then Plant saying : "Thanks very much. That's the last one, that's the last one. Good night. See you in Kashmir".

What happens then is CRAZYNESS : I have gooseflesh when I write this (I am listening to it as I write). Almost ELEVEN minutes of incredible shouts, yelling to get the band back on stage for an encore. I tell you, it is one of the most emotional moments I have heard. When the band comes back on stage Plant will say : "Good evening ! I said goooooooooood evening ! Well, it seems . is this our swan song, I wonder ? And there we go for "Whole Lotta Love" (which is not featured on the DVD).

As usual, you can not wait for the whole track list of these concerts, right ? So, here you are . Starting with the classic "Rock'n'Roll" we'll travel through their repertoire with Sick Again, Over The Hills And Far Away, In My Time Of Dying, The Song Remains The Same, The Rain Song, Kashmir, No Quarter, Tangerine, Going To California, That's The Way, Bron-Yr-Stomp, Trampled Underfoot, Moby Dick, Dazed and Stairway.

As usual for their last concerts at their most beloved cities (New York and London), the encores of their last Earl's Court show will be the most extended with : Whole Lotta Love (including "The Crunge" then a replay of "Black Dog" (eight minutes, including the applause for the second encore), Heartbreaker (almost en minutes, including bits of "Bouree") and Communication Breakdown (almost seven minutes).

These Earl's Court concerts were lasting for about three hours and a half. A great, great moment. Plant will say at the end of the final concert : "It has been five glorious days". Then the crowd will keep on yelling and the band will come back on stage. Plant will say : "This is something we never do. This is something we never do". Any request ? And there we go for "Heartbreaker". After this, Plant says : "We'd like to do one more. We'll just have a little chat, if you want to excuse us. I'm just thinking if we had any "hits". We are not blowing our image if we're having a chat, aren't we ? There's a gentleman down here who suggests that we should do it. This is a problem that we won't get but maybe some people do. And there we go for "Communication Breakdown".

These last two paragraphs relate to an audio recording of the last Earl's Court concert, not the DVD.

It's a pity (IMO) that only six numbers of these concerts are featured here. They would have deserved a DVD edition on their own (maybe for the fortieth anniversary) ?

These London concerts will be the last ones on English soil for the next four years. Of course, at the time, no one can imagine Plant's dramatic car accident and trauma in his personal live with the death of his son in 1977.

The last part of this live DVD, comes from their two huge concerts at Knebworth (although mostly one will serve for these recordings). The show of the 4th of August will be significantly better and therefore most of (if not all) the filming comes out of this one. It was the band first England first experience since Earl's Court four years ago. The band is of course at its peak of maturity.

Bizarrely this part starts with "Rock'n'Roll" which will be one of the encores. The version of "Sick Again" is damned good. A lot wilder and harder than the studio one. The absolute highlight of these concerts will be "Achilles Last Stand". It is a fabulous HARD-ROCK piece of music.The gorgeous beat driven drumming by a sober (not talking about drinking) Bonham's play. It is a true Led Zep epic. Page / Plant really happy to be on stage again (there are almost no shots from Bonham unfortunately).

"In The Evening" will also sounds rockier, wilder and more appealing than in the studio. One can see Jimmy sweating like an ox in his blue shirt during this song. Then, back to "Physical Graffiti" with "Kashmir". This version won't change my mind dramatically. I will always expect the song to start, even when it's over ! I guess that I must be one of the very few Led Zep maniacs to have this feeling about "Kashmir". Can't help.

The live version I prefer is the one with the Egyptian ensemble on the Page/Plant live album "No Quarter". The backing Egyptian band will add an immense value to the song which has never been closer from its roots : Middle-East of course. The end of the song is pure glory though : frenetic rhythm with Bonham in top form.

As the liner notes will tell, when the band starts with "Whole Lotta Love", three hours of concert has been played. At the end of the song, Plant will say : "Thanks for eleven years". One does not know that it will be their last appearance in the UK.

Some extras on the DVD : interviews and promotional material.

A press conference in NYC : the band has to answer some stupid questions about the Beatles.

A short piece of their Australian tour (same one from which "Immigrant Song" had been taken from to start this second DVD. "Down Under" will feature "Rock'n'roll". It has been shot during the same concert during which "Immigrant Song" was recorded on the first part of this DVD.

One special moment for me is the third clip from these "extras" : a Plant interview from the catacombs of Forest National (Brussels) before their Belgian concert. He'll talk about "how great" the old and unreleased material sounds, and the possibility to come back in England to do something special. "Entertainment on a large scale".

Then two promotional videos. If you do not select one too fast, you will be able to see "The Song Remains The Same" in full. Kind of hidden track not mentioned. The extras will be "Over The Hill And Far Away" : with distorted and pshyche images and "Riverside Blues" with images from the bayoo and some paddle wheel boats so typical of the Mississippi region.

Not a lot of prog-related featured on these two great DVD's. Five star for this anthology.

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Send comments to ZowieZiggy (BETA) | Report this review (#115196)
Posted Wednesday, March 14, 2007 | Review Permalink
fuxi
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars This must be the greatest rock DVD ever, since it features one of the most exciting bands of the seventies in their prime, and it's far more generous than any comparable releases. The first three main concerts we get to see (either whole, or in excerpts) are all superb. The final concert (i.e. seven songs from the legendary Knebworth come-back) may be more hit-and-miss, but it's still noteworthy because of the splendid performances of two of Zep's most epic numbers, "Achilles' last stand" and "Kashmir". The extras are also fascinating, particularly Zep's appearances in front of a sympathetic young crowd in a Danish TV studio, and of a decidedly more sceptical studio audience in France.

Perhaps the best footage is of the band's 1973 performances in Madison Square Garden - surprisingly, since these are leftovers from the much-derided "official concert film" THE SONG REMAINS THE SAME (which I haven't seen).

All in all, this two-disc set is a model of its kind, and undoubtedly the most important addition to Led Zeppelin discography since 1975. I only wish all your favourite PROG bands were given the chance to treat you to something similar...

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Send comments to fuxi (BETA) | Report this review (#129835)
Posted Sunday, July 22, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars Wow! Just wow.

That's pretty much all i can say after seeing 2 DVDs of the best live-material ever shot from propably the best rock-band ever. Okay, that was pretty much said, but if you are even slightly interested of Led Zeppelin or even the history of rock-music, this is a must-have.

The DVD consists basicly of three eras, the early 70's, circa Led Zeppelin II, massive stadionshows from mid-70's and the late 70's not long before John Bonham's death. It's impossible to say which live-material is the best, since every one of them have their own qualities. The gig shot at Royal Albert Hall, i recall, in 1970's focuses on stunning impsovised solos by Jimmy Page in all songs and a breath-taking drum-solo by John Bonham. Here you can see that Led Zep had one of the greatest ever band-chemistries. It's like the members of the band read each-others minds, as they did, in a way.

The two following gigs are both very different, the band doesn't show their playing-skills as much as in 1970 and it has come more a rock-band with a intensive contact with the audience. At this moment, if ever, Led Zeppelin could have been described as Heavy metal. Their attitude is basicly like fist in a face. This section features also their most famous track, Stairway to Heaven, which contains not-less than amazing guitar-solo, but otherwise it's surprisingly average live.

The last section, from the late 70's witnesses the first time a rock-band has ever used a background screen in a concert. The gig is in a word, massive. Even the stage is so big that the members of the band stand oddly frar from each-other. The band's process of breaking up can sadly be heard in the music also. They play almost better than ever, and the new more proggy songs are great, but the chemistry felt in 1970 is gone. Still, there are moments (on Achilles Last Stand and Whole Lotta Love) where they get on a groove that sounds like they are playing in a rehearsal-room in some little basement. Priceless.

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Send comments to delirium (BETA) | Report this review (#159963)
Posted Sunday, January 27, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is probably the best musical DVD ever made. DVD 1, the entirety of the Royal Albert Hall show, 1969, and some TV shows recorded in the same year - great as possible. DVD 2, one excerpt from a show at the Long Beach Arena 1972, some excerpts from the Madison Square Garden 1973 show (the 1976 movie), and some excerpts from a show at Earl's Court in 1975 and Knebworth in 1979. Nothing to say except : great !

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Send comments to Zardoz (BETA) | Report this review (#164068)
Posted Sunday, March 16, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars I will not give a long review on this DVD because it would simply not explain the impact that this DVD has had on my life and my perception of music. I always liked Led Zeppelin before I saw this DVD, but seeing it made me worship them. The first disc shows early Zeppelin in all their blues rock glory. Every single member is stoned out of his mind, and still manages to kick major ass. Plant is at the height of his vocal talent, Page is rocking as always, and Jones and Bonham simply kill it. Highlights are We're Gonna Groove, I Can't Quit You Baby, and White Summer (which blew my freaking mind when I saw it). Disc Two has some wonderful additions to it as well, notably the songs taken from their 1975 performance at Earl's Court. They start off with Going to California, go into That's the Way, which I had never heard before I saw this DVD and was absolutely floored by how beautiful a performance it was, and then Bron-Y-Aur Stomp. Then, they do some Physical Graffiti stuff at much faster tempos than on the album. Frankly, I liked In My Time of Dying and Trampled Underfoot on the album, but the live versions seen here blow them out of the water. Jimmy Page's solos on both songs are positively mind-blowing. The set ends with a pretty good version of Stairway, too. The other song worth mentioning on Disc Two is Since I've Been Loving You. If someone doesn't get the blues, show them this performance. Page's guitar absolutely weeps on this song, and it is my favorite Zeppelin song of all time. I know I said I wouldn't give this a long review; I guess I lied. I will end it on this note, though. I would recommend that every single rock fan watch this DVD. I don't care if you don't even like Led Zeppelin. This live performance is without a doubt one of the most amazing things to have ever happened in rock music to date.

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Send comments to evantate09 (BETA) | Report this review (#193928)
Posted Tuesday, December 16, 2008 | Review Permalink
Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Get the Song Remains first

Sean Trane (Hugues) has this baby nailed perfectly. For all of its many flaws, "The Song Remains the Same" DVD is and will always be the true document of the Led Zeppelin experience known by their fans during the legitimate portion of their decade long career. It was the Led Zeppelin concert experience, filmed at the height of their power in '73, and it FELT like it. The length of the movie and the long, jammy versions of several tracks made you feel like you were actually there seeing one complete show. The little snippets backstage and near the venue were cool little bits for the fan to see.

That the "new" DVD is rated so much higher is another of those ironies about modern rating habits I'll never quite fathom. This set offers a nice back-up to Song and it is interesting to have footage of these different points in their career, but it is nowhere near the "experience" that the real thing is/was. The highlight of this expansive 2 disc set is the first part, "Live at the Royal Albert Hall 1970" which gives us a close-up look at the stunning, vibrant young Zeppelin. To see Bonham still so aggressive in his attack on "We're gonna groove" makes the DVD worth the purchase price by itself. Page's version of "White Summer" here is on fire, again, I have to use the same word: vibrant. Further, the extras tacked on to these discs are enjoyable to see. The bulk of the second disc from '75 and '79 show the band in the beginning and late stages of decline, the '79 show is actually a bummer for me to see as their substance abuse is beginning to show. A similar case can be made of the Grateful Dead video documents. Many younger viewers seem to prefer more recent, cleaned-up videos of the live band bouncing around happily to "Touch of Grey." The real magic belongs to the long and bloated "Grateful Dead Movie" which captures the band in the spirit of the moment that it existed. Which is how it should be.

Fans should own both of these DVD documents and I imagine today's fans will like this one more because of the sound quality and lack of '70s visual excesses. But as far as which title is the more essential to the big fan looking for the true period experience, well, the song does remain the same.

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Send comments to Finnforest (BETA) | Report this review (#237731)
Posted Sunday, September 06, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars This next song, you probably heard before, it is another one from the first album, it's a song called Dazed and Confused.

One word: Brilliant. That's what this live DVD is. Absolutely mindblowing stuff. Oh how many times i've been drinking and smoking with my friends while watching this, jumping up and down while playing the air guitar to Jimmy Pages solos. I get goose bumps everytime i hear the first screams in "I Cant Quit You Babe" and "Dazed And Confused". And then there is the bow solo. It blows me away every time. The setlist is flawless also. Only great track not included here is the pretty "Thank You", but i read somewhere that they didn't really play it live that much.

If you haven't seen great live Zeppelin, this is the one to get, but really, you could just buy this anyway, it is THAT good. A live DVD masterpiece. 5 stars.

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Send comments to paragraph7 (BETA) | Report this review (#254164)
Posted Thursday, December 03, 2009 | Review Permalink
AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Symphonic Team
4 stars A great DVD from the legends of rock, perhaps the best if you do not count 'The Song Remains the same'. The menus are interesting and you can jump straight into timeless classics such as a 15 minute version of Dazed and Confused with magnificent guitar lead break par excellence from Page. The lighting is always subdued and straightforward, they were never a spectacular showman band, their spectacle lay strictly with the music and what a sound they created! There are shots of the crowd occasionally but the focus is always on Page and Plant.

How Many More Times rocks out for 20 minutes and is a classic. Also Bonham's drums are showcased on Moby Dick, a 15 minute treasure. Whole Lotta Love makes an appearance and is well sung by Plant. Immigrant Song was always my favourite and theres an awesome version here along with the quintessential Black Dog with that mesmirising riff. The driving blues of Since I've Been Loving You is worth mentioning with Page looking completely absorbed with his guitar. There is a chilling version of In My Time of Dying and of course the indelible Stairway to Heaven is added to the mix. A very strong blue light shines and makes a heavenly glow throughout the performance, similar to TSRTS film.

Rock and Roll is a favourite and also Nobody's Fault but Mine with its killer riff. Whole Lotta Love caps things off at the end of the DVD. I highly reccommend this as a perfect example of why Led Zeppelin are masters of proto metal and an influence to countless musicians worldwide.

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Send comments to AtomicCrimsonRush (BETA) | Report this review (#286434)
Posted Monday, June 14, 2010 | Review Permalink

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