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


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Sean Trane
Prog Folk
4 stars This review will be a bit common with Zep's recent archive DVD. Unlike their movie The Song Remains The Same, which I thought built a myth; that DVD (what a stooopid name too) is deconstructing the myth that the movie built. 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 filmed fantasy adventures, 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 it was always a bit ambiguous with those filmed fantasies as they were driving the movie forward but also were giving the musicians 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.

Compared to the movie, the many different partial concert film footages of the recent DVD are showing the band often more inspired and less subdued than on TSRTS, but somehow as good as this release is, it somehow destroys unconsciously what TSRTS movie tried to do.

If Zep never was a progressive band per se, they certainly shared similar aspects, among which the fantasy elements present on a good part of their music was plainly obvious. And present on this movie is a good deal of Zep's proggier tracks, which could always make it a good intro to the group. I would recommend finding the movie rather than the soundtrack of the movie, though.

Report this review (#100015)
Posted Thursday, November 23, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars One of the few official Led Zeppelin live outings, and it will always have a special place within my collection, sure the sound quality isn't brilliant, but it capsures Led Zeppelin's live sound very well, and most if not all songs sound better live than on the studio albums versions (most notable Celebration day and The Song Remains The Same and of course the outspinned Dazed and Confused). There is also a concert movie with the same name, which has a slightly different set list, so I will not refer to that on this review.

The songs are not entirely live, they are cut and paste versions of the original live dates, with some studio tampering, and some other live registrations incorporated to upgrade the quality of the songs. That doesn't bother me since I'm just enjoying the music as it is presented, and I was not there when they actually played it. The recordings were from the Madison Square Garden dates of 1973 Houses Of The Holy tour. Now on with the songs.

The intro consist of The heavy "Rock and Roll" and "Celebration Day" quite an energetic heavy opening, no time to recover for "The Song Remains The Same" is next in line. "The Rain Song" provides a little ballance with beautifull orchestrated mellotron passages. Than the 27 minutes lasting "Dazed and Confused" hits the ball out of the park, sheer perfection, sudden changes, and heavy bursts in a psychedelic mixture of blues and metal. You can''t get any better than this really.

The second album starts with the organ synth beauty of "No Quarter" Jimmy Page lays low with his dominant guitars providing John Paul Jones with room for his organ woks, Plant sings every so lovely. As the song progresses it only gets better, I've heard better versions, but it still outclasses the studio version."Stairway To Heaven" follows, probably the best led Zep song, with a soft soothing guitar, augmented with JPJ's keyboards and Plant delivering great vocals, when the drums enter midway, the song becomes more heavy resulting in a metal final, the drums and piano part between 7:30 and 9:00 with some brilliant Page guitar works overhead is simply stunning, as is the final of the song.

"Moby dick" starts off the second side of the second album, and is second to none the best drum solo ever to have been played, but you have to like it to really enjoy it, for me it's a little too long, but still it's an excample of how a drum solo should evolve, and only few drummers can hold my attention throughout such a solo, Bonzo managed that, so it's good enough. The album ends with an outstretched version of "Whole Lotta Love" which incorporated a little rock and roll medley, beautifull interplay between the boys.

Fabulous album, which displays many aspects of their eclectic sound, it took almost 30 years for their next live album to arrive, but untill that moment this was their definitive piece of live work and I will treasure it's beauty for evermore.

Report this review (#100448)
Posted Sunday, November 26, 2006 | Review Permalink
PSIKE Team & Band Submissions
4 stars So dazed and confused ...

(Official) live recordings from the band are really rare. 'The song remains the same' was recorded at Madison Square Garden in New York. It is an excellent example of the ZEPS live qualities and on the same level as 'How the west was won' which has a better sound quality. Actually I have never seen the movie of this concert. Okay - it might be interesting - but it is also enough to put your headphones on and to spend some time to enjoy this music.

The first two songs of CD1 are short rock & roller and seem to be like a warmup. But I'm not sure if the track order differs from the setlist. And they played there for three evenings. So IMO it really begins to start with the title song which fades into 'Rain song' with very psychedelic moments. The following long and outstanding track 'Dazed and confused' is from their first studio release and about an unrequited love. They perform it as a 27 minute trip and by the way you can examine a reminiscence to the American FlowerPower movement. The name of this song describes exactly what you feel when you've heard it. Don't go to bed after this - you might have problems to sleep.

CD 2 starts with 'No quarter' - my highlight. This is a very emotional song - excellent interacting with wonderful keyboard and guitar parts. 'Stairway to heaven' is the best known song from LED ZEPPELIN and they perform it in a fabulous version. 'Moby Dick' with a long drum solo is only interesting for Bonham fans. In the 70's I got excited when I listened to stuff like this. But today it doesn't match anymore and so I'm usually skipping to the next and last song - the furious 'Whole Lotta Love' with a lot of tempo changes and Robert Plant on the top.

Do we have a competiton with 'How the west was won'? I don't think so because the tracklists are not the same and some songs are performed in a different way. Both are an excellent addition to a (prog) rock music collection.

Report this review (#100952)
Posted Wednesday, November 29, 2006 | Review Permalink
mystic fred
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "The most expensive home movie ever made..."

To fully appreciate the impact this film had you must go back in time to 1976 - expensive home videos had only just become available, computers, internet and mobile phones were the stuff of science fiction, cars were still running on cross-ply tyres and leaded petrol, there were still only three TV channels in the UK (no breakfast television) and the digital age, and Sunday opening for the stores, was still something waiting to come in the far distant future. As for Led Zeppelin, they were still at the top of their game around this time, having completed a monster world tour and made a series of legendary performances at London's Earl's Court the year before - I queued up at 7 o clock in the morning to get tickets for this, and still feel it was the most exciting rock concert i have ever attended.

The relationship between the press and the band was suspicious and bitter, to put it mildly, only a privileged rare few were allowed into the "Houses of the Holy", any news about them was scant to say the least and added to the mystique of the band, only music papers such as "Sounds" and "Melody Maker" were really the only sources of information, and the fanzine "Tight But Loose". The huge touring schedules Zeppelin undertook around the world earned them a massive fan base, their concerts included many songs and improvisations not available on their studio albums so a plethora of live bootleg albums appeared, mostly with appalling sound quality. When visiting towns on tour Jimmy Page would visit local record stores and buy up all the bootlegs he could find, believing they spoiled the band's reputation obviously, eventually deciding to release an official live album to counter the trade in illegal recordings.

The "Song Remains the Same" project started off as a self-indulgent home movie which grew and grew, incorporating live performances which were eventually decided to be filmed at Madison Square Garden, and to include a short film piece profiling each of the band's home life, character (as in the runes on LZ4) and fantasies, which also included manager Peter Grant.

The film, and this companion double album released in October '76, contains some amazing performances, the sound quality is still very good, and kicks off with an exciting version of "Rock and Roll" melding into "Celebration Day", but the album/film's crowning glory in my opinion is the brilliant version of "No Quarter", the John Paul Jones section of the film. This is the most amazingly proggish version of this song i have heard - the album is worth buying for this track alone for the hardened progger, a truly amazing performance. This set also contains their live favourite extended improvised version of "Dazed and Confused" (Jimmy Page's amazing violin bow tricks were something to behold!) and "Stairway to Heaven". The now underrated "Moby Dick" is here (I loved seeing John's solo at Earl's Court, and laughed when all he got was a banana for his efforts!), also the beautiful "Rain Song", and a lively version of "The Song Remains the Same", and their signature tune "Whole Lotta Love".

In 1976 this whole project seemed like an early Christmas present from the band to their fans and should be appreciated as such in these modern times of media saturation from every direction, and is something I will always value!


Report this review (#101385)
Posted Saturday, December 2, 2006 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars I never liked very much this album, the only official live album issued during the life of the band. Apart from phenomenal (vinyl) side-long rendition of "Dazed and Confused", all that remains is better found on many bootleg versions. Basically, this is a soundtrack to the namesake movie where it fits more properly. Since many excellent bootleg live recordings are rapidly becoming available in CD format, "The Song Remains the Same" dives more and more into collectors only territory.
Report this review (#101398)
Posted Saturday, December 2, 2006 | Review Permalink
Chris S
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars There is not much more to add than already mentioned on the DVD/Video release. This is an incredibly good live album. It would have perhaps been even better had it shown more of the Physical Graffiti material but nevertheless there are some splendid renditions of the originals. Highlights would have to be the 26 minute ' Dazed and Confused', a 14 minute rendition of ' Whole lotta Love', ' No Quarter' and one my persoanl favourites ' Celebration Day' off Led Zeppelin III. A solid four stars.
Report this review (#102846)
Posted Tuesday, December 12, 2006 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars

Undoubtedly Zep's most progressive effort to this day. If you are prog rock purist, you can skip opening two tracks, "Rock And Roll" and "Celebration Day". That's 22% of the tracks on the album, really, but only 7% of total clocking time! The live versions of the songs are lengthy as they should be and they are interesting all the time. "The Rain Song" in this version with passionate Plant's singing is remarkable.

Probably the best version of "No Quarter" is on this record; John Paul Jones proving once again how skillful musician he is. The whole band shines here.

Actually, all the tracks are worth mentioning, but "Dazed And Confused" deserves special note: it's a peak of guitar extravaganza. Clocking at almost half an hour, it's full of unpredictable changes, astonishing passages, parts played with bow, of course, Plant's vocal experiments, theremins and frenetic bass lines. This is not only a live version of an old songs, this is totally decomposed, recomposed, overcomposed and turned upside-down, a whole new tune, live butterfly instead of studio caterpillar. Essential.

The same goes for "Whole Lotta Love", only it's not so over-developed as in case of "Dazed And Confused". Lot's of nice boogie-woogie and bluesy parts that are making sense.

This live record is worth your money for the "Dazed And Confused" alone. Don't be narrow-minded, even if you don't like hard rock. This is essential.

Report this review (#102882)
Posted Wednesday, December 13, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars This is a good live album. Well, 3/4 (3 sides of the four original sides in the old double LP) of it are good, but there is a boring very long song called "Dazed and Confused", which shows the excesses that some of the bands of the seventies did then on stage.

The combination of "Rock and Roll" and "Celebration Day" played one afte the other is very good. "The Song Remains the Same" is also a powerful version. "The Rain Song" is one of the best performances, with Plant singing with feeling and very good mellotron by Jones, energetic drums by Bonham and very good guitar by Page.

"No Quarter" is very good, "dark", "mysterious", with a heavy lead guitar by Page, powerful drums by Bonham and "dark" electric piano (and bass pedals) by Jones.

"Stairway to Heaven" is powerful, emotional, and the best version of this song that I have listened until now. All the members of the band shine in this song.

"Moby Dick" has an energetic drums solo by Bonham which shows again why he was one of the best and most original Rock drummers.

"Whole Lotta Love" is not as good as the studio version, and with "Dazed and Confused" is one of the weakest points of this live album.But at least in "Whole Lotta Love" the band shows their skills for improvising in a song.

The release of archival material in the "Led Zeppelin" DVD showed that this band had in their archives better performances in their concerts, and that this album and the film of the same name were not the best performances of some songs (with the exception of "Stairway to Heaven", particularlyl).

Three and a half stars rating.

Report this review (#103397)
Posted Sunday, December 17, 2006 | Review Permalink

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.

Report this review (#115187)
Posted Wednesday, March 14, 2007 | Review Permalink
Eetu Pellonpaa
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars For me this is the best album of this band, as it is more interesting to listen real interactive group playing than their more sterile and nonspontaneous studio recordings. The ultimate highlights here are the title song "The Song Remains the Same" which is tied together with the more peaceful "The Rain Song", where John Paul Jones plays some Mellotrons instead of his bass guitar. There's also a nearly twenty-seven minutes long version of "Dazed and Confused", and when compared to the song marathons of Deep Purple, this one has much more content in it, and it works really well. The original studio version of this song is nothing in my opinion when compared to the one here. There are also some interesting experimentations of guitar being played with a cello bow here. If you like glitter/glam style stuff you should check out the movie of which soundtrack this double album is, but I prefer the audio version only, allowing me to associate freely with the music without the visual content which I don't like. If you like classic 1970's bluesy hard rock music, then I would consider this as an obvious classic to be acquired in the record collections.
Report this review (#119215)
Posted Saturday, April 21, 2007 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Where Sloppiness Leads to Excellence .

This is one of great live records I've ever known. Especially during those days when not so many bands released live album. I remember vividly this record was among other excellent records like Deep Purple "Made In Japan", Uriah Heep "Live 73" and Genesis "Live" as well. Of course, by the time I got this live record in cassette format, I was quite familiar with the band material and I was a big fan of Led Zeppelin. Once I got this album which blew me away at first spin, it quickly became my favorite album for radio play. I was so proud that "Whole Lotta Love" could be aired at my radio.

As far as rock music concerns, I always envy on most of you who lived quite close to the center of the acts when rock music first came out - either those of you who stayed in the Europe or in the US. You guys were really "there" physically when the rock music waves swept the music industry during the glory days of seventies. While, people like me who lived at the rest of the world (as the terms is typically used by many internet stores locating where I live) at the small town far away even from the capital city of Indonesia, i.e. Jakarta. But that's okay, I was quite happy by the time there were some great music magazines like Aktuil, Top and Dutch Muzik Ekspress (which was quite famous in my country) which supplied me with many rock information. Remember, that was the era before internet revolutionizing the entire information flow. The positive side of living far away from the center of the acts was that I fantasized a lot about how rock music was created and how the live performances were conducted. I was fortunate then .. in this case. So, even though I was NOT there physically but I imagined myself being THERE in the center of rock acts like London or New York.

Why liking this album?

Great live vibes. Oh man .. this record has great live ambient that stirs my emotion when I play it. It's been such a long time that I do not play this album and when I'm writing this I've just completed spinning this double CD in its entirety without skipping any track. Usually I skip "Dazed and Confused" due to long guitar solo by Page. But now I just want to enjoy all the subtleties of this live record and I feel terrified with it. It's an excellent performance by the band, I think. Each member of the band contributes their parts they best they can. No wonder that during my period with the amateur radio dated back in the seventies, this live album became my all-time favorite. I think there was no day without broadcasting any song from this live set. The live ambient really start from the opening track "Rock and Roll" with daunting and jaw dropping drumwork by Bonham followed with powerful riffs by Page. Oh man .. this is a great opening.

The great live vibes carry on from opening track to another like "Celebration Day" to the title track "The Song Remains The Same" until the end track "Whole Lotta Love". I am sure that whenever you listen to this album, you will be carried away with the ambient regardless you like or not rock music. That's the beauty of great live records.

Structured Sloppiness .. what is this? Oh yeah .. this is a paradox, I think. This is my true expression on how Jimmy Page plays his guitar. Honestly, I have been listening this album for years and I don't know why I do enjoy this live record even though I know very sure that Page had many mistakes with his chords and notes. He played with not precise time signature that sometimes makes me think how sloppy his playing is. Come to think of it .. one at December 21, 2006, the organization which my friends and I built down here at my country, i-Rock! conducted a tribute nite to Led Zeppelin. In that occasion, as an event host, I interviewed my friend who is a hard core fan of Zeppelin (he owns roughly 200 records on many Zeppelin gigs in the world), Tatan A Taufik. One of the comment he made that the guitarist who played in the tribute band played better and cleaner than Jimmy Page. Oh, I think something about it and finally I have this expression of "structured sloppiness". I don't care what made Jimmy Page the way he played in the record but in my ears, his sloppiness sounds great to me. It might be he did the guitar work while he was heavily drunk.

Good improvisation. This term usually come out with jazz music. But I disagree with this. In fact I can find the attracting point of this album is hw the band played differently from the original studio album. The extreme case is "Dazed and Confused" which takes much longer than the studio version. But for me personally, the best improvisation from the band with this live album is "Whole Lotta Love". Why? I can find dynamic basslines by John Paul Jones and powerful riffs and melodies by Page guitar work. "No Quarter" is also another good example for this.

Why (you are) NOT liking this album?

If you rock, it's hard to believe if you don't like this song. Only those who do not rock that dislike this live album, I think. For whatever reason I think you might not like this album because of some of these things:

Do not enjoy live album. If this is the case, don't ever try to purchase this album because typical reason is record quality. I can assure you the sonic quality is inferior if you compare with studio version. But that's typical live album, isn't it? But if you compare this live album with others, I can say that this is the good one, at par quality with Deep Purple "Made In Japan".

Do not enjoy improvisation (from original version). Friends, this is not Genesis live where you expect something as close as original studio version. This is heavy metal music, .. so .. accept improvisation, if I can advise you.


It's an excellent addition to any rock music collection, especially for those of you like the heavy metal music. This is one the band's great performances from three days show at Madison Square Garden in 1973. If you are a true rocker, get this one! Keep on rockin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild, GW

Report this review (#121064)
Posted Monday, May 7, 2007 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars An evening with Led Zeppelin was truly an event, an intimate experience shared by audience and band where spontineity within structure was really what things were all about. Sure many fans were there to hear favorite songs, but if all four members were on their game, those fans got a lot more than just Stairway to Heaven. One day over the phone on a radio call-in show, John Paul Jones told me their improvisational process onstage was open as to length and content, relying on subtle cues coming from one of the group. By 1973 these techniques had been honed and they had become a well-oiled if imperfect machine. 'The Song Remains the Same' is a relatively honest and highly revealing document of a set of shows at Madison Square Garden that year.

Touring 'Houses of the Holy' but including the music behind them, Zeppelin had continued to work their material, staying open to the possibilities of reinterpretation and new life they could breathe into old things when most of their peers were going by the numbers. And though not sonically comparable to their studio tracks, the band made up for it with passion, risk taking and a deep love of the music. After the obligatory and manic 'Rock and Roll', 'Celebration Day' rocks the house. The militant title cut is a thrill of rock dynamics as it transitions gracefully into the moving and delicate 'Rain Song' and Plant's recitative on life, love and the human condition. At twent-six minutes of rollercoaster changes and inspired playing, 'Dazed and Confused' speaks for itself. When you include the next number, the dark and morbid 'No Quarter' with its ancient fable of honor, sacrifice and deadly combat, John Bonham's clashing-armour drums and a very personal piano solo from John Paul Jones (expanded on their 1975 tour to a much longer piece on grand piano), we can see the evolution with our own eyes. On top of this we get a rollicking fun drum session with Bonzo, a version of Stairway far superior to the studio, and a thrilling 'Whole Lotta Love' that barely resembles the song we know.

This is the record that shows not only Zep's progressive aspect, but how much this band loved playing music together and gave to their audience. One of history's greatest rock albums. In concert and beyond.

Report this review (#126783)
Posted Tuesday, June 26, 2007 | Review Permalink
Easy Livin
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars Controversial statement alert!

Released some three years after the performances of the gigs it documents, "The song remains the same" was for many years the only live Led Zeppelin album officially available.

Now I know this is a controversial statement, but for me the logic behind this is that while the band were great entertainers, when they played live they were, to put it simply, not all that good. In my opinion, Robert Plant's vocals are far better when subjected to the rigours of the studio, and Jimmy Page's guitar sounds far better after some sympathetic production. Take away those props and you are left with a very mediocre sounding live album.

The quality of the product on offer here is not helped by the inclusion of what I consider to be poor selections. Songs such as "Celebration day", "The rain song", "The song remains the same" and "No quarter" will never be Led Zeppelin classics in my book. Add to that a 27 minute ramble through "Dazed and confused", a song which sounded good when it was restricted to a sensible length, and an elongated "Moby Dick" (oh joy, a long drum solo), and you are left with just a handful of appealing songs. Even then, I much prefer the controlled studio performance of "Stairway to heaven", and the whole point of "Whole lotta love" was the stunning middle orgasmic section, which is all but impossible to recreate live.

I never had the honour of attending a gig by Led Zeppelin. I am sure however that it would have been one of life's truly memorable experiences. Sitting back listening only to the audio element of such a gig though, only serves to emphasise how such an experience is about the atmosphere and the visuals as much as it is what you actually hear.

Report this review (#127807)
Posted Saturday, July 7, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars For nearly three decades, this was the only official live document of one of the biggest bands of all time, the mighty Led Zeppelin. Sadly, it utterly fails to capture the essence of their much-vaunted live shows. Plant's vocals are strained throughout, while the poor sound quality makes for thin guitars. Still, the band does offer up some dazzling enlogated versions of their most-loved tunes.

"No Quarter" sounds even more ethereal live, which is shocking considering the audio quality. It also has a stunning guitar solo from Page. "Whole Lotta Love" and "Dazed and Confused" are pushed well past their original lengths, with Love lasting nearly 15 minutes and Dazed clocking in at 27 minutes. It'll have you wondering if you put in an Allman Brother's album by mistake. Indeed, the best parts of this album merely remind me of better parts on that blues jam band's At Fillmore East (one of the top five live albums ever). As talented as Led Zeppelin are, their improvs are sloppy, even by blues standards, which are meant to be loose. Some sections of Dazed and Confused make the Grateful Dead sound as technical as Dream Theater by comparison. "Moby Dick" is extremely lengthened, though it's not nearly as long (or as good) as the version found on How the West Was Won, the definitive Zep live album. "Stairway to Heaven" has a killer extended solo that doesn't drag on like "Whole Lotta Love."

This album has some truly stunning moments that are marred by poor audio. It also doesn't help that most of teh songs are mediocre at best. However, fans should pick this up for No Quarter, Stairway, and Dazed and Confused, which all sound marvelous. To hear Zeppelin in all their live glory, pick up How the West Was Won, which is another one of the top five live albums ever.

Grade: C-

Report this review (#127816)
Posted Saturday, July 7, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars LED ZEPPELIN live was a snarling beast. It's such a pity that this album doesn't capture it.

Having said that, this is not a bad album. I've certainly heard officially released live albums with far worse sound. The set list is what one would expect, and fairly reflects what they were playing live in 1973/4. So, for all those reasons, and because of the stellar songs, this should be a masterpiece.

But no. Only one song is better than the studio version (the simply awesome 'No Quarter', with JONES' bass pedal shaking the floor, and PAGE'S guitar searing the ears at the other end of the sound spectrum). The rest are, well, disappointing. I'm sure PLANT sounded better than that live. I'm sure 'Dazed and Confused' didn't sound so thin, so pointless. Does 'Moby Dick' really go on for a year and a half, or does it just feel like it? And why do I get the feeling that at times the lads simply weren't interested?

At the end of this record we're left with a somewhat reduced view of our heroes, a tarnished legend, a disappointment that they didn't deliver on vinyl what they gave to us in their concerts. Fortunately there is now another option to appreciate LED ZEPPELIN live: 'How The West Was Won' relegates 'The Song Remains The Same' to a historical footnote.

Report this review (#135006)
Posted Sunday, August 26, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars By moments, it's a little boring, especially Dazed And Confused, 27-minute-long (in the deluxe version released last year, there is a longer version, 29 minutes - and 6 new tracks taken from the same show, and present in the movie), and Moby Dick (13 minutes). But in fact, this is a good live album. Sometimes poor sound (the deluxe reissue sounds much better), but excellent versions of The Rain Song ,No Quarter and Stairway To Heaven. This isn't the best live album in the world, this isn't Zeppelin's best live album (for a long period this was the one and only live album - I don't include the bootlegs), but it's efficient and honest. A soundtrack from the movie, which is perfect in my opinion.
Report this review (#164064)
Posted Sunday, March 16, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars This is a soundtrack from Led Zeppelin's film with the same name and a live album, on two CDs. The film, who consisted of gigs and portraits of each member, was shown on all major cinemas in the world when it was released.

Led Zeppelin hardly need any introduction. This band was the biggest rock'n'roll/hard rock band from 1970 to their split-up in 1980. They are in my view the best rock'n'roll band of all time. Their music has influenced two generation of rock'n'roll and metal bands. Led Zeppelin's place in the history of music, are on the same level as The Beatles. I also rate them higher than the Rolling Stones.

As musicians; Led Zeppelin was better than any other bands. The rhythm section consisting of John Bonham (drums) and John Paul Jones (bass), set new standards in the music industry. Led Zeppelin was fronted by the guitarist Jimmy Page and the vocalist Robert Plant. Together; they wrote and released more than a dozen of the most well known songs from the '70.

The Song Remains The Same are Led Zeppelin in full bloom. Classics like Rock And Roll, the title track, Moby Dick, No Quarter and Led Zeppelin's trade mark; Stairways To Heaven get the full live treatment. The music is intense, noisy and beautiful on the same time. Led Zeppelin are going over the top in a 27 minutes long version of Dazed And Confused. More than three times longer than the studio version. No band would dare to do the same in the '90. But the live version of this classic song, is an example of a gig in the '70. This decade was full of wonderful music and pointless musical over-indulgence on stage (and drug and alcohol misuse behind the stage and sometimes on the stage). This album is full of life and wonderful music. Led Zeppelin is tearing the audience apart and taking them to places very few other bands has ever taken their audiences. I think this album is a classic album, with some flaws. Most notably the sound, which is not good. This album has not aged well and I understand why they released that other live album some years ago. But still; this is a good live album.

4 stars.

Report this review (#187699)
Posted Sunday, November 2, 2008 | Review Permalink
3 stars O.K,this is just a collection of Led Zeppelin live footage,really.Due to the fact that it was record right at the band's peak,and because it was the only live material avaliable for many years,people tend to give it more thought than it deserves.

The 2007's extended and remastered edition is much more rewarding,but I'm restricted to the original album(soundtrack)here:it was recorded at the legendary tour of 73,at the band's stay in New York.Out of the three gigs in the Madison Square Garden,they came out with this recording and a movie that was kept on the closet until 76(which might have been a terrible mistake).Honestly,it's much more interesting to hear this in the movie that goes by the same name(although the extra shots made in between the actual performances are a joke today,it can still be aprecciated as a cult film).There's not the excitement of Deep Purple's live masterpiece,Made in Japan,still the songs are very well executed(despite Robert Plant's less than average performance).

The best material here are the excerpts from the recently released studio LP,Houses of the Holy.No Quarter is arguably even more incredible and hipnotic on stage,while The Song Remains the Same and The Rain Song are 'cleaner',with less studio tricks.

Stairway to Heaven is also in great shape,although this doesn't adds much to the original.But 27 minutes of Dazed and Confused is simply not for me.This is not Space Truckin,a song which at the live act became a journey through hemispheres,life and death and emotions.Jimmy Page's live experiments in this number may entertain himself,but this could honestly have been kept out in favor to much better pieces recorded in that shows such as Black Dog(actually present in the movie) and Over the Hills and Far Away.

There's not much complain about sound quality(although it's always important to remind everyone that as usual,this is early seventies primitive analog recording).

Overall,this is a nice but overrated live album,with pros and cons.It all seems more fittable in the movie,but The Song Remains the Same's soundtrack still comes as a tip of the iceberg extravaganza for a megalomaniac band at their height,a band that presented us to some of the best rock n' roll ever written.

Report this review (#205666)
Posted Saturday, March 7, 2009 | Review Permalink
Symphonic Team
4 stars The Song Remains the Same... but this album does not.

This live album once was in a format that graced record stores in the 70s as a vinyl 4 record treasure. It has since found its way to CD and even with a lengthy full concert remastered version. It went from a 100 minute concert to a 132 minute version. I grew up with the original, but the CD is of course better quality.

This soundtrack is best watched live but it still has merit as a live record of the penultimate Led Zeppelin experience. I missed seeing the iconic Plant bending backwards with tiny open vest, Page in starry pants clad in black maintaining poise as he saws a violin bow across his guitar strings, Bonham going manic with the drums and Jones looking aloof. When all that is stripped away we are left with straight rock solid gold. The performance is magnificent of course and goes down in the annals as one of the greatest live shows. There is so much to like about this set list.

CD1 begins with crunching speaker blowing riffs in 'Rock And Roll', then moves on to 'Celebration Day' and 'The Song Remains The Same' which was kind of new at the time. 'The Rain Song' is fine but it is not until 'Dazed And Confused' that it really takes off into a magical realm. The sounds of the violining are as preternatural as the film clip that accompanied it. We can only imagine the psychedelic images. It is still a powerful aural experience. You have to have patience listening to a full 26 minutes of this but it is definitely worth checking it out on the live DVD where it is never as much of a laborious exercise.

CD2 certainly starts well with a 12 minute version of No Quarter and then the ultimate classic 'Stairway To Heaven' clocking 11 minutes. It is an incredible performance from Plant and Page who absolutely destroy the studio version. This is the way to hear this iconic piece of mystique. 'Moby Dick' follows with lengthy drum solo and Bonham is brilliant. It ends with masterpiece 'Whole Lotta Love' which is very different than the original and just as compelling.

Overall this is one to seek out but I highly recommend the DVD as that is the full experience of a Led Zeppelin concert. I will give 3 stars for original, but 4 stars for the remaster as it features classy live performances of 'Black Dog', 'Over The Hills And Far Away', 'Misty Mountain Hop', 'Since I've Been Loving You' and 'Heartbreaker'. Grab the remaster definitely!

Report this review (#534553)
Posted Tuesday, September 27, 2011 | Review Permalink
2 stars The Song Remains the Same is the first live release of Led Zeppelin although it was a movie soundtrack. After five commercially succesful records the expectations should have been very high. If we look to the track list, we'll find most songs coming from the latest studio record called The Houses of the Holy and the title of this live recording is also a song coming from this record. Also some of Zep's greatest hits are included like Black Dog, Rock'n Roll and the most famous Stairway to Heaven.

The record starts with Rock'n Roll which seems to be good choice. The performing of this opening track however is the worst I've ever heard of such a great name. The sang sounds awfull and the guitarplaying is messy. The next songs repair the damage a bit, but still this cannot really overcome the damage done. The next tracks are good performed and show the more progressive side of Led Zeppeling. With the extremely extended version of Dazed and Confused I'm off. This track is nice, but becomes really boring if played for over 20 minutes.

While I must admit I'm just a mediocre fan of Led Zeppelin, I still think that this live recording is quiet weak, while having some good moments. I'll stuck to the studio recordings.

Report this review (#888722)
Posted Sunday, January 6, 2013 | Review Permalink

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