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

THE SOUNDTRACK FROM THE FILM THE SONG REMAINS THE SAME

Led Zeppelin

 

Prog Related

3.80 | 305 ratings

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mystic fred
Special Collaborator
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!

HISTORICAL IMPORTANCE RATING 5/5 PROG RATING 4/5.

mystic fred | 4/5 |

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