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Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin CD (album) cover


Led Zeppelin


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4.45 | 170 ratings

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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.

Finnforest | 3/5 |


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