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Led Zeppelin - DVD

Review: 133
Date: 21 Jun 03


Rating: 5 Stars

Robert Plant - Vocals and Harmonica
Jimmy Page - Electric and Acoustic Guitars
John Paul Jones - Bass Guitar, Keyboards, and Mandolin
John Bonham - Drums, and Percussion

Tracks Listing:
Disc One
We're Gonna Groove
I Can't Quit You Baby
Dazed and Confused
White Summer
What Is And What Should Never Be
How Many More Times
Moby Dick
Whole Lotta Love
C'Mon Everybody
Something Else
Bring it On Home

Communication Breakdown, Promo-1969
Dansmark Radio-1969
Tous En Scene-1969

Disc Two
Immigrant Song
Black Dog
Misty Mountain Hop
Since I've Been Loving You
The Ocean
Going To California
That's The Way
Bron Yr Aur Stomp
In My Time Of Dying Trampled Underfoot
Stairway To Heaven
Rock and Roll
Nobody's Fault But My Own
Sick Again
Achilles Last Stand
In The Evening
Whole Lotta Love

NYC Press Conference
Down Under. The Old Grey Whistle Test.
Promos - If that track listing does not make you want to buy it then nothing will, and, by the way, you missed the boat.


At last a true document of the greatest band that ever trod the boards in the name of Rock 'n' Roll. Twenty-four years after their last concert together, and twenty-three years since the tragic death of powerhouse drummer John Bonham, we get the proof that Led Zeppelin were the Lords of Rock 'n' Roll. They were then and they still are today. If you had to put a 4-piece band together from any era at the peak of their powers, these are the four young men you would pick.

John Bonham was the most powerful drummer ever to sit behind a drum kit and was the engine room for Led Zeppelin, battering both his drum kit and his audience into submission. Of course, He could also have a very gentle touch if the occasion so desired, as is shown here on the acoustic set from Earls Court in 1975, or could hold an audience enthralled on his own, which is well documented here with a version of 'Moby Dick' from the Albert Hall in 1969, when John Bonham had every eye and ear at attention during his 15-minute drum solo number. This is made even more incredible by the fact that John Bonham was only twenty-one years old at the time of this recording, and Led Zeppelin had only been together for just over a year, but such is the confidence of the man and the band in his abilities that he is given full reign to show off his skills.

Bass players often have a lot more talent than at first is obvious to the casual glance. This is always enhanced by the fact that most of the attention on stage is taken up by the guitarist and the vocalist. John Paul Jones was a pioneer of the bass guitar, felt of finger and heavy on the riff, leading the way for other such talented bass players, who played as if they were a lead instrument not just part of the rhythm section. Without John Paul Jones there would of been no Roger Glover of Deep Purple, or Chris Squires of Yes. John Paul Jones was a useful chap to have along as well as he could also turn his hand to composing, playing the keyboards, or switching to mandolin during the acoustic set. Please note that Led Zeppelin used to do an acoustic set during their live performances way before the 'Unplugged' scene came along. And a very brave move it was, too, as most kids went to a Led Zeppelin concert just to see them blazing away. But then again, in a 3-hour set you must have light and dark.

Out the front for Led Zeppelin was a certain Robert 'Percy' Plant (Robert Plant was called Percy after BBC television’s Percy Tower, who presented the gardening program - there were other reasons for this nick name, but space prohibits me telling more), who was to become the template for all lead vocalists following in Zeppelin’s wake. Robert Plant never misses a note in this entire collection of songs.

Founding member of Led Zeppelin was the brilliant Jimmy Page, who had already a flourishing career as a session guitarist starting to work professionally at the age of sixteen. It was Jimmy Page who laid down the guitar introduction to The Kinks 'You Really Got Me', which was the riff that gave us heavy metal music in the first place. Jimmy Page then had a spell in the Yardbirds, but when they crashed all around him, Jimmy Page built Led Zeppelin from the ruins of his former band. Jimmy Page’s guitar work with Led Zeppelin has often been imitated, but never come close to being bettered. His ninety miles a second soloing, bombastic riffs, and groundbreaking techniques are all shown off to magnificent effect here.

Spread over two discs you get four and a half hours of music running chronologically from 1969 to 1979, which has almost been set out as one long concert. The way it has all been edited together is a credit to Jimmy Page and his sidekick Dick Carruthers, who painstakingly spent months going through any footage they could find of the band and carefully brought them back to life.

One of the most fascinating aspects of this DVD collection is that it captures, intimately for the first time, a band that famously fought shy of cameras throughout its career. Despite the record-breaking tours and millions of albums sold, Led Zeppelin at their height maintained an inaccessible relationship with the media, orchestrated by man mountain manager Peter Grant. Few press interviews were granted; they had an almost allergic reaction to the idea of appearing on T.V. They refused to release singles in the U.K., however, even Led Zeppelin was not big enough to dictate to the American record executives. So it is even more wondrous that this much high quality live work has been restored.

Included for your amusement and edification is an hour’s worth of promo clips, interviews, and such forth, all lovingly put together in such a way that nothing interferes with the music. The only other visual clips of Led Zeppelin that were available before this one was from the movie 'The Song Remains the Same', where the enjoyment was spoiled by all those ridiculous fantasy moments. That makes the results here even more worthy, adding up to over five and a half hours of scintillating viewing. The DVD comes with two, not one, full color booklets packed with lots of never before published photographs and interesting stories and facts, written by one of England's most respected rock journalists Mick Wall. Are there any high points? No. There would have to be low moments to have highlights. It's all good.

As you watch the delights of Led Zeppelin unfold, the most fascinating aspect is that although the whole band starts off at warp factor nine at the Royal Albert Hall in 1969, as they play through the years arriving at Knebworth in 1979, they still managed somehow to improve. The only song that is featured live twice over the four and a half hour journey is 'Whole Lotta Love'. Although the playing on both is simply stunning, the difference ten years make leaves your jaw on the floor.

A companion audio only 3 C.D. collection of a completely different recording, compiling an entire Led Zeppelin concert from 1975, has been released simultaneously under the title 'How The West Was Won'. So you get one set to watch at home and one to listen to in the car. The release of these two volumes surely represents the long searched for Holy Grail of Rock 'n' Roll. Music that will surely be the mainstay of Tahitian Queen's Rock 'n' Roll Friday happy hour from here to eternity.


Pawed by Mott The Dog
Remastered by Ella Crew


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