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Kashmir - Symphonic Led Zeppelin
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Kashmir - Symphonic Led Zeppelin

10 Nov 1997 | Format: MP3

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Buy the CD album for 18.00 and get the MP3 version for FREE. Does not apply to gift orders.
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Product details

  • Label: Decca Music Group Ltd.
  • Copyright: (C) 1997 Universal International Music B.V.
  • Record Company Required Metadata: Music file metadata contains unique purchase identifier. Learn more.
  • Total Length: 1:12:10
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B001N2F2K2
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,032 in MP3 Albums (See Top 100 in MP3 Albums)

Customer Reviews

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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By R. Kenyon on 14 Jun 2001
Format: Audio CD
There is no doubting that symphonic rock albums are fraut with danger.Hearing all that music you love given the regal treatment of an orchestra - it's such an exciting notion.It's a notion that usually disappoints.

"Kashmir" is everything that most symphonic rock albums are not. This is not a pedestrian re-hashing of Led Zep, but an intense and involving series of spectacular arrangements. No elevator music here.

Clearly, the brilliance of this project is because of Killing Joke's Jaz Coleman,who arranged all the music for the London Philharmonic. As with his excellent orchestral albums of the music of Pink Floyd and The Doors,Coleman not only spectacularly re-arranges the pieces, but also writes new music that seemlessly binds the arrangements.

There is a typically Eastern flavour here: a product of Coleman's time with the Cairo Symphony no doubt. Surprises abound though,such as the Uilleann Pipes on "The Battle of Evermore".

It is important to discuss "Stairway to Heaven" here,because it surmises the entire project for me.Why take it on? The risk of failure is massive and yet what we have is possibly the single finest symphonic arrangement of a contemporary song ever. It is quite breathtaking what Jaz Coleman has done here - no doubt silencing any that thought of this project as a cynical act. It was clearly a labour of love.

One should also separate this from any of the recent flirtations of pop/rock artists with the classical world (endless strings on pop tunes;that guy from the Beatles) and note that Coleman has been involved in classical music all his life,writing several symphonies of his own, as well as forming one of the most significant bands in history.

Led Zeppelin were one of the few identifiable influences to Coleman's Killing Joke. This is a worthy tribute.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By MURRAY McLAREN on 15 Jan 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I bought this for my wife as a Christmas present. She is a Led Zep fan and has all of their albums. I thought this would be a different approach to their music and she loves it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By K. Staddon on 25 Oct 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
As an old fart of the 70s, its not very often you find a suitable classical interpretation of one of the great rock bands, look no further than this. an excellent album of orchestral rock with Kashmir never sounding so great. So settle down in your favourite armchair have a glass of your favourite, and chill to this.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By omz on 3 July 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Very happy with my purchase!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 45 reviews
35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
Stirring and Epic 3 April 2000
By Aranion - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I am a long-time Zep fan and a huge fan of crashing movie scores. If there was one group's songs ripe for ripping symphonic interpretations, Led Zeppelin was it.
Tracks 2,3 and 5 make the CD worth the purchase. The LSO brings out even more grandeur than the original pieces, if possible. "Kashmir" probably resembles the original version the most, but is still different (in a good way). "Battle of Evermore" is less intricate than the Zep version, but also more gloriously sweeping and crashing. And "When the Levee Breaks" becomes a joyful, symphonic exclamation, with the orchestral riffs growing more and more contagiously groovy--I defy you to not dance or frolick to this piece.
However, the other tracks leave a _lot_ to be desired. 10 minutes for "Going to California"? They should have picked "Achilles' Last Stand," "In the Light," or other more epic pieces for interpretation.
And I am disappointed that the LSO used up precious disk space for TWO "ambient" tracks that really have nothing to do with Zep.
Bottom line: lovers of Zep and epic movie scores will find the CD worth purchasing for nearly 30 minutes of grand symphonic music. Nitpickers and purists will not enjoy it.
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Superior orchestral treatment of classic rock 13 Feb 2005
By Danno - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
With "Kashmir," Jaz Coleman accomplishes the impossible - he creates orchestral treatments of classic Led Zeppelin songs without resorting to camp or cliches. I'd previously suffered through many attempts to reinterpret classic rock through the medium of classical musicianship - and I have been disappointed by CDs based on the music of Queen, the Stones, Pink Floyd, etc. This CD triumphs where similar CDs have failed, carefully avoiding the pseudo-Muzak pitfalls others have fallen into.

Part of the success is earned by Coleman's gorgeous re-arranging of Zeppelin's material; Coleman is unafraid to add Middle Eastern textures to the arrangements, resulting in a very epic, almost Cecil B. DeMille quality. An equal part of the success goes to both Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones - their innovative arrangements on the original Zep albums undoubtably made Coleman's task much easier. It's amazing how grand and larger-than-life this music is once divorced of Robert Plant's lyrics and Bonzo's thundering groove. Once again, I'm struck by how close to film music this CD is. It would be perfect music for an old Hollywood Biblical-era widescreen film!

The CD's one flaw is an over-reliance on material from Led Zeppelin IV. One can only imagine how "Dazed and Confused" or "The Rover" would have sounded in Coleman's hands! It's especially disappointing since two tracks on the CD are Coleman originals which, while suitably Eastern-sounding, could have been replaced by actual Zep compositions like "In the Light" or "Bron-Y-Aur Stomp." It's too bad Coleman never tried for a sequel.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Dark and lively interpetation of Zeppelin 18 Dec 2004
By Randall Banks - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This is yet another winner in the realm of the "Classification" of Rock N Roll. Very well done, with the depth expected of any Zeppelin recording. This album is yet another chink in my stance against tributes.

Instead of just John Bohnam on drums, you get an entire orchestral percussion section covering the drum sections of the tracks. The orchestration on this entire album is well done. This is especially true with the drum sections in the first two tracks.

It starts off with the visually stunning Dawn At the Great Pyramid which is a dark introdution to this album, and to Kashmir specifically. Kashmir was a song that was heavily influence by classical styles of Beethoven, Rachmaninoff, and Mahler. This recording brings the music full circle.

The Battle Of Evermore is intruduced in an eerily similar way to the way that Page, Plant, Jones and Bohnam perform it. This album includes animal sounds. This continues with I believe is a contra-basson carrying the voice.

Stairway starts off right away with the plucking of a viola, and then the rest of the strings carry the rest of the tune. The rest of the orchestra is introduced as the song continues. This is an almost 11 minute example of the classical influence of Bach into Zeppelin's music. I've always thought that classical music was the base of a large share of Zeppelin's music. This is very true of Stairway. This song specifically, and this album over all, just add to that thought. The heavier the songs gets the more influence that the brass section has, though it's mostly strings throughout this track. The brass again has less influence for the last two minutes.

When the Levee Breaks opens with the percussion section and then the strings take over. The balance of the voice is carried alternately between the strings and the bass instrument in relation to the depth and stength of the voice in the original song. The trumpets carry the middle section of the songs. The strings make strong suggestions of a rainstorm. The second half of the album is made to sound like it's being played in the middle of a torrential downpour. You can hear lightning and thunder quite easily. A certain section, almost 6 minutes in, sounds like a tornado is coming near you. Quite riviting.

Going to California is largely carried by the strings. The drums come in near the middle and it has a long slow degredation at the end. The weakest track on the album if you ask me.

Friends strongly shows the tumultous relationship that a band, or group can be. The start is very soaring with battles between the different sections. The middle slows down with everyone getting along. Then, near the end, especially with the thrilling creshendo, you see again the battle between good and evil.

All My Love starts off with the strife of life and the battles of relationships. Then, as you start to feel the power of the song, the lyrics are carried by the strings as the song starts to move into a ballad. The longer into the song you go the more soothed you are. The happier the orchestra seems to be. The love that is felt in the song is transfered to the musicians. Very successfully carried off.

Kulu Valley is a very dark, brood concoction bringing together all the intruments and some interesting sound effects. This continues throughout this entire track. The contra basson once again is very prevalent in this track. Very intersting interpetation of Zeppelin.

This album is visually appealing and very well written, and transcribed. I very heavily recommend this album to any and all Led Zeppelin fans old and young, new and old.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Kashmir is cool 30 April 2006
By D. Flores - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I've listened to many, many Symphonic re-interpretations of rock songs, and they are almost universally embarrassing. They strike me, basically, as a quick way for a symphony or string quartet to make a buck. And as others have noted, they essentially come off sounding like Musaak.

One of the few exceptions to this rule is the interpretation of "Kashmir" on this album. I doubt it will become a part of the standard classical repertoire even to the extent that a popular piece such as John Williams' "Imperial March" from Star Wars appears to have (that would be my metric for true success). But it succeeds far better than just about any pseudo-classical pop re-interpretation I'm aware of.

The ingenious move that rescues this piece is probably the arrangement of Robert Plant's vocal melody for a violin that is imbued with a heavy dose of Middle-eastern flair. In that context, Symphonic "Kashmir" is perhaps one of the best testaments there is to Plant's compositional abilities, since, when the melody is sung there is a temptation to focus on the words to the exclusion of the melody itself. It doesn't sink in quite as much just how well written and interesting the vocal melody line really is. Yet in this other context, when it's carried only by a violin, and wholly non-verbal, its intricacies truly come to the fore.

As I said before: I really do doubt this particular piece will become a part of the classical repertoire, but... you know... maybe it should.
18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Less symphonic than Zeppelin's originals! 11 Oct 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Being a fan of classical and a Zep lover I was really excited to buy this album--what a terrible letdown. I expected the power and fury of a live orchestra to amplify the emotion of Led Zeppelin's songs, and instead "Kashmir--symphonic Led Zeppelin" left me with mixed feelings and less than satisfied. The song Kashmir starts off dramatically with a great deal of excitement, then cuts in with a ridiculous and over-amplified weeping vocal substitute. It might work if Page, Plant and Bonham had tried it themselves but in the hands of Coleman, it just sounds like the stereotypical Middle Eastern fluff one is treated to in James Bond movies. Absent this silly excursion it might have been the best piece on the album. As it is, everytime the song gets cranking and my head starts banging, the screeching violin comes back--ouch. Battle of Evermore--damn, more of the same. Painful violin and pipes, some electronic doodads ripped from Pink Floyd. Then Stairway to Heaven is completely missing the cacophony at the end, just as lame as lovemaking without a climax. When the Levee Breaks suffers poor mixing--strings and brass well-balanced but percussion too damped. Yet despite the muffled drums this is the best piece of the album, if only by default thanks to the unwelcome meddling and experimentation in some others. It's beautiful and powerful despite the flawed mix and I could get lost in it. Going to California should lend itself well to orchestral arrangement, but Coleman lets the listener down with an uninspired rendition that paradoxically goes afar on weird tangents. Just when you think he's finally got it right with a fantastic arrangement for Friends--oops cheese-bag flanger effect! How many orchestras do YOU know that can mix in delay? If it were a cassette tape I'd simply think somebody left it on the dash of their car. Almost as annoying as the ersatz "vocals" that wreck Kashmir and Battle of Evermore. Goodness, why did he mangle Friends, otherwise the most emotional piece on the album? It's a powerful and artistic rendition that should have gone from master to disk without a goofball at the controls of a special effects box. All My Love almost ties with Levee for best of album. It's mixed well and thankfully free of bizarro special effects. All three of Kashmir, Battle of Evermore, and Friends are musically superior but are corrupted beyond hope with asinine effects and ear-torturing feature instruments. The symphony orchestra couldn't take me on a wild ride of power and love because of the deliberately inserted interference.
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