After the release of this stunning compilation, Jimmy Page must have had mixed feelings... on the one hand, he had personally remastered, and done justice to, all of Zeppelin's greatest tracks, and assembled them into a truly breathtaking line-up.. on the other hand, he had single-handedly made it far too easy for any Zeppelin newby (like myself at the time) to lay their hands on just about every essential Zeppelin track without having to fork out for 5 or 6 albums, hence doing themselves out of a fortune in record sales.
As such, this double album is a steal, as well as being THE definitive collection of Zeppelin classics. Sure, it may be a short cut to an 'instant' Zeppelin collection, but it is not entirely comprehensive, so there is plenty left on other albums to explore. That said, I have never come across a more generously loaded compilation from any other artists, and therefore this album definitely deserves to be described as 'essential'.
I hesistate to say anything about the actual tracks themselves, as just about every one can pretty much speak for itself. What I would say, however, is that anyone who may not have any Zeppelin in their collections would be well advised to buy this particular collection, and that anyone who is looking to simply find out what this group was all about, could do with starting right here.