Top critical review
4 people found this helpful
1997 Remaster from the original tapes by Jimmy Page and George Marino at Sterling Sound is the far superior Led Zeppelin III CD.
on 25 December 2014
Purchasing the 2014 remaster of any Led Zeppelin album is a huge mistake. I have recently made this mistake with a Led Zeppelin III replacement CD purchased in a hurry.
The 1997 remaster from the original tapes by Jimmy Page and George Marino at Sterling Sound is the far, far, far superior Led Zeppelin III CD. This info is always printed right next to the bar code on the back cover of every album.
The important bits here are "George Marino at Sterling Sound " and "from the original tapes."
This is also true for Led Zeppelin albums I & II & IV & Houses of the Holy & Physical Graffiti.
The slight difference with Led Zeppelin I is that it is a 1994 remaster ... but still "George Marino at Sterling Sound " and "from the original tapes" is the one to go for.
These "George Marino at Sterling Sound from the original tapes" remaster CDs really are taken directly from the original 1969, 1970, 1971, 1973 & 1975 tapes and are faithful in all frequency ranges with the right levels. They are a pleasure to listen to, especially on a really good stereo that can produce all those frequencies.
The 2014 remasters have not been taken from the original tapes and have some quite peculiar and deeply irritating changes.
The 2014 mid tones seem less affected, but still they are slightly flattened as if they have been down sampled mp3 style.
The 2014 bass end of absolutely everything is muddy and far, far less distinct and clear than it should be. I have many recordings which I have compared (vinyl, tape & CD) and so the substandard quality on the 2014 versions is definite. At first it is hard to believe what has been done and then it becomes an unavoidable irritation.
So, in summary:
The 2014 versions should be avoided.
The 1997 & 1994 "George Marino at Sterling Sound" versions are fantastic.
The funny thing about their cost is that if you shop around online for any one album the purchase prices of both versions are of about the same spread of bargain to expensive. So, there is no cost penalty for getting the decent version.