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on 31 August 2015
Nobody should be surprised that a 4-CD 'Hits' collection by one of the greatest rock bands of all time is crammed with terrific music. The 2014/15 re-issues are in better quality still, but this 1990 compilation was digitally-remastered and is clear and crunchy and delivers a boxer's punch. Big artists such as Led Zeppelin have legions of obsessed fans, so, for those, here is an overview of the anomalies found here - the intro of 'Nobody's Fault But Mine' has been extended; 'Immigrant Song's count-in has gone; and 'Babe, I'm Gonna Leave You', 'Since I've Been Loving You' and 'Hey Hey, What Can I Do' have been faded-out marginally early. When he produced 'Boxed Set', Zeppelin leader Jimmy Page should have left them all alone of course, but he wouldn't be Jimmy Page if he revered his talent and his legacy as much as do his fans. The sequencing follows an approximate chronological order and the collection hangs together well. One could write a long, long list of the towering tracks found here. But, to name just a handful, 'Stairway To Heaven', 'Kashmir' and 'In My Time Of Dying' are all breath-taking. The bonus material comprises a meagre 4 rarities including a single B-side and a pointless mash-up of 2 John Bonham drum pieces. The other extras were taken from 1969 BBC radio sessions and had been previously unreleased. They're both good, and contain unmissable clues that Jimmy had the capability to take this band to the stars. The track selection was designed to leave scope for the imaginatively-titled 1993 follow-up collection 'Boxed Set 2'. So classic material such as the wonderful acoustic ballad 'That's The Way', the libidinous Howlin' Wolf pastiche 'The Lemon Song' and the minor-key Blues 'Tea For One' were passed over in favour of curious choices such as 'D'yer Mak'er' and 'Ozone Baby'. But this is a stunning reminder of Led Zeppelin's musicianship and, if it's available at the right price, I'd recommend buying it.
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I plumped for this box-set in 1990, rather than getting the shorter 'Remasters' collection; though since then I've bought the original albums on vinyl, the BBC Sessions on CD & the second volume of this boxset. The box-set comes with a brilliant booklet, filled with great essays on Zep from people like Cameron Crowe & Robert Palmer, topped off with great photos of the band & concise recording information for each song. Added to that the sequence of each CD and sound was remastered by Jimmy Page. The box-set touches on every Zep release, bar the live collection 'The Song Remains the Same' (a not very exciting collection of live material from 1973 released in 1976- a bit ponderous like the bloated take of Dazed & Confused on it).
Disc One takes in tracks from the first three albums, from the obvious (Whole Lotta Love, Ramble On, Communication Breakdown, Dazed & Confused) to the more obscure (the 'Coda' take of I Can't Quit You Baby from a soundcheck at the Royal Albert Hall in 1970; the Jimmy Page solo White Summer/Black Mountain Side & Immigrant Song b-side & personal fave Hey Hey What Can I Do). Other highlights include the rarity Travelling Riverside Blues, the divine Thank You & the underrated Your Time is Gonna Come.
The second disc is more varied (perhaps more accurately descibed as loaded)- the 15 tracks coming from the bestselling untitled fourth album. I like the way Houses of the Holy's Rain Song precedes Stairway to Heaven, or how we have several acoustic tracks (Battle Evermore, Bron Y Aur Stomp, Tangerine, Going to Califonia) before the epic blues of Since I've Been Loving You. I'm pretty allergic to the fourth album stuff, though Black Dog & Misty Mountain Hop are rather fun; D'Yer Maker sounds like a bad joke also.
The third disc takes in the more epic side of the band, probably my favourite of the four. Physical Graffiti is well represented by the vast Eastern inflected Kashmir, Trampled Underfoot (the next step on from The Doors LA Woman album), the fragile beauty of Ten Years Gone & the 11-minute In My Time of Dying (which was requoted on Spacemen 3's 'Come Down Easy' from 1987's 'The Perfect Prescription'). There are three tracks from 'Houses of the Holy': the rockin' Dancing Days (almost the kind of song they could do in their sleep- a criticism I can apply to most of Houses of the Holy), the powerfully structured Song Remains the Same & the epic keyboard-based No Quarter. When the Levee Breaks is included here & still sounds great- the drumbeat being sampled/mimicked on records such as Beastie Boys Rhymin&Stealin and Chapterhouse's Pearl. Great to see two of the best tracks from the underrated Presence album (when things began to go bad for the band): the huge hurt of For Your Life & possibly the band's finest moment- the 10 minute primal thrash of Achilles Last Stand.
The final disc contains 14 tracks- a reworked Coda-track (Moby's Dick/Bonzo's Montreux, programmed by Jimmy Page- a nice tribute to the best drummer ever), alongside several other Coda-songs: Ozone Baby, Poor Tom & Wearing and Tearing. There's also another Houses-song, the somewhat overplayed 'The Ocean' (again, sampled to death). There are more delights from 'Physical Graffiti': the experimental 'In the Light', the belated title track Houses of the Holy & the acoustic based 'The Wanton Song'. Single Fool in the Rain is a little flat & a bit too Steely Dan- though the other songs from Presence are great: single Candy Store Rock sounding very pre-Britney ("Oh Baby Baby") & Nobody's Fault But Mine is another classic. Finally we have a few songs from the somewhat patchy 'In Through the Outdoor' album: the vast 'In the Evening' (not a million miles from The Cure's Disintegration), the blue I'm Gonna Crawl & the best track from that album- the touching All My Love- which ends a suitably great boxset from a suitably great band- & concludes the best Led Zeppelin compilation you can buy at present...
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on 18 April 2008
As a youngster listening to the radio whenever they played a Zeppelin song it was always "Stairway to heaven" (they seem to think it's the only song they've written).I disliked the song and dismissed Zeppelin until a friend urged me to give an album a go,i could not believe how good or varied their music is blues,rock,gospel,country, as Roger Taylor from Queen put it "they can move from a juggernaut to a butterfly in the blink of an eye".Start with this album,they're best work is up to "75.
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on 4 May 2014
This 4 CD box set[Book] of LED ZEPPELIN is well worth adding to your collection .This re-mastered compilation Album has some of the best tracks taken from each of the 10 Classic Albums they made over the past years,and inside the book there are nice illustrations with some lovely photographs of the group back in there hey-day. This Rock Band was Magnificent perhaps the Best in the World.
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on 17 November 2002
This particular collection has been available for quite a number of years. If you dont have it and you have always been curious about Zeppelins output then there is no better place to start. Remixed by Jimmy Page himself, the songs flow wonderfully from one to the next. This draws the best tracks from all 9 of Zeps studio albums from "1" to "Coda". There are a couple of bonus tracks here aswell. "Black Mountain side" is a live rendition of Pages folk guitar instrumental first featurd on their first album. "Hey Hey What Can I Do" was previously unavailable before this compilation came out in the late 80,s. This collection is worth the money thats asked for it. A finer collection of the bands work you will not find.
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VINE VOICEon 15 October 2004
Yes, I'm one of the many who thought that Led Zep could be summed up in two tracks - "Whole lotta love" and "Stairway to heaven".
How wrong can you be? This 4-CD set illustrates the quality, inspiration and sheer diversity of this great band. If you want to know why Led Zep is revered as one of the greatest rock bands of all time, start here...
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on 28 May 2009
For me Led Zeppelin are the best rock band to come from England. Sorry to all the Rolling Stones fans that think differently the Stones are great but the Led are Gods. For all you rock fans out there if you only buy one boxset in your life time make sure it this one. Led Zeppelin influenced more rock bands of today then any other rock group out there in my opinion. This four cd boxdset is really nicely packaged and comes with a great book. The music on here is some of the best rock music every recorded, treat yourself it is awesome!
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on 25 October 2014
A great addition to any music collection. I didn't know I was a fan until I purchased this.
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on 14 January 2013
Purchased this package of classic tracks for my wife for Christmas and she loves it. Although she has all the individual albums it is great to have all essential tracks together.
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on 15 November 2013
All my faves in one box set. A really good collection from a truly great band. A good booklet is also enclosed which adds to the excellent price.
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