Top positive review
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Fantastic Showcase For Rock's Greatest
on 21 May 2003
This is a masterly introduction to the Led Zeppelin legacy. If you don’t own any albums by them then this will serve as an excellent taster. It’s not the definitive Zep collection, that distinction belongs to the mighty Remasters, but if your budget is limited then this is well worth getting as it contains all the classic Led Zep tracks plus a number of lesser-known tracks guaranteed to have you buying up (most of) the back catalogue as soon as possible.
So what do you get in addition to Stairway To Heaven? Well from the early days, we get 4 tracks from Led Zep 1 for starters, including the incendiary primal blues rock of ‘Babe I’m Gonna Leave You’ and ‘Dazed And Confused’. Led Zep 2 is strangely under-represented, the obligatory ‘Whole Lotta Love’ (classic Top Of The Pops theme, pop-pickers) is joined only by ‘What Is And What Should Never Be’. Similarly, Led Zep 3 also only gets two tracks (although given its lack of popularity compared to the albums released either side of it this is less surprising). This is my only gripe with the album really – surely the likes of ‘Heartbreaker’ and ‘Bring It On Home’ (from ‘2’) and ‘Gallows Pole’ and ‘That’s The Way’ (from ‘3) could have been squeezed on there (particularly as Led Zep 4, or whatever you want to call it, has 5 of its 8 tracks on display).
The Latter Days features a good selection of tracks, too. I was particularly pleased to see ‘No Quarter’ from the ‘Houses Of The Holy’ album as well as ‘Trampled Underfoot’ from ‘Physical Graffiti’ for which this album served to remind just how good that particular track is. Later epics such as ‘Kashmir’, ‘Achilles Last Stand’ and ‘In The Evening’ show how much the band developed musically throughout the 70s and are arguably the best tracks from ‘Physical Graffiti’, ‘Presence’ and ‘In Through The Out Door’ respectively.
There isn’t much to dislike really. Every track is great despite my earlier arguments for other tracks to be included. With a back catalogue so strong there are always going to be one or two of everyone’s favourites not featured. This is a great collection of the very best of Led Zeppelin. If you want to know what the fuss was about, get it now.