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33 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "...Whole Lotta Love..." - Led Zeppelin II by LED ZEPPELIN (2014 2CD DELUXE EDITION)
After the initial disappointment of the "Led Zeppelin" debut 2CD DELUXE EDITION with its questionable sound on some tracks and its rubbish live bonus disc - I'm thrilled to say that "II" is an entirely different beast. It sounds great and the 'Companion Audio' CD actually warrants the word 'bonus'.

UK released 2 June 2014 (3 June in the USA) - Atlantic/Swan...
Published 2 months ago by Mark Barry

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Better than the 1997 remaster, but not that much better
The music's fantastic of course, so five stars for that. However I wouldn't have bought it if I'd known that it was only a small improvement on the (very good) 1997 remaster. I did a blind test, and although I easily identified the new version, it wasn't massively different. I was expecting something more like the recent Pink Floyd remasters, which were miles better than...
Published 2 months ago by Corchito


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33 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "...Whole Lotta Love..." - Led Zeppelin II by LED ZEPPELIN (2014 2CD DELUXE EDITION), 2 Jun 2014
By 
Mark Barry "Mark Barry" - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: Led Zeppelin II [Deluxe CD Edition] (Audio CD)
After the initial disappointment of the "Led Zeppelin" debut 2CD DELUXE EDITION with its questionable sound on some tracks and its rubbish live bonus disc - I'm thrilled to say that "II" is an entirely different beast. It sounds great and the 'Companion Audio' CD actually warrants the word 'bonus'.

UK released 2 June 2014 (3 June in the USA) - Atlantic/Swan Song 8122796453 breaks down as follows...

Disc 1 (41:40 minutes):
Tracks 1 to 9 is the vinyl album "Led Zeppelin II" - originally released 22 October 1969 in the USA on Atlantic SD-8236 and Atlantic 588 198 in the UK

Disc 2 (32:44 minutes):
Tracks 1 to 8 are PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED 'Rough Mixes' of Seven album tracks with one New Song - the Instrumental "La La"

The 3-way gatefold card sleeve features alternative colour artwork on the rear with the original LP gatefold inner spread on the inside flaps - sided by two new photos of the band during recording. There's a stuck-on track list on the rear and the artwork now reflects the Swan Song label as well as Atlantic. The 16-page booklet has gorgeous black and white/colour photos of the band live at the time - but there are only two pages at the rear that give you the basic track info - but bugger all else. There's no liner notes - no history of the album and its importance (once rated as Britain's favourite Rock album) - and nothing from Page or Plant. It's good - but it could have been great - and frankly why isn't it?

I moaned about the sound quality on some tracks on the debut - that problem doesn't appear here. From the opening wallop of "Whole Lotta Love" - it feels huge and detailed. The cymbals and bass of "What Is And What Should Never Be" are wonderfully clear and "The Lemon Song" sounds suitably grungy (as it was intended). The fade in of "Thank You" is lovely - but it's the sheer power riffage of "Heartbreaker" and its various mad guitar breaks that puts hairs on your chest. Both "Maid" and "Ramble On" have accentuated power (especially in the breaks that feature Bonzo's drums) - and of course it finishes with the lethal one-two sucker punch of "Moby Dick" (crystal clear John Bonham solo) and the Harmonica Blues Boogie of Willie Dixon/Sonny Boy Williamson's "Bring It On Home". Job done.

Disc 2 is a genuine blast - backing tracks with different guitar parts and the occasional vocal jab from Plant. It's a fascinating insight into how they worked and built a tune. It's clear these versions were good - just not good enough. The solos in "Heartbreaker" bear this out - most of the finished solo flourishes that we know and love are in there but some aren't quite 'there' - so presumably Page simply kept working them later until he got those licks to his satisfaction. And it's bizarre to hear the first guitar part of "Moby Dick" - then hear it suddenly stop (no solo) and Bonham then count in the drums as the second guitar part finishes the song. The "La La" outtake with its Motown organ bop and wild acoustic/electric guitar breaks is interesting - but feels most throwaway of the lot.

I also bought 1970's "III" this morning and frankly it's the best of the bunch - with fantastic outtakes and two cool new tracks - one of which has me drooling (see separate review).

Were Led Zeppelin really as good as we remember them? Were they even the best band in the world?
With airship-sized knobs on...and then some...

PS: see also reviews for the 2CD DELUXE EDITION versions of "I" and "III"
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61 of 67 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the best Led Zeppelin album?, 21 May 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Led Zeppelin 2 (Audio CD)
The first time I heard Whole Lotta Love, I blushed - but the truly sexy thing about Led Zep is not Robert Plant's on-heat yowling (tho' it has its moments...), it's Jimmy Page's guitar. This album more than any other, for me, demonstrates the range of his playing style: from the powerful, irresistible riffing of Whole Lotta Love to the delicate sweeps and picks of Ramble On, it's a seductive, mesmerising genius. It helped a lot, of course, that the rhythm section is so instinctive: the bass on the Lemon Song, is perfectly judged, and you can't write any review of a Led Zeppelin album without some reference to the incredible power of John Bonham's drumming. There is a tightness about this album that makes it difficult to dissect, and maybe that is the secret of LZ's enduring appeal: the sum of the parts is far greater than any other band. Even Livin' Lovin' Maid, the one throwaway is fun (there's always one, isn't there?), in a tongue-in-cheek, early '70s manner. If i had to take one album to a desert island, it would be this one.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top Sound. Top Re-Issue., 5 Jun 2014
By 
S. Muzyka (Rugby,Warwickshire,England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Led Zeppelin II [Deluxe CD Edition] (Audio CD)
As most people know, there's no bigger fan of Led Zeppelin than Jimmy Page himself. So for the third time he's spun the original tapes for another Remastering project (1990 was the first for the 4 CD/6 LP Box, then '93/'94 for the individual album releases and Complete Box Set).

So is it worth it? The answer is a resounding YES!. Pitched somewhere between the previous re-issues and the Mothership compilation in terms of volume (slightly louder than the former but not the all-out sonic assault of the latter), the most noticeable thing about these new Remasters is the increased bottom-end that gives Bonhams' bass drum even more thump and allows the unsung hero John Paul Jones to really shine. Its not just a case of turning the bass up, there is a real warmth and new depth to the sound that shows real care was taken by Jimmy Page to bring a new dimension to the albums we know so well.

Of particular note is the restored fade-out to 'Ramble On'. Previous Remasters cut at least ten seconds from the end of the song and although this release is still a little bit shorter than the original vinyl its good to have a more complete version. Elsewhere, across the three re-issues some songs are slightly longer than earlier CD versions but again not quite as long as when they first appeared.

Of course, the music is exceptional so I don't feel the need to comment on too many individual songs. Suffice to say, the quality of these albums puts 99% of modern music to shame. It doesn't matter how many times you've heard 'Whole Lotta Love'. As soon as its finished you want to put it on again, something that can't be said of a lot of music nowadays.

The bonus discs are a mixed bag to be honest. There are some great alternate/rough mixes of things like 'Immigrant Song' 'Whole Lotta Love' and a fantastic first version of 'Since I've Been Loving You' but the unreleased tracks are nothing special. The important thing, however, is the albums themselves and they are still magnificent. Roll on the rest of the catalogue.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars They don't make music like this anymore!!, 3 Jun 2014
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Just received Super deluxe Edition for Led Zeppelin I, II and III. Only played the vinyl - all absolutely sublime and well worth the investment. Bring on the rest of the catalogue!!
Only complaint is that I'm sure the vinyl should have been on the red and plumb label!!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Better than the 1997 remaster, but not that much better, 8 Jun 2014
This review is from: Led Zeppelin II (Audio CD)
The music's fantastic of course, so five stars for that. However I wouldn't have bought it if I'd known that it was only a small improvement on the (very good) 1997 remaster. I did a blind test, and although I easily identified the new version, it wasn't massively different. I was expecting something more like the recent Pink Floyd remasters, which were miles better than the previous versions.

So if you haven't already got this album, this is the best version. If you have, I wouldn't bother.
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Led Zeppelin returns to full flight (2014 remaster), 3 Jun 2014
By 
Smitty Werbenjaegermanjensen (real name) (Thread rehab facility 37) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Led Zeppelin II [Deluxe CD Edition] (Audio CD)
Most folks who buy this stunner of an album are going to be those who are familiar with the contents and just want to know whether it is worth their while and cash to get the new versions so that is basically what I hope to sort out.

Doing an A-B with the superb remasters done without compression away back in the early 90's shows this new version to be no louder, to have great instrumental separation and no compression issues. This is a cd that can be thrown on and cranked up without the earache inducing nonsense that plagues so many rock albums. Sonic quality and not sonic assault has been the aim for this game and it pays off big time.

Plants vocals just float right out of the mix, dead center for most of the time, swinging wildly from speaker to speaker at others. His voice just sounds like a guy in a recording booth singing his heart out, rather than a version of the sound of a guy singing his heart out in the recording booth, if you get my drift. He just sounds right.

John Paul Jones bass has never sounded better, every note is now distinct and clear, from the attack(so you can tell when he is using a pick or fingers) right through to the palm mutes, resonant fade aways etc..... I have heard lines here that were never apparent before but are there when I go back to the previous remaster.

Jimmy's guitar work, well that is just the bizz, as you would expect. What he doing is more apparent, for example the over dubbed guitar army now has each guitar spread out that wee bit better, his string bending better defined.

John Bonham's drumming is much easier to appreciate, cymbals ringing out and decaying more naturally, better bottom end bass drum welly thudding out nicely.

The downside of this increase in sonic fidelity is that you can clearly hear when the original tape levels were pushed into distortion. This is not so noticeable on previous remasters, tending to be masked behind the lower resolution of the digital master, but that's the price you pay when fidelity is the goal. This is not the same as the digital mess you get when a recording is brickwalled.

Highlight so far has got to be The Lemon Song. Incredible!! Never heard it better. Wow, it is just like sitting there. Jimmy's small single line fills as Robert sings about the need for citric acid release are a revelation. You can hear him run the plectrum down the strings and so on. John Paul Jones bass playing on this recording is still bench mark standard, amazing in other words.

The bonus cd is alright, but not something I would play that often. It is of superb sound quality, just lacking the true top end of the main album and does have some great wee alternative bits scattered through it. Edit- this bonus cd is a first class listen. The stripped back versions are really good, the core being similar, but some guitar work being different - the middle section of Whole Lotta is stripped right back and is all the more freaked out because of it, some vocal overdubs missing, some vocal lines that were scrubbed from the finished version and so on. There is an instrumental version of Living Loving Maid that is just a guitar drums and bass that makes this second cd worth having. It is brimming with wild energy and incredible playing.

Kudos to Jimmy Page for the sterling job he and the team did here!
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars sheer brilliance, 13 July 2002
By 
Mr. J. R. P. Bibby "joe_bibby" (Woking, Surrey) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Led Zeppelin 2 (Audio CD)
to say that this album is heavy metal is truly misinterpret the musical genius that is plant, page, jones and bonham. from the opening riff of whole lotta love to the spiraling drums of moby dick, this is the quintessential blues rock album. anyone who has lost faith in the redemptive power of music should pick up this album, grab a beer and turn up the stereo. truly this is a masterpeice that combines the sexual desires of robert plant with the musical genius of jimmy page on the guitar and 'bonzo' on the drums. this could have been their undoing becuase to better this album would have been difficualt, however led zep 3 and 4 are no disgrace to the incandescent wonder of the greatest rock and roll band to have graced planet earth. sit back and enjoy people, i did and am still revelling in the light of this epic work.
zeppelin had an almost uncanny relationship between four outstanding musicians that are amoungst the best ever in their respective fields. i only wish that some bands today could find a the same desires and talants that zeppelin had becuase at the moment rock and roll is dying quickly.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic rock at its best, 6 Sep 2003
This review is from: Led Zeppelin 2 (Audio CD)
In 1969, 'Led Zeppelin II' was released and comparing it to their debut you can hear a subtle change in direction. While Zep I was almost a pure blues album, this one keeps the blues close to its heart but taking a more directly rock approach. The most noticeable aspect of this album is Jimmy's riffing; it's totally relentless and each one sears its way into your brain. Recorded on the run across America while on tour, the album is bursting with an energy rarely captured in the studio, and it does have a very 'live' feel to it, apart from a few overdubs by Page. No track is weak here, although Bonham's solo 'Moby Dick' did get a little silly during the live sets when it lasted about half an hour. 'Whole Lotta Love' is the obvious standout, being sampled for the 'Top of the Pops' theme, but my personal favourite is 'Ramble On', a more gentle and lighter song set in Tolkien Middle-Earth with some brilliant Plant vocals and tabla (I think that's what it is) from Bonham. I can't stress how great a rock album this is, and should be in any budding young guitarist/bassist/drummer/singer's collection. A must.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Led Zep II and a half!, 3 July 2014
By 
S. Stewart (Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Led Zeppelin II [Deluxe CD Edition] (Audio CD)
This was the first Led Zep album I ever owned (on vinyl in the 80's) and has been a fave ever since. There is no filler here at all. Every track is fantastic bar none and I could and have listened to it over and over. Whole Lotta Love is the best known number but just about any other track is just as important. Re-mastering (again) would have been a pointless exercise as far as I'm concerned unless there was bonus material which is why buying this release is essential. Unfortunately I have to nit pick and say that the 'new' material is perhaps not as essential as I had hoped for. The alternate versions of Whole Lotta Love and Heartbreaker are very interesting but some of the others are not different enough to warrant inclusion and the track'La la' is odd. I know that Jimmy Page wanted to avoid what was available on bootlegs but maybe he should have beaten them at their own game and included more unheard tracks which I know there are out there. Still though, everyone should own this album.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The cumulation of the 60's Blues/rock era, 13 Dec 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Led Zeppelin 2 (Audio CD)
After a musical trip through the ages, looking for a sound that truly satisfied, I stumbled upon Led Zeppelin IV, music, the likes of which I had never heard. It left me thirsting for more, so I bought Led Zeppelin II. This, for me, was like finding the holy grail. Every song a classic, with plenty of blues/rock guitar riff's and satisfying vocals, I thoroughly recommend to all with a taste for the Blues and Heavy Metal.
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Led Zeppelin II [Deluxe CD Edition]
Led Zeppelin II [Deluxe CD Edition] by Led Zeppelin (Audio CD - 2014)
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