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The Song Remains The Same (Vinyl 4LP Box Set) [VINYL] Box set, Original recording remastered, Soundtrack
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The Song Remains The Same
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This release features Led zeppelins landmark concert film, originally released in 76 and capturing highlights from the bands 3-night Stand at Madison Square garden in 1973 and is re-mastered & expanded with six Additional historic song Performances on a deluxe 4-LP reissue Featuring liner notes by Cameron crowe!
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What makes this album so appealing for me is the brilliance of the first disc, which constitutes an hour of great value rock music, some of it high-energy, some of it beautiful. The segued opening tracks, 'Rock and Roll' and 'Celebration Day' comprise some of the most exciting live music you'll hear and were the biggest highlights of the LP release. The playing is incendiary, a quality that was restricted on the studio version of the former track. Most of the other less-heralded tracks also come into their own in the live arena, though 'Black Dog' and 'Misty Mountain Hop' arguably lack that extra kick.
Meanwhile, 'The Rain Song' is even tastier than its studio counterpart. Robert Plant's sensitive delivery complements Jimmy Page's gentle, dripping, epiphanic notes. The menacing blues of 'Since I've Been Loving You' is a winner as is the buoyant 'Over the Hills and Far Away.' 'The Ocean,' which always sounded to me like the sort of thing Zep could knock off in five minutes, is a joy in this context.
J.P. Jones's eerie 'No Quarter' is moved on to the first disc in exchange for the gargantuan version of 'Dazed and Confused' which took up the whole of the second side of the LP. 26 minutes seemed too long then and it does now, regardless of sundry effects and Page's guitar bowing. The momentum of the first disc is lost. 'Stairway to Heaven,' not surprisingly, doesn't match up to the standard of the original. 'Moby Dick,' which featured a drum solo of acceptable length on Zep II, becomes the dreaded extended version here. The new track, 'Heartbreaker,' is a welcome addition, but 'Whole Lotta Love' splutters to the end. Trying to replace/replicate the weird middle section was always going to be tough.
Despite its shortcomings, I reckon 'The Song Remains The Same' is full value for its price, given that you get a killer disc lasting an hour. You can always skip the second one.
I have both the 'old' and the remastered versions and the aside from the gripe from some fans about the questionable editing and patching together of songs from the three Madison Square Garden shows, there is no question that these performances capture the band during a time when they were at their peak.
Agreed that these songs don't represent the above MSG shows faithfully, but its still Led Zeppelin all the way and I feel it enhances rather than takes away anything from these songs.
The remastered version sounds absolutely brilliant and is a big improvement over the previous and the 6 new additions to this cracking album are a very welcome addition and was a long time coming.
The most noticeable difference between the two versions of this album, apart from the new additions is the slightly shorter jam session and solo on No Quarter, the slightly different solo on Celebration Day (from a different night I believe), the slightly longer version of Dazed and Confused and shorter version of Whole Lotta Love on the remastered album. The rest of the minor differences are so miniscule that you will not notice them. I don't know if its just me, but I find the solo of Stairway To Heaven on the old version of this album much clearer and better than the one on the remaster.
I suggest getting both the versions, the remastered one for the six new songs and the vastly improved sound and the previous version for the longer versions and different solos on No Quarter, Celebration Day and Whole Lotta Love.
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