on 24 September 2000
Led Zeppelin were a live band. They had such incredible talant. The studio albums were good but rock music is about live performances and in my opinion Zeppelin were hard to beat. This album is all about the second CD for me. From the start of "Immigrant Song" you are in at the deep end. It is early Zeppelin for sure but it is easy to see why they still move so many people to this day (me included). It is such a shame that more of the live material is not released, I don't care if there is the occasional mistake, that's what it's about, it's live! Whilst the studio stuff on the first CD is nice to listen to buy this one for the second CD because it's what Zep were all about...
on 12 June 2000
If you love the studio albums, want a little more looseness but don't want to sit through bootlegs seemingly recorded in a coal scuttle, this album is an absolute must, if only for Robert Plant's hysterical screaming blues version of Something Else. (Why must every woman have to 'go walking in the park' with him? Don't they have cinemas in Wolverhampton?) The three different versions of Communication Breakdown take you in three totally different directions and the production qualities are fantastic throughout. Proof that, on a good night and pre-flaming stage gongs, they probably were just as good live, if not better.
on 11 July 2002
Being too young to experience Led Zeppelin the first time around I had to come at them second-hand, after realising, in about 1995, that guitar-based music was in its death throes and the future rested with dance music. But hey, who needs to listen to second-rate guitar bands doing the same thing for the 1000th time when you can immerse yourself in the most fertile and innovative period in modern music production -- 1968-71. At the forefront of the explosion that happened at this time were the Zep, and this album captures them in their natural habitat: live and alive. If you're new to LZ then the second or fourth album are the best places to start, but as soon as you've caught the bug and realised how astounding their music is, you will want to hear them live. This BBC sessions album is a much better bet than the double live record 'The Song Remains the Same', because the recording quality is superior, and it was recorded 69-71 when these four musicians were at their creative zenith -- a fact that translates to these live performances with shocking clarity. Put your skin-tight flares on, pretend you've got long hair, and immerse yourself in the sound of the most vital band of the most important period in twentieth-century music. The live sound captures LZ's blues obsession more clearly than the studio albums, especially on the blues reworkings of classic tracks like 'You Shook Me' (twice on this album just in case you missed it the first time round) and 'I Can't Quit you Baby'. Although top marks must go to the amazing 'new' blues creation of 'Travelling Riverside Blues' (Robert Johnson isn't given a credit), previously unreleased. Jimmy Page takes us to slide guitar heaven. It is simply amazing. CD two has some classics from Led Zeppelin IV, which were being recorded here 8 months before the album release. Its probably the only time you'll hear LZ live without the opening notes of 'Stairway to Heaven' being greeted with orgasmic woops. And catch the dizzy, heady atmosphere of the times when during 'How Many More Times' Robert Plant cries 'I don't know what I'm saying, but I'm having a good time'! Page, Plant, Jones, and Bonham at their incredible best -- worth 10 times the asking price... but I'm sure the three surviving lads don't really need the royalties.
on 18 April 2009
Its the 40th anniversary of the release of Led Zeppelin I and II this year. March 69 and October 69.
Having bought them when they came out, it makes me think how time flies away.
I still love Led Zeppelin, they remain one of the greatest rock bands of all time, if not the greatest of all. This is a MUST HAVE for the 2nd CD alone, the complete recording of a John Peel In Concert broadcast for the BBC in 1971. It was recorded in April 1971, a month after they had finished recording Led Zeppelin IV and it captrues them at the height of their creativity when the spark was still strong and before they entered the stratospheric heights of selling 50 million albums and being the biggest band in the universe.
I suspect it was probably the first time Stairway to Heaven was aired to the public at large.
Its stunning to brilliant all the way through, from Peel's dry introduction to the last note dying note.
Jimmy Page's guitar work is mind blowing and the raw nakedness of live radio sound recording emphasises the quality of the musicianship in this band. It also highlights the outstanding abilities of the often under rated John Paul Jones, a man who arranged a lot of the material and who could play melodic keyboards with his hands whilst holding down monster basslines using bass triggered by pedals controlled with his feet.
Yes this band are deservedly immortal and this is a highly recommended purchase for those who love the studio albums and want different versions of the first four.
on 30 July 2000
I listened to the two hour long concerts which make up most of this album and taped them at the time, the tapes died ages ago. Incredibly it took the BBC 30 years to get the recordings out. It's hard to express what I felt at the time, no one had made music like this, the power was immense, you had no idea what was coming next, I didn't even know if I liked it!
The best tracks are from the two concerts rather than the sessions - the BBC screwed up - they should have released the two concerts in their entirity and put the session tracks on a third CD.
Some of this music is the most electrifying ever recorded, you may find it hard to cope with at first but I think it's the greatest recorded live rock music there is.
This 2-disk set, finally released in 1997, is the pick of Zeppelin’s BBC radio sessions between 1969 & 1971.
Disk 1 takes 14 tracks from March & June ’69 sessions, so includes material from the first and second albums plus a number of the blues standards the band performed in the early days to beef-out their stage shows, ‘Travelling riverside blues’, ‘The girl I love she got long black wavy hair’ (both released as singles only in the USA & Canada) and ‘Somethin’ else’.
All the material on disk 2 is from an ‘In Concert’ session before a small live audience at the Paris Theatre, London on 1st April 1971. The interesting thing about this concert is that, along with material from the contemporary third album plus a couple of by-then-classic numbers like ‘Dazed & Confused’ and Heartbreaker’, the band performed three songs from the fourth album which was not to be released for another 8 months: ‘Black Dog’, ‘Goin’ to California’ and ‘Stairway’. This may be the earliest surviving recording of Zeppelin performing these now-classic numbers live. The original show was introduced to the BBC radio audience by the late John Peel.
These classic live sessions on BBC radio were multiply bootlegged, usually recorded from the original radio broadcasts on poor-quality cassette recorders. Finally in 1997 fans could hear the concerts with excellent sound quality, delivered here in a fine package with tasteful monochrome artwork to evoke the period. Whilst the music may lack the polish & production values of their studio recordings with Atlantic Records - which are great in a different way - it has all the raw energy of the band live, and demonstrates what a class act they always were.
The smaller venues used for these sessions gives the music a more intimate feel, and because the BBC was a leading-edge professional media/recording company proficient in delivering every type of music to TV and radio audiences with exemplary sound quality, that’s basically what you get. Above all, Jimmy Page’s persistence and attention to detail has made these sessions available at last, though why it took so many years is nothing short of a scandal. I would rate this package four-and-a-half stars rather than five only because it’s just short of the seminal excellence of the 2003-released ‘How the West was Won’, which contains indisputably the best live Zeppelin material ever released.
on 8 July 2003
These must be as near Perfect Recordings as you can ever hope for, Pump the Volume up, and not a Crackle from 30+ years ago can be heard .... Brilliant.
If you are looking for a Zeppelin C.D this one will Give you Hours of Pleasure, Must have been at least 3 to 4 Hours .
i have most Zep Albums, but this is by Far the most Interesting.
Just imagine being there and hearing this music for the 1st time,
And 30 years later, nothing can touch its Creativity.
Borrow it...Buy it....But Definatly Listern to it .
on 15 August 2015
This 1997 2-CD set collects the vast majority of the BBC radio material recorded by Led Zeppelin before the band became far, far too big to record radio sessions. Not unusually, Zep guitarist and leader Jimmy Page was doing battle with his personal demons when he produced this album. But, with some help, he's compiled an essential release for Led Zeppelin devotees. Disc 1 was recorded throughout 1969 and contains white hot versions of the key songs from their debut album 'LZ1'. Most of it is simply barnstorming. The BBC's historic radio sessions weren't taped with digital reproduction in mind but the audio quality of disc 1 is fine, its rough edges chiming perfectly with these visceral performances. The combination of Jimmy's explosive guitar-playing and Robert Plant's equally exuberant singing, underpinned by a tight-as-a-nut rhythm section, never loses its ability to electrify the listener. Led Zeppelin's brand of heavy Blues became more polished, but they never sounded more wildly exciting than they did when they taped these 1969 recordings. A handful of rarer titles are also included on the first disc, together with a couple of tunes from 'LZ2' - an uncompromising rendition of 'Whole Lotta Love' is a real coup. Finite space meant Jimmy had to drop two of the songs from the London Playhouse Theatre gig that brings disc 1 to a close. The 'White Summer' guitar medley had already been issued on a box-set and was the first to get the chop. Jimmy also chose to omit the Zep masterpiece 'Dazed And Confused', surprisingly preferring a repetitious, bludgeoning take on the 12-bar Blues 'You Shook Me'. That ensures a fairer spread of both songs over the two discs, but in my view it's a bad call. Disc 2 is in excellent sound and consists solely of a 1971 concert that was broadcast from London's Paris Theatre. The intoxicating edginess of Led Zeppelin's `live' performances owed much to their willingness to take extravagant musical risks. But, mindful that this show would be going to air, they exercised a marked degree of restraint. Nevertheless, it's a punchy concert that boasts the massive 'LZ4' songs 'Black Dog' and 'Stairway To Heaven' just prior to their release and the stratospheric rise that would place Led Zeppelin above having to market its music by making radio broadcasts. Again, time constraints resulted in a couple of omissions: 'What Is And What Should Never Be' and 'Communication Breakdown' both feature on the first disc so the 1971 versions were deemed expendable. The highlight of the show is 'Dazed And Confused', which serves as a lesson in how to keep a lengthy piece of music focussed and coherent. Also terrific is the medley of rock 'n' roll and R'n'B classics that erupts toward the end of 'Whole Lotta Love'. There's contrast too in the form of a poignant, wistful acoustic set. Jimmy turned up for work with substandard tapes when this album was being remastered and only signed the master reels out of the BBC at the insistence of his engineer. The guitarist owes a debt of gratitude to his co-worker because the outcome is a fabulous double CD set.
on 12 November 2015
A very good live collection although sound quality was not what I would have expected from the BBC, some tracks were, in my opinion, a bit muffled ( Immigrant song - may be my ears are the problem as I am an original fan from the 60's) The content however is brilliant and other than that one criticism is a must for and Zeppelin fan. I leave it to the listener to determine whether my ears are going or the sound is a bit heavy in places.
on 29 June 2013
I recorded all of these tracks from am and fm radio at the time - dubious quality to say the least!! Great to have them now in listenable quality which is even more surprising given they are over 40 years old.In my opinion the tracks show just what is missing in todays manufactured music and shows how much we have lost with the various tv so called 'talent' programmes taking over mainstream music.The great masses of the british tv viewers are not always right.Turn it up loud and enjoy!!!