“The Song Remains The Same” (remaster) by Led Zeppelin

Artist: Led Zeppelin
Title: “The Song Remains The Same” (remaster)
Label: Rhino Entertainment
Release Date: 12/11/2007
Genre: Hard Rock
Rating: 5/5

Their accomplishments in music are as legendary as that of The Beatles and while the Liverpool Lads are often credited as being one of the founding fathers of how Rock music would be delivered for decades, the guys in Led Zeppelin are also granted this esteemed honor. Of course, the music of Led Zeppelin was very heavily rooted in the Blues of the past and when combined with the electrifying talents of the members delivered some of the most extraordinary Heavy Rock that music history would ever experience. Musically their songs have remained relevant since their inception as it was just that good and innovative for its time, and as result the band stands forever as icons of the genre. They have a level of influence that resonates on bands of decades past and even more so in those that are forming and performing today. It’s quite staggering when one views this level of impact on a music scene for no matter how different the bands might be there are always those little tastes of what Led Zeppelin first brought to the table. The bands live concerts were considered monumental events and the film “The Song Remains The Same” captured portions of a three night stint at New York City’s Madison Square Garden back in 1973. The original release year of the album for this film would be in 1976 and the group continually spoke against it, refused to recognize it as a true representation of their band in concert, and instead felt this was more the soundtrack to the film that bore the same name. Of course the fans disagree as is expected and many refer to this as an incredible album that must be played from beginning to end. Despite having four sides of vinyl to enjoy the initial release featured only nine songs but now thanks to the magic of available CD space the remaster and reissue of the album features the full recorded performance of fifteen songs. It’s also been cleaned up and sonically upgraded which made this something I was really looking forward to. I only owned the original vinyl when a friend passed on his copy of the record when he decided his was too worn out. To me it was still playable, but not very much so.

Although the band themselves didn’t really like to consider this their defining live recording there is little in the way of live Led Zeppelin material available for the fans to enjoy. As a matter of fact it was a good twenty one years until we would get their “BBC Sessions” recording and another six years would pass before “How The West Was Won” would see the light of day. Having these recordings in my collection like most fans of the classic band was great for any study of their overall impact but the set would be incomplete without the remaster of “The Song Remains The Same”. Listening to this album in today’s musical geography is a wonderful thing because you still are able to see just how strong the Led Zeppelin catalog is when delivered by the band and since this focuses on one particular group of shows there is a little more consistency to the overall delivery of the set. Fans who have owned the original record will be ecstatic to find all of the additional material on this one and as referenced “Black Dog”, “Over The Hills and Far Away”, Misty Mountain Hop”, “Since I’ve Been Loving You”, “The Ocean” and “Heartbreaker” were not a part of that first release. I loved hearing the “missing tracks”, and also enjoyed how they were kept in the sequence that they were delivered live. I’ve never had the luxury of seeing Led Zeppelin perform live outside of video footage but if one turns this recording up loud enough on a good stereo you can almost imagine being there. The album is packaged in a beautiful foldout digipak and includes a booklet with an updated batch of liner notes from noted journalist Cameron Crowe. There are also a score of photos from the film represented and obviously this is a must have piece of musical history for the library of any discerning music enthusiast. Check it out and learn your roots…..

Track Listing:
1. Rock And Roll
2. Celebration Day
3. Black Dog (w/Bring It On Home)
4. Over The Hills
5. Misty Mountain Hop
6. Since I’ve Been Loving You
7. No Quarter
8. The Song Remains The Same
9. Rain Song
10. The Ocean Dazed And Confused
11. Stairway To Heaven
12. Moby Dick
13. Heartbreaker
14. Whole Lotta Love

Official Website: www.ledzeppelin.com

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