Led Zeppelin
BBC Sessions


4.5
superb

Review

by Hernan M. Campbell STAFF
June 29th, 2012 | 19 replies


Release Date: 1997 | Tracklist

Review Summary: "...To be a rock, and not to roll."

This album is the definitive Led Zeppelin experience. It captures all of the power, intensity, and mysticism that flourished through the atmosphere of their live performances. The music itself is a reflection of the many different chapters in Led Zeppelin's career, with each song serving as a personal souvenir that represents all of the musical voyages their albums have invited us to embark on through the years. This album is a celebration of their legacy, moments of musical alchemy recorded in time for us to simply enjoy.

Led Zeppelin has often been renowned for their phenomenal live performances, and this album serves as our window into all of the energy and passion that each member of the band brought to the stage. One of the other live albums in the Led Zeppelin discography is How The West Was Won, which features a lot of the long instrumental passages and musical spontaneity that Led Zeppelin often dwelled upon in their concerts. The performance in this album, for the most part, is much more straightforward, as the songs featured on the album remain faithful to their studio incarnations.

As I said before, each song on this album represents the many different musical styles Led Zeppelin explored throughout their career. "I Can't Quit You Baby" reflects the prominent blues influences of their earlier efforts. Robert Plant's vocal deliveries on this song are some of the most impressive on the album. His sorrowful, yet passionate cries of heartbreak and deceit exquisitely compliment Jimmy Page's dreary guitar work, both elements working together to create an expressive southern blues tone. Another highlight of the album is "Dazed And Confused". This song has always provided some of Led Zeppelin's finest instrumental moments. The musicianship in this song has such a hypnotic vibe to it. John Paul Jones keeps the rhythmic groove flowing along, allowing Jimmy Page to erupt with a set of explosive solos. Jimmy Page's innovative guitar antics is certainly what makes this song such a captivating experience, but it's John Bonham's drumming that gives "Dazed And Confused" its overwhelming sense of intensity. Thunderous and magnetic, Bonzo's percussive dynamics practically steal the spotlight from everyone else in more than one occasion throughout the album.

We also get to see the more abstract side of Led Zeppelin on this album. The compilation has the decency to offer both the ordinary, as well as alternative versions of "Whole Lotta Love" and "Dazed And Confused". The musical structure of "Whole Lotta Love" is one that easily lends itself to experimental potentiality. As we've seen in various performances, Led Zeppelin often takes advantage of the instrumental midsection of "Whole Lotta Love" to incorporate lengthy musical passages, but on this version we find the band taking us on a long musical voyage were we encounter a collective medley of traditional Blues songs. There is a complimenting diversity in the selection of the songs within this album, offering heavy favorites like "Immigrant Song" and "Heartbreaker", to even more delicate ballads like "Going To California". But of course, no Led Zeppelin compilation is complete without having perhaps their most illustrious piece, "Stairway To Heaven".

"Stairway To Heaven" is not just a mere song, it's an experience. An accession that takes the listener away into a sensuous musical ecstasy. "Stairway To Heaven" is a journey, it's a constant progression into something different, exposing us to something new with each passing moment. From a gentle folk piece, we hear it evolve in sound, growing louder and more abstract, before finally blossoming into an unforgettable climax. But it isn't just the music that makes this song so mesmerizing, the lyrical narratives are the centerpiece of the entire experience. It's a reflection of our existential role in this world, a reminder that everything we do in our lives and everything we experience, is always under our control. There are different paths that are always laid out in front of us, and with the wisdom we manage to pick up throughout our growth, it is up to our best judgement to decide which one will lead to our essential well-being. This is one of the best Led Zeppelin compilations out there, from beginning to end, it has something to offer to every loyal fan. I highly recommend this album to all.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
June 29th 2012


4435 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Recently got this on vinyl, great album.

Relinquished
June 29th 2012


25100 Comments


disc 2 dazed and confused is fucking amazing

SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
June 29th 2012


4435 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah "Dazed and Confused" is always good.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
June 29th 2012


6151 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Fantastic album.

Good call for the review.

Digging: Sumerlands - The Guardian (demo)

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
June 29th 2012


3421 Comments


Hi Paperback! Great review man. Pos'd. However, I never got into Zeppelin, don't know why. I must say though, that I haven't made much effort to listen to their music.

Digging: Electric Wizard - Time to Die

johnnyblaze
June 29th 2012


2609 Comments


^ you really should, they're kind of amazing.

great review dude. so jealous you have this on vinyl.

rockandmetaljunkie
June 29th 2012


3341 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Great review man have a pos.
Zeppelin were such a phenomenal live act.

rockandmetaljunkie
June 29th 2012


3341 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This a live album right ?

ZedO
June 29th 2012


1096 Comments


never heard of this, but this must be so good, pos'd hard my friend...

Da11thMytrillSphere
June 29th 2012


546 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Is Led Zeppelin, what else could you expect, there's no need of an explanation of why this album rocks

BirthRite
June 29th 2012


1318 Comments


sup




YoYoMancuso
June 29th 2012


11113 Comments


awesome review and awesome album pos'd

BirthRite
June 29th 2012


1318 Comments


ass kisser

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
June 29th 2012


3421 Comments


@Blaze & anyone - So what's the best Zeppelin album for newcomers ?

johnnyblaze
June 29th 2012


2609 Comments


you really can't go wrong with any of their first 7 LP's. i'd go chronologically though..

tommygun
June 29th 2012


24954 Comments


Great stuff Paper, pos as always. I love Zep but have never got around to hearing any of their live stuff. The tracklist on
this seems a bit strange - is 'Communication Breakdown' really on it three times?

SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
June 29th 2012


4435 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Hey Tommy.
Yeah there's three different version of it, I honestly dont understand why. but anyway you should check this one out when you get the chance.

tommygun
June 29th 2012


24954 Comments


Cool man I will do! How are you liking Australia so far?

SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
June 29th 2012


4435 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Australia is beautiful. We visited some of the major cities and went to the beach a lot. Ive had a great time.



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