What does it sound like?:
Ah, the seventies, when giants walked the earth and Led Zeppelin in particular bestrode the globe like a colossus. This live album, capturing two concerts in LA in June of 1972, was originally released back in 2003, but has now been reissued in remastered form as part of the band’s fiftieth anniversary celebrations. It’s also now available on both vinyl and on bluray for the first time, although I have only the three cd set.
Jimmy Page has cherry picked the best performances from each show, and some tracks are even a combination of the two nights cunningly melded together, in order to give an optimal hybrid complete performance of their whole set. This is certainly an album that captures the band at their incendiary best – high-octane versions of Black Dog, Immigrant Song, Rock n Roll and Heartbreaker, together with a super Since I’ve Been Loving You, which is unquestionably their best ever song for me. Three tracks from the then unreleased Houses Of The Holy album are given early performances, but the highlights of the set are epic versions of Dazed and Confused, which clocks in at twenty five minutes and incorporates snatches of The Crunge and Walter’s Walk, and a twenty minute medley based around Whole Lotta Love but including diversions into John Lee Hooker’s Boogie Chillun’ and Wanda Jackson’s Let’s Have a Party via Hello Mary Lou. Of course there’s a great performance of Stairway too, while That’s The Way combines with Going To California and Bron-Yr-Aur Stomp to give a mini acoustic set midway through proceedings. Having had the highpoints, we also have a bit of a low point I’m afraid with a seemingly interminable Moby Dick. It’s also a shame that the opportunity wasn’t taken to include the handful of other tracks they performed over the two nights. Even with that minor gripe, this is still excellent listening and gives a reminder, if one is needed, why Zeppelin were, for a while, the best live act on the planet.
What does it all *mean*?
I can’t really hear any discernable difference between this remastered version and the original release to be honest, and I’ve not heard the 5.1 mix alas. Nevertheless, this is a superb album, showcasing the band at their live peak, and is vastly superior to The Song Remains The Same film soundtrack recorded at Madison Square Garden the following year.
Goes well with…
Turning it up loud!
Might suit people who like…
Classic hard rock.