Tuesday, March 31, 2015

When The Levee Breaks

Last night, I hit the movie theater to check out Led Zeppelin on the big screen. This one night showing featured live footage that spanned the band's career, and while I've really been digging Zeppelin lately, this experience just made me appreciate them even more. The band were a powerhouse live...and seriously, when the shows starts off with that riff for Communication Breakdown, I wanted to be back in 1970 at that show...you could tell that those kids were on the verge of starting a mosh pit, and they just needed me as the spark to set it off. Damn...they were so raw and fierce...and when Immigrant Song starts I'm absolutely blown away by how heavy it is. If I'd heard this song as a kid, instead of focusing on the first two minutes of Stairway To Heaven, I may not have spent the majority of my life hating this band.

I fell a little behind in collecting the Super Deluxe editions for the new Led Zeppelin remasters, but I made a couple of big moves these past couple of months. First up is Led Zeppelin IV.

There are some mega-hits on this thing, and while some people would sit back and think, "Man, I never need to hear Stairway To Heaven again", I'm sitting here jamming the fuck out of these songs. I grew up hating these hit songs, but this new appreciation of the band has me hearing them with new ears, and it feels like I'm hearing them for the first time. As a side note, When The Levee Breaks may be my favorite Zeppelin song ever...at least right now it is. Damn, that song is absolutely crushing with it's heaviness.

The companion LP, with the negative image cover, looks cool, but the bonus songs are just all alternate mixes...and too be honest, I don't really get too deep into the weeds with these, and I hardly notice any difference to the ones on the regular album. Cool for what they are, and I'm sure some Zeppelin nerds get a kick out of them...me, I'd rather have some live shit instead.

The big selling point for me in this whole Super Deluxe thing is the hardcover book that comes in the box set. This thing is packed with old photos and news clippings. I love pouring through these things while the vinyl spins on the turntable.

I've never been terribly familiar with the Houses Of The Holy album, and I was eagerly looking forward to the release of this remaster...plus that orange box looks pretty sweet. No expense is spared with this set, as the LP replicates the original pressing with the paper strip that wraps around the cover OBI style. Very cool...even though it is a complete pain in the ass to put back on once you've take it off.

Led Zeppelin's fifth album in, and the band keeps cranking out powerful and passionate songs. Listening to this, I can't help but think that Over The Hills And Far Away is one of my new favorite Led Zep songs. This song was made for cruising around in the summertime with the windows down, and the music playing loud...warmer weather can't get here fast enough.

The bonus LP contains more alternate mixes for the album. These naked kids creep me out.

Love love LOVE these pictures. Plant and Page are two of the coolest motherfuckers to come out of the early 70's.

I knew that taking on the task of collecting the Super Deluxe versions of these new remasters was not for the weak. This isn't for the casual collector. Die hards only. Over the course of collecting these box sets, it has only made my appreciation for each Zeppelin album grow, and they have been worth every penny spent. Next up...Physical Graffiti.

1 comment:

Doug W said...

Dude, if you would have watched The Song Remains the Same 300 times growing up, you would be VERY familiar with Houses of the Holy! The title song followed by The Rain Song and No Quarter later in the film are pretty much etched in my dna at this point. Robert Plant as a viking storming the castle doesn't hurt either.
Great job jumping on these!
I am looking forward to seeing Physical Graffiti.