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Led Zeppelin: Led Zeppelin (DVD)

In looking through my DVD library, and looking through the archives of SoT, particularly at all of our DVD reviews to date, I am shocked that we overlooked possibly one of the greatest musical DVD's of our time. I am talking about a Led Zeppelin DVD, simply entitled Led Zeppelin. What the title lacks in fanfare is more than made up for on this double DVD set, which runs an incredibly generous 5 hours and 20 minutes.

Led Zeppelin easily qualifies as the be all, end all DVD, as this one has it all. On disc one, it contains a legendary early complete performance at the Royal Albert Hall, in which the film has been miraculously very well preserved, so pretty much all of us who were too young to have witnessed this performance at the time can now enjoy it firsthand. In addition, there are a few miscellaneous extras on disc one, which curiously consist mostly of performances of either "Communication Breakdown" or "Dazed And Confused". Not to worry, as disc two is chock full of more great performances, particularly concert footage from Madison Square Garden, NYC, that did not make it into the concert movie Song Remains The Same. There is also about 50 minutes of concert footage at Earl's Court, half of which is Led Zeppelin unplugged, long before MTV stole the idea. And then there are 50 more minutes of one of Led Zeppelin's final performances in 1979, before the very untimely death of drummer John Bonham. The DVD set then finishes with approximately 22 more minutes of interviews and promos.

For me to do a song by song analysis of this DVD would take more memory than Microsoft Word can hold (and would be nasty on my typing fingers), but I can at least talk about the performers themselves. Having never had the pleasure of seeing Led Zeppelin live, I finally get to see the extreme musical talent and charisma that they brought to the stage. Let's start with frontman/vocalist Robert Plant. While at times Plant appears to be a very humble man by not trying too hard to overdo his stage presence, he still comes across to me as being the king of cool. Unlike many other lead vocalists, who expend a lot of energy running back and forth on stage and trying to keep the crowd into it, Plant merely concentrates his energies into making a great vocal performance, while making concerted efforts not to overshadow his equally talented bandmates. He really makes it look effortless, yet for many years, Robert Plant was considered the best frontman in rock and roll. As for lead guitarist Jimmy Page, what can I say but that I really needed to start playing guitar myself (and watch this DVD of course) to really appreciate how much talent that he has. Whether watching Page use the cello/bass bow on the guitar during "Dazed And Confused", his guitar solo in "White Summer" (many more not mentioned), or his acoustic guitar work on disc two, he clearly shows why he rivaled the very best in the business. Drummer John Bonham gave the best example of his drumming ability during "Moby Dick", where he showed how equally adept he was at using his bare hands to drum as he did with drumsticks. In the early Royal Albert performance, his kit was not very big, yet he still produced some of the greatest drumming that I have ever seen. Of course we cannot forget John Paul Jones, who performed the important function of rhythm style bass guitar, as well as leaving his mark on many of Zeppelin's classic songs with his great keyboard and organ work.

All in all, this DVD serves as an excellent window into probably the greatest rock band of our time. Most importantly, this DVD gives today's generation of teenagers a taste of what it was like to see Led Zeppelin in concert, and why it was so fashionable for teenagers to be into Led Zeppelin in the 70's. This set is a must have for even the casual collector of rock history on DVD.

Track Listing
Disc One
Live at the Royal Albert Hall (1970)
1. We're Gonna Groove
2. I Can't Quit You Baby
3. Dazed and Confused
4. White Summer
5. What Is And What Should Never Be
6. How Many More Times
7. Moby Dick
8. Whole Lotta Love
9. Communication Breakdown
10. C'mon Everybody
11. Something Else
12. Bring It On Home
1. Communication Breakdown Promo
2. Communication Breakdown Danmarks Radio 1969
3. Dazed and Confused Danmarks Radio 1969
4. Babe I'm Gonna Leave You Danmarks Radio 1969
5. How Many More Times Danmarks Radio 1969
6. Dazed and Confused Supershow 1969
7. Communication Breakdown Tous En Scene 1969
8. Dazed and Confused Tous En Scene 1969

Disc Two
1. Immigrant Song 1972
Madison Square Garden (1973)
1. Black Dog
2. Misty Mountain Hop
3. Since I've Been Loving You
4. The Ocean
Earl's Court (1975)
1. Going To California
2. That's The Way
3. Bron Yr Aur Stomp
4. In My Time Of Dying
5. Trampled Underfoot
6. Stairway To Heaven
Knebworth (1979)
1. Rock And Roll
2. Nobody's Fault But Mine
3. Sick Again
4. Achilles Last Stand
5. In The Evening
6. Kashmir
7. Whole Lotta Love
1. NYC Press Conference - 1970
2. Rock And Roll Down Under 1972
3. Interviews w/ The Band Down Under 1972
4. Robert Plant Interview Old Grey Whistle Test 1975
5. Over The Hills And Far Away Promo 1990
6. Travelling Riverside Blues Promo 1990

Added: January 6th 2006
Reviewer: Jack Toledano
Related Link: Led Zeppelin Website
Hits: 3724
Language: english

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