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Led Zeppelin: The Song Remains the Same (Two-Disc Special Edition)
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194 of 208 people found the following review helpful
HALL OF FAMEon November 24, 2007
Format: DVD
This 1976 concert film is one Led Zeppelin item that really did deserve to be improved and expanded. In the November 2007 glut of new Zep products related to the film, this 2-DVD set is clearly the optimal purchase. (Note that this review was written after actually purchasing and consuming the item in question, which appears to be a real rarity so far.) The "Collector's Edition" DVD set adds merchandise that will only be of value to super-diehards, and the new edition of the soundtrack album is apparently built around the new remaster of the movie itself and displays some odd editing choices. I have always felt that the purely audio soundtrack of the movie suffers from the lack of visuals - for example, all 27 minutes of "Dazed and Confused" makes more sense visually because you can watch the theatricality of Jimmy Page's stage performance, while merely listening to the accompanying soundtrack can be tedious. To a lesser extent, the same goes for the extra lengthy "Moby Dick" because while soloing, John Bonham could be even more enjoyable to watch than to listen to. So the film itself is the apotheosis of the entire "The Song Remains the Same" project, and this 2-DVD set presents much needed improvements in audio and video quality, with some bonus items that add value for the enthusiastic fan without becoming obsessive.

Though I'm a lifelong Zep fan, I actually hadn't seen this movie in around 20 years. And I had forgotten how cheesy the non-concert footage truly is, with the fantasy sequences serving as little more than period vanity pieces that rarely rise above the amateurish. But who cares, because the concert sequences are stupendous, and in this DVD set they have been presented for maximum aural and visual impact (yes these two shows weren't the band's best, but they were still light years beyond most other rock acts). As for the DVD extras, the interviews and news segments have some curiosity value, but the true goodies are the extra concert sequences. We finally have official video for the blistering performance of "Celebration Day," which was always my favorite from the old original soundtrack album. Other bonuses include "Misty Mountain Hop," though the uncoordinated performance of this song deserved to be left out of the original film; plus a surprisingly heavy take on "Over the Hills and Far Away."

For many years the original movie and soundtrack were the only (official) live Zep documents available. For the real live goods, we now have the 2003 CD package "How the West Was Won" and the 2003 self-titled DVD set, which are considerably more hard-hitting and far-reaching than "The Song Remains the Same." But even though it's no longer the definitive live document, fans have long deserved an improved version of the film. For all but the most obsessive collectors, the 2-DVD set is the way to go. [~doomsdayer520~]
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87 of 92 people found the following review helpful
on November 3, 2007
Format: DVD
For those of you writing reviews before ever viewing the dvd or knowing about its contents I am surprised. I am a Led Zeppelin fan and this dvd is not the same as its original. This is the whole concert in its entirety uncut with more than 40 minutes of added bonus material, including never-before-released performance footage not on the original release such as "Over The Hills And Far Away" and "Celebration Day"; plus performances of "Misty Mountain Hop" and "The Ocean"; a rare 1976 BBC interview with Robert Plant and Jimmy Page; vintage TV footage from the Drake Hotel robbery during the New York concert stand; and a Cameron Crowe radio show. This set also includes collectible vintage T-shirt with original album artwork design, soundtrack CD, lobby cards, reproductions of original premiere invites, tour schedule, and more. (As noted on [...])
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159 of 177 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon March 31, 2008
Format: Blu-rayVerified Purchase
UPDATE: This flaw was corrected in a silent replacement of the title. It took over a year for Warner to fix it, but they did fix it. I have changed my rating of the disc as a result. I realize some were not happy I was critical of this because the gap is only 7 seconds, but a 7 second dropout during a drum solo is pretty bad IMO. Some also may not have experienced the glitch due to getting a fixed copy (again, a year after release) or were not streaming TrueHD.

Anyway, good that the glitch is fixed, however it would have been better if Warner had an official replacement program instead of just silently fixing the problem in an unlabelled 2nd pressing.

BELOW IS ORIGINAL REVIEW TEXT:

Unfortunately the Blu-ray version of this concert has a 7-second long sound dropout in the TrueHD soundtrack at timecode 1:40:45 - all copies of the Blu-ray currently available are affected. The TrueHD soundtrack of the previously released HD DVD does not suffer from this dropout (nor does the Blu-ray's lower quality DD soundtrack), so it is clear this was an encoding goof-up on Warner's part.

This type of QC problem is unacceptable for a product that costs $20, yet Warner has not mentioned any intention of fixing the issue. Hopefully they get on the ball and set up a replacement program for those who buy this defective disc.

Note that the recent re-release of this disc still suffers from the dropout problem. Maybe the third time will be the charm... :\
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45 of 48 people found the following review helpful
on March 3, 2000
Format: DVD
This was clearly not the best performance that they were capable of, but what the hey- where else do you get to see Jimmy Page beating on his guitar with a violin bow?
Contrary to the opinions expressed by others, I sorta like the little dramatic bits inserted here and there throughout the movie. They can be cheesy at times, but the Jimmy Page / Hermit of the Tarot bit in the middle of "Dazed and Confused" is really very cool.
There are, however, continuity problems that any die-hard zep fan will notice right away. Bad edits, if you will. You can clearly tell that they cut and pasted two or three performances together, which would be fine... except for the fact that they do it RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF SOME OF THE SONGS! They chopped off a huge portion of "Whole Lotta Love."
Except for the obvious problems with this film, it's still Zeppelin... and if you're reading this, you probably are already familiar with the movie and its contents... after all, most people considering buying this disk are probably already huge fans, and would buy it no matter how bad the film was.
Buy it! It's cheaper than the soundtrack album, and it contains many songs not on the album.
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256 of 302 people found the following review helpful
on November 20, 2007
Format: DVD
I'm a Zeppelin freak. I own everything they've ever released. Probably twice. I bought this the minute I saw it.

Now I wish I hadn't.

The T-Shirt inside is very thin and not at all an XL as it states on the tag. If it were an XL, I'd wear it with pride. As it is, my wife can wear it. (What kind of material is that, anyway -- gossamer?)

But once the T-Shirt is removed...

That's where the problem with the packaging comes into play.

The T-Shirt is what held the DVDs and the extras in the box, which is a very thin cardboard to begin with. Take the T-Shirt out and you have a large space in the box. When you put back the DVDs, they rattle around in the box.

If you take them out of the box, they're packaged in their own little sleeve, but the cardboard of the sleeve is very thin, too. If it was a heavier slipcase-like cardboard, it would be okay. But it's not. It barely stands up on its own. By the way, one item in the sleeve is the 2-DVD set. The other item in the sleeve holds the bonus materials. But, together, they're only 1-1/4" deep. The box is 2" deep. The T-Shirt took up the remaining 3/4" to make the box full.

So, okay, minus the T-Shirt and despite the wafer-thin cardboard, what do we have left? What are the bonus materials?

Again, no great shakes. There are numerous postcards (most pictures are blurry and oddly cropped) and movie promotional items, plus a couple of other pieces of colored cardboard meant to look like tickets. Big deal. Interesting, perhaps even cool. But worth another $10-$20 over the price of the 2-DVD set by itself? You be the judge.

So, okay, minus the T-Shirt, despite the wafer-thin cardboard, and aside from the assortment of passable postcards and promotional items for the movie, what's in the box?

When all is said and done, what's really in the box that I care about is the 2-DVD set of the remastered The Song Remains the Same concert (one DVD is the concert, the other DVD is bonus materials) -- which, last time I looked, was only $13.99 on Amazon. So the Zep movie not only costs less, but the standard 2-DVD set of the remastered The Song Remains the Same is a traditional DVD box. In other words, it's sturdy. It'll stand on your shelf without falling over, getting crushed, or scuffed up. And to watch it, you don't have to yank apart a box, fumble around for the slipcase, extract it, and then attempt to get it back in when you're done -- all without further damaging the cardboard. Sounds like a losing proposition to me.

In short, although the remastered The Song Remains the Same movie is outstanding (and the 2-CD audio set is stunning!), this Collector's Edition DVD set is flimsy, not well thought out and surprisingly unspectacular. I didn't get the "Wow!" factor when I opened the box. I got the, "Gee? Now what do I do with these parts now that the T-Shirt (which served as a spacer in the box) is removed?" factor.

I say save your money on this Collector's Edition DVD set. Buy the remastered 2-DVD set of The Song Remains the Same instead. You'll get what's really important and you'll avoid the headache of trying to figure out how to carefully store the "bonus" items without damaging them.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on November 22, 2007
Format: DVD
Because of legalities involving the director of the film, the most that Pagey was able to do to alter this vintage concert film was to remix with Kevin Shirley, the sound for DOLBY 5.1 and DTS 5.1 and two-channel STEREO. Where this was really noticeable was in the stand-out tracks DAZED AND CONFUSED, WHOLE LOTTA LOVE, and the MOBY DICK drum solo.

Whether it is with the guitar and bow workout in DAZED AND CONFUSED or the Theramin "Pit of Hell" in WHOLE LOTTA LOVE -- Page and Kevin Shirley have been able to add many new dimensions to the sound mix. For example, the rear channels of the 5.1 system have an added new dimensionality to the sound and the overall ambience -- the original QUADRAPHONIC 4-channel mix from 1976 just didn't have the depth of field to sound the way Page intended, using today's advanced technology.

Even the cobbled-together 5.1 surround mix for the original DVD of TSRTS -- which was done without the supervision of audio producer extraordinaire Jimmy Page -- sounds sub-par and quite unsatisfying to my ears. This may be one of the reasons why this never got a fair shake from the group's worldwide fan base, and is largely detested by this selfsame group of people.

THE EXTRAS ...

The second DVD and the printed materials that have been included with this COLLECTOR'S EDITION provide some historical context -- such as the concert reviews, and the news article on the Drake Hotel robbery. Also included are invites and facsimile tickets to the films' theatrical premiere, two sets of lobby cards (one in color, the other set in b & w), a copy of the 1973 tour itinerary, and a t-shirt of unknown size -- which features the soundtrack artwork.

DVD # 2 contains some nice extras:

01) The remaining songs from the concert, which because of space limitations in 1976, were never included UNTIL NOW.

02) A TV news report from Tampa, Florida USA about their sold-out show there, which broke attendance and gross gate receipts established by The BEATLES August 15, 1965 Shea Stadium concert.

03) A nice BBC interview with Robert Plant and Peter Grant, as they ride aboard a boat on the Thames.

04) Extensive news footage on the Drake Hotel robbery, which was never solved, to the best of my memory.

05) A Cameron Crowe radio profile of the band. And, considering what he went on to do with his life, this is nice to have. [NOTE: Robert Plant's infamous "I'm a Golden God!" exclamation found its' way into Crowe's 2000 film ALMOST FAMOUS. This film has another Zeppelin connection. Crowe, in his 'director's cut' DVD of the film, the viewer is instructed on when to begin playing Stairway To Heaven at a certain point in a deleted scene. Crowe could not afford to pay to license the song, and it was up to the viewer to pull out their own copy of Led Zeppelin IV to reach full effect in this scene.]

All in all, a well-deserved update to an important musical artifact of the raucous 1970's.

Led Zeppelin: The Song Remains the Same (Collector's Edition)
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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on April 20, 2008
Format: Blu-rayVerified Purchase
Finally after many years of disappointment with this concert film, Page has set the record straight...He took over the controls and the result is a brand new Zep concert movie! The Blu Ray sound is great (MY BIGGEST COMPLAINT ABOUT THIS FILM SINCE IT WAS IN THE THEATERS) 5.1 mixed correctly. (for a change, not all the sound comes from the center channel, its mixed beautifully). There are very cool new stage edits not, for some reason, in the original cut. It was actually shot very well, just edited poorly (the original cut) Now I can safely say it is one of the best concerts film outs there! The 'fantasy' sequences are still dumb, but it was a sign of the times...You see why, if you never saw them, why they are still so popular!
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54 of 65 people found the following review helpful
on November 7, 2004
Format: DVD
Potential viewers shouldn't be deterred by pointless and ridiculous commentaries of seemingly short-attention-spanned reviewers who like other bands anyway and shouldn't bother writing about Led Zeppelin.This movie was meant to present the four individuals of the band in a collective context,therefore each group memeber is showcased in the live footage and in a fantasy sequence.The original three-hour concert is not fully used,instead relevant parts where interwoven with off-stage scenes,hence creating a closer outlook on each individual.Jimmy Page is featured on 'Dazed And Confused'(where he plays a sort of warlock),Robert Plant on the "double header" 'Song Remains/Rain Song'(with an Arthurian character),John Bonham on 'Moby Dick'(he preferred an honest,family-and-friends environment) and John Paul Jones on 'No Quarter'(presenting himself as a man with two faces,one as a musician and one as a"pater familias").The live footage is superb and so is the playing.Critics of the era always stated the difference between the heavily orchestrated studio versions and the four-piece live arragements,often calling them "thin";their gullable readers trusted this assumptions and not their ears,and the accusation is present to this day.I'm not old enough to have seen Led Zeppelin Live but I have read such articles and I do trust my ears and you can trust yours by listening to this DVD,its soundtrack,the Led Zeppelin DVD and 'How The West Was Won' on CD,you'll be able to tell if live Led Zeppelin is worthy of the legend they created.The marvellous renditions of 'Since I've Been Loving You','Stairway','No Quarter',the title track,'Dazed','Heartbreaker/Whole Lotta Love' and the sheer power of the band on stage in '73 are enough reasons to purchase this DVD.There's a criticism by someone who claims to have seen Zeppelin in '77,if you want to experience the awesome power of the band in '77 go to the Led Zeppelin DVD,on disc two select promos and the menu is a bootleg recording of the June 21st concert at the L.A. Forum with accompanying bootleg footage(from Birmingham and NY),listen an marvel at it(the picture is not very good but the audio is excellent,that is why it was relegated to a menu feature).The only drawbacks in the movie are the re-enacment of some bits-mostly close-ups(Page had to struggle with gaps in the footage to match with the audio) that are only apparent by very close inspection.Also the audio editting suffers somewhat when matching,almost by force,some scenes.This does not occur on the soundtrack where such limitations where not imposed by the lack of visuals.Also the output of the DVD is not as loud as the Led Zeppelin DVD,but the '76 mixing work is outstanding.Another inhibiting factor is that the fantasy sequences are shown during some instrumentals,and songs like 'Over The Hills',although played at this concerts of July '73 when the shooting of the film took place,were discarded.This DVD is a great remnant of the Led Zeppelin experience.Miss it at your own risk.
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27 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on November 1, 2007
Format: DVD
This is footage of Led Zeppelin at their peak period. The '73 tour, apart from the fact Plant's voice had already changed, is the best tour Zeppelin ever had. This film captures it. The sound is much more powerful than any other live releases, and the playing is perfectly typical of Zep in '73. It doesn't get any better. Certainly not the '75, '77, Knebworth, or early footage you get with the Led Zeppelin dvd. Don't be fooled by people who join the decades long critical bashing bandwagon. Some things get branded because it is easy to go along with the popular, yet incorrect, perception.
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51 of 62 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon November 4, 2007
Format: DVD
I was surprised at how many folks hate this movie and the concert recording therein. Many of the complaints are about the sub-par show. I disagree. Maybe it's because I don't think the show is that bad. I enjoy the soundtrack a lot. In fact, the version of many of the songs are more enjoyable than the originals for me, especially (gasp) Stairway to Heaven.
The footage is grade A cheese, but so what? Is there no value in Jimmy Page and his devilishy horrible glowing red eyes or the bizarre mafia sequence or John Paul Jones scaring the crap out of his kids? As a special kick for Pittsburgh folk like myself, the opening sequence of the arrival at the airport and the supposed drive to the MSG show was actually footage from Pittsburgh and not NYC, so that always got a rousing cheer from us stoners at the Stanley Theater midnight showings.
This is a classic bit of raw rock and roll. It isn't studio wizardry, especially welcome coming from master producer and reknowned anal retentive control freak Jimmy Page. I still enjoy the charm of this movie despite the flaws. Live music is about more than perfection. Perhaps it is the perceived smudge on the shiny veneer of the Zeppelin image that many of the fans have. For me, it just makes the band that much more appealing. Carry me back, indeed.
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