46 of 49 people found the following review helpful
on June 6, 2000
About six months ago I became a fan for life when I heard 'Achilles Last Stand' off of Presence. I made it my New Year's resolution to get my hands on more of Zeppelin's music. I landed this box set ... in an Amazon.com auction and for almost 2 months didn't buy another CD, because this was all I needed. This is the ultimate starter kit for those who want to get the full scope of the band's work and an understanding of why they remain probably one of the best rock bands in history. It makes me wish I had been born 15 years earlier (I'm 23) so I could have seen them perform; music that stretches boundaries the way Led Zeppelin's did and still does is hard to find. Ballads, opuses, ditties, driving rock -- it's all here, and assembled in such a way that each CD has a different feel that successfully spans the more than 10 years that LZ were making music. This is not solely an essential item for the Led Zeppelin fan, but for the music fan as well.
42 of 46 people found the following review helpful
on April 12, 2000
This set artfully explores the ingenious travels of hard rock's most influential and creative band, Led Zeppelin. Some of these songs are probably familiar from the radio, such as the crunchy "Black Dog" and "Whole Lotta Love" and the mystical epics "Stairway to Heaven" and "Kashmir." To get a full feel of the band's range, one needs to listen to the whole set, which ranges from bludgeoning heavy blues to delicate folk. The only possible drawback to buying this 4-CD set is that it's missing a few good tracks - but for that, there's always Box Set 2!
87 of 102 people found the following review helpful
I bought this box set as soon as it was released. I owned the original Led Zeppelin albums on vinyl, and the difference in sound quality, obviously, is huge. I like Zeppelin, but there are other artists I listen to more frequently. That being said, this is a very good box set overall, and if you are just getting into Led Zeppelin, is an excellent place to start, with one caveat: this is a four CD set that's about one CD too long. All the classics are here, but there is quite a bit of material that is for true die-hard fans only. While it's better to err on the side of too much material, this could have easily been pruned a bit more to make a tighter, more cohesive package. For the Zeppelin purists that disagree, I recommend that they skip the box set altogether and buy all the original albums on CD for even more material.
The individual CD's are somewhat jumbled, and don't follow a strict historical timeline, which doesn't bother me, but does annoy some fans. Of the four CD's, the best of the bunch in my opinion is disc one, which contains such greats as "Heartbreaker," "What Is And What Should Never Be," "Ramble On," and the excellent but comparatively rare "Hey Hey What Can I Do," plus eleven more. This is the disc I normally pull out of the box to play, although all the others are good, too (disc four drags a bit, though.)
In all, this is a reasonably priced, balanced set of the best of Led Zeppelin: it won't be the favorite of everyone, though; hardcore fans will want more, casual listeners will want less, but for most of those in between, this set is of great quality and is a good value.
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on December 15, 1999
This is the perfect box set to start one's Zeppelin collection. If you've heard all the stuff on the radio and want that and a little more, buy this set. The sound quality is excellent, and the order of songs seems just as fitting as the original studio albums. There is incredible fluidity on this set (a quality that is far too often not achieved on most box sets), meaning you can listen to the whole thing straight through, getting a listen of the gradual developing sound of Led Zeppelin in the 70's without the awkwardness of a sudden change in sound from song to song. If you like this set, buy the 2nd box set (containing some lesser-known gems) and your collection is complete. Enjoy!
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on December 1, 1999
Me 2. With roots from old blues,soul, 60,70,& 80's classic rock,70's P-funk a, 70's 80's,90's punk,80's& 90's alternative, and international music from all over the world, I've always kept a fairly large & rotating collection of LP's & later CDs. It gets pretty expensive to own entire catalogs of all your fav artists. I own 300 plus CD's right now and I just began replacing LP's with CD's about 8 years ago. I started to buy each Zep CD individually, then I found this box set, which I gave to myself for Xmas, one of my best presents ever. Now if you're a hard core Zep fan then you will probably need to buy every remastered release that they have put out, along with the Page and Plant CD's (I especially enjoyed the No Quarter CD), But I think that for those Zep Fans with a wide variety of musical tastes, a limited budget, or new fans this could definitly make you smile. After all, This box set has most of the best stuff Zep ever did, remastered and crystal clear. I'm sure that I can think of several other pesonal fav's that I might have included,(Lemon Song, How Many More Times, even Boogie with Stu), but you're getting 54 really cool tunes here, just pick up what you're missing later. Its all good. By the way, I'm 39 & have 3 punk and hip hop loving teenagers who raid my CD's regularly. in their words, Led Zep Rocks.
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on May 23, 2006
For a while this was all we had, box-set wise, from Zeppelin. This 4 CD set (and an accompanying 2 disc set released later) was the ultimate Zeppelin collection. Since there were no greatest hits and no more comprehensive collections available, it was this or nothing for those of us who wanted a heavy dose of Zeppelin on CD.
Today we have more options. For mild fans of Led Zeppelin I'd recommend, instead of this product, the Early and Latter Days 2 CD set. It's not as comprehensive and focuses more on the blowout superhits. For those who, like me, are utter Zep heads, the 10 disc Complete Studio Recordings works better. But this box set is still the best idea for people who really like Led Zeppelin but not enough to want everything the band ever released. With 4 CDs you get a lot of material (the selection was done by Jimmy Page, and he did a great job) but not everything the band ever released. This set rocks, and again the only reason I'd defer from buying this set is if I wanted something more comprehensive.
This set will give you all of the very best, including such rock staples as "Stairway to Heaven," "Whole Lotta Love," and "Rock and Roll," as well as such must haves as "The Ocean," "All of My Love," and my personal favorite of Zeppelin's lesser classics, "Ramble On." On top of that you get a whole lotta major and minor hits and a lot of filler material that's actually worth listening to--something you don't see much these days.
To sum it all up, this is a spectacular collection from one of the most phenomenal bands of all time.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on February 28, 2004
It's rare that you can buy a Greatest Hits CD and not find some filler, let alone a 4 CD compilation. Every song is a classic Led Zeppelin hit put together in a nice package which includes a poster and history of the band with pictures. This is an excellent collection from one of the Greatest Groups in Rock and Roll.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on August 22, 2001
This is THE box set to own. Practically every song on the jam-packed four CDs rings with classic, blues-inspired rock. There are no duds. You can listen to this for months, you can crank it as loud as your stereo can go. I actually bought this box set -- my first CDs ever -- BEFORE my first CD player, I was so excited when it came out. The four black discs are still the prizes of my significantly larger collection. There is a reason why Led Zeppelin has sold approximately 70 million albums, many long after they dissolved.
This box set also has a way-out cool cover and accompanying booklet. Definitely choose this over the 10-CD set, too. If you want all of the songs, you can add Box Set 2 (which includes some wonderful songs that didn't make Jimmy Page's cut for this set, as well as their few, well, duds). That way you get the same songs, but on six CDs instead of 10.
To anyone who likes Led Zeppelin or Rock and Roll, this is frankly a treasure trove. A perfect gift also for a young kid with a guitar and a dream -- this is a compilation that shows what Rock and Roll was all about, before Pop killed it.
For anyone depressed about the NSYNC's of the world with their simplistic, recycled lyrics and lame dance-synth-pop sound, this box set is the antidote.
(Also check out Almost Famous, a movie with a lot of Zeppelin homages).
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on October 10, 2007
I bought both Vol.1&2 Box sets and I really regret doing that, the songs are in no particular order and growing up hearing Zep songs your used to certain songs running together such as "Heartbreaker" into "Living loving maid" or "you shook me" into "dazed and confused" you get none of that classic line up on here. Led Zeppelin were an ALBUM band and their Classic music should be listened to as they intended it to be heard, one album at a time. I plan in the future to buy all of the individual albums.
I highly recommend anyone else to go that direction also.
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on May 2, 2002
Like it or not, Led Zeppelin and their music are the central locus of everything we call rock music today (for better or worse). This is not to minimize the vast contributions of other artists like Elvis, The Beatles, James Brown, The Who, Cream, and others. But simply put, Zep wrote the rule book.
I was a late comer to their music. I had heard all of the singles on the radio, but I guess the reason I never got into them was that at the time, it seemed that everyone I knew who was into Zeppelin was a stoner-type and that wasn't my thing. I suppose I felt that I would have to be jacked-up to enjoy their stuff. But here's the kicker: I never really LISTENED to them in depth before my last year of high school. I only HEARD them, and there is a major distinction between the two.
A friend of mine brought all of their albums (which are showcased on this incredible set) over to my house on a weekend and we popped in one after another. At first I was thinking that we might get through one album and then move onto other things like playing our own music or going to a movie. I was wrong. One by one we sat and drank Dr. Pepper (an entire 12 pack) and listened through Zep's catalogue.
I was beside myself. THIS was Led Zeppelin? But I'm hearing blues and gorgeous acoutic numbers and long songs that unfold like a good novel? I was hooked. What I was discovering at that moment was what so many others had. Led Zeppelin were extremely well rounded in the history of music. This is very evident in their blues outings from the first album especially. Some debate the validity of their blues performances. So be it. I don't really care for blues in general, and this is as close as I get to listening to them. Zep does a great job with the blues. Call it what you want-it's all good MUSIC.
If Zep had stopped there they would not have garnered the attention they did. But they didn't. The band continued to add to their repetoire. Indeed, Zep were really the first true 'heavy-metal' band no matter what Jimi Hendrix fans say. Need I say more than 'Communication Breakdown'? If that is not a precursor to the galloping riffage of Metallica and others I don't know what is. But they didn't stop there either. Listen to the gorgeous tracks like 'Ten Years Gone' and 'Tangerine' and feel the melancholy of the songs. It's brilliant and haunting.
I know many people site the Beatles as the best band in rock history. I think those kind of debates are pointless-however, for me, no one tops Zep. A band that gets big today is one thing; the rock scene is horrendous. But Zep was playing DURING the era of Hendrix, Cream, The Beatles, and The Who: not exactly a music scene devoid of talent. This only lends more creedence to the idea that they were the best ever. This set is a wonderful compilation of many of their best songs (not all) and some lesser-known ones that could have been hits. Look no further, this is the king of all box sets, and one of the best values out there.