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Led Zeppelin I, Let the Remasters Begin
on June 3, 2014
For our listening pleasure, Jimmy Page has decided to remaster the Led Zeppelin catalog, beginning here in 2014 with the first three albums, all being released today, June 3rd. Page has also dug through his archives and included an extra disc of bonus material for each album. I'm glad he did, because I've been meaning to replace my scratched-up, worn-out CD for awhile now, and a nice new remaster hits the spot. Out of the three, Zeppelin I probably has the widest appeal, and may end up being the most sought-after. For one, it has some of the most popular, well-known, revered songs of Zeppelin's career, including "Good Times, Bad Times," "Babe I'm Gonna Leave You," "Dazed and Confused," and "Communication Breakdown," among others. I don't know any Zep fan who has anything but praise for these classics, and the rest of the album, too, for that matter. These four men, Plant, Page, Jones, and Bonham, had a truly special kind of magic than shines through on this album, which has to be up there as one of the greatest debut albums ever, regardless of genre. I'm entirely pleased with the remaster, and I'm sure it's going to get worn out in short order.
As good as the album is, the real treat of this deluxe edition is the bonus disc. For many years, audio of Zeppelin's 1969 show in Paris has been floating around, and was considered a treasured chronicle of the band in its early days. Now, Page has decided to release it officially, and the sound is fantastic. I've been listening to it up against the sound of the older bootleg, and I think it's far superior. It's way more listenable, cleaning up much of the noise and muddiness from what's been available up to now. The drums are much improved, with a far more clear snare sound and the cymbals way more under control. Plant's voice is more even in spots, correcting some of the faded vocals from the old audio. The remaster for Zeppelin II and III both have studio rough cuts, backing tracks, and alternate takes, which are great for the rabid Zeppelin fanatic, but the average fan will probably appreciate this deluxe edition the most, with the classic debut album and a brilliant live show from a young, hungry Zep from '69. This is a great job by Page, and a good time to replace your old copy of Led Zeppelin I.