on June 4, 2014
I am by no means an audiophile, but I've been listening to this album for over 40 years every way possible (vinyl, cassette, CD...sorry no 8-Track). I listened to the remastered CD with a good set of headphones and it felt like I was hearing the songs for the very first time. I've always thought previous Zeppelin CDs sounded muddy. The bass was buried under Bonham's drumming and the vocals seemed to get lost in the mix.
Not this version! The separation is amazing and Robert Plant's voice seems to float above the music like lightining. And of course Page's virtuoso guitar work shines throughout. My favorite is Your Time Is Gonna Come, hardly one of their big hits. Because the song features keyboards, acoustic and slide guitar you can really appreciate the remaster best on this song.
I've seen a lot of negative comments about the concert disc. It is what it is soundwise. But it is worth it just to hear the tremendous energy they generated on stage and I love how raw it sounds.
So if you are on the fence as to whether to buy the remaster, go for it!
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.
This is Led Zeppelin's best CD. No other CD truly defines this band better than their self-titled debut. All songs on this album are indispensible. Dazed and Confused is a masterpiece, as is Babe, I'm Gonna Leave you. But the real heart and soul of this record are its blues tracks You Shook Me and I Can't Quit You Baby anchor the album. Zep was always at their best playing the blues, just check out Since I've Been Lovin' You. Your Time is Gonna Come still gives me goosebumps, and How Many More Times is the hidden gem on the album. Zeppelin would never top the overall consistency of this album, it is a true landmark in rock history and should be in every fans' collection.
The short guitar bursts on "Good Times Bad Times" that open this firecracker debut in 1969 could be viewed as a forewarning of great songs to come, some of the most historic moments in rock and roll. These four guys were actual musicians who, as a collective unit, created a sound that was unmatchable at the time. And they didn't just blast away at their instruments, either. "Babe I'm Gonna Leave You" showcases gentle acoustic guitar at first, then later driving riffs that could inspire anyone to play air guitar. Even on their first record, Zeppelin weren't afraid to draw out their songs (some would say overstay their welcome), and four of the nine tunes last (and blast) for over six minutes. Like The Doors, Zeppelin had a keen interest in the blues; underneath all the raw rock on this album is a soulful, bluesy sound and aura with two Willie Dixon covers that the band "Zeppelinizes" to the max. Nothing, however, tops the segway from "You Shook Me" to the blazing "Dazed and Confused," which sounds amazing, raw and blistering. The organ work of John Paul Jones on "Your Time is Gonna Come" is truly beautiful, sounding like a church hymn on a rough-and-tumble rock and roll album. Undoubtedly, these British lads mixed sonic beauty and thrashing rawness to create an art form that still resonates today. "Black Mountain Side" is a busy acoustic ditty that sounds positively charming next to its follower, "Communication Breakdown," but that's Zeppelin's style in a nutshell -- heartlifting to raw in a matter of seconds. These rocking songs come off as urgent and passionate. Lyrically, the album is all blues as Plant wails majestically about one heartbreak after the other, moaning about his lost women and unabashedly feeling lonesome and sorry for himself. No matter, he'd have plenty of time to attain more women in the future. This is the work of a band ready to take on the world -- on its own terms.
on June 3, 2014
Well, there is no point for me to ramble on about the music, so on to the important stuff. On the remastering itself (at least on this Super Deluxe Edition) I personally enjoyed the sound of the vinyl more so than the actual CD or HD Download. Either way, the recordings sound cleaner than the previous remasters (I own the most recent "box set" of their released catalogue.) A couple things did jump out on first listen. On "Baby, Im Gonna Leave You," the guitar is on the opposite channel than where you'd expect, and there is extra reverb on Page's acoustic guitar. "Communication Breakdown" seemed a bit less punchy, as though the bass guitar is turned down a bit in the mix than before. The packaging is great!!! A lot better than The Beatles remasters about 5 years back! The vinyl is flawless and no pops (at least not on mine!) I didn't care for the "fiddling about" with those couple of songs, but overall I am impressed. I know I will buy the other two Super Deluxe Editions.
on June 4, 2014
I love everything about this set.
The packaging is perfect. The vinyl is flat (all 3 records) heavy and quiet. The CDs are carefully packaged inside a rice paper inner sleeve, then a white paper 2nd inner sleeve, then the actual outer (mini LP) sleeve.
The book is beautiful, with nice photos....many I've never seen. Great replica press kit. Nice litho of the album art, numbered.
The big deal here is the John Davis/Jimmy Page remaster. Perfectly done, and well balanced.
I have the original Diament mastered CDs, original vinyl, 90's complete recordings cube box, SHM Japan CDs, last mini LP replica black box, Classic Records 200g vinyl, and 2 other reissue vinyl cuts.
I rank this master right up with, if not better than, the Piros cut vinyl and the Classic Records vinyl, and ahead of the Diament original cd, and miles ahead of everything else.
I love the Olympia recording. I thought I knew what to expect here, but actually feel that it sounds better than any of the bootlegs of this that I've heard and better than what I own. It's a great historical document, and what we have here is a performance restored to the best level it can be.....and, IMO, an improvement over what has circulated.
This is a top notch and complete reissue that gives this 2 channel, lifelong Zep fan everything I could have wanted and more.
At the Amazon price protection guarantee of 111.00, this is an absolute steal, and the most excited and satisfied I've been regarding a reissue, ever.
I am very familiar with this recording, own it in several forms, and have owned it in several others (cass., 8 track, etc..)
An absolute must own set, IMO, for a fan of Led Zeppelin.
Thank you Jimmy Page, for a wonderful gift in 2014.
on August 27, 2001
"From the chunky, hard riff that opens "Good Times, Bad Times" (listen to how John Bonham triples up on his bass drum during the first verse) Led Zeppelin introduced the music world to something entirely new. The zest, fervor and passion that they'd put into thier final performances as the "New Yardbirds" was heightened on this first album, and perfected with relentless touring and concentrated studio time. "Babe I'm Gonna Leave You" perfectly showcases Robert Plants' staggering vocal prowess (remember he was still a boy of 21 at the time) and the groups' brilliant arranging and playing. The two sprawling, bluesy excursions these blokes take on have become classics in thier own right (the pummeling "Dazed & Confused" and the album closing "How Many More Times" give the album it's epic feel and are perfect examples of how the blues informed and influenced the band from the very beginning. The shorter songs are oustanding as well, the punkish attack of "Communication Breakdown" provides a quick burst of energy for the listener, while "Your Time Is Gonna Come" is perfect acoustic pop that still doesn't sound dated or contrived. "Black Mountain Side" owes a debt to the Beatles in the middle 60's experimental period with it's use of tabla, acoustic instruments and somewhat unusual arrangement (no vocals). The entire band seemed to really coalesce into a tight, ferocius and intuative unit in a very short time as this debut album is completely lacking in any of the awkwardness or timidity usually associated with a new band. Throughout, Jimmy Pages' guitar (electric and acoustic) whips and soars over the heavy blues rock like a bird in flight, he essentialy rewrites the book on hard rock guitar playing here. John Bonham (THE GREATEST ROCK DRUMMER EVER, PERIOD) and John Paul Jones are an astounding rhythm section incapable of ever losing the groove and they stretch out to wondrous effect here on several selections. Led Zeppelin were a true band who only got better with time. Though their sound became more streamlined with subsequent releases, they never lost the fire that they started with in '68. This is a classic whose influence has been far reaching , but the years have only made it sound fresher and more vital. ...
on June 3, 2014
When this was announced a remastering job done by Jimmy Page I thought okay he remastered them in 1994 just another ploy to buy them again with bonus tracks...ok fair enough fair game...but when i heard these CDs these are much improved so clear so lifelike it'll floor you and make you a big fan of Led Zeppelin all over again...not just someone who listens to their albums a few times a year i mean a real fan again...i laugh at the people who say they're waiting for SACDs to come out you won't do better than this i promise you...and i also promise they won't remasters these again unless they discover a new format on how to play music in the years to come...overall a totally amazing job on the remasters...most important no distortion no brashness...and i think that's what people may seem unhappy about is that it's not overtly loud because i did read a few reviews and at the time of this writing there were only 9 and a few did complain about the sound but everyone was happy because of the bonus discs included, but don't be persuaded by that...i assure you this is worth every penny and more...also it is the ultimate sounding disc...personally if you have the japanese box set or the version with the mini-lp cds hold on to them they were nice...you can have both why not?
on June 5, 2014
I have read a lot the reviews on this and several make very good points. How much better are these Remasters to any other recording can be debated forever. For the casual listener who converts the CDs to MP3 and plays them on an IPOD, don't waste your time. For those with an average pair of speakers/turntable and already have a copy of these albums, again don't waste your time. For those who do not have this album yet & for those who want to feel like they are in the studio while they were recording (aka audiophiles) this may be the closest we ever get. To strive for that perfect sound may appear like money milking, but I feel this mix takes a lot of the dating out if and brings it closer to present day. Should the Original master tapes in some way get lost or ruined, these remasters can be the new source.
Something I have not really seen yet is a review on the HD Download. I downloaded the FLAC files for all three box sets and was able to burn all the songs (53) onto a Dual Layer DVD as FLACs. I have an OPPO BD-95 which views the disc as a data disc and plays all the songs as a FLAC. I am extremely satisfied with the sound quality to include the concert, definitely the best sound quality of these albums I own. The only complaint, which is no fault of the box sets, is the songs that run into each other, when played as separate FLACs, have a pause between songs.
Thank you Jimmy for striving for excellence!!!
on June 21, 2014
using Audio-Technica ATH-M50S headphones purchased from amazon and a $30 jog proof CD player purchased from J&R (remember them?), the remastering is different (clearer, better) than the previous releases. I can only imagine how powerful this would be on serious audio equipment. Rather than saying the guitar loses some grit in some parts (that may be debatable - for me i think you can crank it louder now and get more immersed with the same devastating punch and clarity/dimension to subtle passages), the definition to the sound is sharper and nuances more precise than previous releases of this recording. I hear things that were barely audible in previous releases (I have about 5 different earlier releases of this album (vinyl, cassette, CD...) the Paris CD is new to me; the sample songs from their DVD video release some years ago provided a glimpse of the energy this band assaulted their audience with. I hate to buy the Zeppelin catalog all over again, but the treasure chest that Jimmy Page is offering this time makes this a mandatory listen for any fan.