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Led Zeppelin: The Song Remains the Same (Widescreen)

4 out of 5 stars 195 customer reviews

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  • Led Zeppelin: The Song Remains the Same (Widescreen)
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Product Details

  • Actors: Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones, John Bonham, Peter Grant
  • Directors: Joe Massot, Peter Clifton
  • Writers: Peter Clifton
  • Format: Anamorphic, Color, Dolby, DVD-Video, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: PG
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • Release Date: Dec 21 1999
  • Run Time: 137 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 195 customer reviews
  • ASIN: B00002E23E
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #63,336 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)
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Product Description

Product Description

Led Zeppelin - The Song Remains

For Led Zeppelin fanatics, this 1976 feature The Song Remains the Same is a treasure of searing live performances, particularly welcome in light of the sad scarcity of such visual material from the band's great decade. Despite the group's road weariness after a long tour, their final, three-night stand at Madison Square Garden in 1973 was full of the old power. Performances of "No Quarter," "Whole Lotta Love," "Black Dog," "Dazed and Confused," and "Stairway to Heaven" underscore Zep's charisma. Trouble is, you don't get an unbroken performance here. Viewers have to wade through a mishmash of documentary insight into the lives of Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, John Bonham, and John Paul Jones, as well as fantasy sequences supposedly inspired by the thoughts and fantasies of the band's individual members. It's mostly garish and silly, but there are some nice elements, especially insights into the late Bonham's life. The DVD doesn't offer much in the way of add-ons (a theatrical trailer is about it), but there is also enhanced viewing for 16 x 9 televisions. --Tom Keogh

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Led Zeppelin will remain the giants of Rock 'n' Roll for a long time to come. Although they've been criticized for "robbing" the blues greats, the truth as any student of the blues will know is that the tradition of the blues (and folk for that matter) is to take existing songs and then modify them with new variations and improvisations until eventually a new song emerges that's virtually indistinguishable from the original. Led Zeppelin have done this with some of the early songs, especially on the first album, but then developed their own unmistakable sound that has since been imitated but never duplicated. This concert is a document of the band at the peak of their powers, claiming their place as the undisputed biggest band in the world at the time, and for many years after.

"The Song Remains the Same" showcases the band during their 1973 USA tour promoting their Houses of the Holy album, with footage from their three nights at Madison Square Garden in New York. The great (now classic) songs from the first five albums are here, including "Dazed and Confused", "Rock and Roll", "Moby Dick", "Whole Lotta Love", and of course the anthemic "Stairway to Heaven". But this is more than simply a film of the concert, as it includes several "fantasy" sequences for each individual band member, making it into a mix of live concert footage and music video, during the days before music videos were widely available on MTV (and many places elsewhere within a few years). The fantasy sequences are intertwined with the concert film, giving each band member a chance to show his individual personality through imagery only made possible with film.
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Format: DVD
If this wasn't the only concert film available of Led Zeppelin it wouldn't be such a tragedy.. but it is.
This is a second rate concert at best. At the time it was released Plant himself acknowledged its shortcomings, saying it simply had to be released, regardless of the calibre of the music. His words were to the effect that it 'certainly wasn't magical'. And it isn't.
For those of us lucky enough to have heard/seen a magical performance of Led Zeppelin in their prime, this concert representation is a pathetic farce. It doesn't even scratch the surface of the brilliance of the band.
On top of the mediocre performance, the editing is simply brutal. The 'dream' sequences spliced in and out of the concert footage are rather silly and beside the point, and even the live footage is so butchered that the sound/images don't match half the time.
As for the 'dream' sequences themselves.... the fact that the makers of this film are trying to 'liven up' a Led Zeppelin concert should be your first clue that something is wrong.
It's not that this film is so bad that bothers me, it's not terrible... it's just mediocre. BUT THAT'S THE PROBLEM! Led Zeppelin was one of the best rock bands of all time.. anyone watching this who had never seen a 'magical' concert would scratch their heads and wonder what all the fuss was about.
Let's pray that somewhere, sometime, someone digs up some magic from the video vaults and shows the kind of mind-blowing concert that these guys were capable of.
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... This would of been an excellent DVD.

I was hoping that when this DVD was reissued that there would of been an option to ignore the fantasy sequencies which we could of done without. Certain portions were obviously staged [selling of unauthorized merchandise is one and when John Paul says the concert is tomorrow when in fact the New York shows were at the end of the leg of the tour).

That said, the audio and video are an incredible improvement over the original edition.

The "Collector's Edition" contains a shrink rapped extra-large [though maybe really a large] t-shirt, cards from various reviews [including a 1-star], replica tickets to various shows, promo snapshots, and a chance to order a fairly large poster [US only].

Second DVD has extras including the trailer, 4 more clips, interviews, etc. Unsure why they didn't keep the concert clips together instead of splitting them up. Video for most of the second DVD wasn't cleaned up.
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Format: DVD
Finally what many Zep fans have hoped for, a remastered rerelease of The Song Remains The Same. I know i have and that is strange because i never thought that the performances are all that great. And over the years the band has come out and said that they too don't think they played well at those New York shows ( the bootlegs of the Los Angeles shows are far superior performances). But this is the only official document of that tour so we cling to it, we come back to it, even though the band's playing is sloppy and tired. But it still is fun to watch, just to see a young Led Zeppelin in their heyday. And that tiny stage. Here they were playing arenas and stadiums and they had a stage set that was right for a 2000 seat concert hall. There are a few good performances such as the extras Misty Mountain Hop and Celebration Day and the Ocean. There just isn't enough of them.

The package is nice, it comes with a set of lobby cards, some reproductions of movie premiere tickets and newspaper clippings. Most importantly the picture quality and sound quality are vastly improved, it really does sound and look beautiful. And if you don't already know, the film isn't completely live. When the band got back to England they weren't happy with what they filmed so they set up the stage in Shepperton studios and reshot many scenes and you can see some times that Jimmy's guitar playing isn't in synch with what we hear and see. Also the film was shot over 3 nights in N.Y and the band was told to wear the same clothes for all shows to make it look like one show, but John Paul Jones wears different clothes on each night and the editing reflects that. You see JPJ wearing 3 different outfits in one song. Sad really. One last thing i would like to add is why with todays technology, they didn't give us an option to watch the film with or without the fantasy pieces, which i always found boring. So there you have it, not a great film, but still a fun snapshot of the band when they ruled the land.
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