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Led Zeppelin: The Song Remains the Same (Widescreen)
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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
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"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.Read more ›
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.
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.
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.
Most recent customer reviews
If you love Led Zeppelin as much as I do then I highly recommend this video. Not only are their lie preformances from the 73 concerts at MSG, but it has parts of each members... Read morePublished 19 days ago by Amazon Customer
Poor quality. I am surprised Page allowed it to be released.Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
bought it as a gift. The person who received it was very happy and really enjoyed the show. Any Led Zepplin fan should really enjoy this film.Published 2 months ago by The book Monkey
I enjoyed this quite a lot. Both the concert film and fantasy sequence are pretty good and energetic, but I have to give 4 out of 5 because: the footage of Misty Mountain and The... Read morePublished 3 months ago by HypnotizerLuna
What else can be said about the greatest live performers of ''Rock & Roll'' ? the sound quality is better than I remember in the theatre, when the movie first came out !!Published 4 months ago by Mark Scheu
Favorite blu ray to watch on a Friday or Saturday still. Some weird scenes but it was the 70'sPublished 5 months ago by Thomas H.
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