on April 25, 2002
Coming back to this music after a long listening hiatus, two things in particular impress: the amazing, almost entirely successful eclecticism of the songs; and the production values of Jimmy Page, who is certainly one of the great masters of studio overdubbing.
John Paul Jones, bassist and keyboardist, once made the observation about so-called heavy metal bands that came in Zep's wake that they would all tend to imitate one facet of the group while overlooking all the rest. In other words, Zeppelin-influenced bands tend to mimic the riff-centered "mega-decibelity" of the group, while ignoring the side that employed mandolins, acoustic guitars, recorders, country blues, jazz chords, folk music -- and all the other diverse instrumental and music styles which combined to produce the unique synthesis that was Led Zeppelin. And unlike those other bands, who never seem to be able to figure out when in the middle of song to change tempos or switch gears to something new, Jimmy Page always understood that even the greatest riff becomes tiresome if is repeated too many times without variation, or if there's nothing else musically interesting going on in the song.
In song after song Page as a producer proves himself to have been blessed with the right instincts about how to best put each one over. To give one example among many: in "When the Levee Breaks" he has the band lay down the basic track by playing together live in the studio without separation -- as the Beatles did in "Yer Blues" -- which gives the music the rough bluesy edge that it needs. Or, to give another example, check out the subtle use of electric piano on "Stairway to Heaven." The point is, no matter where you turn, there's always something to learn. If other bands would take the time to learn what Jimmy teaches in these classic albums, instead of just trying to be rock star-idiots, there wouldn't be so much [stuff] on the airwaves.
Which I suppose is just a roundabout way of saying that you can't go wrong by investing in this box set.
on September 7, 2006
Do you want to know what I did? I wanted to get into the great Led Zeppelin. I was going to purchase an old CD-copy of IV/Zoso. But then I found out that there were also vinyl replicas, collections and other choices. I ended up wit Early Days&Latter Days -combo, which absolutely adore and recommend to anyone wanting a sampler of LedZep. Then I started thinking, which album would I get first. But first I bought the great DVD and also The Song Remains The Same -DVD. Later I got Unledded -DVD.
I pondered and pondered on my album purchases. I knew I would need them all. And then I decided to collect and spend the money and get me this wonderful boxset.
If you are considering getting the two other boxes because of the money, I advise against it. With this set you'll get the actual albums, original order of songs and stunning artwork in one handy box.
If you are thinking buying the albums separetly, I'd still recommend this box, money-save or not-so-much. For me at least it was just wonderful to get everything at once with bonussongs, which you don't get if you buy the individual albums. You would also miss great essay by Cameron Crove and a nice storage aka box itself.
Two gripes are: no lyrics booklet, although there are lyrics found in the Internet, and the disc-storage which means odd papersleeves. I'll take my CD's and put them in jewel cases, you could do the same. I was aware of this problem when I bought this, and it didn't stop me.
As I can't imagine, why would someone want to own just a few Led Zeppelin -albums, I warmly recommend investing in this marvellous box. I bet you won't regret it!
All of the LedZep -music is great, listen to the whole albums and see/hear for yourself. Five stars all the way!
But I'm sure you too love these guys already... ;o)
on February 22, 2004
Led Zeppelin. These guys have become known as gods of rock over the years, and with good reason. Their music puts that of this or any other decade to shame. Robert Plant, John Paul Jones, Jimmy Page, and John Bonham were musical geniuses, and it was about time they put all of their albums together in one handy set. The Led Zeppelin Complete Studio recordings brings it all together at long last. Read on for my review of this set.
-Every last one of Led Zeppelin's studio albums is in this set. Led Zeppelin, Led Zeppelin II, Led Zeppelin III, Led Zeppelin IV, Houses Of The Holy, Presence, Physical Graffiti, In Through The Out Door, and the outtake collection album Coda are all here for your listening pleasure.
-The version of the Coda compilation included with this set features four hard-to-find bonus tracks.
-Unlike the other Led Zeppelin box set, this one isn't a scattershot mixture of tracks - it's got EVERY studio album.
-A handy booklet is included with the set. The booklet contains useful information (release dates for albums/singles, etc.), as well as a new essay by legendary rock journalist Cameron Crowe.
-You save money by purchasing this set. If you were to buy every Led Zeppelin album separately, you would end up spending more than you would for this box set. The price looks steep at first glance, but in actuality, it's a great deal.
-I'm not too crazy about the way the individual CDs were packaged in the set. Two CDs each are in five slipcases, each of which contains the art to the two albums, as well as the basic liner note informaton. It's hard to get the CDs out of these slipcases, because you must grab the edge of them. It also gets confusing looking at the liner notes (you actually have to own or see the set to see what I mean.) I was hoping they'd all be individually packaged.
-Although it's called COMPLETE Studio Recordings, you don't get the band's early BBC sessions recordings.
-Just a little word of caution - this is common knowledge to most people, but the following material is NOT in this box set: Robert Plant solo material, David Coverdale/Jimmy Page material, and Led Zeppelin's live albums.
One of the greatest rock and roll bands of all time has put together all of their master works, and at long last, you can get all of these works together in one convenient set. Sure, the set isn't quite perfect, but it doesn't have to be - the quality of Zeppelin's music more than makes up for it. If you're a rock and roll fan, and this set isn't in your collection, what the hell are you waiting for?
on January 19, 2013
Yes, this is a great way to get all of the studio albums in one shot (if you can find this box for a decent price). No, I'm not going to comment on the sound quality of these remasters with terms like 'drop-out' and a bunch of other B.S. that many posers like to throw around.
But I AM going to state that the quality of the packaging in this box is absolute crap. The CD sleeves within the CD covers are stapled in place very poorly, while the actual CDs fit very snugly in their sleeves. The result is that, if you remove the CD without taking excessive care, you pull the sleeve away from the cover. And because of the horrible design, this cannot be fixed once it's become detached. Brutal.
In closing, if you're buying this box as only a collector's item, and don't plan to remove the discs from their sleeves; go for it. If you're buying this box only to fulfill your Zeppelin listening needs and don't care about the package; go for it. If you're hoping to acquire all of Zeppelin's studio albums AND have a nice package for years to come; you're out of luck with this option.
It's funny to read some of the complaints about this box set. "Song Remains the Same and BBC aren't included!" Well, correct. It's called Complete STUDIO Recordings, not Complete Live Recordings. "Cover art is too small!" Well, it's a CD, not an LP. I'm of the belief that you can't go wrong buying the Zeppelin LPs in mint condition, as much like Kiss, Zeppelin always gave you extra bang for your buck, more on that later. "Presence and Coda suck!" Well, they might not be to your personal taste, but this is the COMPLETE Studio Recordings, not the Personal Favourite Studio Recordings.
Anyway, I listened to the entire box set last weekend once again, and it's always nice to revisit Zeppelin's back catalogue in that way. After all, each album is a portrait of where they were at that time, and are truly best when played as complete albums, not songs on a compilation. Zeppelin I and II are an embrionic, pseudo-heavy metal band with hippy tendencies, but you are immediately blown away by how GOOD this band was. All four members were simply stunning, a raging and ripping Plant included. By Zeppelin III they really started to explore the "light and shade" that Pagey speaks of in the included Cameron Crowe essay. It is a beautiful album. Zeppelin IV of course combines the sounds of the first three together into one multi-platinum work of art.
After Zeppelin IV, their albums become harder to characterize, but diversity is still key. Much like the Beatles before and Queen after, Zeppelin were not content to be a simple bass/guitar/drums combo. Strings, synth, and numerous other instruments are brought in to add to the Zeppelin mosiac. Houses of the Holy contains one of my favourite moments in "No Quarter" which is anchored by John Paul Jones' keyboard and synth work, a hauntingly beautiful piece. Physical Grafitti contains perhaps their highest achievement in "Kashmir", but certainly songs like "The Rover" continue the metallic goodness that spawned the band. Presence is an album misunderstood by many, a back-to-basics tour-de-force of power. The very Rush-like "Achiles Last Stand" combine progressive rock tendencies with Plant's lyrical mysticism. Finally In Through the Out Door represents Pagey taking a step back and Jones filling the gap with synth arrangements. "All My Love" is a ballad that came ten years too soon, a Plant/Jones penned masterpiece of beauty. "In The Evening" haunts with Plant's vocals buried in the mix under cascades of Jonesy's synth and Page's whammy bar. "Hot Dog" is a pure country ho-down, and Zeppelin ended their career with the diversity that they started it with. But it doesn't end there, as an expanded version of Coda is included, an odds-and-sods collection of outtakes. Certainly these are not the greatest of Zeppelin moments, but "Bonzo's Montreaux" represents the kind of experimentation that Zeppelin were founded on. A sequel of sorts to "Moby Dick", it is a drum orchestra and worthy of the albums before. The expanded edition includes one of my favourite tracks, Zeppelin's version of "Traveling Riverside Blues". Page's slide guitar is simply excellent.
A booklet with ample photos is included, as well as the afformentioned Cameron Crowe essay. Reading it, you can see where much of Almost Famous came from. Each CD is packaged with a reproduction of each LP's original artwork. That means, for In Through the Out Door, you get all six covers, plus an image of the paper bag, plus the inner sleeve. Zeppelin III gives you a miniature version of "the wheel", and Physical Grafitti, the "windows". If only you cuold manipulate them like the originals, but alas.
Remastering job is OK. I detected what I thought were a couple problems, I thought I heard some tape drop-out. I hate to say it, but maybe the Zeppelin catalogue could use a fresh remastering. 17 years have passed since this was released.
You can either go out and buy each album separately, or you can buy this set. Personally I think this set is the way to go, especially if you care about packaging.
on June 22, 2004
Led Zeppelin's The Complete Studio Recordings which was released in September of 1993, is a great box set featuring all of the band's studio albums in one place instead of spending an extra $30 or so buying them individually. The real treat is Coda has four bonus tracks which were four of the five bonus tracks on the two separate Led Zeppelin box sets released in 1990 and 1993. The sound of the albums as a whole never sounded better, especially Presence and Led Zep III(two of my favorite albums of theirs). Also, the albums come with the original vinyl artwork and excellent liner notes courtesy of Cameron Crowe. The bonuses on Coda are Baby Come on Home(OK), Travelling Riverside Blues(excellent and was a rock radio hit in 1990 and MTV promoted the Zep box set when MTV was good), White Summer/Black Mountain Side and the long-lost B Side Hey Hey What Can I Do. This set is well worth the $100 price tag(10 CDs for over a $100, a bargain). Hugely recommended!
on April 9, 2003
Led Zeppelin's complete studio recordings gathered together in one great box set, with all original artwork, plus a book about the band. Could you possibly ask for more?
Ok, so for Zeppelin fans that have all or most of the albums already this set is pretty much worthless. But, for someone with only two albums or someone who has lost all or most of their Zeppelin albums (me) this set is a godsend. It's almost worthless to review, because the content is well known and speaks for itself.
So then why should you buy this instead of individual albums? If you have just begun to get into the band, have liked a couple albums and want more, this set will save you money, because let's face it, you will end up with all or nearly all of these CD's anyway. The set costs significantly less than buying the albums seperately. With this set you get an interesting booklet about the band, as well as all the albums packaged nicely in a great looking, relatively small box.
The one minor, VERY minor downside to this set is that it doesn't include Zeppelins live album, The Song Remains the Same. Some people may expect this even though the title of the box is Complete STUDIO Recordings, since it was released back around the time of Physical Graffiti. It's a small incovenience that honestly I feel stupid complaining about.
In short, anyone thinking of buying this should. It will be a great investment that you will not ever regret.
on April 1, 2004
I was first turned on to Led Zeppelin when I was a little boy and my father let me hear an old, old record of led zeppelin 2 which is, to this day, my favorite album of theirs. Every member of Zep was astonishing. Plants orgasmic vocals, Page's incindiary guitar styles(to which being a guitarist I hold unmatched), John Bonham...well if you know anything about drums you know you cannot describe exactly how amazing Bonzo was, and John Paul Jones multi-faceted skills with a large list of various instruments. If you are having second thoughts on getting this box set, well first of all shame on you haha, but secondly go out and buy the new self-titled DVD (the one with the desert on the cover) rather than wasting money on one of the cd's in this box set, since after you watch the DVD, you'll indefinitely go out and buy the set for this cheap, cheap, price. And plus you'll have the 2 disc 50 song DVD to go with the magnificent collection your getting here.
In conclusion, if you have any interest in rock music, blues music, or acoustic symphany then go out and buy this box set, and the DVD. I promise you won't be wasting your money.
on February 10, 2004
I was one of the suckers who bought the orignial CD catalogue from the 1980s, then bought the original four-disk remasters box set in 1990 (with its supplement from 1993). But THIS box set is the way to go.
First, unlike the 1990 4-disk box set and its 1993 2-disk supplement, you get the orignal records in the original running order, and unlike the orignal catalog releases in the 1980s, you get all the original artwork, which was previously unavailable. These original studio records include the following:
1. Led Zeppelin I (1969) - "Communications Breakdown", "Babe I'm Gonna Leave You", "Good Times Bad Times"
2. Led Zeppelin II (1969) - "Whole Lotta Love", "Thank You", "Ramble On", "Heartbreaker", "What Is and What Should Never Be"
3. Led Zeppelin III (1970) - "Immigrant Song", "Since I've Been Loving You", "Gallow's Pole"
4. "IV" (1971) - "Stairway to Heaven", "Rock and Roll", "Black Dog", "Going to California"
5. Houses of the Holy (1973) - "Over the Hills and Far Away", "Dancing Days", "D'yer Mak'er", "The Ocean"
6. Physical Graphitti (1975) (2CD) - "Kashmir", "Housses of the Holy", "Trampled Underfoot", "Black Country Woman"
7. Presence (1976) - "Nobody's Fault But Mine"
8. In Through the Out Door (1979) - "All My Love", "Fool in the Rain", "In the Evening"
9. Coda (1982) - "We're Gonna Groove", "I Can't Quit You Babe"
Second, on the 'Coda' disk (which was nothing more than a posthumous collection of unreleased tracks to begin with), you get four of the five nonalbum tracks released with the 1990 box set - "White Summer/Black Mountain Side", a semi-live track from 1969, "Traveling Riverside Blues" and "Baby Come Home", recorded between the first and second records, and the hit b-side "Hey Hey What Can I Do", orignially a b-side of "Immigrant Song", one of the few singles released by this quintessential AOR band. The only thing missing is the remixed version of "Moby Dick", which was included on the first 1990 box set, but which is hardly essential.
on January 6, 2004
What can I say about the "mighty" Led Zeppelin? They ROCK and made us ROLL!!! I was a Zep fan for more than a quarter century when I bought my first album "Led Zeppelin IV" when I was 16. Since then, I collected all their albums including the hit single "Hey Hey What Can I Do?". Originally Jimmy Page was going to call the band "The New Yardbirds" (after the "Yardbirds", a band he was a member of with the likes of other greats; Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, etc, but if it weren't for Keith Moon who approached Page and said; "Your band's gonna go down like a lead zeppelin!" The rest is history!!! Aside from Page who really showed off his style of guitar playing, he put together a bunch of talented guys, first with John Paul Jones (bass and keyboards) who then recommended a close friend of his John "Bonzo" Bonham who was considered one of the best drummers of our times (both Jones and Bonham were with a previous band). Lastly, Robert Plant became a highly recommended pick for vocals, and yes, he was fantastic with the harmonica. From 1969 until the band's breakup shortly after Bonham's death in 1980, the band grossed millions, and still, after twenty years, remain the most popular band today.