I usually try to reserve comments like that for when I'm looking down in the shower (har!), but this Zep DVD desrves it as well on the strength of the performances and the crispness of the film footage.
The DVD basically features groups of live performances spanning the career of the mighty Zeppelin. According to the notes provided, they dug through loads of archived reels and pulled out the best performances. Given that the tapes would be degraded, colored or of an old format, somebody or some team put a LOT of work into making these clips look nice. The clarity of the film, both in audio and video, is amazing with not a hiss, pop or noise bar in sight. Camera cuts for the DVD are smooth well-paced.
As to the performances themselves, the band used to brag up its live shows, but the only testament fans had short of being there was the film "The Song Remains The Same". That one was decent, but it generally left newer viewers wondering what the fuss was all about.
John Bohnam earns his rep as one of the greatest rock drummers from the beginning and the pure skill of the others is more than evident. Jimmy and Robert command the Royal Albert Hall with their confidence and virtuoso performance bringing eventual cheers from the initially subdued audience. Some of the blues jamming that extended out songs can get a bit tedious, but Zep was never a singles type of band. Watching Bohnam pound his kit during Moby Dick was a highlight and it was interesting to see the usual background fixture of John Paul Jones go bass wild during the upbeat section of "Dazed and Confused".
Earl's Court shows the band in a quieter setting performing songs from the Led Zep III era. For me, the best show was Knebworth where the band was matured and slick. They commanded the stage not in a bombastic sense, but in a regal way deserving the attention of kings.
More of the extras showing brief interviews would have been nice. For Zep fans this DVD shows the evolution of the band very well and for fans is a must.
DVD 1: Live at the Royal Albert Hall (1970) We're Gonna Groove/ I Can't Quit You Babe/ Dazed And Confused/ White Summer/ What Is And What Should Never Be/ The Ocean/ How Many More Times/ Moby Dick/ Whole Lotta Love/ Communication Breakdown/ C'mon Everybody/ Something Else/ Bring It On Home
1969 - 3 titles from Danish Television (31 min Stereo) 1969 - "Communication Breakdown" Promo - Paris (9 min Stereo) 1969 - "Dazed And Confused" - Supershow (7 min Stereo)
DVD 2: 1972 - Immigrant Song - Splodge Edit Live (4 min) 1973 - Madison Square Garden - New York (24mn) - 4 titles not included in the film "The Song Remains The Same" 1975 - Earl's Court - London 49 min 1979 - Knebworth - Angleterre 52 min
Immigrant Song/ Black Dog/ Misty Mountain Hop/ Since I've Been Loving You/ Going To California/ That's The Way/ Bron-Y-Aur Stomp/ In My Time Of Dying/ Trampled Underfoot/ Stairway To Heaven/ Rock And Roll/ Nobody's Fault But Mine/ Sick Again/ Achilles Last Stand/ In The Evening/ Kashmir/ Whole Lotta Love
Extras: 1970 - NBC interview with the band 1972 - Rock N' Roll + interviews from Australian Television 1975 - Interview with Robert Plant - BBC Old Grey Whistle 2 clips : "Over The Hills" and "Travelling Riverside Blues"
About this Writer: Frank Hill // Frank Hill has been at this site since its slimy, crying birth in '03. He was born on National Metal Day--11/11 and will turn his hearing aids up to 11 when he's 111. He secretly listens to a lot of old Country and Doo-Wop tunes and wants to start a cyberband with lead vocals by Robot Plant. He is still trying to figure out what Judas Priest meant by "paratamize you". If you read this, then he salutes you.
Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details