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7 November 2007 1,817 views No Comment

So another compilation lands – this one though arrives at a time of great significance and is very welcome in the Lewis household and I‘m sure yours too.

It’s timely reminder of just what all the fuss is about.

At work, I’ll be enjoying racking up yet another milestone Zep release for retail consumption – by my reckoning it’s about the14th official Zeppelin album I’ve enjoyed ripping out the box and putting on the shelves in my 33 year retail career stretching back to the magnificently packaged Physical Graffiti.

 It throws up a host of memories. Being faced with 300 shrink wrapped Presence albums and staring rather unnervingly in wonder at that bizarre sleeve. Three years later it was the distinctive brown paper bag of In Through The Out Door. I had to open about 50 before I accumulated sleeves A to F for myself – hey there has to be some perks working in a shop!

Then there was Coda arriving in it’s bleak grey sleeve on a similarly bleak November day nigh on 25 years ago just as the good lady and I started stepping out. Wearing And Tearing is still one of her faves so the initiation period lasted! I ran a competition in store for some beautiful posters we had for display. I’m sure Gary Foy won at least five of them.  

In 1990 the Remasters box set and double album ushered in the era of a fresh Zep critical revival. We had some fun with that too – the Our Price store I managed then in Bedford racked up some £5,000 worth of sales from that box set in the first week of release alone. This contribution was duly recognised by the Warner Records top brass who subsequently took me out for a grand lunch and then presented me with a personal triple vinyl gold disc award which sits proudly in the Totnes ballroom… oh sorry dining room.

 Mothership of course marks the debut of the Led Zep catalogue on line.

An inevitable occurrence and no bad thing in making the legacy of their work available to an even wider audience.  Dowloaders though will miss out on what is an engaging CD package with excellent sleeve notes from Rolling Stone magazine’s David Fricke and a variety of fine photos -all wrapped in that rather abstract Shepard Fairey sleeve which I’m actually warming to. 

I’ll of course be hoping plenty out there still invest in the physical experience of buying it over the counter. This latest compendium of their greatness (and be sure to read David Cavanagh’s superbly eloquent Mothership review in Uncut magazine – a masterpiece of re-appraisal) is likely to be on Christmas lists from new fans to lapsed over the coming weeks.

As the aforementioned Cavanagh acknowledges ’’How devastating this arcane, frontierless, much loved, much feared music still stands’’

Buy it, or buy it for someone who deserves to experience those sentiments.

Mothership should be vying for that number one spot on the album charts around the world upon it’s release.

Let’s put them back where they belong.     

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