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LED ZEPPELIN REISSUES EXCLUSIVE TBL COMPETITION/ LED ZEPPELIN REISSUES MORE FEEDBACK /UK CHART POSITIONS/ZEP REISSUES ON SALE IN LONDON/ ROBERT PLANT AND SSS IN MOROCCO

9 June 2014 3,827 views 3 Comments

 

zep one reissue

Led Zeppelin Reissues Exclusive TBL Competition:

To celebrate the release of the Led Zeppelin Reissues, we have teamed up with the good folks at Rhino Records for an exclusive competition to win a special Led Zeppelin reissues pack:

The pack consists of the following :

Deluxe 2CD editions of the first three Led Zeppelin reissued albums

Deluxe remastered vinyl editions of the first three Led Zeppelin reissued albums

A Led Zeppelin remasters T-shirt

A set of litho-prints featuring negative artwork form the first three Led Zeppelin reissued albums.

All you have to do to enter is follow the link below and submit your answer and details.

The first all correct answer drawn out after the closing date will be deemed the winner.

The winner will be notified by email.

Closing date is Monday June 30th, 2014.

Here’s the link to enter :

http://smarturl.it/tblcomp

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Led Zeppelin Reissues chart positions:

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The Led Zeppelin reissues entered the UK charts as follows:

Led Zeppelin   – chart position 7

Led Zeppelin II – chart position 12

Led Zeppelin III – chart position 10

They were in good company with a number of other heritage acts – full story here:

http://www.vintagevinylnews.com/2014/06/veteran-artists-hold-nine-of-top-twenty.html

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More Led Zeppelin Reissue Feedback:

Here’s a round up of some further Led Zeppelin Reissues feedback contributions…

Led Zeppelin I CD: 1990 versus 2014

My love affair with Led Zeppelin began in 1991.  I was born in 1978 so while I was technically alive when Bonzo died, I was too young to know who they were.  I was in 7th grade and I was trying to broaden my horizon in rock.  My older sister was heavy into new wave and 80s music (which I do have an appreciation for). However, I was always drawn to the guitar.  My friend’s father always name-dropped Led Zeppelin, so with some cash in pocket, I went down to my local record store and purchased a copy of Led Zeppelin IV.  I was hooked.  I wanted more!  I saw that there was a box set that had just been released and I had a birthday coming up.  I asked my parents if they could get that boxed set for me as a birthday gift and they did.  I fell into the rabbit hole and an obsession was born.  I loved the light and the shade.  I loved the sheer power of the music.  It was because of that set that I picked up the old beat up guitar in my house and taught myself how to play guitar.  I own a Les Paul BECAUSE of Jimmy Page.  The second box set came out and that was purchased so that I finally had the whole recorded discography.  I still wasn’t happy because I wanted the proper running order.  As a result, I spliced the boxed set onto cassettes so that I had the proper running order!  When The Complete Studio Recordings boxed set came out, I finally got what I wanted: all the studio albums remastered by Jimmy Page.  These discs are what I grew up with and had a profound impact on my musical development and sensibilities.

When iPods came out, I was happy to have the entire selection in the palm of my hand.  Then, I was given a set of Bose Noise cancelling headphones.  I quickly realized how bad mp3s sounded.  Long story short, I have been re-ripping my CDs into lossless format and when I finally got around to the Led Zeppelin canon, I was blown away by what I was hearing on these headphones.  This was in 2013!  I felt as if I was rediscovering Led Zeppelin all over again.  Then, Mr. James Patrick Page drops the news on us that he was releasing these new remasters so naturally, I had to have them.  On June 3, 2014 that day finally arrived.  I once again ripped these new editions in a lossless format so that I could make a fair and controlled comparison.  I went track by track by starting with the 1990 edition and then switched to the 2014 edition.

Good Times Bad Times

The 2014 edition has a much cleaner sound.  Not as harsh around the edges and the bass sounds so much warmer. Bonzo’s drums sound bigger than they ever did before.  This hits you between the eyes.  I am not sure why this is, but the drums seem to be mixed to different sides.  In 1990, the high hat and cowbell are on the left side.  The bass and snare are on the right.  In 2014, they reverse sides.

Babe I’m Gonna Leave You

The peculiarities continue.  On the 1990 edition, the intro guitar part starts in left channel.  On the 2014 edition, the intro starts on right channel.  The acoustic guitars sound so good.  They have so much warmth and depth to them now.  I also notice much less tape hiss that I did before.  In the loud chorus, it does not distort and break up! These are totally uncompressed recordings.  They have room to breathe!

You Shook Me

1990 – Once again, the guitar is more on the left.  The drums are on the right. One can hear the tape hiss.

2014 – Guitar is now on right and the drums are on the left.  Still has the little tape hiss hiccup in the beginning.  Overall, the ambient hiss is gone.  This has a more “in the studio” feeling to it.

Dazed and Confused – Tape hiss is virtually non-existent during the bass intro.  Once again, this sounds warmer.  The overall sound is crisper without being overly loud.  Channel switching is here again, mainly on the drums.

Your Time is Gonna Come

1990 – Same as noted before – organ intro is left channel.  Always noticed more tape hiss in this track than all the others.

2014 – organ intro is now in the right channel.  Intro seems louder, grander.  The tape hiss is still there, but ever so slightly. Once again, the acoustic guitar seems richer.

Black Mountain Side

Definitely noticing that the tracks on “side 2” seem more forceful in their presentation.  There seems to be a richness and depth to these.  This track seems louder to my ears, but not in a bad way. More present in the mix.  I am beginning to wonder if this was something with the particular tape reel that these songs were recorded on?

Communication Breakdown

More of the right/left channel switch, but the 1990 guitar is on the right and the 2014 guitar is on the left.  This track just sings.  Very forceful in its presentation and the bass sounds so good.

I Can’t Quit You Baby

1990 – Guitar and vocals are in the center, the bass mixed to the left channel and the drums are on the right.  In 2014, the vocals and guitar are still in the center but now the bass and drums have flipped sides.  Overall, this also has a more “in the studio” feeling to it.

How Many More Times

More channel switching.  1990 the bass is right, drums on the left.  In 2014, they switch sides.

Overall, these sound so amazing.  In all of the press that Jimmy has done, he was constantly asked, “What is the big difference between these remasters and the ones done in 1990?”  He has basically said that the technology of today has allowed him ro remaster properly for each format.  In spending time with both versions, it is apparent that Jimmy’s ears are amazing.  It seems as if he had notes from 1990 in terms of things he wanted to do, but the technology only allowed him to go so far before compromising the integrity of the recordings.  Now, it is as if he was able to finally tackle those issues and that is what leads us to the current slate of remasters.  Let me be very clear about one thing, Jimmy did an amazing job in 1990!  Those discs were done with care.  Jimmy is incredibly protective of Zeppelin’s legacy.  You can feel the love and care that went into these 2014 editions.  If this is the care that went into these earlier albums, I am excited to hear what’s next.  “They talk of days for which they sit and wait and all will be revealed….”

Keith Herrador – Lindenhurst, NY USA

Led Zeppelin III Super Deluxe Box Set Review:

I will not attempt to make any of you understand what Led Zeppelin means in my heart. You can’t go there anyway. Just trust it’s a lifelong blessing that unfolds like a perfect lotus blossom wider and wider as the years roll by.

THE PACKAGE:

Elegant, sturdy, quality. Mine will be handled and played. But I do have white gloves for handling things like this and Jimmy’s massive photobook.

Funny, no Aleister Crowley quotes on the vinyl run offs.

The nice suitable-for-framing print of the cover and image on the CD show an impossible image: pictures of all four members showing in all the wheel holes. Which cannot be done on a real LP version of III. Strange, but 100% understandable and appreciated to give all four men a space to be seen.

The book is elegant as can be but I would have liked less foreign cover art examples and larger photos and more written details of the times, sessions, gear, etc because I’m a true geek about LZ. But no matter. It’s precious, beautiful and always sweetly emotional for me to open it each time.

The LP and CDs SOUND:

I prefer the vinyl for many reasons but first the CDs: overall with a side by side comparison of the CDs done on my stereo system and MacBook Pro iTunes with Harman Kardon speakers/subwoofer, I compared the 1993 Complete Works CD set versions to the new CDs. NEW wins for a richer low midrange, more warmth, bass and each instrument a little clearer in the mix. On both playback systems at identical volumes. And the bass drum pedal squeak is still there on SIBLY loud and proud. The acoustic numbers sound sparkly and real very intimately presented.

The digital FLAC files download only played on the MacBook Pro set up and at same volume (played on the fine VOX app for such formats) each track louder, clearer, deeper, richer more defined. For me as good in digi form as the vinyl updates are.

So hi-def, hi-density the way to go always. YES.

paul reissues

VINYL SOUND:

The real winner for me. Compared to my 1970 pressings and my 1980s Japanese pressings, the new 2014 heavy vinyl is again richer, more defined, deeper and warmer. I think I can smell the studio floors, smoke and sweat. Every sound more alive, more expensive, and more expansive more authentic. It also takes me home to how I first experienced Led Zeppelin, sitting on the floor LOUD in front of the speakers or lights out a candle and the big Koss headphones. Heaven. This is an experience you can’t really share –not with a wife, lover or friend. It’s so intensely personal, emotional, spiritual, it’s the group and me and Existence. A party.

COMPANION DISCS AND VINYL:

I totally respect Jimmy’s choices here and as much as I approach studio outtakes like a entering a sacred temple, I’ve heard most of this but not so warm, clear and fresh sounding, the Jennings Farm Blues (BYA Stomp-ish Jansch-ish “Waggoners Lad” jam) and Key To The Highway Trouble In Mind sound so fun, so lively, so fresh and rich…that now they’re common and released is a change I’ve not assimilated in my mind as of yet.

the rough mixes, for me as a musician are always welcome for opening up the process and seeing the ragged edges of reality. But they show the compositions were stellar and the performances were epic and the productions were heavenly. Animal, human and divine.

But as this is the first set to be delivered to me, it reminds me of how I took it in 1970. Wild, dense hippy LP art, fun, varied sounds and flexing their might on hard rock blues, folk and the the in-betweens I so love and need.

THIS was the LP that paved the way for all to come.

More than LZ 1 or II, III cleared the path for anything they wanted to do and created true freedom for expressing their exotic cultural and world tastes and desires for experimentation and growth. III is the one that reverberates to today, that time of wandering, staying in a country home to write, relate, play, record and learn about each other and themselves.

Pastoral, Viking sex, hard, aching blues, thunderous rock, eastern tension gentle spring time sweets, and hillbilly bluegrass joy on two sides in an LP cover that supported multiple plays as you tried all the spins and identifying all the artwork..as varied as the sounds, all wild, open, marijuana-laced and took you then and still TAKES you TODAY on a beautiful journey of playful power and bucolic splendor. Take your shoes off to meditate in the presence of majesty or to run in the fields with the goats and sheep.

These sets are for collectors and crazy life long fans but i feel they’re also for musicians and the deeply curious as well. The more you dig, the more you find. And III is loaded with jewels that were further polished for the next ten years.

Paul MacFarlane – St Louis, USA

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I have spent the last few days going through the three Zep reissue CDs.  Despite the fact that I like to look at LP packaging and I collect Zeppelin photo books, I did not opt for the super-deluxe box set.  Just too rich for my blood, even as an uber-fan of the band.  But I do want the tracks from the new “companion discs”, so I opted for the 2-disc “deluxe” CD sets.  And I did not order the CD sets in advance from an online retailer.  I still find that there is a thrill-factor in driving to the local store, even if it is a “big box” chain store, and finding new Led Zeppelin product on the shelves.

I won’t comment on the remastering.  Plenty of people have weighed in their opinions on the various internet forums.  I have been familiar with the John Davis remastered versions for a few months, as I purchased many tracks from the whole catalogue when they were issued on iTunes and branded as “Mastered for iTunes”.  I am pleased with the overall sound of the remasters.  I think we’ll see an even larger difference when we get to Physical Graffiti and In Through the Out Door.

The companion discs….  I have never been a big fan of the Paris ’69 radio broadcast when it came out on bootleg a few years ago.  The show is in mono, Jimmy’s guitar is a bit buried in the mix and Plant sometimes is annoyingly out of control (which is an appeal to some, granted).  Still, I always found the “Good Times Bad Times” intro transitioning to “Communication Breakdown” extremely exciting and this is no exception.  Plus, we get a very early version of “Heartbreaker”, which is a treat.  The rest of the show – meh.  It’s mastered about as best as it could be but I don’t find it much different in terms of sound quality from the bootleg.  “How Many More Times” has the entire medley edited out.  (Tracks that I added to my iPod:  GTBT/Communication Breakdown, Heartbreaker.)

The LZII companion disc… I LOVE the alternate version of “Whole Lotta Love” presented here.  It just sounds more primal, especially hearing Bonzo shouting throughout the second half of the song.  I couple of the tracks, particularly “What Is and Never Should Be”, are so similar to the original versions that I wonder, why bother?  “Thank you” is a karaoke version, yawn!  I do really like “Heartbreaker”.  The drums in particular have entirely different sound to them and I enjoy it.  “Living Loving Maid” is also karaoke but it’s a bit more fun but disappointingly flat sounding. “Ramble On” is interesting without the overdubbed solos.  “La, La” is such a strange duck that I cannot wrap my arms around it.  I suppose if it came out on bootleg 10-15 years ago, the Zep world would be going crazy trying to analyze it.  It just doesn’t get me too excited today.  The whole LZII companion disc left me wanting more and feeling a bit unfulfilled.  (Tracks that I added to my iPod: WLL, Heartbreaker, Ramble On, Moby Dick.)

The LZIII companion disc… Now, here is where the real fun begins.  Ironically, my least favorite studio album contains my favorite companion disc.  “(The) Immigrant Song” is very similar but a bit more raw and contains some spooky sounds from Plant in the outro.  “Friends” is acoustic karaoke.  “Since I’ve Been Loving You” is the star of the show.  A completely different, earlier take and not a similar-sounding alternate mix.  Very raw and powerful.  “Gallows Pole” and “That’s the Way” really shine as stripped down versions (vocal, acoustic guitar, bass & drums), the later particularly since it plays at the original speed.  Karaoke “Out on the Tiles” is for some reason renamed “Bathroom Sounds” (?).  If someone told me when it came out on bootleg 20 years ago that “Jennings Farm Blues” would be professionally mixed and legitimately released, I would have said they were crazy.  But here it is!  Fun track with great sound, though it does meander a bit until the end.  “Keys to the Highway” is a more enjoyable take on the concept that led to “Hats Off to Roy Harper”.   (Tracks that I added to my iPod: Immigrant Song, SIBLY, Gallows Pole, TTW, Jennings Farm Blues, Keys to the Highway.)

Now the packaging…  Unlike in the super deluxe box set, in which the original album and companion disc are packaged in separate CD sleeves, the deluxe CD sets are housed in a single tri-fold heavy paper sleeve.  It features the alternate, “negative” album art on the back and reproduces the original album art with an extra band photo included in the third panel.  Each set includes a booklet with great period photos that I would assume are taken from the hardcover photobooks included in the super deluxe box sets.  Very nice.  Track listings, including recording dates for the companion tracks (interesting), and credits are found on the last two pages of the booklets.  It would have been nice if the booklets contained some band commentary.  Overall, I am a sucker for packaging and these tri-fold sleeves are gorgeous.  The companion tracks bat about .500 but nonetheless, they are well worth the $15 for each.

Christopher Gust – USA

“The Vaults” have been opened and from them have emerged unreleased studio outtakes, demos and live material. I couldn’t help but imagine a “Hammer-Horror” scenario of a cloaked figure entering this fabled place, lantern held up to illuminate the way, fog swirling around the ground, distant howls from unseen beasts, the door creaking open. Or perhaps an Arthur Daley-esque “Lock-Up” somewhere in West London, an old Jaguar pulling up outside and the jangle of old keys as a garage door is unlocked to reveal shelves of old dust covered cardboard boxes !

The re-issues look great and sound great, and the companion discs contain some great music, and its amazing that Jimmy Page has been able to find so much , in such great sound quality, after all this time.

The highlight of the companion disc of “II” for me has to be “La La” . It’s a glorious celebration , beginning with a riff not unlike Cornershop’s “Brimfull of Asha” that then drops briefly into an “All Things Must Pass” era George Harrison groove before moving into the sort of Guitar freak-out that characterised Zeppelin’s live shows from that period. It is a work in progress,  put to one side to be finished later. But this group were evolving at such a pace that a few months later Page and Plant were ensconsed in Bron-yr-Aur cottage in Wales, with wellington boots and acoustic guitars, plunging hot pokers into cyder and coming up with the sort of songs that moved the group into another realm altogether. They did not go back to finish “La La”, instead beginning a process, melding acoustic and electric that would see them ultimately record songs of the stature of “Stairway to Heaven”, Rain Song” and “Ten Years Gone” . The Companion disc of “III” has so many great tracks , The shimmering psychedelic guitar of “Immigrant Song”, the very dramatic version of “Since I’ve Been Loving You”, and “That’s The Way” with it’s Dulcimer, and at the end of the disc, the spooky , bluesy “Keys to the Highway/Trouble in Mind”. It’s a shame that “Hey, Hey, What Can I Do” is not there , but I hope it will turn up on “CODA” along with “Friends” and “Four Sticks” from the 1972 Bombay Sessions. Who knows? …..only the keeper of “The Vaults” !

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Tim Davies – Hannover, Germany

Like Snoopy, I’ve always been fascinated with the Red Baron. Maybe it was because I read a book about Richthofen in this thing called the Incredible Series that also featured a book about Titanic, another topic of fascination for me. Maybe it’s because one of my great uncles served in WWI and is buried near Chateau-Thierry.

Anyway, when I found out that the image Jasta 11 used had been incorporated into the cover art of Led Zeppelin II way back when, I was thrilled by the sense of historical heritage. Zeppelin is a German name, Jasta 11 fought for Imperial Germany during the Great War and the imagery of the big, lumbering air ships attacking London seemed to fit Led Zeppelin’s bombastic reputation.

Whatever the imagery, the strident tones of the opening riff to Whole Lotta Love is probably one of the most universally recognized melodies in rock music. As I said in my short form reaction, I put the vinyl on first and then started ripping the CDs. The sound was very full, very thorough and very clean, all at once, which belies its raw energy.

The 180-gram heavyweight packaging is fitting considering the heavy sound, the passionate lyrics and the overall production. Page the perfectionist is no more evident than on this record. And it’s weird, too, because a lot of it was originally recorded on the road, in visiting studios and where ever possible, whenever possible.

As I was listening to the album segue between Whole Lotta Love and What Is and What Should Never Be, I opened up the companion book and flipped through the imagery from the various tours, studio sessions and the publicity shots. There, on Page 16, was the uncropped full-size image of Richthofen’s legendary squadron, the Red Baron and his flying circus. Manfred’s in the cockpit and brother Lothar is sitting cross-legged in the front. You can see the resemblance between the two brothers.

Jonesy sat in for Lothar in the LZII cover and Manfred is etched out of the cover image, but it’s still a very iconic image. Bonzo’s looking in from the right side with a look of, “Are you really going to do this?” I think Richard Cole made a cameo in the lineup, too, but I can’t swear to it.

Speaking of imagery, I thought it quaint that Jimmy included images of cassettes, 8-track tapes and even reel-to-reel copies of LZ II. Hadn’t seen that latter anywhere before. I’ve strongly considered getting a reel-to-reel recorder to marry up with my turntable, but I haven’t done it yet.

I liked the imagery of the original, handwritten lyrics on notebook paper by Robert. You can see how and where the words were amended, altered or in some cases deleted. By the tilt of the script, I’m led  (good pun) to believe Plant is left-handed?

As a photographer, I appreciate the contact sheets of wet emulsions, including the prints that made the cut and the ones that didn’t. Very good roundup of early publicity imagery, again including those used and not used.

Once the first side of LZII was done, I flipped the platter over and listened to probably the second-most recognizable riff on the album: Heartbreaker, and then the direct segue into Livin’ Lovin’ Maid (She’s Just a Woman). I was and still am very impressed by the big, booming bass of John Paul Jones filling the rhythm in the Ramble On chorus as well as the intro to Bring It On Home. It sounded good in the 1980s before any of these re-masterings and it sounds even fuller and meatier now that the original analogue has undergone yet another rebirth. Beat that bass, Jonesy!

Speaking of the ‘big’ sound, Bonzo brings it home with Moby Dick. Again, with remastered sound and the technology available to us nowadays, what once sounded great now sounds superb.

It was about this time that LZ II (CD) got done ripping and I changed it out with the companion disc to rip that one. I also replaced the Brown Bomber with the pastel-toned Brown Bomber on my turntable.

What a way to hear Whole Lotta Love in its formative stages! Wow, that sounded good! My favorite track, though, is La La, not least because I hadn’t heard it before and it sounded great. No lyrics, just a good ensemble jam for about four and a half minutes.

The backing tracks are a good touch, too, just as the rough mixes show the gestation of classic rock at its finest!

Greg Frazho –  Las Vegas,  Nevada USA. 

Many thanks to the above for their contributions – keep ’em coming! 

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Led Zeppelin on sale in London – June 7th 2014:

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While in London visiting Sam with the good lady Janet on Saturday as they were shopping, I zipped across town to check out the record stores and view the Led Zep reissues on sale. Having lived with this project for some two years, reporting on it, helping out on some of the memorabilia  attending playbacks etc  it was great to see the end result racked up and  ready to be consumed.

First port of call was the Rough Trade store in Brick Lane. They had the box sets racked behind the counter but had sold out of the vinyl deluxe editions. Over at Fopp in Cambridge Circus, there was d a good stock of the super deluxe box sets, vinyl editions and the new t -shirts. These were well displayed behind the counter on the upper floor. The poster outside relayed their offer of an exclusive print on the purchasing of all three albums. Down the road in Oxford Street HMV ran a similar offer with an impressive window poster – inside the store the was a heavy presence of Zep reissues at the front of the store and on the upper floor  plus an instore screen showing the various official promo plugs. More pics of all this can be seen on the TBL Facebook pages.

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All in all a proud day for  to be in London and view Led Zeppelin well and truly back on sale again 45 years on…

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Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters in Morocco   –  on great form here with Robert’s vocals outstanding….as captivating as ever..

Spoonful…

 Tin Pan Valley:

 Babe I’m Gonna Leave You

Until next time…have a great week…

Keep listening, keep reading…

Dave Lewis/Gary Foy – June 9th , 2014.

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3 Comments »

  • stephen White said:

    HI, I have just listened to the zeppelin 111 remastered studio version of the album and the Immigrant song sounds better on the Promo for the new led 111 re masters than on the re mastered album its self
    the vocals sound a lot more wider and the guitar echo sounds also more in front of the mix than the original version . So why? does the new re mastered album version of the Immigrant song sounds like it hasn`t been re mastered.
    Do any other people hear this difference or is it just me ?

  • Dave Lewis (author) said:

    Not good Kris

  • Kristine said:

    Not fair.I had an email from Amazon today telling me that they had refunded me for my Led Zep 111 box set order as it was undeliverable.It hadn’t had the time to even get to Australia let alone be delivered.So I had to go back in to reorder and now it’s out of stock and the postage is costing me three times as much. Led Zep 1 and 11 were sent together the day before 111 and so far so good.I’ve looked around at other sites but I can’t get it cheaper than Amazon.I’m not happy.I was really looking forward to 111 the most.

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