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Sunday, November 18, 2007

(Swan Song, 1976, Re-released 2007)
Led Zeppelin, 1973. The biggest rock and roll act of the seventies, beloved by their fans and hated by the music critics. Capable of filling stadiums ad maximum summoning crowds starving for electric blues and out-of-their-bodies experiences. The supergroup, an acid electric blues band that freaked out the hippie crowd into the unknown, was on tour in the U.S. and played a night at the Madison Square Garden. The idea of the band and their producers was to create their own, twisted A Hard Day's Night. A tale of an angry manager, Peter Grant, arguing with a promoter about -what else- the division of the pie, in the meantime, the band would play and each of their four members would have a "video clip" section. Pretty cool! There was adventure, horses, ocultism, a hermit and even drag racing. But most important of it was the music, the soundtrack.

The world famous hotel trashers were called satanic, mischevious and even mediocre (this due to some poor performances around the 1973 tour) but they standed the generational test. Nowadays, more and more teenage kids want to listen the superb first four Led Zeppelin albums and at this moment, lots of them are trying the guitar intro of "Stairway To Heaven" for the first time. Around the globe.

So this remastered CD is made for the new generation of Zep fans and the teenagers like I was, 20 years ago, discovering the monstruous bass-guitar riff of "Dazed And Confused." A reminder that it's time for some of us to get rid of that mossy cassette copy. And hey! there are bonus tracks too! At last I can listen to the live version of "Since I've Been Loving You" that wasn't included in the first release of the soundtrack. It's Zeppelin during their druggiest and heaviest years.

Drummer John Bonham always was the key of the Zeppelin Sound. A gigantic and perfect drum playing offering Jimmy Page the field he needed to create an overwhelming, creative guitar sound. Robert Plant had the musical background he needed to chant his beautiful poetry and blues interpretations. The perfect Zeppelin moment for us happens on their debut album: The two blues tracks connected together: Willie Dixon's "You Shook Me" and Page's own "Dazed And Confused," which is performed on 27 minutes of metal psychedelia and allucination in the movie. Page plays the guitar with an arc!

The live album, with the bonus tracks or not, is a decent introduction for future Led Zeppelin fans that will carry the Classic Rock torch, a flame that is fading away faster each and every day. But, no worries, Atlantic keeps it by releasing Zep material every three or four years: The Song Remains The Same, How The West Was Won (2004), The BBC Sessions (2000), and just now, with Song Remains The Same, the Mothership anthology. There's so much Zeppelin out there in the music section of your favorite department store now that there's no excuse not to find at least a copy of Led Zeppelin IV. The one with the ballsy "Rock And Roll" in it.

Regarding the film, there's a collector's edition of the DVD available as well! this includes the film, remastered under the supervision of the band (I think it was Page only, since he's the mastering-producing buff of the three,) bonus footage, pictures, commentary, interviews, you name it. Enough to keep us classic rock fans and future music buffs entertained. With this DVD/CD and the upcoming London performance, It's pretty obvious Zep is looking into the future. Something other bands and acts from old should start doing. Hopefully, Led Zeppelin rehearsed enough and won't make a ridiculous scene like The Police last summer.