Vinyl Stock Number: Classic Records SD-8216
How does one begin a review of Led Zeppelin's first album? Do i tell you how they formed from what was once another great rock band (the Yardbirds)? How Jimmy Page heard Robert Plant sing and thus, Robert was the final piece in the Led Zeppelin puzzle. Do i go on and on about the great drummer John Bonham and how he unfortunately died in his own puke (which later morphed into a Spinal Tap joke)? Shall i tell you how this album was recorded in under 30 studio hours? Or should i just discuss how it reached the American top ten in just two months of release? Naaaa.
Look, if some unworthy died in the wool music lover has to tell you about Led Zeppelin, then maybe you are either under 20, over 80 or just have been a bit out of the musical world from the late 60's to the mid 90's. i mean, this is Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, John Bonham and John Paul Jones we are talking about. Led Zeppelin was among the biggest rock acts of all time of which i would include Pink Floyd who still tours to this day (albeit minus a very key player and the genius behind the band, Roger Waters). Well, i am going to skip the background education and get right to music.
Here we have nine great songs. Each of them could very much stand on their own. Every musician on this album was blessed with an amazing talent to express themselves on their given instrument. This is in stark contrast to today's bog and sold one hit wonders who neither write the music or lyrics to their albums. Britney Spears can sing about as well as i can, which is not pretty i assure you. Of course throw me into a multi-million dollar studio with all these modern effects and pitch correcting and harmonizers and i could sound like Britney Spears too. The great thing about these old albums is that so few effects were really available that musicians had to be talented. (Said with great sarcasm) Imagine that? A real group that has true talent.
Anyway, this nine song album consists of:
1. Good Times Bad Times
Produced by Jimmy Page, Led Zeppelin's first album rocketed to the American top ten as hundreds of thousands of fans would also attend their many live concerts. This album is filled with Jimmy Page singing lyrics about how a women did him wrong. The great folks at Classic Records have done it again by offering us music lovers another great reissue.
Classic Records, using the original mix down 1/4" 2-track master tapes (15 ips speed if you must know), has reissued the legendary Led Zeppelin I. Working with Led Zeppelin management and Jimmy Page, with the great mastering talent of none other than Bernie Grundman, will be reissuing the entire Led Zeppelin catalog on LP from the original analog masters! Bernie Grundman personally cut the lacquer too! WOW! Alas, do not expect a full "cleaning up" as Classic Records did not get the original 16, 32 or whatever channel session tape. When albums are in their final production, the multi-channel session tape is then mastered to 2-track tapes. Alas, many lower quality companies then copy (and copy and copy) these tapes and send the lesser quality copy to pressing plants around the world.
The benefit of having today's modern mastering facility with an original 2-track master tape is what we hear here. A cleaning up of overall sound, better dynamics, more resolution, etc. The Classic Records vinyl showcases what great results from the likes of Bernie Grundman can offer even from these almost 30 years old tapes. Audiophiles only interested in ultra-clarity may want to start with track four titled "Dazed and Confused" as it offers wonderful clarity and then flip the record over for the remaining songs (to then go back to side one for the first three songs).
Hearing this album today brings back memories of the wondrous times of my very misspent youth. Chemicals, loud music, playing the drums and living on the edge. Hey, i was indestructible back then you know! Still, Bic lighters never seemed to offer a high enough flame at concerts, but oh that glorious music! Fear not Led Zeppelin fans as Classic Records will soon gift us with albums II, III and IV coming very soon! Image receiving the first four Led Zeppelin albums... the perfect gift for many music loving audiophiles all around the world. As for the Classic Records reissue of Led Zeppelin I, i can heartily recommend it to the great friends of mine all around the world. A must have!
John Bonham : Drums, Tympani, Vocals (Background)
Sound Quality: (reissue) Varies