Shane’s Rock Challenge: LED ZEPPELIN – 1990 – Remasters [Box Set]
By Shane Pinnegar
In 1990 – ten years after Led Zeppelin disbanded – Jimmy Page sat down with the master tapes and started to remaster EVERYTHING. The whole bloody lot. It was a gargantuan task, but for reasons known only to himself, he chose to release a four-disc box set with two thirds of the band’s album tracks, all mixed up higgledy piggledy, but all sonically aligned and sounding fantastic.
There’s a couple of extras included as well, although Zep apparently didn’t leave any finished material lying around (what tracks that were usable were all compiled on the posthumous Coda album). Hey Hey What Can I Do was a non-album b-side, while White Summer/Black Mountainside came from a BBC live session. Moby Dick & Bonzo’s Montreaux were cleverly spliced together, joining John Bonham’s two showcase drum solos seamlessly. And a reworking of Robert Johnson’s Travelling Riverside Blues was from another BBC session, and later given a proper release of its own.
The real thrill here is having the levels all lined up, songs from different periods of the band sounding so simpatico with each other. That, of course, and being reminded what an incredible and influential band Led Zeppelin really were. The box set came with a lavish booklet full of photos too which is always nice, but I had to shave half a point off the score because why didn’t he wait and include the other two discs to round out the entirety of the band’s studio output? The rest would follow though, in 1993.
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About the Author: Editor, 100% ROCK MAGAZINE