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Led Zeppelin: The Song Remains The Same

I grew up listening to Led Zeppelin. I have every album, both on vinyl and CD. I loved their mixture of blues and hard rock. And I remember when 'The Song Remains The Same' came out in the Fall of 1976. We were all dying to hear Led Zep live if only on a recording. TSRTS was as highly anticipated as a crack addict's next hit. When it hit the stores, me and every other die hard fan scooped it up on day one. But, for me, it was a tremendous disappointment. There were only nine songs (how can you experience a Led Zeppelin concert in only nine songs?), the production was horrible, and 'Stairway To Heaven' (the quintessential Led Zep favorite) pretty much sucked. If that was not enough, the film was similarly pretentious and unworthy. Who can forget those self-centered segues by each member; boring to say the least. By now, I'm sure I've pissed off a great number of Zep fans. Frankly, I don't care. Even though I still enjoy TSRTS, it was hardly Page and company's finest moment or product. Now, 31 years later, we have the remastered and expanded version of this great Madison Square Garden concert. Has my opinion changed? Read on, brethren, because I'm going to be brief.

What should have been done 30 years ago is finally been done today. Thanks to modern technology and some thoughtfulness, listeners get a better Led Zep experience on this remastered and extended version of 'The Song Remains The Same.' Finally, you feel that you are there, in the heart of a Led Zeppelin concert. More songs and simply better production cause this to be a good work. Notice, I didn't say 'great' work. There is still some choppiness between songs, and, at times, the band seems terribly uninspired. I wonder if this was the best concert material to use. You can still get the movie, now on DVD, and relive the stupidity of their personal vignettes. But again, I say, for what good reason?

Overall, this a very good remastered work. Being a Led Zeppelin fan from my youth, I was happy to add TSRTS one more time to my collection.
  - Craig Hartranft

In Short

Not exactly the world's greatest live album, yet this is the only live album that one of the greatest rock and roll bands of all time has ever done. Newly remastered and lengthened, 'The Song Remains The Same' is a worthy addition to your Led Zeppelin catalogue.

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