Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Picking Up The Hammer Of The Gods

By way of follow-up to some Led Zeppelin discussion over on Deep Fat, haahnster is going to briefly touch on the mighty Zep.

Let me start by reiterating that from about 6th grade through at least freshman year in high school, Led Zeppelin was an obsession of mine, absolutely my favorite band without question. I very quickly accumulated all their studio LPs, and a reissued 7" single of "Immigrant Song" with the great, otherwise unavailable (at that time) B-side "Hey Hey What Can I Do".

By the latter part of high school, I wasn't listening to Zeppelin as much, although I still considered them a (maybe "the") favorite band of mine. When CDs first began to take over for vinyl, Atlantic rushed to reissue the Led Zep catalog on the new format, with absolutely no attention to detail whatsoever. No bonus tracks, no remastering...no effort at all. In fact, those CDs had such a god-awful hiss that I KNEW my old LPs sounded better, and I refused to replace them. (Of course, the CDs have since been remastered with some actual care, and I've purchased them all, because I'm a madman.)

My friends and I had always said that Zeppelin never had a Greatest Hits album, because *every song* they recorded was a "greatest hit". Like I said, I had been obsessed with their music for several years. My interest in Led Zeppelin was rekindled in the late summer/early autumn of 1990, when their 1st, remastered CD boxed set was released (remember, their individual CDs still sounded like shit--full of hiss--at that time). The remainder of this post will be devoted to complaints about the boxed set.

#1 - No "Good Times, Bad Times". The first song from their first LP, this tune was among my favorites. It was an inexcusable omission.
#2 - No "Living Loving Maid". How this song could ever be separated from "Heartbreaker" was beyond me. They were always played together on FM radio, and by gawd, they always should be.
#3 - No "Hots on for Nowhere". Arguably my favorite song from Presence (which, admittedly, is my least favorite Zeppelin LP this side of Coda), it would've been a nice inclusion.

More on the Zep to come...but, I'm not sure when.


Blogger mat said...

The box set was my first real immersion in to the Zeppelin experience, outside of all the stuff off 2 and 4 on 106 (remember when they were cool?). I also became a fanatic. I didn't know what else I was missing until box set 2 came out to fill in the blanks. It made me realize there definately were some "gems" left off the first collection. I think its time to break out those discs, thanks for the reminder.

5:52 PM, June 20, 2006  
Blogger haahnster said...

I remember when "classic rock" stations (like 106) played more than the same two or three songs from each band. That was nice. It's damned near unlistenably repetitive these days. Of course, "106" has long since changed formats...

10:08 PM, June 20, 2006  
Blogger Keith Kennedy said...

Led Zeppelin was amazing live. Simply amazing. But their presence in the studio was seminal.

I can remember pickup up Physical Graffiti as soon as it was released and holding it to my face and just smelling it.

Yea, they don't make 'em like that anymore.

3:14 PM, June 23, 2006  

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