Sound: Led Zeppelin! No matter if you love them or can't stand the one thing everyone can agree on is they are one of the biggest bands of all time. Many vocalist have come along trying to match the range of Zeppelin vocalist Robert Plant, and very few have been able to succeed. One of the vocalist was able to do is Great White vocalist Jack Russell. In 1998 Great White released a live album from a Led Zeppelin tribute they did in 1996 at the Galaxy Theatre in Santa Ana, California. They played a fourteen song set that would please any Zeppelin fan. The band played these the exact way making you think that it was a newly released Zeppelin live album. One thing that worried me when first listening to this was if Great White guitarist Mark Kendall would be able to pull off the work of guitar legend Jimmy Page, and he does.
One of the songs I was really impressed with was their cover of "Since I've Been Loving You". That bluesy opening guitar lick played by Page on the classic from "Led Zeppelin III" in 1970. Kendall plays it like it should be ripping through the song like he wrote it himself. Doing this show Great White had the advantage of rhythm guitarist Michael Lardie who also is the band's keyboardist as well. Listening to Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones on current songs would lay down the keyboardist then bass on current tracks which require he to switch back and forth live. Lardie made it possible for the guys to play current songs closer to the record due to this advantage. Now the #1 every Zeppelin falls victim to (including myself) is the time when you see a Zeppelin cover album and you see someone did "Stairway To Heaven".
No matter who you are, you can admit that one time in your life you seen that on a Zeppelin tribute album and had the thought of "Oh god! How bad did these guys f*** it up?". I had that thought with these guys and I can safely admit that it couldn't of been better. After from the beginning, to the verse, build-up, guitar solo, and end of the song was perfect. The only down side about the sound of this album is that whoever recorded the show for the band didn't give the quality a live album should have. Besides the quality of the mixing it is a great live Zeppelin cover album. // 9
Lyrics: I'm not even going to give my impression about the lyrics due to this being a review of a Zeppelin cover album not an actual Zeppelin album. One of the things making Zeppelin so hard to cover that has stopped many bands from even trying is matching Robert Plant's vocal range. A lot of singers don't even want to think about it, because of the pressure of pulling it off without screwing it up. When I first heard this album I was in complete amazement when Jack Russell started to sing. I can easily say I can't remember how many times I forgot that I was listening to a cover album of Zeppelin, because of thinking it was actually Zeppelin. Yes, there is times while listening you can tell the difference between Plant and Russell for the most part though its spot on.
If you're a major Zeppelin fan or "Stairway To Heaven" fan you'll know the part at the end of Page's guitar solo where goes for it and at times very high in range. For those who don't know or can't remember the line I'm talking about is: "And as we wind on down the road/Our shadows taller than our soul/There walks a lady we all know/Who shines white light and wants to show/How everything still turns to gold/And if you listen very hard/The tune will come to you at last/When all are one and one is all/To be a rock and not to roll". Russell doesn't nail it as good as Plant, but it's close enough to not complain. // 10
Overall Impression: After first finding out about this I was pretty on edge about how it turned out. I knew what Jack Russell was able to pull off singing Zeppelin tunes, but you still get that paranoid feeling did you completely mess up. Thank god he didn't. Minus the quality of the sound from the people hired to record, mix, etc. For the show I have nothing complaints of negative thoughts about it at all. If you're a Zeppelin fan this album is a MUST for you. I've showed it to a lot of people and everyone I've showed this album to has been completely amazed by it. If you have a family member that's big into Led Zeppelin and a birthday or holiday is coming up this would be a great gift to get them.
The tracklist for the album is listed below:
01. In The Light
02. Living Loving Maid (She's Just A Woman)
03. Ramble On
04. Since I've Been Loving You
05. No Quarter
07. Going To California
08. Thank You
09. D'yer Maker
10. All My Love
11. Immigrant Song
12. When The Levee Breaks
13. The Rover
14. Stairway To Heaven
The version I got also had a bonus track of "Babe I'm Gonna Leave You" also. // 10