Release Date: 1976
Label: Swan Song
Genres: Blues-Rock, Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, Arena Rock, British Metal, British Blues, Album Rock
Number Of Tracks: 9
As scores of bootlegs prove, Led Zeppelin could produce magic with the same formula, but The Song Remains The Same is excruciatingly dull.
The Song Remains The Same
Matt Montoya, on june 21, 2006 1 of 23 people found this review helpful
Sound: Okay, everyone knows that Led Zeppelin has a killer sound, but the question is; do they show it on this live album. As much as I think Zeppelin is a good band, I have to say that this album misses the mark. Some think of this as an official live album, others think that it is a soundtrack, however this album is proably the worst from Led Zeppelin, and isn't anywhere near as good as "How The West Was Won". // 4
Lyrics: Led Zeppelin's lyrics aren't Bob Dylan good, but they are good, however there is far more to an album than lyrics. Here is my personal review of each song:
01. Rock And Roll - this is 100% the best song on the first disc. It is electrifying and probably the best live recording of this song, however Robert Plant doesn't sound like he does on the original version.
02. Celebration Day - a mediocre song, with a mediocre performance. They started out the album beautifully, and continued it badly.
03. The Song Remains The Same - this song is actually pretty good. Good drum playing, and the second best on the disc.
04. The Rain Song - not that great. It's just okay, but you won't listen to this and say, "Wow, this is awesome". It just okay, but boring.
05. Dazed And Confused - you see this and think, "Aww man, a live 'Dazed And Confused', that's gonna be awesome", well... it isn't. The song is WAY too long, and I like long songs. Trust me, my favorite band is the Allman Brothers Band and they have some long songs, so why don't I like "Dazed And Confused (Live)" you ask. Well ABB's song are entertaining all the way through, but this song is just a bore and it takes effort to listen to the whole thing.
01. No Quater - the version on this album is better than the original, but thats like saying the second Scoobey-Doo movie was better than the first. They're both not that great.
02. Stairway To Heaven - finally, an awesome song again. This song is the best on the album. No live version could beat the original, but this comes very close. Jimmy Page has a great solo, and this is the best live version.
03. Moby Dick - you just heard "Stairway To Heaven", and the album could have ended with the best closer possible, but Bonham said "Hey guys, lets play 'Moby Dick!'." The song is a bore and the drum solo goes way too long. Nothing more to say.
04. Whole Lotta Love - this is the closer for the album and here is what it is; a bad version of a good song. Too long and too boring. // 4
Overall Impression: This is obviously Zeppelin's worst album. Although "Stairway To Heaven" and "Rock And Roll" are good, every other song is either okay, or boring. If you want a good live album from Led Zeppelin, get "How The West Was Won", and if you want a great live album from anyone, here's some good recommendations; "Live At Fillmore East", Allman Brothers Band; "The Concert For Bangladesh", George Harrison; "Lotus", Santana. There is only one reason to get this album. if you're a die-hard Zeppelin fan who just absolutely has to have every album and compilation to make your collection perfect, but for those of you who want an album that's live and awesome, don't get this. I like Zeppelin a lot, but this album is a swing and a miss. // 3
The Song Remains The Same
Neil200387, on december 10, 2007 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: 1976 saw the release of Led Zeppelin's first live album, the soundtrack to the slightly bizarre cinematic experience that was The Song Remains The Same. Now in 2007 the performance from Madison Square Gardens, New York, has been reworked and re-released. The new edition features not only an extensive remastering of the sounds of the previous version, but has also been expanded with six new tracks, so it now contains the entire setlist from the 1974 show. Four of the six new songs were included on the Led Zeppelin DVD released in 2003: Black Dog, Misty Mountain Hop, Since I've Been Loving You and The Ocean. These do not differ greatly from the DVD release, although I think that some were taken from a different night of the concert series. Although opinions differ on the subject, I think that all four of these tracks are Led Zeppelin's best versions on record. Black Dog is a full two minutes longer than even the DVD version, featuring an intro pinched from Bring It On Home. I don't think there is another official live version of Misty Mountain Hop out there, but there doesn't need to be. John Bonham's drumming is particularly outstanding on this track. Since I've Been Loving You features some incendiary guitar work, with a particularly beautiful tone emanating from Jimmy's Les Paul. The Ocean is an improvement even upon the version from How The West Was Won, with an extra little solo in the outro that doesn't feature in HTWWW. The other two new songs are equally spectacular: Over The Hills and Far Away is an interesting listen. Robert Plant makes some unusual but effective changes to the vocal melody and Jimmy Page includes part of his 'Immigrant Song' solo in the middle instrumental section. Heartbreaker sounds very impressive indeed after the remastering, but I'm not sure any version is capable of matching the astonishing recording from How The West Was Won.
The original songs from the soundtrack benefit hugely from Kevin Shirly's remastering skills. There really is a world of difference between the two versions. It even makes Moby Dick's drum solo sound sufficiently exciting to maintain my interest for a whole 11 minutes! Several songs are taken from different nights of the concert series to those featured on the original release. This doesn't really affect things greatly, although certain bits are markedly different: the guitar solo from No Quarter and the 'San Francisco' jam from D&C being two such instances. It may just be that I'm used to the old versions, but I'm not sure it's really a change for the better. However, the better sounds quality probably makes up for those niggles. // 9
Lyrics: Robert Plant is in pretty fine voice throughout the proceedings. I'm not sure he's ever quite as sure footed on stage as he is in the studio, but the power and spontaneity of his live performances more than make up for the odd flat note. The Plant/Page interchange in the middle of Whole Lotta Love sounds all the better for the remastering. // 8
Overall Impression: I don't know why, but the performances on the original soundtrack always got a bit panned, particularly in light of the power of the performances on How The West Was Won. If you're one of those people who didn't really like the original soundtrack, and if you already have HTWWW and the Led Zep DVD, then you can probably give this one a miss. I was already a great fan of this album before the new edition came out, so to me a remasteirng coupled with the inclusion of new songs was extremely welcome. I don't really understand why the original was received so badly. Rock & Roll and Celebration Day are full of energy, Dazed and Confused is more haunting than any other version I've heard, Stairway is always great, the version of No Quarter is just one of my favourite Led Zeppelin songs of all time. To those of you who don't actively dislike the versions from the original soundtrack, this album has a lot of points in its favour: fantastic new sound thanks to Mr. Shirly, new material bumps the running time up to 130 mins, meaning it's a lot of music for your money. Moby Dick is a length that's impressive but still listenable, unlike the draining 19 minutes that HTWWW puts you through! Misty Mountain Hop is just so damn good, and you won't find an official live version elsewhere in audio format. In short, the new edition of the soundtrack to The Song Remains the Same is an excellent recording of what I think are some of Led Zeppelin's best live moments. This reviewer heartily recommends it. // 9
The Song Remains The Same
MAYNARD, on december 18, 2007 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: It's Led Zeppelin. I think it's safe to say if you are interested in this album, you know what the mighty Zep is all about. I am reviewing the new remastered version. Let me start by saying the sound is enhanced 150%. I have never heard a remaster improve an album so much. The performances are all top notch, and you get alotta Zeppelin standards, that get a serious live makeover. If you have any doubt that Zeppelin was a live force, this should put those aside. Jimmy Page is on fire, and his performance really pops out with the remastering. John Paul Jones is solid as a rock as always. Bonzo shines, especially on The Song Remains the Same, and Robert Plant puts on the performance of a lifetime. You also get several songs not featured on the original soundtrack. Over the Hills and Far Away, The Ocean, Since I've Been Loving You, Black Dog, Misty Mountain Hop, and Heartbreaker, all of which are as good as the rest. // 10
Lyrics: I personally love the lyrics. Alotta people knock them b/c a lot of them are nonsense, but are they really? Was J.R.R. Tolkien viewed as nonsensical. I think Robert Plant is more creative with his lyrics than alotta people that are viewed as amazing lyricists. That being said, you can't always get a personal connection to the songs. // 9
Overall Impression: Led Zeppelin is, quite simply, the greatest band to ever walk the face of the earth. Their song craftsmanship has never been matched. They could do Floyd as good as Floyd, write better hooks than the Beatles, and, as this album proves, jam better than the Dead and Allman's. This is Zep at the height of the powers. The pomp and majesty is all here. From Rock and Roll to Whole Lotta there are so many moments of musical perfection you can't select just one song that stands out. They are all amazing. If it was stolen, I would be happy for the person that stole it, knowing how they would either come to enjoy it or sell it for something they would enjoy, then I would replace it. // 10