BBC Sessions Review

artist: Led Zeppelin date: 02/02/2009 category: compact discs
Led Zeppelin: BBC Sessions
Released: Nov 11, 1997
Label: Atlantic
Genre: Rock
Styles: Blues-Rock, Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, Arena Rock, British Folk-Rock, British Metal, British Blues, Album Rock
Number Of Tracks: 24
They still have their primal energy, but they're more adventurous, branching out into folk, twisted psychedelia, and weird blues-funk.
 Sound: 8.2
 Lyrics: 8.8
 Overall Impression: 9.2
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (6) 26 comments vote for this album:
overall: 10
BBC Sessions Reviewed by: unregistered, on august 25, 2005
9 of 11 people found this review helpful

Sound: Led Zeppelin was one of the most poignant and powerful bands ever. This album lyrically and musically captures this, and in many areas, exceeds what we have come to expect from LZ. The production quality is incredible for a live album, and every nuance in the sound can be clearly heard. Robert Plant sounds amazing, his lyrics are always right there, they never really waver. Jimmy Page is my all time favorite guitarist, and his performance on this album are amazing. The extended version of "Dazed And Confused," "Stairway To Heaven," and "Thank You" are standouts of his talents. John Paul Jones is an amazing bassist and keyboardist, and his performance on this album is up to the standards set by the other three band members. Last and certainly not least is John Bonham, his drumming is of epic proportions on this album, and it keeps the songs flowing, and right on course! // 10

Lyrics: Because this album is them performing their hit tracks live, the lyrics are of course superb. Robert Plant has an extremely unique sound, one that defines Zepp as soon as you hear it, and this album is no different. He never really seems to be lost or off key. Overall, a defining moment lyrically for Zeppelin. // 10

Overall Impression: This album has been bootlegged many times, and I have heard them, and the remastering Jimmy has done on BBC Sessions renders all the bootlegs completely obsolete and outdated. The sound quality is no comparison. The great thing about this album is that you get to see Zepp at its best, when it is moving and experimenting. There are multiple versions of songs, such as "Communication Breakdown," and "Dazed And Confused." The Multiple versions show how the experimentation of Zeppelin matured and focused their music. There are also some previously unreleased songs on this, such as "Travelling Riverside Blues." This album is so incredible, and makes me yearn for a time machine, so I can go back and see Zeppelin at the height of their popularity. This album is amazing, and more than worth the $20 or so that you will have to pay. // 10

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overall: 9.3
BBC Sessions Reviewed by: unregistered, on march 03, 2006
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: First off, Led Zeppelin. What more to say? I've been impressed with pretty much everything the band, as well as the individuals have ever done. The blending of blues/rock is superb, with each band member contributing their own particular style of music. Robert Plant had/has such a raw voice, which is the perfect kind of voice to have in blues. Jimmy Page had a pretty solid blues and rock background, forming LZ after the breakup of the Yardbirds. John Paul Jones had classical music training as a pianist/organ player, and quite a bit of experience as a studio musician (bass, organ, piano, God knows what else). Last but not least, the Almighty of percussion, John Henry Bonham. Bonham played in various rock bands in the early '60s, where he met Plant, and through Plant, Page. His experience was mainly with small shows, and emulating his idols, such as Ginger Baker of Cream. If I remember correctly, the album was recorded at the BBC, for a live radio show promo, but was never aired. I think the timeline was '69-'70, but the album wasn't released until '97. // 10

Lyrics: The lyrics on this album are pretty standard early Zeppelin. Women (Somethin' Else), devil women (Dazed And Confused), loose women (Travelling Riverside Blues), and problems with women (Communication Breakdown). Par for the course in content. As far as performance goes, unbeatable. Robert Plant, young, raw and untamed just about sums up most of the lyrical performances. Some of the cool things about Plant's lyrics on the album is that there is a good bit of improv, which points to the blues roots of Plant, and the band itself. // 9

Overall Impression: I think that this album can stand up against most of Zep's other records, in that it shows a pretty much unseen side of the band. BBC Sessions was recorded before Zeppelin got very big anywhere. Page already had a bit of notoriety from the Yardbirds and his studio work. Bonham and Plant were pretty much unknowns in the mainstream, but had a bit of a following in the bar/club scene. Jones on the other hand, really only had fame in the studio. I think some of the better tracks are Travelling Riverside Blues, Somethin' Else (which I've only found on the DVD set, other than this), Dazed and Confused, and the Blues Medleys. Again, it goes back to these guys showing their beginnings. I like hearing Jones soloing on the piano in Somethin' Else. Also, most of the guitar tracks sound like Page was still using his custom painted Telecaster, which is cool, because the Tele gives a whole different sound to the songs, as well as there being some subtle nuances in Page's playing that changed when he switched to a Les Paul. I would definately buy this album again if anything happened to it. It is an indisposeable part of my music collection. // 9

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overall: 7.3
BBC Sessions Reviewed by: Ratman9513, on january 30, 2009
1 of 34 people found this review helpful

Sound: The sound was fine and the music was also good, but they are not as good as the album versions this album along with "Coda" are boring. This record has lots of blues and hard rock in it and even thought I said it was boring it's not if you don't listen to it all the way through. The cover is pretty cool. // 2

Lyrics: The lyrics are amazing. Robert Plant can't sing he actually just screams at the top of his lungs but somehow it sounds good. I really should not be judging Robert's singing though I am a horrible singer and a rhythm guitarist. What does compliance of the lyrics with the music mean? // 10

Overall Impression: The only song from this album I could listen to over and over again is "Somethin" Else" that is a great and humorous song. If it were stolen I would not care I got the album from iTunes and only have burned copy of it so if it were stolen I would just burn another copy. // 10

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overall: 9
BBC Sessions Reviewed by: rapxeon, on november 17, 2005
0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: Disc 1 is the disc that has most of the beginning songs of Led Zeppelin, beginning off with You Shook Me, very great intro and vocals. The several live versions of Communication Breakdown all sound great, the solo's are wicked as Jimmy Page was ment to play them. This double CD was released on how much power Led Zeppelin had during the late '60s, earlier '70s. This just goes to show you that anything can happen. The 2nd disc features most of the classics such as Black Dog, Whole Lotta love, Immigrant song, and Heartbreaker. // 9

Lyrics: The lyrics are awesome. Plant brings out his vocal tune in each one of these songs. The guitar goes very good along with the lyrics, Plant does his best job on each one of these brilliant songs just as he always has. // 8

Overall Impression: This is a must for any Led Zeppelin fan, if you don't have it, buy it! Each one of these songs will have you listening for hours on end for each Led Zeppelin Junky, This will be one of the stone age to listen to each day. Jimmy Page plays each song with such clearance and brilliance, Plant sings the vocals like they were never ment to be said. Jones, his bass during Dazed And Confused is awesome, and Bonzo beats the hell out of his drums in each song such as Communication Breakdown and Black Dog. If this were lost, I would freak out, quickly run over any place I thought I had it, or just buy it again. So if you like Led Zeppelin, definetly pick this double CD combo up! // 10

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overall: 9
BBC Sessions Reviewed by: Guitar Wizard, on february 06, 2006
0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: It was a shame that this album was released in 1997, because I'd would have liked to have heard it sooner. Robert Plant's vocals are really pounding and booming, not to mention he had a great blues voice too. It's really interesting of how songs like "Thank You" and "Heartbreaker" were somewhat different than Led Zeppelin's original recordings. Jimmy's guitar playing was so much better in this album compared to the In Through The Out Door CD, and John Paul Jones along with John Bonham provide a steady backbone for the band. I'd like to see some video footage of this album. // 10

Lyrics: Although Robert Plant has a raucous and booming voice, his lyrics could have been better. When Led Zeppelin first came out with their debut album, Plant based his lyrics mostly on women and sexual themes, and this is no acception. It's not that it is unpleasant to hear, it's just that it gets boring after a while. I personally would like to hear some more meaningful lyrics in this album. // 8

Overall Impression: Any Led Zeppelin fan that does not have this 2-disc set album needs to get it. I personally think the true fan should have a look at this. The album also has unreleased material in it, and it is very intersting to hear. If this was stolen, I would personally hunt down the guy who took it. The bottom line is: if you liked the Led Zeppelin that was hard-core blues, buy this album. // 9

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overall: 7.7
BBC Sessions Reviewed by: Tommy Walker, on february 02, 2009
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: Pretty bluesy for Zeppelin. Page has great solos throughout. Plant sounds pretty similar to how he does on record. Bonham doesn't appeared to be featured as much. It's that same bluesy, crunchy rock sound that Zeppelin is known for. Only in the longer versions of "Whole Lotta Love" and "Dazed and Confused" do you get their "weirder" kind of sound that they are also known for. // 8

Lyrics: It's Zeppelin. If your a fan of their lyrics, it's not going to change due to the fact that they are live. I personally love Zeppelin's lyrics though due to the choice of the songs, they might not be quite as mythical as other zeppelin records. Plant is amazing as always. // 8

Overall Impression: Very patchwork-like. The songs don't really fit together in any kind of order and most of the performances are overshadowed by other albums (Dazed and Confused, Since I've Been Loving You). Personally, though I do enjoy this album, I would never choose it as a live album over "How the West was Won" or "The Song Remains the Same". Still, it's Zeppelin, and Zeppelin rarely fails to be great(especially in the early seventies). The performance of "Thank You" includes one of the greatest guitar solos of all time, and the versions of "Traveling Riverside Blues" and both versions of "Communication Breakdown" are nothing to scoff at. I'd say that this album is a good buy for someone who is already an experienced Zeppelin listener, but doesn't hold together as an album as well as other Zeppelin does. Probably not a great album to be introduced to the greatness that is Zeppelin. // 7

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