Led Zeppelin IV [DVD] review by Led Zeppelin

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  • Released: Feb 14, 2006
  • Sound: 6
  • Content: 4
  • Production Quality: 4
  • Overall Impression: 5
  • Reviewer's score: 4.8 Poor
  • Users' score: 8.1 (21 votes)
Led Zeppelin: Led Zeppelin IV [DVD]

Sound — 6
This is a 'making of' sort of DVD, so there isn't much to say about the sound quality. There are several clips of various songs from their fourth album, but none of them are played in their entierty (neither is this to be expected). The musical content that is included consists of clips from various concerts and voiceovers recorded from radio interviews with Page and Plant. As such, it really doesn't need to be played in anything other than stero sound, and that sound is decent enough for what it does.

Content — 4
This is a short unauthorized documentary that talks about the fourth studio album from Led Zeppelin. It runs only about 57 minutes, and at least five or ten of that is used up talking about the previous album, and the nearly two years they spent touring before they settled to record IV. Then they go into a song by song discussion of the album, with clips from concerts, and various people (none of whom were really recognizable) critiquing the songs. They spend quite a bit of time on Stairway to Heaven, of course, but Battle of Evermore and Four Sticks are completely glossed over (except for a mention that they were working through Four Sticks when Page got the idea for the riff on Misty Mountain Hop (which they apperently recorded in 15 minutes). They also talk a good deal about why the band decided to leave the album untitled, what people call it, and the problems this caused with their publishers; as well as a discussion about the meaning of the four symbols. As far as a 'making of' DVD goes, this one was interesting, but largely unimpressive. I learned some new things about the band, but nothing I couldn't have learned from reading up on them. This documentary doesn't really add anything unique to the Led Zeppelin canon--it's just a bunch of thoughts and ideas about the album expressed by a bunch of people you've never heard of (and some of which are never introduced; one young woman spoke twice on the DVD, but we couldn't find her name anywhere). The concert footage is shown in small clips (the longest was the intro to Stairway) and seems to span their career up to the 1975 tour. The emphasis is on Page and Plant; John Paul Jones and John Bonham aren't featured very much at all, except for Bonham's work on When the Levee Breaks and Rock and Roll. A lot of the footage, as far as I could tell, was gleaned from the 2 disc DVD set the band put out recently (lots from a Dutch performance they gave, a TV interview they did in California, and their 1975 show in Madison Square Garden). Again, nothing really new here.

Production Quality — 4
The production quality is not very good. For what this DVD is, you can't complain; you wouldn't want a lot of flash anyway. But the graphics they use are cheesy; the main graphic from the front of the album is uded too often (mostly while radio clips are played) and a lot of the footage from concerts doesn't look that good. The opening menu is very lackluster (just a blueish background, the album cover, and text links to other menus), and the photos in the gallery are, again, nothing new. This is a bare bones presentation, and while the disc doesn't pretend to be a ground-breaking expose on the band and this album, a bit more production value would have gone a long way into making this look better.

Overall Impression — 5
This was an informative look at the band and this album specifically, but it's nothing you can't find elsewhere, without buying a DVD you probably won't watch more than once. There is very little replay value in this, and I would guess that all of the information presented in this documentary could be found on the internet through Google. I did enjoy watching this, but I doubt I'll ever bother with it again unless I'm in the mood for a fast overview of the songs (most of them, anyway) on the album. And in that case, I'd just listen to the album.

1 comment sorted by best / new / date

    Super Slinky PJ
    I haven't seen it, I also haven't heard much about it so I think the review above would be pretty accurate. I don't think I'll bother with.