Sound — 9
Led Zeppelin is, without a doubt, one of the greatest bands to walk on the face of the Earth. Every single one of their albums, even their weaker albums like 'In Through the Out Door', still blow my mind. Needless to say, the music here is excellent. My only complaint? I wouldn't have chosen the '73 Madison Sqaure Garden Concerts to use for a live concert film. They were the last shows of the tour, and by then, the band was worn out, and it shows here. John Bonham's "Moby Dick" drum solo, while still a highlight, isn't quite as long or impressive as other shows on the tour, as revealed by bootleg performances. Nonetheless, Jimmy Page's performance on "Stairway to Heaven" is still the moment that not only turned me into a Led Zeppelin fan, but more importantly inspired me to want to play guitar. That alone makes this DVD hold an extremely important place in my collection.
Content — 10
I own the recent 2-disc "Collector's Edition" of this DVD, which as far as bonus content and sound quality goes, is a Zephead's dream. It features a second disc which includes not only promos, interviews, etc., but THE COMPLETE REMAINDER OF THE MADISON SQUARE GARDEN PERFORMANCE. All the songs from the concerts not included in the film on the first disc are included here. "Celebration Day", "Over the Hills and Far Away", "Misty Mountain Hop", and "The Ocean" are all here, two of which ("Celebration Day" and "Over the Hills and Far Away") are previously unreleased! These performances are all excellent, and it really made me wonder why "Over the Hills and Far Away" and "The Ocean" weren't included in the first place. It would've made the film a lot better. Also, the entire film was remastered and remixed into Dolby/DTS 5.1 Surround Sound, and the remastering was overseen by the band themselves. Any shortcomings the original film may have had are all made up for here on this wonderful DVD set. The original film's setlist on Disc 1: 01.Rock And Roll 02.Black Dog 03.Since I've Been Loving You 04.No Quater 05.The Song Remains The Same 06.Rain Song 07.Dazed And Confused 08.Stairway To Heaven 09.Moby Dick 10.Heartbraker 11.Whole Lotta Love
Production Quality — 9
The quality from the original film is saved here with excellent remastering, which really cleans up the audio/video. Nonetheless, it can't make up for the terrible effects used in the group's infamously cheesy "fantasy sequences". But then, what do you expect from a 1976 Led Zeppelin concert film?
Overall Impression — 9
Overall, this disc belongs in every Zep fan's library. While some will argue the self-titled "Led Zeppelin" concert DVD released in 2003 is a better overall experience, I feel it is a little overwhelming - there's about 6 hours worth of material on it and several repeated songs - and "The Song Remains the Same" is a better, more definite experience, which allows you to experience what it was like to be a Zep fan back when they were in their prime. The most impressive thing on this DVD set is the bonus material and the remastering. I love everything about it - it is Zep after all. Well, except for the fantasy sequences, but I still don't really hate those. They may be cheesy, but in a fun Led Zeppelin kind of way. If it were stolen or lost...Of course I'd buy it again, it's Zeppelin man! You can't replace that.