Saturday, June 14, 2014

Remasters 2014 Report: Led Zeppelin II Companion Disc

So many people are talking about the remasters. That’s a cool thing. It’s too bad, though, that what so many people are talking about is the packaging, the technical details of the digital downloads, the shipping/delivery dates, the songs that should have been included or will be included on the companion discs.

Where’s the music in all that?

Led Zeppelin II 2014 Remaster - back cover
Led Zeppelin II Companion Disc

"The material on the companion discs presents a portal to the time of the recording of Led Zeppelin. It is a selection of work in progress with rough mixes, backing tracks, alternate versions, and new material recorded at the time."

Even before I put the disc in the player, I’m reminding myself of the above statement by Jimmy Page. The track listing is almost the same as Led Zeppelin II but not quite. Mr. Page’s choices of songs alone will reveal much about his musical intentions for us. I look forward to the new insights. 

RP’s voice is surprisingly more melodic than I recall. Am I hearing things that weren't there before or is it because of quality?

Oh this is fun, this is different! Hearing the parts without the whole! And my brain is supplying the parts that aren't there!

Insights into song construction. Wow. How music gets put together to make a whole is a mystery to me so this is awesome.

Oh what fun it all will be – prophetic! All these years of enjoyment have been fun and it doesn't end!

What a remarkable gift this is - no band has to share rough mixes with the world. Led Zeppelin's rough mixes are better than most bands' finished music!

This is truly an instructional disc, isn't it.

No lyrics! Thank You! I love this (lyrics aren't my thing). But I can also see how much this song was meant for RP's vocals. It doesn't stand as an instrumental as much as other LZ songs do.

Gotta admit JPJ’s keyboards are the best part of TY as an instrumental.

How often do we ever get to hear of bass and guitar in harmony? Makes it special to hear it now.

Yeah, then I get the solo – PLAY it man! And he does play with the guitar. Goofing around a bit there.

That tone. I’d like to interview JP and ask him how he chose different tones. The when/where/why of the different voices of his guitar.

He’s like a ventriloquist

Lyrics-free music! Again it’s really so clear when the instruments are supposed to be accompaniment to the vocals rather than standing alone as instrumental. That's never been so obvious to me before. This is amazing. I’d like to hear every LZ song without vocals to understand the interplay.

Oh oh oh. Ramble On – one of my most favorite. But this version missing the lovely voice of that guitar.

OMG – I’m realizing that this whole disc shows in such a damn dramatic way just how much JP’s guitar voice made a difference to the music. Duh! All of these tracks lack the Magick I seek in the sound! This is definitely an instructional disc for me!

I always love hearing Bonzo sing out his counts.

La La is just so damn much fun. It is so not LZ and yet Zep at the same time. I could see JP, JPJ and Bonzo deciding to have fun while waiting for Robert to get back from lunch.

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