Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Remasters 2014 Report: Led Zeppelin

I'm taking it slow, letting it sink in. I'm not wanting to dive into all this music, but savor it for the wonder that it is. Accordingly, my reports will come out slowly - over days, not hours.

These reports will be thoughts that come to me while listening to each disc for the first time. Your experience may vary. That's okay. Just let the Magick in.

Led Zeppelin

The immediacy of the sound, so clean, crisp and lively. Extraordinary. Begs me to turn up the volume again and again. This music is hard on speakers.

A song ends and I feel like I’ve been slapped in the face: Earth to Lif! Earth to Lif! So taken away. The music transports me to another plane of existence in another universe.

Jimmy Page’s concept, grabbing the listener by the musical short hairs with extraordinary balance of light and shade, is so well executed.

I heard detail and nuance of sound I’ve never heard before. I felt depths of musical emotion beyond what I have loved for over 35 years.

The guitar was right there!

I could practically hear Robert’s heartbeat.

No wonder their music has held up for so long. It will hold up forever.

How could it be that it makes me want to weep? It’s joy I feel, and gratitude – not only for this music being put out into the world, but for this renewed connection with its essence.

Oops. I’m blowing out my speakers. Oh well, I needed better ones anyway to do this music justice.

Jimmy Page’s guitar has a voice of its own that is just on the edge of language. It is a perfect expression of emotional language. Sweet, nasty, a spear to the heart.

John Paul Jones can tickle those keys, dammit!

The thing about Robert’s singing is that he doesn’t sing. He plays a musical instrument of voice. His range is beyond belief, and I don’t just mean that he can hit the high notes. A shriek, a grunt, a sigh, a whisper that wets the panties. There’s never been a singer who did what he did then – not even the Robert Plant of today.

Dazed and Confused is extraordinarily other-world eerie - even this one without the long solo. Or maybe it's not other-worldly after all - not for the first time I think this is what whales sing to each other in the depths. Aliens, nonetheless.

It’s like I’m hearing it all for the very first time. Zowie!

Majesty. Magery. Magick.

Has there ever been four musicians creating on that level, so in synch with each other? And they’d been together such a short time at that point!

Your Time is Gonna Come – I laughed out loud with the pleasure of the irony. Their time came and it's still coming, like a never-ending musical orgasm.  Pity those who ever doubted.

Had I ever heard really heard that subtle singing of the guitar before?

The sharpness of the tabla of Black Mountain Side – you can feel the hands slapping the drumhead.

The energy! You could power a whole city with the creative and psychic energy of one album!

What an incredible relief it must have been for Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones to know they’d never have to go back to playing sessions again.

So damn professional. So tight. But loose.

I’m a Jimmy Page fan before even being a Led Zeppelin fan, so having his guitar speak to me so clearly, so expressively, is like an answer to a deep prayer I hadn’t known I was praying.

This remastering leaves anything done before right in the dust. No comparison. No question. Sit up world, pay attention. This is what music is supposed to be about.

There is something about the guitar coming in to How Many More Times before the Bolero section that that just shatters me. And then after the Bolero section – my gawd. Talk about leviathans of the vast spaces between stars…

And then I have to laugh at Robert’s being exhausted after eleven children. How can you not love this stuff?

There never will be another Bonzo. I’m so thankful we had him for as long as we did.

Content of first 3 albums and companion discs


  1. Couldn't agree more, Lif. It's all just wonderful music that stands the test of time. I feel sad for those who disagree or haven't yet had the chance to appreciate Led Zeppelin.

    Robert's spontaneous comment on having eleven children is classic and his voice resonates through my psyche as only Led Zeppelin can.

    1. Music (and all art) means something different to each person who perceives it (love Dave Grohl's quote about it We each can love (or not) Led Zeppelin in our own way but I gotta also feel sad for anyone who misses out.

  2. A further note -

    I'm guitar focused. Some people listen to the music and hear Robert Plant's voice, some hear John Paul Jones' bass, some hear John Bonham's drumming. I hear the guitar. So naturally my comments mostly are coming from that point of view.

    Some folks are able to hear a synthesis of all of it (the way the music is intended to be heard, after all) and they are blessed!