Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Remasters 2014 Report: Led Zeppelin III Companion Disc

I gotta tell you, I sat down to listen to this disc with mixed feelings. I was feeling kinda bad because it’s the last of the first batch of remaster discs, with nothing more till next fall.  That’s a long time to wait.

But whoa baby – I also knew this one final disc of the first batch was going to be pretty awesome. I mean – Bathroom Sound? Who puts out an album with anything on it like that? You KNOW right then it's going to be great!

And I was not disappointed.

Led Zeppelin III Companion Disc

Immigrant Song is some kind of perfection.  Powerful and nearly frightening in its simplicity and depth.

So clean. That’s the gift of the remasters. Crispy critters.

Oh oh oh RP - all that hummuhhh stuff!

I damn love the minor key. It’s so off balance.

Holy shit – it's an instrumental. Sorry RP, but this may be my new favorite version, even without you.

Ominous. Clouds looming just over the horizon out of sight, perhaps bringing something very unexpected. Friends come with hidden blessings, don’t you know.

Oops – my cat just decided that Led Zeppelin blasting in her ear was too much so she just up and left. Her loss.

Shocking – I was totally sucked into following the last bit of sound and then Celebration Day completely gobsmacks me.

How is it that every single time I listen to this music it’s a new thing, a revelation and yes a celebration of Magick and music and life?

Guitar guitar guitar – a few notes send me off!

Energy, power, dammit. It’s all here.

Hah – that guitar is just slightly flat! On purpose?

Each damn song is the best!

I love love love this SIBLY rough mix! And I’ve always loved the guitar's comments in SIBLY.

Lose my worried mind? How about how my heart is being yanked out right through my skin?

Crap. Are you supposed to need tissues to wipe your eyes when you’re loving music this much? Of course, that heartectomy might have something to do with it.

And dammit, that guitar IS flat!

SIBLY is just emotionally wringing. But isn’t it all?

Bathrooms are great for sound! Grinding, growling. The beast.

Brains, hearts and souls in synch.

And of course my mind is hearing RP’s voice anyway!

Ah, there’s JPJ. And finally… the heartbeat, Bonzo.

And then it just stops like that – makes me laugh!

That’s the way, all right. It’s such a sweet thing, but with a core of darkness. Contrast.

Oh, that’s an interesting thing with RP’s voice now.

“Fish in dirty water dying” – I don’t always listen to the words, but isn't that an amazing phrase?  I think it every time I hear it.

Geez – why didn't they use this rough mix as the final product? There’s some amazing stuff in it! A new favorite for me!

Gods yes, I think I may love this version of Jennings Farm Blues more than any other. There is stuff being said musically that I've not heard before.

No – there is no “I think” about loving this version. It is just different enough that it’s practically a whole new song and KaChing – just like that another new favorite for me!

I can’t say that tremolo does much for me. I get what Robert’s doing with it but a little goes a long way.


Led Zeppelin - they were masters of the music in a way that no one had been before, right from day one. They stood out even compared to the Big Guys of rock music of the day. This was their third album, fer crying out loud. They'd only been a band for two years!

I can’t believe all the whiners who say that these remasters are just more of the same. I pity those people for what they cannot hear. Meanwhile, I feel like I've been given an extraordinary gift of perfect imperfection. A bittersweet gift, at that, not without the price of emotional investment.

But isn't that what Magick is all about?

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