Led Zeppelin–The Complete Studio Recordings


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I plunged deeply into nostalgia during the week, listening to the following:

This 10 CDs Box Set (often called "The Mother of all Boxed Sets", due to it's size and splendor) includes all the 9 albums (8 single ones and 1 double) Led Zeppelin recorded between 1968 and 1978 - the 10 years of their existence.

Listening to 10 CDs worth of music by one group in a short span of time can be a pretty grueling experience in some cases, but I must admit this was not only a great pleasure but an eye-opener (or should I say an ear-opener) in many respects. Surely I'm very familiar with the material, but since I have never listened to it in a chronological "one go", I never contemplated some aspects of the music that came to my attention this time around.

Some things are obvious: Led Zeppelin were the greatest classic Rock band ever. They produced a body of work, which in many respects summarizes everything that really happened in that genre. I mean, if I had to explain to a Martian, who never heard Rock music before, what Rock was all about, I'd recommend just listening to this Box Set and everything else would become redundant. Like all other Rock bands, they started with playing the Blues and then gradually added rock & roll to create what is now known as classic Rock.

Fortunately for us Led Zeppelin consisted of four immensely talented individuals, who combined their talents in order to create a sum which was much superior to its ingredients. The balance between their temperaments and personal musical interests worked out like a charm, probably quite subconsciously at many occasions.

Led Zeppelin kept changing over the years, often quite dramatically. The material, the sound, the instrumentation and the overall effect of their music is a constant flow of development, when viewed (or rather listened to) in retrospect - amazingly consistent on one hand and constantly fluid on the other.

There are surprising innovations, like the inclusion of Middle Eastern motifs years ahead of any other Rock artists, or the use of mesmerizing and trance-inducing rhythm patterns which will become the basis of the electronic trance music of the late 1990's. Also the dramatic change in the use of instruments, with guitar dominated sound in the early years to the keyboards / drums dominated sound in the later years (note almost total absence of guitar solos or even "clear" guitar usage in the last albums).

To me this is truly visionary music. Not only does it reflect the best aspects of classic Rock, but it also prophesizes many future developments in Rock (and beyond). The fact that the music remains fresh and fascinating, 30 years after it was created, and looses none of its mystical power and glory is truly marvelous.

The Box Set includes only four bonus tracks, placed at the end of the last album - "Coda", which is a collage of previously unreleased tracks and was released "posthumously". The fact that Led Zeppelin did not release any "live" albums is intriguing. Even now, the only official live recordings are the BBC sessions and the magnificent triple "How The West Was Won" set. In many respects the on-stage Led Zeppelin and the in-the-studio Led Zeppelin were quite separate entities. Hundreds of bootleg recordings of the band exist, which shed light on their mesmerizing, hypnotic performances. Perhaps another 10 (or better 20) CDs Box Set of "live" Led Zeppelin is in order?


New member
You are forgetting the double album "The soundtrack from the film The Song Reamains The Same" which was not the soundtrack at all, but a bona fide double live album featuring a different tracklist to the motion picture.

But other than that, you hit the nail right on the head. Quite simply, there never has been anyone else in rock quite as accomplished in overall song structure and composition as Zeppelin.


New member
Ah Led Zeppelin, probably one of the most under-credited bands around. If I recall correctly countless bands have released tracks with a strangely familiar feeling about them?

Admittedly I'm not the biggest "pure" rock fan around, though I doubt many could argue with your hypothetical scenario!

What I really like about Led Zeppelin was their progression and evolution - they started with the basics and developed their own style that would ultimately earn them a coveted place in many a Top 10 list. Too many bands now seem to try and start out aiming to be the next big thing and as a result many fall by the wayside.

Of course this evolution and radical change in direction didn't please everyone, but as you said, they music remains as fresh now as it did thirty years ago, and very few bands can lay claim to that.

mr. pants

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Truly a great band that I still enjoy playing along with once in awhile!

As you can see from my ginormous bass drum (look left, 28" of love!) John Bonham was a influence on me. Which has worked out rather well in the groove area. :)



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Led zepplin

My favorite from the group is Stairway to Heaven and the song that GM
used in it's commercials for the new catallic. Sorry I can't spell too good.
judy tooley:cry:


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Sr. Regulator
My favorite from the group is Stairway to Heaven and the song that GM
used in it's commercials for the new catallic.
"Rock & Roll" is the tune (you know- BEEN A LONG TIME, BEEN A LONG TIME...).

To call Led Zeppelin "The Greatest Rock & Roll Band of All-Time" might be a little fulsome- but they're probably comfortably in the top dozen on my list. I'd like to pick up on Judy's idea and list my 'baker's half-dozen' favorite Led Zep tunes (not necessarily in any order)- Stairway to Heaven and Rock & Roll (nice choices), All My Love, Kashmir, Ten Years Gone, Fool in the Rain, and my favorite 8-bar blues variant, Houses of the Holy.:smirk:


New member
Led Zeppelin are pretty unique as you think of that for a while actually. Not the top of my list of course but close to a top 10. Stairway to Heaven though I think on of the greatest tracks in the world...petty there's like to much music to be good for that choice)