Led Zeppelin DVD – Classic Commentary

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What made Led Zeppelin and a few other bands from their era so unique and special? Well, for one, it was their mystique. Aside from their albums, concerts, and a handful of interviews, few knew much about the English band. You have to remember that during the band’s heyday in the 1970s, there was no MTV, no video tape, no Internet, no YouTube, and no social media. Fans had to do their own homework when it came to learning about the inner workings of Led Zeppelin. The footage in the group’s 1976 superfluous cinematic opus The Song Remains The Same was about as close as it got during the band’s 12-year run.

It wasn’t until 2003 that Jimmy Page, the band’s enigmatic leader, guitarist, producer and gatekeeper, finally coughed up some eye candy to share. It was reported (or perhaps imagined) that Zep fans far and wide danced in the streets when the double Led Zeppelin DVD hit the shelves. There’s enough footage here to put any Zeppelin video bootleg enterprise out to pasture.

You get almost an hour of a January 1970 Royal Albert Hall show; a glorious chunk of their May 1975 stand at London’s Earl’s Court; and some beautifully restored scenery from one of Zeppelin’s final performances at the Knebworth Festival in August 1979. There’s also previously unreleased edits from The Song Remains The Same and oodles of bonus clips from television appearances, well-worn snippets and interviews, in which you actually get to see and hear John Bonham speak.

There’s likely more concert video stashed away in the vaults. No doubt, fans would love to see a cleaned-up version of the heavily circulated Seattle 1977 show. For now — aside from the aforementioned The Song Remains The Same and Celebration Day, which captures the group’s 2007 reunion in London — Led Zeppelin DVD, still unissued on Blu-ray Disc (perhaps because of the title?), is the most comprehensive collection of Led Zeppelin video. Until the feature-length documentary, Becoming Led Zeppelin, is available for public consumption, or Page gives the go-ahead for more material to be unearthed, Led Zeppelin DVD is the only authorized video compilation available. Thankfully, it’s not out of print.

~ Shawn Perry

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