Monday, 15 June 2015

Led Zeppelin Super Deluxe Editions


The reputation of Led Zeppelin as the biggest rock band in history is far greater in magnitude than the aircraft after which it takes it's name. The legacy of those albums which Page, Plant, Jones and Bonham produced in the seventies is immense. So it was surprising that it took Page so long to produce newly revamped editions of the bands catalogue considering other bands have done so with relish over the last few years. But he has done it and all within the space of a year!

So what of the much hyped super deluxe edition box sets? Many have been left thinking that they are a missed opportunity! Where are the high resolution stereo mixes or even surround sound mixes that many have come to expect from the likes of King Crimson and Yes deluxe editions? What we mainly have are remastered CD's of the studio album and a disc of outtakes, plus the same in vinyl form and a photo book. No notes or essays putting the band and albums in a historical context. However the boxes, though expensive are very well designed and made. The quality of the book and sleeves are very good. They even have the CD's in protective plastic sleeves, something you only normally associate with Japanese mini-LP papersleeve editions. There is no extra silly padding, like marbles, posters, scarves or tshirts which came with the Pink Floyd boxes. These boxes are just about the music. The remastering is subtle and does improve on what Page achieved before with George Marino. It's not a mind blowing improvement, but enough to appreciate a better sound achievement without ever compromising the dynamics of the original recordings.

To be honest these boxes could have been much, much better in terms of high res presentation and a decent book on the background to the recordings. But there is something classy about them which cannot be denied. They are pricey, but Led Zeppelin are a premium band and can justifiably charge a premium price, but I expect over time these will go down in price. The bands elevated position within rock and roll and even popular cultural history is without question and to own these box sets is like owning something important. Maybe that's a bit over the top but so are Led Zeppelin!



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