ON THIS DATE (May 26, 2003) Led Zeppelin: Led Zeppelin (DVD) is released.

ON THIS DATE (8 YEARS AGO)
May 26, 2003 – Led Zeppelin: Led Zeppelin (DVD) is released.
RF Rating 5/5
# Allmusic 4.5/5 stars
# Uncut           5/5 stars
# Rolling Stone 4/4 stars
Led Zeppelin is a double DVD set by Led Zeppelin, released in the United Kingdom on May 26, 2003 and the United States on May 27, 2003. It contains live concert footage of the band spanning the years 1969 to 1979. The recording of the DVD includes performances from the Royal Albert Hall in 1970, Madison Square Garden in 1973, Earls Court in 1975, and Knebworth in 1979, plus other footage. Bootleg footage from some of the concerts is interspersed with the professionally shot material.
The DVD cover features West and East Mitten Buttes, photographed from the visitor centre at the Navajo Tribal Park located at Monument Valley, Arizona.
Led Zeppelin guitarist and producer of the DVD, Jimmy Page, began work on the project in the early 2000s. While fans had been trading poor quality versions of Led Zeppelin video material for years, this was the first official archival video release to contain any footage of the band playing live.
In an interview he gave after the release of the DVD, Page explained the impetus behind the project:
    “The reason for [the DVD] was that there was no visual material [of the band] that was out there really. The studio albums had been put out in many different shapes and forms, but this was something that was sorely missing because [Led] Zeppelin built its material on live performances. So that had to be done.”
The idea for a live chronology had, however, dated back some time before this.
As was explained by Led Zeppelin singer Robert Plant in 2003:
    “The idea of creating a Led Zeppelin collage has been in the works for … fifteen years. We just didn’t really have the time to put it together as a project because there was so much concentrated work that was required. So, as we all finished our individual projects, Jimmy Page took the helm along with some technical guys and this is what we’ve got.”
For the DVD, Page collaborated with music producer Kevin Shirley, with whom Page worked when he was performing with The Black Crowes.
Shirley recalled:
    “I produced the Black Crowes, and Jimmy joined them for a run of live dates in 1999. I saw the show in New York, and then I went to California and recorded the shows, took the tapes away, and fixed them up a little and mixed them. I did Live at the Greek without any input from anyone, as it wasn’t originally going to be an official release. But I think everyone was impressed with it; certainly Jimmy said he was. Then, when Jimmy decided to do a new [Led Zeppelin] DVD, he started looking for someone familiar with the modern applications necessary for surround sound mixing. If you listen to the Royal Albert Hall [concert] opening in 5.1, you can see Jimmy had this audio concept really early on of giving people a sense of the band going onstage and the audience swells around you. We had a meeting to discuss the requirements needed for the DVD project audio, and afterward, he asked if I would be interested in ‘helping’ him.”
Page, with Shirely and the producer and creative director Dick Carruthers, worked for the best part of a year to research, compile, load, mix and present the material. Much of the footage which was included on the DVD was painstakingly restored for several months, before being mixed at Sarm West Studios in London. In all, 132 cans of film and two sets of two-inch video tape were examined for the project.
Some of the video tapes suffered from a common fault called ‘Sticky Shed Syndrome’ where the bonding agent holding the magnetic particles to the tape backing decomposes to the point where the oxide is scraped off during playback. The tapes consequently had to be restored by baking them in ovens at 55°C (131°F) for three weeks in order for them to be played back. The audio portions were digitally remixed for stereo and 5.1 surround mixes.
Upon its release the DVD received excellent reviews. Michael Azerrad of Rolling Stone magazine gave the DVD four stars, describing it as the “Holy Grail of heavy metal” and “one of the best rock documentaries ever made.” As of November 2007, the DVD has had an overwhelmingly positive number of reviews on website Amazon, with 560 out of 618 reviewers giving it five stars, and on the Internet Movie Database with an average score of 9.4/10.
TRACKS
Disc one
    Royal Albert Hall, 9 January 1970
   1. “We’re Gonna Groove” (James A. Bethea, Ben E. King) – 3:14
   2. “I Can’t Quit You Baby” (Willie Dixon) – 6:25
   3. “Dazed and Confused” (Jimmy Page) – 15:10
   4. “White Summer” (Page, John Bonham) – 11:54
   5. “What Is and What Should Never Be” (Page, Robert Plant) – 4:02
   6. “How Many More Times” (Bonham, John Paul Jones, Page) – 20:02
   7. “Moby Dick” (Bonham, Jones, Page) – 15:02
   8. “Whole Lotta Love” (Bonham, Dixon, Jones, Page, Plant) – 6:03
   9. “Communication Breakdown” (Bonham, Jones, Page) – 3:40
  10. “C’mon Everybody” (Jerry Capehart, Eddie Cochran) – 2:28
  11. “Something Else” (Cochran, Sharon Sheeley) – 2:02
  12. “Bring It On Home” (Bonham, Dixon, Jones, Page, Plant) – 7:33
    Atlantic Records, February 1969
   1. “Communication Breakdown” (Bonham, Jones, Page) – 2:24
    Danmarks Radio (Gladsaxe Teen Club, Gladsaxe), 17 March 1969
   1. “Communication Breakdown” (Bonham, Jones, Page) – 2:46
   2. “Dazed and Confused” (Page) – 9:09
   3. “Babe I’m Gonna Leave You” (Bredon, Page, Plant) – 6:46
   4. “How Many More Times” (Bonham, Jones, Page) – 12:20
    Supershow (Staines Studio, London), 25 March 1969
   1. “Dazed and Confused” (Page) – 7:33
    Tous en Scène (Theatre Olympia, Paris), 19 June 1969
   1. “Communication Breakdown” (Bonham, Jones, Page) – 2:51
   2. “Dazed and Confused” (edited) (Page) – 5:12
Disc two
    Sydney Showground, 27 February 1972 (Splodge edit)
   1. “Immigrant Song” (Page, Plant) – 4:03
    Madison Square Garden, 27–29 July 1973
   1. “Black Dog” (Jones, Page, Plant) – 5:30
   2. “Misty Mountain Hop” (Jones, Page, Plant) – 4:50
   3. “Since I’ve Been Loving You” (Jones, Page, Plant) – 8:03
   4. “The Ocean” (Bonham, Jones, Page, Plant) – 4:16
    Earls Court, 24–25 May 1975 (see Earl’s Court 1975)
   1. “Going to California” (Page, Plant) – 4:41
   2. “That’s the Way” (Page, Plant) – 6:04
   3. “Bron-Yr-Aur Stomp” (Jones, Page, Plant) – 5:31
   4. “In My Time of Dying” (Bonham, Jones, Page, Plant) – 11:14
   5. “Trampled Under Foot” (Jones, Page, Plant) – 8:14
   6. “Stairway to Heaven” (Page, Plant) – 10:32
    Knebworth, 4 August 1979
   1. “Rock and Roll” (Bonham, Jones, Page, Plant) – 3:47
   2. “Nobody’s Fault but Mine” (Page, Plant) – 5:45
   3. “Sick Again” (Page, Plant) – 5:08
   4. “Achilles Last Stand” (Page, Plant) – 9:03
   5. “In the Evening” (Jones, Page, Plant) – 7:56
   6. “Kashmir” (Bonham, Page, Plant) – 8:50
   7. “Whole Lotta Love” (Bonham, Dixon, Jones, Page, Plant) – 7:06
   8. “You’ll Never Walk Alone” – 1:21
    New York NBC Studio, 19 September 1970
   1. Press Conference – 3:26 (mono)
    Sydney Showground, 27 February 1972
   1. “Rock and Roll” (Bonham, Jones, Page, Plant) – 3:06
   2. “Black Dog” (Page, Plant, Jones) and John Bonham Inverview – 1:48
    ABC Get to Know, 27 February 1972
   1. John Bonham and John Paul Jones after concert interviews with Jeune Pritchard
    BBC2 The Old Grey Whistle Test, 12 January 1975
   1. Robert Plant interview at the Vorst Nationaal in Brussels with Bob Harris (radio) – 3:47
    Remasters promo, October 1990
   1. “Over the Hills and Far Away” (Page, Plant) – 4:49
   2. “Travelling Riverside Blues” (Johnson, Page, Plant) – 4:09
Menu clips
Royal Albert Hall, 9 January 1970
    * Dressing room (pre-concert) – 0:27
    * “Thank You” (Page/Plant) (pre-concert keyboard rehearsal outro) – 0:34
    * “Heartbreaker” (guitar solo) – 0:36 (collage)
Reykjavik Airport, 22 June 1970
    * “Moby Dick” (Bonham/Jones/Page) (drum solo excerpt) – 0:56 (collage)
Laugardalshöll, 22 June 1970
    * “Dazed and Confused” (Page) (guitar bowing solo)
Sydney Showground, 27 February 1972
    * “Black Dog” (Page/Plant/Jones) – 0:36
Madison Square Garden, 27 July 1973
    * “Since I’ve Been Loving You” (Jones/Page/Plant) – 0:49
Madison Square Garden, 28 July 1973 (Knebworth campsite on 4 August 1979, video clip)
    * “Over the Hills and Far Away” (Page/Plant) – 2:23
Seattle Center Coliseum, 21 March 1975
    * “Whole Lotta Love (medley)” (Page/Bonham/Plant/Jones) (theremin solo and “The Crunge” excerpt from Earl’s Court, 25 May 1975) – 0:48
Earl’s Court, 24 May 1975 (streets of Belfast on 5 March 1971, clip)
    * “Bron-Yr-Aur Stomp” (Page/Plant/Jones) – 0:49
Earl’s Court, 25 May 1975
    * “Stairway to Heaven” (Page/Plant) (guitar intro) – 0:54 (collage edit)
LA Forum, 21 June 1977 (8 mm video clips from various 1977 performances)
    * “The Song Remains the Same” (Page/Plant) – 5:37
The RIAA certified the Led Zeppelin DVD at 12 times platinum (1.2 million sales in the United States alone, 2.5 million worldwide). According to the BBC, the DVD broke all sales records for a music video, nearly three times as many in first week of sales as the previous record holder. It was, for three years, the highest selling music DVD in America.

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