Originally released in 1997, Led Zeppelin’s BBC Sessions includes the rock gods’ BBC studio sessions throughout 1969, as well as a recording of a 1971 concert in London’s Paris Theatre. The album captures the English quartet’s “lean, hungry” years, as its landmark fourth album, Led Zeppelin IV would be released a few months after the aforementioned live show. Straight blues and Zep’s varied take on the genre run rampant in the 1969 portion, including a few electrifying covers of classics, i.e., Robert Johnson’s “Traveling Riverside Blues.” The live recording half is marked by the “imperfect perfection,” as fans can hear grittier, rawer versions of songs from the band’s first three albums and at the time, yet-to-be-released 4th: “Black Dog,” “Since I’ve Been Loving You,” and perhaps most notably, the earliest version of LZ’s signature tune, “Stairway to Heaven.” For The Complete BBC Sessions, even more rarities are added. 8 unreleased recordings consist of the “lost” sessions from 1969 (previously thought to be erased from master tapes) as well as the first official pressing of the bluesy, piano-and-harmonica-driven “Sunshine Woman,” and it should be mentioned that Jimmy Page himself has newly mastered the tracks. An essential release for Led Zeppelin and/or classic rock fans in general, this 180g, 5LP boxset also includes a glossy booklet with credits.
- 5LP 180g pressing
- newly remastered by Jimmy Page
- 8 additional tracks to '97 release
- music label: Atlantic 1997 / 2016
reviewed by donut savage 09/2016