Led Zeppelin - The Song Remains The Same - 46 Years On

Led Zeppelin – The Song Remains The Same – 46 Years On

Some 46 years ago today (21st) the soundtrack album of Led Zeppelin’s movie The Song Remains The Same was released.

An absolute landmark LP in my life. I’m pretty sure I must have played this more than anything else for the balance of the 70s. Others vying for top spot included Wishbone Ash’s New England and Santana’s Moonflower.
Every time the movie came to town, mates and I would attend multiple showings. This was where my connection with the band was most emphatically forged and it became a major life focus to see them, which I managed at the first Knebworth show in 1979. A good job I took the earliest opportunity as it was to soon prove to be the only one…

Thus, when CD rolled around in the 80s, I eagerly awaited the US/European double CD version of TSRTS. In fact it was quite slow to arrive, eventually surfacing in 1990 in the fatbox you can see in the picture. Needless to say it was an instant purchase.

Mastered by the highly respected Barry Diament, what I believe to be an AAD disc certainly compared well with my original 1976 US pressing on Swan Song this evening.
If I’m being really critical, I’d still say the very hot cut vinyl pressing I have just edges the compact disc.
The Diament CD possesses maybe 98% of the heft and dynamics of the LP, but the vinyl has a tad more air and is just a little bit more agile in the deep low end passages. It’s a really close thing and, on today’s digital reproduction equipment, there’s not a whole lot in it.

Of course there have been CD reissues since, including Jimmy Page’s unfortunate decision to meddle with the original mixes. Some people like them. I absolutely hate them and regard the album in its original form as pretty much sacred.

The album as it was initially released has to be one of the most dynamic and atmospheric live records of all time. Bonzo’s drums threaten to burst out of the speakers on many occasions. Page’s guitar solos, particularly the one on No Quarter, are just beautifully etched.
Pressed at Record Service GmbH, Alsdorf Germany, this Diament Double CD retains all of this and, as I think I’ve done before, I heartily recommend it as an addition to your shelves, to be played often.

Chris Wright | Now Spinning Magazine

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