Led Zeppelin-DVD (1970)
Menu Animation & Audio
Music Video-Communication Breakdown; Danmarks Radio
Music Video-Supershow; Tous En Scene
Featurette-NYC Press Conference 1970
Featurette-Down Under 1972
Featurette-The Old Grey Whistle Test Interview
Music Video-Over The Hills And Far Away
Music Video-Travelling Riverside Blues
|Year Of Production||1970|
|Running Time||226:10 (Case: 320)|
|RSDL / Flipper||
Dual Disc Set
|Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||
John Paul Jones
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Full Frame||
English Linear PCM 48/16 2.0 (1536Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English dts 5.1 (768Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||None|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.33:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Those that are familiar with my other reviews will know how much I dislike live DVD performances that are interrupted by interviews or other pointless exercises. The Song Remains The Same was one of those 'concert films' that always got on my nerves. Not a complete live performance, and not a wholly fictional film either. So, this DVD release has filled a considerable gap in this reviewer's wish list.
What we have here is a collection of live performances from various stages in Led Zeppelin's career. Disc 1 contains a twelve song set from the Royal Albert Hall which was recorded in 1970 shortly after the release of their second album. The included booklet reveals that this was professionally shot on 16mm film for a BBC documentary, and the performance of a very young and fresh Led Zeppelin is very good to see indeed.
Disc 2 begins with a great performance of The Immigrant Song, combining Australian Sydney Showground footage with audio from the Long Beach Arena in the USA. This is followed by four songs from Madison Square Garden in 1973, the show that was recorded for the film The Song Remains the Same. Then an Earls Court performance from 1975 begins with a couple of earthy acoustic songs and builds to a flawless rendition of Stairway to Heaven. The band's 1979 Knebworth appearance closes the collection with a very different atmosphere and a decidedly different sounding band.
|1. We're Gonna Groove|
2. I Can't Quit You Baby
3. Dazed and Confused
4. White Summer
5. What Is And What Should Never Be
6. How Many More Times
7. Moby Dick
8. Whole Lotta Love
9. Communication Breakdown
10. C'mon Everybody
11. Something Else
12. Bring It On Home
13. Immigrant Song
14. Black Dog
15. Misty Mountain Hop
|16. Since I've Been Loving You|
17. The Ocean
18. Going To California
19. That's the Way
20. Bron Yr Aur Stomp
21. In My Time Of Dying
22. Trampled Underfoot
23. Stairway To Heaven
24. Rock And Roll
25. Nobody's Fault But Mine
26. Sick Again
27. Achillies Last Stand
28. In The Evening
30. Whole Lotta Love
Considering the age and variety of sources that have been utilised, this is a surprisingly good transfer. The feature on disc 1 is a film transfer, the condition of which has definitely seen better days. The first five tracks of disc 2 are also sourced from film. The Madison Square Garden footage is the most pristine of these and exhibits the least visible artefacts. From track six of disc 2 onwards we have video from analogue sources which is riddled with artefacts of a generally distracting nature.
Some of the fast editing and sped-up visuals are a joy to watch, giving the dated footage a very modern appearance at times. The performances have some amateur 'bootleg' footage added here and there - these range from below-average clarity to distant, grainy shots of a few specks on the stage serving no real purpose at all.
Both discs are presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 full frame except for tracks two, three, four and five of disc 2, which are presented at an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and are not 16x9 enhanced. These are the songs left over from the The Song Remains The Same film.
The transfer is generally quite sharp apart from the analogue footage on disc 2 which borders on blurry at times. In the accompanying booklet, Jimmy Page states that their resources were extremely limited when compiling this collection, so it looks like this is the best we could get.
Colours on disc 1 were very washed out and plain, looking nothing like the kaleidoscopic 60s at all. Disc 2 was an improvement. In particular, the Madison Square Garden set appeared somewhat better than the DVD release of The Song Remains The Same but the analogue video footage from track six onwards suffered from quite a bit of oversaturation and bleeding, the worst example of which can be found on John Bonham's cymbals at 82:20. Towards the end of disc 2, colours begin to fail considerably with some shots fading in and out of shades of green at 116:55.
No MPEG artefacts were noted at all. Aliasing of the very mildest variety did occur, sometimes on the guitar strings or mike stands, but was not distracting in the slightest. Some grain is evident on disc 1 (25:49) to a certain degree, but does not dominate. Film artefacts also appear throughout disc 1, ranging from tiny black or white specks (31:56, 82:40) to large ugly hairs (44:43). Quite a bit of damage to the film negative is evident in the form of some giant scratches (47:26) and even some portions of frames are missing (82:09, 90:19). Disc 2 is not without its share of problems. Track six onwards offers up some major analogue tape errors ranging from extreme microphony (44:58, 45:12, 80:20) to a considerable tracking error at 63:28. While these are considerable artefacts by anybody's standards, in this context I do not rate them as highly as I would if they were to appear in a feature film.
No subtitles are available for the main features, however a large range of subtitles are available for the extras on disc 2.
Both discs are RSDL formatted, but no layer change was noted during disc 1. The layer change on disc 2 occurred at 56:05, between tracks ten and eleven. Only the audience cheering was interrupted.
This is a glorious audio transfer, more than making up for the shortcomings of the video quality.
There are three excellent audio options. The default track is Linear PCM 48/16 2.0 (1536Kb/s). Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s) and dts 5.1 (768Kb/s) are also available. The Dolby Digital track is mastered 5dB louder than the dts, but has a distinctly sharper sound compared to the warm depth of the dts track. The Linear PCM was at a level similar to the dts track, but contained very little in the way of low range. I engaged my Pro Logic II decoder for a portion of the PCM track and found that this dispersed the soundfield surprisingly well, albeit with virtually no subwoofer reaction. I suspect I will listen solely to the dts audio on this DVD in the future.
Anyone familiar with Robert Plant's vocal style will know that diction isn't his specialty. Vocals were prominent in the mix, and easily discernable from the rest of the band. I didn't notice any major audio sync issues.
The surround channels were very aggressively used for ambience, vocal echoes and quite a bit of panning from front to rear. Jimmy Page's guitar spends most of the time panned between the front right and the rear right channel, to great effect. At one point during What Is And What Should Never Be, the guitar briefly appears in the left rear speaker, before swooping back to its original position. During Moby Dick, John Bonham's drum solo swirls around the listener giving a strange, disorienting effect.
A distinct dropout in the audio occurred at 31:43 of disc 2, and is present on all three audio tracks. It is really only a split second, but is quite a noticeable disruption to the song. Another minor flaw exists - disc 1 has its audio flagged as "Audio 1/2/3", whereas disc 2 is flagged as "English 1/2/3".
Subwoofer contributions were good in the Dolby Digital and dts soundtracks, accentuating the kick drum, bass guitar and lower ranges of the keyboard very well. Considering the age of these recordings, this was much more than I expected.
|Surround Channel Use|
All extras are presented in 1.33:1 full frame with Dolby Digital 2.0 audio.
There are two booklets included in the package, one for each disc. Featured are interviews with the band, photos and insights into the mammoth task that was undertaken in compiling this DVD.
Recorded in March 1969, this is more black and white footage of the band performing Communication Breakdown, Dazed and Confused, Babe, I'm Gonna Leave You and How Many More Times in a studio on Danish television.
This is the colour clip of Dazed and Confused we see on Rage very regularly in Australia. Originally recorded for British television.
Recorded in Paris in June 1969 for French television, the inanimate middle aged audience sit with their heads in their hands while Led Zeppelin blast through Communication Breakdown and a shortened version of Dazed and Confused.
A simple one minute clip specifying who was responsible for writing each song.
Jimmy Page and Robert Plant face a barrage of questions trying to compare them with The Beatles. Available with English subtitles.
A performance of Rock and Roll and some short interviews with the band, filmed in Australia.
A short interview with Robert Plant, discussing the Physical Graffiti double album.
Two colour music videos mixing many different pieces of footage, suiting the feeling of these songs well.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
This release appears to contain identical extras across all regions.
Led Zeppelin DVD is the definitive collection of live performances from this legendary band. I felt a little guilty picking the video transfer to pieces, because a lot of work has clearly gone into the restoration process to bring us these fine performances.
The excellent audio transfer more than makes up for the video's shortfalls, with a range of audio options that will please just about anyone. With lots of worthy extras, fans of the band will really love this package. If you don't own it already, go to your nearest store and buy it now!
|DVD||Pioneer DV-525, using Component output|
|Display||Panasonic TX76PW10A 76cm Widescreen 100Hz. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Amplification||Denon AVR-2802 Dolby EX/DTS ES Discrete|
|Speakers||Orpheus Aurora lll Mains (bi-wired), Rears, Centre Rear. Orpheus Centaurus .5 Front Centre. Mirage 10 inch sub.|