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BBC Sessions

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★★★★½
(153 Reviews)

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  • Led Zeppelin’s “BBC Sessions” is a great treasure trove of live material the group recorded for the BBC between 1969 and 1971. Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, John Paul Jones and John Bonham were one of the rock world’s greatest live acts, as this live set clearly shows. Granted, several songs are repeated, like “Communication Breakdown” (3 versions), “You Shook Me” and “I Can’t Quit You Baby” (2 versions), but who’s complaining? One of Zeppelin’s live trademarks was never to perform any song the exact same way, so each version of “Communication Breakdown,” for example, differs somewhat from the other versions, as the band wanted to jam on it in a different, fresh way each time. And it works. Other goodies include a smokin’ version of “Travelling Riverside Blues,” and a brilliant performance of Zeppelin’s signature song, “Stairway To Heaven.” I also love the band’s extended workouts on display here, including an 18 1/2 minute jam on “Dazed And Confused” (with Page getting some truly wild sounds out of his guitar), and the nearly 14-minute blast through “Whole Lotta Love,” in which Zeppelin also insert some blues favorites like “Boogie Chillin’” and “That’s Alright Mama.” So, what are you waiting for, Zepheads—”BBC Sessions” totally deserves a place in your Led Zeppelin collection.

    Posted on January 11, 2010