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BBC Sessions

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  • The “BBC Sessions” showcases the awesome musical ability of all four members of the 70’s rock titan Led Zeppelin. Disc 1 is mainly composed of heavy rock and blues familiars from their first two official releases. “Communication Breakdown” is found during three different points during this album, with each track showing the vast improvement of Zeppelin’s playing ability in just three short months of touring in 1969. This is also effectively displayed with the inclusion of “You Shook Me” and “I Can’t Quit You,” played from the first “Top Gear” BBC Sessions in March of 1969 and during the “One Night Stand” BBC recordings from August of the same year. The blues drenched standout “Travelling Riverside Blues” features white hot Blues riffing by Page, and includes song writing credits that are typically documented as produced by Page, Plant, and Robert Johnson, who was one of many mysterious “fifth” song writers of Led Zeppelin. For those who aren’t hardcore Zep heads like myself, Led Zeppelin was a band notorious for stealing lyrics directly out of old blues favorites. My only complaint about Disc 2 is that Robert Plant’s voice cracks during the opening track “The Immigrant Song” and the then-yet-to-be-released “Black Dog,” which kicks off with the opening drum beat of “Out On the Tiles.” Outside of those two weak moments, Disc 2 delivers the goods and then some. Led Zeppelin flexes their heavy metal muscles on a rip-roaring version of “Whole Lotta Love,” which was also one of the first live performances of this song. The 60’s flower power side found on “Zeppelin III” or “Zeppelin IV” is also displayed with perfection on “Going to California,” “That’s the Way,” and “Thank You,” which is a great way to end a concert. Outside of a couple of dips in sound quality caused by Father Time and an inept mixing board, “The BBC Sessions” is a perfect collector’s item for Led Zeppelin fans. It is a perfect reminder to those who have forgotten how awesome Led Zeppelin was when they were playing together.

    Posted on January 12, 2010