Music: 5 Stars; DVD: 5 Stars; Economic Value: 5 Stars; New Relevance: 1 Star
Almost 5 years ago to the day, the compilation “Early Days and Latter Days” was released, hence apparently bringing the ‘ultimate’ 2 CD “best of” Led Zeppelin on the market. A year after that, the ultimate live DVD compilation “Led Zeppelin” was released, to general acclaim. Fast forward to Fall 2007: Les Zeppelin has finally released its music digitally, plus “The Song Remains The Same” album and movie gets new life on upgraded releases, and oh yea, there is a one-off reunion concert coming up in early December in London. So how to ‘celebrate’ the occasion? Well, how about another “best of” release!
“Mothership” (2 CDs, 24 tracks, 140 min.) is a virtual copy of “Earlier Days and Latter Days”: 20 of the 23 tracks from that appear on “Mothership”, including all the staples, from “Whole Lotta Love” to “Black Dog” to Kashmir”, and on and on. To mix is up just a little bit, “What Is and What Should Never Be”, “The Battle of Evermore” and “Ten Years Gone” were dropped from “Early Days and Latter Days”, and these 4 songs were added instead: “Ramble On”, Heartbreaker”, “Over the Hills and Far Away” and “D’Yer Mak’er”. Too me those are minor changes on the fringes. It all sounds terrific, of course, due to yet more remastering from Jimmy Page.
As to the bonus DVD, there is nothing new here. This is a sampling/reduced version of the 2003 “Led Zeppelin” DVD: in order, there are 9 songs from the 1970 Royal Albert Hall show, 4 songs from the 1973 Madison Square Garden show that produced “The Song Remains the Same” movie, 3 songs from the 1975 Earl’s Court show, and 4 songs from the 1979 Knebworth show. As such all performances are (and sound) pretty much terrific.
The bottom line is this: if you are new to Led Zeppelin, or if you are one of the remaining 13 people on this planet who after all this time do not have either the Led Zeppelin albums proper or the 2002 “Early Days and Later Days” compilation, by all means drop everything, and order this terrific and value-priced set immediately. For the rest of us, I fail to see the new relevance of this compilation, as there is not as much as a sniff of new music or DVD in this collection