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Led Zeppelin - BBC SESSIONS - Atlantic 83061 2CD

To start with, on 3-3-69, when the earliest of these sessions was recorded, the foundation was already in place for Led Zeppelin to take the world by storm. As these early cuts show, Led Zeppelin were a burning blues band with the ability to propel those of us fortunate enough to discover them on the radio, into regions hitherto unknown in 1969. "You Shook Me", "I Can't Quit You Baby", "Travelling Riverside Blues", and Zeppelin's own "Since I've Been Loving You", are the standout blues numbers from this set.

During the later recording dates, Jimmy Page overdubbed rhythm guitars and Robert Plant harmonizes with himself. Of course John Paul Jones plays both bass and keys and the drumming of John "Bonzo" Bonham drives the band furiously throughout.

On April 1, 1971, eight months before the release of their fourth album, the band nailed the first-ever broadcast of "Stairway To Heaven", and played great renditions of stuff from their first four albums. Including an eighteen and a half minute long "Dazed And Confused" and nearly fourteen minutes of "Whole Lotta Love" with an improvised middle section that has the band doing "Boogie Chillin" by John Lee Hooker, "Fixin' To Die" by Bukka White, "Thats Alright Mama" by Arthur "Big Boy" Cruddup, and "A Mess Of Blues" by Doc Pomus. This whole section is the part where the guys get to pay homage to their idols. Jimmy sounds like Scotty Moore and Robert does his best Elvis impersonation.

Although heavily bootlegged, these discs are worth the money for they benefit drastically from the digital remastering Page did on the complete set. This is Led Zeppelin at their blues-wailing best, before the rock star trip took hold!

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