Celebrating Led Zeppelin

SOUNDS FAMILIAR - Baby A. Gil (The Philippine Star) - January 19, 2015 - 12:00am

I got a copy of Celebration Day by Led Zeppelin and I thought of a magazine article I read that classified music buyers into three types. One is the collector and audiophiIe. This is the true music lover. He is the one responsible for the much-lauded return of the vinyl long play album. He does not only buy the music but also everything that goes with it like videos, T-shirts, books, etc. He even hoards ticket stubs from concerts.

Another type is the casual fan. This is the radio listener who just likes to have music playing. He has most likely converted to streaming by this time. And then there is the CD user with definite listening habits and music tastes. If he likes a song or an artist, he goes out to buy the CD and he plays this whenever he feels like it.

I see all three types getting copies Celebration Day their own way. One will buy the physical CD and doubtless treasure his copy and enjoy repeated plays. Another one will check out the streaming sight to find out if he will enjoy the Led Zep recording. If he does, he will keep it in his playlist. And the other one will go for the whole hog, the double disc album with video in both the DVD and Blu-ray formats, plus if he can get his hands on them, whatever other souvenirs of this legendary concert are available.

I want to be the latter but I balk at the expense and am fearful of not finding the space I will need for the stuff. So I am thankful I finally got mine when Warner Music sent me a copy, two discs with one DVD and in just the right compact DVD size. For those not as fortunate, I would still recommend blowing your budget on the set. This is not an album to be streamed once in a while. No way should you also download a cut or two from the Net or a watch a song or two on YouTube. Celebration Day is a must-have.

The album was recorded live on Dec. 10, 2007. It was a tribute concert in honor of the then just departed founder and chairman of Atlantic Records Ahmet Ertegun. He was a very dear friend of the band. So dear, in fact that only his demise was able to bring about the most famous heavy metal band together for a single, very important show. For over two hours, Led Zeppelin founders Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones along with Jason Bonham, son of the group’s late drummer John Bonham gave an unforgettable performance of some of the greatest rock songs of all time.

Held in London’s O2 Arena, it was also one of the greatest rock concerts ever produced with the band in top form doing songs like Good Times Bad Times, Ramble On, Black Dog, In My Time Of Dying, For Your Life, Tramples Under Foot, Nobody’s Fault But Mine and No Quarter, Since I’ve Been Loving You, Dazed And Confused, The Song Remains The Same, Misty Mountain Hop, Kashmir, Whole Lotta Love, Rock And Roll and that most played, most celebrated rock ballad of all time, Stairway To Heaven. All these were recorded live and now make up Celebration Day.

The video is fantastic and the sound stunning. It is presented in high-definition video and audio-surround sound. This is the next best thing to watching Led Zeppelin live. Maybe even better because you get a front row seat with close-ups and amazing sound you can control in the comfort of your home. Note, no parking fees, security worries and other concerns, you get an excellent rock show, all for only the cost of the album.

Well, the guys do look older. How long has it been since they last played together? Ten? Twenty or more years? Plant still has the trademark hair though now all in white but his vocals are robust, expressive. So are everybody’s. Together, their playing is tight and powerful. The sound, the energy, everything is all that a Led Zeppelin concert has been fabled to be.

Led Zeppelin was formed out of the band Yardbirds in 1968. The band  made it big right on its first attempt with the self-titled debut album. Bigger sales and record breaking tours came in with the release of Led Zeppelin II, III, IV Houses of the Holy, Physical Graffiti, Prescence and In Through the Out Door in the following years. The group officially disbanded in 1980 after John Bonham died. Celebration Day was the first time that Led Zeppelin members were ever together again. It is worth keeping.

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