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Companion discs are rubbish

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I was pleased that 'The Epic' was somewhat less 'jaunty' than the version on ITTOD. I wanted to love the original but JPJ's keyboards sounded like stuff you'd play at a wedding. Page's part was haunting and completely unrelated to JPJ's. Shame that Jimmy was too messed up to really contribute to the sessions.

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On 08/30/2015 at 9:12 AM, achillestand said:

many fans would have prefered already heard stuff in good or slighly sub-standard quality rather than these alternate takes in pristine quality

I think JP has kept true to what he and the other members of LZ value in what they all want to be known for... quality over quantity.

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On 08/30/2015 at 5:08 PM, tmtomh said:

I love the companion material, but I too can see how some folks wouldn't find it very interesting. I would note that Page and Plant actually are in agreement on the factual level: they seem to agree these are bits and pieces of what they were doing at the time. The difference is that Page views this as "a portal" into the process of Led Zeppelin, while Plant views it as "not particularly relevant." That's just a reflection of each man's level of interest in revisiting Zep at this time.

 

The reason I think the companion material is great is this: For $1 to $3 extra per album. you get a companion CD.

 

So at the end of the day, for a grand total of about $20, you get at least 3 full CDs' worth of great stuff - including never before released alt. takes of Since I've Been Loving You, Sick Again, Bring It on Home and The Wanton Song; St. Tristan's Sword; the Bombay tracks; an instrumental The Song Remains the Same with never before heard guitar parts; a completely unexpected additional track from the Zep I sessions and one from the Presence sessions; and a never before released blues track from the Zep III sessions. And you get a 4th CD with a live 1969 show on it.

 

If Zep had released such a set - a 4-CD set with those outtakes, plus the Paris concert - for $20, every Zep fan would be throwing $20 bills at their computer screens to buy it, and would be saying, "This is the most amazing thing ever!"

There's plenty of great bonus tracks on there, so what if there's a buncha filler alts, that's why it's called extra...

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On 08/30/2015 at 6:25 PM, juxtiphi said:

I wonder why everyone is so interested in The Swan Song outtakes, in my 35 years listening to Zeppelin I feel it's the least interesting outtake

I agree. That's probably exactly why LZ didn't work more on it. Had they not dissolved the band they might've eventually turned it into something great.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Zepfan2001 said:

I agree. That's probably exactly why LZ didn't work more on it. Had they not dissolved the band they might've eventually turned it into something great.

Bonzo’s drumming is just one of the highlights of this work in progress. I think Swang Song is infinetly more interesting than alt mixes that have slightly more cowbell and are virtually identical to the original.

When are we getting the third alt mix of rock ‘n’ roll. I mean, come on, we’ve dug a hole in the bottom of the barrel and are now dunking for turds.

Edited by Boleskinner

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I'm really liking the alt version of Friends from the Record Store Day single.

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On 08/31/2015 at 11:19 PM, Mithril46 said:

Page really compromised the Zeppelin "brand" with the companions. No one thought of this, but perhaps he is/was too old to take this

project on properly. I say this because there seem to be so many lazy choices. No Zep studio archivist is going to convince me that much

of the material was taped over, discarded, lost, blah, blah,blah. Certainly Page was not around much for ITTOD, but I find it unbelievable

that he did not save, store or put in a vault the alt versions, diff overdub versions, alt lyric versions, etc.,. Zep may have operated a bit

different than other bands but again as OTHERS have even mentioned usually the variety and scope of the "post career" releases is

far more considered and interesting than what Page has put out. Might not be age, as he certainly appears energetic for his age in those

live interviews. Lazy.

The way I see it is that the bootleggers don't represent Led Zeppelin and whether or not that is what fans and collectors want, it isn't their band. The band will do what it wants regardless of public opinion. I ain't complaining. I don't need extras.

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On 09/01/2015 at 11:02 AM, The Rover 75 said:

It's really a simple answer, nobody is forcing you to buy them.

I agree. Stop whining.

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It's what every old band does not.  Re-release your old album, cleaned up a bit, and tack on a few goodies,  Some of the goodies are good, some stale, some you don't know why they bothered.

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Posted (edited)

I just had one of my most enjoyable Zep moments in recent memory listening to St. Tristan's Sword cranked up loud. I also listened to a bunch of the instrumental songs on the various discs, which I enjoyed quite a bit. I generally prefer instrumental music to songs with vocals (nothing against Robert, I just like instruments better than vocals), so they were definitely worth the price of admission for me and I'm glad I got to hear them.

Edited by SteveZ98

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On 5/13/2018 at 4:45 PM, Zepfan2001 said:

I agree. Stop whining.

Of course this is true that it's a choice to buy them or not buy them.  But I think its a worthy criticism.  There's really not much on ANY of the reissues that is worth getting or that adds to the original album.  I would much rather have seen a single edition (perhaps a 2 disc set) or various outtakes and alternate tracks, rather than tacking this stuff onto existing albums.

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, irondirigible said:

Of course this is true that it's a choice to buy them or not buy them.  But I think its a worthy criticism.  There's really not much on ANY of the reissues that is worth getting or that adds to the original album.  I would much rather have seen a single edition (perhaps a 2 disc set) or various outtakes and alternate tracks, rather than tacking this stuff onto existing albums.

I don't think the point was to add to the original album in any musical way. That's why the companion discs were optional, with original album-only versions also available. And that's why they put out a complete separate disc for each album instead of adding 2-3 bonus tracks onto the end of the main album (which I would've hated, personally).

As for your opinion that not much on any of the companion discs that's worth getting, I think we'll just have to agree to disagree.

If you're into the CD format, than the Zep I companion disc gets you the best sounding version of the very nice Paris '69 show (with Moby Dick included, albeit with some edits in Heartbreaker and How Many More Times), for just $2 or $3 over the cost of the single-disc Zep I reissue.

The Zep III companion disc has Celebration Day without that damned synthesizer intro; a completely alt. version of Since I've Been Loving You; the beautiful version of That's the Way at the original speed and with dulcimer; Jennings Farm Blues; and Key to the Highway/Trouble in Mind.

The PG companion disc gets you Bonham and Page doing an early version of Sick Again (which has the Rover-style intro they always used when they played the song live) and the totally alt version of In the Light.

And the Coda companion discs are a treasure trove, with that blistering alt. version of Bring It on Home; an early and totally alt. version of Levee; the two Bombay '72 tracks; the mythical St. Tristan's Sword, which Zep fans have yearned for for many years; the original Walter's Walk instrumental without the 1982 Plant vocals and Page overdubs; a really great version of Bonzo's Montreux that's better than the version on the main album; another alt. version of In the Light; and an early version of the Wanton Song with alt. (and really cool) vocals.

Even the Houses of the Holy companion disc, which IMHO does indeed contain little of value, does have the original instrumental concept of The Song Remains the Same, with extra, never-before heard Page guitar lines - a longtime grail for many hardcore Zep fans.

I will agree that the Zep II companion disc is cool but nothing to write home about; that the Zep IV companion disc is of relatively little value; and that the In Through the Out Door companion disc straight up sucks (despite the alt. version of In the Evening and the more guitar-heavy version of Carouselambra), owing to the inclusion of three mono "rough mixes" of three of the album's most important tracks, in appalling sound quality.

Edited by tmtomh

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1 hour ago, tmtomh said:

the Zep IV companion disc is of relatively little value

I know I'm all alone in this, but the alternate mix of Misty Mountain Hop is one of my favorite tracks in this entire re-issue campaign. The drums! Good lord..THE DRUMS! 

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3 hours ago, badgeholder said:

I know I'm all alone in this, but the alternate mix of Misty Mountain Hop is one of my favorite tracks in this entire re-issue campaign. The drums! Good lord..THE DRUMS! 

Haven't listened to that in awhile - I will have to revisit it. Thanks!

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I bought all of the reissues accept Physical, & Led Zeppelin 1. Not that I don't like those albums I just haven't gotten around to getting them.

The first batch I bought was In through....Presences, Houses Holy. I was not happy with the mono versions of All my love but didn't bother me much because the official version sounds amazing on my Sonos Player 1 speakers. Incredible intro with those keyboards by Jones. The surprise gold nugget was THE Epic. holy cow that jam deserve to be played on the radio! The keyboards are more in the back, Jimmy playing is more upfront as is BONZO. Presences is my favorite Zeppelin Album because it has no keyboards, or soft ballads. It is just pure balls out rock and roll with a hint of the disgust Plant was having with the drug scenes of the 1970s. Excellent recording, very happy to have it. I think en general I was very happy with the cystral clear sounds of the studio and was happy for the new lesser liked companion disk.   

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On October 5, 2018 at 5:33 PM, tmtomh said:

I don't think the point was to add to the original album in any musical way. That's why the companion discs were optional, with original album-only versions also available. And that's why they put out a complete separate disc for each album instead of adding 2-3 bonus tracks onto the end of the main album (which I would've hated, personally).

As for your opinion that not much on any of the companion discs that's worth getting, I think we'll just have to agree to disagree.

If you're into the CD format, than the Zep I companion disc gets you the best sounding version of the very nice Paris '69 show (with Moby Dick included, albeit with some edits in Heartbreaker and How Many More Times), for just $2 or $3 over the cost of the single-disc Zep I reissue.

The Zep III companion disc has Celebration Day without that damned synthesizer intro; a completely alt. version of Since I've Been Loving You; the beautiful version of That's the Way at the original speed and with dulcimer; Jennings Farm Blues; and Key to the Highway/Trouble in Mind.

The PG companion disc gets you Bonham and Page doing an early version of Sick Again (which has the Rover-style intro they always used when they played the song live) and the totally alt version of In the Light.

And the Coda companion discs are a treasure trove, with that blistering alt. version of Bring It on Home; an early and totally alt. version of Levee; the two Bombay '72 tracks; the mythical St. Tristan's Sword, which Zep fans have yearned for for many years; the original Walter's Walk instrumental without the 1982 Plant vocals and Page overdubs; a really great version of Bonzo's Montreux that's better than the version on the main album; another alt. version of In the Light; and an early version of the Wanton Song with alt. (and really cool) vocals.

Even the Houses of the Holy companion disc, which IMHO does indeed contain little of value, does have the original instrumental concept of The Song Remains the Same, with extra, never-before heard Page guitar lines - a longtime grail for many hardcore Zep fans.

I will agree that the Zep II companion disc is cool but nothing to write home about; that the Zep IV companion disc is of relatively little value; and that the In Through the Out Door companion disc straight up sucks (despite the alt. version of In the Evening and the more guitar-heavy version of Carouselambra), owing to the inclusion of three mono "rough mixes" of three of the album's most important tracks, in appalling sound quality.

This is a well said, very important point. The companion discs were a huge untold bargain for starving zep fans. Also add the significant sound improvement of the albums and its a win win beyond belief. I bought the new records,cds specifically for the companion discs...and i am totally happy with them. 

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12 hours ago, kirchzep27 said:

This is a well said, very important point. The companion discs were a huge untold bargain for starving zep fans. Also add the significant sound improvement of the albums and its a win win beyond belief. I bought the new records,cds specifically for the companion discs...and i am totally happy with them. 

Same here. I bought all the companion CDs  and most recently bought the blu ray audio discs for HTWWW & TSRTS. Getting my Led Zeppelin book this weekend (target and Barnes & Noble (online price match)) have them at or near $43 - $46 each. Didn’t need the “folded” posters. 🙄

R😎🎸👍

Edited by reids

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On 10/13/2018 at 8:16 AM, reids said:

Same here. I bought all the companion CDs  and most recently bought the blu ray audio discs for HTWWW & TSRTS. Getting my Led Zeppelin book this weekend (target and Barnes & Noble (online price match)) have them at or near $43 - $46 each. Didn’t need the “folded” posters. 🙄

R😎🎸👍

Actually got the book ordered from Amazon as it’s now lowered to $41.97 and free shipping. Still didn’t need the “folded” poster. 🙄

R😎🎸👍

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 toI think its a little strange the Jimmy would let the bootleggers have the advantage of what can and cannot be released simply because they found a way to release it first, Its Jimmy's life's work and material. If this is simply a theme for these series of re-releases and not a philosophy okay then, but get the  remaining "released" stuff out there at some point and please do not attach it the studio albums yet again.

Edited by Tremelo

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I still go back & listen to the companion discs for III, HOTH & Coda fairly regularly, I don't think they're 'rubbish' at all & I'm really glad I have them.

Some of the others I can take or leave but I like to have them there for reference. I'm really happy that the whole project was undertaken.

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3 hours ago, Mook said:

I still go back & listen to the companion discs for III, HOTH & Coda fairly regularly, I don't think they're 'rubbish' at all & I'm really glad I have them.

Some of the others I can take or leave but I like to have them there for reference. I'm really happy that the whole project was undertaken.

La La is great too. 10 Ribs outtake from Presence is also one of the most interesting and surprising!  Sounds nothing like Presence and I would have guessed it was from ITTOD. 

Completely new and unheard outtakes and a few "hard-core" trolls want nothing more than to complain about single thing they release.

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1 hour ago, zeplz71 said:

La La is great too. 10 Ribs outtake from Presence is also one of the most interesting and surprising!  Sounds nothing like Presence and I would have guessed it was from ITTOD. 

Completely new and unheard outtakes and a few "hard-core" trolls want nothing more than to complain about single thing they release.

Trolls ? That's a bit cheeky, is no one entitled to an opinion.

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