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Studio Magik - Sessions 1968-1980

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Any first thoughts on the release of the complete sessions by GF? Isn't this what Page is planning to do with his individual releases later this year? I mean, it looks like quite the box, but is it really worth it? Aren't the officially released tracks better than whatever bits and pieces that led to the real thing?

U2's Salome tapes were interesting but this kind of release is not for everyone.

Here's the liner notes from the "press release":

Led Zeppelin built their reputation on their live show. Their studio recordings were, as Jimmy Page stated many times in interviews, a springboard for further live improvisation and exploration. Many songs (“The Rover,” “The Song Remains The Same” and “In The Light” among others) began as riffs discovered on the stage.

However, one can’t create a masterpiece with inferior ingredients. Two members of the band, Page and John Paul Jones, began their career as studio session musicians and understood how to write and craft good songs in the studio.

Page himself engineered the science of capturing a good recording in studio on Led Zeppelin.

Fans and collectors are lucky. Except for The Rolling Stones and The Beatles, no other band has as much outtake and demo material available for analysis, scrutiny, and enjoyment.

From the initial sessions for the first album in Olympic Studio in late summer of 1968 through to the sessions in Stockholm ten years later for In Through The Outdoor, all of Zeppelin’s albums and eras are represented in one form or another.

The twenty hours of music in this box set extend from extremely primitive cassette demos made in the wilds of Snowdonia to initial rehearsals in Headley Grange to perfectly polished alternate takes and mixes of classic songs.

Several attempts have been made in the past to offer a complete collection.

The first is the classic 11 CD set Studio Sessions on Antrabata. This set collected every piece of tape known at the time and presented them in a chronological, cohesive order. Despite the knock against it for using inferior sounding tapes, it remains a popular and sought after item.

Akashic attempted a comprehensive box set in the winter of 1999 called The Final Option. The project was scrapped after only five discs spread out over three titles, Meet Led Zeppelin, Scorpio Rising and The Smithereens were released. And the Akashic contained spurious Houses Of The Holy outtakes. In 2007 the Scorpio label produced the 12 CD set Studio Sessions Ultimate, an impressive update of the Antrabata set.

In the intervening years, many more tracks surfaced including the legendary Led Zeppelin II sessions and superior sounding versions of already existing tracks. Studio Magik gives a much needed overhaul of Led Zeppelin outtakes.

Not only are the new sessions presented, but all of the older tracks have been given a remastering job from the best available sources and are presented in their definitive form.

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As far as I know this box doesn't present any thing new and it contains much, much more than what Page might put out.

I find studio outtakes/rough song ideas fascinating. It's great to get to hear how some of the songs started/evolved. While it most definitly is not for everyone, there are quite a few gems hidden within that are worth it.

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If Godfather's precedent holds, then I'd expect that this box set would:

- Have great packaging

- Not have anything new, but have it all in one place and maybe have better-sourced versions of a few tracks

- Sound as good as, or better than, all previous bootleg releases of this studio stuff

- Suffer from some sonic compression as an unfortunate side effect of their otherwise good remastering efforts

- Have at least one mind-bogglingly amateurish problem (maybe digital glitches or distortion on a few tracks)

- Be a great release overall

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I this is pretty much on the mark

no question- the folks who are hoarding are feeling the heat as time ticks away to a Swan Song release of the box sets. Wouldn't it be wonderful to find on the Blu-Ray box sets some video that has not been seen outside the tight circle of black market hoarders

If Godfather's precedent holds, then I'd expect that this box set would:

- Have great packaging

- Not have anything new, but have it all in one place and maybe have better-sourced versions of a few tracks

- Sound as good as, or better than, all previous bootleg releases of this studio stuff

- Suffer from some sonic compression as an unfortunate side effect of their otherwise good remastering efforts

- Have at least one mind-bogglingly amateurish problem (maybe digital glitches or distortion on a few tracks)

- Be a great release overall

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I feel the same way - I'm tempted to get my hands on this since GF have been able to issue great quality products for a descent price but since i'm sure Page will certainly do his best to provide the best quality available outtakes, i'm very hesitant. So I will go with the hoarder theory.

At the same time, how many times do we really want to hear alternate-and-not-so-great versions of the songs we all love? I understand the historical value of such a compilation, but I would rather have it compiled by the master himself, carefully chosen, mixed, explained, etc... And as far as video is concerned, if they can find a way to equal or top the dvd box set that came out a while ago, i'm all for it!

I this is pretty much on the mark

no question- the folks who are hoarding are feeling the heat as time ticks away to a Swan Song release of the box sets. Wouldn't it be wonderful to find on the Blu-Ray box sets some video that has not been seen outside the tight circle of black market hoarders

I this is pretty much on the mark

no question- the folks who are hoarding are feeling the heat as time ticks away to a Swan Song release of the box sets. Wouldn't it be wonderful to find on the Blu-Ray box sets some video that has not been seen outside the tight circle of black market hoarders

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I can confirm that this set has nothing that is not available elsewhere - including officially released material (Lucifer Rising). The sample that I have, while it does sound good, should not preclude anyone from buying the official material.

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Might be so... but since copies of Antrabata's and Scorpio's studio session boxes are expensive beyond believe... I will happily pay the 200 usd for this one... and this one probably will also look a lot better than the other two... (GF previous LZ and PF boxes are just incredibly cool looking)

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The artwork is nothing to write home about - not awful, but nothing spectacular.

Havent seen the artwork... u got scans?

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I've been listening to this set lately and have been enjoying it. It's certainly nice to have everything in one spot, but some of it can be pretty tiring. A 2CD "Best of" set might be a good idea.

Much of this stuff won't end up on the official releases, but you can bet that what does end up will be consistently interesting. I can't imagine Page subjecting us to four discs of LZII mixes.

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I'm not into this sort of thing but I have a question for those of you who are: Is it generally preferable to buy them while the musicians and producers are still living? Do you get a better product if the musicians and producer who recorded them have some input into what gets released?

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I've been listening to this set lately and have been enjoying it. It's certainly nice to have everything in one spot, but some of it can be pretty tiring. A 2CD "Best of" set might be a good idea.

Much of this stuff won't end up on the official releases, but you can bet that what does end up will be consistently interesting. I can't imagine Page subjecting us to four discs of LZII mixes.

Indeed, the set is not for the casual listener.

With the official releases, I'm hoping that the majority of tracks are unique, and not also found on this set.

I'm not into this sort of thing but I have a question for those of you who are: Is it generally preferable to buy them while the musicians and producers are still living? Do you get a better product if the musicians and producer who recorded them have some input into what gets released?

...Sorry? The musicians and producers have little to no input into what's bootlegged.

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It's a matter of taste, but the majority of tracks on these multi-CD out-takes & rarities collections are barely worth listening to even once. And even that depends on highly variable audio quality.

Indulge me to blaspheme a little:

Entire CDs of Page's doodly guitar demos obviously taken from some dodgy cassette? Oh the ecstatic rapture! Muffled and distorted tenth generation alternative mixes from ITTOD? Oh, be still my beating heart!

Are people that sad to find this stuff repeatedly interesting? If you do, I'd strongly urge you to seek professional help or consult an audiologist. Not even Hendrix has similar stuff worth listening to twice. As mooted above, the best material would fit on two CDs - three at a stretch.

I have torrented versions of the Scorpio Studio Sessions and Lost Mixes collections and, apart from the occasional alternative version/mix, rehearsal/demo or completely unreleased and well-realized track (very rare), it's all trainspotter anorak stuff. Fact! And I'm not talking about shiny clean anoraks, my friends! No, the fact is that too many of these studio bootlegs fall into the category of greasy unwashed anoraks with numerous stains of a dubious nature which have been gathered in the toilets of train and subway stations across the land... Eewww, like totally gross.

Just say no, folks, and wait for something decent sounding and artistically relevant in due course. There is some great stuff, yes, but 10+ CDs? Fergeddit! But I'm sure I'm wasting my time writing all this, you rabid foaming addicts!! :P

Edited by Triplet Kick

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Just say no, folks, and wait for something decent sounding and artistically relevant in due course. There is some great stuff, yes, but 10+ CDs? Fergeddit! But I'm sure I'm wasting my time writing all this, you rabid foaming addicts!! :P

Pro-tip: Do not post your opinion as "fact." If you don't like what others like, good for you -- no need to be condescending.

(Edited to remove profanity.)

Edited by Melcórë

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I'd really love to hear more of Page and Plant demos from 1970 on the new releases, similar to the tape with "I Wanna Be Her Man."

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I'd really love to hear more of Page and Plant demos from 1970 on the new releases, similar to the tape with "I Wanna Be Her Man."

That's one of my favourite Led Zeppelin songs: Finished or not.

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It's a matter of taste, but the majority of tracks on these multi-CD out-takes & rarities collections are barely worth listening to even once. And even that depends on highly variable audio quality.

Indulge me to blaspheme a little:

Entire CDs of Page's doodly guitar demos obviously taken from some dodgy cassette? Oh the ecstatic rapture! Muffled and distorted tenth generation alternative mixes from ITTOD? Oh, be still my beating heart!

Are people that sad to find this stuff repeatedly interesting? If you do, I'd strongly urge you to seek professional help or consult an audiologist. Not even Hendrix has similar stuff worth listening to twice. As mooted above, the best material would fit on two CDs - three at a stretch.

I don't mind the cassette acoustic tracks from Bron-Yr-Aur so much, simply because I like the ambience and immediacy they have, but take after of studio take can get exhausting. This is coming from someone that has listened to ALL 83 of the Beatles "A/B Road" discs.

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I don't mind the cassette acoustic tracks from Bron-Yr-Aur so much, simply because I like the ambience and immediacy they have, but take after of studio take can get exhausting. This is coming from someone that has listened to ALL 83 of the Beatles "A/B Road" discs.

You, my friend, are a trooper if you certainly did listen to all of "A/B Road." I've listened to a lot of it, but 9 takes of "Dig a Pony" all in one sitting can be a little much. I'm not a huge Beatles fan either.

In order to really get any enjoyment out of this set you have to be interested in the content. Casual fans may find a few things here and there, but a majority of the set would appeal to people who are interested in hearing the artistic process in action. If you have no interest in hearing Page work on "Swan Song" for an hour and a half, the band work with Bonzo on the timing of "In My Time of Dying" or 40 minutes of "No Quarter" rehearsals/outtakes, then this set probably isn't for you.

I don't understand Triplet Kick's drama either...it's not like you paid for it or were misled into thinking it was something else. Someone was gracious enough to spend their hard earned money on it and upload it for the rest of us to enjoy, all it will cost you is an internet connection and 5.8 gigabytes of hard drive space.

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I love putting on those hour-long Page instrumentals when working. You hear some song ideas form, some recognisable riffs in their infancy, entire albums worth of songs pass and you don't even realise it.

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You, my friend, are a trooper if you certainly did listen to all of "A/B Road." I've listened to a lot of it, but 9 takes of "Dig a Pony" all in one sitting can be a little much. I'm not a huge Beatles .

Much like the Zep out takes, I listened while the discs played in the background and certainly didn't study every note. Occasionally something interesting will come up. More the reason to edit Studio Magik down to 2-3 discs

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Pro-tip: Do not post your opinion as "fact." If you don't like what others like, good for you -- no need to be condescending.

(Edited to remove profanity.)

I love your posts my friend but you seem to have completely missed the joke of my post. Of course it's not a bloody fact!

I thought I'd dropped in enough silliness and verbal jeu de mot give readers a clue. I guess I failed. The internet is becoming a Stasi state of literalism! How crushingly dull. Argh! :P

(Edited to remove any individualism or any possible chance of offending someone, somewhere, somehow)

Edited by Triplet Kick

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I love your posts my friend but you seem to have completely missed the joke of my post. Of course it's not a bloody fact!

I thought I'd dropped in enough silliness and verbal jeu de mot give readers a clue. I guess I failed. The internet is becoming a Stasi state of literalism! How crushingly dull. Argh! :P

(Edited to remove any individualism or any possible chance of offending someone, somewhere, somehow)

It can be difficult to read timbre into text -- if you meant your post as some sort of satire, then...try again? It came across as condescending and douchey. Maybe I'm just used to shooting my wad (so-to-speak) in defending Zeppelin and my personal taste in music.

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This is a great release, and for me certainly is an improvement over the older Antrabata compilation & the Scorpio box. Well, well seeking out.

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If I were to buy any bootleg cd release, this would probably be the one.

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