Led Zeppelin – BBC Sessions (1997)

FrontCover1BBC Sessions is a compilation album featuring studio sessions and a live concert recorded by English rock group Led Zeppelin for the BBC. It was released on 11 November 1997, by Atlantic Records. This was the first release of new Led Zeppelin material in seven years. Disc one consists of material from four different 1969 BBC sessions. Disc two contains most of the 1 April 1971 concert from the Paris Theatre in London.[5] Disc three was only included in a limited run of album releases and features rare interviews from 1969, 1976/1977, and 1990.

Countless bootlegs of these recordings circulated for years before the official release. This release was widely welcomed by Led Zeppelin fans as it was the first live release since The Song Remains the Same in 1976. Others have criticized the decision to edit some of the songs and drop others that were recorded for the BBC. Most notable are one session from 1969 which included the unreleased song “Sunshine Woman”, and about seven minutes of the “Whole Lotta Love” medley from 1971. (by wikipedia)

LedZeppelin1970_02Led Zeppelin’s BBC sessions were among the most popular bootleg items of the rock & roll era, appearing on a myriad of illegal records and CDs. They were all the more popular because of the lack of official Led Zeppelin live albums, especially since The Song Remains the Same failed to capture the essence of the band. For anyone who hadn’t heard the recordings, the mystique of Zeppelin’s BBC sessions was somewhat mystifying, but the official 1997 release of the double-disc BBC Sessions offered revelations for any fan who hadn’t yet heard this music. While some collectors will be dismayed by the slight trimming on the “Whole Lotta Love Medley,” almost all of the group’s sessions are included here, and they prove why live Zeppelin was the stuff of legend. The 1969 sessions, recorded shortly after the release of the first album, are fiery and dynamic, outstripping the studio record for sheer power.

LedZeppelin1970Early versions of “You Shook Me,” “Communication Breakdown,” “What Is and What Should Never Be,” and “Whole Lotta Love” hit harder than their recorded counterparts, while covers of Sleepy John Estes’ “The Girl I Love She Got Long Black Wavy Hair,” Robert Johnson’s “Travelling Riverside Blues,” and Eddie Cochran’s “Something Else” are welcome additions to the Zeppelin catalog, confirming their folk, blues, and rockabilly roots as well as their sense of vision. Zeppelin’s grand vision comes into sharper relief on the second disc, which is comprised of their 1971 sessions. They still have their primal energy, but they’re more adventurous, branching out into folk, twisted psychedelia, and weird blues-funk. Certainly, BBC Sessions is the kind of album that will only appeal to fans, but anyone who’s ever doubted Zeppelin’s power or vision will be set straight with this record. (by Stephen Thomas Erlewine)

And if you want to know, why I think, that Led Zeppelin was one of the finest groups in the 70´s … listen to this rare BBC recordings …

John Bonham (drums)
John Paul Jones (bass, keyboards)
Jimmy Page (guitar)
Robert Plant (vocals)


CD 1:
01. You Shook Me (Dixon/Lenoir) 5.14
02. I Can’t Quit You Baby (Dixon) 4.22
03. Communication Breakdown” (Bonham/Jones/Page) 3.12
04. Dazed And Confused (Page) 6.39
05. The Girl I Love She Got Long Black Wavy Hair (Bonham/Estes/JonesPage/Plant) 3.00
06. What Is And What Should Never Be (Page/Plant) 4.20
07. Communication Breakdown (Bonham/Jones/Page) 2.40
08. Travelling Riverside Blues (Johnson/Page/Plant) 5.12
09. Whole Lotta Love (Dixon/Bonham/Jones/Page/Plant) 6.09
10. Somethin’ Else (Cochran/Sheeley) 2.06
11. Communication Breakdown (Bonham/Jones/Page) 3.05
12. I Can’t Quit You Baby (Dixon) 6.21
13. You Shook Me (Dixon/Lenoir) 10.19
14. How Many More Times (Bonham/Jones/Page) 11.51

CD 2:
01. Immigrant Song (Page/Plant) 3.20
02. Heartbreaker (Bonham/Jones/Page/Plant) 5.16
03. Since I’ve Been Loving You (Jones/Page/Plant) 6.56
04. Black Dog (Jones/Page/Plant) 5.17
05. Dazed And Confused (Page) 18.36
06. Stairway To Heaven (Page/Plant) 8.49
07. Going To California (Page/Plant) 3.54
08. That’s The Way (Page/Plant) 5.43
09. Whole Lotta Love Medley (13.45):
09.1. Whole Lotta Love (Dixon/Bonham/Jones/Page/Plant)
09.2. Boogie Chillun’ (Hooker)
09.3. Fixin’ To Die (White)
09.4. That’s Alright Mama (Crudup)
09.5. A Mess Of Blues (Pomus/Shuman)
10. Thank You (Page/Plant) 6.38

CD2A* (CD 1)
** (CD 1)

* (CD 2 + artwork)
** (CD 2 + artwork)