Sunday, December 6, 2009


Another favorite album of mine, although it is really a CD, is the BBC sessions of Led Zeppelin. I generally like the BBC Sessions albums of many artists, and in addition to this one, the Jimi Hendrix and Rory Gallagher get a lot of listening time with me.

Disc one consists of material from four different 1969 sessions, while disc two features a 1971 concert mostly from the Paris Theater in London. In 1969, they were still raw and hungry, going that extra mile to get that extra bit of emotion out of every drop of sound they made. Not that they weren't great in 1971, indeed, they were at the top of their game then. But I often like recordings from great bands like Led Zep from their earliest days, when they were getting to know each other and taking fabulous musical chances.

Of course, one of my Led Zep favorites, "Since I've been loving you", is wonderfully performed on disc two. The live guitar is just so full of emotion almost no words are needed.

Here's a track listing and recording location list from the wiki page about this fine two disc set:

Track listing
Disc one
"You Shook Me" (Dixon/Lenoir) – 5:14
I Can't Quit You Baby" (Dixon) – 4:22
Communication Breakdown" (Bonham/Jones/Page) – 3:12
Dazed and Confused" (Page) – 6:39
The Girl I Love She Got Long Black Wavy Hair" (Page/Plant/Jones/Bonham/Estes) – 3:00
What Is and What Should Never Be" (Page/Plant) – 4:20
Communication Breakdown" (Bonham/Jones/Page) – 2:40
Travelling Riverside Blues" (Johnson/Page/Plant) – 5:12
Whole Lotta Love" (Bonham/Jones/Page/Plant) – 6:09
Somethin' Else" (Cochran/Sheeley) – 2:06
Communication Breakdown" (Bonham/Jones/Page) – 3:05
I Can't Quit You Baby" (Dixon) – 6:21
You Shook Me" (Dixon/Lenoir) – 10:19
How Many More Times" (Bonham/Jones/Page) – 11:51

Disc Two
"Immigrant Song" (Page/Plant) – 3:20
Heartbreaker" (Bonham/Jones/Page/Plant) – 5:16
Since I've Been Loving You" (Jones/Page/Plant) – 6:56
Black Dog"(Jones/Page/Plant) – 5:17
Dazed and Confused" (Page) – 18:36
Stairway to Heaven" (Page/Plant) – 8:49
Going to California" (Page/Plant) – 3:54
That's the Way" (Page/Plant) – 5:43
Whole Lotta Love{inc. Boogie Chillun' (John Lee Hooker), Fixin' to Die (Bukkah White), That's Alright Mama (Arthur Crudup), A Mess of Blues (Doc Pomus, Mort Shuman}" (Bonham/Jones/Page/Plant) – 13:45
Thank You" (Page/Plant) – 6:37

Recording information
Session one
John Peel's Top Gear
Venue: Playhouse Theatre, Northumberland Avenue, London
Recording date: Monday 3 March 1969
Original broadcast: Sunday 23 March 1969 (in a show with sessions from
Free, the Moody Blues and Deep Purple)
Tracks: Disc 1; 1,2 and 4. Also included a version of "Communication Breakdown".
Producer: Bernie Andrews
Engineer: Pete Ritzema
Tape operator: Bob Conduct

Session two
Alexis Korner's Rhythm and Blues, (BBC World Service)
Venue: Maida Vale Studio 4, Delaware Road, London
Recording date: Wednesday 19 March 1969
Original broadcast: Monday 14 April 1969
Tracks: "I Can't Quit You Baby", "You Shook Me" and "Sunshine Woman". The session was wiped or lost by the BBC, although recordings survive on bootlegs. The show was re-run later in 1969, adding the recording of "What Is And What Should Never Be" from the June 16 session.
Producer: Jeff Griffin

Session three
Chris Grant's Tasty Pop Sundae (although originally commissioned for Dave Symond's Symonds On Sunday show)
Venue: Aeolian Hall studio 2, Bond Street, London
Recording Date: Monday 16 June 1969
Original Broadcast: Sunday 22 June 1969
Tracks: Disc 1; 3,5 and 10. The session also included a prototype version of "What Is and What Should Never Be".
Producer: Paul Williams

Session four
John Peel's Top Gear (Double recording session)
Venue: Maida Vale studio 4, Delaware Road, London
Recording date: Tuesday 24 June 1969
Original broadcast: Sunday 29 June 1969
Tracks: Disc 1; 6-9.
Producer: John Walters
Engineer: Tony Wilson

Session five
One Night Stand
Venue: Playhouse Theatre
Recording date: Friday 27 June 1969
Original broadcast: Sunday 10 August 1969
Tracks: Disc 1; 11-14. Also included a version of "Dazed and Confused", plus "White Summer"/"Black Mountain Side" (which was released on the 1990
Led Zeppelin boxed set.)

Session six
In Concert (Emcee John Peel)
Venue: Paris Theatre, Lower Regent Street, London
Recording date: Thursday 1 April 1971
Original broadcast: Sunday 4 April 1971
Tracks: Disk 2; all tracks. Also included a version of "Communication Breakdown" and "What Is and What Should Never Be".
Producer: Jeff Griffin
Engineer: Tony Wilson


  1. Best. Ever. Band. of all time!

  2. As Ed McMahon used to say..."You are correct, Sir!"

    I can't even pick a favorite Zeppelin Song. There's lots of favorites, but I guess if pressed I'd have to go with Kashmir or SIBLY.