Led Zeppelin: Robert Plant (vocals, harmonica); Jimmy Page (guitar); John Paul Jones (bass, keyboards); John Bonham (drums).
Producers: John Walters, Jeff Griffin, Jimmy Page.
Engineers: George Marino, George Chkiantz, Eddie Kramer, Glyn Johns, Andy Johns, Vic Maile, Tony Wilson, Ron Nevison, Keith Harwwod, Leif Mases, Chris Houston, John Timperly, Bruce Buchanon.
This 4-disc career retrospective contains two thirds of their songs, including a few rarities ("Hey Hey What Can I Do," "Traveling Riverside Blues" and "White Summer/Black Mountain Side") for a total of 54 tracks. Digital remastering was done by Jimmy Page and George Marino. All the tracks were personally selected and sequenced by Page along with Robert Plant and John Paul Jones. The box set also contains a deluxe 36-page booklet with essays by Cameron Crowe, Kurt Loder and Robert Palmer, a discography and many color photos. Most of the tracks are remastered from the original master tapes.
Personnel: Robert Plant (vocals, harmonica); Jimmy Page (guitar, acoustic guitar, electric guitar); John Bonham (drums, timpani, background vocals); John Mahoney (programming).
Audio Mixers: Eddie Kramer; George Chkiantz; Keith Harwood; Andy Johns; Stuart Epps.
Audio Remasterers: George Marino; Jimmy Page.
Liner Note Authors: Kurt Loder; Robert Palmer ; Cameron Crowe.
Recording information: A&R Studios, New York, NY (10/1968-12/1978); Headley Grange, Hampshire, England (10/1968-12/1978); Island Studios, London, England (10/1968-12/1978); Juggy Sound Studio, New York, NY (10/1968-12/1978); London's Playhouse Theater (10/1968-12/1978); Mayfair Studios, New York, NY (10/1968-12/1978); Mirror Sound, Los Angeles, CA (10/1968-12/1978); Morgan Studios, North London, England (10/1968-12/1978); Musicland Studios, Munich, Germany (10/1968-12/1978); Olympic Studios, London, England (10/1968-12/1978); Polar Studios, Stockholm, Sweden (10/1968-12/1978); Royal Albert Hall, London, England (10/1968-12/1978); Stargroves (10/1968-12/1978).
Editor: Rhonda Schoen.
Photographers: Chris Dreja; Robert Ellis ; Eddie Kramer; Richard Creamer; Neil Jones ; Chris Wroe; Janet Macoska; Michael Putland; Chris Walter; Bob Alford; Terry O'Neill ; Neal Preston; Bob Gruen; Jay Thompson; Aubrey Powell; Jennifer Moore ; Penny Smith; Barry Plummer; Jim Cummins; Pennie Smith; Peter Simon.
Led Zeppelin's primary method of artistic expression was their albums. Although they had a handful of hit singles and although selected album tracks were played endlessly on the radio, the true range of their music is only evident on the original albums, which were carefully sequenced and assembled. Consequently, the notion of a Led Zeppelin anthology is a bit strange -- their records worked as individual pieces. Nevertheless, the four-disc box set Led Zeppelin includes most of their best and most famous material. Jimmy Page determined the set's running order, taking the songs out of their familiar contexts and placing them in a new, occasionally jarring, sequence, providing new insights to the band's music that dedicated fans will appreciate. Led Zeppelin is the only album in their catalog to include the classic B-side "Hey Hey What Can I Do," as well as their unreleased version of Robert Johnson's "Travelling Riverside Blues" and a live medley of Page's "White Summer/Black Mountain Side." Most fans will find these three tracks essential, but will balk at the price, especially since all of Zeppelin's albums have been remastered since the original release of the box set. While the box contains a wealth of brilliant music, all of it is better heard in its original incarnation. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine