Rolling Stone - 12/25/97, p.164
"...captures Led Zeppelin in their early, hungry prime, a white blues-rock band with big ideas and the instrumental might and cocksure nerve to pull them off..."
Entertainment Weekly - 11/28/97, p.85
"Let Page and Plant timewarp you back to a pre-PHYSICAL GRAFFITI era when Zep were still breathing blues fire. These oft-bootlegged live shows from '69 and '71 (remastered by Page himself) are sloppy, gravy thick, and rife with inspired Page-Plant interplay..."
- Rating: B
Melody Maker - 11/29/97, p.44
"...the band at their rawest, bluesiest best."
Musician - 4/98, pp.87-88
"...the mettle of the mighty Zep comes through loud and raw....BBC SESSIONS is a must own..."
The material on the BBC SESSIONS is drawn from the band's performances for the British Broadcasting Corporation in 1969 and 1971. Disc 1 is presented in mono while Disc 2 is presented in stereo.
Led Zeppelin: Robert Plant (vocals); Jimmy Page (guitar); John Paul Jones (keyboards, bass); John Bonham (drums).
Recorded between 1969 and 1971.
Includes liner notes by Luis Rey.
Personnel: Robert Plant (vocals); Jimmy Page (guitar, electric guitar); John Bonham (drums).
Liner Note Author: Luis Rey.
Recording information: 03/03/1969-04/01/1971.
Photographer: Chris Walter.
There is no question that Led Zeppelin was one of the greatest studio bands ever. Every rock album made since 1969 owes a huge debt to the techniques Jimmy Page developed, especially his groundbreaking "guitar-as-orchestra" style of layering track upon track. But what is often forgotten is that for all of their studio tinkering, they could deliver a live performance as powerful and full of spontaneity as any "jam" band.
Disc one, recorded on four separate nights in 1969, shows a raw, blues-obsessed rock and roll band. The emphasis is clearly placed on creating a highly-charged improvisatory atmosphere. Recorded in 1971, just before the release of their seminal IV album, disc two captures a band exploring the limits of what they could create live without losing sight of their roots. The performances are more cerebral and introspective, with more attention paid to arrangements, though they still find the time to stretch out and jam, particularly during "Whole Lotta Love" and "Dazed And Confused." Recorded at two critical points in the band's career, THE BBC SESSIONS offers an important look at Led Zeppelin as they define and redefine themselves, and in the process, rock and roll.