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BBC Sessions

BBC Sessions
[Click above for album images]

Led 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 that 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. Early versions of You Shook Me, Communication Breakdown, What Is & 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 session. 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.
~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, All Music Guide

Included in this 2-CD set is an essay, written by Luis Rey, that can be found here.

Statistics

Released:
Nov. 18, 1997 (US)
Nov. 17, 1997 (UK)

Chart Position:
#12 (US) #23 (UK)

Certified:
Gold: Dec. 16, 1997
Multi Platinum: 2x Aug. 7, 2001

Tracks

CD ONE
1. You Shook Me
2. I Can't Quit You Baby
3. Communication Breakdown
4. Dazed And Confused
5. The Girl I Love (She Got Long Black Wavy Hair)
6. What Is And What Should Never Be
7. Communication Breakdown
8. Travelling Riverside Blues
9. Whole Lotta Love
10. Somethin' Else
11. Communication Breakdown
12. I Can't Quit You Baby
13. You Shook Me
14. How Many More Times

CD TWO
1. Immigrant Song
2. Heartbreaker
3. Since I've Been Loving You
4. Black Dog
5. Dazed And Confused
6. Stairway To Heaven
7. Going To California
8. That's The Way
9. Whole Lotta Love (Medley)
10. Thank You
Quick Fact

Another session was recorded on Friday, March 21, 1969 by the BBC. The band recorded Communication Breakdown at 5:45PM in Studio G of the BBC Lime Grove Studios.

After being transmitted that night at 10:50PM, the master tapes were wiped.
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This Month in
Led Zeppelin History

February 7, 1962 - Deborah Bonham, sister to John, was born in Redditch, Worcestershire, England
February 23, 1966 - Warren Grant, son of Peter, was born.
February xx, 1969 - Led Zeppelin enters the Billboard Top 40
February 16, 1969 - Led Zeppelin wrap up their first American tour in Baltimore, MD.
February 07, 1970 - Edinburgh gig cancelled after Plant receives facial injuries in a car accident
February 28, 1970 - The band performs as "The Nobs" in Copenhagen after threat of legal action from Countess Von Zeppelin
February xx, 1971 - John Paul Jones involved in legal issues regarding a musician who shares the same name
February xx, 1971 - Overdubs for the fourth album are recorded at Island Studios
February 14, 1972 - The band is refused admission into Singapore due to their long hair
February 16, 1972 - The Australian tour begins in Perth
February 21, 1972 - Led Zeppelin: Rock and Roll b/w Four Sticks (Atlantic 45-2865) 45 single is released in the US.
February xx, 1973 - The band makes final preparations for the European tour
February 16, 1973 - The release date for Houses Of The Holy is pushed back due to some sleeve problems
February xx, 1974 - Sessions for Physical Graffiti continue
February 14, 1974 - Page, Plant and Bonham attend a Roy Harper concert
February 04, 1975 - Zeppelin perform a last minute show at Nassau Coliseum to accomodate fans after being banned in Boston
February 24, 1975 - Physical Graffiti finally issued worldwide to phenomenal sales
February xx, 1976 - Media reports that Zeppelin are due to release an album entitled Obelisk
February xx, 1977 - Robert contracts a bout of tonsillitis postponing the American tour
February xx, 1978 - Robert Plant helps produce a record for punk band Dansette Damage
February 16, 1978 - The cases against Bonham, Cole & Grant stemming from the Oakland incident are heard and all receive suspended prison sentences and fines
February xx, 1979 - Although absent from the US stage or market, Led Zeppelin rank best in many music magazine categories
February xx, 1979 - Mixing sessions for In Through The Out Door take place at Polar Studios. Rumors fly of a European tour
February 03, 1980 - Robert joins Dave Edmund’s Rockpile at the Birmingham Top Rank
February 13, 2005 - Led Zeppelin receives a Grammy for Lifetime Achievment.
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