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Early Days: Best of Led Zeppelin Volume One

Early Days: Best of Led Zeppelin Volume One (1999)
[Click above for album images]

As legend has it, Led Zeppelin never played the singles game. That's not entirely true -- Whole Lotta Love was a gold-selling, Top Five single, while Immigrant Song, Black Dog, and D'yer Mak'er all went Top 20. But since their reputation was built in part through album-rock radio, and since they never released Stairway To Heaven as a single, the impression that they were above hits and singles grew and grew. Zeppelin fostered it by refusing to issue compilations for years, forcing every fan to become familiar with the group on an album-by-album basis. Things began to change a bit in 1990, when Jimmy Page assembled the four-disc Led Zeppelin box, the group's first official compilation; it eventually opened the door for the 1999 release of Early Days: The Best of Led Zeppelin, Volume One. Early Days focuses on the first four Zeppelin albums, taking four songs from the first, just two apiece from the second and third, and the entire first side of IV, along with When the Levee Breaks. And for the diehards, a video clip of Zeppelin performing Communication Breakdown on a Swedish TV show is thrown onto the enhanced CD portion of the disc. It's basically the album longtime Zeppelin fans thought would never be released: a straight-up greatest-hits album. At one point, this may have been seen as sacrilege among devotees, but at this point, it's hard to imagine who would care about Early Days one way or another. Apart from the handful of casual fans who just want the radio staples on one disc -- while not caring that other classics are absent -- there really is no audience for this, since it doesn't recontextualize the catalog like the box sets. It's still pretty entertaining, yet Early Days feels unnecessary. Yet that cover photo is priceless.

Statistics

Released:
Nov. 23, 1999 (US)
Nov. 23, 1999 (UK)

Chart Position:
#71 (US) #? (UK)

Certified:
Gold: 1-11-2000
Platinum: 9-26-2001

Tracks

1. Good Times Bad Times
2. Babe I'm Gonna Leave You
3. Dazed And Confused
4. Communication Breakdown
5. Whole Lotta Love
6. What Is And What Should Never Be
7. Immigrant Song
8. Since I've Been Loving You
9. Black Dog
10. Rock And Roll
11. The Battle Of Evermore
12. When The Levee Breaks
13. Stairway To Heaven
Quick Fact

This is an enhanced CD that contains a video from March 14, 1969 of the band lip-syncing in a Swedish studio to Communication Breakdown. It was footage that was re-discovered in February 1999.

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This Month in
Led Zeppelin History


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November 21, 1968 - Robert becomes a father to a baby girl named Carmen Jane.
November 09, 1968 - Robert marries Maureen in London. Their reception is a performance at the Roundhouse in London
November xx, 1969 - Tempers flare over Atlantic in the UK wanting to release singles
November xx, 1969 - Recording for Led Zeppelin III begins at Olympic Studios in London
November xx, 1970 - Plans are in motion for a Yardbirds reunion
November 08, 1971 - Finally after much anticipation, Untitled is released
November xx, 1972 - Houses Of The Holy is mixed and completed
November 10, 1972 - Led Zeppelin sell out 120,000 tickets in one day
November xx, 1973 - Initial recordings for Physical Graffiti commences at Headley Grange
November 04, 1973 - Led Zeppelin finalize the purchase of Headley Grange to be their new corporate headquarters
November xx, 1974 - The band makes plans and rehearses for the tenth North American tour
November xx, 1975 - Led Zeppelin records Presence in a mere 18 days
November xx, 1976 - Led Zeppelin book into Ezyhire Studios to rehearse new material for an upcoming tour
November 04, 1976 - The Song Remains The Same movie premieres in Europe
November xx, 1977 - Jimmy dispells rumors of Led Zeppelin’s break up
November 06, 1978 - Led Zeppelin purchase and ship new gear to Polar Studios to begin work on a new album
November 10, 1979 - Led Zeppelin and their entire entourage attend an ABBA concert
November 07, 1980 - The band meets with Peter Grant to announce the retirement of Led Zeppelin
November 29, 1999 - The RIAA announced that Led Zeppelin were only the third act in music history to achieve four or more Diamond albums, a Diamond album being awarded for accredited sales of more than 10 million units in the US.
November 01, 2007 - An announcement was made that Jimmy Page had fractured his finger on his left hand after a fall in his garden and the reunion show would be postponed to December 10, 2007.
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