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Led Zeppelin

The Song Remains the Same (Swan Song / Atlantic)

Reviewed by Raoul Hernandez, Fri., Dec. 14, 2007

Reissues

Led Zeppelin

The Song Remains the Same (Swan Song/Atlantic)

Reinstating four songs to the front end of Led Zeppelin's 1973 Madison Square Garden stand for '76's Spinal Tap documentary, The Song Remains the Same, infuses iron to the anemic soundtrack. Jimmy Page's flaming Albion guitar solo in the restored "Over the Hills and Far Away" burns down even the tune's white-hot take on 2003's 3-CD mauling How the West Was Won. "Since I've Been Loving You," edited back here, also compares favorably to its '72 U.S. tour cousin on How the West Was Won, the definitive, sanctioned Zeppelin live release. Spackling John Bonham's big-bottom bash back in with "The Ocean," another bonus. The rest remains more or less the same: an average performance marred by Robert Plant's worn-out screech. The second disc still opens with the half-hour void of "Dazed and Confused," another 25 minutes of sprawl uniting "Moby Dick" and closer "Whole Lotta Love." In between, "Stairway to Heaven" can barely contain its cynicism, though Page's solo extension still gooses, and new addition "Heartbreaker" burps at the show's shambling close. Digipaking and new liners by Cameron Crowe match the film's DVD rerollout, but posterity can't match How the West Was Won or its eponymous digital video companion.

**

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