The Song... is somewhat changedQuite a football night here in Apt. 104. Texas A&M in the Alamo Bowl and New England trying to end their season undefeated, playing the New York Giants. The remote is getting a serious workout as I bounce between channels.
On to some music, though....
I had no real intention of buying the re-released version of The Song Remains the Same, the album version of Led Zeppelin’s July 1973 shows at Madison Square Garden. I really didn’t even have any intent of getting the DVD reissue. I’ve owned the vinyl, the original CD release, and have seen the movie probably dozens of times. Back in my military days, we would regularly get together for late night, high-volume video screenings.
But the office gift exchange comes around and, even though we work together every day, no one really knows what to get anyone, so most of us ended with gift cards. My “Christmas Buddy” gifted me with a Best Buy gift card. I was going to use it to just buy some CD-R disks, but this morning I thought, “I oughta get that new version of The Song Remains the Same.” I thought there was some sort of a box set, with the new versions of the movie and the disk. I head over to Best Buy, gift card in hand, hopes high as I entered the store. I searched the music section; no box sets. I searched movies; nothing. “WTF?” I’m thinking.
I finally found some kid with a name tag and asked, “Do you have a box set of The Song Remains the Same?”
“What’s that?” he asked me. The blank stare told me he wouldn’t know even if I told him.
“Never mind,” I said, and set off to recheck the aisles on my own.
I never found a box set (I’m still not sure there is one), but I did find the re-released version of the CD. I checked it and saw that it contains six songs not on the original release: “Black Dog,” “Over the Hills and Far Away,” “Misty Mountain Hop,” “Since I’ve Been Loving You,” “The Ocean,” and “Heartbreaker.”
Even though I’ve heard this album probably hundreds of times, it’s still a joy to put it on and hear one of rock's greatest bands during the time they were arguably at their peak. Cameron Crowe, who wrote the original liner notes for the album, gets a 2007 update as well: “Page’s one-man guitar orchestra, swooping and careening, taking no prisoners, Jones and Bonham holding the brilliant center, and the high stakes passion of Plant, coaxing magic at every turn ... it’s a breathtaking statement of ownership.”
Over the Hills and Far Away.mp3
While looking for a couple of pictures for this post, I found a site called The Garden Tapes, which is a “study of the Led Zeppelin film and album The Song Remains the Same.” This site takes a very comprehensive look at what songs – and what parts of the songs – come from which nights of the Madison Square Garden shows. It really breaks the songs down second-by-second and sometimes note-by-note in explaining how they were assembled into the final commercial releases.