Led Zeppelin II (Deluxe CD Edition)
Atlantic Catalog Group
I tried to address most of my concerns and shorthand Jimmy Page’s obvious cash-grab intentions around the reissue of the first three Zep albums – the start of (yet) another campaign of keeping Page in Legendary Musician Status when he hasn’t really been in Musician status for the best part of 30 years now – in my review of the reissued first Led Zeppelin album.
So what to add this time? Well Led Zeppelin II is in no way a dud, but I was brutally underwhelmed in hearing this reissued version. Oh, it sounds great, yep. And I thrilled to a couple of the tunes – always liked their theft of Lemon Song, that’s how you brazenly take but still manage to create – and I love the album-closer, Bring It On Home. Love Plant’s moody, mumbled delivery to begin with and then the way the song does that Led Zep-lurch into a whole lotta new territory. Wonderful. But so much of Led Zep II has been ruined by classic rock radio really. I don’t need to ever hear Heartbreaker or Living Loving Maid or Thank You or Ramble On or Whole Lotta Love ever again really. And sure, they’re great songs, and when they’re not they’re shit-hot great riffs (at least) but I just don’t care to hear them in a slightly-fresh way. This all but left me dazed, confused. If I want to hear Led Zep II ever again I’m happiest with my crummy $2 vinyl with the taped-up cover. That is the record that speak to me – this just acts all shiny-new when, really, it isn’t.
This fact – for me – is exacerbated by the filler (‘bonus’) fodder. A range of alternate takes I’ll never ever sit through again.
Oh, look, if you never owned this album then you’re a moron and away with you now – go buy it. But even if your copy is all worn out and used up you don’t need this again. Not really.