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Best Release Of Led Zeppelin IV Impressions??

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
Hi there guys, two part thread here. Looking for those of you alive or well versed in the rock that came out of the 60s and 70s, IMO the two best decades of music ever and nothing has come close to touching them.

Im currently looking to expand my CD collection or Vinyl with as much of high SQ remasters or presses of rock from those two decades. My first search was for a cd or press of Led Zeppelin IV, looking to try and find the cleanest sounding version available. Anyone had any experiences with different copies of this album? Everytime i hear a version of Stairway it never sounds quality to me. Perhaps the original was just done poorly or im just not luck enough to have listened to a proper recording of it yet. Im hoping its the latter.

Now, keep in mind im in my early 20s and was obviously not alive back in the sacred decades im mentioning. So, in addition to finding this album, im also trying to reach out to those of you versed in these decades to come out with your best bands, albums, recordings of the great songs. I probably only know the more popular stuff, zepplin, skynard, eagles, sabbath that sorta stuff but im still open to listen to anything as music is music and sometimes the best stuff doesnt always make it to the top.

Im hoping this thread will help out others who are searching to do the same as i in expanding, promoting and supporting these amazing artist [the ones who are alive anyways] so that people like them dont shy away simply because downloading has become so popular. We want those rock artists to know they can live off of true fans without a doubt!!

HELP ONE HELP ALL!!

Cheers, and rock on.
post #2 of 20
The best CD release of Led Zeppelin IV is the 1994 remaster.

This list that I posted in another thread has a lot of what you asked for...

http://www.head-fi.org/forums/showpo...2&postcount=24
post #3 of 20
Aha! Welcome to the club! 28 years old here and firmly in the camp that the 60s and 70s were the golden years for many genres - especially rock.

I won't be too much help as far as quality recordings are concerned. The standards tend to be easier to find on a quality CD version:

Pink Floyd: Dark Side of the Moon - SACD and/or MFSL Gold CD version
Beach Boys: Pet Sounds - Available on DVD-A with mono and stereo mixes in tact
Moody Blues - All of their albums just got released on SACD last year. Haven't heard them yet
Creedence Clearwater Revival - Full discography remastered by Hoffman/Gray and released on heavyweight vinyl and hybrid SACD
Emerson Lake & Palmer - Seems like only Brain Salad Surgery has gotten the high-rez treatment, on DVD-A
T. Rex: Electric Warrior - On hybrid SACD athough, in my opinion, the mix isn't terribly great. It's good, but harsh and hot at times.

My knowledge base goes WAY down after those listed. I'm lucky enough to have inherited my Dad's collection of vinyl, so most of what I have from that era is already in my possession in the preferred format. Should be noted that The Beatles - Love is a great recording, and hopefully a precursor of what to expect from the (eternally) forthcoming Beatles remasters.

This will be a good starting resource for high-quality recordings in various formats: http://store.acousticsounds.com/store.cfm

You'll know all the main names, so I'll keep from boring you with those, but I highly recommend avoiding "greatest hits" packages and going for full albums. With that said, if you like a good history lesson and have a thing for the rough, sloppy sound of garage rock, the Nuggets collections are highly recommended.

Personal favourites:

Procol Harum: A Whiter Shade of Pale, Shine on Brightly, A Salty Dog, Live w/ Edmonton Symphony Orchestra
King Crimson: In the Court of the Crimson King, Lizard, Red, Larks Tongues in Aspic, Starless & Bible Black
Canned Heat: Boogie, Living the Blues
High Tide: Sea Shanties (Dude sounds frighteningly like Jim Morrison. Curiosity here is that the band eschews a second guitar for an electric fiddle)
Van Morrison: Moondance, Astral Weeks, Band & Street Choir
Steely Dan: Can't Buy a Thrill, Pretzel Logic
Gentle Giant: Self-Titled, Acquiring the Taste, Octopus, Free Hand
The Kinks: Sunny Afternoon, Kinda Kinks, Well Respected Kinks, Village Green Preservation Society, Celluloid Heroes
Eric Burdon & The Animals: Entire Discography
Eric Burdon & War: Declares War, Black Man's Burdon (AFAIK these are the only two War albums with Burdon. Later releases are good too [Lowrider being the major hit] but decidedly different)
Mashmakhan Good luck finding this, but well worth the effort seeking it out.
Thundermug: Thundermug Strikes! (again, good luck with this one. You should at least be able to download their "hit" titled Africa, which is amazing.)
Zodiac: Cosmic Sounds (not so much a band as a collective of musicians who decided to create a theme album reeking of more patchouli and weed than a Greatful Dead tourbus)
Donovan: Entire discography. Must haves = Barabajagal, From a Flower to a Garden, Mellow Yellow, Sunshine Superman, Hurdy Gurdy Man

Ok, that'll do for now.

Don't forget, the 60s and 70s were amazing for other reasons as well: It was the golden age of R&B/Soul music, marked the proliferation of Jazz-rock, Funk and Fusion, and saw classical influences represented via Progressive Rock. There is more great music to be found in those two decades than can be heard in a lifetime!
post #4 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Orcin View Post
The best CD release of Led Zeppelin IV is the 1994 remaster.
x2
post #5 of 20
There is a in depth discussion over at < www.stevehoffman.tv > on the various pressings & versions of the of Led Zeppelin releases. You might want to check that out.

- augustwest
post #6 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Orcin View Post
The best CD release of Led Zeppelin IV is the 1994 remaster.

This list that I posted in another thread has a lot of what you asked for...

http://www.head-fi.org/forums/showpo...2&postcount=24
Is the 1994 remaster the same as the Jimmy Page remaster?
post #7 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Borat View Post
Is the 1994 remaster the same as the Jimmy Page remaster?
I was wondering the same thing... because I have the same one and it sounds like... well, not garbage, but not too good either. Much more enjoyable on vinyl.
post #8 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Orcin View Post
The best CD release of Led Zeppelin IV is the 1994 remaster.

This list that I posted in another thread has a lot of what you asked for...

http://www.head-fi.org/forums/showpo...2&postcount=24
Not sure that 1994 remaster exists. Are you referring to 1993 Complete Studio Recordings release?
post #9 of 20
post #10 of 20
The Led Zep catalog has only been mastered twice, the original issues from the early 80s, and the Jimmy Page remasters in the mid-90s.

Most (not all) audiophiles prefer the original CDs over the EQ-tweaked and louder remasters. You have to beware when an aging rock star (who is not an engineer or audiohile) goes back to assist in the remastering their catalog. How much upper-range hearing can Page possibly have left at this point? Based on the treble boost in the remasters, we can surmise he was "filling in" what was missing to his ears. For the rest of us, they can sound too bright.

The original CDs are essentially flat transfers done by one of the more respected names in early CD mastering Barry Diament. There are superior early pressings done in Japan and West Germany (the earliest and best are called "Target CDs"). They used much better practices in the old days in making CDs (glass masters etc.), so if you want the best I would suggest hunting down the Target of Led Zep IV (cost you around $60), or an early Japan pressing of that title.
post #11 of 20
The classic records 200 gram vinyl is the best version I've ever heard. Much better than any other CD version: Zep IV at classic records
post #12 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by markl View Post
The Led Zep catalog has only been mastered twice, the original issues from the early 80s, and the Jimmy Page remasters in the mid-90s.

Most (not all) audiophiles prefer the original CDs over the EQ-tweaked and louder remasters. You have to beware when an aging rock star (who is not an engineer or audiohile) goes back to assist in the remastering their catalog. How much upper-range hearing can Page possibly have left at this point? Based on the treble boost in the remasters, we can surmise he was "filling in" what was missing to his ears. For the rest of us, they can sound too bright.

The original CDs are essentially flat transfers done by one of the more respected names in early CD mastering Barry Diament. There are superior early pressings done in Japan and West Germany (the earliest and best are called "Target CDs"). They used much better practices in the old days in making CDs (glass masters etc.), so if you want the best I would suggest hunting down the Target of Led Zep IV (cost you around $60), or an early Japan pressing of that title.
I have the original from the 80's and it sounds excellent.
post #13 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bleeding Spark View Post
The classic records 200 gram vinyl is the best version I've ever heard. Much better than any other CD version: Zep IV at classic records
Agreed.
post #14 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by GlendaleViper View Post
Moody Blues - All of their albums just got released on SACD last year. Haven't heard them yet
I'm not that hip on this era outside of the big names. Thanks to the SACD re-issues, I've become quite a Moody Blues fan; saw them in concert this year in fact.

Are there any era bands, that aren't too hard to track down, like them that you could point me towards?
post #15 of 20
Tough to find bands like the Moody Blues - they were fairly unique. I'd say Procol Harum might be a good place to start. Not on SACD though.

For the record, Procol is my favourite band in that era. If you like the symphonic stuff, start with their Live album, referenced above.

[EDIT] I know you're a big SACD collector, so definitely keep your eyes peeled for when the Peter Gabriel Genesis SACD reissues come out (soon, I think). From all accounts, the Genesis reissues with Phil Collins are apparently poorly mastered, which isn't a good sign.
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