Led Zeppelin IV is arguably the greatest rock album of all time. Jimmy Page had become one of the best and most expressive guitar players in the world by 1970. He is on record saying he practised hard to improve further, and it is obvious that he went through a threshold by the time Led Zeppelin IV was taped in 1971. I won't review the songs because they are part of rock folklore, and I have nothing new to add to the praise heaped upon these cuts since their release in 1971. Instead, I will observe that the 2014 remaster is fantastic, revealing hidden layers of sounds and nuances that had previously been undetectable. Those wonderful old tunes are rejuvenated and brimming with fresh energy and sparkle. Four Sticks wasn't flattered by the muddy 1971 mix, but the component sounds are now well-separated and it's obvious that it can punch its weight with the other selections on the album. Robert Plant's reading of the hippy ballad Going To California is a little twee, but at least the tune wrests more kindly on the ear now. The extras on the companion disc are generally excellent, featuring ace remixes of Rock and Roll, Misty Mountain Hop, Four Sticks and When The Levee Breaks. There's also a rejected 1971 mix of Stairway To Heaven. It contains a few interesting surprises, and - if nothing else - shows how good the preferred mix is. It's disappointing that the bonus version of The Battle Of Evermore fades out before the climactic ending. But this is a terrific album, and it's never sounded better.
These Special Editions have 2 whole CDs of remixes.
Both 4 and Houses of the Holy out now
Edited by Redcarmoose - 11/4/14 at 12:44pm