Led Zeppelin

Inside Led Zeppelin: 1968-1972

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Question: When were Led Zeppelin at their best? Answer: Pretty much the whole way through. Not until the very end did the band unleash an album that was anything less than indispensable (and even then, In Through the Out Door had its moments of magic), while it was the mid-period (Houses of the Holy through Presence) that caught them at their most adventurous. The early years, however, have a drama of their own, and the decision to concentrate this DVD rockumentary on that period alone allows seven British journalists, including Zep 'zine editor Dave Lewis, to delve deep into the glories that were the band's first four albums -- those essentially untitled masterpieces that we know, respectively, as I, II, III and IV. That's the good news. Less enthralling are the musical selections that are otherwise the highlight of this series -- just three sources are tapped for material, all from 1969 and all in more-or-less open circulation in either official or unofficial forms: British TV's Supershow, French TV's Tous en Scene and the Danish TV mini-concert. Other glimpses of the band are supplied by Australian and U.S. press conferences and the like, but still one watches this disc as much for the pleasure of disagreeing with the "experts," as for thrilling to the sight and sound of Led Zeppelin in full flight.

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