Page & Plant

No Quarter: Unledded [Video]

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The long-awaited DVD release of Jimmy Page and Robert Plant's No Quarter: Jimmy Page & Robert Plant Unledded came in 2004, a full decade after its MTV broadcast when the network invited the Led Zeppelin leaders to take part in its Unplugged series. The CD was first released in 1994 and the VHS followed in 1995. The DVD and CD reissue feature slightly revised artwork and a few renamed songs; the audio was remixed for DVD in both stereo and 5.1 Surround Sound. Page & Plant took the opportunity to not simply rehash beloved Led Zeppelin classics but, in many cases, turn them upside down with revamped arrangements. No Quarter is basically divided into three kinds of performances. The duo plays with a core seven-piece band, the London Metropolitan Orchestra, and Egyptian musicians at LWT Studios in London; on location with the band in Snowdonia, Wales; and on location with local musicians in Marrakech, Morocco. The exotic instrumentation provides a fresh coat of sonic paint on familiar songs, although the selections are not exclusively radio-hammered "greatest hits." Due to the Unplugged theme, it was natural to focus on material from the acoustic-heavy Led Zeppelin III. Four songs are performed from the album, and the highlight overall is a brilliant new version of "Gallows Pole" that arguably surpasses the original; given its harrowing theme, it crackles with appropriate emotional urgency. Other standouts are "No Quarter," "Thank You," "The Battle of Evermore," "The Rain Song," and "Kashmir." The most interesting new songs, "City Don't Cry" and the maniacally psychedelic "The Truth Explodes" (originally named "Yallah"), were recorded in Marrakech. Bonus extras include a Page & Plant interview, a special performance of "Black Dog" staged for the American Music Awards, behind-the-scenes footage shot in Morocco, and the video for "Most High" from Page & Plant's 1998 studio album, Walking into Clarksdale.

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