Vitamin String Quartet

The String Quartet Tribute to Led Zeppelin, Vols. 1 & 2

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This 2002 release from Vitamin unites two previous Led Zeppelin tribute albums that exist separately in the label's catalog. This is its biggest selling point, as the two volumes do not repeat each other and, when taken in together, they provide a sweeping instrumental history of one of rock's greatest bands. Most of Zeppelin's music is well-suited to a chamber music retelling, to which sparkling versions of "The Ocean," "Carouselambra," and "Tangerine" can attest. "Black Dog" and "Immigrant Song" don't fare as well, as their meat-and-potatoes riffs border on schlock when translated to a chamber music format. And though the arrangement of "Stairway to Heaven" is blissful and full of plaintive violin, the song's clichéd status renders it into bland easy listening territory. But the pluses of this full-size string-quartet tribute to Led Zeppelin far outweigh the minuses, making it a release worth hearing for any Zep aficionado.

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