The Song Remains the Same (album)

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The Song Remains the Same
Tsrtsalbum1976.jpg
Type Live album
Artist Led Zeppelin
Release Date 22 October 1976 (US), 22 October 1976 (UK)
Recorded 27 - 29 July 1973 at
Madison Square Garden, New York with the Wally Heider Mobile Studio.
Mixed at Electric Lady, New York;
Trident Studios, London.
(2007 issue) Mixed at Metropolis Studios, London.
Genre Hard rock, prog rock, folk rock, rock
Language English
Length 99 minutes 45 seconds (original), 131 minutes 55 seconds (remastered)
Label Swan Song Records
Catalogue Swan Song SS 2-201 (US), Swan Song SSK 89402 (UK)
Producer Jimmy Page
Engineer Eddie Kramer

The Song Remains the Same is the soundtrack album of the concert film of the same name by the English rock band Led Zeppelin. The album was originally released in 1976, before being remastered and re-issued in 2007.

Overview

The recording of the album and the film took place during three nights of concerts at New York's Madison Square Garden, during the band's 1973 concert tour of the United States. All songs were recorded by Eddie Kramer using the Wally Heider Mobile Studio truck, and later mixed at Electric Lady Studios in New York and Trident Studios in London.

The album was released on 28 September 1976, by Swan Song Records. The sleeve design depicted a disused cinema located on Old Street film studios in London, which was used by the group for rehearsals prior to their 1973 tour.

Upon its release, the album received mixed reviews, with some critics considering it to be over-produced.[1] Indeed, the band's members themselves have since expressed a lack of fondness for the recording. Jimmy Page has admitted that the end product was hardly the best representation of Led Zeppelin as a live band:

Obviously we were committed to putting this album out, although it wasn't necessarily the best live stuff we have. I don't look upon it as a live album...it's essentially a soundtrack.[2]

In an interview he gave to rock journalist Cameron Crowe, Page elaborated:

As far as Led Zeppelin's studio recordings went, every single one of them has a certain ambiance, certain atmospherics that made them special. When it came to the live shows, we were always trying to move things forward and we certainly weren't happy leaving them as they were. The songs were always in a state of change. On [The] Song Remains the Same you can hear the urgency and not much else. The live shows were an extension of the albums.[3]

Until both the album and the film were remastered and re-released in 2007, there were significant differences between the two in terms of the songs included on each. These differences were as follows:

Of the songs that both the album and the film had in common, some of the recordings featured on the album were of different performances from those in the film. Other tracks which were recorded at Madison Square Garden, but omitted from both the film and the soundtrack album, included 'The Ocean' and 'Misty Mountain Hop'.

2007 reissue

The Song Remains the Same soundtrack album was reissued on CD on 20 November 2007, with the surviving band members having overseen the remixing and remastering of the original release. This coincided with the re-issue of the film, available on DVD. The new version of the soundtrack included six songs that were not on the original album release: 'Black Dog', 'Over the Hills and Far Away', 'Misty Mountain Hop', 'Since I've Been Loving You', 'The Ocean' and 'Heartbreaker', plus new liner notes by Cameron Crowe.

Thus, with the 2007 re-release of both the album and film, the songs were synchronized so that the full set-list from the concerts was available on both, with each song mixed the same way (the only exceptions being 'Bron-Yr-Aur' and 'Autumn Lake', both of which continued to be absent from the album).

Jimmy Page stated:

We have revisited The Song Remains the Same and can now offer the complete set as played at Madison Square Garden. This differs substantially from the original soundtrack released in 1976, and highlights the technical prowess of Kevin Shirley, who worked with us on How the West Was Won.[4]

Due to legal complications, the band decided not to change the video portion of the original film for the re-release.[5] Instead, Shirley created an entirely new mix of the three 1973 Madison Square Garden concerts so that the audio portion of the film would better match the on-screen visuals. The audio on the new CD release was nearly identical to the soundtrack of the new DVD release. One difference was that the songs included on the CDs that were not featured in the original film were included as bonus tracks on the DVD.[6]

On 29 July 2008, a four-LP edition of the 2007 re-issue, on 180 gram audiophile vinyl, was released. It was presented in a deluxe archival two-piece box with foil-stamping. It includes a twelve-page oversized full-colour booklet with dozens of previously unpublished stills from the film, as well as four individual jackets with new and unique artwork. A special white vinyl edition was also printed in very limited numbers. Just 200 were produced, with only 100 being made available to the public (only from ledzeppelin.com). These are now very highly sought-after collectors items.

Track list

Album information

Track listing:

  • Side one:
  1. 'Rock and Roll' (Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, John Paul Jones, John Bonham) – 4:03
  2. 'Celebration Day' (Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, John Paul Jones) – 3:43
  3. 'The Song Remains the Same' (Jimmy Page, Robert Plant) – 6:00
  4. 'The Rain Song' (Jimmy Page, Robert Plant) – 8:24
  • Side two:
  1. 'Dazed and Confused' (Jimmy Page) – 26:53
  • Side three:
  1. 'No Quarter' (John Paul Jones, Jimmy Page, Robert Plant) – 12:30
  2. 'Stairway to Heaven' (Jimmy Page, Robert Plant) – 10:58
  • Side four:
  1. 'Moby Dick' (Bonham, Jones, Page) – 12:47
  2. 'Whole Lotta Love' (Page, Plant, Jones, Bonham) – 14:24

Re-issue (2007)

Album information

Track listing:

  • Side one:
  1. 'Rock and Roll' (Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, John Paul Jones, John Bonham) – 4:03
  2. 'Celebration Day' (Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, John Paul Jones) – 3:43
  3. 'Black Dog' [with 'Bring It On Home'] (Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, John Paul Jones) - 3:46
  4. 'Over the Hills and Far Away' (Jimmy Page, Robert Plant) - 6:11
  • Side two:
  1. 'Misty Mountain Hop' (Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, John Paul Jones) - 4:43
  2. 'Since I've Been Loving You' (Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, John Paul Jones) - 8:23
  3. 'The Ocean' (Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, John Paul Jones, John Bonham) - 5:13
  • Side three:
  1. 'The Song Remains the Same' (Jimmy Page, Robert Plant) – 5:39
  2. 'The Rain Song' (Jimmy Page, Robert Plant) – 8:20
  • Side four:
  1. 'No Quarter' (John Paul Jones, Jimmy Page, Robert Plant) – 10:38
  • Side five:
  1. 'Dazed and Confused' [part 1] (Jimmy Page) – 19:57
  • Side six:
  1. 'Dazed and Confused' [part 2] (Jimmy Page) – 8:57
  2. 'Moby Dick' (Bonham, Jones, Page) – 11:02
  • Side seven:
  1. 'Stairway to Heaven' (Jimmy Page, Robert Plant) – 10:52
  • Side eight:
  1. 'Heartbreaker' (Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, John Paul Jones, John Bonham) - 6:19
  2. 'Whole Lotta Love' (Page, Plant, Jones, Bonham) – 13:51

Charts

Album

Chart (1976) Peak Position
Japanese Albums Chart[7] 6
UK Albums Chart[8] 1
US Billboard The 200 Albums Chart[9] 2
Norwegian Albums Chart[10] 21
Swedish Albums Chart[11] 29
Canadian RPM Top 100 Albums Chart[12] 8
New Zealand Top 50 Albums Chart[13] 6
German Albums Chart[14] 28
Spanish Albums Chart[15] 23

Album (Expanded remaster)

Chart (2007) Peak Position
Japanese Albums Chart[16] 5
UK Albums Chart[17] 73
Belgian Albums Chart (Walloon)[18] 86
US Billboard Top Soundtracks Chart[19] 9
US Billboard Tastemakers Chart[20] 11
US Billboard Top Hard Rock Chart[21] 11
US Billboard Top Pop Albums Chart[22] 23
US Billboard Comprehensive Albums Chart[23] 92
German Albums Chart[24] 65

Album (Digital download)*

Chart (2007) Peak Position
US Billboard Top Digital Albums Chart[25] 24
US Billboard Top Internet Albums Chart[26] 18

Notes:
(*) Remastered and expanded edition

Sales certifications

Country Sales Certification
United Kingdom (BPI) 300,000+ Platinum[27]*
France (SNEP) 100,000+ Gold[28]*
Germany (IFPI) 100,000+ Gold[29]*
Argentina (CAPIF) 30,000+ Gold[30]
United States (RIAA) 4,000,000+ 4× Multi-Platinum[31]*

Note: (*) Pre-remastered sales only

Certification history

Organization Level Date
RIAA – USA Gold 3 November 1976
RIAA – USA Platinum 15 November 1976
RIAA – USA 2× Platinum 30 October 1984
RIAA – USA 4× Platinum 5 February 1997

Credits

Personnel
  • Musicians:
    • Jimmy Page – electric guitar, theremin, backing vocals, producer, remastering, digital remastering
    • Robert Plant – vocals
    • John Paul Jones – bass guitar, keyboards, Mellotron, bass pedals
    • John Bonham - drums, percussion, backing vocals
  • Production:
    • Peter Grant – executive producer
    • Eddie Kramer – engineer, mixing
    • Kevin Shirley - mixing (2007 re-release)
    • Bob Ludwig - mastering
    • Cameron Crowe - liner notes
    • George Hardie – sleeve design
    • Hipgnosis – sleeve design and packaging
    • Peter Halm - reissue design
    • Barry Diament - original CD mastering engineer (mid-1980s)

References

  1. Welch, Chris (1996). “Into the Shadows”, Led Zeppelin. London: Carlton Books, 70. ISBN 978-1-85868-271-6. 
  2. Lewis, Dave and Pallett, Simon (2005). Led Zeppelin: The Concert File, Revised. London: Omnibus Press, 269. ISBN 978-1-84449-659-4. 
  3. Liner notes by Cameron Crowe for The Complete Studio Recordings.
  4. Roberts, Elly. Led Zeppelin - 'The Song Remains The Same - Remastered' (Atlantic) Released 19/11/07, Gigwise, Giant Digital Ltd, 20 November 2007. Retrieved on 27 May 2014.
  5. Liner notes by Cameron Crowe for The Song Remains the Same, reissued version, 2007.
  6. Watson, Tom (16 October 2007). Kevin Shirley Talks about Revisiting Led Zeppelin's the Song Remains the Same. Modern Guitars Magazine. Guitar International Group. Retrieved on 27 May 2014.
  7. Top 100 Albums - 20 October 1976. Oricon. Retrieved on 2009-01-19.
  8. Top 100 Albums - 13 November 1976. chartstats.com. Retrieved on 2009-01-19.
  9. The Billboard 200 - 13 November 1976. Billboard. Retrieved on 2009-01-19.
  10. Top 20 Albums - 28 November 1976. norwegiancharts.com. Retrieved on 2009-01-19.
  11. Top 60 Albums - 30 November 1976. swedishcharts.com. Retrieved on 2009-01-19.
  12. RPM Albums Chart - 25 December 1976. RPM. Retrieved on 2009-01-19.
  13. Scapolo, Dean (2007). “Top 50 Albums - December 1976”, The Complete New Zealand Music Charts. Wellington: Transpress. ISBN 978-1-877443-00-8. 
  14. Top 100 Albums - December 1976. charts-surfer.de. Retrieved on 2009-01-19.
  15. Top 100 Albums - 5 March 1977. PROMUSICAE. Retrieved on 2009-01-19.
  16. Top 100 Albums - 11 November 2007. Oricon. Retrieved on 2009-01-19.
  17. Top 100 Albums - 1 December 2007. chartstats.com. Retrieved on 2009-01-19.
  18. Top 100 Albums - 1 December 2007. ultratop.be. Retrieved on 2009-01-19.
  19. Top Soundtracks - 8 December 2007. Billboard. Retrieved on 2009-01-19.
  20. Tastemakers - 8 December 2007. Billboard. Retrieved on 2009-01-19.
  21. Top Hard Rock Albums - 8 December 2007. Billboard. Retrieved on 2009-01-19.
  22. Top Pop Albums - 8 December 2007. Billboard. Retrieved on 2009-01-19.
  23. Comprehensive Albums - 8 December 2007. Billboard. Retrieved on 2009-01-19.
  24. Top 100 Albums - 10 December 2007. musicline.de. Retrieved on 2009-01-19.
  25. Top Digital Albums - 8 December 2007. Billboard. Retrieved on 2009-01-19.
  26. Top Internet Albums - 16 August 2008. Billboard. Retrieved on 2009-01-19.
  27. BPI The Song Remains the Same certification - 9 October 1979. BPI. Retrieved on 2009-01-19.
  28. Disque en France: Led Zeppelin - 1980. SNEP. Retrieved on 2009-01-19.
  29. Bundesverband Musikindustrie: The Song Remains the Same - 1986. musikindustrie.de. Retrieved on 2009-01-19.
  30. CAPIF: Led Zeppelin - 2003. CAPIF. Retrieved on 2009-01-19.
  31. RIAA.org Houses of the Holy - 5 February 1997. RIAA. Retrieved on 2009-01-19.