Whole Lotta Led Zeppelin: Live at the Royal Albert Hall and The Song Remains the Same–the Full Shows

Here’s a Fri­day night dou­ble fea­ture for the die-hard rock and roll fan: two full-length Led Zep­pelin movies.

Both films grew out of band man­ag­er Peter Grant’s dream of bring­ing the expe­ri­ence of a Led Zep­pelin con­cert to the big screen. And although both were essen­tial­ly attempts at the same thing, the two films were shot more than three years apart, so they show the band in two dis­tinct peri­ods of its career.

Led Zep­pelin Live at the Roy­al Albert Hall:

On Jan­u­ary 9, 1970, less than three months after the release of Led Zep­pelin II, the band played the his­toric Roy­al Albert Hall on the third night of an eight-show UK tour. By all accounts it was a high-ener­gy show. When the con­cert was over, Nick Logan of the New Music Express wrote:

I spoke to Jim­my Page after the show and he con­fessed that the whole band had suf­fered extreme nerves before­hand, main­ly because peo­ple like John Lennon, Eric Clap­ton and Jeff Beck had request­ed tick­ets. “But it was just like it was at the Albert Hall in the sum­mer,” said Jim­my, “with every­one danc­ing around the stage. It was a great feel­ing. What could be bet­ter than hav­ing every­one clap­ping and shout­ing along? It’s inde­scrib­able; but it just makes you feel that every­thing is worth­while.

You can read Logan’s review of the show, along with oth­er press reports, at LedZeppelin.com. The con­cert was filmed by Peter White­head and Stan­ley Dorf­man. But the band was unhap­py with the qual­i­ty of the footage, and it was put away until the release of the two-disc Led Zep­pelin DVD in 2003. The film (above) cap­tures the pow­er­ful ear­ly phase of the band’s career. Here’s the set list:

  1. We’re Gonna Groove
  2. I Can’t Quit You Baby
  3. Dazed and Con­fused
  4. White Sum­mer
  5. What Is and What Should Nev­er Be
  6. How Many More Times
  7. Moby Dick
  8. Whole Lot­ta Love
  9. Com­mu­ni­ca­tion Break­down
  10. C’mon Every­body
  11. Some­thin’ Else
  12. Bring It On Home

The Song Remains the Same:

Unhap­py with the Roy­al Albert Hall film, Grant wait­ed sev­er­al years before try­ing to pro­duce anoth­er con­cert film. With lit­tle more than a week left in the band’s 1973 North Amer­i­can tour, he hired film­mak­er Joe Mas­sot to doc­u­ment the final three shows at New York’s Madi­son Square Gar­den. Mas­sot scram­bled to assem­ble a film crew before the con­certs, which took place July 27–29. Not sur­pris­ing­ly, the pro­duc­tion was a dis­or­ga­nized mess. Again the band was unhap­py with the con­cert footage. Even­tu­al­ly Mas­sot was fired from the project and Peter Clifton was hired to com­plete the film. In 1974 the band rent­ed space at Shep­per­ton Stu­dios in Eng­land to film sup­ple­men­tary con­cert footage.

The movie was final­ly released in Octo­ber of 1976. Fans loved it but crit­ics found the film ama­teur­ish and self-indul­gent. The con­cert footage was inter­spersed with “fan­ta­sy sequences” filmed by Mas­sot of Grant and the band mem­bers play­ing dif­fer­ent roles. “The Song Remains the Same is not a great film,” Page said lat­er, “but there’s no point in mak­ing excus­es. It’s just a rea­son­ably hon­est state­ment of where we were at that par­tic­u­lar time.” The con­cert cap­tures the band at the height of their fame. Here are the songs played in the con­cert scenes:

  1. Bron-Yr-Aur
  2. Rock and Roll
  3. Black Dog
  4. Since I’ve Been Lov­ing You
  5. No Quar­ter
  6. The Song Remains the Same
  7. The Rain Song
  8. Dazed and Con­fused
  9. Stair­way to Heav­en
  10. Moby Dick
  11. Heart­break­er
  12. Whole Lot­ta Love


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