10

Classic, but I've already got the tunes on a different format.

To coincide with the recent Led Zeppelin reunion and spate of shows, albeit cancelled shows, Atlantic have put together a package of Led Zeppelin classics, which, have been personally selected by the surviving members. Not only is this a best of... album it's the band's favourite tunes spanning their forty year career. A career that has proven the band to be one of the most influential and innovative rock groups of all time, to many they are THE ultimate rock band. You can't deny the Led Zep legacy and this two CD offering is a fitting tribute to the band's back catalogue.

All eight albums are represented with the first disc concentrating on their earlier works. 'Communication Breakdown,' 'Whole Lotta Love' and 'Rock And Roll' are all included with the oft lauded 'Stairway To Heaven'** to close the disc. Disc two contains tracks such as 'The Song Remains The Same,' 'Trampled Under Foot' and 'Nobody's Fault But Mine'. But it is the inventive Epic 'Kashmir' that stands head and shoulders above the other ten tunes.

All songs on this two-disc set have been re-mastered and are as clear as spring water. Thankfully the band has avoided the 'remix' temptation, which essentially ruins the essence of the songs even though the sound is better. This must be because the original versions are so ingrained in our minds that any deviance is instantly noticeable and therefore disliked. (Deep Purple did this with 'Machine Head' but I still listen to the original recordings.)

Cynical people, such as myself, would cry cash-in and they'd probably be correct. In my CD collection I have the 1990 'Remasters' album, you know the one, it has a crop circle on the front. Twenty-three out of the twenty-four songs on 'Mothership' can be found on the 'Remasters' album in almost the same format and with the same quality of sound. So what makes 'Mothership' worth shelling out for? Nothing to be honest, if you have 'Remasters' you don't need 'Mothership' unless extra linear notes is your Achilles heal. There is, however, a deluxe edition of 'Mothership' with DVD shenanigans, as well as a 'collectors' edition that is ultra-deluxe (ultra-deluxe? They're just making stuff up now) to try and force the starved Led Zep fans into parting with more of their cash. But when a fan pays 83,000 for a ticket to one of their recent concerts I don't think 13 for a collectable version of re-mastered songs they already own is going to break the bank.

'Mothership' is a great reminder of how good Led Zeppelin were as songwriters. For the music fans unaware of the bands back catalogue then this is a great place to start as an overview of their career. Those who don't own the 'Remasters' album may find that 'Mothership' is a decent purchase. If it's advice you're after, I'd tell you to buy at least the Deluxe Edition, the 90-minute DVD may just make this package worth the selling price. Unless of course you get swallowed up in all the hype then get all three versions, I'm sure Jimmy and the boys need the money.


**I still can't hear what all the fuss is about, give me 'Dazed and Confused any time.