BBC Sessions (Led Zeppelin album)

BBC Sessions is a double compilation album featuring live studio sessions and a broadcast concert recorded by English rock band Led Zeppelin for the BBC. It was released on double CD, on 17 November 1997, by Atlantic Records.

Overview

This was the first issue of previously unreleased Led Zeppelin material since the 4 remastered out-takes in the early 1990s. Disc one consists of songs from four separate 1969 BBC sessions; at the Playhouse Theatre (3 March and 27 June), Maida Vale Studio 4 (24 June), and Aeolian Hall Studio 2 (16 June). Disc two includes most of the 1 April 1971 concert from the Paris Theatre in Lower Regent Street, London. 'Stairway to Heaven', 'Black Dog', 'Going to California' are all performed at the Paris Theatre prior to the release of their fourth album, before an invited audience.

Unofficial Led Zeppelin's BBC session recordings were among the most popular bootleg albums of the rock and roll era, appearing on a myriad of illegal records and CDs. They were all the more popular because of the lack of official Led Zeppelin live albums. This release was widely welcomed by Led Zeppelin fans as the first live release since The Song Remains the Same in 1976. However, due to licensing issues, some of the song medleys from the original broadcasts could not be included, while the masters for the 19 March at the Maida Vale Studio 4 recording were wiped by the BBC, meaning some material such as 'Sunshine Woman' exist only as an audience bootleg.

In July 2016 it was announced that a remastered version of BBC Sessions would be released along with a third disc of bonus material, including the recording of 'Sunshine Woman'.

Track list

          Disc one

  1. 'You Shook Me' (Willie Dixon) – 5.14
  2. 'I Can't Quit You Baby' (Willie Dixon) – 4.22
  3. 'Communication Breakdown' (Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones, John Bonham) – 3.12
  4. 'Dazed and Confused' (Jimmy Page) – 6.39
  5. 'The Girl I Love She Got Long Black Wavy Hair' (Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, John Paul Jones, John Bonham, John Estes) – 3.00
  6. 'What Is and What Should Never Be' (Jimmy Page, Robert Plant) – 4.20
  7. 'Communication Breakdown' (Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones, John Bonham) – 2.40
  8. 'Travelling Riverside Blues' (Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, Robert Johnson) – 5.12
  9. 'Whole Lotta Love' (Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, John Paul Jones, John Bonham) – 6.09
  10. 'Somethin' Else' (Bob Cochran, Sharon Sheeley) – 2.06
  11. 'Communication Breakdown' (Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones, John Bonham) – 3.05
  12. 'I Can't Quit You Baby' (Willie Dixon) – 6.21
  13. 'You Shook Me' (Willie Dixon) – 10.19
  14. 'How Many More Times' (Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones, John Bonham) – 11.51

          Disc two

  1. 'Immigrant Song' (Jimmy Page, Robert Plant) – 3.20
  2. 'Heartbreaker' (Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, John Paul Jones, John Bonham) – 5.16
  3. 'Since I've Been Loving You' (Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, John Paul Jones) – 6.56
  4. 'Black Dog' (Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones, Robert Plant) – 5.17
  5. 'Dazed and Confused' (Jimmy Page) – 18.36
  6. 'Stairway to Heaven' (Jimmy Page, Robert Plant) – 8.49
  7. 'Going to California' (Jimmy Page, Robert Plant) – 3.54
  8. 'That's the Way' (Jimmy Page, Robert Plant) – 5.43
  9. 'Whole Lotta Love' (Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, John Paul Jones, John Bonham) [inc. 'Boogie Chillen' (John Lee Hooker), 'Fixin' to Die' (Bukka White), 'That's Alright Mama' (Arthur Crudup), 'A Mess of Blues' (Doc Pomus, Mort Shuman)] – 13.45
  10. 'Thank You' (Jimmy Page, Robert Plant) – 6.37

Reviews

  • Scott Floman (Goldmine) - Rock and Soul Album Reviews (2002) A-

Chart history

Album

  • Japanese Albums Chart (1997) 10
  • French Albums Chart (1997) 38
  • New Zealand RIANZ Top 50 Albums Chart (1997) 26
  • Finnish Albums Chart (1997) 28
  • Swedish Albums Chart (1997) 50
  • UK Albums Chart (1997) 23
  • Norwegian Albums Chart (1997) 36
  • US Billboard The 200 Albums Chart (1997) 12
  • Canadian RPM Top 100 Chart (1997) 30

Certifications

  • United Kingdom (BPI) 150,000+ Gold
  • United States (RIAA) 2,000,000+ 2× Multi-Platinum

Certification history

  • RIAA – USA Gold 16 December 1997
  • RIAA – USA Platinum 16 December 1997
  • RIAA – USA 2× Platinum 7 August 2001

Release history

  • US 1997 Atlantic Records Double CD 83061-2
  • UK/Germany/EU 1997 Atlantic Records Double CD 7567-83061-2
  • Japan 2003 Warner Music Double CD (replica sleeve) WPCR-11756/7

Credits

Musicians:

  • Jimmy Page – acoustic guitar, electric guitar, backing vocals, compilation producer, mastering
  • Robert Plant – vocals, harmonica
  • John Paul Jones – bass guitar, Hammond organ, keyboards, bass pedals, mandolin, backing vocals
  • John Bonham - drums, percussion, backing vocals

Production:

  • Peter Grant – executive producer on original recordings
  • Bernie Andrews - producer
  • Jeff Griffin - producer
  • Paul Williams - producer
  • John Walters - producer
  • Jon Astely - mastering
  • Pete Ritzerma - engineer
  • Joe Young - engineer
  • Tony Wilson - engineer
  • Chris Walter - photography
  • Andie Airfix - art direction, design
  • Ross Halfin - photographic research
  • Luis Rey - liner notes

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