While long regarded as the prototypical rock-n-roll concert film, hard-core Led Zeppelin fans have long been critical of The Song Remains the Same. The movie has always contained numerous moments of brilliance, yet the overall quality of the performance was far from the band’s best. Add in lackluster sound quality heard in the original film, and, for those familiar with the majesty of the live Zeppelin experience, The Song Remains the Same simply was never an accurate representation of the true power of the band possessed.
The footage on The Song Remains the Same is all culled from Zeppelin’s three night stand at New York’s Madison Square Garden in July 1973, combined with theatrical performances that showcase each of the band members in a fantasy setting intended to offer a glimpse in to their personalities away from the stage. Though the band’s outrageous rock-n-roll life away from the stage was certainly interesting, Led Zeppelin was always about the music. While the fantasy footage is no doubt entertaining, Zeppelin enthusiasts always wished for more live footage in the film.
Given that, the most exciting addition to The Same Remains the Same is 40-minutes of never before seen bonus footage of songs such as “Misty Mountain Hop,” “Over the Hills and Far Away,” and “The Ocean.” Another huge improvement can be heard in the film’s sound quality, the result of a 5.1 Dolby surround sound remastering job performed by Jimmy Page and Kevin Shirley.
To this day, Led Zeppelin still looms larger on the rock landscape than any other band, a group for the ages whose mystical power still invokes a passion like no other. Long time fans will be thrilled with the remade version of this long time classic, while those that have yet to experience it will find themselves enthralled by footage of the one and only Led Zeppelin delivering their heavenly music for those of us here on Earth.
A remastered soundtrack of The Song Remains the Same is also available, featuring six previously unreleased tracks. The film will be available for the first time on Hi-Fi DVD December 10.