BBC Sessions (Led Zeppelin album)

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BBC Sessions
Line drawings of Led Zeppelin
Live album by Led Zeppelin
Released 11 November 1997 (1997-11-11)
Recorded March and June 1969, 1 April 1971, London, England, United Kingdom
Genre Hard rock, heavy metal, blues rock, folk rock
Length 138:58
Label Atlantic
Producer Jimmy Page
Compiler Jimmy Page
Led Zeppelin chronology
The Complete Studio Recordings
(1993)
BBC Sessions
(1997)
Best of Led Zeppelin
(1999–2000)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[1]
Blender 4/5 stars[2]
Robert Christgau (neither)[3]
Pitchfork Media 8.9/10[4]

BBC Sessions is a compilation album featuring studio sessions and a live concert recorded by English rock group Led Zeppelin for the BBC. It was released on 11 November 1997, by Atlantic Records. This was the first release of new Led Zeppelin material in seven years. Disc one consists of material from four different 1969 BBC sessions. Disc two contains most of the 1 April 1971 concert from the Paris Theatre in London.[5] Disc three was only included in a limited run of album releases and features rare interviews from 1969, 1976/1977, and 1990.

Countless bootlegs of these recordings circulated for years before the official release. This release was widely welcomed by Led Zeppelin fans as it was the first live release since The Song Remains the Same in 1976. Others have criticized the decision to edit some of the songs and drop others that were recorded for the BBC. Most notable are one session from 1969 which included the unreleased song "Sunshine Woman", and about seven minutes of the "Whole Lotta Love" medley from 1971.[6]

Track listing[edit]

Disc one
No. Title Length
1. "You Shook Me" (Willie Dixon and J. B. Lenoir) 5:14
2. "I Can't Quit You Baby" (Dixon) 4:22
3. "Communication Breakdown" (John Bonham, John Paul Jones, and Jimmy Page) 3:12
4. "Dazed and Confused" (Page) 6:39
5. "The Girl I Love She Got Long Black Wavy Hair" (Bonham, Sleepy John Estes, Jones, Page, and Robert Plant) 3:00
6. "What Is and What Should Never Be" (Page and Plant) 4:20
7. "Communication Breakdown" (Bonham, Jones, and Page) 2:40
8. "Travelling Riverside Blues" (Robert Johnson, Page, and Plant) 5:12
9. "Whole Lotta Love" (Dixon, Bonham, Jones, Page, and Plant) 6:09
10. "Somethin' Else" (Bobby Cochran and Sharon Sheeley) 2:06
11. "Communication Breakdown" (Bonham, Jones, and Page) 3:05
12. "I Can't Quit You Baby" (Dixon) 6:21
13. "You Shook Me" (Dixon and Lenoir) 10:19
14. "How Many More Times" (Bonham, Jones, and Page) 11:51
Disc two
No. Title Length
1. "Immigrant Song" (Page and Plant) 3:20
2. "Heartbreaker" (Bonham, Jones, Page, and Plant) 5:16
3. "Since I've Been Loving You" (Jones, Page, and Plant) 6:56
4. "Black Dog" (Jones, Page, and Plant) 5:17
5. "Dazed and Confused" (Page) 18:36
6. "Stairway to Heaven" (Page and Plant) 8:49
7. "Going to California" (Page and Plant) 3:54
8. "That's the Way" (Page and Plant) 5:43
9. "Whole Lotta Love"/"Boogie Chillun'"/"Fixin' to Die"/"That's Alright Mama"/"A Mess of Blues" (Bonham, Jones, Page, and Plant/John Lee Hooker/Bukka White/Arthur Crudup/Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman) 13:45
10. "Thank You" (Page and Plant) 6:37

Recording information[edit]

Session one
John Peel's Top Gear
  • Venue: Playhouse Theatre, Northumberland Avenue, London
  • Recording date: Monday 3 March 1969
  • Original broadcast: Sunday 23 March 1969 (in a show with sessions from Free, the Moody Blues and Deep Purple)
  • Tracks: Disc 1; 1, 2 and 4. Also included a version of "Communication Breakdown".
  • Producer: Bernie Andrews
  • Engineer: Pete Ritzema
  • Tape operator: Bob Conduct
Session two
Alexis Korner's Rhythm and Blues, (BBC World Service)
  • Venue: Maida Vale Studio 4, Delaware Road, London
  • Recording date: Wednesday 19 March 1969
  • Original broadcast: Monday 14 April 1969
  • Tracks: "I Can't Quit You Baby", "You Shook Me" and "Sunshine Woman". The session was wiped or lost by the BBC, although recordings survive on bootlegs. The show was re-run later in 1969, adding the recording of "What Is And What Should Never Be" from the June 16 session.
  • Producer: Jeff Griffin
Session three
Chris Grant's Tasty Pop Sundae (although originally commissioned for Dave Symond's Symonds On Sunday show)
  • Venue: Aeolian Hall studio 2, Bond Street, London
  • Recording Date: Monday 16 June 1969
  • Original Broadcast: Sunday 22 June 1969
  • Tracks: Disc 1; 3,5 and 10. The session also included a prototype version of "What Is and What Should Never Be".
  • Producer: Paul Williams
Session four
John Peel's Top Gear (Double recording session)
  • Venue: Maida Vale studio 4, Delaware Road, London
  • Recording date: Tuesday 24 June 1969
  • Original broadcast: Sunday 29 June 1969
  • Tracks: Disc 1; 6-9. (track 8; Travelling Riverside Blues, is the same version that appears on the reissued/remaster of Coda as a bonus track)
  • Producer: John Walters
  • Engineer: Tony Wilson
Session five
One Night Stand
  • Venue: Playhouse Theatre
  • Recording date: Friday 27 June 1969
  • Original broadcast: Sunday 10 August 1969
  • Tracks: Disc 1; 11-14. Also included a version of "Dazed and Confused", plus "White Summer"/"Black Mountain Side" (which was released on the 1990 Led Zeppelin boxed set.)
Session six
In Concert (Emcee John Peel)
  • Venue: Paris Theatre, Lower Regent Street, London
  • Recording date: Thursday 1 April 1971
  • Original broadcast: Sunday 4 April 1971
  • Tracks: Disc 2; all tracks. Also included a version of "Communication Breakdown" and "What Is and What Should Never Be". The "Whole Lotta Love" medley has had "For What It's Worth", "Trucking Little Mama" and "Honey Bee" edited out, shortening the medley by about 7 minutes.
  • Producer: Jeff Griffin
  • Engineer: Tony Wilson

Sales chart performance[edit]

Year Chart Peak position
1997 Japanese Albums Chart[7] 10
1997 French Albums Chart[8] 38
1997 New Zealand RIANZ Top 50 Albums Chart[9] 26
1997 Finnish Albums Chart[10] 28
1997 Swedish Albums Chart[11] 50
1997 UK Albums Chart[12] 23
1997 Norwegian Albums Chart[13] 36
1997 US Billboard The 200 Albums Chart[14] 12
1997 Canadian RPM Top 100 Chart[15] 30

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Sales/shipments
United Kingdom (BPI)[16] Silver 60,000^
United States (RIAA)[17] 2× Platinum 2,000,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone

Release history[edit]

Region Date Label Format Catalog #
United States 11 November 1997 Atlantic Records 4 LP 83061-1
2 Compact Disc 83061-2
2 Cassette 83061-4
3 Compact Disc 83074-2
United Kingdom 2 Compact disc 7567-83061-2
Japan WEA Japan 2 Compact disc 11756-7

Personnel[edit]

Led Zeppelin
Additional personnel

References[edit]

  1. ^ BBC Sessions at AllMusic
  2. ^ [1][dead link]
  3. ^ Christgau, Robert. "Robert Christgau: CG: led zeppelin". robertchristgau.com. Retrieved 8 August 2011. 
  4. ^ [2][dead link]
  5. ^ Lewis, Dave (2003). "Led Zeppelin at the BBC". Led Zeppelin: The 'Tight but Loose' Files': Celebration II (1st ed.). London: Omnibus Press. p. 8. ISBN 1-84449-056-4. 
  6. ^ Lewis, Dave (2004). "BBC Sessions". Led Zeppelin: The Complete Guide to Their Music (1st ed.). London: Omnibus Press. p. 76. ISBN 1-84449-141-2. 
  7. ^ "Top 100 Albums - 15 November 1998". Oricon. Archived from the original on 18 January 2009. Retrieved 2009-01-19. 
  8. ^ "Top 200 Albums - 22 November 1997". lescharts.com. Archived from the original on 11 February 2009. Retrieved 2009-01-19. 
  9. ^ "Top 50 Albums - 23 November 1997". RIANZ. Archived from the original on 12 February 2009. Retrieved 2009-01-17. 
  10. ^ "Top 40 Albums - 23 November 1997". finnishcharts.com. Archived from the original on 4 February 2009. Retrieved 2009-01-19. 
  11. ^ "Top 100 Albums - 28 November 1997". swedishcharts.com. Archived from the original on 10 February 2009. Retrieved 2009-01-19. 
  12. ^ Warwick, Neil (2004). "Led Zeppelin - 29 November 1997". The Complete Book of the British Charts (3rd ed.). London: Omnibus Press. p. 627. ISBN 1-84449-058-0. 
  13. ^ "Top 40 Albums - 30 November 1997". norwegiancharts.com. Archived from the original on 6 February 2009. Retrieved 2009-01-19. 
  14. ^ "The 200 Chart - 6 December 1997". Billboard. Archived from the original on 3 February 2009. Retrieved 2009-01-17. [dead link]
  15. ^ "RPM Albums Chart - 1 December 1997". RPM. Archived from the original on 4 February 2009. Retrieved 2009-01-17. 
  16. ^ "British album certifications – Led Zeppelin – BBC Sessions". British Phonographic Industry.  Enter BBC Sessions in the field Search. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Click Go
  17. ^ "American album certifications – Led Zeppelin – BBC Sessions". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH

External links[edit]