Rock Report: Led Zeppelin -Live Song Review
Led Zeppelin come roaring back to life with the release of this live version of 'Kashmir,' which is the first single from the forthcoming 'Celebration Day' project. Impacting at radio right now, the powerful and moody track demonstrates the group at the height of their collective musical powers.
'Celebration Day' documents Zeppelin's performance at London's 02 Arena on Dec. 10, 2007, during their headlining set at a tribute concert to Atlantic Records founder Ahmet Ertegun, who signed the band to their first record deal. Founding members Jimmy Page, Robert Plant and John Paul Jones were joined by Jason Bonham -- the son of the late, great Zeppelin drummer John Bonham -- for a 16-song set of which 'Kashmir' must surely be one of the highlights.
There have been only a handful of Led Zeppelin reunions since the group broke up after the elder Bonham's death in September of 1980, and they have been consistently under-rehearsed and disappointing, from their ragged set with Phil Collins at Live Aid, to a downright embarrassing performance at the Atlantic Records 40th Anniversary Concert.
Not this time. On 'Kashmir' Led Zeppelin sound re-invigorated and engaged, and the individual members are playing at the peak of their game. The song is such an exceptional piece of music to begin with -- an anomaly in the Zeppelin catalog that is an amalgam of hard rock and what might be described as Egyptian progressive rock, having nothing to do with the blues-based origins of the group.
This performance captures the power and majesty of the song perfectly; from Page's thick tone and odd rhythmic sense, to Jones' stirring orchestral keyboards, with Bonham seeming to channel the drum parts from some embedded part of his DNA. But it is Plant who makes the track truly transcendent; when he jumps up into his top range for '"ooooooooooooooohhhhh . . . baby I been cryin'," the years seem to fall away, and both the band and the listener are transported -- if only ever so briefly -- back to the glory years of Led Zeppelin.
'Celebration Day' is scheduled to drop on Nov. 19 in multiple formats.
Listen to Led Zeppelin Perform 'Kashmir'