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Led Zeppelin – The Lost Sessions Vol. 9 (Empress Valley EVSD-450)

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The Lost Sessions Vol. 9 (Empress Valley EVSD-450)

Headley Grange, Hampshire, England – January and February, 1971

Stairway To Heaven (instrumental take 1), Stairway To Heaven (instrumental takes 2 to 4), Stairway To Heaven (vocal takes 1 & 2), Stairway To Heaven (newly discovered early alternate take), blues guitar instrumental (takes 1 & 2), Black Dog (takes 1 to 3), No Quarter

After a hiatus, Empress Valley released The Lost Sessions Vol. 9 in their long series of Led Zeppelin rehearsal and outtake material.  This disc contains much material that has been released multiple times before in similar sound quality.  However, the fourth track is interesting because it is a recently surfaced alternate take of “Stairway To Heaven” from the final recording and mixing at Island Studio in London in early 1971.  The take in question is slightly more than eight minutes long and differs from the final version of the song on several points.  The recorder melody in the beginning is slightly different, and there is more echo on the vocals (especially noticable on the final verse of the song).  The guitar solo is also different than the final version, although it is not a radical departure from the other one.  Jimmy Page states in many interviews that he recorded three solos for the song and discarded two, and this track is possibly one of those two.  Although it is possible, many collectors have called into question this track’s legitimacy and they do have a valid argument.  And given the asking price, this probably isn’t interesting enough to be worth having for most collectors and this can safely be passed over.  (GS)

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Led Zeppelin - The Lost Sessions Vol. 9 (Empress Valley EVSD-450), 1.3 out of 5 based on 2 ratings

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  1. Avatar of HarleyDog
    HarleyDog says
    January 16, 2008, 7:12 pm

    If you do not have any of the other releases of this material then this release could be what you’re looking for. The Alternate take of Stairway is interesting to say the least. I personally own this title and I’m not disappointed with it.

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