Demand Unprecedented In The History Of Rock Music (Empress Valley EVSDVD 014)
Earls Court Arena, London, England – May 25th, 1975
Introduction by Alan ‘Fluff’ Freeman, Rock And Roll, Sick Again, Over The Hills And Far Away, In My Time Of Dying, The Song Remains The Same, The Rain Song, Kashmir, No Quarter, Tangerine, Going To California, That’s The Way, Bron-Y-Aur Stomp, Trampled Under Foot, Moby Dick, Dazed And Confused (incl. San Francisco), Stairway To Heaven, Whole Lotta Love (incl. The Crunge), Black Dog, Heartbreaker, Communication Breakdown (incl. D’yer M’ker)
When Condor released Unstoppable Metal Machine in February, it generated a considerable amount of interest and excitement. Outside of the official release and small fragments, a complete video for Led Zeppelin’s final Earl’s Court show had never circulated before. The comments about the Condor release were generally favorable, pointing out the very clear picture of the video.
There were, however, some complaints made about the label’s use of the mono soundtrack instead of using the excellent stereo soundboard that has been in circulation for many years. Empress Valley’s release Demand Unprecedented In The History Of Rock Music came out last week and, although caught many by surprise, was not entirely unexpected.
This new release is, like the Condor, a dual-layer NTSC region free pressed DVD. But unlike the earlier title, EV do utilize the soundboard recording they released most recently on A Young Person’s Guide To Led Zeppelin (EVSD-256~259). The sync job is impressive, the sound quality is flawless, and to match that recording with the visuals makes for a compelling experience.
The final minute of “No Quarter” and “Tangerine” are still missing and a high generation copy of the video is used to fill the gap. The picture quality is at least the same if not better than Unstoppable Metal Machine (although I’ve only seen clips online so I can’t really make a fair comparison and another author will submit a review with his thoughts).
A good video of a concert is able to convey not just the personality of the artists, but all of the action on stage and the atmosphere of the event. One of the concerns about this footage is, since it was produced with the intention of giving close-ups to attendees in the arena, the screen would be dominated with them. It is good then that the video on this release is not like that at all.
Beginning with shots of the audience getting to their seats and Earl’s Court filling up, to Freeman’s animated introduction and throughout the three and a half performance by the band, it perfectly captures the excitement and emotion of Zeppelin’s final show in England for, in Plant’s words “a long long time.”
Many times the cameras pan away to capture the band members interacting with one another. There are a minimum amount of times when the cameraman’s judgment is called into question, but it is easy to overlook them.
Conveyed is the power of the music and watching Plant bop along to Page as he plays the opening to “The Song Remains The Same” and other such visuals is exciting to watch. Some startling images are also captured, such as the light show during “Trampled Under Foot,” the laser beams during “Dazed & Confused,” Page’s hand motions during the theremin solo, and Bonham whaling away at the drum kit. The packaging is very simple: a double printed insert inside a clear plastic DVD case.
With the clear picture and stereo soundboard sound quality, Demand Unprecedented In The History Of Rock Music is one of the best rock and roll videos available.