IV: Pecko/Pecko Duck Edition (Masterpiece LZSD 7208)
From Atlantic SD 7208 1841 Broadway
Cutting By George Peckham
(42:49) Black Dog, Rock And Roll, The Battle Of Evermore, Stairway To Heaven, MistyMountain Hop, Four Sticks, Going To California, When The Levee Breaks
Led Zeppelin’s untitled fourth LP has always been among their most popular due to fan favorites like “Black Dog”, “Rock And Roll”, and the band’s signature, “Stairway To Heaven”. The announcement of the Pecko Duck Edition certainly piqued my curiosity. Who is George Peckham and what was special about this version? For a bit of background, I found the following on Wikipedia:
George “Porky” Peckham is an English record cutting engineer, widely recognised as among the most accomplished in the business. He has been responsible for producing the master discs from which many vinyl records have been pressed over the last 40 years. His master discs, and the records produced from them, are known as “Porky Prime Cuts” and often bear either the motto “A Porky Prime Cut” or a cryptic or humorous comment (signed “Porky”), etched into the run-out groove. Other inscriptions attributed to him include “Pecko” and “Pecko Duck”.
One of his most technically demanding achievements was the so-called “three-sided” album, The Monty Python Matching Tie and Handkerchief (1973).
George Peckham started his career in disc cutting as a trainee disc cutter at Apple Studios in 1968 before assuming the chief disc cutting role there a year later. After various stints at other studios he went on to establish Porky’s Mastering Services where he was responsible for cutting some of the most influential English records during the ’80s. He is now retired.
The Pecko/Pecko Duck Edition sounds pretty much flawless with no evidence of a vinyl transfer. The mixes aren’t any different, however, the stereo separation is slightly different (very slightly, only noticeable when panning hard to one side) on the Peckham source and it is not as loud when compared to Atlantic’s CD issue. Considering today’s standards, it is not surprising that the sound quality would be slightly inferior to the official CD release. Nostalgic collectors who enjoy a bit of “history” and those who dig vinyl transfers will find this cool but the average collector could easily pass on this title.
Not much more can be said about Led Zeppelin’s iconic fourth LP that hasn’t been said before other than it belongs in every rock fans collection. Pecko/Pecko Duck Edition is packaged in a single jewel case and the disc is made to resemble the Atlantic label and has the words “Greatest Rock Band On Earth” written below the four Symbols. I can only agree.
Thanks a lot for this valuable review of a title I was wondering about getting.