For a band that only existed during an era when filming concerts was both cumbersome and expensive, there is a fair amount of Led Zeppelin footage in the archives. For years, all fans had to enjoy was the 1973 Madison Square Gardens material from the ‘Houses of The Holy’ tour – footage that Jimmy Page famously dislikes.
It felt like a minor miracle when, in 1989, the BBC showed footage of Zep in Denmark promoting their debut album. The small stage, no frills show was a world away from the giant colossus Zep would become just three years later, but was no less thrilling.
Further salvation came in 2004 when Jimmy Page released a double DVD anthology that featured footage taken from between 1969-79. However, the set wasn’t as good as it should have been. Yes, it was fantastic to finally have the Danish TV footage on a hard copy format forever and, yes, it was brilliant to be given a complete show from The Royal Albert Hall from an early show promoting Led Zep II, but the release had a major drawback… When it came to the legendary shows from Earls Court and Knebworth, Page opted to present highlights of both, even though fans would, understandably, want the complete performances.
In the fifteen years that followed, no further archive Zeppelin footage was released through official channels, even though a series of overpriced special editions would have provided the ideal opportunity to get more stuff out there. The more time passes, the more it seems unlikely that either the Earls Court or Knebworth shows will see the full treatment on official DVD or blu ray.
Here, for your enjoyment is a full two hours and forty minutes of Zeppelin captured during their last UK live appearance. It’s time to grab a cup of tea and settle in for the long haul…and enjoy.