LED ZEPPELIN The Song Remains The Same 2 x LP's 1st UK PRESS 1976 UNPLAYED MINT
February 25, 2017
March 04, 2017
Click to enlarge
Close the door, put out the light.
No, they won't be home tonight.
The snow falls hard and don't you know?
The winds of Thor are blowing cold.
They're wearing steel that's bright and true,
They carry news that must get through,
To build a dream for me and you,
They choose the path where no-one goes.
They hold no quarter.
They ask no quarter.
The pain, the pain, without quarter,
They ask no quarter.
The dogs of doom are howling more.
> LED ZEPPELIN: "Soundtrack From The Film The Song Remains The Same".
FILMED AND RECORDED LIVE AT MADISON SQUARE GARDEN, NEW YORK, 27th - 29th JULY, 1973.
For double or treble album sets, I only show two Side's for the records, labels and maitrix, as usual I selected Record 1,Side 1,
and Record 2,Side 3. No silly balancing records and absolutely minimum handling during photography, two unplayed first UK
pressing "The Song Remains The Same" records are extremely rare. I take the greatest care to keep all four sides in the same
immaculate condition I bought them in, handling records to take pictures is not exactly ideal for true Mint vinyl, but revealing
picture are essential to buyers. That care applies to both exclusive,custom made black inner sleeves and just to complete an
ultimate condition "The Song Remains The Same," a truly stunning Mint- textured gatefold cover and attached full LP size book
in colour as well!
FIRST UK PRESSING AND PRINTING, DOUBLE ALBUM SET, ISSUED 28th SEPTEMBER, 1976.
SWAN SONG LABEL: SSK 89402 .
RECORD 1: S - 14 SSK 89402 - A - 2 / S - 12 SSK 89402 - B - 2
RECORD 2: S - 8 SSK 89402 - C - 2 / S - 17 SSK 89402 - D - 1 - 15*
I thought I had seen every possible variation for the "Song Remains The Same"UK first pressings, but this pair of records have
substantial extra mastering and indexing details. In front of the maitrix, all four sides have the letter 'S', a dash and digits,
varing from '- 8' to '17', which are so individual and specific they have to relate to the mastering of the four sides. For any
new vinyl collector's, when a molten state, the two sides of a record are simultaneously stamped by metal plates, hence the
need for individual indexing, Double records like this required four individual stamping discs, the extra indexing was intended
for Test Pressings initially, when approved the first records made include the sound engineer's mastering & indexing. CBS made
the 'Swan Song' records in the UK under contract and I am have been familiar with their formats for a very long time and comment
about any variations to the records I offer on ebay.
*There is another addition on Record 2's fourth side, or Side C as they were formatted, all the previous first pressing with hand
written mastering and indexing in the run-out grooves ended with a simple digit. Side C has a deliberately etched dash after the
usual final '1' digit, then '15.' That individuality of records will always create variations, whether the records were indexed
by machine stamping or hand scribed. That is very much connected to the next subject to discuss and such intricate mastering
on this pair of first UK pressings were generally hand scribed directly as they worked.
Like so many contractually pressed records byCBS in the 1970's, "Soundtrack From The Film The Song Remains The Same" had
two types of maitrix during the pre-release pressing. Either machine stamped or hand scribed, neither format was earlier than
the other. They definitely co-existed at precisely the same moment in time, but if pushed to give a personal opinion about which
came first, I would always look for mastering indexing for the very first made records. Then I was not in the pressing plant in
1976, so that is strictly an opinion. I could just easily say that extra indexing of Record 2, Side 4, was simply because it was
just the way it happened for the UK pressings in 1976, which would always fit any form of vinyl variations. I have been selling
this UK album for nearly four decades now and have regularly found, either side of the same individual record with one maitrix
stamped....and the other side scribed, even more common, Record 1 & Record 2 with both formats per individual album. This first
pressing has all four sides hand scribed, there are no mysteries or intrigues involved, when record companies anticipated huge
sales the sheer scale of the manufacturing had to involve variations, nobody noticed or cared in 1976,or when we traded at record
fairs! A new Led Zeppelin album sent the pressing plants and printers into overdrive, but the internet has become a place where
ebay record sellers look for trivial reasons to declare rarities based on minor variations. I often feel guilty for detailing the
variations, I am offering top quality, not looking for pathetic methods to sell worn out, damaged records and covers, I am only
giving a thorough description to customers.
There was only one UK pressing in 1976 before German imports were brought in once all were sold, a huge one pressing though,
the above shows both records are indeed from that very first UK pressing batch and made prior to the release date. In fact, any
UK pressed and printed simply have to be named 'first pressing', German imports were stacked up ready to keep the record shops
filled once the UK albums were sold, a process I personally witnessed and that intensified once into the 1980's decade for most
of the major UK record companies. Warner Brothers / WEA were about to introduce European imports only to the UK and all of the
Led Zeppelin back catalogue would never be pressed again, by the early 1980's that was the reality and I am discussing late 1976.
The definitive way to illustrate two formats existed for the UK maitrix indexing, two formats for indexing the labels can be seen in
my pictures. At 3 o'lock, printed in black is, 'Side One, Side Two, Side Three & Side Four' at 6 o'clock on the four label outer
rims, the only catalogue number on the entire labels are indexed with this second format;
SSK 89402 A
SSK 89402 B
SSK 89402 C
SSK 89402 D
TWO MATCHING TOP OPENING PLAIN BLACK CARD INNER SLEEVES, THEY ARE RARE BECAUSE THEY SPLIT SO EASILY
THEY WERE LONG AGO REPLACED. NOT FOR UNPLAYED RECORDS THOUGH AND SUCH A PERFECTLY STORED ALBUM
IN A PLASTIC OUTER SLEEVE FROM DAY ONE, AN AMAZING 41 YEARS AGO.
BOTH ARE UNTORN & UNSPLIT, WITH ONLY GENTLE RECORD IMPRESSIONS, IN NEAR MINT CONDITION.
FIRST ISSUE ONLY, UK PRINTED GATEFOLD COVER, EVERYTHING ASSOCIATED WITH THIS WAS BRITISH PRINTED
AND PRESSED. IN SILVER PRINT, THE OUTSIDE'S BACK BOTTOM RIM HAS THE LONDON ADDRESS OF "Swan Song"
AND A CIRCLED, (C) 1976, COPYRIGHT & PUBLISHING. "Made In England" IS FOUND ON THE INSIDE, NOT EASILY
SEEN SO I WILL GIVE THE PRECISE LOCATION BELOW IN TEXT.
WITH A 12" x 12" STAPLED & GLUED COLOUR EIGHT PAGE BOOK, THE BLACK PAPER IS VERY THICK AND MATT, NOT
THE SEMI-GLOSSY THINNER PAPER OF ALL THE IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING GERMAN IMPORTS.
THE COVER HAS A TEXTURED OR LEATHER GRAIN LIKE FINISH, THE FRONT AND BACK'S CENTRAL COLOUR PICTURES
OF 'The Ritz' ARE EMBOSSED OR RAISED ABOVE THE OUTSIDE'S MAIN BODY. THE INSIDE WHERE THE RECORDS ARE
STORED IS A WHITE COLOUR NOT A NATURAL CARDBOARD COLOUR, ON THAT SUBJECT, 'STORAGE' HAS BEEN MADE
WITH SUCH LOVING CARE, THERE IS NOTHING RELATING TO WEAR TO DETAIL.
Basically just record impressions with a few tiny related small edge lines,the result of gravity while standing in storage for
the last 41 years and unconnected to use or wear. There is no scuffing to the easily scraped black black background colour, that
is true for the entire outside, no ageing, fading or signs of use at all, positively none of the very common ring wear. The top
surface invited the textured, leather like finish to wear and expose the white subsurface, but this not this astounding condition
very first edition UK printed gatefold cover.
The pure white, unyellowed lettering on the wide, square shape first UK printed spine is absolutely perfect, I took a picture
of the full length of the long title. The edges, corners and opening edges are in remarkable condition and there is nothing here
that a minus suffix to the grading will not include. In reality, this is still how the album was first seen in March, 1973!
ANY TRIVIAL STANDING IN STORAGE TRAITS NATURALLY FORMED, WERE REDUCED TO NEXT TO NOTHING DUE TO
A PLASTIC OUTER SLEEVE PROTECTING THE VULNERABLE OUTSIDE. UNUSED, THE INSIDE IS PRISTINE AND JUST
PERFECT IN EVERY WAY.
A TRULY BEAUTIFUL COVER WITHOUT ANY AGEING TO THE WHITE/SILVER LETTERING ON THE OUTSIDE IN GENERAL
OR TO THE THE ARTWORK.
THE INSIDE OF THE GATEFOLD, STAPLES AND UNUSED, TEXTURED PAPER COLOUR BOOK ARE IN MINT CONDITION.
THE GATEFOLD COVER IS IN MINT- CONDITION.
ALL FOUR LABELS ARE LITERALLY LIKE BRAND NEW, NO SPINDLE TRACES AND ALL FOUR SIDES ARE NOTHING LESS
ABSOLUTELY STUNNING AND ONCE AGAIN, LIKE BRAND NEW.
BOTH RECORDS ARE IN UNPLAYED MINT CONDITION.
RECORD 1, SIDE 1 (A)
"Rock And Roll" (John Bonham / John Paul Jones / Jimmy Page / Robert Plant)
"Celebration Day" (John Paul Jones / Jimmy Page / Robert Plant)
"The Song Remains The Same" (Jimmy Page / Robert Plant)
"Rain Song" (Jimmy Page / Robert Plant)
RECORD 1, SIDE 2 (B)
"Dazed And Confused" (Jimmy Page / Robert Plant)
RECORD 2,SIDE 3 (C)
"No Quarter" (Jimmy Page / Robert Plant)
"Stairway To Heaven" (Jimmy Page / Robert Plant)
RECORD 2,SIDE 4 (D)
"Moby Dick" (John Bonham / John Paul Jones / Jimmy Page)
"Whole Lotta Love" (Willie Dixon - John Bonham / John Paul Jones / Jimmy Page / Robert Plant)
Robert Plant - vocals
Jimmy Page - guitars & backing vocals
John Paul Jones - bass guitar, keyboards & mellotron
John Bonham - drums & percussion
Recorded Over Three Nights; 27th - 29th July, 1973, At Madison Square Garden, New York.
Recorded, Engineered & Mixed By Eddie Kramer.
Produced By Jimmy Page.
Led Zeppelin were always acknowledged as the UK's premier live rock band, considering they last performed live back in July,1980,
thirty seven years ago, today their live concerts are just as legendary as the studio albums. This official live album was a long
time coming, if only you take it from 1969, seven years was plain crazy, but even then that took the film of a 1973 performance to
prompt the double album release. The massive void that left fans hungry to hear the sensational sounds and fantastic versions of
the loved songs they were blown away by at concerts, had been filled all right. To the extent, bootleg re-pressings of 'bootlegs'
became common place in the early 1970's, the original rare USA boot's were being copied the length and breadth of Europe and the
alternative/underground formed in the late 60's, regarded record companies ripe for plundering any live material. Many artists
accepted the concept with good grace and made no attempt to 'cash in' on this ever growing demand for live albums, hand held
mikes in the audiences were one thing, now direct stereo mixing console recording's were mysteriously circulating and available
on vinyl....if you knew where to look for them! The bootleggers had moved in long before "The Song Remains The Same" was issued,
3rd November,1976, since late 1968 the band had played one or two gigs by then and virtually every single Led Zeppelin tour had
some concerts available, excluding most of those formative years of course, between 1968 and early 1969. There the problem with
those live bootlegs begins, a hand held mike in the middle of a howling crowd, using on an early 70's cassette recorder, left so
many sounding like were they recorded outside the building or the arena. Poor pressings compounded the situation and the hunt
for first generation bootleg vinyl or tapes was never more intensified....then there were some truly amazing soundboard quality
recording's available, but the vast majority have horrific sound and they do make very painful listening. Anyone is starting to
collect them is advised is to always find first generation vinyl, tapes or CD's, because bootlegs are still as notorious for the
originals....being bootlegged! A 'copy of a copy' continuously happened and severe sound loss occurred at every stage, this is
no different to how terrible a heavily played official record sounds in comparison to a Mint one, 'Ex' has become so distorted
on ebay, I no longer know quite that means, sellers actually quote 'Record Collector's grading definitions on their descriptions,
then completely contradict them! There are some superb Led Zeppelin websites dedicated to this very subject and reading their
trustworthy conclusions details will prove to be invaluable. With all that happening from the earliest 70's, it was very strange
how this double album with the ultimate in sound quality, was given such negative reviews in it's own time period, the 1970's
decade exploded with bootleg vinyl and Led Zeppelin became a very natural target, being a top band who were constantly touring
around the world. Journalists writing for the music press even began to review them back then, the most famous of them all was
a Rolling Stones bootleg LP, which was given a glowing write-up in 'Rolling Stone' magazine. Yet official live LP's were almost
sneered at by critics, I still find it quite bizarre, especially for this particular stunning 1973 concert because fans welcomed
long waited for, all round top quality items. I'm writing this as an avid bootleg collector myself since 1970, from the wonderful
"Blueberry Hill" Led Zeppelin live set, I have heard the best of the boots and also the very worst! "The Song Remains The Same"
is one of the greatest live albums ever released, if you just take this set's Side 3 alone, it's worth hearing the whole album for!
As for the awesome, complete side long, inspired version of "Dazed & Confused", how great does a record possibly get? That is
an ultimate live Led Zeppelin performance on every second of all four times, for the actual version and the sound quality,which
sums up why I have never offered "The Song Remains The Same" in anything less than Mint- condition, why suffer 41 years of wear
and abuse, when such meticulous care went into the mastering and pressing in 1976?
Apart from these initial 1976 very first issues, all following copies being sold in British record shops were not even made here,
but imported as German pressed vinyl and so was all the printing made there. The overwhelming majority being offered on ebay
are in fact, the immediately following German re-issues, or from the later years of the 1970's, but mostly the 1980's decade.
The UK pressings could never really be classed as being heavyweight vinyl if you are more used to 60's and early 70's records,
but the 'heavy' part is most certainly there in just amazingly powerful sound quality. So they should be, this was a Led Zeppelin
album created with the fullest care taken in the transfer of the master tapes onto vinyl, something those 1976 music journalists
failed to grasp. Jimmy Page produced "The Song Remains The Same", by taking control himself, even the final preparations of the
tapes were not left in the hands of uncaring sound engineers. They were mixed at 'Electric Ladyland Studios' in New York by the
the same man responsible for all the Jimi Hendrix Track LP's as well as previous Led Zeppelin albums, right from the 1969 debut
LP, Eddie Kramer had been a consistent factor. The recording of the soundtrack for the film was spread over three consecutive
nights, this album was compiled from the 27th, 28th and 29th July, during Led Zeppelin's 1973 American tour. They had taken up
residency at New York's Madison Square Garden, which was ideal for Eddie Kramer to record on the Wally Heider Mobile Studio.
If anyone was going to capture the live sound of Led Zeppelin, it was Kramer, he mixed the tapes at 'Electric Lady Studios' and at
London's Trident Studios. A Soundtrack album in theory should be a precise transfer from the same Master Tapes, so the vinyl is
duplicating the music exactly as heard during the film, with perhaps only the stereo mix re-panned. When musical perfectionists
like Led Zeppelin were involved, there was always going to be very special records made, with long proven studio skills of Eddie
Kramer, seamless changes were made in the just named New York & London studios. For the songs this double album and the film
had in common, some of the recordings featured on the album were taken from different performances from those used in the film,
there are also very subtle differences to the smallest parts of most songs. For example, something as minor as a spoken word on
an intro was edited/overdubbed, I cannot possibly detail them but it does mean the vinyl version is as unique as the actual film
itself. I am not too keen on digital re-masters and was deterred from buying the latest one because they changed the artwork on
the box, besides, who could possibly improve on Eddie Kramer's original 1976 mix...or be allowed to?
If such staggering sound on the records is not enough, there's the fantastic deluxe quality of the Hipgonsis/Hardie designed first
UK gatefold cover & colour book,"The Song Remains The Same" always was a really special Led Zeppelin album in 1976. All that
requires to see and to hear, a first issue that was spared the heavy punishment dished out to nearly every first pressings, I am
delighted to have an ultimate of both to offer. As ever time just flies past, genuine first issues are nearly four decades of age
and the really hard part is finding these 1976 first UK pressed records, with the gatefold cover still in top condition. Also the
first issues only, had uniquely shaped plain black inner sleeves, even if they were not lost over all those decades, just holding
the records for so long means the vast majority are now split & torn from the constant playing the November,1976, issues took.
This first issue has all the above in amazing condition, with both records unplayed and in stunning unplayed,Mint condition, I am
torn between wanting to hear them and knowing unplayed has to be respected. I set very high standards for Led Zeppelin albums,
I will offer this ultimate first pressing exactly as I took possession of it, unplayed since 1976. Instead I can at least give
some much needed pressing details.
All four labels are in pristine condition, without a solitary trace of spindle use on any of them ,'Mint' is a much abused term
and this pair of records have never been near a turntable. The four sides are visually beautiful, there are not the usual marks
and scratches on either of the records, even any handling signs either. This pair of first pressings are precisely how they left
the CBS pressing plant in 1976, Mint is becoming ever harder to regularly produce, I am aware that cannot continue indefinitely.
I explained in my headings how there were two variations to first issues/originals, the maitrixes in the run-out grooves were
either machine stamped or etched by hand, both were part of the pre-release pressing and that was happening simultaneously.
No need to repeat my comprehensive experience with every possible variation for this set as the British first editions, I prefer
such conclusive details from a 'factory condition' pair of records because anything I write is not seen as compensating for the
inevitable wear of heavy use. In my opinion, that is the worse possible time to start drawing conclusions, there cannot be finer
examples of a genuine first pressing than a true Mint, unplayed very first issue, even including a UK printed embossed gatefold
cover with book in fantastic condition. The end digits of the four maitrix numbers per individual were used to index the volume
made, the four sides have this configuration;
RECORD 1: S - 14 SSK 89402 - A - 2 / S - 12 SSK 89402 - B - 2
RECORD 2: S - 8 SSK 89402 - C - 2 / S - 17 SSK 89402 - D - 1 - 15
All four were hand scribed, it is well known know how 'mothers' were created for the pressing process and quality control was
preserved by strictly controlling the batches made, or deterioration set in to the metal stamping discs. The above show only one
single digit rise for Side's 1, 2 & 3, Side 4 has no increment's, some prefer to think in terms of only the one single digit
without any rises, but record production was never that convenient in the 1960's and 1970's, understanding this becomes vital
for collectors. You had a situation with German imports waiting to come in straight after initial pre-release UK first pressings
were sold, there was no on-going continuous chain of pressing, that also applies to every single 'Swan Song' Led Zeppelin album.
Nothing unusual there, as Led Zeppelin collector's will know, many of their other titles, including the 1969 -1971 maroon and
red Atlantic records, also had variations that did not conform to patterns found with totally different record companies, but why
should they? I refuse to discuss such utter nonsense with those believing only '-1' was used for every first pressing made in
the entire 1970's decade, including the 1982 "Coda", not one single Led Zeppelin first pressing had a '-1' maitrix ending, apart
from later re-issues or German imports! Without the music to describe, I will turn my attention to the wonderful packaging.
This really is an outstanding very first issue UK printed gatefold cover, the usually very badly scuffed and worn outside is in
stunning condition. The back and the front artwork are both embossed, also the white borders around the pictures are raised,
they were printed flat on the re-issues. Considering the outside's main area is black and with the two records inside, there is
barely even an impression from them. Allowing for that minimal record impression of course, none of the black colour or the
embossed /raised parts are scuffed or scraped away, for this textured top surface that is exceptional! So no visual blemishes
at all, just a natural impression from the two records, but that cannot be taken seriously for a 1976 gatefold cover, holding two
records and that massive book size inside. The raised colour artwork is also unaffected by any kind of wear or
fading, the colours are as bright and vivid as the day this was made.
The weakest points of a gatefold cover, the edges, corners and spine are all near perfect, 'near' allows for standing pressure
and the merest brushing. This is out of interest alone, because all of the UK covers had it printed on the border at the bottom
of the last page of the book, as it can be missed so I am giving the location of, "Printed And Made In England," which is the best
way to conclude saying this is the first issue cover!
There is one more detail the inside or the record storage compartments has white card there, the several pictures include one of
how perfect the spine is, with the white / silver colour titles in brand new, totally unworn condition.
The inside is in pristine, condition, with all of the 8 pages looking as if they are fresh from the printers, they were turned back
in 1976 but left untouched ever since. So every page has the original starchy 'stiffness' of new pages, the back cover also has
identification of the first issue only UK printed cover; the King's Road, London address of 'Swan Song' and the album copyright
with the 1976 date of publishing on the bottom, centre. I have too often seen Dutch and German imported covers and LP's being
sold as UK originals, so the details are as essential to being authentic as understanding the maitrix allocated to the four sides.
Both inner sleeves are plain black and top opening, in superb unsplit condition with just a mild record impression and the initial
insertion at the factory and possibly removed at the record shop or the one original owner, who did after all have the right to
be curious, but never played them! 'Handling' is the most misunderstood part of records and all associated items involved, that
did not necessarily mean playing the records, I sell enough unplayed records to stress the same consistent point I always feel
obliged to make.
I have shown all of these details in my pictures, having used up all the twelve pictures available, I will confirm all four labels and
all four sides of the records, are in the same immaculate condition as the two labels per individual record displayed.
R & M RECORDS.
My lifetime's love of music and records began at a very young age, the arrival of the Beatles and the 1960's decade
in general had a very profound effect. It was only natural to bring all my first hand experience of collecting vinyl
into becoming a professional record seller. Nearly thirty years ago we entered into the wonderful atmosphere
of record fairs with the highest possible standards set. When the Internet became the world's new market place for
vinyl, in 2001 it was time to join ebay. Those standards were rigidly adhered to as they will always continue to be,
the basics of honesty and integrity were very much part of the era the music I love originated in, so here is our friendly
and very efficient service we are proud to provide;
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I USE GOOD OLD COMMON SENSE AS WELL AS A GLOBALLY ACCEPTED GRADING TERMINOLOGY
FROM THE U.K. "RECORD COLLECTOR PRICE GUIDE" BOOK.
THERE IT CLEARLY STATES "Sound Quality" AFFECTS EVERY GRADING LEVEL AND THAT IS THE ONE
AND ONLY POSSIBLE WAY TO ACCURATELY GRADE RECORDS. i.e. COMBINING A STRICT VISUAL
INSPECTION WITH VERY CLOSELY LISTENING TO EVERY SECOND, UNLESS PERHAPS IN THE CASE
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will have to increase the cost of LP's, however, singles will remain unchanged. Ebay were aware of that happening and have
increased their minimum postal cost for LP's to £7.00, that figure has been enforced by the UK Post Office and it will become
our UK First Class, Recorded Delivery cost for albums up to the value of £46. A temporary reduction this week means we can
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