Led Zeppelin to Release ‘Celebration Day’ Concert Film and Recording

Led Zeppelin will release Celebration Day in multiple formats this fall

For a band that’s been mostly inactive for decades, Led Zeppelin is getting lots of ink as of late. Last week it was announced that the quintessential British hard rock act will receive the 2012 Kennedy Center Honors in December (with David Letterman and Dustin Hoffman, no less). Now comes word that the last concert Led Zep performed as a unit in December 2007 will finally be released on film in October and as a recording in November, both under the title Celebration Day.

Celebration Day will be released in theaters by Omniverse Vision on October 17 following premieres in major cities including London, Los Angeles and New York (tickets for the public screenings are available through ledzeppelin.com). Unlike the quartet’s previous full-length cinematic outing, 1976’s surrealist fantasy, The Song Remains the Same, this new flick is a straight rendering of the band’s last concert in 2007 that was performed in honor of Atlantic Records founder, Ahmet Ertegun. He was the record label executive who put Led Zeppelin on the map and nurtured their talents from the time they signed their contract in 1968. A recording of the concert will be available in multiple formats - CD, LP,  Blu-Ray and DVD - from Swan Song/Atlantic Records on November 19.

Guitarist Jimmy Page, vocalist Robert Plant, bassist/keyboardist John Paul Jones and drummer John Bonham did more for lightning bolt blues and folk-based heavy metal than any band that followed in their wake. Only The Who and Black Sabbath (at that time) brought the sort of volume and dynamism to their compositions that Led Zep did. Countless books have been written about their legend, on and off the stage.

Felled by the accidental death of Bonham in September 1980, Led Zeppelin disbanded later that year. After making solo records, Led Zeppelin reunited to play Live Aid in 1985 and the Atlantic label's 25th anniversary concert in 1988. Page and Plant recorded and toured together several times (including one of MTV’s Unplugged sessions in 1994) without Jones, much to the latter’s chagrin.

Fast forward to the passing of Ertegun in 2007, whereupon Led Zeppelin reunited (as they had several times in the past) with John Bonham’s son Jason on drums. Twenty million people applied to the worldwide lottery for the 18,000 tickets available for Zeppelin’s first headline show in 27 years at London’s O2 Arena. According to all reports at the time, the band was epic, ripping through 16 of its classics as if they had never ceased to be. Since that time, anticipation has been high and hopeful that the band would reunite. Until the real thing comes along, Celebration Day is a worthy substitute.

Posted on Monday, September 17, 2012 10:50 AM