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Early Days & Latter Days: Vol. 1 & 2 ()

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With their first six studio albums not containing a single dud track, trying to neatly assemble a Led Zeppelin 'best of' must have been quite a daunting task. All in all, the folks at Atlantic did an admirable job when the first-ever, single-disc Zeppelin 'best of's' were issued in 1999 (Early Days) and 2000 (Latter Days), covering most of the essentials. For fans that wanted to buy both discs in one shot, both were packaged together in 2002, under the title of Early Days and Latter Days. If you're expecting some bonus bits or anything with the double disc, you'll be disappointed, as it's an exact replica of the single-disc versions. But whether you're a newcomer who wants to get a taste or a longtime who simply wants all the hits in one place, do yourself a favor and spend the extra duckets for the double disc. Even though their latter albums weren't as strong as their earlier ones, they did contain quite a few classics, and only the best tracks of these albums are included here ("Achilles Last Stand," "In the Evening," etc.). As with every compilation, there are going to be a few headscratchers -- here it's the omission of such gems as "Heartbreaker," "That's the Way," "Over the Hills and Far Away," and "The Ocean," which could have easily replaced such selections as "Babe I'm Gonna Leave You," "The Battle of Evermore," "No Quarter," and "Houses of the Holy." But how can you complain when such ultra classics as "Dazed and Confused," "Whole Lotta Love," "Black Dog," "Rock and Roll," "Stairway to Heaven," "The Song Remains the Same," "Trampled Under Foot," and "Kashmir" are all included? Certainly not little old me. ~ Greg Prato, Rovi Hide synopsis

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