When Led Zeppelin refused to sanction a white-vinyl version of their 1973 live extravaganza, a rarity was born. And the boxset retains the value…
Originally released in 1976, the recordings on The Song Remains The Same capture the band during a three-night stint at New York’s Madison Square Garden in late July, 1973. This audiophile reissue is a half-speed-mastered pressing across four LPs on white vinyl. It’s an impressive set, in an archival box with an extensive booklet featuring dozens of unpublished photographs, as well as six additional tracks that didn’t appear on the original release.
What makes this edition from 2008 even more special is that only 200 copies were pressed, and subsequently never saw retail release at all after the band vetoed the idea. The 200 copies that were pressed on white vinyl were intended to be distributed with 100 for the band, label executives, press and promotional use, and the other 100 to be mixed in with the regular black-vinyl copies available only from their website.
Unfortunately, this wasn’t cleared with the band first and they were unhappy with the plan. The white-vinyl copies were never distributed and very few have survived. Opened copies of this boxset have been known to sell for up to £1,000, but as some people chose to keep their copies sealed, this can reach closer to £1,300. It’s a case of lucky dip with sealed copies, though, as there’s nothing on the outside to give away the colour of the vinyl in the box. There could be more in hiding than have already changed hands, but it remains a highly sought-after rarity in the back catalogue of Led Zep.