TAS Super LP List! Special Merit: Informal
The Absolute Sound Top New Vinyl Release of 2016!
Michael Fremer Rated 9/11 Music, 11/11 Sonics!
A Big Hit at Axpona 2016 in Chicago! Exceptional Sound & Performance!
AAA 100% All Analogue Recording! Numbered, Limited Edition 180g Vinyl 45rpm
Triple LP Cut by Bernie Grundman!
First-Rate Sonics & Exceptional Arrangements of Classic Led Zeppelin tunes!
Don't you wish all rock albums sounded this good!!!
Vanessa Fernandez covers Led Zeppelin tunes in “unplugged” acoustic
"The result is a spectacularly natural and ultra-dynamic drum sound similar
to what Glyn Johns achieved on the latest Eric Clapton album. Tim Pierce’s
guitars are equally well-served in a recording by Michael C. Ross that’s nothing
short of stupendously transparent, dynamic and natural... I’ll put it to you
this way: if you play this record really loud and you don’t enjoy what you hear,
blame your system!" - Michael Fremer, www.analogplanet, 9/11 Music, 11/11
Brilliant rhythm guitar and solos from arranger-guitarist Tim Pierce including
an extended electric guitar solo on the rock version of "Whole Lotta Love" as
well as killer vintage slide work on "When The Levee Breaks;" awesome drumming
and majestic kick drum work from Jim Keltner on "Kashmir," "Babe" and "Immigrant
Song;" driving electric bass lines from Chris Chaney on many of the tracks;
memorable B3 and Wurlitzer fills and runs from keyboardist Jim Cox; audacious
violin solos and fills from Charlie Bisharat on "Kashmir" and "Immigrant Song;"
and, last but in no way least, stirring percussion backing from the great Luis
Conte on "When The Levee Breaks," "Black Dog" and "Whole Lotta Love" (acoustic).
And throughout every song the magnificent incomparable vocals of Vanessa. Yes -
the album was recorded all analogue multi track but several of the vocal tracks
are the complete original live track used without any overdubs or fixes. The
vocal performance on "Babe I'm Gonna Leave You" is gonna leave some listeners
Engineered by Michael C. Ross, mixing of the all analogue album, "When the Levee
Breaks" by Vanessa Fernandez, was completed at United Recordings (formerly known
as Oceanway Recordings). The mixing was done in the legendary studio A with it's
great sounding custom built mixing board. The album was mixed down to 1/4 inch
30 ips tape and delivered to Bernie Grundman Mastering where the mastering and
lacquer cutting was done.
All the above elements combined to create memorable and immensely satisfying
versions of several well known Led Zeppelin songs and the results are in - an
album of epic musical and spectacular sonic quality!!
"Much of the album, spread onto three 180g 45rpm records, is acoustic, but
songs like "Kashmir" with Jim Keltner on drums, rocks out big time. These are
fresh arrangements by guitarist Tim Pierce whose playing credits include session
work with Bruce Springsteen, Bon Jovi, Johnny Van Zant, Meat Loaf, Patty Smith,
Joe Cocker, Michael Jackson, Joan Armatrading, Madonna, Tina Turner, Rod
Stewart, Roger Waters, Eric Clapton, The Doobie Brothers, Elton John, Alice
Cooper and others. The instrumental performances add new luster to the old
chestnuts. Old fans will enjoy the new musical environment and some non-Led Zep
fans will be won over."
"Most importantly, Ms. Fernandez, a long time Led Zep fan, has the vocal chops
and the sensibility to wrap her cords tightly around the lyrics and wring new
meaning from them. From what I got to hear later on a lacquer, the performances
and the sonics will drop your jaws and maybe even your pants!" - Michael
"This album boasts top-notch production quality, including an all-analog recording, mastering by Bernie Grundman, and an all-star cast of studio musicians. Engineer Michael C. Ross’ claim that the LP—which boasts remarkably clean, transparent, and realistic sound—echoes the golden age of audio seems reasonable, but in theory these pristinely-recorded and mostly-acoustic performances move into dangerous territory by reshaping some old-school raunch ’n’ roll. Actually, though, that’s part of the fun—take a huge, billowing sound, scale it down, have a woman sing some very male-centric songs, and see what happens. The best cuts succeed for different reasons. Drummer Jim Keltner and bassist Chris Chaney lay down a killer groove on “Kashmir,” where violinist Charlie Bisharat adds a wild streak; he also brings some edginess to “Immigrant Song.” Instead of swagger, Fernandez uses sly seduction to state her case on “Black Dog.” At the beginning of “Babe I’m Gonna Leave You” she sounds emotionally drained, like she’s been waiting all night to break the news to her lover. As the song progresses she gains strength but not conviction, as if the person she’s really trying (and failing) to convince is herself—a fine reading of a great song." - Jeff Wilson, The Absolute Sound, December 2016, 3.5/5 Music, 5/5 Sonics
"As with its predecessor, When the Levee Breaks is all analog; engineer
Michael Ross recorded to 30ips 1/4" tape. In every sonic sense, it is an
extraordinary recording, with vast dynamic range along with inherent smoothness,
weight and presence. All of this applies to the hybrid SACD, but the the
RTI-pressed 45rpm LPs are even better -- more resolved and natural -- and they
include a couple of extra cuts not on the SACD. This is demo material in either
format, but I haven't heard an LP that sounds as good since Use Me."
"On its face, When the Levee Breaks has some huge obstacles to overcome,
especially among audiophiles who are familiar with great-sounding recordings of
questionable music worth. Because of this, its achievement is even more
impressive. It defies expectations in so many ways; you'll want to play it for
friends and family, in order to show off your system, and you'll want to listen
to it yourself when only some Zeppelin in vivid state-of-the-art sound will do."
- Marc Mickelson, The Audio Beat, 4/5 Music, 5/5 Sound!!! Read more!
• First 2500 Copies Numbered!
• AAA 100% All Analogue Recording!
• 180g Audiophile Vinyl
• 45rpm Triple LP
• Triple Gatefold
• Cut by Bernie Grundman
• Mastered directly from the original 30 ips 1/4 inch analogue master
• Features two exclusive LP only tracks
Vanessa Fernandez, vocals
Tim Pierce, guitars
Jim Keltner, drums
Chris Chaney, bass
Jim Cox, keyboards
Charlie Bisharat, violin
Luis Conte, percussion
1. Immigrant Song
2. Black Dog
4. Trampled Underfoot
5. When the Levee Breaks (acoustic)
6. The Lemon Song
7. Ramble On
8. Whole Lotta Love
9. Babe I'm Gonna Leave You
10. Immigrant Song
Side F: (LP only exclusive)
11. Babe I'm Gonna Leave You (alternate mix - LP only bonus cut)
12. Whole Lotta Love (full rock mix - LP only bonus cut)