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Tuesday, August 17, 1999 Published at 16:52 GMT 17:52 UK


Led Zeppelin rock bootleg chart

Bootleg chart leaves Led Zeppelin singing the blues

Veteran rockers Led Zeppelin are flying high at the top of a chart of Britain's most bootlegged musicians, according to an anti-piracy watchdog.

"Led Zep" have overtaken previous chart-toppers The Beatles, in the latest list compiled by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI).

[ image: Bootleggers offer Beatles for sale]
Bootleggers offer Beatles for sale
The BPI Anti-Piracy Unit identified 384 bootleg titles featuring Led Zeppelin performances. These albums typically contain plundered studio out-takes and amateur recordings made at concerts.

The artists themselves receive no payment from the sale of these illegal recordings.

The bootleg chart has been complied from the BPI's archive of some 10,000 recordings seized over the past 25 years.

Led Zeppelin secured the top slot with 384 different bootleg products, up 120 on the last time a chart was issued.

They unseated The Beatles, whose 320 entries in the archive were not enough for the far from coveted top slot.

[ image:  ]
The chart's top 10 is dominated by well established acts with extensive legitimate back catalogues. The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan and Pink Floyd all figure high in the list.

New bands have also been hard hit by the bootleggers. Oasis, who have only released four albums, are represented by 63 entries in the BPI vaults.

US grunge-rockers Nirvana have an even less enviable 163 different titles using their music illegally. Only three albums of original studio material were released during the band's career.

The surge in Led Zeppelin bootlegs has been put down to the high-profile reunion of the band's Robert Plant and Jimmy Page for their Walking Into Clarksdale album last year.

[ image: What's the story? Some 63 Oasis bootlegs.]
What's the story? Some 63 Oasis bootlegs.
Live concerts by the Rolling Stones have also spurred the producers of illegal recordings. There are now 60 more Stones bootlegs available than last year.

A recent concert at London's Shepherd's Bush Empire was a boon for the Stones bootleggers. Videos made at the show hit the streets within days of the exclusive gig.

Although anti-piracy measures have seen the market in bootlegs fall by 25% last year, the trade is still estimated to be worth £13m.

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