By Brian Ives
There’s a lot of excitement about the upcoming Led Zeppelin reissues of their first three albums; a large part of that is because of the inclusion of a second disc of bonus material that will accompany deluxe and super deluxe editions of each release.
Earlier today in New York City, Jimmy Page played a selection of bonus tracks from the band’s first three albums and then took questions from the audience, made up of representatives from various news outlets.
Before playing the unreleased tracks, Page said that he’d been working on the reissues for about three years, and that the project started when he finished work on Celebration Day, the live documenting of their 2007 one-off reunion concert. He also said that the reissue program would extend into 2015, and will include all nine Led Zeppelin studio albums (including the posthumous release Coda).
Page later explained that Zeppelin’s 1969 debut didn’t actually have any leftover material, so the bonus disc is a full length concert recording from Paris in ’69. Frontman Robert Plant sounded a bit nervous on “Communication Breakdown,” but more comfortable on the slow blues burner “You Shook Me.”
The tracks from 1969’s II included “Whole Lotta Love” (which you can hear here) and an alternate version of “Living Loving Maid (She’s Just A Woman).”
But 1970’s III got the most attention. A “rough mix” of “Gallows Pole” had a different arrangement, and also had a few notes at the end not present on the original. The “Since I’ve Been Loving You (Rough Mix)” was indeed more raw than the studio version, and saw Plant belying his Janis Joplin influence more than the more familiar version; “Immigrant Song (Alternate Mix)” was also notably different, but the real gem here was an acoustic Page/Plant blues medley “Key To The Highway/Trouble In Mind.” During the Q&A, Page noted that that song “showed how in sync Robert and I were,” saying that Plant sang it “brilliantly.”
The reissues of all three albums will be released on June 3. No release dates have been announced for future Led Zeppelin reissues.