Led Zeppelin, a band so beloved that one of their vintage t-shirts once sold for $10,000, has a “Deluxe Edition” album series coming out that features eight never-before-heard tracks–two from Zep’s first album, two from “Led Zeppelin II,” and four from the third album, which features their strangest work.
“It’s so joyous, this music,” said guitarist Jimmy Page at the album’s press event hosted in Soho’s Crosby Street Hotel. “It was terrific to listen to it all again.”
Page teased fans two years ago, promising the bonus material, and has only just released a glimpse of the music that loyal listeners are in for. For several years now, Page has been endeavoring on “the epic task” (his own words) of reviewing each and every alternate take from the band’s cache of songs.
The first fruits of his labor will arrive on June 3, when the first three of Zeppelin’s re-reworked albums are released, while the other six albums will follow eventually. Every single one, though, will feature a pairing of the original work with a second set of wholly different takes of well-known songs in addition to the never-heard-before material.
In a 2012 interview with Rolling Stone, Page discussed his desire to revisit Led Zeppelin’s albums because they simply didn’t quite sound up to snuff to him.
“The catalog was last remastered 20 years ago. That’s a long time,” said the living legend of rock music. “Everything is being transferred from analog to a higher-resolution digital format. That’s one of the problems with the Zeppelin stuff. It sounds ridiculous on MP3. You can’t hear what’s there properly.”
Hopefully devoted fans will think that listening to the re-releases feels the way producing the series felt like to Page, which he said was like “a portal into the times when these were tracks were recorded.”