As predicted by MOJO towards the end of last year, the first three Led Zeppelin albums will be reissued with a plethora of exclusive bonus tracks on June 2.
Earlier today, three album sleeves were posted, unexplained, on the group’s Facebook page. They appear to be rather attractive ‘negative’ images of the covers of Led Zeppelin, Led Zeppelin II and Led Zeppelin III, underlining the status of the new releases as ‘alt’ versions of the originals.
Each album features a ‘companion’ disc presenting unearthed material from the group’s creative heyday. Treasures include a whole October 10, 1969 show from the Olympia in Paris in the Led Zeppelin I package. Led Zep II and III comprise work-in-progress versions of tracks, giving a unique and fascinating insight into the group’s creative process in their first flush, 1968-1970.
“In some cases it’s alternate mixes or even backing tracks,” Zep founder, guitarist and curator Jimmy Page explains exclusively to MOJO. “Like Out On The Tiles, for instance. That sounds like a really horny, beefy instrumental. To revisit it like that is like, ‘Oh! Wow!’ It’s powerful stuff.”
Page has been mindful of what is already available to fans in – ahem – ‘unofficial’ form.
“I’m the sort of person that if I start something, I don’t want to leave any stone unturned – so I will seek things here and seek things there,” he explains. “I wasn’t going to be intimidated by the bootlegs that were out there but I was mindful of what was on them. I looked at what was out there and I looked at what I had and I thought, ‘There’s no way this version came out because I knew nobody had it but me.’”
Led Zeppelin III has yielded an especially rich trove of material, including a very different Since I’ve Been Loving You, a conflation of blues standards Keys To The Highway/Trouble In Mind and a previously (officially) unreleased instrumental, Jennings Farm Blues.
“It’s a forerunner of Bron Yr Aur Stomp,” says Page. “There’s all sorts of things that people haven’t heard.”
The subsequent six studio albums will follow in due course. Meanwhile, Led Zeppelin, Led Zeppelin II, and Led Zeppelin III will each be available from June 2 on Atlantic/Swan Song in the following formats:
Single CD – Remastered album packaged in a gatefold card wallet.
Deluxe Edition (2CD) – Remastered album, plus a second disc of unreleased companion audio.
Single LP – Remastered album on 180-gram vinyl, packaged in a sleeve that replicates the LP’s first pressing in exacting detail. (For example, III will feature the original wheel and die cut holes.)
Deluxe Edition Vinyl – Remastered album and unreleased companion audio on 180-gram vinyl.
Digital Download – Remastered album and companion audio will both be available.
Super Deluxe Boxed Set – This collection includes:
Remastered album on CD in vinyl replica sleeve.
Companion audio on CD in card wallet.
Remastered album on 180-gram vinyl in a sleeve replicating first pressing.
Companion audio on 180-gram vinyl.
High-def audio download card off all content at 96kHz/24 bit. (Live tracks are 48kHz/24 bit).
Hard bound, 70+ page book filled with rare and previously unseen photos and memorabilia.
High quality print of the original album cover, the first 30,000 of which will be individually numbered.
Led Zeppelin will also include a replica of the band’s original Atlantic press kit.