Posts Tagged ‘Robert Plant’

Superb 1995 broadcast recording from PAGE & PLANT Initial plans for a reunion of Jimmy Page and Robert Plant were made in 1993, with discussions between the two of collaborating emerging from casual small talk and then an invitation to perform on MTV Unplugged. Music producer Bill Curbishley, who had been managing Plant since the 1980s and who assumed management of Page in 1994, was integral in the reuniting of the pair. Despite failed attempts by others to reunite Jimmy and Robert, Curbishley was able to persuade the previously reluctant Plant into working with Page again.

On 1st May 1995, Page and Plant performed at the Bradley Centre in Milwaukee for a show that was recorded for live FM Broadcast around the greater Wisconsin area, and which proved to be one of the finest on the tour. Featuring a sterling selection of Zeppelin classics, the odd solo-cut and even a cover of The Cure s Lullaby , the show was a roaring success which is available finally for fans to hear via this delightful  2 cd set, available now for the first time.

The gig itself contains many classics and some deep cuts and i’d love to know how Jimmy Page got Plant to agree to perform the Coverdale/Page track ‘Shake My Tree’.overall the sound quality as is with most of these releases average and you wont listen to it over and over again but it does highlight a missed opportunity from Page/Plant they should have had an official live album issued.

Jimmy Page & Robert Plant Live at the Bradley Arena, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA May 1st, 1995

Set: The Wanton Song Bring It On Home Ramble On Thank You Shake My Tree Lullaby No Quarter Gallows Pole Hurdy Gurdy Solo When The Levee Breaks Hey, Hey What Can I Do The Song Remains The Same Since I’ve Been Loving You Friends Calling To You (Break On Through/Dazed And Confused) Four Sticks In The Evening

Led Zeppelin’s debut record had barely hit the shelves by the time they started recording this one, with the majority of the record being written while the group were out on tour. While their first record had seen them showcasing their love of blues-rock and turning the volume up a little bit, Led Zeppelin II was where the group decided to kick into overdrive, turning it up another notch and truly making a name for themselves.

From the second that the album bursts into ‘Whole Lotta Love’, the listener knows they’re in for something special. As the album continues into the likes ‘Living Loving Maid (She’s Just a Woman)’, ‘Ramble On’, and the unforgettable riff of ‘Heartbreaker’, it becomes clear that this was the point where Led Zeppelin were at their ferocious best, wowing their audience with a stunning second record before they unleashed their magnum opus just a couple of years later.

“On the second LP, you can really hear the group identity coming together,” Jimmy Page recalled years after its release. While Zeppelin recorded their first album in three weeks after a single, two-week Scandinavian tour, Led Zeppelin II was cut over six months on tour in London, New York, Vancouver and Los Angeles, with the band carrying the master tapes along the way in a steamer trunk.

“It was quite insane, really,” Page said. “We had no time, and we had to write numbers in hotel rooms. By the time the album came out, I was really fed up with it. I’d just heard it so many times in so many places. I really think I had lost confidence in it.”
In reality, they made one of the greatest, heaviest and raunchiest albums ever, steeped in both Delta and Chicago blues, Sixties psychedelia and gentle-to-bone-crushing dynamics. Highlights ranged from the chugging, apocalyptic chaos of “Whole Lotta Love” to the bullet-fast fuzz riffs of “Heartbreaker” to “Bring It on Home,” a juke-joint blues gone mad. “They were the first numbers written with the band in mind,” Page told writer Mick Wall later. “It was music more tailor-made for the elements you’ve got. Like knowing that Bonzo’s gonna come in hard at some point, and building that in.”
Less than four months after the release of their first LP, in January 1969, Atlantic Records was already prodding the band for new material in time for the Christmas season. In April, Zeppelin headed into London’s Olympic Studios with engineer George Chkiantz. “Whole Lotta Love” was one of the first tracks they worked on; it was constructed from a riff Page invented during one of their 15-minute-plus live versions of “As Long As I Have You,” with Robert Plant adding lyrics taken straight from Muddy Waters’ 1962 single “You Need Love.” They finished it in New York with Hendrix engineer Eddie Kramer, who helped execute the terrifying middle section, incorporating a variety of sounds: Page’s slide guitar mixed backward, his eerie theremin, a female orgasm and a napalm-bomb explosion. Said Page, “It’s sort of what psychedelia would have been if they could have got there.”

Guitar solos were recorded in studio hallways; Bonham played the percussion part to “Ramble On” on a guitar case, a drum stool or a garbage can (no one recalls which), and his showpiece “Moby Dick” solo was patched together from several recordings in separate studios.
The recording methods may have been ad hoc, but the results were fully realized. “What Is and What Should Never Be” used stereo mixing to send Page’s guitar and Plant’s squeals ping-ponging from speaker to speaker as if mimicking a bad acid trip. “The Lemon Song” – their version of Howlin’ Wolf’s “Killing Floor” – was cut live in the studio, seamlessly time- shifting from smoky cool to frantic boogie, Plant howling, “Squeeze my lemon till the juice runs down my leg!”
“Thank You,” a folk hymn drenched in 12-string guitar and organ, was Plant’s first writing effort, penned for his wife during a time of intense changes; in less than a year, the band had gone from slogging it on tour in snowy English car rides to weeklong stays at the Chateau Marmont, watching Elvis Presley from the front row in Vegas and mingling with L.A.’s groupie elite, the GTOs.
Amid all this chaos, Zeppelin remained focused and worked feverishly. A studio perfectionist, Page refused to get distracted. In July, on the night the group celebrated its gold record for Led Zeppelin at the Plaza Hotel in New York City, the guitarist sent the band straight to the studio afterward.
“There was an urgency to being in the States,” Bonham said. “I remember we went out to the airport to meet our wives, got them back to the hotel and then went straight back to the studio and did ‘Bring It on Home.’ We did a lot that year like that.”
“I could see the battle fatigue taking its toll on Jimmy,” road manager Richard Cole said, describing a London session. “His face seemed drawn. The circles under his eyes were getting darker. He started smoking more cigarettes than usual.”
It paid off. Even “Living Loving Maid (She’s Just a Woman)” – a twangy rocker Page said he wrote about “a degenerate old woman who tries to be young,” and which he later said was his least-favorite Zeppelin song – was undeniable. By August, they had finished recording, Kramer and Page mixing the LP in two days at New York’s A&R Studios on a 12-channel Altec board. “It was the most primitive console you could imagine,” Kramer said.
Released October 22nd, 1969, Led Zeppelin II went on to sell 3 million copies within six months, taking the Number One spot from Abbey Road in December. “Whole Lotta Love” hit Number Four in the U.S. in January 1970, foreshadowing heavy metal more than a decade early.
“Our whole lives changed,” Plant said. “It was such a sudden change we weren’t sure how to handle it.”

On the second LP, you can really hear the group identity coming together,” Jimmy Page recalled years after its release. While Zeppelin recorded their first album in three weeks after a single, two-week Scandinavian tour, Led Zeppelin II was cut over six months on tour in London, New York, Vancouver and Los Angeles, with the band carrying the master tapes along the way in a steamer trunk.

'Led Zeppelin II'

Less than four months after the release of their first LP, in January 1969, Atlantic was already prodding the band for new material in time for the Christmas season. In April, Zeppelin headed into London’s Olympic Studios with engineer George Chkiantz. “Whole Lotta Love” was one of the first tracks they worked on; it was constructed from a riff Page invented during one of their 15-minute-plus live versions of “As Long As I Have You,” with Plant adding lyrics taken straight from Muddy Waters’ 1962 single “You Need Love.” They finished it in New York with Hendrix engineer Eddie Kramer, who helped execute the terrifying middle section, incorporating a variety of sounds: Page’s slide guitar mixed backward, his eerie theremin, a female orgasm and a napalm-bomb explosion. Said Page, “It’s sort of what psychedelia would have been if they could have got there.”

Rp

Following the success of Robert Plant’s podcast series that digs Deep into his catalogue, Robert Plant releases a special limited edition 7” singles boxset on his own label, Es Paranza. The boxset features two singles from each of his solo albums; from the hit single ( # 3 Billboard US) Burning Down The House to Tin Pan Alley.

Robert Plant’s music is the result of a lifetime striding around the globe, from The Midlands to Morocco, from Nashville to North Wales, and the influences and friends collected along the way can be heard in his songs. In this podcast series he delves into his back catalogue to revisit a track from this remarkable history to tell stories of inspiration, collaboration and intervention. It’s Robert’s personal road map to an incredible and personal journey that’s ongoing to this very day.

Released on December 13th, it comprises eight 7″ singles featuring remastered versions of songs from his eight solo albums, some of which have been discussed in the podcast. https://lnk.to/RPDiggingDeep

Vinyl 1:
Side A: Burning Down One Side
Side B: Like I’ve Never Been Gone (S1, E4 of podcast)

Vinyl 2:
Side A: Big Log (S2, E6 of podcast)
Side B: In The Mood

Vinyl 3:
Side A: Too Loud
Side B: Little By Little

Vinyl 4:
Side A: Ship of Fools
Side B: Tall Cool One

Vinyl 5:
Side A: Hurting Kind
Side B: Tie Dye on the Highway

Vinyl 6:
Side A: Calling To You (S1, E1 of podcast)
Side B: 29 Palms

Vinyl 7:
Side A: Song To The Siren
Side B: Morning Dew

Vinyl 8:
Side A: Shine It All Around
Side B: Tin Pan Alley (S2, E1 of podcast)

Image may contain: one or more people and night

Robert Plant’s new band, Saving Grace, appeared online following its third and fourth concerts, which took place earlier this month. What do you do when you are a 70-year-old rock legend with time on your hands? Well, go on the road again with a new band, of course. It’s the music.

The Led Zeppelin icon unveiled his latest project at a low-key concert near the border between England and Wales  this month, showcasing a sound that was described as “music inspired by the dreamscape of the Welsh Marches” with dynamics “from a whisper to a scream.”

Robert Plant is ever so gently testing the waters in Britain with a nascent ensemble called Saving Grace. He has been popping up at a few gigs as a surprise support act for veteran folk-rockers Fairport Convention on their winter tour. Judging by the performance and the reaction of a delighted audience at The Anvil in Basingstoke, England, on February. 14th, we will be hearing a lot more of the band. The music was tight yet relaxed — a contradictory combination that testifies to years of experience. The 40-minute set could easily have gone on to a full concert as far as the surprised audience was concerned.

The group features vocalist Suzy Dian, mandolinist and guitarist Tony Kelsey, banjo player and guitarist Matt Worley and percussionist Oli Jefferson.

On offer was an eclectic mix of folky-bluesy-jazzy tunes that never once disappointed.

There was, for example, a wonderfully harmonious rendering of Doc Watson’s “Your Long Journey,” a melodious delivery of Nat King Cole’s “Nature Boy,” and a haunting version of a Plant favorite, the spiritual “Satan, Your Kingdom Must Come Down.”

Also outstanding was “Season of the Witch,” an interpretation of the Donovan classic that somehow (and delightfully) morphed temporarily into Buffalo Springfield’s “For What It’s Worth.”

It was a test run, so not everything was clicking. There were times, for example, when the guitar work seemed misplaced. But Plant’s famous voice has held up really well over the years (as have the long curly locks).

It was beautifully augmented by co-singer Suzy Dian, who looked to be more than 40 year’s Plant’s junior but whose voice sounded as if she were born to sing with him.

The harmonies were spot on. So much so, in fact, that Plant melded with Dian better that he did with Alison Krauss on Raising Sand, which is no mean accomplishment. Backing them was Tony Kelsey on guitar and mandolin, Matt Worley on banjo and guitar, and Oli Jefferson on drums.

Saving Grace actually appears to be a synthesis of two of Plant’s more successful post-Zeppelin ventures: 2007’s Grammy-winning Raising Sand and 2010’s Grammy-nominated Band of Joy. The former was a melodic dip into country; the latter a more hard-hitting strain of folk-rock. Both were excellent, so Saving Grace is brimming with promise for the future.

This relatively unknown band formed out of the Yardbirds‘ ashes and recorded an eponymous debut album. Spearheaded by guitarist Jimmy Page, the band was predicted to “go down like a lead zeppelin” by Keith Moon, drummer for The Who. The album was recorded in September and October 1968 at Olympic Studios, London, shortly after the band’s formation. It contains a mix of original material worked out in the first rehearsals, and remakes and rearrangements of contemporary blues and folk songs. The sessions took place before the group had secured a recording contract and were paid for directly, and took 36 hours and less than £2,000 to complete.

Released on the 12th January 1969, Led Zeppelin’s self-titled debut arrived out of the ashes of guitarist Jimmy Page’s former group, the Yardbirds. With singer Robert Plant, bassist John Paul Jones and drummer John Bonham, the record built upon the heavy blues sound created by Cream, the Jimi Hendrix Experience and Page’s one-time bandmate Jeff Beck by adding elements of American and British folk and Indian music into the mix. Along with Black Sabbath and the Who, as well as less popular but influential acts such as Blue Cheer, they would also help pave the way for heavy rock in the ’70s.

Now, 50 years later, Led Zeppelin I stands up to the test of time. From the opening chords of “Good Times Bad Times” to the closing notes of the blues saga “How Many More Times,” there isn’t a single dull moment on the whole album. Songs genres bounce from hard rock to deep blues to folky, three styles that the band would embrace throughout their career. Transitions like “Black Mountain Side” a steel-string acoustic guitar ballad, into “Communication Breakdown” a fast-paced rocker, immediately showcased this band’s extraordinary talent. For the recordings, Page played a psychedelically painted Fender Telecaster, a gift from friend Jeff Beck after Page recommended him to join the Yardbirds in 1965, replacing Eric Clapton.

But for all the originality found in the virtuoso musicianship and Page’s production, Led Zeppelin has a checkered history with regards to songwriting credits. Although Willie Dixon was listed as the writer of “You Shook Me” and “I Can’t Quit You Baby,” four of the seven other tracks have roots in songs composed by other artists.

Led Zeppelin was recorded with almost no overdubs in London’s Olympic Studios by musicians still looking for a shared language. “Nobody really knew each other,” said Plant, who had never been in a high-caliber studio before. “I’d go back to the playback room and listen. It had so much weight, so much power — it was devastating. I had a long way to go with my voice then, but the enthusiasm and sparking of working with Jimmy’s guitar … it was so raunchy.” That raunch was rendered overwhelming and spectral by Page, who placed mics all over the studio to get a vérité sound that might recall the raw, big-room ambience of old Chess and Sun records. Uncredited engineer Glyn Johns added to the effect by putting Bonham’s drum kit on a riser to enhance his “phenomenal” sound. Much has been made of Bonham’s power (the beat on “Communication Breakdown” is nearly punk-speed), but Jones was just as impressed by his restraint: “John kept a really straight beat on slow numbers like ‘You Shook Me” he recalled.

“Good Times Bad Times”

As the opening track on Led Zeppelin’s first album and their debut single, it was the first music from them that many people heard. And yet, according to reports, the band rarely played “Good Times Bad Times” in concert. Bits of the song were occasionally included in their early days as part of a full performance of its b-side, “Communication Breakdown,” but it’s believed that the only time they played it in its entirety was their 2007 reunion concert, when it opened the show. Perhaps John Paul Jones explained why they never played the whole song until then when he spoke with Rolling Stone after the show. “That’s the hardest riff I ever wrote, the hardest to play,” he said. “But it was a good starter, because everybody had to focus.”

“Babe I’m Gonna Leave You”

Jimmy Page heard “Babe I’m Gonna Leave You” on Joan Baez’s In Concert, Part 1 record. Baez didn’t know that the song was written by Anne Johannsen (later Bredon) — she’d learned it from another folksinger, Janet Smith — so she credited it, as was often the case with folk songs, as traditional, with Baez providing the arrangement. Zeppelin followed suit, with Page credited as the arranger. In the ’80s, Smith heard Led Zeppelin’s version and contacted Bredon about the lack of credit. Bredon worked out a deal with Zeppelin’s publishing company, Superhype, and, since the early ’90s, has received 50 percent of the songwriter’s royalties.

“You Shook Me”

As with “Babe I’m Gonna Leave You,” “You Shook Me” was another example of what Pete Seeger called the “folk process,” whereby music evolves by building upon existing works. In 1962, Muddy Waters took an instrumental recorded a year earlier by one of his Chicago blues contemporaries, Earl Hooker, added lyrics by Willie Dixon, which he sung in tandem with Hooker’s guitar, and released it as “You Shook Me.”  Jones, Plant and Page took a solo on Hammond organ, harmonica and guitar respectively. Page put backwards echo on the track, which was then a novel production device.

Six years later, Waters‘ track was reinterpreted twice within a few months of each other. Jeff Beck recorded a blistering take for the album Truth, but Led Zeppelin’s version redefined the song even further. In addition to more-than doubling the original’s length (Muddy’s was under three minutes while Zeppelin’s lasted nearly six-and-a-half minutes), with Plant wailing away on the harmonica and Jones, who also played on Beck’s rendition, taking a keyboard solo. Plant also changed the lyrics to have the woman in question leaving the singer instead of being involved in an extramarital affair.

“Dazed and Confused”

“Dazed and Confused” With its slow, descending bass-line, the song lingers in the mysterious before punching its way into hard rock legend. Add in a guitar solo played with a violin bow, and you have yourself an instant classic.

Originally written by Jake Holmes, who didn’t receive credit until he sued the band in 2011, “Dazed and Confused” was first heard by Page after Holmes opened up for the Yardbirds in 1967. The Yardbirds had covered the song regularly in concert during 1968, and performed it for several radio and television sessions. But as with the other covers, it underwent a few changes by the time Led Zeppelin recorded it, including the famous solo where he played guitar with a violin bow. Although Page didn’t invent the technique — it was used by Eddie Phillips of the Creation on “Making Time” — he learned about it through David McCallum Sr., with whom Page was chatting during a session. The song was an important part of Led Zeppelin’s live show throughout their early career, and became a vehicle for group improvisation, eventually stretching in length to over 30 minutes. The improvisation would sometimes include parts of another song, including the group’s “The Crunge” and “Walter’s Walk” (released later on Houses Of The Holy and Coda, respectively), Joni Mitchell’s “Woodstock” and Scott McKenzie’s “San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)”. It was briefly dropped from the live set in 1975 after Page injured a finger, but was re-instated for the remainder of the tour. The last full live performance during Led Zeppelin’s main career was at Earl’s Court, London later that year, after which the violin bow section of the song’s guitar solo was played as a standalone piece.

As Page recalled, “[O]ne of the violinists came to me one day and he said, ‘Have you ever considered playing a guitar with a bow?’ And I said, ‘Well, I don’t think it’ll work.’ Because the strings are uniformed wheres a violin is arched. And he said ‘Well here’s my bow. Would you like to try?’ And I said ‘Absolutely.’ So I tried it and i could see there was massive potential. After that I went and bought my own bow.”

“Your Time Is Gonna Come”

Page pulled out another weapon from his bag on “Your Time Is Gonna Come,” the track that opens the second side, with a pedal steel guitar entering the mix during the first chorus. As with “Good Times Bad Times,” the song didn’t feature into their live set, with its only known performance coming at a 1971 show in Tokyo during the “Whole Lotta Love” medley. However, Page brought it out during his 1999-2000 tour with the Black Crowes, as heard on their Live at the Greek: Excess All Areas live album.

“Black Mountain Side”

The instrumental “Black Mountain Side” is another instance on the record where the folk process calls into question the authorship of the work. Bert Jansch, a fixture on the British folk scene, recorded his own version of the traditional Irish folk song “Down by Blackwaterside” in 1966. Page adapted Jansch’s arrangement, added a tabla for percussion, gave it a new name and claimed it as an original.

By the time of Led Zeppelin’s release, Jansch had already formed Pentangle and released a pair of albums. A year later, Basket of Light reached No. 5 on the British album chart. They split in 1973, with Jansch eventually returning to his solo career, although several reunions followed until his death in 2011.

As Colin Harper noted in Dazzling Stranger: Bert Jansch and the British Folk and Blues Revival, Jansch never sued Page because he was never in a position to afford the legal costs involved. But it remained a sore point with him throughout his life, particularly when his path crossed with Page’s.

“The thing I’ve noticed about Jimmy whenever we meet is that he can’t look me in the eye,” Jansch said in 2007, later adding, “Well, he ripped me off, didn’t he? Or let’s just say he learned from me. I wouldn’t want to sound impolite.”

“Communication Breakdown”

While much has been made about Led Zeppelin’s influence on the development of ’70s hard rock and metal, and punk’s overall disdain for those styles, “Communication Breakdown” turned out to be influential on Johnny Ramone. As Mickey Leigh of the Rattlers wrote in I Slept with Joey Ramone: A Family Memoir, he performed the riff note-for-note for the future Ramones guitarist, and he dug how Page created the riff’s power using only downstrokes.

“Most people don’t realize that,” Leigh recalled Ramone as saying. “That’s how rock & roll should be played. All of it! Everything should be a down stroke.” Drummer Marky Ramone confirmed the influence, saying that Johnny “loves Jimmy Page and he also likes ‘Communication Breakdown.’ Even though he’s not the lead guitar player, those are rhythm songs. That’s why he likes that stuff.”

“I Can’t Quit You Baby”

Another Willie Dixon composition, “I Can’t Quit You Baby” was made famous by Otis Rush in 1956. But for all of the inspired call-and-response interplay between Plant’s vocals and Page’s guitar, the take released on Led Zeppelin has never been a favorite of the guitarist.

“There are mistakes in it, but it doesn’t make any difference,” he told Guitar Player in 1977. “I’ll always leave the mistakes in. I can’t help it. The timing bits on the A and Bb parts [the power chords] are right, though it might sound wrong. The timing just sounds off. But there are some wrong notes. You’ve got to be reasonably honest about it.”

“How Many More Times”

While many of the tracks on Led Zeppelin have their antecedents in one specific song, the eight-and-a-half minute album-closing “How Many More Times” drew its influence from several sources. Zeppelin honed their virtuosity into compositions; even the eight-minute “How Many More Times” was designed for maximum impact. “There was very little free-form anything,” said Johns. “They were very hard-working. The Stones took nine months to make a record; these guys took nine days including mixing.”

“That has the kitchen sink on it, doesn’t it?” Page told Brad Tolinski. “It was made up of little pieces I developed when I was with the Yardbirds, as were other numbers such as ‘Dazed and Confused.’ It was played live in the studio with cues and nods.

As Aaron Krerowicz noted, the bass line that kicks it off has its roots in the Yardbirds‘ live cover of Howlin’ Wolf’s “Smokestack Lightning,” and its title and opening verse were rewritten from another Wolf track, “How Many More Years,” while other verses borrow from Albert King’s “The Hunter” and Jimmie Rodgers’ “Kisses Sweeter Than Wine.” The rhythm from another cut off Jeff Beck’s Truth, the Page-composed “Beck’s Bolero,” shows up around the three-minute mark.

Page brought back the bow for the solo. “I think I did some good things with the bow on that track,” he told Tolinski, “but I really got much better with it later on. For example, I think there is some really serious bow playing on the live album [The Song Remains the Same]. I think some of the melodic lines are pretty incredible. I remember being really surprised with it when I heard it played back. I thought, Boy, that really was an innovation that meant something.”

ENGLAND - 1969: Rock band 'Led Zeppelin' poses for a publicity portrait in 1969 in England. (L-R) John Bonham, Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

Led Zeppelin was produced by Page and engineered by Glyn Johns, both of whom had known each other since teenagers in the suburb of Epsom. According to Page, most of the album was recorded live, Two other songs from the Olympic sessions, “Baby Come On Home” and “Sugar Mama”, were left off the album. They were released on the 2015 reissue of the retrospective album Coda.

thanks to Ultimate Classic Rock

Led Zeppelin‘s soundtrack to their concert film The Song Remains The Samehas been remastered and will be reissued across multiple formats in September.

The band’s performances in July 1973, at New York’s Madison Square Garden, were recorded for the concert film, The Song Remains The Same. The soundtrack to the film, produced by Jimmy Page, was originally released in 1976. Recorded live at the conclusion of a North American tour in support of the band’s Houses of the Holy album

The release is scheduled for Sept. 7, which will mark the 50th anniversary of the first show Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, John Bonham and John Paul Jones ever played together. In addition to the Super Deluxe Boxed Set edition,

This reissue is similar to the recent reissue of their live album How The West Was Won, since the formats on offer include an expansive super deluxe edition box set that includes the remastered audio on two CDs and four vinyl LPs and a two-DVD set of The Song Remains The Samefeaturing the full theatrical version of the film plus bonus content including four performance outtakes that were not part of the original film:  Celebration Day, Over The Hills And Far Away, Misty Mountain Hop, and The Ocean. The box also includes a DVD of the entire album in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround and PCM Stereo, a download card of all stereo audio content at 96kHz/24 bit, a 28-page book (with photos and an essay by Cameron Crowe), a replica of the Japanese program from 1977, and a print of the original album cover (as usual, the first 30,000 will be individually numbered).

9-disc super deluxe edition • Blu-ray audio • Full album 5.1 mix

As well as the big box, there’s a 4LP vinyl set, a blu-ray audio with the 5.1 mix (96kHz/24 bit) and surround mixes and a humble remastered two-CD package.

It’s worth noting that for the 4-LP set, Page made a change to the track sequence, allowing the 29-minute version of Dazed And Confused to be featured in its entirety on one side of vinyl for the first time.

The Song Remains The Same will be reissued on 7 September 2018.

Led Zeppelin 1

Whether you mark the genesis as the death of  The Yardbirds, the Scandinavian tour by The New Yardbirds or the band’s first show under the new name, Led Zeppelin’s birth, however gradual, takes place in 1968, on way to its crowning moment, the release of the band’s self-titled debut not two weeks into the new year, January 12th of 1969.

The story arguably begins back in 1966, when Jimmy Page joined The Yardbirds, first on bass as replacement for Paul Samwell-Smith, but then switching to guitar, where he shares those duties with Jeff BeckBeck was soon to depart, in October that year, Jimmy’s thoughts wandered off to bigger things, a supergroup of sorts, while he bides his time for nearly two more years with an act proving to be somewhat directionless. The Yardbirds would play their final show, a Bedfordshire gig, in July of 1968. At this point Jimmy is already in possession of most of the riffs and song ideas he would need in his next incarnation.

“We were a vehicle for what Jimmy wanted to do when he came in,” explains Yardbirds drummer Jim McCarty. “He had a pretty free rein, as all the guitar players did and he pushed The Yardbirds sound into more of a heavy metal context. He really was the master of the riff.”

Everyone was paying attention to the band’s star axeman. Recalls Steve Lyman, of legendary Michigan rockers SRC, who caught the band just before their demise, “The first British group that I actually saw perform live was The Yardbirds, at a small club in Ann Arbor, Michigan called The Fifth Dimension. I already had two albums by The Yardbirds at that time, so it was a real thrill for me to see this British group performing live. Jimmy Page was the guitar player at the time, because The Yardbirds went through various incarnations. Eric Clapton was their first guitar player, Jeff Beck and then Jimmy Page. I was mesmerized by that Yardbirds show. I was the lead guitar player in a band The Fugitives, which became the SRC, so seeing Jimmy Page play became a real thrill for me because I had been listening to these Yardbirds records on my record player and trying to figure out what they were playing.”

But in the summer of ’68, The Yardbirds, now splitting up, but nonetheless still committed to a Scandinavian tour. A new lineup to fulfill these dates was called for. After Chris Dreja bows out to begin a career as a photographer, session stalwart John Paul Jones is recruited. In the all important vocal slot, Jimmy had wanted on the team Terry Reid, but Reid demurs, suggesting a young Birmingham singer named Robert Plant. Robert is the one who brings along local drummer and hard-hitter John Bonham. Before the new foursome would hit the road, they perform a session for the P.J. Proby album Three Week Hero. A track there called “Jim’s Blues” would live on as the band’s first session together, on the technicality that Robert is present blowing some harmonica.

Original Judas Priest vocalist Al Atkins happened to be there to watch the formation of what would be called The New Yardbirds, the makeshift name the band used to fulfil those Scandinavian dates.

“I used to know Robert,” says Atkins. “We used to go for a beer together, and sometimes he’d borrow my microphone because he couldn’t afford one, if I wasn’t playing. We had one mic between the two of us. I had the best one. And a buddy of mine, ‘Are you playing tonight?’ ‘No, oh go on.’ It was great times. Robert’s roots have always been blues. He’s a very intelligent guy when you’re talking to him about the blues stuff. He knows everything about that. You can’t argue with him about anything on that subject. But I saw him before Zeppelin, when he was playing at Henry’s Blues House and Alexis Korner was playing on his own, a solo gig he got there, like a one-man band thing or something, and Robert got up and played harmonica and sang along with him.

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“And then with Jimmy Page, they joined The Yardbirds, went over to Europe, came back, and next thing they were called Led Zeppelin. I went to see them play at Mother’s in Erdington. They were supporting Blodwyn Pig, and I think they got 75 quid or something. But when I saw him with Jimmy onstage that night I was totally blown away. And Bonham was absolutely out of his head. He was drunk, I think. And they did a set, and it was very mixed, including a lot of stuff that was going to be coming on the new album. They were loud, but they were brilliant. Robert’s voice had just changed overnight. I couldn’t believe the difference in his voice. Fantastic vocalist. And yeah, John Bonham, he couldn’t come back onstage. They did the encore and the drummer from Blodwyn Pig came on and played this blues thing with them and they just jammed the encore. The good ol’ days.”

Jimmy had made his mind up that they were going to blow everyone off the stage,” adds (now deceased) engineer Andy Johns, soon to be working closely with the band. “That’s what my brother told me. This is when Jimmy still had The Yardbirds thing going. Glyn said, ‘I was with Jimmy the other day, and Jimmy said, I’ve got this new lineup now, and we’re going to blow everyone offstage.’ So that was an intentional thing, to be as dramatic and as riff-conscious as possible. And Jimmy was a fabulous writer, and had a lot of great ideas in the studio, and was just wonderful to work with.”

But in August of 1968, even before the band’s dates in Scandinavia, Jimmy’s Yardbirds mate Jeff Beck would release his album Truth, which many a rock historian debate as the blueprint for what Led Zeppelin would become.

“Well, it was right around the same time,” explains Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones. “I was on that Jeff Beck album and Jimmy was with The Yardbirds at the time, so my influence on the Jeff Beck album would probably be similar to my influence on the Led Zeppelin album, just like Jimmy. I don’t know, I suppose. You can come to the same conclusion with any number of blues-based rock bands. But it soon took off from there. Most of the songs we had done on the first album had been done by Jimmy and The Yardbirds as well. It was only things like “Good Times Bad Times,” which was a riff I brought in, that I wrote in the studio. That’s got John’s famous drum part, of course. John never used double bass. He did in fact bring in a double bass drum for rehearsal, and we played a couple of songs with it, but then we hid it when he went for lunch. When he came back it was gone.”

“We loved Zeppelin,” says Nazareth guitarist Manny Charlton, also there to watch the band being born. “They were just an extension to what was going on with the guitar bands like The Who, on from The Beatles. It went from The Beatles to The Who and then into that blues boom thing, with the Jeff Beck Group. The Yardbirds and Cream, really, initially, we were doing the electric blues thing. The Yardbirds moved from that blues thing to another area, where they kept the same sound but they started writing what you would call riffs, and in some cases, like pop songs. A pop song but played with that power-trio lineup. Because initially when Cream started, they were doing ‘I Feel Free’ and stuff like that, basically writing pop songs to get away from the blues, to get away from ‘You Shook Me.’ But the Jeff Beck Group took it to another level, and then Led Zeppelin obviously did as well. But their first album was basically electric blues songs.”

Into the fall, The New Yardbirds would play their first date, September 7th, 1968, at the Gladsaxe Teen Club in Gladsaxe, Denmark, following up with another 10 days around Scandinavia. Significantly, the band have in their set  “Communication Breakdown,” which is recorded as soon as the band get back, in October of that year. It’s a small thing, but one might also call the recording of this bedrock Zeppelin track as the birth of the band. Indeed the song is a step up in intensity, away from other songs in the set at this time such as “Hush,” “The Hunter,” “Somethin’ Else” and “Train Kept A-Rollin’.”

In any event, 1968, as it pertains to the birth of the band, is next marked by the first show on British soil, October 4th at the Mayfair Ballroom, Newcastle upon Tyne. Conducting a brief British tour, the next benchmark is the band’s first show under the new name — Chris Dreja had issued a cease and desist order on the use of The Yardbirds moniker — on October 25th, at the University of Surrey in Battersea. And for the record, as the story goes, the band chose for its new title Led Zeppelin, because John Entwistle had suggested to Jimmy that his new “supergroup” would go down like a lead balloon. Into November, rough and tough manager of the band Peter Grant negotiates a $143,000 advance for his boys from Atlantic Records and the hype machine lurches into operation, never to wane across a full decade of dominance.

“We didn’t move into a style; I think we kind of created it,” muses John Paul Jones, on what the band brought into being over the nine-day burst of creativity in late 1968 that would result in the band’s debut album. “And if you would have asked me in 1969, as people did, what sort of band I was in, I would have said a progressive rock band. But then that became to mean something else. There you go banging up against categories again. That came to mean something else entirely. And then it was just sort of like blues rock, because the band was quite blues-orientated. And it was just the style, the way the members of the band played together. But in terms of actual riffs, well, anything with notes, lots of notes, like ‘Black Dog,’ ‘Good Times Bad Times’… those were my riffs. And anything that was kind of lurchy and chordy were Page’s riffs. That’s how you tell them apart.”

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The impact of the band’s first album would be felt far and wide. “Led Zeppelin had just come out,” remembers Blue Cheer’s Randy Holden. “They were doing something entirely different. I went to see them at their gig at the Whisky, which was their first gig in California as far as I know. I liked their album; I thought they got a really heavy sound on the album, but then live they used these Rickenbackers and they’re the most god-awful sounding amps I ever heard, which really surprised me. But the record really came off great.”

Deep Purple bassist Roger Glover, “Led Zeppelin influenced me a lot because I was in a pop group called Episode Six and we were trying to get heavier and weren’t making it because we were just playing the same music but louder. When the album first came out, you could tell it wasn’t the loudness so much as a feeling, what you felt about the music rather than how they played it. Episode Six, as we were, weren’t the right combination of people to be heavy, and I gradually gained the impression that heavy music wasn’t for me because I didn’t like what we were playing — loud pop music. And I decided for a time to go into folk music. I’ve never been so struck by an album as I was by Led Zeppelin. It really left me open-mouthed. What they were playing was very simple stuff, loud and exciting, and it moved me. I suddenly wanted to be in a club playing that music — loud, straightforward, with simple guts. And by pure coincidence, just about that time I was offered a job with Deep Purple! But for Zeppelin, I might never have been in Deep Purple.

“I remember Jimmy played me the first Led Zeppelin album,” chuckles Yardbirds drummer Jim McCarty. “There was ‘Dazed and Confused’ and there was a Howlin’ Wolf-type thing, ‘How Many More Times” which is very similar to the stuff we’d been playing; it was similar to ‘Smokestack Lightnin’,’ I thought. And then there was another one which was similar. It was very well done, the first Zeppelin album; I thought it was very good. You can see the links, how easy it was to go from us to them.”

And like so many others that were there to bear witness to the birth of this great band, Foreigner guitarist Mick Jones had also found himself impressed with what Jimmy had put together. “At the time, I was cutting my teeth in France,” explains Jones. “Don’t ask me how, but I’d become sort of the musical director and producer of Johnny Hallyday, who you’ve probably heard of. He was sort of the French Elvis, as it were. And so we would go over to England to record, and we ended up with an engineer named Glyn Johns, who at that time, he worked with Steve Miller Band and later the Eagles. I think he had been working with the Eagles even before their record came out. But he had worked a lot with John Paul and Jimmy when they were session musicians.”

“And they happened to be session musicians on the stuff that I was doing for Johnny Hallyday. And so I was fully aware of who they were. And every time I was playing with Jimmy Page, he blew me away every time we went into the studio. I had so much respect for him as a guitar player. So that’s where our friendship developed. He would even come over to Paris with Glyn Johns and cut tracks over there. In fact, some of the music that we were doing with Johnny Hallyday provided the opportunity for Jimmy to work closely with Glyn Johns in preparing the first Zeppelin album. And I remember the day that Glyn took me into the studio, the back of Olympic Studios in London, and he said, ‘I’m going to play you a couple things on Jimmy’s project.’ And he sat down and played me ‘Communication Breakdown’ and it just blew me away. Just blew my mind. I couldn’t believe it. I had never heard anything as mean and powerful in my life. It just left me staggered.”

Millions across the planet were soon to feel equally staggered, but again, the groundwork and indeed so much more, was set in 1968, and really, much of it packed into the back half of the year. The breakdown in communication that caused the demise of The Yardbirds to the recording of “Communication Breakdown” takes no more than an astonishing four months, and by the end of the year, is a record that will forever change rock ‘n’ roll. Fully 50 years later, the impact of Led Zeppelin is still reverberating.

Words By Martin Popoff

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Dazed and Confused” is a song written by American singer-songwriter Jake Holmes in 1967, It was described as “a stark, spooky folk-rock track with stinging reverbed lead guitar, Holmes‘ own pained vocals, and furiously strummed rhythm guitar that winds itself into an anguished climax. Holmes recorded the song for his debut album “The Above Ground Sound” of Jake Holmes and he performed it in the late 1960s and early 1970s on the New York City folk scene and the college coffee house circuit. The lyrics refer to the effects of a girl’s indecision on ending a relationship.  This version from Live Supershow 1969 .

In August 1967, Holmes opened for the Yardbirds at a Greenwich Village gig in New York According to Holmes, “That was the infamous moment of my life when ‘Dazed and Confused’ fell into the loving arms and hands of Jimmy Page.” When the track appeared on Led Zeppelin’s eponymous debut album in 1969, Holmes was aware of it at the time, but didn’t follow up on it: “In the early 1980s, I did write them a letter and I said basically: ‘I understand it’s a collaborative effort, but I think you should give me credit at least and some remuneration.’ But they never contacted me.

After hearing Holmes perform the song in 1967, English rock group the Yardbirds reworked it with a new arrangement. It became a centerpiece of the group’s tours in 1968, several recordings of which have been released. “Dazed and Confused” was further adapted later that year by Yardbirds guitarist Jimmy Page’s “New Yardbirds” group (soon to be rechristened Led Zeppelin) for their debut album, Led Zeppelin“Dazed and Confused” became a concert staple with solos that sometimes stretched the performances to 45 minutes.

When the Yardbirds disbanded in 1968, Page planned to record the song in the studio with the successor group he had assembled that summer. According to Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones, the first time he heard the song was at the band’s first rehearsal session at Gerrard Street in London, in 1968: “Jimmy played us the riffs at the first rehearsal and said, ‘This is a number I want us to do’.” The future Led Zeppelin recorded their version in October 1968 at Olympic Studios, London, and the song was included on their debut album Led Zeppelin (1969). “Dazed and Confused” was the second song recorded at the Olympic sessions.

Page recorded the song in one take with a Telecaster and violin bow as he had performed it with the Yardbirds.  Singer Robert Plant wrote a new set of bluesier lyrics, according to Page though Plant is not credited on the album. Other sources say Page wrote the new lyrics himself. Whichever the case may be, Plant’s vocal is raw and powerful, delivered with “unrelenting passion.”Other than the lyrics and vocal, the song remained very similar to that performed by the Yardbirds earlier that year.

This bolt of lightning likewise illuminates the already thick and portentous soundscape further setting a tone for the impending sonic onslaught. John Bonham (drums) sneaks in with a rock solid downbeat beneath Plant’s opening line. During the bridge [Bonham] explodes front and centre with his trademark blend of keen rhythmic gymnastics and straight-ahead swinging percussive support. The band collectively combust throughout the remainder of the cut as they alternate between scintillating and scorching.”

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Robert Plant was a guest on The Late Late Show with James Corden last night. He and his band The Sensational Space Shifters performed “New World,” from his latest album, Carry Fire; you can watch the performance below. Plant also joined Corden and his fellow guest, actress Camila Morrone, for a chat on stage; about a particular karaoke incident .

Plant and the band close out their winter US tour with a sold-out show at the Orpheum Theatre in Los Angeles tonight. They head next to Australia for shows at the Sydney Opera House, Byron Bay Bluesfest, and more, and to the UK and Europe for festivals this summer.

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Limited Edition 7-Inch Single, Produced By Jimmy Page, To Be Released On Record Store Day Featuring Unreleased Versions Of “Rock And Roll” And “Friends”

Led Zeppelin are releasing something special for Record Store Day. Before the legendary band kicks off its 50th anniversary celebration this September, a special 7-inch vinyl single will arrive at independent record stores everywhere on April 21st from Atlantic Records and Rhino.  The single, pressed on yellow vinyl, will premiere two previously unreleased studio mixes: the Sunset Sound Mix of “Rock and Roll” b/w the Olympic Studios Mix of “Friends.”  Both of these tracks have been selected for this release by producer Jimmy Page.

“Rock and Roll” is only the third track released from the fabled Sunset Sound Mixes of Led Zeppelin IV.  The studio mix of “When the Levee Breaks” actually made the original album, while the mix of “Stairway to Heaven” was included on the 2014 Deluxe Edition.  The Olympic Studios Mix of “Friends” is described by the label as a “stripped-down version without the orchestration of the final mix, offering a true fly-on-the-wall feel from the band’s recording sessions for Led Zeppelin III at Headley Grange.”

This limited edition single will follow the release of the remastered How the West Was Won in multiple formats on March 23rd including the first ever vinyl and Blu-ray Audio editions (with the Blu-ray containing hi-res 5.1 surround sound). The live album features performances from Led Zeppelin’s landmark California concerts at the Los Angeles Forum and Long Beach Arena on June 25th and 27th, 1972, as sequenced to replicate one entire concert.