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Press & Media Coverage: The 2014-15 Led Zeppelin Remasters


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Jimmy Page reveals why Led Zeppelin is re-mastering its early albums

May 30, 2014

Greg Truman

Canberra Times (Canberra, Australia)

Over the years, Led Zeppelin have released a number of live albums, including this year's slick Grammy winner, Celebration Day (from a 2007 tribute concert) and the earnest The Song Remains the Same, but the best snippets of the nascent band usually have been found on bootleg.

"Wild, just wild," says Jimmy Page, the 70-year-old Led Zeppelin founder, producer and guitarist, reflecting on the band's early performances. "It was great to come across something that caught that."

Page's discovery – a French radio station's 1969 recording of a concert in Paris that he first heard while in a bootleg record store in Japan – is an integral part of a package of re-mastered Led Zeppelin studio albums and accompanying discs that include dozens of new songs and alternative takes of some of the band's most cherished material.

The first three albums (Led Zeppelin, Led Zeppelin II and Led Zeppelin III) and their respective companion recordings will be released in all formats - vinyl, CD and digital - on June 6. Over the next two years the band will roll out the remaining revamped studio albums in chronological order, with options including photos and memorabilia selected by Page.

It took the guitar idol more than two years to re-master the catalogue and "hundreds of hours" to review every tape from the band's vault in search of unreleased material. Zeppelin singer Robert Plant contributed "a few little things", although Page says he had nearly every studio recording stored away.

"If it was to be done, it wasn't just going to be thrown away with a couple of bloody bonus tracks – this had to be something authoritative," he said in New York.

With few studio out-takes available from the band's swiftly recorded eponymous first album, Page opted for the 1969 live recording, a nine-song set from Zeppelin that crackles with the verve and intensity you'd expect of a rough-hewn punk band while exuding the mindboggling technical skills of four emerging rock gods.

The new studio material includes intriguing versions of Whole Lotta Love and The Immigrant Song, among others, and never-released songs such as the keyboard-led, acoustic guitar strummer La La and a version of blues classics Keys to the Highwayand Trouble in Mind.

"It's good, isn't it?" Page says, settling in for an exuberant chat about his life's work, his enduring love of the blues, personal challenges and what lies ahead.

"You can hear the individual performances and get the essence of what it was. I mean, Since I've Been Loving You– it's serious; it really is an awesome foursome. Who could actually top that as a performance? Nobody, because we had been in a league of our own."

Page's conspicuous, almost childlike enthusiasm for his band, dilutes conceit. Decades beyond respectable rock-star retirement age, he remains a charismatic package. His snow-white hair in a pony tail, the Englishman wears a slim-fit black suit with sartorial flair. He has a distinct sparkle in the eye: "I did give up drinking, that's the key to why I'm still here." Occasionally, he leans forward in his seat to ensure you get the message.

"There has always been one aim, right from the start," he says. "It's got to have a knockout punch, an emotional knockout punch."

Led Zeppelin, having sold more than 300 million records, have been among the biggest hitters in the business since Page put the band together in 1968 after parting ways with the Yardbirds. He paid for the recording of their first album "so we could dictate" to record companies and was the primary architect of the group's sound, songwriting and musical direction, both in the studio and on stage, until they split in 1980.

Plant, bassist John Paul Jones and the gone but never forgotten drummer John Bonham are rightfully revered, but Page has always been the driver of the Led Zeppelin bus and isn't about to let go of the wheel.

"I sort of knew what I was doing all the way through the whole of Led Zeppelin, definitely, to be honest," he says, adding the decision to re-master the catalogue is part of that vision. "It was important to do this epic project. I did [a re-master] 20 years ago but technology has improved, so I've done this in the highest definition. It's ready for whatever comes along.

"It's great to think of this as a textbook ... We're passing on the baton."

Led Zeppelin not only re-wrote the book on riffing rock music, they have been both celebrated and condemned for representing the very definition of rock-star excess: sex, drugs, alcohol and wrecked hotel rooms. It was after a booze binge that Bonham died, choking on his own vomit in Page's home in 1980. It broke up the band.

"It is what it is and it was what it was, and it'll be whatever it's going to be" Page says when asked whether he has any regrets.

Over subsequent decades Page has been an active collaborator with other artists but has released only one solo album, fueling speculation he lost his way for a time through drug use. Some critics have also suggested that was a reason later Zeppelin albums were less guitar-led and featured John Paul Jones-penned keyboard riffs more prominently.

"No," Page scoffs. "He had this machine and he'd been writing stuff on it and it was like, ‘Yeah, go ahead, John.' "

The guitarist hints the public's access to his own post-Zeppelin output might have been restricted by other personal quirks – conceding he is a perfectionist who can be especially hard on himself.

"It's tricky when you're a guitarist," he says. "Listening [to old recordings] was difficult, actually. Hearing everyone else was great but hearing yourself over hundreds and thousands of times, it's tough. Everything could be better in my world. You can always strive for perfection even though you may not achieve it."

The pending releases sparked speculation that Led Zeppelin might reunite for live performances with Bonham's son Jason on drums, as he was on Celebration Day. However, in London earlier this month Plant crankily dismissed the suggestion a tour was upcoming. Page has indicated in the past he's open to the idea but seems to be growing exasperated with his long-time collaborator.

"I don't know who it'll be with [but] when I come back playing music, hopefully, concert-wise next year, I'll still be really pushing myself to the upmost."

Page adds he'd love to perform again in Australia, where he toured with Zeppelin all those years ago, and with Plant in the mid-'90s. "I have very firm recollections ... walking through King's Cross and all."

At the conclusion of the interview, Page kindly suggests it would be good to catch up again at his next gig. When asked if that will be a Zeppelin concert, he remained closed mouth but raised an eyebrow that seemed to indicate, at least, a ‘‘maybe".

The "deluxe versions" of Led Zeppelin's first three albums will be out June 6.


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MAY 27, 2014
San Antonio Current


Led Zeppelin, Led Zeppelin, II and III Reissues
(Atlantic) *****

Like the works of the blues masters they worshiped in these early days, Led Zeppelin’s first three albums—remastered here by Jimmy Page—are primal, near-physical emotional experiences. The diamond selling Led Zeppelin and II, along with the six-time platinum III, have become indispensable parts of our contemporary cultural psyche. And why not? These songs are often selfish, amoral, temperamental daydreams that hurried the mainstream death of hippie relevance and placed a premium on personal desires, individual fantasies and raw sonic power.

Apart from the meticulously remastered original albums, there are a slew of goodies to look forward to with these new reissues. First of all, the albums themselves can be purchased individually in digital, vinyl and CD formats. Fans, however, will certainly want to buy the deluxe edition on CD or vinyl, featuring a companion album of alternate takes, live recordings and unreleased tracks. Meanwhile, über-fans with several hundred dollars to blow (invest?) may want to take advantage of the super deluxe edition boxes, which come with CDs, vinyl and extensive booklets filled with art, photos and other rare memorabilia.


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I'd love to see the quote and it's full context where JP disparages JPJ's contribution on any album by Led Zeppelin. "Yeah, go ahead John" who did JP say that to? More like BS from lazy so called journalists.

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Los Angeles Times review:

Critic's Notebook

Led Zeppelin polishes its rock-hard past

Randall Roberts


The opening bars of Led Zeppelin's first song outline much of what followed: A mean series of Jimmy Page riffs introduces "Good Times, Bad Times," from its self-titled 1969 debut, followed by a typically wild John Bonham drum-bang, replete with the clang of a cowbell, to set the pace. Bassist John Paul Jones adds a roaming bottom end, locked like gears of a precision timepiece with the drummer.

Then comes the first line from a spry Robert Plant, a sort of "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times" for the heavy-metal era: "In the days of my youth I was told what it means to be a man," he sings on Track 1 of "Led Zeppelin," suggesting an elder recounting his life — despite the vocalist being a few years removed from adolescence. As far as opening salvos go, it sets up the highly influential Led Zep narrative to follow, one that began when four men in a post-British Invasion-era England combined to amplify the blues.

Over the following decade Plant, Page, Jones and Bonham would explore what it meant to be men from various positions using myriad distortion pedals, drum fills and wails. Now, the first three chapters, "Led Zeppelin," "Led Zeppelin II" and "Led Zeppelin III," have been remastered by the session's original producer, Page, and released in expanded sets that include previously unissued demos of some of the band's seminal early jams. This is the first time the vaults have been cracked for such a purpose, and it's comforting to know that Page led the expedition. The best of this work confirms its stature for yet another generation, transparently updated to offer new shine for aging relics.

That shine at times can still be wondrous to behold. Wearing tight bell bottoms that revealed his lemon and waves of shimmering hair that overwhelmed his melon, Plant was a rock god and went on to inspire virtually every long-haired, next-generation vocalist to follow, including but not limited to: Axl Rose (Guns 'N Roses), Rob Halford (Judas Priest), Ann Wilson (Heart), Eddie Vedder (Pearl Jam), Geddy Lee (Rush) and Chris Cornell (Soundgarden). A force able to embody rage and sorrow within a single phrase, Plant's operatic moan is as undeniable as it is identifiable, a truth that's apparent throughout the band's first three records and endured until its dissolution in 1980.

By the time Plant sang the last lines of the band's final studio album, "In Through the Out Door" (excluding "Coda," a closet-cleaning collection of unreleased tracks), the drama had taken its toll. Plant was on his hands and knees lost, dazed and confused, everything brown and parched. "Yes I love her/ I guess I love her/ I'm gonna crawl." Is it any wonder he's playing bluegrass now?

In between the teaching and the crawling, Led Zeppelin helped usher in a new era, one in which bowing a guitar like a cellist was cool, drum solos lasted longer than all of "I Want to Hold Your Hand" and no blues trope, however culturally disconnected from a band's roots it was, was safe from harvest.

Entire musical philosophies were sculpted from these slabs, and many would reverb for decades to come. "Babe I'm Gonna Leave You" berthed a million riff-and-acoustic followers. What is Metallica's "Master of Puppets" but Led Zep's greatest hits speeded and shredded? Thematically, much fantasy-based metal, to say nothing of George R.R. Martin's "Game of Thrones" trilogy, owes a strand of its DNA to "Immigrant Song" and its opening couplet: "We come from the land of the ice and the snow, from the midnight sun where the hot springs flow."

"Bron-Y-Aur Stomp" is particularly riveting, an acoustic rant with hand claps, a boom-snip rhythm and enough hootenanny for a moonshiner's convention. Even the rejection of Page and company's said musical beliefs fueled a movement, in the form of the reactionary British punk explosion of the late 1970s.

As is typical for reissue packages, bonus material is included to justify the inflated price, but here it's worth it. The first album adds live versions recorded in Paris in 1969, including searing takes on "Heartbreaker" and "Dazed and Confused." Elsewhere Page has found fantastic outtakes, rough mixes and backing tracks to pique interest. An alternate take on "The Immigrant Song," which opens the more nuanced "Led Zeppelin III," features a stellar strum fed through more tremolo and Bonham's strangely logical way around a drum pattern. The instrumental track of the oft-overlooked ballad "Friends" reveals a kind of arrangement, filled with foreboding strings, the band would harness on "Kashmir" a few years later.

Granted, the band was excessive, to say the least, and introduced ridiculous tropes whose pathways led to indulgence, casual misogyny ("Whole Lotta Love") and what in another era would have been considered minstrelsy. "Shake for me, I wanna be your backdoor man," sings Plant, referencing Willie Dixon's raw classic. "The Lemon Song" is a parody of itself, one that demands a certain amount of ridicule from anyone who ever sat slack-jawed in wonder during Howlin' Wolf's incendiary "Killing Floor" — or fell in love with a well-crafted McCartney or Bob Dylan line.

A whole bounty of mediocre blues-rock groups formed in the years that followed Led Zeppelin's arrival, and, paradoxically given the band's avowed influences, it's the more basic bluesy stuff within these early efforts that seem the most shallow 40-odd years later. A sub-genre that at its worst sounded as dated as rap-rock did in the late 1990s, blues-rock of the kind that Led Zep crafted in "Since I've Been Loving You" and "You Shook Me" sounds nearly rancid all these years later, confirming that for all its talents, one thing that the band failed at was impersonating aged black men born in the American South and channeling into song a legacy of oppression.

The successes as represented on these first three records, though, far outnumber the excesses. Those would arrive on the next three records. These openers are tighter, more explosive and solidly make an argument for the band's enduring legacy.


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hmv Canada


May 30, 2014 13:00 ET

Media Alert-View Exclusive Rare Led Zeppelin Photos at The hmv Underground

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - May 30, 2014) - In celebration of the reissue of Led Zeppelin's classic first three albums, hmv Canada, the country's premiere retail destination for music and entertainment, in partnership with Warner Music Canada, will launch an exclusive Led Zeppelin Photo Exhibit at The hmv Underground. The Exhibit of rare photographs will run June 3, 2014 to June 12, 2014, during store hours, at The hmv Underground located at hmv 333 Yonge Street Toronto. Led Zeppelin I, II and III reissues featuring companion audio of previously unreleased material will be available on June 3rd 2014 in Regular, Deluxe Edition CD and Vinyl packages at all hmv Canada locations across the country. For stock availability, visit hmv.ca.

WHO: Led Zeppelin

WHAT: Exclusive Photo Exhibit

WHEN/WHERE: Tuesday June 3, 2014 to Thursday June 12, 2014

hmv Canada, Toronto Superstore 333 Yonge Street, Toronto, ON

Store Phone Number: 416.596.0333


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You know folks, I'm enjoying all these interviews so much so that I have learned as much about my boyhood heroes in two days than in all the years previous. This has just been an overwhelming weekend for myself. Thank you all!

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A new interview with Jimmy on the Dave Fanning show on RTÉ (Radio Telefís Eirann, Ireland's national broadcast service). He sounds really comfortable.


We also hear the interesting news that the song with JPJ singing was "La La". It's title comes from the fact that JPJ was lala-ing his idea of what a vocal track would sound like and LA LA was written on the tape box. So that's it. The plot thickens. I did a capture yesterday of the full interview and will be uploading it.

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A new interview with Jimmy on the Dave Fanning show on RTÉ (Radio Telefís Eirann, Ireland's national broadcast service). He sounds really comfortable.


We also hear the interesting news that the song with JPJ singing was "La La". It's title comes from the fact that JPJ was lala-ing his idea of what a vocal track would sound like and LA LA was written on the tape box. So that's it. The plot thickens. I did a capture yesterday of the full interview and will be uploading it.

Thanks K! I really enjoyed listening to Jimmy here. Great interview! :)

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Adam Tanner, Contributor

Jimmy Page's Stairway to Business Heaven
HIS ROCK BAND sold 300 million records, generating billions of dollars in revenue, all while scoffing at convention and critics. In a rare interview with Forbes ahead of receiving an honorary doctorate at Berklee College of Music in May, Led Zeppelin founder and guitarist Jimmy Page shared some of his insights on building one of the best-known brands in music.

Survey, than vanquish foreign markets

Led Zeppelin achieved superstardom after conquering the all-important U.S. music market starting in 1969. “I had been over here with the Yardbirds and I could see a whole changing face of how things were working in the singles market, AM radio,” Page says. “I sort of had an idea of how to shape a band – before I had a band this is. I had the material for it and I knew exactly where I was going.”

Time your arrival and come out charging

“It was definitely the time. When Led Zeppelin came together, when I formed that band, it was definitely the right climate for it.”

“There was a master plan to all of it.”

Buck Convention

“At that time we didn’t do singles. We were purposely not doing a singles market and that was really important. It would almost be like a ball and chain dragging around when you did you next album because the rock companies they would want to say ‘where is the such and such, where is the ‘Whole Lotta Love’ on Album 3?”

“We didn’t have to do it because we didn’t go into the record company and ask for an advance. We went to the record company with the album.”

Create Mystique

Page said little during his career, and portrayed himself as an aged hermit in a fantasy sequence in the 1976 film “The Song Remains the Same.” “If you don’t do too many interviews I suppose, people might think you were quite mysterious,” he says. With his flowing white hair tied into an American-colonial style bun and a preference for black clothes and scarves, he still casts an exotic image today.


Jimmy Page during an interview with Forbes (Photo by Adrian Tanner)

Delegate when others are more capable

“I’ve always been the worst at business….I must admit that wasn’t my forte. My forte was on the artistic side but you need it to be running in parallel.”

But during Led Zeppelin “we had a really good manager.”

Do the job yourself when you know best

Page personally spent more than two years re-mastering Led Zeppelin’s first three albums and searching out rare outtakes for a new release on Tuesday, June 3. No one else could do the same job, he says, since he knows the music better than anyone else.

Let demand for a hot product grow on its own

In 2010, Page sold a limited 2,500 copy edition of his photo autobiography for about $750 each. Others have to wait until later this year for a cheaper version. Fans who missed Zeppelin’s 2007 reunion concert in London were shut out for five years until the movie version premiered. “You have to take into account that there is sort of normal time, and then there is sort of sidereal time where time can stretch, and then there is Led Zeppelin time which stretches even more maybe,” he says. “I think the pacing of the Led Zeppelin albums has been really good for the legacy.”


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Q104.3 FM Radio (New York City) interview with Jim Kerr

Tonight, 6/3/14 @ 9PM EST on Q104.3 NYC ( and iheartradio + clear channels classic rock stations nationwide; check local listings ) will be a special program featuring Jimmy Page's conversation with Jim Kerr. The show also features music from the new releases.


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Toronto Led Zeppelin fans get early listen to remastered albums



TORONTO - Toronto fans of legendary British rock act Led Zeppelin hit the Hard Rock Cafe Sunday for what was billed as “the official Led Zeppelin launch party.”

The 100 or so contest winners were gathered for an exclusive listening session before Tuesday’s release of newly remastered versions — by guitarist Jimmy Page, no less — of Led Zeppelin’s first three albums, I, II, III (circa 1969-70), each with an additional disc of previously unreleased companion audio.

Keith Kitchen, 51, an insurance underwriter from Toronto, was already a winner before he arrived at the event, having nabbed the CD versions of remastered records courtesy of radio station Q107.

But he was hoping to also win a super-deluxe box set of one of the three albums being raffled off Sunday night along with limited edition images of the three Led Zeppelin covers, other Zeppelin merchandise like T-shirts, and movie passes to Celebration Day. The flick, which documents their 2007 performance at London’s 02 Arena, is being screened all day and night Monday at the AMC Theatre at Yonge-Dundas Square.

“My older brothers, they listened to it and brought home the albums,” Kitchen said of first listening to Led Zeppelin almost 40 years ago.

“Listening to the music, you grow up with it and learn a lot from it. They’re a classic band and to have the opportunity to hear the music again in a new technological age and enjoy it and teach my kids what real music is all about (is great).”

Kitchen, who has a 17-year-old daughter and 13-year-old son, said like many Led Zeppelin fans he’s still holding out hope to see the celebrated rock group tour again one day.

“They’re one of the bands that, for the most part, still have their members around, even with Jason (Bonham, son of John who died in 1980) on the drums, it definitely would be something phenomenal to see,” he said.

So far there has been zero confirmation of such a trek, despite Page and bassist John Paul Jones wanting to play but singer Robert Plant appearing to be the lone holdout.


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I'd love to see the quote and it's full context where JP disparages JPJ's contribution on any album by Led Zeppelin. "Yeah, go ahead John" who did JP say that to? More like BS from lazy so called journalists.

I didn't get the sense that Jimmy was somehow disparaging John Paul at all. What I got is that he was open to the ideas of his band mates. What got me is the guy asks about another reunion and thinks because Jimmy raised an eyebrow that it might be possible. I think Jimmy raised his eyebrow because he was perturbed about being asked yet again about what is and what will never be.

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Perhaps the first negative review (The Toronto Sun):


Led Zeppelin reissues don't offer enough new songs to love



Q: How many more times?

A: As many as they can get away with.

The latest Zeppelin retreads arrive after months of nearly incessant (and increasingly suspect) drum-banging from Jimmy Page — and no surprise, they prove once again that the bigger the sizzle, the smaller the steak. The remastered albums (or at least the digital versions I heard) actually sound worse than the last few CDs, with diminished bass, harsh high end and paper-thin mixes (the left and right channels on the first album are actually reversed).

The bonus tracks on the first two discs consist almost entirely of long-available bootlegs, who-cares alternate mixes and instrumental backing tracks that add little to the story. The so-called “unreleased song” La La sounds like nothing more than a fleshed-out jam. Only Led Zeppelin III offers a few highlights like an alternate Since I’ve Been Loving You, the proto-Bron-Y-Aur instrumental Jennings Farm Blues and an acoustic medley of Key to the Highway/Trouble in Mind. And finally, I can’t vouch for the deluxe box-set packaging and whatnot because I didn’t get the physical versions.

Bottom line: Your dad deserves better.


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SAJ I've been avoiding posting negative reviews because the clueless morons who write them simply don't deserve the exposure, but since you posted one here's another one from the Washington (com)Post:


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