Back in October Robert Plant told the BBC he’d unearthed some previously unreleased Led Zeppelin recordings. “I found some quarter-inch spools recently,” he said. “I had a meeting with Jimmy and we baked ’em up and listened to ’em. (‘baked’ refers to the process of heating up the tape so that it can be played without disintegrating from age).
Among the finds are some tunes featuring John Paul Jones on lead vocals. “So far, he’s going to give me two cars and a greenhouse not to get ’em on the album,” Plant said with a hearty laugh. “Oh, John, wherever you are with your opera, John, you can’t wait to hear yourself singing all over the world.”
Last year, Page told Rolling Stone that he’s been working on an extensive remastering. “The catalog was last remastered 20 years ago,” said Jimmy, referring to the 1990 release of the four-CD box set Led Zeppelin.
Page also said that while the group didn’t record many additional songs when making records, they did record “different versions of things, different approaches to the mixes.” He said the band would include “the substantial stuff” in the reissues.
Now the remastering process is finished. “Each of the albums has been remastered but it also has a companion disc with it,” he explained. “Let’s take, for example, ‘Led Zeppelin III’ — that’s remastered from analog from the original thing. I know everybody does that, but what they don’t do: I revisited all the working mixes that were done at the time.”
And so each of the group’s original LPs will receive an exhaustively comprehensive upgrade. “There’s different versions,” he continued. “Say, for example, there’s ‘Since I’ve Been Loving You’ — there’s an incredible version of that which is totally different, it’s really raw in its approach, it’s quite dramatic, it’s cool. That’s one little item of it, but what it gives is a companion disc to ‘Led Zeppelin III.’ It’ll come out in its own box and all the rest of it. Each disc will give a really intimate picture of the group. That’s the idea that I’ve had with it and I think it’s successful.” Page adds that each box set would be released separately in 2014.