On Oct. 28, Led Zeppelin continued to revisit its legendary catalog, releasing remastered deluxe editions of 1971’s Led Zeppelin IV and 1973’s Houses of the Holy. Each reissue contains a bounty of unreleased bonus tracks, which Jimmy Page has been meticulously curating. The guitarist-songwriter-producer spoke to Rolling Stone for its new cover story about the reissues and where Led Zeppelin stands today; we went ahead and picked out the five juiciest bits:
Page has finished preparing all of Zeppelin’s catalog for re-release.
The guitarist says he has listened to “hundreds of hours of tape” and researched what Zeppelin rarities were already in bootleg form, so he would know what was available and ensure there would be surprises in the deluxe editions. The band’s discography up through 1973’s Houses of the Holy has been released, leaving 1975’s Physical Graffiti as the likely next endeavor.
More Led Zeppelin:
Page visited a palm reader, who foretold the Yardbirds’ breakup.
In 1968, Page and future Zeppelin tour manager Richard Cole visited a palm reader on Los Angeles’ Sunset Boulevard who predicted, “You’re going to make a decision in a very short period of time that is going to change your life.” Within 48 hours, the Yardbirds broke up.
Page was a choirboy at 13, even though he couldn’t sing.
“I have one of those gravel-y voices with no range to it,” Page admitted. He did contribute some backing vocals to early Zeppelin records, but on the topic he assures, “That’s why Robert [Plant] was in the band.”
There’s an alternate version of “Stairway to Heaven” on the Led Zeppelin IV reissue:
The alternate mix was done at Los Angeles’ Sunset Sound: “That is one where all of the elements are employed but the perspective is totally different. You can hear that and feel the difference,” Page says. “[It] sounds like a hi-fi mix to me. It’s got all that headroom which the other one doesn’t have.”
It was ultimately mixed again because the tapes sounded different when the band returned to London. Still, Page assures only one version of the solo was ever done.
Led Zeppelin’s surviving members never wanted to continue after drummer John Bonham’s death… and don’t expect reunion shows any time soon.
“Each of the members was important to the sum total of what we were,” Page said, calling the band more “an affair of the heart” than a “corporate entity.” He continued, “I like to think that if it had been me that wasn’t there, the others would have made the same decision.”
Recently, he described dodging reunion show queries in a press conference as “painful,” so it seems the members are quite content working on solo endeavors.