Led Zeppelin Remasters Arrive At Last!

Led Zeppelin

Led Zeppelin

As predicted 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.

Led Zeppelin ILed Zeppelin I: black becomes white.

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.”

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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.

The Top 40 Earners in Music in 2013

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Billboard has released its list of 2013′s top 40 earners in music, and the numbers appear to give credence to some oft cited business wisdom: artists don’t make their money on music.

Every musician on the list earned far more from touring than they did on physical/digital sales and streaming revenues combined. Of course, it helps to have an album to tour behind, and touring heavily doesn’t necessarily guarantee making more than any other act. In fact, almost half of the biggest tour grossers didn’t register on the Money Makers rankings. Still, those who did make it on had significant boosts thanks to road work.

Taylor Swift topped the list with a 2013 gross of $39,699,575.60 (yeah, they went down to the cents). Of that, a whopping $30 million came from her worldwide Red tour. $9 mill in music sales and other income is nothing to sneeze at, of course, but Swift stands to earn that much from tour sponsorships and merch sales alone. Kenny Chesney, Justin Timberlake, Bon Jovi, and The Rolling Stones round out the top 5, all of whom appear on the top grossing tours list. More proof that tours make all the difference? Over 75% of Michael Bublé’s earnings, 90% of Celin Dion’s, and 95% of perennial earners Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s all came from performing shows. Phish only sold 52,000 albums last year, and they still came in at 25.

Mainstream pop acts (Bruno Mars at #12, One Direction #13) and especially country musicians (George Strait #15, Blake Shelton #27) take up most of the list. Rappers only appear four times, and the names aren’t surprising: Jay Z (#16), Kanye West (#26), Lil Wayne (#37), and Eminem (#39). The freshest face on the list? Imagine Dragons at number 31.

So if you ever thought music’s superstars just record a couple songs and watch the money roll in, now you know better. Everyone from Justin Bieber to Paul McCartney has to put in the leg work to make their millions. Check out the full list of the top 40 Money Makers below.

01. Taylor Swift – $39,699,575.60
02. Kenny Chesney – $32, 956,240.70
03. Justin Timberlake – $31,463,297.03
04. Bon Jovi – $29,436,801.04
05. The Rolling Stones – $26,225,121.71
06. Beyoncé – $24,429,176.86
07. Maroon 5 – $22,284,754.07
08. Luke Bryan – $22,142,235.98
09. Pink – $20,072,072.32
10. Fleetwood Mac – $19,123,101.98
11. Justin Bieber – $18,873,458.41
12. Bruno Mars – $18,839,681
13. One Direction – $18,041,472.69
14. Jason Aldean – $17,896,191.98
15. George Strait – $16,002,761.63
16. Jay Z – $15,652,428.82
17. Michael Bublé – $14,478,084
18. Mumford & Sons – $14,172,940.87
19. Dave Matthews Band – $13,932,731.14
20. Rihanna – $12,794,186.16
21. Paul McCartney – $13,769,479.16
22. The Eagles – $13,026,210.18
23. Celine Dion – $12,755,539.71
24. Trans-Siberian Orchestra – $12,473,798.20
25. Phish – $12,406,611.95
26. Kanye West – $11,574,833.92
27. Blake Shelton – $10,349,774.77
28. John Mayer – $10,010,017.17
29. New Kids on the Block – $9,938,526.59
30. Zac Brown Band – $9,888,213.32
31. Imagine Dragons – $9,448,031.68
32. Jimmy Buffett – $9,404,015.71
33. Elton John – $9,369,224.53
34. Rascal Flatts – $9,215,475.78
35. Rush – $9,050,583.42
36. Miranda Lambert – $8,831,605.89
37. Lil Wayne – $8,788,416.66
38. Tim McGraw – $8,761,716.61
39. Eminem – $8,524,782.99
40. Carrie Underwood – $8,051,483.55

Damon Albarn unveils ‘Lonely Press Play’ video

Damon Albarn

Damon Albarn

Click above to watch the promo, which was shot by Albarn himself on a tablet in locations as varied as Tokyo, London, Dallas, Utah, Colchester, North Korea, Iceland and Devon. The song is taken from Albarn’s forthcoming solo debut, ‘Everyday Robots’, which is released on April 28.

Following an appearance at SXSW in Austin, Texas next month, Albarn will play with his backing band The Heavy Seas at two special shows in London, at the Rivoli Ballroom on April 30 and The Great Hall at QMUL on May 1. He will then headline Latitude Festival on July 19.

Damon Albarn collected the Award For Innovation at the NME Awards 2014 with Austin, Texas (February 26) and said that he would “love” to collaborate with Noel Gallagher in the future. Albarn and Gallagher were given the Music Moment Of The Year prize for performing together at a Teenage Cancer Trust show in May of last year. The Blur singer also later admitted that the band had written 15 new songs for a new album, but said they won’t see the light of day for years.

Albarn also was on hand at last night’s ceremony to present Beatles legend Paul McCartney with the Songwriter’s Songwriter Award, while other big winners included Blondie, who were the recipients of this year’s Godlike Genius title, and Arctic Monkeys, who took home five gongs.

Enjoy.