“As a song, it was actually kind of punky,” John Paul Jones says.
“It’s a lot of fun to play”
Later this month, Led Zeppelin will release deluxe reissues of 1971’s Led Zeppelin IV and 1973’s Houses Of The Holy. The latest installments of their year-long archival campaign, both were remastered by Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page and include a second disc of bonus, unreleased music.
Already we’ve heard a grittier version of Led Zeppelin IV‘s “Black Dog” and a stripped-down rendering of “The Rain Song” off Houses Of The Holy. Now, comes an alternate rendition of the Led Zeppelin IV track “Rock and Roll”. Here, a different mix of guitars evokes a somewhat softer, less dynamic tone. It doesn’t shift the song into a new direction per se, but this take certainly doesn’t wield the sweltering oomph of the final track we all know and love today.
Page spoke to Rolling Stone about the song’s undeniable exuberance, saying, “‘Rock and Roll’ has just got that cheeky energy about it. It’s a party. ‘It’s been a long time since I rock and rolled.’ It says it all, really. It’s great lyrics and it’s a great performance.”
Bassist John Paul Jones added, “As a song, it was actually kind of punky; pre-punk. It was really fast too, onstage anyway. It just got really quick, a lot of energy. It’s a lot of fun to play. The crowd loved it. We loved it.”
Listen in below.
Both reissues are due out on October 28th. The Led Zeppelin IV deluxe edition includes unreleased versions of every song appearing on the original album, including alternate mixes of “Misty Mountain Hop”, “Four Sticks”, “The Battle Of Evermore”, and “Stairway To Heaven”. Meanwhile, the companion disc for Houses Of The Holy includes rough and working mixes for “The Ocean” and “Dancing Days”, a guitar mix backing track for “Over The Hills And Far Away”, and a version of “The Rain Song” without piano.
Led Zeppelin IV Deluxe Reissue Tracklist:
01. Black Dog
02. Rock And Roll
03. The Battle of Evermore
04. Stairway To Heaven
05. Misty Mountain Hop
06. Four Sticks
07. Going To California
08. When The Levee Breaks
01. Black Dog – Basic Track With Guitar Overdubs
02. Rock And Roll – Alternate Mix
03. The Battle Of Evermore – Mandolin/Guitar Mix From Headley Grange
04. Stairway To Heaven – Sunset Sound Mix
05. Misty Mountain Hop – Alternate Mix
06. Four Sticks – Alternate Mix
07. Going To California – Mandolin/Guitar Mix
08. When The Levee Breaks – Alternate UK Mix
Houses of the Holy Deluxe Reissue Tracklist:
01. The Song Remains The Same
02. The Rain Song
03. Over The Hills And Far Away
04. The Crunge
05. Dancing Days
06. D’yer Mak’er
07. No Quarter
08. The Ocean
01. The Song Remains The Same – Guitar Overdub Reference Mix
02. The Rain Song – Mix Minus Piano
03. Over The Hills And Far Away – Guitar Mix Backing Track
04. The Crunge – Rough Mix – Keys Up
05. Dancing Days – Rough Mix With Vocal
06. No Quarter – Rough Mix With JPJ Keyboard Overdubs – No Vocal
07. The Ocean – Working Mix