“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
Answering questions submitted by fans, Jimmy Page was grilled onstage at L’Olympia Theatre, Paris, the source of the 1969 live recordings included as bonus material on the new Led Zeppelin I.
Reviewing the live tracks, Page noted that “The whole energy of the audience is just incredible, and it’s driving us on,” before adding that “it was a bit of a communion”.
The event was live-streamed from L’Olympia. But if you missed it, for whatever reason, adjust your disappointment with this taste of front row action from Page’s Q&A…
Page premiered material from the 1969 live show – including versions of Good Times Bad Times/Communication Breakdown and You Shook Me – plus bonus tracks from the Led Zeppelin II and Led Zeppelin III remasters, including rough mixes of Heartbreaker, Gallows Pole, Since I’ve Been Loving You and The Immigrant Song.
Previewing the new Led Zeppelin remasters, Jimmy Page reveals a ‘rough mix’ of the Zep II classic.
ONSTAGE AT PARIS’S L’OLYMPIA theatre lastnight at 7.30pm BST Led Zeppelin guitarist, songwriter and curator Jimmy Page will introduce music from his brand-new remasters of Led Zeppelin albums I, II and III, slated for release on June 2.
Unfortunately, the video from last night in youtube was deleted.
The scene of the October 1969 show resurrected as bonus material on the new version of Led Zeppelin I, L’Olympia will also host a live Page Q&A, where he will answer questions about the group, the remastering and the unearthed material, submitted by fans across the world.
There’s also a “trailer” version, for those with slightly less time on their hands.
The new versions of Led Zeppelin, Led Zeppelin II and Led Zeppelin III are released on June 2.
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.”
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.
Wilko Johnson’s R&B gargoyles undermine dreams of European union in 1976. Watch the clip, recoil in awe/horreur.
Although Great Britain joined the European Community in 1973, it spent the rest of the decade looking suspiciously across the Channel, finding new knee-jerk ways to be suspicious of what those exotic foreigners were up to, and how their enlightened cultural attitudes might impact on our cherished grim values of warm beer, cold pies and socks at the beach.
Fear of foreign invasion and contamination could be detected in sitcoms like ITV’s Mind Your Language, jingoistic condiment adverts with the terrifying Freddie Jones and, perhaps more cryptically, in series of nightmarish Public Information Films and posters about the danger of rabies, in which the poor policing of our ports promised to result in slow painful deaths and cancelled cat shows for all.
Also, a rifle through Public Records might cause one to think that in the mid 1970s, the Foreign Office were in the habit of positioning extreme examples of disquieting British product in continental market squares in the hope of discouraging look-see gadabouts boating over to the UK.
It’s certainly one possible explanation for this unnerving performance by a feral Dr. Feelgood in the village of Pithiviers, in north-central France, in 1976?
A short 45-minute drive from the city of Orléans and the beautiful 16th Century chateaux of the Loire Valley, Pithiviers appears to have been a peaceful, sleepy hamlet before cop heavies John B. Sparks and The Big Figure turned up with black-suited amphetamine-robot Wilko Johnson, and the hunched, twitching figure of Lee Brilleaux (just 24 years young in 1976, senescence fans), driven to soil a summer reverie with their lurching, jerking thug-pub brew of unwashed British R&B threat.
Apart from a tell-tale gaggle of heads-down finger-clicking longhairs – and a suspicious Maigret-type with pipe and spy camera stalking the dusty no-man’s land between band and audience – les gens du pays appear confused, haunted, distracted and unimpressed by this Great British display.
The attitude of The Feelgoods to this brief vacances d’été can possibly be divined from the lyrics. “I wanna live the way I like,” barks Brilleaux, “Sleep all the morning/Goin’ get my fun at night./Things ain’t like that here… I bought a brand new motor/And I’m waitin’ for a loan/So I can fill her up and start her/Then I’m going back home.”
“A bottle of HP Sauce in the face of cultural détente.”
A bottle of HP Sauce in the face of cultural détente, it can, through damaged eyes, be re-imagined as a crack-pot late work of secret intelligence by Sir Maurice Oldfield and his pals in British Intelligence. Repel all boarders. And yet…
It’s August 14 in that clip. Look hard and you might see a young Marc Zermati in the Pithiviers audience, processing and assimilating the Feelgoods’ cheap-suit British R&B and about to offer the group a chance to play in a 10,000 seat bullring, a week later, at the first ever European punk rock festival.
The Mont-de-Marsan punk festival went ahead on Saturday August 21, 1976. British grot was already deep-set within the French terroir. The Damned arrived from the UK, along with Count Bishops, Nick Lowe, Eddie And The Hot Rods and Jesse Hector’s Gorillas. Ian Curtis was in the audience. But no Dr. Feelgood. They’d filled up the motor and gone home.
The day after the Pithiviers performance, the Feelgoods were already back in the UK, sunny Bradford to be precise, gearing up for the first date on their Stupidity tour. On the 21st they were headlining the Liverpool Empire. Well, that’s if you believe the internet. Maybe that’s the “truth”, or maybe they’d been recalled to the UK by their MI6 handler, their work done in making the UK look like a terrifying bestial place that no tourist in their right mind would ever want to visit.
Wilco defies the odds still:</strong>
Oakland – Jimmy Page plays his guitar with a violin bow during a Led Zeppelin concert, circa 1970s.