It's an auspicious day for Led Zeppelin and its fans as the final deluxe reissues from the band's catalog -- 1976's Presence, 1979's In Through The Out Door and 1982's Coda -- are released, each outfitted with bonus demos and outtakes.
The entire series has been curated by guitarist Jimmy Page, who tells us that it was a joy to go back to the original tapes to remaster the albums and bring the assorted new tracks to light:
"Let's put it this way; it was a real thrill to have the mixes 'cause the mixes are from the time, you see, it's not, 'Let's get the multi-tracks up and make something that sounds like it's from today. No, because those records were so good in the first place and they've got such strong character to them, the mixes that were done at the time, alternate versions or whatever, have got a power to them because of that, and an honesty. Because, of course, all this stuff, Led Zeppelin, it's all performance. It's not put together with how things are done today, just digitally. In this world of analog recording you had to really deliver, y'know what I mean? Performance, whether it was guitarist or singer or whatever it was, or collectively, when the red light went on you just had to perform."
Presence and In Through The Out Door debuted at No. 1 in the U.S. and the U.K. when they were released. Coda, itself a collection of outtakes and unreleased material, debuted at No. 6 on the Billboard 200 and No. 4 in the U.K. Now that the reissues are out Page has said he plans to turn his attention to his own music, with plans to also return to the stage.
Gary Graff is an award-winning music journalist who not only covers music but has written books on Bob Seger, Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen.