With the release of deluxe editions of Led Zeppelin's first three albums a week away, the pioneering hard-rock band has shared another rarity: a rough mix of Led Zeppelin II's "Whole Lotta Love," set to images of the group playing live. The recording features a stripped-down middle section, a different guitar solo and some vocal ad-libbing. It will be included on the bonus disc of that album's deluxe edition, along with a never-before-released song, "La La," and the backing tracks for "Thank You" and "Living Loving Maid (She's Just a Woman)."
"This version of 'Whole Lotta Love' is the mix down from the night that we recorded it, so it doesn't have any of the overdubs that everyone will be familiar with, because when they hear this they'll think, 'Oh yeah, that's the original' and all of a sudden they'll go 'No, it's not,'" Robert Plant said in a statement.
"You can see how songs grow," Jimmy Page said. "There must have been five or six other takes of that, which are not present. So the shaping of these things is very interesting and you can hear with this particular version that we haven't quite reached the point yet, and that it's very, very close."
As with Led Zeppelin II, each of the group's first three albums have been remastered by Jimmy Page and the deluxe edition of each will include a disc of music from the guitarist and producer's vault. The bonus disc of Led Zeppelin contains a complete concert that was recorded in Paris in October 1969, and Led Zeppelin III contains an instrumental precursor to "Bron-Y-Aur Stomp," called "Jennings Farm Blues," an instrumental version of "Out on the Titles," renamed "Bathroom Sound," and a blues medley of "Key to the Highway" and "Trouble in Mind."
Although the band is promoting the reissues, it will not be reuniting to play live performances anytime soon. Frontman Robert Plant said in an interview with Rolling Stone that he had no interest in revisiting the past, if not for the fact that he would not want to deal with the backstage business dealings of getting everyone together. "A tour would have been an absolute menagerie of vested interests and the very essence of everything that's shitty about big-time stadium rock," he said. "We were surrounded by a circus of people that would have had our souls on the fire [at our 2007 London concert]. I'm not part of a jukebox."