Led Zeppelin will begin releasing its long-promised catalog reissues this year. Jimmy Page reported the news via his website last week, but the post was removed shortly after. Rolling Stone confirmed the news today with a rep for the band. He added that the reissues “would be released on the Swan Song/Atlantic label, as they were originally.”
The first to come out will be the group’s initial three releases, Led Zeppelin, Led Zeppelin II and Led Zeppelin III. The post also announced the release of “some of my own material from the archives” that will arrive this year, but he made no reference as to whether this is Jimmy Page solo material or collaborations with other artists from over the decades.
Page first announced the reissues in November 2012. Each album will come out as a deluxe edition that he told Rolling Stone would include “added sonic and visual thrills.” Page explained that he intended the reissues to include alternate mixes of the band’s songs, as well as concert recordings that were never officially released. He also said that the albums will sound much better than the versions now available. “The catalog was last remastered 20 years ago,” he said. “That’s a long time. Everything is being transferred from analog to a higher-resolution digital format. That’s one of the problems with the Zeppelin stuff. It sounds ridiculous on MP3. You can’t hear what’s there properly.”
Robert Plant hinted at some of the outtakes that could be included in an interview with BBC Radio 6 in October. Some, he said, featured bassist John Paul Jones on lead vocals. “So far, he’s going to give me two cars and a greenhouse not to get ’em on the album,” Plant said with a laugh. “Oh, John . . . you can’t wait to hear yourself singing all over the world.”
Unrelated to the remastered reissue series, Led Zeppelin posted its catalog to Spotify this past December, after holding out. This wasn’t the first time the group has held out on releasing its music digitally. Previously, Zep waited until 2007 to make its catalog available on the iTunes Store – four years after the service launched.