In anticipation of their 50th anniversary, Led Zeppelin will issue a seven-inch containing previously unreleased mixes of “Rock and Roll” and “Friends” on Record Store Day, April 21st. The vinyl, a limited-edition pressing produced by Jimmy Page will be available only at independent music retailers.
For the release, Page selected two rarities that didn’t make it onto the band’s comprehensive reissues four years ago. The first is the so-called “Sunset Sound Mix” of Led Zeppelin IV‘s “Rock and Roll.” The only other Sunset Sound mixes to have been released are the version of “When the Levee Breaks” on the original release and a version of “Stairway to Heaven” on the reissue. The group has not teased how this version of “Rock and Roll” will sound different from the mix on IV.
The other is the “Olympic Studios Mix” of Led Zeppelin III‘s “Friends.” Where the original featured orchestration, this version is said to be stripped down, offering a rawer look at what the band recorded at the rehearsal studio Headley Grange.
The release follows a remastered version of the 2003 triple-live album How the West Was Won, which features recordings from two 1972 gigs in Los Angeles and Long Beach, California. In addition to a CD reissue, the new version of the record will be available on vinyl (as a four-LP set) and Blu-ray, including a 5.1 surround sound mix. The group also intends to put out a 50th anniversary book in the fall.
Led Zeppelin formed in 1968 as the New Yardbirds and played their first-ever concert on September 7th of that year in Gladsaxe, Denmark. The band began recording their debut album later that month and subsequently changed its name.