Led Zeppelin 1 @55- Jimmy Page, Robert Plant

This classic rock In the Studio episode  features what turned out to be my first of many subsequent in-depth conversations about the Led Zeppelin legacy with band mastermind Jimmy Page and singer/lyricist Robert Plant.  One of the most significant debut albums in rock history, Led Zeppelin 1 was released in January 1969 but, not surprisingly, its arrival was unheralded. Only two of the quartet, guitarist/songwriter Jimmy Page and bass player John Paul Jones, had any musical calling cards, Page in the last days of The Yardbirds and Jonesy as an arranger, but even those reps were restricted pretty much to the late Sixties London recording studio scene. But the dramatic high-contrast photo of the actual German airship “The Hindenburg” erupting in flames on the cover of Led Zeppelin 1 served as both an invitation and a warning concerning the explosive sonic contents within.

There was considerable buzz in the rock music world recently when Jimmy Page, the brilliantly gifted architect of the Led Zeppelin I sound since it was unleashed  January 1969, announced that he was personally overseeing a comprehensive updating of the entire Led Zeppelin catalog as deluxe editions with remastered sound, new twenty-first century artwork and graphics, previously unreleased demos, alternate mixes, and those notoriously bootlegged live Led Zeppelin concert performances.  Both Led Zeppelin I   and II  came out in 1969 barely ten months apart,  and then  the transitional, often under-appreciated Led Zeppelin III,  which together comprised the initial deluxe reissues. To explore each, we arranged for Page, Robert Plant, and John Paul Jones to go “under the hood” to reveal the thoughtful approach to the Led Zeppelin sound, echoes of which are apparent to this very day.- Redbeard