By Brian Ives
On Friday (July 31), Led Zeppelin will release expanded reissues of their final two albums, 1976’s Presence and 1979’s In Through the Out Door, as well as the posthumous outtakes collection, Coda. Thus bringing to a close a project that the band’s guitarist, producer and leader, Jimmy Page, has been working on for the past few years.
Many artists of his generation are content to allow their record label to repackage and remaster their seminal albums; others have no choice in the matter, as their labels are legally able to do whatever they want. But Page has always been firmly in charge of Led Zeppelin the band and the brand, and takes that responsibility exceedingly seriously. Indeed, over the course of three interviews in the past year and a half, I always detected a combination of irritation and disbelief that his former bandmates, Robert Plant and John Paul Jones weren’t very involved in working on, or promoting, the reissues.
Although now Page may be ready to move on, satisfied that the definitive versions of Led Zeppelin’s albums are now available in varying formats. In our interview discussing the upcoming three reissues, he also spoke about the possibility of releasing the long-abandonded XYZ project (which featured former Yes members Chris Squire and Alan White) and hinted at some new music, which would be his first group of new songs since his 1998 collaboration with Robert Plant, Walking Into Clarksdale.