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Following the successful Atlantic/Swan Song Records/Warner Music reissue of Led Zeppelin’s first three albums — which all debuted in the Top 10 of the Billboard Top 200 Albums chart — the band has now prepared for the re-release of the next two, Led Zeppelin IV (the third best-selling album in U.S. history) and Houses of the Holy on October 28.
As with the previous deluxe editions, both albums have been newly re-mastered by guitarist and producer Jimmy Page, and include a second disc of companion audio comprised entirely of unreleased music related to the particular album.
Each will be available as a single CD, a two-CD set (including unreleased material), a single 180-gram vinyl, a deluxe edition two-LP set, a digital download and a super deluxe boxed set. The latter includes a re-mastered CD album in replica sleeve; a re-mastered vinyl album and companion audio album; a high-def audio download, a hard-bound 80-page book with rare photos and memorabilia and a high-quality print of the original album cover, the first 30,000 individually numbered.
Released in November 1971, Led Zeppelin IV — which is officially untitled — includes such hard rock anthems as “Stairway to Heaven,” “Rock and Roll,” “Black Dog” and “When the Levee Breaks.” The album was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999, and has been certified 23x platinum by the RIAA.
The deluxe edition includes unreleased versions of every song, featuring alternative mixes of “Misty Mountain Hop” and “Four Sticks,” new mixes of “The Battle of Evermore” and “Going to California,” heavy with guitar and mandolin, and the fabled, alternate version of “Stairway to Heaven,” mixed at Sunset Sound Studio in Los Angeles, which lets fans hear one of the classics of rock as never before.
Houses of the Holy, which topped the charts in 1973, includes “The Song Remains the Same” and “No Quarter,” while also spotlighting such stylistic evolutions as the reggae-flavored “D’yer Mak’er” and the funk jam “The Crunge.” The album has been certified diamond by the RIAA for sales of more than 11 million copies.
The seven unreleased tracks on the companion audio disc include rough and working mixes for “The Ocean” and “Dancing Days” that reveal a deeper look inside the recording of these classic songs. Other extras include the guitar mix backing track for “Over the Hills and Far Away” and a version of “The Rain Song” without John Paul Jones‘ piano.
The band was honored for its lifetime contribution to American culture at the Kennedy Center Honors in 2012, and just last January, the band won their first-ever Grammy award as Celebration Day, which captured their live performance at the December 2007 Ahmet Ertegun tribute concert, was named Best Rock Album.
Just don’t hold your breath waiting for a tour, as Robert Plant prefers to leave the group’s 2007 one-off at London’s O2 Arena as their finale. A clearly perturbed Page told The National magazine in June, “We have a great history together and like all brothers we have these moments where we don’t speak on the same page, but that’s life.”
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