NEW YORK — Since a Led Zeppelin reunion is out of the question, Jimmy Page has done the next best thing — re-mastered the band's entire catalog.
As a producer on the recordings, Page had many studio takes in his possession. After spending the last few years listening to hundreds of hours of music, nine freshly mastered studio albums will be released in chronological order, three at a time. The first set arrived Tuesday.
In addition, each album includes a companion disc of music previously unheard to give fans "an extra perspective," Page said.
The legendary guitarist sat down recently with The Associated Press to talk about the rereleased recordings, the band's legacy and if he'll ever work again with Robert Plant.
AP: When you started Led Zeppelin, you essentially wanted to build a new version of the Yardbirds.
Page: The Yardbirds sort of disbanded, and I was disappointed because I thought what we were doing was really good. I thought we were really onto something. I thought I was really onto something with these ideas that I had. I was using acoustic in that band. ... But we were caught up in that singles tract, which was so destroying, really. We had to deal with these silly songs where on the flip side of the single, there'd be something that we did ourselves that was more reflective of the band's character.
AP: Did you ever imagine Led Zeppelin would get as big as it did?
Page: I played guitar all my life, all the way through the Yardbirds, but I knew that for me this was going to be a guitar vehicle, because that's what I wanted it to be. There is no way I would play guitar like a tour de force like I did in Led Zeppelin. John Bonham, phenomenal drummer, young man with his technique, but do you think he would ever have the opportunity to play like that in another band? Of course he hadn't. And the same with John Paul Jones — superaccomplished musician, but he'd never had the chance to play like that. Or Robert (Plant). And so these four musical equals, because they were — they were all stars in their own right — could actually play and the synergy that they had was second to none. That's all there was to it.