LED ZEPPELIN UNHEARD!

Mojo Magazine, December 1994, p.86.

Dave Lewis unearths some songs and alternate takes that would surely put a bustle in your hedgerow if only someone would release them.

Babe I'm Gonna Leave You (Take 8)

This early stab at Anne Bredon's folk tune (cut at Olympic on September 27, 1968) finds the 20 year-old Robert Plant attacking the lyric with the sort of gusto that characterised his work with The Band Of Joy, considerably toned down for the released version.


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Babe I'm Gonna Leave You (Take 8) (lyrics)
    September 27, 1968
    Olympic Studios, London
0:25 1:16 6:25

Tribute To Bert Berns

The working title of this slice of rock'n'soul paid homage to Bert Berns, the producer and songwriter Page had worked with on various Them sessions. It eventually emerged as Baby Come On Home on the 1993 Boxed Set 2. This original mix from October 1968 manages to merge the Otis-inspired vocal with the tougher dynamic of the Bonham/Jones rhythm section. Thought to be lost for many years, the master-tape was mysteriously "recovered from a dustbin" and offered back to them in the early '90s.

Because this track has been released officially I have provided alternate samples to what is on this official track. Firstly an instrumental run through, most likely an attempt at a backing track, and secondly the final minute of the offical release (find out what happens after the fade!)


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Baby Come On Home
    October 10, 1968
    Olympic Studios, London
0:21 1:07

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Baby Come On Home
    October 10, 1968
    Olympic Studios, London
1:06

Sunshine Woman

This barrelhouse boogie, with Jones on piano and a wailing Plant harmonica, was recorded at the BBC's Maida Vale studio for a session aired during Alexis Korner's World Service Rhythm And Blues programme on April 14, 1969. The tape has long since been wiped but an acetate survived.


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Sunshine Woman (lyrics)
    April 14, 1969
    BBC Maida Vale Studio, London
0:25 1:15 2:59

Something Else

Another rare BBC recording, this time a rollicking stomp through the old Eddie Cochran number with Jones's piano to the fore, from a June '69 session broadcast on the vastly unsuitable Chris Grant's Pop Sunday programme. The disastrous Grant talks over the intro - "There they are, there. Led Zeppelin! Great new pop combo!" - and even recorded a hilarious interview, never aired, in which he sat the disgruntled quartet around the table and proceeded to ask them which instrument they played.

Sorry, this track is now available on an official release and will not be available for downloading. If you want to hear it buy the album!

The Girl I Love She Got Long Black Wavy Hair

From that same June '69 broadcast, a group original that never saw the light of day on any album. The level of blues cliche' - "My baby when she walks/She shakes just like a willow tree, yeah" - suggests it's somewhat unfinished. The main structure has much in common with the Bonham showcase Moby Dick.

Sorry, this track is now available on an official release and will not be available for downloading. If you want to hear it buy the album!

Sugar Mama

Completing a trio of summer '69 rarities, an unused track from the sessions for Led Zeppelin II recorded at Morgan Studios in Willesden. Plant is the star here, dominating the cut with vocal pyrotechnics while Bonham rattles out machine gun volleys across the tom toms. File under `playful'.


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Sugar Mama (lyrics)
    June/July, 1969
    Morgan Studios, London
0:25 1:18 3:01

Jennings Farm Blues

An experimental session from late 1969 signalling the start of the third album. Named after Plant's gaff, it's built around a melody that emerged months later as Bron-Y-Aur Stomp. On this occasion Page knocks out a series of Hendrix-like overdubs displaying early evidence of the guitar-army approach that would light up such later epics as Achilles Last Stand.


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Jennings Farm Blues
    November, 1969
    Olympic Studios, London
0:25 0:34 0:50 6:25

Blues Medley

More from the Led Zeppelin III session that provided Hats Off To (Roy) Harper. Page on bottleneck acoustic guitar and Plant in Robert Johnson mode. A powerfully relaxed excursion that takes in That's Alright Mama, Feel So Bad and Feel Like I'm Fixin' To Die.


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Blues Medley (lyrics)
    June, 1970
    Olympic Studios, London
6:26

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Blues Medley (Feel So Bad Blues) (lyrics)
    June, 1970
    Olympic Studios, London
0:57

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Blues Medley (Fixin' To Die) (lyrics)
    June, 1970
    Olympic Studios, London
0:45

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Blues Medley (That's Alright Mama) (lyrics)
    June, 1970
    Olympic Studios, London
0:55

No Quarter

Before it emerged as the brooding highlight of Houses Of The Holy, No Quarter underwent various transitions. This version, from a rehearsal at Headley Grange in 1971, is faster and jazzier than the released one. Plant scats the vocal over over Bonzo's rim-shot drumming and Jonesy's ghostly keyboards.


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No Quarter
    Jan/Feb, 1971
    Headley Grange, Hampshire
1:38

Friends

A direct reference point to the recent MTV activities. This version of Friends was cut in March 1972 by Page and Plant in Bombay, with authentic accompaniment from The Bombay Orchestra. They returned to this arrangement for the Unledded London recording of Friends with the Egyptian ensemble in August.

As a "bonus" I've also included Four Sticks from the same sessions.


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Friends
    March, 1972
    Bombay, India
2:15

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Four Sticks
    March, 1972
    Bombay, India
0:35

Take Me Home/In The Morning

This work in progress from Headley Grange for Physical Graffiti captures them developing what later became In The Light. Plant plays around with various couplets ("Sing a song in the morning.. it's a song of salvation") as the track kicks off with Stairway-like chord sequence. Everything beefs up for a crescendo chorus that features some Plant pleading ("Take me oh-oh home") and a truly incendiary Page guitar solo.


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Take Me Home / In The Morning (lyrics)
    Jan/Feb, 1974
    Headley Grange, Hampshire
0:24 1:31 5:59

Woodstock

By '75 Zeppelin's live act had developed into a three hour-plus marathon, which provided the opportunity to throw in the odd surprise. Like Woodstock. This version was dropped into Dazed And Confused prior to Jimmy'a violin bow episode. An echoed Plant vocal drifts over an eerie Page wah-wah backdrop. Only the lyrics are recognisable from the Joni Mitchell original.


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Woodstock (lyrics)
    May 24, 1975
    Earls Court Arena, London
0:18 1:54 3:56

It'll Be Me

Two years on, they returned to America with unshakeable self-confidence. The six sold-out nights at the LA Forum remain some of their most memorable dates, and on the night of June 26 they encored with this vibrant version of the Jerry Lee Lewis classic, introduced teasingly by Plant: "We're gonna try something of the new album - yes we're recording again now." Tragically, following the sudden death of his son Karac from a stomach infection they cancelled the tour and scuppered any such plans for a considerable time.


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It'll Be Me
    June 26, 1977
    The Forum, Los Angeles, California
0:16 1:00 3:37

Untitled

After the enforced lay-off, the group reassembled at Clearwell Castle in May 1978 to pick up the pieces. The rehearsals suggest a new creative surge. Alongside an early attempt at Carouselambra, they embarked on this untitled effort that was never fully developed. Charged with an invigorating echo-plexed Page riff that descends around Plant's preening vocal, it's ample evidence that the spirit was stil willing.


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Untitled
    May, 1978
    Clearwell Castle, Forest of Dean, Wales
0:25 3:03

All My Love

Recorded at Polar studios, Stockholm, for In Through The Out Door, this pretty, emotional love song caused some division in the ranks (the disinterested Page took a back seat to Jones during this period). You'd never tell from this outtake, as it includes the lengthy extended ending (inexplicably faded on the original version) with some of Page's most lyrical playing set against Plant's evocative pleading.


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All My Love
    Nov/Dec, 1978
    Polar Music Studios, Stockholm, Sweden
1:38 6:56

The Train Kept A-Rollin'

In 1980 Led Zeppelin commenced what would be their final tour, a low-key trip around Europe designed to strip down the grander elements of their stage show so reviled by the punks. To open the sets they resuscitated the old Yardbirds stomper which opened their shows on their first tour of '68. There was talk of recording a studio version for the next album, but Bonham's death three months later set the seal on that idea.


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The Train Kept A-Rollin'
    June 20, 1980
    Voorst Nationaal, Brussels, Belgium
0:25 1:20 3:03

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