If you purchase the Led Zeppelin Deluxe Remasters issued this year – a project lovingly overseen by Jimmy Page – you have a unique opportunity to collate an all instrumental album by Led Zep. By the way, no disrespect is meant toward Robert Plant, who continues to astound with his Sensational Shape Shifters.
Here is my proposed track listing:
Black Mountain Side [from Led Zeppelin]
Thank You (Backing Track)
Living Loving Maid (She’s Just A Woman)(Backing Track)
Moby Dick (Backing Track) [all from Led Zeppelin II]
Friends (Track, no vocal)
Bathroom Sound (No vocal) [From Led Zeppelin III]
The Battle of Evermore (Mandolin/Guitar Mix from Headley)
Going to California (Mandolin/Guitar Mix) [From Led Zeppelin IV]
Over The Hills and Far Away (Guitar Mix Backing Track)
No Quarter (Rough Mix With JPJ Keyboard Overdubs – No Vocals) [From Houses of the Holy]
White Summer- Black Mountain Side (live) [From Disc 2 of Led Zeppelin]
The resulting album is 47:36 of pure instrumental bliss. Think about this; even without Robert Plant’s incendiary vocals and (in some instances) Jimmy Page’s guitar pyrotechnics, this album still rocks hard.
Page somehow manages to help your mind fill in the vocals. Furthermore, John Paul Jones sounds like he could have been comfortable in either Muscle Shoals or Motown. And, Bonham overcomes all of the critical opprobrium of the 1970’s.
Now, think of the musical diversity inherent in this collection: British folk ballads, Classical music, Indian classical music, Riff-based American Blues, American folk music, Middle-Eastern music, Jazz and Psychedelic music – impressive for over forty years ago, isn’t it?