Led Zeppelin – III Deluxe Edition Remastered Vinyl:
This is the first of these remastered albums that didn’t include any promo photos or live concert photos… which was a bit of a surprise. I does have a working whizzy wheel in the front cover though!
The companion disc for Led Zeppelin – III had received some good online reviews. It follows the layout of the original album very closely, with only Tangerine omitted. The first three tracks, The Immigrant Song (Alternate Mix), Friends (Track – No Vocal) and Celebration Day (Alternate Mix) were what was expected after experiencing the previous companion disc from LZ II… 80% to 90% similar to the originals. Then it got interesting!
The companion version of Since I’ve Been Loving You is listed as a “rough mix of first recording”. This is what I had been expecting from the other companions! This track really sounded like a band working up the presentation of a new song rather than putting a polish on a nearly finished track. This felt like a window on the creative process that I had been promised…
The next track, Bathroom Mix, eventually became Out On The Tiles. Page described it this way “That sounds like a really horny, beefy instrumental. To revisit it like that is like, ‘Oh! Wow!’ It’s powerful stuff.” I agree!
Side 2 begins with “rough” mixes of Gallows Pole and That’s the Way and ends with the best companion stuff so far…
Jennings Farm Blues, which eventually became Bron-Y-Aur Stomp, is a compilation of all the guitar overdubs recorded for the LZ III record. It is a great nearly 6 minute treat for Jimmy Page fans.
The final track is called Key To The Highway / Trouble In Mind, and was used to create Hats Off to (Roy) Harper. In this first ever release version, it’s just Page playing country blues and slide on an acoustic guitar and Plant playing harmonica on a heavily vibrato-ed amp. Plant’s singing the Big Bill Broonzy and Richard M. Jones tunes takes on a spooky and ethereal quality through this mic/amp combo.
These two final tracks are worth the extra cost for the companion record!