Led Zeppelin’s The Complete BBC Sessions Coming Next Month


Led Zeppelin’s The Complete BBC Sessions Coming Next Month

–Joe Lund

Anticipation is building for the expanded, remastered reissue of Led Zeppelin’s BBC Sessions album. Titled Led Zeppelin – The Complete BBC Sessions, the set is slated for release on Sept. 16. Fleshed out with a trove of unreleased tracks – including a three-song “lost” session from 1969 – the collection gathers live recordings made by the band for BBC Radio between 1969 and 1971.

“We had been on the road a lot by the time those sessions were recorded,” bassist John Paul Jones told Wall of Sound, shortly after the original album was released. “The albums were always the starting point of the music, and then we would take it out and expand it on the road. Then we would come straight off the road into those BBC studios.”

As with the previous Led Zeppelin reissues, The Complete BBC Sessions will be available in variety of formats. The Deluxe Edition includes three CDs – two featuring the material on the original album (newly remastered), and one that contains the previously unreleased sessions. The vinyl edition of the set is spread over a total of five, 180-gram LPs. And finally, the most elaborate configuration is the Super Deluxe edition – an expansive package that includes all of the above (the CDs, as well as the 180-gram vinyl LPs), plus a 48-page book replete with photos, recording locations, BBC memorabilia and session information, and a high-quality print of the original album cover.led_zep_bbc

Highlights of the set, in all the configurations, include two unreleased versions of both “Communication Breakdown” and “What Is and What Should Never Be.” Separated by two years, the performances showcase the young band’s rapid evolution within a short span of time. Even more noteworthy is the “lost” session. Originally broadcast in April 1969, and long coveted by fans, the session includes “I Can’t Quit You Baby,” “You Shook Me,” and the only recorded performance of “Sunshine Woman.”

Jimmy Page, who supervised the remastering process for The Complete BBC Sessions, spoke with Guitar World about the significance of the BBC performances. “The BBC Sessions show in graphic detail just how organic the group was,” he observed. “Led Zeppelin was a band that would change things around substantially each time it played…. We were becoming tighter and tighter, to the point of telepathy.” Below, you can watch a trailer for The Complete BBC Sessions Super Deluxe package. Tracks featured on the set are listed below the video.

To pre-order the BBC Sessions click here