A promotional calendar released by Led Zeppelin record label Rhino Records contains what may be a hint about an upcoming re-release.
In December every year, Rhino Records releases a promotional calendar for the year ahead which contains images of recent and upcoming releases. It’s a long-running tradition for the label, and the calendars aren’t sold online. Instead, they’re given to industry contacts, sent to competition winners, and bundled with in-store purchases.
Two users on the Steve Hoffman Music Forum spotted that the September image in the 2018 Rhino Records calendar is the cover to Led Zeppelin’s 2003 live release How The West Was Won.
That’s rather strange — we dug through the 2018 Rhino Records calendar and found that it’s exclusively used to promote recent and upcoming releases, but How The West Was Won has so far only been released in 2003 and never remastered. So why is it featured in a promotional calendar for 2018 from Led Zeppelin’s record label?
It’s possible that How The West Was Won will be remastered and re-released in 2018. Led Zeppelin remastered all of its studio albums over the last few years, and then also remastered The Complete BBC Sessions in 2016. That just leaves How The West Was won and The Song Remains The Same waiting for a re-release. (Although The Song Remains The Same was remastered in 2007, as one commenter below helpfully pointed out)
And we know that there are Led Zeppelin releases on the way this year. Jimmy Page said in an interview released in December that “there’ll be Led Zeppelin product coming out, for sure, that people haven’t heard because I’m working on that. Next year will be the fiftieth year so there’s all manner of surprises coming out.”
And Led Zeppelin mastering engineer John Davis seemingly posted a reference in October to his work on an upcoming Led Zeppelin project before deleting his Facebook post. “Today I am mostly Mastering Led Zeppelin,” he wrote in the deleted post.
But then again, maybe it’s just Rhino Records looking back at a Led Zeppelin release that the label put out in the past. We don’t know for sure that a remaster is on the way — it’s just that the inclusion of the album cover in the calendar seems like it could be a big clue.
Here’s our research on the images used in Rhino Records’ calendars and which recent releases they match up with:
January – Fleetwood Mac by Fleetwood Mac, expanded remaster scheduled to be released on January 19.
February – The Definitive Studio Album Collection by Otis Redding, released on December 15.
March – The King & I by Faith Evans and The Notorious B.I.G., released on May 19.
April – The Queen Is Dead by The Smiths, expanded remaster released on October 20.
May – Cornell 5/8/77 by The Grateful Dead, released on May 5.
June – Core by Stone Temple Pilots, 25th anniversary edition released on September 29.
July – Being There by Wilco, deluxe edition released on December 1.
August – Topographic Drama – Live Across America by Yes, released on November 24.
September – How The West Was won by Led Zeppelin, released on May 27, 2003.
October – The Replacements – For Sale: Live At Maxwell’s 1986 by The Replacements, released on October 6.
November – A New Career in a New Town (1977–1982) by David Bowie, released on September 29.
December – A Brand New Me by Aretha Franklin, released on November 10.
How the West Was Won is the only album featured in Rhino Records’ 2018 calendar that wasn’t released in 2017 or is currently scheduled for release in 2018.
We decided to look back even further at the 2017 calendar:
January – Who Can I Be Now? (1974–1976) by David Bowie, released on September 23, 2016.
February – London Fog 1966 by The Doors, released on December 16, 2016.
March -The Grateful Dead by The Grateful Dead, fiftieth anniversary edition released on January 20.
April – ???
May – Good Times! by The Monkees, released on May 27, 2016.
June – Loud Hailer by Jeff Beck, released on July 15, 2016.
July – Detour by Cyndi Lauper, released on May 6, 2016.
August – Foreigner by Foreigner, remastered in 2002.
September – The Complete BBC Sessions by Led Zeppelin, remastered version released on September 16, 2016.
October – ???
November – The Last Waltz by The Band, fortieth anniversary version released on December 16, 2016.
December – ‘Tis The Seasons by Frankie Valli, released on October 21, 2016.
January 2018 – The Singles by Phil Collins, released on October 14, 2016.
This time, the only standout image was of Foreigner’s debut album. That wasn’t remastered in 2016, but it was included in the Complete Atlantic Studio Albums box set released in 2014.