Led Zeppelin isn’t releasing live recordings because the band members can’t agree about them

(Twitter/JimmyPage)

There’s “no point” releasing Led Zeppelin live recordings because the band’s surviving members “don’t all agree” about them, according to Jimmy Page.

Page spoke to Uncut Magazine for its its May 2022 issue. In the interview, Page confirmed the December LedZepNews report that Led Zeppelin has been working on an official exhibition, but revealed that the project has ended because the band members disagreed about that as well.

When asked whether Led Zeppelin has considered holding its own exhibition, Page said that “there was something at one point. But all the members and people around the band couldn’t agree. I was much happier doing my book and the exhibition with the Met.”

LedZepNews broke the story in December that Led Zeppelin’s surviving members along with John Bonham’s widow Patricia Bonham registered a business in the UK in 2018 as part of a plan to hold a Led Zeppelin exhibition, potentially using the name “The Led Zeppelin Experience.” Now it seems that has been scrapped.

Later on in the Uncut Magazine interview, Page was asked about plans to officially release Led Zeppelin live recordings.

“Obviously, there is source material that could come out – but it seems the band don’t all agree so there’s no point,” Page said. “I’d rather do my own stuff.”

Page also told Uncut Magazine that he hopes to continue his solo career. “I have got ideas and projects in mind – several possible things I could do – but I won’t discuss them, because if you give one sentence of something that might turn into a lengthy project then people start asking when it’s coming out,” he said. “I keep my cards close to my chest with what I am doing, because I don’t want to let the fans down.”

You can order the magazine here to read the full interview.

Page and Plant both spoke about plans to release Led Zeppelin music in the past

Page has spoken in multiple interviews about his hopes to release archival Led Zeppelin music.

In 2017, Page hinted that recordings would be released in 2018. “There’ll be Led Zeppelin product coming out, for sure, that people haven’t heard,” he told the Academy of Achievement, “because I’m working on that. Next year will be the fiftieth year so there’s all manner of surprises coming out.”

In February 2018, he told Planet Rock Magazine that “there’s a recording that’s another multi-track that we’ll release. It’s so different to all the other things that are out there. It’s another view compared to How The West Was Won or The Song Remains The Same. I’m looking forward to people hearing that.”

In that interview, Page said he planned to continue releasing Led Zeppelin material over the next 10 years. “There’s a lot of stuff to come out, a number of releases,” he said. “I’d like to say that they’ll be coming out over the next 10 years. There’s more to come for sure.”

Asked around the same time about potential Led Zeppelin releases, Robert Plant was less committal. “There’s a lot of stuff rolling around,” he told The Toronto Sun. “It’s a bit like water in the bottom of a paddle boat.”

Page again mentioned plans for Led Zeppelin releases in an interview with Sirius XM that was broadcast in December 2018. By that point, it sounded like the plans were more uncertain.

“I’ve always got things in mind and I always think of things as a sort of schedule of releases over a period of time. I’ve never been, actually, any different. And, obviously, I would have ideas of things or projects which could go ahead, but, you know, it all takes time,” he said.

“Who knows what may come further on down the line? I’ll leave it … I don’t know. So I can’t really say at this point,” he added.

In the end, no Led Zeppelin live recordings were released for the band’s fiftieth anniversary. Instead, Led Zeppelin released a seven-inch vinyl single for Record Store Day in May 2018 that featured previously unreleased studio mixes of “Rock And Roll” and “Friends”.

Led Zeppelin hasn’t released any live music since the band released The Complete BBC Sessions in 2016, which included a bonus disc of previously unreleased radio session and live recordings.

The 2018 remastered release of the live album How The West Was Won managed to remove two minutes and nine seconds of audio of Led Zeppelin performing “Whole Lotta Love” after Page cut the “Hello Mary Lou” section of the medley that was present on the album’s original 2003 release.

What was Jimmy Page planning?

There has been speculation that Page’s plan to release live Led Zeppelin material may have included soundboard tapes of the band’s 1971 Japan tour. Snippets of those tapes emerged through unofficial bootleg labels in recent years, potentially as a side effect of Page digging out the tapes and considering them for an official release.

Snippets of soundboard recordings of the band’s September 28 and September 29, 1971 shows in Osaka, Japan began to emerge in July 2016 when bootleg label Empress Valley released the soundboard tape of “Black Dog” from September 28, 1971.

That was followed by “Immigrant Song” from the September 29, 1971 performance in February 2018 and then “Stairway To Heaven” and “Friends” from that show in April 2018. A more complete version of the September 29, 1971 show was released in October 2018.

Finally, an expanded version of the soundboard tape of the September 28, 1971 show was released in January 2020.

Who is holding up live releases?

Page’s comments blaming the surviving band members for holding up plans to release live Led Zeppelin recordings are likely to spark speculation about who exactly is causing the disagreement.

Clearly Page is keen for tapes to emerge, leaving Plant and Jones as the remaining culprits.

Some clues may be found in an episode of The Vinyl Guide podcast released in August 2021 that interviewed photographer Ross Halfin, a close friend of Page.

During the interview, Halfin was asked by host Nate Goyer whether there are good quality unreleased live recordings in Led Zeppelin’s archives.

“Yeah, Led Zeppelin have the tapes,” Halfin said. “The band have the actual master tapes.”

“There’s the live in Japan 1971 that’s never come out. There is Southampton 1973 that has never come out. They have stuff and then I think the original idea was Jimmy was always going to do a live album and call it Early Days and Latter Days which became a greatest hits [album].

“I’m curious to see if Led Zeppelin ever put anything else out,” he added. “I’m surprised they haven’t put out the Albert Hall on vinyl because they have the tapes of that. And there’s always the Southampton 1973 warm-up show, that hasn’t come out. I’d love to hear the Japan 1971 they have complete from the Budokan.”

Halfin said that he’s aware of the location of Led Zeppelin’s master tapes of the band’s 1971 Japan tour, lending credibility to the theory that Page may have tracked them down when considering them for an official release.

“Led Zeppelin went to Japan and they were going to record them for a live album,” Halfin said. “And Led Zeppelin said ‘let’s listen to the tapes and we’ll pick the stuff’ and basically kept the tapes. So I don’t know where … actually I do know where they are.”

Halfin was asked why the band hasn’t released more live recordings. “It has to be agreed by all of them. It’s the same as Pink Floyd, it’s a band agreement and you’ve got certain band members that think it interferes in their solo career,” he said.

Halfin’s claim that Led Zeppelin live recordings aren’t being released to avoid interfering with a solo career seems to point the finger squarely at Plant, whose solo career has thrived in recent years with multiple solo albums and tours along with his recent album and a planned world tour with Alison Krauss.

By contrast, Jones’ solo career has consisted of various short term projects and live performances along with plans for an opera which has yet to be staged. Jones told Mojo Magazine in its December 2018 issue that he “can’t be arsed” to record a new solo album.

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42 Comments on "Led Zeppelin isn’t releasing live recordings because the band members can’t agree about them"

  1. Lets just let zep lie. Its been done .

  2. Göran Dahlgren | 16th March 2022 at 12:26 am | Reply

    Let Jimmy Page decide on the live recordings and release a new live set. Robert Plant has not been very cooperative.

  3. Richard P Couvillion | 16th March 2022 at 2:02 am | Reply

    Just remember, the last man standing has the final say-so !!

  4. Sadly, i feel Robert Plant cannot hit the notes any
    longer . That’s why he says he hates Stairway to Heaven and refuses to sing it anymore. I don’t think he can.
    Jimmy on the other hand, he just gets better & better.

  5. Roy JOHN Watson | 16th March 2022 at 12:09 pm | Reply

    zeppilin was jimmy pages creation let him deside what goes out

  6. Robert W Kneipp | 16th March 2022 at 12:51 pm | Reply

    We would all love to here some more music from zep. and I think what ever page wants to do should be o.k. with the other members.

  7. Release’em on a million years! That’ll no ok!

  8. Release’em on a million years! That will be ok!

    • I hope to hear more of Bonzo’s brilliant work and Page is the Wizard in the studio so let him pick the material. No matter what, it is all killer stuff anyway, Do you agree ?

  9. No news here. Plant wants nothing to do with the nostalgia of Zep. His memories aren’t good ones and that is the long and short of it.
    Even in his solo career, he dislikes the most popular of those years as well: the Now And Zen period. In his mind, he would wish to forget his most frolicking years of pure pleasure and abandon. Meanwhile, his fans embrace that time.

    • sadly, I agree. and we, the fans, lose. why Plant is so quick to distance himself from Zep is baffling. it’s almost as tho he’s ashamed of this part of his career and had it not been for Zep, he’d likely be in a local hometown pub singing for drinks.

  10. Michael Ulmer | 16th March 2022 at 3:15 pm | Reply

    Don‘t know which member has something against releases of live recordings of Led Zeppelin? And i do not understand what this none releases should efect a solo release. I buy a solo release when its good, ….. i hope the unofficial releases on EVSD, Tarantura, Vinyls and even on private tape releases does not stop!

    • I seen Zeppelin in Louisville, Ky. on April 25,1977.
      C’mon guy’s, release some live shows! Do it for your fan’s. Stop the bickering.

  11. Honestly after the first 2 Plant solo albums,I haven’t given him the time of day! He’s playing old people music cuz he can’t hit the notes anymore.Fans would still love to hear or see more Zeppelin!!

  12. Boyd A Carter | 16th March 2022 at 5:16 pm | Reply

    Robert Plant thinks the world (including Led Zeppelin) revolves around him. Yes he was the voice, but the world is full of voices ( American idol, the voice, just to name a few) as for the lyrics, Jimmy page and John Paul Jones, shared in that as well. John Paul Jones is still the best arranger in music. Jimmy page is still one of the best guitarists alive. Robert plant has been and continues to ride the coat tails of Allyson Krause.

  13. Imho this is not fair to the fans, Japan 71 is really what most fans would like to be released

  14. They should create a tontine.

  15. GIULIO CESARE STANCATO | 16th March 2022 at 10:36 pm | Reply

    We cannot speculate. The important thing is that the launch is as fast as possible…

  16. Jimmy saying he “doesn’t want to disappoint the fans” is a bit odd? Coming from a guy who for years talked about an amazing “next year” project, and because how huge expectations for it were, I could easily say, no one has disappointed more than Jimmy. I check LZ sites often hoping the project will be announced, been doing that for decades….

  17. Joseph Lombardo | 17th March 2022 at 1:04 am | Reply

    It’s okay. We got Made In Japan by Deep Purple and no rock band will ever top that.

  18. Wesley Olesen | 17th March 2022 at 1:30 am | Reply

    Led Zeppelin as a band is acting stupidly these past 15 years. This is destroying their legacy, while bands, such as Queen, who were never a big have marketed themselves well and are bigger than ever. The Beatles have been smart by releasing the best of their archived material while offering new remixes of their albums. Led Zeppelin just offers the same old recordings aside from ‘How The West Was Won’and ‘BBC Sessions’ 15 & 25 years ago respectively. If Led Zeppelin was serious about their legacy, they would come out with live albums that collected the best performances of the 1975 tour, 1977 tour, and 1980 tour as well as Southampton 1973 and Japan 1971. Sad how these men are destroying their own legacy while lesser bands (ex. Queen) look like they were the most important bands of the 1970s, which they were not.

  19. Jes'us Vanzant | 17th March 2022 at 6:47 am | Reply

    Zep gave us the sound track of alot of our youths….they have sufficiently entertain us enough (the live stuff would be great)… But put on old Zeppelin record it’s powerful stuff…..

  20. I once saw Robert walking along the ridgeway in Wiltshire with a dog and who I thought might be his daughter…? Anyway,he said hello to my girlfriend and just frowned at me. Funny chap.

  21. Shame …seems that Plant dosen’t want it to interfere with his ”solo” work. Not surprising, Since he was the one that squashed the small tour they were gonna do after the 02 arena show for the fans. But He can do whatever he wants, Kinda sucks for us Zep fans though, New live shows would be GREAT !!!

  22. Rochelle Crosson | 18th March 2022 at 3:52 am | Reply

    Why is anyone commenting on this. If they don’t want to do it, leave them alone. We have plenty of Led Zepplin records to put on the stereo, listen to those ones. The Song Remains the Same is the best live recording ever and will always be. Listen to that!

  23. Jimmy Page was quoted that they would not release any live shows that have already been bootleg,so that rules out a lot releases that have been mentioned above,current official releases are bbc69-72/france69/RAH70/72LAFORUM/SRTS73/EARLS COURT75/KNEBWORTH79….so that leaves the 77 shows and 1980 euro tours…i think as fans,we can never get enough live shows but there is a lot of official content that has been released……for me a final product would be for a box-set of some of landmark complete shows that may be available spanning from 1968-1980

  24. lo amo a robert ..el puede decidir sobre su creacion pero me parece muy egoista de su parte no dejar q nuevas o”viejas”generaciones puedan disfrutar de la MEJOR BANDA DE LA HISTORIA ..lamentablemente q habra q esperar para q se publique?algo malo??dale robert respetamos lo q haces ahora pero donde estas ahora fue por aquello

  25. No ones guaranteed tomorrow! Why doesn’t Plant get off his ass and release the 1971 shows!! He’s just being a selfish punk! I’ve already listened to all their work like 1,000 times! I’m BORED!! I want NEW stuff ASAP…

  26. Do we really need to hear yet more self-indulgent boring and tedious 30 minute versions of ‘Dazed and Confused’, ‘No Quarter’, ‘Moby Dick’ and ‘Stairway to Heaven’? No thanks. A large percentage of Zep shows were taken up by overblown self indulgent garbage that nobody really wanted to hear or listened to anyway.

    I don’t think Page will ever tour again either. The older he gets, the more sloppy his playing becomes.

  27. Interesting comparison with Deep Purple who despite being an ongoing concern have put out plenty of live material from their classic era over the years. Felt Song Remains and How the West were ok but nothing special making me conclude Zeppelin were perhaps at their best in the studio. In comparison on a good night Purple had the ability and spontaneity to take their songs and performance to a completely new level and were the ultimate live band.

  28. I’d like to see high quality releases of some of the material, but when Plant dismisses it like he does in the following quote from the articles, it sounds like, not in his lifetime:

    “Asked around the same time about potential Led Zeppelin releases, Robert Plant was less committal. “There’s a lot of stuff rolling around,” he told The Toronto Sun. “It’s a bit like water in the bottom of a paddle boat.”

    Yikes….

  29. What happened to the movie from last year Becoming LZ? Are they arguing over that as well? Sell the damn thing to Netflix or direct to DVD for sale at Walmart. Seriously.

  30. It’s always Robert Plant holding Jimmy Page back. If it weren’t for Jimmy, Plant would be a nobody in the music industry. Robert Plant is just an old grumpy never satisfied old man.

  31. Nothing wrong with song remains the same that’s live .
    What about Knebworth or earls court ?

  32. Stephen Brewis | 20th March 2022 at 7:01 pm | Reply

    Away man lads, lets have some of this stuff released, am 67 in may man. Been afan all me life. Surely it can’t be that hard tto agree on syuff to put out.

  33. Led zeppelin was great in their time plant and page are morons despite all their money your all done you old fools shoulda woulda coulda too late for them

  34. I think Page should grab David Coverdale and go on tour with John Paul Jones and Jason Bonham. To be honest. I’ve always felt that Plant was the weakest link musically in Led Zeppelin. I agree with the posts that Page made Plant who he is today.

  35. Well Page and plant are old but far from Morons. All 4 members from a musician’s point of view were fundamentally the greatest at there instruments and everybody tried to sound like them and the music will live longer than anybody else’s. Page is known for being a genius in the studio by everyone. Every album was platinum including the first one so it has nothing to do with money, it is called talent originality and skills !!

  36. I really don’t know why Robert, if Ross Halfin isn’t talking out of his ass, would care what live shows would be released. I love his solo career and quite a bit of Zep so I dont see how those things would conflict with each other. In the end, its their business I guess.

  37. Plant is a pretentious diva, and a general pain in the arse. I don’t like him at all, as a person. Yes, he disses Zeppelin, yet would be singing for beer still without Jimmy Page CHOOSING him for Zeppelin. I can’t listen to an interview with the guy, quite honestly. So pretentious, he tries to sound “worldly” and “sagely”, but simply comes across as a pompous arse.

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