Led Zeppelin Crashes Into Courts To Put Out An All-New 2013 Album

By Natalia Robert-Nunez

Led Zeppelin has been trying to put out a 2013 album of entirely unreleased material left over from their glory days. Go ahead and-re-read that line, because I know your 14-year-old self just squealed a little.

The album, which Zeppelin had originally tried to release in 2012, has been recorded over the past 12 years, and written over the past thirty. Therefore, the material of the album is the rightful property of a handful of people prominent throughout the band’s life. Jimmy Page initially tried to cut a deal, giving up his share to Bain Corporation for investment in the album. Page then wanted to give some rights to John Paul Jones. In the end it seems like Page lost track of his filing cabinet, because when the album was ready to be released, they discovered fifty percent of the rights belonged to Page, fifty percent to Jones, fifty percent to the producer, and the last fifty percent belonged to Bain Corporation. Where is Page’s agent in this? No one really knows, but, regardless, Bain Corporation responded by storming into court, dragging the musicians in chains behind them and the producer prancing along in tow.

The Royal Courts of Justice – surprise! – sided with Bain Corporation and passed over the label and releasing rights. Their joint label, Jakauppa, still works with Page on the new material and have, with Jones’ permission, begun working on releasing the album again. χυμεία3, or chemistry3, as a Greek will tell you, is the title of Zeppelin’s would-be 16th album.

Fortunately for us, Led Zeppelin is Led Zeppelin, and have therefore found a way to work with Jakauppa throughout this whole kerfuffle to release three genre-crossing singles.

χυμεία3, their first single release, has a beautiful harpy folk feeling that gracefully meshes into classic Led Zeppelin lyrics and free-sounding electric guitar. This one is by far my favorite, with a little bit of sweet nostalgia for “Over the Hills and Far Away”, and a little bit of fresh new wave melody. Words are not quite adequate to describe this song, so I advise you to give this one a listen.

“One Eye Sun of Man” sounds a bit as though the Smiths, Pink Floyd, and a seizuring cat all had a baby and birthed it in the recording studio. Jazzy, consistent percussion, psychedelically fading vocals and some groovy guitar riffs make this the most happily confusing of the three releases. In comparison with “528 Nothing”, the third new single, and a lot of Zeppelin’s later work, it is quite upbeat. “528 Nothing” is even more reminiscent of Pink Floyd’s trippy style, complete with chiming guitar plucks and what I like to call bungee-cord singing (just imagine someone bungee jumping while singing and you’ll get it).

Plant’s absence from the project is obvious when you realize that the last two songs lack his crisp vocals, causing the lyrics to get completely lost. This is sad, really, but it lends the music a little more to artistic interpretation. It is not too reminiscent of the catchy rock and roll that made Led Zeppelin a household name with songs like “Black Dog” or “Immigrant Song”, but it does seem to have the delicate aspect of “Stairway to Heaven” that has induced so many (Led Zeppelin) love affairs.

All of the singles represent a gorgeous psychedelic earthy haze that takes me on a bit of a trip through Zeppelin’s discography. Surprisingly, it doesn’t sounds as outdated as one might think, although I could see the synthesizer sounds making some indie kids cringe. Honestly, I can’t help but notice the parallels between progressive boundary-crossing music that is being created today. Let’s face it – if bands like Foals, MGMT, or Animal Collective started making music like this, people would be climbing over themselves to get it.


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