A lost soundtrack recording from the early 1970s by Jimmy Page has been “revisited and remixed,” according to the legendary Led Zeppelin guitarist — and will finally see release on Tuesday, March 20.
“I was really nervous because the opening sequence is a dawning sequence which brings comparisons to the film ‘2001, A Space Odyssey’ to mind,” Page said, in an interview during the ongoing sessions for the original soundtrack recording. “The film was shot in Egypt and I wanted to create a timelessness so by using a synthesizer I tried to change the actual sounds of every instrument so you couldn’t say immediately ‘that’s a drum or guitar.’ I was juggling around the sounds to lose a recognizable identity as such. In ‘2001, a Space Odyssey’ there was fantastic music done with voices. I wanted to attempt to do that with Zeppelin in the beginning.”
Director Kenneth Anger completed “Lucifer Rising” in 1972, but reportedly fired Page when he could only produce a portion of the completed soundtrack music after three years. (Page and Anger reportedly first met at Sotheby’s, at an auction of boots by the English occultist/magician Aleister Crowley.) “Lucifer Rising” did not see wide distribution until 1980, and then appeared with a soundtrack supplied by Bobby Beausoleil, a member of the Charles Manson family who received a life sentence for his role in a 1969 murder that preceded the infamous Tate-LaBianca killings.
Page’s rough drafts — which took on something of a legendary status over the years, and were included on countless bootlegs, notably Solo Performances — have now been fleshed out, and will be available exclusively through JimmyPage.com.
“The title music, along with other musical pieces recorded at my home studio in the early Seventies have been revisited, remixed and released for the first time,” Page writes in a new post on his Facebook wall. “There will be a standard release on heavyweight vinyl. In addition there will be a special run of 418 numbered copies. The first 93 copies will be signed and numbered.”
The tracks are:
1. “Lucifer Rising” – Main Track
4. “Damask – Ambient”
5. “Lucifer Rising - Percussive Return”
Here’s a look back at our recent thoughts on Jimmy Page and Led Zeppelin. Click through the titles for complete reviews …
SOMETHING ELSE! FEATURED ARTIST: LED ZEPPELIN: Led Zeppelin’s image, dating back to the band’s debauched 1970s heyday, has grown so outsized that it sometimes obscures, well, the music. After all, that was time when — as Rolling Stone’s Stephen Davis famously wrote in a late-period Zep review — you could “give an Englishman 50,000 watts, a chartered jet, a little cocaine and some groupies and he thinks he’s a god.” Sure. But what, you know, about the records? Your friends over at SomethingElseReviews.com sat down and spun a few, in an effort to reevaluate Led Zeppelin simply as a rock ‘n’ roll act — one that moved from copying their American blues heroes to toward a nimble, versatile new heavy-rocking amalgam … OK, with a whole lotta love along the way. But, still …
JIMMY PAGE, THE EDGE AND JACK WHITE – IT MIGHT GET LOUD (2008): This film, a documentary of sorts featuring Jimmy Page, The Edge, and Jack White, is a must see for the rock fan. Heck, you can even hate Led Zeppelin, U2, and the White Stripes, and still get something out of the movie. Seriously. The film provides individual histories of each guitarist, told in a non-linear fashion. Eventually, the three stars meet in a summit of sorts, with the discussions and righteous guitar playing taking place in a temporary sound state set up in a barn. The documentary portions don’t really provide much in the way of new information, but I’m sure that that wasn’t the point.
LED ZEPPELIN – HOW THE WEST WAS WON (2003): It is impossible to deny Led Zeppelin their right to the moniker “kings of rock ‘n roll.” Twenty-plus years after their demise, all they had to do was release a giant new live box. Put aside any disdain for the band from overexposure — whether it be from their status in constant rotation on classic-rock radio or the (unfortunate, in my opinion) use of “Rock And Roll” in the Cadillac commercials that incessantly ran every five minutes on every channel, everywhere, for a while. With the 2003 release of How The West Was Won — a three-disc compilation of two concerts from the band’s 1972 tour, and the minimalistically titled DVD, a five-hour-and-20-minute trip via footage of four concerts throughout the 1970s and archival material (none of it replicating material from the CDs) — the band re-staked its claim at the top of the pile.
LED ZEPPELIN – THE SONG REMAINS THE SAME (1976): I remember one of the fundamental disappointments when getting into Led Zeppelin was, sadly, this live album. It was just a mess. Sprawling, rambling, incoherent, it just didn’t jell, and there was good reason: it had been chopped up to fit on two pieces of vinyl and was never readjusted for CD. We could go on and on about the video version of it, the fantasy segments of which were a complete surprise when my friends and I rented it one night as teens just getting into the band. Confused is about the only word that comes to mind. “What is going on here? Why are his eyes glowing? Why is he sword fighting? Why are we watching cars?”
JIMMY PAGE AND THE YARDBIRDS – LITTLE GAMES (1967): Originally released in 1967, Little Games marked the end of the Yardbirds as we knew them, as a year later, the wildly inventive and influential London band was laid to rest. Lead guitarist Jimmy Page formed a new band, Led Zeppelin, while bassist Chris Dreja changed careers altogether by pursuing his love of photography, and lead singer Keith Relf and drummer Jim McCarty established Renaissance, a progressive folk rock outfit. Little Games has been reissued before, but as always, the Sundazed label has taken things a couple of steps further by resurrecting the record in mono and making it available on both vinyl and compact disc. Talk about utterly fabulous sound quality!