Jimmy Page, right, receives an honorary degree May 10 from Berklee College of Music in Boston as Provost Lawrence Simpson adjusts the former Led Zeppelin guitarist's academic robe at the school's commencement.
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Jimmy Page, right, receives an honorary degree May 10 from Berklee College of Music in Boston as Provost Lawrence Simpson adjusts the former Led Zeppelin guitarist's academic robe at the school's commencement.

Page returns with classic recordings

By John Carucci

The Associated Press

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NEW YORK – Since a Led Zeppelin reunion is out of the question, Jimmy Page has done the next best thing – remastered the band’s entire catalog.

As a producer on the recordings, Page had many studio takes in his possession. After spending the last few years listening to hundreds of hours of music, nine freshly mastered studio albums will be released in chronological order, three at a time. The first set arrives Tuesday.

In addition, each album includes a companion disc of music previously unheard to give fans “an extra perspective,” Page said.

The legendary guitarist sat down recently with The Associated Press to talk about the re-released recordings, the band’s legacy and if he’ll ever work again with Robert Plant.

AP: Did you ever imagine Led Zeppelin would get as big as it did?

Page: I played guitar all my life, all the way through The Yardbirds, but I knew that for me this was going to be a guitar vehicle because that’s what I wanted it to be. There is no way I would play guitar like a tour de force like I did in Led Zeppelin. John Bonham, phenomenal drummer, young man with his technique, but do you think he would ever have the opportunity to play like that in another band? Of course he hadn’t. And the same with John Paul Jones – superaccomplished musician, but he’d never had the chance to play like that. Or Robert (Plant). And so these four musical equals, because they were – they were all stars in their own right – could actually play and the synergy that they had was second to none. That’s all there was to it.

AP: Will you make music with (Plant) again?

Page: Robert seems really keen on just wanting to make music on his own without any of his previous band members. It seems quite apparent because I’ve seen him with these projects that come and go during the period where I’ve been dealing with this project.

AP: How did Led Zeppelin control its music as opposed to the label?

Page: It was being paid for, paid for at this end (points to himself), so it wasn’t like going to a record company (and) saying, ‘Can I have an advance?’

AP: Will you go back into the studio?

Page: I haven’t recorded the material I got because I haven’t had a unit due to all the comings and goings of these albums. ... I want to be seen playing this new material, say next year.