Led Zeppelin • In Through the Out Door (Deluxe Edition)

LedZeppelinInThroughTheOutdoorFrontJimmy Page has reissued the last two proper Led Zeppelin albums, as well as a posthumous collection of unused tracks, to complete the reissue program started last year. As with the other releases in the series, each album comes in a one disc version (CD or vinyl), a two disc deluxe edition (or three in the case of Coda) (again, CD or vinyl), and a mega big deal super (hype) deluxe version that includes the CDs, the LPs and probably some marbles or something. (Oh wait – the marbles were in the Pink Floyd reissues. My bad.)

For In Through the Out Door you get the paper bag outer – as with the original. Which is cool, but the 1979 first release was available with six different covers – you didn’t know which cover you were gonna get because of the paper bag. This time there’s only one cover available so you get what you get. Another thing you don’t get in 2015 is the inner black and white sleeve that, when you rubbed water on it, colorized itself. (The CD version would be a bit small for that.) Oh well. It’s the music that’s the point.

ittod_invertThe mastering job Page oversaw was done by John Davis at Metropolis, and sounds pretty faithful to the original. Unfortunately, I don’t have an original LP, the original CD or the 1993 remaster to compare this to. But what I do know is: this is the album that got me into Led Zeppelin, so for me it’s “In the Evening,” “Fool in the Rain,” and “All My Love.” This time around I’m also digging “I’m Gonna Crawl” and I’ll always have a soft spot in my heart for the rockabilly-esque “Hot Dog.” Yes, I know – this is the Zep album that the hardcore fans thought was too pop, and for me that’s precisely what opened the (out) door to the band. From there I got into the rest of the catalog, and even got around to Led Zeppelin III and Presence. I owe this to my brother Dana (who had the album first), and my stepbrother Dave, who always regarded Page’s lead guitar as the best. So it took me until the band was basically over to get into ’em. So what. Better late than never.
3/5 (Swan Song)

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