51°28'31N 0°14'27"W/51.4752°N 0.2407°W - Coordinates that make the heart of every rock fan beat faster. Behind it is 117 Church Road in London's Barnes district, the address of a legendary studio that has been writing rock history for forty years and was named in the same breath as Abbey Road until it closed in 2009. The biggest names in pop and rock have worked in the Olympic Studios: Beatles, Stones, Who, Eagles, Clapton, Hendrix, Pink Floyd, King Crimson or Led Zeppelin. They took or mixed a lot of songs from their first four albums.
Therefore it is only logical that mastermind Jimmy Page presents the remasters of "Led Zeppelin I - III" in the same place. Especially since the former studio - today a conglomerate of noble cinema, members club and restaurant/bar and in terms of noble, posh and expensive hardly to be surpassed - has an excellent sound system. Page and his record company take advantage of this uninhibitedly: The presentation in the designer cinema with noble leather seats in front of thirty invited journalists is a test of endurance, as the eight samples are heard at such a volume that the hearing aids burn smoothly through the audience. What Page has fun with is thievish; when addressed, he pours himself out laughing at it. A feeling of excitement and looseness, which is by no means customary with the white-haired master guitarist, but which runs like a red thread through the interview that follows.
eclipsed: Jimmy, why so loud?
Jimmy Page: (laughs) How can I understand that?
eclipsed: You've turned up here, as if you wanted to smash the ears of the press representatives..
Page: I had no idea it would be so intense. (giggles) But it's not bad either, because if you're too quiet, the ladies and gentlemen in the press always start to talk freely. I guess that's what they wanted to prevent.
eclipsed: However, Led Zeppelin always stood for high phon numbers anyway.
Page: That could be already. At least I read that a lot. (laughs) For example, when we played the Paris Olympics in 1969, we were definitely the loudest band that ever played there
eclipsed: And this in the prelude of Nana Mouskouri!
Page: No kidding? I don't even remember that. What an ingenious blend. (laughs) But what I was getting at was that it wasn't really that violent and certainly not all the time. Our performances were more of a dynamic exercise - from a whisper to a scream and back again. That was our thing. We thought it was exciting. This had not existed in the form yet. Bands were either loud or quiet, brute or soft. But we were both, we experimented with it. Only: If our sound was too loud for you, you overslept everything that came afterwards. Because we've only just opened the doors to all extremes
eclipsed: So Led Zeppelin broke the causeway?
Page: Rock music was still young, and there were so many things to explore. There were so many things nobody'd done before. In this respect, it was only a matter of opening a door, showing an alternative approach and providing food for thought for all who came after us. That's exactly what we did: We opened a door that a lot of people have been walking through ever since
eclipsed: How long did you work on the remasters and especially on the extensive bonus material?
Page: I started right after the release of "Celebration Day" in autumn 2012, but had already archived all the recordings and tapes I still had at home. Among them were also the versions of songs that I'm not as sure about as they are best described. They're kind of work in progress mixes. A kind of interim balance or inventory of how the pieces have changed over the course of the studio sessions. Because they weren't already finished when they entered the studio, they were worked out there and sometimes changed radically. This is shown by these versions, which are quasi intermediate versions on the way to the final result. I listened to them in peace, and I realized that this is it. This is something that no one knows yet and is exciting just because of it. That's a completely different approach than, for example, the "Beatles Anthology", for which you dig out the multitracks and create completely new songs or songs in a completely new guise. This one goes back one step: It's the song before the song. The blueprint for what's to come. That's really something else.