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Listen: The 1969 Album Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, John Paul Jones and John Bonham Recorded Before 'Led Zeppelin'

Three Week Hero
Our recent story about Jimmy Page's five best guitar solos as a member of the Yardbirds got us thinking about another legendary pre-Led Zeppelin recording featuring Page.

This project, however, features all four members of Led Zeppelin - Page, Robert Plant, John Paul Jones and John Bonham - recording together before there even was a Led Zeppelin.

While still in "New Yardbirds" mode, the four pre-Zeps took part in the August 1968 recording sessions for P.J. Proby's 1969 album, Three Week Hero.

As Dangerous Minds recently wrote, Page and Jones were successful session musicians at this point, and when Jones got the Proby gig, he invited his fellow New Yardbirds along. The Dangerous Minds story also quotes Jones as saying, "I was committed to doing all the arrangements for the album. As we were talking about rehearsing at the time, I thought it would be a handy source of income. I had to book a band anyway, so I thought I'd book everybody I knew."

The sessions started August 25, 1968, and led to an album that didn't cause much of a stir when it was released the following April.

"The boys told me they were going over to play in San Francisco and all that, and I said, 'Look, from what I've heard and the way you boys played tonight, not only are you not going to be my backing band, I'm going to say goodbye right now, because I don't think I'm ever going to see you again'," Proby says in the DM story.

"'That's how successful you're going to be. You're exactly what they want, you play all that psychedelic stuff and everything.' I said, 'You're going to go over there and go down so great I don't think you're ever going to come home.' They didn't ever come back until they changed their name to Led Zeppelin and stayed over there and came back huge huge stars. ... I said goodbye that day when I cut that album, and I haven't seen one of them since."

Check out some samples from the album (and a non-album B-side) below.

"Jim's Blues"

Is there any doubt this is Led Zeppelin? This is part of the eight-minute medley that closed the album. I admit, this track really "shook me" ... all night long.



"The Day That Lorraine Came Down"

Here's track two from the Proby album, which was released on CD in 1994. It's easy to picture Plant on vocals - not that there's anything wrong with Proby's voice.



"Mery Hopkins Never Had Days Like These"

Here's a non-album B-side from the same sessions. This song is interesting because Proby calls out each member of the band, who then plays a little solo, starting with bassist John Paul Jones. By the way, for a little more info about about the album, check out the Dangerous Minds story and good ol' Wikipedia. (PS: It seems the word "Mery" in the song title is supposed to be spelled like that; it's obviously a fun reference to then-popular Welsh singer Mary Hopkin.)



From: Guitar World
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This Month in
Led Zeppelin History


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November 21, 1968 - Robert becomes a father to a baby girl named Carmen Jane.
November 09, 1968 - Robert marries Maureen in London. Their reception is a performance at the Roundhouse in London
November xx, 1969 - Tempers flare over Atlantic in the UK wanting to release singles
November xx, 1969 - Recording for Led Zeppelin III begins at Olympic Studios in London
November xx, 1970 - Plans are in motion for a Yardbirds reunion
November 08, 1971 - Finally after much anticipation, Untitled is released
November xx, 1972 - Houses Of The Holy is mixed and completed
November 10, 1972 - Led Zeppelin sell out 120,000 tickets in one day
November xx, 1973 - Initial recordings for Physical Graffiti commences at Headley Grange
November 04, 1973 - Led Zeppelin finalize the purchase of Headley Grange to be their new corporate headquarters
November xx, 1974 - The band makes plans and rehearses for the tenth North American tour
November xx, 1975 - Led Zeppelin records Presence in a mere 18 days
November xx, 1976 - Led Zeppelin book into Ezyhire Studios to rehearse new material for an upcoming tour
November 04, 1976 - The Song Remains The Same movie premieres in Europe
November xx, 1977 - Jimmy dispells rumors of Led Zeppelin’s break up
November 06, 1978 - Led Zeppelin purchase and ship new gear to Polar Studios to begin work on a new album
November 10, 1979 - Led Zeppelin and their entire entourage attend an ABBA concert
November 07, 1980 - The band meets with Peter Grant to announce the retirement of Led Zeppelin
November 29, 1999 - The RIAA announced that Led Zeppelin were only the third act in music history to achieve four or more Diamond albums, a Diamond album being awarded for accredited sales of more than 10 million units in the US.
November 01, 2007 - An announcement was made that Jimmy Page had fractured his finger on his left hand after a fall in his garden and the reunion show would be postponed to December 10, 2007.
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