Why Led Zeppelin Didn’t Include ‘Travelling Riverside Blues’ on an Early Zep Album

by Jeremy Spirogis
Led Zeppelin in the studio, 1969

When Led Zeppelin launched its first boxed set in 1990, most Zep followers most likely thought they’d heard all of the band’s studio recordings. After all, it was 10 years after Zep disbanded. What’s extra, wouldn’t Coda (1982) have been the place to launch any remaining tracks of worth?

The emergence of “Travelling Riverside Blues,” Zep’s explosive tackle a Robert Johnson music launched as a promotional single in 1990, answered that query. By inserting the monitor on disc 1 of the boxed set, Jimmy Page made it clear that he was highlighting the unreleased music.

In a 1990 interview quoted in Led Zeppelin: All the Songs (2018), Page spoke concerning the “speculation” within the air from the bootlegging of “Travelling Riverside Blues” over time. “It was quite touching,” Page mentioned. “So we decided to include it on the boxed set.”

But after followers heard the monitor and noticed the accompanying video on MTV, many needed to surprise why Zep hadn’t launched it on one among their early albums. (The group recorded it in 1969.) In transient, Led Zeppelin forgot concerning the music shortly after recording it.

Led Zeppelin recorded ‘Travelling Riverside Blues’ for BBC periods and by no means appeared again

Led Zeppelin in the studio, 1969
Members of Led Zeppelin snicker whereas recording ‘Led Zeppelin II’ in May 1969. | Charles Bonnay/The LIFE Images Collection through Getty Images

RELATED: Could Led Zeppelin Have Gone on Much Longer Had John Bonham Lived?

In 1969, Led Zeppelin performed 5 periods for broadcast on the BBC, together with two for John Peel’s Top Gear present. At one of many periods, producers requested for an additional monitor. Though Zep hadn’t deliberate one, they determined to run by “Travelling Riverside Blues.”

As Page recalled it later, they performed the backing monitor stay on the spot — in a single take — simply as you hear it. Since the BBC deliberate to air that Zeppelin set a couple of days later, they gave the band the chance to overdub components on the stay monitor. You didn’t need to ask Page twice.

[embedded content material]

Page recorded some extra slide guitar so as to add on to “Travelling Riverside Blues,” and the monitor went out stay on the air on June 29, 1969. Since the band had tossed off the music so rapidly within the studio, nobody gave it a lot thought because the years handed.

That’s the place it sat (i.e., within the BBC vaults) for the subsequent 20 years or so. Though hardcore Zep-heads have been circulating copies (seemingly on cassette tape), the typical fan couldn’t get their palms on a model till the boxed set launch. But Page stored together with it on subsequent Zep releases.

Led Zeppelin by no means tackled ‘Travelling Riverside Blues’ at studio album periods

Group shot of Led Zeppelin, 1970Group shot of Led Zeppelin, 1970
LED ZEPPELIN in 1970 | GAB Archive/Redferns

RELATED: Why Led Zeppelin’s Hall of Fame Induction Had Some Painfully Awkward Moments

If you wish to place the BBC recording of “Travelling Riverside Blues” within the context of Led Zeppelin’s studio albums, the band laid down the monitor between the discharge of its eponymous debut (January ’69) and the October ’69 arrival of Led Zeppelin II.

By June ’69, Zep had recorded most of Led Zeppelin II, although the recording of “Thank You” adopted the day after the BBC session that produced “Travelling Riverside Blues.” So the group by no means tackled their supercharged tackle the Johnson music in periods for a studio album.

If it weren’t for these formidable bootleggers, Page may by no means have gone again to the BBC for the tapes of “Travelling Riverside Blues.” But that wasn’t the one unreleased monitor. “The Girl I Love She Got Long Black Wavy Hair” accompanied that and a number of other different stay cuts on the 1997 launch BBC Sessions.

“Travelling Riverside Blues” additionally grew to become a bonus monitor on future releases of Coda. If you’ve heard this monitor, you realize why Page will hold sending it out with the opposite rarities on boxed units and associated choices. You merely can’t beat 1969 Zep power. It’s magical stuff.

Leave a Comment