Jimmy Page On Zep “Best Of” LPs, Future With Plant

Following up last year’s release of an “Early Days” Led Zeppelin compilation, “Latter Days – The Best Of Led Zeppelin Volume 2″ arrived in stores this week containing ten songs from the legendary rock band’s last four studio albums.

As with “Volume 1,” Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page personally selected the tracks, which include such FM radio staples as “The Song Remains The Same” from 1973’s “Houses Of The Holy,” “Kashmir” from the 1975 double-record “Physical Graffiti,” “Nobody’s Fault But Mine” from 1977’s “Presence,” and “All My Love” from 1979’s “In Through The Out Door.”

In addition to the songs, the enhanced “Latter Days” CD also includes film footage of the band performing “Kashmir” in concert at Earl’s Court in London from the band’s 1975 tour.

Jimmy Page recently talked with MTV News about how he went about selecting songs for the two “Best Of Led Zeppelin” records, and why he chose to eschew some of Zep’s later singles, such as “D’yer Mak’er,” “Candy
Store Rock,” or “Fool In The Rain” in favor of other album tracks.

“It’s always difficult once you start pulling [songs] out [of albums],” Page said, “but at least if there’s going to be a compilation — so to speak, ’cause I’d rather call it that than a ‘greatest hits’ [record] — it certainly wasn’t going to go on one CD. It had to go on two [discs], so it made sense to call it ‘Early Days’ and ‘Latter Days,’ ’cause basically that’s exactly what it is.”

“There wasn’t a clever sequencing episode, and they’re just in chronological order by the album’s [release],” he continued. “The four-CD [box] set [from 1990] was a bit different.
There was a lot of thought put into that,
but really [‘Latter Days’ is] just a taster as to what there is for people who might not have heard Zeppelin or maybe only heard a few of the tracks that are on [those records]. Then they’ll hear a bit more, and they might access some of the albums.”

During the interview, Page also talked about his current relationship with Zeppelin frontman Robert Plant, with whom he re-teamed for a pair of albums, “No Quarter” in 1994 and “Walking Into Clarksdale” in 1998, as well as a series of highly successful tours.

Page told MTV News that the two had a falling out of sorts while in the middle of a planned global jaunt in support of “Walking Into Clarksdale” when Plant decided to abandon the tour after the European leg.

“We finished up a tour of over here… no, I’m sorry, I mean Europe, and then we were supposed to be going to Australia and Japan,” Page recounted. “Everyone’s
ready to go to Australia and Japan, and then Robert decided he didn’t want to go. And it sort of went on from there through various [issues].

“I mean, I thought we had a good record left in us, actually, especially ’cause we were charged up from touring. But the whole thing, the momentum of it, just dwindled away. I kept presenting this idea, that idea [to Plant]. To be honest with you, after about 14 months of it, I just got tired [of waiting].

“He’s doing what he wants to do, which is just playing in pubs and small clubs — and I mean small clubs, too — and it’s all rather peculiar.” [RealAudio]

Page told MTV News that he doubted whether he and Plant would re-team again for either an album or tour, and that he was happy enough to pursue new projects, including the Internet release of the “Live At The Greek” album with The Black Crowes (see “Jimmy Page, Black Crowes Discuss ‘The Greek'” ).

Page and the Crowes’
cover of Led Zeppelin’s “What Is And What Should Never Be,” the first single from “Live At The Greek,” is currently number ten on the Rock radio charts, according to “R&R.”