Black Crowes, Jimmy Page Discussing Studio Album

Roots rockers and ex-Led Zeppelin guitarist release live CD set from last year's joint tour.

NEW YORK — Former Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page and roots rockers the Black Crowes, who this week released a live CD set from their 1999 joint tour, are considering recording a studio album together.

"We're all talking about it," Crowes guitarist Rich Robinson said as he sat in a Manhattan hotel room Wednesday (March 1) with his brother, Black Crowes singer Chris Robinson, and Page.

Details of the proposed project are still unclear, but Chris Robinson joked that it might be released under the name "The Black Zeppelin" (RealAudio excerpt of interview).

Page and the Black Crowes, who briefly toured the U.S. together last year, may hit the road again later this year, the Crowes' manager, Pete Angelus, said.

In the meantime, last year's tour, which featured blues standards as well as Zeppelin and Crowes songs, has been immortalized on a customizable live album, Live at the Greek. The collection of songs, recorded during shows at Los Angeles' Greek Theatre on Oct. 18 and 19, has been available since Tuesday exclusively through the online music company musicmaker.com.

Fans can choose their own track listings from 19 cuts, including a version of Led Zeppelin's "Heartbreaker" (RealAudio excerpt). Or, instead of waiting for a CD to be mailed, they can pay to download songs in Windows Media format.

Thanks to heavy demand for the latter option, the album has, in a single day, already become the best-selling paid music download ever, according to musicmaker.com. The company would not release sales figures.

Page, who carefully sequenced his own albums in the days of Led Zeppelin, said he enjoyed the idea of fans making their own selections. "I much prefer that to people just playing a video game — it's very encouraging to see this whole new channel [for music]."

A single from the album — a version of Led Zeppelin's "What Is and What Should Never Be" (RealAudio excerpt) — has been released to radio stations.

"We want to be the first dot-com company to break music on the radio," said Larry Lieberman, president of worldwide marketing for musicmaker.com.

Whether that happens, the Black Crowes said they're already thrilled with the partnership.

"Every musician's dream is to be in Led Zeppelin and play in front of thousands of people. Obviously we're not Led Zeppelin, but it was fun to be up there and pretend," Chris Robinson said.

The Black Crowes' R&B and blues roots, which they share with the classic rockers, were evident from the beginning. Their debut album, Shake Your Moneymaker (1990), included a hit cover of Otis Redding's "Hard to Handle" (RealAudio excerpt).

Last year the Black Crowes released By Your Side, an album that marked a return to driving blues-rock after two discs of experimentation with psychedelic rock and other styles.

Before his association with the Black Crowes, Page released two albums, No Quarter (1994) and Walking Into Clarksdale (1998), with former Led Zeppelin singer Robert Plant.

Led Zeppelin, whose hard-hitting riffs and painstakingly crafted arrangements influenced countless rock and metal bands, broke up in 1980 following the death of drummer John Bonham.