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Hear Led Zeppelin’s Unreleased BBC Version of ‘Communication Breakdown’

Led Zeppelin
Dick Barnatt, Getty Images

Led Zeppelin have released a 1971 take on “Communication Breakdown,” one of eight previously unreleased songs on the upcoming expanded Complete BBC Sessions. Recorded on April 1 at the Paris Theatre in London, this version was broadcast three days later on the BBC’s In Concert program but has never been included on any official Led Zeppelin release.

Robert Plant and company stretch the new “Communication Breakdown” almost two minutes longer than on any of the takes previously included on 1997’s double-platinum BBC Sessions. Featuring a lengthy improvisational segment, it’s also about twice as long as the studio version on 1969’s Led Zeppelin.

Listen to it below.

Complete BBC Sessions includes all of the original two-disc compilation from 1997, plus a third disc of newly unearthed performances. The above take on “Communication Breakdown” is actually one of two unheard live updates. The set also features the only recorded version of “Sunshine Woman,” recorded at the BBC’s Maida Vale studios for broadcast by Alexis Korner in April 1969. It has long thought to have been lost. There are also two previously unreleased takes on “What Is And What Should Never Be.”

Remastering for Complete BBC Sessions was handled by Jimmy Page, who also oversaw Led Zeppelin’s recent deluxe reissue series. Dave Lewis wrote extensive new session notes for the set, which will be available in a variety of formats on Sept. 16. The vinyl edition is spread over five LPs.

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