This unreleased album was intended to be a promotional only release and is considered to be the rarest Led Zeppelin album in the world. At the time of this writing only two copies are known to exist to have the unproduced record jacket sleeve paired with a test pressing of an interview conducted on August 12, 1979 onsite at Knebworth with John Paul Jones and Robert Plant by the late J.J. Jackson when he was with KLOS Radio in Los Angeles California. However, once the project was ceased the record jackets that were created were then destroyed. However some sleeves survived and several other examples exist of just the record jacket sleeve.
The history of this unreleased promotional album began when Rick Barrett was running his mail order business called “Merit Adventures”. Rick was contacted by an individual who worked at Atlantic Records in the art department. The individual informed Rick that they had in their possession three examples of a record sleeve from an abandoned promotional project for the band Led Zeppelin. The individual had obtained the sleeves from the Production Department. Rick placed a for sale ad of a record sleeve in his Led Zeppelin catalog number 122 for $1,500, and the sleeve sold.
Soon after two test pressing examples of the record were found to exist with the matching PR-342 etched into the runoff area of the records. Both test pressings were obtained at a swap meet in the Los Angeles area of California at different times. Each of the final two paired examples were then sold. One to a collector in the state of Texas in March of 2000, and the other nine months later to a buyer in Japan. In April of 2015 Rick Barrett once again had the opportunity to sell a complete example when the then current owner from Texas decided to place their example up for sale via auction through Rick Barrett’s now defunct zeppelincollectibles website. Initially, the complete example did not sell, but soon after a deal was made and in August of 2015, I took possession and I am now the caretaker of this rare piece of Led Zeppelin history.
A Swan Song office memo dated August 22, 1979 from Mitchell Fox to Bob Kaus at Atlantic records stated the criteria that was to be included in the write up that can be read on the back of the record sleeve.
NOTE: The audio interview has been available for years, and was even aired in 1979 on some radio stations. If someone is interested in reading the audio interview transcribed it is available in the Dave Lewis book: “Then As It Was Led Zeppelin At Knebworth 1979 30 Years Gone” starting on page 176.
Description by: Robert Musco
Photograph(s) by: Robert Musco
From the collection of: Robert Musco