Jimmy Page has revealed that Led Zeppelin had to scrap the first recording of 'When the Levee Breaks'.
The band first recorded a version in London studio while working on their fourth album before moving to an ex-poorhouse, Headley Grange a couple months later.
In an interview with Uncle Joe Benson from UCR Nights, Page said, "I think most bands would have gone, 'Hey, well that's really cool, we'll put it on the next album.' But when we got to Headley Grange, which was a few good months after that, and I heard the drum sound in the hallway, that iconic drum sound… the minute I heard that sound on these reflective surfaces, I said, 'We're gonna revisit that number."
Page explained that he was inspired to find a "whole different approach" when recording in the 18th-century stone building. "I got some ideas about how to record the harmonica with backwards echo, and the whole thing starts to become this whole sort of sonic journey," Page said. "But the inspiration for me was hearing the drums in the hall, and I go, 'I know what we're doing with this.'
The third recording of 'When the Levee Breaks' was the one that appeared on their 1971 fourth album complete with the outstanding drum sound that Page wanted.