Earlier this year, Led Zeppelin released remastered, deluxe versions of their first three records. They’ll put out reissues of 1971’s Led Zeppelin IV and 1973’s Houses of the Holy on Oct. 27, so to get fans pumped, the band has shared an alternate version of classic Houses cut “The Rain Song.”
The track—aptly titled “The Rain Song (Mix Minus Piano)”—answers a question fans have died to know for years: What would this revered song sound like without one of its instruments? Probably something like seeing the hot date you picked up at the bar the next morning, complete with frizzy hair and gym shorts. Still beautiful, but not exactly how you remembered.
Like the instrumental “Thank You (Backing Track)” and other archival deep cuts released with these reissues, “The Rain Song (Mix Minus Piano)” feels a little pointless—but also reminds listeners just how perfect many of the original songs are. And, with guitarist Jimmy Page leading the remastering efforts, many fans will find the albums worth purchasing on their improved audio quality alone.
Consumers will have quite a few versions to choose from. Led Zeppelin will release the two albums on CD, deluxe edition CD, vinyl, deluxe edition vinyl, digital download, and as a comprehensive box set including a coffee table book and print art.
Listen to “The Rain Song (Mix Minus Piano),” via Pitchfork.