Early Days: The Best of Led Zeppelin Volume One

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Early Days: Best of Led Zeppelin Volume One
Type compilation album
Artist Led Zeppelin
Release Date 23 November 1999 (US)
23 November 1999 (UK)
Recorded October 1968 - January 1971 at various studios.
Mastered at Sterling Sounds, New York.
Genre Hard rock, blues rock, folk rock, rock
Language English
Length 68 minutes 9 seconds
Label Atlantic Records
Catalogue Atlantic 83268-2 (US)
Atlantic 7567-83268-2 (UK)
Producer Jimmy Page
Engineer George Marino

Early Days: The Best of Led Zeppelin Volume One is a single compilation release (one compact disc or double vinyl album) by English rock group Led Zeppelin, issued by Atlantic Records on 23 November 1999.


After the multi-disc box set releases in the early 1990s, it was decided by Atlantic Records to issue a compilation of Led Zeppelin's material on an affordable single disc for ease of use to new listeners. It features a total of 13 tracks selected by Jimmy Page, to highlight the band's early career from 1968 through to 1971. As an added bonus, the CD format is enhanced with the addition of a promotional music video, 'Communication Breakdown'. This video was recorded on the afternoon of 14 March 1969, in a television studio in Stockholm, Sweden, and is one of the few occasions John Bonham had set-up a double Ludwig drum kit. The footage was rediscovered in February 1999,[1] and also added to the Led Zeppelin DVD in 2003.

The front cover illustration is based on an original collage poster by French photographer M. Dubra in the 1970s French magazine Salut les Copains.[2] The heads of the band members were superimposed over the Apollo spacesuits, to tie in with the original working title Blast Off: The Best of Led Zeppelin Volume One. The idea was eventually dropped but the cover was retained. Coincidently, 1969 was the year Led Zeppelin achieved widespread popularity and when man first landed on the Moon, via the Apollo missions. As a pun on the symbolism, a winged Apollo was also the logo for their record label, Swan Song Records. A Japanese exclusive limited edition re-press featuring a bonus thirty-six page booklet that contains comments in Japanese, lyrics in English and Japanese along with an album discography, was released in 2000.

The album debuted at number 71 on the Billboard's 200 Albums chart, and charted for a total of twenty-six weeks. It was followed by Latter Days (2000), rounding out the later years of the band's catalogue.

Track list

Album information

1999 Track listing:

  • Disc 1:
  1. 'Good Times Bad Times' (Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones, John Bonham) – 2:43
  2. 'Babe I'm Gonna Leave You' (Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, Anne Bredon) – 6:40
  3. 'Dazed and Confused' (Page) – 6:27
  4. 'Communication Breakdown' (Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones, John Bonham) – 2:26
  5. 'Whole Lotta Love' (Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, John Paul Jones, John Bonham) – 5:33
  6. 'What Is and What Should Never Be' (Jimmy Page, Robert Plant) – 4:47
  7. 'Immigrant Song' (Jimmy Page, Robert Plant) – 2:26
  8. 'Since I've Been Loving You' (Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, John Paul Jones) – 7:24
  9. 'Black Dog' (Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, John Paul Jones) – 4:54
  10. 'Rock and Roll' (Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, John Paul Jones, John Bonham) – 3:41
  11. 'The Battle of Evermore' (Jimmy Page, Robert Plant) – 5:52
  12. 'When the Levee Breaks' (Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, John Paul Jones, John Bonham, Memphis Minnie) – 7:08
  13. 'Stairway to Heaven' (Jimmy Page, Robert Plant) – 8:02
  • Video 'Communication Breakdown' - 2.30

Chart performance

Chart (1999) Peak position
Japanese Albums Chart[3] 97
German Albums Chart[4] 79
US Billboard The 200 Albums Chart[5] 71
UK Albums Chart[6] 55
Swedish Albums Chart[7] 4
Austrian Albums Chart[8] 23
Swiss Albums Chart[9] 84
Finnish Albums Chart[10] 28


Country Sales Certification
Canada (CRIA) 50,000+ Gold[11]
United States (RIAA) 1,400,000+ Platinum[12]
United Kingdom (BPI) 73,000+ Silver[13]

Certification history

Organization Level Date
RIAA – USA Gold 11 January 2000
RIAA – USA Platinum 6 September 2001


  • Musicians:
    • Jimmy Page – electric guitar, acoustic guitar, mandolin, electronic effects, backing vocals, producer, remastering, digital remastering
    • Robert Plant – vocals, harmonica
    • John Paul Jones – bass guitar, keyboards, piano, bass pedals, backing vocals
    • John Bonham - drums, percussion, backing vocals
  • Additional musicians
    • Sandy Denny - vocals ('The Battle of Evermore')
  • Production:
    • Peter Grant – executive producer on original recordings
    • George Marino - remastering engineer [Sterling Sound, New York]
    • Andie Airfix - art direction and design
    • Ross Halfin - photography research
    • M. Dubra - photographic collage
    • Yves Beauvais - boxed set production


  1. Lewis, Dave and Pallett, Simon (2005). Led Zeppelin: The Concert File, Revised. London: Omnibus Press, 44. ISBN 1-84449-659-7. 
  2. Lewis, Dave (2004). Led Zeppelin: The Complete Guide to Their Music. London: Omnibus Press, 75. ISBN 1-84449-141-2. 
  3. Top 100 Albums - 28 November 1999. Oricon. Retrieved on 2009-01-19.
  4. Top 100 Albums - 13 December 1999. musicline.de. Retrieved on 2009-01-19.
  5. Billboard.com Early Days: The Best of Led Zeppelin, Vol. 1 - 18 December 1999. Billboard. Retrieved on 2008-12-03.
  6. Lewis, Dave (2003). Led Zeppelin: A Celebration II. The 'Tight but Loose' Files. Omnibus Press, 165. ISBN 1-84449-056-4. 
  7. Top 100 Albums - 20 January 2000. swedishcharts.com. Retrieved on 2008-12-03.
  8. Top 100 Albums - 23 January 2000. austriancharts.at. Retrieved on 2008-12-03.
  9. Top 100 Albums - 23 January 2000. hitparade.ch. Retrieved on 2008-12-03.
  10. Top 100 Albums - 31 August 2000. finnishcharts.com. Retrieved on 2008-12-03.
  11. CRIA Early Days - 7 August 2001. CRIA. Retrieved on 2009-01-19.
  12. RIAA.org Early Days - 6 September 2001. RIAA. Retrieved on 2009-01-19.
  13. BPI Early Days certification - 10 May 2002. BPI. Retrieved on 2009-01-19.