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Led Zeppelin weren’t just a hard-rocking blues band. They excelled at that, but they also proved their folk-rock skills while also penning songs that proved they had a soft side. Led Zeppelin’s long-lost soul song stayed in the vaults for 25 because Jimmy Page said the backing vocals weren’t clever enough to meet the band’s exacting standards.

Jimmy Page revealed why ‘Baby Come on Home’ sat in the Led Zeppelin vaults for 25 years 

Page didn’t waste much time assembling Led Zeppelin when the Yardbirds broke up in the summer of 1968. Within weeks, he recruited John Paul Jones, Robert Plant, and John Bonham. The quartet hit it off at their first rehearsals and soon recorded their first album in an astonishingly short time — just over one day.

The band worked quickly on the debut record (as well as others), but they still had some scraps. Page’s shimmery guitar, Bonham’s steady slow beat with tasteful fills, Jones’ warm Hammond organ, and Plant’s solid vocal track helped Led Zeppelin make a soul music gem with their cover of the Solomon Burke tune “Baby, Come on Home”(with the comma; Zep omitted it). Still, they kept the track in the vaults for 25 years before unleashing it on their second box set in 1993. 

“Baby Come on Home” sounded unlike anything else in the band’s catalog. It stood proudly among authentic American soul songs. Still, Page revealed Led Zeppelin kept “Baby Come on Home” in the vaults for 25 years because of their high standards and a not-so-clever backing vocal track (via Light & Shade):

“I don’t think we finished it — the backing vocals weren’t very clever. And at the time, we thought everything else was better. Simple as that, really. But don’t get me wrong, the track is good, and Plant’s singing is excellent. It’s just that we set such high standards for ourselves.”

Jimmy PAge

You have to respect Page’s viewpoint on “Baby Come on Home.” Led Zeppelin pieced together a solid collection of songs for their debut album. The backing vocals that appeared in the 1993 boxed set (the song also showed up on the deluxe Coda reissue) didn’t sound poor enough to keep it off Led Zeppelin I. Still, as the band’s producer, Page would know best what the original version sounded like, and it wasn’t good enough to make the cut. 

Also, most of the nine tunes on the record hovered close to the heavy blues formula for which they became famous. “Baby Come on Home” didn’t fit the mold. It would have stuck out like a sore thumb. The song didn’t meet Led Zeppelin’s high standards, so it went into the vaults for 25 years.

Led Zeppelin’s approach to recording made ‘Baby Come on Home’ one of their few leftovers


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Zep tended to work efficiently in the studio. They didn’t do multiple takes. The band didn’t take up residency for months at a time. Most of Led Zeppelin’s songs and albums came together quickly once they went to record them. Page worked under the gun and finished Presence in three weeks.

Working quickly had its benefits. The band could get back on the road for lucrative tours, for instance. Yet it also meant the band didn’t have many hidden gems in their archive. 

Most of Led Zeppelin’s leftover tracks surfaced on 1982’s Coda. The only truly new song on the band’s first box set was “Travelling Riverside Blues,” a 1969 BBC live recording. Page unearthed other BBC material and released it on the three-disc The Complete BBC Sessions in 2016, but that collection contained only a few unheard songs.

The familiar tones of “The Seasons,” Page’s demo for “The Rain Song” that he unearthed in March 2023, might be the last nugget in Led Zeppelin’s vaults.

“Baby Come on Home” remained Led Zeppelin’s long-lost soul song for 25 years before seeing the light of day in 1993. It was one of the last unheard Zep tunes before Page stumbled across “The Seasons,” his test track for “The Rain Song.” That might be the last unheard Led Zeppelin song left in the vaults.

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