Jimmy Page says that Led Zeppelin's first album of the 1980's was to be a much harder set than 1979's In Through The Out Door. With John Bonham's death on September 25th, 1980 and the band's decision to then call it quits, fans were forever deprived of hearing what the band would've morphed into during its third decade.
Page explained that after the heavy guitar bombast of 1976's Presence, he was comfortable letting bassist John Paul Jones experiment with keyboards on In Through The Out Door as a way to showcase all the colors of Zeppelin's paint box, telling Rolling Stone: “Presence was a guitar album. After that record, John Paul Jones had acquired a 'Dream Machine,' a Yamaha (synthesizer). Stevie Wonder also had one. So it had given him a lot of inspiration.”
Page went on to recall, “He suddenly actually wrote whole numbers, which he hadn’t done before, and I thought the way to go with this is to feature John Paul Jones on the keyboard. He’d written some stuff with Robert (Plant). I thought, 'Well, that’s great.' Obviously, at that time, I thought I knew how this album is shaping up, but the next album is going to be a departure from the keyboard album.”