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A few quick points to begin with:
Welcome to the Led Zeppelin Infrequently Murmured Trivia List! This list has been compiled by Steven Wheeler, who began this most ardous of tasks in May 1994, before presenting the first version in October 1995. The compiler spent many, many man hours on this, so flames are NOT appreciated, but on the other hand, constructive criticism, suggestions, additions, corrections, etc. are more than welcome.
This document seeks to draw together all the interesting, amusing, perplexing, or just plain anecdotal information that has arisen on the topic of Led Zeppelin. At the time that the compilation process began, there was no storage place for these often quite useful pieces of information. So, to fill that need this document was created. I hope you find something of interest here.
There are a lot of people that I need to thank for their help in compiling this, and I have probably lost the names of a lot of you, so please if you see something here of yours, let me know so I can credit you. The ones I have remembered are listed in the Credits section.
Most of all, I view this as me putting something back
into a Mailing List from which I have dervied a lot of fun and
enjoyment during my involement. Thanks y'all!
Launceston, Tasmania, 30/APR/95.
Last Updated : 06/NOV/95.
16/JAN/97: Steven is AWOL at the moment.....please forward enquiries/additions/whatever to Buckeye at: firstname.lastname@example.org
As mentioned above, there are a lot of people I have to thank for assisting me in putting this file together. My primary source was the Digital Graffiti mailing list, so the first thankyou goes to everyone who been associated with that over the years.
This is a list of people who have either provided me with information directly, or who are authors of files at the ftp site I utilised, or who posted notable contributions to the list from which I was able to glean useful information.
Thor Iverson, Kingston Arthur, Hugh Jones, David S. Koukourou, Maurice Maes, Matt Hill, Steve Portigal, Steve Kilpatrick, Ville Silltanen, Risto 'Rise' Pohjonen, J.D. Falk, Brian Sagar, Brett Noris, Chris Milazzo, Michael Chilton, Matt McGrath, Larry Ratner, Colin Irwin, J.J. Varley, Phil Humphreys, Michael Gallagher, Theresa Regli, Michael Ayoob, Dave Wright, Scott Miller, Bryan Durall, K.T. Scott, Aaron W. Proulx, Timothy Lindsey, J.D. Considine, Percy, Glenn M. Saunders, Stephen Minnoch, Mark S. Nyhus, Buster Harvey, Rich Kellerman & Cliff Weaver, Scott Swanson, Duncan Watson, and Bill O'Neill.
In addition to this, my primary resource for cross-checking various pieces of information was Dave Lewis's excellent "Led Zeppelin: A Celebration". Highly recommended for any Zeppelin fan, an unparallelled Zeppelin reference work. Additionally, Dave Lewis's "Complete Guide To The Music Of Led Zeppelin" also proved rather useful, and again, highly recommended. Many magazines provided sources for ideas and information as well. Among them: Mojo, Rolling Stone, Guitar World, Q, Vox, Guitar Player and Record Collector.
A big thank you also to the proofreader of this opus, fellow COBOL++ enthusiast, beaver keeper and highway chile Mr. Andy "Speed-Racer" Wagliardo.
"To the memory of Ayrton Senna da Silva
To the heroes who prove, by the events of their lives
and sometimes their deaths,
that some dreams are worthy of any price
and bring adventure back to a world
without knights in armour."
Taken From "Darklord Of Mystara" by Thorarinn Gunnarsson.
Blues tradition has never had a problem with artists borrowing riffs, lyrics or techniques from other artists. Given the extensive grounding in the blues that Led Zeppelin had, it is unlikely they were acting in anything but this spirit when they entered the studio to add their own touches, revisions and additions to the blues legacy of artists that preceeded them. In some cases this got them into serious copyright trouble, a lot of which was to do with the lyrics. In an interview with _Guitar_World_ in December 1993 Jimmy Page said,
"As far as my end of it goes, I always tried to bring something fresh to anything that I used. I always made sure to come up with some variation. In fact, I think in most cases you would never know what the original source could be. Maybe not in every case, but in most cases. And Robert was supposed to change the lyrics, and he didn't always do that - which is what brought on most of our grief. They couldn't get us on the guitar parts or the music, but they nailed us on the lyrics."
· "Babe I'm Gonna Leave You" - On all the box set releases, and re- releases since 1990, a credit has been added for Anne Bredon, an obscure folk musician who wrote and recorded the original song in the 1950s. Back in the 1980s her son was intrigued to hear his mother playing what he and the rest of the world thought was a Led Zeppelin song. After asking her why she was doing this, a quick trip to a solicitor saw her name added and her contribution recognised. Led Zeppelin's version is not that reminiscent of Bredon's original though, the Zeppelin version borrows from Joan Baez's cover of the song. When Jimmy and Robert got together at Jimmy's Pangbourn home in 1968 to evaluate each other, Page told Plant he had an arrangement of this song in mind which had a lot of "light and shade". Contrary to what Richard Cole claims, Plant did not pick up a guitar and play Page the riff, because he didn't play guitar at the time, and both Page and Plant have both said it was Jimmy that played the riff for Robert, and not the other way around.
· "You Shook Me" - The song is a cover of a Willie Dixon song of the same name. The following extract from the song is borrowed from Robert Johnson's "Stones In My Passway" : 'I have a bird that whistles, and I have birds that sing, I have a bird that whistles, and I have birds that sing.' Prior to Zep's cover of this song, the Jeff Beck group released a cover on their album "Truth" and Beck later claimed Page copied his arrangement. The truth of the matter is, though, that it was a very popular cover in England at the time, and including it on their album did not amount to the plagiaristic claim Beck levels at Led Zeppelin. The song was originally recorded by Muddy Waters.
· "Dazed and Confused" - This began as an acoustic folk tune in the sixties by New York folk singer Jake Holmes before Page re- arranged it for the Yardbirds as "I'm Confused." The song first appeared on Holmes's 1967 album "The Above Ground Sound Of Jake Holmes". For the Yardbird's version, the title and the lyrics were changed, completely altering the original meaning of the song, which in Holmes' version is about an acid trip. For their cover Led Zeppelin revived the original title, but not the lyrics nor the original meaning. The reason the Yardbirds changed the title was probably to avoid legal action, in the same way they changed the title of "Train Kept A-Rollin'" to "Stroll On" for the "Blow Up" soundtrack. On the Page-vetoed "Live Yardbirds Featuring Jimmy Page" the song is listed as "I'm Confused". The guitar solo following the bowing section was lifted intact from the Yardbird's "Think About It" where it was originally composed and played by Page. The violin bow technique Page uses during the song is territory he had previously explored with the Yardbirds on "Glimpses" and "Tinker Tailor Soldier Sailor". John Paul Jones's bassline is from the Yardbirds version, where Paul Samwell-Smith was the bass player.
· "Black Mountain Side" - According to Page, "I wasn't totally original on that riff. It had been done in folk clubs a lot. Annie Briggs was the first one that I heard do that riff. I was playing it as well, and then there was Bert Jansch's version." However, Briggs cites her source for the song as being Bert Lloyd, a collector of old folk songs, who according to Briggs assembled the song from fragments. The riff though, again according to Briggs, comes from Stan Ellison, who composed the accompaninment on the version Briggs recorded. Bert Jansch went and wrote a different guitar part for his version which appeared on his 1966 album "Jack Orion". Page probably learned the old Irish folk song from folk musician Al Stewart during a session where Page turned up to play on Stewart's cover of the Yardbird's song "Turn Into Earth", the b-side for his single "The Elf". Stewart recalls that between takes he showed Page how to play the riff and that Page seemed really taken with it. Stewart later realised though, that he showed Page the wrong tuning for what he thought was Jansch's version, D modal, but which wasn't. That actual tuning, DADGAD is acknowledged as an invention of folk musician Davey Graham. Out of this confused set of sources, Jansch apparently contemplated legal action but those acting on his behalf gave up. Viram Jasnai plays tabla drums to add a feel similar to an Indian raga.
· "Communication Breakdown" - Borrows from Eddie Cochran's "Nervous Breakdown."
· "I Can't Quit You Baby" - Originally by Willie Dixon, a Page arranged version found it's way onto the first album. A live version, not the soundcheck as claimed, appears on Coda.
· "How Many More Times" - The song is in part inspired by Howlin' Wolf's "How Many More Years." Prior to Led Zeppelin, Plant played this in the Band of Joy with John Bonham. Page takes his solo from The Yardbirds "Shape Of Things." The imagery of "Rosie" and "The Hunter" is borrowed from Albert King's "The Hunter", which was most likely originally by Booker T. and the MGs, some of whom formed a backing band for Albert King for a while. Zeppelin's version is lyrically related to a cover called "How Many More Times" by Gary Farr and the T-Bones (from liner notes by Giorgio Gomelsky, one-time producer of The Yardbirds). At one point during the instrumental section the band play an excerpt from the Page composition, "Beck's Bolero." The main riff from the song is very similar to that of the song "Night Comes Down", which Page played on during his session days. A song by Howlin' Wolf, who Jimmy claims is who he thought he was borrowing from, called "Come Back Home (Take 1)" features a very similar riff as well. This song can be found on "Howlin' Wolf: Memphis Days - The Definitive Edition Volume 1" on Bear Family Records. It has been remarked upon that the riff also has a vague similarity to the one from Pink Floyd's "Money".
· "Whole Lotta Love" - The riff is Page's but the lyrics are taken from Willie Dixon's "You Need Love." Plant has said,
"Page's riff was Page's riff. It was there before anything else. I just thought, 'well, what am I going to sing?' That was it, a nick. Now happily paid for. At the time, there was a lot of conversation about what to do. It was decided that it was so far away in time (it was in fact 7 years) and influence that...well, you only get caught when you're successful. That's the game."
The middle section which was edited for the original release as a single features Page and Eddie Kramer doing a lot of "random knob twisting." Apart from that, sounds of sirens, screams, demolition sounds, an orgasmic wail from Plant can be heard. Page also uses backwards echo, a technique he pioneered with the Yardbirds and in a Mickie Most session. In 1985 Willie Dixon sued the band over their use of his lyrics. An out of court settlement was reached. A similar `sound' is achieved by the Small Faces on their 1966 debut album with the track "You Need Loving."
· "The Lemon Song" - This track, cut live in the studio, is an amalgam of Led Zeppelin's blues influences. The major influence for this was Howlin' Wolf's "Killing Floor." With lyrics and an instrumental section borrowed from it, it is not surprising the band was sued for it. The suit was settled out of court. The "squeeze my lemon" sequence comes from Robert Johnson's "Travelling Riverside Blues." It is likely that Johnson borrowed this himself, from a song recorded in the same year, 1937, called "She Squeezed My Lemon." Albert King's "Cross Cut Saw" was also an influence. Some lyrics are also common to Lightning Slim's "Hoodoo Woman", such as `You take all my money and give it to another man'. "Killing Floor" has also been recorded by Jimi Hendrix, notably.
· "Moby Dick" - Originally titled "Pat's Delight" after Bonham's wife Pat, the version that appears on "Led Zeppelin II" was edited down from a much longer version. The riff is from the track that the band recorded for the BBC on June 16th 1969, "The Girl I Love" that was never used. That song was originally written by Sleepy John Estes under the title "The Girl I Love, She Got Long Curly Hair." Some of the drum parts were lifted from George Suranovich's drum solo from the Arthur Lee song "Doggone." The Led Zeppelin equivalent for Bonham of Cream's "Toad" for Ginger Baker, some of the inspiration was probably derived from there. The guitar part also draws on a song from Bobby Parker, the bluesman Page tried to sign to Swan Song, that song being "Watch Your Step." The song can be found on Parker's album "Bent Out Of Shape." But the story does not stop there. Parker, in the liner notes for "Bent Out Of Shape" recalls, `It was a takeoff on "Mantecna" by Dizzy Gillespie. I started playing the riff on guitar and decided to make a blues out of it." The Spencer Davis Group in the UK, with Steve Winwood on vocals, covered the tune where it was a big hit. John Lennon said the guitar for riff on "Day Tripper" started out as a variation on this theme.
· "Thank You" - Robert wrote the lyrics for this touching ballad for his wife at the time, Maureen. The guitar in this song has chordal similarities to Traffic's "Dear Mr. Fantasy." Rumour has is that Page during his days as a session player was the guitarist on that particular song, although this is unproven. Additionally, some of the lyrics are taken from an earlier song by Jimi Hendrix, "If 6 Was 9", from the "Axis: Bold As Love" album.
· "Bring It On Home" - The beginning and end of this song draw directly from the original verison of this song by Sonny Boy Williamson, who performed it under the same name. Zeppelin even tried to recreate the peculiarities of Williamson's voice at the beginning for the opening section. To do this, Robert Plant is singing through a harmonica microphone and amplifier.
· "Since I've Been Loving You" - Features a brief lyrical nod to Moby Grape's "Never."
· "Out On The Tiles" - The lyric `see my rider right by my side' bears a distinct resemblance to Robert Johnson's `Goin' to Rosedale with my rider by my side' from his song "Travelling Riverside Blues".
· "Gallows Pole" - A new version of a traditional folk song which according to Dave Lewis can be traced back to Leadbelly, whose version was called "The Gallis Pole." The version this draws more on was by Fred Gerlach. The song "The Hangman's Knee" on Jeff Beck's "Beck-Ola" album employs a similar lyrical theme, that of the appeal to the hangman. Leadbelly's "The Gallis Pole" actually has the line, `Friend, did you get me silverm friend you get me gold, what did you get me dear friend, keep me from the Gallis Pole?', and he then repeats that line substituting friend for father, mother and wife.
· "Tangerine" - A Page composition left over from his days in the Yardbirds, written for his girlfriend at the time, Jackie DeShannon.
· "Bron-Y-Aur Stomp" - The introduction is lifted from "The Waggoner's Tale" by Bert Jansch, a traditional song. The subject matter, Plant's dog, includes a few lifts from the traditional folk tune "Ole Shep" where the dog in question had its existence terminated for some obscure reason. Plant's dog is named "Strider" and is, according to the song, "a blue-eyed merle".
· "Hats Off To (Roy) Harper" - The lyrics to this song draw heavily on Bukka White's "Shake 'Em On Down." Also covered by Joe Lee Williams and Blind Lemon Jefferson.
· "Black Dog" - Page admitted recently that the vocal arrangement on this song was influenced by Fleetwood Mac's "Oh Well." The song is built around a bass riff by John Paul Jones.
· "Rock And Roll" - The drumbeat borrows from the drumbeat from Little Richard's "Good Golly Miss Molly/Keep A Knockin." Page has said that they were trying to achieve a similar feel to those songs. Ian Stewart plays piano.
· "Stairway To Heaven" - It has been murmured that there is a vague similarity between the opening notes of this song and those of a song by Johnny Rivers called "Summer Rain". Another suggested source for the introduction chords is The Chocolate Watch Band's "And She's Lonely". The solo chords are also similar to the chords of Dylan's, and Hendrix's, "All Along The Watchtower", though the chord progression is hardly uncommon and any direct influence is also unlikely.
· "When The Levee Breaks" - A radically different version of an old blues song originally written and performed by Memphis Minnie and Kansas Joe McCoy which they recorded on June 18, 1928.
· "The Song Remains The Same" - The beginning of the song, and the layered chords that give the song its impetus is a very similar effect to that used by Jimmy on the Yardbird's ong "Tinket Tailor Soldier Sailor" from the "Little Games" album. The resemblance is quite apparent even to a casual listener, and, the song also features some early experimentation from Jimmy with the violin bow, which was to become his trademark in later years. The violin bow also appears on another track from that album, "Glimpses".
· "The Crunge" - A play on James Brown's "Sex Machine", complete with lyrics about missing bridges. In this song Brown frequently says "Take it to the bridge, take it to the bridge" and as "The Crunge" has no bridge, the search for the bridge at the end can be explained by this.
· "D'Yer Mak'er" - Initially an attempt to recreate a 1950's doowop feel, Rosie and the Originals, although this was warped by a subtle reggae influence.
· "Custard Pie" - The lyrics to this song also draw on bluesman Bukka White's "Shake 'Em On Down." Other reference points that Dave Lewis cites are Sonny Boy Fuller's "Custard Pie Blues," Blind Boy Fuller's "I Want Some Of Your Custard Pie," and Big Joe William's "Drop Down Daddy," which was the most important of these three. However, the earliest source for this seems to be Sleepy John Estes song "Drop Down Daddy" in 1935, which preceeds Blind Boy Fuller by five years. Sonny Terry covered it with the title "Custard Pie Blues."
· "Trampled Underfoot" - The lyrics are thematically similar to those in the song "Terraplane Blues" by Robert Johnson, and more recently the Rolling Stones' "Brand New Car."
· "In My Time Of Dying" - Page borrows a riff from Bob Dylan's version on his first album. The song was recorded by Blind Willie Johnson as "Jesus Make Up My Dying Bed", which has more in common with the Zeppelin version than Bob Dylan's. The Animals song "Bury My Body" also features some of the lyrics of this song, "Leave me, Jesus leave me. Why don't you meet me in the middle of the air. And if my wings should fail me, won't you provide me with another pair", albeit altered slightly. The Animals give credit to Al Kooper for their version. Kooper jams with Hendrix on "Electric Ladyland" and his most recent work is doing soudntracks, such as the NBC series "Crime Story". While he may have written the music for the Animals, the lyrics are most certainly derivative of "Jesus Make Up My Dying Bed". Plant has cited Josh White's 1933 song "Jesus Make Up My Dying Bed" as a source for Zeppelin. A similar version appears on the self-titled album by the Canadian band Fear Itself, whose "In My Time Of Dying" is credited to Ellen McIlwaine, the band's lead singer and slide guitarist. Besides many musical and length similarities, the Fear Itself version ends with the line, "My dying... cough."
· "Kashmir" - The way the string section echoes around Page's guitar in this song harks back to the earliest Page and Jones collaborations, such as on the Yardbird's song "Little Games" where Jones's arrangement for the strings seeks to achieve a similar effect.
· "Down By The Seaside" - A guitar section in the song apparently sounds reminiscent of "Signs" by the Five Man Electrical Band, however, "Signs" was released in August 1971 while Zeppelin had been working on "Down By The Seaside" since 1970, so any resemblance between the songs is likely to be the other way around.
· "Ten Years Gone" - Part of this song, the slow part then the several chord lead into the solo, sounds like the opening bars of "Band On The Run" by the Beatles or the part where the Beatles lyrics go `If we ever get out of here.'
· "Boogie With Stu" - This track features the "sixth" member of the Rolling Stones, the late Ian `Stu' Stewart, and it borrows from Richie Valens "Ooh My Head," which in turn was based on Little Richard's "Ooh My Soul." There is a credit on the track for Mrs. Valens, Richie's mother, as the band heard his mother never got any royalties from Richie's songs. The result was that the band was sued! A working title dreamt up by Plant was "Sloppy Drunk."
· "Nobody's Fault But Mine" - The lyrics are borrowed from Blind Willie Johnson, although the song has thematic similarities with Robert Johnson's "Hellhound On My Trail." Robert Plant has the following to say about this song, "First of all, it's public domain because he's been dead so long, and secondly it wasn't his song in the first place - nobody knows where it comes from."
· "Candy Store Rock" - During the `Nanananananananah, yeah' vocal section the riff being played as the same one in "Walter's Walk" which is being played as Plant sings `I've been walking the floor over you'. One of the bass riffs resembles one from "The Wanton Song".
· "Hots On For Nowhere" - A riff from this song might also have been borrowed from "Walter's Walk".
· "In The Evening" - James Carr has a song entitled "In The Evening, When The Sun Goes Down", but the two are not similar.
· "I'm Gonna Crawl" - Dave Lewis points to the influence of people such as Wilson Pickett, O.V. Wright, and Otis Redding. Lewis cites Pickett's "It's Too Late" as a reference point.
· "Poor Tom" - Owen Hand, a little-known friend of Bert Jansch recorded a couple of albums during the 1960s, one of which featured the song "She Likes It", shares a few licks with "Poor Tom".
· "Darlene" - This song features a line borrowed from Don McLean's "American Pie". "With a pink carnation and a pickup truck..."
· "We're Gonna Groove" - Originally written by Ben E. King and James Bethea, Led Zeppelin recorded this way back in 1969.
· "Travelling Riverside Blues" - Like "When The Levee Breaks" this is a much changed cover of an old Robert Johnson song originally recorded in 1937. The song "Don't Know Where I'm Going" by Norm Gallagher also features the section about the `rider', although it is obvious that Gallagher also borrowed this section from Johnson. Moving from the lyrics to the music, there are some lifts from Johnny Winter's "Leavin' Home Blues" and another Johnny Winters song, "I'm Yours She's Mine". This song was performed rather unsteadily by the Rolling Stones at their free Hyde Park Concert in 1969, and although credited to Jagger and Richards, is usually credited to Johnny Winter.
· "White Summer" - This Page composition draws upon Davey Graham's "She Moved Through The Fair", credited to a traditional arrangement, but performed in a DAGDAD tuning. Interestingly, when page performed the "White Summer/Black Mountain Side" medley live he also frequently played an excerpt of Bert Jansch's "Casbah". A 40 second excerpt was played by Page at the Anderson Theatre Yardbirds concert that appeared on a quickly withdrawn album, "Live Yardbirds With Jimmy Page". Another Page performance of this medley, at a 1969 concert at Houston, Texas, includes a section of the Anne Briggs song "Go Your Way My Love", also recorded by Bert Jansch a year later than Briggs in 1967. Page also tossed in bits and pieces of the never completed instrumental "Swan Song" to this medley when playing live in the late 1970s.
· Even a cursory glance at the Zeppelin back catalogue would cause most music buyers some puzzlement as they struggled to pronounce "Bron-Y-Aur" or scratched their head in wonderment at a song title like "The Lemon Song". In many cases the cause of this confusion can be cleared up quite easily with a bit of research in blues history, or the band's history, or the most valuable account, that of the primary songwriters for the band, Page and Plant, the latter of whom wrote the lyrics and most likely came up with titles for a lot of the songs.
· "Dazed and Confused" - The title neatly fits both the original lyrics about an acid trip and Plant's diatribe on getting the runaround from a woman.
· "The Lemon Song" - The title is drawn from the "squeeze my lemon" lyrics in the song which are borrowed from Robert Johnson's "Travelling Riverside Blues." Elements of the song use Howlin' Wolf's "Killing Floor" as a source, the title of which is a synonym for being in serious trouble, or being mistreated.
· "Living Loving Maid (She's Just A Woman)" - Thought to be a reference to an aging and persistent groupie on early American tours.
· "Out On The Tiles" - The title means the same as a slang term such as `Out On The Town.' Page recently said that song may have drawn on some drunken lyrics Bonham came up with about drinking such as `Now I'm feeling better because I'm out on the tiles.'
· "That's The Way" - Another song written during the highly productive time Page and Plant spent together at the cottage, this was originally titled, "The Boy Next Door."
· "Bron-Y-Aur Stomp" & "Bron-Yr-Aur" - The title, which is correctly spelled `Bron-Y-Aur,' and, pronounced `Bron-Yar,' is the name of a derelict cottage in South Snowdonia in Wales where Page and Plant retreated to write some songs and get to know each other before the third album was recorded. It has been attributed as having several meanings, and Welsh is a language best left to the Welsh. The most common translation is "breast of gold." Another version is offered by Cameron Crowe, "...Bron-Y-Aur, so-called for the stretch of sun that crossed the valley every day." The working title for "Bron-Y-Aur Stomp" was "Jenning's Farm Blues." This early version was quite different from the song that finally appeared on the album, particularly as it was not acoustic.
· "Hats Off To (Roy) Harper" - Roy Harper is an eccentric folk singer who was a friend of the band. Harper is perhaps better known for his involvement with Pink Floyd, and David Gilmor in particular. Harper can also be heard on the Pink Floyd song "Have A Cigar," and a variety of recordings with Jimmy Page.
· "Black Dog" - Named after a black labrador that was a frequent visitor to the Headley Grange studio during recording sessions. According to "Unplugged" producer Alex Coletti, this dog is the one that can be seen during the Slate Quarry sections of the MTV "Unledded" special. However, this seems exceedingly unlikely, and the dog in the "No Quarter" video is a black Russian wolfhound, which may or may not be related to the dog in Plant's "Little By Little" video. Additionally, onstage, Plant used to introduce "Black Dog" saying how the dog was `...too old to boogie anymore..." and "...he'd go down the road to boogie with his old lady and be too tired to get back home...'
· "Misty Mountain Hop" - The title is drawn from "The Hobbit" by J.R.R. Tolkien, the Misty Mountains being a location in the book.
· "Four Sticks" - Bonzo plays the drums with four sticks, two in each hand, hence the title.
· "The Song Remains The Same" - Originally titled "The Overture" when it was an instrumental before Robert added lyrics. This song was also known as "The Campaign" at one point.
· "The Rain Song" - The working title for this song was "Slush", a reflection on its smooth, flowing nature.
· "The Crunge" - The title and lyrics are a parody of what Dave Lewis calls `...the James Brown/'take it to the bridge' school of funk mannerisms.' The song is rendered undanceable however by Bonham's beat and the band `...named this non-dance cult 'The Crunge'...' There were plans at one stage to release this as a single with the cover being a picture of the band doing the dance steps for the song.
· "D'Yer Mak'er" - The title to this song is pronounced in the same way as "Jamaica" and may have several meanings. The song sounds a bit like reggae so the title may be a reference to that. Also possible is that the title is drawn from an old music hall joke along these lines,
`Two men are sitting in a pub. One says to the other, "Me and muh wife are goin' to the west indies." The other asks "Jamaica?" The first one replies, "No, she wants ta go."'
Another school of thought has it that D'Yer Maker is a Jamaican term equivalent to the phrase `Did you make her?' or `Did you score?' Plant has been attributed as saying this, although no firm reference has ever surfaced.
Yet another theory is that it is a British/American term as in the Beatles' "Lovely Rita": `Thinking that he has already made her...' In conclusion, it is probably a combination of elements of these theories, and when said with a Cockney accent it apparently sounds very much like `Jamaica.' Knowing Plant's lyrical style, and preoccupation with the opposite sex, sexual connotations are highly likely.
However, the answer to this was provided by John Paul Jones in a 1993 radio interview, celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the formation of Zeppelin, where he indicated that the name comes from the jokes about the wife going on holiday.
· "Kashmir" - As the geographically aware would have noticed, Kashmir, the place, is not in, or even anywhere near, Morocco, which was the inspiration for Plant's lyrics. The lyrics describe a car trip Page and Plant took across the Moroccan desert, yet Kashmir, not really a specific city, more of a region, is comprised mostly of fertile farmlands. Furthermore, it is situated at the foothills of the Himalayas, the tallest mountain range in the world, and has been the subject of fighting between muslims for years, fighting which contines to this day. About the only thing that Kashmir might have in common with the song is it's history of religious mysticism, which would attract Plant, although there is no record of any band member ever having visited there. The lyrics describe sand, heat, and endless desert, so the choice of song title is hard to explain. It may be Plant trying to evoke the imagery of some sort of metaphorical "paradise", in the same way people talk about places like Hawaii. However, he has the terrain and geography completely wrong. Most likely, he just though that the title just sounds great, which it does. The song was originally titled "Driving To Kashmir".
· "The Wanton Song" - Despite also being the name for a type of Chinese appetizer similar to a spring roll, although it's spelled Won Ton, this title is more likely a reference to `wantonness' which dictionaries variously define as capricious, luxuriant, licentious or sportive, and generally more fun than Chinese appetizers.
· "Black Country Woman" - This song was originally know as "Black Country Woman (Never Ending Doubting Woman Blues)," in reference to a final spoken line from Plant that was left off the album version, `What's the matter with you mama, never-ending, nagging, doubting woman blues.' The `Black Country,' the area around Birmingham where Plant and Bonham were from, was so known because it had formerly been an important iron-working and coal-mining district. Whether the women in the area have assumed distinct characteristics as the title infers is open to debate.
· "Boogie With Stu" - The song is named for the participation of the Rolling Stones resident boogie-woogie pianist Ian Stewart, who was for a time a member of the Rolling Stones, but was deemed `too normal' by then-manager Andrew Loog Oldham and subsequently became the band's roadie and long-term associate until his death in 1985 while the Stones were working on the "Dirty Work" album. The snippet of honky tonk piano at the end of side two of that album is their triubte to him.
· "Achilles Last Stand" - The recording of "Presence" was a magnificent achievement considering Plant was confined to a wheelchair the whole time due to his car accident. Legend has it that the first time this song was played back to him after he had done the vocals Plant fell out of his wheelchair he was so taken with it. Given that he had a broken heel at the time and his superb vocal performance on this song the title may well be self-explanatory.
· "South Bound Saurez" - The title is a mispelling of "suarez", a Spanish word for a party, similar to the French "soiree".
· "Carouselambra" - The name is a reference to the band thinking the song sounded a bit like Carousel music.
· "All My Love" - The working title for this song was "The Hook", due to its commercial nature.
· "Poor Tom" - The title refers to the main character in the song, the ubiquitous Tom, who was the seventh son, and thus did not inherit any land or property and was poor in terms of material possessions.
· "Ozone Baby" - The title may be some sort of dated equivalent to bimbo, or airhead, with similar connotations.
· "Wearing And Tearing" - A gesture from the band to the emerging punk music genre, which harboured a pathological dislike of the band, which never failed to mystify Page, seeing them as rock `dinosaurs.' This may be regarded as a sort of `we're just as screwed up as you are' type response to the punk movement's disdain for the band. Plant has been attributed as saying it is partly about the lifestyle of a rock star which certainly fits in with this idea and the hectic feel of the song.
· "Jennings Farm Blues" - The title of this unreleased song, although it is available on bootleg studio outtakes, is the name of the farm where Plant lived at the time of the song.
Across the Zeppelin catalogue, various songs incorporate some form of additional dialogue. This ranges from unintelligible background chatter to timeless lines such as "Shall we roll it Jimmy?"
· "You Shook Me" - The way this song is produced there are echoes all over the place, and if you turn the volume right up and listen to it on headphones, occasionally you can hear faint sounds such as at 0:24 in the left speaker which sound like far off voices. Much more obvious is Plant's laugh at 1:45, and his "Ooh, ooh, ohh..." at 3:18. Harder to pick is what sounds like Plant crooning something along the lines of "Doobee-doo-doo..." at 4:45, which you can just make out through the static in the right speaker if you listen very closely. A few other miscellaneous moans from Plant can be heard at 3:35 and 3:56.
· "Your Time Is Gonna Come" - Right at the very end of the song, just as the first notes of "Black Mountainside" are about to be played, and this is first noticeable at about the 4:33 mark, Plant can be heard to say what sounds like 'Wait for ya, Wait for ya...'
· "Friends" - Before the song starts and for the first few moments once it begins talking can be heard in the background, what is being said though is impossible to make out. However, at about the 0.09 mark, just as the bass guitar starts, Jimmy can be heard to exclaim 'Fuck!' About the same time someone can be heard saying 'Ssh!' Why Page says this is not clear, maybe Jones started before he was ready, and possibly the other person was telling the people speaking in the background to quieten down. One of the voices in the right channel sounds like Peter Grant.
· "The Lemon Song" - Plant can be faintly heard to yell something unintelligible at the 1:58 and 2:04 points in the song. This can be heard in the left channel.
· "Since I've Been Loving You" - Just before Page's solo starts Plant shouts 'Watch out!' This happens around 3:38 into the song. Also worth noting is Plant's "Oh..." at the 53 second mark as Page and Bonham really begin to wind up.
· "Out On The Tiles" - Between the 10 and 11 second marks a voice can be heard in the left channel to say what sounds like `Stop.' Also, at the 1:23 mark Page clearly says `Stop'. He did this to remind himself to get the timing straight on the riff because he kept screwing it up in practice. Or so rumour has it. However, the voice actually sounds more like Plant than Page, and the rumoured explanation for that is that Page was making faces at him as he was trying to do the vocal track.
· "Tangerine" - The count in which goes 'one, two' and then barely spoken, 'one, two, three, four, one, two,' is provided by Page.
· "The Crunge" - at the end of the song in a continuation of the final lyrics about looking for a bridge, Plant asks, 'Where's that confounded bridge?' Anyone in doubt as to whether it's Plant should have a close listen to the version of "Whole Lotta Love" on the bootleg of the 13/7/73 Detroit show. During the theremin section Plant exclaims, `Where's that confounded bridge?!' in exactly the same voice as he does on the studio version of "The Crunge". Jimmy and engineer George Chkiantz can be heard talking before Bonzo comes in on the intro. The conversation sounds something like,
Jimmy Page : "One more straight away George."
George Chkiantz : "You like it?"
Jimmy Page : "Right... [obscured by the start of the song]"
· "The Ocean" - at the start of the song Bonzo says, 'We've done four already, but now we're steady, and then they went, one, two, three, four...' He is referring to the number of previous takes they had done on the song. Also, at the 4:20 mark Plant very clearly half sings "Oh, so good". This song also features some rather unusual, for Zep, backing vocals which start around the 3:40 mark in the form of 'Doo wop doo, doo wop doo...' Also at this point, buried in a background part of the mix Plant can be heard to say `I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry, yeah'. He then does some `woo-hoo-hoo' style harmonising before apologising again. There is some other stuff he seems to be singing but it is unintelligible.
· "In My Time Of Dying" - Getting towards the end of the song, Plant half sings 'Oh, feels pretty good up here... pretty good up here.' Surely the understatement of the century. At the end of the song a discussion something like this takes place,
Someone : [loud cough]
Plant : [sings the last line of the song] "Cough."
Bonzo : "That's gotta be the one... hasn't it?"
Someone : [continued quieter coughing as Bonzo says the above]
Ron Nevison [?] : "Come and have a listen then."
Jones [?] : "Oh yes, thank you."
Other discussions are taking place in the background but it is not possible to make out what is being said. Also noticeable is someone coughing at the 40 second mark.
· "Black Country Woman" - at the start of the song which was recorded outdoors at Headley Grange an airplane can clearly be heard flying overhead and the following conversation takes place,
Eddie Kramer : "Shall we roll it Jimmy? We're rolling on, er..."
[Someone] : "One."
Eddie Kramer : "One, oh, one again."
[laughter] : [Plant?]
Eddie Kramer : "Can't keep this airplane on."
Robert Plant : "Nah, leave it, yeah.
· "Boogie With Stu" - After the song finishes laughter can clearly be heard, the last laugh in this case certainly sounds like it is most likely Plant. The first laugh on the other hand could well be Page.
· "Achilles Last Stand" - Some listmembers with amazing hearing claim to be able to heard a very faint "Yeah" somewhere between the 7:17 and 7:20 point in the song, just between the second and third of four note bends Jimmy is doing at the time. The exact point of the sound is around 7:18.
· "Hot Dog" - The `One, two, three, four' count-in, where Jones can be heard to noodle on the bass momentarily as `three' is said, sounds like it's more likely to be Jones than Page.
There seems to be a wealth of unusual and interesting background noises, and in some cases foreground noises, in Led Zeppelin songs, some of which are so obvious you really wonder how you missed them when you listened to that song the first 5,000 times.
· "Good Times Bad Times" - A suggsted explanation for the hollow sound that Bonzo makes during the opening of the song is that he might have been hitting a cymbal stand. The sound is a crisp, metallic type sound, which gives the impression that a hollow object of this nature is being struck. On the other hand, this could well be a cymbal.
· "I Can't Quit You Baby" - Referring to the version on the first album, the odd metallic sound heard on "Good Times Bad Times" recurs through this song as well, which suggests it is probably a cymbal. It doesn't sound as hollow on this song.
· "Whole Lotta Love" - Plant can be clearly heard to laugh just prior to the start of the song. The middle section features a lot of randon knob twisting in the studio from Page and Eddie Kramer.
· "The Lemon Song" - A gong can be heard right at very beginning of the song.
· "Moby Dick" - Careful listening to this song reveals a variety of noises which could range from Bonham moving about on the drum stool to various sqeaking noises, probably drum pedals. There is a particularly odd scraping noise at 1:58.
· "Immigrant Song" - The odd buzzing sounds at the beginning of the song are tape noises coupled with the count in.
· "Friends" - The fret buzz in parts of the song is due to the guitar being in a different tuning where the sixth string is quite loose, which combined with poor fingering at that fret causes the string to buzz on the fret. The tuning Jimmy is using is a C tuning, C, G, C, G, C, E, where the low E is tuned down 2 whole steps.
· "Celebration Day" - The drone that carries over from "Friends" is there to compensate for the rhythm track which was accidentally erased during recording.
· "Since I've Been Loving You" - the bass drum pedal has a clearly audible squeak about which Page recently said, 'It sounds louder every time I hear it!' Also, as Plant is singing the first line of the song, "Working from seven..." while he sings "from" a strange wheezing sound can be heard in the left channel.
· "Bron-Y-Aur Stomp" - Some interesting extra instruments in this song are spoons and castanets, all played by John Bonham.
· "Black Dog" - In the early stages of the song Bonzo can be heard clicking his drumsticks together, keeping time for the band.
· "Stairway To Heaven" - Not really a weird sound, but the subject of some occasional discussion in the wind instrument being played at the start of the song. It is a recorder and it's being played by John Paul Jones. This instrument was incorrectly claimed to be a mellotron by _Q_ magazine in 1995.
· "Misty Mountain Hop" - There is a mistake in this song in the line that begins "There you sit...", but the band apparently felt the rest of the take was too good to warrant discarding it.
· "Four Sticks" - There is the sound of possibly either a cough or someone exhaling at the five second mark of the song. Then again in the left channel at the 41 and 43 second marks, a very similar sound, that sounds like an exhalation. This occurs again at 1:51. Someone, possibly Page, may have had a microphone a little too close to their face. The same sound, although fainter and closer to the middle in terms of the channels, occurs at the 30 and 37 second mark.
· "When The Levee Breaks" - The titanic drum sound was created through experimentation by Page and Andy Johns with Page's penchant for distance miking. In perhaps the ultimate case of this, they had Bonzo set up his kit, a brand new one, in the stone stairwell at Headley Grange and experimented with microphones in various positions before placing one a few flights of stairs above him. A similar technique was used by producer Don Was and the Rolling Stones on the song "Moon Is Up", where drummer Charlie Watts is playing at the bottom of a stairwell. Right near the end of the song, where the sound is panning all over the place, the basic riff is also played backwards at one point. The idea of reversing riffs is not all that uncommon, Jimi Hendrix did it frequently.
· "The Rain Song" - Bonham's squeaky drum pedal can be heard on this song. The string on this song are not real and are actually John Paul Jones on a mellotron, an early synthesizer.
· "Over The Hills And Far Away" - Another track where Bonham's squeaky pedal can be heard, most clearly from about the three minute mark onwards.
· "The Crunge" - Again, a sequaky drum pedal can be heard, especially at the start of the song where just the bass and the drums are being played. Page can be heard to depress the whammy bar, he used a Stratocaster on this song, at the end of each phrase.
· "Dancing Days" - Another track on "Houses Of The Holy" where Bonham's squeaky drum pedal was somehow overlooked.
· "No Quarter" - In a _Guitar_World_ interview Page revealed he lowered the track half a tone to make "the track sound so much thicker and more intense." Plant's voice is also slightly flanged, while Page uses a theremin to create the moaning of "the dogs of doom" that Plant sings about.
· "The Ocean" - A phone can clearly be heard ringing at about the 1:38 point in the song. The sheet music that accompanies the box set has the word `ring' printed twice above the percussion tab of this song, so the inclusion of the phone sounds like it was intentional. As well as this, there is also the sound of the squeaky bass drum pedal that is present on "Since I've Been Loving" you, which is most apparent in the early parts of the song. And, yet more odd noises occur at 1:59-2:00 and 2:12-2:13 where it sounds like someone is making the `c' sound, as in the first letter of the word `cat'. Just as Bonham comes to "Two" in the introduction you can hear the first five notes far off in the distance, the result of some sort of production glitch.
· "In My Time Of Dying" - Some members of the list with very keen hearing have in the past claimed to have heard the sound a television makes when it's turned on, about half way through this song. The sound they are hearing is produced by the high voltage power supply, or more specifically, the flyback transformer, of the tv which is somewhere around 32,000 volts for color televisions. Not so much a weird noise, as an anomaly, at the 5:44 mark it sounds like Bonham misses a beat. Them cymbals continue as they are but at that time it sounds a bit like a drumbeat is missing.
· "Houses Of The Holy" - Recorded initially for the album of the same name, the squeaky drum pedal that can be heard on a lot of the tracks from that album can also be heard on this song. At the 3:41 mark a strange sound, resembling a bird call, can be heard clearly.
· "Kashmir" - The orchestra riff that is first heard at the 1:19 point in the song can be heard earlier, in the left channel, very faintly, after each line of the first verse, such as at 0:25, 0:34 and 0:43. What this is, is the original track using the orchestra that was wiped off, but a slight "ghost" of that recording remains and is slightly audible.
· "Night Flight" - A strange hissing sound can be heard for around half a second in the right channel before the organ starts.
· "Ten Years Gone" - The squeaky bass drum pedal that was noted in "The Ocean" and "Since I've Been Loving You" occurs here as well, although slightly quieter than on both previous occasions. Also, at the 2:59 mark, and faintly in the left channel, a strange sound can be heard, which has been suggested as the sound of a guitar being plugged in. Another sound, sounding much more like a guitar being plugged in occurs between 5:44 and 5:47.
· "Sick Again" - Bonzo can be heard to cough faintly at the end of the song.
· "Achilles Last Stand" - Despite Page's assertions that there weren't any keyboards on "Presence" between 6:54 and 7:00, on the ascending runs with the staccato background guitar, you can hear what sounds very much like a keyboard. It could also be an extremely affected guitar sound though. Bonham is said to groan at one point during the song, but the time for that is unclear.
· "For Your Life" - Plant makes two weird noises after the lines, 'Wanna find myself a crystal, Payin' through the nose.' The two noises sound very much like a snort, most likely a play on the line about crystals and paying through the nose, in reference to cocaine. This starts at around the 5:30 point in the song.
· "In The Evening" - The third Zeppelin song on which Page uses the violin bow, the others being "How Many More Times" and "Dazed And Confused", the unusual noises in the guitar solo are caused by the springs of a fully depressed whammy bar.
· "Fool In The Rain" - An odd noise can clearly be heard at the 1:05 point in the song. The sound occurs just after the line `And you said that you'd always be true'. The sound is most likely Plant, and may be some sort of play on that line. The sound itself is like a sort of `ppttt' noise made with the lips. A suggested explanation for this involves the meaning of the prior line of the song. When someone makes a hand shape like a gun with a clenched fist, extended fore-finger and raised thumb, the sound they most commonly make when they `fire' the gun is similar to this noise, a sort of `ppttt' noise made with the lips. Hence, it may be that Plant was firing off a shot at someone that had not been true to him. This is a rather tenuous theory however.
· "Carouselambra" - The unusual sounds that have been described as `percolating' that occur in this song are most likely to be Bonham hitting some sort of drum as they follow a rhythmic pattern, which rules out other explanations such as perhaps a bong.
· "Wearing And Tearing" - At the 0:19 mark a sound that is similar to a phone ringing, one of the newer ones, not the older ones that actually make a ringing noise, can be heard in the right channel.
Proposing what a particular song is about is usually futile, unless the artists has clearly spelled out what the meaning is, and even then there is plenty of room for personal interpretation, a largely speculative process. One song can mean many different things to different people. The aim of this section is not to engrave in stone what the song is supposed to mean, but to just present some interpretations.
· "The Lemon Song" - The frequent references to a "killing floor" in this song hightlight a recurrent theme in blues lyrics. The term does not specifically refer to a slaughterhouse or abbatoir, but a situation, after you have been, for example, cheated on, dumped by your woman, ignored, or hurt, or some such unfortunate predicament. The term is probably used an analogy, as a man could see an animal being slaughtered, and then when his wife cheats on him for example, saw a similarity in terms of feeling that way. This is only a subset of the song's lyrical themes however. The concept was popularised by Chicago bluesman Howlin' Wolf in his appropriately titled song, "Killing Floor", from whence the riff to this song is derived.
· "Ramble On" - The reference to `the darkest depths of Mordor' is one of the several Tolkien references in Plant's lyrics. Mordor is, in _Lord_Of_The_Rings_, essentially a wasteland, obviously artificially so because of Sauron's, the `dark lord' in "The Battle Of Evermore", poisonous sphere of influence. Mordor is surrounded by a mountain range that encloses it on three sides. Another Tolkien reference is the line referring to Gollum. He is more pitiful than evil. He was once a Hobbit-like creature who fell under the power of the ring and became a monster that he is. His entire essence is now controlled by the ring. The evil one that is mentioned as accompanying Gollum could be one of a variety of characters, such as Saruman, Morgoth, a ringwriath, however, Morgoth was not a contemporary of Gollum's in Tolkien's world. Another part of the song that may be related to Tolkien is the section about "spreading roots", "goin' round the world", "gotta find my girl". In "Lord Of The Rings", Frodo and Sam wander into the forest after being captured by the Orcs. While there they meet an old Ent called Treebeard who tells them the story of the Ents' loss and subsequent search for the Entwives. More likely though, this is part of Plant's recurring lyrical theme of having to find his woman, a neverending search further chronicled in "Going To California".
· "Immigrant Song" - The inspiration for the lyrics for this song are said to have come from a trip to Iceland in June 1970, which goes some way to explaining the Viking overtones of the song.
· "Since I've Been Loving You" - One of the most interesting lyrical moments in this song is Plant's updated blues cliche', the "new fangled back door man". "Back door man" is a term used to describe a woman's secret, or alternative lover, who may enter the house via the back door to preserve the secrey of the affair. Plant's spin on this, the "new fangled" version, may imply that the lover has a unique style, or is particularly up-to-date in appearance or some other detail about him. It could also be that he is reflecting that times have changed since this ancient blues mannerism was first used. Another song that revolves around this concept is the Doors' "Back Door Man".
· "Tangerine" - Written during Page's days with the Yardbirds, he wrote this for his then girlfriend Jackie DeShannon. Marianne Faithfull in her not-to-be-taken-too-seriously autobiography, _Faithfull_, recalls an instance where she was in a hotel room next to theirs and that Page was through his involvement with DeShannon making the transition to being "interesting".
· "That's The Way" - The song centres on the dissolution of a pair of star crossed lovers. This song has been interpreted as having pro-conservation themes, although the generally peaceful nature of the song may have been in part inspired by the unrest Plant witnessed first-hand during his travels across the USA in 1970. Plant has said that it was about the loss of a friend, with a divergence into various social and environmetal issues.
· "Bron-Y-Aur Stomp" - The song is about Plant's dog Strider, which in Plant's words is a "blue-eyed merle". This is likely to mean the dog is a Collie, by breed, with blue-grey fur speckled or streaked with black.
· "Black Dog" - It has been suggested the lyrics are about Plant's feelings towards fat women.
· "The Battle Of Evermore" - With some imagery borrowed from Tolkien and lyrics inspired by a book Robert was reading at the time about Scottish border wars, it is likely that the song is a compilation of elements of these two sources. The lyrical reference to `ringwraiths' is an indication of the use of some middle earth imagery. The actual ringwraiths reference, "The ringwraiths ride in black..." refers to the Nazgul in Tolkien's middle earth. The Nazgul were evil servants of the Dark Lord, also referred to in the song, Sauron, who roamed the earth in search of the one ring to rule them all, the magic ring of invisibility found by Bilbo Baggins in _The_Hobbit_. The Nazgul were referred to as "Ringwraiths" by common peoples. Another line from the song "Bring it back, bring it back..." is interpreted by some as the rapidly fading links between England and the magic of the past. The lines "The magic runes are writ in gold, to bring the balance back" are interpreted by some as meaning the band had found or regained some sense of balance, although this is very probably not what Plant was singing about. Additionally, the Queen of light referred to is Galhadriel, and a ringwraith is a human that fell under the power of Sauron and now lives as a "shadow" or being on another plane of existence. A ringwraith is essentially one of Sauron's henchmen and were dedicated to finding the ring and to bring it back to Sauron. They also dress in black. Some other lyrical ideas are supposed to have come from "The Magic Arts In Celtic Britain" by Lewis Spence.
· "Stairway To Heaven" - The meaning of this song has to be one of the most enduring musical debates of all time. Australian comedian and tv personality Andrew Denton has throughout his tv career expressed his complete ignorance of the meaning and sought to enlighten himself. He finally gained his chance to ask the man who wrote the words what the phrase "If there's a bustle in your hedgerow" actually means, and Plant related an idea, after checking with Jimmy to see whether he should pass on the Freudian meaning, and being told not to, which bears a striking resemblance to one aired in _Guitar_ magazine several years ago. The winner of a contest in that magazine as to what the meaning was also concerned himself with that particular phrase. The theory had it that a hedgerow can also be defined as a "bush", which is also a slang term for the female genitalia. A bustle is a disturbance or some similar dispruptive activity. Supposedly this refers to a woman's period. The May Queen, mentioned in the next line of the lyrics, symbolizes a woman's first period, and thus the two lines taken together relate to a woman's coming of age. Plant's reply to the question on _Denton_ was, "What it is, it's the beginning of Spring, it's when the birds make their nests, when hope and the new year begins. And it's nothing to do with any of that weird stuff you read about in America!" These two explanations at a stretch can be reconciled, so one part of the song is thus about a woman's coming of age. Jimmy has also said that one of the original lyrical inspirations was a woman they both knew. This may be so, but the "lady" in the song appears to be some sort of reference to materialism. The song is reportedly based on a number of Celtic myths and also drew on English literature such as "The Faerie Queene" by Edmund Spenser.
· "Misty Mountain Hop" - Despite a title that is a location drawn from J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Hobbit," from what Plant has said about the lyrics, it sounds much more likely that the song is something to do with an afternoon in the park and some illegal substances. A rough paraphrase of Plant's words is that it about is the trouble one can get into when spending an afternoon in the park with some `cigarette papers.' Another source says that the song is written about a love-in near London that was broken up by the police.
· "Going To California" - The song is, according to Plant, about the unrequited search for the ultimate lady. He would often adlib, "It's infinitely hard," when they played the song live. At Knebworth in 1990 Plant added, "Do you know what? It's still hard."
· "When The Levee Breaks" - The story behind this song is that, after the civil war, many black freemen and former slaves settled on farms in an area along the Mississippi side of the Mississippi river. This area, known as the Delta, is from Greenville north to Memphis, Tennessee. Obviously, this is not the only delta on the Mississippi, and should not be confused with the one south of New Orleans. The reason for settling in this area was the richness of the soil, primarily because of semi-annual floodings In response to this phenomenen a 45 foot tall dirt levee, a ridge of soil, was constructed along the side of the river for mile after mile. Early in the century, a series of floods managed to penetrate the levee and flood the area, devastating crops and farms. Thousands of familes moved upriver to Chicago as a result of this, and also due to the hope that jobs were plentiful and homes inexpensive in that area. However, levees were not just the haunts of farmers. Criminals such as prostitutes, bootleggers and thieves often lived in levee camps, as the people who ran them found it very hard to enforce the rules and were prepared to turn a blind eye to their activities. In such an environment, early bluesmen found a place to play and learn their trade, people such as Robert Johnson, Tommy Johnson and Son House. The levee camps were dangerous places and if a musician failed to impress the patrons there was a good chance he could be in serious trouble.
· "The Song Remains The Same" - Zeppelin's tribute to world music, and the varieties they experienced on their travels.
· "Over The Hills And Far Away" - A song about the joys of the open road and `acapulco gold', a popular slang term for marijuana. Roy Harper, a Zeppelin associate and the subject of the last song on "Led Zeppelin III" actually has a song of that name.
· "The Crunge" - In a song that is basically a James Brown parody, the closing spiel from Plant, `Where's that confounded bridge?' is a reference to the fact that there is no key transition at that point in the song. A musical "bridge" is a segment wherein there is a key change from the tonic key, so at that point in the song, Plant is looking, probably in jest, for the key change, without which the band is stuck in the same key forever, and the song doesn't end. The point at which the bridge is first mentioned is after the band has been playing the riff in the same key several times, hence Robert's search for a transition.
· "Dancing Days" - This positive, upbeat song was inspired by music Robert and Jimmy heard in Bombay during their stopover there. Eddie Kramer recalls the band dancing on the lawn at Stargroves during the playback for this song.
· "The Ocean" - While it is generally agreed that the "Ocean" Plant refers to is his view of the crowd at a concert from the stage, less obvious is his reference to his three years old daughter at the time, Carmen. Carmen is now grown up, and is married to Plant's bass player Charlie Jones. The couple brought a son into the world in early 1995, making Robert Plant a grandfather! In several live versions of "The Ocean" Plant changed the lyrics to "She is only four years old" to keep up with Carmen's age. The line "Playin' in the moonshine, rockin' in the grain" is a clear reference to grain based alcohols, which were the most common ones during the Prohibition period in America, when the term moonshine was coined to describe illegal liquor. A term was also coined for the people involved in the production and distribution of the alchohol, bootleggers, a term which has also been used to describe those who illegally tape concerts by artists such as Led Zeppelin.
· "In My Time Of Dying" - This antiquated song froma round the turn of the century is the cry of a man on his deathbed as he tries to have his life and soul justified. It is a cry from the edge of the grave, an impassioned beg for mercy, and an attempt to ensure a place in heaven for the man's soul. Hence, the lyrics have, quite literally, got to be "It's gotta be my Jesus" and "Oh my Jesus" as it would make no sense, in such a moving, spiritual song which gradually builds up to a brilliantly executed catharsis, for Plant to start yelling out the name of some woman, Gina being the suggested name he uses. However, when peformed live Robert did sometimes swap the Jesus for Georgina or Gina, depending on what sort of variations took his fancy on the night. But, on the album version it would make no sense for it to be anything other than Jesus. This ties in with the cultural values and beliefs prevalent in the culture Zeppelin came from, and from the spiritual side of the blues, as the original performer of this song, Blind Willie Johnson, sought to convey.
· "Achilles Last Stand" - Given Plant's enthusiasm for mythology the lyrics seems thematically linked to the Trojan war during the Hellenistic age. On the other hand, the rumour persists that Plant, in a wheelchair with his leg in a cast due to a car accident at the time of the session for "Presence", literally fell out of his wheelchair when he first heard the completed song. Given his leg injury, the title may indeed be a reference to this incident.
· "Nobody's Fault But Mine" - Another Blind Willie Johnson song, this has a similar lyrical theme to "In My Time Of Dying", a man on his deathbed or staring death in the face taking responsiblity for his sins and seeking redemption by doing so.
· "Royal Orleans" - Rumours have persisted for years that this song is about John Paul Jones and some rather decadent exploits at the Royal Orleans Hotel. The line about `kissing whiskers' infers some sort of involvement with a drag queen. In the song, Jones is referred to as John Cameron, to avoid naming him directly.
· "Hots On For Nowhere" - The reference to `Corner of Bleeker and nowhere' sounds like it might be a reference to Bleeker Street, in which case there are several he might be referring to. There is a Bleeker Street in New York City, in Greenwich Village, which is home to many aspiring musicians and is the location of some small bars that Jimi Hendrix and others played in before they became famous. Also, this Bleeker Street is very close to the building on the cover of "Physical Graffiti", and may be adjacent to, or actually converge with St. Marks Place at some point. There is also a Bleeker Street in London which is famous for having lots of pubs on it. New Orleans, in keeping with the delta blues style of the album, may also have a street named Bleeker. Another lyrical reference to Bleeker Street is in the Simon and Garfunkel song "Bleeker Street". The rest of the song is something of a diatribe by Plant against close friends "who would give me fuck all", the people in question apparently being Jimmy Page and Peter Grant.
· "Tea For One" - A melancholic reflection by Plant on the time he was separated from his wife after their car accident.
· "Hot Dog" - Unsurprisingly for Plant, this is a song about women. There are several theories that have been postulated as to what it's about, the funniest being that it is about having a 17 year old girlfriend dump you. It is claimed that Robert once said that the song is about a woman who he used to mess around with in Texas, but this is not confirmed. The song though, is filled with jokes about the way Americans speak, with several extremely corny puns such as "U-Haul" instead of "Y'all", "Set down" instead of "Sit down" and so on. One particular line, "Hangin' round for more, ah more" would appear to be play on the French word "amour" or the Spanish "amor", both meaning love. The word "Dungarees" also makes its only appearance in a Zeppelin song. The use of the word "U-HauL' is a reference to U-Haul moving vans, as the girl involved is going to Texas and needs to move her belongings also.
· "Carouselambra" - An observation about the person who is the object of the song is disguised by references to the past, who, according to Plant, will one day realise it was written with him in mind and say, "My God! Was it really like that?"
· "Poor Tom" - Tom, according to the lyrics, is a family's seventh son. Thus there is little left for him to inherit in terms of land or money because the six previous brothers have taken it all. However, in occult lore, negro mysticism and other belief systems, a dispensation for this is the influence of seven which is considered a lucky number, the seventh son may have a variety of supernatural powers to compensate for his reduced birthright. This is referred to in Muddy Waters' "Hoochie Coochie Man", also written by Wille Dixon, amongst others. The magical powers seem to relate quite often to having good luck with women. Wille Dixon also wrote a song called "Seventh Son" about the belief that the seventh son was lucky. However, the poverty aspect of his predicament means he has to live the blues which probably appealed to blues songwriters. Basically, as the seventh son, you may be poor in material riches, but may be able to make up for this by developing non-material riches. Another group to have recorded a song about this is Iron Maiden with their song, "Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son". The seventh son of a seventh son is even luckier than than a seventh son, and is as legend has it, blessed with incredible magic powers.
· A suggested explanation for the intriguing question of whether the version of "I Can't Quit You Baby" on "Coda" comes from the rehearsal or the actual concert that same evening, is that if Page had proper audio equipment set up to record the show, then if it was multitracked, that would give him the opportunity to stereo separate it at a later date. The recording of this show may have been intended for the long mooted live box set, or retrospective.
· The issue of whether the "Coda" version of "I Can't Quit You Baby" is from the rehearsal or the subsequent show is further brought into question by the video clip purporting to be from that date that features an identical version. Either, it is from the show that night, or a very well attended rehearsal.
· Zeppelin were nowhere near the first people to play and popularise "Train Kept A-Rollin'". The song was already a standard for the beat boom bands of the sixties, and Page's previous band, The Yardbirds, although before his time in it, did the most to popularise it at the time. It was re-recorded during Page's stint with the band as "Stroll On" for the Antonioni film "Blow Up". The only change was to the lyrics, which were re-written, the reason being that they were unsure that they could obtain permission to use it from the copyright holder. That version may feature Page on either bass or guitar, no-one seems to be sure. The song was originally written by Tiny Bradshaw, L. Mann, and H. Kay and recorded by Tiny Bradshaw's Big Band in 1951. Originally it was a jump blues tune, but was re-recorded as a rockabilly song by The Johnny Burnette Trio in 1956. The guitarist involved was Paul Burlison, who sometimes filled in for bluesman Howlin' Wolf's guitarists, Hubert Sumlin and Wille Johnson, and was a major influence on Jeff Beck. The Yardbirds first recorded the song in 1965, and then again in 1966 for "Blow Up". Zeppelin played the song at their first meeting, and then on their early tours. It made a re-appearance on their last tour and was mentioned by Plant as being on the next album, indicating that they intended to cover it for the next album, which was of course never made. When Page jammed with Aerosmith at Donington in 1992, just before his solo Aerosmith lead singer Steven Tyler shouted "Stroll on, Jimmy!" Aerosmith are noted fans of the Yardbirds and their version of the song can be found on their "Gems" album, and a newer version on the box set "Pandora's Box".
· The Rolling Stones' resident honky-tonk pianist Ian Stewart, who was originally the sixth Rolling Stone, is the man responsible for tinkling the ivories on the Zeppelin songs "Boogie With Stu" and "Rock And Roll". Apart from the Stones and Zeppelin, Stewart, now deceased, also appears on some songs with Howlin' Wolf from the London Sessions for Wolf. Stewart died before the Stones "Dirty Work" album came out and the snippet on honky tonk piano on the fadeout from the album is a tribute to him.
· On "You Shook Me" and "Bron-Yr-Aur" Page is using backwards echo, a technique he pioneered during his time with the Yardbirds. By playing a solo once, flipping the tape over and recording over the solo and some studio tricks he managed to get the echo preceeding the signal. The effect is quite odd at times, for example the brass section on the Yardbirds song "Ten Little Indians" uses this technique, and it sounds like the song is going backwards. The backwards echo in "You Shook Me" is right near the end of the song.
· "The Rain Song" was recorded in the key of G on "Houses Of The Holy" but was performed in A in concert. In a 1990 interview in _Guitar_World_ Page said this was because the studio version used an odd tuning and the live version was an approximation.
· "In My Time of Dying" is recorded in the key of A on "Physical Graffiti", but was performed in G live.
· A parody of "Stairway To Heaven" by Little Roger And The Goosebumps which involved combining the lyrics from the theme to tv show "Gilligan's Island" received little radio coverage when it was released thanks to Zeppelin's manager Peter Grant's use of some strong arm tactics to prevent it from getting any airplay.
· The solo to "Stairway To Heaven" was done in several different takes by page on a Fender Telecaster. Hence, there are several alternate takes that have not seen the light of day, but remain in the vaults on the master. Page said one of his _Guitar_World_ interviews that he recorded three different solos and then picked the best one.
· A version of "Whole Lotta Love" was recorded as the theme song for BBC's "Top Of The Pops" show by a group called C.C.S., and led by influential English bluesman Alexis Korner. The cover had a big band feel, with a flute used to emulate the vocals in the middle section. A single of it was released on Mickie Most's RAK label. Despite the obvious watering down of the song, the "Way down inside" lyrics was kept for this cover. This rendition can be found on at least two compilation albums in the U.K., "The No.1 70's Rock Album" and "The Premier Collection Of Instrumental Hits Vol.3."
· "Kashmir" has been covered by The Dixie Dregs on their reunion cd, "Bring 'Em Back Alive". Steve Morse emulates the vocal melodies on guitar, while the bass, keyboards, strings and drums replicate the original parts.
· Due to the primitive analog recording equipment used by the band in the early days, there was frequent leakage between the tracks. This was certainly the case with Plant, whose voice was so strong it seeped across the tracks. This is also the explanation for the reason the orchestra can be faintly heard in "Kashmir" some time before it appears at the correct point. This may have been due to a decision not to have the orchestra appear that early in the track, and so the tape track with the orchestra part was erased. However, because of the signal strength, it had already seeped onto other tracks, whichever was next to it, and thus can be heard faintly. The leakage of vocals in songs such as "You Shook Me" and "How Many More Times" can be explained similarly. With the quipment at the time it was probably not noticed, but with the clarity of today's stereo equipment it is possible to notice these things. Alternately, when it was decided that the orchestra would not be used at that point the tapes were erased but the tape was saturated, and the oxide on the tape had been re-arranged with such force it was not possible to comepletely erase the sound. Another theory has it that pre-groove echo may be to blame for these type of phenomena. When the Mother record which is used to press the acetates is cut, if the signal is too hot what happens in that the actual sound waves on the record itself bleed over to each other.
· A sample from "Misty Mountain Hop" has turned up in an Adidas Tennis Shoe commerical, broadcast in the U.S.A. The sample is set to a hip hop type background beat. This only serves to remind us that the band no longer has any sort of control over their music when artistic control is not stipulated in the sale. All the rights apparently belong to Atlantic these days, with only Plant admitting he has sold all his rights to the music. The sample again turned up in a commercial tied into the 1994 World Cup in the U.S.A. which began with the voice-over, "In my country, England, we call it football..."
· "When The Levee Breaks" was only performed twice by Zeppelin, both times on the early dates of the 1975 tour, Rotterdam and Chicago. The presence of that and "How Many More Times" on the setlist was due to Page's injured finger which prevented him from playing the live staple "Dazed And Confused". Unfortunately, both the live recordings of "When The Levee Breaks" are of a low quality. At the Chicago gig, both Page and Plant were ill at the time. The song was rarely performed because it involved a lot of effort to set up the stage for the song, with Bonham and his drumkit in a specially prepared pit onstage.
· Rumour has it that the rhythm track at the beginning of "Celebration Day" that was wiped, was erased by Richard Cole.
· The first song Led Zeppelin ever played together was the Yardbird's "Train Kept A Rollin'."
· Pagey is unsure just how many overdubs he did on "Achilles Last Stand." One anecdote about this song is when Page presented the song to the band, Jones did not see any scale in what Page was playing. Page had to explain what it was in detail before Jones could understand.
· On the album "Led Zeppelin," the duration of "How Many More Times" is listed as 3:30, not even close to the actual duration of 8:28. Rumour has it that this was done so that discjockeys would think it was within the time limit for what was considered appropriate for airplay and it would thus get played at least once.
· "Walter's Walk" was among the tracks overdubbed by Jimmy at the Sol in 1982, and actually may also have vocals overdubbed by Plant at the same time. People who heard the track at this time confirm this.
· Jimmy plays a strat on "The Crunge" and depresses the whammy bar at the end of each phrase.
· Jimmy lowered "No Quarter" half a tone in the studio, "...because it made the track sound so much thicker and more intense."
· At one of the October 1972 shows at Budokan Hall in Japan Plant introduced "The Song Remains The Same" as "The Campaign" as the band had no title for the song at that stage. It was also known as "The Overture" and "Zep" at other times before the band settled on a title.
· The backing vocals for "The Battle of Evermore" are Sandy Denny of Fairport Convention. Sandy Denny was also a member of the group The Strawbs and another group called Fotheringay. Her premature death in 1978 was due to a brain haemmorhage caused by falling down a flight of stairs. Ties between Fairport Convention and Zeppelin are numerous ranging from a jam between the two in 1970 to the late inclusion of Fairport's Dave Pegg in an incarnation of The Band Of Joy and his appearance along with former Fairport members Richard Thompson, and Maartin Allcock on Plant's "Fate Of Nations." The book "Rock Movers and Shakers" claims that Plant was part of a group with Dave Pegg called The Exception (or The Exceptions) that around 1967 released a single called "The Eagle Flies On Friday". The book though is fairly vague about whether Plant was actually a member of the group or whether he sang lead vocals on that song. However, in an interview in the now defunct _Nirvana_ fanzine, Pegg said that while he had jammed with Plant and Bonham he was never in a group with them.
· The first time "Stairway to Heaven" was performed live was on March 5, 1971 at Belfast Ulster Hall. This was prior to the release of the untitled fourth album and the performance was partly intended to determine if they should even place it on the album. They played it perfectly and when they were finished there was a deafening silence in the crowd. Plant turned around to the band and said, "I guess we'll scratch that one." When he turned back to the crowd Plant saw one lighter going in the far back of the center. The crowd went into an incredible ovation for the band and they wound up repeating the song immediately again. The accuracy of this story has not been established.
· The album "Stairways To Heaven" is an album of covers of "Stairway To Heaven" by a very eclectic collection of artists ranging from Rolf Harris (largely unknown in the USA, but famous in Australia and the UK for such gems as "Tie Me Kangaroo Down Sport" and an advertisement for British Paints) to Kate Ceberano (Australian jazz/pop/soul singer). The songs come from the tv series "The Money Or The Gun" a weekly tv show on Australia's ABC network that took a humourous look at various issues raning from prostitution to physical disabilites. The latter episode entitled "The Year Of The Patronising Bastard" won an international award. The host of the show, Australian comedian and tv show host, Andrew Denton seemed endlessly fascinated with what "Stairway To Heaven" meant and he had a different artist perform the song on each episode, which is where the album comes from. A compulsory interview question during each show was what the interviewee thought of the song. The performances of all the versions are collected together on a video with the same title as the album. Rolf Harris's cover, complete with `wobble board', was released in the UK and charted surprisingly well. It also resulted in some London bikers declaring a fatwah against Rolf Harris, which they have sadly not followed through... The covers of "Stairway To Heaven" are by the following.
Kate Ceberano and the Ministry of Fun, John Paul Young, Pardon me Boys, Nick Barker and the Reptiles, Rolf Harris, The Australian Doors Show, Sandra Hahn and Michael Turkic, Helen Jones, Robyne Dunn, Neil Pepper, The Rock Lobsters, Toys went Bersek, Jodie Gillies, The Beatrix, The Fargone Beauties, and others.
· There has been some speculation over time about who it was that blew the whistle in "Fool In The Rain." It turns out that a Chicago blues harmonica player, Norton Buffalo, was in the studio at the time, and there is some speculation that Page invited him to perform the task. Page plays on one of Buffalo's albums, "Draw Blues," so this seems a logical assumption. Although for such a small part, the task may well have fallen to the group member who seemed to play anything, John Paul Jones.
· Zeppelin's last concert was on July 7, 1980 in Berlin at the Berlin Eissporthalle. This concert in an interesting twist of fate saw the band play one of the longest, if not the longest, version of "Stairway To Heaven" they had ever played.
· The whereabouts of the tapes of "Baby Come On Home" were unknown for years until they turned up, according to rumour, in a bin outside a studio in London in time to be included on "Box Set 2". To add to the confusion, the tapes were labelled "New Yarbirds."
· The first Zeppelin recordings enter the public domain in the year 2018.
· On Box Set 2, the two Bonham percussion tracks, "Moby Dick" and "Bonzo's Montreux" are both track 13 on disc one and two respectively.
· The similarity between a section of the solo in "Heartbreaker" and Edward Van Halen's solo piece "Eruption" has been noted frequently. Edward admits Page is where he got the inspiration and in a _Guitar_World_ interview before the release of the Van Halen album "OU812" said,
"As far as the hammer-on thing is concerned - I never really saw anybody do it okay? I'm not saying, `Hey, I'm bitchin', I came up with it,' but I never really saw anybody do it. But I got the idea a long time ago when I saw Led Zeppelin back in '71 or something like that. Page was doing his guitar solo before "Heartbreaker," or in the middle of it [hums guitar riff]. He stood there playing [hums some more], and I think, `Wait a minute, open string, pull off. I can do that. Use that finger up here, and use this as the nut, and move it around.' That's how I first thought of it, and I don't know if anybody else did it. I just kind of took it and ran with it."
"Eruption" appears on the group's debut album, "Van Halen".
· Some "Stairway To Heaven" trivia. "Stairway" is the biggest selling piece of sheet music in rock history. It seels about 15,000 copies every year on average these days. In total, over one million copies have been sold. It has been broadcast on radio over three million times. There is a Muzak version available, and rightly so, in a solo harp format. These tidbits come from the Columbia House monthly catalogue.
· The outtakes that were collated on "Physical Graffiti" were recorded as follows. "Houses Of The Holy" was recorded in 1972, obviously as the title track for that album, at Olympic Studios. "Black Country Woman" and "The Rover" were recorded at the same time as "D'Yer Mak'er". "Bron-Y-Aur" was originally recorded for the third album. The following Jimmy Page quote is taken from "Led Zeppelin In Their Own Words" by Paul Kendall.
"As usual, we had more material than the required 40-odd minutes for one album. We had enough material for one and a half LPs, so we figured let's put out a double and use some of the material we had done previously but never released. It seemed like a good time to do that sort of thing, release tracks like Boogie With Stu, which we wouldn't normally be able to do."
Stephen Davis, a name to mention in a mumble at most, claims that "Down By The Seaside" was recorded along with "Bron-Y-Aur" for the third album as well. Also, "Night Flight" and "Boogie With Stu" were from the fourth album sessions, while "Houses Of The Holy", "Black Country Woman" and "The Rover" were destined for "Houses Of The Holy". Thus, after collating this, we are left with the initial version of "Physical Graffiti" containing, on the first record, "Custard Pie"/"In My Time Of Dying"/"Trampled Underfoot"/"Kashmir", and on the second, "In The Light"/"Ten Years Gone"(the origins of which go back earlier too)/"The Wanton Song"/"Sick Again". This would amount to in total, the album and a half, or so, of material Page describes.
· In the album version of "Misty Mountain Hop", a listmember once claimed that after the lines "Why don't you take a good look at yourself and describe what you see? And baby, baby, do you like it?" one of the band members loses sync and all of a sudden they're playing the riff a quarter note apart. The lapse isn't rectified until Plant does his loud breathing, when the band gets back in sync.
It was not unusual for Zeppelin to debut a song on tour before it
came out on an album. Here is a brief, and by no means exhaustive
list of examples.
· The origins of an acoustic version of "Black Dog" are somewhat unclear, however, it is not Zeppelin. One theory has it that it is taken from a collection of Zeppelin samples called "The Slog". The acoustic guitar and keyboard accompaniment may have been performed by one of the well known Zeppelin tribute bands such as The White. The sample is a looped vocal track taken from the album version of "Black Dog". On the other hand, it has been claimed that this acoustic version is taken from rehearsals for the fourth album. Thor Iverson's funk-enhanced FAQL however, states that the acoustic version is by a now defunct tribute band called No Quarter.
· Jimmy has said that the only time Zeppelin repeated themselves was with "Since I've Been Loving You" and "Tea For One". These tracks have quite a bit in common. Both are minor blues, and both in the same key, C. The changes aren't the same, but both have a similar feel, until "Since I've Been Loving You" gets louder. The live versions of "Since" moved closer to "Tea For One" over the years, although the 1980 version was a bit of a send-up.
· The answer to the question of who does the backing vocals on "Hey Hey What Can I Do" is unclear. It sounds like it might be an overdubbed Plant vocal in the left channel, but it also sounds like it might be more than one person, in which case it might be either or both Page and Jones.
· The length of some of Zeppelin's live jams is staggering. The version of "Dazed And Confused" on the bootleg "From Boleskine To The Alamo", lasts around 30 minutes. The version of "Dazed And Confused" from the 27/3/75 show at the L.A. Forum on the "Electric Orgasm" bootleg, is even longer clocking in at over 43 minutes. During the 1975 tour, when this song was performed live, renditions of 30 minutes and longer was not an uncommon occurrence. Another famous jam of this nature was at the Dallas Pop Festival in 1969 where the band stretched "How Many More Times" to twenty minutes duration.
· The performance of "White Summer/Black Mountainside" that appears on the various boxed sets was taken from the live performance taped by the BBC at the London Playhouse on 27/6/69. The version of "White Summer" at the end of the "Another White Summer" cd is from the Julie Felix Show, on UK tv, taped in May 1970.
· When Zeppelin played "Whole Lotta Love" live, Plant would often ad-lib a few lines from John Lee Hooker's "Let That Boy Boogie". At the end of one of the Knebworth '79 shows, they eventually end with "Whole Lotta Love", and Jimmy, exhausted after two hours of playing is exasperated to hear Plant sing "One night, I believe I told you this before, but one night I was laying down and hear my mamma and pappa talking..." However, Page gets his revenge as after that Plant goes to walk off the stage and Page puts up his index finger, indicating one more song, then starts playing "Communication Breakdown".
· When "No Quarter" was being recorded, everything but the drums were recorded, then slowed down, then the drums were recorded at this slower playback speed. The studio version is around the key of C# minor, while the live version is in D minor.
· One of the reasons "When The Levee Breaks" has such an impact is because everything apart from Plant's vocals were recorded at normal speed then played back slightly slower. The song is pitched between the keys of F minor and F# minor, but the effect of the slowed tape was to put it a little flat of true F#.
· The strings and horns on "Kashmir" are authentic, and are not mellotron enhanced as "The Rain Song" is.
· "Travelling Riverside Blues" features a very unusual guitar setup from Page. It's played on a 12 string electric guitar with an open G tuning, possibly a Nashville tuning, which creates a rich ringing tone, so when you finger chords they seem very tight because all the notes are in and around the same octave, creating a lush multi-tracked type of sound, especially when played slide style.
· "Bron-Yr-Aur" is another example of an interesting tuning. It is not a standard open C tuning, one of the strings is higher than it should be, which makes all the difference by allowing a certain chord to be formed without fretting. This special tuning opens up a lot of chords you can't reach any other way, and in this case serves to create the illusion of multiple guitars. Michael Hedges uses tunings in much the same way in more recent times.
· "All My Love" and "Ozone Baby" are examples of how Page chording or arpeggioing a fuller chord shape, and using the B string bender to change the chord as it's ringing.
· The "Hot Dog" solo, an unusual one, includes a lot of double- string picking, where 2 notes, 1 or 2 strings apart forming chords whereby Page is building harmonies, as well as doing some pedal steel style string bending. Another example in this vein is how Page played "Ten Years Gone" live. He would pre-push the B string bender while holding an Asus2, which creates a A chord, and then let go on the bender to form the native Asus2.
· The promotional video for "Over The Hills And Far Away" that came out at the time of the first boxed set features footage from the 1979 Knebworth concert, but the sound comes from the original on the "Houses Of The Holy" album, not the concert. However, not all the footage is from Knebworth in 1979, the parts where Robert is wearing a polka-dot shirt, Jimmy is in a blue silk shirt, and Jones is in an all-white suit, are, but the parts where Jimmy is in the dragon suit, and someone's kitchen, are likely to be from several 1977 sources, with possibly some 1975 as well.
· Several Zeppelin songs have changing modes. "White Summer/Black Mountain Side" changes its mode emphasis frequently. "Dancing Days" is another example of this type of style.
· "The Battle Of Evermore" was the first time Page had ever played a mandolin. The mandolin belonged to Jones, but according to Page he just picked it up and moved his fingers around until the chords sounded right. The same goes for "Gallows Pole", that was the first time Page had played banjo, and again, the instrument in question belonged to Jones.
· Sandy Denny's role in "The Battle Of Evermore" was as a town crier, urging the people to throw down their weapons.
· "Gallows Pole" is Page's favourite track on "III", but it was only played live once, in Copenhagen in 1970, the same date "Four Sticks" was given it's only public airing. "Four Sticks" was later re-recorded along with "Friends" with the Bombay Symphony Orchestra.
· "Kashmir" is one of the few tunes the band reportedly considered re-recording for various reasons, Plant for example claims he put in a sub-standard vocal performance on it, while the original score in Jones's handwriting indicates that the band were thinking of including a string section including cellos and violas on the song, either in the studio or in concert. The handwritten score marked `Olympic Studios, November 10th, 1976' was recently auctioned by an art house.
· "I'm Gonna Crawl" is not really a minor blues, the chords are C Major, Ab, and G, which is a very unusual chord progression, but through the way he band plays the song it actually resembles a typical blues song.
· The track times on "The Complete Studio Recordings", some of which were corrected version of those on the first boxed set, differ markedly with those on the original album sleeves. While it is plausible that today's equipment and the remastering process might make one to five seconds difference to a track's total time, some of the difference are quite large.
|"Your Time Gonna Come"||4:21||4:14||-0:07|
|"How Many More Times"||3:30||8:28||+4:58|
|"Nobody's Fault But Mine"||6:15||6:27||+0:12|
|"Ten Years Gone"||6:55||6:31||-0:24|
|"Boogie With Stu"||3:45||3:51||+0:06|
|"Black Country Woman"||4:24||4:35||+0:11|
· On the cd reissues, Atlantic have tried to correct various errors that appeared originally with regard to song timings and recording dates and locations. "The Complete Studio Recordings" highlights this, as two different times are listed for the recording of "We're Gonna Groove" on Coda, one on the original artwork, and another differing by six months in the liner notes. The location also differs, with the song originally listed as being recoreded at Morgan Studios, while the updated credits list it as being recorded at the Pye Mobile Truck, at the Albert Hall. The latter also lists guitar overdubs as having been added at Page's Sol Studio in Cookham, Berkshire. The much discussed question of whether the version of "I Can't Quit You Baby" on "Coda" is from the soundtrack or the actual show is still not answered to everyone's satisfaction though.
There are several other mistakes with track times in "The Complete
Studio Recordings" box set.
· The `thick' guitar sound in "Bron-Yr-Aur" is a clever combination of an open tuning and Page's backwards echo technique.
· According to Page, the ending of "In My Time Of Dying" is a jam, and that the band had no idea how to finish the song.
· The basic tracks for "Black Dog" were recorded in the downstairs crypt at Headley grange.
· The unaccompanied solo in the middle of "Heartbreaker" was recorded seperately to the rest of the song and slotted in later.
· These sales figures were posted to the list in 1992 and may well have changed since then. In all cases the total number was derived by adding the sales of the various formats (CD, Records, etc.) together to give an overall figure. "m" indicates a million copies sold.
AUS = Australia GER = West Germany
CAN = Canada UK = United Kingdon
FIN = Finland USA = United States Of America
EUR = Europe
- Led Zeppelin 4m USA
- Led Zeppelin II 6m USA, 1m EUR, 0.1m CAN
- Led Zeppelin III 3m USA, 0.5m UK, 0.05m CAN
- (Untitled) 11m USA, 1m CAN
- Houses of the Holy 6m USA, 0.25m GER
- Physical Graffitti 4m USA, 2m outside USA
- Presence 2m USA, 0.1m CAN
- The Song Remains the Same 2m USA
- In Through the Out Door 5m USA, 1m outside USA, 0.1m UK
- Coda 1m USA
- Remasters (1990 Box) 0.1m UK, 0.07m AUS, 0.01m FIN
- Led Zeppelin (1990 Box) 1.33m USA
- Remasters (1992 Box) 0.5m USA
- Whole Lotta Love (Single) 1m USA
· Making observations about favourite or least favourite songs is being purely objective and is likely to vary wildly from one person to another. Rather than having another flamefest on the list about "Hats Off To (Roy) Harper" being better than "Kashmir" here are the results of a poll that was conducted by Bryan Durall that were posted on Monday, April 5, 1993.
A L B U M S :
Led Zeppelin I 2 (5.5%)
Led Zeppelin II 5 (13.8%)
Led Zeppelin III 2 (5.5%)
(Untitled) 4 (11.1%)
Houses Of The Holy 5 (13.8%)
Physical Graffiti 17 (47.2%)
The Song Remains The Same 0
In Through The Out Door 1 (2.7%)
S O N G S :
Stairway To Heaven 4
Achilles Last Stand 3
In My Time Of Dying 3
Over The Hills And Far Away 3
When The Levee Breaks 3
Travelling Riverside Blues 2
The Song Remains the Same 2
Since I've Been Loving You 2
No Quarter 1
Fool In The Rain 1
That's The Way 1
Good Times Bad Times 1
Ten Years Gone 1
Bring It On Home 1
Rock And Roll 1
The Ocean 1
The Wanton Song 1
Hey Hey What Can I Do 1
Going To California 1
Wearing And Tearing 1
Dazed And Confused 1
The Lemon Song 1
END OF PART ONE - CONTINUED IN PARTS THREE