Thursday, October 9, 2008

Whole Lotta Love - A Led Zeppelin Classic

Rock and Roll Fans Are Dazzled by Led Zeppelin's Whole Lotta Love by Virgil Vince

For British blues metal pioneers Led Zeppelin Whole Lotta Love was the track that launched their careers into the stratosphere. Already riding on a wave of popularity stemming from the rousing success of their first album, the band returned to the studio in 1969 to record their follow up. At this point in their careers the group was borrowing heavily from the recordings of American blues singers like Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf. Jimmy Page had come up with a pulsing guitar riff that he played for the band at his home, and singer Robert Plant channeled some words that were very similar to those that he had heard in a recording of a Willie Dixon blues track entitled 'You Need Love'. The songs were so close lyrically that the band would be eventually forced to give Dixon a songwriting credit on the track.

However, in the late 60's that court decision was still very far ahead in the band's future, and living in the moment they did their best to capture the raw energy that the song provoked from every member of the group. During the end breakdown section, the producer and Page went crazy at the mixing console, shifting the sound around as best they could until they came up with the iconic fade and echo of the final lyrics. Jimmy Page himself has said that the session for the song was so wild that he can still hear one or two mistakes that he made during the solo, but to fans, it didn't matter. Led Zeppelin Whole Lotta Love was destined to hit the charts hard.

Against the wishes of the band, Atlantic Records issued a single version of the track for the American market, but there was really no need - radio stations on both sides of the Atlantic had already picked the lead off track as their best option for airplay. The single was an edited version of the song that removed the sound-effects laden mid-song breakdown. Interestingly there are a few artifacts of the recording process that made it onto the album version of the track. The first is a slight cough that is audible right at the beginning of the song just before the guitar part is mixed in. The second is the famous echo that appears when Plant wails out 'way down inside' at the end. The echo was in fact brought in to mask sound bleed from a previously recorded version of the track on the same tape. is the mystical rehersal studio for rockers DEMON TWEAK. Listen as they prepare for battle with the evil trickster Loki by playing home brewed classic rock direct from Ragnarok. Also read articles on your favorite classic rock band written by resident historian VIRGIL THE STORYTELLER

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