The Led Zeppelin Guitar Part Jimmy Page Said He Was ‘On Fire’ Playing

by Jeremy Spirogis
Led Zeppelin on stage in 1975

If Led Zeppelin had known as it quits after Led Zeppelin IV (1971), how would the band’s legacy look? At that time, the Zep had launched its explosive first album, the steel blueprint of II, the misunderstood III, and the final word masterpiece IV .

But Zeppelin was lower than midway completed. After the progressive push of Houses of the Holy (1973), the band returned with the double-LP gut-punch of Physical Graffiti (1975). Once “Kashmir” and “In My Time of Dying” went on document, the band had secured its place amongst rock’s all-time biggest.

It nonetheless wasn’t the tip. Though the band encountered one tragedy after one other within the second half of the ’70s, Zep returned with Presence (1976), a document Jimmy Page was particularly happy with. Working 18-20 hours a day, Page accomplished the guitar-heavy Presence in below three weeks.

As Zep’s major songwriter, lead guitarist, and producer, Page had each cause to be happy with Presence. There was extra to it, nevertheless. With “Achilles Last Stand,” Page delivered certainly one of his most interesting compositions — and the guitar work even he marveled at a long time later.

Jimmy Page pointed to ‘Achilles Last Stand’ as a Led Zeppelin monitor he nailed on guitar

Led Zeppelin on stage in 1975
British heavy rock group Led Zeppelin, acting at Earl’s Court, London, May 1975. | Michael Putland/Getty Images

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Though Page had earned his popularity as a superb guitarist and riff machine, he had his eye on one thing greater — a form of paean to the electrical guitar. Listeners can see him at work on the venture with tracks resembling “Four Sticks” and “Ten Years Gone.”

Without query, Page bought there on “Achilles Last Stand.” Between the layered guitars, the numerous results, and his astounding solo, the Presence opener put Page in a distinct class. Speaking with Classic Rock in 2015, he cited it because the monitor he’s at all times admired.

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“I’ve never been able to put on ‘Achilles Last Stand’ without thinking, ‘My God. I really was on fire there,’” Page stated. “The power in that song is just amazing.” As standard, Page remarked on the way it introduced out nice issues in his bandmates as nicely.

“There’s a great narrative in the story that Robert was telling,” Page advised Classic Rock. “And Bonham’s drumming is out of this world.” Though Page has by no means explicitly stated it, anybody who’s combed the Zep archives may conclude he holds his “Achilles Last Stand” guitar work above the remainder — even “Stairway to Heaven.”

Robert Plant as soon as paid ‘Achilles Last Stand’ the very best praise

Jimmy Page playing guitar, 1975Jimmy Page playing guitar, 1975
Guitarist Jimmy Page performing with British heavy rock group Led Zeppelin, at Earl’s Court, London, May 1975. | Michael Putland/Getty Images

Though Page took his time growing the assorted actions and passages of “Achilles Last Stand,” Robert Plant often labored off the music. During rehearsals for Presence, Plant was recovering from a severe automotive accident. And he was confined to a wheelchair.

Still, Plant got here up with highly effective lyrics to match the epic sweep of Page’s music. And John Bonham introduced it dwelling with a drum efficiency for the ages. Looking again on Bonham’s life for a 2010 radio documentary, each Plant and John Paul Jones pointed to the drummer’s work on “Achilles.”

“John’s drumming on ‘Achilles Last Stand’ was ferocious,” Jones stated. “It’s a complicated part. It takes a lot of technique to keep going and to sound fresh.” Plant recalled enjoying the monitor for a girlfriend years later and getting a priceless response to it.

“One time I was playing ‘Achilles Last Stand,’ and it was so remarkable to hear it,” Plant recalled. “And [my girlfriend] turned to me and said, ‘I wouldn’t like to get left alone in a room with this.’ Ha ha! Which means we were doing a fantastic job.”

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