The Monster ‘Led Zeppelin IV’ Riff That Didn’t Come From Jimmy Page

by Jeremy Spirogis
The Monster ‘Led Zeppelin IV’ Riff That Didn’t Come From Jimmy Page

What had been Jimmy Page’s finest time with Led Zeppelin? Whichever way you lean, it’s as fun a discussion as a vintage stone lover have. Focusing strictly on songwriting and arrangement, paths like “Kashmir,” “Ten Years Gone,” and “Achilles Last Stand” would need every vote they got.

If you wished to consider guitar solos and/or a song’s epic sweep, we’d like to begin to see the debate against “Stairway to Heaven,” the trademark track from Led Zeppelin IV. But we now haven’t also reached a debate about Page’s most readily useful electric guitar riffs. That needs a complete individual conversation.

While arguing over this one, you’d definitely begin to see the “Kashmir” (and “Stairway”) appear again. Meanwhile, the utterly menacing “Heartbreaker” and absurd groove of “Whole Lotta Love” would rack up a great deal of ballots.

You’d additionally notice a great deal of Zep followers going with “Black Dog,” the powerhouse opener to IV. However, in a conversation of Page’s most readily useful riffs, you couldn’t vote for “Black Dog.” John Paul Jones blogged any particular one.

John Paul Jones blogged the monumental ‘Black Dog’ riff

John Paul Jones, Robert Plant, Jimmy Page and John Bonham of Led Zeppelin play the Bath Festival in 1969. | Chris Walter/WireImage

When you check out the credits to “Black Dog,” you’ll see Page, Jones, and Robert Plant all using a piece. As usual, Plant’s share arrived into the words. Page created call-and-response area, the connection, together with other areas.

But the riff belongs to Jones. As he recalls it, he had been returning on a train from a rehearsal at Page’s residence as he got the concept. Since he wasn’t in a studio, Jones pulled away a bit of report and blogged it straight down making use of an easy notation system he discovered from their father.

[embedded content]

What makes “Black Dog” therefore powerful could be the circular nature associated with riff, and therefore arises from Jones utilizing numerous time signatures before it’s done. If that appears tough, it ended up being — even when it comes to first-rate musicians Jones had with him into the studio.

In Led Zeppelin: All the Songs, the writers quote Jones’s explanations when it comes to complexity. “I wanted to try an electric blues with a rolling bass part,” he stated. “But it couldn’t be too simple.” Tasked with managing the different times with a drumbeat, John Bonham eventually solved the situation by drumming 4/4 all of the way.

Jones blogged the riff after reading a popular Howlin’ Wolf track

Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones of Led Zeppelin visit Rai in Amsterdam, Netherlands on May 27, 1972. | Gijsbert Hanekroot/Redferns

Over the years, Led Zeppelin is accused of theft (mainly, too little attribution) and downright plagiarism. But you’d have actually trouble matching the “Black Dog” riff into the track Jones stated inspired it circa 1970. They don’t sound alike after all.

Jones stated Howlin’ Wolf’s “Smokestack Lightning” made him wish a circular riff of their own. (Clearly, he succeeded.) With Page putting on a lot of caps through the creation of Led Zeppelin IV (and a lot of various other records), Jones’s share had been huge.

“We were always trying to encourage him to come up with bits and pieces, so to speak,” Page is quoted saying in All the Songs. “Because that’s what they usually were — he never came up with a complete song or anything.” While which may be therefore, many followers needs just what Jones offered all of them on “Black Dog.”

Also see: What Surprised Mick Jagger About Led Zeppelin’s ‘Presence’ Album

Leave a Comment