Black Dog (song)

Black Dog (song)

Infobox Single
Name = Black Dog

Caption =
Artist = Led Zeppelin
from Album = Led Zeppelin IV
B-side = "Misty Mountain Hop"
Released = November 8 1971
December 2 1971 (7" single release date)
track_no = 1
Recorded = December 1970–March 1971
Format = 7" 45 RPM
Genre = Hard rock, heavy metal, blues-rock
Length = 4:56
Label = Atlantic Records
Writer = Page/Plant/Jones
Producer = Jimmy Page
Last single = "Immigrant Song" / "Hey Hey What Can I Do" (1970)
This single = "Black Dog" / "Misty Mountain Hop" (1971)
Next single = "Rock and Roll" / "Four Sticks" (1972)
Misc = Extra tracklisting
Album = )
Type = studio
this_track = "Black Dog"
track_no = 1
next_track = "Rock and Roll"
next_no = 2

"Black Dog" is a song by English rock band Led Zeppelin, which is featured as the lead-off track of their fourth album, released in 1971. It was also released as a single in the US and Australia with "Misty Mountain Hop" on the B-side, and reached #15 on Billboard and #11 in Australia.

In 2004 the song was ranked #294 on "Rolling Stone"'s list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

Inspiration and recording

Led Zeppelin bass player John Paul Jones, who is credited with writing the main riff,Dave Lewis (1994), "The Complete Guide to the Music of Led Zeppelin", Omnibus Press, ISBN 0-7119-3528-9.] Dave Schulps, [ Interview with Jimmy Page] , "Trouser Press", October 1977.] wanted to write a song that people couldn't "groove" or dance to. In the December 2007 issue of "Mojo" magazine, Jones credited Howlin' Wolf with the inspiration for the beat:

Between the years 1968, when Led Zeppelin was formed, and 1971, when the album "Led Zeppelin IV" was released, Howlin' Wolf was nearing the end of his professional career and his output was limited, but a few new songs of his did hit the market, and have the heavy beat that Jones was struck by. [ [ Howlin' Wolf Sessionography ] ]

In another interview, Jones explained the difficulties experienced by the band in writing the song:

The song's title is a reference to a nameless black labrador retriever that wandered around the Headley Grange studios during recording.Liner notes by Cameron Crowe for "The Complete Studio Recordings"] [ Australian Broadcasting Corporation] - Triple J Music Specials - Led Zeppelin (first broadcast 2000-07-12)] The dog has nothing to do with the song lyrics, which are about desperate desire for a woman's love and the happiness resulting thereby. Regarding the lyrics to the song, Plant later said, "Not all my stuff is meant to be scrutinized. Things like 'Black Dog' are blatant, let's-do-it-in-the-bath type things, but they make their point just the same."cite web|url=|title=Cameron Crowe interview Led Zeppelin |accessdate=2007-11-07|date=1975-03-18] Plant's vocal were recorded in 2 takes.Fact|date=February 2007

The start and stop a cappella verses were inspired by Fleetwood Mac's 1969 song "Oh Well."Dave Lewis (1994), "The Complete Guide to the Music of Led Zeppelin", Omnibus Press, ISBN 0-7119-3528-9.] (Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page and The Black Crowes would later perform "Oh Well" on their 1999 tour and included it on the album "Live at the Greek".) [ Black Dog Songfacts] . "Songfacts". Retrieved April 20 2007.]

Despite the seeming simplicity of the drum pattern, the song features a complex, shifting time signature that the band has sometimes claimed was intended to thwart cover bands from playing the song.Fact|date=March 2007 If the volume is turned up loud enough, Bonham can be heard tapping his sticks together before each riff. Page made reference to this in an interview he gave to "Guitar World" magazine in 1993:

Page also discussed how he achieved his guitar sound on the track:

Page's solo was constructed out of four overdubbed Gibson Les Paul fills.Dave Lewis (1994), "The Complete Guide to the Music of Led Zeppelin", Omnibus Press, ISBN 0-7119-3528-9.]

The sounds at the beginning of the song are those of Page warming up his electric guitar. He called it "waking up the army of guitars" — which are multitrack recorded in unison with electric bass guitar to provide the song's signature.

During the outro-solo Robert Plant can be heard moaning and wailing in the background. []

Live performances

"Black Dog" became a staple and fan favorite of Led Zeppelin's live concert performances. It was first played live at Belfast's Ulster Hall on March 5, 1971, a concert which also featured the first ever live performance of "Stairway to Heaven".Dave Lewis (1994), "The Complete Guide to the Music of Led Zeppelin", Omnibus Press, ISBN 0-7119-3528-9.] It was retained for each subsequent concert tour until 1973. In 1975 it was used as an encore medley with "Whole Lotta Love", but was hardly used on the band's 1977 concert tour of the United States. It was recalled to the set for the Knebworth Festival 1979 and the 1980 Tour of Europe. For these final 1980 performances, Page introduced the song from stage.Dave Lewis (1994), "The Complete Guide to the Music of Led Zeppelin", Omnibus Press, ISBN 0-7119-3528-9.]

When played live, Led Zeppelin often played the first few bars of "Out on the Tiles" as the introduction for "Black Dog", except for the 1973 tour where the riff from "Bring It on Home" introduced the song.

Also, the "ah-ah" refrains were sung in call-and-response between Robert Plant and the audience.

Page's guitar playing prowess is well demonstrated in different recorded performances of the song from Madison Square Garden in July 1973, as seen in the group's concert films "The Song Remains the Same" and "Led Zeppelin DVD". There is also a June 1972 live recording of "Black Dog" which can be heard on the album "How the West Was Won", and another live version on Disc 2 of "Led Zeppelin BBC Sessions".

"Black Dog" was performed at the Led Zeppelin's reunion show at the O2 Arena, London on December 10, 2007.Audiosample
Upper caption = Audio sample
Audio file = Led_Zeppelin_-_Black_Dog.ogg

Other versions

Several bands have covered Led Zeppelin's song or played it live:

*Page and Plant performed an updated version of this song on their 1995 tour. Robert Plant also played a version of the song during his solo tour in 2005, as is included on the DVD release "".

*Led Zeppelin parody cover band Dread Zeppelin did a version of this mixed with Elvis' "Hound Dog" called "You Ain't Nuthin' But A Black Dog". Their lead singer is an Elvis impersonator.

*Australian music legend John Farnham released a powerful version of [ Black Dog] on his Anthology 3 album in 1997.

*Missouri metalcore band Coalesce recorded a version of this song for their Led Zeppelin cover album "There is Nothing New Under the Sun".

*Debbie Harry covered the song on her "Domination" tour of the UK in July 1991.

*Songs which sample "Black Dog" include "Shut Up Already" by NOFX and Robert Plant's solo tracks "Tall Cool One" and "Your Ma Said She Cried In Her Sleep Last Night". The opening riff of the song was re-recorded in "Trapped in the Drive Thru" by "Weird Al" Yankovic. The chorus to Kid Rock's 2000 song "My Oedipus Complex" samples "Black Dog".

*German power-metal band Masterplan covered the song on their 2002 EP, "Enlighten Me"

*Whitesnake overtly based "Still of the Night" on this song; later, when David Coverdale toured with Page in 1993, they played both songs together.

*Brazilian jazz musician Eumir Deodato recorded an instrumental version of the song for his 1975 album "First Cuckoo".

*Tracy Bonham covered "Black Dog" on her " Bee" EP, which was also re-issued as part of the European "Something Beautiful" Limited Edition EP and DVD.

*Paul Shaffer and the Party Boys of Rock 'n' Roll cover the song on their 1993 album The World's Most Dangerous Party featuring the rapping talents of George Clinton.

*Robert Plant and Alison Krauss regularly covered "Black Dog" during their tour of USA and Europe in April and May 2008. [ [ Robert Plant and Alison Krauss at the Birmingham NIA] ] It also features on their appearance on the Country Music Television show CMT Crossroads, recorded in October 2007. [ CMT Episode Guide]

* American Rock Band Heart has covered the song as well as other Zeppelin tunes during various live performances, one of which can be seen on the DVD Live in Seattle.



*"Led Zeppelin: Dazed and Confused: The Stories Behind Every Song", by Chris Welch, ISBN 1-56025-818-7
*"The Complete Guide to the Music of Led Zeppelin", by Dave Lewis, ISBN 0-7119-3528-9

External links

*Review: [ All Music Guide]

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