- Whole Lotta Love
Name = Whole Lotta Love
from Album =
Led Zeppelin II
October 22, 1969
B-side = "
Living Loving Maid (She's Just a Woman)"
7" single: US, Japan, France, The Netherlands, Belgium, CD single
Recorded = May 1969, Olympic Studios, London
Hard rock, heavy metal
Length = Album Version: 5:33 Single: 5:33 (1st pressings) 3:10 (2nd pressings)
Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, John Bonham, John Paul Jones, Willie Dixon
Video director = No Video
Certification = Gold
Last single = "
Good Times Bad Times" / " Communication Breakdown"
This single = "Whole Lotta Love" / "Living Loving Maid" (She's Just a Woman)"
Next single = "
Immigrant Song" / " Hey Hey What Can I Do"
Misc = Extra album cover
Upper caption = Alternate Cover
Type = single
Lower caption = Extra tracklisting
Led Zeppelin II
Type = studio
this_track = "Whole Lotta Love"
track_no = 1
next_track = "
What Is and What Should Never Be"
next_no = 2Audiosample
Upper caption = Audio sample
Audio file = Led Zeppelin Whole Lotta Love.ogg
"Whole Lotta Love" is a song by English rock band
Led Zeppelin. It is featured as the opening track on the band's second album, " Led Zeppelin II", and was their first hit single. In 2004, the song was ranked #75 on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time, and in March 2005, "Q" magazine placed "Whole Lotta Love" at number 3 in its list of the 100 Greatest Guitar Tracks and it placed 11 on a similar list by Rolling Stone. It is also the last track the band ever played as whole.
It was recorded at various studios in
New Yorkand Los Angelesduring the band's second concert tour of the United States and assembled by Jimmy Pageat Olympic Studiosin London. Already part of their live repertoire, it saw its first official release on the LP "Led Zeppelin II" on October 22 1969(Atlantic LP #8236).
Muddy Watersrecorded "You Need Love" by peer Willie Dixon. In 1966 British soul band The Small Facesrecorded the song as "You Need Loving" for their début Decca LP. Some of the lyrics of Led Zeppelin's version were borrowed from the Willie Dixonsong, a favorite of Plant's. Plant's phrasing is particularly similar to that of Steve Marriott's in the Small Faces' version. Similarities with "You Need Love" (and " Bring It On Home") would lead to a lawsuit settled out of court in favour of Dixon in 1985.Dave Lewis (1994), "The Complete Guide to the Music of Led Zeppelin", Omnibus Press, ISBN 0-7119-3528-9.] Strangely, The Small Faces were never sued by Dixon, even though "You Need Loving" still only credits Ronnie Lane and Steve Marriott.
Robert Plant, a huge fan of blues and soul singers, regularly quoted other songs, especially live. The practice of borrowing others' lyrics has long been integral to the blues style. To quote Robert Plant:
Page played the loose Blues riff for the intro, on a Sunburst 1958 Les Paul Standard through a 100W Marshall "Plexi" head amp with distortion from the EL34 output valves, which ascends into the first chorus. Then, beginning at 1:24 (and lasting until 3:02) the song dissolves to a
free jazz-like break involving a thereminsolo and the moans of Robert Plant(sometimes called the " orgasmsection"). Plant did the vocals in one take. As audio engineer Eddie Kramerhas explained: "The famous Whole Lotta Love mix, where everything is going bananas, is a combination of Jimmy and myself just flying around on a small console twiddling every knob known to man." Kramer is also quoted as saying:
Led Zeppelin's bass player John Paul Jones has stated that Page's famous riff probably emerged from a stage improvisation during the band's playing of "Dazed and Confused".Liner notes by
Cameron Crowefor "The Complete Studio Recordings"]
Alternatively, Jimmy Page has vehemently denied that the song originated onstage:
cquote|"Interviewer": Is it true "Whole Lotta Love" was written onstage during a gig in America, when you were all jamming on a
Garnett Mimmssong?"Page": No. No. Absolutely incorrect. No, it was put together when we were rehearsing some music for the second album. I had a riff, everyone was at my house, and we kicked it from there. Never was it written during a gig--where did you hear that?
"Interviewer": I read it in a book.
"Page" (sarcastically): Oh, good. I hope it was that
Rough Guide. That's the latest one, the most inaccurate. They're all inaccurate, you know. [Cavanaugh, David. "Jimmy Page, 'Mission Accomplished.'" Uncut Magazine. Take 132 (May 2008): 49.]
In a separate interview, Page explained:
For this track, Page employed the
backwards echoproduction technique.Dave Lewis (1994), "The Complete Guide to the Music of Led Zeppelin", Omnibus Press, ISBN 0-7119-3528-9.]
Upon release of the LP, radio stations looked for a track that would fit their on-air formats from the quickly successful LP with the pulsing, skronk-raunch lead track "Whole Lotta Love" being the prime contender. However, because many radio stations saw the freeform middle section as unfit to air they simply created their own edited versions.Atlantic Records was quick to respond and in addition to the release of the regular single in the US (coupled with "
Living Loving Maid (She's Just a Woman)" from the same LP as the B-side) released a 3:10 version of the track with the freeform section cut and an earlier fade-out on November 7 1969. Both versions were released as Atlantic #45-2690. The edited version was intended for radio station promotional release but some copies were apparently released commercially in the US and are a collector's item for fans. The song was released as a single in the US, France, Germany(as No 1), Switzerland, The Netherlands, Belgiumand Japan(countries where the band had less control). The edited version was withdrawn.
United Kingdom, Atlantic Records had expected to issue the edited version themselves, and pressed initial copies for release on December 5, 1969. However, band manager Peter Grant was adamant that the band maintain a "no-singles" approach to marketing their recorded music in the UK, and he halted the release. An official statement from the band added that they had written a special number which they intended to be their first British single. This never materialised, and despite much record company pressure, they declined to issue official singles in the UK throughout their career.Dave Lewis (1994), "The Complete Guide to the Music of Led Zeppelin", Omnibus Press, ISBN 0-7119-3528-9.]
Several years later, Atlantic Records reissued "Whole Lotta Love" (with its original B-side "Living Loving Maid") on its Oldies Series label (OS-13116) with a slight error. The edited 3:10 version was used for the reissue, but the labels were printed with the unedited running time of 5:33.
In 1997 Atlantic Records released a CD-single edited (to 4:50 this time) from the original 1969 recording of the song. This version charted in the UK where the band had maintained control over single releases during their existence.
Chart success and live history
The song entered the Billboard Top 40 singles chart on
December 6 1969. It remained on the chart for 13 weeks, peaking at #4 and becoming the band's only Top 10 single in the US. Live, the song debuted April 26, 1969. It was described with details on the site [http://www.argenteumastrum.com/1969.htm] .A famous show closer at Led Zeppelin concerts, it was since mid-1970 performed as a medley of bluesand R&B covers favoured by the band. This included 1950s and 1960s standards such as:
* "Let that Boy Boogie", "
Boogie Chillen" and "I'm in the Mood" all by John Lee Hooker
* "I'm Movin' On" by
Hello Mary Lou" written by Gene Pitney, a hit for Ricky Nelson
* "Mess o' the Blues" written for
Elvis Presleyby Doc Pomusand Mort Shuman
* "Cumberland Gap" written by Lonnie Donegan
* "Bye, Bye, Baby (Baby Goodbye)" written by
The Four Seasons
* "Rave On" written by Sonny West and popularized by
Lawdy Miss Clawdy" written by Lloyd Price, a hit for Elvis among others
* "Hideaway" by
* "Fixin' to Die" and "Shake 'em on Down" by
* "Killing Floor" and "Dust My Broom" by
Voodoo Chile" by Jimi Hendrix
* "For What It's Worth" by
* "The Hunter" by
That's Alright Mama" by Arthur Crudup; popularized by Elvis
* "Honeydripper" by
* "Blueberry Hill" by
Vincent Rose, a hit for Louis Armstrongand Fats Domino
* "Trucking Little Woman" and "I Can't Be Satisfied" by
Big Bill Broonzy
* "Let's Have a Party" written by Jessie Mae Robinson for Elvis; a hit for
* "Drop Down Mama" written by
Sleepy John Estesand covered by Big Joe Williams
* "Some Other Guy" written by Leiber/Stoller/Barrett; popularized by
* "Susie Q" by
* "Everybody Needs Somebody" by
Solomon Burke; written by Russell/Burke/Wexler
* "(Your So Square) Baby I Don't Care" written by
Leiber & Stoller; recorded by Elvis
* "Licking Stick" and "Sex Machine" by
* "Long Distance Call" and "Honey Bee" performed by
* "Going Down Slow" by
St. Louis Jimmy Oden
Heartbreak Hotel", "Jailhouse Rock", and " Mystery Train" by Elvis Presley
Only the Lonelyby Roy Orbison
When performed live, "Whole Lotta Love" also occasionally included segments of other Led Zeppelin songs such as "
I Can't Quit You Baby", " You Shook Me", " How Many More Times(inc. The Hunter)", " Your Time Is Gonna Come", " Good Times, Bad Times", " The Lemon Song", " The Crunge", " D'yer Mak'er", "Black Dog", " Out On The Tiles" and " Ramble On".
Live versions of "Whole Lotta Love" were released officially on the following titles:
* "The Song Remains the Same"; 2xLP (
September 28 1976; Swan Song #SS2-201; from a 1973 concert and movie soundtrack)
Led Zeppelin BBC Sessions"; 2xCD ( November 11 1997; Atlantic #83061; from a 1971 concert)
* "How the West Was Won"; 3xCD (
May 27 2003; Atlantic #83587; from a 1972 concert)
* "Led Zeppelin"; DVD (2003; from a 1979 and a 1970 concert)
"Whole Lotta Love" was the last song Led Zeppelin ever played live in their original lineup. It was however performed again at the band's reunions in
1985and 1988, as well as at the Ahmet Ertegün Tribute Concertat the O2 Arena, Londonon December 10, 2007, with Jason Bonhamsitting in on drums for his late father. It also featured in the closing ceremony of the 2008 Olympic Gamesin Beijingon August 24, 2008, in a rewritten version with Jimmy Page on guitar and Leona Lewisproviding the vocals. Some of the original lyrics were changed for being too explicit. [ [http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/othersports/olympics/2603561/Led-Zeppelin-classic-too-racy-for-Olympics.html Led Zeppelin classic 'too racy' for Olympics] , " Daily Telegraph", 23 August 2008.]
An instrumental cover version of the track by CCS was a UK Top 20 hit in 1970. The song is famous in the
United Kingdomfor having been the theme music for the long-running television programme " Top of the Pops" during the 1970s. It was produced by Mickie Most.
American rock band Foreigner would often cover the song in live performances, usually as part of medley including Juke Box Hero.
A cover called "Whole Lotta Love" was released by dance act Goldbug in 1996. The lyrics were intact, but the backing consisted of the music of
Pearl & Dean. The single reached #3 in the UKcharts, surpassing the success of the original, which had not even charted in the UK.
A cover described as "Raw Harp Version" was released by UK blues harmonica player Will Tang in 2008 as a B-side to his single "The Other Side".
Reportedly, Prince will release a live version of "Whole Lotta Love" with his 2008 release "
At the closing ceremony of the "
2008 Beijing Olympic Games" Jimmy Page performed this song with Leona Lewis during the hand over from Beijing to London, which will host the " 2012 Olympic Games".
Perry Farrell does a reworked version of the song on his album
Kisshave covered the song live.
*"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
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