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The Making of Led Zeppelin's 'Whole Lotta Love'
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The Making of Led Zeppelin's 'Whole Lotta Love'
Jun 02, 2014, 20:13
In late 1968, Led Zeppelin began pioneering a heavier, more metallic-sounding form of rock geared for FM radio's new album-oriented stereo format. By combining a slashing electric guitar and wailing vocals with a rhythmic bass and locomotive drums, the band quickly became the darlings of better stereo systems and large indoor arenas—and inspired several generations of metal-driven rockers.




When "Whole Lotta Love" was released in October 1969, it appeared first on "Led Zeppelin II," the band's second album, and then as a single weeks later—with a shorter edit for AM radio. While the single reached No. 4 on Billboard's pop chart, the album shot to No. 1 in November, and a three-month battle with the Beatles' "Abbey Road" for the top spot ensued.

With the reissue of Led Zeppelin's first three albums on Tuesday by Atlantic Records, guitarist Jimmy Page, 70, recording engineer George Chkiantz, 70, and final-mix engineer Eddie Kramer, 71, reflected on how the famed guitar riff evolved, why the voice of lead vocalist Robert Plant pre-echoes on the recording and how a 1985 lawsuit by blues artist Willie Dixon resulted in a co-songwriter credit for "Whole Lotta Love." (Mr. Plant, who opposes a reunion tour, and bassist John Paul Jones declined to be interviewed.) Edited from conversations.


Jimmy Page: I came up with the guitar riff for "Whole Lotta Love" in the summer of '68, on my houseboat along the Thames in Pangbourne, England. I suppose my early love for big intros by rockabilly guitarists was an inspiration, but as soon as I developed the riff, I knew it was strong enough to drive the entire song, not just open it. When I played the riff for the band in my living room several weeks later during rehearsals for our first album, the excitement was immediate and collective. We felt the riff was addictive, like a forbidden thing.




Behind the Scenes of 'Whole Lotta Love'


http://online.wsj.com/articles/the-making-of-led-zeppelins-whole-lotta-love-1401390281?tesla=y

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