Led Zeppelin III

All studio and live performances from Led Zeppelin III. 

Led Zeppelin III was recorded between January and August 1970 and released on 5 October 1970 by Atlantic Records. Composed largely at a remote cottage in Wales known as Bron-Yr-Aur, this work represented a maturing of the band's music towards a greater emphasis on folk and acoustic sounds. This surprised many fans and critics, and upon its release

the album received rather indifferent reviews. Led Zeppelin III marked a change in focus for the band from late 1960s hard rock to a more folk rock or electric folk and acoustic inspired sound. These styles had been present to a lesser degree in the band's first two releases, but here it was the main emphasis, and one that would remain prominent to various degrees in the group's later albums. This development endeared the band to many progressive rock fans who would never have listened to Led Zeppelin's established blues and rock repertoire. With Led Zeppelin III the group's songwriting dynamic also changed, from Page's domination of the first two albums towards a more democratic affair in which all four group members contributed their own compositions and ideas—patterns that would continue in future sessions.

Immigrant Song

Overview:  Immigrant Song was written during Led Zeppelin's tour of Iceland, Bath and Germany in the summer of 1970. The opening date of this tour took place in Reykjavík, Iceland, which inspired vocalist Robert Plant to write the song. Immigrant Song is one of Led Zeppelin's few single releases. It was issued in the US 5 November 1970 by Atlantic Records and reached number 16 on the Billboard Hot 100. Hey Hey What Can I Do, the single's B-side, was released on the 1972 UK Atlantic Records sampler The New Age of Atlantic and later on the 1990 Led Zeppelin Boxed Set. Immigrant Song was also mistakenly released in Japan with "Out On the Tiles" as the B-side rather than "Hey Hey What Can I Do" and is a rare collectible.

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Versions Worth Checking Out:  23 September 1971 - Tokyo, Japan

Celebration Day

Celebration Day was recorded between May and August of 1970. Originally, one of John Bonham's drum tracks was to be used in the intro of "Celebration Day", but an engineer accidentally erased the recording. Unable or unwilling to re-record it, the synthesizer drone from the end of "Friends" was used to fill up the gap. Robert Plant's lyrics were inspired by his impressions of the city of New York. On Zeppelin's 1971 concert tour of the United States, he would sometimes introduce it as "The New York Song". "Celebration Day" was often played live in Led Zeppelin concerts from 1971–73, and was returned to the band's setlist at the Knebworth Festival in 1979, where Page performed the song using his Gibson EDS-1275 double-necked guitar.

 

Favorite Version: 31 August 1971 - Orlando, Florida

Since I've Been Loving You

Overview: Since I've Been Loving You was recorded between May and August of 1970. This was one of the first songs prepared for the Led Zeppelin III album. The song was recorded live in the studio with very little overdubbing.

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Versions Worth Checking Out:  1 April 1971 (BBC Sessions)

Out On The Tiles

Overview: Out On The Tiles was recorded between May and August of 1970. The title of the song is derived from the British phrase for going out for a night on the town. Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham would talk about going "out on the tiles," meaning to go to bars, and often sang a ditty based around the phrase. It goes "I've had a pint of bitter and now I'm feeling better and I'm out on the tiles. We're going down the rubbers and we're going to pull some scrubbers because we're out on the tiles." Guitarist Jimmy Page turned the tune into a riff and Bonham's lyrics were replaced with something a little more tame for general audiences. Bonham and Page are credited with writing the song, along with vocalist Robert Plant.The spacey sound mix achieved on the recording of this song was a product of distance miking in the studio by Page. Just after the 1:23 mark in the track, someone in the recording studio is heard saying "stop". It is widely believed that it was Page who said it, although this has never been confirmed. As the song has unique rhythm and syncopation, it is assumed that whoever yelled "stop" was trying to act as a verbal conductor. Before that, at about 0:11 in the song, someone (again possibly Page) says "All right". Out On the Tiles was played live in its entirety just a few times at Led Zeppelin concerts, most notably on 4 September 1970 in Los Angeles, as is preserved on the famous bootleg recording Live on Blueberry Hill. However, the beginning of the song was much more often used as an introduction to live performances of "Black Dog", and as an introduction to John Bonham's drum solo "Over the Top" on the band's 1977 North American concert tour. "Bathroom Sound" is a rough mix of "Out On the Tiles", without the vocals.

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Versions Worth Checking Out: Studio

Gallows Pole

Overview: Gallows Pole was recorded between May and August of 1970. Page played banjo, six and 12 string acoustic guitar and electric guitar (a Gibson Les Paul), while John Paul Jones played mandolin and bass. Page has stated that, similar to the song "Battle of Evermore" which was included on their fourth album, the song emerged spontaneously when he started experimenting with Jones' mandolin, an instrument he had never before played. "I just picked it up and started moving my fingers around until the chords sounded right, which is the same way I work on compositions when the guitar's in different tunings." It is also one of Page's favourite songs on Led Zeppelin III.

 

Led Zeppelin would perform the song a few times live during Led Zeppelin concerts in 1971. Plant would sometimes also include lyrics in live performances of the Led Zeppelin song "Trampled Under Foot" in 1975.

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Versions Worth Checking Out: It's pretty much a tie between the studio and the two times they played this live. The live versions have tremendous energy, Plant's voice is in great shape.

Tangerine

Overview: Tangerine was recorded between May and August of 1970, but had been written by Jimmy Page years earlier and The Yardbirds had attempted to record it on at least one occasion. It features a strummed twelve-string acoustic guitar rhythm with pedal steel guitar fills that give it a "country-tinged, Neil Young-inspired" flavour. Tangerine has been performed in concert by Led Zeppelin at different points in their career and has been recorded by other musicians. Page explained "I'd written it after an old emotional upheaval and I just changed a few of the lyrics for the new version". On April 4, 1968, the Yardbirds recorded "a very similar demo called 'Knowing That I'm Losing You'" Led Zeppelin recorded it at Headley Grange, Headley, East Hampshire, using the Rolling Stones Mobile Studio. The song was engineered and later mixed by Andy Johns at Olympic Studios in London.

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Versions Worth Checking Out: Studio