Whole Lotta Love – Led Zeppelin – 1970

Robert Plant and Jimmy Pagebeginnings

So, there I am.  6:30am at the gym.  Barely awake. Rowing with the coordination of a drunken elephant.  Ears assailed by the usual bombardment of hip-hop.  Pondering the blogoshpere’s first and foremost question – how on earth does a guy begin a blog?

And then, the music gods smile upon me. 

familiarity breeds contentment

The familiar opening riff to possibly the most un-gym like song ever written reverberates through the place.  Not just any song.  This is the perfect song because, for me, this is where it all began.  Led Zeppelin’s  Whole Lotta Love.

the day Led Zep came to town

1972 – February 24th to be precise, just 13 years old, I went to my first ever live rock ‘n’  roll show.  My ticket cost $2.99, a week and a half’s earnings from my newspaper round, and my father said I was crazy.

Led Zeppelin – the band Rolling Stone magazine called, the world’s heaviest rock band.

My recollection of the show is that it was a glorious musical sandwich.  Filled with Led Zep’s finest tunes sandwiched between my two favourites.  Opening to those plaintive cries that signal the start of Immigrant Song and finishing with the distinctive intro to  Whole Lotta Love.

whole lotta energy

Led Zeppelin II album coverWhole Lotta Love was one of the few singles Led Zep ever released.  You see, the band had a musical philosophy.  They believed each album needed to be seen as a single entity and so refused to allow individual tracks to be lifted from them.

Of special note is that Stairway to Heaven, often referred to as the greatest rock song of all time, was never released as a single.

In the United States, two versions of Whole Lotta Love were released as singles.  One featured the album version in its entirety, the other was considerably shorter having been exorcised of the freeflow guitar solo in the middle (they left out the best part!).

some Whole Lotta Love fax

  • Rolling Stone mag. listed this song as number #75 in the list of the 500 all time greatest songs.  (Stairway to Heaven was #31) and #11 in the list of 100 greatest guitar songs of all time.
  • The song was released as the first track on the album Led Zeppelin II in 1969 but was certified Gold in the US in early 1970 – that counts as a 70s song for me!
  • The band were sued by American Blues singer Willie Dixon who claimed the song bore a remarkable resemblance to his song, You Need Love.  The band settled out of court and Dixon’s name appears in the credits as a co-writer.
  • Whole Lotta Love is the only single the band released in the UK.
  • Whole Lotta Love lyrics.

 can you remember…

Can you recall the first live show you ever went to?  We’d all like to know what it was – leave a comment!


3 Responses to Whole Lotta Love – Led Zeppelin – 1970

  1. wozza says:

    Meanwhile across town in Royal Oak I was listening to the same stuff! One of my first album purchases was Led Zep 3 (you were lucky – you had an older brother with a collection that was part of the aural landscape of your house so you probably got to this stuff before me). I am more of a listener than a concert goer so I actually don’t remember the first concert – may even be listening to Tole Puddle on the grass at Mount Albert Grammar with you!

    I do remember us going to see The Song Remains The Same at the St James and we were blissfully deaf for days. I still remember how loud it was! I also remember I drove my mother mad with really loud repeats of that middle section to WLL.

    This common love of music (and a shared off-the-wall sense of humour) is why we connected as friends back in 1974 and why we haven’t lost contact I guess.

    Love the blog GK and looking forward to regular walks down memory lane – that Zep clip is a good version of this classic too!

  2. Greg.K. says:

    Yep, I remember going to see The Song Remains the Same. I was going to put the video clip from that onto the post but it was quite muted. You are quite correct in saying that our ears were ringing for a while.

    I am amazed at how much improved concert sound is these days. I have recently seen both U2 and the fabulous Crowded House. The sound was superb at both. Crystal clear and loud enough to rock without being to loud to roll!


  3. Sparrow says:

    Interesting …. like you Greg, I had an older brother that was influential in some of my taste in music. In fact I had two older brothers, so was exposed to anything from bubblegum music, such as hits from the Partridge family, through to pop and even your featured rock band, Led Zeppelin.

    Not to say that I don’t succumb to some of the bubblegum music that’s around today, but my first official concert I went to was Bob Dylan, and one of the first songs I learnt to play on the guitar was Stairway to Heaven. I say first ‘official concert’ as I do recall seeing Gregarious-G-String play locally, but I don’t think that counts.

    It’s amazing how nostalgic music can make you. I too can remember every word of some of my old favorites, and at times even recall what the next song was on the album.

    Love the blog & look forward to more posts.

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