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.
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
Whole 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!