Led Zeppelin’s 3 Most Challenging Songs To Record

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Led Zeppelin’s albums had a polished sound that masked the band’s struggles during recording sessions. While the titles of some songs lacked creativity, the music itself was innovative and seemed to flow effortlessly. Nonetheless, Led Zeppelin encountered difficulties while recording several songs, but they persevered and produced classic tracks, showcasing their remarkable talent.

‘Since I’ve Been Loving You’

Jimmy Page’s guitar solo on “Since I’ve Been Loving You,” a slow blues tune from Led Zeppelin III, is considered one of his best, even surpassing his famous solo on “Stairway to Heaven.” Despite the band’s prior experience playing the song live, they struggled to record it due to their difficulty in elevating a standard blues tune to something special. To overcome this, they experimented with the song during live performances. In the studio, the band recorded the track live, with only Page’s solo and Robert Plant’s vocals overdubbed later. The band faced challenges during recording, such as John Bonham’s squeaky bass drum pedal, which they left in the final version. Despite these struggles, the band successfully recorded a timeless classic.


‘Black Dog’

John Paul Jones, the bassist of Led Zeppelin, is credited with creating the main riff of the song “Black Dog.” This riff has a unique sound that builds up and then collapses in on itself. Despite being one of the heaviest and most ominous tracks on Led Zeppelin IV, it was difficult for the band to record. The song’s unusual time signature posed a challenge for the band, but drummer John Bonham discovered a solution. He tapped his drumsticks together during the quiet parts of the song, helping guitarist Jimmy Page return to the proper beat. It’s likely that Jones knew exactly when to play his parts since he composed the song. Bonham’s contribution was crucial to the band’s success in recording “Black Dog.” His drum groove is so distinctive that it can be recognized even without the guitar or lyrics, a feat that not every drummer can accomplish.


‘Four Sticks’

The Led Zeppelin song “Four Sticks” also had a challenging time signature, which Bonham initially struggled with. However, he overcame the challenge after drinking some alcohol and recorded his part in two takes, earning the song its name. Despite the difficulty in recording it, the band never performed it live, which likely saved Bonham from the added pressure. Overall, Led Zeppelin typically worked efficiently in the studio, even with complex albums like Presence, and overcame obstacles to create some of their most memorable songs.