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Led Zeppelin: Hear an unreleased version of Whole Lotta Love - exclusive

Arguably the greatest ever question asked in a rock interview was posed by the American writer Chuck Klosterman to Robert Plant, asking about Led Zeppelin's Whole Lotta Love.

"On Whole Lotta Love you say you're going to give some girl 'every inch' of your love," Klosterman said. "But you're British. Why don't you use the metric system?"

Plant, to his credit, took the question in good part. "That would change the whole tone of the thing!" he replied. "I suppose today it would have to be, 'I'll give you several centimetres of bliss.' But people of my generation know nothing about the metric system. I'm fortunate to say I still use inches - or at least that's what my girlfriend says, and she's 29."

Whole Lotta Love showcased Zeppelin at their most priapic, coupled with one of rock's most memorable riffs. Even people who never bought a Zeppelin album knew it, thanks to a version being the Top of the Pops theme tune for many years.

Of course, Whole Lotta Love became a controversial song - it transpired the lyrics were largely pinched from You Need Love, written by Wille Dixon and recorded by Muddy Waters in 1962, and possibly taken from a 1966 version by the Small Faces (which was credited to Marriott/Lane, ironically), which has similar phrasing to Plant's in Whole Lotta Love. Dixon sued Zeppelin in 1985, with the case being settled out of court. Still, as Plant would later say, "Page's riff was Page's riff. It was there before anything else. I just thought, 'Well, what am I going to sing?' That was it, a nick. Now happily paid for."

Here, then, is an early version of Whole Lotta Love - minus its vocal chorus, without the slide guitar at the chorus break, and with a much less extravagant percussion section. It's a fascinating insight into Zeppelin, and you'll be able to hear more works in progress from one of rock's greatest bands when Led Zeppelin's first three albums are reissued with companion discs on Atlantic/Swansong on 2 June.



From: The Guardian

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This Month in
Led Zeppelin History

February 7, 1962 - Deborah Bonham, sister to John, was born in Redditch, Worcestershire, England
February 23, 1966 - Warren Grant, son of Peter, was born.
February xx, 1969 - Led Zeppelin enters the Billboard Top 40
February 16, 1969 - Led Zeppelin wrap up their first American tour in Baltimore, MD.
February 07, 1970 - Edinburgh gig cancelled after Plant receives facial injuries in a car accident
February 28, 1970 - The band performs as "The Nobs" in Copenhagen after threat of legal action from Countess Von Zeppelin
February xx, 1971 - John Paul Jones involved in legal issues regarding a musician who shares the same name
February xx, 1971 - Overdubs for the fourth album are recorded at Island Studios
February 14, 1972 - The band is refused admission into Singapore due to their long hair
February 16, 1972 - The Australian tour begins in Perth
February 21, 1972 - Led Zeppelin: Rock and Roll b/w Four Sticks (Atlantic 45-2865) 45 single is released in the US.
February xx, 1973 - The band makes final preparations for the European tour
February 16, 1973 - The release date for Houses Of The Holy is pushed back due to some sleeve problems
February xx, 1974 - Sessions for Physical Graffiti continue
February 14, 1974 - Page, Plant and Bonham attend a Roy Harper concert
February 04, 1975 - Zeppelin perform a last minute show at Nassau Coliseum to accomodate fans after being banned in Boston
February 24, 1975 - Physical Graffiti finally issued worldwide to phenomenal sales
February xx, 1976 - Media reports that Zeppelin are due to release an album entitled Obelisk
February xx, 1977 - Robert contracts a bout of tonsillitis postponing the American tour
February xx, 1978 - Robert Plant helps produce a record for punk band Dansette Damage
February 16, 1978 - The cases against Bonham, Cole & Grant stemming from the Oakland incident are heard and all receive suspended prison sentences and fines
February xx, 1979 - Although absent from the US stage or market, Led Zeppelin rank best in many music magazine categories
February xx, 1979 - Mixing sessions for In Through The Out Door take place at Polar Studios. Rumors fly of a European tour
February 03, 1980 - Robert joins Dave Edmund’s Rockpile at the Birmingham Top Rank
February 13, 2005 - Led Zeppelin receives a Grammy for Lifetime Achievment.
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