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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

March 17, 1969 - A four-song performance is filmed for TV Byen in Denmark (aired on May 19, 1969)
March 21, 1969 - Zeppelin’s debut TV appearance on "How It Is"
March 25, 1969 - Filming session for the Supershow
March xx, 1970 - The band turns down many TV offers worth large sums
March 05, 1971 - Led Zeppelin started a 12-date "Thank You" tour for British fans, appearing at the clubs from their early days and charging the same admission prices as in 1968. The first show was at Ulster Hall, Belfast, Northern Ireland where they played songs from their upcoming fourth album, including the first public performances of Black Dog, Stairway To Heaven, Going To California and Rock And Roll.
March 12, 1972 - Page and Plant rehearse some songs with the Bombay Orchestra
March 25, 1973 - Led Zeppelin finally release Houses of the Holy after production issues with the album cover
March 28, 1973 - Led Zeppelin released Houses Of The Holy in the UK. The album title was a dedication by the band to their fans who appeared at venues they dubbed "houses of the holy". Houses Of The Holy has now been certified 11 times Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for US sales in excess of 11 million copies.
March xx, 1974 - The band decide to release a double album due to the amount of left over studio material
March 29, 1975 - Led Zeppelin saw all six of their albums in the US Top 100 chart in the same week, alongside their latest album Physical Graffiti at No.1. Physical Graffiti has now been certified 16 times Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for US sales in excess of 16 million copies.
March 15, 1975 - Tickets for the Earls Court shows sellout within four hours
March xx, 1976 - Jimmy speaks with reporters mentioning the new album due out called Presence
March 31, 1976 - Presence is released
March 28, 1977 - Zeppelin arrive in Dallas, Texas to rehearse before opening the eleventh tour of the US
March xx, 1978 - Robert and John spend some time hanging around the Midlands
March 26, 1979 - Robert takes lead vocal at a Bad Company gig in Birmingham
March 04, 1980 - John Bonham makes a TV appearance on "Alright Now" with Bill Connolly
March 26, 2006 - Readers of Total Guitar magazine voted the guitar solo by Jimmy Page in Led Zeppelin’s Stairway To Heaven as the greatest guitar solo of all time. The 1971 track was voted ahead of tracks by Van Halen, Queen, Jimi Hendrix and The Eagles. On the 20th anniversary of the original release of the song, it was announced via US radio sources that the song had logged up an estimated 2,874,000 radio plays - back to back, that would run for 44 years solid.
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