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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

May 31, 1948 - John Henry Bonham was born at Redditch, Worchestershire
May xx, 1969 - The band’s debut album enters the US Top 10
May xx, 1969 - Recording sessions for Led Zeppelin II begin
May xx, 1970 - The band works on new material at Bron-Y-Aur
May 03, 1971 - Richard Cole jams on Whole Lotta Love playing congas
May xx, 1972 - Houses Of The Holy recording sessions on location at Stargroves and Olympic studios
May 27, 1972 - Warm-up gigs kick off in Holland for an upcoming American tour
May 04, 1973 - Led Zeppelin gross nearly $250,000 for their performance in Atlanta, GA
May 05, 1973 - 56,800 attend the second show of the 1973 US tour at Tampa. This sets a record for the largest attendance for a one-act performance, previously held by the Beatlesfor their Shea Stadium show in 1965
May 10, 1974 - Swan Song Records is officially launched
May 11, 1974 - Led Zeppelin attend an Elvis concert and are thrilled when Elvis announces that Led Zeppelin is in the building
May 10, 1975 - Showco ships their PA system and video screens for the Earls Court shows from Dallas to London
May 23, 1976 - Page and Plant join Bad Company onstage at the LA Forum
May 21, 1977 - The Houston Summit claims $500,000 in damages to their venue caused by rowdy fans
May xx, 1978 - The band reunite at Clearwater Castle to rehearse
May 22, 1979 - It is officially announce that Led Zeppelin will headline at the Knebworth Festival in August
May 15, 1980 - After many revisions the European tour dates are finalized and the band is scheduled to open in Germany
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