|This is the first track on Led Zeppelin 4,
one of the best selling albums ever. The album has symbols on the cover
and is untitled, but since it was their 4th album, it became known as
Led Zeppelin 4.
|Zeppelin bass player John Paul Jones got the idea
for this after hearing Muddy Waters' "Electric Mud." He wanted to try "Electric
Blues with a rolling bass part."
|The start and stop a cappella verses were inspired
by Fleetwood Mac's 1969 song "Oh Well." Before Stevie Nicks and Lindsey
Buckingham joined Fleetwood Mac in 1974, they were more of a Blues band
led by guitarist Peter Green. Jimmy Page and The Black Crowes performed
"Oh Well" on their 1999 tour and included it on the album Live At The
|The guitars are heavily layered. Four separate
Jimmy Page guitar tracks were overdubbed.
|The title came from a nameless black dog that
wandered around the Headley Grange studios during recording. It has
nothing to do with the song itself.
|John Bonham's drumming was patterned after Little
Richard's "Keep a Knockin'."
|The sounds at the beginning are Jimmy Page warming
up his guitar. He called it "Waking up the army of guitars."
|This contains some complicated time signatures
arranged by Jones, which Bonham ignored, playing a steady 4/4 beat
instead. Jones thinks that is what made it work.
|John Paul Jones wanted to write a song that people
couldn't "groove" or dance to. The clever time signature does just that.
(thanks, Mark - Chicago, IL)
|Robert Plant's vocal was recorded in 2 takes. It
was one of his most memorable performances.
|Plant: "Not all my stuff is meant to be
scrutinized. Things like 'Black Dog' are blatant,
let's-do-it-in-the-bath type things, but they make their point just the
|Page and Plant performed an updated version of
this on their 1995 tour.
|Plant sampled this on his solo hit "Tall Cool One."
|Led Zeppelin cover band Dread Zeppelin did a
version of this mixed with Elvis' "Hound Dog" called "You Ain't Nuthin'
But A Black Dog." Their lead singer is an Elvis impersonator.
|As Robert Plant sings every line after the music
stops, you can faintly hear Bonham tapping his drumsticks together to
keep the time. (thanks, Adrian - Wilmington, DE)