Jimmy Page Had Most of ‘Led Zeppelin I’ Written Before the Yardbirds Broke Up
Before they were known as Led Zeppelin, Jimmy Page’s new band was called the New Yardbirds. It would have made sense if the band kept that name, even with a new singer in Robert Plant, because Jimmy Page had nearly a full album’s worth of music written by the time the new band formed.
That album turned out to be Led Zeppelin I.
Page opened up in a new interview with Absolute Radio about the writing process for much of the material on Led Zeppelin’s eponymous debut, during which he wrote the riffs and much of the lyrics for many of the record’s biggest tracks. He had a vision as both a guitarist and a producer, which he took control of once Jeff Beck was forced to leave the Yardbirds.
“I knew I was going to produce a group, because that’s what I wanted to do,” he says.
He had written his version of Jake Holmes’ “Dazed and Confused” by the time the Yardbirds disbanded, as well as a “whole outline” for “Babe, I’m Gonna Leave You”, and the riff and chorus for “Communication Breakdown”.
Page also says, notably, that he didn’t want to “do singles” with Led Zeppelin, ironic considering they churned out several hits on that first album.
It’s also a bit awkward that he brings up writing “Dazed and Confused” and “Babe, I’m Gonna Leave You”, because those are two songs that has brought legal trouble to Led Zeppelin in the past.
Watch the interview in the video below.
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