Sick Again

'Sick Again' is a 1975 song by English rock band Led Zeppelin. The song was composed by Jimmy Page, and Robert Plant, and recorded at Headley Grange, Hampshire, England in January 1974, and mixed at Olympic Studios, London in October 1974. It appeared as the fifteenth and final track on Led Zeppelin's sixth album Physical Graffiti, released on 24 February 1975. 'Sick Again' is a hard rock song, the title of which refers to the loss of innocence and the decline of the groupie scene in Los Angeles, home of the 'LA Queens'. The antithesis to an earlier album track, 'The Wanton Song'.

Overview

'Sick Again' originated soon after the bands 1973 North American tour, where band members had noticed that the groupie scene in Los Angeles had turned decidedly seedier. Singer Robert Plant's lyrics reflected his personal observations on what was going down with the women involved. His vocal mix is buried in the recording, giving it a mysterious quality. Guitarist Jimmy Page lays down a solid guitar riff in E, while drummer John Bonham plays some of his heaviest grooves on the album. The song has an interesting rhythm where Bonham plays an additional beat, creating a 5/4 time signature in some parts of the composition. The song concludes with a scrape of a guitar pick by Page and a studio cough by Bonham, similar in ending to 'In My Time of Dying'. Page used a Gibson Les Paul Standard on the recording, but when played live used the double neck Gibson EDS-1275, especially on the Led Zeppelin's 1977 North American tour, when moving between 'The Song Remains the Same' and the opening bars of 'The Rover' in the set list without need of a guitar change.

The song is featured in the 2004 documentary film on Hollywood's Rodney Bingenheimer Mayor of Sunset Strip, but was left off the soundtrack album.

Live performances

'Sick Again' was performed as the second song on Led Zeppelin's 1975 and 1977 tours, and as an encore at the 1979 Knebworth shows. The 4 August performance was recorded, and later released on the 2003 Led Zeppelin DVD. In a scaled down set list for the 1980 Over Europe tour, the song was reluctantly dropped. The song was revived by Page when touring with the Black Crowes in 1999, and a recorded version was released on the album Live at the Greek in 2000.

Credits

Musicians:

  • Jimmy Page – electric guitar, producer, remastering, digital remastering
  • Robert Plant – vocals
  • John Paul Jones – bass guitar
  • John Bonham - drums, percussion

Production:

  • Peter Grant – executive producer
  • Keith Harwood - mixing
  • Ron Nevison - engineer, mixing
  • Joe Sidore - original CD mastering engineer (mid-1980s)
  • George Marino - remastered CD engineer (1990)

Bibliography

  • Lewis, Dave (2012) Led Zeppelin: From a Whisper to a Scream. London: Omnibus Press. ISBN 978-1-78038-547-1 (OCLC 782996334).
  • Welch, Chris (2009) Led Zeppelin: The Stories Behind Every Led Zeppelin Song. London: Carlton Books. ISBN 978-1-84732-286-9 (OCLC 317254118).

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