Ten Years Gone

'Ten Years Gone' 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 tenth track on Led Zeppelin's sixth album Physical Graffiti, released on 24 February 1975. 'Ten Years Gone' is a hard rock song, originally intended to be an instrumental, with lyrics later added by singer Robert Plant about a former girlfriend who made him choose between her and his music ten years earlier.

Overview

'Ten Years Gone' was recorded at Headley Grange, and was once rumoured to be the long talked about epic song 'Swan Song'. Recorded mainly with a 1964 Olympic White Fender Stratocaster, and additional overdubs using a Harmony Sovereign acoustic, Dan Electro 3021, and Dan Electro Coral electric sitar, for a total of 14 different guitar layers, it was one of the most challenging songs recorded by guitarist Jimmy Page. Page also used plate reverb, phasing, and a Leslie rotating speaker amongst various guitar effects. The original intention was to create an instrumental piece similar in desire to 'The Rain Song' without lyrics, which Page had been working on in late 1973. However it was decided during the Headley Grange sessions that Plant add lyrics to the composition. The song amply demonstrates Page's use of 'light and shade' creating subtle textures of delicate and heavier sound elements within the song.

There were initial fears that the song would not be able to be performed live, so bassist John Paul Jones had to order a custom made triple neck guitar (six-string, twelve string, and mandolin) to imitate at least some of the guitar parts while Page played lead. Page himself considered using his Gibson EDS-1275 double neck guitar but found he could achieve the sound he wanted using a Botswana Brown Fender Telecaster featuring a Parsons and White B-string bender. Jones also used his Taurus bass pedals in conjunction with his triple neck guitar.

Live performances

'Ten Years Gone' made its debut on the 1977 North American tour. It was also performed on 24 July 1979 at Copenhagen, and 4 August 1979 at Knebworth. Due to technical problems with Jones' guitar, the song was not played on the 11 August 1979 show. It was dropped for the streamlined 1980 Over Europe tour. Page and Plant revived the song for their appearance in Osaka, Japan on 15 February 1996. Page also performed the song on his 1999 and 2000 tours with the Black Crowes, and a recorded version appears on the album Live at the Greek.

Credits

Musicians:

  • Jimmy Page – electric guitar, acoustic 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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