The Crunge

'The Crunge' is a 1973 song by English rock band Led Zeppelin. The song was composed by Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, John Paul Jones, and John Bonham, and recorded at Stargroves, Berkshire, England in April 1972, and mixed at Electric Lady Studios, New York in June 1972. It appeared as the fourth track on Led Zeppelin's fifth album Houses of the Holy, released on 28 March 1973. 'The Crunge' is a funk-influenced rock song. Performed in a light-hearted, fun vein stemming from a spontaneous studio jam, the song showcases the rhythm section of bassist John Paul Jones and drummer John Bonham.

Overview

'The Crunge' was originally conceived at the Bron-Yr-Aur cottage of south Wales in 1970 as an unfinished acoustic piece. The basic guitar melody was reused when the band began recording at Stargroves. Plant and Bonham initial idea was to talk in humorous Black Country dialect throughout the song but this was abandoned in favour of ad libbing some 'James Brown'-style phrases, after Bonham began laying funky rhythms in the studio. Studio banter between engineer George Chkiantz and producer Page at the start of the track, was deliberately left on the recording. John Paul Jones added a descending bass line followed by Page's choppy rhythm guitar courtesy of of a Fender Stratocaster guitar with whammy bar accents at the end of each phrase. A EMS VCS3 was used to create a polyphonic horn line. The band even considered creating a novel dance to the tune, with dance steps listed on the inside gatefold of the cover, but this idea was eventually abandoned.

'The Crunge' also appeared as a B-side on the 'D'yer Mak'er' promotional single. In the 2000 film Almost Famous by Cameron Crowe, the phrase 'Have You Seen the Bridge?' can be seen on the tee shirt of Led Zeppelin fan Vic Munoz. The song has been sampled by many artists including De La Soul, and Fatboy Slim.

Live performances

'The Crunge' was never performed in full live but elements of the song did appear within the 'Dazed and Confused' medley in 1972, and the 'Whole Lotta Love' medley in 1975. Part of 'The Crunge' in its 1975 medley form appears on the 2003 Led Zeppelin DVD.

Formats and track listings

1973 7" single (Uruguay: Atlantic 74007)

  • A. 'The Crunge' (Bonham, Jones, Page, Plant) 3.17
  • B. 'D'yer Mak'er' (Bonham, Jones, Page, Plant) 4.23

Credits

Musicians:

  • Jimmy Page – electric guitar, acoustic guitar, pedal steel guitar, producer, remastering, digital remastering
  • Robert Plant – vocals
  • John Paul Jones – bass guitar, harpsichord, Mellotron, EMS VCS3
  • John Bonham - drums, percussion

Production:

  • Peter Grant – executive producer
  • Eddie Kramer – 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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