The Rover (song)

'The Rover' is a 1975 song by English rock band Led Zeppelin. The song was composed by Jimmy Page, and Robert Plant, and recorded at Stargroves, Berkshire, England in April 1972, with overdubs recorded at Headley Grange, Hampshire, England in January 1974, and mixed at Olympic Studios, London in October 1974. It appeared as the second track on Led Zeppelin's sixth album Physical Graffiti, released on 24 February 1975.'The Rover' is a melodic hard rock song celebrating the travels of the band, and world peace. It is one of the heaviest songs recorded for Physical Graffiti.


'The Rover' was originally conceived as an acoustic blues song during guitarist Jimmy Page and singer Robert Plant's stay at the south Wales cottage of Bron-Yr-Aur. The band revisited the song and recorded it at Stargroves in 1972 for the album Houses of the Holy, however it was decided to leave off the track from the final release. In 1974, Page added additional guitar overdubs to the recording at Headley Grange. During the overdubbing session at Headley Grange, the guitar track was somehow lost in a studio mishap, and it took engineer Keith Harwood to salvage what had been recorded. This is duly noted on the album sleeve credits for the song: 'Guitar lost courtesy Nevison ... Salvaged by the grace of Harwood'. Page used a phase shifter on his guitar to create a surging wall of water sound effect. The title 'The Rover' is derived from British English 'rove', which means to wander with no fixed destination.

Live performances

'The Rover' was never performed in full live although rehearsal tapes do exist of Led Zeppelin running through a version at the Chicago Stadium on 6 July 1973. Snippets of the song was thrown in with other tracks during tours in 1972 and 1977. Page and Plant used elements of 'The Rover' to form part of their version of 'Babe I'm Gonna Leave You'.

Formats and track listings

1975 7" single (Thailand: Atlantic FT 206)



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


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


  • 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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