The Song Remains the Same (song)

'The Song Remains the Same' is a 1973 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, and mixed at Olympic Studios, London in May 1972. It appeared as the opening track on Led Zeppelin's fifth album Houses of the Holy, released on 28 March 1973. 'The Song Remains the Same' is a hard hitting high energy rock song, originally intended to be an instrumental opening to a much larger piece entitled 'The Overture', then later as a working title called 'The Campaign', with lyrics. The title of the track was later reused for the name of Led Zeppelin's 1976 motion picture The Song Remains the Same, and the accompanying soundtrack album.

Overview

'The Song Remains the Same' was composed during the early sessions at Stargroves, formed from a number of pre-recorded ideas that guitarist Jimmy Page and singer Robert Plant had committed to a cassette tape recorder throughout 1971 and 1972. Page had envisioned a far longer piece beginning with a guitar fanfare which ultimately segued directly into 'The Rain Song', however Plant wrote one set of lyrics for 'The Song Remains the Same' which celebrated music a unifying force around the globe and another separate set of lyrics for 'The Rain Song'. The decision was made to cut the epic track into two and work on them as two distinct songs. Varispeed was added to Plant's vocals, and Page employed multi-track for his Fender Telecaster and Rickenbacker 12-string guitars. When performed live, Page used his Gibson EDS-1275 double neck guitar. In the film The Song Remains the Same, the song was used as the thematic piece of Plant's fantasy sequence.

Live performances

'The Song Remains the Same' debuted on the Japanese tour of 1972, and performed at every concert with 'The Rain Song' until the 1975 Earls Court shows. On the 1977 North American tour and the 1979 Copenhagen and Knebworth performances it became the set opener. Page and Plant revived the song for their 1995 and 1996 tours. Led Zeppelin played it again at the Ahmet Ertegun tribute concert at the O2 Arena, London, in December 2007.

Formats and track listings

1973 7" single (Thailand: Atlantic TK769 ST-H)

  • A. 'The Song Remains the Same' (Page, Plant) 5.30
  • B1. 'The Ocean' (Bonham, Jones, Page, Plant) 4.31
  • B2. 'Dancing Days' (Page, Plant) 3.43

Credits

Musicians:

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

Production:

  • Peter Grant – executive producer
  • Eddie Kramer – engineer
  • Keith Harwood - 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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