The history of the composition "Black Dog" (1971)
This song from the fourth Led Zeppelin album is known to every rock fan. The composition is one of the band's most recognizable songs due to its introductory guitar riff. Its author John Paul Jones said that he always wanted to write "electric blues, with a rolling bass line."
The composition turned out to be quite difficult to perform even by the standards of Led Zeppelin. It was said that Jones wished that the musicians who decided to release a cover of black dog pretty worn out. The complex beat also makes the composition impossible to dance. Although John Paul explained this one like this:
“Actually, I wrote it on the train on my way back from Jimmy's rehearsal. My father was a musician and he showed me how to notate anything. And I wrote a riff to “Black Dog” on the back of the ticket, which, unfortunately, I didn’t keep.”
Where did the title of the song come from
into Russian black dog translates as "Black Dog". However, there is not a single line about a dog in the song. It tells about an overwhelming passion for a girl with the appearance of a model, who needed only the money of a lyrical hero. He is disappointed and wants only one thing: to meet a decent woman.
And the name of the hit was in honor of the real black dog of the Labrador breed. The musicians have said many times that the dog constantly came to the Headley Grange studio, where they recorded. The dog was about twenty years old and he forgot the way home. Therefore, one of the band members had to take him to the old mistress, who lived two houses from the studio.
black dog first performed at a concert in Belfast on March 5, 1971. And already in March, the song took 15th place on the Billboard Hot 100. The composition is deservedly included in the Top 500 Greatest Songs of All Time according to Rolling Stone magazine.
Facts about Black Dog
- Robert Plant and Jimmy Page are officially credited as co-writers of the composition.
- The sounds preceding the first line of the lyrics, Page called "the awakening of the guitars."
- At concerts, Plant often rehashes some lines of the text in a new way.