Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Rock and Roll & The Battle of Evermore

The second track from Led Zeppelin Iv is "Rock and Roll" with a guest appearance by The Ian Smith, Rolling Stones pianist. The song is based on one of the most popular structures in rock 'n' roll, the 12 bar blues progression (in A). "Rock and Roll" is one of the bands most well known songs. "Rock and Roll" was released on March 21,1972.

   Jimmy Page said that "Rock and Roll" was written in a spontaneous jam session, while the band was trying to finish "Four Sticks".  John Bonham played the introduction to Little Richard's "Keep a Knockin' " and Jimmy Page added a guitar riff. The tapes were rolling and 15 minutes later the basis for the song was down.

 "Rock and Roll" is one of the few songs in which all four members share composing credit.

When performing the song Plant would usually switch around the second and third verses.
"Rock and Roll" was a key component of Led Zeppelin's set list at their concerts from 1971 on.  A first, Robert Plant referred to it on stage as "It's been A Long Time", which, of course, is the first line of the song. It was elevated, in 1972, to the opening number of all concert performances and it stayed that way until 1975. For the bands 1977 North American tour "Rock and Roll" became a part of a medley encore with"Whole Lotta Love" and in 1979 and 1980 it became an encore in its own right.

"Rock and Roll" peaked on US Billboards Hot 100 Singles Chart at # 47; US Cash Box Top 100 Singles Chart at # 42: and US Record World 100 Tops Chart at #38.

( I'm wondering if hind-sight is 20/20 with Zeppelin songs, because it seems that there weren't too many, I guess mainstream people liked them and their songs).


 It's been a long time dince I rock and rolled
 It's been a long time since I did the stroll
Ooh let me get back, let me get back,
Let me get back,mm baby, where I come from.
It's been a long time, been a long time
 Been a long lonely, lonely, lonely, lonely, lonely time
 Yes it has.

 It's been a long time since the book of love,
 I can't count the tears of a life with no love,.
Carry me back, carry me back,
 Carry me back, baby,where I come from.
 It's ben a long time, been long time,
 Been along lonely, lonely, lonely, lonely, lonely time.

 Seems so long since we walked in he moonlight
 Making vows that just can't work right.
 Open your arms, open your arms,
 Open your arms, baby, let me come running in. 
It's been a long  time,been along time
 Been a long lonely, lonely, lonely, lonely, lonely time.


The Battle of Evermore

   "The Battle of Evermore is the third track on Led Zeppelin IV. It is a folk rock duet sung by Robert Plant and English singer-songwriter, Sandy Denny that was released on November 8, 1971. The Song is well known for its acoustic guitar and mandolin playing.

"The Battle of Evermore" tune was written by Jimmy Page while he was experimenting with a mandolin that was owned by John Paul Jones. In 1977 Pages aid that the song was made up on the spot by Both Plant and himself. Even though page had never played the mandolin before,  he picked up Jones' and wrote up the chords and the whole thing in one sitting.

 At the time Robert Plant had been reading Scottish folklore and it was inspiration for the song lyrics. Like some of the bands other songs, "The battle of Evermore" makes a reference to "Lord of the Rings". he also felt that another voice was needed to tell the story and for the recording, so English fol singer, Dandy Denny was invited to do a duet with Plant. Plant played the role of the narrator and Denny represented the town crier.

Sandy Denny, January 6,194- April21,1978

To thank her for her contribution to the song, Denny was given her own symbol on the on the album sleeve of three pyramids. This is the only song Led Zeppelin ever to have a guest vocalist.

 The "Battle of Evermore" was played at Led Zeppelin concerts during the 1977 concert tour of America. For these live performances, John Paul Jones sang Denny's part with Plant and played acoustic guitar while Page played the mandolin. John Bonham would at times sing Denny's vocal part instead of Jones.In 1994, Page and Plant also recorded a version of "Battle of Evermore" for their album Four Quater: Jimmy Page and Robert Plant Unledded. British singer Najma Akhtar sang Sandy Denny's part.


Queen of the Light took her bow
And then she turned to go
 The Prince of Peace embraced the gloom
 And walked the night alone.

 Oh, dance in the dark of night
 Sing to the morning light.
 The dark Lord rides in force tonight
 And time will tell us all.

 Oh, throw down your plow and hoe
 Rest not to lock your homes.

Side by side we wait the might
 Of the darkest of them all.

 I hear the horses' thunder down in the valley blow.
I'm waiting for the angels of Avalon, waiting for the eastern glow.

 The apples of the valley hold
 The seeds of happiness
 The ground is rich from tender care,
 Repay, do not forget, no, no,
 Dance in the dark of night
Sing to the morning light.

 The apples turn to brown and black, the tyrants face is red.

 Oh war is the common cry, Pick up your swords and fly.
 The sky is filled with good and bad that mortals never know.

 Oh, well,the night is long, The beads of time pass slow,
 Tired eyes on the sunrise, Waiting for the eastern glow.

The pain of war can not exceed the woe of the aftermath,
The drums will shake  the castle wall, the ring wraiths ride in black, Ride on.
 Sing as you raise your your bow,
Shoot straighter than before.
No comfort has the fire at night that lights the face so cold.
 Oh dance in the dark of night,
 Sing to the mornin' light.
 The magic runes writ in gold to bring the balance back.
 Bring it back.

 At last the sun is shining, The clouds of blue roll by,
 With the flame of the dragon of darkness, the sunlight blinds his eyes.

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