Song:Whole Lotta Love
Album:Led Zeppelin II: Deluxe Edition
Led Zeppelin was one of the most successful bands of the 70s. Whole Lotta Love was their biggest hit single and though they were an album oriented band, that single got them a wider audience. In 1968, guitarist Jimmy Page was already known for his work with The Yardbirds. When they disbanded, Page and Yardbirds bassist Chris Dreja planned to form The New Yardbirds. Page wanted Terry Reid for lead singer. But Reid had previous commitments and he recommended Robert Plant. Plant recommended drummer John Bonham. Then Dreja quit the music business to become a photographer and he was replaced by John Paul Jones. They played gigs as The New Yardbirds but Dreja took legal action to prevent them from using the name. The Led Zeppelin name came after Page wanted to form a supergroup with Jeff Beck, Keith Moon and John Entwistle and Moon told Page it would go over like a lead balloon. Then Led Zeppelin signed with Atlantic Records. Their first album Led Zeppelin was released Jan. 1969 and they toured to support it. The album was certified 8XPlatinum. They worked on Led Zeppelin II while touring. Though they probably didn't need it, Atlantic wanted a hit single. Whole Lotta Love is based on a Page guitar riff he came up with during recording session rehearsals. Whole Lotta Love reached #4 on the Billboard Hot 100. It would turn out to be their biggest hit single. The album Led Zeppelin II was certified Diamond. So it was even bigger than the first album and it would set them up for future success through the 70s. Led Zeppelin II was released as a 2CD Deluxe Edition in 2014. The second CD contains alternate takes and other rarities. Led Zeppelin was known for basing songs on blues classics. Sometimes this got them into legal trouble. Whole Lotta Love was based on the 1962 Muddy Waters hit You Need Love written by Willie Dixon. But they didn't credit him. Dixon sued in 1985 and got a songwriting credit and a settlement. This would not be the last lawsuit against Led Zeppelin for this sort of thing. I can only assume Page looked at blues classics as public domain that he could draw on as needed. Of course Led Zeppelin had plenty of success and I may look at them again. But Whole Lotta Love was important in establishing them as a mainstream band. Here's Led Zeppelin performing Whole Lotta Love at Madison Square Garden in New York in 1973 from the 1976 film The Song Remains The Same.