The songs Jimmy Page took from The Yardbirds for Led Zeppelin

Jimmy Page

Jimmy Page has explored virtually every aspect of the electric guitar’s capabilities. From the moment he picked up the guitar, Page’s goal was to deconstruct the standard rock guitar-playing style. He aimed to pave the way for something new and exciting with Led Zeppelin. Although set to change public perception, Page’s early Zeppelin songs closely resembled his former group’s style.

Before forming a new band with Robert Plant and John Paul Jones, Page had already established himself in the English studio scene. Page, known for laying down guitar parts on countless famous 1960s pop songs, would eventually find his calling as a band member. He played the wildman position in The Yardbirds.

Joining the psychedelic trend, songs like ‘Heart Full of Soul‘ provided a modest insight into Page’s abilities. He twisted the guitar to create one of his first memorable riffs. When Jeff Beck joined the group, Page realized he needed someone else to assist him go to the other side. So, he formed a new edition of The Yardbirds under the name Led Zeppelin.

When it came to Zeppelin’s first album, Page’s sounds were still heavily influenced by the blues. Aside from the folk ballad ‘Babe, I’m Gonna Leave You‘, most songs have a standard rock and roll framework. There’s a bluesy touch on tunes like ‘Dazed and Confused‘ and ‘Communication Breakdown‘.

Although Page and Plant wrote songs like ‘How Many More Times‘, the guitarist admitted that the heart of the pieces was based on drafts. He was still working on them with The Yardbirds. While no comrades had credits, Page claimed his playing approach was identical. He had been working on it with the blues veterans.

When asked about his time with Zeppelin, Page revealed, “I transformed those riffs and used them again.” The bowing on ‘How Many More Times‘ and ‘Good Times, Bad Times‘ was an extension of what I’d been working on with the Yardbirds. I’d never had that much chance to go to town with it, and to see how far one could stretch the bowing technique on record. Obviously, for anyone who saw the band, it became quite a little showpiece in itself.

Regardless of when Page began using the bow, fans were startled the first time they heard Zeppelin live. With Plant’s wailing vocals and Bonham’s thunderous drumming, Zeppelin swiftly became one of the craziest bands on the circuit. Page’s riffs served as the song’s engine half the time.

But that would only be the start. When the band began to hone their craft on the following albums, they were on the verge of creating some of the most savage rock and roll ever made. From the calming melodies of ‘Tangerine‘ to the roaring epics of their later career, such as ‘Kashmir‘. Jimmy Page may have been reflecting on his past on the first Zeppelin record, but he had no idea what those songs would signify for the rest of the world.

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