Bron-Yr-Aur (song)

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Bron-Yr-Aur
Appears on Physical Graffiti
Published by Flames of Albion Music
Registration ASCAP
Release date 24 February 1975
Recorded July 1970 at
Island Studios, London.
Mixed at Olympic Studios, London.
Genre Folk
Language English
Length 2 minutes 7 seconds
Composer Jimmy Page
Label Swan Song Records
Producer Jimmy Page
Engineer Andy Johns

'Bron-Yr-Aur' is an acoustic guitar instrumental tune by English rock band Led Zeppelin, and, at two minutes and seven seconds in duration, is the shortest studio recording under the band's name.

Overview

The song was initially written and recorded in 1970 by Jimmy Page during the sessions for the album, Led Zeppelin III, but was eventually released in 1975 on Physical Graffiti. It was named after Bron-Yr-Aur, a cottage in Gwynedd, Wales where the members of Led Zeppelin spent time during the recording of Led Zeppelin III.[1] ('Bron-Y-Aur Stomp' is a different song from Led Zeppelin III.)

'Bron-Yr-Aur' is a reflective and relaxed piece, and one of the last acoustic tunes released under the band's name. It features a characteristic open-C6 tuning (C-A-C-G-C-E) and is played on a 1971 Martin D-28.[2] This same tuning was also used by Page on the tracks 'Poor Tom' and 'Friends'.[3] Some minor string squeaks and small mistakes were left in by Page to keep the live feel.

The studio version of 'Bron-Yr-Aur' is played in the concert film The Song Remains the Same, at the point when the band members are shown driving through New York City in a limousine (although it is not featured on the accompanying soundtrack album). An excerpt of the tune can also be heard in the film Almost Famous, one of the rare instances when the band allowed part of their catalogue to be used for a motion picture.

Live performances

The tune was rarely performed live at Led Zeppelin concerts, but can be heard on some bootleg recordings from their sixth American concert tour in August-September 1970, when it was sometimes played as part of their acoustic set.[4] It can be heard on the famous bootleg album Live On Blueberry Hill, on which Led Zeppelin singer Robert Plant explains the origins of 'Bron-Yr-Aur':

This is a thing called 'Bron-Yr-Aur'. This is a name of the little cottage in the mountains of Snowdonia in Wales, and 'Bron-Yr-Aur' is the Welsh equivalent of the phrase 'Golden Breast'. This is so because of its position every morning as the sun rises and it's a really remarkable place. And so after staying there for a while and deciding it was time to leave for various reasons, we couldn't really just leave it and forget about it. You've probably all been to a place like that, only we can tell you about it and you can't tell us.

Credits

Personnel
  • Musicians:
    • Jimmy Page – acoustic guitar, producer, remastering, digital remastering
  • Production:
    • Peter Grant – executive producer
    • Keith Harwood - mixing
    • Andy Johns - engineer
    • Joe Sidore - original CD mastering engineer (mid-1980s)
    • George Marino - remastered CD engineer (1990)

References

  1. Sutcliffe, Phil (2003). "Led Zeppelin: Back to Nature". Q: 34. ISSN 0955-4955.
  2. Tolinski, Brad (January 1998). "Jimmy Page's Guitar Army: Backstage 1973". Guitar World: 107. ISSN 1063-4231.
  3. Lewis, Dave (2012). Led Zeppelin: From a Whisper to a Scream. London: Omnibus Press, 71. ISBN 978-1-78038-547-1. 
  4. Lewis, Dave (2012). Led Zeppelin: From a Whisper to a Scream. London: Omnibus Press, 71. ISBN 978-1-78038-547-1.