Celebration Day (song)

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Celebration Day
Appears on Led Zeppelin III
Published by Superhype Music
Registration ASCAP 330180700
Release date 5 October 1970
Recorded May 1970 at
Headley Grange, Hampshire.
Mixed at Ardent Studios, Memphis.
Genre Hard rock, rock
Language English
Length 3 minutes 29 seconds
Composer Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, John Paul Jones
Label Atlantic Records
Producer Jimmy Page
Engineer Andy Johns

'Celebration Day' is the third track from English rock band Led Zeppelin's 1970 album Led Zeppelin III.

Overview

The track was almost left off the album, due to a studio oversight in which an engineer accidentally erased the first few bars of John Bonham's drum track. To disguise it, a Moog synthesizer with an EMS VCS3, from the end of the previous song on the album, 'Friends', was used to composite over the edit. This enabled the track to be salvaged and included on the album.[1]

'Celebration Day' is made up of jangling Jimmy Page guitar riffs and a hypnotic, trance-like mood. In an interview he gave to Guitar World magazine in 1993, Page discussed the construction of the song:

There's about three or four riffs going down on that one, isn't there? Half was done with a guitar in standard tuning and the other half was done on slide guitar tuned to an open A, I think. We put that together at Headley Grange. Because we rented the Rolling Stones' mobile recording studio, we could relax and take our time and develop the songs in rehearsals. I do not remember too much about that song other than that and what I told you earlier about the opening being erased. I used to play the whole thing live on my electric 12-string.[2]

Live performances

The lyrics of Robert Plant refer to his impressions of the city of New York. On Led Zeppelin's 1971 concert tour of the United States, Robert Plant would sometimes introduce it as 'The New York Song'. 'Celebration Day' was often played live in Led Zeppelin concerts from 1971 through 1973, and was returned to the band's set list at Knebworth in 1979.[3] A live version from the band's 1973 U.S. tour was recorded and included on their concert soundtrack The Song Remains the Same.

When released in 1976, the album's accompanying film did not include this live cut of 'Celebration Day', but when the DVD of the film was reissued in 2007, footage of the song was added to the second extras disc, and included on the reissue of the album. This reissued version is slightly different from the one that was originally included on the 1976 album, in particular featuring a different guitar solo. Jimmy Page performed 'Celebration Day' on his tour with the Black Crowes in 1999, and another version performed by Page and the Black Crowes can be found on the album Live at the Greek.

Credits

Personnel
  • Musicians:
    • Jimmy Page – electric guitar, producer, remastering, digital remastering
    • Robert Plant – vocals
    • John Paul Jones – bass guitar, Moog synthesizer, EMS VCS3
    • John Bonham - percussion
  • Production:
    • Peter Grant – executive producer
    • Andy Johns - engineer, mixing
    • Joe Sidore - original CD mastering engineer (mid-1980s)
    • George Marino - remastered CD engineer (1990)

References

  1. Tolinski, Brad; Greg DiBenedetto (May 1993). "Inside the studio with Jimmy Page". Guitar World 14 (5). ISSN 1063-4231.
  2. Tolinski, Brad; Greg DiBenedetto (May 1993). "Inside the studio with Jimmy Page". Guitar World 14 (5). ISSN 1063-4231.
  3. Lewis, Dave (2012). Led Zeppelin: From a Whisper to a Scream. London: Omnibus Press, 42. ISBN 978-1-78038-547-1.