D'yer Mak'er

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D'yer Mak'er
Dmsingle1973.jpg
1973 French single
Appears on Houses of the Holy
Published by Superhype Music
Registration ASCAP 340144267
Release date 17 September 1973
Recorded May - June 1972
Genre Reggae, rock
Language English
Length 4 minutes 23 seconds
Composer Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, John Paul Jones, John Bonham
Label Atlantic Records
Producer Jimmy Page
Engineer Eddie Kramer

'D'yer Mak'er' (intended to be pronounced with a British non-rhotic accent as 'Jamaica', IPA dʒəˈmeɪkə) is a song by English rock band Led Zeppelin, from their 1973 album Houses of the Holy.

Overview

This song was meant as a tribute to reggae music. Its genesis is traced to Led Zeppelin's rehearsals at Stargroves in 1972, when drummer John Bonham started with a beat similar to 1950s doo-wop, and then twisted it into a slight off beat tempo, upon which a reggae influence emerged.[1] The distinctive drum sound was created by placing three microphones a good distance away from Bonham's drums.

'D'yer Mak'er' is one of the few Led Zeppelin songs where all four members share the composer credit. This track, as well as another song from the album entitled 'The Crunge', was initially not taken seriously by many listeners, and some critics reserved their harshest criticism for these two arrangements.[2]

Led Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones has expressed his distaste for the song, suggesting that it started off as a joke and wasn't thought through carefully enough.[3] However, 'D'yer Mak'er' has gathered critical respect in the years since, and has grown into something of a Led Zeppelin classic. Upon the album's release, Robert Plant was keen to issue the track as a single in the United Kingdom. Atlantic Records went so far as to distribute advance promotional copies to DJs (now valuable collectors' items). While it was released in the US, and the single peaked at #20 in December of 1973, it was ultimately never released in the UK.[4]

This song was never performed live in its entirety at Led Zeppelin concerts, although excerpts of it were played during 'Whole Lotta Love' during the 1975 concert tour of the United States and 'Communication Breakdown' at the Earls Court shows in the same year.[5] On 23 June 1977 at Los Angeles Forum Robert Plant sang the, 'Oh, Oh, Oh' refrain and first line during the acoustic set.

Song title pronunciation

The name of the song is derived from a play on the words 'Jamaica' and 'Did you make her', based on an old joke ('My wife's gone to the West Indies.' 'Jamaica?' 'No, she went of her own accord'). On 21 July 2005, Led Zeppelin vocalist Robert Plant discussed the song during an interview with Mike Halloran, a DJ on radio station FM94/9 in San Diego. During the interview, he talked about the different interpretations and pronunciations of the name of the song [6]. The title, which appears nowhere in the lyrics, was chosen because it reflects the reggae flavour of the song.

Accolades

Publication Country Accolade Year Rank
Radio Caroline United Kingdom 'Top 500 Tracks'[7] 1999 453
DigitalDreamDoor United States 'The 100 Greatest Recordings From 1973'[8] 2007 79

Chart positions

Chart (1973) Peak position
US Billboard Hot 100 Singles Chart[9] 20
US Cash Box Top 100 Singles Chart[10] 16
US Record World 100 Top Pops[11] 15
Chart (1974) Peak position
Canadian RPM Top 100 Chart[12] 24
Canadian CHUM Chart[13] 7
New Zealand Top 50 Singles Chart[14] 20

Credits

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

References

  1. Lewis, Dave (2012). Led Zeppelin: From a Whisper to a Scream. London: Omnibus Press, 63. ISBN 978-1-78038-547-1. 
  2. Lewis, Dave (2012). Led Zeppelin: From a Whisper to a Scream. London: Omnibus Press, 63. ISBN 978-1-78038-547-1. 
  3. Lewis, Dave (2012). Led Zeppelin: From a Whisper to a Scream. London: Omnibus Press, 63. ISBN 978-1-78038-547-1. 
  4. Lewis, Dave (2012). Led Zeppelin: From a Whisper to a Scream. London: Omnibus Press, 63. ISBN 978-1-78038-547-1. 
  5. Lewis, Dave; Simon Pallett (2005). Led Zeppelin: The Concert File, Revised. London: Omnibus Press, 267. ISBN 978-1-84449-659-4. OCLC 64083054. 
  6. Original full-length interview
  7. Top 500 Tracks - 1999. Radio Caroline. Retrieved on 2009-02-10.
  8. The 100 Greatest Recordings From 1973 - 2007. DigitalDreamDoor. Retrieved on 2009-02-10.
  9. Hot 100 Singles - 29 December 1973. Billboard. Retrieved on 2009-01-17.
  10. Top 100 Singles - 29 December 1973. Cash Box. Retrieved on 2009-01-17.
  11. Top 40 for 1973 - December 1973. Record World. Retrieved on 2009-01-19.
  12. RPM Singles Chart - 12 January 1974. RPM. Retrieved on 2009-01-15.
  13. CHUM Singles Chart - 2 February 1974. 1050chum.com. Retrieved on 2009-01-15.
  14. Scapolo, Dean (2007). “Top 50 Singles - February 1974”, The Complete New Zealand Music Charts. Wellington: Transpress. ISBN 978-1-877443-00-8.