Good Times Bad Times

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Good Times Bad Times
Gtbtsingle1969.jpg
1969 Italian single
Appears on Led Zeppelin
Published by Superhype Music
Registration ASCAP 370093944
Release date 10 March 1969
Recorded October 1968 at
Olympic Studios, London.
Mixed at Olympic Studios, London.
Genre Hard rock, rock
Language English
Length 2 minutes 43 seconds
Composer Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones, John Bonham
Label Atlantic Records
Producer Jimmy Page
Engineer Glyn Johns

'Good Times Bad Times' is a song by English rock band Led Zeppelin, featured as the opening track on their 1969 debut album Led Zeppelin.

Overview

For the lead guitar solo, guitarist Jimmy Page passed his Telecaster guitar through a Leslie speaker to create a swirling effect.[1][2] This type of speaker contains a rotating paddle and was designed for Hammond organ. However, guitars could be used with it. In an interview he gave to Guitar World magazine in 1993, Page explained that:

I do remember using the board to overdrive a Leslie cabinet for the main riff in 'How Many More Times'. It doesn't sound like a Leslie because I wasn't employing the rotating speakers. Surprisingly, that sound has real weight. The guitar is going through the board, then through an amp which was driving the Leslie cabinet. It was a very successful experiment.[3]

Page, also the band's producer, placed microphones all over the recording studio to capture a live sound when this song was recorded.

This song is also notable for drummer John Bonham's repeated use of a series of two sixteenth-note triplets on a single bass drum, an effect many subsequent rock drummers have imitated. Bonham had reportedly developed this technique after listening to Vanilla Fudge. He was unaware that drummer Carmine Appice was actually playing on a double bass set. As Page has stated:

The most stunning thing about the track, of course, is Bonzo's amazing kick drum. It's superhuman when you realize he was not playing with double kick. That's one kick drum! That's when people started understanding what he was all about.[4]

Bass player John Paul Jones has also remarked on his own contribution to the track:

Usually anything [by Led Zeppelin] with lots of notes was mine and anything with chunky chords was Page's. Things like 'Good Times Bad Times', those are my sort of riffs, they're quite busy'.[5]

Jones says that the riff he wrote for this song was the most difficult one he ever wrote.[6]

Live performances

'Good Times Bad Times' was rarely played live at Led Zeppelin concerts in its entirety. In a few instances in 1969 it was used as an introduction to 'Communication Breakdown'. It also appeared in almost complete form within the 'Communication Breakdown' medley performed at the LA Forum on 4 September 1970 (as can be heard on the Led Zeppelin bootleg recording Live On Blueberry Hill), and several 'Whole Lotta Love' medleys in 1971. It was also the opening song for Led Zeppelin's reunion show at the O2 Arena, London on 10 December 2007.

Accolades

Publication Country Accolade Year Rank
Blender United States "The 1001 Greatest Songs to Download Right Now!"[7] 2003 *
DigitalDreamDoor United States "The 100 Greatest Rock Debut Singles"[8] 2005 73
DigitalDreamDoor United States "The 100 Greatest Recordings From 1969"[9] 2007 56

(*) designates unordered lists.

Chart positions

Led Zeppelin Single

Chart (1969) Peak position
Canadian RPM Top 100 Chart[10] 64
US Billboard Hot 100 Singles Chart[11] 80
US Cash Box Top 100 Singles Chart[12] 66
US Record World 100 Top Pops[13] 65
Japanese Singles Chart[14] 84
Dutch Singles Chart[15] 17

Credits

Personnel
  • Musicians:
    • Jimmy Page – electric guitar, backing vocals, producer, remastering, digital remastering
    • Robert Plant – vocals
    • John Paul Jones – bass guitar, backing vocals
    • John Bonham - drums, percussion, backing vocals
  • Production:
    • Peter Grant – executive producer
    • Glyn Johns - 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, 22. ISBN 978-1-78038-547-1. 
  2. Steven Rosen, 1977 Jimmy Page Interview, Modern Guitars, 25 May, 2007 (originally published in the July 1977, issue of Guitar Player magazine).
  3. Tolinski, Brad; Greg DiBenedetto (May 1993). "Inside the studio with Jimmy Page". Guitar World 14 (5). ISSN 1063-4231.
  4. Tolinski, Brad; Greg DiBenedetto (May 1993). "Inside the studio with Jimmy Page". Guitar World 14 (5). ISSN 1063-4231.
  5. Long, Andy (March 2002). "Get the Led Out". Global Bass Online. Retrieved on 7 April 2014.
  6. Fricke, David (9 January 2008). "Q&A: John Paul Jones of Led Zeppelin". Rolling Stone. ISSN 0035-791X.
  7. The 1001 Greatest Songs to Download Right Now! - 2003. Blender. Retrieved on 2009-02-10.
  8. The 100 Greatest Rock Debut Singles - 2005. DigitalDreamDoor. Retrieved on 2009-02-10.
  9. The 100 Greatest Recordings From 1969 - 2007. DigitalDreamDoor. Retrieved on 2009-02-10.
  10. RPM Singles Chart - 14 April 1969. RPM. Retrieved on 2009-01-19.
  11. Hot 100 Singles - 19 April 1969. Billboard. Retrieved on 2009-01-19.
  12. Top 100 Singles - 26 April 1969. Cash Box. Retrieved on 2009-01-19.
  13. Top 100 for 1969 - April 1969. Record World. Retrieved on 2009-01-19.
  14. Top 100 Singles - 5 June 1969. Oricon. Retrieved on 2009-01-19.
  15. Top 100 Singles - 21 June 1969. dutchcharts.nl. Retrieved on 2009-01-19.