Since I've Been Loving You

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Since I've Been Loving You
Appears on Led Zeppelin III
Published by Superhype Music
Registration ASCAP 490284332
Release date 5 October 1970
Recorded May - August 1970
Genre Blues-rock
Language English
Length 7 minutes 25 seconds
Composer Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, John Paul Jones
Label Atlantic Records
Producer Jimmy Page
Engineer Andy Johns

'Since I've Been Loving You' is a blues-rock song by English rock band Led Zeppelin, released on their 1970 album Led Zeppelin III. 'Since I've Been Loving You' was recorded in 1970 at Island Studios in London.

Overview

This was one of the first songs prepared for the Led Zeppelin III album, with a basic demo previously laid out at Morgan Studios in 1969.[1] The song was recorded live in the studio with very little overdubbing.

John Paul Jones' Hammond C-3 organ is the perfect choice for this track, as its expression allows for subtle, quiet support to the verses, along with strong, exciting power during the choruses. By carefully working the volume (or 'swell') pedal, Jones takes the organ from clear, pure organ tones to a more distorted, heavy overdrive that matches and enhances the powerful climaxes. The Leslie speaker is recorded with two microphones, panned wide apart for stereo; the main microphone sound is bright and sharp, and clearly indicates the textural changes of the track. The other microphone channel is almost entirely without treble and is panned to the left to fill the 'space' behind the guitar. This creates a wide full sound without interfering with the balance between the organ and guitar, which are on opposite sides. The 'bass' track is Hammond organ, as well, that was recorded separately for clarity, using the bass pedals for the bassline.[2]

It was the only track from the third album that the band had played live prior to the recording sessions, but was reportedly the hardest to record.[3] One version mentions Jimmy Page taking a break following a series of attempts to track the solo. Seemingly unable to get the tone he was desiring, he set about a walk around the studio to clear his mind. Sitting outside of the recording area was his unplugged Supro amplifier, which he utilised, and recorded the final solo on the next take. Audio engineer Terry Manning called it 'The best rock guitar solo of all time.'

Because of the live recording, this is one of a few songs in which one can hear the faint squeak of John Bonham's bass drum pedal in the studio, the others being 'The Ocean' and 'The Rain Song' from 1973's Houses of the Holy, 'Ten Years Gone' from 1975's Physical Graffiti, and 'Bonzo's Montreux' from 1982's Coda and 'I Can't Quit You Baby' from the same album. In an interview he gave to Guitar World magazine in 1993, Page made comment of this whilst discussing the remastering of Led Zeppelin tracks:

The only real problem I can remember encountering was when we were putting the first boxed set together. There was an awfully squeaky bass drum pedal on 'Since I've Been Loving You'. It sounds louder and louder every time I hear it! [laughs]. That was something that was obviously sadly overlooked at the time.[4]

Live history

'Since I've Been Loving You' became one of Led Zeppelin's most outstanding songs. Its extreme dynamics and fascinating chord progression show how Led Zeppelin were able to modify the traditional 12-bar blues. They would play it at nearly every concert for ten years, and it seemed to exemplify both the subtlety and power that the band possessed.

As an improvisational showcase for all four group members, and especially for Jimmy Page's electric blues guitar solos, 'Since I've Been Loving You' became a staple and fan favourite of Led Zeppelin's live concert performances from 1970 until the end of their ninth American tour in summer 1973 (it was performed less frequently thereafter). It was played on the 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1977, 1979 and 1980 tours, as well as a few times on the 1975 North American tour. Just before this 1975 tour, Page broke the tip of his left ring finger in a train door mishap. They went on with the tour but they had to drop this song and 'Dazed and Confused' from the set lists as he couldn't play them properly until his finger healed. In live performances of the song from 1977 onwards, Page would sometimes incorporate some of the solo of 'Tea for One', a track from the band's 1976 album Presence that is similar in style to this song.

Page's guitar prowess is well demonstrated in different performances of the song from Madison Square Garden in July 1973, as seen in the group's concert films The Song Remains the Same (and accompanying soundtrack) and Led Zeppelin DVD. There is also a June 1972 live recording of 'Since I've Been Loving You' which can be heard on the album How the West Was Won, and another live version on Disc 2 of BBC Sessions.

Jimmy Page and Robert Plant recorded a version of the song in 1994, released on their album No Quarter: Jimmy Page and Robert Plant Unledded. Plant also used a sample from this on his solo track 'White, Clean, and Neat'. 'Since I've Been Loving You' was performed at Led Zeppelin's reunion show at the O2 Arena, London on 10 December 2007.

Accolades

Publication Country Accolade Year Rank
Zounds Germany 'The Top 30 Songs of All Time'[5] 1992 16
Mojo United Kingdom '100 Great Voices'[6] 1994 *
Guitarist United Kingdom 'Top 100 Guitar Solos of All-time'[7] 1998 8
Guitar World United States '100 Greatest Solos of All-time'[8] 1998 53
Q United Kingdom '1010 Songs You Must Own!'[9] 2004 *

(*) designates unordered lists.

Credits

Personnel
  • Musicians:
    • Jimmy Page – electric guitar, producer, remastering, digital remastering
    • Robert Plant – vocals
    • John Paul Jones – organ, bass pedals
    • John Bonham - drums, 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. Lewis, Dave (2012). Led Zeppelin: From a Whisper to a Scream. London: Omnibus Press, 42. ISBN 978-1-78038-547-1. 
  2. Case, George (2011). “When the Guitars Play”, Led Zeppelin FAQ: All That's Left to Know About the Greatest Hard Rock Band of All Time. Milwaukee: Backbeat Books, 65. ISBN 978-1-61713-025-0. 
  3. Tolinski, Brad and Di Benedetto, Greg (January 1998). "Light and Shade: A Historic Look at the Entire Led Zeppelin Catalogue Through the Eyes of Guitarist/Producer/Mastermind Jimmy Page". Guitar World 18 (1): 16. ISSN 1045-6295.
  4. Tolinski, Brad; Greg DiBenedetto (May 1993). "Inside the studio with Jimmy Page". Guitar World 14 (5). ISSN 1063-4231.
  5. The Final Hitparade: The Top 30 Songs of All Time - June 1992. Zounds. Retrieved on 2009-02-10.
  6. 100 Great Voices: Robert Plant - 1994. Mojo. Retrieved on 2009-02-10.
  7. Top 100 Guitar Solos of All-time - January 1998. Guitarist. Retrieved on 2009-02-10.
  8. 100 Greatest Solos of All-time - September 1998. Guitar World. Retrieved on 2009-02-10.
  9. 1010 Songs You Must Own! Part Five – On a Downer: 60 Songs for Long Dark Night of the Soul - September 2004. Q. Retrieved on 2009-02-10.