Sugar Mama (Led Zeppelin song)

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Sugar Mama
Published by Superhype Music
Registration ASCAP
Recorded 25 June 1969, at Morgan Studios, London, England.
Mixed at Morgan Studios, London.
Genre Blues rock, rock
Language English
Length 3 minutes 5 seconds
Composer Jimmy Page, Robert Plant
Label Atlantic Records
Producer Jimmy Page
Engineer Andy Johns

'Sugar Mama' is a 1969 song by English rock band Led Zeppelin. The track was composed by Jimmy Page and Robert Plant, and recorded at Morgan Studios, London in June 1969. A driving blues rock song, it officially remained unreleased, until its inclusion in the 2015 deluxe edition of Coda.

Overview

'Sugar Mama' was intended for the band's second album, Led Zeppelin II, and was recorded at the same session for 'We're Gonna Groove', on 25 June 1969.[1] The title was inspired by a traditional blues song, recorded in 1937 by Sonny Boy Williamson I (John Lee Curtis Williamson) entitled 'Sugar Mama Blues' (also known simply as 'Sugar Mama'). P. J. Proby also recorded a song entitled 'Sugar Mama' for his Three Week Hero album in 1968. Musically and stylistically all three songs are dissimilar, with only the repeated pleading refrain from singer Robert Plant, 'Sugar mama, sugar mama', having commonality. This track is driven by a rhythmic ostinato section courtesy of drummer John Bonham and bassist John Paul Jones, and a repetitive but compact Jimmy Page guitar riff. The tone achieved by Page is similar to the one used on 'Travelling Riverside Blues', recorded for BBC Radio the same year. 'Sugar Mama's underpinning bouncy, catchy repetitious rhythm was perhaps too out of place for the album given the material they had already recorded up to June 1969, and was subsequently left unreleased.[2] The master tape for this song was reputedly found during a storage clean-out of Morgan Studios in the 1990s. Bootlegs containing 'Sugar Mama' have since surfaced from this tape.

Live performances

'Sugar Mama' was never performed live in its entirety. A few bars were played as part of the 'Whole Lotta Love' blues medley in a number of concerts in 1971.

Credits

Personnel
  • Musicians:
    • Robert Plant - vocals
    • Jimmy Page – electric guitar, producer
    • John Paul Jones – bass guitar
    • John Bonham - drums, percussion
  • Production:
    • Peter Grant – executive producer
    • Andy Johns - engineer, mixing

References

  1. Lewis, Dave; Simon Pallett (2005). Led Zeppelin: The Concert File, Revised. London: Omnibus Press, 64. ISBN 978-1-84449-659-4. OCLC 64083054. 
  2. Lewis, Dave (2012). Led Zeppelin: From a Whisper to a Scream. London: Omnibus Press, 133. ISBN 978-1-78038-547-1. OCLC 782996334.